PYM 2012 Annual Session

Daily Miracle, Epistles, Minutes and Reports

Epistles (Jump to section below)
Complete Report (Jump to section below)

Daily Miracle (AS Newsletter)


Complete Package

2012 Registrars Report

PYM Annual Session 2012 Registrar Report (PDF file)

PYM Annual Session 2012

Registrars Report

Your Registrars wish to extend sincere thanks to Don Bean who got the on-line registration up and running very quickly. This was a big help and we plan on building and improving on this for next year. Please let us know if you have any feedback to contribute to this effort.

Also thanks to the Berkeley Meeting Registration Team, who offered sage advice based on their years of experience, in addition to their substantial efforts providing registration services.

We got advice also from former Registrars who helped on Monday to hand out nametags and manage the flow through the line. Thanks to all who helped!

Here are preliminary numbers (there may still be a few changes).


Age Number
0-5 5
6-12 15
13-18 30
Over 18 238
Total 288
Median 60
Mean 51

Thanks to many over the age of 18 providing educational information, we can also report that we are a very well educated group! We have many Masters, Post-docs, and PhDs among us!

Of course, as always, if you are here and still have not seen us, please do so! Also, don’t forget to turn in your name badge holder, as they are quite expensive and can be re-used. There are labeled boxes near the Dining Hall main entrance and in the registration area in Maple. You can keep the printed tag as a memento.


Your Registrars,

Sarah Tyrrell

Joyce Samati

2012 Statistical Report

2012 Statistical Report (PDF file)

Pacific Yearly Meeting Statistical Report – 2012

This report summarizes membership information within the constituent monthly meetings of Pacific Yearly Meeting (PYM) for the statistical year ending May 31, 2012.

There are 37 constituent Monthly Meetings. Twenty-four meetings are in College Park Quarterly Meeting (65% of the total), nine meetings are in Southern California Quarterly Meeting (27% of the total), and four meetings not affiliated with a Quarterly Meeting (Big Island, Honolulu, Guatemala, and Mexico City), which represent 7% of the membership.

There are 14 worship groups:

  • Sierra Foothills Worship Group, under the care of Delta Meeting
  • Southern Humboldt Worship Group, under the care of Humboldt Meeting
  • Friends House, Ukiah, and Lake County Worship Groups under the care of Redwood Forest Meeting
  • West Marin Worship Group, under the care of San Francisco Meeting
  • Las Vegas Worship Group, under the care of Inland Valley Friends Meeting
  • Conejo Valley and Whitleaf, under the care of Orange Grove Monthly Meeting
  • Ojai Worship Group, under the care of Santa Barbara Monthly Meeting
  • Maui, Kauai, and Molokai Worship Groups under the care of Honolulu Meeting
  • Oaxaca Worship Group under the care of Mexico City Meeting

Two Meetings have 100 or more members: Palo Alto, with 100, and Strawberry Creek with 106. Seven Meetings have 10 or fewer members: Fresno, Mendocino, Napa-Sonoma, Redding, Big Island, Guatemala, and Mexico City.

Overall membership within the Pacific Yearly Meeting has decreased by 27, for a total of 1,390, down from 1,417 last year.

Thirty-eight people joined by convincement, 41 members died, and 28 members were released or withdrew. Fifteen members transferred into Meetings, and 15 transferred out. Most transfers were between Meetings within Pacific Yearly Meeting.

Within the past 12 years, PYM member meetings were blessed with a high of 1,534 members (2004). The lowest number of members is in 2012.

A 10-year Year-over-Year view of PYM membership changes, and the number and types of changes per Meeting, will be available on the Pacific Yearly Meeting website here.

