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. This series of Godly Play and Faith & Play stories about the life and ministry of Jesus can be used during the time leading up to Easter, and are for viewing with meeting communities or sharing at home. While the style of this storytelling is often associated with programs for children, we all need and yearn for stories. These are for all of us at any age! [Read more…] about Stories of Faith on the Road to Easter
On the cusp of the New Year, and just before retiring from his position as Care and Aging Coordinator, George Schaefer shares this powerful perspective on faithfulness among Friends. As one Friend recently said, Quakerism is a 24 hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week “faith” process of exploring the individual relationship with God, or Spirit, and building community with those around us while we try to live “in the Light.” In the work of faithfulness, and across the yearly meeting, George has been helpful and knowledgeable in his support to meetings and individuals. At the end of George’s essay, we have included a beautiful December 19th minute of appreciation from Haddonfield Quarter. [Read more…] about Faithfulness Among Friends
Over the last four weeks, more than 50 Friends registered to gather on Sunday evenings for an online adult religious education series exploring Advent — the time of expectant waiting before Christmas — with scripture, discussion, guided activities, prayers, and readings. [Read more…] about Advent Program Invites Reflection and Transformation
Friends have multiple ways of engaging with their communities, and Third Haven Meeting seems to do many of them. They have created a sister church relationship with a nearby African American Church; they offer programs on aging, meditation, and addiction; and they organize a summer camp that is open to local non-Quaker families.
[Read more…] about Third Haven Friends Meeting: Floats Dove of Peace for Easton Parade and Gives Back to Local Community
There are not many people who know George Schaefer and do not turn to him for wisdom, or for a much-needed and deft delivery of just-in-time Quaker advice and knowledge. This has been true on PYM staff, at every Annual Sessions, in crisis situations, and for those moments of song, fellowship, and joy that come our way as Friends in community.
[Read more…] about George Schaefer: On the Practice of Pastoral Care
On November 2nd, PYM hosted a second public meeting to provide a forum where Friends could hear and give feedback on the ongoing development of plans to shift PYM staffing structure.
[Read more…] about Report on Upcoming Staffing Shifts
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.
Johanna Jackson (she) is a member of State College Friends Meeting. She travels in the ministry with JT Dorr-Bremme, a Friend with a gift for eldering. They formed the Listening Project, a series of creative conversations rooted in love. Johanna writes about the spiritual community that sustains her, imagining how similar groups could help sustain others, too.
How do Friends experience the fire of the Holy Spirit? What questions and images do we offer in religious education to contemplate the inner Light? How does Pentecost help us to come close to these ideas? Pentecost was absent from my own religious education in an unprogrammed Friends meeting, and it was through work in another church that I came close to this story and found how it resonated for me as a Quaker.
The Runway to Annual Sessions 2021 began on Tuesday, May 4, and runs through July 24. These weeks leading up to Annual Sessions week (July 27 – August 1) hold important workshops, gatherings, youth programs, a multigenerational documentary viewing and discussion, a Young Adult Friend retreat, a Collaborative Fair, Q&As, and reports from PYM representatives to other Quaker organizations.
The Young Adult Friends Spring Retreat is being held this weekend on May 14 and May 15. Young Adult retreats are open to Quakers and Seekers ages 18-35-ish and provide opportunities to connect with peers and explore shared interests.