Pendle Hill Young Adult Leadership Program

By Erin Abbott-Haines

Pendle Hill changed my life completely.  That may sound like an exaggeration or overstatement, but it truly is not.  Before going to Pendle Hill (PH), I was lost in my life.  I didn’t know what I wanted to do, where I should live – in fact, I didn’t really even know who I was.  Living at PH for six months transformed my life in a time when I needed it most.

Being a west coast Quaker, I didn’t have many experiences with Quaker communities growing up outside of NeeKauNis (always the best 10 days of my summer).  I knew little about Quakers – but enough to know that I was one and wanted to live my life by Quaker ideals.  When I moved to PH, I began a time of learning about the history of Quakers, the different branches of Quakerism, Quaker beliefs and practices … And it inspired me.  It inspired me to dig deeper and live more truthfully into who I was meant to be.

I did one semester as a student and then did the YALD program.  When I left, I had a plan: I was going to attend Earlham School of Religion, get a Masters of Divinity and live in Richmond, Indiana.  Not only that, I had a sense of my true self and worth that I had been missing for years.  And possibly most transformative of all, I had a sense of being connected to the Divine in my life and being Led by something larger than me. 

Suffice to say, Pendle Hill changed my life forever.  And I am so grateful for that change.