2014 Annual Sessions – Young Friends Epistle

Annual Sessions, Epistle, Young Friends

The Young Friends of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting call 5-day gathering with the wider Yearly Meeting at Annual Sessions “an exceptional experience.”

Here’s what else they have to say:

Dear Friends,

Young Friends would like to recognize the epistle put forth by the members of PYM. With more than 20 people attending, we began the gathering with several games focused on community building and had our opening programs. Everyday a group of Young Friends accompanied the children to the pool. Through this and multi-generational morning worship sharing the experience helped promote the inter-generational community. During business meeting, Young Friends approved two standing clerks to lead us in the absence of our presiding clerks and a Friendly Adult Presence to serve as recording clerk. Friends also approved a dance on Friday night as an additional form of community bonding. Peterson Toscano presented a video that he co-produced titled “This is What Love in Action Looks Like” as well as a workshop based on gender variant people and gender non-conformists in the bible.

The incoming General Secretary of PYM, Christie Duncan-Tessmer, joined Young Friends in an informational discussion about the five year long-range plan for PYM, which was later approved by the greater PYM group. Young Friends had expressed concerns regarding diversity and representation of the limited member council, as well as pointing out discrepancies between the long-range plan and the realities of Quakerism. These concerns were presented to the incoming General Secretary during the discussion with the hope they will be observed during the transition.

Friends had a fabulous time hiking up the Glen Onoko Falls, getting lost on the way there, as well as on the mountain and having lunch with new friends. The keynote speaker, Peterson Toscano, spoke about discernment, climate change, and other Quakery concerns, as well as performing a scene from his new play, “Does This Apocalypse Make Me Look Fat?”. After the Keynote speaker Young Friends attended Vespers hosted by the Middle School Friends, which included worship sharing with attention to Apples to Apples. Our time at annual sessions was an exceptional experience and we are grateful to the staff, and other F/friends who created an environment for spiritual enrichment.

With love and in worship,

Young Friends