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.)

https://forms.gle/P7vswpApy1jdSWdT9

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 PacificYearlyMeeting.org 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 

WEB PAGE: https://www.pacificyearlymeeting.org/committee-newsletters-and-reports/indigenous-concerns

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.

This book has been profoundly impactful on both the Unity with Nature committee and Indigenous Concerns Sub-Committee. We feel strongly that this book has enormous potential to deepen Friends’ connection with the natural world, heal our relationship with it, and inspire new forms of action in our times.

This Worship Group is for all Friends, but may speak particularly deeply to those who wish to explore the intersections of Climate Courage, Ecological Justice, Eco-Grief, Spirituality, Indigenous Wisdom, and our Relationship with The Living World.

We look forward to you joining us!

2021 RepCom Reports and Minutes

Pacific Yearly Meeting’s 2021 Representative Committee meeting (“RepCom 2021”) took place Feb 26 & 27 and March 6, 2021, via Zoom.  Minutes for the meeting are available on the PYM Minutes page.  This page contains information and materials in preparation for RepCom 2021. For information about Representative Committee in general and links to info about other years’ meetings see the Representative Committee page.

Overview

This year’s meeting of PacYM Representative Committee (RepCom) will be unlike anything we have done before. As always, everyone in PacYM is invited to RepCom–you don’t need to be your Monthly Meeting’s representative and you don’t need to be serving the Yearly Meeting in any particular role. New this year is that RepCom will be held virtually on Zoom (like so many things are these days) and the schedule will be very different from previous RepComs. In order to make good use of our time and not over-Zoom ourselves, we will meet on 2 successive Saturdays:  February 27 and March 6. The times have not been finalized, but we are planning three 90-minute sessions each day:  one in the morning and two in the afternoon. We will have substantial breaks between meetings. In addition, there will be a meeting of Monthly Meeting Representatives on the evening of Friday, February 26 (exact time TBD).
 
The theme of this summer’s Annual Session will be “Love and Justice:  Heeding the Spirit’s Power Within and Among Us.” The theme is further explained in the Clerk’s Call to Annual Session 2021In preparation for this summer, any business that committees, officers, or representatives to outside organizations intend to bring to Annual Session must be brought for a first reading to RepCom. The deadline for reports to RepCom will be  Monday, February 8 and proposals for Interest Groups at Annual Session are due by midnight on Sunday, March 7.

Evaluation

If you attended any portion of RepCom, please fill out an evaluation form by Friday, April 16, 2021.

Some Deadlines

Registration

  • The registration deadline was extended to Feb 19 and registration is now closed.

Advance Materials

Advance Packet

  • Packet of Advance Materials  This all-in-one PDF includes the Clerk’s Call, the schedule, and all committee and representative reports below that were submitted by the deadline.
  • Correction: Ministry Committee wishes to correct an error in the Friends of Color Subcommittee section of their report in the Advance Packet.  The worship group in Spanish is not an offshoot of the Friends of Color Subcommittee.  It is an independent worship group that welcomes all who want to worship in the manner of Friends and give their ministry in Spanish.  More information and the link to worship can be found here:https://westernfriend.org/qwfo-reunion-en-espanol.

Additional Materials

Committee and Officer Reports

All documents below are also contained in the Advance Packet (a single PDF) except where indicated otherwise.  Most will also be contained in the Minutes Packet when it is posted.

Representatives Reports

Reports from our Representatives and Observers to Outside Organizations.  These are also in the Advance Packet and will be in the Minutes Packet afterwards.

News from Outside Organizations

Newsletters and other communications coming directly from outside organizations to which PYM sends Representatives or Observers.  Because of their size, these documents are not included in the Advance Packet nor in the Minutes Packet.

Minutes Packet

  • In a break with past practice, minutes for this meeting are only posted on the PYM Minutes page.  That is where you will find minutes for not only this meeting but all other RepCom and Annual Session meetings as well.

Deadlines that Have Passed

  • INTEREST GROUPS FOR ANNUAL SESSION:  Sunday, March 7 (the end of RepCom weekend) was the deadline for committees to submit seasoned proposals for Interest Groups at Annual Session 2021.  See  How to Schedule an Interest Group at Annual Session for details.  Contact Sharon Gates if you need to discuss a possible late submission or modification of a submission.
  • REPORTS  deadline was Monday, Feb 8. Instructions are below.
  • REGISTRATION deadline was Friday, February 19.
  • BUDGET REQUESTS: RepCom is where we approve the Annual Session Budget as well as handle any mid-year General Budget augmentations. Requests should have been submitted to the Finance Committee well ahead of the Feb 8 report deadline.
  • EVALUATION: If you attended any portion of RepCom, please fill out an evaluation form by Friday, April 16, 2021.

