March 28, 2006

Iowa Conservative Midyear Meeting

This upcoming weekend, a group of us from Minnesota will travel to Iowa for Iowa Yearly Meeting (Conservative)'s Midyear Meeting.

This year, the topic is What makes us Conservative Friends, and the presenter is Deborah Fisch.

The day-and-a-half-long get-together is primarily a time to hear an invited Friend or two provide a presentation, offer a workshop, or facilitate a break-out group. A little bit of business is also carried out, but a couple of years ago when I went to Midyear Meeting, business was clearly not the focus of the short weekend. This year, it looks as if Deborah will be the sole presenter (different from other years, I think), and will have several opportunities to speak with us about the theme.

Some of you might understand my enthusiasm for heading to Iowa, then, since the local worship group has been living with the question of whether or not we are in fact closer to Conservative rather than liberal Quakerism. And this year's Midyear Meeting comes after my experience of being at the annual sessions of IYM(C) last summer, which Deborah skillfully clerked.

Not to mention that she has become a fFriend I cherish.

This year's Midyear Meeting in particular is an opportunity for Friends from the small worship group--and its "older cousin," Yahara Friends Meeting--to be exposed to Conservative Quakerism directly and in larger numbers than when a few visitors meet with us to answer our questions.

So, as the weekend approaches and the carpools are being firmed up, I find I will have to discipline myself to let go of my [exceedingly high] expectations and [many] questions. Mostly, though, I feel filled with the Spirit, as I hold Deborah and the Friend who is traveling with her as an elder and spiritual companion in the Light.

UPDATE, 5 April 2006: I now have posted a report of my experiences.



Paula said...


Sounds perfectly wonderful! I have been very curious about the Midwest Conservatives and would love to read your reports when you return. Travel well & enjoy your journey -

Mark Wutka said...

I, too, am anxious to read your report of the meeting. I wish I could attend, Deborah Fisch is a dear, sweet lady. I hope that you find what you see at the meeting.
With love,

Joe G. said...

I report of what you experienced is, of course, required. I sense the Spirit directing me to write this so... {ahem}

Liz Opp said...

Given all the eagerness to have a report, maybe you all can pray for faithful note-taking, though I don't know how much I'll be doing that: I probably will be holding Deborah in the Light quite a bit (with my eyes closed) while she is speaking.

Either way, I'll plan to post as Way opens... I know you all wouldn't expect anything less! smile


Dave Carl said...

I was hoping to come to this one, but due to various other trips in April now plan to come to yearly.


Marshall Massey (Iowa YM [C]) said...

Having just returned home after Midyear Meeting myself, I'll be interested to see how your impressions of it compare with my own. I, too, cherish this tiny corner of the Quaker world!