Layout Image

Letter to the Editor: From the Planning Committee of the Quaker Women’s Conference

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts . . . [S]o shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth; It shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and prosper in the thing for which I sent it. For you shall go out in joy, and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.“ Isaiah 55:8-9, 11-12 (RSV)

From: the Planning Committee of the Quaker Women’s Conference (as assembled at Heartland Friends Meetinghouse, Wichita, Kansas, on March 8-9, 2013)

To Friends Everywhere, Greetings:

After more than a year of process and prayerful discernment, the planning committee of the Quaker Women’s Conference (QWC) has felt led to acknowledge an end to the season of biennial conferences. Leadership has not been raised up to go forward, and there are other factors that seem to represent a door closing on this work. We feel some sense of sadness, but not of regret.

The series of conferences began in 1999, bringing together Quaker women from the mid-section of the United States, primarily Nebraska, Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. The work has been supported by Great Plains YM, Evangelical Friends Church–Mid-America YM, South Central YM and Missouri Valley Friends Conference, as well as by monthly meetings in the region.

The blessings that have been shared have been many-fold. The original goal of bringing women Friends in our region from different traditions together for mutual understanding, friendship, and worship has been central throughout the years, and the sense of the committee is that much good has come from the work.

Those privileged to be led to serve on the conference planning committees over the years have felt themselves doubly blessed, through the conferences themselves and through the close, loving and often arduous work to create and produce each conference.

We invite Friends who have attended QWC to visit our QWC Facebook page to share stories of joys and celebrations in response to QWC over the years. (Sisters who are on Facebook but not already signed into this page may so request. It is an easy process.)

The committee is not clear at this time whether or not the laying down of this conference may be only for a season. But for now we are clear not to go ahead with a conference in 2013 or in the foreseeable future. We see the goals of QWC being worked toward in many ways by many people and we hold those works in the Light.

Sara Scribner and
Betty Jean Penrose