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

A Quaker Center Call for Program Proposals for 2021

Deadline Extended to March 15, 2020

The Ben Lomond Quaker Center is accepting program proposals for 2021.

Quaker Center seeks to nurture the spiritual growth and faithfulness of Friends and others, while strengthening Quakerism and its witness in the world.  We offer programs and personal retreats exemplifying Friends’ testimonies of community, integrity, simplicity, peace, and equality. We strive to live in right order with all creation, especially with the redwood forest that sustains us here in the Santa Cruz mountains.

Hence, we are seeking Friends who are led to share their insights into

  • Spiritual practice, growth, and faithfulness.
  • Strengthening and enriching Quakerism and its witness in the world.
  • Exemplifying Friends’ testimonies.
  • Climate change & living in right order with creation
  • Social & Racial Justice & Healing

Programs utilizing a mix of modes (such as: journaling, discussion, worship, the arts, group lectures, small groups, queries, interaction with nature, etc.) are encouraged.

Those program proposals which offer insights into developing and nurturing an effective and radical Quaker witness in the face of contemporary challenges will be given special attention.

PLEASE SUBMIT A 25- 35 -WORD DESCRIPTION OF THE PROGRAM, INCLUDING:

Name(s) and Contact Information (including email) of leader(s) and an elder (if you wish):

  • Proposed title:
  • Overview of program:
  • Preferred month(s) to hold program in the coming year:

PROGRAM PROPOSAL:  

What leads you to offer this program? Who would benefit from your program, and what should they expect to learn or experience?  How would this program potentially teach and transform the participants? What activities would be involved?

LOGISTICAL INFORMATION:

Workshop Size: Typically 25 – 50

We offer honoraria as an expression of gratitude for the gifts of ministry and time that this work demands.  Travel fares are reimbursed up to a mutually determined limit.

PLEASE SUBMIT PROPOSAL WITH ABOVE INFORMATION TO:

BobFisher@QuakerCenter.org and Nicholas.C.Wright@gmail.com

Deadline Extended to March 15, 2020

We Are Affiliated with Friends General Conference

Message from Sandy Kewman, Pacific Yearly Meeting Presiding Clerk

Dear Pacific Yearly Meeting Community,

Shan Cretin, co-clerk of M&O, and I are happy to report on the request to affiliate with Friends General Conference which was approved at our Annual Session, 2019.

We were informed that Friends General Conference Executive Committee approved the request of Pacific Yearly Meeting’s affiliation with FGC on October 7, 2019.  During the Central Committee Meeting on October 24 and 26, 2019 the decision was announced to the wider community of FGC.  Frank Barch, Clerk of FGC Central Committee, stated in an email the following:

I am so greatly pleased to be able to welcome Pacific Yearly Meeting into the Friends General Conference family! As I was certain, Executive Committee rejoiced to receive and approve your request for affiliation. This indeed made it a happy meeting last weekend!

Welcome, and thank you! If I can offer support or explanations, I am at your service.

Frank Barch, Presiding Clerk
FGC Central Committee

This is the Minute recording their decision:

(53-19) Pacific Yearly Meeting’s affiliation with FGC: Jean-Marie Prestwidge Barch (Clerk of the Committee for Nurturing Ministries) brought a recommendation that we accept Pacific Yearly Meeting’s request to affiliate with FGC. Friends APPROVED joyfully. We are inspired by the faithfulness of Pacific Yearly Meeting’s years-long, careful process to come to the point of requesting affiliation. There are directly affiliated monthly meetings within Pacific Yearly Meeting. In the future, the yearly meeting affiliation will take priority. Jean-Marie shared that there are two monthly meetings in Pacific Yearly Meeting that are in Mexico. We are aware that there are multiple yearly meetings in FGC with Spanish-speaking people. We wish to explore the possibility of FGC providing materials in the languages of the people we serve.

Heather Levien has been named as an interim representative of PacYM to FGC. The PacYM nominations committee is considering naming an additional interim representative and will nominate regular representatives in July who will serve a 3 year term.  At that time, representation by the directly affiliated Monthly meetings of PacYM will be subsumed under the PacYM representation to FGC, therefore, there will be no need for the directly affiliated monthly meetings to nominate their own representatives to serve after the July PacYM Annual Gathering.  In the interim, some monthly meeting representatives to FGC are maintaining an active role during this transitional period.

