Micah Bales, one of the leaders of the Quaker Youth Pilgrimage, just posted their Epistle from the trip on his blog. Here’s one section that particularly stands out to me, especially after my recent post on the subject.
As a gathered youth, we are empowered to speak of one final, lasting concern. Throughout the pilgrimage we were reminded of the saddening truth that we are not a complete gathering of Friends. We will not be a complete gathering until there is a fair representation of all sections of the Religious Society of Friends. In this pilgrimage there was only one youth from a pastoral background. Overall, there were four Friendsout of the thirty-two totalthat consider themselves evangelical or conservative Friends. For those members of the community, it was difficult at times to feel safe in expressing their beliefs. With this in mind, we as Quakers call for a greater commitment to improving the diversity of this pilgrimage. While we cannot deny the power of the Spirit’s presence in the group, it is important to realize that a greater learning experience could have been achieved from a more representative community.