On the weekend of January 18-20, 2008 a SAYF retreat was held at the Atlanta GA Meetinghouse with a theme of Quakerism. This is our story:
This is the first epistle I’ve written since SAYMA, so I’ll try to be sensical. I love the Atlanta retreats because A. they’re only a 10 minute drive, B. the Meetinghouse is large enough to fit all of us and C. I have the day of tomorrow, so I can sleep/function at school. I’ve considered myself a quaker my whole life, and learned about the testimonies and such of Quakerism for most of this time. An so, even though I agreed to this retreat’s theme of Quakerism, I was worried I would end up bored and hear the same things. However, I was pleasantly proved wrong. Not only did I get to hear other opinions on this matter, the silence of the worship group allowed me to ponder and explore my own connection to Quakerism. This was also the 1st retreat where I didn’t play wink. I think making kool-aid and laying on the floor is better anyways. Alise, I will love you forever, and you’re my favorite distraction from Quaker games. Unfortunately, I can’t use the looming long car ride as an excuse to stop writing, so I’ll just stop...
I love all ya’ll and can’t wait till the next retreat,
Even though I’ve been coming to SAYF for a long time, this is my first worship journal. I have never written one before because I have always felt that I have fully expressed my ideas and thoughts during the retreat. However this retreat was different. First, let me just say “IT SNOWED!!!” That was amazing, especially because it’s Atlanta. Playing in the snow and even just the excitement of it snowing was awesome. Also, I want to thank Mark for the pizza which was delicious, and I want to thank all the FAPs for making this retreat so much fun. I really loved the “Quakers in a room with a microphone” workshop and I really want to hear the recording. George, you promised us we would make millions, and if we do, that would be great, b ut if we didn’t, I’d be happy with a CD. Apart from all those awesome reasons, the main reason I wrote this is because of the worship sharing we did last night. I really wanted to answer the question, but I couldn’t put my thoughts into words well enough to satisfy my need to express. I was also moved by the deep and personal responses other friends gave. To me, Quakerism is a bond. It is the bond not only amongst quakers, but between quakers and everyone and everything. Quakerism is about seeing the inner light in everything. It allows us to see the good in people and the beauty and utility in things. I think this is why we are such a strong community, because we all see the good in each other. However, it’s sometimes difficult to bring this kindness and acceptance into the outer world. After what I heard at the worship sharing last night and through my whole life growing up as a Quaker, I think you all can and are doing it. I’m proud.
Thanks to our lovely FAPS! & especially Wren. We’re all so thankful & grateful that you guys are willing to give up entire weekends to spend time with a bunch of teenagers.
I am really glad to be back at SAYF. In October, we were visiting my brother who is attending Olney Friends School in Ohio. In November, I got the notification of a car in Knoxville (Nashville?) a day or 2 after the retreat started. Wink was fun, and I was surprised that no one else ate Lucky Charms for breakfast. Lekey ate just about the entire box, I think, but Lekey was sitting out. It was cold last night, and my sleeping bag wouldn’t zip up. And I was sleeping on the hard floor without a pillow. Yes, that’s right, feel bad for me! Anyway, it was great to see all of you again (even Sam) and I hope to see you again at the next SAYF. I won’t be able to go to SAYMA because I’ll be Ireland. (pwn!)
PS Will got a haircut (gah, I know). Think Joseph.
I’m not really in a writing mood right now, so I’m just going to make a short list of comments about the retreat:
* Austin, keep practicing those head stands. If you continue practicing 3 hours a day like you did yesterday, you should get it relatively soon.
* I don’t think I’ve ever had quite as many random songs stuck in my head as I’ve had this retreat. It’s entertaining.
* I really like kool-aid.
* Willamae, thank you soooo much for the lovely haircut. I love it.
* Sam, your monkey is seriously creepy. I think I could easily have it charged with sexual harassment and robbery (or attempted robbery).
* Snow is AWESOME. Especially when it packs like this snow did. If only I had brought gloves.
I love you all so much.
Thank you for this weekend.
Oh, and I took a bunch of pictures. Especially of the snow. If you would like to see them, either look on my facebook or give me your email and I will send you a link.
