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

Request for Feedback on Draft Faith and Practice Revisions

Preamble: The Faith and Practice Revision Committee has continued preparing drafts of several sections of Faith and Practice for posting on the Pacific Yearly Meeting website.  This new “rolling revision” process is based on the Quaker understanding of continuing revelation, as congruent with new technologies that make it possible for us to revise the document incrementally. We are living into this “experimentally” as our forebears might have said.

This year we are presenting a revision of “Death and Grieving.”  Though we started this work last year, we understand the tenderness of this topic during the pandemic.  We have also added a suggested format for a Zoom Memorial in the Manner of Friends, which is on the PYM website. (https://www.pacificyearlymeeting.org/2020/uncategorized/zoom-memorial-meetings-guidance/)

The “Death and Grieving” revision considers different ways that people die, with the hope of bringing love and healing as well as nurturing the spiritual growth that can occur at the end of life.  We are asking Meetings, committees and other entities of the Yearly Meeting (for instance JYM, or YAF),  to discern together about the proposed new language and to

share feedback with us at PYM.FPRevision@gmail.com by June 30th.

Text of the draft revision: PYM.FPRevision.Death-in-the-Meeting.2020-05-02

If you reach unity on suggestions you would like to make, let us know.  If you struggled with the text and can give us input on issues where you did not find unity, that is also welcome. We are asking that individual Friends NOT send comments, but participate in larger group discernment, as is our tradition.  We are also asking Friends to contribute medical and legal resources that are relevant to Hawaii, Mexico, and Nevada for the electronic appendix.

Queries you may find useful for your discernment:

  1. What have Friends found helpful during times of profound loss in their lives?
  2. Has your meeting been able to provide a loving support to those who were dying, and to those who care for them?  What would help?
  3. We have addressed many of the ways that Meetings have experienced unexpected death (such as suicide) and subsequent grieving responses.  In what way would including these situations in Faith and Practice help or hinder your Meetings’ response to the families involved?
  4. Would you like resources for Friends who feel led to be more supportive around end of life questions, preparation, grief, and loss?  Do you have any resources you would recommend?
  5. Do you find the internet resources at the end of this document helpful?  Do you have any other resources you could suggest?  These resources can be updated in real time.

— PYM Faith and Practice Revision Committee, May 2, 2020

Zoom Memorial Meetings Guidance

In this time of physical distancing, the need to recognize and solemnize the passing of loved ones is intensified, even while shelter in place protocols make traditional memorials impossible for the time being. Physical distancing may be with us for many months, and may return from time to time in the future.

The Faith and Practice Revision Committee offers the following “virtual Zoom memorial format” for use by Quaker Meetings and others who prefer a simple service:    Zoom Memorial Meetings for Unprogrammed Friends. Please feel emboldened to offer a memorial in this way, and also to modify these suggestions to fit your community and the person who has died.

Carl Magruder, M.Div., BCC, initially wrote this document for SoulWays Spiritual Accompaniment (a Civic Light Project). The document was reviewed by Pacific Yearly Meeting’s (PYM) Faith and Practice Revision Committee, which Carl co-clerks, and is presented as a resource for during this time of physical distancing. It has NOT been finalized for PYM’s Faith and Practice as of April 24, 2020.

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

Spring Youth Service Learning Camp with Wukchumni Tribe, Quaker Oaks Farm, April 6-10, 2020

7th Annual Spring Youth Service Learning Camp
April 6-10, 2020 CANCELLED
(Monday-Friday leading up to Easter weekend)
Quaker Oaks Farm
Visalia, CA, USA

A partnership of Quaker Oaks Farm, the Wukchumni Yokuts Tribe,
and Pacific Yearly Meeting Youth Programs

See the Quaker Oaks Farm website for details and online application.

Air fills our lungs and keeps us alive, yet it is taken for granted by many populations. Indigenous communities, however, appreciate the air as sacred. Today, California has some of the worst air pollution in the country. This year’s theme of Air builds from our previous camps and recent themes, Fire, Water and Earth, honoring the sacredness of all Beings. Join us as we explore the power and value of Air in traditional and contemporary practice. As the climate changes do we need new ways to care for the Air?

