2014 Annual Session Reports and Minutes

Walker Creek Ranch, site of 68th Annual Session of PYM. We look forward to you joining us in July.
Walker Creek Ranch.

68th Annual Session Theme: Youth and Prophecy: Awakening To A New Creation
Walker Creek Ranch Petaluma, CA

Dates: July 14 to 19, 2014

Download Plenary Minutes, Attachments and Notes here:

Download Daily Miracle and Attenders List here:

Download Committee Reports here:

Downloads and Links to Program materials:

Online Registration link:



            Join us for the 68th Annual Session of Pacific Yearly Meeting, at Walker Creek near Petaluma CA, 14 – 19 July 2014.   Our theme will be:


  “What canst thou say?  Art thou a Child of Light and hast walked in the Light, and what thou speakest, is it inwardly from God?”

 -George Fox in 1652, as quoted by Margaret Fell in 1691.

 The leadership of early Friends was young!  In 1652, the height of the first great growth of the “Children of the Light,” George Fox was only 28—full of energy, fire and passion.  Older seekers of his time were often slow to awaken to the wonder of a new creation. Yet chronological age was not the key to this rebirth. At the heart of the new movement was a radical realization: “Christ has come to teach his people himself.”  That for which we hunger—that which fuels our power and creativity, our energy and passion, leading us to seek justice and peace—is already within us, a Blessed Presence to our hearts, veiled only by confusion in our minds. Fox wrote that following his own great awakening in 1648, “All things were new, and all the creation gave another smell unto me than before, beyond what words can utter.”  This awakening came only after years of struggle and disappointment, leading to darkness and despair: “I knew not what to do.”  Only when he surrendered his failed dream did he awaken to a new creation. The Prophetic Voice: Living from a Deeper Place Out of this death and rebirth came new strength—as it can come for each of us who has courage to surrender fully to the Source.  Fox strode boldly through northern England, speaking with power that came through him, with authority immediately recognized by those who heard him. Those listeners who were truly honest with themselves (like Margaret Fell, who broke down in tears at his words) were captured by the truth he spoke, convinced—convicted—by his prophetic voice. Within us we sense a place of deep authenticity, however named.  “What canst thou say?” does not invite personal opinions off the top of our heads; rather, it calls us to wait for clarity and guidance, then testify to our experience of Truth—to be “children of Light, and to walk in the Light.”  Our power comes through surrender to Truth.  A New Rebirth in Pacific Yearly Meeting Echoing Fox’s experience in 1648, Friends last year, with sadness yet gratitude toward those who had pursued it, surrendered another dream: the hope of a permanent location for Annual Sessions.  Through generosity and grace, the financial resources of that endeavor are rededicated to a cause dear to us all: the nurturing and growth of our youth, their Life in the Spirit.  Their passion and vision already bring fresh vitality and promise to Pacific Yearly Meeting.   At the 2014 Annual Session we will ask what the prophetic power of “a new creation” means for us as a collective body.  Can we be a corporate prophetic voice to the world?   Our 2014 keynote speaker will be Jonathan Vogel-Borne, former Secretary of New England Yearly Meeting, who grew up in PYM.  Jonathan is a gifted speaker who has led workshops at the FGC Gathering on “Practicing Prophetic Ministry.” We will also feature a plenary session led by PYM youth. Additional highlights of the 2014 Annual Session:

  • Attendance costs are lower this year.
  • First-time attenders will receive a $40 discount off their full-week registration.
  • We have streamlined procedures for financial assistance.
  • Because of Walker Creek’s flexible hours, we can return to scheduling innovations that were well received at Annual Session 2012 (also at Walker Creek), including:
    • Two parallel options for worship-sharing daily.
    • A return to a mid-day slot for Bible study and “Transformative Quakers,” the popular adult studies series (rather than before breakfast!).
    • Threshing sessions will prepare us for plenary topics coming later in the week.
    • “Fellowship Friday” will bring us together through fun intergenerational activities, ending the day with our traditional Family Night and Dance.
  • Walker Creek offers a variety of food choices.  
  • The relatively flat terrain will, we hope, pose little difficulty for those with mobility issues.
  • Because of Walker Creek’s proximity to Friends House in Santa Rosa, we hope to benefit from greater participation by our elderly members.
  • We will again enjoy the wildlife—deer, turkey vultures, raccoons, wild turkey, fox—and the spacious, striking natural beauty of Walker Creek’s remote site.
  • Questions regarding the program of Annual Session?  Contact the Presiding Clerk through the email below, or through the Contact Us link on the PYM website. You can also contact the Assistant to the Clerk, or the Clerk of M&O on the same Contact form by selecting their names on the drop-down menu.
  • Questions regarding the Walker Creek site?  Contact the PYM Arrangements Co-Clerks at arrangements@pacificyearlymeeting.org

I look forward eagerly to enjoying our fellowship and spiritual renewal at Walker Creek in July. Steve Smith, Presiding Clerk clerk@pacificyearlymeeting.org   The online Registration Form link.