Respectfully submitted, Lee Knutsen, PYM Statistical Clerk

Report of the Committee to Nominate the Nominating Committee

Report of the Committee to Nominate the Nominating Committee 2012 (PDF link)

 August 18, 2012

Nominating Committee for 2012-13

9 members, 3 year terms, 6 years maximum

Term expiring in 2013

Tom Farley                 Palo Alto                 (2010)

Maia Wolff              Central Coast             (2010)

Elaine Emily         Strawberry Creek        (2010)            *

Term expiring in 2014

Stephen Matchett        San Francisco       (2011)

Muriel Strand                 Sacramento        (2012)            *

Maggie Hutchinson      Orange Grove      (2011)

Term expiring in 2015

David Barrows               San Diego            (2009)        Clerk        *

Carl Anderson         Strawberry Creek     (2011)            *

Henriette Groot         Central Coast         (2010)           *

*  Approved in Plenary IX of the Annual Gathering in 2012

Submitted by:

Jean Lester, convener

Jane Peers

Jim Summers


Unity With Nature Report to Annual Session 2012

Unity With Nature Report to Annual Session 2012  (PDF file)

Unity With Nature Committee

Report to Pacific Yearly Meeting

August 16, 2012


As the climate crisis visibly worsens, we have heard the analogy of our earth’s warming to the story of the frog in the pot of slowly warming water, not being aware of it coming to a boil and therefore not having any motivation to jump out to safety.  We are the frog, happy in our denial.  But I would prefer to offer another metaphor; this one would compare humanity’s situation to a slow-motion shark attack.  Yes, the shark approaches, we see it coming, 20 years ago.  Yes, its teeth are creating a pinching feeling to our leg; we feel it 9 years ago.  Ouch, the teeth have hit a nerve!  Etc.  You get the picture.  We will feel this climate crisis; for many the pain has already begun–some of us are for now comfortably cushioned, but in the end it will be very painful for all.

However, as we have become more aware, we have also become more prolific in words analyzing the problem.  We have learned that today’s slowly unfolding catastrophe is rooted in a long evolving history; as Louis Cox comments, a “kind of general unraveling of happiness, sovereignty, and well-being has been happening everywhere—a logical result of a system that values profits over people,” continuing, “global predatory economic forces continue to strengthen their grip, chewing up communities, cultures, local economies, and ecosystems.” (1) I would add to that the militarization, mis-named the “War on Terror,” that necessarily accompanies this industrial empire building and resource grabbing.

Quaker Earthcare Witness has been on the forefront of the earthcare movement, attending the UN climate summit Rio+20, disseminating stories of work plans, ideas and action to its subscribers (which I highly recommend all Meetings to become).  To be sure, the growing diversity of discourse is important for each of us to find our own path through this maze.  But we must also collaborate as a community for any of these voices to be heard.


At this point we would like to mention the work of PYM’s own Unity With Nature Committee. Its members are Susan Swanstrom from Redwood Forest, Nathan Helm-Berger from Grass Valley, Joe Morris from Santa Monica, Oliver Ryder from La Jolla, Muriel Strand from Sacramento, Maia Wolff (myself) from Central Coast, co-clerk, and Renie Wong Lindley, co-clerk from Honolulu.  We met once for an October planning retreat all together at a lovely and quirky Russian River home offered by our member Susan Swanstrom, where we outlined our goals for the year:

1.  We wished to support a greener PYM by offering information about climate change implications to the transportation and food options at the annual session.

2.  We wished to continue the mini-grant program, improving our criteria and evaluations, and encouraging local Meetings’ involvement in earthcare activities in local communities.  Please look at our table of homemade and homegrown “goodies” that our committee is offering as fundraising for the grants,

3.  We wished to encourage voices and stories of spiritual experiences in and of nature which speak deeply to Friends and strengthen our will to live in harmony with nature.

4.  We wished to deepen the discussion about Friends’ apprehension about our country’s dependence on nuclear power and other fossil fuels.  There is need to continue an exchange of ideas on how to handle temporary bridges of energy use and how to build sustainable futures.

The Unity With Nature Committee came together in monthly tele-conferencing with heartfelt concern for these issues but also, as is so common among Friends, with our own sometimes overwhelming responsibilities.  So, even though we achieved some degree of success in moving our goals forward, we remain hungry for time and for enlarging our community to do this necessary work.

