Ujima Friends Meeting announced in June 2021 that: “In an act of declaration and commitment, we, a people of African descent, our families and friends, respond to the movement of the Spirit among us to form Ujima Friends Meeting within the Religious Society of Friends. Ujima Friends Meeting is a community of faith without borders, dedicated to bearing witness to peace, justice, and love.”What follows is republished From Philadelphia Quarterly Meeting’s January Newsletter.
When a visitor arrives at Sankofa Freedom Academy, a Philadelphia charter school, the first feeling is one of love. A second feeling is calm – Sankofa students and teachers are full of intention and purpose. The third is respect and joy.
These school walls may hold moments of stress or success, but either way, no one is going to be left unsupported or un-loved, and the community is there to value and lift each soul, and all minds, up.
Ayesha Imani, PhD, is the Quaker educator who serves as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Sankofa Freedom Academy. She is also one of the founders. The kindergarten to grade 12 school – which opened in 2009 and is currently the only Freedom School in Philadelphia – was inspired by Ayesha’s children’s positive experiences in Quaker schools, the Quaker faith, the need for a culturally African-centric instructional model, and the charter school movement.
This is a story of Quaker energy and spiritual focus.
In addition to being co-clerk of the yearly meeting, Jean-Marie Prestwidge Barch is clerk of PYM’s Ministry and Care Committee. She has shared this news story in the hope that meetings and individuals will be inspired to learn about Trust Circles and participate in transforming our yearly meeting. [Read more…] about Meetings and Individuals Are Invited to Acquire a New Tool: Trust Circles
A few years ago, my meeting’s RE committee planned to focus on one of the Friends testimonies each month, and found we got stuck (in a good way!) on peace. We ended up creating a year-long program that started with peace in ourselves and moved outward each month in circles of expanding communities: exploring peace in our homes, meeting, neighborhoods, and the world. [Read more…] about Religious Education Resources for January & February 2022
As Friends Meetings initiate conversations about how to address racism, a number have looked into how their communities might make reparations. Two meetings, Trenton and Green Street have taken action. The story below shares the path Green Street Friends are now on. It has been a multi-year discernment process done under the stewardship of a reparations committee. For the Green Street Meeting, the project represents a deep spiritual commitment, and they feel that by working in relationship with Black Germantown residents their community is being enlivened. The committee has submitted much of the content for this report, and a list of committee members’ names follows the report along with ways to learn more about the project.
After I became a parent, I wanted to slow down the approach to Christmas for our young children. I hoped to celebrate more than one morning with presents under the tree, and wanted them to understand the story behind the familiar Nativity pageant scene of robed humans and animal acolytes. That was when I rediscovered the weeks of Advent in a new way, through the Godly Play story and its words: [Read more…] about Religious Education Resources for December 2021
Meg Kidd is a Friend who has been translating human rights documentation for indigenous peoples in Brazil. The people she has been working with, the Mbya Guarani, have a deep relationship with nature and keen knowledge of botany, which makes this conversation by email an interesting story to share on Thanksgiving.
With thanks to Richard (Dick) Nurse, (Princeton Meeting) who brought this story to PYM.
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
At the end of the winding road, known as Ye Greate Street, in Greenwich, Cumberland County, NJ, stands a historic Quaker meetinghouse. Built-in the mid-eighteenth century and known at that time as “The Place of Prophets,” the building – situated at present far from the bustle of contemporary life on the banks of the Cohansey River – remains an active, albeit seasonal, Friends meetinghouse today. Yet for all of its contemplative and rural qualities, Greenwich Friends Lower Meetinghouse also serves, at times, as a touchstone of community activism, storytelling, education, and outreach.
The Youth Programs theme for the coming year, “Building the Quaker community we want to be,” is inspired by the hope that local meetings will consider the invitation from our Youth Programs to collaborate and use this theme in some way in your ministry with children and youth. Shared below are specific curriculum resources to support interest in thematic planning between our circles of spiritual community. [Read more…] about Building the Quaker Community We Want to Be