On Tuesday, July 20, PYM Treasurer, Andrew Anderson welcomed Friends to the Q&A session for the budget for Fiscal Year 2022. After opening worship, Andrew briefed the community on topics covered in four financial documents posted as advance documents on the Annual Sessions pages. A report follows. [Read more…] about Takeaways From the Budget Q&A Session on July 20, 2021
Philadelphia Yearly Meeting
PYM Annual Sessions 2021‘s affinity groups continue to be an integral part of Annual Sessions every year. They are important because affinity groups offer a space to connect, and strengthen community by bringing people together to support each other in safe spaces.
In powerful way, listening can really generate a sense of community and belonging. This was felt recently when eighteen Friends from across the yearly meeting gathered for a Clerks’ Listening Session Tuesday, July 13th, from 7:00 to 8:30.
They shared joys, concerns, and experiences of the past year as well as particular hopes or questions they wished to share as our yearly meeting community heads into our annual five-and-a-half day gathering to worship, learn, and grow together in fellowship and business.
Nikki Mosgrove is an active Member of Trenton Monthly Meeting who serves on the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting Administrative Council. Additionally, she serves as Trustee for both the Friends Foundation for Aging and the School of the Spirit Quaker Ministry. A grants professional, Nikki is a public servant in the truest sense of the word. She devotes her grant writing and grants management expertise to securing and tracking funding for the City of Trenton.
There is both energy and faith within Nikki that feeds a rich inner life and spiritual vocation beyond work. This led her to found Nia Ministries, Inc. which connects people closer to God and a life of purpose in service to others.
In Kiswahili, Nia means “purpose” and to make our collective vocation the building of our community. Nikki has compelling ideas about how Friends can address our world’s faults, possibilities, and blessings. Her ideas are pragmatic and direct; invest in the local community. They are also centered in the heart’s truth; don’t look for people to knock on your door – go out and meet people.
This conversation with Nikki, and her opening Annual Sessions keynote on July 28, shares some of the faith-led purpose that makes Nikki such a compelling and beloved member of our Quaker Community.
The Young Adult Friends (YAF) program has flourished through years of service by Meg Rose, Young Adult Engagement Coordinator, and her predecessor, Elizabeth Piersol Schmidt. As we look ahead to when Meg is leaving Philadelphia Yearly Meeting to begin a career in social work in late July, it is worth looking back at all that ties this engaged set of young adults to one another, to their leadership commitment to peers, and to this Faith.
The YAF program supports the spiritual vitality and community of PYM by creating programming specifically for young adult Friends (age 18-35-ish), as well as strengthening commitment and involvement of young adult Friends in PYM’s multigenerational community.
One of the experiences of the pandemic has been the incredible strain placed on people parenting school-age children. This was acute during times of isolation and work/school from home, but the residual trauma may be felt by children and youth for some time. While no shared experience is the same for everyone, in many ways the circumstances of the pandemic uncovered or underscored an isolation and need for support being felt by families in our society today. This includes our Religious Society; when a family walks through the door of a meeting, there are three sets of needs we should be prepared to support: the spiritual formation of their children, the spiritual journey of the adults as individual seekers drawn to Quakerism, and the family unit as they search for a spiritual community for their family to grow and contribute in. [Read more…] about Support for Families in the Circle of Meeting Life
This interview with Jane Fernandes is a part of our Quakers in Education series. It follows our earlier conversations with Terry Nance I & II, Sa’ed Atshan, Maurice Eldridge, and Sarah Willie-LeBreton.
Jane Fernandes served as the president of Guilford College for seven years. She is the first deaf woman to lead an American college or university. She continues her role as a professor of English at Guilford.
Before joining Guilford College, Jane was a part of the University of North Carolina at Asheville, where she had been provost and vice-chancellor of academic affairs for six years. In addition, she served as vice president and later provost of Gallaudet University for a total of eleven years. Gallaudet University is a Washington, D.C., school that educates people who are deaf or hard of hearing.
Last Spring PYM interviewed Sa’ed Atshan, Associate Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies at Swarthmore College. Sa’ed is a member of CPMM (Central Philadelphia Monthly Meeting) and a member of the Middle East Collaborative. This June PYM is sharing a 2149 word excerpt from the preface of his new book, Queer Palestine and the Empire of Critique.
As so often happens, books tear us away from our own reality and open doors to other people’s lived experiences. This book–which called out to me from its featured spot in an Andersonville, Chicago bookstore window this past May–names some of what a person goes through as they realize they see, feel, and embrace Queer consciousness.
On a regular schedule PYM’s General Secretary, Christie Duncan-Tessmer, publishes a report to PYM Councils detailing work that PYM Staff has completed. You can read a full archive of reports to councils or read her report for May 2021 below. [Read more…] about General Secretary Report, June 2021
First celebrated in 1866, Juneteenth honors the news of the abolition of slavery reaching Texas in 1865. On Wednesday, June 16, 2021, Congress passed legislation to make Juneteenth a federal holiday. It’s the first federal holiday approved since Martin Luther King Jr. Day in 1983.
It is a myth that Quakers did not participate in the enslavement of others, but it is true that many Quakers voiced strong opposition to forced labor and chattel slavery, agitating for the laws to change. Grounded a belief in all people’s humanity and equality, Quakers like John Woolman, Paul Cuffe, Cyrus Bustill, Thomas Garrett, and Lucretia Mott served as key change-makers in the movement to abolish slavery. The Quaker Faith passed a minute that prohibited all Friends from owning enslaved persons in 1776. Friends today continue to work towards undoing racism.
This year’s Annual Sessions theme focuses on this work, “Uproot Injustice, Root Justice.” The theme will be present and woven into all aspects of our work together.