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A Journal of Our Quaker Faith and Practice


Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends

Annual Sessions: Living the Holy Experiment

Cultivating our Faith Community



The Future of Philadelphia Quakerism Thomas Swain Clerk, Philadelphia Yearly Meeting


n the 1970s, John Yungblut, a popular writer and teacher at Pendle Hill, wrote about “The Future of Quakerism.” There were three points he felt were necessary for Quakers to flourish. Our faith needed to be “mystical, prophetic and evangelical.” These might be startling words for us today. Nevertheless, they do have implications when we consider our future. In reviewing my last seven years of service to our Yearly Meeting, I want to use these three words to measure the corporate work we have done. We are Mystical people. We wait in expectant silence for the Word of God to quicken our lives and community. We discern the direction for action uniting with the Divine will. During our last seven years we have united within and through our being in the presence of the Holy Spirit. Thankfully, a measure of God’s grace has been present during our annual gatherings, Interim Meetings and in our committee work. The Spirit is with us. Prophetic. We are a prophetic people. We see truth and name it. Our 350 plus years have shown our faithful

prophetic witness. As a Yearly Meeting we have shown our prophetic muscle in our work toward sustaining our natural world. The National Ecumenical Peace Gathering in 2009, our witness with handguns, our work with greening Friends Center and our concern for our natural world are clearly in this prophetic stream. Evangelical. Once Friends get past our knee-jerk negativity with this word, we are a strong force for changing our world. Being “evangelical” is simply sharing the good news about Friends’ experience as individuals and as a community. We are not pushy people and I am pleased that we are not. We have something valuable to share with others. Many are convinced that it is our silent worship or community life that is of value. In reality, the good news we have to share is the inward experience of God’s love in our lives. This inward love we know has the power to change our lives. It leads us to correct the injustices of our world. This inward love we know gives us strength to restore our

Contents 2

Vital and Growing • The Future of Philadelphia Quakerism • Prayers 4 Grant Making • Of Books and Bayous: The Willits Book Trust Visits Louisiana 5 The Annual Fund • An Interview with Nancy Arnosti 6 Caring For Our Community • Who is God Calling us to be in the 21st Century: PYM Long Range Planning Group 2

natural environment. This knowing is open to everyone; this is what we have to share; this is how we are “evangelical.” I am pleased that we inaugurated Quaker Quest. Meetings that have participated are experiencing refreshed vitality. Quaker Quest is our way of being “evangelical” and we have survived. That is good. The strands of these three important words – “mystical, prophetic and evangelical” – are in us, yet we may not have lived up to the full measure of Light that we are capable of embracing. The one wish I carried throughout my service to Yearly Meeting was that our unity would be manifested strongly in our coming together around a single action, or a witness we accepted to reveal God’s power within and through us. The promise is still there and we are bound to reveal God’s unity in us. In these last seven years our focus has been inward with attention to fixing our own house. We restructured our designated funds to give us flexibility to sup-

SPRI NG 2012 • Generations Come Together at Medford Leas • The Inner Light Under the Big Top: The Plymouth Meeting Friends School Circus • We Can Do It! Healthy and Effective Committees 10 Witnessing Our Faith • Wrapping up a Year of Service with Junior Interim Meeting

• William Penn’s Holy Experiment • A Safe and Sacred Place • Meetings for Business • Youth and Children’s Programs • Worship Sharing Opportunities • Young Adult Friends • Holy Experiments: Sharing our Experiences

• The Friendly Households Challenge 11 Annual Sessions • Living the Holy Experiment: Philadelphia Yearly Meeting Sessions

• Healing the Earth . . . One Song at a Time • Evening Programs and Speakers • Living the Holy Experiment



Prayers Jada Jackson Rising Clerk, Philadelphia Yearly Meeting port programs, changed our governance to strengthen Interim Meeting and Yearly Meeting and are close to achieving a sustainable budget. These were important places where we needed to spend our time. My hope is that we will now turn to fixing our world. My hope is that we will find the unity to stand together as people of God in the mystery of knowing God’s guidance and our inner strength. My hope is that we will find the unity to stand together as a people of God, as prophets shouting what’s wrong and how we might rebuild. My hope is that we will find the unity to stand together as people of God in evangelical ways, convicted to share with others the gifts God gives us to be whole people. I am grateful for being called to serve our community and I am thankful for the Love and Light we know within and through one another. Thomas is a member of Middletown Monthly Meeting.

