Summary of PYM program News – Mid-May to Mid-June 2020
- We are in the process of developing a re-opening plan for PYM staff, which will entail a partial re-opening. 10 members of staff will be permitted in the office at any given time, following appropriate safety practices. Certain staff whose duties require them to be in the office (things to do with accounting, receiving mail, signing checks, etc.) have priority access to the office for their work.
Program and Ministry
- Created and posted the Runway to Annual Sessions – the workshop series.
Register for Annual Sessions
Annual Session Schedule
Plenary Sessions Series
- We convened 6 workshops with 12 more scheduled, through July 17.
May and June workshops are as follows:
- May 28: Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) – Telling Your COVID-19 story to Congress. 25 participants
- June 2: Quaker Voluntary Service (QVS) – Four Roles of Social Change. 15 participants.
- June 4: Eco-Justice Collaborative – The Climate Crisis: What are Friends Called to Do? 25 participants
- June 9: Quaker Voluntary Service (QVS) – Transformative Conflict. 26 participants.
- June 11: J. Warrington and C. Singleton – Historic Fair Hill: 180 Years of Social Justice Work. 24 participants.
- June 15: B. Smith – Getting to Know the Majority of Friends. 36 participants.
- June 17: First Contact Reconciliation – Race Based Mascots: A Prime Challenge to Decolonize.
- June 19: M. Wenner Bradley and R. Mohr – What We Talk about When We Talk about God.
- June 22: E. Dreby and S. Olshevski – Growth Dilemma: Economics, Population, and Climate Change.
- June 24: J. Fussell and C. Quirk – Quaker Testimony: Inward Truth, Outward Witness – Spiritual Depth to SPICES.
- June 26: A. Duckett Wagner (FWCC) – Connecting Friends, Crossing Cultures, Changing Lives.
- Young Friends program is hosting a regular “Friday Check-ins”.
- Both Young Friends and Middle School Friends have had workshops with the AFSC Fellow working on the Poor People’s Campaign.
- Held a virtual Friends in Fellowship webinar on June 10 entitled “Ethical Artificial Intelligence: A Design Solution” with Emily Ominsky, (a YAF at Haverford Meeting). Emily is an artificial intelligence expert working at Accenture, an AI consulting firm. There were about 30 participants from about 20 log-ins.
- Launched a Mindfulness Meditation series with an event on June 25.
- Organized a Sprint on Pastoral Care during PYM virtual Annual Sessions 2020.
- We have a new weekly email, “Sunday Sessions”, which highlights the Runway to Annual Sessions –Workshops, Plenary Sessions, and Mindfulness Meditation classes for the upcoming 2 weeks.
- May “Tote Bag” religious education newsletter.
- Young Friends program community in May and June.
- Middle School Friends community in June.
- Annual Sessions newsletter to 2,839 Friends.
- Friends in Fellowship newsletter for May and June events.
- Middle School Friends coordinators have sent out birthday cards to summer birthdays in their program.
- Published Black Lives Matter: A Pastoral Care Message.
Inclusion and Anti-Racism
- Upon Program Committee approving the Antiracism Collaborative, we met with ARC to welcome their work to the yearly meeting.
- We Held 3rd Microaggressions sprint meeting on May 18.
- Several reflections and statements were curated and released on the PYM website regarding the killing of George Floyd.
- Staff engaged in many discussions, mutual support and healing work in response to the killing of George Floyd, the ongoing racism in our country that it highlighted, and the present unrest.
Staff and Administration
- Sean Connolly started work as the new Executive Director of the Arch Street Meeting House on June 9. Sean comes to this work having spent many hours at Arch Street. He first became acquainted with its staff members and volunteers while Assistant Director for Historic Philadelphia’s Once Upon a Nation In that role, he designed the successful student tours at Arch Street that include a brief period of silent worship and the chance to talk about the student-centered experience. Most recently, Sean headed the Education Department at Pennsbury Manor. He has a B.A. in history and an M.A. in Theatre and Non-Profit Management. Please welcome Sean when you meet him.
Communications and Technology
- The communications team has been heavily engaged in supporting virtual programming at PYM through a cascading series of print and web communications and important web architecture changes.Website: Web traffic was up in May by about 23% with people accessing the NCC Covid-19 letter of support to Governor Wolf, our own Faith and Practice (this is becoming a top draw), and the article about four Quaker Women artists (a big draw in both April and May). We have added new pages for YAF, pastoral care, and religious education news, redesigned the Annual Sessions multisite, and created fresh Annual Sessions messaging and branding on the home page.
- Registration forms have been embedded into PYM calendar events and we’ve set up a total of 17 Events + Registration forms for the “Runway to Annual Sessions” Workshops and Sessions itself. We also reorganized our member and meeting data collection pages into a data multisite.
- The volume of reporting has never been higher. Almost 30 PYM web articles were written and published in May. We’ve tripled social media engagement.
- Print Work: We’ve printed and mailed the annual sessions postcard, gone to print on PYM Flash (a new newspaper), created a youth program notecard that was mailed to families with personal notes, and mailed a personalized spring appeal (Theme “We are here for you,”) to 7000 + households with a further 500 informative no-ask letters going to Friends in the ‘Do not solicit’ category.
- Email & Data: We transitioned from Constant Contact as our email provider to Salesforce Pardot, identifying some 1000 obsolete (dead) email addresses in our database in the process. We created distinctive branded templates for communications from Session youth programs, bridge contacts and other divisions.
- We’ve begun a data cleaning process that will enable us to provide monthly meetings with more accurate lists of their membership in formats that are digitally useful to the meetings.
- PYM invites all council members to sign up for our “Weekly News and Events” emails at pym.org/subscribe
Virtual Visits – Zachary Dutton, the Associate Secretary for Program and Religious Life attended the following in lieu of the General Secretary:
- Friends Council on Education Annual Meeting on 4/23/2020
- The National Council of Churches Governing Board Meeting on 4/28/2020
- The Religious Leaders Council of Philadelphia Meeting on 5/05/2020
- The virtual annual sessions of South Eastern Yearly Meeting on 5/23/2020 and Northern Yearly Meeting also on 5/23/2020