May Interim Meeting Report: So many ways to Connect

General Secretary

When I met my husband I discovered I was going to have to learn a new skill to keep up with him: mountain biking.  While I loved crashing down hills and whizzing by trees, and I even loved the occassional wipe-out, I got very frustrated by the fact that I seemed to hit every single rock in the path.  Zach gave me advice that had an immediate impact: Look where you want to go, not where you don’t want to go.  When I look at rocks coming up on the trail and think “don’t hit those rocks, don’t hit those rocks” I hit them every time.  But when I look at the line between the rocks, even when it’s a narrow one and I think “go right there!” then I miss miss them.  Usually.

At the moment when we are laying down Interim Meeting, I think it is important to draw attention to the opportunities that are in front of us for work, fellowship and being in God’s love together. And there are some very exciting opportunities coming up.

Annual Sessions, July 29- August 2, 2015
Muhlenberg College, Allentown, PA

Annual Sessions is where every Friend of every age from every meeting comes together for days of worship, business, fellowship, FUN and learning.  We eat together (but you don’t have to cook or do dishes!); we sleep in dorms; we take care of each others’ children and we make new friends.  There is worship every morning (worship sharing – with queries written by the high schoolers), afternoon (wherever you are you can worship! and the children make reminders for everyone), and evening (the day ends with Vespers in the care of the middle schoolers).  The only cost is for food and housing.  Friends can come for an afternoon, all week or somewhere in between.  Registration is open!

This year we are encouraging every meeting to make sure that at least 25% of the Friends who are in worship on a Sunday morning are at Sessions.  I hope to see you there.

Friendly 800’s Potluck Dinner, Sunday, October 18
In homes across our whole yearly meeting

Last fall I went on tour and visited 5 meetings throughout the yearly meeting and invited Friends to come have dinner with me.  Next fall we are all going to go visiting!

Friendly 8’s is a Quaker event in monthly meetings.  The details vary from place to place, but in general, Friends from the meeting gather in groups of about 8 people for a potluck dinner in one another’s homes.  Friendly 800’s is when we do that on a yearly meeting level!  Everyone is invited to participate by having dinner together at someone’s house on Sunday October 18.  You can go to the home of someone from your own meeting or another meeting.  A sign-up process will take care of the details, but we’ll all end up in groups of about 8 at the same time.

Each Friendly 800 location will have similar experiences including an identical query to explore and an invitation to write a mini-epistle (one sentence long!).  Also, each location will be paired up with another one so that the two groups of Friends can skype with each other.

Save the date now and watch for registration in the early Fall.  If you would like to be a Friendly 800 host, please let me know!

Continuing Sessions, Saturday, November 8
Westtown School, Westtown, PA

Continuing Sessions is new.  They are one-day gatherings of everyone of every age from every meeting to live in deep spiritual community together, share our wisdom and and experience and then take the motion of the day back into our meetings and everyday lives.  There is time to care for our yearly meeting business at these sessions as well as worship and connecting with one another.

There will be a weekend middle school and high school event at the same time and continuing children’s sessions as well.  There will be time where all of us are together (we’re aiming for 600 Friends) as well as time for us to be in smaller groups with people who have the same concerns and interests.  You can bring your own lunch or buy one in advance to be provided onsite.  The spring Continuing Session will be held at Arch Street Meeting House in March.

Save the date now!

PYM Connect, every day

We are very excited about PYM Connect and its capacity for bringing our community together.  This is a new section of our website that provides easy access to news from across our community, calendars, social media, newsletters.  The most exciting feature of Connect is our new Online Conversations which enable us to connect with each other about questions, ideas, support and more – any time, anywhere.

With the Online Conversations you can connect with Friends anywhere over questions and thoughts on anything.  The section already has conversations set up in 13 different areas including worship, Quakerism in everyday life, peace and social justice, outreach, fundraising and more.  Join the conversation now!