Advices and Queries on Communications and Technology

The emergence of communication technology has given us a way to maintain valuable relationships with those who are close to us spiritually but far away in proximity. Do you consider how your use of communication technology affects face to face interactions and relationships? How can you support others and be supported through the medium of communication technology? Remember the humanity of all people, however you know and communicate with them.

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YFGM May 3-6th Lancaster 2013

Hello Friends,

We are having a wonderful event in Lancaster from 3-6th May. Please remember to invite your friends to attend. A draft agenda can be found here.

As you can see there is a Cabaret on the Sunday Night, and we also have a speaker session from Ben Pink Dandeline. There will be the a number of special interest groups available, including one from Quaker Action on Alcohol and Drugs (QAAD), and a few from members within YFGM. There will be plenty for newcomers to do with 3 newcomer sessions run but our lovely Outreach committee.

There will be the opportunity to take part in an on-line Meeting For Worship too.

Come one come all, it will be a fun packed weekend. If you have not been on one of our events before please fill in our database form. Please remember if you are registered on our database or are new you still need to fill in an registration form too.

The deadline for this event is the 24 April, please do contact the office if this date has passed (0121 472 1998/yfgm@quaker.org.uk).

Look forward to seeing you there 🙂

Hugo (YFGM Coordinator)

Speaker Session – Ben Pink Dandelion

Ben Pink Dandelion has worked for Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre for over twenty years and has written various articles and books on Quakers. He specialises in the study of present-day British Quakerism and has been part of the major surveys of Quaker life in Britain in 1990 and 2003. Another surveys is taking place this May and in this session, Ben will invite us to fill out a survey form and then discuss past findings. We will have a chance to share on our answers to the survey and what they tell us about where Quakerism is and might be going.

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Advices and Queries on Communications and Technology

Dear Friends,

At February YFGM, we came up with some Advices and Queries on communications and technology in a spirituality session. They’re wonderful! But I’m afraid we didn’t get much of a chance to read them (we forgot to put them up on the walls of the Meeting House), so I’m going to post some of them (I can’t read all of the writing…sorry!) every couple of days on here, and on the YFGM stalkbook group. Here goes:

Do you stay mindful of how communication technologies may affect the way your message is received? How are you using such media to nurture your personal, local and global relationships?

Hannah Brock (on behalf of Quinti)

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Young adults at Yearly Meeting

YFGM will be collaborating with Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre to provide a space for Young Adult Friends at Britain Yearly Meeting, which will be held at Friends’ House in London, from May 24th-27th this year.  Young Adult Friends (over 18 only, sorry!) who wish to participate will be able to stay in a London Meeting House with a group of like-minded individuals, and a fee of £15 per night will cover all travel and food costs – (as ever, bursary help is available), the group will be facilitating a number of optional workshops exploring the themes of Yearly Meeting and how it works, as well as making opportunities for socialising.  Joining the workshops and other options is free. Please email youngadults@quaker.org.uk if you are interested or look on the webpage to find out more.

For those who either live in London or would prefer to make their own accommodation arrangements during Yearly Meeting, there is likely to be a strong Young Adult Friend and YFGM presence throughout the long weekend, and the best way to stay in touch will probably be to keep checking our YFGM facebook group page.

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Politically Engaged Young Friends

On Saturday 11 August, YFGM (Young Friends General Meeting) is holding a conference on politics.  Many young Friends work in politics or around political issues, whether for campaigning organisations, for NGOs, or as public servants.  When we meet for YFGM weekends, we find time over dinner and between our business sessions to discuss the arms trade, the merits (or otherwise) of directly-elected mayors, and the current government consultation on civil partnerships.

YFGM has booked Westminster Friends Meeting House, in the heart of London, for Friends aged 18-40 to talk about politics and political ideas.  We aim to use this as an opportunity to discuss topical political issues, share our own ideas, and find a way forward together.  Although the main sessions are on Saturday (to help people who might not be able to stay in London), we’re also offering a shared meal on Friday evening and a closing session after Meeting for Worship on Sunday.  This event is supported by the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust, who have provided funding.  Both YFGM and the JRRT are seeking to encourage young Friends to be more involved in politics.

 

There’s more information at our website, http://politicalquakers.wordpress.com, including how to book. We are asking for a donation of between £10 and £30 from those who attend, but if Friends don’t feel able to contribute then we’d be delighted to see them all the same! 

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Same-sex Marriage Epistle

As a follow up to our session on same-sex marriage in Bournemouth, here is the full text of the epistle.  If there are any questions points of clarification please contact Maurice Nagington on maurice.nagington@postgrad.manchester.ac.uk or 07739966197:

 

“Young Friends General Meeting is a group for Quakers (The Religious Society of Friends) aged 18 to about 30. It has existed for the past 100 years and currently provides fellowship and support for approximately 200 young adult Quakers.

As Quakers we aim for the starting point in all that we do to be equality. In relation to marriage we feel that the state should not be precluding same-sex couples from civil marriage. We therefore welcome the proposals that the government has made as the first steps towards marriage equality.

Although this consultation is focused on civil marriage we feel it is important to understand where marriage fits into our religious life. Our community supports same-sex and opposite-sex couples, and membership in our community forms an important part of their lives as individuals and couples. In addition, religious forms of marriage are seen by many in our community to be a deeply significant part of their relationships. Therefore, as a religious society, we are disappointed that the state is proposing to continue to impinge on a national decision by Quakers in 2009 to support and celebrate marriages between same-sex couples in the same way as we do for opposite sex couples. We are grateful to be able to recognise and report marriages in our community in accordance with our beliefs and value this ability. However, we strongly feel that preventing Quakers from reporting marriages to the state for same-sex couples is fundamentally unfair and goes against our religious liberty, conscience and commitment to equality. Similarly we feel that precluding opposite-sex couples from civil partnerships represents a parallel inequality.