Please hold me in the Light. I’ve been invited next month to go to a conference for Friendly Adult Presences, and will be presenting on how we can invite & open our Young Friends communities to the Light, how to use Quaker process & look for Divine Presence to guide us. I will be bringing all of you with me there, your openness, & joyful Light, and look forward to bringing back what I learn & lots of Quaker Light from Friends around the country.
Thank you for being part of my journey!
I like sleeping. Wink is fun even when some people bulldoze me over. In ate cereal and it tasted good. I wished it snowed more. Some people need to throw a snowball. In wink George should let you go ahead some. He shouldn’t lie.
It’s been awhile since I’ve seen everyone and I’ve missed you all so much. I guess for me SAYF is like a blanket but somewhere along the way I thought I could do without like I was wearing thin and that this wasn’t going to last. I felt like a break was in order but then after awhile the break became longer then it was originally was supposed to be. I had seemed to have forgotten that SAYF wasn’t a bad thing. Although the retreats seem hollow sometimes without the old members that have graduated we now have newbies that bring new experiences to the filling table. I had recently arrived to the conclusion that I needed support since recent events have happened in my life. But in my need for support I also realized I am far too frightened and still intimated in asking for it. I again find myself unable to find words or to share the recent happenings. I do however know now that I need SAYF and maybe I need to talk about the problems but some how in the presence of everyone I don’t think I’m strong enough.
On a note much more content, I enjoyed coming here and seeing all these happy smiling faces. It doesn’t matter how long ago its been, the love is still growing and the caring people I’ve known for years and the friends I’ve just met.
You never can forget a place like this not that anyone would want to try. Some old friends have made themselves present when pain obvious and others I just showed a smile. I am somewhat guilty that I didn’t share or that I misrepresented my current emotional state.
The love I have for all of you runs so deep.
I’ve been handed completed worship journals from two different people just now, both of which were three lines long. Perhaps this retreat has left some even more sleep deprived than usual. As for me, while I’ve got it in me to write more than 3 lines, I am still all jambled in ze brain and am limited to a string of unconnected nonsense.
We got here in time for opening circle. What a treat. I was starting to feel like Harry Potter when he keeps missing the sorting every year. And no, there is no shame in referencing Harry Potter at every opportunity.
Workshops.....I want to hear what the recording workshop came up with. It ought to be put on the internets. Anyway, Workshops were cool.
Snow fell. Big fat flakes did a very efficient job of covering the ground – by the time the wonderfully short business meeting ended, there was already enough for a massive snowball fight. On the count of three, everyone get Ryan!
Purify. Purify. Purify. Purify. Purify. Purify. Purify. Would you like a magazine subscription. Ah, dishrag-san, how our clan has grown.
George put on Bonnie’s shades and looked like Bob Dylan. You better start swimming or you’ll sink like a stone...for the times they are a-changing.
There are main reasons I like the Atlanta Meetinghouse the best:
2) Marta (the underground train)
Everyone else: get a piano and an underground train, and you could be the apple of my eye.
Speaking of underground train, my stomach is rumbling loud enough to rival Marta. If you hadn’t noticed. Um.
See you quakes in the spring.
This was a pretty cool retreat. I really like the building. I met 2 other people who had PSPs so I shared my games with them. On the first night I didn’t sleep at all. The next day when we were doing yoga I started falling asleep in the middle of it. I really liked that cheese dip until it got colder and thick. I think that the game of wink wasn’t the best one, but it was still good. That’s about it. – Emanuel
Would you like a magazine subscription? Do you ever have questions? I know you do....come with us, darling. Purify, purify the world.....
“How was the retreat?” you ask
“Baallinn” I say.
Absolutely amazing per usual. Each passing retreat just gets better and better.
I am unbelievably jealous of the Atlanta Meetinghouse. It is so large and lovely.
George is bouncing on Ryan’s belt. I don’t know what to think of that, the next retreat is an unbearably long time from now, due to the fact that Chapel Hill doesn’t do the N-ville retreats... cue the beginning of SAYF withdrawal. Which is the worst thing in the entire world. April has never been further away.
