Welcoming Our New Administrative Assistant

A message from the Clerk.

I am happy to announce that we have hired Bronwen Hillman to be Pacific Yearly Meeting’s new Administrative Assistant, beginning December 1, 2021, through August, 2023!

Most Pacific Yearly Meeting Friends will already know Bronwen who has served the yearly meeting in many capacities over the years.  She is currently clerk of the Arrangements Committee and previously clerk of what is now called the Ministry Committee.  This is a two year experiment which we will be evaluating and discerning along with questions about the role of the Yearly Meeting and the work we are called to do.  With deep gratitude to the Ministry Committee, the Search Committee and the 6 people who applied, please join me in welcoming Bronwen to her new role.

Laura Magnani, Clerk

A Message from the Presiding Clerk: an experiment in learning and safeguarding space at Annual Session 2020

July 8, 2020; updated version July 12, 2020

Our theme at this Annual Session is “Radical Inclusivity: Responding to God’s Insistent and Persistent Love.” Radical inclusivity is the vision of what I hope all of us want to work toward, where we want to grow. But it is not where we are now.

White Supremacy is embedded in the culture and institutions of the U.S and within the Religious Society of Friends. We must name it and we will name it here at Annual Session when it shows up.

There are ways that the tentacles of racism show up and when it shows up we, as individuals and as a collective, suffer damage to our souls. People of Color notice when racism shows up. White people often do not notice.

At Annual Session, we are embarking on an experiment this year. We will notice words that land in a harmful way and help us, our whole body of Friends assembled here, to learn to see and to acknowledge when words land in a way that causes harm. One might say something with no harmful intent, but it may land with harm. We will pause at those times, we will breathe together, and we will address the harm done. Addressing harm needs to include acknowledging another’s experience. Dialogue with white Friends can then occur in a private space if an individual wants to explore the learning. Dialogue among Friends of Color can also occur in a private space to address the harm done. Throughout the Annual Session there will be Affinity Groups held for Friends of Color and for white allies in separate spaces so that support for this important work and learning can occur without inadvertent harm being done.

Let us strive to hold our whole community with open hearts, to pay attention to all who share this space, and to speak with integrity. For as much as it is hard for white Friends to learn of our unseen, unacknowledged racism, it is even harder, harsher for it to land with Friends of Color. A harm to one is a harm to all. Let us see what love can do.

The Process:

Anyone in attendance may identify an ‘ouch’ by sending a private message in the ‘chat’ to Friends Laura Magnani and Deborah Marks who will alert the clerk to the ouch. 

When there is an ‘ouch’ in the room, the clerk will stop the meeting and ask Friends to pause, breathe, and notice what has occurred so we can all learn together. The clerk will ask Friends to spend a few minutes writing what they noticed and what each is feeling in their body. This may be an opportunity to consider how the ‘ouch’ lives within you, too, and how you might forgive and repair. 

We will then return to the business at hand. At the end of the plenary, the clerk will check-in to see if anyone wants to acknowledge the harm done. Please read below for examples of this. 

Friends of Color are encouraged to meet in the Affinity Group for Friends of Color for further support. White Friends are encouraged to continue learning about how to uncover and dismantle white supremacy within themselves and our community in the White Allies Affinity Group. 

Examples of an ouch:

  • Using the pronoun ‘we’ when speaking as a white Friend about the Yearly Meeting when that person really means ‘we white Friends.’
  • A white Friend speaks about how ‘sheltering in place’ has not caused any change in her lifestyle, when People of Color are disproportionately affected by the loss of livelihood and death from Coronavirus infection.

What does acknowledging harm done by speaking something that causes an ouch or harm look like and sound like?

  • Thank you for calling this to my attention.
  • I will reflect on this and attend to learning from it.
  • After some reflection:
    • “May I offer a repair?“ Ask question without expectation
    • “I recognize that my statement caused harm because… “ No excuses.
    • “I apologize for that harm”
    • “Is there anything I missed that I might explore with white Friends?”

What further causing harm may look like:

  • Saying “yes, but”
  • Asking or expecting Friends of Color to teach white Friends. Please utilize the White Allies Affinity Group for further education and support.  
  • Seeking soothing and comfort from a Friend of Color when speaking about the ouch with the Friend of Color (and at the expense of their time and energy). This is sometimes referred to as “white tears.” 

Sandy Kewman
Presiding Clerk

This message is available as a PDF on the 2020 Annual Session Information page.

A Message from the Presiding Clerk

May 30, 2020
Dear Friends,

Once again our country is reeling from the deaths of Persons of Color.  These are persons who are too often seen as less than, not worthy of life, respect, or the presumption of innocence by those with less melanin in their skin.  I lift up the recent names of George Floyd, Breona Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and so many for whom no video footage is available.

