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New England Yearly Meetings annual Sessions has had a Junior Yearly Meeting program since 1935. The JYM Elementary retreat program grew out of a leading by Kevin Lee in 1988 as a way to nurture and sustain the experience of a spiritual community among Quaker children that begins each August at our annual Sessions.
Well over 4000 children and their families have journeyed with us. Some of our previous retreat attendees are now returning as young adult staff persons, which further strengthens our sense and experience of spiritual community.
In 2009 we experienced another milestone; for the first time, we began having a few children attending JYM Retreats whose parents also came as children! Most of the dress-up clothes don't last from one generation to another (except for Kevin's polyester sports coat that will never wear out), but songs like How Can Anyone Ever Tell You and The Billboard Song as well as the sense of wonder, safety, and presence of Light and Love are timeless. We are grateful for the deep community and presence of Spirit that support this community and program.
We are so blessed.