Philadelphia Yearly Meeting’s General Secretary, Christie Duncan-Tessmer, invited Friends in monthly and quarterly meeting leadership roles to gatherings on Zoom on September 21 and September 28. Many leaders attended to share, listen, and learn from each other.
Monthly Meeting Management
December 2023 marks the end of the Friends General Conference Quaker Cloud, which many meetings have utilized to host their websites for over a decade. The transition to creating a new website may feel daunting to some meetings, but it doesn’t have to. Creating websites can truly be as simple or as complicated as anyone wants to make it, and there is a tool that will meet everyone’s skill-level and interests. [Read more…] about What’s After Quaker Cloud?
When Kristin Simmons’ youngest daughter was born, her husband Tim was working at Delaware Valley Friends School. As lifelong Catholics, they were feeling disillusioned with church, and decided it was time for a change. Together the family turned to Quakerism, looking for a simpler, connected life to the divine Light. It was both faith and community that drew the couple to Old Haverford Monthly Meeting seventeen years ago. When Kristin was young, her mother worked as a librarian at a Quaker school for 20+ years and committed time focusing on social justice issues and sharing key insights among various faith groups. Kristin’s father, George Salloom, and his wife remained practicing Catholics until about seven years ago when George became a member of the Quaker community.
The father and daughter duo, George and Kristin, now serve as co-clerks at Old Haverford Meeting. They both hold master’s degrees in social work; George graduated from Howard University while Kristin graduated from University of Pennsylvania. Kristin also currently serves as PYM’s Youth Engagement Coordinator on the Program and Religious Life team. Their stories of how they became Quakers and co-clerks of Old Haverford Monthly Meeting are heartwarming and engaging.
Many Quaker meetings are changing. A lot of our numbers are smaller. What are some of the ways we might adjust? What does it look like to have faith and cherish our communities while also recognizing that our energy levels are getting low? An upcoming series of conversations explores the life cycles of meetings and offers support and resources for questions rising in meetings. [Read more…] about Life Cycle of Meetings Series
Cropwell’s infrastructure got a big upgrade this week. Thanks to a generous gift from the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting’s Quaker Buildings & Programs Granting Group, the building’s electric was rewired, and fire safety upgrades and security lighting were installed. The work was done by Front Line Electric of Glendora, N.J., who were prompt, professional, and courteous. [Read more…] about Electrical & Safety Upgrades in the Meetinghouse, Thanks to Yearly Meeting Support
During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Resource Friend program pivoted to accommodate the urgent needs in the yearly meeting about connectedness, technology, and spiritual guidance. John Marquette, a member of Lehigh Valley Meeting, served Philadelphia Yearly Meeting (PYM) as an Outreach and Communications Resource Friend in 2021 through December 2022. PYM received a generous grant from the Thomas H. & Mary Williams Shoemaker Fund which supported both the Resource Friend program in this area and grants for local and quarterly meetings in the yearly meeting interested in outreach and the caring work of connecting Friends in online and hybrid spaces.
The Yearly Meeting’s Quaker Education Granting Group reminds meetings and families that local meeting members’ children who are applying to or attending Friends schools are eligible to apply for educational support for the 2023-24 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 Quaker Children in PYM Friends Schools
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.
Last summer, Ujima Friends Peace Center launched a 100% outdoor freedom school that was designed to allow the neighborhood children to explore “friendly spaces” while engaging in activities that would be good for the mind, body, and spirit. Our children participated in environmental projects, literacy activities, and self-care/conflict resolution sessions. The summer was a resounding success!
Freedom Summer 2021 we were hosted by Abington Friends Meeting and the Historic Fairhill Burial Grounds. Our young people enjoyed trips to Snipes Farms, Taylor Wildlife Preserves, the Goat Project, One Art Community Center, Up from Salem and Salem Monthly Meeting.
We are planning for Freedom Summer 2022 and would love for our children to once again experience some of the green spaces in Quaker meeting houses and schools that so many of us take for granted but serve as a balm for the souls of many of our children.
We hope to serve 30 children and engage a team of college students. We will bring all our own equipment and materials. We simply would like to have our children in spaces that are safe, green, and provide opportunities for bonding with the environment and with one another.
If you are interested in helping us this summer here are things you can do:
- Sign up to host our children in your meeting house or school grounds.
- Assist us in locating a place for our children to swim.
- Donate to assist us in paying for transportation and trips.
Please send donations to:
Ujima Friends Peace Center,
PO Box 50647,
A workshop was held on Saturday May 7, and we returned to the questions we’ve held since 2020 about navigating the new normal of life through the ongoing pandemic. We highly recommend to readers the guidance on virtual gathering authored by Emily Provance, a Traveling Minister of New York Yearly Meeting. [Read more…] about Workshop on Gathering Virtually