YPC Epistle X – June 2014



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Youth Program Coordinator Epistle X – June 2014

Liaisons, Clerks, and Representatives:  Please distribute this epistle widely. Consider reading it aloud at Meeting for Business and including it in your newsletter. Thanks!

Dear Pacific Yearly Meeting Friends,

In my last epistle I described our envisioning of an ideal PYM community as a City on a Hill, how we’re looking out at where we want to go and how to get there together. So far, this year has been full of these community-building activities. Over forty young adults, children, and older adults from Pacific and North Pacific Yearly Meetings attended the Western Young Friends New Year’s Gathering in Foresthill, CA, and they are actively planning already for the 40th anniversary gathering at Camp Myrtlewood in Southern Oregon this coming New Year. At SCQM Spring Quarter, youth and adults worked together to paint a colorful mural on Friends’ testimonies in the parking lot of the Santa Monica meetinghouse. Lots of photos and a description of the mural project are posted on the PYM website’s gallery: pacificyearlymeeting.org/2014/gallery/smfm-and-scqm-mural-quaker-testimonies/

SCQM Mural Painting - April 2014, Santa Monica Meetinghouse Parking Lot
SCQM Mural Painting – April 2014, Santa Monica Meetinghouse Parking Lot

Take a look at the attached calendar below to see what’s on the horizon for summer and fall, especially all the camp options for youth and families! To highlight a few timely items:

  • Quaker Center has openings for camp counselors (high school age and up).
  • Junior Yearly Meeting is seeking Friendly Adult Presences (age 21+). Application due asap.
  • FCNL seeks to hire an Advocacy Corps Coordinator to launch and lead a program in which young people serve as paid organizers in their own communities and campuses.
  • Quaker Earthcare Witness is accepting applications for mini-grants, this year emphasizing the work of young Friends and Friends working outside the US.

Remember to register by June 9th for PYM Annual Session to avoid the late fee. New this year is a $40 discount for first time attenders, and M&O has simplified the general financial assistance application. Activities on the annual session’s theme of “Youth and Prophesy” include a keynote talk by Jonathan Vogel-Borne, who was raised in PYM (Orange Grove Meeting) and has since been very active in New England YM.  He writes to us,

“My first formal travel in ministry was under the care of Pacific Yearly Meeting. In 1982, with a minute from Santa Cruz Monthly Meeting endorsed by [PYM], I took part in a cross-continental bicycle peace pilgrimage called the “Peace Peddlers.” Six west coast adult young Friends, all of us in our 20s, rode from San Francisco to Washington DC (touching Mexico and Canada), listening to the American people for the spiritual grounding that would lead to nuclear disarmament. Leaving California in 1984, I moved with my spouse, Minga Claggett-Borne, to Greensboro, NC, where we helped organize the 1985 World Gathering of Young Friends. Minga and I then came to New England to serve the Friends Meeting at Cambridge as Resident Friends. From 1991 to 2013, I was the lead staff person for New England Yearly Meeting.

“The [PYM] Sessions theme “Youth and Prophecy: Awakening to a New Creation” highlights my own call to name, encourage and live out our prophetic witness, fulfilling our divine purpose, dismantling the domination system, tearing down the religion of empire, building alternative communities and bringing all of us, all of creation home to the unconditional love of God. I have drawn the title for my talk, “Your Sons and Your Daughters will Prophesy” from Peter’s speech on the day of Pentecost—”these people are not drunk. It is only 9am in the morning!” (Acts 2:14-38)…. The Yearly Meeting Sessions theme acknowledges that like the early Friends—who were mostly people in their 20s and 30s, even teenagers like James Parnell, age 16 when he died in prison—adult young Friends in Pacific YM and elsewhere in the Quaker world are rising up with a strong, prophetic message and witness. We will receive that message at the YM Sessions on Wednesday morning. Again, even in this phase of my life—as I dream dreams—I am still and always will be a child of Pacific Yearly Meeting. I am so glad to be coming home.”

