Sue Wilson, Queensland Regional Meeting.
This is a final call for facilitators of Summer School groups for Yearly Meeting 2014, which will be held in Brisbane from 4 – 11 January. Summer School will occupy the whole of Sunday 5 January.
Our theme for Summer School at Yearly Meeting 2014 is taken from Advices and Queries number 1: Promptings of love and truth in our hearts.
Below is a list of Summer School groups that have been offered so far. As you see, the theme is already attracting a wide variety of topics. We would love to have further offers of groups that explore our inner spiritual life, or topics that could be explored through worship sharing, silence, music, art, dance or moving in the natural world
It would be good to have more suggestions of how groups could tie in with Tracey Bourne’s Backhouse Lecture focusing on children. Would any Friends (or Young Friends) like to run a group for children to explore their own responses to the theme? For example, Advice 1 might be turned into suitable questions such as, “When have you felt love in your heart and wanted to express that?” and “When have you wanted to stand up for someone / something? How might you respond to that prompting?”
If you would like to facilitate a Summer School group, please let us know very soon.
We’ll be happy to talk over your ideas, especially if you have little experience as a group leader. We do encourage new facilitators to step forward!
We need to finalise details about Summer School groups as soon as possible, so that f/Friends can name their preferences when Yearly Meeting registrations begin in September.
Please email your Summer School conveners – Sue Wilson, Taisoo Kim Watson and Pam Tooth – at our shared address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Groups being offered – brief summary so far
1 Calling all parents of young children
Parents who currently have young children (birth to 15) are invited to a day of reflection, nurture and sharing around how we can better hear the promptings of Love and Truth in our hearts above the daily noise and activity that surround us. Please note that this is not a session on ‘Quaker parenting’ per se. Pre-crawling children are welcome; child care options are being investigated to allow parents with crawling and walking children to participate fully in this day of retreat and renewal.
2 Our experience of taking a stand against Coal Seam Gas
Members of Northern Rivers Meeting will share their experience with taking a stand through involvement in “A CSG Free Northern Rivers”.
3 Friends in Stitches
Friends in Stitches have been led to capture the history of Australian Quakers, eventually creating 40 panels. The designers, stitchers and researchers for this mammoth project are aware of the depth of their spirituality while capturing these precious moments on cloth. This Summer School will be an opportunity for existing stitchers to compare notes and panels and exchange ideas, and for new stitchers to learn the Quaker Stitch. Artists are especially encouraged to join this group as this is an opportunity to create a cartoon for embroidering. You do not have to be a stitcher – cartoon drawing is the first step towards creativity and of course historical researchers are vital to the project.
4 Junior Young Friends (JYFs)
JYFs will probably use the time of Summer School to meet up and bond at the start of Yearly Meeting. JYFs are quite a cohesive group now and will be meeting through the year to discuss plans for Summer School (while preferring a term that doesn’t include the word ‘school’, since they’ll be on holidays!)
5 Poetry and Spirit
This is a tentative offer at the moment. The facilitator would like to find someone else who might be interested to co-facilitate this group.
6 Circle dancing
Are there any strong circle dancers who would like to co-facilitate this one, or any suggestions for other activities to complement a day of dancing? If anyone could offer knowledge of how to construct and walk a simple labyrinth, that would be helpful too.
7 Understanding and Confronting Hatred in ourselves
The facilitator for this group is interested in why we hate, and would like to share what she has learned over many years working in psychiatry and psychotherapy as well as training in pastoral care and most recently in self-directed spiritual discovery. This will be a mix of understanding and practical exercises.
8 Quakers and Business
This will be an exploration of many aspects of this topic, including discussion of ethics and testimonies – especially in the light of the global financial crisis. Some of the group might eventually be interested to discuss starting up a group similar to the Quakers and Business group in the UK. (That group asked the CEO of Barclays Bank, “Do you know the Quaker principles on which your bank was established?” He didn’t.)
9 First Nations Peoples (FNP) and Sovereignty
The FNP committee is discussing the availability of a FNP representative to lead this Summer School group following on from the welcome to Country. They would
speak about the issue of Sovereignty, which would be in keeping with the theme of promptings of love and truth in our hearts.