General Secretary Report to Councils

General Secretary, PYM

Mid-February Through Mid-March 2019

Business and Finances:

  • PYM has been using the services of Your-Part-Time-Controller (YPTC) since November. YPTC identified and implemented a range of process efficiencies in closing the books for quarter ended December 31, 2018.  Based on the updated process we expect to generate financial information more quickly and easily than in the past.
  • The 2019 Annual Report was completed.

Program and Ministry:

  • Preparation for Continuing Sessions has been a primary focus including:
    • Programs for children and youth
    • The action happening at the beginning of Continuing Sessions, which will be largely worship, bringing together young adults from across our geography. This is a way in which recent shifts in the young adult engagement have allowed PYM and young adult Quakers to reach a much broader audience of Quakers and Quaker-interested people
    • One Quilt One Yearly Meeting will be featured at Continuing Sessions as well. Meetings are sending in their quilts, receiving support from our Community Engagement Coordinator, and are invited to bring finished squares to sessions.
    • Lunch for the Bridge Contacts at Continuing Sessions will start building community and shape a newfound role for them
    • Three locations for conducting Continuing Sessions were visited (Miller Arts Center, Reading Monthly Meeting, and the Berks Detention Center).
  • The Pastoral Care Thread Gathering drew 35 attendees, focusing on care through a multigenerational lens. It has received very positive feedback so far. Members of program staff worked to prepare and conduct workshops related to pastoral care & ageism, pastoral care for youth and families, and pastoral care for young adults.
  • Our “Aging in the Light” program presented workshops that included how to build an aging resource team at Quaker meetings.
  • Our first Friends in Fellowship event titled “About Faith” featured a moderated discussion with panelists Marcelle Martin, Steven Davison, AyishaImani, and David Watt. Fifty people were in attendance.
  • The Friends in Business planning team was expanded and the group met to consider additional or alternative opportunities for the Friends in Business program.
  • Our Grantmakers Luncheon, a semi-annual gathering of Friends who serve on granting groups, heard reports from many groups and celebrated Carol Walz’s 24 years of service to PYM granting.

Communications and Technology:

  • Launched the component of our database that supports all of our grant work!
  • Began a new way of doing bulk updates of our database with a consultant funded by a donor.
  • Verified that our website is enabled for the blind and initiated planning on how to boost that capacity.

Staff and Administration:

  • Recruitment & Onboarding:
    • Recruitment for Arch Street Meeting House Events Support Staff position is underway.
    • Onboarded new Childcare Assistant using the full onboarding plan – it is a shift to provide such multi-faceted connections with a very part-time position. As a reminder, the new onboarding process focuses on welcoming the employee, ensuring they have all the tools and support needed to get started and be successful in their job and builds an inclusive and cohesive work environment as staff members have a role in supporting the new employee.
    • Contracted with an employment agency to secure support for granting activity on an interim basis while permanent granting staff are out of the office on leave or retirement for an extended period this spring.
  • Collaborated with the Youth Program staff and identified training priorities. These are mandated reporting, Food Safety and Mental health First Aid. Significant consideration is being given to scheduling to ensure trainings are accessible. Several online options have been identified.
  • Collaborated with the Youth Program staff and identified training priorities. These are mandated reporting, Food Safety and Mental health First Aid. Significant consideration is being given to scheduling to ensure trainings are accessible. Several online options have been identified.

Visits to Quaker Meetings and Organizations:

  • Grace Sharples Cooke, Associate Secretary for Advancement and Relationship visited Third Haven Meeting to facilitate strategic conversations about long-term planning.
  • Grace worshiped at Camden Meeting in Delaware.
  • Christie Duncan-Tessmer, General Secretary, worshiped at Monthly Meeting of Friends of Philadelphia (Arch Street).
  • Christie worshiped with Westfield meeting and attended the Haddonfield Quarter business meeting.
  • Grace, Christie, Lynne Calamia, Executive Director of Arch Street Meeting House and Carol Walz, Director of Grantmaking visited Haddonfield Quarterly Meeting’s program. Lynne and Carol led sections of the program.