Home > Uncategorized > Open Letter from Quaker Youth, Part 4

Open Letter from Quaker Youth, Part 4

Here is the 4th installation in this project – please engage with the others, as well (Letter 1, Letter 2, and Letter 3). It is a privilege to walk alongside young people seeking truth. Please join us!

______________________

Dear Northwest Yearly Meeting,

As members of the Friends Leadership Program, we’ve come to understand the movement of Quakerism, where we’ve come from, and where we have yet to go.  We’ve witnessed the growth of the Quaker movement, where early Quakers once believed themselves as the true and perfect way, into a group of people that became active in the concerns of the world.  The importance of silence as means to worship and inward communion is something we feel is incredibly important and should never be lost sight of in future generations.

It is our hope that the Yearly Meeting continues to be open to differing opinions and is respective to the idea of spiritual revelation arising in anyone.  We should approach new and changing issues with open ears to Christ’s leading in our lives, such as the topic of homosexuality in the broader church community.  This, specifically, is an issue our generation holds strongly to, and it is our hope that we continue to engage in conversation with this as well as similar issues.

We hope that the Northwest Yearly Meeting continues to pursue some of the most fundamental aspects of Quaker belief, such as that of simplicity, peace, justice, and equality in a manner that is respective of the surrounding global culture.  The tendency of the modern church in general has been lukewarm in their involvement with the world.  Jesus, in response to the Pharisee’s exclusive outlook, was active in the social concerns of his context.  Rather than keeping an inward focus within our churches, we should continually approach a kingdom-centered focus in our communities, following both Jesus’ model of ministry and our own personal leadings from the Holy Spirit.

Just as each generation of Quakers has engaged the world in its own context, with the same pattern of discernment and authenticity, there is no other direction we can go but forward.

 

Sincerely,

 

Young Adult Friends

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  1. January 26, 2013 at 5:56 PM

    A generation has been coming of age that has an outward looking orientation. This is quite natural and to be expected if we believe the writings of Stauss and Howe in “The Fourth Turning”. In fact, we have been witnessing the coming of age of a “Hero generation” who are being contronted with a series of “out there in the world” emergencies. Strauss and Howe’s predictions from 1997 are earily accurate at this point in history 16 years later.

    The question becomes: how will a new hero generation, a generation roughly equivalent to the generation that fought world war II, react to the problems they see in the world? Certainly they are going to make changes, but changes in what? I am beginning to see a rough outline of what this may look like.

    It is said of the last hero generation that they fought World War II, won the peace then set about setting up a world in which they made the biggest transfer of wealth ever made in history, to themselves. “Oh, very young, what will you bring us this time”, ring the words of Cat Stevens from an old “boomer ” era song. The responsibility is daunting, but you will be able to do what needs to be done.

    I am a simple aging boomer. But, I have a grave responsibility in this dance of generations and time. I am here to help you find the best values possible to support the changes that will most surely come. You should be careful what values you hold dear. We each march in the shadow of prior generations. We each can see the weaknesses of prior generations behind us. But, we must also see their strengths. We tend to react to what we do not like and forget to see what was so obviously valuable. Let us find balance, bringing together what will be best for the future as we remmeber and value what was best from the past.

    Who do you listen to? Do you listen to boomers, the nomad generation between us, the aged artist generation, your peers? We each have a role to play. Listen to the full spectrum. Each generation has a true guiding light and a dead end path. You will have one too. Already a generation is being born that will replace you in all ways. This is just the natural way time revolves in culture and society.

    For now you have wars to win and disengage from, and hopefully prevent from becoming something even bigger. Will you be successful? Time will tell, but as Yodda, said, “Umm, clouded is this one’s future”. You have economic troubles to quell and redesign. You have an environment to save and maintain. You have family systems in disarray. You have an American culture in love with entertainment and detached from the realities of life. Your tasks are daunting, but these are the kinds of tasks a hero generation must rise to. Get a good education. Value your education, and never stop learning. You are at the start of long journey with much to do along the way before you will have run your course to completion.

  1. January 29, 2013 at 5:11 PM

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