Iowa Yearly Meeting, Conservative
Meeting at Scattergood Friends School near West Branch, IA
To Friends Everywhere:
Greetings from the Iowa Yearly Meeting (Conservative), where Friends from monthly meetings and worship groups in Iowa, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Kansas and Minnesota are gathered for our 133rd annual session on the beautiful campus of Scattergood Friends School. We meet for our daily sessions of worship with attention to business in the Hickory Grove Meetinghouse, which is now the School meetinghouse. The Scattergood Friends School Farm contributes fresh produce for our daily meals, while Young Friends contribute to the farm with a service project re-shingling the greenhouse.
At this year's annual sessions we are preparing to welcome next year's Annual Gathering of the Friends General Conference on the campus of Grinnell College in Iowa. In our opening session, Iowa Friends related their experiences of participating in the FGC Annual Gathering. We were challenged to reflect upon what it means to be Conservative Friends, and how we relate now to our historic practice of complete dependence on the Spirit in both worship and ministry. The spiritual practice of our meeting finds daily expression in the morning meetings where the business of the Yearly Meeting is considered in a prayerful search for unity.
We find hope as we listen prayerfully to reports from our monthly meetings, responses to the Advices and Queries, the minutes from Adult Young Friends, Young Friends and Junior Yearly Meeting, and the reports from delegates and representatives to Friends’ national and international organizations. In the face of the challenges of war, environmental degradation, the exploitation of labor, and the persecution of immigrants at home and abroad, we discern the ways in which the Spirit is at work in the world today. As the main ministry of Yearly Meeting, Scattergood Friends School holds a special place in our hearts, and we search for ways to strengthen and nurture its work under the direction of its new Head. A special joy comes from hearing the annual report of Scattergood Farm, with its growing networks of outreach into the broader community. In the early morning, we gather for Bible study in hopes of reading the Bible as early Friends did, and after our evening collection, we gather for song.
In keeping with the theme of this year's meeting, "Tapping into God's Love," our evening collections included a presentation by Katherine and Ken Jacobson on "How Do We Practice the Way of Love Together as Friends?” Later in the week, Maia and Ken Tapp and Ken Jacobson presented “The Prayer of the World" using poetry, photography and song. Friday's collection featured Zachary Moon speaking on "Here I Am, for You Called Me: Faithfulness Beyond the Already Secured."
May the love and joy of God's Spirit bless you in the coming year.
On behalf of Iowa Yearly Meeting (Conservative),
Deborah Fisch, clerk
Please note that our new clerk is Deborah Dakin. She can be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org
Iowa Yearly Meeting, Conservative Adult Young Friends
Dear YAF’s from around the country,
Greetings from Iowa! Our group of Adult Young Friends is in its first year of existence and this year has been a unique learning experience for our newly formed group. We had a grand total of five friends included in our group for the course of the week of Iowa Yearly Meeting (Conservative). Despite our small numbers we managed to have a wonderful time with the friends we had, each of us enjoying our yearly meeting experience.
Our week was filled with fun activities along with serious ones. The favorite games of the week were Settlers of Catan, Bughouse Chess, Ping-Pong, Ultimate Frisbee, Foosball, and various card games. Most of our members stayed up late baking pizzas and cookies Friday night, while playing the fore mentioned games. For a service project with Young Friends we aided Scattergood Friends School by repairing the roof of the campus greenhouse. We woke up bright and early at 5:45 Thursday morning and worked throughout the day, nearly finishing re-shingling the roof by dinnertime. The week was thoroughly entertaining, enjoying each other’s presence in the sunshine and rain.
One of the goals of our group was to become more involved with the adult meeting. Along this line, two of our members involved themselves with the youth programs (JYM), while we all enjoyed serving on various committees throughout the week and enjoyed attending worship and business meeting. This taste of adult meeting was unexpectedly rewarding and refreshing. Although we did not verbally participate in business meeting or worship, we felt this yearly meeting was an excellent learning experience on the mechanics of Yearly Meeting.
We would especially like to thank the Meeting for inviting and letting Zachary Moon (an AYF leader) present at IYMC this year. He was an inspiring figure for us with a powerful evening presentation.
In the future, we hope to build off of the experience of this year and hope to have more attendees from our age group at future IYMCs. Our group would greatly appreciate some contact with other AYF groups from around the country!
With love and light,
The Iowa Yearly Meeting (Conservative) Adult Young Friends.
Epistle from Iowa Yearly Meeting, Conservative Young Friends
To Friends everywhere,
For the first year ever we slept in a high school dorm space with our friends instead of with our parents or sponsors. The atmosphere was relaxed, but helped build a tighter bond between already close F/friends. We hope we can make this a yearly tradition.
On Wednesday, Junior Yearly Meeting invited us to tie-dye with them. Everybody’s clothing looked pretty hanging out on the line. That evening we had a campfire by the pond, made s’mores, played Chubby Bunny and Denali looked for snakes.
Sarah Mickle spent Thursday afternoon cooking with us. She taught us how to make gluten free cookies and cheesecake. They were scrumptious. We also decided to make our own pizzas for movie night. There was a dispute over some pizza dough ingredients, but in the end, we came to consensus.
We discovered a new board game this year called Settlers of Catan, and spent a lot of our down time sheep trading.
Our service project was pretty awesome. We helped re-shingle the small greenhouse behind our dorm with Adult Young Friends. The farm sheep watched us work. Danielle placed a red shingle on the roof among the black and green ones for Scattergood to remember her by. She will visit it in future years.
It was sad that our canoe trip was rained out on Friday, but Leonardo Dicaprio saved the day.
On the farm, we tasted really, REALLY delicious raspberries and corn. One un-named Young Friend tried to forage for carrots, but was unable to find any.
We sat in on two evening programs with the greater meeting and are thankful to the Entertainment Committee for the work they did finding speakers.
This week has been a great experience. Lots of memories have been made. And we look forward to returning next year.
Iowa Yearly Meeting (C) Young Friends
Junior Yearly Meeting of Iowa Yearly Meeting Conservative
At Junior Yearly Meeting, we had a total of 12 children participating, but not all at once! This year there were five six-year olds.
A clerk visited our business meeting and showed us how Friends make decisions. We practiced making decisions in a way that makes everybody happy even though we don’t always get everything we want.
We talked about “Tapping into God’s Love” like a tree gets water from its roots and we get sap from maple trees. Then we made a tree from paper mache, adding more branches each day.
The Young Friends joined us in tie-dying cloth napkins. We also made steel drums, dipped candles, and pancakes.
We played games like Ladder Ball, Capture the Flag and Bat-Wad. A guest came and taught us how to do yoga, and we taught her some new “yoga moves” that we made up. Another guest helped us learn percussive hand games.
We wet swimming in the Scattergood Friends School Pond and roasted marshmallows at a campfire there, even though it was raining a little. It was perfect for telling ghost stories.
IYMC Junior Yearly Meeting