Latin American Concerns Committee Report to PYM 2012

Latin American Concerns Committee Report to PYM 2012 (PDF file)

Latin American Concerns Committee

Report to Pacific Yearly Meeting, August 2012

The Latin American Concerns Committee (LACC) continues to focus on its primary mission of increasing awareness among Friends in PYM of the meetings and projects in Latin America that are related to our yearly meeting.  In addition, we work to make this knowledge available to others, and include information about other Friends projects in Latin America, especially those related to unprogrammed meetings.  Finally, we are deeply aware of how the policies of the United States (on economics, drugs, and immigration) interact with conditions in Latin America.

Our two primary means of increasing awareness throughout PYM continue to be via our bilingual website ( and by sponsoring interest groups at our Annual Session.  This year Miguel Angel Costop, Director of Progresa, the Guatemala Friends Scholarship/Loan Program, will be presenting information and insights on their current activities.  That program is jointly sponsored by Guatemala Friends Meeting and Redwood Forest Friends Meeting.  In addition, we are joining the Peace and Social Order Committee in sponsoring the interest group on Undocumented Students.

Our committee discussed and began to make plans for a blog that would include more current information on happenings in Latin America and within our related programs, but we discovered that despite our enthusiasm we did not have the resources of time and energy to make this happen.  Instead, we have decided to prepare reports such as this for PYM at least annually, and continue to maintain and update the website.

We encourage you to visit the website for information on Mexico City Monthly Meeting, the Casa de los Amigos in Mexico City, the Guatemala Friends Meeting, Progresa – Guatemala Friends Scholarship/Loan Program, and the El Salvador Programs of Palo Alto Friends Meeting.  Information on volunteer or service opportunities with these projects can be found by following links to individual sites.  The website also contains information on other Quaker-related projects, as well as contact information for several unprogrammed meetings, worship groups, and individual Friends in Latin America.

Reports on our three primary projects are below.

Casa de Los Amigos, Mexico City

Casa de los Amigos continues to thrive in Mexico City. The Casa’s guesthouse has been full all year, and the peace programs have been very active. At the Casa’s annual board meeting in February, seven new members were received. A few highlights include:

  • Hosting a Friend in Residence for three months, who received Pickett Fund support for her stay.
  • The Casa 2012 summer internship: six students for 10 weeks.
  • Providing temporary housing to migrants, refugees, asylum-seekers, and victims of human trafficking.
  • Entering into a formal arrangement of support for AVP Mexico, offering publicity and space for workshops.
  • Running the third Casa de los Amigos Migration Field Study, an intensive one-week program for 10 students from Haverford College
  • Opening up the Casa to APOFAM, the Asamblea Popular de Familias Migrantes, an organization dedicated to supporting return migrants and families of Mexican immigrants to the US.
  • The long-awaited inauguration of TOCHAN, a migrant shelter in the western part of Mexico City. The Casa has worked in coalition on this project for the last three years.

Guatemala Friends Scholarship Loan Program.

In 2012, we have 35 new students and 62 continuing students for a total of 97.  This is a reduction in our total number of students due to less income in 2011.  At the university level, the most popular majors are law, nursing and secondary education, and at the secondary level they are primary education and agriculture.  In 2011, we had 12 graduate at the secondary level and 22 from university.

We are in the third year of our service program where students perform a project in their community.  In this way the help offered by the Scholarship Program is multiplied and reaches hundreds of people through training workshops and other services.  Students are encouraged to do a project relating to their major and any student may do a project related to earth care.  A welcome additional benefit from this program is that upon seeing the talents of our students, many have been offered jobs in their communities.

2011 was also the third year of Teaching English Experience where North Americans spend a week in Antigua, Guatemala giving one-to-one English instruction (curriculum provided, no prior experience needed).  This opportunity to get to know our students has been such a rewarding experience that instructors keep returning.  The next work tour is December 3-12, 2012.  We continue to offer tours of Guatemala Highlands to groups of 6 or more.  See for details.

We are grateful to LACC for sponsoring the attendance of our director, Miguel Angel Costop, at PYM this summer.  He will present an Interest Group and be available throughout the week.  It has been a number of years since Miguel has attended PYM and we look forward to this opportunity.  Next year will be the 40th anniversary of Guatemala Friends Scholarship Loan Program.

Donna Smith, Co-clerk, Guatemala Scholarship Program

Redwood Forest Friends Meeting

El Salvador Projects, Palo Alto Friends Meeting

“Education is the quickest way to lift people out of poverty.” –Carmen Broz, who founded the El Salvador Projects 23 years ago. She is still remembered with great love among the communities, says her son, Robert Broz, who is the field director living in El Salvador.

We offer loans to bright high school graduates from peasant families to attend university or technical school. Support for a single student for one year is $1200. Through an exchange of letters, the sponsors and the recipients become friends.

We work in several communities. EI Barío school offers K-12 education to the region, with credentialed teachers. In nearby Suchitoto, Robert Broz collaborates with others to stage a “University Fair” to inform all high school seniors about college options. In two communities near Perquín, we provide scholarships to students to attend area schools. Our Project AGE helps seniors become self-supporting. We send them donated reading glasses.

