2023 Annual Session Interest Groups

Sessions on different topics of interest sponsored by PacYM Committees and Friends’ organizations.
Following is the draft schedule of the interest groups that will be offered at the 2023 Annual Session.

Saturday (3:00-4:30 pm PT)

California and Climate Change: How State Policy is Addressing our Environmental Crisis

California has been called a national, even international, leader in its response to the climate change crisis. We’ll review some of the key accomplishments of the past decade in state environmental policy and the ways that legislators and advocates have approached the various aspects of climate change. We’ll take a closer look at what’s behind some of the most recent legislative successes and failures and discuss current and proposed advocacy efforts in the 2023-24 legislative session.
Sponsored by: Peace & Social Order Committee
Presenters: Jim Lindburg, Consultant FCLCA, and Kevan Insko, Executive Director FCLCA
(Maple Room) (hybrid)

Continuing the Conversation with the Keynote Panel

Join our keynoters Faith Cantu, Nora Lisette-Cooke and Daniel Lean as we continue to explore the theme guiding our 2023 Annual Session, Beloved Community: Centering the Voices of the Next Generation.
Sponsored by: Presiding Clerk
(Main Hall) (hybrid)

Engaging with the Emotional Impacts of Climate Change

This experiential interest group will be an introduction to the phenomenon of ecological grief and where we find hope — what it is, how to engage with it, and why it’s important. We’ll spend some time in a worship sharing format to explore tender places in our own hearts where ecological grief and hope dwell — and offer them sacred attention.
Sponsored by: Unity with Nature Committee
Presenters: Gayle Matson & Klara East, trained eco-grief facilitators, Unity with Nature Committee
(Seminar Room) (hybrid)

Jubilee Year of the Guatemala Friends Scholarship Program (PROGRESA) //  Undocumented Student Scholarship of Sacramento Friends Meeting

PROGRESA is celebrating 50 years of social justice through education in Guatemala. Beyond academics, we are creating a family of leaders based on Quaker values. Currently, 90 scholars, 63% women. Hear how students are moving forward, overcoming challenges.
Presenters: Miguel Costop, Director Progresa, program alumnus, Hector Canto, President Progresa Association, former Vice-Minister of Education, program alumnus, and Progresa program students

Undocumented Student Scholarship Project, 12 years and going! We have assisted more than 40 undergraduate and graduate students at Sacramento State University in completing their degrees since 2011. With the support of Pacific Yearly Meeting and Monthly Meetings, we have made a difference in young peoples’ lives. Join us in celebration!

Presenters: Patricia Portillo (Clerk) and Álvaro Alvarado (Assistant Clerk), Undocumented Students Scholarship Program, and program students
Sponsored by: Latin American Concerns Committee
(West Dining Room) 

Spiritual Parenting

Explore the value and difficulties of inviting one’s children into our spiritual lives. We will discuss how to communicate honestly and avoid propagandizing our faith, what consistency looks like, and what resources are out there for parents who would like to do more. What gets in our way of talking about the role of Spirit in our lives? How can we build support for parents on this important topic?
Sponsored by: Children’s Program Committee
Presenter: Molly Bishop, Co-Clerk Children’s Program Committee
(Breezeway Patio) (onsite only)

Sunday (6:45-8:15 pm PT)

AFSC’s Work Confronting State Violence in California Communities

California law enforcement agencies equip themselves with weapons of war, deployed on the street, in private homes, against those detained in jail or incarcerated in prison. How do we confront this violence? What are alternatives to this violence that we must call for instead? AFSC’s California Healing Justice program shares how we work for peace in California, and what you can do to confront state violence in your community.
Sponsored by: American Friends Service Committee (AFSC)
Presenters: Jennifer Tu, AFSC California Healing Justice Program, Fellow, and
John Lindsay-Poland, AFSC California Healing Justice Program, Co-Director
(West Dining Room) (onsite only)

Finding Your Voice, Building Relationships, and Changing the World with FCNL Advocacy Teams

More than 15,000 Quakers and friends participate in Advocacy Teams through Friends Committee on National Legislation. Many had never lobbied before joining a team, but thanks to the training and resources provided by FCNL, we have learned tools for dialoguing across political and ideological differences and to make our voices heard in Washington. This presentation will describe Advocacy Teams and their impact on us, personally as well as politically.
Sponsored by: Peace & Social Order Committee
Presenters: Carol Flint, Santa Monica/LA Advocacy Team, Cindy Fowler, Sacramento Advocacy Team, and Marilyn Cleveland, Berkeley Advocacy Team
(Seminar Room) (hybrid)

