- Call To PYM Annual Session 2013 (PDF file)
“BEING REACHED BY THE LIFE”
CALL TO 2013 ANNUAL SESSION of PACIFIC YEARLY MEETING
29 July – 3 August 2013 Mt. Madonna Center
“BEING REACHED BY THE LIFE”
CALL TO 2013 ANNUAL SESSION of PACIFIC YEARLY MEETING
29 July – 3 August 2013 Mt. Madonna Center
Forms to sign:
Web Version: JYM Call to Annual Session
Dear Possible Junior Yearly Meeting Attenders,
EarthLight was created by the Pacific Yearly Meeting Unity with Nature Committee to support spirit-led environmental witness and education. EarthLight is a non-profit corporation managed by a board of directors according to Quaker principles and practice. Its activities include publication and sale of print and recorded materials.
In March of 2012 the EarthLight board decided to expand its sales of books and recordings to serve Friends and storytellers as well as environmentalists. Tom Farley and Sandy Farley rejoined the board and agreed to manage this project. EarthLight secured a new California resale permit, credit card processing system, and simple inventory software. Taxable sales for the first eleven months of operation have been $8,427. For 2012, EarthLight paid $628.00 in sales tax to the state of California. A report on EarthLight’s new enterprise was published recently in Western Friend.
We’ve identified the communities EarthLight wishes to serve with this project as “Greens, Quakes, and Tellers” with a commitment to stock materials for all ages.
Earthlight Publications sales has stocked materials in the following subject areas:
Our inventory comes from the following sources:
This year we offered materials for sale at eight events:
EarthLight plans to be at most of these events again this year and is open to adding more small tailored sales for meetings and workshops. EarthLight asks Pacific Yearly Meeting to agree to our continued service as bookstore providers at annual sessions on the same terms as agreed to with the Farleys in 2012.
EarthLight wishes to co-sponsor with the Religious Education for Children Committee an interest group on Meeting Libraries. We’re looking for a few experienced Friends to help lead this interest group.
EarthLight hopes to renew its collaboration with the Unity with Nature Committee, and is also looking for Friends to join us in serving on EarthLight’s board of directors.
Tom Farley, Sandy Farley, Eric Sabelman – 3/1/2013
Unity With Nature Committee Report for Pacific Yearly Meeting
Representative Committee Winter 2013
At the 2012 annual gathering UWN sponsored three interest groups. One focused on Quaker mysticism, one on food and food systems, and a third on sustainable responses to climate change and fossil-fuel addiction. All were well received and sparked discussion around what choices Quakers can make in their personal lives to evolve toward a sustainable and healthy Earth.
Scheduling conflicts pushed our annual committee retreat forward to a January weekend, when we met at Susan Swanstrom’s delightful retreat house on the Russian River.
UWN is again offering mini-grants for monthly meeting projects, and we have sent applications and information to our list of monthly meeting contacts. This year, UWN is co-sponsoring a service learning camp for youth at Quaker Oaks farm in Visalia. (Soon we will know for sure if enrollment suffices for organizers to hold it as planned.) These and other items of interest have also been shared with monthly meetings. UWN hopes to continue to strengthen its relationships with all Friends, and with Earthcare Quaker organizations such as Earthlight magazine, as well as all those mentioned below.
UWN proposes an interest group for the 2013 annual gathering, about the various Friends organizations that work on earth healing: Quaker Earthcare Witness, Quaker Institute for the Future, Right Sharing of World Resources, Friends Committee on National Legislation, etc. UWN is again proposing a simple meal at the 2013 gathering, and will provide a supporting essay in the Daily Miracle. We plan to hold an affinity group (Live What You Believe: An Affinity Group for Quakers Seeking to Live in Integrity With Their Environmental Values), and we would be very happy to offer nature-oriented worship or worship-sharing queries for annual gathering. Lastly, we urge the Yearly Meeting to consider a keynote speaker on Earthcare.
UWN welcomes comments and questions from Friends pursuant to its charge in Faith and Practice to be “empowered to act on behalf of the Yearly Meeting on spiritual concerns as related to the environment and to develop its charge as way opens.” We invite the Yearly Meeting to consider how Friends can respond meaningfully to the wasting away of our Earth home.
Respectfully submitted by Muriel Strand and Maia Wolff, co-clerks
The Nominating Committee is the committee charged with finding friends to serve as officers, members of committees, and as representatives and delegates for the yearly meeting.
At this time I bring forward the names of three individuals to serve in vacant positions. I am concerned that nominating committee is having difficulty finding friends willing to serve some positions. We have vacancies for positions that were not filled last year and have still not been filled. Some positions must be filled if the yearly meeting is to function properly. In particular, I am concerned that we have not found individuals willing to serve as Arrangements Clerk and as members of the Finance Committee.
At this time, we bring forward the following names:
Walt Jones, Delta Meeting, to serve on Ministry and Oversight Committee for a term ending 2014.
Byrlie Oxley, Grass Valley, to serve on Junior Yearly Meeting Committee for term ending 2015.
