Philadelphia Yearly Meeting children, youth and their families will feel connected to and engaged with the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), and seekers will be drawn to our community, via programs and practices that provide for connection, engagement, and the invitation into deeper relationship with Spirit (also called God, the Divine, or the Light Within).
We recognize that, while Quakerism is rooted in a Christian tradition, un-programmed Friends have wide-ranging experiences and comfort with the word God, and that many are more comfortable using other words. Still others experience a Quakerism that does not recognize a higher power. We believe that our youth programs can create enough space to hold all of these experiences of Spirit in loving affirmation.
PYM demonstrates our commitment to community, accessibility, and the foundation of our Quaker faith by working together to provide youth of all ages with opportunities for meaningful participation in our Quaker community and support for their spiritual journeys.
This mission is anchored in four pillars: Community, Accessibility, Quaker Faith and Values, and Meaningful Participation.
We aim to provide youth, children, families, and seekers in our yearly meeting with opportunities to gather and be known to one another through shared experiences. We note that these opportunities may take place at either monthly, quarterly, or yearly meeting levels, and we are committed to supporting integration between and across these offerings. Additionally, our youth programs have the intention to nurture a sense of belonging and build supportive relationships within and among our youth, children, families, volunteers, and staff. Lastly, we recognize and celebrate the different youth-centered communities at all levels within PYM and wish to nurture connections among them.
We aim to provide programs that are welcoming (with respect to race, physical ability, class, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, familiarity with Quaker processes, geographic location, or any other way in which the human family is sometimes divided) with adequate support and accommodations to encourage participation by all. Our commitment to accessibility means that we recognize that the diversity within our community, as well as the broader community, strengthens us.
Quaker Faith & Values
Our programs are intended to invite all children, youth, and their families into deeper relationship with Spirit and nurture an understanding of our Quaker faith, traditions, and practice. Our programs provide youth with opportunities to grow spiritually, cultivate their leadership ability, learn and claim Quaker processes, and care for each other in loving community. We aim to nurture the capacity of youth to build Quaker faith communities and equip our youth to bear Quaker witness in the world.
We are driven to provide children, youth, and their families with experiences that speak to their needs for exploration, knowledge, spiritual growth, and leadership development. We believe that these experiences provide children and youth with important skills and foster a commitment to remain engaged with the Religious Society of Friends and this Yearly Meeting through the years.