We will share our Histories and Love one another across Seeming Divides, all through Fun, Interactive Activities. Camp includes a service-learning project on the Land and a field trip.

WAYS TO HELP

  • POST THE FLYER at your Meeting House, School, Clubhouse, etc.
  • Know a potential camper?  HELP THEM APPLY online by 3/9.
  • DONATE
  • SHARE our Fundraising Appeal Letter
  • VOLUNTEER: Contact Melissa Lovett-Adair, chair@quakeroaksfarm.com
  • Request our model “Letter to Teachers” for a student who wants to take time off from school to participate in camp and/or get school credit
  • SPREAD this message among friends!

Campers: APPLICATION ONLINE NOW! Deadline 3/9/2020. There are only 30 spots available.  There is a question on this form where we ask you to tell us why we should select your application and what is important to you about getting to be a part of camp.

We enthusiastically invite middle school and high school aged youth (grades 6-12) to apply. No one will be turned away for lack of funds. Cost of camp is on a sliding scale ($0 – $500). Donations gratefully accepted.

Clerk’s Call to Annual Session 2020

Clerk’s Call to Pacific Yearly Meeting Annual Session
July 10 to July 15, 2020
Walker Creek Ranch

Radical Inclusivity:
Responding to the Persistent and Insistent Love of God 

Love one another.  As I have loved you, so must you love one another.” – John 13:34

Thus He whose tender mercies are over all His works hath placed a principle in the human mind, which one to exercise goodness towards every living creature; and this being singly attended to, people become tender-hearted and sympathizing…” – John Woolman, 1720-1772

We are being called at this time to wake up to God’s love for all beings and all of creation.  We are being called to notice and respond to the persistent and insistent love within each of us and all around us.   We are being called to cultivate and live that love for one another and the earth in all that we do. 

We are also being called to acknowledge how our culture within the Religious Society of Friends and the wider society normalizes and perpetuates domination and power over each other and over the natural world. We are being called to notice domination in all that we do and to speak truth to it.  This domination takes many forms, both willful and inadvertent, conscious and unconscious. Domination is in play when some persons are more valued than others and when power over others is celebrated and practiced.  Domination is at work when our earth is used mindlessly and abused in the name of progress.

      Early Friends called attention to ‘disorderly walking’ and labored with one another in worship, prayer, and mindful speech to wake up to the ways in which their daily lives were harmful to their own hearts and souls and that of others and to the earth.  Those who are part of the Dominant culture must examine our privilege and entitlement through reflection, reading and most importantly through dialogue and friendships. Collectively, we Friends who bring to our yearly meeting a kaleidoscope of identities and experiences require community with one another to discern the ‘love of truth’ within our lives. Today we need one another to acknowledge the harm we do to each other and to the earth. Commitment to learning a better way, to being in right relationship with each other and with our earth is needed.  This means all of us have choices in every moment, to begin anew, to go deeper.

      What might this look like?  During Annual Session we will explore together.  We will ground ourselves in the light of Divine Spirit and in our bodies.  We will listen deeply to one another.  We will notice when power over another is employed rather than with each other.  We will notice and respond to each other out loud and with grace.  “While my intent was no harm, the effect did harm.”  “I see the harm”, “I see your hurt.”  “Thank you for telling me.” “Thank you for your faithfulness.”  “I want to find a way forward. “I want to walk this path with you (of reconciliation… or learning)”

            We are fortunate to invite Mica Estrada to share her experience and wisdom this year at Annual Session as our keynote speaker.  Mica is a member of Strawberry Creek Friends Meeting.   She is a Social Psychologist whose early work focused on conflict resolution, forgiveness, and problem solving.  Mica’s current work on social influences that increase care of our planet and greater equity in the world of education are newer expressions of this same leaning toward reducing conflict and supporting the positive in our world.  Mica will speak about practicing radical inclusivity through staying awake to the spirit of love and kindness within each of us.

