Welcome to the Runway to Annual Sessions 2021!
The Runway to Annual Sessions is filled with virtual workshops, gatherings, Business Q&As, an All Ages Gathering, and a Collaborative Fair! The Runway begins on Tuesday, May 4 and runs through July 24, 2021.
A Rightly Ordered Life: The Simplicity Testimony Then and Now
May 18, 2021, 6:00pm – 8:30pm
How do you listen inwardly for what to prioritize? How do you discern, in community, a sense of collective simplicity? The workshop’s focus is on the Simplicity testimony – how Early Friends understood it as a Rightly Ordered Prioritization and how the testimony is understood today.
Facilitator: Claire Hannapel, Quaker Voluntary Service (QVS)
Humble Walk Bears Fruit
May 20, 2021, 6:00pm – 8:30pm
In and of itself, the PYM First-Contact Reconciliation Collaborative is a revolutionary platform toward Divine Right Relations with Lenape People, stemming from our community’s historic intentions. Utilizing Micah 6:8 as a springboard, we will identify intersecting concern(s) of equity with contemporary concern(s) of accountability – walking humbly with that of the Divine through act(ions) – justice and kindness.
Facilitators: sandra boone murphy, First Contact Reconciliation Collaborative, and Rev. Dr. JR Norwood
When Spirit Calls: Engaging the Challenges of Ministry
May 25, 2021, 6:00pm – 8:30pm
God calls each of us to something. The challenge often is recognizing the call, discerning what it is we are called to do, and understanding how that call may often evolve over time into a lifelong work. When the Spirit Calls: Engaging the Challenges of Ministry is intended to help any Quaker – First Day school teacher, social worker, farm worker, activist, community volunteer, meeting book group leader, college professor or retired line worker—to recognize the inner stirring and restlessness which marks a summons from God to carefully listen, and perhaps receive an invitation to undertake something new. This workshop will consider this topic, seeking to allow space for participants to reflect and if desired, share how their own leadings and calls are forming in their lives. When Spirit Calls: Engaging the Challenge of Ministry is a useful resource for any who are looking for a companion as they explore how it is the Spirit invites them into deeper reflection about faithfulness, witness, and service. Unpacking and interpreting an individual’s leading or call at the outset is merely the first step in what becomes an iterative spiral for a life that intends to remain true and aligned with the impulses of the Spirit. Friends are asked to read the book in advance of the workshop, if possible.
Facilitator: Jay Marshall
F/friends in Unlikely Places: Engaging with Those Who Don’t Agree with You
May 27, 2021, 6:00-8:30pm
Does talking with legislators who do not agree with you feel like an exercise in futility? In this workshop, we’ll make the case for engaging legislators with differing views and discuss how to have those conversations faithfully and effectively. Drawing on theoretical, strategic, and spiritual frameworks from Quaker tradition, this workshop will equip F/friends with new skills for communicating across political divides, practicing seeing that of God in each people we disagree with, and building relationships to make change in Congress.
Facilitators: Bobby Trice/Alicia McBride, Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL)
June 1, 2021
Building a Sustainable Future: How Friends Take Action
This interactive workshop will help friends find their role in speaking truth to power about the climate crisis and structural racism. Participants will learn what Friends are already doing at the local, state, and federal level and how they can take action. Our climate emergency requires ‘all hands on deck’ where every voice matters. Participants will learn advocacy skills that can be applied at all levels of government.
Facilitators: PYM Eco-Justice Collaborative
June 3, 2021
Community Safety Beyond Policing
We want everyone in our community to feel safe and be treated with the dignity and respect that we all deserve. How can we make this happen? This workshop explores how we can create safe, healthy communities without law enforcement. We will take the yearly meeting through stories, information sharing, and exercises that explore these questions.
Facilitator: Lucy Duncan, American Friends Service Committee (AFSC)
June 8, 2021
Faith, Hope, and the Witness Within
The Prophet Micah urges us to “act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God.”
How can we find the inner strength and resources we need to respond to this calling?
How can we find a Power greater than our own? How can we find Hope?
