This installment for “The Bell” will be a little bit different. Usually, I try to have a devotional or some type of teaching in this space, but this month we are going to focus on what’s happening in the YM, some issues the YM is dealing with, and a discussion of what took place at the recent IAYM Ministry Conference.
My house in June was consumed with summer camp at Camp Quaker Heights. Kellen and Nate each attended camp. Kellen was a counselor in training for the Elementary camp. Robin was a Co-Director for the Elementary camp. Camp this year for the IAYM was an obvious success. Each of the camps increased attendance this year. Reviews and critiques from campers, parents and staff were universally more positive than in recent years. We had many who were first time attendees at camp that were very impressed by their experience. The Elementary camp had 73 kids in attendance. This does not mean that we can’t improve. Next year the Jr High and High School camps will be separated. Dates for the High School camp will run over a weekend to ensure more attendance.
With camp ending in June we rolled into July and members of the IAYM youth attended a mission trip in Chicago from July 13-19. There were six jr high and high schoolers who attended. They were from Bangor Liberty Friends, Grinnell Friends and Fairfield Friends. Four adults traveled with the group and worked with them throughout the week. During this time they presented a VBS program for the community where they were working, worked at a homeless shelter serving meals, and spent time just hanging out with another group from New York. We should all be very encouraged by and proud of the youth that took this trip. Our kids are listening, they are trying to be light in a dark world.
At the end of July, the IAYM Ministry conference was held in Oskaloosa. Attendance this year was clearly down compared to the four previous years. I wish I could give you definitive answer as to why that was the case. The best I can come up with is that the people who see the importance of the Yearly Meeting are getting older and are unable to attend as they once did. We have done a poor job in raising the younger generation to see the importance of the Iowa Yearly Meeting. What was once seen as a time for families to travel and see old friends to spend a few days in fellowship and encouragement is now viewed as a time for business meetings and talking about what once was.
There was business conducted at the Yearly Meeting. Quakerdale’s ongoing transition to dealing with a changing landscape was discussed as they struggle to maintain Josiah White’s intent in founding the organization. The Youth and Young Adult Board discussed their growing pains as they begin the ministry year without a Yearly Meeting Director. This will cause the board and its volunteers to have a more hands on approach to camps and to the ministry of the youth and young adults. Continuing on the path of change or transition, the IAYM has made changes to “The Discipline” to clarify some language and remove some ambiguity that existed. Many see this as a longer, or multi-year, process. A good deal of the discipline had not changed since the 1970s. As most of us can attest there have been seismic shifts in the culture and in the church during that time. These changes along with the revised mission statement and plans to develop a core principles statement are all steps to provide a church body with clarity as we attempt to engage a culture that grows darker every day.
There was a good deal of discussion concerning what external bodies and organizations the IAYM should or should not associate with in the future. This is not something that is new. The IAYM has been having this discussion since the mid-1970s. Throughout Friends history we have been involved in issues that confront the culture in which we live. From the “Radical Reformation” of the 1640s and 1650s, the American Revolution, Abolition, the Industrial Revolution, the fight for civil rights for all and the opposition to man’s unending desire to war against his fellow man, we have always been involved in issues of the culture that are biblical issues. In doing so we have aligned with lobbying groups and others that we felt had the same convictions and goals, such as, Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL), Friends World Committee for Consultation, American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) and Friends United Meeting (FUM). Overtime some of these groups, while they maintained their view on social issues they drifted away from our common biblical views. Some of them today no longer have a Christian based view of the world or their mission. In some cases they have embraced a secular attitude towards issues that the church cannot share. These are just some of the discussions that will continue for years down the road. As Friends we are famously slow in coming to a determinative consensus on big issues and I see no reason this won’t be the case in this instance.
So in finishing up this month, it was not my intent to give you all doom and gloom for the future. Because the future is as bright or brighter than it has ever been. Our youth are engaged, our church is engaged, we have a great deal to be excited about. Remember, revival has never taken place in the church without difficult times. Just as trials and tests in your life bring about growth and faithfulness, so trials and tests of the church as a whole bring about growth and obedience to our Lord. The future of Bangor Liberty, the IAYM and the Body of Christ is a bright future because every day we move closer to a day when “every knee shall bow in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
IAYM Calendar Events
Sept 7-9: Family Camp @ CQH
Oct 5-7: Man Camp @ CQH
Oct 19-23: Pastor's Retreat
November 2-3: IAYM All Boards Retreat
HOC School Project: Thanks to all who donated school items or funds for Stuff the Bus. We especially appreciated having several volunteers from BLFC help with the program. A total of 1043 students received a backpack with supplies at St. Paul's. Since then 17 received supply kits at the supply closet. The count is higher mostly because we include families impacted by the tornado. No income guidelines were needed this year. Extra supplies were given to the schools where teachers will pass onto students as needed during the year.
The Fall Kickoff will be the Wednesday after Labor Day, 9/8/18.
Fall Sunday School Classes will start: 9/9/18
Also during church service on 9/9/18 preschoolers will be welcomed to Sunday School and the fifth grade Bibles will be presented.
We are looking for someone to do the Children’s Christmas Program which will be held: 12/16/18 - with snow date Wednesday 12/19/18.
Our nest CE meeting will after church on 9/23/18.
We are trying to get the bulletin boards organized and ask that the Missions committee be the ones to put something up. If you have something that you want to share from a mission, please put in Veronica, Ann Nichols, or my mailbox. If it’s something you would like to have back, just a note on saying so. Joe and Kay Feltz shared about their trip to Belize during Sunday school hour August 19th.
LIBRARY LEDGE – new
Let’s Roll! by Lisa Beamer about 9-11, United Flight 93.
DVD The Quiet Man with John Wayne & Maureen O’Hara.
Kindness is underrated........
We equate kindness with being nice or pleasant. As though it's mainly about smiling, getting along and not ruffling feathers. It seems a rather mundane virtue.
I met a person that had a life
style that wasn't pleasing to our Lord. One day after my prayer time I was
given an opportunity to meet this person. After we started to just get
to know each other, I sent them a letter. Their impression of
Christians was that they were poor thinkers, judgmental, scornful, and afraid
of diversity. The letter that was sent to them was kind and inquiring,
seeking to understand and its tone demonstrated I wasn't against them.
They contacted me to let me know that what I said didn't make them feel
erased. Our friendship grew and I was given the privilege of supporting
them through their journey to faith. Isn't our God great!!!
Christian Social Concerns
Schedule for Prayer Walks:
Saturday, Sept 8-Eldora 3pm@Coffee house on 12th Street
Saturday, Sept 22-Clemons 10am TBA
Purpose: Discernment, seeking God’s vision in caring for His people.