Please join Moorestown Friends Meeting’s discussion of the third door, The Door Inward, from William Taber’s essay, ‘Four Doors to Meeting for Worship.’ Taber proposes that one way to enter a deeper experience of community worship is to imagine passing through a series of four stages, or doors; we discussed The Door Before in February and The Door Inward in March, and will reflect on The Door Beyond in May. Hard copies of this essay, Pendle Hill Pamphlet #306, are available from Pendle Hill for $7.50. All are welcome; click here to join, or phone 646-558-8656 and use meeting #785 699 478.
All are welcome to join Moorestown F/friends for a discussion of William Taber’s essay, ‘Four Doors to Meeting for Worship.’ Taber proposes that one way to enter the deeper experience of community worship is to imagine passing through a series of four stages, or doors. This essay describes these doors and invites worshipers to explore their thresholds; we are considering them in a series of four adult religious education sessions. In March, we reflect on the second door, The Door Inward. We discussed The Door Before in February, and will reflect on The Door Within in April and The Door Beyond in May. Hard copies of this essay, Pendle Hill Pamphlet #306, are available from Pendle Hill for $7.50. Click here to learn and share with us on Sunday, March 21 at 11:15 am, or phone 646-558-8656 and use meeting ID 785 699 478.
The 2017 Seeking Faithfulness Series, hosted by Young Adult Friends, was with City Love and entitled “Listening to Spirit: Answers Waiting for Action.” City Love – Sterling Duns of Merion Meeting and Caselli Jordan – are a West Philly-based acoustic duo with harmonies, hip hop, cajon, guitar, and mandolin. They led us in worship, song, conversation, and creation on Saturday, March 25, 2017, the evening of Spring Continuing Sessions!
During the event, we were invited into intergenerational groups, to share what was on our hearts with one another and respond to the songs. We were then led in being MCs and creating our own verses (Sterling taught us the basics using Dr. Seuss – watch the video!)
Here’s the song we created together.
Chorus after each verse:
PYM let’s come together
The world needs Quakers to make it better
Quakers tell it, sell it,
SPICE it, yell it,
Margaret Fell it,
And that ain’t no Lie!!
What can Quakers do today?
Respond, Retell, Reimagine, hey!
Trust and respect, fun and play.
That’s what Quakers do today.
When there is peace our minds may feast.
Thinking about the Quakers, the friendship makers.
Might we think about our Light.
We may carry on our fight.
Quaker justice wasn’t just long ago.
Our work is now needed, come on let’s go!
Mind the Light can Light the mind.
One and all can friendship find.
This little Light of mine
Can help the rest of the world shine.
Saving face, we lose our grace.
Let’s embrace facing Race.
Time to talk to that of God in Everyone.
Quakers rise to bring the peace.
A world reborn.
Shine your Light!
Shine your Light!
Quakers today can show the way
Clean water, clean food, we’ve got a lot to say.
Clean energy, love and peace to all.
We’ve come a long way by heeding the call.
Quakes be faithful.
Quakes be slow.
Not always perfect but still on the go.
Led by Spirit, woohoo!
We can do it and so can you.
Hold you in the Light just like the sun.
We see God in everyone.
We spread peace just like some butter.
We see God in each other.
We can protest, we can win.
Friends can be the spirit within.
Feel the fight rising inside
Take some time, a new path arrives
If we get our comfort from familiar voices,
We will lose our chance for different choices.
Integrity in who we are
That guiding light will take us far.
Live it, breathe it, tell it, use it.
Integrity is who we are.
Love in public is justice.
We have to learn to trust this.
Quakers can build a sustainable future.
Sewing the parts with a perfect suture.
Instead of fearing the circling vulture,
Love, forgiveness and integrating culture.
2017 We are Quakers
Like our teachers be movers and shakers.
Remember when she saw God in you
You gotta go deep, remember it’s true.
Together we talk with integrity
Seeking a truth we can feel and see.
– Participants at the 2017 Seeking Faithfulness Series
(Thanks for Lynne Piersol for typing everyone’s lyrics up!)
Since 2011, the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting Young Adult Friends community has had an event under our care – the William Penn Lecture. This has been an evening in late March when the adult & teen yearly meeting community has been invited to come to Arch Street Meeting House to hear a speaker, usually on a topic connected to witness, social justice, or living our faith in the world. It is a revival of an event that ran from 1916 to 1966, organized by young adult Friends.
In the spring of 2016, a few different concerns about the event emerged, and in the summer of 2016, Young Adult Friends underwent a discernment process of how to continue our care and shaping of this event. One concern was the Young Adult Friends clerks received a request from the clerks of the Undoing Racism group to change the name of the lecture, as William Penn held slaves and having one of our major events named after him is counter to PYM’s current work on dismantling racism. They reported to us that a young adult Friend of color declined to serve on a panel at one of the events because of the name. Additionally, while we experimented with the structure a bit in 2016, the Lecture Planning Committee had talked about changing the format from a straight lecture to something else most years that we’ve hosted the event. Last year marked the first 100 years of the William Penn Lecture, and this cusp seemed perfect to reimagine YAFs’ offering to the wider body of PYM in the context of this millennium, rather than necessarily sticking to a vision that was written 100 years ago. (Embracing continuing revelation!)
