Spiritual State of the Meeting reports give all of us a glimpse into the communities of meetings in our Yearly Meeting. Together, they create a tapestry that tells the story of our yearly meeting in the last year; a vibrant community engaged in spiritual formation and witness across four states and many experiences of the Spirit. When we are together in residence at an Annual Sessions gathering, there is a thick book with the collected ‘State of the Meeting’ reports. During the years we have gathered online, the special joy of leafing through those printed reports has needed a new model. This year, we again created a virtual “book” of all of the reports. You can access them in this news story and they will also be published in a booklet following Annual Sessions.
State of the Meeting Reports
All monthly meetings, quarterly meetings, and other local Quaker communities within the PYM area are invited and encouraged to submit State of the Meeting Reports. A version of the recent letter to known leaders of monthly and quarterly meetings provides guidance (if desired) on how to conduct the spiritual self-assessment of your community that would lead to composing a State of the Meeting Report. See the Guidelines for a Spiritual Self-assessment of the Meeting section of our Faith & Practice for more information.
Each year at Annual Sessions there is a thick book with printouts of the prior year’s collected ‘State of the Meeting’ reports. Last year we were unable to share in the special joy of leafing through those printed reports. People missed learning about each meeting’s activities.
This year we have compensated for that loss by creating a virtual “book” of all of the reports. You can access them in this news story and they will also be in the Annual Sessions Advance Documents. [Read more…] about State of the Meeting Reports 2020
Warm greetings from the Ministry and Care Committee of Quaker Life Council!
We trust this communication finds you well, grounded in Spirit and in your community of faith. This a reminder that if you haven’t already sent yours, we would like to receive the Spiritual Life of the Meeting report from your meeting by May 1, 2021. This will give the Ministry and Care Committee ample time to receive and read what you share, and to craft a document describing the Spiritual State of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting and send it to the Quaker Life Council in advance of PYM’s summer sessions, July 27-August 1. [Read more…] about Reminder – Spiritual Life of the Meeting Reports
Dearest Friends in PYM Monthly and Quarterly Meetings and other PYM Quaker Groups,
We trust this finds you seeking to be grounded in Spirit and in your community of faith. 2020 has certainly been a year filled with both opportunities and challenges! The Ministry and Care Committee of Quaker Life Council is once again asking for your help as we look to better understand the spiritual state of our yearly meeting through this past year.
To accomplish this, we are asking meetings to consider responding to the following queries: [Read more…] about Share Your Meeting’s Spiritual Self-Assessment
Photo by Miyo Moriuchi
Monthly and quarterly meeting leadership gathered for a third time on Thursday, April 9. We began our meeting at 6:30 PM with online worship. A discussion about pastoral care in our meetings followed.
Jean-Marie Prestwidge Barch, as Clerk of PYM’s Ministry & Care Committee, spoke about the desire to frame the spiritual self-assessment practice and the resulting state of the meeting reports as reflecting upon the story of our meetings. She noted that we profit from each other’s stories. Through storytelling, we deepen a sense of our condition and open ourselves to greater spiritual growth. We celebrate with each other, mourn with each other, and also ask for help.
This is a check-in to see how you and your meeting are doing in these unique times. The physical distancing required by the Covid-19 pandemic has created unexpected opportunities for discerning how to feel connected when physical contact is not possible. Some meetings are also struggling with how to complete their Spiritual State of the Meeting Report given the challenges of Covid-19. We offer some guidance here. [Read more…] about Ministry & Care Letter to Our Meetings
Name of the Meeting or Group
Monthly Meeting of Friends of Philadelphia [Read more…] about 2018 Philadelphia State of the Meeting
Buckingham Monthly Meeting
Annual Report to Bucks Quarterly Meeting
May 20, 2018
Held at Camp Onas – Ottsville, PA
The last year has been an exciting and spiritually nurturing one at Buckingham Monthly Meeting. We recorded 62 adult members and 23 minor members (including 2 new members), for a total of 85. There was one death.
Most notably, our Meetings for Worship and First Day School have been enriched by new attenders—multiple young families with children. We try to be welcoming toward new attenders, and our post-meeting gathering—our snacks have now expanded to be nearly a brunch each week—also helps to facilitate meaningful connections. Our attenders, some of whom have become members, have shown exceptional willingness to participate in all aspects of the life of the meeting, as well as finding new ways to get the rest of the membership to be active.
Meetings for Worship have been peaceful and gathered, perhaps more quiet than in the past, with consideration of appropriate messages by Friends in attendance clearly evident. We held meeting for worship outdoors in the graveyard on several Sundays during the summer under a large shady tree. Members have been providing rides for older Friends who are no longer able to drive to meeting themselves. A few power outages also found us worshipping in Buckingham Friends School, which we thank for its hospitality.
Numerous programs outside of worship have also brought our faith community closer together. Our monthly informal “Quaker Conversation” adult programs have continued, and our Social Concerns committee has facilitated other engaging events, including a performance by the META Theater group and a guest speaker from the Peace Center. We frequently seem to have so much going on that it is difficult to schedule committee meetings to get our work done. Unfortunately we were not able to sustain our Games Night this year, but are looking forward to find other ways to gather and socialize.
This year we laid down our formal newsletter (or at least it went on a well-deserved vacation), but communicate more regularly through two different Google email groups, one for general Meeting business or announcements and one for social concerns and activism. We also maintain our web site at www.buckinghamfriendsmeeting.org and Facebook page, which attract inquiries from the wider community. Internally we completed an evaluation of our property manager, and continue to be led in business and spirit by our co-clerks, Pam Caprio and Bethann Morgan.
Last year’s Peace Fair, which we host under the care of Quarterly Meeting, was again very successful, with a record number of exhibitors. The Peace Fair committee is now a standing committee of Bucks Quarterly Meeting, and asks that every meeting try to contribute a member, or at least provide a point of contact within their meeting. Last year there were more volunteers at the Fair from the Quarter than ever on the day of the Fair. The 2018 Peace Fair is on Saturday, September 22.
Our First Day School is a hive of activity every week with new children, whose parents are attending regularly. Committee members have been rotating teaching duties so as to not put too much responsibility on one individual, but we are actively considering hiring a paid teacher to expand our program while letting parents stay in meeting to worship. Our efforts to reach out and stay connected to our college-age Young Adult Friends have resulted in several applying for full adult membership.
This year our meetinghouse will be 250 years old! Caring for our National Historic Landmark property is always a challenge, particularly financially. We applied for and received one grant from PYM’s Quaker Buildings & Programs Granting Group to repair our roof, but were unsucessful in securing another to help strip our shutters of centuries of built-up paint. Our all-volunteer effort to renew the wooden cap on our graveyard wall continued, and now over half of the wall is completed. The many storms we had last winter wreaked havoc on trees all around our property, some of which fell in the graveyard and damaged the wall. We discovered that it is possible to make insurance claims that will cover some of the removal and repair costs, and that doing so does not raise our premiums.
Our relationship with Buckingham Friends School has continued to be strong. It is very helpful that the clerk of the school board, Michael Godshall, is a member of our meeting, but we (and other meetings) have not yet filled our quotas for membership on it. While the school continues to be challenged by enrollment and budget considerations, they have hired a new permanent head for next year, Paul Lindenmaier, who will help take them in a new direction (and who is a Quaker).