Launch of the Faith and Practice Revision Process – A Request

Dear Friends,

The Faith and Practice Revision Committee invites you to engage in the “rolling revision” process of prayerfully discerning how our Faith and Practice can support meetings and individuals as we seek to live an authentic Quaker spirituality.  The first round of revisions is now ready for your consideration.

We request that monthly meetings and other bodies review the proposed revisions together and send us those points upon which they found unity. If no unity is found, a brief description of the feel of the meeting is welcome. We anticipate that this process will occur three (or so) times per year, as new revised pieces are presented.

Continue reading “Launch of the Faith and Practice Revision Process – A Request”

Discipline Committee – note on Faith and Practice revision status in 2014

Representative Committee:

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Orange Grove Meetinghouse

Discipline Committee: The presiding clerk reminded Representative Committee that at the 2013 Annual Session, Discipline Committee brought a recommendation that PYM embark upon a revision of the current Faith and Practice. Both enthusiastic support and reservations were expressed, with no clear unity emerging. He noted that if the currently 6 proposed revision takes five years, 18 years will have lapsed since the publication of the 2001 edition—significantly longer than past revision time spans.

Carolyn Stephenson (Honolulu), clerk of the Discipline Committee, reaffirmed the view that it is time to begin the revision process of Faith and Practice, as a living document reflecting our continuing revelations as Friends. The committee’s full report is appended. An interest group at the Annual Session on Faith and Practice as a Living Document will help to further our discernment. A Friend asked those in attendance to consider what may be outdated in the current issue of Faith and Practice. Friends spoke to changes needed in the Advices & Queries, the recognition of Earth Care and the support of same-sex marriage as concerns held by our corporate body, and the use of technology as a vehicle for enhancing the life of Faith and Practice among us. Record keeping, charges to the committees and officers also need greater clarity, since they are the keys to the smooth operations of our Society. One Friend expressed a longing for a return to a Christian discipline, reflecting our long tradition. “How does Faith and Practice reflect our faithfulness to the Divine?”

If we approve a revision, the Faith and Practice Revision Committee is asked to consider relative stability and consistency among members of the committee, since wholesale or frequent turnover on the committee can be disruptive. We were asked to address further concerns to the committee.

We approved this minute:

Minute RC 2014.05: Representative Committee approves bringing the following minute to the 2014 Annual Session: “Pacific Yearly Meeting approves beginning on the next revision of our Faith and Practice.”

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Annual Session 2014

Walker Creek Ranch

July 14 to 19, 2014

Plenary VI

Discipline Committee Clerk Carolyn Stephenson (Honolulu) presented the committee’s report (attached) which included the news that Monthly Meetings are no longer to send their minutes to Whittier College and must await a disposition announcement from the Discipline Committee.

The March 2014 Representative Committee approved a minute that we start the revision of our Faith & Practice. After some discussion the following minute was approved:

AS Minute 2014-04: Pacific Yearly Meeting asks the Discipline Committee to begin work on the next revision of our Faith and Practice.

Discipline Committee Proposed Minute – NOT APPROVED

Your Discipline Committee asks Pacific Yearly to refer to the Discipline Committee as the “Faith and Practice Revision Committee” from the point of approval of this name change through the acceptance of a revised Faith and Practice.

We will continue with our work and expect to return to Representative  Committee 2017 with a recommendation regarding the committee composition.

Discipline Committee-Report to Representative Committee 2015

Discipline has begun its task of a revision of our current Faith and Practice. To date we have gathered for two face to face meetings and one conference call. Our next meeting is planned for late this Spring and we plan to try utilizing the video conferencing software the Western Friend has acquired, to see how this newer technology can help us further our work, and still shrink the size of our carbon footprint. We began by asking one another how we envision a new edition of our book of discipline will look in 5 years. At our first meeting we became clear we need to start a dialogue within this Yearly Meeting, both with the Monthly Meetings as well as individuals, how they use the current Faith and Practice (or not); what within the current Discipline speaks to them and what does not. He have written a group of initial queries to the Monthly Meetings, to Junior Yearly Meeting and to Young Adult Friends, asking them to respond to us with their initial thoughts, asking them to respond to our committee by the end of April which we expect will help us in our work. (see attached letters) . To date, we have received thoughtful responses from San Diego and La Jolla MM, and several others Meetings have indicated they’re in the process of preparing a response to us. We have also recently received thoughtful from two individuals with their thoughts.

Our committee sees this as the beginning of a dialogue, not the sole opportunity for input. We already have more questions to pose to the Meetings, but are loath to do so just yet, as so many have not yet had the time to season and respond to our first queries. We are balancing our need for input, & our whole community’s need for transparency in this revision process, along with the desire we have heard voiced that this revision considerably less than the decade the last revision took, & not wanting to be experienced as an undue burden by the Monthly Meetings. We have at our most recent committee meeting divided the responsibility for primary contact with each of the Monthly Meetings within PYM. In the months ahead, sometime in the months ahead the clerks of each Meeting will hear from one of our committee members, an effort to further communication in this revision process.

We have formulated a 6 month timeline for our initial work, and as individuals have divided some of the responsibilities for drafting sections of the discipline where clear updates need to be made, for the whole committee to season. We are still in the process of crafting a further 5 year timeline for how we will proceed.

Today we bring you word on our proposed interest group our committee plans to hold at the next annual session, on membership: What does it mean to be a Quaker? We plan to present a brief history of membership followed by worship-sharing and discussion, in the hopes of helping Discipline committee clarify what the PYM community believes on this subject, as we begin to revise Faith and Practice.

One final note from your Discipline Committee’s clerk – in our early deliberations, it has become quite clear to this Friend, the various connotations our words can have, are often connotations other individuals may not share. In revising our Discipline, we will need to labor tenderly with one another, listening with an open heart as we choose the words, the terms, las palabras y los dichos that convey to all the spirit of our Quaker thought and practice.

Respectfully submitted,

DJ Bloom, Clerk of Discipline

Attachments