The final registration deadline for the 2010 Young Adult Friends Gathering in Wichita is fast approaching. As the event nears, I would like to share with you where we are at in terms of our sense of the spiritual state of the gathering, as well as what this conference means for the wider Religious Society of Friends.
This gathering may prove to be the most diverse cross-branch event for Young Adult Friends since at least the 1960s. To date, we have at least two registrations in from nearly every Yearly Meeting in North America. We are forecasting that Friends from Evangelical Friends Church; pastoral Meetings in Friends United Meeting; and Friends General Conference will participate in roughly equal numbers. This is an incredible opportunity for Friends from across the spectrum to come together and engage with what the Spirit is calling us to today. I feel very blessed to be a part of this process.
Our hope is that this gathering will be a space where Friends from a wide variety of backgrounds, self-understandings, beliefs and identities can find unity in that which is eternal: the Spirit of God. It is our prayer that everyone who attends the gathering feel able to bring their whole selves, and to be loved and respected by Friends, just as God loves each of us without condition.
The conference this Memorial Day weekend has been the focus of prayer for so many for the last six months, and we as planners are grateful for the spiritual support that we have been given as we have sought to provide a safe and nurturing space for all Friends. Thank you for your prayers, and please continue to hold us in the light of God’s love.
As incredible as it seems to those of us on the planning committee, the conference is almost upon us. The gathering takes place less than three weeks from today, May 28-31; and this Saturday – 15 May – is the last day to register for the event. For those of you between the ages of eighteen and thirty-five, we hope that you will join us for this historic opportunity to come together with other young adult Quakers from across North America to see what love can do in our midst. For those who are too young or too old to attend – please hold us in your prayers as we seek to open ourselves to the joy, peace, humility and tenderness of God’s love.