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Sessions 2017: Living Into Transformation
New England Yearly Meeting will gather for our 357th annual meeting from August 5th through August 10th at Castleton University in Vermont. The theme for this years sessions is “Living into transformation,” referencing Romans 12:2 “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good, and acceptable and perfect.”
The challenge before us is how we as faith communities do the “risky business of living as children of God, seeking transformation.” This theme builds upon previous years in which have focused on how we, together, live into community, participate in God’s work in the world and bring the Beloved Community forth.
Come be with Friends.
Join in the song, prayer and play.
Bring your fears and your hopes for renewal.
Come be refreshed.
Come with open hearts and with good news.
This year we will return to the minutes we approved in 2016 on sustainability and faithful response to Climate Change, and on White Supremacy. How did the words that were approved by the Yearly Meeting in 2016 impact the lives of Friends? How did our lives and the lives of our meetings speak? Come share the stories of how we live into God’s kingdom in these times.
We will hear from Ruby Sales of the SpiritHouse Project, who has made the struggle for racial justice one of the centerpieces of her work. In March 2016, Sales and the SpiritHouse Project organized a National Day of Action in Washington DC titled “Stop the War on Our Children,” during which women from around the nation gathered to acknowledge young victims of state-sanctioned violence with a silent procession from the White House to the U.S. Capitol, a public hearing hosted by Dr. Wilmer Leon, and the delivery of caskets containing the names of victims to key Senate, House and Supreme Court leadership. A report, From the Womb to the Tomb: The History of Police Violence Against African Americans, is forthcoming.
Ruby Sales will be with us throughout the week, connecting with Young and Young Adult Friends and offering her wisdom and experience to us in both the Plenary on Sunday and and in a follow-up session later in the week.
Our Bible Half Hour presenter is Marty Grundy of Wellesley (MA) Monthly Meeting and author of Tall Poppies: Supporting Gifts of Ministry and Eldering in the Monthly Meeting and Matthew 18: Wisdom for Living in Community with Connie McPeak Green, as well as Resistance and Obedience to God: Memoirs of David Ferris, 1707-1779.
We will be inspired and challenged by the lives of Friends from across New England who will be recalled in our Memorial Meeting on Monday afternoon.
We will cherish, challenge and support each other in our small groups, known as Anchor Groups, which will meet daily with the help of volunteer facilitators. More facilitators are still needed! To offer your gifts, please contact [email protected].
For these six days we will gather together in worship to faithfully discern our way forward as a community, to do the business before us and to seek to live bravely and fully into the Spirit that transforms us and the world. All of us are needed and all of us are welcome.