Request for Feedback on Draft Faith and Practice Revisions

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. (

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 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:

  1. What have Friends found helpful during times of profound loss in their lives?
  2. 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?
  3. 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?
  4. 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?
  5. 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

Zoom Memorial Meetings Guidance

In this time of physical distancing, the need to recognize and solemnize the passing of loved ones is intensified, even while shelter in place protocols make traditional memorials impossible for the time being. Physical distancing may be with us for many months, and may return from time to time in the future.

The Faith and Practice Revision Committee offers the following “virtual Zoom memorial format” for use by Quaker Meetings and others who prefer a simple service:    Zoom Memorial Meetings for Unprogrammed Friends. Please feel emboldened to offer a memorial in this way, and also to modify these suggestions to fit your community and the person who has died.

Carl Magruder, M.Div., BCC, initially wrote this document for SoulWays Spiritual Accompaniment (a Civic Light Project). The document was reviewed by Pacific Yearly Meeting’s (PYM) Faith and Practice Revision Committee, which Carl co-clerks, and is presented as a resource for during this time of physical distancing. It has NOT been finalized for PYM’s Faith and Practice as of April 24, 2020.

Launch of the Faith and Practice Revision Process – A Request

Dear Friends,

The Faith and Practice Revision Committee invites you to engage in the “rolling revision” process of prayerfully discerning how our Faith and Practice can support meetings and individuals as we seek to live an authentic Quaker spirituality.  The first round of revisions is now ready for your consideration.

We request that monthly meetings and other bodies review the proposed revisions together and send us those points upon which they found unity. If no unity is found, a brief description of the feel of the meeting is welcome. We anticipate that this process will occur three (or so) times per year, as new revised pieces are presented.

Continue reading “Launch of the Faith and Practice Revision Process – A Request”

Discipline Committee – note on Faith and Practice revision status in 2014

Representative Committee:

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Orange Grove Meetinghouse

Discipline Committee: The presiding clerk reminded Representative Committee that at the 2013 Annual Session, Discipline Committee brought a recommendation that PYM embark upon a revision of the current Faith and Practice. Both enthusiastic support and reservations were expressed, with no clear unity emerging. He noted that if the currently 6 proposed revision takes five years, 18 years will have lapsed since the publication of the 2001 edition—significantly longer than past revision time spans.

Carolyn Stephenson (Honolulu), clerk of the Discipline Committee, reaffirmed the view that it is time to begin the revision process of Faith and Practice, as a living document reflecting our continuing revelations as Friends. The committee’s full report is appended. An interest group at the Annual Session on Faith and Practice as a Living Document will help to further our discernment. A Friend asked those in attendance to consider what may be outdated in the current issue of Faith and Practice. Friends spoke to changes needed in the Advices & Queries, the recognition of Earth Care and the support of same-sex marriage as concerns held by our corporate body, and the use of technology as a vehicle for enhancing the life of Faith and Practice among us. Record keeping, charges to the committees and officers also need greater clarity, since they are the keys to the smooth operations of our Society. One Friend expressed a longing for a return to a Christian discipline, reflecting our long tradition. “How does Faith and Practice reflect our faithfulness to the Divine?”

If we approve a revision, the Faith and Practice Revision Committee is asked to consider relative stability and consistency among members of the committee, since wholesale or frequent turnover on the committee can be disruptive. We were asked to address further concerns to the committee.

We approved this minute:

Minute RC 2014.05: Representative Committee approves bringing the following minute to the 2014 Annual Session: “Pacific Yearly Meeting approves beginning on the next revision of our Faith and Practice.”


Annual Session 2014

Walker Creek Ranch

July 14 to 19, 2014

Plenary VI

Discipline Committee Clerk Carolyn Stephenson (Honolulu) presented the committee’s report (attached) which included the news that Monthly Meetings are no longer to send their minutes to Whittier College and must await a disposition announcement from the Discipline Committee.

The March 2014 Representative Committee approved a minute that we start the revision of our Faith & Practice. After some discussion the following minute was approved:

AS Minute 2014-04: Pacific Yearly Meeting asks the Discipline Committee to begin work on the next revision of our Faith and Practice.

Discipline Committee Proposed Minute – NOT APPROVED

Your Discipline Committee asks Pacific Yearly to refer to the Discipline Committee as the “Faith and Practice Revision Committee” from the point of approval of this name change through the acceptance of a revised Faith and Practice.

We will continue with our work and expect to return to Representative  Committee 2017 with a recommendation regarding the committee composition.

Discipline Committee-Report to Representative Committee 2015

Discipline has begun its task of a revision of our current Faith and Practice. To date we have gathered for two face to face meetings and one conference call. Our next meeting is planned for late this Spring and we plan to try utilizing the video conferencing software the Western Friend has acquired, to see how this newer technology can help us further our work, and still shrink the size of our carbon footprint. We began by asking one another how we envision a new edition of our book of discipline will look in 5 years. At our first meeting we became clear we need to start a dialogue within this Yearly Meeting, both with the Monthly Meetings as well as individuals, how they use the current Faith and Practice (or not); what within the current Discipline speaks to them and what does not. He have written a group of initial queries to the Monthly Meetings, to Junior Yearly Meeting and to Young Adult Friends, asking them to respond to us with their initial thoughts, asking them to respond to our committee by the end of April which we expect will help us in our work. (see attached letters) . To date, we have received thoughtful responses from San Diego and La Jolla MM, and several others Meetings have indicated they’re in the process of preparing a response to us. We have also recently received thoughtful from two individuals with their thoughts.

Our committee sees this as the beginning of a dialogue, not the sole opportunity for input. We already have more questions to pose to the Meetings, but are loath to do so just yet, as so many have not yet had the time to season and respond to our first queries. We are balancing our need for input, & our whole community’s need for transparency in this revision process, along with the desire we have heard voiced that this revision considerably less than the decade the last revision took, & not wanting to be experienced as an undue burden by the Monthly Meetings. We have at our most recent committee meeting divided the responsibility for primary contact with each of the Monthly Meetings within PYM. In the months ahead, sometime in the months ahead the clerks of each Meeting will hear from one of our committee members, an effort to further communication in this revision process.

We have formulated a 6 month timeline for our initial work, and as individuals have divided some of the responsibilities for drafting sections of the discipline where clear updates need to be made, for the whole committee to season. We are still in the process of crafting a further 5 year timeline for how we will proceed.

Today we bring you word on our proposed interest group our committee plans to hold at the next annual session, on membership: What does it mean to be a Quaker? We plan to present a brief history of membership followed by worship-sharing and discussion, in the hopes of helping Discipline committee clarify what the PYM community believes on this subject, as we begin to revise Faith and Practice.

One final note from your Discipline Committee’s clerk – in our early deliberations, it has become quite clear to this Friend, the various connotations our words can have, are often connotations other individuals may not share. In revising our Discipline, we will need to labor tenderly with one another, listening with an open heart as we choose the words, the terms, las palabras y los dichos that convey to all the spirit of our Quaker thought and practice.

Respectfully submitted,

DJ Bloom, Clerk of Discipline