Yearly Meeting News Update – December 7, 2023

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

Students Speak on Cease-Fire

The students at Ramallah Friends School have written a letter to implore members of the U.S. Congress to prioritize a cease-fire, highlighting injustice, voicing concerns for the children of Gaza, and sharing their experiences as Palestinian youth. The full text of the letter is available through the Friends Committee on National Legislation.

Baltimore Yearly Meeting

Workshop proposals for BYM’s Annual Sessions are due by March 4.

Trauma Healing Funds are available for BIPOC Friends to to pursue a healing path that speaks to you. A prerequisite to apply is to view a recording of the Global Majority Caucus’s Trauma Journey Workshop. Friends who receive BYM trauma healing funds commit to join a circle of BYM Global Majority Friends to process together how the healing methods they choose have worked for them.

Ben Lomond Quaker Center

Climate Workshop: On December 20, hear from Quaker climate activists Lindsey Fielder Cook and Frank Granshaw share about their recent work visiting Dubai for the Conference of Parties. Registration required. 

Canadian Yearly Meeting

Religious Education sessions: Aware of the fact that some Friends do not have regular educational opportunities and yet other Friends are simply insatiably curious, Winnipeg Monthly Meeting would like to make their Religious Education sessions open. If you would like to be on a mailing list that provides a reminder and a link for each meeting, please send that request to Glenn at glenn [at]

Save the Date: The CYM Annual Gathering at Camp NeeKauNis will be July 24 – 31, 2024.

Lastly, the Canadian Friend is searching for an editor. This is a contract position.

Friends Committee on National Legislation

Intro to Advocacy with FCNL is on December 7, 8–9 pm (Eastern). This is an engaging and informative session on how to advocate for the issues that matter most to you. 

Virtual Witness Wednesday’s Silent Reflection is December 13, 5:15 pm (Eastern)

Quakers Uprooting Racism has an information session on December 13. Hear from representatives of the Quaker Coalition for Uprooting Racism to learn more about the coalition and their vision of a transforming Religious Society of Friends. This includes plans for the 2024 cohort of Quakers Uprooting Racism.

Friends World Committee for Consultation

World Plenary: Registrations are now open for the FWCC World Plenary. The dates are August 5-12, 2024. The FWCC World Plenary Meeting is a meeting for representatives from all four FWCC Sections to tend to FWCC business, surrounded by worship and fellowship with Friends from around the world.

Young Adult Friends: A gathering for Young Adult Friends will take place from 1 – 5 August 2024, immediately before the World Plenary Meeting.

Illinois Yearly Meeting

Minutes from the ILYM Fall Continuing Committee are available online for viewing and downloading.

Virtual Worship Opportunity: There will be a yearly-meeting-wide virtual meeting for worship every month on December 10, January 10, and February 10 at 8 p.m. (Eastern). This event is hosted by the ILYM Ministry and Advancement Committee. All are welcomed to attend. For information, contact Illinois Yearly Meeting.

Anti-Racism Cafe will be December 15 and January 15 from 8:00 – 9:30 (Eastern). This is a space for Friends who want to share ideas for anti-racist activism, and also for Friends who want to focus on the inward work of becoming anti-racist. Zoom link is here. Meeting ID: 827 0319 9934, Passcode: 161204.

New England Yearly Meeting

Young Friends will gather January 13 to 15, 2024, at Woolman Hill Retreat Center in Deerfield, MA, to take a deeper dive into building community and explore the Quaker way together. More info, including the theme and the link to register, will be posted soon.

Aging and End of Life: The next end of life drop-in discussion group will be December 11. The group seeks to explore the spiritual, emotional, and practical aspects of facing our final days.

Youth Ministry: NEYM is hiring a Teen and Outreach Youth Ministries Coordinator.

NEYM Sessions in 2024 will once again be in Castleton, VT. The yearly meeting has been able to sign a contract with Vermont State University–Castleton (previously Castleton University) to return.

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

New York Yearly Meeting

Online Worship Opportunities: NYYM provides a list of meetings that hold online or hybrid worship.

Gender Spectrum: Love thy Neighbor: Friends in Spirit with the Gender Spectrum is Monday January 22, 2024 from 7:00-8:30 p.m., online. Friends are invited to an open session with friends Cai Quirk (Ithaca Meeting) and Katherine Alford (Morningside Meeting), who are both part of the Transgender-affirming Working Group.

