Note from the Young Quakers Participation Day 2017 (alongside Meeting for Sufferings Friends House, London)
2 December 2017
At the Young Quaker Participation Day 2017 alongside Meeting for Sufferings, we had the opportunity to learn about the Quaker decision making process. In the morning some chose to do a variety of activities relating to the book ‘Living our Beliefs’ while others chose to attend the Meeting for Sufferings session on the Book of Discipline Revision Preparation Group report.
Participants felt this opportunity allowed us to have an involvement in Quaker decisions. Many felt this was empowering, although some thought it was difficult to find the confidence necessary to contribute in a large meeting. However, one participant said it was great that “in a room with a hundred people, everyone had a voice”, and even those who would not fully identify themselves as a Quaker found it “informative, welcoming, and surprisingly fun”. It was also a reminder that young Quakers are not a separate group but part of a wider body.
At lunch, we appreciated the opportunity to meet our Area Meeting representatives for Meeting for Sufferings and discuss Quakerism with them. It was interesting to speak to these slightly older Quakers who we may never have met before. We enjoyed being able to hear about their experiences and get a different perspective on Quakerism. Participants also enjoyed the opportunity throughout the event to meet both new people and old friends.
The afternoon brought more choices with the chance to re-join Meeting for Sufferings during their session on the “Sanctuary Everywhere Manifesto”, while the rest of us continued enjoying activities on “Living our Beliefs”. The overall opinion about the event was certainly positive. We would like to continue being involved in the discernment regarding the revision of the Book of Discipline, and hope that this can be arranged.