Please join us in welcoming Keenan Lorenzato as the new Youth Programs Coordinator for Pacific Yearly Meeting! Continue reading “Welcome New Youth Programs Coordinator”
Love and Justice: Heeding the Spirit’s Power Within and Among Us
“God, who made all, pours out his spirit upon all [people] in the world, in the days of his new covenant, yea, upon blacks and whites, Moors, and Turks, and Indians, Christians, Jews, and Gentiles, that all with the spirit of God, might know God and the things of God, and serve and worship him in his spirit and truth.”
“Here we have a prospect of one common interest from which our own is inseparable, that to turn all the treasure we possess into the channel of universal love becomes the business of our lives.”
John Woolman, “A Plea for the Poor”
As this is being written, we are holding a deep concern for the epidemic of racism―systemic and overt white supremacy in our country. The COVID 19 epidemic and global climate crisis have also greatly impacted Friends this year and many in our community have experienced loss, uncertainty and ongoing grief. And yet we know that these affect Friends in our Yearly Meeting in markedly different ways. Both COVID 19 and the climate crisis disproportionately affect Friends in the Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) communities. We are called to move toward love and justice.
The virtual Annual Session 2021 of Pacific Yearly Meeting will be held July 23 to 28. Our keynote speakers are Avotcja Jiltonilro, a poet, storyteller and multi-instrumentalist from Strawberry Creek Friends Meeting and Gabriela Portillo Alvarado, a second year college student at the University of Pennsylvania and a Young Adult Friend from Sacramento Friends Meeting. These two women will share their poetry and will engage in a dialogue on the theme.
Together we will take the time to connect with the Power of the Spirit within us. The indwelling Spirit connects us to one another and to all of creation.
This interconnectedness requires us to reevaluate how we relate to one another. The dominant culture within our country and our Religious Society of Friends of the Truth has centered whiteness for too long. What acts of love and justice are necessary for us to re-center our Society to a place of justice, of love, for all? How do we begin to move from entitlement to humbly giving our energy to a different way of being? How do we grow our abilities to cherish one another and develop a culture of dignity within our Yearly Meeting and beyond? Ongoing learning, truth telling, and willingness to repair are needed to break the bonds of racism. Each of us can see a portion of Light, but we need all of us to see the way forward, guided by Spirit.
You are invited to the Pay as Led online Annual Session of Pacific Yearly Meeting July 23 to 28, 2021 from wherever you are tending your heart. When registration is open you will be able to choose which activities are right for you. Together at Annual Session we will seek the guidance of the Divine Spirit in worship, in learning, and in rejoicing together.
The theme of our Annual Session in July will be Love and Justice: Heeding the Spirit’s Power Within and Among Us.
RepCom will be held virtually in 3 Zoom sessions Saturday February 27 and on Saturday March 6 (10:00-11:30 AM, 1:00-2:30 PM, and 3:30-5:00 PM). There will be a meeting of Monthly Meeting Representatives to PacYM from 7:00 to 8:30 PM on Friday, February 26.
Before coming to RepCom, please review the advance documents on the website carefully.
PRESENTING AND REPORTING:
Please submit written reports by Monday, February 4 to Sharon Gates, Assistant to the Clerk (email address below). Guidelines for reports are on the PacYM web page. Reports sent after 2/8 might not be posted prior to RepCom. In preparation for this summer, any business that committees, officers, or representatives to outside organizations intend to bring to Annual Session must be brought for a first reading to RepCom. Contact Sandy Kewman, Presiding Clerk (email address below) if your committee wishes to present at RepCom.
INTEREST GROUPS AT THE 2021 ANNUAL SESSION:
The process for getting Interest Groups scheduled for Annual Session is on the PYM website at www.pacificyearlymeeting.org/2017/documents/how-to-schedule-an-interest-group-at-pym-annual-session/. Please submit your proposals by Sunday, March 7.
JUNIOR YEARLY MEETING: Plans for meetings of the youth leadership of Junior Yearly Meeting (JYM) and JYM Adult Committee to plan the JYM Annual Session program are in progress. If you have questions, please contact the clerk of the JYM Adult Committee, Dan Strickland firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
If you have questions for the Presiding Clerk, contact Sandy at PYMclerk@gmail.com.
We look forward to seeing you,Sharon Gates, Assistant to the Clerk, email@example.com
Clerks Call to RepCom 2021 (this page as a PDF)
Pacific Yearly Meeting’s 2021 Representative Committee meeting (“RepCom 2021”) will take place Feb 26 & 27 and March 6, 2021, via Zoom. This page contains information and materials for those attending RepCom 2021. For information about Representative Committee in general see the RepCom pages.
- Advance Materials
- The Zoom link was shared by email to those who register. An email was sent out on Feb 20 to those who registered by the Feb 19 deadline. Check your inbox for mail from firstname.lastname@example.org.
- INTEREST GROUPS FOR ANNUAL SESSION: Sunday, March 7 (the end of RepCom) is the deadline for committees to submit seasoned proposals for Interest Groups at Annual Session 2021. See How to Schedule an Interest Group at Annual Session for details and a submission form.
