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Calls to the Annual Sessions 2016 – Abridged

Diego James Navarro
On Beginning (March 2016)
Annual Sessions
Nurturing Spiritual Gifts and Ministry in our Meetings
Intermountain Yearly Meeting
June 5 - 12, 2016; Ghost Ranch, Abiquiu, NM

[Full text of this call at: Call to IMYM 2016.]

Wonderful Friends in Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico: Join the 40th Annual Gathering of Intermountain Yearly Meeting. As Friend Tim Telep of Durango Meeting has written, “Yearly meeting is our Beloved Community. It is where we reap the benefits of our common spiritual practice.”

All are warmly welcomed to participate in fellowship, business, and learning – and to expand the work of Spirit around our theme for 2016: “Nurturing Spiritual Gifts and Ministry in our Meetings.” Our theme is intended to be inviting, to encompass both inner spiritual processes and outward manifestations of Spirit-led living, and to engage IMYM youth. The phrase “in our Meetings” is included to emphasize the roles our meetings can play in nurturing and supporting leadings, both individual and collective—and because this question seems to be alive in many meetings right now. 

The 2016 IMYM Keynote Speaker will be Callid Keefe-Perry of New England Yearly Meeting. Callid describes himself as a husband, a father, a traveling minister, and a PhD candidate in Boston University’s School of Theology. He has deep and broad experience of following leadings of his own while under the care of monthly meetings. He has also nurtured other Friends’ ministry by serving on their Spiritual Care or Anchor or Support Committees. While serving as interim general secretary of New York Yearly Meeting, Callid had opportunities to work closely with many different monthly meetings and learn about their processes and experiences (both positive and challenging) of nurturing spiritual gifts and leadings.

Some of Callid’s words to us: “My sense at present is that I will speak to you about the dance of responsibilities: the play and movement between each individual’s need to listen for their own Leadings, and of the meeting community’s responsibility to nurture and provide accountability for the individual. I will explore the traditional Quaker idea of ‘carrying a concern’ as it relates to the relationship between personal ministries and projects of which an entire meeting has ‘come under the weight.’”

As in previous years, our Junior and Senior Young Friends are designing group activities that deepen their Quaker experience – “fun in a Quakerly way” – along with use of Quaker process. Lively intergenerational activities will bring us together throughout the gathering. Watch for an expanding leadership role among our young Friends.

Early Days (June 5-8) are planned with relaxation and down time in the afternoons. Art-themed activities, singing, dancing, and creativity nights are part of the week’s plans. On Friday night, come to experience the most amazing IMYM Quaker contra-dance band.

A strong and welcoming call to all who can come for any or all of 2016 Annual Gathering.  ~~~

– Sara Keeney, Clerk, Intermountain Yearly Meeting



Lifting of the Veil: Awakening to the Presence
Pacific Yearly Meeting
June 17 - 22, 2016; Walker Creek Ranch, Petaluma, CA

[Full text of this call at: Call to PYM 2016]

Now if any, in the reading of this, feel a secret touch upon their hearts, startling them, and giving some testimony to the truth, though very small, and through a thick, dark covering, there is that to which I speak; there is the witness within the veil; and there is the testimony rising up, which leads to life, if given heed to.  – Isaac Penington, “The Way of Life and Death”

Please join us for the 70th annual session of Pacific Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends. We are opened, strengthened, and comforted when we join one another in this centuries-old Friends’ practice of gathering as a Yearly Meeting body. If you seek financial assistance for attendance, remember to submit your form to your monthly meeting by April 1.

Early Friends believed in the presence of a Living Spirit and knew that it was veiled; in other words, Spirit was not typically seen or understood in our habitual behaviors and thoughts. When we try to rationalize and limit ourselves to only what fits our intellectual understanding, Spirit loses the capacity to guide and direct us through experience. Quakerism is a religion that is embodied and practiced. We can feel Spirit in our bodies and these sensations can help us understand the authenticity of spirit that leads us. It requires us, first, to wake up to both the temptations and inherent assumptions of the dominant culture, and our personal habits, to Lift the Veil and see things as they truly are – both internally and around us.

Come to the Annual Session with your minds open, with a yearning for wonder. Our keynote plenary will have two of our own leading us into worship: Carl Magruder and Darcy Stanley. Please be prepared to practice waiting to minister verbally only when you are genuinely moved by spirit and have tested that it is not intellect, ego, or unresolved personal pain, but the Light at work in you, that lifts you from your seat and provides you with words.

Be aware, Friends, that this annual session is scheduled differently. The first day of Annual Session will be on Friday and the last day will be on Wednesday. We know that many work and may not have a full week off, so we hope that you can come at least for the weekend if not the full five days. The Meeting for Memorials will be held during the weekend, so that more people can attend.

When we open ourselves to Spirit together, we can expect the unexpected. I hope that you are able to join us for this year’s Annual Session.  ~~~

Diego Navarro, Presiding Clerk, Pacific Yearly Meeting



From Despair to Strength and Joy
North Pacific Yearly Meeting
July 13 - 17, 2016; Whitworth University, Spokane, WA

(Original text of call online at: westernfriend.org/event/north-pacific-yearly-meeting-annual-gathering-2016)

I saw, also, that there was an ocean of darkness and death; but an infinite ocean of light and love, which flowed over the ocean of darkness.  – George Fox

The Spirit is still with us, and hope has not left us. There are moments when we despair. We see that the earth’s survival is in danger; racial justice is stalled; war, terror, and intolerance are exploding. Political systems are riddled with corruption and blindness.

But we have glimpses of paths that can take us, with new strength, with deep purpose grounded in our worship and our historic testimonies, toward a future bright with solutions.

We need each other to get to that future. We need to share our despairs and our dreams with each other. We need our shared worship throughout the whole gathering to give us clarity, strength, and endurance. Our singing, our small interest groups, our conversations over meals, our welcoming of diversity, and our Community Night, also bring us into community and joy. We call you to all of this at Annual Session of North Pacific Yearly Meeting, July 13-17 at Whitworth University in Spokane, Washington.

Our Friend-in-Residence this year is Diane Randall, Executive Secretary of the Friends Committee on National Legislation. Diane, a member of Hartford Monthly Meeting in New England Yearly Meeting, is a tremendously effective organizer in the service of Friends’ testimonies in Washington, D.C. She will bring us a major address and work with both youth and adults in smaller groups.

Our annual session is especially loved by our children and youth, who have full programs of their own. We also celebrate having all ages together for many of the activities. Adult Friends often cherish the time they volunteer with younger people, even while the parents of young children can choose to have time apart.

Yes, we will approve a budget and appointments of Friends to carry on our work. Several years ago annual session decided to do this as a whole community, grounded in Spirit-led time together. Please consider the materials sent out ahead of the gathering, so that we will arrive well prepared to act. To carry forward our leadings, we may have other Spirit-led work as well. No one has to attend business sessions; but some Friends find this the thrilling heart of their annual session experience.

Registration information can be found at www.npym.org. You can contact me at [email protected]. I look forward to seeing you in Spokane.  ~~~

Warren Ostrom, Presiding Clerk, North Pacific Yearly Meeting

Annual Gathering Annual Session Joy Quaker meeting Spirit Worship

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