• Accessibility • Volunteering • Safety • Financial Aid • Housing and Radical Hospitality • Meals • One Book One Yearly Meeting 25 Making Ourselves Known • Announcing PYM Today Online 26 Friendly Advertising 28 Upcoming Events


ver this past year I have been asked many questions about being our incoming Clerk. The most common is, “What are my thoughts on becoming Clerk?” ‘My thoughts’ struck me. In sitting with this question, a rephrasing to “What are my prayers for our Yearling Meeting as I step into this role of service?” seems right. It nested well with a similar question I have been asking myself over the last year: “How am I being called to serve as Clerk?” My prayers for our Yearly Meeting do not differ much from my prayers for my quarterly and monthly meetings, or for myself: I pray for our community. That we continue to name the strength we have when we gather. Our worship is a precious gift. God is always with us, but as stated in Matthew 18:20: “His presence is strong when several gather to seek Him.” I pray that we continue to recognize that our strength to witness to each other and the world comes from Spirit. That when we look at each other we see ourselves, we see the gifts that we each have been blessed with and we see that of God within us. I pray for clarity. Clarity in me and you, that the depth of our knowing of “Whose we are and who we are” is declared in our words, actions and deeds. When others ask us why we do our work, we can state clearly the calling from Spirit. When others ask who we are, we can clearly respond in words. So that when they leave us they may carry on their tongues what they have seen in our hearts. I pray for centeredness. A centeredness in me and you, of such depth that the conflict, anger and pain of life can

be seen with unflinching eyes. A centeredness so deep we can trust that the core of who we are cannot be shattered by such energy and if we return to that still place within, to whose we are, we will find what we need. I pray for faithfulness. Faithfulness in me and you that we will continue to take action as we are called and will release our work with grace when our part in a calling is done. That we will step out on faith with as much trust as crossing a steel reinforced bridge. To take action as called with as much trust as we take our next breath - never questioning the presence of air. I pray for discipline. Discipline in me and you, that we will do what is needed to support ourselves and our community, recognizing that these actions are one and the same. From mid-week worship, spiritual readings, dedicated meditation space, not over-loading ourselves, financial giving and the like. That we discipline ourselves to take on the tasks of standing in difficult places with each other, because only by doing so will we cross to the places of true joy that lie in the Divine spirit. Amen. We are a blessed people. As we prepare to gather for Annual Sessions, I ask that you pray along with me for our community, our leadership and ourselves. Jada is a member of Trenton Monthly Meeting.




