Calls to the Annual Sessions 2019

Department: 

Faith, Fear, and Our Future

Intermountain Yearly Meeting

June 9-16, 2019; Ghost Ranch, Abiquiu, NM

Please come to the 2019 Annual Gathering of Intermountain Yearly Meeting, our last at Ghost Ranch near Abiquiu, New Mexico. The theme will be Faith, Fear, and Our Future. I hope you can come experience worship, fellowship, and business among Friends of all ages from Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, and maybe even Wyoming. Our Early Days seminars and fellowship time will be June 10-12 (with arrivals on June 9); Regular Days of business, interest groups, and youth programming will be from the evening of June 12 through morning worship on June 16. Registration and more information will be available at www.IMYM.org.

Our keynote speaker, Bridget Moix, will respond to queries about our theme, Faith, Fear, and Our Future: How is Friends’ faith affected by the world around us? How do we sustain love, faith, and hope in our connections to God and each other in these times? What does our faith teach us about overcoming fear? How can walking through fear strengthen our faith? How can Friends of all generations inspire and sustain one another as we face the future together?

Bridget Moix is the U.S. Senior Representative and Head of Advocacy at Peace Direct, a London-based non-governmental organization that helps identify, nurture, connect, and support individuals doing nonviolent peacebuilding in local communities around the world. She is a former director of Casa de Los Amigos Friends Center in Mexico City and currently serves as clerk of the General Committee of Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL). When she worked as a staff person at FCNL earlier in her career, Bridget responded to the question, “If War is Not the Answer, what is?” by designing the Peaceful Prevention of Deadly Conflict program.

To Bridget, overcoming fear is grounded in hope. Hope is grounded in love and faith. She is inspired to be a “pattern and example” of the power of nonviolence, empowering others, and raising questions about how to understand and prevent violent conflict. 

Bridget Moix is a member of Friends Meeting of Washington, DC, and is married with two children. She has a PhD in Peace Building from George Mason University. You can read more at www.peacedirect.org and www.fcnl.org/people/bridget-moix.  ~~~

– Molly Wingate, Presiding Clerk, IMYM

 

Dwelling in Truth and Trusting Divine Spirit

Pacific Yearly Meeting

July 12-17, 2019; Walker Creek Ranch, Petaluma, CA

We are called to “dwell in Truth.” This Truth is an experience and an understanding of the guidance of Divine Spirit rather than a set of beliefs to be accepted. “Abide in me and I in you” is the promise we find in John 15:4. Indeed, God is always reaching out to us, always present; it is we who need to come back to the Presence again and again.

“And O, know that your strength lies not in yourselves, not in any thing ye can do of yourselves: but in God’s living principle of truth, wherein he appears and whereby he works in your hearts.” (Isaac Penington, 24 July, 1679)

Robert Griswold, in his Marking the Quaker Way, writes, “Dwelling in Truth, or Reality is not a place to visit,” but rather “it is a place to live.” (Pendle Hill Pamphlet #439,
p. 24)
We have continual work to do as individual Friends and as Quaker meeting communities in seeking, in looking beyond our ideas, opinions, and comfortable habits toward what Divine Spirit is calling us to be and to do.

This Annual Session, David Johnson, a seasoned Friend and author from Australia Yearly Meeting, will be our keynote speaker. He will speak of the many ways the Spirit of God, known to us as the Light of Christ, moves and works within us, based on his experience as well as the experiences of early Friends. Christ is working to enable us to Dwell in Truth.

Discernment is part of the work we will do together in our Plenary sessions (our Meeting for Worship on the occasion of Business) at Annual Session. We are called to trust Spirit in deep worship with one another, to speak the truth we see and listen to the truth others bring, to release our expectations into the hands of Spirit. We are seeking unity with a truth beyond what any one of us sees. This discernment is a vital part of Quaker practice, likened by Griswold to “separating by means of sifting.” (PHP #439, p. 20) We know from our own experience that we can easily misunderstand or be misled by irrelevant worldly fears. The sifting that is discernment must include our hearts and our minds, with faith in the wisdom of the Divine Spirit.

With gratitude to Divine Spirit, I extend this invitation to Pacific Yearly Meeting Annual Session. During our time together, we will have opportunities to meet new Friends and visit with known Friends, to play, to unite in expectant worship, to learn and discern together, and to be renewed in our faith and practice. Find out more at: pacificyearlymeeting.org. Please save the dates and plan to attend.  ~~~

– Sandy Roske Kewman, Presiding Clerk, PYM

 

Hope? Abyss, Faith, Kinship

North Pacific Yearly Meeting

July 17-21, 2019; Linfield College, McMinnville, OR

Our Friend in Residence, Jay O’Hara, reminds us that the time of hope may be over. The world is in a catastrophic place, with all scientific knowledge showing us that Climate Change is here. How then shall we live at the edge of this abyss? Where is the faith we will need to move mountains? Our hope is in the God who made it all, the God that created this earth and all on this beautiful planet. We are of the earth, and all of nature is us. How then shall we live?

Welcome all, dear ones all. We need one another. We need all hearts open, all minds full of ideas, all hands on board, all feet ready to dance together. Together in faith we can become clearer about how way will open. People in our Yearly Meeting are doing amazing acts of love and faith. They are repairing little corners of our world. Let us share together.

To challenge us on this journey, we welcome Jay O’Hara as our Friend in Residence. Jay is a member of Sandwich Monthly Meeting on Cape Cod, MA, and is a co-founder of the Climate Disobedience Center. Jay was part of the team that in 2016 shut down five pipelines carrying crude oil from Canada’s tar sands. A visionary climate activist, Jay works to deepen the spiritual underpinnings of powerful action in the world. Jay will be accompanied by his elder, Susan Davies, from Maine.

Through Abundant Financing, our Annual Session can continue to be accessible for Friends of all levels of financial means. We need all amongst our big Quaker Community here in the North Pacific to come together. Each has something to give to others. We will continue working to make our place welcoming for Friends of color by following the suggestions made by last year’s Friend in Residence, Vanessa Julye. We have invited Vanessa to join us again this year to help us continue to challenge ourselves in relation to racism.

Let’s all provide loving attention to the Children’s Program. We will notice the children playing, thinking, questioning, and standing in awe of creation. Youth bring us magnificent gifts and even more reason to listen deeply to God’s call for the world. Our Junior Friends and Central Friends will be conducting their own business meetings, as well as playing together and supporting one another. We are all connected.

At the heart of our time together is the business meeting. We will consider a minute on undoing racism as we seek new ways to live more fully and with greater integrity. Our agenda and written materials will be published ahead of time, so that all those in attendance can prepare themselves for our business. During this time of worship, how will the Spirit call us to act? Strengthened by being together in Quaker community, how will we, individually and together, go forth in faith to witness to the wider world?

Join us for our Annual Session of North Pacific Yearly Meeting 2019. Registration information can be found after April 1, 2019, at www.npym.org.  ~~~

– Lucretia Humphrey, Presiding Clerk, NPYM