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
Peace & Social Justice Resources
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
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
Quaker practice invites Friends to listen deeply to the Inward Teacher and then to follow the leading that comes as a result. This is foundational to our faith, and individuals and meetings expect ourselves to be guided by Spirit in our daily decisions and with the direction of our lives. One way of responding to Spirit is through political action, including creating lasting and structural change through local, state, and federal legislation. Individuals may do this without limitation. When monthly, quarterly, and yearly meeting engagement is political, in addition to seeking unity in spiritual discernment we must also consider what is legally necessary for our non-profit organization. [Read more…] about Policy on Advocacy Explained
Administrative Council, after months of research and listening, approved a Policy on Advocacy in our yearly meeting which encourages Friends to follow their individual leadings and also articulates the limitations of a religion under the law. This story shares the policy and offers context and examples.
[Read more…] about Approved Policy on Advocacy
A parent in my meeting shared with me that they were not sure how to talk to their children about Russia’s war on Ukraine. I recalled a line in an article that had resonated for me as a parent and educator: We don’t have to protect children from difficult feelings, but we must not leave them alone with them. The Tote Bag newsletter for March/April has many resources and events to share with meetings and families, but these ideas for supporting one another and talking about ways to create peace are perhaps the most important. [Read more…] about Religious Education Resources for March & April 2022
On September 16th PYM featured a list of resources on how to support Afghan refugees. This was one of our most widely read stories this fall, and meetings have stepped into the work of welcoming and resettling refugees with passion and dedication. Now the City of Philadelphia is coordinating a Spiritual Care Presence at the Airport to welcome Afghan families fleeing Afghanistan. Today’s story shows how Friends meetings, and individual Friends can connect with the city around that work.
The City of Philadelphia is continuing this effort and is also working to reactivate the Interfaith Prayer space to provide spiritual counsel and reflection at the airport. It includes Noon Prayer and providing daily spiritual care between 3:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. Many religious leaders in Philadelphia are participating in these efforts by lending support.
PYM Quaker communities and individuals have asked how to help!
The recent events in Afghanistan have led to a dramatic uptick in the number of refugees who will need resettlement — a number that has reached crisis levels and requires unprecedented response.
Many meetings have contacted PYM for information about how they can collaborate with churches and communities to help. Resources and a video can be found below. [Read more…] about Assist Afghan Refugee Resettlement
Let us center the experience and contributions of Black Americans and Black Quakers in the past — and today. The resources below provide an opportunity to do so while exploring racism, privilege, and bias with young people in our care. There is more work to do!
Over the past week, people have been assembling in peace to express grief and voice concern over police brutality and racism in the killings of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota; Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Kentucky; and Ahmaud Arbery in Southeastern Georgia.
Like many monthly meetings, Friends School communities were deeply affected by these issues. As a result, school administrations and trustees at schools in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware published powerful messages on their websites that were centered in the Quaker belief that there is that of God in everyone and Friends’ testimony of Equality. These have been basic tenets of the faith since the time of Margaret Fell and George Fox.