Job Opening: Administrative Assistant

Pacific Yearly Meeting is seeking a part-time, administrative assistant to provide support to the PacYM Clerk and Assistant to the Clerk. This position is a newly developed role with responsibilities that will be developed in coordination with the Clerk, the Assistant to the Clerk, and the PacYM Ministry Committee. The position will be supervised directly by the PacYM Clerk but will report to the Assistant to the Clerk for many routine tasks.

Applicants should submit a resume and cover letter to Laura Magnani, Clerk of Pacific Yearly Meeting, at Clerk@pacificyearlymeeting.org by end of day October 15, 2021. Questions may be sent to the Assistant to the Clerk, Heather Levien, at AssistantToTheClerk@pacificyearlymeeting.org.

(For a PDF version of this announcement, click here: Job Opening Admin Position Sept 2021.)

Responsibilities may include:

Manage PacYM Zoom accounts

Set up Zoom meetings on behalf of Officers and Committees Maintain a calendar of PacYM Zoom meetings

Post and update the process for requesting a Zoom meeting on the PacYM website

Support Coordinating Team Calls

Send out an email to all Officers, Committee Clerks, and Representative & Delegates to outside organizations after new Nominating slate is approved at Annual Session, with description of Coordinating Teams and list of who is on which team.

Send polls to schedule Coordinating team meetings.

Send agenda and Zoom link to each Coordinating Team member in advance of each meeting.

Support Representative Committee (RepCom)

Identify location for in-person RepCom meetings, when appropriate

Create the RepCom registration form and post on the PacYM website

Draft and send the Call to Representative Committee in December. Include link to the registration form and the deadline for reports (usually 2 weeks before the start of RepCom). Post the template for Reports to Representative Committee on the PacYM website.

Receive reports and work with submitters to address any problems with the reports. Work with the website editors to get the reports posted.

Attend RepCom and be available to assist the Presiding Clerk as needed. Publicize deadline for reports to Annual Session at RepCom.

Work with an ad hoc committee on the possibility of a blended 2022 annual session, combining in-person and virtual attendance:

                  • Determine the capacity of Walker Creek to host online sessions
                  • Determine whether enhanced equipment would be necessary
                  • Make recommendations to RepCom
                  • Consider possibility of holding some but not all sessions as blended
                  • Consider possibility of holding some sessions as extended annual session, online only
                  • Explore possibilities other than the tent for the plenary sessions

Support Annual Session

Email the Call to Annual Session to Officers, Committee Clerks, Reps & Delegates, and MM Reps as soon as the Presiding Clerk has it ready.

Work with the Presiding Clerk to create a draft Annual Session schedule in collaboration with the Assistant to the Clerk

Publicize the deadline for reports.

Send out a “Registration is Open” email when Friends can begin registering for Annual Session. Receive reports and work with submitters to address any problems them.

Collaborate with the website editors to have the reports posted.

Draft and send the “2nd email” to all Annual Session registrants with information they will need prior to Annual Session.

Attend Annual Session and be available to assist the Presiding Clerk as needed.

Attend an evaluation meeting with all Committee Clerks at the close of Annual Session. Send out a post-session email to all Annual Session registrants

Special Projects Assigned by the PacYM Clerk, as time permits

Required

Participation in the Society of Friends (Quaker) meetings and knowledge of Friends’ practices

Experience with the platforms that PacYM uses, including MS Office, Google Docs, Zoom, and social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.)

Good organizational skills

Attention to detail

Sense of humor!

Desired

Familiarity with the Pacific Yearly Meeting community

Hours

20 hours per week, flexible. Attendance at meetings, RepCom, and Pacific Yearly Meeting will be required.

Compensation

$20,800 and insurance benefits

 

Braiding Sweetgrass Worship Group

The Unity with Nature Committee, Indigenous Concerns Sub-Committee, & Youth Programs Coordinating Committee are proud to cosponsor Braiding Sweetgrass Worship Group (BSWG). In this group we are moving chapter by chapter through Braiding Sweetgrass by Anishinabekwe ecologist Dr. Robin Wall Kimmerer.

For more information and the current schedule, click here.

This book has been profoundly impactful on both the Unity with Nature committee and Indigenous Concerns Sub-Committee. We feel strongly that this book has enormous potential to deepen Friends’ connection with the natural world, heal our relationship with it, and inspire new forms of action in our times.

This Worship Group is for all Friends, but may speak particularly deeply to those who wish to explore the intersections of Climate Courage, Ecological Justice, Eco-Grief, Spirituality, Indigenous Wisdom, and our Relationship with The Living World.

We look forward to you joining us!

A Message from the Presiding Clerk: an experiment in learning and safeguarding space at Annual Session 2020

July 8, 2020; updated version July 12, 2020

Our theme at this Annual Session is “Radical Inclusivity: Responding to God’s Insistent and Persistent Love.” Radical inclusivity is the vision of what I hope all of us want to work toward, where we want to grow. But it is not where we are now.

White Supremacy is embedded in the culture and institutions of the U.S and within the Religious Society of Friends. We must name it and we will name it here at Annual Session when it shows up.