The fifth Service-Learning trip that we have conducted since 2006 has given adolescents and adults the chance to travel to this developing country, meet with people in the communities we support and learn about the issues in their lives. They have the chance to see for themselves the impact of our support on the lives of individuals. The service element allows Salvadoreans and Americans to become friends while working together.   Service projects have included road construction to allow better access to a village school, assisting in building a wheelchair ramp, building a bathroom in a community center, and digging the septic pool, and painting various community buildings.  The 2012 trip, underway as we write this, includes teaching English classes in a village school and several painting projects.

This work is made possible entirely by the support of 125 generous contributors and Monthly Meetings. The income in 2011 totaled $38,850.  Expenses were approximately $21,600 for our university loan program, $4,600 for general projects, $8,400 for Field Director compensation, $2,500 for newsletters, and about $2,000 for  other expenses.


Please feel free to contact committee members or projects directly for more information.

LACC Report Submitted by Dottie Vura-Weis, Clerk

Latin American Concerns Committee


Peace and Social Order Committee Report 2012

Peace and Social Order Committee Report to Annual Session 2012 (PDF file)


Peace and Social Order Committee

Clerk’s Report

August, 2012

I. Committee members in service for peace and justice:

In 2011- 2012, several members of the committee engaged in Quaker action for justice and peace in their communities, Monthly Meetings, and Quarterly Meetings Lucia Van Diepen led the Soledad Worship Group at Soledad State Prison, and presented on prison ministry in several venues. Bill Spencer worked for affordable housing by leading efforts to convince the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors to follow their legal obligations to guarantee that a certain percentage of new housing units be dedicated to low- income tenants. Anthony Manousos worked on behalf of homeless persons in Los Angeles County and engaged in civil disobedience for the cause of social justice. He also worked with Communities United for Justice and Peace and in interfaith work, particularly between Friends and muslims. Alvaro Alvarado worked in Sacramento with undocumented students to obtain college scholarships, and explained the new California Dream Act to Friends and the wider community. Jeff Kroeber guided the San Jose Monthly Meeting to membership in the Silicon Valley Interreligious Council.

II. Interest and Affinity Groups Being Presented at the 2012 Annual Session:

Three interest groups are being presented at the Annual Session by this committee:

(1) Undocumented students (co- sponsored with Latin American Concerns Committee);

(2) Friends Peace Teams; and

(3) Homelessness and affordable housing

Two affinity groups are being presented:

(1) Friends and the Occupy Movement; and

(2) Prison ministry

In 2011 the committee presented three interest groups at the Annual Session, which were well- attended.

III. Presentation on Quaker Activism at Southern California Quarterly Meeting:

In November 2011 at the Fall Meeting of Southern California Quarterly Meeting, three members of the committee (Anthony Manousos, Lucia Van Diepen and Jeff Kroeber) participated in a panel discussion on Quaker Activism and Interfaith work.

IV. Monthly Conference Calls:

Our committee has a monthly conference call, during which we network, brainstorm ideas and projects, seek the guidance of The Light in our work, and welcome involvement from all interested Friends, including the Youth Program Coordinator and young Friends. These calls have consistently assisted us in increasing our vision for peace and justice activities, and assisting each other in coordinating our work in the far- flung locales where where we live.

V. Outreach to JYM and Young Friends:

The Clerk this year has made efforts to reach out to young Friends and JYM. This has included regular participation of Alyssa Nelson, Youth Program Coordinator, in our conference calls, and attending the Intergenerational Workshop at Quaker Center at Ben Lomond on August 10 and 11. The committee has requested Nominating Committee to bring forward the name or names of young Friends for membership on this committee.

VI. Concern About Possible War With Iran:

This committee has grave concerns about increased threats toward Iran, and the very real prospect of war between Iran and the United States. The members of our committee discussed a number of concerns and proposals during our April, May and June conference calls. We called upon all available spiritual guidance, but still no clear path to action was apparent.

We recommend that all Friends carefully review, engage in prayer upon, and consider acting upon the Minute on Iran approved at Orange Grove Monthly Meeting in April, 2012:

As Friends, we urge our elected officials to engage in diplomatic efforts rather than military threats when dealing with Iran and other nations that some define as our enemies. We support taking steps to insure that the Middle East become a WMD- free zone, as recommended in a 1975 U.N. General Assembly resolution.

As Friends, we oppose taking pre- emptive punitive actions against Iran based on the assumptions it may be developing nuclear weapons. We also oppose covert actions such as the assassinations of Iran’s nuclear scientists or funding violent opposition groups. We feel that such actions are tantamount to war and will destabilize the Middle East rather than promote an enduring and just peace.

We also call upon Friends to help dispel the poisonous stereotypes about Iran that are leading many people to believe that war is not only necessary, but inevitable.

We recommend that Friends read books and films about Iran, reach out to their Iranian neighbors, and share truths about Iran as widely as possible:

Also recommended:

Ask the Clerk of our Yearly Meeting to send a letter to elected officials based on the first two paragraphs of this minute.

Encourage monthly meetings to do likewise. Organize book discussion groups and film showings about Iran and the Middle East.

Explore other creative ways to challenge the demonization of Iran and to emphasize the humanity of Iranians.