When PacYM’s affiliation was announced at the recent FGC Central Committee Meeting (October 24-27), it was pointed out by the General Secretary, Barry Crossno, that 70 years ago during the 1948 Conference, the Central Committee formed a committee to explore “widening the influence” of FGC.  The following September 1949, the Central Committee asked this ad hoc committee to explore drawing other yearly meetings into affiliation with FGC, particularly Philadelphia Yearly Meeting Orthodox, the recently formed Pacific Yearly Meeting, and the recently united New England Yearly Meeting (Gurneyite and Wilburite Orthodox Friends in New England Reunited in 1945). Barry warmly welcomed PacYM as the newest affiliate.

Warmly,
Sandy

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.

Quaker Fund for People Affected by the Camp Fire in Northern California

Following the devastating Camp Fire in 2018 in northern California, Chico Friends Meeting established a Quaker Fund for people affected by the fire.  Funds were received from Quaker Meetings and individual Quakers throughout the US and abroad. As of 5/12/2019 all funds have been allocated and the fund is closed.  Deepest thanks to all who contributed.

See the Chico Friends Meeting website for information about the projects that were funded through this effort.

Chico Friends Meeting
1601 Hemlock Street
Chico California 95926

Posted by Sharon Gates, PYM Assistant to the Clerk
11/25/18, revised 12/8/18, 8/11/19.

 

Invitation to a Weekly Online Worship

Pacific Yearly Meeting Eldering Subcommittee of Ministry and Oversight

Invitation to a Weekly Worship with Attention to the Spiritual Wellness of Our Pacific Yearly Meeting

All Pacific Yearly Meeting Friends are invited to an ongoing online meeting for worship with attention to the wellbeing of our yearly meeting community.  Sponsored and hosted by the Eldering Subcommittee of Ministry and Oversight, with the endorsement of the Yearly Meeting Clerk, Sandy Kewman, and Assistant to the Clerk, Sharon Gates, this half-hour meeting for worship will be held on the Zoom video conferencing platform Wednesdays, 7:00 pm Pacific Time.  Dress code is casual.

How it works:  Download the Zoom app to your computer, tablet, or phone at  https://zoom.us/  At 7:00 pm on Wednesdays, enter the meeting number, or click on the link.  You can also participate by calling in on your telephone to one of the numbers below.  We will start in worship, so please mute your microphone or phone as soon as you enter, and remember to unmute if you have spoken ministry to share.  If you forget to mute, the member of the Eldering Subcommittee who is hosting may mute you. If you click “Gallery View,” you will be able to see everyone, Hollywood Squares style.  If not, you will see only one person on “Speaker View.” Gallery View feels more like meeting for worship. For technical assistance, please email Carl Magruder at theearthquaker@gmail.com, or Mica Estrada at cheerful.mica@gmail.com

  • Ways to join the worship:
    • Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: https://zoom.us/j/892996243
    • Or iPhone one-tap :
      US: +16699006833,,892996243# or +14086380968,,892996243#
    • Or Telephone:
      Dial(for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location):
      US: +1 669 900 6833 or +1 408 638 0968 or +1 646 876 9923

Though skeptical about online worship at first, those of us who have tried it find this time together spiritually nourishing, and have come to look forward to Wednesday evenings with anticipation.

It is not expected that anyone will have perfect weekly attendance, but that the meeting will be kept by those who join in on any given Wednesday.

With Gratitude,

Eldering Subcommittee of M&O

 

News from the North Bay Area Fires – California (10/10/17)

We have heard from members of Redwood Forest Meeting (in Santa Rosa), Grass Valley Meeting, and Lake County Worship Group. The Redwood Forest Meeting Resident Friend, Eric Moon, reports that he and the Meeting House are safe, though electricity and phone service are out. Friends House has been evacuated. Another Redwood City Friend, Julian Garrett, reports that he and other Friends have been evacuated but are doing well at this time. Amy Cooke (Grass Valley and Sierra Friends Center) shares that while there are fires close to the Center, they are gradually being contained and do not appear to be going in the direction of the center. The Center is also without power, but hoping to be back online by Friday when College Park Quarterly Meeting is scheduled to take place. Mary Miche (Lake County/Redwood Forest) reports that she is okay as are other members of the Lake County Worship Group, though some were evacuated. We will continue to post updates to the PYM website and Facebook group as events progress. Our hearts are with you all.

