Yearly Meeting News Update – January 6, 2024
Friends General Conference shares the following yearly meeting announcements that may be of interest to Friends in the United States and Canada.
American Friends Service Committee
Delivering Food to Palestine: On December 11th and 12th, AFSC and partners distributed parcels of vegetables to displaced families living in tents outside of shelters in Rafah. They were the first organization to assist these individuals, providing 250 parcels of food to feed more than 2,500 people.
Baltimore Yearly Meeting
BYM Camps: Camper registration and Work Grant applications will open on Tuesday, January 16th. This is for all four BYM camps. We expect high demand for camper registrations this year!
Workshop proposals for BYM’s Annual Sessions are due by March 4.
Trauma Healing Session for BIPOC Friends is January 18. Attendees must be members of the Global Majority and be part of Baltimore Yearly Meeting. Registration is now open.
Trauma Healing Funds are available for BIPOC Friends to to pursue a healing path that speaks to you. 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. A prerequisite to apply is to view a recording of the Global Majority Caucus’s Trauma Journey Workshop.
Photo by Yingchou Han on Unsplash
Canadian Yearly Meeting
Threshing Session: Canadian Yearly Meeting is meeting together to form a vision for annual gatherings in the future. It is holding two threshing sessions: January 20 and January 22. A threshing session is a time to discern as a group and find a way forward, guided by the Spirit. It includes time to ask questions as well as to state a position or express a point of view.
Online Course: Renewing Quaker Community with Ben Pink Dandelion. This workshop is sponsored by Canadian Yearly Meeting and Woodbroke. Share ideas on how meetings might gain some momentum or renewal at a time of great change. Once a month, Saturdays, from January to April. Registration is available online.
Job: The Canadian Friend is searching for an editor. Help build Quaker community across Canada through the power of the written word. The deadline to apply is January 15.
Friends Committee on National Legislation
Joys & Sorrows: The Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) expresses deep disappointment over Congress’ decision to omit a critical provision that would have provided compensation to victims of nuclear weapons testing. This provision was not included in the FY24 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
Young Adult Friends: FCNL offers several paid advocacy opportunities for young adult Friends. The Program Assistant Fellowship is an 11-month fellowship for postgraduates. The Summer Internship Program includes working at FCNL’s office in June and July. Advocacy Corps is a 10-month community organizing program. Spring Lobby Weekend is coming up! Each year more than 400 students, recent grads, Quakers, and young adults gather to learn and lobby Congress at FCNL’s Spring Lobby Weekend.
Photo from Jennifer Domenick, FCNL
Friends Peace Teams
Online Learning: Returning to the Land is a 4-part program, starting in January. It’s a clarion call to change how we see ourselves in relationship with the Living Earth. Dr. Nia To Go There (Cree) will present the series, which is sponsored by Friends Peace Teams and Decolonizing Quakers. Module One is on January 13. Module Two is on January 27.
Friends World Committee for Consultation
Epistles from Yearly Meetings: View a whole list of thoughtful year-end epistles from Quaker communities, reflecting on the trends and growth and learning of the past year.
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 August 1-5, right before the World Plenary Meeting. This event is for improving mutual understanding of Quaker diversity among Young Adult Friends worldwide. It will also help to re-establish the Young Adult Friends’ global network. The event is free/pay as led for Friends under 35 who have registered and paid for the World Plenary Meeting.
Illinois Yearly Meeting
Worship for Israel and Palestine: Illinois Yearly Meeting will be hosting a virtual Meeting for Healing for Israel and Palestine on Monday, January 8, 8:00 p.m. (Eastern). Examples of intentions that will be held in the Light are: the protection of humanitarian aid workers and physicians that are ministering to the people in Gaza, all individuals that are physically and emotionally suffering due to the war, that the US would call for a ceasefire and more. For the zoom link, send an email to email@example.com. Downers Grove Friends Meeting is providing the Zoom link. This event is hosted by the Racial Equity and Education Committees of ILYM.
Virtual Worship Opportunity: There will be a yearly-meeting-wide virtual meeting for worship on January 10 and February 10 at 8 p.m. (Eastern). This event is hosted by the ILYM Ministry and Advancement Committee. All are welcome to attend. For information, contact the yearly meeting.
Anti-Racism Cafe is January 15 from 8:00 – 9:30 p.m. (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.
Photo by Bethany Laird on Unsplash
Lake Erie Yearly Meeting
Save the Date: LEYM’s Annual Meeting will be June 13-16, 2024. Workshop proposals are due February 22.
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.
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.
NEYM is hiring a Teen and Outreach Youth Ministries Coordinator.
New York Yearly Meeting
Across the Gender Spectrum: Love thy Neighbor: Friends in Spirit with the Gender Spectrum is Monday January 22, 2024 from 7:00-8:30 p.m. This program is online. FGC’s Cai Quirk, from Ithaca Meeting, and Katherine Alford of Morningside Meeting, are hosting this workshop. This is a Spirit-led information session about the transgender, nonbinary, queer experience, especially in relation to Quakerism.