As we come together to worship and sink down into Divine Presence, Mica’s message will help us to let go of our wills, our ideas, our wants.  We will then be able to step into the river that unites us all.  That is where transformation begins.  Please come to PacYM’s Annual Session this coming July as we take this journey together.

Sandy Kewman
Presiding Clerk

 “I pray that we will sense more keenly the transformation that God wants to bring about in our time and learn how we can fully and joyfully dedicate ourselves to participating in the creation of an evolved humanity and a renewed world.  Then, as fully realized children of God, we can let go of the past and enter something entirely new.” – Marcelle Martin, Our Life is Love, p.191.


Call to Representative Committee 2020

the theme of our Annual Session in July will be

 Radical Inclusivity:  Responding to the Persistent and Insistent Love of God 

WHEN/WHERE:

RepCom will be hosted by Quaker Oaks Farm (QOF), meeting at the Visalia Friends’ Meetinghouse (VFM) on the ancestral land of the Wukchumni Tribe from 6pm on Friday, March 6, through Saturday March 7 and continuing to Sunday March 8 if necessary.

REGISTRATION:

Please register for RepCom by SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 15 by filling out the form on the PYM website:

www.pacificyearlymeeting.org/committee-newsletters-and-reports/representative-committee/2020-repcom-reports-and-minutes/

 (Persons registering after Friday February 15 cannot be assured of overnight hospitality.)

Before coming to RepCom, please review the advance documents on the website carefully.

HOSPITALITY:

Overnight accommodations will be provided in nearby homes and there is plenty of camping and floor sleeping space available at QOF, adjacent to VFM There are also inexpensive hotels/Airbnbs in Visalia and Exeter. Friday dinner through Sunday lunch will be provided (along with snacks/tea/coffee) for a suggested donation to QOF of $40. Please note any food restrictions in your registration.

TRAVEL & REIMBURSEMENT: 

Visalia is easily accessible by car, bus, or train and shuttles to the Meetinghouse will be provided. Travel expenses of officers, clerks, and Representative Committee members (Monthly Meetings’ representatives to PYM) are reimbursed 25¢ per mile for round trip road atlas mileage between the member’s Home Meeting and the location of the Meeting being attended or actual expenses up to $.25 per mile. Round trip travel from Mexico or Hawaii is reimbursed up to $600. Members are encouraged to reduce costs by taking advantage of special bargain rates (early reservation, two for one, special offers, etc.).  

PRESENTING AND REPORTING:

Please submit written reports by February 15 to Sharon Gates, Assistant to the Clerk (email address below).  Guidelines for reports are on the PYM web page. Reports sent after 2/15 might not be posted prior to RepCom. Contact Sandy Kewman, Presiding Clerk (email address below) if your committee is presenting at RepCom. 

Interest Groups at the 2020 Annual Session

The process for getting Interest Groups scheduled for Annual Session is on the PYM website. Please submit your proposals by Sunday, March 8 to Sharon Gates, Assistant to the Clerk (email address below).

Junior Yearly Meeting:  The youth leadership of Junior Yearly Meeting (JYM) and JYM  Adult Committee members will  meet at QOF March 6-8 to plan for JYM 2020 at Walker Creek Ranch. JYM planners look forward to worshiping and sharing meals with Friends attending RepCom.  If you have questions, please contact the clerk of the JYM Adult Committee, Dan Strickland danstrickland2001@yahoo.com.

Sandy Kewman, Presiding Clerk of PYM, will preside at RepCom. She and I will send you further information, including an agenda, in one or more follow-up mailings. 

Questions for the Presiding Clerk? Contact Sandy at PYMclerk@gmail.com

We look forward to seeing you in Visalia,
Sharon Gates, Assistant to the Clerk
PYMAssistanttotheClerk@gmail.com

2020 Annual Session Information

This is the information page for Pacific Yearly Meeting’s 2020 Annual Session, taking place online from July 10 to 15, 2020.

For information about Annual Sessions in general, please see the Annual Session Information page.

Click on any item in the Table of Contents to jump to that section.

