Quaker & Special Collections at Haverford College is now accepting applications for its 2024-2025 short-term fellowship programs. [Read more…] about Gest Fellowship at Haverford College Libraries
An Interview with a Senior LGBTQ Friend
Tom Woodward is a retired Westtown School English and Latin teacher. Chatting with Tom about the challenges of his personal life and highlights of his teaching career was both heartwarming and enlightening. It was at Westtown School in West Chester, PA, Tom truly began his spiritual journey and discovery of Quakerism. [Read more…] about Seeking Ingrained Spirituality in the Face of Systemic Opposition
PYM Youth Programs welcomed Spring with a series of weekend events that included young people of all ages! We’re excited for our upcoming Annual Sessions July 26-30th. Be sure to stay connected for news about Fall programs for children, youth, and families!
On Earth Day, Saturday, April 22, 2023, Westtown School officially announced its partnership with Christa Barfield, owner, and operator of FarmerJawn Agriculture. Earlier this year, Barfield joined forces with Westtown School leasing 123 acres to create an organic farm. Westtown families and residents from the surrounding community celebrated the new partnership this past weekend on the school’s campus. Attendees witnessed a special blessing by Lenni Lenape elders and enjoyed tethered balloon rides, hayrides, and a host of family-friendly activities.
Queries from PYM Faith and Practice are read at the beginning of worship each month at my meeting; one of the youth in our Young People’s Group is the reader. In May, they were the ones about religious education: Nurturing Our Community: Religious Education in the Home and Meeting. As we think about returning to weekly programs for our children and youth, what guidance do these queries offer? This summer is a moment to pause and consider the experiences and lessons of these past months and how they might shape our programs and support for young Friends and families in our meetings. The PYM queries ask us is place in the center of our religious education programs preparation, formation, and belonging.
[Read more…] about Part 2: Where are we going? Supporting Families and Religious Education
This is the first of a two-part story focused on local meetings and their experiences with programs and support for children and youth, and their families, in the last fourteen months of “pandemic times.” Families in our local meetings come in all different varieties; these stories are focused on families with children and the people parenting them (who also come to that relationship in a variety of ways, including foster parents and grandparents).
The people who support children and youth programs in meetings, in their Quarter, and the Yearly Meeting have expressed many feelings in this time — sadness at separation, joy in creativity, mourning for connections lost, delight in new ideas, frustration with lack of support, fear that families will not “return” when others resume community in person. I’ve written about the liminal time we’re in, and the opportunities this disruption/interruption provides to think in new ways. I’m also holding a keen awareness of the exhaustion and longing to return to “normalcy” that Friends may be feeling; it feels important to balance encouragement about new possibilities and succor for what feels lost or overwhelming. [Read more…] about Part I: Where have we been? Where are we going? Supporting Families and Religious Education
How do Friends experience the fire of the Holy Spirit? What questions and images do we offer in religious education to contemplate the inner Light? How does Pentecost help us to come close to these ideas? Pentecost was absent from my own religious education in an unprogrammed Friends meeting, and it was through work in another church that I came close to this story and found how it resonated for me as a Quaker.
Earlham School of Religion has a new graduate certificate: Spiritual Formation.
This 6-course certificate is designed for individuals with undergraduate or graduate degrees in many different fields who want to explore a Seminary education rooted in Quaker thought and practice, without committing to a degree program: new retirees, career changers, those seeking vocational discernment, and others in the midst of transition. The required courses are core courses of the MDiv degree; the certificate can be applied toward the MDiv once finished.
Stop. Listen. Something incredible is about to happen . . .
This is the Nativity story as told by Melinda Wenner Bradley, who serves PYM as the Youth Religious Life Coordinator. She is an accredited Godly Play Trainer and storyteller and a co-author of Faith & Play: Quaker Stories for Friends Trained in the Godly Play Method.
Abigaile Brace-Higgins is a member of Mickleton Meeting and serves on the planning circle for PYM Giant Children’s Meeting programs. This article originally appeared in the Salem Quarter News, Fall 2020.
On March 16th, 2020, I laid down in the cool, muddy-grass at the foot of a tree in my backyard and looked up at the bare branches crackling like brittle-veins across the clear sky in the stark morning light. My two and a half year old son, Keegan, played quietly in his sandbox next to me. The heavy news of Covid-19 was thrashing like a storm all around us, but in that moment we were still. Nowhere to go, anytime soon. The impossible sadness of tragedy befalling thousands of people around the world pounded deep inside me. As a parent of a young child, my mind swelled with questions: How should my child understand this? How should I help him adapt? To cope? To stay safe? How long is this going to be? How are we going to move forward and stay connected to all those in our lives we hold dear? [Read more…] about For Our Children: A Quaker Parent’s Perspective