2015 Annual Sessions- Young Adult Friends Epistle

Annual Sessions, Epistle, Young Adult Friends

The YAF community of PYM holds events to build loving community, deepen our spirituality, support one another, and live out our faith in the world. We come together with a wide range of identities and experiences, and seek to be respectful and welcoming to all. We do this with the intention to provide a fruitful, safe, and loving space for all of our members.

-From the PYM YAF Event Expectations, affirmed at PYM Annual Sessions, 2015

To Friends Everywhere:

Over the past year, we’ve been thinking about what it means for us to be a part of the yearly meeting. We’ve spent the year exploring ways that we as Young Adult Friends (YAFs) serve and relate to the wider Philadelphia Yearly Meeting (PYM) . Our fellowship included a fall retreat on movement, healing, and self care. We also came together for a winter retreat titled “What Lights Your Fire?” The William Penn Lecture at Arch Street Meeting House was given by Matthew Armstead on the theme “Daring to Stand Up.” Over 150 Friends, including 40 young adults, were in attendance. We rounded out the year with a spring retreat at Camp Dark Waters focused on storytelling and discernment which was a joint event with the family overnight.

When we met in September to do visioning for the year, our priorities were intervisitation and spiritual fellowship. Throughout the year, we gathered for spiritual fellowship events, which were social events with a spiritual twist, such as a potluck on Valentine’s Day with worship sharing about love. For more information about our intervisitation program, an article is available on the PYM website. A list of the meetings we visited is below.

On Friday night of Annual Sessions, we spent some time talking about ways that we serve the yearly meeting and how the yearly meeting supports us. Many of us have significant paid and volunteer roles in PYM and wider Quaker organizations, and we continue to seek ways for our gifts to serve our community.  We recognize the importance of staff support, and we’re grateful to the yearly meeting for funding the expanded role of our coordinator. Many of us have taken advantage of other financial support from the yearly meeting to help us live out our ministry and fellowship.

The YAF working group presented a fundraising project to encourage YAFs to serve the yearly meeting financially in addition to our other forms of service. The campaign has a participation goal of 50 out of 130 active YAFs donating to the yearly meeting by the end of the calendar year.

Looking to the future, we are excited to find new ways to engage with the yearly meeting. We as the young adult Friends of PYM look forward to building a stronger, more loving community in the year to come.

~ The Young Adult Friends of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting
August 2, 2015

Meetings Visited:
Abington (October 2014 – Fall Retreat)
Haddonfield (December 2014)
Swarthmore (January 2015 – Winter Retreat)
Reading (March 2015)
Radnor (April 2015)
Gwynedd (June 2015)
Lancaster (June 2015)
Lewes Worship Group (July 2015)