Respectfully submitted
Jeffrey Kroeber, Clerk
August 2012


Job Description for Visiting Friend Committee

Job Description for Visiting Friend Committee (PDF file)

Job Description for Visiting Friend Committee

Purpose: As a sub-committee of the Ministry and Oversight Committee, the Visiting Friend Committee provides support for Pacific Yearly Meeting’s Visiting Friend.

Committee Members: The committee has three to five members. One member is also a member of PYM M&O and serves as liaison to that committee. Members serve for two years in, when possible, overlapping terms.


1. The committee provides support for the Visiting Friend by

a) providing spiritual support to the Visiting Friend.

b) overseeing visits, budget, and funds;

 c) assisting with travel and hospitality arrangements;

 d) facilitating communication between Meetings wishing to be visited and the Visiting Friend;

 e) collecting feedback from Meetings and discussing it with the Visiting Friend as appropriate; summarizing feedback for inclusion in committee’s report to M&O;

 f) reviewing annual reports of Visiting Friend; and,

 2. The committee will report at least annually to PYM’s M&O Committee.

3. The committee assists in the selection of the Visiting Friend by:

a) Staying aware of Friends who might be good candidates to serve as the Visiting Friend; and,

 b) When the current Visiting Friend’s term is nearing its end, the Committee will begin a nominating process to create a list of possible candidates to serve. Candidates on this list will be both suitable and available to serve. The list will be presented to Ministry and Oversight with recommendations. Naming of the Visiting Friend is the responsibility of M&O.

January 2012

Visiting Friend Job Description

Visiting Friend Job Description (PDF file)

Visiting Friend Job Description

The Pacific Yearly Meeting Visiting Friend, appointed by the Ministry and Oversight Committee will travel in the ministry among Monthly Meetings and Worship Groups in PYM in order to help us live more fully in the Spirit and strengthen the bonds of community in the Yearly Meeting. Visitors will be members of a Monthly Meeting, known to the Yearly Meeting and generally recognized as “weighty” Friends. Visitors may be individuals or couples. The term “Visitor” is used below to refer to the Visiting Friend (or Friends) in whatever configuration the Visitor takes at a given time (individual, married or unmarried couple, etc.).

The Visitor will travel over one year and try to visit each Monthly Meeting and Worship Group. In the past the Visitor has had 2-5 topics to present, based on his or her concerns, experience, and answering to the Spirit.

The Visitor may be released from duties at his or her Meeting.

Monthly Meetings may choose a topic for the Visitor to address, either from among topics suggested by the Visitor or a topic that is of particular interest to the Monthly Meeting. The Visitor may provide assistance in discerning a response to an issue in the Meeting.

The Visitor is in regular contact with the support committee throughout the year, and at the end of the visiting year provides a written report to the committee, to be shared with PYM’s Ministry and Oversight Committee.

There may not be a Visiting Friend each year if the funds do not support it or no suitable Friend is available, allowing the reserve to build up to a level that will support a Visitor.

June 2012

Fund For Concerns Application Process

Fund For Concerns App Process (PDF file)

Fund for Concerns

Application Process

 The Ministry and Oversight Committee administers the Fund for Concerns.  Its purpose is to assist members and attenders of Monthly Meetings to follow individual leadings arising from peace, social order, or spiritual concerns.  It is not intended to underwrite organization or committee projects.  Individuals may apply for funds through their Monthly Meeting, which in turn applies to the Ministry and Oversight Committee on their behalf.  Faith and Practice, p. 187-188.

  • All applications must be in writing.
  • Applications must come through the Monthly Meeting and indicate approval from the appropriate Monthly Meeting committee.
  • Applications should clearly state the amount of funding requested as well as the amount being contributed by the Monthly Meeting.
  • Completed applications will be considered in order received and will need approval by the full Ministry and Oversight committee.
  • Grants will be made depending on available funds.

One request per fiscal year for up to 3 months’ housing may be requested by a Friend who is accepted into the Casa De Los Amigos “Friend in Residence” program.

Up to $100 per fiscal year per person will be available to help with the interest and penalty expenses of war tax resisters who are members or regular attenders of a Monthly Meeting.  The Monthly Meeting must indicate approval and provide matching funds.

June 2012

Ministry & Oversight Committee Report

Ministry and Oversight Report Annual Session 2012 (PDF file)

Ministry and Oversight Committee Report

Ministry and Oversight Committee has had a full and productive year as we engaged in prayerful discernment as to how we could best support the spiritual life of Pacific Yearly Meeting.

• Following the Annual Session of 2011 we began with a prayerful review of the 2011 Annual Session and a study of the evaluation responses.

• We established two new subcommittees, the Experimentation and Implementation Subcommittee, and the Representative Support Subcommittee, which are assisting in the discernment around vision and in the practical aspects of communication for the Yearly Meeting. You will see changes to the schedule for this year’s Annual Session, an experiment which has come out of the Experimentation and Implementation Subcommittee’s seasoning of Friends’ input.

