Philadelphia Yearly Meeting shares this resource to guide others in their process of re-opening. As is our Quaker practice, we have produced a series of queries to consider. After each set of queries, a few resources are included for further exploration. No matter what, follow CDC, state, and local guidelines.
Find a few examples here:
- Centers for Disease Control
- Pennsylvania State Health Department
- New Jersey State Health Department
- Delaware State Health Department
- Maryland State Health Department
- City of Philadelphia Health Department
Please Share Your Story
Generally, we recommend that meetings take deliberate steps to address worship, programs for children and youth, committee work, community fellowship and meals, etc. Each community will have its own considerations to be discerned over time. Each community will also have concerns that are shared among all of us.
We highly encourage meetings to share about their experiences.
Be sure to remain connected to your core values and tuned into the spiritual depth that is always available to you. Prioritize relationship and focus on reconnection, reflection, and restoration during this period of transitioning into a new normal.
To review this guidance and facilitate more in-depth conversation, Friends are encouraged to attend a second Gathering on Re-Opening scheduled for Saturday, September 25 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Videos and Notes from PYM and FGC
Friends can find a video recording of PYM’s recent Gathering on Re-Opening during which we explored some of the underlying issues, and a news story with notes from the meeting. Also find the notes from a gathering on Hybrid meetings held earlier in the year. Additionally, Friends General Conference has shared a set of virtual meeting resources and held a series of roundtable discussions on related topics. FCG also created a suite a of FGC YouTube videos about virtual meetings and dealing with pandemic related issues.
Queries on Engaging Those Who Have Been Gone for a Time
- Who have we been missing in the last year? Where are they? Who was missing before this time?
- What systems do we have in place to reach them and remain in relationship with them?
- As we consider re-opening, how to do we support those who have been missing to return?
- What opportunities can we take at this juncture to reconsider our practices of inclusion of children, youth, and families?
- What opportunities can we take at this juncture to consider how our practices may need to change to ensure that all who are part of our community or may become part of our community find belonging?
- In light of the pandemic, how will we welcome new people who come to worship in person?
- How do we welcome all while remaining safe?
- Are there ways to keep those who have found our community virtually during the pandemic and who may live too far away to join us in person connected to Quakerism in some way? Can we keep them engaged in our community in some way?
- Do we need to plan a retreat to celebrate coming backing together and to emphasize reconnection, reflection and restoration?
- Looking Back and Ahead, presentation by Melinda Wenner Bradley
- Looking Back and Ahead, planning guide by Melinda Wenner Bradley
- Part 1: Where Have We Been? What’s Been Uncovered and Learned, Centering Needs of Families
- Part 2: Where are we going? Queries to Guide, Planning, Community, Safety
- Shannon Isaacs on Growing Quaker Community
- New Quaker Communities: Johanna Jackson
- Every Child Needs a Celebration of Juneteenth
- A Call for Intersectionality by T.J. Jourian
Queries on Community and the Quaker Tradition
- How will we nurture the spiritual depth of worship within a blended or hybrid model of meeting for worship?
- How will we ensure that all who are present remain in relationship with one another in the context of the worship experience?
- When there are Friends with deeply felt resistance to an approach to worship that includes forms of virtual engagement, how are we honoring their experience while ensuring that all remain able to enjoy the fruits of our time together?
- How do we honor the spirit of continuing revelation in our community while ensuring we do not outrun our guides in the context of flashy and new technological advancements?
- Change can be very scary. How are we creating space for Friends in our community to share feelings and find common ground regarding what feels most challenging so we can address it together?
- How are making space for people of all backgrounds, family structures, ages, races, abilities, genders, sexualities, and expressions to engage in new ways of worship and community?
- Faith and Practice – Concerns and Leadings
- Faith and Practice – Discernment
- Quaker Spiritual Practice
- Quaker Worship
- Quaker Belief and Practice
- Quaker Ministry & Decision Making
Queries on the Practicalities of Re-Opening
Rather than recreate these queries, we found those developed by Bucks Quarterly Meeting to be highly effective, and we recommend them to Friends. A link to a PDF document containing these queries may be found below. We also recommend developing your own worksheet or flow chart so that you have sense of what you will do and when. Find below, an example of a worksheet developed by John Marquette of Lehigh Valley Meeting along with a video about Lehigh Valley’s re-opening process. We also recommend checking out our story about the OWL, which may be of use to your community. Finally, FEMA has substantial grants of up to $9,000 available for COVID-19 related funeral/internment/cremation expenses and PYM has a grant to support this as well, the Anna T. Jeanes Cremation Fund.
- Bucks Quarterly Meeting Queries
- Lehigh Valley Meeting Worksheet
- Lehigh Valley Meeting Video
- About the OWL Device
- COVID-19 Funeral Assistance | FEMA.gov
- Anna T. Jeanes Cremation Fund (pym.org)
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