Antiracism and Culture Change: Advancing Calling In: A Workshop with Loretta J. Ross and Team. 4 weeks, meeting twice a week, starting January 9. “Calling In” is a tool and practice for turning difficult conversations into productive ones. This framework can help address harm while creating space for growth, forgiveness, and understanding. We recommend that you have taken Calling In: Creating Change Without Cancel Culture before signing up for this course, but it’s not required. New York Yearly Meeting will have a discussion group to consider how this work applies to the yearly meeting.
Meetup Group for Caregivers: Jan 9 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.
Online Worship Opportunities: NYYM provides a list of meetings that hold online or hybrid worship.
Spring Sessions for NYYM will be April 5-7.
Photo by Tom Bradley on Unsplash
Northern Yearly Meeting
Nimble Responders: Northern Yearly Meeting has come up with a mechanism for handling time-sensitive requests. According to Kat Griffith’s article in Friends Journal: “We don’t need to get prior approval from the body to take actions that are consistent with our broad principles.”
Online Worship Opportunities: Northern Yearly Meeting continues to update its list of Virtual Worship options. This list includes information for all meetings within NYM that have a Zoom component. Check it out!
Spring Interim Session will be Saturday, February 24, on zoom. Also pencil in Sunday afternoon from 1-4 p.m (Central). Friends will use this time if we have more items than we think we can comfortably accommodate on Saturday.
Antiracism: See Pendle Hill’s First Monday Lecture, ”Addressing Patterns of Racial Wounding and Racial Justice in Quaker Communities.” January 8 from 7:30 – 9:00 p.m. (Eastern). Presenters Lauren Brownlee and Zenaida Peterson are both members of the Steering Committee of the Quaker Coalition for Uprooting Racism.
Spring Term: The deadline to apply for Spring Term is January 10. This is Pendle Hill’s annual on-campus residential study program, which runs from Mar 1 – May 10.
Dreaming Sanctuary: An Intergenerational LGBTQ+ Gathering will be on campus at Pendle Hill, Feb 23-25. This is a retreat for renewal, rejuvenation, and relationship building. FGC and Pendle Hill are co-sponsoring this creative program.
Philadelphia Yearly Meeting
Stewardship: Learn about Community Choice Aggregation, a way that local communities can switch to reliable energy as a group. There’s a webinar sponsored by Philadelphia Yearly Meeting’s Environmental Justice Collaborative on Community Choice Aggregation on January 18th, 7pm Eastern.
Tuition Aid: Children of local Quaker meetings inside Philadelphia Meeting who attend Friends Schools may be eligible for tuition aid in the 2024-25 school year. The deadline to apply is February 15. Tuition Aid stems from PhiladelphiaYearly Meeting’s Quaker Education Granting Group
Quaker Websites: 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 FGC Quaker Cloud comes to a close, QMN offers solutions and a free trial for meetings seeking alternative solutions here in the States.
Friends’ Decision Making and Clerking: Participating in Meetings for Business with Joy and Confidence. This workshop is led by Steve Mohlke and ,O. Held at Powell House and online on February 2-4. This is a workshop for everyone who wants to deepen their understanding of Quaker decision-making.
Quaker Earthcare Witness
Activism: Recently, QEW held an action event at Vanguard. Friends held meeting for worship at the entrance to Vanguard’s headquarters. Vanguard is the world’s largest investor in fossil fuels.
Worship Opportunity: Creation Vigil: Holding Earth in Prayer. January 11th at 7 p.m. (Eastern). Sister Confianza del Señor will lead a Spirit-filled worshipful experience that includes scripture, song, silence, and sharing.
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).
Quakers in the News
Palestinian American professor leans on his Quaker faith during conflict. Listen to this 15-minute segment from NPR’s All Things Considered: “A conversation about how to hold on to the pacifism and silent meditation espoused by Quakers when the world around you feels like it’s on fire.”
Photo of Sa’ed Atshan from Swarthmore College
Quaker Religious Education Collaborative
Practice & Discussion Group, January 8. This discussion group includes worship-sharing and reflection on Walking in the World as a Friend: Essential Quaker Practices, by Nadine Hoover. The book describes the three jobs all Friends take on when they begin to follow the Quaker path: minister, steward, and witness.
School of the Spirit
In-person Retreat: Dwelling Deep, a Contemplative Retreat with Jim Herr at Powell House. This retreat is January 12-15, which runs Friday to Monday. Friends are invited to enter more fully into the silence and to experience the deeper rhythms in which we might live.
Save the Date: The School of the Spirit will again be hosting a Contemplative Retreat at the Siena Center in Racine in 2024. The retreat will be May 2 to May 5.Registration will be open soon. Friends can sign up now for the interest list to receive future information.
Photo by Sage Friedman on Unsplash
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