Canadian Young Friends Yearly Meeting 2014 Epistle
After the abundant youth presence because of the Youth Challenge at last year’s CYM, this year had a comparably small and intimate YF/YAF community. Throughout the week, many Young Adult Friends were involved with CYM business. We became reacquainted on Sunday over word games and multigenerational activities. That night we had the privilege to attend the SPG lecture with the keynote speakers Bill Curry and Dale Dewar. The topic was war as a societal disease and how we might diagnose and treat it. Many Young Friends emerged with an interesting new perspective. We anticipate that this lecture may influence our discussions at the upcoming Youth and Militarization Conference being organized by E&O. We then ate cake.
The theme of thought-provoking lectures continued on Monday with Mark Birch’s quaker study on simplicity. These lectures continued throughout the week. After an intellectually-stimulating beginning of the week, we dropped our thinking hats in favor of jumping socks and traveled to a trampoline park, where we played trampoline dodgeball and volleyball. We then ate leftover cake. We ended the evening with our first CYFYM business meeting, which was vastly improved by a veritable cornucopia of delicious snacks.
The business continued through Tuesday, with a productive threshing session on fostering our Young Adult Friend community. Several ideas arose, including using social networking to connect Young Friends in between gatherings, the prospect of a Quaker book club, and even a suggestion that we might look into the possibility of establishing a permanent Quaker gathering place in Western Canada. We then ate cake.
Wednesday was highlighted by a discussion on LGBTQ issues that lead into a multigenerational dance party. Young Friends made creative use of recycling bins as props in interpretive dance. We then ate cake.
On Thursday, Bill and Dale gave their famous talk to the Young Adult Friends. This was in no way eclipsed by our evening activity. We were offered the incredible opportunity by Richard Reed Parry (son of Caroline Balderston Parry) to not only go see Arcade Fire in concert, but to also dance with them through the crowd to their stage in ridiculous costumes, and then go back stage after to meet the band. Their performance was phenomenal, and the night of dancing proved to be the highlight of our week for many of the Young Friends in attendance. We regrettably missed the cake that followed the CFSC talk that night, but several Young Friends were able to scrounge for leftovers.
Those of us who were led to go to business meeting on Friday morning were only slightly less alert than normal, as we slowly readjusted to regular volumes of noise. Several Quaker youth donned piratey hats and traveled to the local museum where we played a pirate role playing game beside a real 15th century ship. That evening, we enjoyed a family night full of music, stories, and poetry. We then ate cake. Afterwards, we retired for our final business meeting which carried us early into the following day. Later that morning, the first and only meeting of the youth epistle committee adjourned.
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