Advance Information

This year’s theme is “Radical Inclusivity:  Responding to the Persistent and Insistent Love of God.”  See Clerk’s Call for more on the original plans.

  • Children’s Program will take place on Friday morning, July 10
  • Teen and Adult programs start Friday evening and run through Wednesday morning.
  • We will have Worship, Bible study, Worship-Sharing, a Keynote address, Interest Groups, Meeting for Memorials, and opportunities for play and fellowship.  See the schedule for details.
  • Sessions will be limited in length and ample break time will be provided to prevent Zoom burn-out.

Clerk’s Call

Registration

  • Annual Session is Pay-as-Led this year, meaning you are invited to pay whatever registration amount that you are led to pay.
  • Click here to register. (Opens in a new tab.)

Deadlines

  • INTEREST GROUP PROPOSALS: March 8. For next year see How to Schedule an Interest Group at Annual Session.
  • REPORTS: June 12. Committees, Officers and Representatives submitting reports for Annual Session should follow these Guidelines for Reports to Annual Session.
  • REGISTRATION: July 3.
  • POST-SESSION EVALUATION FOR OFFICERS, COMMITTEE CLERKS, AND REPRESENTATIVES TO OTHER ORGANIZATIONS: July 18 10 AM to noon. Zoom link will be provided
  • POST-SESSION EVALUATION FOR ATTENDERS: July 18.

Information for Specific Age Groups

  • Information for Registrants (all ages): Make sure to register asap. You will not be able to attend the Children’s Program, nor any other Annual Session offerings without having done so. 
  • A brief Children’s Program will take place on Friday morning, July 10. The session will be 75 minutes, children will be divided by age into two groups: ages 4 to 7 or 8; and ages 8 or 9 to 12. If we have enough children for a second 75-minute session, it will occur from 11:00-12:15pm with the same fun-focused lesson plans. 
  • Teen Program (Junior Yearly Meeting, aka JYM). Teens will be leading intergenerational games on Saturday evening-we would love to see you there! The rest of JYM’s gatherings will take place the week/s following July 15. For more information on the teen schedule, please see our intergenerational calendar page here. We are still looking for a few (adult) Friendly Adult Presences (FRAPs) to work with and or hold the space for our youth.
  • Young Adult Friends (aka YAFs) program will start Friday evening. YAFs are encouraged to register and take part in the general Annual Sessions. Many YAFs will attend the YPCC interest group on Sunday evening to discuss our work on mutual aid within the yearly meeting. The rest of YAF activities will also take place the week/s following AS. See our intergenerational calendar page for more information.

Advance Materials

The Packet of Advance Materials is an all-in-one PDF containing committee reports and other materials in preparation for Annual Session.  If you just want an individual report, you will find it below under Committee and Officer Reports.

  • PYM-AS-2020.Packet-of-Advance-Materials (coming very soon!)

Updates:  The following are reports and information that are either “new” (i.e. not in the Advance Packet) or have been revised or corrected from the version in the Packet.

During the Session

Schedules and Agendas

This section is still under construction.

Keynote Speaker

Mica Estrada will give the keynote on Saturday, July 11th at 10:30am this year at Annual Session. Mica is  a member of Strawberry Creek Friends Meeting in Berkley, CA. She serves on the Pacific Yearly Meeting Racial Justice and the Eldering Subcommittees. Mica also serves on the Geneva Quaker United National Committee, Mica’s spiritual development was informed by ‘The light within’ from an early age. It was a guiding principle of her life for many years even before she came to know Quakers. The writings of Parmahansa Yogananda, Daya Mata, Pema Chodron, Thomas Kelley, and Khalil Gibran have been instrumental in forming Mica’s spiritual practices. Mica follows her spiritual leading to make the world a kinder place.

Mica earned her doctorate in Social Psychology from Harvard University. She is an Associate Professor of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the Institute for Health and Aging at the University of California, San Francisco. Her teaching and research focuses on the ethnic populations who are historically underrepresented in higher education, are most vulnerable to impacts of climate change, and have potential to provide diverse and creative solutions to pressing challenges.