Of Books and Bayous: The Willits Book Trust Visits Louisiana books depicting courageous children, Lisa S. Garrison songbooks and stories of African AmerGreenwich Monthly Meeting ican spiritual traditions, of heroes in the struggle for freedom and justice, of n a November afternoon Charles people living lives dedicated to peace F. Woodson and I stood in the and non-violence. lobby of the African American Museum Why did two members of Philadelin St. Martinville, LA. waiting for phia Yearly Meeting travel to Louisiana books. We had traveled from New to present such books? The Willits Orleans to the lower reaches of the Book Trust was established in the late Mississippi River and then across the nineteenth century to distribute spiriAtchafalaya Basin, following the meantual tracts that communicate Quaker dering Bayou Teche to present books to values to African American communithe museum on behalf of the Willits ties south of the Mason Dixon line, a Book Trust of Philadelphia Yearly purpose that has remained constant for Meeting. more than twelve decades. Yet as comNow, at the hour of our planned mittee members we found ourselves presentation, the boxes sent ahead were asking: “How can we effectively idenstill nowhere to be seen. But at the last tify and work with groups that have moment, a UPS truck pulled up past both the need and capacity to utilize the door and two boxes of Quaker such books? Can our mission be books were delivered into our midst. artfully implemented at a time when In a moment of high drama, adroitly the very future of printed books has captured by cameras and press, we tore been called into question?” open the boxes and proudly propped Family contacts and colleagues at up the books for display. Museum Oxfam helped us locate groups in Louivisitors gathered to admire the siana in the process of building librarillustrated covers. ies: the Percy Griffin Community Some would see the story on KATC Center in Davant and the African –TV3 news that evening, broadcast to American Museum in Saint Martinville. viewing audiences in Acadia, EvangeWith help from QuakerBooks, each line, Iberia, Jefferson Davis, Lafayette, group’s leader chose books most suited St. Landry, St. Martin and Vermilion to their needs and interests from the parishes. Others would read about it in bookstore catalog. We were unpreTeche News. Some, such as a student at pared for the depth and breadth of Southern University in Baton Rouge, books on African American themes would text it to friends and family back carried by QuakerBooks. home. One thing remained true from The organizational leaders of the every perspective: while we as Quakers institutions we visited were keenly were the bearers of the gift, the books cognizant of the power such books and themselves stood as the undisputed stories play in sustaining memory, stars of the story. honor and faith within the communiIncluded in the collection were ties they serve. At the newly built Percy volumes on the history of abolition Griffin Community Center in rural and the U.S. civil rights movement Davant, Plaquemines Parish, the Willits drawn from QuakerBooks’ extensive Book Trust gift contributed to establishofferings. Folk tales from Liberia and ing the Center’s new multi-generational Ethiopia, beautifully illustrated picture reading area, a space that is serving as a



harbinger of the town’s soon-to-be constructed public library, slated for completion in late 2012. The Center itself is a citadel of safety and possibility in a town all but destroyed by Hurricane Katrina but is well advanced in the process of re-building and re-imagining itself. Constructed on substantial concrete stilts towering high above its surroundings, the Center resulted from an ambitious publicprivate partnership planned and coordinated by community residents, local government and the YMCA with facilities that include a swimming pool, ball field and exercise room and a wellattended Center for Aging. Councilman Percy Griffin, whose offices are based on site, and the Rev. Tyronne Edwards, who coordinates the facility, spoke about the role such books can play in inspiring elders to read to their grandchildren and fostering conversations regarding the broader cultural heritage of the community. In contrast, Saint Martinville’s continued on page 26



An Interview with Nancy Arnosti Jennie Sheeks Director of Development


hen did you join the Society of Friends? I came to Birmingham Meeting in 2005 and immediately knew that I had found my community of faith. I have always believed that there is 'that of God in every person’ although I formerly used different language to say this. Following disappointing political outcomes in 2004 I didn't feel safe in my community or my country. I was angry at all organized religion. At Birmingham I felt immediately safe and understood. I was able to put down my anger and attach religion and the practice of prayer to my existing spirituality. I formally joined the Meeting in 2010, two years after serving as co-clerk of Peace and Social Concerns. I continue as co-clerk of this committee today. Birmingham is a very special community. We come together across differences when it really matters to help one another and the wider community. What is important to you about being a member of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting? I believe that we all benefit from being part of the wider world. Some of us give more to it; some must take more from it. Circumstances change frequently. I believe that this applies to us as individuals and to us as a monthly meeting. The place of Birmingham in the Quarter and in the wider Yearly Meeting has always been important to me. We don't know when and how the greater bodies may help us. We are not alone: that is, we as individuals and we as a meeting, or any other affiliate group. We all need one another. Within the Quaker organization, that means the Quarters and the Yearly Meeting. I never want to live in a world where we are isolated unto separate faith or affinity groups.

