FGC Friends: Baltimore Yearly Meeting
FGC Friends is a feature of our monthly Vital Friends eNewsletter that highlights a Quaker meeting, organization, or individual Friends who work with FGC to nurture faith and Quaker practice. We’re pleased to feature FGC-affiliated Yearly Meeting Baltimore Yearly Meeting for the month of December.
For this month’s FGC Friends spotlight, we’re happy to be sharing exciting news from Baltimore Yearly Meeting. Baltimore Yearly Meeting, a worshiping community, gathered in the presence of the Divine, affirming that of God in every person, is 344 years old this year! Baltimore Yearly Meeting unites Friends from the Chesapeake to the Appalachians with 42 Monthly Meetings in 53 locations in Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia. Baltimore Yearly Meeting operates four camp programs in Maryland and Virginia and is affiliated with schools, retirement communities, assisted living and long-term care facilities, a Wilderness Center, and other programs, and is engaged with Quaker organizations throughout the United States and around the world.
Friendly Facts about Baltimore Yearly Meeting:
· Baltimore Yearly Meeting is actively involved in prison reform work. Growing out of a Working Group on Racism in 2013, participating Monthly Meetings set up reading groups for BYM’s Book of the Year, Michelle Alexander’s “The New Jim Crow.” Annapolis Friends Meeting was called through their reading and worship to help found the Maryland Alliance for Justice Reform (www.ma4jr.org). MAJR works with a broad alliance of other faith groups, African-American families of incarcerated people, persons recently released from prison, civil liberties organizations and others to promote corrective legislation before the Maryland General Assembly. MAJR had major successes on several bills before the Maryland General Assembly in Spring 2015 and will continue with an expanded legislative agenda in 2016. The weight and importance of prisons work as a BYM “Peace and Social Justice” has also been reflected in numerous Baltimore Yearly Meeting workshops at Annual Sessions in 2013, 2014, and 2015.
· Baltimore Yearly Meeting has the great joy of embarking on a search for BYM’s next General Secretary. A Search Committee has just begun the work of developing a job description and conducting a national search to fill the position.
· Inspired by deeply held concerns about climate impact, Baltimore Yearly Meeting is proud of their work implementing new and pending “Green Energy” systems at their office in Sandy Spring, and their camps. They are working to fund and construct environmentally advanced bathhouses at Catoctin and replace aging cabins throughout all the camps.
· Baltimore Yearly Meeting is excited about the work of their Healthy Organization and Purposeful Evolution (HOPE) Committee, which continues the work proposed by their Vision Implementation Committee to strategically plan and implement a new BYM Vision Statement adopted in 2010.