There are 40 Friends Schools in the PYM region, and most of them have board or faculty committees on Quakerism. To share ideas, encourage spiritual growth within the school, and focus on Quakerism as a whole, these committees gather once a year each May for fellowship and a meal.
Discussions are query-led, and school committee members and faculty will use the two-hour gathering to share their “ideas, challenges, and learnings” with other Quaker schools. Good projects, like Greene Street Friends School’s “Morning with a Friend,” environmental stewardship initiatives, Quaker governance practices, the Quaker Resource Manual, Meeting-school partnerships, Quaker publications, parent and student workshops on Quakerism, and spiritual issues will be lifted up during each meeting.
Although most Friends Schools have a large number of Quakers on their boards, schools still believe they must continually engage with Quakerism so as to keep current with the Faith and connected to nearby Meetings. Much thought also goes into Quaker curriculum, Meeting for Worship practices, and student government initiatives; schools are constantly looking for ways to strengthen these in the context of current events.
Some Queries from the past few years follow:
- How much adult education about Quakerism is being provided to families at Friends Schools? What more can schools do?
- Given a world in which people like Osama bin Laden can create such havoc, how can schools teach interpersonal peace?
- How can we guide age appropriate discussions of difficult subjects like torture and war?
- As an educator or trustee at a Friends School, what do you feel most drew you to Quakerism in the first place? How did you first connect to the Faith?
This year’s Query is:
- Where does your Faith and Practice lift up your education; where are your growing edges?
photo credit: Friends Central School