There are ways that the tentacles of racism show up and when it shows up we, as individuals and as a collective, suffer damage to our souls. People of Color notice when racism shows up. White people often do not notice.

At Annual Session, we are embarking on an experiment this year. We will notice words that land in a harmful way and help us, our whole body of Friends assembled here, to learn to see and to acknowledge when words land in a way that causes harm. One might say something with no harmful intent, but it may land with harm. We will pause at those times, we will breathe together, and we will address the harm done. Addressing harm needs to include acknowledging another’s experience. Dialogue with white Friends can then occur in a private space if an individual wants to explore the learning. Dialogue among Friends of Color can also occur in a private space to address the harm done. Throughout the Annual Session there will be Affinity Groups held for Friends of Color and for white allies in separate spaces so that support for this important work and learning can occur without inadvertent harm being done.

Let us strive to hold our whole community with open hearts, to pay attention to all who share this space, and to speak with integrity. For as much as it is hard for white Friends to learn of our unseen, unacknowledged racism, it is even harder, harsher for it to land with Friends of Color. A harm to one is a harm to all. Let us see what love can do.

The Process:

Anyone in attendance may identify an ‘ouch’ by sending a private message in the ‘chat’ to Friends Laura Magnani and Deborah Marks who will alert the clerk to the ouch. 

When there is an ‘ouch’ in the room, the clerk will stop the meeting and ask Friends to pause, breathe, and notice what has occurred so we can all learn together. The clerk will ask Friends to spend a few minutes writing what they noticed and what each is feeling in their body. This may be an opportunity to consider how the ‘ouch’ lives within you, too, and how you might forgive and repair. 

We will then return to the business at hand. At the end of the plenary, the clerk will check-in to see if anyone wants to acknowledge the harm done. Please read below for examples of this. 

Friends of Color are encouraged to meet in the Affinity Group for Friends of Color for further support. White Friends are encouraged to continue learning about how to uncover and dismantle white supremacy within themselves and our community in the White Allies Affinity Group. 

Examples of an ouch:

  • Using the pronoun ‘we’ when speaking as a white Friend about the Yearly Meeting when that person really means ‘we white Friends.’
  • A white Friend speaks about how ‘sheltering in place’ has not caused any change in her lifestyle, when People of Color are disproportionately affected by the loss of livelihood and death from Coronavirus infection.

What does acknowledging harm done by speaking something that causes an ouch or harm look like and sound like?

  • Thank you for calling this to my attention.
  • I will reflect on this and attend to learning from it.
  • After some reflection:
    • “May I offer a repair?“ Ask question without expectation
    • “I recognize that my statement caused harm because… “ No excuses.
    • “I apologize for that harm”
    • “Is there anything I missed that I might explore with white Friends?”

What further causing harm may look like:

  • Saying “yes, but”
  • Asking or expecting Friends of Color to teach white Friends. Please utilize the White Allies Affinity Group for further education and support.  
  • Seeking soothing and comfort from a Friend of Color when speaking about the ouch with the Friend of Color (and at the expense of their time and energy). This is sometimes referred to as “white tears.” 

Sandy Kewman
Presiding Clerk

This message is available as a PDF on the 2020 Annual Session Information page.

Pacific Yearly Meeting’s Virtual Annual Session 2020: Registration is now Open

Registration is now open for Pacific Yearly Meeting’s Annual Session, to be held on Zoom July 10–15, 2020. Children’s Program will take place on Friday, July 10, with the Teen and Adult programs starting Friday evening. We will have worship, Bible study, Worship-Sharing, a Keynote address, Interest Groups, Meeting for Memorials, and opportunities for play and fellowship. Sessions will be limited in length and ample break time will be provided to prevent Zoom burn-out.

You can find the schedule and a lot of other information about Annual Session at https://www.pacificyearlymeeting.org/annual-session-minutes-reports/2020-annual-session/.

The website is being updated on a daily basis, so check back frequently for new items.

We are experimenting with Pay-as-Led this year. You decide how much you are able to pay to participate in the Virtual Annual Session. A range of fees are provided based on what it costs PacYM for you to attend, so you can make an informed decision. Do not let cost get in the way of your participation in Annual Session.

Click here to register (opens in a new tab).

Please share this announcement with your Meeting and anyone who might be interested in attending PacYM’s Virtual Annual Session 2020.

A Message from the Presiding Clerk

May 30, 2020
Dear Friends,

Once again our country is reeling from the deaths of Persons of Color.  These are persons who are too often seen as less than, not worthy of life, respect, or the presumption of innocence by those with less melanin in their skin.  I lift up the recent names of George Floyd, Breona Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and so many for whom no video footage is available.

Friend, deal plainly with yourselves, and let the eternal light search you, and try you, for the good of your souls; for this will deal plainly with you; it will rip you up, lay you open, and make all manifest that lodgeth in you; the secret subtlety of the enemy of your souls, this searcher and tryer will make manifest.
Margaret Fell 1614-1702

As Quakers are we hearing the call from God to witness racism, feeling the injustice in our bodies and then discerning ways to live into mending the harm?  We cannot be silent or complacent.  By virtue of our faith we are called to witness to white supremacy, domination, and disregard for humanity.   We are called to discern how we will live and speak so that all people have the space and air and choices that we all have been given by God.  

