As a first-time attender of Canadian Yearly Meeting, I’ve been informed several times that a week full of Quakers can be overwhelming and that clearness committees are available to help. Wow! Where was that warning when I signed up? So far I’ve experienced no need for therapy. Instead, I’ve met wonderfully friendly and welcoming people. Perhaps a more appropriate disclaimer could have been: WARNING Quakers may be friendly and gatherings might be addictive.
A tip for those who are new, the meeting for first-timers was very helpful and reassuring. It was nice to hear how others came to Friends and to know I was not alone.
One thing that is a bit of a challenge is understanding Quakerese. There are many phrases and acronyms that leave me scratching my head. I thought Quakers were known for plain speaking? While acronyms can be quicker for those in the know, they can also be barriers that keep newcomers and inquirers from feeling welcome. I keep feeling that there’s a secret playbook I’m not yet privy to.
It’s early days, but I’m still excited to be here and looking forward to learning more about Spirit and continuing to get to know fellow Quakers and how the business of the yearly meeting is conducted.
Toronto Monthly Meeting