June was a big month for the Friends community as it emerged from pandemic conditions. A number of meetings have been “open” in one way or another for a time, others have met only via Zoom. Those that have been meeting in person for some time (including Centre, Quakertown, Little Egg Harbor, Plumstead, Horsham, and Third Haven) found that as (mostly) smaller communities they could find ways to safely meet. Some set up outside worship, developing and sharing safety protocols that were appropriate to meeting under the wide open sky. Numbers of communities–large and small–accessed indoor in-person worship once local restrictions eased by keeping windows open, or functioned safely by having plenty of space between people and requiring masks.
Monthly Meeting Management
Philadelphia Yearly Meeting shares this resource to guide others in their process of re-opening. As is our Quaker practice, we have produced a series of queries to consider. After each set of queries, a few resources are included for further exploration. No matter what, follow CDC, state, and local guidelines. [Read more…] about PYM Guidance on Re-Opening
Picture of the new roof on Greenwich Friends Meeting’s upper meetinghouse
On March 27th, 2021, Greenwich Friends Meeting successfully completed a four-month project to remove and replace the cedar shingle roof on their upper meetinghouse. PYM’s Quaker Buildings & Programs granting group and Friends Fiduciary’s Tyson Memorial Fund provided grants to support Greenwich Friends Meeting’s undertaking. [Read more…] about Quaker Buildings & Programs Grant Report: Takeaways from Installing a New Roof
On Tuesday, May 11, 2021, approximately 30 leaders from our quarterly meetings met for the second of three annual gatherings. At this gathering, our Co-Presiding Clerks, Jean-Marie Prestwidge Barch and Frank Barch, shared some thoughts on the relevance and importance of quarterly meetings. They noted that quarterly meetings have, “more intimate connection with their members and simultaneously can have greater perspective on the gifts and talents of members as those attributes fit into the large whole of the yearly meeting and beyond.” [Read more…] about Report on Quarterly Meeting Leaders Gathering
The Runway to Annual Sessions launched on May 4th. Our first gathering engaged 80 participants who convened virtually to share concerns and hopes regarding the process of re-opening to in-person gatherings by the end of 2021. The evening was facilitated by Philadelphia Yearly Meeting’s (PYM) Associate Secretary for Program and Religious Life, Zachary Dutton, and supported by General Secretary Christie Duncan-Tessmer.
On the evening of Tuesday, March 2, 2021, 98 leaders from monthly meetings met virtually for community and mutual support. The gathering was centered in searching for joy as we transition from a pandemic year. [Read more…] about PYM Leadership Gathering: Building Connections
For Meetings Who Want to be “Found “ by Seekers Everywhere
Philadelphia Yearly Meeting is compiling monthly meeting virtual worship offerings to post online. If you are part of your meeting’s leadership team and your meeting has not yet filled out the worship and events survey there is still time to do so. Once you fill this out, we will get the information on your meeting’s page on the PYM website. This will help people find you.
The pandemic has resulted in technology becoming an essential part of many Quaker meetings as in-person worship came to a stop at most meetings. Philadelphia Yearly Meeting’s (PYM) monthly meetings have had to find new ways to keep the community together through Zoom video calls or Facebook Live videos.
These new ways of worship have had a silver lining; members and attenders not able to typically attend worship in person have been able to join digitally. Digital worship creates a path for long-time members who no longer live near the meetinghouse and seekers new to Quakerism to attend. Many meetings have decided that offering a way for Friends to worship digitally is here to stay, even after a return to meeting in person. For those considering this option, there is technology available to support hybrid forms of gathering that offer a meaningful experience for attending in person and digitally. [Read more…] about Meeting Owl Pro Device: Technology to Support Digital Worship
PYM’s Committee on Friends Education reminds families that monthly meeting members’ children attending or applying to Friends Schools are eligible to apply for educational support for the 2021-22 school year. Funding for all grants comes from the National Friends Education Fund and Philadelphia Yearly Meeting endowment income from the Jonathan Rhoads Fund and other PYM education endowments. [Read more…] about Tuition Aid for Friends Children in PYM Friends Schools
Many local Quaker communities are in the midst of a discernment process as to whether, when and to what extent to resume meeting in person for worship or other activities. A multitude of resources has been shared, and we have included a short list of resources at the end of this message.
Most importantly, make sure you are following guidelines issued by your state government and the Centers for Disease Control. Links to the appropriate websites are also at the end of this message. [Read more…] about Guidance for Re-Opening: Abundance of Caution