I have been really thinking about what I take away from the YMG. I wanted to state nice and clearly what I found useful, what I didn’t and what I need to do with it.
Firstly, let’s get the negatives out of the way.
- I didn’t do all I wanted to do, partly due to tiredness, partly because of health issues. I felt that I was letting my Meeting down by not being able to report on everything.
- I found being so far out of the campus a problem, and there were problems with the accommodation itself.
- I felt lonely – or more properly I was expecting to feel more lonely as the week went on. I was aware that most people would be as busy as I was and I did not see that they would have time or the inclinations to spend time with me.
- I was very worried about what I would do about money.
- I did not have the internet access that I expected.
- At the start of the week the home group sessions were not very good (though they improved with time).
What I found useful or fun
- I reaffirmed my faith
- I reaffirmed my belief in Quaker business methods
- I saw Quakers take a brave and right decision, and saw how lovingly we treated those who were not with us
- I felt the Spirit move us several times
- I spent some very enjoyable time on a narrow-boat with new friends
- I enjoyed the company of Friends old and new
- I found about about Friends from all over the World
- I found out what Friends House does in our name
- I learnt some very interesting facts, heard about new ideas and found a couple of techniques.
- I saw a brilliant film (The age of stupid)
- I enjoyed a concert produced by Friends
- I learnt a few new songs
- If I go with the flow (as we eventually did in our Home group) things usually work out
What I will take from the Gathering
- Firstly I think that I must be more disciplined about my silent times.
- I think I should have more confidence in my ‘belonging’. I am no longer a ‘newbie’ in Friends. I have sufficient knowledge and experience to start seeing myself as a ‘proper’ Quaker. I should be more open, perhaps, about my leadings, as it says in one of the A&Qs that has never held much significance to me:
Take heed, dear Friends, to the promptings of love and truth in your hearts. Trust them as the leadings of God whose Light shows us our darkness and brings us to new life.
- I need to fill in my yellow form and stop waiting for someone to suggest what I might be good at. I have something to offer, and I know what I am interested in.
- I need to ask for help when I need it.
- I need to get over my negativity around the Bible – I heard some things at YMG which inspired me. I don’t need to accept all of it, but to take what inspires.
- I need to get back on my diet – I am not sure if some of the joint pain might be because I changed my diet to an unhealthy one. I certainly feel more awake and better physically since I got some fruit, vegetables and fish inside me! I haven’t dared to weigh myself since I got home, but I need to do so.
- I was blessed to be part of YMG and I now need to share that blessing with my Local and Area Meeting. I need to be inspiring!