Meetings may be seeking to create meaningful Christmas programs that keep Friends connected while also being safe about Covid-19. Two online Conversation Circles were hosted by the Youth Religious Life Coordinator to share ideas and support each other with how to plan for celebrations in this challenging time. [Read more…] about Christmas Together in New Ways
Abigaile Brace-Higgins is a member of Mickleton Meeting and serves on the planning circle for PYM Giant Children’s Meeting programs. This article originally appeared in the Salem Quarter News, Fall 2020.
On March 16th, 2020, I laid down in the cool, muddy-grass at the foot of a tree in my backyard and looked up at the bare branches crackling like brittle-veins across the clear sky in the stark morning light. My two and a half year old son, Keegan, played quietly in his sandbox next to me. The heavy news of Covid-19 was thrashing like a storm all around us, but in that moment we were still. Nowhere to go, anytime soon. The impossible sadness of tragedy befalling thousands of people around the world pounded deep inside me. As a parent of a young child, my mind swelled with questions: How should my child understand this? How should I help him adapt? To cope? To stay safe? How long is this going to be? How are we going to move forward and stay connected to all those in our lives we hold dear? [Read more…] about For Our Children: A Quaker Parent’s Perspective
Parents have been holding a lot in these past eight months. In addition to the multiple stressors of life during a pandemic and social unrest and violence in the news and neighborhoods, the intensity of the election cycle is an experience both for us as adults and for our children. Depending on their age, children and teens may be aware of the anxiety of the adults around them and experiencing their own anxiety about the outcome of the election next week. [Read more…] about Parenting + Presidential Election + Pandemic
A free event designed for students engaged in the college search process, the 2020 Quaker College Fair was held 11:00 am – 1:30 pm on Saturday, October 17th over Zoom. After the panel discussion, representatives from several college admissions spoke with attendees.
See below for the agenda, a list of panelists, and a list of the college admissions representatives. [Read more…] about Catch Up on the Quaker College Fair
Middle School Friends began their Fall Hangout series with a fun afternoon of baking!
After spending some time getting to know each other through introductions and a “favorite thing about fall” scavenger hunt, Chef Alix (our fabulous MSF Assistant!) led everyone through the steps of making a key lime pie. Each pie had its own unique characteristics – just like our Middle School Friends – and they all were delicious! [Read more…] about Middle School Friends Made Pie!
It is a truth universally acknowledged that every empty meeting house exists to embrace worshipers. Friends say they miss in-person worship during this pandemic, and some have found ways to carefully manage convening for indoor and outdoor worship.
Over the course of a month, PYM staff have started visiting meetings to be present in community. As we’ve connected through personal fellowship and phone calls, clerks and meeting members have explained how they have seasoned the decision to reopen. They’ve had to balance safety, tech support, and overall meeting capacity with the genuine need that Friends have to sit together in worship.
All of the four meetings that we visited in late August and September — Horsham, Quakertown, Third Haven, and Plumstead — were offering in-person worship. [Read more…] about In Person Worship: Outdoors and in Meetinghouses
We are in a liminal space right now: there is uncertainty about what is ahead, but it is also a threshold to a new place. Thinking about planning for First Day programs this fall, I wonder what new possibilities are emerging during this de-stabilized time? In March, there was a crisis response and many meetings pivoted into online spaces; now the shift is to the new normal. Friends are thinking about how and when to return to meeting houses and what the implications are for children and young people gathering with the meeting. Some questions we might consider in this moment of community planning:
[Read more…] about Fall Religious Education Planning: Connection and New Directions
Overall, we’ve had 386 people attend during six days of annual sessions’ virtual programming, including young people who participated in Youth Programs.
While the Community Engagement team ran a multitude of keynotes, worship sharing/affinity spaces and meetings for Business or Worship, devoted Youth Program staff built meaningful All Together Time, and facilitated morning and afternoon programs supported by Friendly Presences. There were also Bible classes, tech sessions, and very helpful, previously curated, advance documents and videos. Young Adult Friends (YAFs) did spiritual practices including lectio divina, welcomed two YAFs as keynote speakers, and convened contemplative prayer. Parents gathered for an evening worship sharing as an online version of the “Family Neighborhood.” Five plenaries, 18 workshops, and five meditation classes preceded everything as part of the ‘Runway to Sessions.’ [Read more…] about Annual Sessions Final Keynote: “We Belong Together” With City Love
Children’s Program Epistle
To All Friends Everywhere, from the Children of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting.
We gathered for our Annual Sessions in Zoom rooms, July 29 to August 2, 2020. Our time together included playing, singing, laughing, and being close to Spirit.
The artist in residence Zenaida Peterson helped us to deepen our relationship with God through poetry and games. We wrote poems and made zines. We laughed a whole lot. Together we wrote this poem: [Read more…] about Youth Programs Epistles 2020
To all Friends everywhere:
Greetings from a gathering of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting Young Adult Friends, together from many different homes for Annual Sessions, July 29–August 2, 2020. Many of us gathered from the lands around Philadelphia, on the traditional homelands of the Lenni Lenape. We humbly acknowledge that many or all of us are settlers here, and live on stolen lands. [Read more…] about Young Adult Friends Epistle from Philadelphia Yearly Meeting Annual Sessions 2020