Youth Program Coordinator
Report to PYM Annual Session, July/August 2013
Tuesday, July 30th
Note: A separate report was submitted by the Supervisory Committee and will presented in Tuesday’s Plenary, which can be found at
In preparation for this week of Annual Session, I’ve served PYM as the Youth Program Coordinator in various ways:
- Helped various committees and officers plan for annual session, and worked as a liaison among these groups to improve collaboration in scheduling and planning for youth-inclusive activities (especially JYM, YAFs, M&O, Presiding Clerk, Unity With Nature, and the YPC Supervisory Committee).
- Led an orientation for the youth and adults of the JYM Leadership Team (clerks, M&O, committee members, FAPs).
- Supported Young Adult Friends’ (YAFs) planning. There are over 20 YAFs here for annual session, which is a big increase from recent years.
- Helped prepare for the many Supervisory Committee sponsored activities this week, as mentioned in their committee report.
- I will again be co-facilitating JYM’s Respectful Relationships workshop Wednesday night.
- I will continue to be available throughout the week as needs arise for me to serve as a resource, catalyst, or interpreter (a framework we’ve used in the past to describe the YPC’s role).
Our Report Binder will be available in the Reading Room. The binder includes hard copies of the appendices to the program evaluation that was presented at Representative Committee in March and details the Youth Program activities over the past few years.
Many Friends throughout PYM have participated in events, workshops, or activities led or supported by our Youth Program and Committee throughout the year, for example: FAP/Adult Ally Workshops; the Quaker Oaks Farm Spring Service Camp; Peace Action Camp (which is a Ben Lomond Quaker Center Camp that some of the Youth Program Committee and I have helped with); committees to which I’ve provided consulting; intergenerational or youth activities at Quarterly Meetings; visits to or activities with Monthly Meetings and Worship Groups; and the Young Adult Friends (YAF) Retreat the weekend right before this annual session. [In my verbal report at plenary, I will ask Friends to raise their hands if they have participated in these activities]
The YAF Retreat at San Jose was quite successful, drawing around 30 participants, mostly young adults ranging from 18-40s, and a few older Friends as well. San Jose Friends gave us great hospitality, and a number of them commented on how enlivening it was to have our vibrant group staying there Friday through Monday. Participants who are attending PYM’s Annual Session for the first time, and new YAFs recently graduated from JYM, said that the retreat helped ease them into this new experience. In addition to worshiping and sharing meals with San Jose Friends, we did a service project, working on a native plant hedgerow with Veggielution, an urban farm focused on improving health, and social and environmental justice. We also did some preparative reflection on the theme of this year’s Annual Session, “Being Reached by the Life.” Diego Narvarro (Santa Cruz) led an introduction to a workshop on leadings that he also led at FGC; the YAFs will be continuing that workshop with him each day here this week.
Friends who haven’t yet participated in an activity led by me or the committee will have the chance today in the intergenerational “Visioning our Community” activity after this Plenary, and there will be a followup interest group tonight as well. As PYM is considering whether to accept the gift of an endowment from PFOS, and as the Supervisory Committee and I are thinking about the future of the Youth Program if PYM decides to continue the paid YPC position, the question we want to pose isn’t “how do we want to spend a bunch of money,” rather, “What kind of community do we want to be together, and what will it take to make that vision a reality?”
Thank you for letting me be of service in this way and for the support for our evolving Youth Program. In the Light,
Alyssa Nelson, Youth Program Coordinator