To meet Sarah Willie-LeBreton, Ph.D. is to encounter an exceptionally grounded Friend with a deep knowledge of human societies. Currently Swarthmore College’s Provost and Dean of the Faculty since 2018, Sarah was appointed after having chaired the Department of Sociology & Anthropology (2009-2018), chaired the President’s Task Force on Sexual Misconduct (2013-14), served as Associate Provost (2005-8), and coordinated the Black Studies Program on and off for more than a decade beginning in 1998. Somehow, as she does all this, she has still found time to be present in leading PYM towards growth in important areas. [Read more…] about Quakers in Education: Sarah Willie-LeBreton, Sociologist and Swarthmore Dean
At Annual Sessions, Terri Whiteford read this minute of thanks to PYM staff. The letter was dated August 1, 2020.
This has been a year of many unexpected events. It was February when we first discussed if the emerging pandemic would impact planned gatherings for PYM. By March it was clear that things were going to be very different for annual sessions and a residential meeting was not an option.
Here’s our two-line Annual Sessions re-cap! We had 382 participants of all ages at this year’s annual sessions (an increase over last year’s in-person sessions) and many people made it all happen with joy, thought, and support. [Read more…] about Thanks for Joining Annual Sessions 2020! See You Soon
Overall, we’ve had 386 people attend during six days of annual sessions’ virtual programming, including young people who participated in Youth Programs.
While the Community Engagement team ran a multitude of keynotes, worship sharing/affinity spaces and meetings for Business or Worship, devoted Youth Program staff built meaningful All Together Time, and facilitated morning and afternoon programs supported by Friendly Presences. There were also Bible classes, tech sessions, and very helpful, previously curated, advance documents and videos. Young Adult Friends (YAFs) did spiritual practices including lectio divina, welcomed two YAFs as keynote speakers, and convened contemplative prayer. Parents gathered for an evening worship sharing as an online version of the “Family Neighborhood.” Five plenaries, 18 workshops, and five meditation classes preceded everything as part of the ‘Runway to Sessions.’ [Read more…] about Annual Sessions Final Keynote: “We Belong Together” With City Love
Children’s Program Epistle
To All Friends Everywhere, from the Children of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting.
We gathered for our Annual Sessions in Zoom rooms, July 29 to August 2, 2020. Our time together included playing, singing, laughing, and being close to Spirit.
The artist in residence Zenaida Peterson helped us to deepen our relationship with God through poetry and games. We wrote poems and made zines. We laughed a whole lot. Together we wrote this poem: [Read more…] about Youth Programs Epistles 2020
Sunday, August 2, 2020 Philadelphia Yearly Meeting Morning Session Minutes
Jonathan Rhoads, presiding clerk, introduced elders, members of the pastoral care team and the clerks group, and welcomed visitors and first-time attenders with us this morning. [Read more…] about Minutes of 340th Annual Sessions Meeting for Business of August 2, 2020
To Friends everywhere:
Greetings from the 340th Annual Sessions of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends. These Annual Sessions took place in the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic that led Friends to meet via Zoom videoconferencing technology. This pandemic has exacerbated the very racial injustice and societal inequities that have hindered our spiritual growth within the PYM. [Read more…] about Yearly Meeting Epistle — 340th Annual Sessions, August 2, 2020
To all Friends everywhere:
Greetings from a gathering of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting Young Adult Friends, together from many different homes for Annual Sessions, July 29–August 2, 2020. Many of us gathered from the lands around Philadelphia, on the traditional homelands of the Lenni Lenape. We humbly acknowledge that many or all of us are settlers here, and live on stolen lands. [Read more…] about Young Adult Friends Epistle from Philadelphia Yearly Meeting Annual Sessions 2020
Friday night, July 31, before an audience of 160 people, Naomi Madaras made the case for faith to choose paths that embraced conflict, anger, protest and justice. A Master of Divinity candidate at Union Theological Seminary in New York, Naomi’s clinical training has been in hospitals and nursing homes in New York where she provides spiritual care to patients, families, and staff. [Read more…] about The Fire of the Light: Abolition, Conflict, and Being Known in Quaker Community
Like the yearly meeting quilt, Annual Sessions knits together Friends everywhere. Saturday August 1st began with worship and All Together Time where we all made a haiku poem. This was followed by Youth Programs, then a lunch break. The afternoon featured a Bible study class with Chris Mohr and George Schaefer. At 2:00 the PYM community convened 102 Friends for a meeting for business. It included a review of the budget, and nominations for the positions of Clerk, rising clerk and other roles. Minutes follow: [Read more…] about Minutes of PYM 340th Annual Sessions Meeting for Business of August 1, 2020