Three times a year, Christie Duncan-Tessmer, General Secretary, invites PYM Friends in monthly meeting and quarterly meeting leadership roles to attend gatherings on Zoom. Over 100 leaders attended one or both of the January 18 and January 25, 2023 events, gathering for sharing, listening, and learning.
The topics that are covered at the gatherings are informed by the answers to the questions in the registration form. The intention is to respond to how Spirit is moving through the meetings. On the Quarterly Meeting call, Christie shared about the small break-out groups that were discerned from the input on the event registration. The small group topics that each person could choose were:
- Let’s get vibrant participation in Quarterly Meeting from each meeting and from families.
- Let’s provide support from the Quarterly Meetings for Monthly Meeting committee management.
- Let’s communicate well amongst Quarters.
Quarterly Meeting leaders were asked to draw a star shape with six points on paper; the groups used a starburst brainstorming technique to answer the questions on the star points of who, what, where, when, why, and how. The final five minutes of the small group sharing, participants were asked to notice what the group discovered. After a brief report back from the groups, we closed with worship and farewells. Christie assigned ‘homework’ for next time – how can each person in a small break-out group be listened to and heard.
State of the Meeting Reports
At both leadership gatherings, Christie Duncan-Tessmer, General Secretary, welcomed and gathered the leaders for worship. Melissa Rycroft, Presiding Clerk, shared a story with both groups of building community through traditional Quaker practice of intervisitation and submitting the State of the Meeting Reports. Please submit the reports this year by April 15.
Archiving Quaker Records
A question arose on the September registration about archiving Quaker records. We listened! At the Quarterly Meeting Leadership gathering, Mary Craudereuff, curator of the Quaker Collections at Haverford College, presented information about depositing and archiving meeting reports, deeds, and minutes. Caitlin Goodman, archivist at Friends Historical Library at Swarthmore College, presented similar information at the Monthly Meeting Leadership Gathering.
Mary and Caitlin shared a resource on Archiving and Depositing Records (.pdf). Please connect with Mary Crauderueff at the Haverford College library at email@example.com or Caitlin Goodman at Swarthmore at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
At the Monthly Meeting Gathering, Janaki Spickard Keeler, Coordinator for Friends Counseling Service, shared about resources available to the yearly meeting through the Friends Counseling Service. Janaki announced that there is still time to join Mindful Mondays – the meditation sessions in the series each stand alone. You can still register. Please connect with Janaki for questions at email@example.com.
Websites for Meetings
At the January 25 gathering, Samantha Slade, PYM Director of Communication, briefly spoke about yearly meeting support for the upcoming changes with the Friends General Conference (FGC) Quaker Cloud. FGC has created a resource for meetings desiring a web presence. There is Quaker Cloud Support on M, W, & F from 9AM-3PM; 330-915-8090. More information to come!
On January 7, an in-person Thread Gathering was held at West Chester Meeting; the gathering focused on Religious Education and Outreach as partners who work “hand in hand” – it was well attended. Upcoming Thread Gatherings will focus on climate, eldership, and addressing racism work.
Mark Your Calendar
Please mark your calendar for the Spring Gathering for Quarterly Meeting Leadership scheduled for Thursday, May 18 from 7pm to 8:15pm and the Monthly Meeting Leadership Gathering the following week, on Thursday evening, May 25 (same time) – both on Zoom. Topics and issues raised on the registration for this week’s gathering will help to shape the agenda for May. Looking forward to seeing you there!