It was wonderful to see so many faces from near and far for Ireland Yearly Meeting, which took place online from 8 – 11 April 2021.
The theme was ‘A Time to Act Together in Faith and Hope‘ and many different topics were explored, including faith, peace, social justice, migration and sustainability.
It was encouraging to hear how Meetings across Ireland have adapted during the pandemic to online meetings for worship, business meetings, coffee mornings and socials. Friends of all ages have conquered technical challenges and discovered that spiritual comfort, fellowship and community can take place online or via platforms like WhatsApp. It takes more than a pandemic to stop the Spirit at work!
It was also heartening to hear how Sunday Schools, youth clubs and other get-togethers for younger Friends have all adapted to the world of Covid-19 .
We heard updates from Quaker Service and Irish Quaker Faith In Action (IQFA) and from two campaigns that reflect our Peace Testimony – Stop Fuelling War and the Campaign To Stop Killer Robots.
We agreed to sign an inter-faith statement that urges UN member states and all people of goodwill to commit to preserving meaningful human control over the use of force, and to enact a pre-emptive ban on fully autonomous weapons.
To quote from the IYM Epistle agreed on the last day: “Our gathering is testament to the way we have adapted to changed circumstances since the cancellation of 2020 IYM last April and demonstrates the many positives we have been able to draw from adversity. While we agree that online meeting cannot replace the fellowship of meeting in person, it has allowed many more to join us at Yearly Meeting and has saved many hundreds of carbon miles of travel!”
You can read the Epistle here.
The Public Lecture, which was delivered by Eoin Stephenson of Limerick Quaker Meeting, was on the topic ‘Resurrection and Personality’. You can read the script and watch a recording of the lecture at this link.