The SEYM Publications Committee is pleased to offer this video of the 2021 J. Barnard Walton Lecture, presented by Emily Provance on April 10th, 2021, at our Yearly Meeting Annual Sessions.
After a year of pandemic, social isolation and upheaval, we came together for our annual sessions as a Yearly Meeting community with the theme ‘What Now?’
In this 2021 Walton Lecture, ‘Interruption, Integration, Transfiguration,’ Emily Provance spoke out of the silence on how people process and adapt to crises, change, and uncertainty; and she offered some ‘next steps’ in taking care of ourselves, our community, and society. Understanding the impact of what we’ve lived through this last year will take time to reflect and tell our stories. She talked about Maslow’s ‘hierarchy of needs,’ and how we first need to care for ourselves and members of our community with food and rest, security and identity, friendship and love. Simple acts of love and kindness have tremendous power to overcome extremism and divisions in our society; but we cannot meet those who distrust us (and who we distrust) with empathy – we cannot love our enemies – if our own basic needs are not met.
What Now? A quote from the lecture speaks to our condition:
“We’re not called to be the people we were before; we’re called to be the people we are becoming.”
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Emily Provance is a traveling minister, author, retreat leader, lecturer, and member of Fifteenth Street Meeting, NY. She is passionate about making Quaker faith and practice more visible and accessible for anyone seeking a deeper spiritual journey. Her focus is on ministry, multi-age inclusion, outreach, Young Adults, leadings, spiritual gifts, and community.
Emily is engaged in various spiritual accompaniment and social media-based ministries, and she travels with a minute from her monthly and yearly meetings. On her blog Turning, Turning: Holy Experiments Among Friends, she explores an outreach model for Quaker meetings that is geared towards the experience of seekers.