Three times each year, Friends in local and quarterly meeting leadership (clerks, assistant clerks, treasurers, committee clerks) gather online with the presiding clerk and General Secretary. The gatherings include timely announcements and shared conversation, and are one way that we connect across meetings in the yearly meeting. The January 2024 gatherings included several announcements to share back to meetings, and small group discussions around topics of interest. [Read more…] about Monthly and Quarterly Meeting Leadership Gatherings
A meeting with Lorraine Claggett, member of the Third Haven Friends Meeting Pastoral Care Committee, during fellowship at Philadelphia Yearly Meeting Annual Sessions opened many doors to learning about dedication, creativity, and outreach to the meeting’s aging Friends. Connecting with Dona Sorce, past Clerk of the Pastoral Care Committee was also enlightening. Several years ago, the meeting recognized many members were over the age of 50. Subsequently, the group invited George Schaefer, a member of Abington Meeting who previously served Philadelphia Yearly Meeting from 2009 to 2022 as Care and Aging Coordinator, to discuss PYM’s resources for aging Friends. We recently connected with Pastoral Care Committee members Bill Schauer, Terry Thomas-Primer, and Dee Rein to learn more about their efforts. [Read more…] about Third Haven Helps Members and Attenders Navigate Life Stages as Friends
On November 17, 2023, Judy Owens and Patricia Williams from Haddonfield Monthly Meeting met with PYM’s Aging Support Coordinator, Sheila Sorkin, and Senior Content Manager, Tiffanie McKinnon, to discuss the life and community of HMM’s aging Friends. [Read more…] about The Friendly Seniors of Haddonfield Monthly Meeting
Concord Quarterly Meeting of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting consists of 8 Meetings: Birmingham, Concord, Goshen, Middletown, West Chester, Westtown, Willistown and Wilmington. Included in Concord’s October 2016 newsletter was an article authored by Pam Leland, the executive director of The Hickman who wrote about the New York Yearly Meeting program – ARCH (Aging, Resources, Consultation, Help). The article inspired members of Concord Quarterly Meeting to create their own group meeting around mutual interest in aging issues. The initial group of 11 began meeting in May of 2017. By June of 2017, the group was led by their first Clerk, Rich Ailes and officially became known as the Concord Quarter Working Group on Aging. [Read more…] about Concord Quarter Working Group Offers Resources and Support for Aging Friends
It’s a holiday tradition for members and guests of Barnegat Monthly Meeting of Friends to write messages on greeting cards. [Read more…] about Friends of Barnegat Monthly Meeting Send Holiday Cards and Share Cheer
An Interview with a Senior LGBTQ Friend
Tom Woodward is a retired Westtown School English and Latin teacher. Chatting with Tom about the challenges of his personal life and highlights of his teaching career was both heartwarming and enlightening. It was at Westtown School in West Chester, PA, Tom truly began his spiritual journey and discovery of Quakerism. [Read more…] about Seeking Ingrained Spirituality in the Face of Systemic Opposition
As we began our interview with Demie Kurz, a long-time member of the Religious Society of Friends and retired professor of Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania, who also co-directed the Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies program, we were immediately impressed with her flow of conversation and emphasis on the history of Quaker women. Nowadays, Demie Kurz spends her time in retirement writing a book on parenting, written from a sociological perspective. This is her story. [Read more…] about Quaker Spotlight: A Woman of Note
In 2001, Pennswood Village, the Quaker-founded retirement and health care community in Newtown, installed a Peace Pole in front of its community center. Two of the speakers were atomic bomb survivors (Hibakushas) from Japan, Mr. Shigeyuki Yama from Hiroshima and Mr. Hideo Tose from Nagasaki, the sites in 1945 of the two atomic bombs detonated over those cities which killed between 129,000 and 226,000 people, most of whom were civilians.
Following a Friend reading the June 6 story, “History & Vision of Quaker Aging Resources” on the PYM website, I had the opportunity to connect and learn their family’s story. A member of a PYM meeting, the Friend and their family went through various stages of long-term care needs with both their parents. One parent requested to age in place at home while the other parent, although initially having the same wish, needed increased care and supervision 24/7.
The Friend’s parents had written living wills. A living will is a legal document that details how you prefer to receive medical treatment when you can no longer make decisions for yourself. This link provides examples of living will documents for all states within the PYM region.
PYM’s Aging Support Coordinator, Sheila Sorkin, invites you to participate in an important survey on the Quaker Aging Resources website. The vision for this project may still hold true; however, we will value your input in discerning the future of this valuable website.
New York and Philadelphia Yearly Meetings of Friends (Quakers), through generous funding from Friends Foundation for the Aging and the Thomas Scattergood Foundation, collaborated to develop Quaker Aging Resources (QAR). The project was designed over 13 years ago to assist Meetings and individuals in responding to the needs of aging Friends including age related changes, chronic illness or disability. The resources are intended to uphold a culture of care for the body, mind, spirit and community of the individual, which is consistent with our Quaker faith, and address the following needs: [Read more…] about History & Vision of Quaker Aging Resources