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.
We are a people full of stories. Stories help us create meaning, make sense of our world, and develop identity. Stories are how some of the greatest teachers, including Jesus of Nazareth, shared their message and showed the path of a faithful life. [Read more…] about Stories of Faith on the Road to Easter
Back in the fall of 2020, two gatherings took place – one for monthly meeting leaders and another for quarterly meeting leaders. Worship during the pandemic was a big topic of discussion, so we had a follow up meeting on January 26, 2121 wherein we asked monthly and quarterly meetings to let us know who in their communities had experience with virtual and hybrid meetings. These are the notes from that meeting. [Read more…] about About Hybrid Meetings: How They Work
As the nation welcomes new leadership in Washington, and our state health systems continue to confront Covid 19 with vaccine roll-outs, it’s important to celebrate what we have right at home: faith, connection, and fresh ideas.
This Christmas, PYM worship communities and meetings needed to reconsider exactly how to engage Friends in virtual or distanced Christmas celebrations. With the help of many people, including resources shared by PYM’s Youth Religious Life Coordinator, Melinda Wenner Bradley, Friends came up with the wonderful ideas shared below. [Read more…] about How Meetings Coped with a (Mostly) Virtual Christmas
As the pandemic continues, and this week our nation struggles once more against the legacy of racial injustice and violence, our children look on.
Children and teens are experiencing the continued uncertainty of Covid and its impact on school, peer relationships, and future plans. Additionally, the events in Washington D.C. on January 6 were deeply disturbing and young people may feel anxiety, confusion, fear, sadness, or anger, and have questions about what they see and hear in the media and from friends. As parents, we’re holding space for our children’s feelings alongside our own anxiety, fury, and questions about moving forward. What follows are resources specifically for children, youth, and families.*
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
Meetings may be seeking to create meaningful Christmas programs that keep Friends connected while also being safe about Covid-19. Two online Conversation Circles were hosted by the Youth Religious Life Coordinator to share ideas and support each other with how to plan for celebrations in this challenging time. [Read more…] about Christmas Together in New Ways
Abigaile Brace-Higgins is a member of Mickleton Meeting and serves on the planning circle for PYM Giant Children’s Meeting programs. This article originally appeared in the Salem Quarter News, Fall 2020.
On March 16th, 2020, I laid down in the cool, muddy-grass at the foot of a tree in my backyard and looked up at the bare branches crackling like brittle-veins across the clear sky in the stark morning light. My two and a half year old son, Keegan, played quietly in his sandbox next to me. The heavy news of Covid-19 was thrashing like a storm all around us, but in that moment we were still. Nowhere to go, anytime soon. The impossible sadness of tragedy befalling thousands of people around the world pounded deep inside me. As a parent of a young child, my mind swelled with questions: How should my child understand this? How should I help him adapt? To cope? To stay safe? How long is this going to be? How are we going to move forward and stay connected to all those in our lives we hold dear? [Read more…] about For Our Children: A Quaker Parent’s Perspective
Parents have been holding a lot in these past eight months. In addition to the multiple stressors of life during a pandemic and social unrest and violence in the news and neighborhoods, the intensity of the election cycle is an experience both for us as adults and for our children. Depending on their age, children and teens may be aware of the anxiety of the adults around them and experiencing their own anxiety about the outcome of the election next week. [Read more…] about Parenting + Presidential Election + Pandemic
Karen Tibbals uses her background in market research and Quaker religious studies to help people understand how others–on opposing political sides and with different ethical frameworks–make decisions. This work, like the graphic image above, draws groups with differing opinions into relationship (pink and blue become purple!) Her book can help liberals and conservatives identify the truths they share, and it explains the success of modern societal accomplishments like gay marriage and outlines why guns feel safe to conservatives and scary to liberals. Here we interview her about who she is, and how she came to publish the very helpful books she writes.