2014 RepCom Reports

 PYM RepCom 2014

Was held on Saturday, March 1, 2014

Orange Grove Meeting

520 East Orange Grove Blvd.

Pasadena, CA 91104

Download of Minutes and Reports:


“To Friends Everywhere”

This is a collection of Epistles from Pacific Yearly Meeting, and from other Yearly Meetings who have also contributed Epistles. We encourage communication between Yearly Meetings and Friends worldwide, and the sharing of our Epistles is a step in that direction. Please contribute yours as you are able.

To contribute to this collection, please use our Contact Form: Web Coordinator.

Pacific Yearly Meeting Epistles:

Epistles from outside of Pacific Yearly Meeting:

  • Alaska Friends Conference Epistle 2012 Alaska Epistle 2012 (Download PDF file)
  • Aotearoa New Zealand Yearly Meeting Epistle 2013 New Zealand YM Epistle 2013 (Download PDF file)
  • Australia Yearly Meeting Epistle 2013 Australia YM Epistle 2013 (Download PDF file)
  • Baltimore Yearly Meeting Epistles 2013 (includes Young Adult Friends, Young Friends, and Children’s epistles) Baltimore YM Epistles 2013 (Download PDF file)
  • Britain Yearly Meeting Epistle 2013 Britain YM Epistle 2013 (Download PDF file)
  • Illinois Yearly Meeting Epistles 2013 (includes Adult Young Friends, High School Friends, Young Friends ages 10-14, 8-9, 5-7 and 3-4) IL YM Epistles 2013 (Download PDF file)
  • Intermountain Yearly Meeting Epistles 2013 (includes Senior Young Friends, Junior Young Friends, Children’s epistles, plus the Kabarak Call for Peace and EcoJustice IM YM Epistles 2013 plus Kabarak Call for Peace and EcoJustice (Download PDF file)
  • Iowa Yearly Meeting (Conservative) Epistles 2013 (includes Young Friends and Junior Yearly Meeting epistles) Iowa YM Epistles 2013 (Download PDF file)
  • New York Yearly Meeting Epistles 2013 (includes Junior Yearly Meeting epistle) NY YM Epistles 2013  (Download PDF File)
  • Quaker United Nations Office – Letter of June 2012 QUNO Epistle 2012 (Download PDF file)


PYM 2013 Annual Session Plenary IX

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Plenary IX opened with silent worship at 8:20 am.

The minutes of Plenary VIII were read and approved.

Epistle Reading:

The reading clerk announced that Indiana Yearly Meeting has split into two Meetings and their YM epistle seemed directed internally.

Ireland YM held in Dublin, April 2012, welcomed a new book of discipline.  Their concerns and work continue to focus on mental health care.  They noted that we should have not only faith in Jesus, but also the faith of Jesus.

Revised Peace and Social Order Minute

Steve Smith, clerk, read a revised minute regarding our opposition to drone warfare.

“In accordance with the Peace Testimony, Pacific Yearly Meeting is opposed to militarized drones as we oppose all weapons of war.”

The PYM Peace and Social Order committee stands ready to assist friends and meetings over the next year with study and reflection on the concern about the use of militarized drones.  Friends and Meetings can start with consideration of the minutes parsed by Orange Grove Meeting and Southern California Quarterly Meeting.  The committee encourages actions as way opens.

The minute and narrative are being held until the end of this Plenary, when the clerk will discern if it reflects our underlying unity regarding drone warfare.

