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Annual Sessions

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Centering Voices of the Next Generation (abridged) Centering Voices of the Next Generation: Keynote Presentation by Sofia Faith Cantu and Nora Lisette Cooke; July 22, 2023; Mount Madonna, Watsonville, California

Issue: On Healers (August 2023)

Meeting at the Corner of Wisdom and Power (abridged) Meeting at the Corner of Wisdom and Power: Intergenerational Presentation to North Pacific Yearly Meeting; July 9, 2023; Western Oregon University, Monmouth, Oregon

Issue: On Healers (August 2023)

Quakers in the Age of the Internet (abridged) Quakers in the Age of the Internet: Keynote presentation by Jon Watts to Intermountain Yearly Meeting; June 24, 2023; Fort Lewis College, Durango, Colorado

Issue: On Healers (August 2023)

Deep Hope in Optimystical Times (abridged) For decades, I’ve been talking publicly about the gathering catastrophes of climate change and social injustice, and about the decline of the Society of Friends. Sounds pretty gloomy, I know. My day job as a palliative care chaplain at a large urban hospital entails sitting at the feet of those very powerful teachers named in Buddhist tradition: old age, sickness, and death.

Issue: On Cooperation (September 2022)

Friendly Access for Inclusion The following text was transcribed from a recording of an interest group at Intermountain Yearly Meeting (IMYM), where Gale Toko-Ross was a co-Presiding Clerk and Rosemary Blanchard was the meeting’s ombudsperson for accessibility concerns.

Issue: On Cooperation (September 2022)

2022 Calls to the Annual Sessions [The following texts were abridged from the originals, which are available at: https://westernfriend.org/calls-annual-sessions-2022 ]

Issue: On Place (May 2022)

Calls to the Annual Sessions 2022 [The following texts were abridged from the originals, which are available at: https://westernfriend.org/calls-annual-sessions-2022 ]

Issue: On Alternatives (March 2022)

Race and Faith (abridged) [The following text was drawn from a complete manuscript of José Santos Woss’s keynote talk, which is published at: https://westernfriend.org/media/race-and-faith-unabridged]

Issue: On Cliques (September 2021)

Creating Resilience for Climate Justice (abridged) [The following text was drawn from a complete manuscript of Cherice Bock’s keynote talk, which is published at: https://westernfriend.org/media/creating-resilience-climate-justice-unabridged]

Issue: On Cliques (September 2021)

Love and Justice (Alvarado, abridged) Excperts from keynote presentation made by Gabriela Portillo Alvarado to Pacific Yearly Meeting on July 24, 2021.

Issue: On Cliques (September 2021)

Love and Justice (Jitonilro, abridged) Excperts from keynote presentation made by Avotcja Jitonilro to Pacific Yearly Meeting on July 24, 2021.

Issue: On Cliques (September 2021)

Calls to Annual Sessions 2021 Dear Friends: Please join us at the virtual gathering of Intermountain Yearly Meeting, from June 16-20, 2021. We look forward to implementing many of the skills and lessons that we have learned over the last year, to create a Spirit-led time for all Friends and others who join us. We have learned that a virtual platform can be more accessible for those who live at a distance. On the other hand, it can make access difficult for those without adequate computer equipment. Friends have commented that they found a surprising depth of worship in many of the sessions, and a deepening connection, both with Spirit and with other Friends.

Issue: On Relevance (March 2021)

Practicing Radical Inclusivity (abridged) [The following text was excerpted from Mica Estrada’s complete keynote talk, which is published at: https://westernfriend.org/media/practicing-radical-inclusivity]

Issue: On Teachers (September 2020)

Liturgies of Empire, Liturgies of Resistance (abridged) [The following text was drawn from a complete transcript of C. Wess Daniels’s keynote talk, which is published at: https://westernfriend.org/media/liturgies-empire-and-resistance]

Issue: On Teachers (September 2020)

Building Bridges (abridged) [The following text was excerpted from Kenya Casanova-Sales’s complete keynote talk, which is published at: https://westernfriend.org/media/building-bridges]

Issue: On Teachers (September 2020)

Calls to the Annual Sessions 2020 June 14-21, 2020; Fort Lewis College, Durango, CO

Issue: On Art (March 2020)

Courage in Crisis (abridged) Last Tuesday, I headed up to Friends Church with Karen, my accompanying elder and wife, intending to see some quilts. And on the way North, we drove to Mount St. Helens, all the way to the National Park.