We recognise that there are people and religious groups who have different ideas and beliefs. We are not trying to enforce our views on others and do not wish to compel other religions to act against their conscience. However we believe that all religions should have the right to perform same-sex marriages should they so wish.

We feel that maintaining separate legislation for recognising same-sex and opposite-sex partnerships will perpetuate inequality in our society and we believe that to be consistent the government should open marriage and civil partnerships to all couples. As a religious society we feel we are moving towards recognising a wide range of relationships where genuine tenderness, openness and love are the basis for committed relationships and that decisions around terminology such as ‘civil partnerships’ and ‘marriage’ may be better left to couples rather than the state.

Signed on behalf of Young Friend’s General Meeting,

Sally Nicholls and Ian Goggin (co-clerks)

May 2012”

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Spirituality and The Arts Weekend 27th-29th July Bristol

Spirituality and The Arts Weekend

27th-29th July 2012, Bristol Redland Meeting House

YFGM are teaming up with The Leaveners (Quaker Community Arts organisation) this summer to present an exciting weekend project for anyone between the ages of 18 and ‘around 30 years’ old. A team of facilitators will be providing an informal but packed programme covering a variety of creative art forms (including crafts, written and performance arts), aimed at discovering how the arts can further, and be a form of, spiritual experience. No previous experience of YFGM or The Leaveners needed!

Download more information and a booking form here:

http://leaveners.org/assets/SpiritualityandtheArtsForm.pdf

We are still looking for volunteers to help make this fantastic event happen! If you would be interested in running a workshop, download an information pack, or email lauren@leaveners.org. We are also looking for caterers. Travel expenses and full support provided.

Information Pack: http://leaveners.org/assets/SATA2012VolunteerForm.pdf

Any questions about the weekend? Email lauren@leaveners.org or call The Leaveners Office 0121 414 0099

For information about project and/or accessibility bursaries email Hugo at yfgm@quaker.org or call 01214721998

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Young Adult Leadership Funding!

Woodbrooke is piloting a new year-long training programme for young adults aged 19-28.

What will YAFs gain from taking part?

  • A greater understanding of Quaker history and processes
  • Developed personal spiritual practices
  • An understanding of leadership within Quakers and the wider world
  • An opportunity to develop your practical skills for your professional, voluntary and spiritual lives
  • An understanding of how to approach conflict in the workplace or in other situations
  • Increased involvement in your Quaker community
  • Developed facilitation and group work skills
  • You can also take part in 3 short courses at Woodbrooke for half the normal price

It’s an opportunity for you to grow as a Quaker leader in your community, and hopefully feed that back into YFGM in the future.

The Young Adult Leadership course as Woodbrooke is taking applications until May 30th.

The cost for the course is quite £1450, so YFGM has financial assistance to help people who want the opportunity. 

YFGM has £3000 specifically budgeted to help those who want to participate (and you should all want to). Woodbrooke itself also has funds should we run over a bit, and there is always YFGM’s normal bursary fund.

We have a little form for you to fill out so we can determine how to divide up funds if we have more than 2 applicants.

The form to apply for funding is here.

If you have any problems with the form, email me. If you need a paper copy, email me or phone 07942907949.

The application deadline for funding assistance is June 15th. We will consider applications up until Woodbrooke give us the names of those who have been selected to take part in the course.

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Never mind the IDF, what happened with the YFGM trustee structure?!

This week, we’re delighted to have a piece from Hannah Brock, a YFGM member for the past 3 years who is currently volunteering as an Ecumenical Accompanier in Isreal Palestine.

YFGM has got under my skin. It turns out that wherever I am in the world, and however busy I might be, I still get a bit glum when it’s a YFGM weekend and I’m not there! I found this out in February when, despite a difficult morning monitoring Checkpoint 300 (the checkpoint between Bethlehem and East Jerusalem, through which thousands of Palestinians have to pass through every morning, mostly having waited for at least 2 hours) I was still preoccupied by the decisions made in Nottingham by my YFGMer friends.

Some might call this just a little bit tragic, but I see it as testimony to the strength of the YFGM community, and the experiences we have together.

It’s an itinerant community; no two YFGMs are the same, either in terms of people attending, the sessions we run, the atmosphere, or indeed the location. But it’s also, I think, a strong one, where you can feel surrounded by support, even if you haven’t seen those supporters for three months.

Since I have been here working as a human rights observer with the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel, I have felt warmly upheld by the YFGM community. I’ve felt this both personally, through the emotional support I’ve had from the friends I’ve made here, and I suppose practically in the work that I am doing, because people are interested in the work that I am doing here and the people I am meeting. Continue reading

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Bournemouth YFGM 4th – 7th May 2012

Hello one and all,

We hope you are all looking forward to the next YFGM as much as us, please remember to book early if you are on our database already you can register yourself by logging into the database (http://www.yfgm-members.org.uk/) the registration form is available on the documents page of our web site (http://yfgm.quaker.org.uk/docs/) .

YFGM is happening beside the seaside in Bournemouth 4th-7th May, as you can see this is a slightly longer event, which normally allows for us to explore the concerns of Young Friends with an extra special interest group session, as well us giving us an opportunity to spend more social time together. As always there are bursaries available and we have a accessibility policy, so please feel free to ring us about your accessibility needs.

We still have some unclaimed belongings left from the last YFGM in Nottingham, please ring the office if one of the following belongs to you: a blue superman t-shirt, a grey pair of gloves with green strips, a brown scarf, black umbrella and black top.

Please contact me in the office if you need anything.

In Friendship

Hugo
YFGM coordinator

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