Why do you give to the PYM Annual Fund? Financial contributions from members and others provide another form of recognizing the importance of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, Quakerism in our lives and Quakerism as a voice in the greater community. In my personal life I have learned how to receive and to ask for help when I need it. I have received more support than I can possibly use during recent times of personal and medical challenges. I am confident knowing that support will always be there again if I need it, although I am usually in the position of giving. I know that true communities take care of their own. Some communities are built: our personal circles including family are the product of years of work and investment in each other's wellbeing. Some communities, such as Birmingham and Philadelphia Yearly Meeting can be joined, and members accepted as commonalities are identified. What are your thoughts on the financial challenges we currently face as a yearly meeting? I read the January letter explaining the financial situation and what Philadelphia Yearly Meeting is doing to address it. I see an organization struggling but proactively working itself out of a difficult situation. Over the years, the Yearly Meeting made certain decisions - or failed to make them - that turned out not to be in the best long term interest of the organization. We have recognized this and as a body have moved to actions that will bring financial balance back. Now is not the time to turn our backs, for we are all members of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting. Why should we not provide indi-

vidual assistance as we are able, perhaps to accelerate the return of PYM's financial health, and even to lessen the severity of the decisions that must be made? What led you to increase your giving to Philadelphia Yearly Meeting this year? Due to personal and business conditions, for a time I was not able to financially support charitable and other good works as I wanted to. My business now allows me to make financial contributions of greater significance. The January letter came at just the right time and it was detailed, authentic and anguished. I was moved to make a significant contribution. I thought that I could send a message of support and perhaps put a dent in the financial problem. I didn't intend to attract any attention to myself, although I didn't make the gift anonymously. I feel confident that my contribution will make a difference in part because of the detailed accounting of financial deliberations and decisions provided regularly by a member of our Meeting. Nancy Arnosti is a member of Birmingham Monthly Meeting. She is a consultant to biotechnology companies, helping really smart people build companies that work on very difficult medical problems, and feels privileged to work with such people. Her leading is political activity. In addition to her support of Quaker organizations, her charitable contributions are focused on care of the earth, economic and social justice. Jennie Sheeks is a member of Central Philadelphia Monthly Meeting.




Who is God Calling us to be in the 21st Century? PYM Long Range Planning Group Thomas Hardy Green Street Monthly Meeting


ollowing the recommendations of PYM Annual Sessions in July 2011, the Long Range Planning Group (LRPG) has gathered and started to work. Since November 2011, LRPG has followed an aggressive meeting schedule in order to fulfill our charge in a timely manner. We meet on average twice a month, usually for 4 hours. We also hold teleconferences and small group meetings, and share email and documents. We have discerned the need for additional guidance from a consultant who specializes in planning for change within religious organizations. Our work, while daunting, has been a great challenge and opportunity for growth and learning about our beloved Society. LRPG is considering all aspects of the life of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting: as a worship community guided by Spirit and as a corporate structure with assets, property and staff. We are attempting to reach out to all PYM constituencies. We are reviewing a variety of documents from both PYM and other Friends organizations regarding structure, priority setting, mission, goals, survey results and PYM’s foundational documents. We are also immersing ourselves in current literature regarding planning for change in the 21st century for faith societies—for instance, the book Holy Conversations: Strategic Planning as a Spiritual Practice for Congregations by Gil Rendle and Alice Mann. We encourage you to visit our website at to view documents, notes of our meetings and brief information regarding the membership of the LRPG. We are also creating links 6

