ILYM is a spiritual community of Quakers, also known as the Religious Society of Friends. Though the individuals in this community attend some 21 affiliated local Meetings across four states, each summer the Meeting gathers in a retreat near McNabb, Illinois to worship together and to conduct the business of the community. This business includes issues related to lay ministry, religious education, the practice of faith, volunteer service, public witness, publications, Meetinghouse site improvement, and finances. The ILYM Meetinghouse is also the worship site for Clear Creek Friends, as well as for workshops, retreats and committee meetings.
11th Annual Corn Roast Old-Fashioned Corn Roast and Potluck Picnic for Chicago area (and beyond) Friends hosted by Upper Fox Valley Quaker Meeting will be on Saturday, September 3, 3:30 p.m. till dark at Alice and Bill Howenstine’s Pioneer Tree Farm located at 4614 Pioneer Road (3 miles north of McHenry, half mile off Rt. 31), McHenry, IL 60051, telephone: 815-385-8512. A map can be printed from the farm’s web site: www.pioneertreefarm.com.
The schedule will include:
3:30—4:30 p.m.: arrival and informal activities (e.g., walking the lanes, feeding the chickens, talking, singing, frisbee, or your own favorite game)
4:30 p.m.: greeting and announcements
5:00 p.m.: pot luck supper (roast corn, lemonade, iced tea, and coffee will be provided by Upper Fox Valley. A charcoal grill will be available.)
Evening: campfire, singing, etc.
Bring your own plates, cups, utensils that you can take home with you; some food to share; folding chairs or blankets to sit on (there are a few picnic tables and benches); musical instrument; mosquito repellent if you use it. If you bring your dog, please keep it on a leash out of the buildings, and away from the food. DRESS FOR THE WEATHER WITH OUTDOOR CLOTHING! Please discuss this at your meeting and have the clerk or another designated person provide an approximate count (adults/kids) to ILYM contact.
The Fall Blue River Quarterly Meeting will be September 16-18 at Dubois Center in Southern Illinois. Steve Tamari (St. Louis MM) and Fariba Murray (Bloomington Normal MM) are planning the program including inter-generational time. The theme is Quakerism & Islam. "Allah is the light of the heavens and the earth; a likeness of His light is as a niche in which is a lamp, the lamp is in a glass, (and) the glass is as it were a brightly shining star, lit from a blessed olive-tree, neither eastern nor western..." (Qur'an 24:35)
A trail ride is one option for Saturday afternoon free time as is canoeing or hiking, chatting or napping. There will be a Saturday night bonfire with singing and s'mores. Friends under 19 may attend free of charge. Those who are able may contribute to help cover these costs.
Please register by September 2. There is a $20 late fee after that date. Download brochure/registration form (525K PDF) and Health Information and Permission Form (162K PDF), which is required for all individuals who will be participating in any activities led by DuBois Center staff, like horseback riding and canoeing.
We Will Grow: Learning from Our Younger Friends
Jesus Christ said, “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3). That is a show stopper all right—but essentially a message of hope and guidance. What is it about a child that is so vitally important to our spirituality, even our salvation?
How can Quakers respond to this call and recognize, honor and nurture the Light in our youngest Friends? I see this query as crucial to opening a way, not only to better practices with children but to increased depth in our faith.
I am always tempted. Tempted to fix, save, advise. Someone says some-thing to me and I wonder, what is that person really saying underneath what she is saying? Is that person saying, I need you to fix this? Probably not. So why should advice come out? And yet it does.
Someone in my meeting sent me some queries with an open-ended request, what do you think? Well, it depends. My usual reaction is to think the situation depends on me; I have to fix/save/advise. What would happen if those responses were unnecessary? If I were only being asked to listen because someone needed to be heard?
Caring for People and the Earth as Climate Change Progresses
In June of 2015, Pope Francis released his enclyclical Laudato Si: On the Care of Our Common Home, calling all people to embrace the moral and spiritual implications of human impacts on the earth. The Illinois Yearly Meeting Environmental Concerns Committee (ECC) is heartened by the attention and weight Francis statements bring to concerns we have long held. The ECC committee welcomes his invitation to all humanity for a dialogue on the care of our common home.
Mandala, Cages, and Readings
What the Grandmothers and Grandfathers are Saying
An ancient Hindu tale, much older than time, tells the story of Indra’s net which is said to contain all elements of existence. At each point of connection in the web there is a jeweled node that mirrors everything else in Indra’s net. If you have ever have had the experience of seeing your own reflection in a mirror with another mirror behind it, you will see this infinity of connection. While attending the Parliament of the Worlds Religions in Salt Lake City recently, I heard many grandmothers and grandfathers speaking with one voice. They were the jewels offering reflections of our world in a web of mutual wisdom.
Queries on Membership (Part 1 of 2)
- How does meeting for worship speak to your condition?
- What drew you to begin attending Friends Meeting?
- What do you consider to be central to Quakerism?
- Are there any features of Quakerism with which you have reservations or concerns?
- What changes have you made in your life as a result of your association with Quakers?