PYM 2013 Annual Session Plenary IX

[Download version] [Web version]


Plenary IX opened with silent worship at 8:20 am.

The minutes of Plenary VIII were read and approved.

Epistle Reading:

The reading clerk announced that Indiana Yearly Meeting has split into two Meetings and their YM epistle seemed directed internally.

Ireland YM held in Dublin, April 2012, welcomed a new book of discipline.  Their concerns and work continue to focus on mental health care.  They noted that we should have not only faith in Jesus, but also the faith of Jesus.

Revised Peace and Social Order Minute

Steve Smith, clerk, read a revised minute regarding our opposition to drone warfare.

“In accordance with the Peace Testimony, Pacific Yearly Meeting is opposed to militarized drones as we oppose all weapons of war.”

The PYM Peace and Social Order committee stands ready to assist friends and meetings over the next year with study and reflection on the concern about the use of militarized drones.  Friends and Meetings can start with consideration of the minutes parsed by Orange Grove Meeting and Southern California Quarterly Meeting.  The committee encourages actions as way opens.

The minute and narrative are being held until the end of this Plenary, when the clerk will discern if it reflects our underlying unity regarding drone warfare.

Nominating Committee

David Barrows, clerk, brought forward two names for a first reading:

Assistant to the Treasurer: 2014 Gary Wolff

FWCC:  2016 Jan Turner

Unity with Nature: Muriel Strand, co-clerk, read the report of the committee highlighting two retreats, a spring Youth Work Camp, and progress with mini-grants.  We were reminded that our work for peace and justice must be integrated with care for the environment.  We are called to work together to find new and old ways of sustaining life on earth. (full report appended)


The Clerk noted that concerns were brought to him regarding the conduct of plenaries.  One of these is that we hear the same voices many times and that others are never heard from.  However, we are grateful for the accumulated wisdom and experience of seasoned Friends.    

Ad hoc on registration  Joyce Samati, registar, brought two minutes regarding the selection of a registration service contract.  She read the names of the committee members.


Minute PYM AS 2013-11:  Pacific Yearly Meeting authorizes an ad hoc committee, consisting of the Registrars and a member of Ministry and Oversight, to solicit and receive applications for a Contract Registration Service, to select one of these, and to submit a contract to the presiding clerk for signature.

Minute PYM AS 2013-12:  Pacific Yearly Meeting approves allocating $3000, which will be part of the annual session budget presented at the next Representative Committee session, for the purpose of contracting with a Contract Registration Service.




Sarah Tyrell, registrar, gave the report, appended.  She thanked Brylie Oxley and Don Bean for their support with on-line registrations.

Naming committee: Alyssa Nelson and Brendan Fagen brought us the names already presented in Plenary 4.  In addition they announced that Henrietta Groot has moved off the Nominating Committee and so there is one opening.

Minute PYM AS 2013-13:  We approve the Nominating Committee as proposed:

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

Final Nominating Committee approval

David Barrows, clerk, asked for approval for the names brought forward earlier in this plenary and in Plenary VIII.

Minute PYM AS 2013-14:  We approved the Nominating Committee slate as presented in this and prior plenaries.


Peace Action Camp report

Nathan Walker (Palo Alto), Hannah McKinney (Strawberry Creek), James Summers (La Jolla), and Brendan Fagan (Reno) gave the report on Peace Action Camp held this summer at La Jolla Meetinghouse as a program of Ben Lomond Quaker Center. The camp was deeply meaningful for its participants.  The camp ended in a candlelight vigil on the beach in commemoration of immigrants who have died crossing the border.  The participants protested at the office of Congressman Juan Vargas, and as a result, Congressman Vargas changed his position on the militarization of the border.  This witness has deeply affected all those who participated in the Peace Action Camp.

Gratitude was given to the many Friends who supported the camp.

Middle School:   Nate Secrest (Lake County) introduced the Epistle, appended.  The program participants read the Epistle in turn, which celebrated their week of exploration.

Junior Yearly Meeting Epistle: David Shaw, Hannah Mackinney, Alex Gillespie and Jarod Rischpater, read the epistle, written in a series of haikus.  (full epistle is appended)

PYM Epistle:     Nora Cooke (Grass Valley), Carl Magruder (Strawberry Creek), and Judith Favor (Claremont) presented the Pacific Yearly Meeting 67th Annual Session Epistle, appended.  The Epistle addressed Friends in the spirit of Apostle Paul, in the tradition of letters sent into the world.  We accepted the epistle, with appreciation for its poetic mirroring of our Annual Gathering.

(full epistle is appended)

Pre-school epistle expressed the joy of the many activities they participated. (full epistle is appended)

The lower elementary epistle spoke of their activities, noting that the spirit of peace was felt among them in play, worship and song. “Though the ocean of darkness was on our minds, we found the rose in each thorn and were brought closer to the Light.” (full epistle is appended)

Young Adult Friends epistle was read by Alice Erickson (Berkeley).  They felt the spirit move through them in deepening community.  They appreciated the presence of grounded friends and the experience of being teachers for the children’s program.   (full epistle is appended)

Mt Madonna Center:  Brajesh Friedberg, the program director for Mt Madonna Center, asked Friends to consider four questions concerning the food, facilities, center staff, and their community.  Friends were asked to note their comments on evaluations forms, provided in the lobby.  We were invited to return for a personal retreat, and to take MMC brochures with us to share with others.  Brajesh also shared some comments from the staff to this body.  Our special requests stretched them, and they experienced us as the most cooperative and harmonious group they have hosted.  Members of the Mount Madonna community shared with Brajesh, “Would that we were more like that.”  For our presence and our inspiration, Brajesh offered his gratitude on behalf of the entire Mount Madonna community

Appreciation was spoken from the floor for the Arrangements Committee and for Jim Avera, Arrangements Clerk.

Concern was expressed for the expense and logistical difficulty of holding Annual Gathering in Southern California.

Gratitude was given for the teachers of the youth programs of Pacific Yearly Meeting.

Gratitude was given for the Clerk, Assistant to the Clerk and recording clerks.

Revised Peace and Social Order Minute

Steve Smith, clerk, asked for approval of the minute regarding our opposition to drone warfare, while acknowledging the deep and meaningful process we have held in this gathering exercising us on this issue.  The unapproved notes on the threshing session are appended to this record.

Minute PYM AS 2013-15:  In accordance with the Peace Testimony, Pacific Yearly Meeting is opposed to militarized drones as we oppose all weapons of war.

Clerks remarks:  Steve Smith thanked everyone for the support he has received.  He read a statement from the M&O Committee noting increased expenses of Annual Session and lower attendance and expressing concern that the cost of attending the Annual Session favors those of greater means and results in less diversity.

Minutes were approved.

Meeting closed with silent worship.