ILYM is a spiritual community of Quakers, also known as the Religious Society of Friends. Though the individuals in this community attend some 21 affiliated local Meetings across four states, each summer the Meeting gathers in a retreat near McNabb, Illinois to worship together and to conduct the business of the community. This business includes issues related to lay ministry, religious education, the practice of faith, volunteer service, public witness, publications, Meetinghouse site improvement, and finances. The ILYM Meetinghouse is also the worship site for Clear Creek Friends, as well as for workshops, retreats and committee meetings.
We Will Grow: Learning from Our Younger Friends
Jesus Christ said, “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3). That is a show stopper all right—but essentially a message of hope and guidance. What is it about a child that is so vitally important to our spirituality, even our salvation?
How can Quakers respond to this call and recognize, honor and nurture the Light in our youngest Friends? I see this query as crucial to opening a way, not only to better practices with children but to increased depth in our faith.
I am always tempted. Tempted to fix, save, advise. Someone says some-thing to me and I wonder, what is that person really saying underneath what she is saying? Is that person saying, I need you to fix this? Probably not. So why should advice come out? And yet it does.
Someone in my meeting sent me some queries with an open-ended request, what do you think? Well, it depends. My usual reaction is to think the situation depends on me; I have to fix/save/advise. What would happen if those responses were unnecessary? If I were only being asked to listen because someone needed to be heard?
Caring for People and the Earth as Climate Change Progresses
In June of 2015, Pope Francis released his enclyclical Laudato Si: On the Care of Our Common Home, calling all people to embrace the moral and spiritual implications of human impacts on the earth. The Illinois Yearly Meeting Environmental Concerns Committee (ECC) is heartened by the attention and weight Francis statements bring to concerns we have long held. The ECC committee welcomes his invitation to all humanity for a dialogue on the care of our common home.
Mandala, Cages, and Readings
What the Grandmothers and Grandfathers are Saying
An ancient Hindu tale, much older than time, tells the story of Indra’s net which is said to contain all elements of existence. At each point of connection in the web there is a jeweled node that mirrors everything else in Indra’s net. If you have ever have had the experience of seeing your own reflection in a mirror with another mirror behind it, you will see this infinity of connection. While attending the Parliament of the Worlds Religions in Salt Lake City recently, I heard many grandmothers and grandfathers speaking with one voice. They were the jewels offering reflections of our world in a web of mutual wisdom.
Queries on Membership (Part 1 of 2)
- How does meeting for worship speak to your condition?
- What drew you to begin attending Friends Meeting?
- What do you consider to be central to Quakerism?
- Are there any features of Quakerism with which you have reservations or concerns?
- What changes have you made in your life as a result of your association with Quakers?