2018 Annual Session Information for Registrants

The following Additional Information was sent in an email to everyone registered for the 2018 Annual Session as of July 7. This version has been corrected to supply a couple of missing web links.

Friends,

This is the one additional email that was promised to be sent out with important information about Annual Session. Please read its contents carefully.

Arriving on Friday. Rooms will become available to move into between 2-4pm, with all rooms available by 4pm. If you are able, please arrive at least an hour or two before dinner (5:30pm) so that you can check in (beginning at 2pm) and get set up in your room or pitch your tent. Arriving and being together prior to dinner helps us to be gathered and ready for the first plenary.

If you are expected at one of the Friday afternoon meetings (3:15pm parents of children; 4pm parents of teen; 4:45pm Monthly Meeting representatives) please be sure to arrive in time to attend. These meetings are very important.

Worship sharing options. Worship Sharing groups form a “home base” for those who choose to participate, sharing in a safe and confidential setting on queries that promote deep reflection. Worship Sharing is offered in the morning at the same time as Early Quaker Writings or in the afternoon at the same time as Bible Study. If you wish to participate in worship sharing, you should be prepared to give the team at registration your preferences for morning or afternoon and for couples only, LGBTQ, easy accessibility, or the regular mixed groups.

Committee reports. Please read all the committee reports on the website before coming to Annual Session. Good business process is enabled by the body being informed ahead of time. All reports are, or will soon be, posted online here (https://www.pacificyearlymeeting.org/annual-session-minutes-reports/2018-annual-session-info-reports-minutes/) and will also be posted in hard copy on the exterior wall of the dining hall and will be in the Information Tent at Walker Creek.

Volunteer opportunities. Thank you to all the Friends who indicated an interest in volunteering at Annual Session. Our system for connecting volunteers with needs for volunteers is still evolving. We hope to have someone at registration to help connect volunteers and people who need volunteers. Some of the opportunities to get involved will include:

  • Putting up posters with names for the Meeting for Memorials
  • Driving the golf cart
  • Greeting Friends at the door of the main tent
  • Assisting parents and others with carrying trays at meal times
  • Helping out at the Bookstore
  • Children’s program

PYM Committee Listening times. There are some times on the schedule (Saturday and Monday at 4:45pm) specifically set aside for Friends to meet with PYM Committees. Please come ready to engage with the committees during those times as we expect most questions to be answered then, and not during plenary.

Dining Hall.  Following a successful trial last year, we will again ring a bell around the dining hall and on the patio after meals and when plenaries are about to begin. We have found that this helps to make Friends aware of the plenary starting soon and help everyone be present and settled before the plenary starts.

The whole community at Annual Session is invited to participate in a short grace during breakfast, lunch, and dinner over the course of the week. One Friend will call for a brief moment of worship by raising their hand. Please also raise your hand to help call for quiet. Grace may come in the form of silent worship or a song, depending on what arises. Friends may be in line getting food or eating when grace begins. Please stop what you are doing for a moment to settle into worship.

Please do not raise your hand in the dining hall to make announcements because many Friends are not able to hear the message and it is disruptive. If you have an announcement to make, please give it to the Assistant to the Clerk to read during plenary or put in the Daily Miracle. If your announcement is urgent, please go to the Information Tent and look for a Friend to assist you.

Evaluation summary from last year’s Annual Session. A summary of evaluations from Annual Session 2017 can be found on the PYM website.

Clerk’s Call. Please read the Clerk’s Call to PYM 2018 Annual Session in advance of Annual Session to help be prepared for, and understand, the theme of this year’s session: “Faithfulness: A Call to Practice Radical Vulnerability and Love.”

Bookstore and Guatemala Gift sales. The EarthLight Bookstore will be back and open for business, selling Quaker and other literature and items both useful and playful. EarthLight take books and recordings by Friends on consignment and appreciate contact in advance to do that (farley@spont.com). Like most years, Guatemala crafts (old favorites and new gift items) will be sold throughout the week. All proceeds go to support poor rural Mayan university students in Guatemala. If you may be interested in purchasing items, please bring cash or checks.

