Yearly Meeting News Update for August 25, 2023

Friends General Conference shares the following yearly meeting announcements that may be of interest to Friends in the United States and Canada:

Of Note: Hawaii Relief Efforts

Friends Worship Group Maui and other Friends in Pacific Yearly Meeting have compiled a list of resources for assisting people in Maui. Philadelphia Yearly Meeting has publicized the list, which includes donation drop sites and organizations linked to Maui mutual aid. There are a number of ways to offer practical support that can contribute at this time. “ʻĀina,” Hawaiian for “land,” means that which feeds: a worldview of reciprocity and familial relationship between people and land.

Baltimore Yearly Meeting

Office Closed: After a wonderful summer season serving more than 1,000 children and adult Friends, the BYM Office will be closed next week, August 28th – September 1st. During this “Annual Week of Rest,” staff will not be answering their phones or emails.

Annual Sessions: 200 Friends gathered at Hood College joined by more than 40 Friends participating from home for BYM’s 2023 Annual Session. You can read the BYM 2023 Epistle now that it is complete.

Anti-Racism: Friends from Baltimore Yearly Meeting who are doing anti-racism work with their meetings are invited to join fall workshops. These trainings are provided by Crossroads Antiracism Organizing and Training and sponsored by the BYM Working Group on Racism. Please check to see if the training supports Friends outside of the yearly meeting. To do so, email first training is September 16, 9am-5pm Eastern Time and shares an introduction to systemic racism.

Canadian Yearly Meeting

Canadian Yearly Meeting Gathering was held from July 8th to 13th. Coming up, a six-week Quakerism 101 course will be held starting in mid-September. The registration deadline is September 18th, and the cost is $100.

Friends Committee on National Legislation

End Gun Violence: Policy experts from FCNL have listed an alternative vision for budget and spending. Instead of setting aside $16.4 billion more for weapons of war (in addition to the $886 billion already budgeted), activists recommend spending that money on community violence intervention programs, such as Safe Streets Baltimore. This group operates in 10 Baltimore neighborhoods that have long experienced structural racism, chronic disinvestment, and high rates of gun violence. Safe Streets reduced shootings by as much as 32% in some sites.

Quakers Uprooting Racism: The 2024 Quakers Uprooting Racism program, a nine-month transformative experience bringing together a diverse cohort of Friends and those at the margins of Quakerism to disrupt racism within and outside Quaker communities. The deadline to apply is August 30.

Illinois Yearly Meeting

Virtual Meeting for Worship: There is a yearly-meeting-wide virtual meeting for worship every month on the 10th of the month. It’s held at 7:00 p.m. Central Time and is hosted by the Ministry and Advancement Committee. All are welcome to attend. For more information and the meeting passcode, visit the Illinois Yearly Meeting website. 

Anti-Racism Cafe: The Anti-Racism Café is held the on 15th of every month from 7:00-8:30 p.m. Central Time. This is an opportunity to learn about the experiences of Friends in other meetings, to share resources, and to come together in worship and fellowship to build a wider Quaker community.

New England Yearly Meeting

The 2023 Annual Sessions was held August 4–9. The theme was: Be like a watered garden: open to grace, and loose the bonds of injustice.” Recordings from Bible Half Hour and the plenaries are available online.

New York Yearly Meeting

Summer Sessions for New York Yearly Meeting were held July 22-27, 2023. The theme was “Re-Building Faith in Changing Times.” Friends met at Oakwood Friends School for Summer Sessions. The school, which is a part of the yearly meeting, was excited to host the gathered Friends.

North Pacific Yearly Meeting

Pacific Northwest Fall Quarterly, Sept. 22-24, is open for registration.  People from outside the area are encouraged to attend.  There will be an interactive plenary session, hoping to involve Central and Junior Friends.  The plenary, Meeting for Business, interest and worship groups will have zoom options. This is an in-person event.

Northern Yearly Meeting

Worship Opportunity: NYM has released a list of worship opportunities to connect with Friends from a range of locations. See the current list of Northern Yearly Meeting—Virtual Worships.

Centering and Meditation: On August 27th, from 8:30-9:30 AM Eastern Time, Friends will gather for an 🌀 Eye of the Storm🌀session. This is an online drop-in session that offers an hour of centering, meditative, and self-discovery exercises intended to facilitate the calm abiding of groundlessness and uncertainty in anticipation of a climate-changed future. All are welcome. The Meeting ID is  556 126 9656.