Nominating Committee

David Barrows, clerk, brought forward two names for a first reading:

Assistant to the Treasurer: 2014 Gary Wolff

FWCC:  2016 Jan Turner

Unity with Nature: Muriel Strand, co-clerk, read the report of the committee highlighting two retreats, a spring Youth Work Camp, and progress with mini-grants.  We were reminded that our work for peace and justice must be integrated with care for the environment.  We are called to work together to find new and old ways of sustaining life on earth. (full report appended)


The Clerk noted that concerns were brought to him regarding the conduct of plenaries.  One of these is that we hear the same voices many times and that others are never heard from.  However, we are grateful for the accumulated wisdom and experience of seasoned Friends.    

Ad hoc on registration  Joyce Samati, registar, brought two minutes regarding the selection of a registration service contract.  She read the names of the committee members.


Minute PYM AS 2013-11:  Pacific Yearly Meeting authorizes an ad hoc committee, consisting of the Registrars and a member of Ministry and Oversight, to solicit and receive applications for a Contract Registration Service, to select one of these, and to submit a contract to the presiding clerk for signature.

Minute PYM AS 2013-12:  Pacific Yearly Meeting approves allocating $3000, which will be part of the annual session budget presented at the next Representative Committee session, for the purpose of contracting with a Contract Registration Service.




Sarah Tyrell, registrar, gave the report, appended.  She thanked Brylie Oxley and Don Bean for their support with on-line registrations.

Naming committee: Alyssa Nelson and Brendan Fagen brought us the names already presented in Plenary 4.  In addition they announced that Henrietta Groot has moved off the Nominating Committee and so there is one opening.

Minute PYM AS 2013-13:  We approve the Nominating Committee as proposed:

Elaine Emily (Strawberry Creek): returning member, 3 year term, Clerk

Graciela Martinez (Visalia): new member, 1 year term

Rob Cimorelli (Orange Grove): new member, 3 year term

Tom Farley (Palo Alto): returning member, 3 year term

Final Nominating Committee approval

David Barrows, clerk, asked for approval for the names brought forward earlier in this plenary and in Plenary VIII.

Minute PYM AS 2013-14:  We approved the Nominating Committee slate as presented in this and prior plenaries.


Peace Action Camp report

Nathan Walker (Palo Alto), Hannah McKinney (Strawberry Creek), James Summers (La Jolla), and Brendan Fagan (Reno) gave the report on Peace Action Camp held this summer at La Jolla Meetinghouse as a program of Ben Lomond Quaker Center. The camp was deeply meaningful for its participants.  The camp ended in a candlelight vigil on the beach in commemoration of immigrants who have died crossing the border.  The participants protested at the office of Congressman Juan Vargas, and as a result, Congressman Vargas changed his position on the militarization of the border.  This witness has deeply affected all those who participated in the Peace Action Camp.

Gratitude was given to the many Friends who supported the camp.

Middle School:   Nate Secrest (Lake County) introduced the Epistle, appended.  The program participants read the Epistle in turn, which celebrated their week of exploration.

Junior Yearly Meeting Epistle: David Shaw, Hannah Mackinney, Alex Gillespie and Jarod Rischpater, read the epistle, written in a series of haikus.  (full epistle is appended)

PYM Epistle:     Nora Cooke (Grass Valley), Carl Magruder (Strawberry Creek), and Judith Favor (Claremont) presented the Pacific Yearly Meeting 67th Annual Session Epistle, appended.  The Epistle addressed Friends in the spirit of Apostle Paul, in the tradition of letters sent into the world.  We accepted the epistle, with appreciation for its poetic mirroring of our Annual Gathering.

(full epistle is appended)

Pre-school epistle expressed the joy of the many activities they participated. (full epistle is appended)

The lower elementary epistle spoke of their activities, noting that the spirit of peace was felt among them in play, worship and song. “Though the ocean of darkness was on our minds, we found the rose in each thorn and were brought closer to the Light.” (full epistle is appended)

Young Adult Friends epistle was read by Alice Erickson (Berkeley).  They felt the spirit move through them in deepening community.  They appreciated the presence of grounded friends and the experience of being teachers for the children’s program.   (full epistle is appended)

Mt Madonna Center:  Brajesh Friedberg, the program director for Mt Madonna Center, asked Friends to consider four questions concerning the food, facilities, center staff, and their community.  Friends were asked to note their comments on evaluations forms, provided in the lobby.  We were invited to return for a personal retreat, and to take MMC brochures with us to share with others.  Brajesh also shared some comments from the staff to this body.  Our special requests stretched them, and they experienced us as the most cooperative and harmonious group they have hosted.  Members of the Mount Madonna community shared with Brajesh, “Would that we were more like that.”  For our presence and our inspiration, Brajesh offered his gratitude on behalf of the entire Mount Madonna community

Appreciation was spoken from the floor for the Arrangements Committee and for Jim Avera, Arrangements Clerk.