• In response to Friends seeking funds for traveling in the ministry, for relieving some of the financial penalties for tax resistance, and for supporting service as Friends in Residence at Casa de Los Amigos, we developed an application procedure for the Fund for Concerns. (see attachment)

• We have developed descriptions for our new Visiting Friend Support Committee and for the Visiting Friend position and are currently recruiting Friends to serve on the Support Committee. We hope to announce the members of the Support Committee at the 2012 Annual Session and begin accepting applications for Visiting Friend(s) in the early Fall of 2012. (see attachment)

• We are reconstructing the Mexico City Subcommittee (see subcommittee report below)

• We are in the process of gathering information about the Yearly Meeting’s representatives to Quaker organizations and their roles in those organizations.

• In June we participated in a mini-workshop on eldering which has better prepared us for caring for our spiritual community

• We are reviewing the State of the Meeting reports and will soon be posting a summary.

Much of our work is reflected in the following reports from our subcommittees.

Experimentation and Implementation Subcommittee

This subcommittee was created by M&O in the fall of 2011 as a follow up from the Futures Committee Report in 2011. It consists of a parent of elementary school age children, a parent of a teen, a Young Friend who grew up in the Children’s Program and Junior Yearly Meeting (JYM), a member of M&O with major PYM responsibilities and a person who has been involved with JYM, and served on M&O previously.

The committee met by phone conference 5 times for approximately a total of 6 hours and individually spent considerable time reading, digesting information and writing a report to M&O given at Representative Committee in March 2012.

The report focused on suggested changes to the 2012 Annual Session. The first and most important recommendations regarded nurturing ‘gathered’ or ‘covered’ Worship and Business Meetings at Annual Session. A second group of recommendations suggested scheduling changes to the Annual Session to better nurture each age group’s needs, and to create specific times for community building and activities that haven’t been in the official schedule in past years.

The committee is hosting an interest group at Annual Session to gain input on this year’s schedule and ideas for the future. After Annual Session, the committee will consider sending out a survey to those who have attended the gathering and especially to those who did not attend. With that information and the data from the evaluations, we will make recommendations on changes to Pacific Yearly Meeting, both in terms of the Annual Sessions and as a year round organization. We will move forward as M&O directs us.

Representative Support Subcommittee 

We began our work with the help of conference calls arranged and led by Clerk of PYM, Marilee Eusebio and the participation of several PYM reps in January. Every rep who did not participate in the conference calls was then called individually by a member of our subcommittee.

We further refined and presented the job description for PYM reps at the RepCom meeting in March in LaJolla. We sent out emails to the PYM reps in mid June informing them of the Early Bird registration and listed our phone numbers for any questions. We have contacted the reps again through email, telephone and one to one conversations in July in order to find out which reps are coming and who might be substituting for Meeting reps. We have encouraged the reps to bring the concerns of their meetings to the Annual Session. We also asked for feedback on the scholarship process. Responses to date are included in the attached document.

We are planning to meet with Meeting reps at the Annual Session to help new reps to understand the schedule and to maximize their opportunities to connect with other Quakers and what they are doing in their home meetings. We are also exploring the possibility of writing Quick Quaker Notes for the Annual Session for reps to take home to their monthly meetings.

We intend to communicate with reps throughout this next year in similar ways as last year. We may explore the use of Skype.

In peace,

Don Bean; Sandy Kewman, clerk; Carol Mosher, PYM M&O Liaison; Tom Yamaguchi

Subcommittee on Ministry and Leadings

The subcommittee, Sue Torrey, Judith Favor, Laura Magnani, and Elaine Emily, held a very productive meeting in June, reviewing their job description and evaluating their work thus far:

1. developing means and assisting monthly meetings to develop means for helping Friends to discern when they are experiencing a leading and supporting them in fulfilling a leading

2. recommending procedures to monthly meetings for ways of supporting individual leadings and ministry through the use of clearness committees, anchor committees, and/or oversight committees.

3. developing mechanisms for helping to fund Friends traveling in the ministry, including overseeing Yearly Meeting funds for these purposes.

The document, Faithfulness in Action, provides a guide for monthly meeting to help discern when Friends are experiencing a leading and describes ways to provide different kinds of support and oversight needed to fulfill that leading, including some mechanism for helping to fund Friends traveling in the ministry.

Much of the subcommittee’s work since the completion of that document has been dealing with issues and concerns around the ministry of two individual Friends. Spiritual Accountability Committees were initially found for each of them, but problems were encountered in both instances. Those problems were due to geographic issues and also to a lack of clarity around expectations. This is not a mechanism that seems to be effective for ongoing accountability. Having these committees drawn from other than the monthly meetings to which Friends with ministry belong is not really workable and the oversight and support for Friends with leadings needs to be at the monthly meeting level.

The subcommittee will follow up with the two Friends, as to where they are with their leadings at this time.

4. sponsoring interest groups and other adult education opportunities related to ministry and leadings

This is an area where we will be developing approaches to be brought as interest groups, workshops and even retreats for presentation at the PYM, at the monthly meeting level, or at Quaker Center. We are excited about this work. We will be meeting in early October to review any new information and plan for our continued work.

Racial Justice Subcommittee

The Racial Justice Subcommittee of Ministry and Oversight of the yearly meeting, consisted of Alvaro Alvarado,(Sacramento), John Cantu (Santa Cruz), Cayman Howard (Visalia), Heather Howard (Visalia), Laura Magnani, co-clerk (Strawberry Creek), Deborah Marks (Strawberry Creek), Diego Navarro, co-clerk (Santa Cruz), Charla Robertson, co-clerk (Orange Grove), Steve Smith (Claremont), and Jim Summers (La Jolla), plus two very dedicated ex officio members, Barbara Babin and Marilee Eusebio. We met by conference call approximately 5 times during the year. Four of our members attended the White Privilege Conference in Albuquerque, at the urging of Vanessa Julye and Janice Dominic from FGC. There were many good workshops and opportunities – but perhaps the highlight for each of us was meeting in caucuses as people of color, or allies, and taking bigger risks than we were sometimes able to do in mixed groups.

In April we held a weekend retreat at Ben Lomond, Quaker Center, attended by approximately 25 Friends. We worked with facilitators from Seven Generations Consulting to understand issues of culture and race, and how we determine our identities. For some the content was not challenging enough. For others it was a good balance between challenge and healing insights and options. We consider it just a beginning of our work within the Yearly Meeting to become more culturally competent and aware. A disappointment of the weekend was that despite our efforts at outreach, we did not have high school or college-age Friends in attendance, although we did have the youth coordinator.

We go into PYM 2012 planning an interest group, preparing for affinity groups, and testing the waters on Transformative Quakers of color.

Electronic Communications Subcommittee and Web Coordinator Report to M&O 2012

Work has continued on increasing PYM-relevant content on our website. We have created an on-line registration process for both RepCom in March and this current Annual Session at Walker Creek and ask for Friends feedback so we learn where we can improve this process in the future. Our Youth Program Coordinator has been able to manage the Youth Program’s content directly on the site, and we encourage other committees to learn more about utilizing this outreach for your own committee’s work.

The Electronic Communications Subcommittee consists of Don Bean (Clerk and PYM Web Coordinator, Conejo Valley WG), Tom Yamaguchi (Strawberry Creek MM), Jan Tappan (Orange Grove MM) and Eric Moon (Berkeley FM). We wish to add Brylie Oxley (currently at Woolman Semester) and Kerwin Flowers (La Jolla FM) for the 2012-2013 Term to provide logistical and technical support for the subcommittee to establish this project.

The subcommittee is seasoning a leading, Maintaining Community Connections in the Digital Age: 

After years of working with various data points from Quarterly and Yearly positions, and sitting in on recent AS Evaluation meetings, it’s become abundantly clear to me that something fundamental needs to change in the collection, management and distribution of all the “meta data” that makes up our Pacific Yearly Meeting. By meta data, we are referring to the sum total of our Yearly, Quarter, Monthly Meetings, Worship Groups data, including Members and Attenders, Nominating rosters from each level (YM, QM, MM), full contact details of committees, representatives, meeting houses and individuals, PYM Organizations and Schools, and the full calendar of events for each level.

Currently each level of our structure collates their own pile of data to do their committee work, and frequently has to resort to word of mouth, emails or phone calls to find out what’s happening at other levels (if they know other levels exist or whom to contact). This means that each level is duplicating the work of the other two levels, or working with limited knowledge of the community as a whole. This is wasteful of our limited resources and time, and takes away from the core focus of our officers, representatives and committees.

Also, most of the data we use is locked in from the date of printing of the Quarterly Directories each July/Sept, assuming you have a copy, so changes that might happen after printing are difficult to be known throughout our community.

My proposal:

Create an on-line database that is a searchable “virtual” duplication of our Yearly Meeting organizational structure, and let each branch of the organizational tree manage their own data.

It is my belief that open-source solutions are inherently more robust long-term as you are not placing your resources into a propriety program that has unknown support or maintenance costs going forward. I suggest we tap into the experiences of groups currently using such programs, such as Brylie Oxley of Woolman Semester.

There are open-source products that provide Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solutions that can be adapted to fill our needs in a single on-line database with a web-friendly interface to manage data, return basic query results (e.g. “Who are our MM Reps? And how do I contact them?”, or “How do I contact all the MM/P&SO/M&O Clerks?”, and support for all levels of our Yearly Meeting, from Nominating to Registrations, Members and seekers alike.

A searchable library/archive of recent minutes, reports, newsletters, etc could also be integrated into the project.

Once the database is launched, for example; each MM can appoint someone to update their own MM data as changes happen at the local level year round, thereby updating the whole community in real time and the data is no longer locked in from last printing of the directory.

We would follow best-practices for securing the data, require account registration and password controls to access the data at all times. We would assign various roles from “read only, basic searches” to “MM edits” “NomCom edits” etc. to control the security of the data and restrict access as needed.

To start out the project, we would import both current quarterly directories, the nominating rosters and other relevant details, so we ask for a minute of support for the Electronic Communications subcommittee to oversee this project and report back on our progress at RepCom 2013.

Mexico City Subcommittee 

Mexico City Monthly Meeting is feeling healthy now, with an increased number of attenders, and no longer sees a need for support from Ministry and Oversight’s Mexico City subcommittee. However, there are other meetings, such as Guatemala, which are not associated with a Quarterly Meeting and which do need help. Ministry and Oversight will ask the 3 current members of the Mexico City subcommittee if they are willing to continue to serve on the renamed subcommittee. Members of the renamed subcommittee will be charged with assessing the scope of the work, specifically whether to include Hawaii, will make a recommendation to Ministry and Oversight as to the appropriate number of members needed, and will make a budget proposal. They will also recommend a name for their committee to Ministry and Oversight.

