From 1916 to 1966, the Young Friends Movement of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting hosted a lecture series, which they called The William Penn Lectures (later renamed the Seeking Faithfulness Lectures). The Young Friends Movement began the lecture series “for the purpose of closer fellowship; for the strengthening by such association and the interchange of experience, of loyalty to the ideals of the Society of Friends; and for the preparation by such common ideals for more effective work through the Society of Friends for the growth of the Kingdom of God on Earth.” These lectures were published by the Book Committee of PYM, and PYM has granted Pendle Hill Publications permission to digitize them for the public.
Dozens of lectures by F/friends including Rufus Jones, Ira De A. Reid, H. Richard Niebuhr, and Bayard Rustin are now available for free download through a Pendle Hill partnership with PYM.
This partnership grew out of a leading. Jim Rose of Quaker Heron Press describes how he came to the idea:
Pendle Hill had a practice of asking week-long students to take on a job on Wednesday afternoon. One week my task was to clean/dust and arrange the books in the Upmeads library and in the process I found, high on an upper shelf, a whole series of dusty pamphlets called the William Penn Lectures. Inaccessible? You bet. A few months later I sojourned at Pendle Hill while my late wife was taking a week-long course. During that week I sat with my computer and scanned the text of those pamphlets. My intent was to make that body of literature more accessible to Quakers and others throughout the world on the internet. And recently that goal has been achieved.