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 mein the way everlasting.
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.
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
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.
Youth Programs Coordinating Committee (YPCC) is happy to report that Rebekah Percy has been hired as the Interim Youth Programs Coordinator. She will begin work on March 23rd. Rebekah is a member of La Jolla meeting and attender at Orange Grove. She has attended PacYM since childhood and has served the yearly meeting in a variety of ways, most recently as co-clerk of YPCC for two years. Her experience with the YPCC as well as her strong organizational and communication skills will serve the youth programs of the yearly meeting well. Rebekah resigned from the YPCC on January 6 to address work-life balance issues and was not involved in the decision to release Javaughn. Rebekah can be reached at the YPC email address: firstname.lastname@example.org starting March 23rd.
The Interim YPC position is intended to serve us through Annual Session and will end on August 31. YPCC has created an Ad Hoc committee to address issues surrounding the YPC role and are requesting participation from youth, Racial Justice subcommittee, and Ministry and Oversight in this review process. We hope this work will be completed by fall and a new YPC recruitment process will begin at that time.
Air fills our lungs and keeps us alive, yet it is
taken for granted by many populations. Indigenous communities, however,
appreciate the air as sacred. Today, California has some of the worst air
pollution in the country. This year’s theme of Air builds from our previous camps and recent
themes, Fire, Water and Earth, honoring the sacredness of all Beings. Join us as we explore the power and value of Air in traditional and
contemporary practice. As the climate changes do we need new ways to care for
share our Histories and Love one another across Seeming Divides, all through
Fun, Interactive Activities. Camp includes a service-learning project on the
Land and a field trip.
Request our model “Letter to Teachers” for a student who wants to take time off from school to participate in camp and/or get school credit
SPREAD this message among friends!
Campers: APPLICATION ONLINE
NOW! Deadline 3/9/2020. There are only 30 spots available. There
is a question on this form where we ask you to tell us why we should select
your application and what is important to you about getting to be a part of
We enthusiastically invite middle school and high school aged
youth (grades 6-12) to apply. No one will be turned away for lack of
funds. Cost of camp is on a sliding scale ($0 – $500). Donations gratefully
Clerk’s Call to Pacific Yearly Meeting Annual Session July 10 to July 15, 2020 Walker Creek Ranch
Radical Inclusivity: Responding to the Persistent and Insistent Love of God
“Love one another. As I have loved you, so must you love one another.” – John 13:34
“Thus He whose tender mercies are over all His works hath placed a principle in the human mind, which one to exercise goodness towards every living creature; and this being singly attended to, people become tender-hearted and sympathizing…” – John Woolman, 1720-1772
We are being called at this time to wake up to God’s love for all beings
and all of creation. We are being called
to notice and respond to the persistent and insistent love within each of us
and all around us. We are being called to cultivate and live that love
for one another and the earth in all that we do.
We are also being called to acknowledge how our culture within the
Religious Society of Friends and the wider society normalizes and perpetuates
domination and power over each other and over the natural world. We are being
called to notice domination in all that we do and to speak truth to it. This domination takes many forms, both
willful and inadvertent, conscious and unconscious. Domination is in play when
some persons are more valued than others and when power over others is celebrated
and practiced. Domination is at work when our earth is used mindlessly
and abused in the name of progress.
Early Friends called attention to
‘disorderly walking’ and labored with one another in worship, prayer, and
mindful speech to wake up to the ways in which their daily lives were harmful
to their own hearts and souls and that of others and to the earth. Those
who are part of the Dominant culture must examine our privilege and entitlement
through reflection, reading and most importantly through dialogue and
friendships. Collectively, we Friends who bring to our yearly meeting a
kaleidoscope of identities and experiences require community with one another
to discern the ‘love of truth’ within our lives. Today we need one another to
acknowledge the harm we do to each other and to the earth. Commitment to
learning a better way, to being in right relationship with each other and with
our earth is needed. This means all of us have choices in every moment,
to begin anew, to go deeper.
What might this look like? During
Annual Session we will explore together. We will ground ourselves in the
light of Divine Spirit and in our bodies.
We will listen deeply to one another.
We will notice when power over another is employed rather than with each
other. We will notice and respond to each
other out loud and with grace. “While my
intent was no harm, the effect did harm.”
“I see the harm”, “I see your hurt.” “Thank you for telling me.”
“Thank you for your faithfulness.” “I want to find a way forward. “I want
to walk this path with you (of reconciliation… or learning)”
We are fortunate to invite Mica
Estrada to share her experience and wisdom this year at Annual Session as our
keynote speaker. Mica is a member of
Strawberry Creek Friends Meeting. She
is a Social Psychologist whose early work focused on conflict resolution,
forgiveness, and problem solving. Mica’s
current work on social influences that increase care of our planet and greater
equity in the world of education are newer expressions of this same leaning
toward reducing conflict and supporting the positive in our world. Mica will speak about practicing radical
inclusivity through staying awake to the spirit of love and kindness within
each of us.
