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New England Yearly Meeting (NEYM) Annual Sessions 2010 is NOW meeting on the campus of Bryant University (Saturday, August 7 to Thursday, August 12, 2010). For directions to the campus click here. See the YM News for more information.
The NEYM Office at Bryant University is at (401) 319-8860 (voice), (401) 319-8862 (FAX) or firstname.lastname@example.org. Saturday (August 7) check-in is at the Hall 16 Lobby, 10am to 5pm and 9pm to 10pm (click the link to see a map of the campus).
Online Registration is STILL open. Click the menu item above.
From Jean McCandless, Sessions Committee Clerk
When the Sessions Committee discerned two years ago that we should move toward a time of Jubilee for NEYM’s 350th year, we tried to imagine what this ancient concept might look like for 21st century New England Friends. Last year we began “Living into Jubilee” in several ways: with an excellent Biblical foundation provided by Eden Grace; by beginning to use Anchor Groups to provide opportunities for small group fellowship and discernment; and by working through several important items of Yearly Meeting business which had been with us for some time.
Throughout this time, I have been helped by a book I shared with the Committee, Maria Harris’s Proclaim Jubilee, a Spirituality for the Twenty-First Century. Her main themes certainly resonate with Friends: Liberation, Connectedness, Suffering, Imagination, and (my favorite) Repair of the World. Our faith community certainly has a strong tradition of this last theme: “If we attempt repair, our fingerprints will be on the vessels we restore and our lives and our work will matter, to ourselves, to the next generations, and to our fragile planet.” We hope that many Friends will take time between now and this summer to read and reflect on the meaning of Jubilee.
Sessions this August will include daily Anchor Groups, giving us a chance to gather with the same small group of Friends for discussion, sharing and worship. There will be Jubilee Seminars for all of us on Sunday and Monday afternoons, with brief presentations on individual and corporate witness, followed by reflection in our Anchor Groups. There will be time for corporate worship of all kinds: intergenerational worship with the whole community every morning; singing grace at lunch; evening vespers, and, through it all, Meetings for Business (this year, "Meetings to Hear God's Call") that are deeply centered in worship.
Built on the foundation of our Youth Programs, featuring their usual strong staffing and programming, we will create more opportunities for being together as a community—in play, in service, in celebration. Beth Collea, our religious education field worker, is organizing a "family neighborhood" in the cluster of Townhouses where the families with young children will most likely be staying. We will have Sunday afternoon activities with the children, and a Kenyan tea sponsored by the United Society of Friends Women. On Tuesday evening, there will be an intergenerational musical Jubilee Celebration led by Peter and Annie Blood-Patterson. Taking to heart the Jubilee injunction to take time to rest and refresh ourselves, the Sessions Committee has left afternoon time each day open, with the intention that YM Sessions will not be as heavily programmed as usual.
We look forward to seeing you. Financial aid through the Equalization Fund is available as always. In the end we will all create our Jubilee Sessions in our time together. Come and help us! Thus refreshed, may we all be led to more faithful witness in the world.
Viv Hawkins on Individual Witness
Keith Harvey on Corporate Witness
Annie & Peter Blood-Patterson