Friend, deal plainly with yourselves, and let the eternal light search you, and try you, for the good of your souls; for this will deal plainly with you; it will rip you up, lay you open, and make all manifest that lodgeth in you; the secret subtlety of the enemy of your souls, this searcher and tryer will make manifest.
Margaret Fell 1614-1702

As Quakers are we hearing the call from God to witness racism, feeling the injustice in our bodies and then discerning ways to live into mending the harm?  We cannot be silent or complacent.  By virtue of our faith we are called to witness to white supremacy, domination, and disregard for humanity.   We are called to discern how we will live and speak so that all people have the space and air and choices that we all have been given by God.  

We must look consciously for and weed out the ways within the Religious Society of Friends of the Truth that constrict us in patterns of oppression or silencing of other human beings.  I ask that we reflect deeply, ask for guidance, and follow that guidance.

Sandy Kewman, Presiding Clerk of Pacific Yearly Meeting

O Lord, thou hast searched me, and known me.
For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether.
Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:
And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me
in the way everlasting.

 Psalm 139: 1, 4, 23-24 KJV

Registrars’ Report to Pacific Yearly Meeting 2016

June 21, 2016
As of June 20, 2016, 305 people have attended Pacific Yearly Meeting’s 2016 Annual Session for at least one day. Of these, 30 were in the Children’s Program, 20 were in the Junior Yearly Meeting, and 35 said on their registration forms that they considered themselves Young Adult Friends. The median age of our attenders here is 54.5 years old. The mean is 48; and 41 people registered themselves as first time attenders.
We want to extend our profound thanks (once again) to the Berkeley Contract registration team: Joe Magruder, Margaret Mossman, and Joanne Magruder. Their help, plus the online registration process has made things so much easier for all of us.
We will be posting the application for the 2017 contract registration team shortly after Annual Session on the Pacific Yearly Meeting website. Applications are due November 15th, 2016. See the Registrars for more information.
From Sarah Tyrrell: After four years of service as Registrar, this is my last time before you in this role. On behalf of myself and Heather, it has been a joy to welcome you to Annual Session and make sure you are well-situated while you’ve been here.
Thank you!

Registrars’ Report to Pacific Yearly Meeting’s 69th Annual Session

We wish to thank Brylie Oxley for his continuing efforts to improve the on-line registration system. This has been a time-saver for the registration team. We are planning on further improvements for the 2016 Annual Session. We welcome your comments.

Also thanks to Berkeley Meeting for ably providing contract registration services in close coordination with the Registrars.

The total number of persons attending this year is 303, not counting those who came just for the Meeting for Memorials. There are 234 attending for the full week, 39 attending for part of the week, and 30 day attenders. Among those attending for the full week, 195 are adults, 14 are teens aged 13-17, 19 are children 6 to 12 years old, and 6 are children 5 years old or younger. We had 59 attenders identified as first-time attenders, which included several invited guests.

By way of comparison, the total attendance was 281 last year, so we have 22 more people attending this year.

We are also announcing the Call for Applications for a Contract Registration Service for Pacific Yearly Meeting’s 70th Annual Session, to be held June 17th to 22nd, 2016. All interested and qualified parties affiliated with PYM (Meetings, organizations, or individuals) are encouraged to apply. Applications are due by November 15, 2015. See the Registrars if you would like more information.


Sarah Tyrrell

Joyce Samati


Statistical Clerk Job Description – 2012


  • The Statistical Clerk maintains the official list of members of the Pacific Yearly Meeting.
  • The Statistical Clerk assembles annual statistics of deaths, new memberships, transfers or withdrawals of membership and changes of address from constituent Monthly Meetings.
  • The term of office is three years.
  • Statistical Clerk is an ex officio member of the Finance committee.

Statistical Clerks’ Report to RepCom 2015

Response to Request for Information
Re: Adding “Children of Members” to Statistical Report

Following the presentation of the Statistical Report at the 2014 Pacific Yearly Meeting (PYM) Annual Session, a Friend noted that the graphic showing a 10-year year-over-year decline in membership does not give a good sense of membership trends in the future.

The Friend suggested that the Statistical Clerks also track the number of children of members in the Monthly Meetings to present a better picture of potential growth. A few people concurred, and the Statistical Clerks agreed to consider the idea.

After consideration, we agree that, while knowing the number of members’ children who attend Meeting or First Day School might be interesting, the numbers would not necessarily suggest a growth pattern (e.g., we know that not all children of members later become members of PYM).

Gathering sufficient data to show a trend would require tracking each child in each Meeting until he or she becomes a member, or leaves the Meeting. This tracking is best left to individual Meetings.

If over time the individual Meetings notice there are more children becoming members than there are members who transfer to other yearly meetings or die, the request could be re-introduced and directed to the Nomination and Finance Committees, who are responsible for the Statistical Clerks’ job description.*

*The current job description is on the PYM website, and appended below.

  • The Statistical Clerk maintains the official list of members of the Pacific Yearly Meeting.
  • The Statistical Clerk assembles annual statistics of deaths, new memberships, transfers or withdrawals of membership and changes of address from constituent Monthly Meetings.
  • The term of office is three years.
  • Statistical Clerk is an ex officio member of the Finance committee.

