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Yearly Meeting 2022

Covid uncertainty strikes YM22! We had all hoped that 2022 would be the year in which we could hug our friends at YM. Alas, it’s still too hard to imagine what we will be able to do in the first week of July. with each state having its own rules about how people can travel and gather, it’s too uncertain to try to plan a national gathering.

So, what is the plan?

 

So, once again YM will be online. There is the possibility of difference, though. Whereas YM20 and YM21 was designed purely for individual participation, YM22 envisages that some people will want to travel to another centre to join Friends there for participation in YM online. It’s not the same! But this may allow some visitation for those whose local rules permit this. As examples, Friends from Ballarat might visit Friends in Geelong, stay there a few days, and meet those Friends in person. Friends from Blue Mountains might go to Canberra, meet up with some Friends there, enjoy social contact with them, have in-person conversations, do some Canberra outings, etc.

Of course we cannot foresee what will be possible then, but not having a central venue gives us more flexibility, and the possibility to change at short notice, which could be required. Each local “pod” can make their own arrangements about visitation and hospitality at their location.

Some technical arrangements will need to be different to accommodate pods; we are working out how this can be done effectively.

Because doing everything online is inherently tiring, we have made a decision to extend the duration of YM22 to 9 days. We recognise that Friends may well choose not to participate in all activities, and the design hopes to take account of this.

Briefly, it goes like this:

  • We hope that many of the Preliminary and Explanatory Sessions will be held online in the weeks preceding YM (which will be in early July). Such session online have been effective previously, and have attracted good participation by interested Friends.
  • 3 days of the introductory activities (welcomes, some formal sessions, etc). 2nd July - 4th July
  • 3 days of sessions which will promote community, reflection, learning (including many of the Share & Tells). We reason that where Friends are getting together, they may choose some local out-and-about activities during this time. (5th July - 7th July)
  • 3 days focused on business. (Formal Sessions) (8th - 10th July).
    This will allow the possibility for more Formal Sessions, but the overall pace will suit our energy levels, provide opportunity to build community, worship and share together.
  • Home Groups will be a feature of this YM. Some Friends will have experienced Home Groups in previous gatherings. Doing these in an online setting will be very novel, and call for some innovative thinking.

For those who like information presented visually, here is a diagram that shows this information. (Click this link).

The national organising committee encourages Friends to get together for all or some of the duration of YM22. However, they will not do any organising of this; it needs to be done at local level. We encourage meetings to consider inviting others to come to join with them, to facilitate hospitality, and fun together.

Clerking online meetings with pods presents some extra challenges. This will necessitate some changes to seating, equipment setup, and so on. We will be publishing protocols and suggestions for this.

Formal registration to attend YM22 will be a required, a registration form will be available soon (also accessible through this website).

So, we encourage you to start making plans, yet to recognise that their plans could be overturned by circumstances. But, if we don’t make the plans, it is certain that YM will not run smoothly, and that we will not get to visit the friends whose company we enjoy so dearly.