Concern was expressed for the expense and logistical difficulty of holding Annual Gathering in Southern California.

Gratitude was given for the teachers of the youth programs of Pacific Yearly Meeting.

Gratitude was given for the Clerk, Assistant to the Clerk and recording clerks.

Revised Peace and Social Order Minute

Steve Smith, clerk, asked for approval of the minute regarding our opposition to drone warfare, while acknowledging the deep and meaningful process we have held in this gathering exercising us on this issue.  The unapproved notes on the threshing session are appended to this record.

Minute PYM AS 2013-15:  In accordance with the Peace Testimony, Pacific Yearly Meeting is opposed to militarized drones as we oppose all weapons of war.

Clerks remarks:  Steve Smith thanked everyone for the support he has received.  He read a statement from the M&O Committee noting increased expenses of Annual Session and lower attendance and expressing concern that the cost of attending the Annual Session favors those of greater means and results in less diversity.

Minutes were approved.

Meeting closed with silent worship.


PYM 2013 Annual Session Plenary VIII

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Plenary VIII opened with worship at 10:25am.

 Epistle Reading

We heard the epistle from Iowa Yearly Meeting Conservative, whose 135th Annual Session was held at Scattergood Friends School and Farm.  The gathering mourned the deaths of beloved elders and celebrated their gifts.  They renewed their call to faithful living and living lives as patterns and examples, remembering Paul’s description of the church as the body of the Christ, guided by their newly revised Faith and Practice.  The gathering concluded with a new commitment to live more fully into God’s love.

Presiding clerk, Steve Smith, reminded us of the short time left to finish our business.  Most of our work to this point has been focused on the internal work of PYM although we recognize that many of us are involved in work in the wider world and that we all uphold that work.  Let us speak only if it is really necessary so we can accomplish the business left to do.

Peace and Social Order

Jeff Kroeber, clerk, and Anthony Manusos (Orange Grove) brought forward a minute regarding drone warfare, appended.

Friends support opposition to drone warfare.  We were reminded that statements without action have little meaning; nevertheless, speech is also a form of action.  There was also discomfort in our midst regarding the wording and clarity of intent of this minute.

Many resources are available to support Friends taking individual actions, and we are encouraged to take advantage of these and to take the issue back to our communities and meetings.

There is a deeper question regarding how our Yearly Meeting addresses minutes of concern.   Ministry & Oversight, Discipline Committee and gathered Friends are asked to consider this matter in worship.

This matter will be taken up in the morning at a threshing session.

Finance committee:  Donna Smith, clerk, brought the proposed budget for the General Account.  She reminded Friends of the opportunities they have had to discuss and make changes.

The per-member share of expenses (sometimes called either Assessments or the Quota) for 2013-14 will be as follows:  CA and NV $92, Hawaii and Guatemala $38, and Mexico City $15.

Minute PYM AS 2013-08: Pacific Yearly Meeting approved the General Account Budget as proposed.

Discipline Committee

Carolyn Stephenson, clerk, brought back, after discernment, two minutes regarding our revision of Faith and Practice (see Plenary IV).

While there was strong support, concerns were expressed with the timing and necessity of the revision, and the resources needed for the process. A suggestion was made to limit the revision to the Advises and Queries only.

A Friend noted that this is not a task given to a committee, but rather a process of our entire body engaging in deep exploration of our faith and practice.   As a Society of Friends this labor will challenge us to feed the movement of Spirit among us. Electronic media can assist us with reflecting our continuing revelation without the restriction of bound materials.

There was continuing discomfort with moving forward.  We may do a disservice to Faith and Practice and to our process by doing it piecemeal.

It was requested that the Discipline Committee, as it moves forward, keep these comments in mind and report to us on their discernment as the progress.

Registrar’s report:   Joyce Samati and Sara Tyrrell, Registrars, reported for the ad hoc committee charged with designing a process for choosing a contract registration service.  They presented a draft minute regarding process and another regarding a budget for this service.  These will be brought back at tomorrow’s plenary.

Nominating Committee

David Barrows, clerk, called for approval of the minute read in Plenary VI.  It is suggested that the committee take up a name that more accurately reflects their work.  The committee accepted that charge.