As we come together to worship and sink down into Divine Presence, Mica’s
message will help us to let go of our wills, our ideas, our wants. We will then be able to step into the river
that unites us all.
That is where
transformation begins. Please come to PacYM’s Annual Session this coming
July as we take this journey together.
Sandy Kewman Presiding Clerk
“I pray that we will sense more keenly the transformation that God wants to bring about in our time and learn how we can fully and joyfully dedicate ourselves to participating in the creation of an evolved humanity and a renewed world. Then, as fully realized children of God, we can let go of the past and enter something entirely new.” – Marcelle Martin, Our Life is Love, p.191.
Radical Inclusivity: Responding to the Persistent and Insistent Love of God
RepCom will be hosted by Quaker Oaks Farm (QOF), meeting at the Visalia Friends’ Meetinghouse (VFM) on the ancestral land of the Wukchumni Tribe from 6pm on Friday, March 6, through Saturday March 7 and continuing to Sunday March 8 if necessary.
Please register for RepCom by SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 15 by filling out the form on the PYM website:
(Persons registering after Friday February 15 cannot be assured of overnight hospitality.)
Before coming to RepCom, please review the advance documents on the website carefully.
Overnight accommodations will be provided in nearby homes and there is plenty of camping and floor sleeping space available at QOF, adjacent to VFM There are also inexpensive hotels/Airbnbs in Visalia and Exeter. Friday dinner through Sunday lunch will be provided (along with snacks/tea/coffee) for a suggested donation to QOF of $40. Please note any food restrictions in your registration.
TRAVEL & REIMBURSEMENT:
Visalia is easily accessible by car, bus, or train and shuttles to the Meetinghouse will be provided. Travel expenses of officers, clerks, and Representative Committee members (Monthly Meetings’ representatives to PYM) are reimbursed 25¢ per mile for round trip road atlas mileage between the member’s Home Meeting and the location of the Meeting being attended or actual expenses up to $.25 per mile. Round trip travel from Mexico or Hawaii is reimbursed up to $600. Members are encouraged to reduce costs by taking advantage of special bargain rates (early reservation, two for one, special offers, etc.).
PRESENTING AND REPORTING:
Please submit written reports by February 15 to Sharon Gates, Assistant to the Clerk (email address below). Guidelines for reports are on the PYM web page. Reports sent after 2/15 might not be posted prior to RepCom. Contact Sandy Kewman, Presiding Clerk (email address below) if your committee is presenting at RepCom.
Junior Yearly Meeting: The youth leadership of Junior Yearly Meeting (JYM) and JYM Adult Committee members will meet at QOF March 6-8 to plan for JYM 2020 at Walker Creek Ranch. JYM planners look forward to worshiping and sharing meals with Friends attending RepCom. If you have questions, please contact the clerk of the JYM Adult Committee, Dan Strickland email@example.com.
Sandy Kewman, Presiding Clerk of PYM, will preside at RepCom. She and I will send you further information, including an agenda, in one or more follow-up mailings.
Questions for the Presiding Clerk? Contact Sandy at PYMclerk@gmail.com
Pacific Yearly Meeting’s 2020 Annual Session took place July 10-15, 2020, online via Zoom. This year’s theme was “Radical Inclusivity: Responding to the Persistent and Insistent Love of God” as described in the Clerk’s Call to Annual Session 2020.
This page contains information and documents related to the preparation for and conduct of the 2020 Annual Session, as well as its outcomes (epistles and minutes). For information about PYM Annual Sessions in general, please see the Annual Session Information page.
Click on any item in the Table of Contents to jump to that section.
Mica Estrada gave the keynote on Saturday, July 11th at 10:30am this year at Annual Session. We are deeply grateful to have had Mica speak to us at the Annual Session. Following is an audio recording of her presentation:
Here is the video recording:
Mica earned her doctorate in Social Psychology from Harvard University. She is an Associate Professor of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the Institute for Health and Aging at the University of California, San Francisco. Her teaching and research focuses on the ethnic populations who are historically underrepresented in higher education, are most vulnerable to impacts of climate change, and have potential to provide diverse and creative solutions to pressing challenges.
Mica is a member of Strawberry Creek Friends Meeting in Berkley, CA. She serves on the Pacific Yearly Meeting Racial Justice and the Eldering Subcommittees. Mica also serves on the Geneva Quaker United National Committee, Mica’s spiritual development was informed by ‘The light within’ from an early age. It was a guiding principle of her life for many years even before she came to know Quakers. The writings of Parmahansa Yogananda, Daya Mata, Pema Chodron, Thomas Kelley, and Khalil Gibran have been instrumental in forming Mica’s spiritual practices. Mica follows her spiritual leading to make the world a kinder place.