PS Emma says “hi: and gives hugs to you all. She had to be at her niece/nephew’s birth, or something of the sort. But she was sad that she couldn’t make it.
The tale of Two brothers
By: George Pettis
Skippy mah-bongo was back on the streets. His short tour of Robosapien had been cut short when Moon President Jimmy asked Sam George and Ori to play “She’s not my sister” for his Lunar Cheese Festival, and Skippy had not come with them. Now, he was looking for food and ...OMFG! BAHR! IT’S A BAHHHRRR! WITH BAHE CLAWS!
“Logic will not get me out of this predicament” thought Skippy. SO he quickly explained to the BAHR that it was called a bulge because it was a mix between a boulder and HUGE! Thinking he was in the clear, he sat down to do a crossword. But the Bahr just said ¿Por que? And slapped Skippy’s face off. All hope looked lost for Skippy. And then, it was, because the BAHR ate him up. Choir boi up in this BAHR, BAHR me BAHR this waych me BAHR, watch me BAHR that Choir boi, then BAHR BAHR BAHR BAHR BAHR!”
With apologies to the Bahr,
George “Conquistador” Pettis XII
This retreat was wonderful. In fact it was one of my favorites. At this retreat I felt I got to spend a lot of time with people I don’t get to see very often. I also spent lots of time with my friends. Those things to me mean a lot and I give all credit to SAYF which has allowed me to find a place where I can be myself and get to see what others are like too. I will miss my SAYF family and the time I spent with friends and can’t wait till the next retreat.
Well setting this thing up the past few weekends had made me want the retreat to be here faster. Cleaning up the area for this retreat took a while to do but was all worth it. After setting up we decided to play wall-ball while waiting for people, and I of course get hit in the eye by the ball; No black eye thank goodness. Oh and George if you start to fell bad reading this don’t because I laughed most of the time and it was nothing serious. Business Meeting was quick and we solved some of the stuff we’ve been trying to solve I guess. SNOW!!! It made me so happy that I could not it still during business meeting. I was either trying to find smiley faces on my blanket or just wouldn’t stop moving. The workshop Laura did was amazing, I feel so bad about falling asleep through it, but I do admit that George P. would make a great George Fox. The meeting for attention to Quakerism was great. I enjoyed it a lot. Tickle Fight between Me, Michael, and Chrissy = hahaha. I say we should have another before Michael leaves. Wink I finally got somewhere! For the question “If you got less than 2 hours of sleep”, I think I was the only one to go....oh well. This morning felt odd, I felt like I was at this retreat for about forever, like I never left, then having it all catch up to me I realize that I haven’t been here that long. Every time I leave a retreat I feel as if I am leaving and never coming back. I would hate that so much if it were true. I love this community so much I never ever want to leave, and if I have to I’d have some great memories! Oh ya and before I forget I plan on bringing more cheese-dip stuff for next retreat if I can. Bethany, again your assistance will be needed to help make it. Please! Me plus stina equal strong table movers! I love you guys so much! When I leave today it’s gonna feel like forever till I get to see everyone again.
PS I just realized my sister is gonna be a junior next year L I want to cry!
PPS I found Phorest’s tickle spot!!! (finally)
PPPS NOT! ← that was Phorest...he lies....
This was a great retreat, as they all are. I got to hang out with people I love and don’t get to see very often. J
Fun, fun, fun. I got to play wink again! Which I couldn’t play the last two retreats due to my arm L. Bryce and Ian are really hard partners!
DeLaney – I spelled it right? Woo! I love you! You’re awesome.
Lydia – I didn’t know you liked apples so much. I love you too!
Leikey like Bekey – you’re awesome, plain and simple! I love you as well!
Everyone else = mucho love!
SAYF= mucho love!
- Bethany Trayham
Even though they mean the retreat is almost over, worship journals are one of my favorite parts of SAYF. They are so quiet & peaceful& serious & funny. They make you want to stay in the place you are in for a very, very long time. This retreat has felt more like a week than a weekend. Very long and lovely. I had so much fun with the people here and playing Wink (of course), sleeping on the two couches w/ 3 other people (Ryan, Bonnie, Madeline) making roses & dinosaurs out of the kneedable erasers, and playing in the snow, among other things. I don’t want to go back to school tomorrow! I won’t see you all again until March...
