PYM AS 2015 – Closing Plenary

July 18, 2015

We opened with silent worship at 10:07 a.m.

The Clerk welcomed all to the final plenary of the 69th Annual Session of Pacific Yearly Meeting.

Reading Clerk Diego Navarro read excerpts from three yearly meetings’ epistles: New York Yearly Meeting, Lake Erie Yearly Meeting, and Yearly Meeting of Aotearoa/New Zealand (Te Hāhi Tūhauwiri or “”The faith community that stands shaking in the wind of the Spirit.”)

Sarah Tyrrell (Berkeley) gave the report of the Naming Committee: they named David McKenzie (Orange Grove), Delcey Steffy (Sacramento), and Juanita Mora-Malerva (Santa Cruz) as members all to serve three year terms (2018) and Stephen Matchett (San Francisco) and Nora Cooke (Grass Valley) as co-clerks to serve one year terms of Nominating Committee. There is an opening for a one year term yet to be named.

Stephen Matchett (San Francisco) co-clerk of Nominating Committee called attention to the published report. The put forward for consideration of Representative Committee the name of Doug Smith (Reno) for service with the Western Friend Board.

AS Minutes 2015-07 The Pacific Yearly Meeting approved the Nominating Committee report as published.

Anthony Manousos (Orange Grove) clerk of the Peace & Social Order Committee called attention to their report posted online and thanked all for their various roles in carrying out our corporate witness.

AS Minute 2015-08 The Pacific Yearly Meeting acknowledges the receiving of various reports from Yearly Meeting Committees and Representatives which will be attached to the minutes.

We settled into worship upon the news of the death of Lloyd Lee Wilson’s mother yesterday, holding her and the family in the Light.

Hearing our Epistles.

Young Adult Friends Epistle: The epistle was read by J.T. Dorr-Bremme (Orange Grove), currently residing in Mexico City, and is attached. (See Attachment 1).

Junior Yearly Meeting Epistle: Yasmeen Mercer of Berkeley, CA , accompanied by members of Junior Yearly Meeting, read the epistle which is attached (See Attachment 2).

Elementary Epistle: The 12 foot long epistle was read by Reliable Robin Keeler (Live Oak) accompanied by program participants. A facsimile is attached to the minutes (Attachment 3).

Preschool Epistle: This epistle was read by Rebekah Percy (La Jolla). (See Attachment 4)

Middle School Children’s Program Epistle: The program participants led by Santiago Myers (San Francisco) and Sierra Velasquez (Santa Monica) read the Epistle in turn, which provided a picture of their week of learning and other delights. (See Attachment 5)

PYM Epistle: Epistle Committee (Jim Anderson (Chico), clerk, Kate Connell (Santa Barbara), and Margaret Mossman (Berkeley). The Epistle Committee Clerk read the Pacific Yearly Meeting 69th Annual Session Epistle, describing concerns and also the strengths that drew us together. (See Attachment 6)

AS Minute 2015-09 Pacific Yearly Meeting accepts all epistles with gratitude.

Clerk’s Closing Remarks: The clerk feels gratitude for the gifts brought to support him over his three years of service. He found the service of clerking as challenging but spiritually enhancing.

Officers of the Junior Yearly Meeting and Young Adult Friends will be attached to the minutes (Attachment 7).

Minutes were approved with corrections. Meeting closed with a promise of 45 minutes of silent worship, beginning at 11:45 am.

PYM AS 2015 – Called Meeting for Business

Friday, July 17, 2015

The Presiding Clerk, Steven Smith, convened the meeting at 8:30 pm with worship.

The Presiding Clerk reviewed earlier efforts this week on this issue. Thanks were given for the work of the Finance Committee.

Finance Report. Laura Magnani (Strawberry Creek) passed out hard copies of the revised budget, which reflects listening to the comments that have been made. This revision reflects full funding of the delegate, so the Treasurer has the ability to carry out the policies. The full funding was made by using reserves. Therefore the increase in fee per member will no longer be raised to $110 from $95, but to $100 per member, for meetings that are part of SCQM and CPQM. Lesser amounts are assigned for the meetings not in quarterly meetings, Hawaii and Guatemala assessed $41 per member, and Mexico City Meeting assessed $20 per member.

Guidelines are being looked into for travel and expenses in the future. The Finance Committee will start that process.

$9,000 remains the amount for donations to organizations. The Office at the UN line item was put back into the budget.

The current level of reserves is now $122,000, but this amount does not yet reflect contributions to the organizations and some other expenses. Therefore the approximate level of reserves after those expenses is $95,000 to $100,000.

In response to questions some line items were clarified.

In response to a question about the clarification of the meaning of “under the care of,” the Finance Committee indicated that this question is being continuously examined. This phrase needs clarification but cannot be fully resolved in this Meeting for Business, and needs to be deferred to a future time. Roy Allen of the Finance Committee offered to examine the various meanings attached to the phrase “under the care of: in PYM, and to bring that information to Finance Committee.

A discussion ensued on the pros and cons of having a budget that draws upon reserves to match the total travel costs, or using augmentations if needed. Clarifications were made on certain line items of travel.

The Treasurer noted a budget correction in Line 5278, FGC Central Committee. The amount should be changed from $21,000 to $1,000.

The Treasurer requests specific approval for the donations to organizations as listed for this year’s budget be approved for next year’s budget as well.

A request was made to use the Nominating Committee roster for determining the number of delegates reflected in the budget.

The revised budget presented by Finance Committee was approved with one Friend standing aside. The list of donations to organizations as listed for this budget year is also approved for the next year’s budget. (Attachment #1)

AS Minute 2015-06 Pacific Yearly Meeting approves the revised Finance Committee Report.

Minutes were read, corrected and approved.

Announcements were made.

The meeting closed with worship.

PYM AS 2015 -Jose Aguto Address

July 17, 2015

Rick Herbert (Strawberry Creek) and Quaker Earthcare Witness introduced Jose Aguto, Friends Committee on National Committee (FCNL) Legislative Secretary, Sustainable Energy and Environment Program, which seeks to contribute to the restoration of our shared Earth so that every person’s potential may be fulfilled in and through peace, equity and justice.

Currently, Jose is on the advisory committees of Citizens Climate Lobby and the Center for Earth Ethics. Prior to joining FCNL in February 2012, Jose worked for the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) as the Policy Advisor tribal energy, environment, natural resource, and climate change issues. Prior to NCAI he worked to protect and advance tribal sovereignty over their lands, air and water as Senior Policy Advisor at EPA’s American Indian Environmental Office.

He has a B.A. in International Relations from Brown University, and a J.D. from Villanova University School of Law.

Jose Aguto, asking permission to speak after the manner of the Tewa Pueblo, opened with the Holy Spirit prayer: “Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Thy faithful and enkindle in them the fire of Thy love. Send forth Thy Spirit and they shall be created. R. And Thou shalt renew the face of the earth….”

