This weekend, I was out in Indiana for Friends United Meeting‘s Briding the Gaps conference for those who work with youth and young adults. It was an opportunity for Friends from a wide range of Yearly Meetings to gather and explore our shared work as friends and nurturers of the youth and young adults in our communities.
The conference went deeper than I had expected. During our workshops and sessions, we were able to really share out of our own experience of ministry to the younger generations of our communities. We learned that much of the work we do is the same, regardless of what Yearly Meeting we come from, and that we have a lot to learn from one another. By sharing stories, statistics, best practices and insights from years in the field, we strengthened each other as fellow workers in Christ’s ministry.
Probably the greatest lesson I received from this weekend was the reminder that we can find profound and unexpected unity in our shared mission. As Friends United Meeting, we are not a community merely because we like one another, nor are we simply a club for people who are fans of God. Instead, this weekend we rediscovered that our deepest unity is found in being doers the word. As we learn to follow Jesus together – by caring for our youth, energizing young adults, and encouraging the development of truly intergenerational community – we discover that the same Spirit working in us is at work across our whole worldwide community.
At our best, this is what Friends United Meeting is all about. We are a people gathered in Christ, in community and for mission. As we move forward together, I pray that we will continue to discover our common mission – not just in words, but in the very practical details of shared ministry. We are being invited into a life of power, peace and unity with God and with one another. How can we look for ways to embrace this calling?