Minute PYM AS 2013-09: The Youth Program Coordinator Supervisory Committee (YPCSC) shall consist of six members with overlapping three-year terms, nominated by Nominating Committee, and approved by Yearly Meeting. Each year, one person shall be nominated to serve as clerk of the committee. In addition, the Nominating Committee, in consultation with the YPCSC, shall nominate four youth members for renewable one-year terms to be approved by Yearly Meeting. The YPCSC shall choose one person from among its members to serve as the Direct Supervisor of the Youth Program Coordinator (YPC).

David Barrows also called for approval of the slate as previously presented.

Minute PYM AS 2013-10:  Pacific Yearly Meeting approves the 2013-2014 slate of Nominees.

David brought forward names for vacant positions, as well as the nominations for the Youth Program Coordinator Supervisory Committee.

Holding Corporation 2016 Amy Cooke

Latin American Concerns Committee:  2016 Laura Kohl

Peace and Social Order Committee 2015:  Emily Leo

Secretariat Committee:           2014 remove Keith Runyan

2014 Dawn Moore

2016 Raph Levein

Youth Program Coordinator Supervisory Committee

2014 Sandra Schwartz

2014 Jennifer Carr

2015  Rhea Farley

2015 Mary Klein

2016 Steve Leeds

2016 Jim Summers


2014 Nathan Walker

2014 Sophie Brinker


Minutes were held over for the next plenary

This Plenary closed at 12:35.




PYM 2013 Annual Session Plenary VI

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Plenary VI opened with worship at 10:15.

 Epistle Reading

We heard the epistle from the 194th annual session of The Religious Society of Friends in Norway, held in May 2012 under the theme of Spiritual Gifts: Building Community.   They were joined by Thomas Swain of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, in the shadow of the bombing and massacre of July 2011.  They sought to make worship holy, to seek that of God in others and in themselves, and to act as spiritual midwives for each other’s gifts.  Their revision of Faith and Practice is underway.

Clerk’s remarks:  Steve Smith expressed his sense that the work yesterday might have been untidy but we move ahead as a community. He also expressed gratitude for the support he has received as Clerk.  We were reminded of the need to be brief in our comments and to stay as close as we can to the planned time allotments.

Minutes from Plenary V:  The minutes were read.  We noted that the full context of the PFOS Board minute will be appended.

The minutes of Plenary V were approved.

American Friends Service Committee

Laura Magnani (Strawberry Creek), representing AFSC, asked for us to hold in a moment of silence the prisoners who are on hunger strike in California, Guantanamo and Palestine.  As far as we know, 600 prisoners are on hunger strike trying to end the use of long term solitary confinement in California prisons.  As a result of the courage of prisoners taking this nonviolent stance, real changes are happening.  Other work of the AFSC can be found on their web site at afsc.org and Laura’s full report is appended to this record.

Anthony Manusos presented some preliminary information regarding the Minute of Concern that Peace and Social Order will be bringing forward tomorrow on drone warfare.

 Finance:  Donna Smith, clerk of Finance Committee, asked us to look at the proposed revisions to the budget as noted in the Daily Miracle.

 Site Committee

Lanny Jay, clerk, presented the report, which is appended.

The 68th Annual Gathering of Pacific Yearly Meeting will be held in Seventh Month 14-19, 2014, at Walker Creek Ranch, Petaluma, California.  We hope to return to Southern California in 2015.

PYM Epistle: Nora Cooke (Grass Valley) read the first draft of the PYM 2013 Epistle, noting where it will be posted and when input can be given.

 Ad Hoc Committee for PFOS fund management:  Finance was asked to work with PFOS and YPCSC to develop a plan to manage the PFOS Endowment.  Their plan includes the general purpose of the funds, to develop an intergenerational community of PYM, and some of the nuts and bolts of handling the funds in the long term.  The endowment is expected to generate approximately $17,000 income a year at this time.  The full context of the proposed plan is appended and was posted at Annual Session.

A Friend suggested that we continue to do research among other YMs regarding how they handle endowments and how they support youth programs.  Another Friend suggested that we also consider expanding our outreach to PYM youth in Mexico, Guatemala and Hawaii.  The committee continues to be open to questions and suggestions regarding how the funds could be used to support the Beloved Community.

