[The following texts were abridged from the originals, which are available at:
Dear Friends: Please join us at the IMYM Annual Gathering 2023 to enrich one another, love one another, and experience one another as wise and caring people committed to strengthening our beloved community.
We anticipate a spirit led and worshipful meeting for f/Friends of all ages to enjoy fun activities, inspiring interest groups, and nourishing fellowship. We’ll also continue visioning the Way Forward for IMYM.
The Program Working Group is excited to welcome Plenary Speaker, Jon Watts of QuakerSpeak and TheeQuaker. Jon is devoted to our future as Friends and has brought over 3.5 million new eyes to the Religious Society of Friends through his modern media projects.
Our theme for 2023 is “Becoming the Quakers the World Needs Today.” It is OUR responsibility to engage in the work of listening, understanding, and acting. Are you ready?
IMYM is committed to creating an inclusive and accessible environment to encourage full participation in the life of our Yearly Meeting. Friends who have previously stayed away from Annual Gathering, due to accessibility challenges at Ghost Ranch, will find Fort Lewis College a truly accessible venue.
Online registration will open in March 2023, so please stay tuned to your email or visit www.IMYM.org for the registration link. Registration closes Sunday, June 4th.
Pricing is “pay as led”. This means that you pay the amount you feel able to pay. Please don’t let the cost of attendance prevent you from joining us. Payment is due upon registration, by credit or debit card. For pay-as-led pricing to work, IMYM needs individuals and monthly meetings to contribute generously to the Equalization Fund.
I’m looking forward to seeing you all in June. In the words of Gila Friends Meeting: “Have hope, choose love, be kind.”
– Jerry Peterson, Interim Presiding Clerk
We will hold our hybrid Annual Session online and in person July 8-11, 2023 at Western Oregon University in Monmouth, Oregon, the same physical location as last year. It will begin on the same day that Friends General Conference (FGC) concludes its Gathering in the same location.
Due to our shorter meeting time, we will not have a Friend-in-Residence this year, but will have more opportunity to listen to Spirit and each other in worship and in working together.
We will each “Pay as Led,” so cost should not be a barrier to attendance. We affirm that when we say “we” to describe our yearly meeting, “we” are younger and older Friends, Friends of all genders, Friends with all sexual orientations, Friends of color and White Friends, Friends who require a variety of kinds of accessibility. We live in rural and urban areas, our jobs differ, and our incomes vary. (And these are only some of the ways that “we” can be described!) We get to connect and reconnect and find ways to honor and celebrate these differences. The Youth Program provides opportunities for Younger Friends, Central Friends, and Junior Friends to attend their own programs.
We all deserve and need a community where we are welcomed, seen, heard, and known. Welcome to all of us who can come for any and all of our 2023 Annual Session, online and in person.
– Jana Ostrom, Presiding Clerk
George Fox was 28 years old in 1652, opening for anyone who would listen the understanding that “Jesus has come to teach his people himself.” In other words, we can have a direct relationship to God/Spirit/Whatever you call its name, without intermediaries, rituals, or dogma. We are an experimental faith tradition. And the source of those revelations has very often come from the youngest among us. The Valiant Sixty, as the band of early adherents was called, were largely young people, some still in their teens. They were subjecting themselves to serious persecution, including death, and they were attracting huge numbers of followers. Who are these prophets among us today? What can we learn from them?
In 2022, one-third of the people who were able to join our gathering in person were under 35. They are on fire. They feel an urgency that sometimes dims as we grow older. The times we face could hardly be more serious. What changes might we need to make to find our prophetic voices again?
Thistle Hofvendahl and Diego Navarro recently wrote an article for the October 22, 2022 electronic issue of Friends Journal (www.friendsjournal.org/sacred-space) subtitled “Supporting Spiritual Gifts Informed by Oppression,” in which they “noticed how our socially marginalized identities have shaped our understanding of the Truth . . .
Friends from oppressed groups may bring ministry that challenges the status quo.”
I invite us to turn our attention to our own young prophetic voices, whatever topics they identify for us right now – climate, race, membership in the Religious Society of Friends . . .
Although the Valiant Sixty were primarily focused on evangelizing a new understanding of the role of the Church, and the direct relationship to Spirit, they simultaneously worked with people of all walks of life, all ages, genders, and levels of educational attainment. We have known that real risk-taking requires a spiritual foundation. Let’s build that together.
– Laura Magnani, Presiding Clerk