Parents have been holding a lot in these past eight months. In addition to the multiple stressors of life during a pandemic and social unrest and violence in the news and neighborhoods, the intensity of the election cycle is an experience both for us as adults and for our children. Depending on their age, children and teens may be aware of the anxiety of the adults around them and experiencing their own anxiety about the outcome of the election next week. [Read more…] about Parenting + Presidential Election + Pandemic
George Schaefer serves Philadelphia Yearly Meeting as the Care and Aging Coordinator. He works with meetings, aging Friends, and individuals to support PYM’s spiritual growth, pastoral care, and community wholeness. This essay is his response to the burdens we may be carrying today and in the coming weeks. Tea with George is always perfect. Please sit with these thoughts and have a favorite cup of tea close to hand. [Read more…] about In These Times: A Pastoral Message
As we look ahead to election week we’ve assembled resources for Friends concerning care for community, crisis response planning, buddy systems, worship sharing, alternatives to calling the police, plus state-specific websites and some democracy organizations. We know that different communities have different needs and interests so have provided a range of alternatives. [Read more…] about Preparing for Election Week
Karen Tibbals uses her background in market research and Quaker religious studies to help people understand how others–on opposing political sides and with different ethical frameworks–make decisions. This work, like the graphic image above, draws groups with differing opinions into relationship (pink and blue become purple!) Her book can help liberals and conservatives identify the truths they share, and it explains the success of modern societal accomplishments like gay marriage and outlines why guns feel safe to conservatives and scary to liberals. Here we interview her about who she is, and how she came to publish the very helpful books she writes.
Last summer, PYM created a series of zoom video interviews with members of our community. The videos were part of our addressing racism plenary. These videos are a snapshot in time, and they are a reminder that spoken truth from individuals shape our faith as Friends.
We are republishing a 2020 letter and 2016 minute regarding state sanctioned violence from the Fellowship of Friends of African Descent
This group of African American Friends was formed at a Gathering at Pendle Hill in Pennsylvania in 1990. It arose from a leading among a group of committed Friends, and was born of a desire for Quakers of African descent to get to know each other. Their 1991 mission statement is:
- To publish and respond to the concerns of Friends of African descent within the Religious Society of Friends.
- To provide for the nurture of Friends of African descent, their families and friends.
- To address and respond to issues affecting people of African descent in their communities.
In conjunction with its story on Quakers involved in the suffragist movement, Merion Meeting researched the commitment and leadership provided by the African American women’s club.
During the Saturday, October 3rd, virtual event event hosted by Merion Meeting’s History and Archives Committee, a slide show was devoted to the important story of African-American activists’ involvement in securing women’s right to vote.
The presentation was researched and created by Janet Frazer for Merion Friends Meeting with technical aid from Susanna Frazer.
On the evening of Tuesday, October 13, 2020, about 125 leaders from monthly meetings met in community and mutual support via video conference.
Facilitated by Philadelphia Yearly Meeting’s (PYM) General Secretary, Christie Duncan-Tessmer, supported by PYM co-clerks Frank Barch and Jean-Marie Prestwidge Barch, and organized by PYM’s Community Engagement Team (Olivia Brangan, Melinda Wenner Bradley, TJ Jourian, and Zachary Dutton) the event shared information, gathered data about needs, and organized conversations aligned with community interests.
Breakout groups were led by Friends Counseling Coordinator, Janaki Spickard Keeler, Community Engagement Coordinator, Olivia Brangan, and Youth Religious Life Coordinator Melinda Wenner-Bradley. [Read more…] about PYM Launches Leadership Meetings to Support Monthly Meeting Fellowship
A free event designed for students engaged in the college search process, the 2020 Quaker College Fair was held 11:00 am – 1:30 pm on Saturday, October 17th over Zoom. After the panel discussion, representatives from several college admissions spoke with attendees.
See below for the agenda, a list of panelists, and a list of the college admissions representatives. [Read more…] about Catch Up on the Quaker College Fair
With thanks to the Merion Meeting for submitting the content for this article in recognition of the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment. During the Saturday, October 3rd virtual event, facilitated by Ross Mitchell, Pat Jordan performed the role of Carrie Chapman Catt, president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association. The event was organized by Merion Meeting’s History and Archives Committee and was paired with an article on local Quakers who participated in the protests and demonstrations for universal suffrage.