Onward into the new year and new opportunities to learn and grow together in our Yearly Meeting in 2023! Two of those opportunities focus on intergenerational worship and Bible study. We have so much to learn from one another in our approaches to these topics, and the PYM “Worship & Care Package” is one way we will explore new possibilities together. Friends who support religious education in our meetings are a community of practice; let’s consider about how we might accompany one another in the next year, sharing the ways that children, young people, and their families are part of our meeting communities. [Read more…] about Religious Education Resources & Events for Winter 2023
Friends Who Care For Youth
The Yearly Meeting’s Quaker Education Granting Group reminds meetings and families that local meeting members’ children who are applying to or attending Friends schools are eligible to apply for educational support for the 2023-24 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 Quaker Children in PYM Friends Schools
On Thursday, September 29, Friends gathered online for a presentation and discussion exploring the roots of Quaker religious education and our condition in meetings today. PYM Participants were joined by Friends from meetings across the US (all the way to Hawaii) and Costa Rica, to “rethink” the way we approach children’s religious education in meetings. Is it time to release a scholastic, lesson-based model focused only on Sunday morning?
Queries anchored both small group and whole group discussion and themes that emerged included: sharing about intergenerational programs, including youth in activism and witness, and understanding religious education as the responsibility of the whole meeting. It was an inspiring conversation! [Read more…] about Rethinking “First Day School”
Since 2019, members of the Ujima Friends Peace Center have partnered with Sankofa Artisan Guild to make reusable, environmentally friendly menstrual pads, pouches, and under garments for African girls’ whose educations are compromised due to “period poverty.” The group, now known as the PanAfrican Sisterhood Health Initiative (PASHI), is led by a group of Black Women elders most of who are community workers, keepers of the culture, educators, activists, counselors and lovers of the arts. The Friends Foundation on Aging supports funding for the project. [Read more…] about Ujima Friends Sewing for Africa
A small but enthusiastic contingent of Young Friends helped make the Bucks Quarter Peace Fair, on September 17, a great success. The Peace Fair brings dozens of nonprofits doing work aligned with Quaker values to a wider audience, along with craft vendors, live music, a book sale, kids’ games and a range of food offerings. Starting the day bright and early, before the opening of the Fair, the Young Friends helped set up vendor booths, unloading the vendors’ materials and putting up tents to keep things moving swiftly. [Read more…] about Young Friends Support the Peace Fair
In the Fall of 2020, as children returned to school online and many meetings settled into hosting worship on Zoom, the question of how to support religious education programs and community for children and families in meetings was on many minds. Local meetings did amazing things in the depth of the pandemic — care packages, calls and notes to young Friends and their families, outdoor programs when possible — even online Christmas pageants! The PYM Children & Families program was also experimenting, and Giant Children’s Meeting was born from both necessity and hope. Now we’re ready to discern what’s next for creating children and their families in our wider PYM community. [Read more…] about Giant Children’s Meeting: What’s Next?
When the afternoon sunshine softens and the crickets take over for the cicada chorus, I know it’s back to school time. The former classroom teacher in me feels the tug to get ready for the new year, and of course in meetings we may be getting ready to welcome children and youth back from summer adventures to school-year routines. One of the ideas I’m thinking about a lot is rethinking “First Day School” — both that language and the scholastic model. It’s not “the way we’ve always done things” as Friends, and the interruptions of the pandemic continue to create opportunities for new ways of exploring, listening, and being community in our meetings. Join me for a conversation on this! Below you’ll find resources for Fall and events for conversation, service, and fellowship.
[Read more…] about Religious Education Resources & Events for Fall
Throughout the month of June, Pride celebrations have happened across our PYM region. As the month comes to a close we can carry on that spirit of affirmation and inclusion. In this year when religious groups and government legislation are fighting to repress queer youth and their families, PYM celebrates the importance of our LGBTQ+ community. The Youth Programs Advisory Committee recently approved a minute of support for the LGBTQ+ youth, staff, families, and volunteers in our Youth Programs, which was accepted in June by the Quaker Life Council. There is more work to do! Shared here is the YPAC minute in full, along with resources and reflections on how we can continue to educate and celebrate belonging for all in our local meetings and yearly meeting community. [Read more…] about Celebrating & Nurturing Support for Queer Youth
Happy summertime, Friends! In the coming weeks, children and teens will be done with school and families will shift into summer routines. I’ll be back in touch in August with ideas for looking forward to the Fall, and if you’re ready to start thinking in that direction this planning guide is still a good place to begin this summer. The resources and events offered below for June and July include Juneteenth, FGC’s “YAY!” gathering, and what’s for families and youth at our Annual Sessions. I hope you will pass them along to families and youth in your meetings and communities! [Read more…] about Religious Education Resources and Events for June & July