June 10-17, 2018; Ghost Ranch, Abiquiu, NM
Dear Friends: Please come to the annual gathering of Intermountain Yearly Meeting! 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 11-13; Regular Days of business, interest groups, and youth programming will be from the evening of June 13 through morning worship on June 17.
We want you to attend the annual gathering of IMYM no matter what you can afford. With our new method for funding our annual gathering, Friends are encouraged to Pay as They Are Led. Registration materials with more information are available at imym.org. Suffice to say, we encourage Friends to prayerfully consider what they can afford – leading some to be generous and some to allow others to support their attendance.
Our 2018 theme will be: “Faith and Practice, Practice, Practice!” Keynote Speaker Eileen Flanagan will share stories from her own spiritual journey – from becoming a teacher of discernment at Pendle Hill to the time of spiritual discouragement that cleared the way for a new calling as a climate activist. Eileen will encourage us to stay present to the many and changing ways that Spirit can guide us through our lives. Her presentation will be followed by a panel of Friends from IMYM – Leslie Stephens, Gretchen Reinhart, and Anastacia Ebi – to reflect briefly on how Eileen’s words resonate with their own experiences of faith into practice, a theme we are each invited to explore during the week.
The Program Working Group has created a fresh approach to Early Days and Interest Groups. Early Days will include morning seminars and afternoons of relaxation. For Interest Groups, Friends will come together for roundtable discussions of concerns they are actively working on. This will be an opportunity to learn about what is going on within IMYM on topics such as Immigration and Sanctuary, Racism, Homelessness, the Peace Testimony, Spiritual Formation, and Youth.
I look forward to fellowship with you this summer.
– Molly Wingate, Presiding Clerk, IMYM
July 13-18, 2018; Walker Creek Ranch, Petaluma, CA
This year, Pacific Yearly Meeting is called to be vulnerable to faith. The radical act of faith is required in our relationship to the Divine and in our relationship to our Quaker community. Faithfulness requires obedience to the living Presence and trust to wherever it may lead us, which leaves us vulnerable to our ego, our fear, and the world. This vulnerability was required of the Apostles who followed Jesus. This vulnerability was required of those seekers who heard George Fox’s call to align their lives to the Christ Spirit. No doubt there were times when the Apostles and early Friends felt like they were crazy to do what was being asked of them. But again and again they turned towards the Divine and each other.
Our Quaker tradition is rich with resources (practices) to help us deepen our awareness of, and faithfulness to, the living Presence and to experience the joy and love of deep Fellowship. The practice of Extended Worship opens us to deep corporate resonance where the still small voice can be heard. Bringing our life decisions to our Quaker community for discernment support helps align our lives with the Spirit’s calling. Praying in Meeting for Worship helps us to be vulnerable to the living Spirit. Holding one another in prayer strengthens our spiritual lives. Taking the time daily to sit in prayer and worship helps us become sensitive to the ways of the Spirit. Reading Quaker writings, the Bible, or religious texts helps us to understand how God has spoken to, and through, others.
Do we dare make these practices central to our lives? Are we too comfortable in our regular routines, current beliefs and lifestyles to create the time to hear and obey the Spirit’s call?
This summer we will explore the theme of radical vulnerability and faithfulness. Our keynote speakers, Carin Anderson and Elena Anderson-Williams, will bring us their insights. These Friends grew up in Pacific Yearly Meeting. They both have been vulnerable to the Spirit throughout their lives, following its direction on paths they could not have imagined. Please join us.
– Diego Navarro, Presiding Clerk, PYM
July 25-29, 2018; University of Puget Sound, Tacoma, WA
We come together for this year’s Annual Session in a spirit of inclusion and celebration. With much racial justice work still to be done in our hearts, our Quaker community, our country, and the world, we will reach together for that higher place where, when we turn round right, we will truly stand by our brothers and sisters of any color, of any gender expression, and of any financial ability.
To lead, educate, and encourage us in this journey toward racial equality and a more truly liberated society, we are pleased to welcome Vanessa Julye as our Friend in Residence. Vanessa comes to us from Friends General Conference, where she has a ministry on racism with special focus on greater inclusivity among the Quaker community. How can we as Quakers go further in standing with all people of color and in sharing the power that has been part of white privilege? Only with love, great humility, and openness to Spirit can we find our way.
Our method of financing Annual Session has changed. Abundant Financing is an opportunity for us to practice our faith. In these troubled times, our Yearly Meeting wants to reach out to and include all who wish to attend. This year, we ask each person or family to discern individually what they can afford to pay. We hope that those who have greater personal financial resources will pay more than the cost of attendance and those who cannot afford the full cost will pay what they can.
At our plenaries we will approve our annual budget and the nominations of Friends to carry on the important work of NPYM. Close to our hearts are issues of racial justice and preventing war with North Korea. As we approach meeting for worship with an attention to business, many of us are excited to see how Spirit moves among us.
Music, small worship groups, varied interest groups, Quaker Fair, catching up with F(f)riends, and laughing at Community Night, these wonderful encounters call us into beloved community, ready to do our part in God’s world. Come join us this year as we open to ever greater diversity as God’s children.
– Lucretia Humphrey, Presiding Clerk, NPYM