A Friendly invitation to Pacific Yearly Meeting Friends (and, indeed, to Friends everywhere) to “intervisit” with cousins across the country. A nice opportunity for someone.
Baltimore Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends
17100 Quaker Lane
Sandy Spring, Maryland 20860-1267
May 18, 2018
On behalf of Baltimore Yearly Meeting, I invite Friends from your Yearly Meeting to join us for our Annual Session, July 30–August 5, 2018 at Hood College in Frederick, Maryland. In particular, I ask for your help in extending a warm invitation to Friends who feel led to visit as part of our Intervisitation Program. The theme for the 2018 Annual Session is Radical Listening, Rooted in Love.
Registration is now open. Please consider who may be interested and able to attend now, so there is plenty of time to make travel plans. We are delighted to welcome all visitors, first-time or returning, for a day or the whole session.
Our Intervisitation Working Group will sponsor your members’ visits to our Annual Session and will serve as your hosts. We enthusiastically welcome all visitors from across the entire Quakerspectrum. Baltimore Yearly Meeting is able to cover up to a total of $630 of registration, as well as room and board at Hood College, which can be made available in whole for one member of your Yearly Meeting or split between two. At pre-June 25 shared-room registration rates, the $630 will cover registration and six days room and board for one adult or two adults for three days each. (For complete information on registration rates, see www.bym-rsf.org/events/annualsession/rates.html.) These funds are available on a first-come, first-served basis, and your funds go farther at pre-June 25 rates, so early registration is recommended. So we may reserve funds for as many visitors’ registrations as possible, we are unable to cover travel or visa expenses.
From its beginnings in 2005, our Friends in the Intervisitation program have visited with and welcomed visitors from all Yearly Meetings of North America, as well as around the world. We enjoy the presence of and being present with Friends all over, finding deep joy in our diversity.
For more information, please go to www.bym-rsf.org/events/annualsession/ or call the Yearly Meeting office at 301-774-7663. Please say that you are coming as part of Intervisitation. Those accepting the offer to cover registration costs, or anyone with any further questions about Intervisitation, should contact the working group at firstname.lastname@example.org, with a copy to Jade Eaton at email@example.com who is coordinating visitors on behalf of the Working Group. Minutes or Letters of Introduction from your community are encouraged but not required.We read travel minutes at our meetings for worship with a concern for business. We hope your visitors can join us not just this year but also at subsequent annual sessions, thus coming to share with us more deeply.
In the Light,
Ken Stockbridge, Presiding Clerk
Annual Session Information,
Intervisitation Working Group Mission Statement
Baltimore Yearly Meeting Annual Session – July 30 – August 5, 2018
Our Annual Session begins after lunch on Monday, July 30, with a retreat that extends through lunch the following day. Business sessions and worship, interspersed with worship sharing, Bible study, engaging evening speakers, afternoon workshops, interest groups, and rich fellowship including recreational activities full of music and fun begin after lunch on July 31. We close with meeting for worship and lunch on Sunday, August 5. The Intervisitation Working Group sponsors evening gatherings and workshops.
Theme of This Year’s Session: Radical Listening, Rooted in Love
It is a powerful discipline for the “listener” to try to listen without agenda, … abandoning the need or desire to appear knowledgeable, wise or comforting. There may be no more tellingly difficult spiritual practice than the effort to receive what is being said by someone else hospitably, without editing, without correction, without unsolicited advice. Yet it is this open listening that makes room for the Spirit of God to be present … –Patricia Loring, 1997
In times of crisis and discord, human instinct urges us to curl inward, to retreat into the familiar. Yet our faith tradition calls on us at precisely these moments to stand still in the Light, to open ourselves; for we know that without opening, rifts deepen and become fixed. At such times being rooted in love helps us surrender our defensive posture and step outward in an act of radical listening. Paul Tillich (Justice Power and Love) said, “In order to know what is just in a person-to-person encounter, love listens. It is its first task to listen.”
Listening deeply and unflinchingly to the spirit within, and in each other, can unlock a revolutionary love and uncover unexpected possibilities. Listening deeply to those who experience systemic injustice, as well as to those whose values seem antithetical to our own, can crack open our comfortable assumptions. Listening deeply to ourselves allows us to examine our biases, our fallibility, our own complicity, and to accept our own humanity. From this humble position, we can ready our hearts and ears to truly listen to another—to “lean in, softly, with a willingness to be changed by what we hear” (Mark Nepo). When we open to the humanity of a speaker, friend, or stranger, then we can see the other in us.
Location: Hood College, Frederick, MD
The Hood College campus is lovely and convenient. It is one hour from Baltimore or Washington, DC and accessible by public transportation. For more details, see www.bym-rsf.org/events/annualsession/registrationinfo.html
Baltimore Yearly Meeting Intervisitation Working Group Mission Statement
Approved by the working group, October 25, 2014
The Intervisitation Program of Baltimore Yearly Meeting (BYM) seeks to nurture the beloved community of Friends by encouraging, preparing, and supporting those who travel among Friends, both inside and outside of BYM. Our experience has shown the power of visiting in order to care for relationships within and among Yearly Meetings, especially where they are fragile, as well as to enjoy the richer, more abundant life available in the wide family of Friends. Through a simple “ministry of presence” we hope to be spiritually and prayerfully present, to listen deeply with love and without judgment, to be tender with another, not to bring our own agendas, and to get to know each other in that which is eternal. Visits will be in all directions, and involve both offering and receiving hospitality.