to related articles, survey results and May to gather information from the suggested reading material on planning larger body and will elicit additional processes for religious organizations. thoughts and visions from all members We are in close communion with the of our Yearly Meeting. Financial Stewardship Committee as We plan to present findings from our they prepare the PYM 2013 budget. Listening Sessions during Annual While LRPG is charged with planning Sessions for discussion and explora‘long range,’ we are aware that the 2013 tion. LRPG has established a timeline and subsequent budgets have great for our work. While we are mindful of impact on the Society we are Quaker history over the past 300+ visioning and dreaming to become. years, we are trying to envision a future Members of LRPG either serve on or 100 years ahead. With that timeline as regularly attend FSC meetings and we a framework, and with the discernment actively share information between our of those attending the Listening Sesgroups. LRPG is also reaching out to sions and Annual Sessions, we hope to Worship and Care Standing Committee be able in the near future to make tenregarding its leading for a “Sabbath tative recommendations to the Yearly Year,” to the group revising PYM Faith Meeting. and Practice, and to the membership of We encourage you to contact us with other Standing Committees. your thoughts, dreams, concerns and LRPG is keenly aware that as we plan visions. We ask you to review our work for ‘bricks and mortar’ change we must and give us feedback. We expect to be faithful to our Spiritual foundations meet many of you at our Listening and mission. Awareness of this dual Sessions. Finally, we close with words calling, and indeed the oneness of our of hope for our collective future: as Faith guiding our Practice, requires us long as we are Spirit led and true to the to approach our work as a delicate call to minister to each other and the balance and ongoing interaction of world, Philadelphia Yearly Meeting will Faith with Practice. go forward with strength and vigor to Currently LRPG is gathering suggesmeet the challenges of the future. tions for a possible new organizational structure for our Yearly Meeting (staff, budget, physical assets) as well as listening for the movement of Spirit among our membership regarding our colJuly 25-29, Arch Street Meeting House, Philadelphia, PA lective vision of the future. Please register by June 20, 2012 at We held eight regional Listening Contact 215/241-7238 or email Sessions in April and

Annual Sessions 2012: Living the Holy Experiment



Generations Come Together at Medford Leas Betsy Pennick Medford Leas Continuing Care Retirement Community


t. Patrick’s Day weekend at Medford Leas was exceptional because of the presence of 29 interesting and well mannered Middle School Friends who had accepted the invitation of Medford Leas to hold their March retreat there, staying Friday and Saturday nights at Woods Cottage and being part of many activities on the campus. Saturday noon several residents gathered in the Holly Room to await the arrival of the young visitors. “There they are,” someone said, and everyone went to the large windows to watch the Middle School Friends emerge from the woods on the trail leading to the Cottage. Each carried a brown bag lunch. In a few minutes they poured into the Holly Room. “Hello, everyone!” called out Stephen Dotson, Co-Coordinator of the program. “Hello, Stephen,” came the strong answer. Then Stephen and Gerry Stride, Director of Therapeutic Recreation, assigned two students to each of the residents. Sitting at the many round tables, they began eating and sharing stories. Some residents brought in an old but meaningful object to show; in exchange, the students talked about their backgrounds and interests. Barbara Heizman showed everyone

at her table a brass lizard she had purchased in Sri Lanka 50 years ago when she worked there. It was a reminder of all the lizards she had seen in houses there. At Warren Sawyer’s table, young Erica McQuartin described her multicultural ancestry: Lithuanian, Italian, Spanish, French, and German! Some imaginative group games followed, led by Gerry and Stephen, while everyone enjoyed root beer floats. Afterwards, Teddy Raup commented on how very nice the Middle School Friends were; Anne Wood found that even the shyest were happy to join in; Hannah Wilson hoped that some of their idealistic dreams would come true. The young people were then divided into four groups for different activities. A trail walk was led by Steven Denham and Maggie Heineman. Item of interest: a large empty hornet’s nest. They had time to walk as far as an oak tree that had fallen across a stream. Calligraphy was taught by Harry Forrest, who had brought all the materials into the light and airy Exercise Studio. Students praised each other as they tried to copy letters in italics as precisely as possible. In the Games Room there was a serious game of pool while a wild table tennis match took place nearby. Meanwhile two more players competed quietly at the indoor shuffleboard table. Ten students attended an interview with three resident CO’s (Conscientious Objectors): Warren Sawyer, Neil Hartman and John Bartholomew. The three men represented living history as they shared their experiences and described what it meant to stand by one’s beliefs no

