I've been extremely guilty of ageism of late: I've been writing a fair amount about how (older) Friends must be diligent about how to convey Quakerism to young(er) Friends and to new attenders.
But in New England Yearly Meeting (NEYM), it is a group of young(er) Friends--teens--who remind old(er) Friends what Meeting for Worship is... or more precisely, what it isn't.
(Martin at Quaker Ranter has been lifting up youth ministry among Friends for a while now, including the fact that age does not determine who will receive or provide mentoring and healthy eldership.)
Below is what appears to be a summary of the minute that was submitted to NEYM's Ministry & Counsel by the teens directly. M&C then presented the minute as part of their State of Society report.*
Excerpt from a summary of Ministry & Counsel's presentation of its State of Society reportFor a personal account of how things transpired, take a look at this post by Peterson, who is currently attending NEYM sessions.
Young Friends have come to M&C with a minute that they approved at their business meeting yesterday [First Day, 7 Eighth Month 2005], and they would like to share it with us. We don't have to approve it, but we want you to hear it. Hannah Z., outgoing treasurer of YF, will read the minute. "Our life is love and peace and tenderness and bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, and not laying accusation against another, but praying for one another, and helping each other up with a tender hand." (Isaac Penington). A summary of the YF minute follows.
We want to bring some issues to your attention. We are worried about this YM and our ability to worship together. Sunday morning we shared our gifts with you. When we are alone we have deep worship. We want to share with you our appreciation of the silence. Sunday morning many of us left after Max Carter's Bible Half Hour. We were ready for silence, but many left feeling empty and spiritually unfulfilled. The meeting seemed uncentered. We were concerned with how many messages seemed personal. The lack of silence between messages made it hard to appreciate them. We had hoped that by demonstrating our ways of worship, they might catch on. We love you and would not bother with this if we did not care deeply about you and about this issue. We know it is possible for us to sit together in silence, we did it on Sunday for fifteen minutes, and we want it to happen again.
*I came across the summary at David Coletta's blog, which was referenced by Amanda of Of The Best Stuff But Plain. Sadly, I can't find a specific link on David's blog that has the minute (or its summary), which I have included above. But if you click on David's link, it hopefully will take you to his Quaker posts and to NEYM annual session's summaries. Scroll down until you see the section "Monday morning's business session" ... "Ministry & Counsel's presentation..."