A Quaker Center Call for Program Proposals for 2021

Deadline Extended to March 15, 2020

The Ben Lomond Quaker Center is accepting program proposals for 2021.

Quaker Center seeks to nurture the spiritual growth and faithfulness of Friends and others, while strengthening Quakerism and its witness in the world.  We offer programs and personal retreats exemplifying Friends’ testimonies of community, integrity, simplicity, peace, and equality. We strive to live in right order with all creation, especially with the redwood forest that sustains us here in the Santa Cruz mountains.

Hence, we are seeking Friends who are led to share their insights into

  • Spiritual practice, growth, and faithfulness.
  • Strengthening and enriching Quakerism and its witness in the world.
  • Exemplifying Friends’ testimonies.
  • Climate change & living in right order with creation
  • Social & Racial Justice & Healing

Programs utilizing a mix of modes (such as: journaling, discussion, worship, the arts, group lectures, small groups, queries, interaction with nature, etc.) are encouraged.

Those program proposals which offer insights into developing and nurturing an effective and radical Quaker witness in the face of contemporary challenges will be given special attention.

PLEASE SUBMIT A 25- 35 -WORD DESCRIPTION OF THE PROGRAM, INCLUDING:

Name(s) and Contact Information (including email) of leader(s) and an elder (if you wish):

  • Proposed title:
  • Overview of program:
  • Preferred month(s) to hold program in the coming year:

PROGRAM PROPOSAL:  

What leads you to offer this program? Who would benefit from your program, and what should they expect to learn or experience?  How would this program potentially teach and transform the participants? What activities would be involved?

LOGISTICAL INFORMATION:

Workshop Size: Typically 25 – 50

We offer honoraria as an expression of gratitude for the gifts of ministry and time that this work demands.  Travel fares are reimbursed up to a mutually determined limit.

PLEASE SUBMIT PROPOSAL WITH ABOVE INFORMATION TO:

BobFisher@QuakerCenter.org and Nicholas.C.Wright@gmail.com

Deadline Extended to March 15, 2020

Spring Youth Service Learning Camp with Wukchumni Tribe, Quaker Oaks Farm, April 6-10, 2020

7th Annual Spring Youth Service Learning Camp
April 6-10, 2020
(Monday-Friday leading up to Easter weekend)
Quaker Oaks Farm
Visalia, CA, USA

A partnership of Quaker Oaks Farm, the Wukchumni Yokuts Tribe,
and Pacific Yearly Meeting Youth Programs

See the Quaker Oaks Farm website for details and online application.

Air fills our lungs and keeps us alive, yet it is taken for granted by many populations. Indigenous communities, however, appreciate the air as sacred. Today, California has some of the worst air pollution in the country. This year’s theme of Air builds from our previous camps and recent themes, Fire, Water and Earth, honoring the sacredness of all Beings. Join us as we explore the power and value of Air in traditional and contemporary practice. As the climate changes do we need new ways to care for the Air?

We will share our Histories and Love one another across Seeming Divides, all through Fun, Interactive Activities. Camp includes a service-learning project on the Land and a field trip.

WAYS TO HELP

  • POST THE FLYER at your Meeting House, School, Clubhouse, etc.
  • Know a potential camper?  HELP THEM APPLY online by 3/9.
  • DONATE
  • SHARE our Fundraising Appeal Letter
  • VOLUNTEER: Contact Melissa Lovett-Adair, chair@quakeroaksfarm.com
  • Request our model “Letter to Teachers” for a student who wants to take time off from school to participate in camp and/or get school credit
  • SPREAD this message among friends!

Campers: APPLICATION ONLINE NOW! Deadline 3/9/2020. There are only 30 spots available.  There is a question on this form where we ask you to tell us why we should select your application and what is important to you about getting to be a part of camp.

We enthusiastically invite middle school and high school aged youth (grades 6-12) to apply. No one will be turned away for lack of funds. Cost of camp is on a sliding scale ($0 – $500). Donations gratefully accepted.

