Annual Session 2022 Interest Groups

We have a number of Interest Groups in several formats associated with our Annual Session this year. In addition to the three 90 minute time slots during the Annual Session itself, with multiple options to choose from in each time slot, we will be experimenting this year with having some interest groups on the Saturday before session begins – July 16 – in two 90 minute blocks, and some on the Sunday after session ends – July 31. This is an experiment which has been tried by other Yearly Meetings, and we will see how it works for us.

Note: The information on this page will provided in a downloadable PDF format prior to Annual Session.

Questions about Interest Groups? Write to Heather (


Before Annual Session

These sessions will be held on Zoom. All Friends registered to attend Annual Session will receive the Zoom link by email. If you wish to attend only the Interest Group sessions on Saturday, July 16, please contact 

Saturday, July 16
1:00-2:30 pm

Quaker Indian Boarding Schools

Native American organizations are asking churches to join in a Truth and Reconciliation process to bring about healing for Native American families that continue to suffer the consequences of the Indian boarding schools. With support from Pendle Hill (the Cadbury scholarship), Friends Historical Library (the Moore Fellowship), the Native American Rights Fund, and other Friendly sources, Paula Palmer researched the role that Quakers played in implementing the federal government’s policy of forced assimilation of Native children. This 1-hour slide presentation is followed by a discussion about what this history means for Friends and Native Americans today.
Sponsored by: Peace & Social Order Committee
Presenter(s): Paula Palmer

Voting Rights Today: Where Are We?

After months of inaction, the Senate formally took up voting rights legislation on Jan. 19, 2022. The vote did not produce the result we wanted. Though desperately needed, the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Act failed to pass. Where are we now? Presenter José Woss is FCNL’s Director for Justice Reform. He leads FCNL’s work on criminal justice reform, election integrity, and policing.
Sponsored by: Peace and Social Order Committee
Presenter(s): José Woss

Saturday, July 16
3:00-4:30 pm

Quaker Activism on Immigration Issues

A panel will involve discussions of how Quaker Meetings and individuals have been working with immigrant detainees, refugees, and asylum seekers from various countries and experiences. Panelists will discuss their activism and how other Meetings and individual Quakers can get involved, using a variety of different strategies. This panel will involve discussions of how Quaker Meetings and individuals have been working with immigrant detainees, refugees, and asylum seekers from a variety of different countries and experiences. Panelists will discuss their activism and how other Meetings and individual Quakers can get involved, using the wide variety of methods they have experienced.
Sponsored by: Peace and Social Order Committee
Presenter(s): Betty Guthrie, Chula and Hubert Morel-Seytoux, Marilyn Cleveland, David Rutschman

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

The Casa de los Amigos is a Quaker center for international understanding in Mexico City. This 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 the questions, connections, and spiritual support that made last year’s interest group such a great help to this challenging work. Robert Broz field director of Palo Alto Friends Meeting El Salvador projects 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.
Sponsored by: Latin American Concerns Committee
Presenter(s): Bart Czyz, Robert Broz, Jeaqueline Alas, Desi Artiga, Wilson Olmedo

At Annual Session

These sessions will be held both in-person and online (hybrid). In the event of technical or connectivity issues, the onsite and online tech support teams will make every effort to correct the situation. However, if a solution cannot be found within 10 minutes, the session will continue in the modality where the presenter is located (in person or online).

Saturday, July 23
3:00-4:30 pm

Panel with Keynote Participants

Continue the conversation with the keynote presenters.

Sponsored by: Presiding Clerk
Presenter(s): Peni Hall, Marlene Coach-Eisentstein, Keith Runyan
Location: Main Hall

Exploring Religious Educational Practices

What are some of the vital, dynamic Quaker religious educational practices that motivate Friends in our monthly meetings? What does your monthly meeting long for as practices that really lead Friends deeper into the Spirit in your meetings? How can we support one another in Quaker educational practices that move us, adding depth and even spiritual transformation within our monthly meetings?
Sponsored by: Ministry Committee
Presenter(s): Eric Sabelman, Stan Searl, Jay Cash
Location: Maple

Beyond Land Acknowledgements

Many meetings have become familiar with or participated in the custom of acknowledging the traditional peoples of the lands we now inhabit and worship on. After confessing that we inhabit stolen ground, what comes next? How do we build right relationship with our indigenous neighbors and their tribes? This interest group provides a forum to present and share what meetings and individuals are doing and could be doing.
Sponsored by: Indigenous Concerns Subcommittee of Ministry Committee
Location: Seminar

A Timeline of PacYM’s Work on Indigenous Concerns
Indigenous Concerns Queries
Indigenous Concerns Resource List
Indigenous Concerns Subcommittee IG Agenda

Sunday, July 24
6:45-8:15 pm

Beloved Community & the World We Seek: Living Quaker Faith at FCNL

What are the links between Quaker faith, public policy, and work to build beloved community with each other? Join Bridget Moix, FCNL’s new General Secretary, to discuss Friends’ role in healing the divides in our country, strengthening democracy, and engaging with communities as leaders of change. She’ll be joined by Jameelah Lewis to discuss how FCNL Advocacy Teams are manifesting that vision in the grassroots, followed by Q&A.
Sponsored by: Peace & Social Order Committee
Presenter(s): Bridget Moix and Jameelah Lewis
Location: Main Hall

All Our Relations: Living with a Radically Changed Planet

Answers to the climate crisis are emerging on all sides—even as its devastations multiply. The answers are in nature herself, calling us back into relationship, and in the wisdoms of our many peoples, calling on us to heal our histories and harvest what we’ve learned. Responding rightly to the crisis we’ve brought upon our planet is our chance to mature as a species—to save all that we still can and lay the groundwork for a way of living that brings out the best, not the worst, in us as human beings.

