To Friends in all the world:
On November 16 and 17, 2019, we met at the Evangelical Friends Church in Ciudad Victoria, Tamaulipas, to celebrate the 43rd session of the General Meeting of Friends in Mexico (Reunión General de los Amigos en México, RGAM). Ciudad Victoria Friends received us with love in their beautiful city and in their spiritual home, a Mexican Quaker church founded 148 years ago. The theme of our gathering was “Youth leadership and commitment with God.”
The RGAM was founded by the Quaker community in Mexico in 1958 to periodically bring together the diverse branches of the Religious Society of Friends in this country. The RGAM lets Friends in Mexico gather to learn from one another, experience different forms of Friends’ Worship, and to enjoy one another’s company in a celebration of our shared past, present and future.
Of the fifty people who attended, nine joined the Young Adult Friends group, and 15 with the children’s group. We came from San Nicolás de los Garza, Mexico City, and of course, Victoria. We were blessed with visitors: four FWCC activists, who had attended a Committee meeting in Monterrey the previous week, stayed in Mexico for the RGAM, coming from Philadelphia, Oregon, New York and Peru. Pacific Yearly Meeting also sent a representative from San Jose, California, Jorge Morales. Jorge offered a wonderful presentation about his colorful spiritual journey as a Chilean seeker in California. The presence and contributions of these visitors enriched our gathering.
Each of our groups continues to be challenged and vital in their own ways. Mexico City Friends arrived with a heavy heart; Casa de los Amigos is currently closed on weekends, and for almost two months they have been unable to meet for Worship in their home and Meetinghouse.
We enjoyed rich conversation, using some queries offered by Ciudad Victoria Friends as springboards to speak about youth in our Meetings and Churches: how to invite them in, nurture them, and of course, hang on to them. However, it was the young people themselves who colored this gathering, planting it firmly in a spirit of celebration and friendship. In our conversations, we wondered if perhaps what was happening out there on the patio was the heart of the Reunión General, and our long conversations might be something less central then we assume they are.
Everyone had fun at the noche mexicana (Mexican evening), held on Saturday, just a few days before the anniversary of the Mexican Revolution. There were games of Mexican lotería with prizes, sack races, an enormous, beautiful spider web made of yarn, and a delicious green pozole. The church patio was decorated with papel picado, paper flowers and paper chains. Smiles, laughter and conversation filled the air. The children described our meeting very well, and speak for all of us:
We love to come to the Reunión General, and see our friends, our cousins and families, and be in communion with God. We all want to come back to the Reunión General. We loved singing and playing, and we like the silence. We want more people to come to the RGAM. Although many of us haven’t seen one another in three years, we remember each other well. As always, we were a little nervous before coming. But once we arrived, we felt happy, at ease, peaceful and grateful, and comfortable, like being among family.
From Ciudad Victoria, we send love and greetings to Friends around the world.
In the Light of God,
2019 Epistle Committee, General Meeting of Friends
in Mexico, November 17, 2019