Facilitators: Chris Stern and Middletown Friends Meeting
June 10, 2021
Using Your Power: Changemaking and the Future of Quakerism
Given demographic trends over the past 30 years, Quakerism is in danger of ceasing to be a faith in the next 20 to 40 years. This is a workshop for changemakers and people who feel led to support the future of the Society of Friends. Creating spiritual systems that work for Generation X, Millennials, and Generation Z, becoming truly welcoming to young people and families, and engaging in Outreach represent a few of the key components to supporting the future of our faith.
We have seen success stories: meetings that made changes and then attracted children, families, and young adults; meetings that were on track to be laid down in the next 20 to 40 years who are now no longer in that position; new initiatives that actually meet the spiritual needs and proclivities of Gen X, Millennials, and Gen Z.
We will discuss what has worked, provide resources and tools, and together build a strategy to create change. Being open to transformation and to real change to our structures and culture within Quakerism is the only way there is a future for the Society of Friends. We can make change. We can act and use our power to steward and reinvent Quakerism in our time. In this workshop we will support Friends in exploring their personal power to effect change and discern their personal call around this issue.
What are you called to do with your power?
Facilitator: Shannon Isaacs Elder: Janaki Spickard-Keeler
June 17, 2021
Wrestling with Israel – Palestine: Equality, Rights, Justice, and the Future
The complex issues of Israel and Palestine cloud the vision of moving toward peace with justice and equality. The workshop will begin with attention to the experience and connections that attendees have to the region in a worship sharing manner.
We will show a short film to focus on one aspect of the issue. Discussion following the film will lead us to consideration of further aspects for a vision for a comprehensive peace.
Facilitators: Dr. Sandy Rea and the Middle East Collaborative
June 24, 2021
Uncovering What Covers Us: Our Clothing
More people’s hands have touched our clothes before they reach us than any other products in our daily lives. Who are these people?
In the film,” The True Cost,” we will meet Shima, a garment factory worker with a young child in Bangladesh, who had to make a painful life decision, and Larhea, a cotton farmer in Texas, who decided on a major shift in her cotton production following a great loss in her life.
We will also learn how the clothing industry puts profit above all and how consumers indulge in an abundance of cheap clothes while being oblivious to the tremendous cost to those who make them and the environment.
The question before us is what role we want to play, continuing to support our current practice, or departing from it.
We will listen to the voices of those who made our clothes and seek to respond. What is the alternative to the unsustainable model we live by? As individuals and as a group, we will explore ways to replace it with what is just.
Facilitator: Yoko Barnes
July 24, 2021
Collaborative Fair, 10:00am – 12:30pm
Are you interested in learning more about PYM’s eight dynamic collaboratives?
Perhaps you would like to be a part of a collaborative or maybe even create a new collaborative?
Come join us to learn about the work and witness of PYM’s Collaboratives. We will hear from the clerks in a large group sharing before we break into small groups and at which time you may choose to visit with just one or as many as all eight collaboratives!
Philadelphia Yearly Meeting’s current Collaboratives:
- AntiRacism Collaborative; Wanda Wyffels, clerk
- Eco-Justice Collaborative; Pat Finley and Ruth Darlington, co-clerks
- First Contact Reconciliation Collaborative; sandra boone murphy, clerk
- Indian Friends Collaborative; Jack Waltz, clerk
- Legislative Policy Collaborative; Deb Hejl and Sylvia Bronner, co-clerks
- Middle East Collaborative; Dr. Sandy Rea, clerk
- Nuclear Disarmament Collaborative; Bill Cozzens, clerk
- Spiritual Formation Collaborative; Susan Thompson, clerk
July 24, 2021
PYM Representatives to other Quaker Organizations, 1:30pm – 3:00pm
Please join the appointed Philadelphia Yearly Meeting representatives to other Quaker Organizations as they share their reports about their work with these organizations: Quaker Peace Teams, Friends General Conference (FGC), Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL), Friends World Committee on Consultation (FWCC), Arch Street Meeting House (ASMH), and Quaker Earthcare Witness (QEW).