Last week was the annual get-together of Quakers in Britain. For two out of three years, our Yearly Meeting is held over a Bank Holiday Weekend at Friends House in London. The third year, we combine our business meeting with the more relaxed and informal atmosphere of the old Summer Gatherings. Hence – Yearly Meeting Gathering – a mix of business sessions, lectures, arts and crafts, walks, excursions, late nights, early mornings, worship, all-age activities, community and fun.
So, I’m still recovering. I had a great week, and have bought back various things to think about:
- Ben Pink Dandelion’s Swarthmore Lecture was hugely enjoyable, and very informative. As well as reading the book, I’m planning on sitting down with my knitting and listening again.
- How we help Area Meetings to be Quaker Communities. There were various good ideas during the week for revitalising not just AM business meetings, but our sense of Area Meeting as our community. I’ve come away thinking more about the ‘community’ part of Minute 36.
- Further ways to improve the insulation of our house, following a presentation one evening from a couple who’d undertaken a huge project to reduce the carbon-footprint of their house.
- Gaza. The statement issued by Quakers is here.
- The recommendations for action from the Minute 36 (Canterbury) Commitment Group. It’s three years since the Canterbury Commitment, and the group has come up with four key areas: Strengthening our community, Changing our lifestyles, Making our Quaker core activities and property low-carbon and sustainable; and Working for systemic and policy change.
- The Quaker business method, and how we learn and use it to be effect.
The epistle of the Gathering is here.