Thursday Evening and Friday Morning News From Annual Sessions

Annual Sessions

Thursday evening

PYM’s Clerk, Chris Lucca, noted that some 50 Friends of all ages had gathered to discuss the query raised by one of our younger friends about the future of the Religious Society of Friends. Richard Schiffer of Swarthmore meeting was invited to present the epistle on New Zealand.

Entering into worship sharing, Chris Lucca launched an opportunity to speak out of spirit on questions of race, inclusion and diversity. He invited friends to share what is weighing on their hearts, lifting up prayers for beloved community.

Read the minutes.

Friday Morning

Young Friends opened All Together Time with demonstrations about what ‘enthusiastic consent’ looks like.

After opening remarks, the clerk, Chris Lucca, invited Susan Day to read an epistle from New England Yearly Meeting. The morning session then continued with an interactive Quaker Life report presented by QLC Assistant Clerk, Anthony Stover. He read his report and invited George Schaefer to brief the community on the work of Friends Counseling Service—which connects friends with affordable mental health services provided by Quaker therapists. Zachary Dutton also spoke about PYM’s threads, sprints and collaboratives.

Julia Carrigan, a Young Friend who is a member of the council (also a student at George School) invited Friends to take a minute and share some stories of successes and challenges that monthly meetings have experienced. Then they also repeated the exercise to share a concern. A full report is captured in the minutes we’ll post at the end of the day.

Young Adult Friend Catherine Campbell deferred her reading of the Young Adult Friends’ minute, and the community turned our attention to the Thursday night minutes.

After breaking for lunch Friends convened for an added business session and heard from some external organizations.

  • FGC: The highlight of Frank Barch’s report on Friends General Conference was a video summary of FGC’s work and recent institutional racism assessment. A question was asked how the results of the assessment can be applied more locally, and the video will be available on the Annual Sessions section of PYM’s website.
  • FWCC: Sarah Palmer and Amy Duckett-Wagner reported for FWCC using a colorful PowerPoint (posted on PYM’s website). FWCC is active in 56 nations.  The next Americans Section meeting will be in Florida in 2021, and the next world conference is planned in Durban, SA.
  • PCC: Carter Nash reported on the Pennsylvania Council of Churches and its work. Friends who have questions about this work should contact Carter.

Minutes will be posted as they are approved