FGC Friends: Piedmont Friends Fellowship Piedmont Friends 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 Piedmont Friends Fellowship and Piedmont Friends Yearly Meeting for the month of August.
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.
For this month’s FGC spotlight we’re pleased to share the work of Piedmont Friends Fellowship and Piedmont Friends Yearly Meeting. PFF and PFYM together serve the Piedmont area in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia. Piedmont Friends Fellowship is composed of a majority of un-programmed meetings, but welcomes and affirms individuals, monthly meetings and worship groups from a wide variety of social and theological backgrounds and experiences. PFF is composed of 17 meetings, PFYM is composed of 6 meetings and one worship group, all of whom are, by design, members of the Fellowship. Piedmont Friends Fellowship originally met in 1968 in response to the Vietnam War but very soon became clear that a broader role of serving area meetings was desired. The Fellowship has an annual business session in the spring along with a focused program and time for fellowship but does not offer some traditional yearly meeting services. The Fellowship also organizes a fall program for its varied meetings.
The Yearly Meeting provides the experience and discipline of Friends business practices including a Policy & Procedure Handbook, standing committees, record keeping on meeting statistics and state of the meeting reports, meeting response to queries, and an annual sessions epistle. PFYM is exploring opportunities for collective service and witness in the broader world, and official connections to external Quaker organizations that a Yearly Meeting status allows.
- Piedmont Friends Yearly Meeting is two years old. PFYM was born out of almost six years of discerning within the Fellowship, and held and supported in their work by the Fellowship of which they are all part. The Yearly Meeting and the Fellowship plan their events concurrently and work closely together so they can share the social and education joys of the Fellowship, and so that interested members of the Fellowship can join in committees and business of the Yearly Meeting as they are led. PFF and PFYM have found that the interconnection and breadth of their organizations working together, one within the other, offers wonderful growth opportunities for both groups.
- In its past Yearly Meeting business session, PFYM laid out its vision and core focus in a document that can be accessed here.
- Piedmont Friends Fellowship friends are proud of how their members are extremely active proportionally to their small number, particularly with their representation on committees of Friends General Conference.
- Piedmont Friends Fellowship see their Fellowship status as a unique and important opportunity to connect with friends across Quaker traditions, bound together by concerns, rather than Yearly Meeting affiliation lines, and value their Fellowship as complimentary to the work of many Yearly Meetings. This non-exclusive relationship supporting deepening spirituality, fellowship and connection, and common understanding between multiple Yearly Meetings allows the Fellowship to be a bridge across affiliations, Conservative, FUM, and FGC. This role of companionship with all Quakers and healing communication between Quaker branches is a core joy of Piedmont Friends Fellowship.