This week is one that wants to be filled with gratitude – especially for family and neighbors. In our beloved Philadelphia Yearly Meeting family there are stories on stories of our connections with neighbors.
Quaker youth found “neighborliness’ in the blocks around Arch Street Meeting House. Friends of all ages explored belonging and living with our neighbors at Continuing Sessions. Medford Meeting welcomes their Nanticoke Lenni Lenape neighbors from the United Methodist Church this month. Next month the Middle East Collaborative is exploring a roadmap for solidarity with our Palestinian neighbors.
This week is also one that is filled with stories of destruction and trauma following gun violence. It has sliced through our own families and through the families of those we stand with.
My prayer for Friends is that each day we fill the spaces of desolation caused by violence with our own actions that reveal instead the kin-dom of God. May the experience and call of the PYM Youth Programs guide us to be responsive not only to the needs of the LGBTQ+ community in PYM but also in the world. May the incredible commitment of PYM Friends in organizations such as Mothers in Charge, EMIR Healing Center, Fellowship of Friends of African Descent, Heeding God’s Call, and the Civic Coalition to Save Lives expand the strength and capacity of all of us who strive to live our faith each day.
— Christie Duncan-Tessemer, General Secretary
Call of the PYM Youth Programs
The Youth Programs Advisory Committee expresses deep appreciation and acceptance for all LGBTQ+ youth, staff, families, and Friendly Presence volunteers in Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, and for all of the work done in the past to bring our Youth Programs to the place of inclusion and allyship, where they are now. We welcome and value inclusion as an integral part of the program. We endorse the continued goal to pursue full inclusion and are open to continue the process of adapting and improving in the spirit of community and continuing revelation. We value building and educating a Yearly Meeting that is responsive to the needs of the LGBTQ+ community.