Issue: On Neighbors (September 2019)

Dwelling in Truth and Trusting Divine Spirit I would like to start by unpacking a word that for some people is a terrible hurdle and that is the word, “Christ.” Let’s go back to the original meaning of that word.

Issue: On Neighbors (September 2019)

Hope? Abyss, Faith, Kinship (abridged) I want to start with an inglorious story of protests gone by. During the lead-up to the Iraq war in 2002-2003, I was a student at Earlham College. Weekend after weekend, I traveled from Indiana to Washington, DC, for marches and protests. It seemed to be a ritual intended for building up and projecting our own sense of power as a people. I don’t remember how many weekends I made that trip. We marched through the empty corridors of large granite buildings with nobody in them, seemingly hundreds of thousands of people, yelling to the ether.

Issue: On Neighbors (September 2019)

Faith, Fear, and Our Future (abridged) So. Faith, fear, and our future. You guys don’t mess around with topics for keynote speakers!

Issue: On Neighbors (September 2019)

Uprooting Racism (abridged) My son was raised as a Quaker, but he left the meeting and joined an African American mega-church. Both our daughters were raised as Quakers, and they also left. During a retreat I attended this summer, several African American Friends told me they no longer attend their Quaker meetings because they cannot tolerate the racism they experience there on a weekly basis.

Issue: On Children (September 2018)

Faith and Practice, Practice, Practice (abridged) When I started attending Quaker meeting in my late twenties, I had a number of dramatic experiences of having a leading, jumping into it, and way opening. But that is not the story of faith and practice I am going to tell you today. Instead, I am going to tell you about a time when discernment was hard, and slow, and confusing.

Issue: On Children (September 2018)

A Call to Radical Vulnerability and Love (abridged), Two When I was twenty-seven, I went through a life-changing transition catalyzed by Archbishop Oscar Romero, John Woolman, Thomas Kelly, Dorothy Day, and the people of El Salvador. I was lead to many parts of the world, working with children and families suffering from war, from poverty, from U.S. imperialism. Then over the years, I began to find that the message that was continually coming to me during worship as ministry was one that I felt would make Friends too uncomfortable, perhaps even angry. So I began to withdraw from the Quaker community.

Issue: On Children (September 2018)

A Call to Radical Vulnerability and Love (abridged), One As a child of this meeting, I grew up with a myth about the faithful life. It wasn’t a myth in the sense of a falsehood, but it was a story I told myself about the noble call and the noble answer. And I desperately wanted this story for myself. And part of what I wanted was certainty.

Issue: On Children (September 2018)

Calls to the Annual Sessions 2018 - Abridged Intermountain Yearly Meeting 2018 -- Full text.

Issue: On Music (March 2018)

Everything is Connected (abridged) Excerpts from the keynote presentation to North Pacific Yearly Meeting; July 27, 2017; University of Puget Sound, Tacoma, Washington

Issue: On Home (September 2017)

Awakening to the Presence (abridged) I once lived with a cat named Francis. If he needed something, Francis would find me and invite me to help him. Regularly this invitation would come in the middle of the night when I was otherwise asleep in my bed. I would stir from my slumber to feel what would best be described as a gentle yet forceful kneading of my eyeballs by Francis’ paws.

Issue: On Home (September 2017)

Money and Soul (abridged) As I thought about where to start this talk, my mind went to a moment many years ago, when my friend, Nadine Hoover, challenged me to write my own statement of conscience. She had been spending a lot of time with young men who were struggling with the issue of conscientious objection. As they worked together on their statements of conscience, trying to articulate why they were choosing that path, she realized this was a process we should all be engaged in. After all, conscience is not limited to people of a certain gender or a certain age. So I confronted the question: “To what do I conscientiously object, and why?”

Issue: On Home (September 2017)

Calls to the Annual Sessions 2017 – Abridged Intermountain Yearly Meeting 2017 -- Full text.