Minute PYM AS 2013-07: Having minuted our acceptance of the Pacific Friends Outreach Society Bob Vogel Endowment, Pacific Yearly Meeting authorizes PYM officers and clerks make legal arrangements and execute necessary documents to receive and manage the gift of the Bob Vogel Endowment.

Consistent with the terms of the gift, requests to spend funds will be managed and approved by PYM’s Youth Program Coordinator Supervisory Committee (YPCSC), or another appropriate committee to be determined by PYM in the event that the YPCSC is laid down.  PYM’s Finance Committee and Treasurer will manage the financial aspects of this gift such as investments and accounting.

One Friend stands aside from this decision.

Nominating Committee

David Barrows, clerk, presented the following changes to the slate of nominees for 2013-2014.  The full slate is appended to these minutes.

  • Assistant to the Treasurer:  Donna Smith’s name is withdrawn.
  • Children’s Program Committee:  2016 Heather Levien, Berkeley Meeting (2013) was added to the slate.
  • Junior Yearly Meeting Committee:  Steve Leeds and Sue Torrey are nominated as co-clerks.

As requested, the committee brought forward the following minute for discernment:

“The Youth Program Coordinator Supervisory Committee (YPCSC) shall consist of six members with overlapping three-year terms, nominated by  Nominating Committee, and approved by Yearly Meeting. Each year, one person shall be nominated to serve as clerk of the committee. In addition, the Nominating Committee, in consultation with the YPCSC, shall nominate four youth members for renewable one-year terms to be approved by Yearly Meeting. The YPCSC shall choose one person from among its members to serve as the Direct Supervisor of the Youth Program Coordinator (YPC).”

The minute is left for seasoning until a following Plenary.

Minutes were approved.

Closing Worship at 11:50.




PYM 2013 Annual Session Plenary V

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 Plenary V opened with worship at 1:45.

Epistle Reading

Monteverde Monthly Meeting.  The meeting is exploring the balance between practical concerns and their spiritual lives.  They are a small meeting overseeing a bilingual K-12 Friends school, and are striving to balance their energy and financial challenges.  While this legacy can be overwhelming, student contributions are also a blessing.    The meeting also benefits from its elders and is enriched by new attenders.  The Religious Education committee nurtures the connections among meeting members in multiple ways, notably with a second children’s meeting in Spanish.  The meeting has touched the wider world of Quakers through members’ attendance at Friends World Committee for Consultation and the Quaker Youth Pilgrimage.

Pacific Friends Outreach Society – Gift offer:  Liz Baker, clerk of PFOS, read the proposal (first read at RepCom) to create an endowment from the funds that remain after laying down PFOS.  They propose that income from the endowment be used as determined by the Youth Program Coordinator Supervisory Committee but that it is not to be used for salary or wages. (The full contents of the original proposal and the history of PFOS are available in the 2013 RepCom minutes.)  Due to legal requirements, the transfer of funds must be very specific and transparent.

Comments from the floor included some discomfort with the ambiguity of the long term use of the funds or what a successor committee might look like.  If PYM accepts the gift, then it also internally arranges for its management.  Liz Baker states that PFOS’s intention is that the yearly meeting would be able to change the nature of a successor committee.  We need to be aware that the management of the endowment may cause some difficulty.

Many questions were raised from the floor and remain to be discerned.  A Friend pointed out that no amount of planning will completely eliminate the possibility of conflict in the future.  A Friend noted that naming the endowment after an individual seems not to be in good order nor in keeping with our traditions.

Minute PYM AS 2013-04: PYM accepts the gift from Pacific Friends Outreach Society under the conditions of the following section of Pacific Friends Outreach Society Board minute:

The Board minutes its decision to offer the assets of Pacific Friends Outreach Society, that remain after expenses are paid, to Pacific Yearly Meeting.  The income from the fund is to be used as determined by the Pacific Yearly Meeting committee, Youth Program Coordinator Supervisory Committee (the YPCSC), or a successor committee, with the exception that it cannot be used for salary or wages.  

Minute PYM AS 2013-05: Pacific Yearly Meeting expresses its gratitude for the long and faithful service of the members of the Pacific Friends Outreach Society to complete the charge given to them and appreciates their generous gift on behalf of the youth of Pacific Yearly Meeting.

Ministry was offered acknowledging the pain all sides experienced in the course of Pacific Friends Outreach Society’s existence and the possibility that the YM might draw lessons from its past decision making processes.

Minutes were held over to be acted on at the next plenary.

