All monthly meetings, quarterly meetings, and other local Quaker communities within the PYM area are invited and encouraged to submit Spiritual State of the Meeting Reports. Known leaders of monthly and quarterly meetings have been sent this request and guidance on how to conduct the spiritual self-assessment of your community that would lead to composing a report. See the “Guidelines for a Spiritual Self-assessment of the Meeting” section of our Faith & Practice for more information, and read answers to “Frequently Asked Questions” about the Spiritual State of the Meeting reports. The reports are due April 15, 2023.
Documenting How Spirit Moves in Community
Each year, the Ministry and Care Committee of Quaker Life Committee collects and reads Spiritual State of the Meeting Reports from quarterly meetings and individual monthly meetings and uses them as the base on which to build a picture of our yearly meeting: the annual Spiritual State of the Yearly Meeting Report, available at annual sessions each year. The reports are also published by quarter on the PYM website.
The purpose of the reports is to create an opportunity for Friends in meetings to consider how Spirit has been moving in their worship community during the year just passed. The need for self-assessment is valuable to the meeting, we believe, and to the yearly meeting. Learning that there are needs and gifts that can be shared among us or that there is a need for greater capacity or support in a particular area is one important outcome from prayerful consideration of the Spiritual State of the Meeting reports. Read more about the purpose, process, and use of these reports in the “FAQ” resource.
Many meetings also prepare a separate report to submit to the yearly meeting detailing membership statistics (births, deaths, transfers of membership) and other specific events undertaken by the meeting throughout the year. Although both reports are important ways of sharing the experience of the Monthly Meeting throughout the year, the Spiritual State of the Meeting Report, as its title suggests, focuses on the spiritual life of the meeting; it is for this report that the Ministry and Care Committee of QLC provides requests and queries each year, and it is this report that provides a foundation for the Spiritual State of the Yearly Meeting Report.
The committee has set April 15, 2023 as the deadline for receiving Spiritual State of the Meeting reports. Any received after this date will be incorporated into the following year’s Spiritual State of the Yearly Meeting Report.
Queries to Guide
For some Friends, it is helpful to use specific queries to focus the report; the Ministry and Care Committee of QLC spends time early each Fall in prayerful consideration of queries that might serve as a foundation for these reports. The committee offers the following queries to form the basis of this year’s Spiritual State of the Meeting Report for those meetings that find such queries provide them with a useful organizational platform.
- In this past year, how has your meeting worked to create and strengthen the reality of a Beloved Community? How has your meeting fostered an environment in which members and attenders of all ages know they are loved, cared for, trusted, and respected?
- How have you sought to be neighbors and in relationship with other communities?
- How has your meeting been called to address issues of racism this past year? What additional concerns and initiatives have your meeting or meeting members been led to address?
- How has the Spirit guided your work on climate change? How has your meeting addressed the five action areas identified in the climate change sprint report? Has your Meeting appointed a Climate Witness Liaison (.pdf)?
- What learnings and yearnings particular to your meeting would you like to share?
- What are things the Yearly Meeting might do to support your meeting?
Quarterly Meeting Submissions
We are aware that quarterly meetings have different current practices regarding the Spiritual State of the Meeting Report. For some, reports are collected from the constituent monthly meetings and are forwarded to the yearly meeting with or without a report on the spiritual state of the quarterly meeting. For some, reporting on the spiritual state of the quarterly meeting is a separate enterprise undertaken by the quarterly meeting coordinator or clerk. We are sure there are other practices as well. We deeply appreciate learning of the spiritual state of both the quarterly and the monthly meetings.
How to Submit this Year’s Report
Monthly and quarterly meetings may submit reports using this form.
We look forward to learning about your meeting and having the opportunity to share that learning more widely. Please plan to submit your report for this year to the yearly meeting by 15th of 4th Month, 2023 (April 15).
With gratitude and blessings,
— Jean-Marie Prestwidge Barch, Clerk, on behalf of Ministry and Care Committee of Quaker Life Council
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