The air is crisp, and fall color is everywhere. Quaker events are happening, and PYM’s community is gathering in multiple ways for fun and business. There’s Historic Arch Street Meeting House’s Rocky Horror Picture Show Movie night on October 29th, then the following weekend, on November 5th, 6th, and 7th, there is Fall Continuing Sessions.
At Sessions, PYM gathers our community of meeting members and attenders, clerks, and committee leadership teams from across yearly meeting to be together in worship and business. Fall Sessions opens with a Friday Zoom singing event, followed by a Saturday talk on Buddhism and Quakerism (with meditation) and then an afternoon of Quaker business from 1-4. On Sunday, there is a not-to-miss all ages multigenerational in-person author visit at Arch Street Meeting House.
Fall Sessions & Ten Good Reasons to Come
Here are some excellent reasons to sign up for Sessions:
- You will have fun engaging with our Quaker community across generations.
- Talented musician Molly Hicks will be offering music and song by Zoom on Friday evening (at 7:00 pm) to help gather us for the weekend.
- There will be important Saturday afternoon business relating to the yearly meeting wide witness on Climate Change.
- There is a great in-person author visit and art/collage workshop with Anastasia Higginbotham (creator of the “Ordinary Terrible Things” series of books) on Sunday from 1-4. It will be an awesome program of events for children, adults, families, and ALL ages of Friends.
- You can enjoy time at the amazing and historic Arch Street Meeting House with friends on Sunday! (rain or shine — we hope to be outdoors with our author.) We will have apple cider and snacks to share!
- Saturday morning, Deborah Cooper will be sharing her wisdom on how Quakerism and Buddhism work together.
- Saturday afternoon, our Quaker community will witness some inspired clerking by Jean-Marie Prestwidge Barch and Frank Barch.
- We will all share in the practice of our faith.
- You’ll be staying in the know & learning more of what Friends care about.
- You will leave with news to bring back to your meeting community.
Youth Religious Life Coordinator, Melinda Wenner Bradley, notes that “Sunday afternoon is a special opportunity to gather with friends of all ages at Arch Street Meetinghouse. When we get together at a place full of Quaker history for programs that speak to our lives as Friends and condition as a society today, something special is happening! Please tell your meeting, bring the family, and invite guests — all are welcome and will find something for them on Sunday afternoon!”
Melinda adds: “artist and author Anastasia Higginbotham from NYC will share her work and leads a collage workshop. Copies of two of Anastasia’s books will be available for purchase. Anastasia’s work centers challenging topics ordinary terrible things to lift up themes of inclusion, courage, and belonging. There will be refreshments and games, stories, and fellowship with new friends. Come join the fun, Sunday 1–4 pm!”
Saturday afternoon’s Meeting for Business offers a full and high-impact agenda plus six more reasons to be with Friends from across the Yearly Meeting. Below are agenda highlights from the 1–4:00 pm time to be allocated for business.
- Worship Sharing on this year’s theme: Across the Generations as We Repair Broken Foundations, We Become Unified in Beloved Quaker Community.
- Yearly Meeting-Wide Witness around Climate Change and Yearly Meeting Witness & processes.
- PowerPoint of climate-related actions of monthly meetings as collected by Eco-Justice Collaborative and the yearly meeting.
- Breakout rooms for discussions about activism, education, carbon footprint, and the query: How has this Witness engaged your monthly meeting?
- Nominating, Quaker Life, and Administrative Councils will offer reports. The General Secretary’s Report will be shared.
- There will be Worship Sharing around what Friends learned and the query “What is one thing that happened today that you want to share with someone in your meeting?
Community Engagement Coordinator, Olivia Brangan describes Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business as follows
This is a central part of Quaker life and decision-making in our yearly meeting. Our business agenda was thoughtfully crafted by Jean-Marie and Frank Barch, PYM’s presiding co-clerks, to reflect the spiritual movement of the work and witness in our community. Jean-Marie and Frank have invited us to come together on zoom in fellowship to worship, to learn, and find inspiration take back to your spiritual home. I always look forward to our time together in multigenerational programs, so I hope Friends will join us and experience the spiritual depth in our community themselves.
Photo Credit: Fall arrangement courtesy of Penny Hunt. Photo by Grace Cooke.