Welcoming, creating a community, and building the future

Dates: from Friday October 27, 2023 to Monday morning October 30, 2023

Location: Ethic Etapes (Lac de Maine), Angers, France

Coming together as a community

Download the programme here (in French and English) > pdf icon 150x150

The Quaker tradition emphasises the importance of community, which is formed through communal worship and strengthened by group worship. The Covid era has expanded our understanding of community, prompting us to reflect on who we are as a diverse group and how we can better understand and accept each other. The challenge is to build a common future that is inclusive and welcoming to newcomers.

The Yearly Meeting will provide a forum for exploring these issues through discussions and presentations. While we may not find definitive answers, the gathering will offer insights and ideas to strengthen the Quaker community and build a more peaceful future. For those unable to attend in person, an online program will be available to engage fully with this topic.

The theme of community is central to Quakerism. In our silent worship we unite with others. Through this communion we form a community, thus understanding that we are stronger together than alone. Coming together is part of our spiritual tradition: "For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” (Matthew 18:20)
Through community, we build the future, while bearing in mind that inspiration is ongoing and can therefore surprise us with suggestions. For example, since the Covid era, our ideas and experiences of social connections and community seem to have changed and expanded. We live, discuss, share and practice silent worship in real and virtual communities.

To understand better who we are now, as Quakers, in our diversity, to be more at one in community, therefore, is to be in a better position to welcome others, to build our future and to better contribute to a more peaceful human future. We are like a mosaic: if we look too closely at the tesserae, we miss the whole picture; if we stand back too far, we lose the beauty of our concurrent features. Who are we? How can we better explain this to those who are considering joining us? How can we better understand and accept each other, with our differences (bilingualism, isolated Friends, diverse spiritualities, different ways of understanding inspiration...)? How can we better know ourselves, remain who we are, while becoming a more welcoming community ?

The three parts of our theme (welcoming, making community, building the future) are linked by a common thread: the challenge of building a common future, able to define itself clearly enough to welcome newcomers.

NOUS CONTACTER

Secrétaire national (clerk) : secretaire@quakersenfrance.org
Questions générales : questions@quakersenfrance.org
La Lettre des Amis - Le bulletin des Quakers en France (abonnements, questions) : lalettredesamis@quakersenfrance.org
Le Centre Quaker International à Paris : quaker.paris@gmail.com

Adresse postale :

Centre Quaker International
114 rue de Vaugirard
75006 Paris