matter how unpopular they were. One young man remarked that today they would not have to make that difficult choice because there is no draft. Warren hopes that those attending will have seen how a non-confrontational approach can avoid conflicts in other areas in life. It was 3:15 and time to get ready for Bingo with residents from Assisted Living. Young people pushed wheelchairs and helped others with walkers to get to the Holly Room. Everyone had a Bingo card or two. Gerry called the numbers and there was enthusiasm from all age groups. Middle School Friends helped the residents at their tables. St. Patrick’s day prizes were handed out to the winners. Back to Woods Cottage and a change of clothes followed by a seated dinner with residents in the Colonial and Garden Dining Rooms. Then, still full of energy, the young visitors put on a spectacular talent show in the Theater. With Stephen as the MC, more than 14 performed. There were three piano solos; one girl played her own composition. Violin solos, mandolin, and electric guitar. There were à capella songs, comedy skits, hula hoop and jumping rope exhibitions. One performer recited a poem by a Chinese poet in both Chinese and English. Stephen recited a poem and Matt Sanderson, Assistant Coordinator, did an impressive juggling act with oranges. The evening ended with the young Friends forming small groups to worship and share their thoughts about the occasion. Some of the comments from the children about their new Medford Leas friends include: “I really liked hearing their stories of the past and their wisdom,” “They were really happy to see us and that made me happy to see them be so joyful.” “The crafts and activities were fun. The community is not grouchy at all. Also the food was good!” 7



The Inner Light Under the Big Top: The Plymouth Meeting Friends School Circus Steve Parks Plymouth Meeting Friends School


ids are busy creatures – often making their parents even busier. There are the daily tasks of getting them off to school, helping with homework, planning weekend sleepovers, scheduling doctor appointments, driving to music lessons and team practices. In such chaos it is only the rare moment - perhaps when they are sleeping in the back of the car or quietly looking at a book - that you realize what wonderful, beautiful people they are. At those moments, their inner light shines forth with a beauty that is both striking and powerful. I did not expect to witness such moments through a circus. Naively, I didn’t imagine that juggling, tumbling and unicycle riding could provide such an opportunity. Over the past four months, however, I have come to see the inner light under the “big top.” It began simply enough. A math curriculum staged within the context of a circus – timetables linked to the needs of acrobats and animals. Slowly the math on the page started to come to life as juggling kits and walking globes began to appear in our house. As a family we counted how many balls could be juggled how many times and for how long. We watched the “physics” of the Diabolo, a circus-based skill toy, watching mathematical insight being linked to athletic skills. And we stood anxiously as paces were counted off prior to running full speed, jumping and landing perfectly on a balancing ball – a ball which was then used as a vehicle to travel across the living room. As time passed, individual skills began to be linked to collective effort. Over dinner, the talents of different students were discussed – Ezra is very 8

good at the walking globe; Mason is really talented on the unicycle. These individual talents were then slowly placed within the narrative flow of the circus – what if Nayeli appeared before Eli? How might Amira help Jack? Throughout, nightly times tables, measurements, multiplication and division continued to intrigue as the “bookbased” travelling circus continued its trek across the county. Slowly, math, athleticism, community building and a respect for the diverse talents of others began to shine forth, a newly discovered constellation in the night sky. And now the circus has arrived – bursting forth in early March, providing an opportunity for the entire school to witness the work done, skills achieved, and community found. Soon, the spotlight will shine on the students and teachers who have been working so hard. As a parent, I recognize the impor-

tance of such public moments. They allow us to collectively see the value of a school that in the midst of our modern chaotic lives keeps its focus, its full attention, on developing good and kind people. Children who learn to value themselves through what they can accomplish together. But I am now aware that such public moments are the result of private moments spent writing a curriculum, developing lesson plans, creating classroom environments where learning is active and engaged. They are the result of our children thinking and working together, enjoying what their minds and bodies are able to create. And they are the result of small conversations over dinner tables among family members, offering words of encouragement and support. I did not expect to find such meaning in a circus. But when I slowed down, caught my breath, I was amazed at the power that shone forth.