The keynote will begin with a story appropriate for all ages. Children are invited to accompany their parents to the keynote for as long as they like. The session will be live and recorded for future reference and the recording will be posted on the PacYM website.  We are deeply grateful to have Mica speak to us at the Annual Session.

Committee/Officer Reports

The individual reports below will also be included in the all-in-one Advance Packet to be posted soon.

If you are submitting a report to the Annual Session, please refer to the following Guidelines for Reports to Annual Session. The deadline for reports was June 12.

Reports from Representatives to Outside Organizations

The individual reports below will also be included in the all-in-one Advance Packet to be posted soon.

Evaluation

If you participated in all or part of the session, we hope you will fill out the 2020 Annual Session Evaluation Survey.  The deadline for submissions is July 18.

Epistles from PacYM Annual Session

  •  

Minutes

  • PYM-AS-2020.Minutes-Packet (these are the final minutes and reports from the business sessions held at annual session.)

Contacts

These are contacts specifically related to Annual Session 2020.  More general contacts for PacYM can be found on the Contact-Us page.

General questions about PYM and Annual Session:
Sharon Gates, Assistant to the Clerk, pymassistanttotheclerk@gmail.com
See also: Guidelines for Submitting Reports to Annual Session

Registration:
Lawrence Alderson and Brylie Oxlie, Registrars: <pacificyearlymeetingregistrar@gmail.com>
Mailing Address for checks (made out to “Pacific Yearly Meeting”) for completed registrations:
Pacific Yearly Meeting Registrar
c/o Lawrence Alderson
10 Leeds Lane
Aliso Viejo, CA, 92626

Arrangements:
Bronwen Hillman, Clerk of Arrangements Committee: <pym.arrangements@gmail.com>

Children’s Program:
Suellen Lowry, Clerk of Children’s Program Committee: <suellenquaker@gmail.com>
Children’s Program Coordinator: TBD
www.pacificyearlymeeting.org/youth/children/

Teens (Junior Yearly Meeting, aka JYM):
Dan Strickland, Clerk of JYM Adult Committee: <danstrickland2001@yahoo.com>
www.pacificyearlymeeting.org/youth/jym/

Youth Programs:
Rebekah Percy, Interim Youth Programs Coordinator: <pym.youthcoordinator@gmail.com> (Available for general youth-related questions.)

Daily Miracle:
There will not be a “Daily Miracle” bulletin this year.  Information about the program will be on the website (on this page or linked from this page).
Personal announcements should be shared on the PYM AS
Discuss forum (coming soon).

Website:
George Mills and Arthur Kegerreis, Website Editors: <pym.website@gmail.com>

Zoom:
AS LIVE 2020 (password-protected page with Zoom links to all meetings.  Still under development)

See more PacYM contacts on the Contact Us page

 

YPCC Evaluation Report to AS 2019

DOWNLOAD:

This post is linked from the YPCC web page.

 

WEB VERSION:

PYM Youth Programs Coordinating Committee
Program Evaluation Report 2019
(See also the summary of responses in appendix in linked PDF, above)

Summary

Responses to an online survey, sent to meetings and individuals in December 2018, provided clear support of the Youth Programs Coordinator (YPC)  and offered suggestions and critiques of the efforts of the YPC and the Youth Programs Coordinating Committee (YPCC). Respondents who have been active in regional events such as Annual Session and Quarterly Meetings were more knowledgeable regarding impacts on the youth programs and listed many positive changes observed since the program began. A desire for support of the children’s program and youth programs in monthly meetings was expressed. A concern that youth programs were not developing a spiritual foundation and that we address issues of racism, classism, sexism and ageism were also expressed. Respondents were divided regarding the question of hiring an administrative support person and focusing the YPC role on youth activities.  A majority of respondents support the cost of the YPC as money well spent, with some expressing concern regarding the impact of the cost on meeting budgets and limited impact seen at the monthly meeting level.

Continue reading “YPCC Evaluation Report to AS 2019”