How to Propose an Interest Group for Annual Session

This page describes the process for submitting proposals for interest groups for the Pacific Yearly Meeting Annual Session.  For Annual Session 2023 the deadline for proposals is Saturday, March 4, 2023.

Why such an early deadline?

Coordination between committees and officers of the Yearly Meeting is needed so as to make the best use of the limited time available for interest groups during Annual Session. Preparation for Annual Session involves hundreds of tasks performed by dozens of people, making it very important to complete tasks as far in advance of Annual Session as possible.

This means that if you are planning to offer an interest group at Annual Session, there is a deadline for submitting your proposal, namely the end of the preceding Representative Committee meeting (RepCom).  For 2023 this falls on March 4.

The Process


Interest groups (IGs) at Annual Session (AS)  are usually sponsored by committees of the Yearly Meeting (YM) or by representatives (to the YM from other organizations or to other organizations from the YM). The numbers of IG time slots allocated to each committee are as follows:

Committee # of slots
Ministry 3
Peace & Social Order 3
Discipline / Faith & Practice Revision 2
Latin American Concerns 2
Unity with Nature 2
Communications / Western Friend 1
Junior Yearly Meeting 1
Keynote Speaker 1
Racial Justice Sub-Committee 1
Youth Programs Coordinator 1
Reserved 3
 Total 20

The reserved slots allow for IGs sponsored by representatives, Friends’ organizations, or others as needed and as determined by the Presiding Clerk and the Assistant to the Clerk.


Task Timing Dates
1.  Committee seasoning of IG proposals AS through RepCom August – February
2.  Committees submit IG proposals to the Assistant to the Clerk RepCom March
3.  Assistant to the Clerk prepares IG schedule RepCom through AS March – June

Step 1. Committee Seasoning

It is up to committees to season their IG proposals well in advance of Representative Committee (RepCom). It is important to be aware of the theme of the following year’s AS and consider if there are topics associated with the theme. IGs should address topics within the general purview of the committee. When a topic falls outside the purview of a committee or is within the purview of more than one committee, committees are encouraged to collaborate so that the IG is proposed by the appropriate committee. Adjustments to the time slot allocation will be made to accommodate jointly-sponsored IGs.

Note to Clerks of Peace & Social Order, Unity with Nature, and Latin American Concerns Committees: Please coordinate with each other on your committees’ IG proposals. Focus on identifying overlapping IG topics and determine together when you would like all of your IGs scheduled. This advance work will help the Assistant to the Clerk draft a schedule that presents a wide range of choices, reduces conflicts in topics and schedules, and is easy to understand.

Step 2. Committees Submit IG Proposals

By the end of RepCom, proposals for all IGs should be submitted via the online form. If the form is unavailable, equivalent information should be sent to the Assistant to the Clerk.  The proposal should include the following information:

  1. Title of the interest group.
  2. Name of the presenter(s), including any affiliations that should be included on the schedule (for example, Director of Casa de los Amigos, FCL-CA lobbyist, etc.).
  3. Brief description:  this will be printed on the IG schedule and should not exceed 75 words. Committees are encouraged to make descriptions as brief as possible and to submit items to the Daily Miracle (the daily newsletter) with more information the day before the IG is held so that it is published on the correct day.
  4. Committee(s) sponsoring the IG.
  5. Anticipated number of IG participants:  this helps the Assistant to the Clerk make room assignments. If unknown or not included, the Assistant to the Clerk will use their best judgement in assigning spaces.
  6. Indicate if the IG requires equipment (projector, screen, etc.), an internet connection, a specific room set-up, or anything else that would need coordination with the Arrangements Committee.
  7. Time or date restrictions:  for example, a presenter will only be at AS on certain days, or scheduling needs to be coordinated with the JYM schedule.
  8. Scheduling conflicts to avoid:  let the Assistant to the Clerk know if this IG should not be scheduled in the same time slot as another IG because, for example, the same committee members need to attend both or many attenders are likely to want to attend both of the IGs.

If some of the information will not be available until after RepCom, the Committee should submit a proposal that is as complete as possible and let the Assistant to the Clerk know when the remaining information will be provided. While things like the names of the presenters, IG title and description can be modified up to 3 weeks before AS, other information from the list, above, must be provided in a timely fashion so that the IG schedule can be drafted and seasoned.

Step 3. Assistant to the Clerk Prepares IG Schedule

After RepCom, the Assistant to the Clerk will prepare a draft IG schedule based on the proposals submitted and in consultation with the Presiding Clerk. The draft schedule will be sent to all IG sponsors for their review and the schedule will be revised taking review comments into account. Once the revised draft is approved by the Presiding Clerk, it will be posted on the PacYM website. Minor modifications may occur at AS.

Assistant to the Clerk 2023: Heather Levien (

2022 RepCom Information

Pacific Yearly Meeting’s 2022 Representative Committee meeting (“RepCom 2022”) took place February 26 and March 5, 2022, via Zoom.  There was also an orientation meeting for Monthly Meeting Representatives on Friday, February 25, via Zoom.

This page contains information and materials that were posted in preparation for RepCom 2022.  The minutes of the meeting are posted on the PacYM Minutes page.  For information about Representative Committee in general and links to information about other years’ meetings see the Representative Committee page.

Continue reading “2022 RepCom Information”

Welcoming Our New Administrative Assistant

A message from the Clerk.

I am happy to announce that we have hired Bronwen Hillman to be Pacific Yearly Meeting’s new Administrative Assistant, beginning December 1, 2021, through August, 2023!