Clerk’s Call to Annual Session 2020

Clerk’s Call to Pacific Yearly Meeting Annual Session
July 10 to July 15, 2020
Walker Creek Ranch

Radical Inclusivity:
Responding to the Persistent and Insistent Love of God 

Love one another.  As I have loved you, so must you love one another.” – John 13:34

Thus He whose tender mercies are over all His works hath placed a principle in the human mind, which one to exercise goodness towards every living creature; and this being singly attended to, people become tender-hearted and sympathizing…” – John Woolman, 1720-1772

We are being called at this time to wake up to God’s love for all beings and all of creation.  We are being called to notice and respond to the persistent and insistent love within each of us and all around us.   We are being called to cultivate and live that love for one another and the earth in all that we do. 

We are also being called to acknowledge how our culture within the Religious Society of Friends and the wider society normalizes and perpetuates domination and power over each other and over the natural world. We are being called to notice domination in all that we do and to speak truth to it.  This domination takes many forms, both willful and inadvertent, conscious and unconscious. Domination is in play when some persons are more valued than others and when power over others is celebrated and practiced.  Domination is at work when our earth is used mindlessly and abused in the name of progress.

      Early Friends called attention to ‘disorderly walking’ and labored with one another in worship, prayer, and mindful speech to wake up to the ways in which their daily lives were harmful to their own hearts and souls and that of others and to the earth.  Those who are part of the Dominant culture must examine our privilege and entitlement through reflection, reading and most importantly through dialogue and friendships. Collectively, we Friends who bring to our yearly meeting a kaleidoscope of identities and experiences require community with one another to discern the ‘love of truth’ within our lives. Today we need one another to acknowledge the harm we do to each other and to the earth. Commitment to learning a better way, to being in right relationship with each other and with our earth is needed.  This means all of us have choices in every moment, to begin anew, to go deeper.

      What might this look like?  During Annual Session we will explore together.  We will ground ourselves in the light of Divine Spirit and in our bodies.  We will listen deeply to one another.  We will notice when power over another is employed rather than with each other.  We will notice and respond to each other out loud and with grace.  “While my intent was no harm, the effect did harm.”  “I see the harm”, “I see your hurt.”  “Thank you for telling me.” “Thank you for your faithfulness.”  “I want to find a way forward. “I want to walk this path with you (of reconciliation… or learning)”

            We are fortunate to invite Mica Estrada to share her experience and wisdom this year at Annual Session as our keynote speaker.  Mica is a member of Strawberry Creek Friends Meeting.   She is a Social Psychologist whose early work focused on conflict resolution, forgiveness, and problem solving.  Mica’s current work on social influences that increase care of our planet and greater equity in the world of education are newer expressions of this same leaning toward reducing conflict and supporting the positive in our world.  Mica will speak about practicing radical inclusivity through staying awake to the spirit of love and kindness within each of us.

As we come together to worship and sink down into Divine Presence, Mica’s message will help us to let go of our wills, our ideas, our wants.  We will then be able to step into the river that unites us all.  That is where transformation begins.  Please come to PacYM’s Annual Session this coming July as we take this journey together.

Sandy Kewman
Presiding Clerk

 “I pray that we will sense more keenly the transformation that God wants to bring about in our time and learn how we can fully and joyfully dedicate ourselves to participating in the creation of an evolved humanity and a renewed world.  Then, as fully realized children of God, we can let go of the past and enter something entirely new.” – Marcelle Martin, Our Life is Love, p.191.


