This is the 342nd Annual Sessions of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting! This year, we’re sharing the Mott Memo daily recaps here on the website, a loving tribute to the august Quaker, Lucretia Mott. Each Mott Memo is a brief look-back on the day’s events. We hope you enjoy taking part in Annual Sessions through this tradition. Shared below is the news from Friday, July 29.
And remember, even though Annual Sessions has begun, you can still register to attend the remaining events. Sign up now. It’s not too late! Please check out the schedule for the week and agenda for meeting for business (90 minute sessions at varying times). Register here for the Zoom link and join in our worship, fellowship, witness, and work together!
Friday at Sessions brought more visitors and first-time attenders to PYM Annual Sessions!
This was the day on our schedule with three business sessions,* and the work and witness of our yearly meeting was before Friends for discernment in different ways. We note that we heard from the Climate Stewards for the first time in Sessions today, and their presentation to the body can be found here. Abington Meeting shared about their reparations work, sharing with the body a minute of reconciliation approved by their meeting. During the afternoon session we were led in deep and tender sharing in small groups, led and supported by the c0-clerks, Jean-Marie Prestwidge Barch and Frank Barch.
In the evening, after an introduction and celebration of staff, we were led in a reflection on coming under the weight of a Yearly Meeting Witness by General Secretary Christie Duncan-Tessmer, as well as hearing her staff report. Christie’s thoughtful questions and facilitation opened new ways to consider our community and relationships. See Christie’s prompts below!
While it was a full day, much of the time in meeting for worship with attention to business was spent listening to how Spirit has been moving in our meetings and in our lives. Watch for minutes, with gratitude to our recording clerks, Sally McQuail, and Jim Herr.
Times of fellowship occurred across the day, even in our online spaces! Midday fellowship over lunch included talk of a blackberry cobbler being baked and a discussion about sharing vegetables from gardens. The evening included the YAF community having a game night together and an online Parent Worship Sharing group.
*Note: three business sessions across the day was part of an intentional invitation to Friends to attend at times that work for them, in their lives!
Onward to Saturday!
Coming Under the Weight of a Yearly Meeting Witness
shared by Christie Duncan-Tessmer, General Secretary
- What are 15 ways to pray?
- What if we only had one way to pray?
- Are there any ways to pray in your list, or that you can imagine, that contradict each other?
- Is that a problem?
Imagine yourself holding a new personal prayer practice – pick any one from the list or a new one.
Imagine yourself holding that practice for six months.
What helped you maintain the practice for that long?
Imagine a person in your meeting is maintaining a practice and you think it’s dumb.
How do you support them?
Imagine your meeting has a new practice – one that includes 4 7-year olds, 3 teenagers, a couple college students, some young adults new in their independent lives, some parents, some great-grandparents, some who have been quaker for generations back to the 1600s and people who have been attending meeting for 3 months, some White, some Black, some Latinx, some straight, some queer, some cisgender and some transgender people. Woah!
Imagine It’s bonkers how everyone is involved in some way and you find that you are thinking about ….
How does it affect how you live your life each day and your interior?
How does it affect how you know your neighbors?
Explore Yearly Meeting Shared Witness:
Every Friend, every household, every meeting, comes under the weight of this.
Think about your response to the query: What helped you maintain your prayer practice 6 mos later?
Now answer: What helps you, your household your meeting maintain commitment to a yearly meeting shared witness?
Think about your response to the query: How do you support people whose prayer practice is one you aren’t moved by?
Now answer: How do you support people whose response to the yearly meeting shared witness is one you aren’t moved by?
Think about your response to the query How does your practice affect the interior of your being?
Now answer: How does How does your response to the yearly meeting shared witness affect the interior of your being?