Also for Annual Session, our Youth Program Committee is putting together an interest group, “Of Such is the Kingdom of Heaven: PYM’s Youth and Intergenerational Community,” with the intention of getting interested Friends and representatives of all the various youth and intergenerational programs of PYM into the room together to coordinate schedules and share ideas. In it we will also be presenting on how the new Youth Program funds (interest from the Bob Vogel Endowment) and other support from our committee may be accessed. Other committees, such as Children’s Religious Education, Peace & Social Order, and Unity with Nature will have interest groups as well. This effort toward building a vibrant intergenerational Religious Society of Friends takes participation from all of us, including Meetings, Worship Groups and committees with few or no youth.

Western Young Friends New Year's Gathering (photo by Ben Williamson) - Dec/Jan 2013-2014
Western Young Friends New Year’s Gathering (photo by Ben Williamson) – Dec/Jan 2013-2014

The PYM Young Adult Friends are having a pre-annual-session weekend retreat again this year, on the theme of “Living up to the Light,” to be held July 11-14 at the Redwood Forest meetinghouse in Santa Rosa, CA. Last year’s retreat drew over 30 young adults and adult allies. The retreat serves many purposes: For older teens transitioning from JYM or some back after a long absence, this is a way to meet fellow young adults or mentors and find a place in the new community. Some cannot take time off to attend Annual Session, while a weekend event is more accessible. For many, settling into a small community before entering the larger annual session helps them to get grounded. Plus it’s a time for plain old fun and fellowship. Register now! Sliding scale $50-75, and financial assistance is available. pacificyearlymeeting.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/TheCalltoYAFs2014.pdf

Young Friends from 3 Yearly Meetings picnicking at the FWCC "Let the Living Water Flow" Consultation in Sacramento CA - March 2014
Young Friends from 3 Yearly Meetings picnicking at the FWCC “Let the Living Water Flow” Consultation in Sacramento CA – March 2014

The FWCC consultation in March in Sacramento drew a large number of PYM Friends, including two of our teens and a few young adults, who told me how much they enjoyed learning by meeting other young Quakers and Friends from other branches and Yearly Meetings. Two former Quaker Youth Pilgrimage participants were unexpectedly reunited for the first time since their trip! Kylin Navarro (Strawberry Creek / PYM YAF Co-Clerk) and I co-led a workshop on “Servant Leadership toward Peace and Ecojustice” with Tyla Healton, co-pastor of the Sacramento Friends Church; a write-up about this workshop can be found in the May-June Quaker Earthcare Witness newsletter, BeFriending Creation, by QEW’s General Secretary, Shelley Tanenbaum (Strawberry Creek): “What does foot-washing have to do with climate chaos? Leave it to worldwide Friends to give me the answer….” quakerearthcare.org/bfc/volume-27-number-3

Footwashing exercise in "Servant Leadership toward Peace and Ecojustice" FWCC workshop - March 2014
Foot-washing exercise: “Servant Leadership toward Peace and Ecojustice” FWCC workshop – March 2014


Adult Allies to Youth - San Jose CA, April 2014
Adult Allies to Youth – San Jose CA, April 2014

This spring, fifteen adults participated in the two Becoming Adult Allies to Youth workshops. Many thanks to Julian Garrett for co-facilitating the San Jose workshop with me. And thanks to Orange County Friends who, in addition to hosting one of the workshops, invited me to facilitate their Easter weekend retreat on the topic of outreach and inclusion. Would your Meeting like to host one of these workshops next Spring (or another time of year)? Let’s get it on the calendar.

Orange County Friends performing outreach skits - April 2014
Orange County Friends performing outreach skits – April 2014

Please remember my open invitation to consult with your Worship Group, Meeting, organization, or committee. I visited Ojai Worship Group this spring, meaning I’ve now visited all of SCQM at least once! I’m still working on the rest of CPQM and discerning how to serve Mexico City, Hawaii, and Guatemala. I’m excited to see many of you soon at summer events.

