How to Schedule an Interest Group at PYM Annual Session

This page describes the process for getting interest groups onto the schedule for the Pacific Yearly Meeting Annual Session.  For Annual Session 2021 the deadline for proposals is Sunday, March 7, 2021.

Why such an “early” deadline?

Coordination between committees and officers of the Yearly Meeting is needed so as to make the best use of the limited time available for interest groups during Annual Session. Preparation for Annual Session involves hundreds of tasks performed by dozens of people, making it very important to complete tasks as far in advance of Annual Session as possible.

This means that if you are planning to offer an interest group at Annual Session, there is a deadline for submitting your proposal, namely the end of the preceding Representative Committee meeting (RepCom).  For 2021 this falls on March 7, 2021.  The process is described below.

Related Forms and Pages

  1. Proposal Process description as a PDF (out of date, but basically last year’s version of this page as a .pdf).
  2. Interest Group Proposal Form 2021 ←  submit proposals using this online form
  3. Annual Session General Information
  4. Annual Session 2021 Information (will contain Clerk’s Call to AS 2021 and other advance information)

The Process


Interest groups (IGs) at Annual Session (AS)  are usually sponsored by committees of the Yearly Meeting (YM) or by representatives (to the YM from other organizations or to other organizations from the YM). The numbers of IG time slots allocated to each committee are as follows:

Committee # of slots
Ministry 3
Peace & Social Order 3
Faith & Practice Revision 2
Latin American Concerns 2
Unity with Nature 2
Communications/Western Friend 1
Junior Yearly Meeting 1
Keynote Speaker 1
Racial Justice Sub-Committee 1
Youth Programs Coordinator 1
Reserved 3
 Total 20

The reserved slots allow for IGs sponsored by representatives, Friends’ organizations, or others as needed and as determined by the Presiding Clerk and the Assistant to the Clerk.


Task Timing Dates
1.  Committee seasoning of IG proposals AS through RepCom August – February
2.  Committees submit IG proposals to the Assistant to the Clerk RepCom March
3.  Assistant to the Clerk prepares IG schedule RepCom through AS March – June

Step 1. Committee Seasoning

It is up to committees to season their IG proposals well in advance of Representative Committee (RepCom). It is important to be aware of the theme of the following year’s AS and consider if there are topics associated with the theme. IGs should address topics within the general purview of the committee. When a topic falls outside the purview of a committee or is within the purview of more than one committee, committees are encouraged to collaborate so that the IG is proposed by the appropriate committee. Adjustments to the time slot allocation will be made to accommodate jointly-sponsored IGs.

Note to Clerks of Peace & Social Order, Unity with Nature, and Latin American Concerns Committees: Please coordinate with each other on your committees’ IG proposals. Focus on identifying overlapping IG topics and determine together when you would like all of your IGs scheduled. This advance work will help the Assistant to the Clerk draft a schedule that presents a wide range of choices, reduces conflicts in topics and schedules, and is easy to understand.

Step 2. Committees Submit IG Proposals

By the end of RepCom, proposals for all IGs should be submitted via the online form. If the form is unavailable, equivalent information should be sent to the Assistant to the Clerk.  The proposal should include the following information:

  1. Title of the interest group.
  2. Name of the presenter(s), including any affiliations that should be included on the schedule (for example, Director of Casa de los Amigos, FCL-CA lobbyist, etc.).
  3. Brief description:  this will be printed on the IG schedule and should not exceed 75 words. Committees are encouraged to make descriptions as brief as possible and to submit items to the Daily Miracle (the daily newsletter) with more information the day before the IG is held so that it is published on the correct day.
  4. Committee(s) sponsoring the IG.
  5. Anticipated number of IG participants:  this helps the Assistant to the Clerk make room assignments. If unknown or not included, the Assistant to the Clerk will use their best judgement in assigning spaces.
  6. Indicate if the IG requires equipment (projector, screen, etc.), an Internet connection, a specific room set-up, or anything else that would need coordination with the Arrangements Committee.
  7. Time or date restrictions:  for example, a presenter will only be at AS on certain days, or scheduling needs to be coordinated with the JYM schedule.
  8. Scheduling conflicts to avoid:  let the Assistant to the Clerk know if this IG should not be scheduled in the same time slot as another IG because, for example, the same committee members need to attend both or many attenders are likely to want to attend both of the IGs.

If some of the information will not be available until after RepCom, the Committee should submit a proposal that is as complete as possible and let the Assistant to the Clerk know when the remaining information will be provided. While things like the names of the presenters, IG title and description can be modified up to 3 weeks before AS, other information from the list, above, must be provided in a timely fashion so that the IG schedule can be drafted and seasoned.

Step 3. Assistant to the Clerk Prepares IG Schedule

After RepCom, the Assistant to the Clerk will prepare a draft IG schedule based on the proposals submitted and in consultation with the Presiding Clerk. The draft schedule will be sent to all IG sponsors for their review and the schedule will be revised taking review comments into account. Once the revised draft is approved by the Presiding Clerk, it will be posted on the PYM website. Minor modifications may occur at AS.

Translate »
Scroll to Top