Philadelphia Yearly Meeting’s upcoming Continuing Sessions on March 27th will feature three issues of importance to Friends; Membership, Climate Change, and AntiRacism.
It is hoped that Friends at every meeting or worship group will feel led to participate, and that these issues will be brought back to your communities to inform and sustain Friends in an ongoing partnership towards a better world.
Continuing Sessions are also a time to connect across our PYM community in fellowship and for worship. There are events for all ages of Friends across these dates. We hope that meetings will share the opportunities to gather with your community, and encourage that we are part of a wider PYM Family.
Tuesday Evening March 23: Q&A with PYM Eco-Justice Collaborative in Preparation for the Climate Change Conversation
On Tuesday, March 23, there will be a special 7-8:30 Climate Change gathering. This will begin with a half hour of worship followed by a one-hour meeting to review and season the topic.
To underpin the Climate Change conversation at Sessions a list of resources are in the first bullet point below, followed by four QuakerSpeak films. All of these can help inform Friends’ thinking and discussion.
- Climate Change Resources, Compiled by the Eco-Justice Collaborative
- QuakerSpeak Video on Quaker Earth Care
- QuakerSpeak Video on Why Climate Change Is an Issue of Faith
- QuakerSpeak Video on How Quakers Approach Sustainability Work
- QuakerSpeak Video on What Quakerism Teaches About Connecting to Nature
Friday Evening March 26: Fellowship and Song
Friends are known for their love of fellowship, and Friday night’s 6:00 -7:30 event is fellowship for all ages together. Youth Programs staff are hosting the multigenerational space on Zoom, and Molly Hicks (Old Haverford Meeting) will lead the last part of the evening sharing our voices in community singing.
Saturday March 27: Continuing Sessions Schedule
As has been our practice, the day begins at 9:00 AM with a Land Acknowledgement and worship for all ages together followed by a break and review of technology.
Land Acknowledgments are many things to many people. For S. Boone O’ Scheyichbi, who is presenting the March 27th acknowledgment, it’s about “words coming from a place of honoring spirit and responding to the divine…honoring creator’s vision for each of us, and how…we carry that inner light forward.”
For younger Friends and their families, Youth Programs staff have shared on the PYM website ideas and resources to support participation in our shared online worship. Friends of all ages are part of PYM, and we’re All Together when everyone is in worship together. Because we’re using Zoom, families can attend for whatever part of the morning worship works for them.
After 10:30 AM, the morning will be devoted to considering and discussing the report from the Membership Sprint. The issue of membership in the yearly meeting as it’s tied to specific meeting membership has been raised up as a Young Adult Friend concern, and it is also an issue among Friends who wish to participate in the Faith, but do not seek membership in a particular Friends meeting.
For a deeper appreciation of the topic please read the 2019 Young Adult Friends Epistle on Membership.
After a break for lunch, the afternoon will focus on points of information around PYM’s Climate Change concern, a presentation on Eco-Justice and a session that embraces consideration of a query. It is hoped that we will feel led to develop a yearly meeting-wide ‘way forward’ with a Climate Change concern. Friends will also hear a report form the AntiRacism Collaborative on their work in the yearly meeting.
Youth Programs: Friday, Saturday, and Sunday
There are five youth program events over the three-day period of March 26-28th. Programming begins with the Friday evening fellowship and singing, and continues Saturday morning with the gathered All Ages Worship.
Youth Programs staff for all three groups (Children and Families K-5, Middle School Friends, and Young Friends) is offering a special “Hope Springs” program for young people from 12:30-1:30pm Saturday afternoon with games and an eco-friendly craft project. Registered children and youth will receive materials for the craft activity — register soon!
Two monthly programs round out the Continuing Sessions weekend for children, youth, and families: Giant Children’s Meeting for Families on Sunday morning at 9:00 is a joyful, growing community of families with children in 5th grade and younger. Older youth in middle and high school gather at 8:00 on Sunday evening for a half-hour, Youth-led meeting for worship.
Young Adult Programs
Young Adult Friends (YAF) are fully engaged in the work of Continuing Sessions with an ongoing concern for Membership, Climate Change, and AntiRacism work. They recently convened a 2021 Winter Retreat that overlapped with the February 27th Truth & Transformation Thread Gathering organized by PYM’s Quaker Life Counsel’s Ministry & Care Committee.
During the gathering YAFs explored the transformative practice of deep listening with the goal of increasing a capacity for healing through compassionate responses to incidents of racial wounding. This was followed by a 7:00 PM YAF PowerPoint party centered in the sharing of niche topics of interest or passions.
YAF programming serves 18-35ish year old F(f)riends. Please contact Meg Rose at firstname.lastname@example.org to be connected with the YAF community.