Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, October 2013 Interim Meeting
Report to Third Haven Friends Meeting
Friends are reminded that all items discussed are available on the PYM website under Interim Meeting. Comments may be forwarded to the appropriate clerks as indicated on the documents there that apply to each topic.
The General Secretary's Report covered a variety of topics. 1. He proposed a new way of discerning PYM support for social awareness by using a wider discernment process for a Foundational Minute when presenting a comprehensive statement of concern on a significant matter that has been widely seasoned throughout all meetings in PYM. This would encourage the input of all members before taking action on behalf of the entire yearly meeting. This process might improve the engagement and unity of the yearly meeting community. The task group creating the Foundational Minute would include comprehensive statement of the concern, including history, spiritual foundation of the concern based on Quaker faith and practice, options for addressing the concern and a request for yearly meeting action and support. Drawing monthly meetings into seasoned discernment and commitment to a cause could have the benefit of bringing members together around a shared concern. 2. Also noted by the General Secretary was a $30,000 unrestricted bequest to PYM which will go 75% to the Unrestricted Bequest Fund and 25% to the Membership Development Fund. 3. Jill Steelman, assistant to the General Secretary has resigned. 4. PYM belongs to the National Council of Churches, which leans toward issues of peace and social justice. Two current priorities are mass incarceration (inequitable laws and violations of human rights) and interreligious relations with a focus on peace.
The Search Committee for a new General Secretary to take the role in July 2014 reported on their progress and time line and received approval for an amended job description.
The Annual Sessions Planning group reported on the success of the 2013 Annual Session and the conclusion that a campus location best serves the meeting and draws wider participation. The 2014 Annual Sessions will take place at Muhlenberg College, Allentown, Pa. July 23-27, 2014 with a theme: Worship is a Door to Love.
PYM Long Range Planning group reported their progress in developing proposed strategic directions:
- Assist local meetings in fostering dynamic, Spirit-led faith communities that:
- nurture spiritual disciplines and practice
- welcome seekers and encourage diversity
- Connect Friends through effective communications and technologies
- Develop and communicate widely clear messages about Quakers and PYM
- Simplify governance and administration
- Foster a climate conducive to innovation and change within PYM
- Plan and hold annual sessions and other PYM-wide gatherings
- Facilitate effective PYM-wide corporate witness and social action
- Partner with other Quaker organizations to achieve common goals
The clerk, Jada Jackson, reported meeting with several groups to resolve conflicts and noted a called PYM Leadership Meeting on September 22nd which discussed the right relationship among Friends, including kind treatment in the spirit of Friends of those who donate their time in the spiritual ministry of clerkship.
Several monthly meetings reported vital and growing activities that invigorated their meetings.
Respectfully submitted, Dee Rein, Dawn Atwater, Dona Sorce