So at the recent young adult Friends (YAFs) conference I previously mentioned, at one point some people from Colorado told about their experience with that wonder of wonders in our graying* religion: a successful young adult Friends group.
What’s their secret? I doubt there can be any exact science of this sort of thing, but a key ingredient seemed to be meeting regularly, weekly in fact, because community requires regular contact. Theoretically people will be “able” to show up less often, but I think this is offset by the fact that people will want to come more, because it will be more vital, more like a community of friends than acquaintances.
It had enough of the ring of truth that I and several others wanted to try that sort of setup in the Boston area (and a friend is doing the same in Toronto). So at the last monthly potluck of the Cambridge YAF group, we put the suggestion out there, and people liked it. Since then the “Boston Young Adult Friends” have met twice. Last Sunday we had vegetarian Chinese food at Buddha’s Delight, and yesterday we made dinner and cookies at my house.
I doubt there are many Boston-area young Friends who don’t know about it already, but in case there are, the email list is at groups.google.com/group/BYAF.
Or if you just want to hear the info on each meeting (and not the planning), you can subscribe to BYAF-announce instead. I also hope to make a little home page at byaf.quakerism.net soon, pending that being OK with everyone.
And if there are any interested young non-Quakers reading, you are hereby invited to come. If you feel at all intimidated you might prefer coming to the (sometimes large) monthly potlucks held at the Cambridge meetinghouse, which will be announced on the above lists.
*The New England Yearly Meeting (NEYM) 2006 Preliminary Statistics (PDF, pg. 55) suggest that about two thirds of NEYM members are over 65. These probably have a large margin of error, however, since the grand totals by age only amount to a small portion of total membership, probably because not all meetings report (or even know) the ages of their members.