Tomorrow morning, Ben and I fly out of the United States to Peru. We will be acclimatizing to the altitude in Cuzco, Peru before joining over 400 representatives of Friends communities from around the world for the Friends World Committee, World Plenary Meeting in Pisac, Peru. The meeting will begin on Tuesday January 19th, and last until Wednesday January 27th. An additional 100+ local Friends are expected to join the meetings over the weekend. Please hold us all in the light and remember us in your prayers during this time.
I'm excited about the gathering! There are many people that will be there that I haven't seen since the World Gathering of Friends in 2005 and so many others that I have written to over email or worked with in committees but have not met in person. I'm excited to be traveling with Ben and sharing this representational ministry with him. I'm excited for the diversity of worship; for the bi/tri-lingual nature of the conference and I'm excited to be challenged in so many ways by Friends around the world.
I'm also excited to be co-convening one of the four consultation groups. The World Plenary Meeting is set up to have four consultations, kind of like tracks, where participants choose one to participate in throughout the week. The theme of the meetings in general is "Living the Transformation; Creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God. (Romans 8:19)" I've highlighted that theme in the movie I made for the gathering above. Since FWCC will be celebrating it's 100th anniversary in 2037, this gathering is in part a chance to start conversations about the future of Friends. The gathering will focus on that future, Earth-care & Climate Change, Quaker sustainability & growth and supporting & encouraging young adult Friends.
The Four Consultations are:
- Ministry and Leadership: developing the leaders we need, encouraging living ministry, generating new ideas for a pilgrimage for Quaker youth that spans across all Sections and involves larger numbers of Friends.
- Living Ministry Communities: creating Quaker communities that are active and vital and energizing, encouraging membership and spiritual growth for Young Friends and seekers; encouraging communities to embrace generational change.
- Sustaining Life on Earth: inspired by the Kabarak Call for Peace and Ecojustice, developing worldwide Quaker collaboration for environmental, economic, and spiritual changes.
- Equipping FWCC: serving the worldwide Quaker community, developing flexibility to face challenges while maintaining organizational integrity and sustainability, looking at meeting requirements and governance changes.
I will be co-convening the Living Ministry Communities consultation with Janet Velázquez Hernández, a young woman from Cuba. We will be using a variety of activities (from AVP and elsewhere!) and small group time to think through the following questions:
- What does it require to have a vital and growing Religious Society of Friends?
- How do we, in spiritual community, open to new Light / to God’s direction?
- How do we express the Living God collectively?
- How do we respond to the impetus to live our faith?
I'll be writing about the World Plenary, these questions, and all sorts of things that happen over the next two weeks that I'm away. Feel free to participate in these conversations by posting a comment below or on Facebook! I'll be posting pictures too and maybe even some short video. Please keep us all in your thoughts and prayers as we, all 400+ of us travel over the next few days and discern the movement of the Spirit in our global community; discern where we are lead, discern where and what we are called to be, and discern the will of God not just for our local communities but for our global family of Friends.