On April 19, 2021 Mullica Hill business meeting approved a new membership category for long distance attender/members within their community: Affiliate Membership. Philadelphia Yearly Meeting’s Faith and Practice specifies that “the monthly meeting is the final authority in all matters concerning membership, and all membership occurs in the monthly meeting.” As a faith of continuing revelation, Friends can and do review and alter their practices over time to meet current needs, as is exemplified in Mullica Hill’s decision.
On a regular schedule PYM’s General Secretary, Christie Duncan-Tessmer, publishes a report to PYM Councils detailing work that PYM Staff has completed. You can read a full archive of reports to councils or read her report for the April of 2021 below. [Read more…] about General Secretary Report, April 2021
We are delighted to announce that Mars Hohenstein has agreed to serve as the Children and Families Program Facilitator. They join Crystal Hershey who serves as the program Assistant.
Mars grew up in the care of Frankford Meeting, and has worked with children in a variety of settings including leading the First Day program for children there, and as a teaching assistant at Frankford Friends School. A native Philadelphian, Mars earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Math from Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota. [Read more…] about Children & Families Program Welcomes New Staff
There are opportunities for Philadelphia Yearly Meeting members to share in the stewardship of PYM’s granting funds by joining one of our Granting Groups. Every year, the Granting Committee seeks new members to join Granting Groups for a three-year term.
Young Adult Friends wrote a 2019 Epistle on Membership asking the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting to reconsider how membership is defined. They made the point that “a simple model of monthly meeting membership, in which one belongs to a singular community for life, is no longer useful.” This question has sparked reflection and has now risen to one of the three big initiatives of the Yearly Meeting in 2021.
Johanna Jackson, who is 31, came to March 2021 Continuing Sessions at the invitation of our Rising Clerk, Melissa Rycroft. During Spring Continuing Sessions Melissa led PYM through a PowerPoint on the question of belonging and membership in the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, and welcomed Johanna’s thoughts on what other kinds of Quaker community could be envisioned for our community.
Inspired by their powerful vocal ministry that day, here follows a deeper conversation about belonging with the two of them. [Read more…] about On Belonging: Quakers Can be More Inviting
A Member Reflects on Her Experience
Linda Clark is a member of Chestnut Hill Friends Meeting. As a whole meeting, Chestnut Hill Friends has joined an organization called POWER. In this article, Linda reflects on her experiences working with POWER and why it’s important for meetings across PA to join. If you have questions if your meeting is interested, please contact Linda at email@example.com. [Read more…] about Calling All PA Meetings: Consider Joining POWER
The story below was previously published in the Merion Friends Meeting April 2021 Newsletter. The article was written by Janet Frazer.
Lower Merion Township’s official history begins in 1682 after Penn established his colony and sold the land to the Welsh Quakers who founded Merion Friends Meeting. But the area was not empty when these travelers arrived! Quaker Thomas Evan’s son reported that when his father arrived in Merion that year he was thirsty and given a drink of water by an elderly Swede and his wife. Dr. Edward Jones later recalled that shortly after his family’s arrival, “the Indians brought venison to our door for six pence ye quarter .” Thomas Paschal, an immigrant from Bristol, England, who lived at Kingsessing (Southwest Philadelphia) wrote in 1683 that “Swedes provide food and housing for the newcomers but also essential services in negotiating with the native Indians”. So the Delaware Valley was not an unoccupied wilderness when the Quakers arrived.
Like others, Philadelphia Yearly Meeting’s staff have endured this pandemic year while witnessing persistent violence directed at non-white populations. The latest killing of Daunte Wright by a police officer is another instance of how unsafe it is to live as a person of color in the United States.
The death of George Floyd, and each individual’s loss of life through hate and gun violence is personally felt. The rise in anti Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) violence is addressed in the staff statement below. The statement was welcomed and affirmed by the presiding clerks of the yearly meeting, Jean-Marie Prestwidge Barch and Frank Barch, earlier this week.
Granting Committee last week invited members of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting’s Granting Groups – along with Administrative Council members, Young Adult Friend consultants, and staff – to gather online to celebrate those involved in the care and stewardship of the Yearly Meeting’s granting funds and to reflect on their work in the past year. “Celebrating Our Granting Witness” offered Granting Group members from different groups the chance to build community and learn from one another. To begin, Ken Park, clerk of the Granting Committee, led us in a period of grounding worship before passing the spotlight on to Friends presenting on their granting group. [Read more…] about Grantmakers Gather to Celebrate PYM’s Granting Witness on April 1
Warm greetings from the Ministry and Care Committee of Quaker Life Council!
We trust this communication finds you well, grounded in Spirit and in your community of faith. This a reminder that if you haven’t already sent yours, we would like to receive the Spiritual Life of the Meeting report from your meeting by May 1, 2021. This will give the Ministry and Care Committee ample time to receive and read what you share, and to craft a document describing the Spiritual State of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting and send it to the Quaker Life Council in advance of PYM’s summer sessions, July 27-August 1. [Read more…] about Reminder – Spiritual Life of the Meeting Reports