Annual Session 2017 Information for Registrants

The following important information was sent in two emails, on 6/25/17 and 7/5/2017, to all people registered to attend Annual Session 2017 at Walker Creek Ranch.  This supplements the basic information at Registration and Advance Information about Annual Session 2017 with late-breaking news and instructions.

6/25/17 – From the Registrars


Welcome to the 2017 annual session of Pacific Yearly Meeting which will be held from July 14 to July 19 at Walker Creek Ranch in western Marin County. Walker Creek Ranch is located at 1700 Marshall-Petaluma Road, Petaluma, California. A map and access to driving instructions can be found here:–directions/ 

Check-in will begin at 2 p.m. on Friday, July 14. While we look forward to having the community gathered by dinner, where possible, please do not arrive before 2 p.m.  unless you are part of one of the very few committees that has pre-arranged early arrival. Our first meal together will be Friday dinner at 5:30. We will end with lunch on Wednesday, July 19.  Come prepared for cool, and often foggy mornings as well as sunny and warm afternoons.

Before you arrive, please review the “Community Expectations” [linked in this web version; posted at the end of this note and the tentative schedule in the email version]. You will be asked to choose among worship sharing, Early Quaker Writers and Bible Study when you check in. The schedule and other information about the session may be found at:

The total paid to date [noted in individual emails] includes does not include Yearly Meeting financial assistance or fee remissions for those working in the Children’s or Junior Yearly Meeting Programs. We have credited financial assistance from your meeting if we have received the payment. Come prepared to pay the amount owed with a check payable to Pacific Yearly Meeting. We accept cash only in very unusual situations. We do not accept credit or debit cards.

Because some fees were incorrectly calculated by the automated registration system, your fee total may be less or more than expected. If the balance owed is a negative number, you will receive a refund after the Yearly Meeting session. In some situations (e.g., extra meals, linens) further fee adjustment may be necessary. Please contact us immediately if you believe we have miscalculated your fees.

If you or any members of your family are age 17 or under, and you have not already mailed in the parental permission and medical release forms for minors, you must mail them in asap or bring these completed forms to Yearly Meeting in order for minors to participate (mailing is preferred for enabling good program preparations); for Junior Yearly Meeting (teen program), also include the Service Project Release Form and the  Respectful Relationships Consent Form. Links to these forms and information about the Children’s Program and Junior Yearly Meeting are available on the annual session information webpage. Registration cannot be completed without these forms.

Junior Yearly Meeting Friends (teens): Please be sure to see the details about your program on your webpage, including the “What to Bring” list, welcome letter, and the very important “What to Expect” document for parents, guardians, and sponsors.

Please look out for one additional email which will contain important information about Annual Session 2017.

If you have any questions about your registration, please contact the co-Registrar, Heather Levien, at

7/5/17 – From the Assistant to the Clerk


This is the one additional email that was promised to be sent out with important information about Annual Session. Please read its contents carefully.

Arriving on Friday. Rooms will become available to move into between 2-4pm, with all rooms available by 4pm. If you are able, please arrive at least an hour or two before dinner (5:30pm) so that you can register (beginning at 2pm) and get set up in your room or pitch your tent. Arriving and being together prior to dinner helps us to be gathered and ready for the first plenary.

If you are expected at one of the Friday afternoon meetings (3:45pm children parents; 4pm teen parents; 4:45pm Monthly Meeting representatives) please be sure to arrive in time to attend. These meetings are very important.

Worship sharing options. Worship Sharing groups form a “home base” for those who choose to participate, sharing in a safe and confidential setting on queries that promote deep reflection. Worship Sharing is offered in the morning at the same time as Bible Study or in the afternoon at the same time as Early Quaker Writers. If you wish to participate in worship sharing, you should be prepared to give the team at registration your preferences for morning or afternoon and for couples only, lgbtq, easy accessibility, or the regular mixed groups.

Committee reports. Please read all the committee reports on the website before coming to Annual Session. Good business process is enabled by the body being informed ahead of time. All reports are, or will soon be, posted online here ( and will also be posted in hard copy on the exterior wall of the dining hall at Walker Creek.

Volunteer opportunities. This year we will be inviting Friends to actively contribute to our gathering by signing up for volunteer activities. We will ask Friends to sign up when they register on Friday. Some of the opportunities to get involved will include:

  • Putting up posters with names for the Meeting for Memorials
  • Driving the golf cart
  • Greeting Friends at the door of the main tent
  • Assisting parents and others with carrying trays at meal times

Open Committee times. Note on the schedule ( that the practice of holding open committee times has been brought back this year. Please come ready to engage with various committees during those times as we expect most questions to be answered by committees during those open committee times, not during plenary. During the Saturday afternoon plenary (before the first Open Committee time) committees that will be bringing items for approval will be presenting their items, including for example the PYM budget, the Abuse Prevention Policy and Restructure and Rightsizing proposals brought by M&O and so on.

Bell before plenary and grace at meals. In the spirit of experimentation, there will be a few new practices introduced this year: a bell before plenaries and a short corporate grace during meals.

We will ring a bell around the dining hall and on the patio before plenaries begin to make Friends aware of the plenary starting soon and help everyone be present and settled before the plenary starts.

Ministry & Oversight, with help from Junior Yearly Meeting, will be leading a short grace during breakfast, lunch, and dinner over the course of the week. One Friend will call for a brief moment of worship by raising their hand. Please also raise your hand to help call for quiet. Grace may come in the form of silent worship or a song, depending on what arises. Friends may be in line getting food or eating when grace begins. Please stop what you are doing for a moment to settle into worship.

Evaluation summary from Annual Session 2016. A summary of 279 evaluations from last year’s Annual Session can be found on the PYM website here ( titled Summary of Evaluations of PYM Annual Session 2016.

Clerk’s Call. The Clerk’s Call to Annual Session can be found here ( Please read it in advance of Annual Session to help be prepared for, and understand, the theme of this year’s session: Awakening to the Spirit.

Bookstore and Guatemala Gift Sales. The EarthLight Bookstore will be back and open for business, selling Quaker and other literature and items both useful and playful.  Like most years, Guatemala crafts (old favorites and new gift items) will be sold throughout the week. All proceeds go to support poor rural Mayan university students in Guatemala. If you may be interested in purchasing items, please bring cash or checks.

Finally, for the safety and comfort of members of our community, please refrain from bringing or using strong fragrances.

Again, if you have any questions about your registration, please contact the co-Registrar, Heather Levien, at

Thank you, Friends!

Sharon Gates, Assistant to the Clerk