So I was thinking about the query the other day, and about how what so many people said of their first retreat, was true foe me too. That said, I need to thank George, Samantha, Chrissy, Lauren, the rest of the people on the Atlanta bus when I came the first time, and Rachel for welcoming me whole-heartedly & cheerfully.
Also, Alise, I like the patch on your jeans. I’ve been looking at it since I saw you on Friday.
And now, sadly, good bye, I’ll miss you!
A van has arrived
Screams of joy “Someone is here!”
Love runs out the door.
Silence of snowfall
Shattered by happy Quakers
Watch out for snowballs!
Is-ay itten-wray in-ay
Time for good-byes near
Tears and hugs and much laughter
When’s the next retreat?
Love you all,
Since SAYMA I have gone to three retreats including this one which so far has been my favorite. I enjoyed all the activities and worship such as silent football and wink which I was surprisingly bad at this time.
All in all I had fun and look forward to the next retreat.
Right before the retreat I was sitting in Spanish 2 very excited to see you guys! I haven’t saw any of you in so long! But then the bell rang and we were released. On the way to the bus.....my best friend told me some very sad news, that our other best friend’s mom had passed away that morning. I was devastated. So...I get home and got ready for my Grammy (Ceal) to come pick me up. Then, to find out the funeral is today L I told her that if I felt a little * blah * this weekend, then I was sorry. She talked to me and I felt a lot better. Thank-you Grammy! So....friends, if I seemed a little out of it this retreat, then I am terribly sorry! I still love you all dearly! Being here though....well it felt a little weird. I haven’t saw you all in so long...that I feel like I have drifted apart from the ones that I used to hang out with the most, or maybe it’s just me. I don’t know. But I don’t want to seem all Emo this entire time so...the fun thing was ....my sister and I jumped in the van and “slept” in the backJ. Then...Austin showed me this really kool standing on your head thing....and I was really good at it! Yay me! Thanx Austin J. Then time came for wink...and I didn’t reli wanna play...so Michael, Samantha and I had a tickle fight on the couches. Fun. We slowly got tired and laid down after wink...then slept J. I wake up to Phorest’s face RIGHT in front of me and scared me to death! But other than that...I sleepy pretty well. Lalala time for clean up & Sam and I picked up tables J. I feel like Macho Woman! Ohehe. Yea..... SO it snowed and I am happy & pictures were taken. Yay! OK...I think that I am done now! Love you all.
PS Santha...ur eye looks so much better. We no make Koolaid L K...bye!
I had a very fine weekend. I l-o-v-e-d our opening night query about Quaker superheroes. It makes for a fun – yet very spiritual – opening circle.
Yoga class was also wonderful. I thought our teacher was very gifted at both energizing us and helping us quiet down and look within.
And then last night during Worship Sharing, when we all considered the query: “What does Quakerism mean to me?” someone spoke about holding people in the light. Her words spoke to my heart...and I’ve been thinking ever since about holding – just holding- a person or a people in that pure light...not wishing things for them...not even praying for them.....but simply holding...
So, I hold each of you in the Light.
Till next time, Therese
If I had to sum up this retreat in one word it would be “musical”. All the piano playing, drum playing, singing, etc plus the fact that I always had a song in my head made for a very musical retreat.
I got like, 8 hours of sleep total over 2 nights, so I have been tired, as well. Several times I felt like falling over, but usually there was something hard (like the floor) under me so I didn’t. Also, I’m sure I would have missed something SAYFish and awesome if I had.
Speaking of SAYFish awesomeness, I love how you can talk to someone all weekend and not learn their name until Sunday morning.
Yeah, so this retreat was great overall. I’m too tired to write any more.
Love & hugs, Taylor
PS Delaney, I loved your interpretive dancing.
Have I ever been to another retreat where so much time was spent reading children’s books? No. Should I go to another? YES! Welcome to Atl. Friends Meetings. Next retreat: The subliminal messages of children’s books. Seriously, Arvy (or Avery) the Aardvark is pretty freaking cool. So are his grief counseling services (which only cost three dollars). Despite the awesomeness of the books, this retreat would have been exponentially cooler if I wasn’t sick. But whatever, cutting off Phorest’s mullet with pinking shears totally made up for it. Actually, I cut several people’s hair with pinking shears. Next time you want a hair cut come to me. I use kids scissors.
