On a regular schedule PYM’s General Secretary, Christie Duncan-Tessmer, publishes a report to PYM Councils detailing work that PYM Staff has completed. You can read a full archive of reports to councils or read her report for November 2021 below.
Program and Ministry
Connect Friends and meetings to one another so that we may experience vibrant, Spirit-led faith community Broaden engagement and deepen relationships in our yearly meeting.
- Continuing Sessions, November 5, 6, and 7:
- Friday evening, November 5, Friends enjoyed uplifting and creative musical fellowship led by Molly Hicks of Old Haverford Meeting.
- Saturday, November 6, we gathered in the morning for mindfulness meditation and then meeting for worship for business, approximately 90 people attended via Zoom.
- Sunday, November 7,Arch Street Meetinghouse, there was an in-person gathering with guest author and artist Anastasia Higginbotham that included a conversation with Anastasia and a collage workshop to explore how she makes her books. Anastasia’s educational witness as a writer for young people is centered in belonging, racial justice, individual and collective liberation, and transformation. Approximately 50 people attended the Friday and Sunday programs.
- Friends in Business, November 4 at Arch Street Meeting House, featured the speaker Takashi Moriuchi, the co-founder and managing director of Estancia Capital Management a specialist private equity firm and member of Moorestown Meeting. 66 people attended. A record number of young adults attended – 11% of the group! With the exception of when we hosted the Governor, Tom Wolf, this was the largest number of people in recent years gathered at Friends in Business.
- Quaker Parent Mutual Support Groups, launch in November for six months. They will meet for an hour every two weeks to provide Friends who are currently parenting children with a space for mutual conversation and support. This year, the project is co-sponsored by New York Yearly Meeting, Friends United Meeting, and Philadelphia Yearly Meeting. There are approximately 90 parents, stretching from Hawaii to Korea and the Philippines and all four branches of Quakerism.
- Data fact – 704 people attended one or more virtual PYM programs last fiscal year.
Business and Finance
- Fiscal year 2021 ended September 30. The audit is in process. Upgrades to accounting systems in recent years are facilitating the process because more of can be automated.
- 2021 Annual Fund reached at least $327,000 – $27k higher than our goal.
- Christmas Appeal – Beating the Christmas Mail rush: Six weeks after the end of the fiscal year appeal, the Winter appeal was completed and two versions (the standard and a no-ask version for those who opt out of fundraising communications) are in the mail before Thanksgiving. The theme of the campaign is the Quaker forest. The campaign theme is already reflected in our website header. Check it out.
- Planned Giving: Following an intense and through preparation process a planned giving campaign will go live after Thanksgiving with a dedicated brochure and pages on our website. It reflects advice/input from the Development Committee and Friends Fiduciary, our partner for planned giving.
Communications and Technology
Connect Friends across the yearly meeting through effective communications and technologies. Simplify and focus governance and administration.
- Donor Funded Marketing test – two methods, A $6000 “marketing test” grant was received last summer and the project is now underway to test two very different forms of outreach.
- A brochure created with content developed with input from Friends and staff. It is developed as a template so key parts can be personalized for any particular meeting. This was printed and shipped to Little Egg Harbor.
- A template direct mail post card was developed that can be sent to specific types of addresses or handed out. The front of the card is fixed and the back can be personalized to the meeting. The marketing test was for Barnegat Monthly Meeting. A postcard was mailed to 5917 households in the Barnegat zip code. The target households were recent move-ins and families with children. The cost for printing and mailing was $1,400.
- The Crisis Support page of the website was activated following the Kyle Rittenhouse verdict. This is a banner that opens at the top of the front page of the website with a link to support resources. It was developed in 2020 and is activated when needed.
- Staff organized a public check-in Zoom call with the PYM membership to discuss the final changes to the way PYM intends to structure the positions that will hold the community building, aging support, YAFs, and mental health support.
- Phone screenings have begun for the Young Friends Co-Facilitator position which will be vacant at the end of the calendar year.
- Two staff members, the Data Coordinator and the Event & Resources Coordinator moved on to the next steps in their careers. The work is being managed in an interim capacity with current staff and some expanded hours while we determine next steps.
- The DEI Team has begun the work of developing a DEI Strategic plan which will support the work of inclusivity and anti-oppression within our office culture.
(photo courtesy of Photo by Omid Armin on Unsplash)