Closing Worship at  3:05



PYM 2013 Annual Session Plenary IV

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 Plenary IV opened with worship at 10:15.

 Epistle:  Friends of Central and Southern Africa Yearly Meeting met in Jan 2012 on the theme of “Living the Quaker Testimonies”.  Concerns shared included increasing security for themselves and others, including Friends who feel isolated, forging community, and including children and young friends.  They ask us all to imagine all the world living in peace and quoting John Lennon, invited us all to be dreamers so the “world can live as one”.

Western Friend:  Mary Klein (Palo Alto), editor of Western Friend, introduced herself.  She has held the position since January 1, and invites Friends to join in the discernment on how Western Friend can support our community.


  • Lonnie Valentine, Clear Creek Meeting, Ohio Valley Yearly Meeting, representing Earlham School of Religion.  Lonnie noted to Friends that he is researching Quakers and the war tax concern.

Initial Naming Committee:  Alyssa Nelson (Davis) and Brendan Fagen (Reno) reported for the naming committee:  The names brought forward are:

Elaine Emily (Strawberry Creek): returning member, 3 year term, Clerk

Graciela Martinez (Visalia): new member, 1 year term

Rob Cimorelli (Orange Grove): new member, 3 year term

Tom Farley (Palo Alto): returning member, 3 year term

Discipline Committee

Carolyn Stephenson, clerk, gave the report, appended.  The committee is bringing forward a recommendation to revise our Faith and Practice.   The committee will hold an interest group and invites Friends to attend with questions and concerns.

Proposed minutes:

  • Pacific Yearly Meeting approves beginning on the next revision of our Faith and Practice.
  • Pacific Yearly Meeting approves converting the existing Discipline Committee to the Faith and Practice Revision Committee for the duration of the work on the Faith and Practice revision.  Nominating Committee is asked to nominate, as quickly as possible, a committee consisting of six members of Discipline Committee (2 approved each year, for 3-year terms, renewable) and ex officio the Historian/Archivist, plus 4 “permanent” members to serve for the duration of the revision work.  Nominating Committee is also asked to nominate a Clerk, for a one-year term, each year for this committee.

Youth Program Coordinator: Steve Smith (Clerk) reminded us of the difficult birth of the YPC position 4 years ago.  He asked us to look at the discernment process with open minds and hearts, ready to be guided by the Spirit.  He also asked us to refrain from “twinkling” as displays of agreement that may be distracting from the listening and discernment process.

We are asked to consider just the simple minute brought forward by RepCom and to separate it from the possible gift from PFOS.

Kate Watkins, clerk of the YPCSC, invited the rest of the committee to introduce themselves.  Kate explained that she misspoke yesterday regarding the terms of the position.  At this time Alyssa is working 3/4 time and accomplishing all that the committee expects. This decision was made by the committee at the time of hiring and considering all the applicants and their various gifts and skills.  Further personnel questions will continue to be considered and the committee is open to input and suggestions.

Comments from the floor included the yearning for the new energy of younger Friends and support for the position as vital to the future of PYM, especially for younger Friends in small meetings.  A link is noted between the Youth Program and addressing racial and cultural diversity.  The funding of this position states to all of us and especially to our children that they are a priority to us.

A Friend asked the committee to consider how the increased assessments may be alleviated for meetings feeling uncomfortably burdened by it.  Some Friends wanted clarity about the full vs part time status of the position and a statement of the budget for this position and program.  Others felt that the position was not really being questioned and the details can be worked out later.

The Clerk noted that he senses clear and deep support for the continuation of the position despite questions and concerns about compensation, financial burdens and composition of the committee.

Minute PYM AS 2013-01: Pacific Yearly Meeting approves continuation of the paid Youth Program Coordinator position.


Minutes were approved.

Closing Worship at 11:50.






PYM 2013 Annual Session Plenary III

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Plenary I began with worship at 1:45.

 The minutes from Plenary II were read and approved.

Epistle:  from 6th world conference in Kenya, held in April 2012.  The theme “Being Salt and Light” was discussed with sharing on the biblical reference and today’s applications.  In the diversity present, the testimony of unity was challenged.  However, brokenness is not an obstacle but an opportunity for growth.

Statistical Report:  Lee Knutson (PA, MP, LO) gave the “NASTY” report (Numbers And Statistics To You).  Overall PYM membership decreased by 44 to 1346.  The full report including a 10 year view of membership is attached and online.

