Report: Perry City Meeting YFIR, Fall Sessions 2010

Perry City YFIR Report

Fall Sessions
November 13, 2010


Perry City Meeting (PCM) has been hosting the YFIR program since September of 2009. It took us about a year to become clear to host the program, and even after deciding to take it on there were still doubts about whether or not we would have the energy, time, or resources to make it work. As the program has grown our concerns have been overshadowed by the benefits of having these young adult Friends with us.

Besides leading the youth retreats, which happen monthly on the average, the interns have been involved with PCM in different ways. Anna has been leading adult education classes before worship on Sundays. It has been a joy watching her shine. Her classes have attracted from six to ten people on a regular basis. The readings have been deep and inspiring, and our discussions have stretched us to new levels. Sometimes it feels as if the ideas are beyond where we are as a meeting, but it is good to be challenged in new ways.

Franklin and Natalie have been helping out with the First Day school whenever possible, and Helen, as the newest intern, is finding her way with us. The energy, enthusiasm, and openness of these Friends is wonderful to experience. Franklin has endeared himself to one of the younger Friends in First Day school by giving her special attention, and Natalie has been working with an older young Friend whenever they are both at meeting. These personal connections with the few young Friends who come to Perry City are making a difference for them.

All four interns bring wonderful energy that is nurturing those of us who are working with them. We trust that they are growing by being with us also.

Perry City Meeting formed two committees to oversee the program and support the interns. The Logistics and Support Committee reviews recent retreats, deals with some money issues, addresses house needs, and helps them look at the practical realities of sharing an old house while living and working together. The Anchor Committee, made up of the interns and their elders, focuses on supporting their spiritual journeys through this process and helps them look at where the challenges are to being open to the full experience. Each of them also serves on a standing committee of the meeting.

It has been a challenge to find a balance between providing too much or too little direction/support/assistance. We are still working on this. As a small meeting, our human resources are limited, and a few Friends have done much of the work. We are also continuing to explore our relationship to the Yearly Meeting YFIR Committee in the division of tasks needed for administering the program. As we live into this work, we are facing challenges and learning from our mistakes and from our successes.

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