Aug
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Yearly Meeting

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I spent last week at our annual Yearly Meeting sessions in Newberg at George Fox University. It was great to gather together with so many Friends from our region to work on the business of our church. As we headed into the sessions there was a palpable energy to be felt in the space. Expectation, trepidation, wonder, and hope. We were presented and approved our new super intendent Jim Le Shana. Besides that outstanding news we also had our board meeting and time to learn in workshops presented in the afternoons. Our meal times were great to fellowship and further discussion of the Yearly Meeting business. There were opportunities to pray together and worship was joyful.

            One of my favorite parts of my week was spending time with Youth Yearly Meeting participants as part of my role on the Board of Youth and Young Adults. I met with students and another of our board members to talk about their experience of the event and hopes for how it might look going forward. Going forward. It is nice to be able to say that. For the past few years it has felt as though we were stuck. Held to the same discussions and frustrations. We were not a body that was able to speak well to one another always. We often had confrontation and there was a general mistrust of others. People had to determine which “camp” you were a part of. That kind of fractious and tribal activity was not something that we wanted. But when it is clear that two groups were trying to lead and control a space it ended up being obvious that there was a fracture. We acknowledged that brokenness and took steps to free both groups to pursue ministry in the ways they feel led to. That space, that freedom, is what resulted in the hopefulness at our Yearly Meeting sessions.

Looking back is great to show us where we have been but looking forward is the way to get where we want to be. Going forward is what we want to do as a Yearly Meeting. Part of me is wondering how we can participate in that vision and activity as a church in Medford. What our role is in the Yearly Meeting and our area. How can we share the gospel with our community? What does it look like for us to be the church here in our neighborhood? How can we continue to be faithful to the calling of the Lord to be His people and live in His kingdom? What does going forward look like for us?