Donna Smith, Redwood Forest, to serve as clerk of Latin American Concerns Committee for term ending this year.
We have spent the last 19+ years at Pacific Friends Outreach Society working to develop and offer a permanent site for the holding of the annual session of Pacific Yearly Meeting. Many times during this effort we have had worship on the occasion of business to discern what our relationship to PYM needs to be or would like it to be. We are led to make our efforts to the work of a permanent site to be for the use of PYM and only as a corollary others as may be interested or needed to make the project work.
We have been supported by many at PYM and have had had many sessions at the annual gathering to discern whether or not to proceed. In the end we were not able to get approval from Tulare County for the use of the Lovett property and thus have ended that relationship. We were also not able to get approval from the annual gathering to move forward. So in the intervening years we waited and conserved our funds in the event there was a change.
Our Board is now unable to continue and we do not perceive any other interest on the part of any members in the yearly meeting to help us with this task. So we going to dissolve the 501c3 that now exists and following the dictates of state law in this matter, gift any remaining funds to the organization the Board of PFOS decides.
We appreciate the help and support of many over the years. It is with thanks for this support that we notify you that this non-profit will be dissolved.
Liz Baker, clerk of the board of Pacific Friends Outreach Society.
Site Committee Report to RepCom 2013
PYM’s 2013 Annual session, Gathering or Meeting will be held at Mt. Madonna Center from 7/29/2013 – 8/3/2013.
PYM’s 2014 Annual session, Gathering or Meeting will be held at Walker Creek Ranch from 7/14/2014 – 7/19/2014.
Site Committee Clerk
This weekend PYM Holding Corporation is seasoning three requests for grants to assist Monthly Meetings with acquiring, building or renovation Meetinghouse. Such grants would come out of the fund created when the San Fernando Valley Meetinghouse was sold. The San Fernando Valley Meetinghouse fund has some $102,000 in it.
PYM Holding Corporation Clerk
Ministry and Oversight Committee has assisted the Presiding Clerk in preparing for the 2013 Annual Session by seasoning the theme of Being Reached by the Life and reflecting on how we might refine the schedule. Some of the ideas will remain on hold until 2014 when we return to Walker Creek and can work around a more flexible meal schedule.
For the Ministry and Oversight plenary of the Annual Session, we plan to invite a panel from within Pacific Yearly Meeting to speak to how they are Being Reached by the Life. We anticipate an interesting variety of experience.
We will ask our Worship-Sharing subcommittee to write queries based in the theme, and the presentation of the State of the Meeting Reports will focus on how our meetings are Being Reached by the Life.
Ministry and Oversight Subcommittees
The Experimentation and Implementation Subcommittee has met several times by conference call, beginning with a review of the 2012 evaluations. Overwhelmingly the evaluations for the 2012 Annual Session supported the innovations introduced, with the exception of some logistical issues that will be resolved. Some of these issues have to do with allowing adequate passing time between events, and making sure that Children’s Program staff have a reasonable schedule. Although the concept of introducing business early in the week and coming back to it later in the week received wide support, we also received suggestions that more time to discuss and season business within plenary sessions would be appreciated—it was noted that some 2012 plenaries felt rushed and incomplete.
Since many people in their evaluations expressed interest in more fellowship and spiritual growth at the Annual Session, the Experimentation and Implementation Subcommittee is working on ideas for moving some of the business of the Annual Session to Representative Committee so that the Annual Session could be focused more on fellowship and spiritual growth. Ministry and Oversight has no specific recommendations at this time…more seasoning is needed
The Experimentation and Implementation subcommittee feels that it has completed its initial work related to the re-structuring of the Annual Session and will turn its focus to the overall structure of the Yearly Meeting (beyond the Annual Session).
The Representative Support Subcommittee is active and have had conference calls and individual phone calls with Monthly Meeting representatives since annual session. They will be holding a session with representatives at the Representative Committee Session to review the representative job description and discuss how to improve the two-way flow between the monthly meetings and the yearly meeting.
Ministry and Leadings Subcommittee met in October to review their support for Friends with leadings and to clarify the committee’s role in terms of long-term accountability. They are clear that local (rather than yearly meeting) support is desirable as it is very difficult for Friends around the state to find common meeting times and to meet face-to-face. They are working on the part of their job description that involves: “sponsoring interest groups and other adult education opportunities related to ministry and leadings”, and have requested an interest group at the 2013 Annual Session, on the topic of “Naming, Nurturing, Supporting and Providing Accountability for Ministry and Leadings”
In addition they hope to bring workshops to monthly meetings on the theme: “What is the Meeting’s Role in Naming, Nurturing, Supporting and Providing Accountability for Ministry and Leadings”.
The Visiting Friend Support Subcommittee consists of Eric Moon, Martha Hunkins and Eva Miller. The Ministry and Oversight Liaison to this subcommittee, Bobbi Kendig, is also contacting one other Friend to see if she is able to serve. The committee is preparing a call for applications which will soon be sent to the monthly meetings through their representatives.