Finally, for the safety and comfort of members of our community, please refrain from bringing or using strong fragrances.

Again, if you have any questions about your registration, please contact the co-Registrars at pacificyearlymeetingregistrar@gmail.com

Thank you, Friends!

Sharon Gates
Assistant to the Clerk of PYM

Launch of the Faith and Practice Revision Process – A Request

Dear Friends,

The Faith and Practice Revision Committee invites you to engage in the “rolling revision” process of prayerfully discerning how our Faith and Practice can support meetings and individuals as we seek to live an authentic Quaker spirituality.  The first round of revisions is now ready for your consideration.

We request that monthly meetings and other bodies review the proposed revisions together and send us those points upon which they found unity. If no unity is found, a brief description of the feel of the meeting is welcome. We anticipate that this process will occur three (or so) times per year, as new revised pieces are presented.

Continue reading “Launch of the Faith and Practice Revision Process – A Request”

Guidelines for Reports to Annual Session

(updated for 2019 annual session)

Friends, we ask for your support in using these guidelines to prepare your report to Annual Session 2019. We are working to make reports more readable for Friends to increase the number of people reading reports in advance.

Note that where these guidelines refer to “committees,” the intention is that the guidance applies equally to PYM officers and to representatives/delegates from PYM to other organizations. Subcommittees may also submit their own reports in consultation with their Committee.

All committees should submit a report, even if it is brief. We want to create more awareness among the whole community and to continue to find ways to better support one another.

Reports should be emailed to the Assistant to the Clerk (PYMAssistanttotheClerk@gmail.com) by June 14, 2019Reports received by the deadline will be assembled into an “Advance Packet” available electronically to all participants.  Reports received late will be more difficult for participants to find and may be overlooked.

Reports should provide an overview of the committee’s work, specifically work done since the previous Annual Session. Reports do not need to list all of the things the committee and its sub-committees or working groups have done during the year. Rather, reports should communicate how Spirit has moved through the committee since the last Annual Session.

Broader “news”, that is, more detailed and extensive information, should not be included in the report but may be posted separately in the committee’s section of the Annual Session web page and/or the committee’s page on the PYM website (by emailing to PYMAssistanttotheClerk@gmail.com).

Reports from committees, if submitted in time, will be included in the Advance Packet for the Annual Session.  In any case, they will be posted on the PYM website (on the Annual Session web page and on your committee page if you have one) and will be printed and posted on the dining room windows during Annual Session.  Afterwards they will be included in the final minutes document as attachments.

News documents will generally not be included in the Advance Packet or the final session minutes, but they will be posted on the website along with the reports.  Also you are welcome to print copies yourself to place in the Information Tent for Friends to read during Annual Session.  (If you run out, more copies can be printed at the Secretariat at Annual Session, so print sparingly.)

To encourage broad readership, reports should be brief—most should be 1-2 pages long. If your committee’s draft report is 3 or more pages, talk to the Assistant to the Clerk at least 2 weeks before the reports deadline (i.e. aim for June 1, 2019).

Because consistent formatting across reports make them easier to read, please use the following formatting:

  1. 1” margins
  2. 11 point Calibri font
  3. Section headings in bold
  4. Header (all pages, centered, two lines, 14 point Ariel font):
    1. Line 1: [Committee Name]
    2. Line 2: “Report to Annual Session 2019”
  5. Footer (centered, all pages, 11 point Ariel font):  Page X of Y
  6. Do not include photos, as these make creation of the minutes document more difficult and do not print well in black-and-white.
  7. A summary section at the top listing any action items and any specific requests (for example, key items for Meeting Representatives to convey). If there are no action items or requests, write “None” in this section.
  8. Highlight any action items and/or draft minutes in bold
  9. The last paragraph of the report should list the members of the committee, with the clerk’s name last followed by the word “Clerk” in parentheses.

