This summer, our Youth Yearly Meeting was charged with the task of revising one of the Yearly Meeting’s fundamental queries. The confidence the adults demonstrated toward us by trusting our wisdom on such an important issue served as a tremendous encouragement to the youth to really immerse themselves in the discernment process and search for the best language to represent our meeting. I was blessed to be able to watch from a leadership standpoint as God worked and spoke through my peers, sharing wisdom and insight beyond their years.
The process of revising the query originated as the youth officers met to discern which query would be taken before the youth. This was a difficult choice. In fact, the query chosen originally stood out to the officers for negative reasons. But after more prayer and discernment, we realized that our aversion toward the query selected was exactly why we needed to bring it before the youth to revise. Returning to Yearly Meeting six months later we realized how relevant the chosen query was to the discussion around human sexuality and mutual respect. This was such an affirmation to the officers, as well as a testament to God’s ability to know the future and use us in ways we are not yet capable of understanding.
The original query reads:
As followers of Christ do you love and respect each other? Do patience and consideration govern your interactions; and when differences arise, do you resolve them promptly in a spirit of forgiveness and understanding? Are you careful with the reputation of others?
After taking the suggestions of the youth and discerning over the language, the officers revised the query, brought it before the youth, and the following was approved:
Recognizing human imperfection, how do you strive to follow Christ’s example in the way you love and respect others? When confronted with a conflict, how do you actively show Christ with a compassionate and grace filled heart? Are you leaving space for change? How do you value the other person when charged with their reputation, remembering that they, too, are a child of God? Build up the individual in the light of God.
We strongly believe the revised query represents specific attitudes that we as Friends should look to demonstrate when interacting with others, showing love and acceptance to all we encounter.