The Support for Distant Meetings Subcommittee formulated a letter to send out to monthly meetings. The committee has plans to look into the status of Guatemala Monthly Meeting, when Bronwen Hillman and Rolene Walker visit there in April.
The Ministry and Oversight Committee has requested an interest group time at Annual Session. In addition, interest group sessions have been requested by the Electronic Communication Subcommittee, the Ministry and Leadings Subcommittee, and the Racial Justice Subcommittee. These requests have been submitted to the Assistant to the Clerk.
M&O Liaisons to Yearly Meeting Committees:
Children’s Committee—Sarah Rose House Lightner, SM/OG
JYM—Bobbi Kendig, ML
Young Adult Friends—Linda Rowell, CH
Youth Program Support Committee—Barbara Babin, RF
Discipline Committee—Joe Magruder, BE
FOLLOW UP ITEMS:
2012 Minute 2012.9 (moving copies of Faith and Practice from AFSC office)
The clerk of Discipline Committee and clerk of Ministry and Oversight were charged with finding a new home for the Faith and Practices which were stored at AFSC’s Los Angeles Office. The clerk of Discipline Committee has managed a division of those Faith and Practices between Southern California Quarterly Meeting and the AFSC offices in San Francisco.
The clerk of Ministry and Oversight has been given custody of 152 copies of Fe y Práctica and 48 of Consejos y Preguntas. Ministry and Oversight Committee will develop a plan to make these copies available at little or no charge. We have received requests from individuals in South/Central America for materials and we are looking at resources for mailing copies to them, possibly with/through FWCC.
2011 Request from RepCom regarding representatives to Quaker organizations
As part of the Treasurer’s report at the 2011 Representative Committee, the minutes reflect a discussion of the PYM policy to fund travel expenses for representatives to Quaker organizations. “There were strong feelings expressed that costs be cut because the new assessment is difficult for some meetings and are cutting into local programs. One way to cut travel expenses is to lower the number of reps named to various organizations this will be considered. The Futures Subcommittee of Ministry and Oversight Committee and the M&O Committee are involved in this process. The recommendations from these committees will be brought to the Annual Session.”
In 2012, Barbara Babin and Robin Durant surveyed the conveners of nearly all of our representatives, asking questions such as: how the organization communicates with them and how often; how many representatives actually attend the face-to-face meetings and what tasks are they asked to do; how does their participation benefit the organization, the representatives, and PYM.
We also contacted some of the organizations with similar questions. We found out that the representatives are active with the organizations, that their involvement is useful to the organizations, and the representatives are contributing and growing in their personal knowledge and abilities. Their actions benefit the Yearly Meeting as they act on our behalf. The numbers of representatives that we send to AFSC, FCNL, and FWCC are in line with the numbers from other Yearly Meetings.
Based on these findings, Ministry and Oversight does not recommend lowering the number of representatives to any of the organizations. However we do recommend that the representatives be asked to make a written report and be given the opportunity to present information in appropriate venues at the Annual Session (ex. Plenary, interest group, lunch table).
Last April our PYM treasurer submitted an application to the yearly meeting’s insurer, Guide One, for sexual misconduct insurance, which used to be covered under our liability insurance and now must be covered by a separate policy. The application was denied because, although we do have guidelines in place to ensure the safety of our attendees, we do not conduct background checks for volunteers and employees working with children and youth.
We held a session to discuss this at the 2012 Annual Session, including members of Ministry and Oversight, the JYM adult committee, and members of the finance committee. We also invited Laura Magnani to speak to us, as AFSC has a great deal of experience with background checks, and we had talked with Quaker Center staff. We learned that JYM has a lot of screening and training procedures in place.
At the end of January a conference call was held with the Youth Program Coordinator, the Youth Program Coordinator supervisor, and clerks of the JYM Adult Committee, the Children’s Program Committee, and Ministry and Oversight. At that time we learned that the children’s program also has a lot of procedures in place. Both the children’s program and JYM could meet timelines for getting background checks on employees and volunteers in time for Annual Session. We learned that Quaker Center does background checks for the summer camp employees and we found out that the background check does not include fingerprinting. Participants in this phone call stressed that careful screening, education, and good training would be far more effective than background checks in preventing sexual misconduct, however insurance coverage would give the Yearly Meeting access to legal representation in case of an incident that led to litigation. The group recommended the insurance for PYM.
Guide One has referred us to a resource called “Safe Church” that has excellent information on how to set up policies and procedures to prevent sexual misconduct, and they work with an agency that does background checks ranging from $8-$30 per person.
Recognizing that background checks are not especially useful in preventing sexual misconduct, Ministry and Oversight is in agreement that getting insurance coverage is advisable, and supports getting the background checks as a condition of the insurance.
However, we are left with a number of tasks to complete as we move through this process: our policies around sexual misconduct should be reviewed and possibly revised, our application forms for FAP and children’s program positions should be reviewed and may need to be revised, and we need to find a way to administer the background check process, discern how to handle the information we get back, and decide what to archive and how.
Ministry and Oversight submits two requests to Representative Committee and will likely submit another to the Annual Session: