An Open Letter from Quaker Youth, Part 1
At the conclusion of the fall semester, my Quaker Seminar class wrote open letters to the Friends Church writ large. I will use this space to post their letters, one each day, for you to get a sense of how a portion of the youth in the Northwest Yearly Meeting of Friends are looking towards the future with hope and also concern.
Readers should know the prompt given to each group of students: If you were to write a letter to the members of the NWYM, what would you want them to know?
Here is the first submission:
Dear Friends of the Northwest Yearly Meeting,
God is at at work. God is moving and things are stirring. And it is messy and it is beautiful and it is the heart of our Yearly Meeting. It is the recognition of this action of God that has driven Friends forward since the beginning of the Quaker movement. George Fox’s sensitivity to the ways that God was speaking to him was the very foundation of his seeking and ultimate foundation of Quakers. In the past, this has been seen in ways that Friends have stood up for social justice, accepted and brought forth change, and continue to press forward as a body and accepting our differences all in an effort to do as God leads.
God’s speaking and the “inner light of Christ” in each of us as believers is the central reason that we as Quakers have arrived to where we are today. Our deep value in hearing God speak has shaped our worship practices, grounded our beliefs and theology, and has been why we have moved in the directions that we have felt that God led. A recognition of God’s action in our world and in our individual lives also has been a binding and lasting thread, constantly present and leading us as a body.
For hundreds of years, Friends have listened to and depended on God’s speaking. It is crucial to remember that Friends have always responded to how God leads to arrive at where we are today. We are writing to encourage you to continually strive to be sensitive to how God is working in our individual lives and in our direction as a body of believers.
Trust God as we always have and believe that each one of us has the power to hear God speak. God has a plan for our yearly meeting and we encourage you to listen and depend on his provision as he leads.