FCNL’s focus is rightly the U.S. Congress, that is pivotal to addressing climate change. FCNL has issued a Call to Conscience on Climate Change:

To solve the problem of climate change, Congress must first acknowledge its existence and the human contribution to it. FCNL is helping legislators have candid, confidential conversations to find bipartisan leaders. Talking to members of Congress about climate change from a faith and moral perspective is a practical, political strategy to establish common ground.

FCNL has found Bill Moyer’s statement to still ring true, that the only antidote to organized money is organized people. Having the Pope on board and about to address the U.S. Congress is a great help in this work

What are values that inform this work? We need to courageously confront the sin of pride that politically blocks progress in facing climate change. The opposite of pride is humility: are we truly humble in confronting our own part in the fossil fuel. He read from Thomas Kelly’s Holy Obedience: “Humility does not rest, in final count, upon bafflement and discouragement and self-disgust at our shabby lives, a brow-beaten, dog-slinking attitude. It rests upon the disclosure of the consummate wonder of God, upon finding that only God counts, that all our own self-originated intentions are works of straw. And so in lowly humility we must stick close to the Root and count our own powers as nothing except as they are enslaved in His power.”

The program leads advocacy efforts that are morally based, multi-faith, non-partisan and grassroots inspired, recognizing that bridges must be built across the partisan divides about climate disruption, for meaningful solutions to flow. Our Call to Conscience on Climate Disruption – based on the premise that a problem cannot be solved unless first admitted – is focused on manifesting soon, an official bipartisan declaration in Congress that climate disruption is real and human-caused and requires action.

Jose noted that he is but a channel in working with Congress; constituents are the vital connection that gains him access and authority. Communicating often with your members of Congress and thanking them when they take a step forward are important steps.

50 Quaker and other delegations have met with moderate Republican members of Congress to get them to introduce and co-sponsor a Congressional resolution naming climate change as real and as needing Congressional action. In September 2014 Rep. Chris Smith (NY) introduced the resolution and wanted ten more Republicans to sign onto it. FCNL is working with the Senate for a companion resolution.

Jose Aguto exhorted us to join humbly in this work that seeks to restore the face of the earth.

PYM AS 2015 – Meeting for Business III

Friday, July 17, 2015

We began with worship at 8:45 am.

Epistle Reading: Diego Navarro (Santa Cruz), Reading Clerk, read the epistle of Britain Yearly Meeting 2014, University of Bath.

Visitors. One visitor introduced herself: Kevan Insko, Friends Committee on Legislation of California (FCLCA).

Ministry and Oversight Committee’s Abuse Protection Policy has been pulled off the table for further consideration and revision. It will come to the 2016 Representative Committee. The Clerk announced that the Finance Committee topics may be deferred to a called Meeting for Business after family night this evening.

The Presiding Clerk read a quote from George Fox on good order in Meeting for Business:

On Good Order in Meeting for Business

Now dear Friends, let there be no strife in your meetings, nor vain janglings nor disputings . . . . In all matters of business, or difference, or controversies, treat one another in such things kindly and gently, and be not fierce, or heady and high minded . . . Be careful in all your meetings that they be kept peaceable, in the wisdom of God, which is pure, peaceable and easy to be entreated . . .that, being ordered by the pure, gentle, heavenly, peaceable wisdom, easy to be entreated, they may be holy and virtuous examples to all others. Let all be careful to speak shortly and pertinently to matters in a Christian spirit, and dispatch business quickly and keep out of long debates and heats; and with the help of the Spirit of God, keep that down which is about questions and strife of words and tends to parties and contention.” -George Fox, Institution of the Discipline, 1683

Friends General Conference (FGC). Barry Crossno, Executive Director, thanked supporters of FGC. The FGC Gathering was recently held near Ashville, NC, with some 1400 in attendance. Videos of some speakers from that gathering are available online. Next year’s Gathering will be in northern Minnesota. Barry invited all to visit the FGC website for information. FGC’s Quaker Books revenue has been declining. The service will not close and decisions are happening about how it will adjust. Central Committee is making those decisions. The way to help is to buy books. The experiment of moving Quaker Books to Pendle Hill seems to be doing well.

Latin America Concerns Committee (LACC) and Peace and Social Order Committee (P&SO). Donna Smith of LACC, Anthony Manousos of P&SO and Lynnette Arnold of the Child Refugee and Migration Subcommittee presented the minute for approval. The minute was approved.

AS Minute 2015-04. Pacific Yearly Meeting approved this minute

Those gathered at the 2015 Annual Session of Pacific Yearly Meeting support the efforts of the Latin American Concerns Committee and numerous other Friends who are seeking justice and showing compassion toward those who are fleeing the violence in their home countries and need a place of refuge in the United States. We encourage monthly meetings and individual Friends to read the minutes passed by Monthly Meetings and take them to heart. We also encourage Friends to support the efforts of American Friends Service Committee and Friends Committee on National Legislation to promote just and compassionate policies toward immigrants.”

Unity with Nature (UWN). Muriel Strand (Sacramento) and Catherine de Neergaard (Strawberry Creek), Co-clerks of UWN, read the minute concerning divestment of fossil fuel companies.

Several comments were made concerning the level of commitment in divesting oneself of fossil fuel support. Also mentioned was that a next step may include divestment in anything nuclear. After several comments the Presiding Clerk noted that, although considerable support exists for the idea, there is not unity at this time. A proposal was made that a revised minute may be approved. The minute was redrafted and approved.

AS Minute 2015-05. Pacific Yearly Meeting approved this minute with one person standing aside.

We hold a deep concern for over reliance and investment in fossil fuels. We ask that monthly meetings and individuals engage in discernment on how to reduce their dependence and investment in fossil fuels. Meetings and individuals are asked to share their efforts with the greater community.

Friends World Committee for Consultation (FWCC). Roena Oesting (La Jolla), Hulda Muaka (Palo Alto), Anthony Manousos (Orange Grove), and Jan Turner (Humboldt) presented the report. Roena Oesting reminded attenders that not all Friends are like those in PYM, which is on “the outer fringes.” The Quaker family is very diverse and often members are not accepting of those different from themselves. FWCC is the one body that tries to talk to all Friends of all varieties around the world in a loving manner. “If we cannot make peace within our own family how can we make peace in the world?” Several perspectives of other meetings in Latin America were shared. Anthony Manousos (Orange Grove) described the diversity of meetings overseas. He has a power point presentation to share from those experiences. Hulda Muaka (Palo Alto) announced the next FWCC gathering will be in Peru next January. She described the theme and the invitation to delegates and showed some of the items whose sale will support the attendance of Peruvians to that gathering. Jan Turner (Humboldt) reported that FWCC is going through a reorganization, reducing its staff and relying more upon volunteers. She urged support of FWCC.

Discipline Committee Report. DJ Bloom (Appleseed), Discipline Committee Clerk, described the process that the committee has begun. The queries circulated to PYM Meetings and Worship Groups, asking them to reflect upon the current Faith and Practice just the first round; more queries will follow. Roughly one third of the meetings have responded and others are encouraged to do so. The Committee appreciates the responses received. Many respondents expressed the value of newly studying Faith and Practice.

DJ read the letter that the Committee initially sent to all meetings and Quaker groups to remind all what was requested.

Nominating Committee update. Stephen Matchett (San Francisco), Co-clerk of Nominating Committee, shared the latest developments. He mentioned a few positions that still needed to be filled.

Registrar’s report. Sarah Tyrell (Berkeley) and Joyce Samati (Strawberry Creek), Registrars, said the report is available on the website. Brylie Oxley, webmaster residing in Finland, was thanked for getting items on the website promptly. The Registrars itemized the numbers of attendees from various groups. The total this year is 303, which is 22 more than last year. They also made a call for application for registrar contractors.

Friends Committee on Legislation in California. Kevan Insko, Director of Outreach and Development, described the organization that represents Quaker values in Sacramento. She noted President Obama’s visit to a prison yesterday where he also asked for reform. There seems to be a movement in the direction of reform. She described some criminal justice reform bills that FCLCA is supporting. This week it was reported that one third of Californians live in poverty. FCLCA is supporting actions that provide relief to those living under the burden of poverty. FCLCA also supports actions protecting the environment, demonstrated by the Green Day last Monday at the legislature. In particular, she noted the support of a clean water bill now being brought to the legislature. FCLCA needs support to continue the work. Kevan described how help can be given. Bill numbers and descriptions are on the FCLCA website.

An important fundraiser for FCLCA is the Harvest Festival each September produced by Palo Alto and San Jose meetings. Donations of books and nice stuff is needed for that event.

Draft Epistle. Kate Connell (Santa Barbara), Jim Anderson (Chico), and Margaret Mossman (Berkeley) reported. Jim described the purpose of the epistle, which is to try to provide a sense of the gathering. The draft was read. The draft will be posted at the back of the plenary tent and on the wall next to the cafeteria. A suggestions box will be placed next to the Dining Hall after this meeting.

Finance Committee. The issues remaining were deferred until the called meeting at 8:30 this evening.

Minutes. The minutes were read, corrected and approved.

The meeting concluded with worship.

PYM AS 2015 – Meeting for Business II

July 16, 2015

We opened in worship at 8:45 a.m.

The Presiding Clerk read the traveling minute for Paula Palmer (Boulder, Colorado, Intermountain Yearly Meeting) who is traveling under the concern about right relationships with indigenous peoples.

AS Minute 2015-01 Pacific Yearly Meeting approves having the clerk endorse this travel minute.

The Clerk then read the traveling minute for Friends General Conference General Secretary Barry Crossno, (Arch Street Meeting, Philadelphia Yearly Meeting).

AS Minute 2015-02 Pacific Yearly Meeting approves having the clerk endorse this travel minute.

Reading Clerk Diego Navarro (Santa Cruz) read the epistle from Baltimore Yearly Meeting.

The minutes from Meeting for Business I were read, corrected, and approved.

The Clerk announced that Lloyd Lee Wilson had to leave the Annual Session due to a family health emergency. We entered worship, holding Lloyd Lee Wilson and his family in the Light.

Stephen Matchett (San Francisco), Co-Clerk of Nominating Committee, presented updates to Tuesday’s report for seasoning until Saturday. Friends may bring any concerns to Committee members. The updates are attached to the minutes and were posted outside the dining hall.

Julie Harlow (Davis), David Lederman (Orange County), and Barbara Babin (Redwood Forest) of Ministry and Oversight Committee read the State of the Society report gathered from 28 Meetings and three worship groups. The report will be posted to the Yearly Meeting website and attached to the minutes.

Unity with Nature Committee Co-Clerks Catya de Neergaard (Strawberry Creek) and Muriel Strand (Sacramento) called attention to their report posted on the Yearly Meeting website. They then introduced the June 2015 Facing the Challenge of Climate Change created and signed onto by many Friends’ bodies which declares, “as members of this beautiful human family, we seek meaningful commitments from our leaders and ourselves, to address climate change for our shared future, the Earth and all species, and the generations to come.” Six PYM Monthly Meetings have endorsed this call: Delta, Humboldt, Strawberry Creek, Honolulu, Palo Alto, and Sacramento. A concern was expressed for the statement’s lack of mention of the role that nuclear power plays in creating adverse climate change. Also what actions Friends might take seem to be absent. This call is not an action in itself but relies on us as individuals and as corporate bodies to carry out implementing actions. Two Friends stood aside and released the Yearly Meeting to act.

AS Minute 2015-03 Pacific Yearly Meeting approves endorsing as a first step the “Facing the Challenge Climate Change” statement.

Ministry and Oversight Report State of the Society: Trees And Truth

This State of the Society summary report for Pacific Yearly Meeting is based on the State of the Meeting reports of 28 Meetings and 3 Worship Groups for the 2014-2015 year.  

Meetings and Worship Groups overall report a sense of spiritual depth and fulfillment from their efforts worshiping, discerning and experiencing together the Spirit.  Although many reports conveyed challenges, none indicated things were bad.   As Quakers that are part of the liberal, unprogrammed tradition we are positive and, in most instances, joyful.

Nearly every Meeting/Worship Group, however, indicated they were dealing with some form of the circumstance our branch of the Society finds itself in:  We are a self-run, volunteer faith that rarely proselytizes or advertises. In many instances we struggle to make the wider world aware of our presence.  Perhaps as a result, our numbers are dwindling, those that are part of us are aging and we struggle to fill committee memberships (and rarely lay committees down).

But while there is a common sense of ongoing concern and fragility, there is also a very solid, consistent core.  And there is a sense of optimism and hope for the future.

The metaphor that was touched upon in several of the reports was that of a tree:  There are references to “strong roots”, “sprouting buds”, “greening”, experiencing the cycles and rhythms of life, and producing nourishing fruit.

Here are some other themes and quotes that reflect the state of our society this past year:

Meeting Space

Many Meetings understandably have either dealt with, are dealing with or will deal with Meeting space issues.  Not every Meeting has its own Meetinghouse. Whether renting or owning, each presents its own rewards and challenges.

