YPC Epistle V – December 2011

14 December 2011

Dear Pacific Yearly Meeting Friends,

Season’s Greetings! As the shorter days and longer nights enfold us, your Youth Program Coordinator and Supervisory Committee continue working to gather PYM into closer, more inclusive intergenerational community. This epistle describes some of our current projects with the hope that each of you will be inspired to get involved in at least one new activity in the upcoming year: make a new friend from a different generation, help plan the spring workcamp, volunteer to FAP at a teen gathering, play a game with your whole Meeting, attend a Quarterly, read a certain book that’s being passed around PYM…..

Attached is a detailed description of the book project we are sponsoring on a new publication by Friends General Conference: Build It! A Toolkit for Nurturing Intergenerational Spiritual Community. Also attached is a list of “Custodians of the Book” from many PYM Monthly Meetings and Worship Groups. This group will read, use, promote, and discuss this inspiring manual. Promoting this book at Quarterly and Monthly Meetings as I visit one by one, I’m starting to get reports from Meetings and committees that are delving into the book and trying out some of the activities. Many of the Friends who have volunteered to be the “Custodians” for their Meetings have told me they felt called to step forward. About half the Meetings in PYM are participating so far. See if your Meeting is on the list, and if not, consider whether you are called to join the Order of the Custodians of the Book. If so, let me know!

The Build It! Toolkit will take center stage in our workshop on “Intergenerational Faith, Fun, and Fellowship” at Quaker Center the weekend of August 10-12, right before the annual gathering of PYM where we’ll put it to use it as well. We are also developing a supplement, Advices & Queries for Planning Intergenerational Events, a draft of which we tested out with the CPQM Teen Program Planning Committee a couple weeks ago. Their input will go into another draft that will be circulated more widely for consideration and experimentation.

In my first four months as your Youth Program Coordinator, I have attended both College Park and Southern California Quarterly Meetings, and I have visited Davis, Grass Valley, San Jose, Santa Cruz, Strawberry Creek, and Visalia Monthly Meetings. I’ve had conversations with approximately 250 Friends of many ages—representing over 30 Meetings and Worship Groups—and many committees. I will continue reaching out to schedule visits, but please also feel free make a direct request.

In the meantime:

  • We are working with PYM’s Peace & Social Order Committee to develop a PYM-wide intergenerational service project theme.
  • We are continuing to support College Park and Southern California Quarters in planning their upcoming gatherings. Monthly Meetings and Worship Groups: are you actively encouraging children, teens, young adults, and older adults, both newcomers and long time attenders, to participate in Quarterly Meeting? Experienced Friends can help break down barriers of shyness, arrange transportation, subsidize costs, and share the reasons that regional gatherings are so important, especially for younger Friends in need of a larger Friendly peer group.
  • Are you a teen or young adult with an idea or concern that needs support? Do you (or your Meeting, committee, or Quaker organization) want help involving youth? Talk to me!

Here is a list of exciting upcoming intergenerational and youth-focused activities for you or someone you know. I will be attending many of these, and I hope you will join us!

  • December 17: Woolman Semester Graduation http://woolman.org/
  • December 28 – January 2: Western Young Friends New Year’s Gathering at Cazadero Arts Camp in Northern California. All ages welcome. http://www.newyearsgathering.org/
  • December 29 – January 1: Year-End Retreat at Quaker Center http://www.quakercenter.org/programs/programschedule/
  • January 14 (plus teen overnight): College Park Quarterly Meeting: “Grounding and Growing our Monthly Meetings” http://collegepark.quaker.org/
  • January 14-16: Southern California Quarterly Meeting – Joshua Tree Campout, contact John Sisson, jsisson [at] uci [dot] edu.
  • January 21: Worship Group at Soledad State Prison: Training for Regular Attenders. Please contact Lucia Van Diepen (lvandiepen [dot] ses [at] psr [dot] edu) to be cleared to enter, which includes a training for those who are lead to attend regularly. One-time and occasional visits welcome as well as ongoing participation. Must be 18+ years old to enter the prison. Young Friends are especially invited to participate. Worship group meets two days a month.
  • Winter/Spring: Quaker Center Workshops are open to Friends of all ages –a great opportunity for intergenerational learning in community– and childcare is available. See website for information about upcoming opportunities, such as nonviolent social transformation, nonviolent communication, exploring the Bible, and healing racial divisions among Friends. http://www.quakercenter.org/
  • Spring Workcamp at Quaker Oaks Farm, (tentatively scheduled for Cesar Chavez weekend, 3/30-4/1), with Visalia Meeting and the Youth Program Coordinator & Committee.
  • Spring (dates TBA): FAP / Adult Ally Trainings with the Youth Program Coordinator & Committee, JYM, and Quarterly Teen Committees.
  • Quaker Center Youth Summer Camps: In addition to the beloved Quaker Camp and Service Camp for children and pre-teens, check out the new Peace Action Camp for rising 10th through 12th graders to be held in La Jolla, CA, July 22-28: Outdoor adventure and nonviolent direct action activities empower high-school age teens to strengthen spirit-led community, teamwork, and leadership skills!
  • Woolman Semester is accepting applications for 2012 & 2013. http://semester.woolman.org/
  • Camp Woolman online registration for Summer 2012 is open for Sierra Friends Camp (ages 9-14) and Teen Leadership Camp (ages 15-16). http://camp.woolman.org/

Young Adults and Teens: Please make sure to ask for financial assistance if you need it, including for transportation. 

(I can help you figure out how to ask your Meeting and/or the particular gathering.)

Finally, some administrative news:

  • We created and revised our Goals & Objectives document, which is attached as well as posted on the PYM website. Please review this document to get the big picture of our workplan during PYM’s three-year experiment of having a Youth Program Coordinator.
  • The editor of Western Friend has agreed to give our program space in each issue. This month we reported on an intergenerational activity we sponsored at College Park Quarterly Fall Gathering, on the evolving role of the Supervisory Committee, and on the book project. Time to renew your subscription?

Peace, Love & Joy to All!

~ Alyssa                                                        

Alyssa Nelson, Youth Program Coordinator, Pacific Yearly Meeting

(530) 563-6369 (cell) / pym.youthcoordinator@gmail.com

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