Meetup Group for Caregivers: Nov 14 from 7 p.m. – 8 p.m. This ARCH meetup group is an open and ongoing support group for Friends and their loved ones who are involved in any kind of caretaking. ARCH Coordinators Marna Herrity and Martha Gurvich will share facilitation and hold the space for the group. This workshop is via Zoom.

Save the Date: NYYM’s Fall Sessions will be December 1-3 and will be held online. NYYM Friends gather to worship, conduct business, and form a community together.

Now Hiring: New York Yearly Meeting seeks coordinators for the Junior Yearly Meeting (JYM) program for children and youth has been a very important part of NYYM Summer Sessions for generations.

Northern Yearly Meeting

Online Worship Opportunities: See NYM—Virtual Worships.

Report from Sessions: A total of 67 Friends from across the region attended NYM’s Interim Session on November 4, in-person in Milwaukee and virtually on Zoom.  See the session web page for the minutes summarizing the yearly meeting’s activities at Sessions. (Password: quaker2023).

Save the Date: Spring Interim Session will be Saturday, February 24, on zoom.

Photo from Pexels

Pendle Hill

Spring Term: See if Pendle Hill’s Spring Term is for you! This experience has been described as a “greenhouse” – a protected space for Friends and other seekers to bring leadings. The Pillars of the Program are available online.

New Year’s: Pendle Hill will hold three different events to celebrate the New Year: The Inner Life of Music with Karl Middleman, Open Heart Peaceful Mind with Valerie Brown, and Singing in the New Year with Annie Patterson. All three events will culminate in an alcohol-free New Year’s Eve celebration.

10-week Training: Pendle Hill is partnering with The Benjamin Lay Fellowship Program, an exciting new initiative made possible through a grant from the Shoemaker Fund. This program offers a 10-week leadership training and internship program grounded in Quaker history and values. Apply today, and learn more about the Fellowship.

Philadelphia Yearly Meeting

Climate Crisis: PhYM is calling on world leaders to take a stand on the impact of fossil fuels at the United Nations’ 28th international summit on climate change. You can read their statement on the 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference here.

Religious Education Resources & Events for Winter are online. They include ideas for inclusive holiday programs and a wealth of other resources.

Quaker Cloud: The UK-based Quaker Meetings Network (QMN), was set up in 2018 to provide a centralized system for Quaker meetings to create beautiful, modern websites. As the era of the Quaker Cloud comes to a close, Quaker Meetings Network offers solutions and a free trial for meetings seeking alternative solutions here in the States. Philadelphia Yearly Meeting also offers a perspective here.

Celebrating Advent: Hope, Justice, and Peace: An Advent Series: Join Friends for an online adult religious education series exploring Advent, the time of expectant waiting before Christmas. This series includes scripture, discussion, guided activities, music, prayers, and readings. Held on Mondays: December 4, 11, 18, 7:00-8:00 p.m. (Eastern).

Contact Info: PhYM reminds member meetings to please update your Local Meeting Information as well as your Individual/Family Contact Information. This can be a great help!

Powell House

Winter Solstice Gathering: December 21, 2023, 4-8 p.m. (Eastern). This event is online or in person. We’ll get outside, with additional time spent in worship, a creative activity, hearing a story, sharing and listening within our group.

New Year’s: Powell House will ring in the New Year with a feast at “Quaker midnight” preceded by activities planned by participants. Previous years’ offerings have included cookie making, energy work, enneagrams, musical collaborations, tai chi, Pilates, a clay workshop, and a walk to Dorson’s Rock, among others.

Quaker Earthcare Witness

Worship-Sharing Opportunity: Quaker Earthcare Witness hosts monthly online worship-sharing groups. The next worship-sharing is December 19th from 7-8 p.m. (Eastern).

New Year’s: Creation Vigil: Holding the Earth in Prayer. Let’s start the new calendar year with the living world at the forefront of our hearts, minds, and souls. Sister Confianza del Señor will lead us in a Spirit-filled worshipful experience that includes scripture, song, silence, and sharing.

School of the Spirit

Participating in God’s Power, a School of the Spirit program, is accepting applications through December 15th. The program explores how we go deeper in our spiritual lives amidst a world that is daily moving towards violence. Participating in God’s Power is a year-long program that welcomes Friends who seek to develop or deepen in spiritual practice.

In-person retreat: Dwelling Deep, a Contemplative Retreat, will be in-person at Powell House from January 12-15 (Friday to Monday). Jim Herr leads the retreat. Enter more fully into the silence. Experience the deeper rhythms in which we might live.

Photo from Pexels

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