This April, Haverford Quarterly Meeting convened to discuss the offering of conscientious objector (CO) training by Winifred Shaw Hope. The training (open to all) will be hosted on June 12 and 19. Participant costs will be defrayed by grants from some of the Quarter’s meetings. Below we unpack some of the history around how very precious the CO service option is. Training is necessary if meetings and schools are to be prepared to help 18-26 year-olds understand and access their options around registering as COs or becoming subject to compulsory military service in the event of a draft.
Ujima Friends Peace Center is a worshipping Quaker community of people of African Descent who have committed themselves to the village with residents of North Philadelphia to decrease various forms of violence that arise from systems of oppression. The Center can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. Below is a story about their summer plans.
Young Adult Friends wrote a 2019 Epistle on Membership asking the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting to reconsider how membership is defined. They made the point that “a simple model of monthly meeting membership, in which one belongs to a singular community for life, is no longer useful.” This question has sparked reflection and has now risen to one of the three big initiatives of the Yearly Meeting in 2021.
Johanna Jackson, who is 31, came to March 2021 Continuing Sessions at the invitation of our Rising Clerk, Melissa Rycroft. During Spring Continuing Sessions Melissa led PYM through a PowerPoint on the question of belonging and membership in the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, and welcomed Johanna’s thoughts on what other kinds of Quaker community could be envisioned for our community.
Inspired by their powerful vocal ministry that day, here follows a deeper conversation about belonging with the two of them. [Read more…] about On Belonging: Quakers Can be More Inviting
Over the weekend of February 20-21, our Middle School Friends (Grades 6-8) and Young Friends (high school) program communities were busy gathering for fellowship, worship, learning, and laughing. We welcomed new participants and re-connected with friends we’re hoping to see in person again soon. [Read more…] about Youth Hangouts & Summits
As the nation welcomes new leadership in Washington, and our state health systems continue to confront Covid 19 with vaccine roll-outs, it’s important to celebrate what we have right at home: faith, connection, and fresh ideas.
This Christmas, PYM worship communities and meetings needed to reconsider exactly how to engage Friends in virtual or distanced Christmas celebrations. With the help of many people, including resources shared by PYM’s Youth Religious Life Coordinator, Melinda Wenner Bradley, Friends came up with the wonderful ideas shared below. [Read more…] about How Meetings Coped with a (Mostly) Virtual Christmas
PYM’s Committee on Friends Education reminds families that monthly meeting members’ children attending or applying to Friends Schools are eligible to apply for educational support for the 2021-22 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 Friends Children in PYM Friends Schools
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
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!
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