WILMINGTON — At this summer’s Wilmington Yearly Meeting (WYM) annual sessions — the first since the dis-affiliations of some churches over the past year — attendees considered their future as individuals and within their Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) corporate life.
As the News Journal has previously reported, the separations stemmed from a disagreement over whether same-sex weddings are to be permitted in WYM churches, or as they are often called in the Quaker tradition, meetings. The churches that left WYM regard same-gender marriage as against the will of God.
After the sessions held in the Wilmington area, the WYM Epistle Committee wrote about the gathering and a number of excerpts are printed below.
“Perhaps the most powerful way in which we have recently felt called to pursue love and justice together has been in our fundraising for rebuilding the Wilmington School in Puerto Padre, Cuba. Through our combined efforts, we have raised at least $30,647 and some uncounted change. We have done this through a series of fundraisers organized by different Meetings, and by small donations of change collected in jars with slotted lids.”
And, “Another celebration has been raising up ministers and welcoming new candidates into a streamlined training and recording process. One rising minister was accepted under the care of Training and Recording, and another has been scheduled for a clearness committee to enter the process, as the current candidates continue in their growth and learning.”
Also, “In our concluding worship, we participated in a circle of blessing for 108 friendship dolls that will travel to Japan along with the Urikami cross. These dolls, inspired by the friendship dolls sent to Japan in 1927, were created by many persons in Wilmington Yearly Meeting and beyond, at the initiative of Wilmington College Campus Minister Nancy McCormick. … They will be given to schoolchildren in Hirado and Nagasaki.”