Almost 50 SEYM Friends and family members enjoyed a long weekend at Wekiwa State Park over the long Thanksgiving weekend for our Half Yearly Meeting retreat. Participants of all ages, including almost a dozen youth, cooked, ate, played games, assembled jigsaw puzzles, made art, hiked, swam, paddled, and talked over the course of a relaxing, lightly programmed 4-day event.
SEYM Field Secretary for Earthcare, Beverly Ward, introduced HYM participants to the “Loving Earth” project. Participants joined Friends around the world in creating fabric panels that witness to the natural places and beings we love, and how they might be impacted by the climate crisis. Friday’s talent show, hosted by SEYM in-house comedian Aurelio Anderson, included music, storytelling, stand-up comedy, and a Quaker trivia quiz game.
Workshops for youth and adults, offered by participant volunteers, created space for spiritual connection and deep sharing among participants. Jerry Knutson facilitated an afternoon workshop on Discernment. Youth and young adults shared big questions, thoughts, and stories with one another during a Saturday morning discussion on the impact of Quaker values and spirituality on day-to-day life. Friends of all ages enjoyed read-aloud story time on the porch each afternoon.
COVID safety precautions pushed us outdoors for even more of our dining, discussion, and play than in years past, and the weather cooperated, with sunny skies, warm days, and cool nights throughout the weekend.
It was a joy to be together in person for the first time in many months. Many thanks to the Half Yearly Meeting planning committee, SEYM staff, and everyone who attended!
—Kody Hersh, SEYM Youth and Young Adult Coordinator. Pronouns: he/him/his or they/them/their(s)*
HYM 2021 Photo Gallery
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