The keynote began with a story appropriate for all ages. Children were invited to accompany their parents to the keynote for as long as they like.
AS LIVE 2020: Registered attenders check your email from pymassistanttotheclerk for the password to this page. The AS LIVE 2020 page contains links to all the Zoom meetings and other materials for attenders only.
Information for Registrants (all ages): You will not be able to attend Annual Session offerings without registering. Registration deadline was July 3. Check whether late registration is still possible.
A brief Children’s Program will take place on Friday morning, July 10. The session will be 75 minutes, children will be divided by age into two groups: ages 4 to 7 or 8; and ages 8 or 9 to 12. If we have enough children for a second 75-minute session, it will occur from 11:00-12:15pm with the same fun-focused lesson plans.
Teen Program (Junior Yearly Meeting, aka JYM). Teens will be leading intergenerational games on Saturday evening-we would love to see you there! The rest of JYM’s gatherings will take place the week/s following July 15. For more information on the teen schedule, please see our intergenerational calendar page here. We are still looking for a few (adult) Friendly Responsible Adult Presences (FRAPs) to work with and or hold the space for our youth.
Young Adult Friends (aka YAFs) program will start Friday evening. YAFs may still be able to register late and take part in the general Annual Sessions. Many YAFs will attend the YPCC interest group on Sunday evening to discuss our work on mutual aid within the yearly meeting. The rest of YAF activities will also take place the week/s following AS. See our intergenerational calendar page for more information.
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.
Packet of Advance Materials (posted 7/3) Note that the Schedule and the Interest Group listings have changed slightly from what is in the Advance Packet, so for those two documents use the versions linked below.
Updates: The following are reports and information that are either “new” (i.e. not in the Advance Packet) or have been revised or corrected from the version in the Packet.
The individual reports listed below are also (unless otherwise indicated) included in the all-in-one Advance Packet as well as in the Minutes Packet. If you are submitting a late report please contact the Assistant to the Clerk.
POST-SESSION EVALUATION FOR OFFICERS, COMMITTEE CLERKS, AND REPRESENTATIVES TO OTHER ORGANIZATIONS: July 18 10 AM to noon. Zoom link will be provided
POST-SESSION EVALUATION FOR ATTENDERS:Extended to July 25. Click here to go to the evaluation section of this page.
“Normal” registration is closed (deadline was July 3). To register late, send a request by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Annual Session is Pay-as-Led this year, meaning you are invited to pay whatever amount you are led to pay to help cover PacYM’s costs. A suggested range is $40-$60 for adults age 25 and over attending “full time”, and lesser amounts for those under 25.
THE DEADLINE FOR EVALUATIONS WAS EXTENDED TO July 25, which has now passed.
Help the Nominating Committee match your gifts with needed service to the Yearly Meeting by filling out a “Pink Sheet” describing your skills and interests.
These are contacts specifically related to Annual Session 2020. More general contacts for PacYM can be found on the Contact-Us page. Contacts for specific activities during Annual Session (e.g. Worship/Sharing, Affinity Groups, Games, etc) can be found in the Schedule Explained 2020 document linked here.
Registration: Lawrence Alderson and Brylie Oxlie, Registrars: <email@example.com> Mailing Address for checks (made out to “Pacific Yearly Meeting”) for completed registrations: Pacific Yearly Meeting Registrar c/o Lawrence Alderson 10 Leeds Lane Aliso Viejo, CA, 92656 <— note correction in Zip code 7/10 (was showing 92626)
Daily Miracle: There will not be a “Daily Miracle” bulletin this year. Program information will be on the website (on this page or, for registered attenders, on the password protected AS LIVE 2020 page).
Discourse (for Attenders only): See AS LIVE 2020 (a password protected page) for a link to Discourse. Discourse is the place to share personal announcements you might have submitted to the Daily Miracle in other years.
PYM Youth Programs Coordinating Committee Program Evaluation Report 2019
(See also the summary of responses in appendix in linked PDF, above)
Responses to an online survey, sent to meetings and individuals in December 2018, provided clear support of the Youth Programs Coordinator (YPC) and offered suggestions and critiques of the efforts of the YPC and the Youth Programs Coordinating Committee (YPCC). Respondents who have been active in regional events such as Annual Session and Quarterly Meetings were more knowledgeable regarding impacts on the youth programs and listed many positive changes observed since the program began. A desire for support of the children’s program and youth programs in monthly meetings was expressed. A concern that youth programs were not developing a spiritual foundation and that we address issues of racism, classism, sexism and ageism were also expressed. Respondents were divided regarding the question of hiring an administrative support person and focusing the YPC role on youth activities. A majority of respondents support the cost of the YPC as money well spent, with some expressing concern regarding the impact of the cost on meeting budgets and limited impact seen at the monthly meeting level.