A workshop was held on Saturday May 7, and we returned to the questions we’ve held since 2020 about navigating the new normal of life through the ongoing pandemic. We highly recommend to readers the guidance on virtual gathering authored by Emily Provance, a Traveling Minister of New York Yearly Meeting.
Emily offered several ways to use the guidance document during the Saturday workshop. We recorded the session, which can be found posted as a video to PYM’s YouTube Channel.
Your meeting may be wrestling with matters related to virtual and hybrid gatherings, which may include disagreements about whether to engage virtually at all. There are queries especially in the section on Worship that help meeting communities explore the issues together. Emily also offered an exercise, which she recommends we all use before picking up the guidance document.
- In January 2020, I was a person who ______. Now, I am a person who ______.
- In January 2020, I believed that people _____. Now, I believe that people _______.
- In January 2020, I thought the world ______. Now, I think the world ________.
- In January 2020, God _______. Now, God _______.
This can be adapted to the needs of your community, which can include answering them one at a time in small group worship sharing, addressing them in breakout groups that report back, or using them to guide a threshing session or other worshipful gathering as a whole community.
Finally John Marquette, PYM Resource Friend of Lehigh Valley Monthly Meeting, email@example.com, 626-536-3926 (phone, texts) also offered more practical guidance on the various technical options that local Quaker communities have at their disposal. He can be reached at the above contact information. John is available through December of 2022 to offer support to any PYM Quaker community figuring this out. John recommends Friends use a more practical guide developed by Richmond Shreve of Newtown Friends Meeting.
Finally, this workshop, our work with John and Emily, and grants that have been made available to monthly and quarterly meetings to support tech needs have each been made possible by the Shoemaker fund. There are still some funds that remain available. If your quarterly or monthly meeting would like to explore this opportunity further, please reach out to Zachary Dutton, firstname.lastname@example.org, by June 24, 2022.
Friends may also be interested in exploring granting opportunities with the Membership Development Granting Group.
Image Credit: Richard Accetta-Evans