This is Friend.
Friend came into being a little more than a year ago at a “creativity and spirituality” weekend at Powell House. The whole community worked together to design her, cut her out, stuff her body with cotton, tie on her hair, and make her clothes. We also gave her a travel minute when it became clear that she felt called to travel in the ministry.
This is what her travel minute says:
Dear Friends, This is Friend. She likes to hear all different kinds of music, likes opera, and loves to dance. She also likes hearing stories and is very creative and artistic. She doesn’t like getting dirty. Her gifts are giving hugs and being an exelent listener. She travels in the ministry because she wants to build friendships with all kinds of Quakers.
Maddie S, Linnea K-C, Emily P, Mary B, Naomi P-G, Jillian S, Anne P, Bridget B, Ruth R, Cathy R, Maeve
Friend has spent a little over a year now preparing to travel in the ministry. She made one trial journey with me last spring to Matinecock meeting on Long Island. That visit was super fun for Friend, and ever since, every time I’m leaving town, she tries to climb into my backpack, but she NEVER FITS.
She’s finding this very frustrating.
So a few days ago, Friend and I had a little chat about the post office. I explained that although she is perhaps a little too short to travel by bus or train unaccompanied, she might be able to travel by box, if she doesn’t mind being shaken up and turned upside down and so forth. She considered this very carefully and consented that she might be willing to try it, as long as I pack her a few crackers in case she gets hungry on the way.
Anyway, Friend is now looking for Quakers to visit! Later on, she thinks she might have particular destinations in mind, but for the first few trips, she’s up for anything—evangelical, pastoral, conservative unprogrammed, liberal unprogrammed, urban, rural, domestic, international, little meetings, big gatherings—whatever, as long as there’s a group of Friends waiting to greet her.
Is anyone willing to be Friend’s first host? All you have to do is take her along to whatever worship or other activities are already happening among Quakers where you are. Write a letter in response to her travel minute telling about what you did together, and if possible, take some pictures and post them online for everyone to see – #travelingFriend. Then, after a week or two, pack her up again (with a handful of crackers) and send her home.
Contact me if this sounds like something you’d like to do!