1.  Member Muriel Strand updated our Unity With Nature list of liaison contacts with monthly meetings, and sent a letter to each contact or clerk expressing interest in developing meeting or online discussions on earthcare topics.  We thought to expand the conversation from a concern about nuclear energy to include the question of our ideal and sustainable future. Pursuant to the minute on nuclear power that was offered at last year’s annual session, the Grass Valley Friends Meeting had a threshing session on nuclear energy.  The participants concluded that the problem is that there is no safe way to dispose of nuclear waste.  This was fundamental to their opposition to energy from nuclear reactors.   They also agreed that the nuclear power industry must be honest about safety.  Other alternative energies should be explored and funded first.  Most importantly–everyone, our whole country, needs to take the idea of simplicity to heart.

2.  As part of our continuing focus on furthering dialog, we sent members Joe Morris, Maia Wolff and QEW clerk Shelley Tanenbaum to the annual QEW session and offered three interest groups here at the annual session. “Food for Thought, Food for Body, Food for Spirit, Food for Earth” was presented by Maia Wolff on Tuesday,  “What is Our Ideal and Sustainable Future” presented by Muriel Strand on Wednesday, and “Unity with Nature and Quaker Mysticism” will be offered by Eric Sabelman tonight.

3.  We were able to contribute small amounts of funds to Central Coast, Grass Valley, Redding, and Casa de los Amigos for their earthcare projects.  Casa de los Amigos is using the money toward the purchase of a “flash boiler” (a hot water heater that heats on demand) for the women’s dormitory.  Grass Valley has already produced its graphic educational exhibit, “What will happen in California when Earth’s Temperature Rises 2 Degrees Celsius?” which is available for viewing here at PYM.  Redding Friends Meeting is using their mini-grant to purchase seeds for planting in their Sequoia School Community Garden Project, with which they have been actively involved for a number of years.  Central Coast Friends Meeting is looking forward to working with One Cool Earth, connecting with the Unitarian community, and with Friends and students, in rebuilding a shed and planting at Tenbrook Community Garden.

4.  Thank you to Carl Magruder for coordinating the bicycle riders coming to Walker Creek.  And we continued our interest in what food is offered to participants here at the PYM annual session.  We are fortunate to have choices, and grateful for the good healthy food offered here.


We eat our healthy food in the shadow of worldwide droughts and floods already having a devastating effect on people with limited resources.  Now today what many call “food” is a product of a mono-cultural factory, a mega-business that results in two things; de-natured food plus toxic waste.  As even these “food” prices soar, unrest is brought on by hardship and competition for livelihoods.  We join in the concern for the peoples’ health and troubles.  How do we rise to meet this challenge, bearing on us from all sides; a forecast of a fearful future?

Let’s go back to the quote from Louis Cox and the question of how we got from there to here.  For at least 1200 years Western civilization has been conditioned to believe that humans are separate and distant from the environment in which they live.  We have failed to acknowledge that the environment is our primary source of wealth.  In other words, the human economy is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the earth’s economy.  But let us take this a step further.  Not only does all our wealth come from the earth, but all our health does too.  As they say, “You are what you eat.”  “You are what you breathe.”  Our bodies and our well-being are also a wholly-owned subsidiary of earth’s economy.

We Friends have the resources to be able to make healthy choices.  We eat non-GMO organic food when possible, we get to “retire” to spots of wilderness where we can get away from busy lives and quiet the turmoil of our minds.  We are able to make a “space within a space”, an oasis for ourselves and our spiritual communities.  But what if we were to redefine these little spaces of the natural world that give us so much spiritual sustenance?  Rather than “getting away from it all,” or “finding our balance” we look to nature to see her balancing act, and to see how completely and crucially we are interconnected with that balance.  Not just admiring nature, walking, hiking and bicycling everywhere, Unity With Nature needs to be redefined as true inner-connectedness.  Nature, our Earth, is as much inside us as our sense of the divine exists within us.  We rise and fall on her health, her “balancing act.”  Our inner Light relies on the Light of Creation.