Diane Randall, Executive Secretary of FCNL:

Diane was welcomed to our Annual Session as the Executive Secretary for FCNL, a position she has held for the last two and a half years.  Her report is appended to these minutes.

Diane referred to FCNL’s Washington, DC home as a “mission field,” bringing to politics the practice of being patterns and examples, of living into our concerns and our faith as Friends.  Diane noted that missionary work calls us into places that are foreign to us – to stand up, speak up, to encounter resistance and to meet it with love as the first motion.  Washington, swamped in money and power, is not often seen as an impoverished mission field.  FCNL seeks to bring to this seat of power the witness to truth and the reaching into the Life.

Diane shared the missions of FCNL – to seek a world free of war, with equity and justice, where every one’s potential can be fulfilled and where the earth is restored.  She spoke of the actions FCNL is taking on these issues.  Diane challenged us to awaken our missionary zeal, to enter the foreign places of speaking and acting.  Together, we can bring something to Washington that our policy makers need – in Barclay’s words, to feel our own power, to be touched to the heart, and to be reached by the Life.

Nominating Committee: David Barrows (San Diego) gave the report, an effort to help members of PYM develop their gifts and talents. He noted new nominations and remaining openings.  The full approved report will be attached.


Treasurer’s Report

Ed Flowers, Treasurer, gave the report, which is appended.  He noted that we are close to covering the costs of Mount Madonna for this year’s Annual Session due to a late surge in attendance.  Ed welcomes questions at the open session.

Finance Committee:  Donna Smith (Redwood Forest) noted that the proposed budget reflects an increase in assessments due to reduced membership numbers.

Minutes were approved.

Closing Worship at 3:00.


PYM 2013 Annual Session Plenary II

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Plenary II began with worship at 10:15.

Epistle Reading:  Jennifer Carr (Las Vegas) read from the letter of Young Adult Friends of Philadelphia YM July 2012 Annual Session.  They spoke of the challenge of flexibility while enjoying full inclusion in the adult sessions and “seeking to be truly present with each other”.  The loss of their Youth Program Coordinator has affected them deeply.

From New York YM, affiliated with both FUM and FGC:  They noted the challenges brought to them by guest speakers including the need to speak plainly to each other about practices that used to bring unity and now cause division.


  • Tess Solenberger, Bellingham Friends Meeting, North Pacific Yearly Meeting.

Concern:  Keith Wedmore (Marin) dipped into historic references to remind Friends to be aware of the needs of those with hearing loss and to speak “with a loud voice”.

Ministry & Oversight

Members of the Ministry and Oversight committee shared a slide presentation highlighting how Friends are collectively being reached by the life and letting our lives preach.  Through excerpts from several State of the Meeting reports from PYM Monthly Meetings we saw how Spirit is moving among us, empowering us to love freely and live courageously.  Queries and worship were woven into the presentation affording us the opportunity to deepen our collective spiritual experience.  The full M&O report is appended to this record, and all State of the Meeting reports are available on the Pacific Yearly Meeting web site.   The presentation was concluded by introducing all Ministry and Oversight members.

Youth Program Coordinator Supervisory Committee

Members of the YPC Supervisory Committee introduced themselves and described the committee’s function and mission.  Their report is appended to this record.  As part of the evaluation process over the last year, they have labored with the queries, “As a result of the program, how has the truth been advanced among us? How is our spiritual understanding and inward light shining more brightly?”  The Gathering was reminded that, in response to the evaluation report and presentation at the 2013 RepComm, Representative Committee passed the following Action Minute 2013.01: “Representative Committee recommends to Pacific Yearly Meeting Annual Session that the paid Youth Program Coordinator position be continued.” They will bring forward a proposed minute based upon this recommendation to the Annual Session at a later plenary.

There have been several questions and issues raised through discernment among Friends and on the committee.  One of the issues relates to the remuneration of the position.  The committee has found unity in a decision to go forward with paying the YPC at ¾ time, with an additional ¼ time donated as a ministry (please see Plenary IV for clarification on this issue).

There will be visioning and open committee sessions to address questions, issues and the proposed minute to continue the YPC position as well as the proposed monetary gift from Pacific Friends Outreach Society.

Alyssa Nelson, the Youth Program Coordinator, gave her report, which is appended.

The reading of the minutes was postponed.  


Closing Worship