“Building a Meetinghouse continues to be a focus and a goal of our meeting.”  Inland Valley MM 

“Our meeting site has been under renovation.  We are grateful that we have a good relationship with the landlord.”  Marloma Long Beach MM

“Certain issues regarding the funding of specific programs and around our inherited property have challenged us. Our unity is sometimes bold, sometimes more threadbare.”  San Francisco MM

“Over the past year, many of our hopes and concerns have revolved around our physical place of worship. Many members express a longing or yearning for a permanent, OCFM-owned meetinghouse. There are mixed feelings about the wisdom of taking on the upkeep, labor, and financial obligations of owning our own property.”  Orange County MM

Outreach/Work In The Community

Regardless of the size of the Meeting/Worship Group, Friends in Pacific Yearly Meeting are involved and engaged in a wide array of activities to try to help make the world better.  Perhaps because technology has become so accessible, many Meeting/Worship Groups have worked on or revised their websites this year.

“…Peace & Social Concerns Committee created an Annual Calendar of Community Actions, which identifies Meeting’s participation in monthly events in accord with Quaker Testimonies.”  Honolulu MM

“Worship and Ministry Committee brought forward the theme: An Experiment in Radical Hospitality: spiritual hospitality, environmental hospitality (serving people and the planet), and personal hospitality.  How do we share what is important to us?”  Davis MM

“We recognize the value of service as a meeting, but are also aware that true service should be rooted in spirit.”  Humboldt MM

“…we need to think about how to help people understand what we do and why it happens this way. We might think of the Christian metaphor of “laying the table” and connect to the “slow food” concept as a sort of marketing strategy:  Quakerism is slow, deliberate, rich, and deep.”  Orange County MM

“We are aware of how busy we all seem to be, as we wish for clarity in order that we are not merely busy but expressing the Spirit’s movement among us.”  Palo Alto MM

Meeting Community

Meetings spend a lot of time on community and community connections.  Meetings are always navigating a line of being mindful that community exists to help us grow into the Spirit together, not as an end unto itself.  This is a challenge because our Meetings are a welcoming home to many.  But it seems many Meetings within PYM are a place where community is rooted in Spirit and thus very nourishing.

“We in Berkeley Meeting continue to strive to discern how we are led corporately and individually to grow in the Spirit with one another.”  Berkeley MM

“We continue our Friendly Eights pot lucks, and care for members that need our support and our young people. Last year we began a group for the grade 6-9 age young people named by them EQYSOF (Epic Quaker Youth Society of Fun). They feel a part of the Meeting and love having their own group.”  Sacramento MM

Good Order

Although we struggle from time to time with difficult issues, differences in theological and political perspectives, and interpersonal conflicts, Friends labor faithfully with one another in the search for the guidance of the Spirit and find great joy in the resulting unity.

The Spirit moves within us during our two weekly meetings for worship, and we take joy in good Quaker order during our monthly meetings for business and the work of our committees.” Palo Alto MM

Marin Friends Monthly Meeting will be laid down as of Twelfth month, 21st day, 2014. We are sad that we cannot continue to function as a Monthly Meeting; proud of what Friends of this meeting have accomplished; and pleased that (after a multi-year process) we have reached unity on our way forward.” Marin MM

Pain from past conflicts within the meeting still lingers, evoking such responses as: “We’re dwindling because of hurt feelings that we haven’t worked with yet” and, “We need to be kinder to each other.” Claremont MM

Our Meetings for Business continue to be a shared time of worship and care for our Meeting…. Spirit continues to prevail with help from silence and listening, and we are careful to show kind regard for one another.” Reno MM

This has been a year for deep spiritual searching within. During the last 2 years the document, Intentions for the Betterment of Honolulu Friends Meeting, was developed and finally affirmed. It lends words and queries to our efforts at right relationship in our Meeting…” Honolulu MM

Attendance at our Meetings for Business increased and those Meetings reflected careful presentations by our dedicated committee work and by our growing ability to listen more deeply to one another.” Redwood Forest MM

Over the past several years, we have struggled together with a number of difficult, soul wrenching issues. True to our Beanite heritage, we keep coming back to the table to labor with one another. While we have not been able to resolve some painful issues, we continue to listen to one another and work towards solutions.” Santa Cruz MM

Rhythms Of Life

As mentioned previously, death, dying, aging and the challenges of a limited number of hands to do the work of the Meetings was a common theme to all.  In particular, though, our community seemed to suffer the falling of some old trees (i.e. long-time, stalwart Members…anchors of many communities).

“Must advancing age or diminishing strength remove F/friends from having a presence and voice in our Meeting? Can we restore kindness and love among us and conduct our business in a way that does not lead to over-commitment and burnout?”  Claremont MM

“The rhythm of life brings loss to our meeting: deaths of Friends and of those dear to members in our community….We support each other in these times making room for the Spirit to bring healing and peace…The Spirit moves in our lives. We celebrate the cycles of life and our Meeting together, and listen for how we are led to change and grow to meet the coming years.”  Palo Alto MM

New Worship Groups

One monthly Meeting was laid down this year (Marin) and four new worship groups are forming:  Livermore Worship Group under the care of Berkeley Meeting, Carson City Worship Group under the care of Reno Meeting, and Western Shore Worship Group under the care of San Francisco Meeting.  In addition, Strawberry Creek Meeting reports that an informal worship group has formed in Contra Costa.

“The outgrowth of the Western Shore Worship Group has allowed another earlier time for Meeting for Worship to be offered, at 9:30am, and in another San Francisco location.”  San Francisco MM

Summary

There is a sense of optimism and bright future for our Society here in our region.  Many Meetings have overcome struggles of personal or Meeting House issues and have emerged looking to the future, for growth…

“Humboldt Friends Meeting is infused with energy, and blessed with new attenders. Our focus on bringing others into our community during the last few years may be manifesting results. Several people, including younger adults, have come to explore what meeting has to offer, and stayed.”  Humboldt MM

“A healthy meeting is like an orange tree. It has deep roots, a strong trunk, wide spreading branches, fragrant blossoms and nourishing fruit. We strive to bring this metaphor to life at Orange Grove Meeting.”  Orange Grove MM

Overall, 2014 was a year when Redwood Forest Friends Meeting planted a variety of seeds that sprouted buds, and that with proper tending can yield strong shoots and full foliage in the future.”  Redwood Forest MM

PYM AS 2015 – Quaker Earthcare Witness Statement

The Statement below was developed by Quaker Earthcare Witness, the Quaker United Nations Office, and Friends Committee on National Legislation for their joint presence at events during the UN Climate Summit in September 2014.

A number of fellow Quaker organizations wished to add their name, including FWCC, which sent the Statement out to Quaker communities worldwide. As a result we continue to receive signatures, which we add to the Statement, uploading the most recent versions onto the QEW and QUNO websites.

Three concerns have arisen in this process. Some meetings have asked us to give the Statement longer life by making it non­date specific, so that it can continue to be seen as relevant. Others encouraged language that was less anthropocentric. Still others felt that to be truthful we should more strongly acknowledge the grave dangers we face from climate change.

We have attempted to do this, while holding to the core message that Quaker Meetings and organizations have already signed the statement.

