I arrived in Lancaster on Tuesday afternoon. The group from Woodbrooke traveled on the train together and then waited at the Lancaster Meeting House for the next bus to the University. Right as the bus was pulling away I saw Delonna and Joyce come out of the train station. I was glad to see that they'd come out unscathed from their travels without Aimee or I.
The first two days of the gathering have been full of meaningful conversations and fun activities. Already I've talked about such various topics as alter calls, Quaker worship and culture in other countries, spiritual journies, pastors, the nominating process, absence of young adults in meetings for worship, and much more.
I was also able to help organize the worship session last night. We had about 9 Yearly Meetings that each did two minute presentations, NWYM and North Carolina YM led singing, Colin Saxton and Ute (from Germany) spoke, and we had some silence. The one and a half hour meeting somehow turned into two hours, but nobody seemed to mind too much. NWYM sang a blessing at the end in English and Spanish. (The blessing that the youth sang during youth night at yearly meeting.)
Last nigh after worship we had a Bible trivia game. It was very fun. After answering the first question correctly my team chanted, "We know the Bible, yes we do. We know the Bible, how 'bout you?" Aiden (from Ireland) told us that if we knew the Bible we should know it says not to trash talk the other team. I think he was just jealous. Most of the Spanish speakers were on the other team. One recited the books of the Old Testament in Spanish flawlessly, and we gave her a round of applause. This was a fun way to get to know people.
Today, after morning worship, my base group had a very powerful time of sharing and we were able to pray for one of the members who is going through a difficult time. Afterwards one of the girls asked me if we could talk sometime about how I view Jesus. Although she is a Quaker, she hasn't really looked at Jesus before, but she says that she sees something in those of us who profess Jesus that she would like to explore more. You can be praying for this conversation and others that I have with people about who Jesus is to me.
This afternoon a group of 20 or so played soccer. The representative from Jamaica is very good and unfortunately he was not on my team. We lost by two and both goals were scored by Joyce White. (It is a good thing for her that we were not calling off sides, otherwise I'm not sure that the goals would have counted.) Tomorrow, Benny from Cuba wants to get a group together to play basketball after our trips to various Quaker historical sites.