Healing Our Beloved Community: Connecting to Quaker Healing Practices

As a continuation of last year’s “Healing Our Beloved Community” Interest Group, we delve into healing practices that are already within Quakerism. We will reconnect with foundational Quaker healing processes by considering Joseph Pickvance’s pamphlet entitled George Fox: Healing and Spiritual Regeneration.
Sponsored by: Racial Justice Subcommittee (of Ministry Committee)
Presenters: Aaron Terry, Member of Racial Justice Subcommittee, Honolulu Friends Meeting, and
Daniel Lean-Moctezuma, Member of Racial Justice Subcommittee, uaffiliated
(Main Hall) (hybrid)

Monday (10:30 am-12:15 pm PT)

F/friends in Unlikely Places: Engaging with Those Who Never (or Always) Agree with You

Does talking to people who never or always agree with you feel like an exercise in futility? In this workshop, we’ll make the case for engaging lawmakers with differing or similar views and discuss how to have those conversations faithfully and effectively. Drawing on theory, research evidence, and spiritual frameworks from Quaker tradition, this workshop will equip F/friends with new skills for communicating with officials and building relationships to make change in and beyond Congress.
Sponsored by: Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) and Peace & Social Order Committee
Presenters: Bobby Trice, FCNL Quaker Engagement Program Manager
(West Dining Room) (onsite only)

Future of the Yearly Meeting – Membership

As we envision the future of our yearly meeting, our Quaker community, let’s look at some questions about membership. What does membership mean to each of us? Who belongs? How do we know we belong? Do we need to adapt our membership process to be more inclusive of young people with mobile lifestyles, others living remotely from a monthly meeting or unable to attend for reasons of disability or mobility empairment?
Sponsored by: Ministry Committee
(Main Hall) (hybrid)

Honor the Past, Shape the Future

Guest presenter Kanyon Sayers-Roods is Costanoan Ohlone-Mutsun and Chumash; she also goes by her given Native name, “Coyote Woman”. The daughter of Ann-Marie Sayers, she was raised in Indian Canyon, trust land of her family, which currently is one of the few spaces in Central California available for the Indigenous community for ceremony as well as being the only federally-recognized Indian country from Sonoma to the coast of Santa Barbara.

Kanyon has spoken widely on Ohlone history, language and culture, and offers a conversation about acknowleding our colonial past and the land we share, and strategizing a sustainable, healthy future. We will deepen our understanding of the spiritual nature of reciprocity and our responsibility to the earth and all beings.
Sponsored by: Indigenous Concerns Subcommittee (of Ministry Committee)
Presenters: Kanyon Sayers-Roods, Oohlone, Indian Canyon
(Seminar Room) (hybrid)

Palo Alto Friends Meeting El Salvador Projects // Casa de los Amigos

In a hybrid presentation with Robert Broz, field director of Palo Alto Friends Meeting El Salvador projects, live via Zoom will bring you up-to-date with current events in El Salvador. He will be joined by sponsored university students who will share about their lives and studies. The interest group will continue with participation by Casa de los Amigos, a Quaker center for international understanding in Mexico City. This in-person interest group will share the Board’s progress in righting an institutional crisis that has paralyzed the organization, as well as open a space for questions and connections.
Sponsored by: Latin American Concerns Committee
Presenters: Robert Perry Broz Moran, Project Director, Palo Alto Friends Meeting El Salvador Projects; Bart Czyz, Board of Directors Secretary, Casa de los Amigos
(Maple) (hybrid)

The Core of Our Faith

How to describe the core of our faith? This interest group is part of the dialogue that revision of our Faith and Practice involves. Committee members will share where we are in drafting a chapter with this focus. We ask Friends to join us in searching for descriptions of this core that are true to our tradition and our experience as a diverse community.
Sponsored by: Faith & Practice Revision Committee
Presenters: Jim Anderson and Diego Navarro, Co-Clerks Faith & Practice Revision Committee
(patio) (onsite only)

Locations are subject to change. Please see the Daily Miracle for the definitive locations each day. 


The time for submitting proposals for interest group sessions has passed. 

Contact: Heather at assistanttotheclerk@pacificyearlymeeting.org

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