— Kylin Navarro, PYM M&O Committee, 10/10/17

 

Note: There are some more recent updates from individuals on the unofficial “Pacific Yearly Mtg.” Facebook Group (opens in a new tab)

Welcome to Pacific Yearly Meeting!

We’re a community of a wide variety of “unprogrammed” Friends (Quaker) Meetings in parts of Mexico and the western USA.  After decades of independence we recently became affiliated with Friends General Conference.  Our book of Faith and Practice describes the beliefs of Friends, PYM’s structures and processes, and the spiritual foundation of these processes and of our way of worship. We’re a year-round community, and we have a summer gathering we call “PYM Annual Session.” Western Friend is the official publication of Quakers in Pacific, North Pacific, and Intermountain Yearly Meetings.
Read more about Pacific Yearly Meeting…

Announcements and Quick Links (updated 5/4/2020)

BREAKING NEWS

ANNUAL SESSION 2020:  Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Pacific Yearly Meeting’s Annual Gathering for 2020, previously scheduled for July 10-15 at Walker Creek Ranch, will instead be held “virtually” (i.e. online) over a longer period of time over the summer.  See the Clerk’s Announcement for further information as plans develop.

REQUEST FOR MONTHLY MEETINGS to DISCERN and PROVIDE FEEDBACK by June 30, 2020, on a draft revision of the section of Faith & Practice on “Death in the Meeting“.  See this Announcement for details.

UPCOMING EVENTS

COMMITTEE NEWS

  • The Faith and Practice Revision Committee is asking Monthly Meetings and other entities of the Yearly Meeting to review and provide feedback by June 30, 2020, on a draft revision of the section on “Death in the Meeting“. (5/4/2020)
  • The Website Team is experimenting with a new menu structure to make things easier to find on the website.  Please check out the new menus and send us your comments.  (4/16/2020)
  • Youth Programs Coordinating Committee (YPCC) is happy to announce that Rebekah Percy has been hired as the Interim Youth Programs Coordinator.  She began work on March 23rd.
  • RepCom 2020 (Representative Committee 2020) met March 6-8, 2020, in Visalia, CA.  Minutes of the meeting are now posted.  A resulting updated Roster of PYM Officeholders is also now available.
  • Secretariat: Progress is being made toward scanning historical meeting minutes of PYM and making them available on the PYM Minutes page.  Most minutes for 1947-1981 are now posted, with gaps in the 1960’s.
  • OLDER COMMITTEE NEWS

GENERAL ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • Young Adult Friends (YAFs) have applied for and received a grant from the PacYM Youth Programs Fund (Vogel Endowment) that seeks to empower all community members and provide various forms of assistance to those in need. As YAFs in PacYM circles have lost jobs as a result of the Covid-19 quarantine, this Mutual Aid Project offers a small financial gift to tide them over temporarily, while releasing them to provide other forms of assistance to Friends. More information on how you or your meeting can get involved is listed here.
  • San Mateo Worship Group, recently formed under the care of Palo Alto Meeting, is going strong.  They meet on 1st and 3rd First Days.  They welcome all seekers, including those new to Quaker worship, to join them.  See their website for details.
  • GRANTS available:
    • Youth Programs Fund (of the Bob Vogel Endowment): Applications due on or before March 20th, June 20th, September 20th, and December 20th
    • Other funding sources: see our Quaker Grants page
  • WEBSITE REVISIONS: We are in the process of redesigning and cleaning up this website. Thank you for your feedback and patience! The website is under the care of the PYM Communications Committee.
    • Trying to find something on this site? First try using the menu bar near the top of the page or the announcements on this home page. If that doesn’t work, you might try some options shown on the right side of this page: the site Search box, the Categories list, or browsing through the recent posts. (Note that the search box and categories list only cover a portion of the site.)