Anna facilitated her first retreat a few weeks ago, "What Makes You Come Alive?" I (Helen) wasn't there for it, but from what I hear they had some great discussions about shared spiritual practices, and they each got to make a super cute t-shirt with depictions of what makes them come alive.
Franklin and I were not at that retreat because we were in the Hoosier State for a Young Adult Friends Consultation on creating a cross-branch inter-visitation program. Surprisingly enough, no one made an acronym for that. What would it be? YAFCOCACIP? That has a certain ring to it, I guess. Anyway, we drove all the way to FUM headquarters in Richmond Indiana, and had a great weekend talking with other Young Adult Friends about what intervisitation means to us, what our experiences have been, and what we might like to see in a more structured intervisitation program. There were Young Adults from all over the country, and all different kinds of Quakerism. It seemed like people had a lot of ideas, and I'm hopeful for where it may go in the future. Special thanks to Emily Stewart and Wess Daniels for planning and facilitating the consultation, and to the Quaker Hill Retreat Center for hosting us. Also, to the residents of Miller Farm, Thornburg House, and the Darby ladies of Brick City for giving Franklin and me a place to stay!
A few days after we got back from Indiana, we all found our way to Flushing, Queens for NYYM Fall Sessions. Natalie worked with the children's program in the morning on Saturday and Franklin hung out with the teen group all weekend. We all had the opportunity in the afternoon session on Saturday to present to the body. The weekend was challenging in many ways for us and for others involved in our program, but we were very grateful for the vocal support from many of those present, and to have the opportunity to share about our experiences with the group. So many people took the time to share, both with the group and with us personally, how much they appreciated the work that we are doing. It means a lot to us to know that we have your support.
We are all looking forward to spending Thanksgiving with our respective families, but will be back soon to prepare for our December retreat. We're really excited for this one! It's an Alternatives to Violence Program weekend for ages 11-18, led by Jens Braun on December 17th-19th. Hurry and register your child, this one is filling up!