Oh, Alise, thanks for the pants. I hope you don’t mind if I amazingify them a bit.
Dearest lovely Sayfers,
Thank you all so much for this amazing retreat! This being my 2nd retreat and all, I feel like maybe this time I could socialize a little more, which was great. You are all so welcoming and easy to talk to which instantly dissolves any awkwardness.
It’s weird how you feel so much connection with all these cool people even if you just met them Friday night. It always seems like here bonds are made in a weekend that are usually made in a year.
Oh, so Soulja Boy. On the piano. Ah-mazing! That drumming was like – woah.
And wink was insanely fun and funny. I’ve only played wink with the rotation (October retreat) and it was a lot of fun to play it for real....
One last thing – Silent football: That was really strange and it took me way too long to catch on to what was happening, and yet I didn’t get the dreaded 5 points you need to lose. = relief=
Thanks for being wonderful and really nice and for giving me food.
Lekey (like Becky –yo), the 2bie to be a 3bie or whatever in March.
PS I really enjoyed the worship circle and also being in on the Atlanta Meeting for Worship. And I have major rug-burn on my arms.
What kind of Quaker superhero would I be? I missed candle circle on Friday night, but an answer came to me this morning. I would have the ability to share your burden. When you are troubled, depressed, overwhelmed, etc, you could just share that with me and I would be able to share your trials.
The wonderful thing that I have learned in the past few months is that God already gives me the grace to do this! That grace is there for all of us. Many SAYFers do this for each other at our retreats. I love seeing so many of you nurture each other.
So – we all have a superpower in us we didn’t realize.
Love to you all, Ceal
This SAYF seemed very relaxed and laid back. I enjoyed being with my friends, but I wish I would have hung out with other people too!!! But I do feel like I’ve made a few new friends in the past day. I really liked yoga. It was relaxing. And really hard. There is no way the yoga teacher is 62!! He’s lying!
Anyways, I wish sayf wasn’t over but the car ride back should be extremely fun.
Love you guys!!!... oh, and Orlando Bloom is better than Johnny Depp!!!!!
OMG! (sorry I spend a lot of time on Myspace) this was, like, the best retreat EVER! Atlanta always has good shindigs.
The workshop I did was cool, singing with a lot of people made my voice sound good....Yeea! I’m shocked that I’m here writing an epistle. Last night I was nearly killed in a little game called WINK J. You might have noticed that I have a limp...thanks a lot Bryce! I also had fun making up subs. for dirty words, stuff like “Quiet upwards...Female Dog!” and “Hey! Who wants to play cars?” “I do, What do you want to play?” “How about cow feces?”, and many more.
O.K. I think that I’m the last person to finish...People are looking at me like “Hurry up Donkey!” so bye.....
PS Willamae, you are now the only person in the world (excluding Vegas) that can cut my shaggy shaggy locks of hair.
P.P.S. Michaels da’ shiznit!
P.P.P.S. Tell Michael to show you his “sick” TaT.
P.P.P.P.S. Hey Joseph, sorry about the hoodie.
P.P.P.P.P.S. That’s a lot of P’s.
P.P.P.P.P.P.S. Alise, enjoy the jacket.
SAM VS JULE VS GEORGE
DA HAIKU BATTLEZ!
Sayfers are like socks: They start the retreat clean and fresh, and end up dirty, smelly, and balled up on the floor.
You can tell a lot about someone by the socks they wear. Things like design, stains, and smell all send distinct messages.
Socks are a representation of the foot. You can see the outline and shape of a foot in a sock, but you cannot judge the actual foot by it. So while things like people’s actions and choices and socks do reflect on them, they don’t actually show us who the person is. We must learn to look through the socks to find the truth.
PS George & Sam; I wasn’t kidding about taking steroids for the next wink game. Get ready to get crushed (in the most quaker-ly way possible of course).
Much love to all of you ♣♣♣ Delaney