Joyous Bubbles

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Thoughts from Powell House

I was at PoHo (Powell House is the Quaker retreat center for NYYM. . .they have a fabulous and ever growing youth program) this last weekend and the topic of the conference was art and spirituality. I was struck (yet again) by how uncomfortable some of the PoHo attenders were with discussing religion. Spirituality was fine, but religion obviously brought up, to some, very negative connotations. Those types of discussion remind me that many of the youth attenders do not attend their local MM, and usually they consider PoHo their only spiritual home. Although Powell House is wonderful (!) I wonder what is wrong with their MMs? And how likely is it, if the Powell House youth program is their only spiritual home, that they will stay Quaker after they graduate out?

I also noticed that it was mostly the younger set, the 15-16 year olds who were very uncomfortable discussing things like prayer and 'when they experienced God.' I look at these 15 year olds and see that they are thriving in this very Quaker (and dare I say, religious) atmosphere of Powell House and yet I know that if I asked them if they went to Quaker meeting they would tell me they weren't interested.

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