During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Resource Friend program pivoted to accommodate the urgent needs in the yearly meeting about connectedness, technology, and spiritual guidance. John Marquette, a member of Lehigh Valley Meeting, served Philadelphia Yearly Meeting (PYM) as an Outreach and Communications Resource Friend in 2021 through December 2022. PYM received a generous grant from the Thomas H. & Mary Williams Shoemaker Fund which supported both the Resource Friend program in this area and grants for local and quarterly meetings in the yearly meeting interested in outreach and the caring work of connecting Friends in online and hybrid spaces.
John connected with Friends who had varied questions and most visits included both attending to both equipment needs and pastoral care needs related to technology in the life of the meeting. John began every visit with worship together and the query, “How is the spiritual state of your meeting?” He frequently commented on how well received he was in his role as a connection with the yearly meeting.
Moving forward, John and Community Engagement staff have determined the ongoing need for the Outreach & Communications Resource Friend program, and we would like to build a team of Resource Friends throughout the PYM region who can support this future work. We are fortunate that John will help transition Friends into the role. Funding from the Shoemaker grant will continue to support hybrid technology consultation for local meetings, providing the stipend for Resource Friends in this area for a continued period of time.
The yearly meeting is grateful to the Shoemaker Fund for the grant that helped seed this successful program. We are also deeply grateful for the gifts that John Marquette has shared to support Friends in local meetings with varied tech questions and spiritual guidance and pastoral care when needed. Onward, with gratitude for your service, John!
- Please connect with us if your monthly or quarterly meeting would like support from an Outreach & Communications Resource Friend.
- Please contact us if you or someone you know is interested in becoming a Resource Friend. This role in service to our community receives a stipend for time and expertise shared.