On December 12, 2020, 25 youth and 13 adults joined together in virtual space for The Quake that Rocked the Continent.
Friends ages 11 and up participated from 20 states and provinces across the United States and Canada, from the original lands of the Potawatami, Wampanoag, Cherokee, Anishinabewaki, Odawa, Mississauga, Fox, Sauk, Ho chunk, Kizh, Chumash/Tongva, Tsalaguwetiyi, S’atsoyaha (Yuchi), Raymatush, Massachusett, Ohlone, Haudenosaunee, Lenni Lenape, Menominee, Patwin, and Amah Mutsun peoples.
We came with intentions of learning, purpose, sharing, knowledge, building community, grounding, connection, curiosity, meeting, interest, intrigue, community support and helpfulness.
We are Friends who are radical, adventurous, loving, interesting, open, conscious, horsey, wonderful, almighty, respectful, inquisitive, magical, helpful, epic, listening, gregarious, devoted, awesome, merry, neat, vivacious and snowy. We are multi-lingual and musical. We identify as Black, African-American, Multi-Racial, Middle Eastern, Asian and white. We run, swim, read, sleep, dance, ride horseback, and search.
During the Quake, we worshipped together, strategized about how to pressure a fictional local government to respond to a flood, and shared in racial affinity groups. We practiced mindfulness exercises to stay embodied throughout the day. We knit and crocheted, in the company of our dogs, cats and other family members. We played games and enjoyed each other’s company.
Several Friends shared:
The event helped me “feel less isolated in my Quaker identity”
“The most important part of being a Quaker for me is the community which was absolutely affirmed by this gathering.”
“I felt a connection to the spirit/light, it was great to connect with other Quakers.”
The event “reminded me to use Quaker beliefs as a diving board into complex subjects. I am more appreciative of the diversity (geographically, ethnically, ideologically) within the Quakers and feel connected.”
“I feel much more connected to a greater community now, I feel like I have been losing that bond since everything is virtual but this brought it back.”
This event is a manifestation of a collaborative effort of many affiliated FGC Yearly Meetings. It creates a unique opportunity for Quaker Youth Workers to feel supported by a larger community of colleagues. As one of the co-organizers of the December event shared, “It’s another world to collaborate with so many staff people, at no point did I feel alone in the programming, as I often do as the only Youth Worker in my Yearly Meeting.”
The event was cohosted by Pacific Yearly Meeting and Ohio Valley Yearly Meeting. Great thanks to Kaia Jackson and Rebekah Percy for their leadership with this event. Many thanks to Nathan Lasersohn, Jean-Marie Prestwidge Barch, Vanessa Julye, Aaron Ruscetta, Aurelio Anderson, Larissa Gil-Sanhueza, Greg Woods, Euclid Bautista, Regina Renee Ward, Ben Hustis, Ethan Chiddicks, Olivia Chalkley, Liam Gardner, and Sarah Glazer for their valuable contributions.
FGC plans to co-host another Summit in early 2021 in partnership with Illinois Yearly Meeting and Philadelphia Yearly Meeting. For more information please visit our Youth Programming page.
This article orginally appeared in the January 2021 issue of Vital Friends.