Job Opportunity: FGC Conference Coordinator

Friends General Conference (FGC) is looking for a new Conference Coordinator.  Ruth Reber, the current Conference Coordinator, will retire at the close of the 2020 Gathering. Applications are being accepted until January 3, with a projected start date in March 2020. If you or someone you know is interested in the position, please go to https://www.fgcquaker.org/serve/opportunities/job-opportunity-conference-coordinator

— Sharon Gates, Assistant to the Clerk of Pacific YM

We Are Affiliated with Friends General Conference

Message from Sandy Kewman, Pacific Yearly Meeting Presiding Clerk

Dear Pacific Yearly Meeting Community,

Shan Cretin, co-clerk of M&O, and I are happy to report on the request to affiliate with Friends General Conference which was approved at our Annual Session, 2019.

We were informed that Friends General Conference Executive Committee approved the request of Pacific Yearly Meeting’s affiliation with FGC on October 7, 2019.  During the Central Committee Meeting on October 24 and 26, 2019 the decision was announced to the wider community of FGC.  Frank Barch, Clerk of FGC Central Committee, stated in an email the following:

I am so greatly pleased to be able to welcome Pacific Yearly Meeting into the Friends General Conference family! As I was certain, Executive Committee rejoiced to receive and approve your request for affiliation. This indeed made it a happy meeting last weekend!

Welcome, and thank you! If I can offer support or explanations, I am at your service.

Frank Barch, Presiding Clerk
FGC Central Committee

This is the Minute recording their decision:

(53-19) Pacific Yearly Meeting’s affiliation with FGC: Jean-Marie Prestwidge Barch (Clerk of the Committee for Nurturing Ministries) brought a recommendation that we accept Pacific Yearly Meeting’s request to affiliate with FGC. Friends APPROVED joyfully. We are inspired by the faithfulness of Pacific Yearly Meeting’s years-long, careful process to come to the point of requesting affiliation. There are directly affiliated monthly meetings within Pacific Yearly Meeting. In the future, the yearly meeting affiliation will take priority. Jean-Marie shared that there are two monthly meetings in Pacific Yearly Meeting that are in Mexico. We are aware that there are multiple yearly meetings in FGC with Spanish-speaking people. We wish to explore the possibility of FGC providing materials in the languages of the people we serve.

Heather Levien has been named as an interim representative of PacYM to FGC. The PacYM nominations committee is considering naming an additional interim representative and will nominate regular representatives in July who will serve a 3 year term.  At that time, representation by the directly affiliated Monthly meetings of PacYM will be subsumed under the PacYM representation to FGC, therefore, there will be no need for the directly affiliated monthly meetings to nominate their own representatives to serve after the July PacYM Annual Gathering.  In the interim, some monthly meeting representatives to FGC are maintaining an active role during this transitional period.

When PacYM’s affiliation was announced at the recent FGC Central Committee Meeting (October 24-27), it was pointed out by the General Secretary, Barry Crossno, that 70 years ago during the 1948 Conference, the Central Committee formed a committee to explore “widening the influence” of FGC.  The following September 1949, the Central Committee asked this ad hoc committee to explore drawing other yearly meetings into affiliation with FGC, particularly Philadelphia Yearly Meeting Orthodox, the recently formed Pacific Yearly Meeting, and the recently united New England Yearly Meeting (Gurneyite and Wilburite Orthodox Friends in New England Reunited in 1945). Barry warmly welcomed PacYM as the newest affiliate.

Warmly,
Sandy

RepCom 2020 Announcement

Save the Date
PYM Representative Committee
March 6 – 8, 2020 in Visalia, CA

To download this announcement as a PDF, click here.

Representative Committee (RepCom) will meet on the ancestral land of the Wukchumni Tribe March 6 – 8, 2020 at Visalia Meetinghouse. Our gathering will be hosted by Quaker Oaks Farm (quakeroaksfarm.org). As you make your arrangements, please plan to arrive for Friday dinner, if possible. If we have not finished our business by Saturday dinner, we may need to continue into Saturday evening or even on Sunday, so please plan accordingly. Continue reading “RepCom 2020 Announcement”

Welcome Letter to Children’s Program Families 2019

Dear Children’s Program Families of Pacific Yearly Meeting:

Thank you for registering your child(ren) for Pacific Yearly Meeting’s 2019 Annual Session! The Children’s Program Committee looks forward to our joyous work of nurturing children and families at Annual Session.

