Joyous Bubbles

Friday, May 12, 2006

Intern

Well, for the last two weeks I have been an Intern with a Quarterly Renewal Program. The Quarter isn't my own and I have been living with a host family for the last two weeks. I basically had a couple of goals for the internship: the first was just to get a feeling of the spiritual charater of the Quarter, the second is to travel and get an opportunity to elder, and the third is to get together a regional youth program (they don't have any youth program at all, and their kids don't get to Yearly Meeting stuff). So far, the internship seems to be a lot of meeting and talking to folks, going to committee meetings, and getting taken out to eat (ah, my life is rough. . . ;-))

I really enjoyed my meeting with some of the young people from the Quarter. The young people really articulated a feeling of isslocation, and disattachment from any larger Quaker community. They weren't in touch with there region, their Quarter or their Yearly Meeting. What I found very interesting was that there seems to be a parell between the experience of the youth and the experience of the 'older' Friends. This Quarter has seen a huge amount of isolation, especially between the Quarter and the Yearly Meeting.

While working on some of these issues I have come up with some queries about relationships between Monthly Meetings and Quarterly and Yearly Meetings.

Queries:

Where is your spiritual community? Is it in your Monthly Meeting? Is it your Quarter? The Yearly Meeting?

Are you in relationship with your Quarterly Meeting? Your Yearly Meeting? Is your Meeting in relationship with your Quarter? What about the Monthly Meeting?

What can be gained from relationships with Friends from other Meetings?

What can be lost by having a relationship with the Yearly Meeting? What about a relationship with the Quarterly Meeting?

What barriers stand in the way of your Meeting having a relationship with the Quarter or Yearly Meeting? Are they spiritual? Are they finacial? Or is there something else?

What would be your dream relationship with the Quarter? With the Yearly Meeting?

It is generally felt that our spiritual lives are wonderfully enriched by fellowship and prayer with a larger Quaker community. How can we create this larger community? How can we create a Quarterly Community? How can we find our place in an existing Yearly Meeting community? Or perhaps, do we need to re-build a Yearly Meeting community.

How does a disconnect between the Yearly Meeting and MMs hurt our home Monthly Meetings?

Does all of this have to do with bringing our house into order? Is bringing our spiritual homes (both MMs and the Quarterly Meeting) into order the first essential step for creating a relationship with the Yearly Meeting?