We must look consciously for and weed out the ways within the Religious Society of Friends of the Truth that constrict us in patterns of oppression or silencing of other human beings.  I ask that we reflect deeply, ask for guidance, and follow that guidance.

Sandy Kewman, Presiding Clerk of Pacific Yearly Meeting

O Lord, thou hast searched me, and known me.
For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether.
Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:
And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me
in the way everlasting.

 Psalm 139: 1, 4, 23-24 KJV

Annual Session 2020 Will Be Online Only

AN IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT ABOUT ANNUAL SESSION 2020

Dear Friends of Pacific Yearly Meeting,

I want to reach out to each one of you in this time of uncertainty and urge you to please take good care of yourselves and each other. Stay connected. We will get through this difficult time together in community.

Since few of us are meeting in physical proximity at this time because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Friends in Monthly Meetings as well as at the Quarterly Meetings and our Yearly Meeting are arranging for telephone and internet meetings. We are now planning to gather as a Yearly Meeting using this technology over many sessions throughout the summer rather than in one physical place at one time in July, 2020. Yes, Annual Session will happen digitally this year instead of a physical face-to-face meeting. Even if large gatherings are allowed by July, we believe that many Friends will be unable to participate in an in-person Annual Session this summer due to COVID-19 related financial, family, work, and school challenges.

 As a yearly meeting, we are working on creating virtual worship-sharing opportunities, interest groups, affinity groups, and the keynote that can be seen by anyone who can connect to the internet. In the coming weeks, planning meetings will occur with Meeting Representatives to PacYM, committees and additional groups. There are many possibilities for what we might offer, so if you have an idea please let us know: PYMclerk@gmail.com. We are hearing positive responses from those who have been able to attend virtual Meetings for worship. We urge everyone to reach out to those who need technical support or to let us know of the need so that Friends can help one another to be connected.

Information about these upcoming virtual programs will be disseminated via email and on the pacificyearlymeeting.org website (check out it’s new look!) as soon as they are scheduled.

Our world is in transition and positive transformation is possible. Our world is crying out for healing. What is being called forth at this time, from each one of us and all of us together and from the world? Let us take the next steps together with openness, curiosity and a dedication to learning with and from one another.

In service,
Sandy Kewman, Presiding Clerk

Interim Youth Programs Coordinator

Dear Friends,

Youth Programs Coordinating Committee (YPCC) is happy to report that Rebekah Percy has been hired as the Interim Youth Programs Coordinator.  She will begin work on March 23rd.  Rebekah is a member of La Jolla meeting and attender at Orange Grove.  She has attended PacYM since childhood and has served the yearly meeting in a variety of ways, most recently as co-clerk of YPCC for two years.  Her experience with the YPCC as well as her strong organizational and communication skills will serve the youth programs of the yearly meeting well.   Rebekah resigned from the YPCC on January 6 to address work-life balance issues and was not involved in the decision to release Javaughn. Rebekah can be reached at the YPC email address: pym.youthcoordinator@gmail.com starting March 23rd.

The Interim YPC position is intended to serve us through Annual Session and will end on August 31.  YPCC has created an Ad Hoc committee to address issues surrounding the YPC role and are requesting participation from youth, Racial Justice subcommittee, and Ministry and Oversight in this review process.  We hope this work will be completed by fall and a new YPC recruitment process will begin at that time.

Stay well,
Melissa Lovett-Adair, Clerk
Youth Programs Coordinating Committee

Gathering Guidance for Meeting Activities

(sent on behalf of Sandy Kewman, Presiding Clerk, by Sharon Gates, Assistant to the Clerk)

Dear Friends,
I want to share with you the ‘Gathering Guidance” of the California Dept. of Public Health to help guide your Meeting activities. In order to slow the spread of coronavirus, the state of CA is implementing recommendations including canceling gatherings of 250 or more people and recommending that those at elevated risk stay away from gatherings of 10 or more people. All gatherings of 10 or more people should implement the practice of social distancing by ensuring that individuals are 6 feet apart.

Friends should be sure that their members understand what is being recommended, particularly those at elevated risk. In addition, monthly meetings should do their best to implement safe practices at meetings for worship, including finding ways to break the silence that do not require taking the hand of the person next to you. For example, touching elbows or putting one’s own hands together in front of you and bowing could be used.

We recognize that some PacYM meetings are located outside of California and so you may want to follow those of your state or country. Good hand washing for 20 seconds is still very important.

The guidelines in full can be found here: https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/CDPH%20Document%20Library/Gathering_Guidance_03.11.20.pdf

As Barry Crossno of Friends General Conference stated earlier this week:”May Spirit help us be conduits of wisdom and comfort for one another during a time of uncertainty.”

much peace,
Sandy Kewman
Presiding Clerk, Pacific Yearly Meeting