In the summer of 2016 an ad-hoc visioning group of Young Adult Friends met, came to unity about changing the name of the lecture and updating the charge so that it would better speak to and reflect the hopes of YAFs in this century. The ad-hoc visioning group included past clerks of the Lecture Planning Committee, the clerk of the YAF community, the YAF Coordinator, and several other interested YAFs. A draft of a charge for the event was brought to the wider PYM YAF community at PYM’s Annual Sessions in July, 2016. The YAF community approved continuing to host the event and changing the name, and the ad-hoc group got lots of ideas from this wider group of YAFs. In late August, the ad-hoc visioning group met again, finalized a charge, and came to unity on a name. After running the name by the clerks of the Undoing Racism Group to make sure the change addressed the concern they had brought us, the YAF community approved the new name at our Fall Retreat in October, 2016.
Presenting, with a new title and charge:
The Seeking Faithfulness Series
Charge: The Seeking Faithfulness series is an annual event hosted by the Young Adult Friends of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting for the benefit of the whole yearly meeting community. Young Adult Friends invite a Friend to challenge us all to explore new ways to practice our Quaker faith. The Seeking Faithfulness series seeks to nourish our spiritual lives and call us to faithful witness in our communities and throughout the world.
The Seeking Faithfulness series was established by young adult Friends as the William Penn Lecture Series in 1916, which historically invited a lecturer to engage with high-school aged Friends and above. The Young Adult Friends community invites a planning committee to consider the format and style of the Seeking Faithfulness series including age and other qualities of the intended audience as it envisions the event anew each year.
We hope you’ll join us this year as YAFs present the first incarnation of the Seeking Faithfulness Series, with the music duo City Love! It will be Saturday March 25th at Arch Street Meeting House at 7PM – the evening of Spring Continuing Sessions!
– Elizabeth Piersol Schmidt, Young Adult Friends Coordinator
This year’s William Penn Lecture was given by Mary Crauderueff, who led a program titled “Spirit Works: Exploring Quaker Leadership.” Mary is curator of Quaker Collections at Haverford College, and is active in the Young Adult Friends community. She has been working on a Pickett grant funded project – Spirit Works: Journeys of Quaker Heads of Friends Organizations – interviewing Executive Directors and General Secretaries of Quaker organizations to explore their spiritual and career paths.
For the 100th anniversary of the lecture (and the 6th one that Young Adult Friends have hosted this century), the planning committee was interested in playing with the format of what the William Penn Lecture is – what could it look like if we moved beyond just someone giving a talk? Mary’s project was focused around interviews – what if she interviewed people live during the lecture?
So we switched up the format; Mary recruited a panel for the lecture – Barry Scott (Central Philadelphia Monthly Meeting), Becca Bubb (Abington Monthly Meeting), and Jada Jackson (Trenton Monthly Meeting – Jada wasn’t able to make it on the day of lecture), all Friends who have held leadership roles in our Quaker communities, but with a diversity of background and experience. When asked why include other voices in the program Saturday night, Mary said it was important “as a reminder that there are more paths to leadership than paid positions, and that we need all of us in our Philadelphia Yearly Meeting community to step forward into roles – leadership or otherwise – to create a supportive, whole, beloved community.” There was also a survey leading up to the lecture (mostly through the registration form for Continuing Sessions) asking Friends across PYM what leadership means to them, and to submit questions to ask the panelists.
During the lecture, Mary spoke about how she was led to this project by her commitment to Friends and her interest in finding ways to build, teach, and acknowledge leadership skills in our Quaker communities. She shared quotes from heads she had interviewed on their spiritual practices, leadership, discernment, and staying grounded (plus what they wanted to be when they were 15 years old.) Mary said of the interviews, she went in expecting responses to be “separated into spirituality and then work and then the intersections between the two, and I really quickly found that it just all was tangled up in each other. That by the time I got to the intersections, I was like, I’m not introducing this as the intersections, these are just all together all about life.” Lives where job, vocation, family, and spiritual life are interwoven.
The program then switched to a panel – Mary asked Barry and Becca questions about their experience as leaders among Friends. A common thread in the responses was community – our Quaker communities being a place where we can come for spiritual renewal, where our gifts can be seen and lifted up, where we can practice our skills.
When asked what she hopes people will take away from the lecture and the Spirit Works project, Mary said: “That we all have different paths, and that there are many ways to be leaders within the Society. We all have gifts and talents, and stories to tell.”
This year’s William Penn Lecture was given at Arch Street Meeting House on Saturday, March 19, 2016, the evening of PYM Spring Continuing Sessions. A video of the whole lecture plus full bios of the speaker & panelists are now up on the William Penn Lecture webpage, and you can also read all the interviews from the Spirit Works: Journeys of Quaker Heads of Friends Organizations project on the Spirit Works website.
– Elizabeth Piersol Schmidt, Young Adult Friends Coordinator
Pictured above – Barry Scott, Mary Crauderueff, Becca Bubb
The 2015 William Penn Lecture was given by Matthew Armstead. Matthew is a community builder, facilitator, and organizer, and currently serves as Coordinator of Earth Quaker Action Team. He spoke on the theme “Daring to Stand Up” on March 28, 2015.
The 2012 William Penn Lecture
Signe Wilkinson, Pulitzer prize-winning editorial cartoonist and member of Chestnut Hill Friends Meeting, speaks on a subject she is passionate about: outreach. Signe is an outspoken Friend who is clear that Quakerism is a faith whose light should not be hidden under a bushel.
George Lakey gives the 2011 William Penn Lecture, corresponding with the 350th Anniversary of the Quaker Peace Testimony.
Saturday, March 26, 2011 at Arch Street Meeting House in Philadelphia.