Philadelphia Yearly Meeting is pleased to share the good news that Melinda Wenner Bradley is now serving our community as the Director of Programs. This newly created role holds responsibility for cultivating relationship and ministry amongst Friends and meetings and working with program staff to direct their energy and resources to engage PYM Friends. Melinda, a member of West Chester Meeting, has been with PYM as the Youth Religious Life Coordinator for the last four years and brings to this new role her insight on how we nurture our experience of community and the spiritual formation of Friends of all ages. The Director of Programs job description includes holding a portfolio of program-focused work and many Friends will be glad to know that Melinda will continue to support religious education.
Melinda brings a tremendous amount of experience, wisdom and fun to PYM. For over 20 years she has played leadership roles in creating space for grounding our lives in the Spirit, supported by the Quaker path. She taught history and Quakerism to middle schoolers at two Friends Schools (Westtown and Friends Academy), supported local meetings and Friends who work with children in two yearly meetings (Philadelphia and New York) and is the co-founder of two organizations that nurture and inspire Friends of all ages in their spiritual formation (Faith & Play Stories, Inc. and Quaker Religious Education Collaborative). Melinda served on the Pendle Hill board where she was clerk of the Education Committee and currently serves on the board of West Chester Friends School. She travels within the US and internationally to speak and to teach Friends of all ages, most recently at Yearly Meeting of Aotearoa New Zealand (by Zoom!) earlier this month. Melinda herself continues to seek learning: she is currently working on a Master of Divinity at Lancaster Theological Seminary.
Zachary Dutton, Associate Secretary for Program & Religious Life, has held the responsibility for supporting PYM programs for nearly eight years and has supervised Melinda in her role Youth Religious Life Coordinator. Zachary and Melinda have been collaborating on the process of transitioning Melinda into her new role as Zachary is preparing to depart from PYM staff next month.
Zachary says —
I am delighted that Melinda with her multifaceted talents, vision, and transformative approaches to leadership will be holding our program team. Her experience serving on boards, teaching, innovating, facilitating, and bringing big joy energy is a gift we are profoundly lucky to receive.
Please welcome Melinda into this position as she continues to share her extensive gifts with our yearly meeting.