Issue: On Insight (March 2017)

Lifting the Veil - Excerpts Excerpts from the keynote presentation to Pacific Yearly Meeting; June 18, 2016; Walker Creek Ranch, Petaluma, California

Issue: On Media (September 2016)

From Despair to Strength and Joy - Excerpts Excerpts from the keynote presentation to North Pacific Yearly Meeting; July 14, 2016; Whitworth University, Spokane, Washington

Issue: On Media (September 2016)

Nurturing Ministry in Our Meetings - Excerpts Excerpts from the keynote presentation to Intermountain Yearly Meeting; June 9, 2016; Ghost Ranch, Abiquiú, New Mexico

Issue: On Media (September 2016)

Calls to the Annual Sessions 2016 – Abridged [Full text of this call at: Call to IMYM 2016.]

Issue: On Beginning (March 2016)

Quakercraft: Becoming the Quakers the World Needs Excerpts from a presentation to North Pacific Yearly Meeting; July 16, 2015; Whitworth University, Spokane, Washington

Issue: On Play (September 2015)

Work Not in Vain Lloyd Lee Wilson’s words to Pacific Yearly Meeting, July 14, 2015; Walker Creek Ranch, Petaluma, California; as reported by Western Friend

Issue: On Play (September 2015)

The Veil, The Shadow, and the Abundant Life Excerpts from the keynote presentation to Intermountain Yearly Meeting; June 11, 2015; Ghost Ranch, Abiquiú, New Mexico

Issue: On Play (September 2015)

Yearly Meeting, What is it Good For? Matters of budget and finance during our annual Quaker gatherings can often lead us from questions about numbers into existential conversations about why we even have yearly meetings. During one such business meeting this summer, which considered the 2016 budget of Intermountain Yearly Meeting, I found myself thinking of Edwin Starr’s Motown classic, “War.” Except the lyrics I heard in my inner ear were: “Yearly Meeting! What is it good for? Absolutely everything!”

Issue: On Play (September 2015)

Your Sons and Your Daughters will Prophesy Excerpts from a presentation to Pacific Yearly Meeting; July 15, 2014; Walker Creek Ranch, Petaluma, California

Issue: On Family (September 2014)

Seeking Transformation in Community Excerpts from a presentation to North Pacific Yearly Meeting; July 24, 2014; Pacific University, Forest Grove, Oregon

Issue: On Family (September 2014)

What Can Quakers Offer in These Times? – Diane Randall Excerpts from a presentation to Intermountain Yearly Meeting; June 12, 2014; Ghost Ranch, Abiquiú, New Mexico

Issue: On Family (September 2014)

What Can Quakers Offer in These Times? – Shan Cretin Excerpts from a presentation to Intermountain Yearly Meeting; June 12, 2014; Ghost Ranch, Abiquiú, New Mexico

Issue: On Family (September 2014)

Call to PYM Annual Session 2014 - Unabridged Call to the Annual Gathering of Pacific Yearly Meeting, 2014 Youth and Prophecy: Awakening to a New Creation July 14 – 19, 2014; Walker Creek Ranch, Petaluma California

Issue: On Production (May 2014)

Call to IMYM Annual Session 2014 - Unabridged Call to the Annual Gathering of Intermountain Yearly Meeting, 2014 What do we have to offer as Quakers in these challenging times? June 8 -15, 2014; Ghost Ranch, Abiquiu, New Mexico

Issue: On Production (May 2014)

Calls to The Annual Sessions 2014 - Abridged What do we have to offer as Quakers in these challenging times? Intermountain Yearly Meeting June 8 -15, 2014; Ghost Ranch, Abiquiu, New Mexico

Issue: On Production (May 2014)

The Kabarak Call to Peace and Ecojustice The Kabarak Call for Peace and Ecojustice was approved on 24 April 2012 at the Sixth World Conference of Friends, held at Kabarak University near Nakuru, Kenya. It is the culmination of the FWCC World Consultation on Global Change which was held in 2010 and 2011. It is being circulated with the Conference Epistle.

Issue: On Love (September 2013)

Not by Our Strength Alone - Abridged Not by Our Strength Alone Excerpts from a talk given to North Pacific Yearly Meeting July 18, 2013;  Pacific University, Forest Grove, Oregon

Issue: On Love (September 2013)

Not by Our Strength Alone - Unabridged Not by My Strength Alone: Laboring Together Beyond Our Comfort Zones

Issue: On Love (September 2013)

Call to IMYM Annual Gathering 2013 - Unabridged 39th Annual Gathering, "Simplicity and Ecojustice”

Issue: On Power (March 2013)

Call to NPYM Annual Gathering 2013 - Unabridged Not by my strength alone: laboring together beyond our comfort zone

Issue: On Power (March 2013)