Instructions for Authors of Documents for this Page

  • Officers, Committee Clerks and other authors of advance documents please do the following:
    • See the Guidelines for Reports to Representative Committee 2021 for more detailed style guidelines and a template Word file you may use.
    • Send in your report as a .doc or .docx file –or equivalent– (rather than as email text or .pdf).  This will help the Secretariat and Recording Clerks have access to the text and formatting as well as simplifying our document management process.  You are encouraged to use this template Word file.
    • Name your report file like this: CommitteeName-Report-to-RepCom-2021.doc or .docx.  For example:
      • Ministry-Report-to-RepCom-2021.doc,
      • Latin-American-Concerns-Report-to-RepCom-2021.docx
      • Note that the names are quite long enough without adding the word “Committee”.
    • Email by Feb. 8, 2021 to the Assistant to the Clerk (Sharon Gates) <pymassistanttotheclerk@gmail.com>.
    • We will post your report here as a PDF that we will create from your .doc.
    • Documents received by the deadline (Feb. 8) will be assembled into an “advance packet” distributed electronically to all participants.  Documents received late will be more difficult for participants to find and may be overlooked.  So please submit your report by the deadline or earlier if you can manage it.

In Preparation for Annual Session 2020 on Radical Inclusivity: A Letter from PacYM Ministry & Oversight to Friends

February 4, 2020

(Sent on behalf of Presiding Clerk Sandy Kewman and the Ministry and Oversight Committee by Sharon Gates, Assistant to the Clerk of PYM. Please circulate widely in your Meeting so all members and attenders have the opportunity to read it.)

“Our life is love, and peace, and tenderness, and bearing one with another, and forgiving one another, and not laying accusations one against another, but praying one for another, and helping one another up with a tender hand, if there has been a slip or fall, and waiting until the Lord gives sense and repentance, if sense and repentance in any be wanting.”

Isaac Penington

Dear Friends,

In preparation for Pacific Yearly Meeting (PacYM) Annual Session 2020 and beyond, the PacYM Ministry & Oversight (M&O) Committee and Presiding Clerk Sandy Kewman call upon Meeting members and attenders to engage deeply in inquiry and discernment on fostering greater inclusion and love for each other, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, age, experience with Quakerism, abilities, sexual orientation and the numerous less seen differences that we may have. This is a lifelong concern, commitment, and practice, one with which every Friend must grapple in order to co-create and live into the beloved community.

As a way to deepen our discussions and work towards living into being a beloved community, we request in the next year that Friends in your Monthly Meeting read the book White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo. Understanding that Friends have already begun working on this year’s State of the Meeting reports, we ask that you respond to the queries posed below and to please include in your Meeting’s State of the Meeting report⁠—if not this year then in 2021⁠—the work your Meeting is doing to deepen the state of being a beloved community for all people, to see the unseen and acknowledge opportunities for growth.

We believe that in taking these action steps, Friends will have a common language and framework by which to identify and talk about racism, white privilege, settler colonialism, and the inherited culture of white supremacy individually, in relationship with one another, and structurally in our Meetings and the larger society. This work is critical if  Friends are to really be friends to each other and our earth.

We offer these queries for your Spirit-filled consideration:

  • In what ways did White Fragility help you understand the place of race in our lives and in our Meetings with a new or different perspective?
  • How aware and awake is your Meeting to how race, cultural differences, privilege and entitlement impact the quality of your relationships and friendships in your Meeting?
  • What new learning about how to be a more beloved community for all people within the culture of Friends has occurred in your Meeting?
  • In what ways have we been “fragile” to seeing our sometimes unconscious and unintentional role in perpetuating a culture of dominance?
  • What steps could your Meeting take to increase inclusion and the loving telling of truth among Friends in the coming year?

To support this work, we recommend that you utilize Robin DiAngelo’s White Fragility reading guide, which can be accessed here. Friends may wish to approach this request like a book club, completing the whole book and gathering at the end to discuss, or may want to read the chapters together as a group over the course of several months. We hope that Meetings will have begun the book by the time Annual Session 2020 begins.

If led, we encourage your Meeting to further deepen into this concern by exploring the following works:

For additional resources, please see visit our Racial Justice webpage here.

Please reach out to PacYM M&O Committee with any questions or feedback about this request. Please contact: PacYMMO@gmail.com.

In Peace,

Pacific Yearly Meeting Ministry & Oversight Committee and Presiding Clerk Sandy Kewman

Request for Feedback on Draft Faith and Practice Revisions

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

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

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

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

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

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

Queries you may find useful for your discernment:

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

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

Zoom Memorial Meetings Guidance

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

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

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

Call to Representative Committee 2020

the theme of our Annual Session in July will be

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

WHEN/WHERE:

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

REGISTRATION:

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

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

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

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

HOSPITALITY:

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

TRAVEL & REIMBURSEMENT: 

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

PRESENTING AND REPORTING:

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

Interest Groups at the 2020 Annual Session

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

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

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

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

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

YPCC Evaluation Report to AS 2019

DOWNLOAD:

This post is linked from the YPCC web page.

 

WEB VERSION:

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

Summary

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

Continue reading “YPCC Evaluation Report to AS 2019”

Welcome Letter to Children’s Program Families 2019

Dear Children’s Program Families of Pacific Yearly Meeting:

Thank you for registering your child(ren) for Pacific Yearly Meeting’s 2019 Annual Session! The Children’s Program Committee looks forward to our joyous work of nurturing children and families at Annual Session.

Please read this letter thoroughly in preparation for our week together.

Last year we had a lot of fun and came together as a community to learn more about the Quaker Way. This year, we’ll continue taking advantage of outdoor education opportunities at the site and blending them with other forms of Quaker teaching and learning. And once again, we have an enthusiastic and skilled group of teachers and support staff. Continue reading “Welcome Letter to Children’s Program Families 2019”