Two seasoned climate activists, two generations apart, will be in dialogue with each other about how they understand these times, their own place in them, and where they turn for the wisdom they need and the power to so act. We will then continue this dialogue together in small groups, picking up where the panelists leave off, to share how we are responding to these times, personally and as Meetings, in our relations to the natural world, and in our communities, work lives, life plans. We seek especially for a sense of where Spirit is in all of this, and how we are being led to respond and to act.
Sponsored by: Unity with Nature Committee
Presenter(s): Keith Runyan, Leanne Nurse, Nancy Glock-Grueneich
Location: Maple

How Can Our Beloved Community Heal?

A discussion exploring questions like, What is healing? What does healing look like? What healing practices do we have in our community? etc. The idea is to provide a space for reflection and to bring the community into the healing process.
Sponsored by: Racial Justice Subcommittee of Ministry Committee
Location: Seminar

Monday, July 25
6:45–8:15 pm

The Future of Pacific Yearly Meeting

What are the purposes of the yearly meeting? How has our yearly meeting been changing? What changes do we foresee? What changes do we need and long for? What do we envision for our yearly meeting in the next five years, and how can we get there? What staffing might we need to make the changes we long for? Let’s explore these questions together in worship.
Sponsored by: Ministry Committee
Location: Main Hall

What Are We as Quakers Called to Do?: Answering the Crisis of Faith

Few in our world now doubt that there is a climate crisis; what we doubt is our power to do anything meaningful about it. How then can we, as members of the “Religious Society of the Friends of Truth”, deal honestly with what the climate crisis demands of us? In this session, we invite Friends to share how your Meetings are responding to the climate crisis, supporting the climate leadings of individuals, serving their local communities and finding deeper spiritual community around these urgencies.

We will also walk through handouts suggesting sources on key solutions and effective actions, organized around the different kinds of concerns that make up the crisis. We will end sharing with each other how Meetings are helping each other and how PacYM may best serve Meetings and Friends, working both within and between Meetings and in their communities and networks, around these different areas.
Sponsored by: Unity with Nature Committee
Location: Maple

Love Knows No Borders

Policymakers commonly portray the border region as one that is out of control and lawless. In this session, you will learn how policies sustain this misinformed viewpoint and are detrimental to border residents and migrants. The presenters will review the history tied to border agencies as well as efforts to try to challenge the misguided narrative through non-violent direct action and documentation of civil and human rights.
Sponsored by: American Friends Service Committee (AFSC)
Presenter(s): Pedro Rios and Sterling Spence
Location: Seminar

Shaping our Faith and Practice

Our committee is proposing a new format for our Faith and Practice. Our plenary presentation will describe this to the Session. Our follow-up interest group presents the opportunity for Friends to learn more details, ask questions, make proposals or offer advice regarding our approach, express concerns, and in other ways join in our work.
Sponsored by: Faith and Practice Revision Committee
Presenter(s): Jim Anderson, Sue Scott
Location: tbd

After Annual Session

These sessions will be held on Zoom. All Friends registered to attend Annual Session will receive the Zoom link by email. If you wish to attend only the Interest Group sessions on Sunday, July 31, please contact 

Sunday, July 31
2:00-3:30 pm

Guatemala Friends Scholarship Program-PROGRESA

PROGRESA has supported the education and training of more than 1400 Guatemalan leaders since 1973 and many of our students have made significant contributions to improving life in their communities and their country. Come and hear the experience of one of our alumni who served as vice minister of education in the previous government. Several of our current students will also be sharing about their lives and leadership experiences together with Miguel Costop, director of PROGRESA.
Sponsored by: Latin American Concerns Committee
Presenter(s): Miguel Costop, Hector Canto, and program students

As Way Opens: Creating a PacYM Climate Strategy

In 2021, Philadelphia Yearly Meeting came to a plan based on this truth:

As people of faith, seekers of the truth, and stewards of Creation, we must act with urgency to prevent further suffering and destruction of our planet. We seek to energize everyone involved with PYM to actively undertake this leading and help halt the destruction of life on this sacred earth.

We know that many PacYM Friends share these commitments and are working with their own Meetings and communities to act upon them.  In this workshop, Unity with Nature seeks guidance from these Friends in how best PacYM may serve to support Friends and promote the sharing of their efforts between Meetings. This guidance will both shape the work of this Committee for the coming year and also lay the groundwork for PacYM to arrive at its own Climate Action Strategy to be considered at the 2023 Annual session.
Sponsored by: Unity with Nature Committee
Presenter(s): Klara East, Nancy Glock-Grueneich

Creativity and Spirituality

Creativity is a principle, a principle that must be acted upon to remain healthy. Why? Creativity is a drive, a drive that must be channeled & used to sustain balance. How? Creativity is a gift from the Divine that must be used lest it use us. What does that mean & how does it apply to us???

This writing workshop will be a celebration of Creativity as a gift from the Divine & a way of expressing the Divinity within us. Queries: What inspires me to create? What happens to my spirit when I use my imagination? What things in my life bring out or squelch my creative impulses? How do I create with other people? What are my artistic paths?
Sponsored by: Presiding Clerk
Presenter(s): Avotcja Jiltonilto

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