What do we have to offer as Quakers in these challenging times?
Intermountain Yearly Meeting
June 8 -15, 2014; Ghost Ranch, Abiquiu, New Mexico
Beloved Friends in Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico: Come to the 2014 Intermountain Yearly Meeting Annual Gathering at Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu, New Mexico. Early Days will be June 8-11 and Annual Sessions will be June 11-15.
The theme of this year’s gathering builds on last year’s and asks us to engage with each other and with our speakers in dialogue around the questions:
Quakers are distinguished from many others who pursue similar goals – justice, peace, equality, environmental sustainability – by the spirit-led character of our approach to action in the world. What can we offer here and now?
Friends are invited to consider related questions that follow-up on our 2013 gathering; "How do we move from a greater society based on empire to one based on building the beloved community?" “How are we responding to the Kabarak call?” (The full text of the Kabarak call is at imym.org.)
Diane Randall, Executive Secretary of Friends Committee on National Legislation and Shan Cretin, General Secretary of American Friends Service Committee, will be our guests and provide a keynote plenary of dialogue and worship around these questions. They will offer a half-day Early Days workshop on the joint AFSC/FCNL Shared Security initiative. Aura Kanegis, Director of AFSC Office of Public Policy will also join us for the week.
Youth programming will continue as in previous years. 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, including a Listening Session organized by Senior Young Friends, will bring us together in new ways.
A rich variety of Interest Groups are planned to share information and invite reflective dialogue around the theme. Art themed activities will continue. Singing, dancing and creativity nights are part of the week’s plans. Come experience the first ever IMYM Quaker dance band.
Welcome to all who can come for any or all of 2014 Annual Gathering.
Sara Keeney, Clerk, Intermountain Yearly Meeting
The Transformative Power of Spirit in Community
North Pacific Yearly Meeting
July 23 – 27, 2014; Pacific University, Forest Grove, Oregon
How do we make room for The Spirit to break through? How can our Yearly Meeting support us in living a Spiritual and mindful life? How do we support our Yearly Meeting in listening deeply to the Divine to find the path we’re meant to take?
These are some of the questions we will consider at the 42nd Annual Session of North Pacific Yearly Meeting. This is our second consecutive year meeting in this small college town, and we look forward to our return to the beautiful Coast Range foothills west of Portland.
Our Friends-in-Residence this year are Ken and Katharine Jacobsen, who come to us from Ohio Yearly Meeting. They served as Head-of-School (Ken) and Development Director (Katharine) at Olney Friends School in Barnesville, Ohio, and recently served as Interim Directors at Pendle Hill in Wallingford, Pennsylvania. The Jacobsen’s work in various Quaker organizations over several decades has helped Friends to let go of expectations and be ready for the surprises of the Spirit.
One of the functions of the Annual Session is to conduct the business of NPYM, and we are mindful that we do this in Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business. Our plenaries this year will include a session hosted and facilitated by Young Adult Friends, who will lead us in a worshipful discussion about our Yearly Meeting.
To highlight our connections with the larger Quaker community, we will have a “Quaker Fair” with representatives to organizations such as American Friends Service Committee, Quaker Earthcare Witness, Friends World Committee for Consultation, Friends Committee on National Legislation, and Western Friend. We are excited that Diane Randall, Executive Director of FCNL, and Mary Klein, editor of Western Friend, will both be in attendance.
There is much to do in our time together – business, worship sharing, interest groups, community night, and special programming for children and Junior Friends.
Annual Session has been a very important part of my life for many years. I always leave spiritually nourished and inspired by stories of their lives and service in the world. As this year’s Presiding Clerk, I am excited about the opportunities we have as a Yearly Meeting to seek Light together in fellowship, worship, and business.
Registration information can be found at www.npym.org. We look forward to seeing you in Forest Grove in July for worship, singing, play, and joyous renewal
Tom Rawson, Presiding Clerk
Youth and Prophecy: Awakening to a New Creation
Pacific Yearly Meeting
July 14 -19, 2014; Walker Creek Ranch, Petaluma, California
“What canst thou say? Art thou a Child of Light and hast walked in the Light, and what thou speakest, is it inwardly from God?”
- George Fox in 1652, as quoted by Margaret Fell in 1691.
The leadership of early Friends was young! In 1652, the height of the first great growth of the “Children of the Light,” George Fox was only 28—full of energy, fire, and passion. Yet chronological age was not the key to this rebirth. At the heart of the new movement was a radical realization: “Christ has come to teach his people himself.” That for which we hunger is already within us, a Blessed Presence to our hearts, veiled only by confusion in our minds.
Before his own great awakening, Fox experienced years of struggle, disappointment, and despair: “I knew not what to do.” Only when he surrendered his failed dream did he awaken to a new creation. Out of this death and rebirth came new strenght. Fox strode boldly through northern England, speaking with power that came through him, with authority immediately recognized by those who heard him.
We, too, sense a place of deep authenticity within us. It does not invite us to share opinions off the top of our heads; rather, it calls us to wait for clarity and guidance, then testify to our experience of surrendering – to be “children of Light, and to walk in the Light.”
Last year, Friends in PYM surrendered an old dream and invested in a new one. With sadness we surrendered the dream of a permanent location for Annual Sessions. Through generosity and grace, those who had nurtured that dream rededicated the financial resources of that endeavor to a cause dear to us all: the nurturing and growth of our youth and their Life in the Spirit.
At the 2014 Annual Session we will ask what the prophetic power of “a new creation” means for us as a collective body. Can we be a corporate prophetic voice to the world? Our 2014 keynote speaker will be Jonathan Vogel-Borne, former Secretary of New England Yearly Meeting, who grew up in PYM. Jonathan is a gifted speaker who has led workshops at the FGC Gathering on “Practicing Prophetic Ministry.” We will also feature a plenary session led by PYM youth.
Please register through our PYM website, pacificyearlymeeting.org. I look forward eagerly to enjoying our fellowship and spiritual renewal at Walker Creek in July.
Steve Smith, Presiding Clerk