Philadelphia Yearly Meeting is pleased to share the good news that Melinda Wenner Bradley is now serving our community as the Director of Programs. This newly created role holds responsibility for cultivating relationship and ministry amongst Friends and meetings and working with program staff to direct their energy and resources to engage PYM Friends. Melinda, a member of West Chester Meeting, has been with PYM as the Youth Religious Life Coordinator for the last four years and brings to this new role her insight on how we nurture our experience of community and the spiritual formation of Friends of all ages. The Director of Programs job description includes holding a portfolio of program-focused work and many Friends will be glad to know that Melinda will continue to support religious education.
Our strategic directions guide us to connect Friends and meetings to one another so that we may experience vibrant, Spirit-led community and deepen our relationships. Philadelphia Yearly Meeting has the gift of a devoted staff who support the community in making those connections. When there is turnover, as staff members move on, we have the opportunity to reflect on their meaningful contributions and to consider what new opportunities there are to continue to build on those contributions. [Read more…] about Retooling Our Staff Structure to Better Support Our Community
The months leading to Annual Session 2022 will have a different feel for our Yearly Meeting’s Youth Programs. Staff are eager to seek ways to rebuild the program communities that have been impacted by the pandemic. Decreasing attendance in youth programming is a trend that’s existed in US yearly meetings, however the pandemic has put into sharp relief the concerns. While PYM staff and volunteers have been consistently (and valiantly) creative and resourceful with online programming, outreach to youth and families, and gathering in person when possible, we need to rebuild community and connection. Let’s do this together, Friends! [Read more…] about Programs for Youth and Families: New Directions
Over the last four weeks, more than 50 Friends registered to gather on Sunday evenings for an online adult religious education series exploring Advent — the time of expectant waiting before Christmas — with scripture, discussion, guided activities, prayers, and readings. [Read more…] about Advent Program Invites Reflection and Transformation
On November 2nd, PYM hosted a second public meeting to provide a forum where Friends could hear and give feedback on the ongoing development of plans to shift PYM staffing structure.
[Read more…] about Report on Upcoming Staffing Shifts
In this story:
- Giant Children’s Meeting is Back this Fall!
- Young Friends Staffing Announcement
- October issue of The Tote Bag focuses on collegial sharing and connection
Zachary Dutton has been PYM’s Associate Secretary for Program and Religious Life since September 1, 2014. In these seven years he has been a leader on PYM staff. He also stewarded implementation of our seven strategic directions, and grappled with how best to meet a complex set of community needs with smaller staffing footprints. Overall, Zachary has been a facilitator of change and has focused attention on new issues.
We are elated to welcome Afroza Hossain to PYM Staff as Interim Young Adult Friends Facilitator! Afroza will work closely with other members of our staff Community Engagement Team to support young adult programming through the fall while we search for someone to fill a permanent position.
As part of Runway to Annual Sessions, ‘We Are the Radical Monarchs’ is a two-part event for all ages (10-100!). The first event will be a community viewing of the documentary on June 11, followed by a facilitated discussion on June 13. Friends unable to join on June 11 can register and receive the link to view the film on their own time June 12-13 and join the conversation on Sunday!
This documentary film tells the story of a different kind of “scout troop” — a group of BIPOC girls in Oakland, CA who coalesce personal leadership around environmental, LGBTQ+, and disability issues of their time and community. The Radical Monarchs co-founders and leaders, two queer women of color, shape and motivate their work. Below is an interview with Melinda Wenner Bradley, PYM’s Youth Religious Life Coordinator, who describes “fierce sisterhood” and “multigenerational joy” as motivations to host these events.
The author of this post, Zachary T. Dutton, serves our yearly meeting as Associate Secretary for Program and Religious Life. He is a white cisgender gay man working (imperfectly) to dismantle oppression in all its forms. He is a member of Central Philadelphia Monthly Meeting.
While many Friends share Zachary’s concerns, the views expressed here do not necessarily represent the views of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting as a whole. Check out the Rainbow Railroad for information on one way to support international LGBTQ+ people. The PYM Website contains further resources on its page for Peace & Social Justice. [Read more…] about In Solidarity with LGBTQ+ People