If you wish to add your Meeting to this Statement, please contact Lindsey Cook as suggested at the end of the Statement.

If you do not wish to sign, but wish to use this material as a base for a Meeting­specific statement, you are most welcome, but please take off the signatures.

In peace and with gratitude,

QEW, QUNO and FCNL June 2015

June 2015: Facing the Challenge of Climate Change: A shared statement by Quaker groups

It would go a long way to caution and direct people in their use of the world, that they were better studied and knowing in the Creation of it. For how could [they] find the confidence to abuse it, while they should see the great Creator stare them in the face, in all and every part of it?”

William Penn, 1693

As Quakers, we are called to work for the peaceable Kingdom of God on the whole Earth, in right sharing with all peoples.[1] We recognize a moral duty to cherish Creation for future generations.

We call on our leaders to make the radical decisions needed to create a fair, sufficient and effective international climate change agreement.

As Quakers, we understand anthropogenic climate change (climate change due to human activities) to be a symptom of a greater challenge: how to live sustainably and justly on this Earth.

We recognize that the current rise of greenhouse gas emissions is leading to an unprecedented rate of increase in global average surface temperature of extreme detriment to the Earth’s ecosystems and species, including human beings.

We recognize that catastrophic global climate change is not inevitable if we choose to act urgently.

We recognize a personal and collective responsibility to ensure that the poorest and most vulnerable peoples now, and all our future generations, do not suffer as a consequence of our actions. We see this as a call to conscience.

We recognize the connections between climate change and global economic injustice as well as unprecedented levels of consumption, and question assumptions of unlimited material growth on a planet with limited natural resources.

We recognize that most greenhouse gas emissions are created by fossil fuel combustion. We recognize that our increasing population continues to pursue fossil fuel­dependent economic growth. We recognize that the Earth holds more fossil fuel reserves than are safe to burn, and

that the vast majority of fossil fuel reserves must remain in the ground if we are to prevent the catastrophic consequences of climate change. We therefore question profoundly the continued investment in, and subsidizing of, fossil fuel extraction.

We seek to nurture a global human society that prioritizes the well­being of people over profit, and lives in right relationship with our Earth; a peaceful world with fulfilling employment, clean air and water, renewable energy, and healthy thriving communities and ecosystems.

As members of this beautiful human family, we seek meaningful commitments from our leaders and ourselves, to address climate change for our shared future, the Earth and all species, and the generations to come. We see this Earth as a stunning gift that supports life. It is our only home. Let us care for it together.

Quakers in Ghana
Quakers in Britain
Living Witness, UK EcoQuakers Ireland
Quakers in Australia Quakers in Denmark Norway Yearly Meeting Quaker Service Australia Netherlands Yearly Meeting Miami Friends Meeting, USA Quaker Institute for the Future Memphis Friends Meeting, USA New York Yearly Meeting, USA Quaker Concern for Animals, UK Quaker Earthcare Witness (QEW) Newtown Monthly Meeting, USA Croton Valley Meeting, NY, USA Quakers in Aotearoa New Zealand FWCC­ Asia West Pacific Section Cookeville Monthly Meeting, USA Eugene Friends Meeting, OR, USA Winnipeg Monthly Meeting, Canada Lafayette Friends Meeting, IN, USA Princeton Friends Meeting, NJ, USA Nashville Friends Meeting, TN, USA Trenton Meeting of Friends, NJ, USA

Humboldt Friends Meeting, CA, USA Honolulu Monthly Meeting, HI, USA
Santa Fe Monthly Meeting, NM, USA Westtown Monthly Meeting, PN, USA Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre, UK
Quaker United Nations Office (QUNO)
Palo Alto Friends Meeting, CA, USA Sacramento Friends Meeting, CA, USA
Chena Ridge Friends Meeting, AL, USA Salmon Bay Friends Meeting, WA, USA Belgium & Luxembourg Yearly Meeting Northampton Friends Meeting, MA, USA Yellow Springs Friends Meeting, OH, USA
Delta Monthly Meeting, Stockton, CA, USA Strawberry Creek Monthly Meeting, CA, USA Canadian Friends Service Committee (CFSC) American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) Quaker Council for European Affairs (QCEA) Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) Friends World Committee for Consultation (FWCC) South Central Yearly Meeting (TX, OK, AR, LA), USA

Please contact Lindsey Cook at lfcook@quno.ch if you need more information, or wish to add your Quaker group.

[1] Kabarak Call to Peace and Eco­Justice, 2012, p. 1

PYM AS 2015 – Listening Session

LISTENING SESSION

Wednesday July 15, 2015

(Notes, not minutes)

Shayne Lightner (Santa Monica) member of Ministry & Oversight Committee clerked the session that began at 8:50 a.m.

Lynnette Arnold (Santa Barbara) from the Subcommittee on Child Refugee and Migration reported that the subcommittee has met 25 times. Six Meetings have approved minutes on this matter of concern (Inland, Redwood Forest, Humboldt, Santa Monica, Orange Grove, and La Jolla). She read the minute of support that LACC and the Peace & Social Order Committee have proposed. It is posted on the Pacific Yearly Meeting website.

Appreciation was expressed for the Committee having done the minute right, going to local Meetings, encouraging direct support action and caring out activities (such as going to a Texan detention center, working with local detainees, and exploring work with AFSC and FCNL).

Another suggested support activity would be to go to immigration court hearings (which requires both sides to give permission to attend) and listen to the stories and experiences expressed there while showing outside concern for the proceedings.

A question was raised about the portion of unaccompanied minors in the migration. In 2014, this group was the largest of all, followed by the group of mothers with small children. The interest group this afternoon will answer questions more fully.

This minute supports work being carried out by members of the Yearly Meeting.

The subcommittee’s work focuses on children and family detention. The prisons are private entities and this issue needs to be addressed.

Is the work of LACC seeking a path to citizenship, or to give out green cards? US will have to support these children and families. Monthly Meetings need to address these questions but also need to think more about the moral rightness of addressing this migration.

There is a piece on the PYM website, and a briefer note in an issue of Western Friend regarding the moral issues surrounding child migration. The subcommittee has tried to keep spiritual and moral values in the front of its work, as have the six minutes from the Meetings.

Sacramento Friends Meeting has underwritten some legal fees for persons representing migrating children: is this occurring elsewhere in the Yearly Meeting? Some local governments have underwritten these costs and the committee has information for those wanting to check out their local area’s response.

La Bestia DVD will be shown this evening. There will be time for hearing what La Casa de los Amigos is doing.

A Friend suggested that the section on calling for Meetings to act be more explicit in strongly calling for discernment on what a Meeting is led to do in response to this situation.

Abuse Protection Policy: Barbara Babin (Redwood Forest) of Ministry and Oversight Committee presented the background and asked to hear concerns and questions about the Abuse Protection Policy. Several years ago the Yearly Meeting’s insurance company came up with requirements for qualifying for continuing insurance coverage for working with youth.

