YAF 2012 Epistle

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 Young Adult Friends Epistle
Pacific Yearly Meeting 2012

This year approximately twenty Young Adult Friends (18-35yr.) attended Yearly Meeting.  Of these people many were involved in greater Yearly Meeting responsibilities and were not regularly involved in YAF activities, and many others came for a brief period of time.  YAF activities this year included swimming, building a raft, a sunset hike and worship in a tree, two smaller respectful relations meetings of our own as well as Thursday night with Junior Yearly Meeting, and Meetings for Worship on the occasion of Business.

In Meetings for Business this week we minuted the decision to make the name change/clarification of this community of 18-35 year olds to Young Adult Friends (YAF)!  For a fuller report on this and other orders of business see our minutes attached 🙂

One of the biggest things Young Adult Friends have done in the past has been helping plan and lead the Respectful Relations activity with JYM.  This year we did things a little differently.  Respectful Relations was planned by Maia Wolff and Alyssa Nelson with members of  the YAF community helping lead and hold the space.  After Respectful Relations, we asked Alyssa Nelson to lead us in other sexuality contemplation activities that she had introduced to us earlier in the week.  In preparation for these activities, John Calvi lead us in an amazing workshop in sexual energy and healing.  Overall, we feel that this new format for Respectful Relationships will better support both communities (YAF & JYM).

The YAF community is currently trying to bridge the gap between Senior Yearly Meeting (SYM) and the Young Adult Friend community.  One of the strategies we explored this week was our “speed dating” exercise where we had committee members from SYM come and give us a three minute spiel on their committee work. We hoped for more people and are planning on organizing this again to get YAF’s more interested in participating in the wider community.  Some of our obstacles in bridging this gap have been affording annual session and our need to strengthen our own community. The vast majority of YAF’s present at this gathering are receiving scholarship in some form.  Although we recognize that we could have used more of the funds available to us many we still consider this an issue for the future of YAF’s at annual session.  In this coming year we plan on working on more outreach and publicity of the many scholarship options for YAF’s even when registering late.  In the past few years we have lost many of our age 23+ YAF’s and are working to rebuild our sense of strong community.  This year we have found Alyssa Nelson, the Pacific Yearly Meeting Youth Program Coordinator, to be an amazing resource to our community. We look forward to working more with her in the coming year in this rebuilding.

We as the YAF community were approached within the last two days of this annual session with the idea of a committee of support and care being formed to uphold our community.  We see this as arising out of a need in our community and were excited by the five names – Alyssa Nelson (as YPC), Diego Navarro, Jim Summers, Carl Magruder and Lisa Hubbell – who were brought to us of people ready to be a part of this committee.  We see this committee as being able to be there to listen to where we are as a community, support our planning/clerking committee (this year the Fantastic Four – Cedar Green, Nate Secrest, Ty Graham, and Mark Runyan), and offer mentor-ship to our community throughout the year as well as at annual session.  We have accepted this committee as an open committee while welcoming the five names brought forward under our care for our care as an experiment for this year.  Next year we look forward to reexamining the responsibilities of this committee and whether it should be continued as a YAF committee or recommended to be under the care of the greater PYM.

With excitement for further growth and exploration, the Young Adult Friends of Pacific Yearly Meeting Annual Session 2012