Service Roles: Northern Yearly Meeting is looking for a few people to round out current committees. Those include members of an Ad Hoc Committee on How We Do Business as well as Nimble Responders, who serve as an “at-large” member for time-sensitive requests. Please consider if either of these service roles might be right for you.

Pacific Yearly Meeting

Epistle: After Annual Sessions on July 21-26, 2023, Friends have released an epistle. Friends shared: “We sought to listen carefully to what has been said, to hear what is between the words, and to understand what is deeply felt. This experiment, called Beloved Community Part II:
Centering the Voices of the Next Generation, prompts us to recognize the ministries present and emerging among us.”

Worship Opportunity: Every Wednesday from 7:00-7:30 pm Pacific Time, the Eldering Subcommittee of PacYM Ministry Committee sponsors worship.

Pendle Hill

Donations: A longtime Friend, who believes in the vision of Pendle Hill, has generously offered to match all contributions dollar for dollar up to $20,000 until August 31st! To donate, visit here.

Lecture: Bridget Moix, Friends Committee on National Legislation’s General Secretary, will share a lecture on “Forging Beloved Community with Friends: A Journey through the Refiner’s Fire.” This is a hybrid event held on September 11, 2023. Bridget will discuss how we can live out our Quaker faith and spiritual truths in a world wrought by lies, injustice, and violence. Registration is free and required to attend.

Pendle Hill has launched its third season of the podcast The Seed: Conversations for Radical Hope. Host Dwight Dunston guides Friends in exploring the practices that enrich our connections to ourselves and to each other. The podcast explores practices that enrich our connections to ourselves and to each other. How do we cultivate relationships in spiritual community? How do these relationships and practices support our work for liberation and justice, and transform our sense of what is possible?

Workshops: On Oct 5- 9, 2023, Christopher Sammond will be hosting a workshop at Pendle Hill, “Deepening at the Root.” The session will explore opening to the divine Source in worship, vocal ministry, and leadings for action. Also, from November 15-17, Steve Mohlke and ,O will lead a Liberatory Clerking Retreat, Nov 17-19. This is an opportunity for clerks to meet and think together about the role of presiding clerk in the spiritual practice of meeting for business. The workshop will address racism in the context of Friends’ decision-making and clerking.

Philadelphia Yearly Meeting

Sessions: Philadelphia Yearly Meeting recently completed its Annual Sessions, July 26 – 30. The theme was “Living with our neighbors, Growing into beloved community.” The Yearly Meeting Epistle, Adult Friends Epistle, and Children & Youth Epistles are available online.

Religious Education Resources: PhYM has compiled several enriching articles that may be useful to Friends across yearly meetings. This includes spoken and unspoken messages for including families; Worship-Sharing with Children; and a list of picture books that support spiritual growth. In addition, there’s an extensive library of resources for religious education curricula from 1987-2009 and specific instructions for supporting children when they are part of a small meeting. To see these and other resources, visit the Religious Education library.

Workshops: Is your Friends’ Meeting/Church welcoming to families, children and youth?” will be held August 29 & 31, 2023. This is a Conversation Circle sponsored by the Quaker Religious Education Collaborative. This event is held via zoom. The facilitators and collaborators include Friends from a range of yearly meetings across the United States.

Now Hiring: Philadelphia Yearly Meeting is hiring for several positions. These include a Director of Grant Making, an Assistant Controller in the Finance Department, and a Youth Program Co-Facilitator who works with Young Friends.

Piedmont Friends Meeting

On August 19, Friends joined for a Piedmont Friends Representative Body meeting. The body approved the following priorities for the upcoming year, 2023-24: Creating opportunities for Friends to gather both virtually and in-person; supporting Adult Young Friends; encouraging opportunities for young adult Friends, young families and youth to connect across Piedmont Friends meetings. In addition: strengthening the unification of Piedmont Friends; sharing opportunities for Friends to join in common concerns and work toward response and action. 

Quaker Earthcare Witness/ QEW

Youth Activism: At the FGC Gathering in Monmouth, Oregon, several high school students participated in Earth Quaker Action Team’s speeches and actions against Vanguard and JP Morgan Chase. To hear students reflect on this experience, see this recent article from BeFriending Creation, which is published by Quaker Earthcare Witness.

Worship Sharing: Quaker Earthcare Witness is hosting online worship sharing groups each month. The group gathers on the Fourth Tuesdays of the month from  7-8PM Eastern/4-5PM Pacific. In worship sharing, people gather in small groups to focus on a particular question to explore their experiences and to share with each other.

These updates came from yearly meeting newsletters to which FGC is subscribed. To share updates from your yearly meeting or Quaker organization, please click the button below.

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