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.
2017 Annual Sessions will held June 21-25 on the ILYM campus outside McNabb, IL
The 2017 theme is Open Hearts. The phrase “open hearts” can mean many different things. It can imply coming home to an accepting community. It can be an exhortation to ourselves to learn and listen to others, or an exhortation to minister to the needs of others. African-American activist Howard Thurman writes in a Pendle Hill Pamphlet, “Love demands that we expose ourselves at our most vulnerable point by keeping the heart open.”
Come to Illinois Yearly Meeting’s Annual Sessions to explore the question “How does the Light relate to Open Hearts?” Come to an accepting community of Friends to continue worship in a historic 19th century meetinghouse. Come to let yourself be opened to new ways. Come to learn what it is like to live among farmlands that surround us, to work with veterans, to commune with all branches of Friends. Come to consider how you may be led in new directions when you are back out in the world and in your home meeting.
Early Quaker Margaret Fell Fox asked that “[t]he Lord God Almighty open thy heart, and enlighten the eye of thy understanding, that thou mayest come to have unity with all the saints in light.” Come and be ready to have thy heart opened.
Come early to Annual Sessions and find out what fun it can be to work towards a common cause with a great bunch of people. Be a part of transforming 12 acres of land into a most useful site for hundreds of people.
Join others in cleaning, organizing, and getting the campus ready. Meals are provide and start with Saturday lunch and end with Wednesday lunch. Cooking for site prep will be done by Monica Tetzlaff. Free housing is available as well for those doing site prep. You have a choice of bringing your own tent, staying in the cabins, or bedding down in Clear Creek House. If you will be attending site prep, please send a message through the contact form. Please include your lodging preferences, what meals you will be eating, and if you have any special dietary needs.
This year’s ILYM Women’s Weekend will be held May 5-7, 2017 on the ILYM campus.
In the program “Women Valiant for the Truth” will be a time to explore the lives of Quaker women who came before us. Meet Martha Wooten, visiting minister from 1860 and hear her stories of Indiana Anti-Slavery Friends. Be Elizabeth Hooten, who was essentially the first Quaker woman; hear and speak in her own words stories of experiences that required her to “be valiant for the Truth.” The program will be led by Donne Hayden who taught English for more than 20 years in schools from the Navajo Reservation in Cuba, NM to an American international school in Sao Paulo, Brazil. She served as minister for three years at Eldorado Universalist Unitarian Church and for seven years as minister at Cincinnati Friends Meeting, a semi-programmed meeting.
Additional information, on-line registration and downloadable registration form can be found at ilym.org/WW2017.