There are huge forces relentlessly changing Earth from a fruitful to a barren land.  We recognize our part of the problem, and make steps to keep our footprint small.  We tackle some issues, such as water scarcity, fracking, toxic waste, etc.  But let’s not be too self-congratulatory.  By separating our “do-good” communities from others we fall into an “oasis” mentality.  Don’t forget, nature needs diversity and inclusiveness.  For all our attempts to find the easy way out, our nation is filled with very unhappy people.  Just as we find the well-being of our Quaker community to be dependent on diversity and inclusiveness, let’s embrace Earth’s appeal for multiplicity and interdependence.  Not just summer skies, but drought and disasters.  Not just bounty, but famine.  Embrace the whole divinity.  Let’s redefine happiness.  Not just the absence of difficulties.  What if happiness is true Unity With Nature, manifesting her energies in our lives?  Finding the meaning of love, gratitude, and spiritual growth in our work for Earth’s well-being?

The Earth needs our voice.  Discernment for what is true, what is right, is made at her feet.


(1) Louis Cox, review of The Economics of Happiness, BeFriending Creation, Vol.25, No.1

PYM Children’s Program – Teacher Job Description

PYM Children’s Program – Teacher Job Description (PDF file)


Pacific Yearly Meeting

Children’s Program

 Teacher Job Description


Job Duties:

–       Be responsible, with a co-teacher or assistant, for a group of approximately 10-15 children of the same age group, for either the AM or PM shift, every day of the week of Pacific Yearly Meeting.  Each shift is generally 5 hours, to include planning, set-up, and clean-up time.  Participate in 15-20 minutes of daily Meeting for Worship with your class, and also in the Thursday afternoon Meeting for Memorials.  The morning shifts tend to be more structured than the afternoons.

–       Develop a developmentally appropriate curriculum that is reflective of Quaker values and testimonies, and incorporates aspects of the given year’s PYM theme.  Help from the PYM Children’s Program Coordinator or the Children’ Program Committee is available if desired.

–       Create an environment that is physically and emotionally safe for each child.  For the younger children, trips to the bathroom need to be supervised.  When swimming is available, parent permission for swimming is required.  For those children who do not swim and/or do not have permission, alternate outdoor activities need to be planned.   No teacher, or other non-parent adult, should be alone with an individual child.  There should be two or more adults with an individual child, or two or more children with an individual adult.

–       Come to PYM early afternoon of registration day (the exact time to be set by the PYM Children’s Program Coordinator) to unpack supplies and set up your classroom.

–       Attend the parent orientation meeting Monday afternoon.  Be prepared to make a brief statement to welcome families, to describe particular aspects of your class program, and to outline expectations for both parents and children.

–       With the Children’s Program Coordinator, make sure that all necessary medical release and permission forms have been completed for each child in your class.

–       Supervise the signing-in and signing-out of children by parents at the beginning and end of each shift.  Maintain regular communication with the parents regarding any concerns that they, or you, may have about their children, as well as affirming the children’s strengths, interests and individualities.

–       Support approved volunteers in engaging with children.   Teachers always maintain responsibility for the classroom and children.  Volunteers are asked to follow teacher directions.  Take any concerns to the CPC or the CP Committee.

–       To promote emotional safety, use principles of Quaker process and non-violent communication to help resolve conflicts that arise.

–       Different groups sponsor daily intergenerational activities after lunch.  Assist children in planning and leading intergenerational activities, as requested.

–       With the children, plan a group activity, song or skit that can be presented at the Friday night community night.

–       With the children, develop an epistle that expresses their experience of the week.  This will obviously vary in form and length depending upon the age group.

–       Attend regular teacher meetings throughout the week, as scheduled by the Children’s Program Coordinator.  Maintain close communication with the other teachers and especially with those working with the same age group.

–       At the end of PYM, clean your classroom and pack up all your supplies before leaving.

–       Participate in at least one end of the year evaluation meeting with the Children’s Program Coordinator and the Children’s Program Committee or a representative of that committee.  This will be a time to evaluate your own performance, that of the Children’s Program Coordinator, and the overall quality of the program.


Desired Qualifications:

–       Experience in working with children in an educational, recreational, or First Day School program setting.

–       Experience in worshiping and/or working with the Religious Society of Friends.

–       Knowledge of Quaker process and the writing of epistles.


Personal Qualifications:

–       Enjoyment of children

–       Be a self-starter; show initiative and creativity

–       Be able to balance structure and spontaneity

–       Have good listening and communication skills

For further information or to apply for this position, please contact Children’s Program Committee Clerk.