AS 2013 Statistical Report

[Download version]


[Web version]

Pacific Yearly Meeting Statistical Report – 2013

This report summarizes membership information within the monthly meetings of Pacific Yearly Meeting (PYM) for the statistical year ending May 31, 2013.

There are 37 Monthly Meetings. Twenty-four meetings are in College Park Quarterly Meeting (65% of the total), nine meetings are in Southern California Quarterly Meeting (27% of the total), and four meetings are not affiliated with a Quarterly Meeting (Big Island, Honolulu, Guatemala, and Mexico City), which represent 7% of the membership.

There are 15 worship groups:

  • Sierra Foothills Worship Group, under the care of Delta Meeting
  • Maui, Kauai, and Molokai Worship Groups under the care of Honolulu Meeting
  • Southern Humboldt Worship Group, under the care of Humboldt Meeting
  • Las Vegas Worship Group, under the care of Inland Valley Friends Meeting
  • Conejo Valley and Whitleaf, under the care of Orange Grove Monthly Meeting
  • Friends House, Ukiah, and Lake County Worship Groups under the care of Redwood Forest Meeting
  • West Marin Worship Group, under the care of San Francisco Meeting
  • Ojai Worship Group, under the care of Santa Barbara Monthly Meeting
  • Oakland Worship Group, under the care of Strawberry Creek Meeting
  • Oaxaca Worship Group, under the care of Mexico City.

The largest Meetings are: Strawberry Creek (99), Palo Alto (97), and Berkeley (94). Seven Meetings have 9 or fewer members.

Overall membership within the Pacific Yearly Meeting has decreased by 44, for a total of 1,346, down from 1,390 last year.

Eighteen people joined by convincement, 26 members died, and 22 members were released or withdrew. Eleven members transferred into Meetings; 17 transferred out.

Within the past 10 years, PYM member meetings were blessed with a high of 1,534 members (2004). The lowest number of members is in 2013.  Total membership was down 3.2% for this statistical year, and the ten-year loss is 11.5%

A 10-year Year-over-Year view of PYM membership changes, and the number and types of changes per Meeting, will be available on the Pacific Yearly Meeting Website.

Respectfully submitted, Lee Knutsen, PYM Statistical Clerk


2013 Annual Session report – Treasurer

[Download version]

[Web version]

Pacific Yearly Meeting

Treasurer’s Report-Narrative

Annual Session

July, 2013

PYM has two accounts; the General Account for all economic activity outside of the Session, and the Session Account. For both accounts, the fiscal year is October 1st through September 30th.

Items of Note

General Account

  • For the General Account, this report covers the years 2011-12 and year-to-date, 10/01/2012 through 06/30/2013.
  • Income from Monthly Meetings (#4101) for this fiscal year, as of 6/30/2013, is $112,214. Thank you!
  • In the current fiscal year, $4,000 has been moved from the Youth Program Reserve to the general account. The current (06/30/13) balance in the Youth Program Reserve is $13,383.
  • We have a $20,000 3-year loan to Friends House. The interest on this 3%, which is much better than any CD we can get at this time.
  • FGC Scholarship (#2735) is used to support Young Friends to attend FGC. This account now has a balance of $1,979, down from $20,460 in 2000.
  • On page 3 of the report, I’ve added Donations to Restricted Funds. Thank you!

Session Account

  • For the 2012 Session, income exceeded expenses by $20,709.
  • As of June 30, 2013, we had $87,553 in the Session bank account. We also have deposits of $4,000: $2,000 with Mt. Madonna for 2013 and $2,000 with Walker Creek for 2014.

Respectfully submitted,
Ed Flowers


2013 Annual Session Proposed Budget


Web Version

2012 Proposed
6100 · Income Budget Actual 2013
6110 · Miscellaneous Contributions 1,000 225 250
6111 · Registration fees for Session 119,150 98,816 106,800
6112 · Fees from Session Accts. 8,241 8,000
6113 · Fees from General Accts. 6,607 6,000
Total 6100 · Income 120,150 113,889 121,050
6200 · Expenses
6220 · Registrar’s Expenses 300 92 200
6221 · Secretariat’s Expenses 1,000 726 1,500
6222 · Arrangement Clerk Expenses 1,000 0 600
6223 · Children’s Program 12,500 9,928 11,000
6224 · Cost of Facilities 83,000 71,629 92,400
6225 · Junior Yearly Meeting 5,700 4,819 5,500
6226 · Young Friends 200 53 200
6227 · Breakage 100 0 100
6228 · PYM Clerk’s Invited Guests 1,000 422 1,000
6229 · Insurance 2,200 500 500
6232 · Bank Fees 50 12 50
6233 · Miscellaneous 100 0 0
6234 · Fee for registration 5,000 5,000 3,000
6235 · Contingency Expenses 8,000 0 5,000
Total 6200 · Expenses 120,150 93,181 121,050
Excess: 20,708