Yours in service,


Alyssa Nelson, Youth Program Coordinator, Pacific Yearly Meeting
(530) 563-6369 (cell)
pym [dot] youthcoordinator [at] gmail [dot] com

Youth Program Coordinator Supervisory Committee members: Sophie Brinker, Jennifer Carr, Mary Klein (co-clerk), Steve Leeds, Hannah Mackinney, Thomas Rios, Jim Summers (co-clerk), and Nathan Walker. Two at-large spots are open, and two youth spots will be opening up.

~ Intergenerational and youth-focused activities in PYM and beyond ~
2014 Ongoing Calendar of Events (updated 6/3/14)

Email pym.youthcoordinator@gmail.com to have youth events included on the PYM calendar.

Please support young Friends and families in your area to attend events by helping them register, figure out payment and/or scholarships, and arrange transportation.

  • June 6-11: Continuing Revolution: A Young Adult Friends Conference on Community, at Pendle Hill in Wallingford, PA. pendlehill.org/yafcon
  • June 15-22: Woolman Family Work Camp (at Sierra Friends Center) woolman.org
  • Ben Lomond Quaker Center Youth Camps (Ben Lomond CA) quakercenter.org Quaker Center’s annual passes can be applied to camp!

○     Quaker Camp (4th-6th grade) & Service Camp (7th-9th grade) run concurrently, June 22-29.
○     Peace Action Camp: outdoor adventure and nonviolent direct action for rising 10th through 12th graders, July 27 – August 2, Reno & Carson City, NV.

○     Teen Leadership Camp (ages 15-16): two 2-week sessions: 6/28-7/13 & 7/13-7/27.
○     Sierra Friends Camp (ages 9-14):  four 1-week sessions, combinable into multiple week stays: 6/28-7/5, 7/6-7/13, 7/13-7/19, 7/20-7/27.

  • Mountain Friends Camp (Santa Fe Tree House Camp, New Mexico) for 10-15 year olds. Teens ages 16-17 can apply to serve as Counselors in Training. Come for 1, 2, or 3 weeks. mountainfriendscamp.org/parents

○     First Session: July 5-12 (one week)
○     Second Session: July 13-26 (two weeks)

  • July 11-14: PYM Young Adult Friends Retreat: Pre-Annual Session weekend of service, spirit, and fellowship with young adults and older adults of PYM. Held at Redwood Forest Meetinghouse, Santa Rosa CA, close to Annual Session site. Contact Kylin Navarro and Elena Anderson-Williams (YAFclerks@pacificyearlymeeting.org). Register online: https://goo.gl/DvI47z
  • July 14-19: PYM Annual Session (Walker Creek Ranch, Petaluma CA), Theme: “Youth and Prophecy: Awakening to a New Creation.” Financial and transportation help available – just ask! pacificyearlymeeting.org
  • August 9: Woolman Reunion &  50th/10th Anniversary Celebration (Sierra Friends Center, Nevada City CA) woolman.org
  • November 1-2: Southern California Quarterly Meeting scqm.org
  • Dec 28-January 2: Western Young Friends New Year’s Gathering 40th Anniversary, Southern Oregon. All ages welcome. newyearsgathering.org
  • Year-Round: Ben Lomond Quaker Center Workshops are open to Friends of all ages–a great opportunity for intergenerational learning in community– and childcare is available. Annual passes for individuals and Meetings are good for a year from date of purchase for camps and workshops. Buy two and send a youth-adult pair to each workshop!  quakercenter.org/annual-pass




Want to learn more about your PYM youth program and current events?
See past epistles, reports and more on our page on the PYM website: pacificyearlymeeting.org/category/pym-docs/ypc
and on our Facebook page: “Pacific Yearly Meeting Youth Programs”