PYM Children’s Program Coordinator Job Description

PYM Children’s Program – Coordinator Job Description (PDF file)

Pacific Yearly Meeting
Children’s Program Coordinator
Job Description


Before Yearly Meeting Session

  • In consultation with Children’s Program Committee (CPC), arrangements clerks, and facility staff, coordinate use of space by preschool, lower & upper elementary, and middle school groups
  • Attend all CPC meetings
  • Act as contact for parent and guardian inquiries
  • Gather a list of interested people for teaching positions to submit to CPC
  • With the committee, provide teachers with guidelines for curriculum development
  • Work with committee and co-registrars to gather names, numbers, and ages of children ahead of time, and communicate with parents about expectations, forms that will be needed, etc.
  • Work with committee to identify, buy, and transport supplies or meet logistical needs (e.g. find someone to rent, load, and drive van to bring supplies to the site)

During Yearly Meeting Session  

  • Coordinate use of space with facility during annual session
  • Solicit, monitor, screen, and coordinate volunteer coverage of each shift
  • Work with committee to recruit additional volunteers as needed
  • Coordinate snacks, including pick up and delivery, assist teachers in meeting
  • Collect, track, and maintain file of release forms, and sign in/out sheets
  • Create and distribute informational signs and forms, as needed, for teachers and parents
  • Check in with each teaching team during every shift; identify any problems or issues
  • Act as liaison for parents, guardians, CPC, and teaching staff; resolve problems and issues as needed, provide a sounding board as needed
  • Attend all CPC meetings
  • Schedule and lead teachers’ meetings, as needed
  • Provide for spot coverage of classrooms as needed
  • Assist teachers in expediting children pick-up special dietary needs, and provide leftovers storage as needed
  • Ensure that each age level has sufficient curriculum during Meeting for Memorials.  Pick up from each classroom, and transport to and from Meeting for Memorials, the curriculum, snacks, pillows and blankets.  Ensure that blankets are on the floor, in front, for daily worship
  • Assist teachers in helping the children to write Epistles and to create Family Night acts, as needed
  • Oversee provision of adequate supplies before and during the annual session; collect supply needs/suggestions from teachers and recruit supply buyer(s) to assist
  • Oversee packing up and inventory of supplies at end of annual session
  • Other “spontaneous” coordinating needs as they arise during the annual session
  • Participate in teacher meeting at start of annual session and evaluation meeting at end of annual session
  • Keep a daily log of hours spent on coordinator duties, and money spent on CP supplies, for evaluation and planning purposes

After Yearly Meeting Session

  • Assure teachers receive promised stipends
  • Submit any outstanding expense receipts to committee clerk for payment
  • Assure program supplies are stored for the following year
  • Follow-up and debrief with teachers, and collect names of those interested in, and appropriate for, teaching the following year
  • Participate in following year’s CPC meetings
  • With the committee, participate in an evaluation of the Children’s Program for use in planning future programs.  Make use of input gathered from teachers and parents

Desired Qualifications

  • Experience worshiping or working within the Religious Society of Friends
  • Has experience working with children in an educational or enrichment program setting, at First Day School, or in similar situations
  • Has patience, diplomacy, and organizational skills
  • Willingness to devote whatever time and energy is needed to fulfill the responsibilities of the position

Preferred Qualifications

  • Has attended a past session of Pacific Yearly Meeting
  • Member or regular attender of a Friends Meeting

For further information or to apply for this position, please contact Children’s Program Committee Clerk.

Welcome to JYM 2012 – What to Bring

Welcome to JYM – What to bring (PDF file)

JYM – What to Bring

Hey everybody! It’s time for Junior Yearly Meeting (JYM) already, and we’re super excited for another amazing year together. We, the JYM committee, would love to extend a warm welcome to all who are planning on attending JYM this year! This years co-clerks are Brenden Fagen, Rose Mackenzie, and Thomas Rios.