On behalf of the Ministry and Oversight Committee,

Barbara Babin, Clerk

Sharon Gates, Robin Durant, Carol Mosher, Gary Wolff, Sarah Rose House-Lightner, Bronwen Hillman, Joe Magruder


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Western Friend Annual report 2012

Western Friend Annual Report for 2012 (2012/06/06) (.PDF version)

Western Friend: building practical and spiritual connections in print, online and face-to-face.

Western Friend

Annual Report

May, 2012

The purpose of Western Friend magzine is to build community among our constituent yearly meetings: Inter-Mountain Yearly Meeting (IMYM), North Pacific Yearly Meeting (NPYM), and Pacific Yearly Meeting (PYM). In addition to publishing Western Friend magazine, Western Friend works to bring Friends together in person around common interests. In particular one of our recent books, To Be Broken and Tender: a Quaker Theology for Today continues to enrich the spiritual life of Friends. This book appeals a broad range of Friends as well as to those outside of Quakers. It is also popular with meeting study groups. Marge Abbott, author of To Be Broken and Tender has been traveling the country, leading Friends in workshops based on the book.

The Western Friend website now includes an option to subscribe to an electronic version of the magazine. The electronic format has some advantages you might like. Check it out! The website has a variety of features. You can now read articles from the latest issue, learn about Quaker events around the West on our on-line calendar, submit letters to the editor, comment on articles, and donate, subscribe, or purchase books. You can also easily contact the editor with your questions and comments.

Western Friend currently publishes eight issues per year and continues to give readers articles and essays that engage Friends’ hearts and minds. Themed issues have been an especially popular way to expand Friends’ understanding of salient topics. During the past year Western Friend has reached thousands of Friends through our books and magazines, and hundreds more through in-person experiences where our editor, Kathy Hyzy, gave workshops and speeches. You can look forward to more themed issues in coming months!

This year Jessica Bucciarelli from Bridge City Friends Meeting in Portland and Paul Christiansen of Eastside Friends Meeting in Seattle complete their service to the board. We are thankful to these Friends for their dedicated and able service, and are trusting their yearly meetings to find replacements able to fill their shoes. Our officers for the coming year will be Jerel Peterson, Mountain View Friends Meeting (IMYM), Clerk, Solomon Smilack, Mountain View Meeting (IMYM), Recording Clerk, and Jim Mangis, Treasurer.

Western Friend’s financial situation for the fiscal year ending 9/30/2011 was stable. Western Friend budgeted an operating surplus of $4,209 and realized an operating surplus of $9,471. The reason for the operating surplus was an unanticipated bequest in the amount of $7k. Unrestricted net assets were $15k on 9/30/2011 compared with $8k on 9/30/2010. While the increase of $7k is good, in the board’s opinion operating with an operating reserve of $15k is inadequate. A three month operating reserve would be closer to $30k. Boosting the organization’s inadequate operating reserves remains an area of focused concern by the finance committee, board, and editor. For the year ending 9/30/2012 the finance committee is anticipating an operating loss of $6k. If realized, this will reduce our unrestricted net assets to $9k.

After five years as editor, Kathy Hyzy will be leaving Western Friend on December 31, 2012. Kathy’s contribution to the ministry of Western Friend is immense and she will be missed. This situation provides Western Friend with an opportunity to evaluate our service to Friends. Can we make Western Friend financially viable? Is Western Friend the most efficient and effective use of our resources? How can Western Friend best serve the yearly meetings? The board will be seeking input from you as we work towards discerning the future of Western Friend.

We invite Friends to contact a board member or the editor, Kathy Hyzy (Multnomah Meeting, NPYM), with questions and ideas. Kathy and at least one board member will be present at all three of the summer Annual Sessions. We appreciate hearing from you, and the editor especially welcomes your stories and other submissions, as well as your concerns. Western Friend exists to serve you.

Respectfully submitted,

Jerel “Jerry” Peterson

Mountain View Friends Meeting (IMYM)


Friends Bulletin Corporation dba Western Friend

Phone: 303-726-8960 Email:

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PYMHC Report to AS 2012

PYM Holding Corporation 2012 Report (.PDF version)

Pacific Yearly Meeting Holding Corporation’s

2012 Report to PYM’s Annual Gathering

                   Pacific Yearly Meeting Holding Corporation is a section 501(c)(2) non-profit corporation.  While (c)(3) non-profits are as common as pigeons in parks, (c)(2) non-profits are rarely encountered.  In Internal Revenue Service parlance, a religious holding corporation is a “fully integrated church auxiliary” where “fully integrated” means integral, “auxiliary” means adjunct and “church” means a congregation united by faith or belief.  In keeping therewith, PYM Holding Corporation is separate from but essential to the right functioning of Pacific Yearly Meeting.

PYM Holding Corporation is a corporate fiduciary whose job is to hold title to real property and other assets for Pacific Yearly Meeting and its associated Monthly Meetings.  Thus corporation members must take their fiduciary responsibilities seriously.  At this time, in addition to holding stock for a Monthly Meeting, PYM Holding Corporation is responsible for holding and disbursing the proceeds received as a result of laying down San Fernando Valley Meeting and selling its Meetinghouse.

