At our meeting on Sunday, March 28, the Implementation Committee met for our third in-person meeting. We began with a really cool introduction of the strategic goals of the plan, which everyone should totally check out below. Finally getting down to work, we approved the Continuing Sessions for November 7 at Westtown Friends School and began forming a group to plan the event. We discussed populating Nominating Committee with at large members, requesting that each member of Implementation Committee bring names to suggest. You can help by suggesting someone, too! (email Eric Peterson, Implementation Committee member, with suggestions at email@example.com). We began the difficult discernment of what work must be laid down before the new structure can have its form. Finally, we looked at roles and responsibilities for the key positions and groups in the Yearly Meeting structure.
Our Strategic Directions: A visual and symbolic presentation
The Implementation Committee is holding the strategic directions in our minds and hearts as we do our work. For this meeting one Friend brought a bowl filled with objects to represent each of the directions. He shared an explanation for why he chose each object which you can view below.
What objects would you choose? Why? Email Eric at firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know!
Connect monthly and quarterly meetings to help them be vibrant, Spirit-led faith communities
This direction is symbolized with a networking cable. The structure we want to have has two-way communication. We want to metaphorically “plug in” to our community–to other Friends–and share, visit, grow. This cable is coiled, ready to unfurl itself and be part of a large, dynamic network. This is just one connection in this network we own together.
Connect Friends across the Yearly Meeting through effective communications and technologies
A smartphone. What we do has to be relevant to the individual. We need to meet people on their level, engage how they want to engage.
Develop and widely communicate clear messages about Quakers and PYM
We need to tell the world what Quakers have.
Simplify and strengthen governance and administration
The razor. We need to separate what matters from what doesn’t. That’s a tall order, and sometimes this work hurts. In the end, we all care about cutting to the core of the issue, and we need tools to help us.
Broaden engagement and deepen relationship with Friends in PYM
What image do you suggest?
Facilitate PYM-wide corporate witness and social action
Deep racks. This last week I went to two dance parties. Talking to one of these DJs after, they said that the most important thing was to have lots of different music you can play at any given time, which they call “Deep Racks.” A good DJ can feel a crowd, notice what gets them going and choose another song that gets people moving. Increasing participation and deepening involvement is like choosing music for a dance party. We need a lot of music to draw on if we want to dance!
Create a safe and welcoming spiritual home for all seekers.
The Kettlebell (it’s a 10 pound weight!). Creating a community accepting of people of all races isn’t a checkbox. It’s not a goal we reach and then pat ourselves on the back. It’s a muscle we have to use to get stronger. It’s something we have to pick up every day and work at. And it’s too heavy to carry around alone.