JYM has a range of ages from 13 to 18.  We have our own schedule and activities that are going to be a blast! We have amazing activities planned by the JYM committee including Community building games, Capture the Flag, Ultimate Frisbee, Outdoor swim time, a service project at Petaluma Bounty Community Farm, Men’s and Women’s group and Respectful relationships and much much more. Through these activities and others we build a strong community that helps nurture the spiritual growth of the group as a whole with an emphasis on the inner light in everyone. We will take the time to develop agreements that reflect our Quaker testimony on community.  Since JYM is a part of PYM we do participate in many of the greater gathering’s activities including some plenaries, intergenerational games, and the all ages dance and community night.

Since JYM is a safe and close community we have found it important to have gender separated sleeping arrangements to allow for maximum fun and safety.  Please don’t bring any drug or alcohol.  We’re so looking forward to seeing everyone and having a great time as a community!

Packing List:

  • Sleeping Bag or sheets and blankets
  • Pillow & pillowcase
  • Towel (s) for showers and swimming
  • Toiletries, Toothbrush & toothpaste
  • Swimsuit
  • Clothes fit for any weather- 6 days
  • Warm clothes for night
  • Pajamas
  • Hiking shoes
  • Shoes you don’t mind getting dirty for the service project
  • Casual shoes
  • Socks
  • Sunscreen
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Daypack
  • Flashlight
  • Clothes for the dance! (Barn themed)
  • Mp3 or Cd with music for the dance
  • Frisbee, cards, board games, etc.
  • Musical instruments
  • Idea’s for family night talent show- a skit?  poem? music?
  • Faith and Practice, Bible, other spiritual readings, Journal
  • Handwork for quiet times, knitting, friendship bracelet

Report of the Committee to Nominate the Nominating Committee 2012

Report of the Committee to Nominate the Nominating Committee 2012 (PDF file)

Report of the Committee to Nominate the Nominating Committee

August 11, 2012

Proposed Nominating Committee for 2012-13


9 members, 3 year terms, 6 years maximum

Term expiring in 2013

Tom Farley            Palo Alto            (2010)

Maia Wolff            Central Coast            (2010)

Slot to be filled

Term expiring in 2014

Stephen Matchett            San Francisco            (2011)

Muriel Strand            Sacramento            (2012)

Maggie Hutchinson            Orange Grove            (2011)

Term expiring in 2015

David Barrows            San Diego            (2009)            Clerk


Carl Anderson            Strawberry Creek            (2011)

Henriette Groot            Central Coast            (2010)


Names in italics need PYM approval.

Submitted by:

Jean Lester, convener

Jane Peers

Jim Summers



Finance Committee Report 2012

Finance Committee Report Annual Session 2012 (PDF file)




Finance Committee Report

Financial Review

A financial review was conducted.  Paul Diamond, a resident at Friends House, member of the Society of Friends, and retired CPA, conducted the Review.  Finance Committee found the Review to be thorough and helpful to our work.  Overall, there were no serious concerns, but there were numerous helpful suggestions.  Finance Committee has discussed and is working on implementing the recommendations.  If you are interested in receiving a copy of the review, please see the Finance clerk.  If you have further questions about the review, please attend the open Finance Committee meeting.

I would like to mention the implementation of one recommendation for accountability of Annual Session expenditures.  A Reimbursement Request, Annual Session Expenses form will need to be completed before payment can be made.  I have copies of the form and copies will also be in the Finance Committee folder.

Tax exempt status

Finance Committee determined that it would be helpful to PYM and member

Meetings for PYM to obtain an IRS determination letter that we are a

tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization.  That request is in process. 

Finance Committee brings forward the following issues for consideration and approval:

1.  Request for budget augmentation

Finance Committee, Expense Account # 5225

Originally budgeted $1000.  Request for augmentation of $83 bringing total to $1083

Reason:  The budgeted amount was not sufficient to cover committee travel expenses.

2.  Budget proposal 2012-2013

 This is the first reading of the proposed budget.  There will be opportunity for questions and discussion at the open Finance Committee meeting.  The budget will be brought forward for approval in another Plenary later in the Annual Session.

Finally, PYM Officers, Clerks and Representatives are reminded to complete the required form for their travel reimbursement.  The form will be available near the Meeting Folders.


Submitted by,

Donna Smith

Clerk, PYM Finance Committee