We’re counting down to Annual Sessions! Here are 12 great reasons to join, July 26-30.
Quakerism Connects Us
- #1 We Gather…
across places, generations, schedules! Sessions is when we gather with Friends from across the 4-state PYM region and 100+ local meetings and celebrate the wholeness of our community gathered for fellowship, worship, witness, and learning together.
- #2 The Sessions Theme Calls to Us…
to explore how we are living with our neighbors and growing into beloved community. We’ll explore this together at Annual Sessions with the Spiritual Deepening Retreat, times for intergenerational community and worship, and the “stories from meetings” we’ll hear during meeting for business.
- #3 Your Presence & Voice Make Us Whole…
The agenda for Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business has been created with the intention to focus each business session on an area of work and witness in our yearly meeting community: Interconnection, the Ministry of Addressing Racism, Addressing Climate Change, and Belonging. Bring your faithful listening and witness to Truth to our corporate discernment.
Learning & Fellowship
- #4 Amazing Keynote Speakers
We are blessed with three amazing speakers this year — Sessions opens with Tucker and Sameer Manchanda (Newtown Meeting) on Wednesday evening, exploring Loving Your Neighbor with us. On Friday evening, Jeanne Elberfeld (Reading Meeting) will lead us in an experience of Cultivating Beloved Quaker Community: An exploration through the science of stress and safety.
- #5 The Quaker Witness Fair
Come and learn more about the ways PYM Friends are letting their lives speak, including the Collaboratives. Where are you called to live into your witness and leadings? (Also: there will be snacks. And Quaker-themed “mocktails.”)
- #6 BBQ & Line Dancing
Bring your dancing shoes and join the fun at our (dorm) backyard cookout and dance party at TCNJ on Saturday evening! There will be fire pits for s’mores and Youth Programs staff are also ready to create a quiet space for the youngest Friends between dinner and bedtime.
- #7 Daily times for connection and conversation…
with Friends during Annual Sessions include online lunchtime fellowship, online and onsite evening fellowship for the Young Adult Friends community (including hosting Movie Night on Friday!), and casual spaces for conversation under tents. Affinity Groups will meet, including the Friends of African descent gathering online on Thursday, July 27th 12:30-1:30 PM. And for parents of children, the Family Neighborhood is a place to connect and rest!
- #8 Children and Youth Programs
We are excited by the number of families who are attending with children — infants all the way through high school. Anchored by our dedicated Youth Staff and Friendly Presences, their programs will include community-building and play, exploring Quaker practices and identity, and a fieldtrip to Snipes Farm! Watch for opportunities to connect across generations at meals, intergenerational worship experiences, and Youth-led Vespers.
- #9 Quaker Jeopardy
Join online Thursday evening and pick a category. There is sure to be learning and laughter — and the winners will receive PYM-swag for their efforts. You can play from home or your meeting — teams are encouraged!
Worship & Spiritual Nurture
- #10 The online Spiritual Formation Retreat
Wednesday, July 26, The Spiritual Formation Retreat will ground and center participants in deeper communion with Spirit while preparing individuals to participate, listen, and learn at Annual Sessions together. A program on Thursday morning continues the learning together. Facilitated by Tom Gates of Lancaster Meeting, the retreat’s theme is “Blessed Community.”
- #11 Bible Study
Bible Study this year will explore the Good News of the Gospels, wondering how do we approach the Bible with curiosity and anticipation of continuing revelation? The hour will include the choice to experience a Godly Play or Faith & Play story alongside a more traditional discussion of the scripture, and all participants will begin and close the time with reflection together.
- #12 All Together Worship
on Sunday morning, July 30 brings us all together from meetinghouses and homes in a hybrid, multi-location meeting for worship. Together, we are part of the community of George Fox’s vision on Pendle Hill in 1652, “a great people to be gathered.” (Sneak peek: at next year’s Sessions, we’ll be celebrating Fox’s 400th birthday!)
Our 343nd Annual Sessions is July 26-30!
The schedule includes the opportunities above and others for spiritual reflection, community connection, commitment to learning and action, and care for the business of the yearly meeting. Registrants will receive daily “Mott Memos” with event reminders and news for participants.
We welcome you to come and attend how it fits best in your schedule. Wednesday and Thursday are online and Friday-Sunday are hybrid, including options to commute or stay overnight at The College of New Jersey.
Your presence matters, and we can’t wait to see you!
- Tara Rubinstein, Sessions Coordinator, email@example.com
- Melinda Wenner Bradley, Director of Program & Religious Life, firstname.lastname@example.org