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.

Introducing our New Youth Programs Coordinator, Javaughn Fernanders

Greetings Pacific Yearly Meeting,

The Youth Programs Coordinating Committee is excited to introduce you to our new Youth Programs Coordinator, Javaughn Fernanders!

She holds a Masters in Liberal Studies from Indiana University and a Bachelors in Communication, Public Relations and Journalism from La Sierra University in Riverside, California.

Javaughn comes to us most recently from Oregon and is excited to return this summer to California where she first became a Quaker and joined the Santa Monica Monthly Meeting. Prior to this position, Javaughn has worked as an educator, park ranger, and Youth Group Coordinator for the Illinois Yearly Meeting.

In her free time, she enjoys hiking, creating art and raising her two children whom she hopes you’ll meet someday soon. What she loves especially about working with youth is helping young people develop a spiritual practice that fuels the Light within and informs outward action.

Javaughn will officially begin in the position on July 1st and will attend annual sessions this summer. Please stop by the YPCC interest group where she will be more formally introduced to the yearly meeting community!

In the Light,
YPCC Co-Clerks
Bertha Peña and Rebekah Percy

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

New Document and Renewed Request for Further Seasoning on FGC Affiliation

To Meeting Representatives and Clerks of Monthly Meetings

Ministry and Oversight Committee renews its request, sent last March, for monthly meetings to further season the matter of FGC affiliation between now and June 30, 2019.

The purpose of this message now is to alert you to a new document, 2019 FGC Talking Points, containing information that may be useful to your monthly meeting as we continue to labor with the question of FGC affiliation.  These talking points were shared with members and observers at the recent FGC Central Committee meeting, and are posted here with permission of FGC. Continue reading “New Document and Renewed Request for Further Seasoning on FGC Affiliation”

Clerk’s Call to Annual Session 2019

Clerk’s Call to
PACIFIC YEARLY MEETING 73nd ANNUAL SESSION
Walker Creek Ranch, Petaluma, California
Friday, July 12 to Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Dwelling in Truth and Trusting Divine Spirit

We are called to “dwell in Truth.”  Living in Truth is an experience and a confident dependence on the guidance of Divine Spirit rather than a set of beliefs to be accepted.  “Abide in me and I in you” is the promise we find in John 15:4.  Indeed, God is always reaching out to us, always present; it is we who need to come back to the Presence again and again. Continue reading “Clerk’s Call to Annual Session 2019”

News from Latin American Programs

The Latin American Concerns Committee calls your attention to two upcoming opportunities for you to become involved with Friends projects relating to Latin America and Latin Americans.

The first is a dinner in support of the  Undocumented Student Scholarship Project.  The program and dinner will take place on March 23, 2019, at Sacramento Friends Meeting.  See the attached invitation for more details.

Nine years ago Sacramento Friends Meeting (Quakers) initiated the Undocumented Student Scholarship Project for students at our nearby Sacramento State University. Since that time we have provided scholarships to 28 students in a variety of majors, both undergraduate and graduate. Each scholarship consists of $1000 per year until graduation.  Most of the support for the Undocumented Student Scholarship Project has come from donations from individuals and Friends Meetings. Several of our former scholarship recipients have begun to contribute as well.
We hope to see you at the dinner on March 23.
In peace,
Patricia Portillo

The second is a one-week Teaching English Experience taking place in Antigua, Guatemala, January 3-11, 2020.  This is an opportunity for you to make deep, personal connections and share cultural perspectives while providing English lessons to students supported by the Guatemala Friends Scholarship Program.  An optional highland tour is also available.  For more information see the attached flier or contact Martha Dugan marthadugan@gmail.com.  For the highland tour contact Donna Smith at dforestvil@aol.com.

The Teaching English Experience is a soul satisfying week of hard work which is both fun and rewarding. Our students are eager to learn English and your efforts provide them with a chance to experience the joys of one-on-one learning. The only requirements are an open heart, patience and a desire to help a Guatemalan student. The ability to speak a little Spanish and previous teaching experiences are helpful but not necessary.

FGC Institutional Assessment on Systemic Racism – Status Update

Vanessa Julye, the Coordinator for the Friends General Conference Committee for Ministry on Racism, shares the following status update with Pacific Yearly Meeting Friends:

The October Progress Report for the Institutional Assessment on Racism is posted on the FGC website at the following link:

https://www.fgcquaker.org/news/october-report-institutional-assessment-racism-task-force-recommendations-fgc-central-committee

In short, the approved Central Committee minute reads as follows:

Central Committee approves the establishment of a group to implement the work of the Institutional Assessment on Systemic Racism within Friends General Conference. Its charge shall be to guide the transformation of Friends General Conference into an anti-racist organization.

Consistent with the decision of Central Committee in 2017 to prioritize the work of anti-racism, FGC commits to work to eliminate white supremacy within the Religious Society of Friends and to model anti-racism as we support the work of this implementation group.

Central Committee authorizes the Institutional Assessment Working Group (IAWG) to serve as a naming committee to bring forward the names of eight Friends to serve on this implementation group. The names for the implementation group shall be brought forward for approval to Executive Committee at its winter 2019 meeting. The individuals to be recommended shall constitute at least 50 percent Friends of Color and consideration shall be given to include Young Adult Friends and broad geographic representation.

The implementation Group will use the information and recommendations from the Institutional Assessment on Systemic Racism within Friends General Conference 2018 report to begin their work and its work shall not be limited to the scope of the report and its recommendations. The implementation group shall be accountable to Central Committee and will report its progress to each Executive Committee Meeting and annually to Central Committee. Central Committee authorizes the IAWG to propose an appropriate budget to support the work of the implementation group and authorizes the Executive Committee to approve that budget at its winter 2019 meeting.

Please share this historical work with the other members of Pacific Yearly Meeting.

In Friendship, Vanessa

Status Report on PYM Minutes Packets

Short summary:

Annual Session and Representative Committee “Minutes and Reports Packets” are now available for the years 2013-2018.   There is also a new standalone list of all PYM Minutes of Action for the years 2001-2018.  Links to these documents can be found on a new page dedicated to PYM Minutes.

Continue reading “Status Report on PYM Minutes Packets”