You may use the attached TEMPLATE_Report_to_AS_2019.docx or you can set up the formatting yourself in your Word document.  Please keep any formatting simple (avoid using custom Word “Styles”), and note that Secretariat editors may need to do some reformatting to fit with other reports in the Advance Packet and the final minutes packet.

Submit the report in Word format (.doc or .docx) with the filename following the model

  • Model
    • CommitteeName_Report_to_AS_2019.docx (or .doc)
  • For example:
    • Ministry_and_Oversight_Report_to_AS_2019.doc,
    • Latin_American_Concerns_Report_to_AS_2019.docx
  • Note that the names are quite long enough without adding the word “Committee”.

Do not submit the report in PDF format unless it has tricky formatting (such as the budget). This is to facilitate creation of the advance reports packet and of the Annual Session minutes.

Thank you for your support in these changes to the way we communicate from committees back to the Yearly Meeting. We hope that using these guidelines will increase the number of people reading the reports about your important work.

Sharon Gates, Assistant to the Clerk

 

 

Intervisitation with Baltimore Yearly Meeting

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

tel: 301-774-7663
fax: 301-774-7087
info@bym-rsf.org

May 18, 2018

Dear Friends,

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 bymintervisitation@gmail.com, with a copy to Jade Eaton at jadeeaton@comcast.net 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

Enclosed:
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.

Additional Information about FGC Affiliation and a Request for Monthly Meetings to Season

Update posted 4/19/18 at new link (click here).

Original post below:


2/1/18 – To Meeting Representatives and Clerks of Monthly Meetings,

At Pacific Yearly Meeting Annual Session in 2017, Ministry and Oversight Committee (M&O) brought forward for discernment the question of Pacific Yearly Meeting’s affiliation with Friends General Conference.  During the consideration of this question at the 2017 Annual Session, some Friends asked for additional information and time for seasoning at the monthly meeting level.  Ministry and Oversight Committee has prepared materials to aid in our continued discernment at the 2018 Annual Session.

In order to be well prepared for discernment, M&O is now asking monthly meetings to season the matter of affiliating between now and April 30, 2018 by reflecting on these queries:

Continue reading “Additional Information about FGC Affiliation and a Request for Monthly Meetings to Season”

Role-based Email Addresses for PYM – A Progress Report and Request for Feedback

The following progress report from the PYM Communications Committee is addressed to all PYM committee clerks, officers, representatives and staff.  We are seeking feedback specifically from those “office holders” within PYM.  But others may wish to know this information as well, so we post the report here as well.

Dear Pacific Yearly Meeting Committee Clerks, Officers, Reps and Staff,

PYM Communications Committee is writing to report on our progress towards reinstating role-based email addresses for PYM positions such as yours and to solicit your timely feedback before we move too far along.

Continue reading “Role-based Email Addresses for PYM – A Progress Report and Request for Feedback”

How to Schedule an Interest Group at PYM Annual Session

Purpose of this Document

This document describes the process for getting interest groups onto the schedule for the Pacific Yearly Meeting Annual Session.  For Annual Session 2019 the deadline for proposals is Sunday, March 3, 2019.

Why such an “early” deadline?  Coordination between committees and officers of the Yearly Meeting is needed so as to make the best use of the limited time available for interest groups during Annual Session. Preparation for Annual Session involves hundreds of tasks performed by dozens of people, making it very important to complete tasks as far in advance of Annual Session as possible.

This means that if you are planning to offer an interest group at Annual Session, there is a deadline for submitting your proposal, namely the end of the preceding Representative Committee meeting (RepCom).  For 2019 this falls on March 3, 2019.  The process is described below. Continue reading “How to Schedule an Interest Group at PYM Annual Session”

Annual Session 2017 Information for Registrants

The following important information was sent in two emails, on 6/25/17 and 7/5/2017, to all people registered to attend Annual Session 2017 at Walker Creek Ranch.  This supplements the basic information at Registration and Advance Information about Annual Session 2017 with late-breaking news and instructions.

Continue reading “Annual Session 2017 Information for Registrants”