What does a Quaker community need from each other?

Britain Yearly Meeting, Saturday 28th May 2022

View onto Friends’ House garden / gj archive

The afternoon session had two contributions one from a Friend about the need for Friends to connect across generations and the other from a Friend about living with mental ill-health. Both were reflections on how well or not Quaker communities do with both issues.

The first Friend spoke about the need for older Friends to accompany/mentor younger Friends. I placed this Friend in the younger generation. Here was a request for older Friends to make themselves available to younger Friends as mentors on life’s journey. I wondered whether older Friends were surprised as often the older generation feels that they are irrelevant to the younger generation. Yet here was a request.

The Friend who experiences mental ill health spoke of how his Quaker community were there when he needed support but also encouraged him to take on roles. He felt it was significant that he was not overlooked due to his mental ill-health indeed by being asked he felt it brought about his own growth.

Both sessions left me thinking that perhaps we should ask people what they want and see whether we have the gifts amongst us to meet their requests.

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