PYM 2013 Annual Session Plenary IV

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 Plenary IV opened with worship at 10:15.

 Epistle:  Friends of Central and Southern Africa Yearly Meeting met in Jan 2012 on the theme of “Living the Quaker Testimonies”.  Concerns shared included increasing security for themselves and others, including Friends who feel isolated, forging community, and including children and young friends.  They ask us all to imagine all the world living in peace and quoting John Lennon, invited us all to be dreamers so the “world can live as one”.

Western Friend:  Mary Klein (Palo Alto), editor of Western Friend, introduced herself.  She has held the position since January 1, and invites Friends to join in the discernment on how Western Friend can support our community.


  • Lonnie Valentine, Clear Creek Meeting, Ohio Valley Yearly Meeting, representing Earlham School of Religion.  Lonnie noted to Friends that he is researching Quakers and the war tax concern.

Initial Naming Committee:  Alyssa Nelson (Davis) and Brendan Fagen (Reno) reported for the naming committee:  The names brought forward are:

Elaine Emily (Strawberry Creek): returning member, 3 year term, Clerk

Graciela Martinez (Visalia): new member, 1 year term

Rob Cimorelli (Orange Grove): new member, 3 year term

Tom Farley (Palo Alto): returning member, 3 year term

Discipline Committee

Carolyn Stephenson, clerk, gave the report, appended.  The committee is bringing forward a recommendation to revise our Faith and Practice.   The committee will hold an interest group and invites Friends to attend with questions and concerns.

Proposed minutes:

  • Pacific Yearly Meeting approves beginning on the next revision of our Faith and Practice.
  • Pacific Yearly Meeting approves converting the existing Discipline Committee to the Faith and Practice Revision Committee for the duration of the work on the Faith and Practice revision.  Nominating Committee is asked to nominate, as quickly as possible, a committee consisting of six members of Discipline Committee (2 approved each year, for 3-year terms, renewable) and ex officio the Historian/Archivist, plus 4 “permanent” members to serve for the duration of the revision work.  Nominating Committee is also asked to nominate a Clerk, for a one-year term, each year for this committee.

Youth Program Coordinator: Steve Smith (Clerk) reminded us of the difficult birth of the YPC position 4 years ago.  He asked us to look at the discernment process with open minds and hearts, ready to be guided by the Spirit.  He also asked us to refrain from “twinkling” as displays of agreement that may be distracting from the listening and discernment process.

We are asked to consider just the simple minute brought forward by RepCom and to separate it from the possible gift from PFOS.

Kate Watkins, clerk of the YPCSC, invited the rest of the committee to introduce themselves.  Kate explained that she misspoke yesterday regarding the terms of the position.  At this time Alyssa is working 3/4 time and accomplishing all that the committee expects. This decision was made by the committee at the time of hiring and considering all the applicants and their various gifts and skills.  Further personnel questions will continue to be considered and the committee is open to input and suggestions.

Comments from the floor included the yearning for the new energy of younger Friends and support for the position as vital to the future of PYM, especially for younger Friends in small meetings.  A link is noted between the Youth Program and addressing racial and cultural diversity.  The funding of this position states to all of us and especially to our children that they are a priority to us.

A Friend asked the committee to consider how the increased assessments may be alleviated for meetings feeling uncomfortably burdened by it.  Some Friends wanted clarity about the full vs part time status of the position and a statement of the budget for this position and program.  Others felt that the position was not really being questioned and the details can be worked out later.

The Clerk noted that he senses clear and deep support for the continuation of the position despite questions and concerns about compensation, financial burdens and composition of the committee.

Minute PYM AS 2013-01: Pacific Yearly Meeting approves continuation of the paid Youth Program Coordinator position.


Minutes were approved.

Closing Worship at 11:50.