Went to the opening of “Philadelphia Yearly Meeting’s”:http://www.pym.org annual sessions yesterday. It’s hard to get too excited about it. It was the same people talking about the same issues. I really like and respect so many in the yearly meeting, but try as I might, I can never imagine this group on _fire._ What would it mean for us to scrap our plans and agendas to follow His?
Went to the opening of “Philadelphia Yearly Meeting’s”:http://www.pym.org annual sessions yesterday. It’s hard to get too excited about it. It was the same people talking about the same issues. I really like and respect so many in the yearly meeting: the current clerk is always friendly and open to the spirit and the general secretary talks about all the right issues. But try as I might, I can never imagine this group on _fire._ It’s always so focused on itself, its personalities, its structures. Over 99% of the yearly meeting members weren’t there, are never there. The great people still to be gathered aren’t inside that meetinghouse wall.
For a yearly meeting hoping that “community”:http://www.nonviolence.org/martink/archives/000264.php might be the glue that holds it together, I felt pretty out of place. There were maybe half-a-dozen people under forty in the room. Two had presentations but not surprisingly they were both the children of prominent parents, young adults whose last names had gotten them to the podium. Both had been sent on trips as PYM representatives; smart money would bet that neither attends a Meeting regularly. It’s genuinely depressing to once again see token young adult children of prominent Friends held up as the future of Quakerism, even if they’re uninvolved, even if they’re only semi-coherent. No one ever seems to notice that the “future” is eternally twenty years old.
March 25 was not only the first day of PYM sessions. On the Catholic calendar, it’s the “Feast of the Annunciation”:http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01542a.htm, the day the angel Gabriel visited a teenage girl of undisguished parents in a dusty corner of the Roman empire to tell her she was to be the mother of God. Two thousand years ago the Word was made flesh and the son of God was conceived in a miracle. I skipped the evening session of PYM to join Julie at Mass. I needed some religion. While Friends don’t mark our calendars we do share the story. When Gabriel told Mary ‘Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee,” she responded “Let it be done to me according to thy word,” despite knowing her life plans and agendas would be forever altered. Friends testify that “Jesus has come to teach the people himsef.” What would it mean for us to scrap our plans and agendas to follow His?