From that late 1996 sale, Friends received cash plus a 20-year note for $105,000 with a robust 9% interest rate.  As of October 2011 the remaining debt of $52,410 was renegotiated and the interest rate on the remaining mortgage debt reduced to five percent (5%).  The remaining proceeds ($96,553) are held by PYM Holding Corporation in an FDIC insured bank, and are available to help PYM’s Monthly Meetings acquire or construct new Meetinghouses.  During the past year, no requests for Meetinghouse funds have been received.


Lanny Jay

Clerk of PYMHC




Epistle from the General Meeting of Friends in Mexico

Epistola RGAM 2012 (.PDF version)
English Version (Jump to translation below)

Ciudad de México

5 de junio de 2012



 La XXXVIII Reunión General de los Amigos en México (RGAM) se celebró los días 1, 2 y 3 de junio de 2012 en la Ciudad de México para explorar el tema “Revelando la Luz Interior.” Desde su fundación en 1958, la RGAM ha reunido a Amigos de todo México cada 18 meses. Este año, la Junta Mensual de la Ciudad de México coordinó el evento, con la colaboración de la Casa de los Amigos.

Casi cuarenta personas vinieron a celebrar la RGAM, misma que no se llevaba a cabo en la Ciudad de México desde hace 20 años. Además de muchos miembros de la comunidad cuáquera en la capital, vinieron cinco Amigos de la Iglesia Evangélica de los Amigos de Ciudad Victoria en el estado de Tamaulipas, y la organizadora de un nuevo Grupo de Adoración en la Ciudad de Oaxaca. También hubo visitantes de Guatemala, Gran Bretaña, y de Pensilvania y Alaska en los Estados Unidos.

A través de la Adoración, las conferencias y la convivencia, fuimos invitados a considerar quienes somos los diferentes grupos de los Amigos en México. Compartimos nuestras experiencias sobre las diversas formas en que expresamos y vivimos el cuaquerismo, desde la tradición silente y la pastoral. Hubo curiosidad entre todos a conocernos mejor, y se percibió el deseo de más comunicación y contacto entre los Amigos en México.

En los grupos de Adoración Compartida, contemplamos juntos las preguntas planteadas por el tema del encuentro: ¿Cómo reconozco la Luz Interior en mi vida? y ¿cómo se revela en mis acciones?. Los grupos trataron las preguntas con sinceridad y muchos participantes ofrecieron momentos poderosos.

La RGAM contó con la presencia de tres personas que asistieron al Encuentro Mundial de los Amigos celebrado en Kenia en abril q. Quienes nos dieron un informe excelente, y la lectura de la Epístola fue un momento conmovedor. Pudimos sentir que somos parte de una comunidad global de Amigos, y que esfuerzos como la RGAM están siendo replicadas en todo el mundo.

El estar y compartir juntos nos ha brindado la oportunidad de aprender, de conocernos mejor y de mirarnos a nosotros mismos. Como siempre, la calidez, la convivencia y la hospitalidad han vuelto a definir la RGAM.

El encuentro llegó a su fin con una memorable Reunión para Adoración. Enviamos saludos y esperanza a los grupos de Amigos en todo el mundo.

 ______________________                                                                   _________________________

Bronwen Hillman           Alberto Hernández Arroyo

Secretaria General   Laura Morales Navarro

Nicholas Wright

Comité de la Epístola

Versión española (Ir a la traducción de más arriba)


Mexico City

June 5th, 2012



Friends celebrated the 38th General Meeting of Friends in Mexico (RGAM) on June 1st, 2nd and 3rd in Mexico City, to explore the theme “Revealing the Inner Light.” Since its founding in 1958, the RGAM has gathered together Friends across Mexico every 18 months.  This year, Mexico City Monthly Meeting organized the event, with the collaboration of Casa de los Amigos.

Almost 40 people came to celebrate to the RGAM, which had not been held in Mexico City for 20 years. Besides many members of the Quaker community in the Mexican capital, five Friends also came from the Evangelical Friends Church in Ciudad Victoria in the state of Tamaulipas, as well as the organizer of a new Worship Group in Oaxaca City. Visitors from Guatemala, England, Pennsylvania and Alaska also attended.

Through Worship, conferences and fellowship, the different groups of Friends in Mexico were invited to consider who we are. We shared our experiences of the different ways in which we express and live Quakerism in Mexico, from silent and pastoral traditions. All were curious to know one another better, and those present perceived a sense of desire for continued communication and contact among Friends in Mexico.

In our Worship Sharing groups, we could reflect together on the queries which came from the gathering’s theme: How do I recognize the Inner Light in my Life, and how is it revealed in my actions? The groups treated the questions with sincerity, and offered powerful moments to many Friends.

The RGAM was gifted with the presence of three Friends who had attended the World Gathering of Friends held in Kenya in April. They presented an excellent report, and the reading of the Epistle was a moving moment. We could feel that we were all part of a global community of Friends, and that efforts like the RGAM are being celebrated all over the world.