A Friend expressed appreciation to the Committee for its work. A question was asked about the company collecting the data: is it sharing it with anyone else? The Committee will check out that question.

One Friend served last week in abuse protection at FGC and underwent training ahead of that service. This might be a good thing for Yearly Meeting to do. He expressed a hope that Friends might also address the “ban the box” (movement to end practice in which felons can’t be hired when checking a box on a hiring application).

A step seems missing in banning an attender who has been guilty of abuse from Annual Session: can their participation be restored by some means—perhaps through the local M&O working with them? Might participation in banning someone lead to the decision-maker(s) being criticized, or the person being removed from relevant future service?

What does the policy say about consensual sex between minors? M&O said they would look at the California Penal Code for guidance.

One Friend shared his experience of being told that comforting/hugging a male child while on his lap could be perceived as dangerous: are we responding out of fear with these policies?

This policy is adequate for the insurance company but not for our community. Are we clear that when someone is labeled as a sex offender, that is an extremely broad brush? A key aspect is to be aware of the power relationships. Sometimes the adult reactions can be as harmful as the event itself. We should teach kids to resist exploitation or power plays. The way confidentiality is carried out should not induce shame and guilt.

A Friend called for M&O to be available to those present whose past experiences might lead them to be experiencing trauma/emotional upheaval at this time.

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Finance Committee: Statton Jaquette (Palo Alto), Clerk of Finance Committee, called attention to their report (posted on the website). Questions and comments:

Are you recommending reducing the number of representatives to two? Not this year, but we will let attrition get it down to two.

M&O several years ago had been asked to look into the number of delegates appropriate for each Quaker organization: should we do this based on financial consideration (as proposed here) or should some body such as M&O discern? Stratton said we cannot afford to fully fund the maximum number of delegates.

Nominating and M&O did do discernment and those considerations do not seem to be present in this discussion, so maybe this can be carried over to March 2016 RepCom and in the meantime, the three Committees might meet over this matter. Finance Committee said that M&O’s recommendations in the past were not approved and Finance Committee does not have all the information on the number of times a group meets nor the costs. It has had to ask for an augmentation when the expenses went over those budgeted.

The worth of going as representatives to FWCC or FCNL has more value to the individuals, the organizations, and the Yearly Meeting than may be reflected in the financial determinations being made.

QEW has two delegates that need to go to several meetings a year whose costs may exceed the budgeted amount. The Finance Committee does not know the value of representatives who often are not given Plenary time to report back.

Unity with Nature (UWN) report (the following summary was read by UWN):

Much of UWN’s activity since the 2014 annual gathering has been described in our Report to Representative Committee.

We are presenting two proposals to plenary. The first is signing “Facing the Challenge of Climate Change: A shared statement by Quaker groups” which was developed by QEW, QUNO, and FCNL. At of early June, at least five PYM monthly meetings have joined their voices to this inspiring statement of Unity. The five meetings are Palo Alto Friends Meeting, Sacramento Friends Meeting, Strawberry Creek Monthly Meeting, Humboldt Friends Meeting, and Honolulu Monthly Meeting. The statement will be available on our PYM website and on our information table at annual session, and attached to the minutes.

The second proposal is a minute advocating divestment of fossil fuel energy stocks as a strategy for slowing climate change. We are aware of at least two PYM monthly meetings, Strawberry Creek and Sacramento, who have come to Unity on a divestment statement or minute. We understand from Treasurer Roy Allen that “PYM has no investments in fossil fuel companies, either directly or indirectly. Our investments at Friends Fiduciary are in their Green Fund.” So, we will be asking for a statement of unity to the effect that “PYM has no investments in fossil fuel companies and will not be making any investments in fossil fuel companies in the foreseeable future. We urge other Quaker groups to consider doing the same, taking, if necessary, up to five years to do so. We further encourage individuals to consider divesting their own portfolios of fossil fuels.”

Our offer of developing an optional DIY carbon tax as part of the 2015 annual gathering registration process, was accepted by Representative Committee. We thank the Registrar for including this in the online procedure. Friends were able to select the tax they felt to be appropriate for them, based on approximate estimates of CO2 (typically several hundred pounds) generated by individuals’ travel for annual gathering. These funds will be used for Earthcare purposes according to UWN committee unity.

We received no responses to our invitations to apply for a 2015 UWN mini-grant. We share a report on the outcome of our 2014 mini-grant to Casa de los Amigos in support of their rainwater storage system, on our information table this week. Friends can also find there other Earthcare information and homemade items for those wishing to donate to future mini-grants and other UWN efforts.

We are very excited that Jose Aguto, FCNL’s Legislative Secretary of Sustainable Energy and Environment Program, is joining us this year and will give a plenary talk on Friday at 3:30 PM.  UWN is sponsoring an interest group given by Jose Aguto called, ‘The Climate Change Challenge: Legislative Possibilities and Earthcare Action’ – on Wednesday right after lunch. We hope that his advice and counsel is inspiring and useful to Friends.

We offer two Interest Groups this year:

  • Walking the Land: Listening to Nature: Getting to know the flora and fauna of Walker Creek while opening our senses and centering down into our bodies, a part of nature. Through directed experiment to centering in silence, we Worship in Unity with Nature.
  • Greening the Meeting, Greening Our Lives: Discerning and Living Our Earthcare Testimony: A presentation about levels of sustainability will be followed by queries and discussion about what we may be called to do, individually and collectively. Queries will include the ‘Three Challenges’ developed recently by QEW’s Sustainability, Faith, and Action Working Group, as well as reports from participants about what they and their meetings have already accomplished, and their hopes for the future.

Our mission statement and proposed charter revision of October 25, 2014 will be posted

on our PYM website. We are in unity that the two PYM representatives to QEW are also ex officio members of Unity with Nature Committee.  We thank PYM for supporting the work of QEW—the unfolding of the Earthcare testimony—by continuing to support PYM’s two representatives to attend the twice yearly QEW conferences.We are dedicated to continue giving support for and information about living our felt Earthcare testimony.

We sponsored Interest Groups at College Park Quarterly Meeting.  At spring quarterly at Ben Lomond, Robin Keeler and Cedar Selenite presented exploring embodiment in nature using non-violent communication processes.

As outgoing co-clerks, we devoutly hope that PYM will seek discernment about how the committee can best support Friends’ future Earthcare ideas and sustainability goals.

Friends who are interested in Earthcare may be interested in the fall conference of Quaker Earthcare Witness [QEW] – Thursday October 22nd to Sunday 25th at beautiful Ben Lomond Quaker Center, which is open to all.  Friends are especially encouraged to come on Saturday the 24th for a day of inspiring speakers, workshops, and worship in Unity with Nature.  On Wednesday the 21st and the morning of the 22nd, QEW is planning some hands-on projects for wise stewardship of the land.

