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Midwinter 2013 YAF Epistle
To All Friends Everywhere,
From January 3rd to 6th, 2013, New England Yearly Meeting Young Adult Friends gathered joyfully together at Mt. Toby Friends Meeting in Leverett, MA. Many Friends were grateful to return to this idyllic snowy valley. Despite early difficulties adjusting the thermostat, we maintained our warm spirits.
We embraced the theme of "Rich with Confusion: Friends and Money," mindful of the degree that financial decisions affect the current and future operations of our Yearly Meeting as well as how financial burdens and ethical conundrums involving money affect our lives.
In particular, we wrestled one financial question: how to divest the funds from the sale of the New England Friends Home. We were grateful to be asked our input on this question, and after much discussion, brainstorming, and worship on possible proposals, we did not reach a consensus on a course of action but felt led to share our discernment and concerns on this process, which we hope can lead to a result that takes the necessary risks to liberating the living ministry within us.
On the second day, we laid out concentric circles to together embodying an interactive floor chart, measuring our comfort towards a vast range of financial scenarios such as taxes, debt, socialized medicine, and shopping.
Members of the YAF delegation which traveled to the young adult campamento in Cuba in August 2012 shared a heartfelt letter of gratitude from the Cuban Young Adult Friends and a letter in which the delegation themselves discussed experience in Cuba and hopes for the future of the Bridge of Love between New England Yearly Meeting and Cuba Yearly Meeting. We also approved the 2013 slate for Planning Committee, Nurturing Committee, and Nominating Committee. Then we held our annual Yankee swap and talent show.
We are grateful to Erica Shed returning to provide us with healthy and enjoyable meals; to Frederick Martin for sharing with us a history of Friends and money ranging from the 17th century through the slave trade, the industrial revolution, and modern banking; and to our new Yearly Meeting secretary Noah Baker Merrill for sharing his vision for sustainable action in changing times. As always, we deeply appreciate the work of our YAF coordinator and retreat planner Nia Thomas and our Planning Committee.
In Love and Light,
The Young Adult Friends of New England Yearly Meeting