- See also: DEADLINES THAT HAVE PASSED.
- The registration deadline was extended to Feb 19 and registration is now closed. If you feel you should be allowed to register late, please email the Assistant to the Clerk at email@example.com.
- Packet of Advance Materials This all-in-one PDF includes the Clerk’s Call, the schedule, and all committee and representative reports below that were submitted by the deadline.
- Additional Materials The following additional materials are not in the Advance Packet (or have been corrected from what is in the advance packet):
- Agenda The agenda covers all six Plenaries. Items will be taken in order as time allows. Given the unpredictable nature of the time needed for each item, it is not possible to identify the specific Plenary during which any individual agenda item will be discussed.
- Extracts from PacYM Reports and Minutes 2013-2019RC Re Communications – Full history (since 2013) of the effort to create a communications database for PacYM
- Mexico-City-MM-Report-to-RepCom-2021 – special invited report
Committee and Officer Reports
All the committee, officer and representative reports below are also contained in the Advance Packet (a single PDF) except those indicating otherwise.
- Extracts from PacYM Reports and Minutes 2013-2019RC Re Communications – Full history (since 2013) of the effort to create a communications database for PacYM (posted 2/23, not in Advance Packet)
- Mexico-City-MM-Report-to-RepCom-2021 (posted 2/26, not in Advance Packet)
Reports from our Representatives and Observers to Outside Organizations. These are also in the Advance Packet.
News from Outside Organizations
Newsletters and other communications coming directly from outside organizations to which PYM sends Representatives or Observers. Because of their size, these documents are not included in the Advance Packet.
- Friends-Peace-Teams (relayed by PacYM’s Representative to FPT)
- El-Salvador-Project-newsletter-Nov-2020 (relayed by Latin American Concerns Committee)
- Progressa-Fall-Update-2020 (relayed by Latin American Concerns Committee)
- In a break with past practice, minutes for this meeting will only be posted (when they are ready) on the PYM Minutes page. That is where you will find minutes for not only this meeting but all other RepCom and Annual Session meetings as well.
Deadlines that Have Passed
- REPORTS deadline was Monday, Feb 8. Instructions are below.
- REGISTRATION deadline was Friday, February 19. See above for a message about possible late registration.
- BUDGET REQUESTS: RepCom is where we approve the Annual Session Budget as well as handle any mid-year General Budget augmentations. Requests should have been submitted to the Finance Committee well ahead of the Feb 8 report deadline.
Instructions for Authors of Documents for this Page
- Officers, Committee Clerks and other authors of advance documents please do the following:
- See the Guidelines for Reports to Representative Committee 2021 for more detailed style guidelines and a template Word file you may use.
- Send in your report as a .doc or .docx file –or equivalent– (rather than as email text or .pdf). This will help the Secretariat and Recording Clerks have access to the text and formatting as well as simplifying our document management process. You are encouraged to use this template Word file.
- Name your report file like this: CommitteeName-Report-to-RepCom-2021.doc or .docx. For example:
- Note that the names are quite long enough without adding the word “Committee”.
- Email by Feb. 8, 2021 to the Assistant to the Clerk (Sharon Gates) <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
- We will post your report here as a PDF that we will create from your .doc.
- Documents received by the deadline (Feb. 8) will be assembled into an “advance packet” distributed electronically to all participants. Documents received late will be more difficult for participants to find and may be overlooked. So please submit your report by the deadline or earlier if you can manage it.
- See the Guidelines for Reports to Representative Committee 2021 for more detailed style guidelines and a template Word file you may use.
This is the information page for Pacific Yearly Meeting’s upcoming 2021 Annual Session, which will occur online July 23 – 28, 2021. Information will be added to this page as it becomes available.
The theme of the 2021 session will be “Love and Justice: Heeding the Spirit’s Power Within and Among Us.” See the Clerk’s Call for more about the theme.
Click on any item in the Table of Contents to jump to that section.
- Interest Group Proposals: Sunday, March 7, 2021. See How to Schedule an Interest Group at Annual Session for a detailed explanation of the process and a link to the online form for submitting proposals.
Information for Specific Age Groups
The Packet of Advance Materials is an all-in-one PDF containing (nearly all of the) committee reports and some other materials you will need. If you just want an individual report, you will find it below under Committee and Officer Reports.
During the Session
The AS LIVE 2021 page contains links to all the Zoom meetings and other materials for attenders only. Registered attenders check your email from TBD for the password to this page.
Schedules and Agendas
See also AS LIVE 2021 for Zoom links and additional information for registered attenders only.
All of the following documents are either not in the Advance Packet or have corrections over what is in the Advance Packet.
- Schedule for AS 2021
- The Schedule Explained 2021
- Plenary Agendas for AS 2021
- Interest Group Descriptions and Schedule
- JYM Schedule 2021
The individual reports listed below are also (unless otherwise indicated) included in the all-in-one Advance Packet linked above. If you are submitting a late report please contact the Assistant to the Clerk.