We are honored to have had the privilege of this service. Thank you.

Respectfully submitted by:

  • Muriel Strand, co-clerk Sacramento Meeting
  • Catya de Neergaard, co-clerk Strawberry Creek Meeting

PYM AS 2015 – Meeting For Business I

MEETING FOR BUSINESS I

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

The meeting began at 3:15 pm with worship.

Epistle. Diego Navarro (Santa Cruz), Reading Clerk, read an epistle from the 120th Northwest Yearly Meeting of Friends, held at George Fox University at Newberg, Oregon. It will be posted on the website.

Naming Committee. Sarah Tyrell (Berkeley), Convener of the Naming Committee, noted that the Naming Committee is also charged with naming the co-clerks of Nominating Committee. Stephen Matchett (San Francisco) and Nora Cooke (Grass Valley) are nominated co-clerks. Sarah also listed those who are continuing as members of the Nominating Committee.

Nominating Committee. Stephen Matchett (San Francisco), co-clerk of Nominating Committee, provided attendees with hard copies of the report, including the first reading of the proposed slate. In addition to filling positions, the Nominating Committee has updated PYM job descriptions—with special thanks to Carl Anderson (Strawberry Creek). At the Committee Fair there will be a binder of those job descriptions available at their table. Also at the table will be an opportunity to offer your volunteer services to PYM. Stephen listed the members of the committee who are attending Annual Session and encouraged those interested in serving to speak with a member of Nominating Committee. A junior arrangements clerk is needed. Another area of concern is the need to fill positions in the Children Programs Committee. Youth Program Coordinating Committee (YPCC) shows one vacancy. Two present members have volunteered to serve an additional term, but new volunteers are needed on the YPCC. Stephen also provided an explanation of the process of listing Donna Smith (Redwood Forest) as clerk of Latin America Concerns Committee (LACC).

Ministry and Oversight (M&O) Report. Bronwen Hillman (Mexico City), Clerk of Ministry and Oversight Committee, said the complete report is posted on the Pacific Yearly Meeting website. She noted three items:

  1. Roena Oesting (La Jolla), has been approved as the Visiting Friend for this next year. She will be visiting meetings and worship groups. The Visiting Friend Support Subcommittee will be contacting monthly meetings about her visiting them.
  2. Annual Session 2016 is scheduled for Friday through Wednesday, June 17th through June 22nd. The change in schedule to Friday through Wednesday is a two-year trial and its success will be evaluated.
  3. The revised PYM Abuse Protection Policy 2015 Final Draft is posted on the PYM website. Approximately half the document provides a process for dealing with abuse complaints.

Statistical Report. Statistical Co-clerks, Don Bean (Conejo Valley) and Lee Knutsen (Live Oak), started their presentation with some statistical humor including a math challenge. A 10-year review of PYM membership changes, and the number and types of changes per Meeting, will be available on the Pacific Yearly Meeting website.

Treasurer’s Report. Roy Allen (Berkeley), Treasurer, presented the report and provided hard copies for those who wished. He summarized the revenue and expenses broadly which seemed on target compared to previous years. The balance is healthy. However the Annual Session 2014 income and expenses resulted in a reduction in reserves.

Finance Report. Stratton Jaquette (Palo Alto), Clerk of the Finance Committee, reported that the Finance Committee had been charged with bringing forward a revised donations plan to a selection of Quaker organizations. He read the proposal which reflects vigorous discussions during Representative Committee meeting in February. Stratton described the travel policy to date for delegates and how it affected some of the Finance Committee recommendations. Due to the previous practice of not fully budgeting delegate travel, the Finance Committee is recommending for next year’s budget to limit delegates to a maximum of two per organizations and fully funding them. Two exceptions were made: three delegates are suggested to Western Friend and three delegates are recommended to Friends World Committee for Consultation (FWCC). Comments from the floor included a suggestion to carry the topic over to the Listening Session.

Only a few committees responded to Finance Committee inquiries regarding their needs for the next fiscal year. Stratton described the changes included in the proposed budget. Based on the statistical report data, the new requested amount per member next year would be $110.

A Finance Committee member researched transportation costs and means for getting to Annual Session from the various Monthly Meetings, to compensate for the additional costs of travel from Southern California Quarterly Walker Creek Ranch. The details are included in the report, which is posted online. Further discussion will happen during the Listening Session on Wednesday. A comment was made that the four meetings falling outside the two quarterly meetings should also be considered.

The full Finance Committee Report is posted on the YM website.

Youth Program Coordinating Committee (YPCC). Jim Summers (La Jolla), Mary Klein (Palo Alto), Alyssa Nelson (Davis), and Steve Leeds (San Francisco) gave a summary report, noting that the full report is posted on the PYM website. Jim described the committee’s activities, including grants. Sixteen grant applications were received this year, twelve of which were funded. They also co-sponsored and partially funded the Spring 2015 Youth Service Learning Camp with Quaker Oaks Farm and the Wukchumni Tribe. The YPCC is now considering a fourth round of grant applications. All are encouraged to attend the Committee’s interest groups and talk to members individually. The Committee mentioned the considerable efforts of Alyssa Nelson, the Youth Program Coordinator, in supporting youth and monthly meetings concerning their youth.

Alyssa thanked the Coordinating Committee, Treasurer, and Finance Committee for their support for the making of grants that are turned into great events.

In response to multiple requests from members of the wider PYM community for the YPCC or YPC to find or recommend Friendly Responsible Adult Presences (FRAPs) or other youth-workers, the committee labored with this and decided that the YPCC will continue to do background checks for potential youth workers for the needs of the Youth Program, Children’s Program and JYM. They will not in the future do these for monthly meetings or other groups, which would be outside their charter.

Junior Yearly Meeting Adult Support Committee. Sue Torrey (Central Coast), reported for the committee. She described their purpose, concerns, and issues and how they initiated community building in the fall. Their work continued during the winter with much being accomplished at RepCom. Sue gave much credit to the youth involved.

One of the issues the committee struggled with in JYM, the JYM Adult Support Committee and beyond was about how to transition from one age cohort to next age cohort. The JYM Adult Support Committee continues to work on a process. Additionally this Committee has requested to continue working with the Registrar on what data is gathered on young people before they come to annual sessions, in order to place the youth appropriately and be prepared for those with special needs.

Minutes were read, corrected and approved at Meeting for Business II.

The Meeting for Business closed with a moment of worship.

PYM AS – 2015 – Opening Plenary

Pacific Yearly Meeting

69th Annual Session Minutes and Reports

OPENING PLENARY

July 13, 2015

The plenary began with worship.

Clerk’s Welcome. Steven Smith, Presiding Clerk, welcomed all the attendees. He reminded attendees that all these meetings will begin and end on time. The theme is “Love and Justice” values at the heart of what it means to be a Friend. Gospel Order has to do with how we behave with each other the entire week.

