Day 4: Early Steps in a Long Journey

Annual Sessions

See what you missed at Annual Sessions today.

It’s the fourth day of Annual Sessions, where Friends from across Philadelphia Yearly Meeting have gathered here at Muhlenberg College.

We’re sending you daily emails this week because we wish everyone in Philadelphia Yearly Meeting could be here. So we’re bringing a bit of Annual Sessions to you!

Addressing Racism as a Yearly Meeting Community

Addressing-RacismFriends at Annual Sessions today watched a 10 minute video in which white people shared stories of the effects of racism in their lives. Then Friends participated in a written activity of self-reflection, and listened to each other in worship sharing groups.

During the following corporate worship, many Friends spoke passionately about the very different ways that they experienced this exercise. Pain was expressed by some Friends of Color that the work is still too white-centric, and that Philadelphia Yearly Meeting needs to learn more about true inclusion.

Philadelphia Yearly Meeting is in the early stages of the long and difficult process of addressing racism as a community. Following Annual Sessions, there will be a more detailed report of the ways that this work was manifested during this gathering.

We Learned About The New Structures of Our Yearly Meeting

New-StructuresMembers of the Implementation Committee unveiled the primary structures that will support our corporate work and community going forward, and about the strategic directions that will guide our community over the next five years.

We watched a short overview video, and learned about the new structures through an interactive presentation featuring songs and improvised skits.

We Thanked Clerk Jada Jackson for Her Years of Service

Thank-Jada-JacksonIn a surprise agenda item, we thanked our outgoing Clerk, Jada Jackson, who has faithfully led the PYM community through nine years of service, three as presiding clerk.

Jada was presented with gifts of song, words of praise, and a copy of her favorite photo collage featuring Friends from across the Yearly Meeting.

We Heard from Victoria Greene, Founder of Every Murder is Real

Victoria-GreeneIn the closing plenary, we heard from Victoria Greene, a social worker and the founder of Every Murder is Real (EMIR).

Based in Philadelphia, Victoria established EMIR in response to the tragic murder of her only son Emir Greene.

We Shared Special Moments Using the Hashtag #pymsessions

Hashtag3This year has sparked a higher participation in Social Media than ever before. Friends are taking photos and videos, then sharing them online in real-time using the hashtag #pymsessions. Follow along as each day develops!

We Selected “Brown Girl Dreaming” for One Book One Yearly Meeting

Brown-Girl-DreamingAll ten thousand Friends, 105 monthly meetings, 13 quarterly meetings, several worship groups, preparative meetings, and other constituents who make up our yearly meeting are invited to engage with the 2016 choice in some way, up through Annual Sessions 2016.

We Were Invited to Read the New Version of Faith and Practice

Faith-and-PracticeThe current iteration of the proposed version of Faith and Practice, featuring all revisions, is now available online. Feedback is wanted before January 2016. Take a look, and share your comments or thoughts!