Most Pacific Yearly Meeting Friends will already know Bronwen who has served the yearly meeting in many capacities over the years.  She is currently clerk of the Arrangements Committee and previously clerk of what is now called the Ministry Committee.  This is a two year experiment which we will be evaluating and discerning along with questions about the role of the Yearly Meeting and the work we are called to do.  With deep gratitude to the Ministry Committee, the Search Committee and the 6 people who applied, please join me in welcoming Bronwen to her new role.

Laura Magnani, Clerk

Worship Sharing

Worship Sharing (or Worship-Sharing) is a Quaker group process that “provides an opportunity to reflect deeply on a topic, to build community with others, and to feel the movement of the Spirit within the group.” [PacYM Faith & Practice (2001), p. 206]  Based on a format called “Quaker Dialogue” developed by Rachel Davis DuBois, the practice has evolved to become a staple element of PacYM’s Annual Sessions since the 1960’s.  For many, Worship Sharing is a deeply enriching experience and a highlight of Annual Session.

Worship Sharing groups at Annual Session consist of 6 to 9 Friends who meet daily in open worship, speaking to prepared queries as they are led.  These are the guidelines currently in use:

Worship Sharing Guidelines

The queries are to remind us of some common experiences.  It is usually better to pick one to labor with rather than to try to speak to all the queries provided.  If we are moved by the Spirit to speak on something else close to our hearts, we should follow the Spirit.

We come knowing that we will gather in stillness – to listen, to be still, to share.

We speak from our own experiences and feelings.  Experience, like taste, is real and complete; it is not a subject of discussion, but a window into another life.

We speak for ourselves out of the silence.  We do not answer, debate, disagree, or try to solve someone else’s problem.

We speak once on each round; we may pass or delay our turn.

We listen compassionately, striving to understand the feelings of the person speaking, whose experience and reaction may be very similar or very different from ours.

We take time in the stillness between speakers to hold what we have heard in the Light.

We notice the time to be sure everyone has time to share.  The convener will remind us if we lose track of time while speaking or when it is time to close.

We remember that everything said is confidential.

When the sharing seems complete and everyone has had the opportunity to speak once, we may have time to add to our own earlier contribution, some second thoughts or non-judgmental discussion, still maintaining a worshipful spirit.

New Indigenous Concerns Subcommittee and Survey (due July 31)

A message from the Indigenous Concerns Subcommittee Co-clerks

Dear Friends in PacYM Meetings, Worship Groups, Committees, Quarterly Meetings, and Related Organizations,

In February of this year, Ministry Committee of PacYM approved forming a subcommittee on Indigenous Concerns under its care. You can read more about it in the Indigenous Concerns report to RepCom from March 2021 and on the Indigenous Concerns web page. The subcommittee is still in a formative stage and seeks members and advisors/accountability partners. 

As part of getting going in service to the yearly meeting and all the local meetings, we are starting conversations, creating connections, and learning what Friends in our PacYM region are already doing on this topic, including via a survey.

The purposes of this email are:

1) To introduce this new subcommittee to you all. Aloha! Hola! Hello!

2) To ask you to designate someone to fill out this survey by July 31. (Estimated time to complete: 15-20 minutes.) Please see below for more information about the survey.

3) To invite recommendations and self-nominations of Friends –Indigenous and non-Indigenous– who might like to serve on this subcommittee and of Indigenous Friends who may prefer being an advisor or accountability partner. There is space to submit names on the survey, and anyone is welcome to email us. (Ministry Committee is responsible for appointments to its subcommittees.) Currently no subcommittee members are Indigenous.

4) To ask you to spread the word about how to sign up for the Friends for Right Relationship listserv, an online community of f/Friends, mostly in the US and Canada, for sharing information and asking questions. (See our web page for details on how to join.)

5) And to remind folks about the Braiding Sweetgrass Online Worship Group, currently 1st Mondays, 7-9 pm Pacific, via zoom. All are welcome. Hosted by PacYM Unity with Nature Committee and co-sponsored by Indigenous Concerns Subcommittee and Youth Programs Coordinating Committee. See this post about the worship group and this google doc for updates.

Please read on for more details about the survey:

Survey deadline has been extended to July 31(Estimated time to complete survey: 15-20 minutes.)

This survey is formatted to be filled out by designees from each Meeting/Worship Group, PacYM Committee, Quarterly Meeting, and related Quaker organizations. We look forward to hearing from you! 

Individual Friends may email us any input or questions.

Our intention is to compile a summary of the actions that local meetings, orgs, and committees are taking via our page on the site to promote sharing, networking, learning, and action. We will update the page from time to time as we all learn and grow in these efforts and as meetings, committees, and organizations have new information to share. No individual person’s name or contact info will be shared on the website without prior consent.

Please keep in touch to tell us what you’re already doing and where you’d like support. We can play a connecting role to put meetings/committees/orgs in touch with each other as needs and interests arise. The subcommittee has no expectation that any meeting or organization is trying to take on many of the actions listed in the survey all at once. Continuing revelation can come slowly or in leaps and jumps: we’re all learning and growing into awareness and actions together.

Thank you!

The new PacYM Indigenous Concerns Subcommittee:

  • Lisa Hubbell & Alyssa Nelson, Co-Convenors
  • Sophie Wood Brinker
  • Jim Summers and Gail Eastwood, Liaisons from PacYM Ministry Committee

CONTACT: IndigenousConcernsClerk [at] PacificYearlyMeeting [dot] org 


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.

Continue reading “Braiding Sweetgrass Worship Group”

Clerk’s Call to Pacific Yearly Meeting Annual Session
 July 23 to 28, 2021

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.”
George Fox

Continue reading “Clerk’s Call to Pacific Yearly Meeting Annual Session
 July 23 to 28, 2021”

Clerk’s Call to PacYM Representative Committee 2021

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.

Continue reading “Clerk’s Call to PacYM Representative Committee 2021”