In this issue we have asked a number of people to reflect on their experiences at Yearly Meeting. Our Documents in Retrospect record what business we transacted, but how did the truth prosper amongst us? Did our gathering nurture our spiritual growth?
The articles received show that people come to Yearly Meeting with different needs and concerns, but the joy of being part of a Friendly gathering is a constant theme. Knowing that we have the support of a community which shares our values gives us the confidence to live better. Some Friends express this as being enabled to do the will of God, others prefer to express it in more secular terms. But in the shared silence the different words become less important. Those interested in the different ways Friends understand and act in the world can find in this issue a summary of the findings of the Quaker Survey
Some of the themes in our articles are the inspiration of Summer Schools, the appreciation for the work of our clerks and elders, and the contribution of Friends from other countries. Some of the themes of Yearly Meeting are taken up in other articles – how to support and learn from Indigenous Australians and our own younger Friends.
Books have always been important to Australian Friends, and as usual we have some reviews of books which Friends have found useful. Our own publication for children’s meetings, Adventures in the Spirit, was launched at Yearly Meeting and is reviewed here.
One of the themes of Yearly Meeting which is not so well covered this time is earthcare. We hope to take up this matter in our next issue under the title of Living Ethically on a Finite Planet.
The Australian Friend Editorial Team