The Nottingham Young Quakers group has been busy since the start of the New Year! We have had numerous social events as well as some Spiritual Suppers held at the Meeting House.
Concerning social events mid-January, we held a film screening of Ghostbusters (2016) in the Meeting House to celebrate Laura and Tori’s birthdays, with a vegan-friendly take-away and many friends invited, many who had never been to an event before. The food was absolutely delicious and the film was a success, with over 30 people attending. We raised money for the Nottingham Women’s Centre as well as the Meeting House, as we wanted to give back to the Meeting, since it gives us the use of the Meeting House so often for free!
Also in January, we attended the Holocaust Memorial Day event at Sneinton Windmill. The evening honoured all groups affected by the Holocaust, and candles were lit by a person of the affected group in most cases, which made for a moving tribute. There were numerous readings and pieces of music at the event, including short readings about how the groups were targeted by the Nazis. The singing of Psalm 130 in Hebrew closed the event. Afterward some reflection on the event together, we went to Yo Sushi in the city centre.
At the beginning of February, we visited a Liberal Synagogue in Sherwood, accidently also attending a wonderful baby blessing! The service, though very different from Quaker meetings, was enjoyable and the Rabbi spoke about the idea of ‘darkness’ in Exodus. Highly structured with lots of singing and movement required, it was certainly a learning experience for us, and the Synagogue was very welcoming. After singing Mazel Tov to the new mother and baby, we went to Wagamama’s to talk about the upcoming schedule for NYQ.
One particularly memorable Spiritual Supper lead us to look at the idea of ‘positivity’, and how we can bring more positivity into our lives, either personal attempts or working as a group.
After some initial thoughts and ideas, we started a mind map to detail some of the ideas that we all felt we could implement into the NYQ group socials. These included sharing our skills with each other and the wider Quaker community; self-care of the body and mind; interfaith dialogue with different groups around Nottingham and experiencing others’ worship; student and young people outreach; and interacting more with nature around us.
I started attending the Quaker Meeting in Nottingham to explore my own spirituality and as a result met some amazing people through Nottingham Young Quakers.
I wanted somewhere with total dedication to equality in all forms, and that included clergy; also, freedom for independent thought, and somewhere which emphasises a personal relationship with whatever the divine may be. So, even more delight ensued when I discovered there was a young persons group! As a group, they have made me consider what I think is important to both myself and the world, and I cannot deny that they’ve certainly made me think about way more than the testimonies that drew me to the Quakers in the first place. With NYQ, I have started to gain interest in another testimony, simplicity (and sustainability), which I was/am finding difficult exploring on my own, and am currently considering ways I can cut down on my support for unnecessarily cruel industries and companies (still definitely in the process though!).
The events make up a large amount of my social life, and I thoroughly enjoy Meeting for Worship as well as the NYQ events. I can even bring along my very atheist or evangelical Christian friends, some of which are considering coming along regularly to the NYQ social gatherings.
I am really looking forward to going to the Young Friends General Meeting in Edinburgh with some of the NYQ group, and hope that it is as encouraging as the Nottingham group has been.