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.
Warm greetings from the Ministry and Care Committee of Quaker Life Council!
We trust this communication finds you well, grounded in Spirit and in your community of faith. This a reminder that if you haven’t already sent yours, we would like to receive the Spiritual Life of the Meeting report from your meeting by May 1, 2021. This will give the Ministry and Care Committee ample time to receive and read what you share, and to craft a document describing the Spiritual State of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting and send it to the Quaker Life Council in advance of PYM’s summer sessions, July 27-August 1. [Read more…] about Reminder – Spiritual Life of the Meeting Reports
The author of this post, Zachary T. Dutton, serves our yearly meeting as Associate Secretary for Program and Religious Life. He is a white cisgender gay man working (imperfectly) to dismantle oppression in all its forms. He is a member of Central Philadelphia Monthly Meeting.
While many Friends share Zachary’s concerns, the views expressed here do not necessarily represent the views of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting as a whole. Check out the Rainbow Railroad for information on one way to support international LGBTQ+ people. The PYM Website contains further resources on its page for Peace & Social Justice. [Read more…] about In Solidarity with LGBTQ+ People
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
Dearest Friends in PYM Monthly and Quarterly Meetings and other PYM Quaker Groups,
We trust this finds you seeking to be grounded in Spirit and in your community of faith. 2020 has certainly been a year filled with both opportunities and challenges! The Ministry and Care Committee of Quaker Life Council is once again asking for your help as we look to better understand the spiritual state of our yearly meeting through this past year.
To accomplish this, we are asking meetings to consider responding to the following queries: [Read more…] about Share Your Meeting’s Spiritual Self-Assessment
The Quaker Traditions Series is a set of articles on the Quaker faith. In his role as Associate Secretary for Religious Life, Zachary Dutton has listened deeply to Friends in the community. Working with the PYM staff community engagement team he has provided answers to framing questions for this four-part series. The answers are reflective as opposed to definitive.
The gift of the Quaker faith is that it is one of continuing revelation, so the article speaks to the ‘here and now’ of our faith even as it is tied to, and reflects, our history and tradition. If you have thoughts on these questions, please share them with Zachary – his email is at the end of this article. He is always looking for new ways to be in relationship with our wider Quaker community.
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
George Schaefer serves Philadelphia Yearly Meeting as the Care and Aging Coordinator. He works with meetings, aging Friends, and individuals to support PYM’s spiritual growth, pastoral care, and community wholeness. This essay is his response to the burdens we may be carrying today and in the coming weeks. Tea with George is always perfect. Please sit with these thoughts and have a favorite cup of tea close to hand. [Read more…] about In These Times: A Pastoral Message
As we look ahead to election week we’ve assembled resources for Friends concerning care for community, crisis response planning, buddy systems, worship sharing, alternatives to calling the police, plus state-specific websites and some democracy organizations. We know that different communities have different needs and interests so have provided a range of alternatives. [Read more…] about Preparing for Election Week