Preamble: The Faith and Practice Revision Committee has continued preparing drafts of several sections of Faith and Practice for posting on the Pacific Yearly Meeting website. This new “rolling revision” process is based on the Quaker understanding of continuing revelation, as congruent with new technologies that make it possible for us to revise the document incrementally. We are living into this “experimentally” as our forebears might have said.
This year we are presenting a revision of “Death and Grieving.” Though we started this work last year, we understand the tenderness of this topic during the pandemic. We have also added a suggested format for a Zoom Memorial in the Manner of Friends, which is on the PYM website. (https://www.pacificyearlymeeting.org/2020/uncategorized/zoom-memorial-meetings-guidance/)
The “Death and Grieving” revision considers different ways that people die, with the hope of bringing love and healing as well as nurturing the spiritual growth that can occur at the end of life. We are asking Meetings, committees and other entities of the Yearly Meeting (for instance JYM, or YAF), to discern together about the proposed new language and to
share feedback with us at PYM.FPRevision@gmail.com by June 30th.
Text of the draft revision: PYM.FPRevision.Death-in-the-Meeting.2020-05-02
If you reach unity on suggestions you would like to make, let us know. If you struggled with the text and can give us input on issues where you did not find unity, that is also welcome. We are asking that individual Friends NOT send comments, but participate in larger group discernment, as is our tradition. We are also asking Friends to contribute medical and legal resources that are relevant to Hawaii, Mexico, and Nevada for the electronic appendix.
Queries you may find useful for your discernment:
- What have Friends found helpful during times of profound loss in their lives?
- Has your meeting been able to provide a loving support to those who were dying, and to those who care for them? What would help?
- We have addressed many of the ways that Meetings have experienced unexpected death (such as suicide) and subsequent grieving responses. In what way would including these situations in Faith and Practice help or hinder your Meetings’ response to the families involved?
- Would you like resources for Friends who feel led to be more supportive around end of life questions, preparation, grief, and loss? Do you have any resources you would recommend?
- Do you find the internet resources at the end of this document helpful? Do you have any other resources you could suggest? These resources can be updated in real time.
— PYM Faith and Practice Revision Committee, May 2, 2020