Thanks to the Miwok People. The Presiding Clerk took a moment to regard the peoples who were here first, the Miwok people. This gathering takes place on the land of those people and we acknowledge them as the custodians of this land. A few moments of worship ensued to consider those First Peoples.

Walker Creek Ranch Welcome. George Stratman, Ranch Manager of Walker Creek Ranch, welcomed all here again. He mentioned a few housekeeping items, described the purpose of the Ranch and noted activities during the school year.

Roll Call. Roll call of meetings and worship groups was completed and is attached.

Visitors introducing themselves were the following:

Lloyd Lee Olson, Keynote address speaker (Friendship Meeting, North Carolina Conservative Yearly Meeting), Greensboro, NC

Paula Palmer (Boulder Monthly Meeting, IMYM), workshop presenter.

Miguel Angel Costop Bara, Director, Guatemala Friends Scholarship Program

Hailey Hathaway (Mexico City), Casa de Los Amigos

Yasmen Mercer of Berkeley, attending with a JYM Friend

Mary Klein (Palo Alto), Western Friend, announced that anyone interested in writing for Western Friend please contact her.

Melissa Weis (Central Coast Friends Meeting)

Katie Aburizik (Cambridge Meeting)

Arrangements. Eric Moon (Berkeley), one of two arrangements clerks, encouraged all to be understanding with and take care of each other. He reminded us of some respectful and kind ways we might do that. Jan Turner (Humboldt) noted that those with special dietary needs who have not already been cared for in registration, should please contact her. She will be wearing her special hat so she can be easily identified. She also described the signs in the cafeteria indicating the classification of the food.

Naming Committee. Sarah Tyrell (Berkeley) of the Naming Committee gave the first report. There are four spots to fill on Nominating Committee. Three of these are proposed to be filled by those who have accepted nomination for three year terms. One spot has not yet had anyone volunteer for that one year term. The three who have offered to serve three year terms are: David Mackenzie (Orange Grove), Delcy Steffy (Sacramento) and Juanita Mora-Malerva (Santa Cruz).

If anyone is interested in serving on Nominating Committee, please see Sarah Tyrell or another member of the Naming Committee. The other members of the Naming Committee are: Pat Smith (Claremont), Linda Rowell (Chico) and Alvaro Alvarado (Sacramento).

Children’s Program (CP). Keenan Lorenzato (Davis), point person for the Children’s Program, reported that those with questions or concerns regarding the CP should come to a person wearing an orange T-shirt. Sign-ins for Children’s Program are from 8:00 to 8:10 a.m. Children’s Program starts at 8:30 a.m. All are welcome to join CP activities or volunteer. They have had much trouble finding help for the Children’s Program and encourage those who might be interested in serving on the committee or in the program to please contact them.

Ministry and Oversight Committee (M&O) Briefing. Bronwen Hillman, Clerk of M&O introduced the members of M&O. If you have a concern or issue please come to a member of M&O. Bobcat Cabin is their location, with two members there each morning. She described how to sign up for worship sharing and how to change your choice. She encouraged buddies and newbies to find each other and noted how to do it. The safety of the children is of paramount importance. There is no childcare outside of the Children’s Program so all children must be under the care of an adult at all times.

Listening Session Briefing. The Presiding Clerk described the purpose and nature of the listening sessions and encouraged those with something to say on a topic to come to the relevant listening session.

Junior Yearly Meeting (JYM). Co-clerks Nathasha Herrera (Mexico City)and Maya Price (Berkeley), and M&O members, David Shaw (Santa Monica), Rose Nadis (Santa Barbara and Nina Shaw (Santa Monica) reported. JYM has many fun activities planned. There will be a mini workshop on AVP and another on creativity. Others are encouraged to join in worship sharing with them. JYM will also have worship each morning from 8 to 8:30 a.m.

Young Adult Friends (YAF). Co-clerks, Kylin Navarro (Berkeley) and Elena Anderson-Williams (San Jose) reported. YAFs will be meeting in the evenings starting at 8:30 p.m. They just completed a YAF retreat this morning.

Epistle Committee. David Lederman (Orange County), Ministry and Oversight Committee, reported that two persons, Jim Anderson (Chico) and Kate Connell (Santa Barbara), have agreed to serve on the Epistle Committee for Annual Session 2015. He described the duties of this committee and indicated that one more member is needed.

Secretariat. Raph Levien (Berkeley) reported for the Secretariat. During free time after breakfast there will be someone there for questions/requests. He and Tom Yamaguchi can be emailed also.

Registrar. Sarah Tyrell (Berkeley) and Joyce Samati (Strawberry Creek), those present who have not yet registered to do so.

Minutes. The minutes were read, corrected and approved.

The plenary closed with worship.

PYM AS 2015 – Keynote Address

KEYNOTE ADDRESS
“Unless God Builds the House”—Lloyd Lee Wilson
July 14, 2015

The session began at 9:50 am with worship.

Clerk Steve Smith (Claremont) welcomed all and read the letter of traveling ministry from North Carolina Yearly Meeting (Conservative) for Lloyd Lee Wilson of Friendship Meeting of North Carolina Yearly Meeting Conservative.

Reading Clerk Diego Navarro (Santa Cruz) read the epistle from New England Yearly Meeting. The following visitor introduced herself and was welcomed: Delaney Miller (Ben Lomond Quaker Center).

Elena Anderson-Williams (Palo Alto) introduced Lloyd Lee Wilson whose writings she found most insightful and beneficial.

Lloyd Lee Wilson rose to deliver his keynote talk and to offer his ministry based on Psalm 127 (“Unless God builds the house, we labor in vain: except God keep the city, the watchman wakes but in vain.”)

He updated his status as a recorded minister which, while true at the time that the traveling minute, was dropped without prejudice recently when he moved from sojourning member to full member at Friendship Meeting. As in the early life of the church, Friends continue to send out in ministry two by two and during this time Elaine Emily (Strawberry Creek) joins Lloyd Lee Wilson as an elder in this ministry.

Lloyd was led to emphasize the need for ongoing discernment, since the movement of the Holy Spirit is not one way, from leading to action, but back and forth. His stories and examples built us up. The ministry was well received.

Speaker’s Background: Lloyd Lee Wilson is a deeply-grounded author on Quaker spirituality. His many writings include Essays on the Quaker Vision of Gospel Order and a recent Pendle Hill Pamphlet, Radical Hospitality (#427). Wilson has written eloquently of the need to center our Quaker activism in the gestalt of Quaker practice, knit together in a faithful Quaker community by the redeeming spiritual power of loving-kindness. He writes that when that spiritual grounding is absent, “In our hasty desire for the fruit of right social order, we have neglected the Root from which all good fruit springs.”