Please read this letter thoroughly in preparation for our week together.

Last year we had a lot of fun and came together as a community to learn more about the Quaker Way. This year, we’ll continue taking advantage of outdoor education opportunities at the site and blending them with other forms of Quaker teaching and learning. And once again, we have an enthusiastic and skilled group of teachers and support staff. Continue reading “Welcome Letter to Children’s Program Families 2019”

Announcing the New Co-directors at Ben Lomond Quaker Center

Ben Lomond Quaker Center is delighted to announce that Susan Wilson and Bob Fisher, from Plainfield Meeting in Vermont, will be starting their work as the incoming Co-Directors of Quaker Center at the end of August! They will overlap with the current Co-Directors, Kathy and Bob Runyan, through September 1, 2019. You can find out more about Susan Wilson and Bob Fisher at http://www.quakercenter.org/about-us/staff/.

On Saturday afternoon, August 3, from 2PM to 5PM, Quaker Center’s board will be hosting a potluck gathering to say farewell to Kathy and Bob Runyan. More details will be available on the BLQC website soon.

About David Johnson, Keynote Speaker at 2019 Annual Session

Pacific Yearly Meeting 2019 Annual Session attendees have the opportunity to hear David Johnson, our keynoter, speak on Saturday, July 13 at 11:15 am. David Johnson is a seasoned Friend, an activist and a pragmatic man who is being worked by the Divine. He lives in North Queensland, Australia with his wife, Trish, who will also be at Annual Session.

David grew up in Australia. As a young person he loved rocks and fossils and worked most of his life as a geologist in industry and in academia at James Cook University in Townsville, Australia. He wrote The Geology of Australia, which is now co-authored in its third edition. He left the university in 1998 to concentrate on the work of peacemaking.

David has a long history of peace and justice activism. In 1991, motivated by the first Gulf war, David with his wife Trish and several friends, started the Australian Campaign Against Arms Trade (ACAAT). He worked extensively with the International Campaign to Ban Landmines and with other weapons issues. Growing up in a culture of patriarchy and colonialism, David has come to understand the damage of bias and white privilege. For many years he has been walking with the Australia’s First Peoples and learning from them. When David travels, he makes it his practice to visit with the descendants of the indigenous peoples to respectfully request the opportunity to be present on the land of their ancestors.

In 2005 David was invited to give the James Backhouse lecture, a public talk on contemporary issues delivered at the annual gathering of Quakers in Australia. David’s title was “Peace is a Struggle”. He spoke about peace in our world as well as within each one of us and described how the outer search for peace and the inner search for peace fit together. He offered practices to experience this truth.

In 2008, David was one of the founders of the Silver Wattle Quaker Centre in Australia. This spiritual and practical venture arose from a concern that the modern Quaker faith is more fragile than many might believe, and not sufficiently grounded for us to carry the witness that will be called from us over the next decades.

More recently, David has been called to serve the Quaker community through writing and speaking. He is the author of A Quaker Prayer Life (2013), and Jesus, Christ, Servant of God: Meditations on the Gospel According to John (2017) from Inner Light Books. In May he led a retreat on John’s Gospel at Pendle Hill.

As our keynote speaker this year at Annual Session at Walker Creek Ranch, David will be speaking on the workings of the Light of Christ within each of us. Drawing on the spiritual perceptiveness of the first Quakers, he will ask us to encounter the spirituality under their 17th century language. He is an example of a Quaker activist who finds his spiritual sustenance in private prayer and worshipping in community. It will be a gift to welcome him to our gathering.

Sandy Kewman, Clerk

Link to 2005 James Backhouse lecture “Peace is a Struggle”:  https://www.quakersaustralia.info/sites/aym-members/files/pages/files/2005%20Lecture.pdf