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Northern Yearly Meeting (NYM) is comprised of monthly meetings, preparative meetings, and worship groups, mainly from Wisconsin and Minnesota, with some from upper Michigan, Iowa, North and South Dakota. Each of those meetings designates a representative to the Yearly Meeting. These designated representatives communicate the activities of NYM to their meetings and the concerns of their meeting to NYM. All Friends are encouraged to participate in this work for the mutual support and consultation of NYM member meetings and for furthering such concerns as its member meetings have in common.
“Recognizing the joy and celebration experienced each time we gather together for fellowship and as a worshiping community, individual Friends and Friends within several monthly meetings in the Wisconsin-Minnesota area announce the birth of a new entity within the Religious Society of Friends: NORTHERN YEARLY MEETING. In drawing together, we subscribe to what earlier Friends wrote about the nature of a yearly meeting: it “shall be a free association of Monthly Meetings for mutual support and consultation and for furthering such concerns as its members have in common. Its relation to a Monthly Meeting is consultative and not authoritative.’ ”
This is from the Minute establishing Northern Yearly Meeting, September 14, 1975, Frontenac, Minnesota.
“When ye are met in the Light…hearken to it, that ye may feel the Power of God in every one of you…” George Fox, Epistle 130,1656
“Yearly Meeting is a place in the rocks where the Spirit bursts forth…and we can come and drink of it.” Rosalie Wahl Oct. 4, 2002
Northern Yearly Meeting meets in an annual session to worship in the manner of Friends, to practice corporate discernment under the guidance of the Spirit as we conduct our business, to celebrate and to share our lives and work as a community of Friends. Through Meetings for Worship for Business we aspire to model Friendly decision making, seeking clarity, unity, and obedience to the One who guides us. We share news of and participate in the lives of Monthly Meetings and Worship Groups, and our regional and national Quaker organizations. We learn the many ways in which our brothers and sisters in the Society of Friends give life to their faith, and we rededicate ourselves to the task of giving legs to our own faith and making it walk upon the earth. We celebrate our time together with song, enjoyment of nature, play, and by breaking bread together. We share our spiritual journeys and Friendly concerns with worship sharing, workshops, interest groups, and plenary sessions.
We live in community for a few days with children and adults of all ages. We struggle together with difficult and sometimes painful issues. We sometimes disagree but often see the Spirit at work as we unite in a sense of the meeting over those disagreements. We sense the dedication and hard work of many people to live our Quaker testimonies, to make the Yearly Meeting run, and to care for our children and youth. At times we truly feel the Power of God at work and the Spirit bursting forth. Those are precious and inspiring moments. We seek to find a balance between the varied manifestations of our faith and the numerous creative activities to which they give rise, and at the same time maintain simplicity in our schedule. We come away with our faith challenged, deepened, inspired, and renewed.