The Young Adult Friends (YAF) program has flourished through years of service by Meg Rose, Young Adult Engagement Coordinator, and her predecessor, Elizabeth Piersol Schmidt. As we look ahead to when Meg is leaving Philadelphia Yearly Meeting to begin a career in social work in late July, it is worth looking back at all that ties this engaged set of young adults to one another, to their leadership commitment to peers, and to this Faith.
The YAF program supports the spiritual vitality and community of PYM by creating programming specifically for young adult Friends (age 18-35-ish), as well as strengthening commitment and involvement of young adult Friends in PYM’s multigenerational community.
PYM’s Young Adult Friends program provides a vision for programming that fosters spiritual fellowship, provides resources to young adults, and supports meetings engaging with young adults. The program serves as an anchor for those transitioning into and out of this age range and those living outside PYM’s geographic area who wish to remain connected.
The YAF community is always present at Annual and Continuing Sessions. This personal investment in the shared PYM community builds trust, understanding, and knowledge. The 2019 YAF Epistle on Membership has become a central document in the yearly meeting’s work around creating a more inclusive community.
YAF work and witness in 2020-2021
- 3 virtual YAF Retreats
- #30daysofqueries on @pymyoungadultfriends
- Grant Consultants Project
- Thread Gathering on Multigenerational Leadership
- BIPOC YAF Retreat (September 2021)
- Weekly YAF Worship during the first 6 months of the pandemic
- Annual Sessions
Our future is what we make it. YAF’s participation and leadership in yearly meeting adds to beloved community. Young Adult Friends programming is focused on:
Organize, develop, and lead programs and events of interest to young adult Quakers.
Serve as an anchor for young adult Friends in what is often a time of transience. Support YAFs who are going through different life stages and transitioning from high school to YAF and from YAF to older adult Friends.
Organize and make available resources of interest to young adults, including information about Quaker faith and practice; history; and offerings of monthly meetings, worship groups, and yearly meeting. Facilitate networking both among YAFs and between YAFs & Friends of other generations.
Offer support to monthly meetings in welcoming young adults and caring for their needs and otherwise help to bring YAFs into PYM. Provide connections with Friends outside of PYM in the wider Quaker world.
Support Young Friends in transitioning into adult members of our community, while drawing in and welcoming people new to Quakerism, connecting with non-Quakers, and strengthening relationships with current Quakers of all ages.
Provide support to young adults around spiritual & life discernment, and help them find resource people to provide pastoral care and eldering.
Advocate for young adults by discerning the needs of YAFs and voicing concerns to the yearly meeting in business sessions and to staff and encouraging young adult involvement on Quaker committees.
Recognize, develop, and make use of the gifts of young adult Friends in the YAF program, in the wider yearly meeting, and in the world. Support young adults developing & growing into leadership in the YAF program & PYM-wide.
Deepening, strengthening, and nurturing spiritual fellowship and relationships with the Divine through retreats and other sacred and safe spaces.
The YAF community has two co-clerks, pastoral care clerks, and a recording clerk. These five positions are currently filled by these YAFs.
- Pastoral Care Clerks: Kimani Keaton (they, them) and Eleanor Barba (she, her)
- Co-Clerks: Mary Tierney (she/they) and Catherine Campbell (she/her)
- Recording Clerk: Carl Stanton (he/him)
Contact – To be connected to the YAF community email firstname.lastname@example.org