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Preparing for the New

Published: May 22, 2021


“Preparing for the New” was the theme of our Spring Arizona Half-Yearly Meeting (AHYM). After a year of continued change and ongoing efforts to stay connected and be resilient and faithful, how connected do we feel, as Quakers? How would the virtual gathering be different than my experience of in-person events?

I have not found on-line worship to be powerful enough to keep me tuning in. I do have gratitude for those who make it possible and joy for those who participate and feel more connected with our spiritual life of the meeting.

The morning of AHYM, I felt some anxiety, but almost as soon as it began, the experience of the gathering felt different! As we introduced ourselves to the bigger circle, one by one, names and details of the humankind that inhabited Arizona over millennia were called out. This was in response to a request from our plenary, Anna Fritz.

Anna was focused and natural with her material. She shared songs and stories with us that she has developed over some years, as a released Friend. Anna’s Steering Committee has done well to help her adapt to presenting on line. This was her first experience to be virtual! Her poise and professionalism were remarkable, and I felt emotionally moved in several ways, usually by the songs and feeling hopeful that we are all seeking the Light. To be more inclusive. To act with integrity. To seek that of God in others.

In the afternoon, five Young Adult Friends from across the state talked about their life experiences and shared their concerns. This was heartwarming and remarkable at the same time, hearing how Quakerism is thriving in their lives! Careers, parenting, skills to sustain life force and more.

The business meeting was short and there were lots of breaks through the day. Most of all, with a deepening sense of love for faith and practice in the Light of our future, we are “preparing for the new.” 


from Deb Driskill, Pima Friends Meeting (5/18/2021)