Please ‘Save the Date’ for November 6, 2021 from 9am to 4pm as we gather for Fall Continuing Sessions, a day that includes worship, fellowship, and business.
Registration and details will be available during the Summer 2021.
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:
This is the second in a series of articles about Quakers who’ve impacted the fields of education and contributed to global scientific, medical, political, or economic leadership. The first article was published on September 23 and covered Elise Goulding, Ezra Cornell, and Johns Hopkins.
Nitobe Inazo (1862-1933) was a Japanese Quaker who became the first Under Secretary General for the League of Nations. Nitobe was born into a samurai family on Honshu, the main island of Japan. While in college, he became a Christian and later a Friend. In 1884, He moved to the US for post-graduate studies at Johns Hopkins University. There he began attending Quaker meetings, telling friends, “I very much like their simplicity and earnestness.”
Quaker education has always been grounded in basic principles of the Religious Society of Friends. Each child has that of God within, and Friends’ education is centered in truth, practical learning, scientific inquiry, simplicity, and concern for civic society.
Quakers have a long history of questioning power and engaging in social action for human rights and peace. Today, many Quaker schools or Quaker affiliated institutions of higher education frame their learning environments with social or civic responsibilities and define community expectations through the lens of Friends’ values while still honoring the individual.
As the United States grew from colony to nation, the Quakers advocated for and delivered universal pubic education in Pennsylvania, built colleges, and created private Quaker secondary and elementary schools. The motto of the William Penn Charter School; “Good Instruction is Better than Riches” dates back to its founding in 1689 and still serves to describe Friends’ fundamental belief that knowledge outperforms wealth over time.
In the United States, Quakers were key to the founding of Haverford College (Pennsylvania), Guilford College (North Carolina,) Earlham College (Indiana), Swarthmore College (Pennsylvania), Johns Hopkins University (Maryland), Cornell University (New York), and the Wharton School of University of Pennsylvania (Pennsylvania). All that does not mean that Quakers were perfect. As we see in the stories below, the were human and also strongly influenced by their own time and place.
Redefined clerking roles filled by some new faces
Annual Sessions 2020 saw some important changes in leadership. First, Philadelphia Yearly Meeting’s (PYM) clerking roles were re-adjusted to be better aligned with volunteer capacities and PYM’s needs, and Nominating Council then proposed a roster of skilled Friends to fill these redefined roles.
Jean-Marie Prestwidge Barch and Frank Barch, members of Schuylkill Monthly Meeting, were appointed to a two-year non-renewable term as Co-Clerks of PYM. Our Alternate Clerk, Jonathon Rhoads, was released from his stewardship role clerking for the community with much gratitude. Melissa Rycroft, formerly clerk of Nominating Council, and a member from Upper Susquehanna Quarter, accepted the position of Rising Clerk. James (Jim) Waddington was appointed Clerk of the Administrative Council.
Our Annual Sessions poet-in-residence, Zenaida Peterson, will weave
together a yearly meeting POEM based on your reflections!
All ages are invited to participate and Families with children can work together. You can assist younger children in writing their lines of poetry, or scribe for them. We hope everyone in a household will share as they are led!
How do we find Spirit in the shadows during this time?
What does it mean to be Faithful now?
Philadelphia Yearly Meeting
Attn: Annual Sessions
1515 Cherry Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102
Zenaida will receive the reflections, and weave together all the lines Friends of our yearly meeting have submitted to create a Yearly Meeting Poem 2020. This will be revealed during the week of Annual Sessions, July 29-August 2.
In 1968, the Poor People’s Campaign (PPC) was first named as a key concern of Friends in America. American Friends Service Committee’s (AFSC) Associate Executive Secretary, Stephen Cary, remarked that the PPC “…has made poverty in America visible, and never again will it be possible to pretend that it is not real.”
52 years later, Philadelphia Yearly Meeting (PYM) recognizes that we need to work together as a community to continue to make poverty and all the injustices that contribute to it more visible. As part of that process, PYM’s Quaker Life Council recently minuted an endorsement of the PPC, as has PYM’s Young Adult Friends community, Trenton Meeting of Friends and Haddonfield Quarter. PYM has also offered youth programming (described later in this story) around this initiative and will continue to support the community’s energy on addressing the causes and consequences of poverty in America today.
The Fellowship of Friends of African Descent was formed at a Gathering at Pendle Hill in Pennsylvania in 1990. It arose among a group of committed Friends out of a desire for Quakers of African descent to get to know each other. It was incorporated with the following mission statement in 1991:
The Friends International Bilingual Center (FIBC) is a Bolivian program that offers educational programs for children, young people, and adults in la Paz, Bolivia. Their programming is focused around human value and Quaker principles, and participants experience spiritual and intellectual growth centered in the belief that there is that of God in everyone.
Over the past week, people have been assembling in peace to express grief and voice concern over police brutality and racism in the killings of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota; Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Kentucky; and Ahmaud Arbery in Southeastern Georgia.
Like many monthly meetings, Friends School communities were deeply affected by these issues. As a result, school administrations and trustees at schools in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware published powerful messages on their websites that were centered in the Quaker belief that there is that of God in everyone and Friends’ testimony of Equality. These have been basic tenets of the faith since the time of Margaret Fell and George Fox.
The latest news, events and program updates from Philadelphia Yearly Meeting.