A fresh perspective…

A response to YFGM, from Cat Hess – Who joined us for the first (but not last!) time in Nottingham, February 2012.

Many would wonder what makes an eighteen-year-old who, only having read about Quakers on the Internet, never having even been to her local meeting, travel 130 miles to a tri-annual General Meeting of Young Quakers.  Strangely though, that thought did not enter my own mind until the very moment I arrived at Nottingham Friends’ Meeting House, and by then it was too late – much too late.

I’ll warn you right now:  yes, there were embarrassing ice-breakers.  We even had a quiz.  But you know what?  It worked.  By the time we reached the pub on Friday night, and with the discovery of an encyclopaedia under our table (don’t ask) causing much hilarity, I felt very much at home.

During the course of the weekend, I went on a ‘treasure hunt’  around Nottingham, I wrote a poem about Quaker history which included the lines ‘we are big on equality and we have no priestly’ and I got a total of about six hours sleep.  I also learnt the Quaker business method, I found out what an ‘epilogue’ was; I learnt the value of silence and of words.

I think what drew me to Quakerism was its openness and acceptance.  And that acceptance, I feel, is really true.  It’s not ‘it’s okay that you’re different but really I’m going to try and change you to fit with what I believe.’  In my opinion, all the people I spoke to and all those I heard speak at YFGM are very similar, but that is by far from a negative thing.  I think that similarity is the desire to question, to be ‘radical’, as we heard in a talk from Simon Best during the weekend.  Every Friend is searching for something, and they are not content to just go through life with apathy, without caring, and without challenging the status quo.  And so that means that whilst there were and are differences among them, it interweaves with a seamlessness to make anyone and everyone welcome.

So, in conclusion, where can you find me on May bank holiday weekend?  Why, in Bournemouth at the next YFGM, of course.

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Are you a Quaker or interested in Quakerism?

Would you like to spend a weekend with like minded people?

Then why not attend YFGM February 17th-19th at Nottingham Quaker Meeting House

Young Friends General Meeting (YFGM) is a national group for Young Adult Quakers aged between 18 and 30-ish.
We are a scattered community, and meet three times a year for residential weekends in different Quaker Meeting Houses to spend time together, explore our faith and ways of living out the Quaker testimonies to truth, simplicity, equality and peace.
YFGM is inviting new people to attend for *free including travel
Over the weekend you can expect: games, silent worship, socialising, speakers, direct action activism, business and food.

Fill in the registration form and email (your details) or post it to the office. If you have any trouble contact our Coordinator by emailing yfgm(at)quaker.org.uk or phone 0121 4751998.
*We will reimburse your travel expenses (up to £100) at the event, provided you register 2 weeks in advance.

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January planning weekend

Your faithful YFGM folks will be trekking off to sunny Exeter this weekend, to meet and plan an exciting gathering for February 2012 (17th-19th) when we’re hoping to be meeting lots of new faces at our Enquirer’s Gathering – which is FREE TO NEWCOMERS!

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Major Updates

  • The registration form for October YFGM in Lancaster is now available.
  • The minutes from May YFGM in Bristol are now available.
  • YFGM is pleased to offer extra support for all newcomers at our YFGM in February 2012, including paying travel costs to come to the Meeting. For more information, see our page for newcomers.
  • YFGM is pleased to officially support Symon Hill’s Walk of Repentance for Homophobia. The full text of YFGM Minute in support of Symon is available here.
  • If you would like to support YFGM financially, you can now donate securely online! More information on the Contact page.
  • The YFGM members database is now online (login required.) Members can use the online database to view & update contact details, and register for YFGM.
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In the beginning…

…there was a YFGM Outreach Co-ordinator and her computer.

If you’ve made it to this site, well done!  We’re currently under construction, and hope to be putting up info, beautiful pictures, thrilling videos and who knows, maybe some polls and useful links.

All you need know for now is that YFGM will meet from the 21st-23rd October, in Lancaster Meeting House.  See you there!

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