Reports from Representatives to Outside Organizations
The individual reports below are also included in the all-in-one Advance Packet linked above.
Deadlines that Have Passed
The year-around work of Pacific Yearly Meeting is conducted almost entirely by volunteers. Without the many, many volunteers none of it would happen. Working on committees is also a great way to enlarge your circle of F/friends beyond your local community. The Service Survey form is where you can communicate your gifts and interests to the Nominating Committee, whose job it is to match people with the best place to put their talents to use.
- Pacific YM 2021 Epistle
- This will link to the final minutes and reports from the business sessions. These will also be posted on the PYM Minutes page.
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.
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.”
This message is available as a PDF on the 2020 Annual Session Information page.
February 4, 2020
(Sent on behalf of Presiding Clerk Sandy Kewman and the Ministry and Oversight Committee by Sharon Gates, Assistant to the Clerk of PYM. Please circulate widely in your Meeting so all members and attenders have the opportunity to read it.)
“Our life is love, and peace, and tenderness, and bearing one with another, and forgiving one another, and not laying accusations one against another, but praying one for another, and helping one another up with a tender hand, if there has been a slip or fall, and waiting until the Lord gives sense and repentance, if sense and repentance in any be wanting.”
In preparation for Pacific Yearly Meeting (PacYM) Annual Session 2020 and beyond, the PacYM Ministry & Oversight (M&O) Committee and Presiding Clerk Sandy Kewman call upon Meeting members and attenders to engage deeply in inquiry and discernment on fostering greater inclusion and love for each other, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, age, experience with Quakerism, abilities, sexual orientation and the numerous less seen differences that we may have. This is a lifelong concern, commitment, and practice, one with which every Friend must grapple in order to co-create and live into the beloved community.
As a way to deepen our discussions and work towards living into being a beloved community, we request in the next year that Friends in your Monthly Meeting read the book White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo. Understanding that Friends have already begun working on this year’s State of the Meeting reports, we ask that you respond to the queries posed below and to please include in your Meeting’s State of the Meeting report—if not this year then in 2021—the work your Meeting is doing to deepen the state of being a beloved community for all people, to see the unseen and acknowledge opportunities for growth.
We believe that in taking these action steps, Friends will have a common language and framework by which to identify and talk about racism, white privilege, settler colonialism, and the inherited culture of white supremacy individually, in relationship with one another, and structurally in our Meetings and the larger society. This work is critical if Friends are to really be friends to each other and our earth.
We offer these queries for your Spirit-filled consideration:
- In what ways did White Fragility help you understand the place of race in our lives and in our Meetings with a new or different perspective?
- How aware and awake is your Meeting to how race, cultural differences, privilege and entitlement impact the quality of your relationships and friendships in your Meeting?
- What new learning about how to be a more beloved community for all people within the culture of Friends has occurred in your Meeting?
- In what ways have we been “fragile” to seeing our sometimes unconscious and unintentional role in perpetuating a culture of dominance?
- What steps could your Meeting take to increase inclusion and the loving telling of truth among Friends in the coming year?
To support this work, we recommend that you utilize Robin DiAngelo’s White Fragility reading guide, which can be accessed here. Friends may wish to approach this request like a book club, completing the whole book and gathering at the end to discuss, or may want to read the chapters together as a group over the course of several months. We hope that Meetings will have begun the book by the time Annual Session 2020 begins.
If led, we encourage your Meeting to further deepen into this concern by exploring the following works:
- Watch together: New England Yearly Meeting (NEYM) 2019 Virtual Plenary – Challenging White Supremacy by Lisa Graustein: Part 1 of 3; Part 2 of 3: Part 3 of 3.
- Read together: My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending our Hearts and Bodies by Resmaa Menakem
- Read together: Say the Wrong Thing by Dr. Amanda Kemp
- Read together: How to Be an Anti-racist by Ibram X Kendi
- Read together: So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
- Read together: Friends General Conference Institutional Assessment on Systemic Racism within Friends General Conference as Reported October 2018.
- Watch together: How to Have a Voice and Lean Into Conversations About Race. Dr. Amanda Kemp. TEDxWilmington.
- Listen together: #GoodAncestor Robin DiAngelo on White Fragility. Good Ancestor Podcast with Layla F Saad.
- Listen together: Where Does it Hurt? with Ruby Sales. On Being Podcast.
- Watch together: There is No Neutral. Michelle Johnson. TEDxWakeForestU.
- Read: Are We Ready to Make the Necessary Changes? Vanessa Julye. Friends Journal.
- Complete: Anti-Racist Checksheet for Whites. Robin DiAngelo.
For additional resources, please see visit our Racial Justice webpage here.
Please reach out to PacYM M&O Committee with any questions or feedback about this request. Please contact: PacYMMO@gmail.com.
Pacific Yearly Meeting Ministry & Oversight Committee and Presiding Clerk Sandy Kewman
May 30, 2020
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
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:
- What have Friends found helpful during times of profound loss in their lives?
- 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?
- 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?
- 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?
- 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
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.