On Saturday, October 11, 2014 I gave my first report as General Secretary to Interim Meeting.
I began my report by sharing a little about my own family. On my mother’s side I am descended from the first dutch child born in America (that baby was also the child of King William of Orange, says family lore). All the women on that side of my family have been college educated since the 1850’s. On my father’s side I am the second generation in this country and the first person to graduate from college. The experience and path of each of my aunts and my uncle are enormously different. As a child the different life stories of my closely related family showed me a rich variety of ways of living in this world with my own people. I experience our Yearly Meeting as being quite similar to this. We are an extended family which includes people whose paths are linked by our faith but which are quite diverse. I find a power and expansiveness in this which I treasure.
In the summer at Annual Sessions I invited every Friend in the Yearly Meeting to participate in two traditional practices. One is to ask one another about your spiritual condition. The other is to visit two PYM meetings this year. At October’s interim meeting I gave out small cards which each feature a different image of the map of PYM on the front – there are more than 25 different views. On the back of each card is a reiteration of the invitation to visit meetings. Friends were encouraged to take a small stack of cards back to their meetings and share them to encourage everyone to visit meetings. Then, after each visit, travellers can log their trip on the PYM website, letting us know where you went and share a picture and some info about your experience. Those uploads will soon be available for everyone to read. Log your visit at www.pym.org/visits! Some examples of the cards are inserted in this story.
The written report which was distributed beforehand and on site is posted on the October Interim Meeting webpage and you can read it online. This includes more bullet-points and informational items about what is happening in the staff office.