YPC Quarterly Epistle Spring 2011

March 5, 2011

Dear Friends of Pacific Yearly Meeting,

Greetings from wet (and snowy) Sierra Friends Center in Nevada City! It has been three months since I last wrote to fill you in on the happenings of PYM youth programs and it’s time for another update on what I have been doing and my upcoming plans. I have now been with this job long enough that it is really sinking in how large PYM is – in terms of miles and in terms of a vast array of interests and needs– and how hard it is to connect personally with as many as I wish I could. I am reminded again and again that this journey we are on is a process.

Part of my job is to create a stronger network among our Friends of all ages who have a concern for the lives and roles of young people in our Society. Some of my favorite conversations in the past couple months have been exciting brainstorming sessions with adults who are wondering how to resolve particular issues or embark on new adventures with teens in their meetings. Hearing your passion and knowing that there are others doing this work is so encouraging to me.  Please continue to contact me with your ideas, questions or just to talk about Quaker youth.

Meeting visits and events to date:

  • CPQM Spring Quarter 2010
  • YAF Gathering, Wichita KS
  • Davis
  • Strawberry Creek
  • Ben Lomond Senior Camp
  • PYM Annual Session
  • Teen camping trip to Big Sur
  • Grass Valley
  • La Jolla
  • Korea Town
  • CPQM Fall Quarter
  • SCQM Fall Quarter
  • San Francisco
  • Chico
  • Quaker Heritage Day
  • Santa Barbara
  • Conversations with 143 Friends

I am putting the final touches on the upcoming “Friendly Adult Presence Workshop” on March 19 at the San Francisco Meetinghouse. Working together with members of PYM’s Junior Yearly Meeting, workshop participants will start to brainstorm ways to create the youth-adult relationships that we all long for.  We will be thinking about how to structure our FAP programs to support more positive experiences for all the teens and adults involved, in particular at the annual gathering, but also at other events throughout our Monthly, Quarterly, and Yearly Meetings. This workshop is open to anyone who has been a FAP before, or thinks maybe they’d like to be a FAP, or has strong opinions about why they’ll never be a FAP.  Teens interested in this dialogue are also welcome—we need your voice. I’m looking forward to beginning this rich discussion and continuing it in the years to come. A second FAP workshop in Southern California is in the works (though of course SCQM folks are also welcome to come to San Francisco). For more information or to RSVP, contact me (see my info below).

One of the great joys of my ministry is visiting Friends in their homes and local Meetings; we get to know one another better, and amazing, creative things happen. In the coming months, I will be visiting at least seven Meetings, as well as attending Spring Quarterly gatherings and the Sacramento Valley/Northern Sierra cluster meeting.  Most of my weekends are already scheduled through May, but I am still available to plan visits with Meetings that are open to a mid-week gathering. My goal is to visit most of the 43 Monthly Meetings and Worship Groups in California and Nevada by the end of the calendar year. The order of visits depends on many factors, including who reaches out to me with specific requests. So if you or your Meeting/Worship Group is interested in a visit soon or has a special event, please contact me asap!

Upcoming visits and events:

  • RepCom (3/5)
  • Palo Alto (3/6)
  • FAP Workshop at San Francisco MM (3/19)
  • Strawberry Creek (3/20)
  • Davis (3/27)
  • Sacramento Valley Cluster (4/1-3)
  • Napa/Sonoma (4/10)
  • Tentative FAP Workshop at Orange Grove MM (4/16)
  • Claremont (4/17)
  • Orange Grove (4/24)
  • SCQM Young Friends Retreat (4/28-29)
  • SCQM Spring Quarter (4/30)
  • CPQM Spring Quarter (5/13-15)
  • Reno (5/22)

At the same time, I have been working diligently with the Youth Program Supervisory Committee and PYM Treasurer to add structure to this often nebulous job. We have finalized a concrete list of goals and objectives for my work, which I would love to share and discuss with you (you can find that document attached to the report to RepCom). We have made great strides in creating a transparent and usable budgeting system. I am always working toward creating a better communication system, utilizing email, Facebook and soon the PYM website.  If you haven’t been getting emails from me and want to, let me know and I’ll add you to my list!

Finally, I’m working with teens to organize a gathering over Memorial Day weekend. Unfortunately, the plan to bring College Park teens to the SCQM Joshua Tree campout in January fell through because both the other adult leader and I were very sick, and we were unable to find replacement FAPs on short notice. Teens and adults who would like to help with our next gathering: Call me! Text me! Facebook me! Email me! Walk up and talk to me! 🙂

Thanks so much for your participation in this good work. I am loving the journey and excited to see what is in store for us.

 

Sarah Beutel

Pacific Yearly Meeting Youth Program Coordinator
530-563-6369 (cell and office)
pym.youthcoordinator@gmail.com