Being and sharing together has given us the opportunity to learn, to know one another and to see ourselves better. As always, the RGAM was defined by warmth, fellowship and hospitality.

The gathering ended with a memorable Meeting for Worship. We send greetings and hope to Friends in all parts.

___________________________                     ___________________________________

 Bronwen Hillman             Alberto Hernández, Laura Morales,

General Secretary      Nicholas Wright

Epistle Committee Bronwen Hillman Secretaria de la Reunión General de los Amigos en México

PYM Rep Report to RGAM

Report RGAM 2012 Rep Anderson (.PDF version)

Report by Jill Anderson, member of Mexico City Friends Meeting and current PYM Representative to the Reunión General de los Amigos en México (RGAM)

July 6, 2012

The XXXVIII Reunión General de los Amigos en México met Friday evening, June 1st through Sunday afternoon, June 3rd 2012 in Mexico City. For the first time in over twenty years, Mexico City Friends Meeting hosted the Reunión General at the Casa de los Amigos. It was a historic event.

There were almost 40 people in attendance: including five people from Ciudad Victoria Friends Church, one Friend from a new Worship Group in Oaxaca, and Friends from Alaska, Guatemala, England, and Pennsylvania. Friday evening was spent in conversation. There were many warm hugs and lots of excitement as people arrived to a reception of hot chocolate and tamales. We also received thoughtfully prepared packets with information and several brochures and essays in Spanish by Quaker thinkers around the theme. The theme for this year’s Meeting was “Revelando la Luz Interior”, or “Revealing the Inner Light.”

Saturday was spent in plenary sessions, worship-sharing groups, two brief conferences, and several delicious and filling meals.

The Meeting began with a prayer by Manuel Guzman of Ciudad Victoria Friends Church and the hymn, “Dulce Comunión.” At the first plenary session, the clerk of the Reunión General, Bronwen Hillman, noted the tremendous diversity of nationalities and life paths among us. Each of the three meetings that currently form the RGAM shared the state of their meeting. Mexico City Friends Meeting noted the increase in attenders, the two members who had recently attended the World Gathering in Kenya, and the historic nature of the meeting’s decision in unity to host the RGAM. Manuel Guzman of Ciudad Victoria shared the insecurity and violence within which their church members were living, and noted the current process of re-evaluating the use of funds from the parking lot for the church’s philanthropic project “Casa de los Amigos.” Lorena Cassidy, the organizer of the Oaxaca Worship Group, shared that they meet every week on Saturdays and every two weeks on Sundays. There are always 2 and sometimes up to 10 people gathered in un-programmed worship. Sometimes she reads from PYM Faith and Practice also.

In the first of three conferences we discussed the history, differences and commonalities of programmed and un-programmed Friends. Nicholas Wright, Tino Barreras, and Rosa Marta Soto shared their experiences with un-programmed worship. Manual Guzman shared his experiences and perspectives on programmed worship. We ended a discussion in which many people shared their various experiences within Quakerism with the queries: “What is a Quaker? What is it that unites us as Quakers?” In the second of the conferences we responded together to the query: “Why are we here? What brings us together?” Nicholas Wright shared the history of the Reunion General de los Amigos en México. A friend from Ciudad Victoria shared the meaningfulness of her experience of trust and hospitality in Mexico City in comparison to the insecurity and distrust they are living with due to the narco-violence in Tamaulipas. Another friend talked about the need for a response to the violence in Mexico must come from a profound spiritual source. Another friend talked about the great respect and admiration she has for friends from Northern Mexico and from Mexico City. Finally, Paty Constantino, Judith Vargas, and myself led the third conference about our experiences at the 6th World Gathering of Friend in April 2012. Judith made a film and photo slideshow that we showed, and we each shared our main impressions of the historic gathering. Reading aloud the epistle was a particularly moving moment, as is noted in the attached RGAM epistle.

Five different worship sharing groups met in two different sessions, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. In the first session we considered the following two queries: “How does the Inner Light reveal itself in my life? How do I feel when I experience it?” How do I get in touch with the Inner Light? Am I willing to let it shine?” In the second session, we considered: “How do we show our faith in action so as to bring about healing while distancing ourselves from selfishness and selfish goals? What kinds of action does the Inner Light lead us toward individually and as a community in Mexico?” I participated in the English-speaking worship sharing group. It was characterized by honest and deep sharing in both Spanish and English about recent personal experiences and our individual spiritual paths. The worship sharing themes, quotes, and queries are also included in this report as an attachment.

On Sunday morning, we gathered in the Casa de los Amigos for the final plenary session, a full Meeting for Worship, and a group photo.

This was my third opportunity to participate in the Reunión General de los Amigos en México. I felt that it was an honor and a responsibility to serve as the Pacific Yearly Meeting representative. PYM was certainly able to save money and carbon costs, especially since the gathering was hosted by my home meeting in a rather unexpected turn of the Light. However, I think there was some disappointment that PYM did not send a new visitor to get to know Quakers in Mexico. The PYM representative as a new visitor has been such a visible and significant part of the experience for so many years. I hope my participation as PYM representative has been helpful and informative this year, and I am grateful for the chance to serve in this capacity. However, I do recommend that future PYM representatives come from outside of Mexico City Monthly Meeting.