On the weekend of October 3 through 5, eighteen young adult Friends, including myself, who currently are working for Quaker organizations gathered with us at the William Penn House for “Sustaining Our Spirit Led Service: A Consultation for Young Adult Quaker Professionals.” Cosponsored and planned with Sadie at Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, the weekend was a time for YAFs to share their experiences, develop new skills and be encouraged in their work. The William Penn House donated lodging for any of the participants who chose to spend the weekend at the house. The young adults were joined by four seasoned resource people with experience working for Quaker organizations to help facilitate discussions. Participants included employees from twelve Quaker organizations from the East Coast and
On Friday night Mary Lord, former American Friends Service Committee Assistant General Secretary for Peace Building, spoke to us about what the title of the weekend meant and her own experience working for a variety of Quaker groups. Saturday began with worship and was full of small group discussions and workshops. We then had the evening free to explore DC, with many in the group going to dinner together. Sunday morning consisted of worship at the William Penn House with local Friends and then a closing discussion of the weekend, including what else would be helpful for young adults who work for Quaker organizations.
Topics discussed over the weekend included how YAFs working for Quaker organizations can be spiritually nurtured and included in the faith community they also serve, how to be effective in a workplace where many coworkers are not Quaker and what Quaker service looks like. The weekend was also a great chance of young adult Friends to connect with others with similar jobs, goals and callings.
I was so happy to have this opportunity to host YAFs here at the house. For me, it was a time of renewal and encouragement. I was able to step back from my job for a weekend and reflect on what my gifts and call are. I had a moment of clarity, thanks to a question asked by Mary Lord, that the thing that I find meaning in is bringing people together for the opportunity to become more whole and complete children of God. I am thankful that many other young adults at the weekend had renewing moments like this.