We Can Do It! Hannah Mayer Volunteer Coordinator


n the bright and windy morning of February 25th, over 60 Friends gathered at Friends Center in Philadelphia. We came together to learn and grow, to worship and play and to affirm our collective capacity to accomplish anything – it was We Can Do It Day! We Can Do It Day, a biannual event, provides information and skills training focused on topics of interest to monthly meetings. A variety of workshops, large group exercises and a shared lunch all contributed to the enrichment available at We Can Do It Day! This winter, We Can Do It Day! was

Healthy and Effective Committees! sponsored by Nominating Committee and focused on healthy and effective committee function. The day opened with a welcome and a game which had Friends on their feet interacting with one another, after which Friends explored the wisdom already present among participants about how committees can function well. Following worship and a brief discussion, Friends dispersed to attend workshops on clerking in the committee setting, effective leadership, discernment in committees, children in committees, the spiritual ground of committee work, cohesion among many committees and treasurer’s skills. Friends gathered again for a full group

PYM Receives Grant for Spirituality and Aging Project George Schaefer Care & Aging Coordinator


riends Foundation for the Aging has awarded Philadelphia Yearly Meeting a grant to bring Quaker spirituality and aging services to older Friends, their family caregivers and Friends residing in Quaker life care and other retirement communities. This project will be an expansion of the work of the PYM Quaker Aging Resources project and provide direct and web-based seminars designed to uphold a culture of holistic care for the body, mind and spirit of people and communities. The Spirituality and Aging project funded by Friends Foundation for the Aging will be implemented by PYM Care & Aging program services staff. The project will also seek to identify and train volunteers who can support the work in communities where they live. Christie Duncan-Tessmer, Associate Secretary for Program and Religious Life, will oversee the work of the project and expressed her excitement at the news, “This is a wonderful opportunity to support Friends and their families who want to feel more connected spiritually as they cope with the challenges of aging or caring for aging parents or friends.” Live workshops and webinars will address the following areas: Quaker spirituality and aging; emotional and behav-

for lunch and a closing exercise. Throughout the day, many Friends found opportunities to meet and connect with new Friends and to visit the continued on page 25

ioral health care; meaningful retirement and purpose in the final third of life; approaching death and preparing for dying; coping with physical health challenges, disability and care. An important aspect of the project is to reach out to and support Friends and others growing older in continuing care retirement communities or aging in place at home or in naturally occurring retirement communities. The central focus of the work includes helping people in the communities where they live to access pastoral care and spiritual supports; understand and address financial issues and express “last things” and final gifts to families and friends. Jane Mack, Executive Director of Friends Services for the Aging, an association of Quaker providers of services to the aging said, “I am so delighted to hear this good news. Helping Friends communities to maintain their Quaker identity is an essential part of our mission. And I am glad that PYM will be joining us in this work through its Spirituality and Aging project and that Friends Foundation for the Aging is supporting this good work!” For more information about the Spirituality & Aging project contact George Schaefer, PYM Care & Aging Coordinator at 215-241-7068 or George Schaefer is a member of Abington Friends Meeting.




Wrapping up a Year of Service with Junior Interim Meeting Ben Camp Children’s Religious Life Program Coordinator


he service organization SHARE (Self-Help and Resource Exchange) Food Program supplies food cupboards, emergency food packages and low cost food directly to families throughout the tri-state region. SHARE operates from a massive warehouse that feels like it’s the size of Rhode Island. It’s the kind of place where the executive director wears work boots and good work is done on a statewide scale, getting food to people who need it but

cannot afford it. Junior Interim Meeting is Philadelphia Yearly Meeting’s representative body of kindergarten to fifth graders, and moments after introducing them to the generous people at SHARE, I could tell that spirit had led us there. Our visit in March concluded a year of fun and productive trips and it was a pleasure to have adult members of the Yearly Meeting joins us to offer their service. Junior Interim Meeting charts its

continued on page 26

Have you heard about the “Friendly Households Challenge”? Margaret Mansfield Mount Holly Monthly Meeting


re you seeking to align your life more fully with your concerns for economic and environmental justice? Do you find it easier to make changes in your life when you work with one or more friends? Would you like to strengthen the sense of community in your monthly meeting?


f you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you just might want to explore the Friendly Households Challenge! The Friendly Households Challenge is a growing network of Friends households and meetings within Philadelphia Yearly Meeting who make commitments to learn, share ideas and take practical steps–small and large–to live more lightly on the earth and to embrace opportunities for positive societal change, all the while deepening their spiritual grounding with one another.


How do you become a “Friendly Household”? Check out the Friendly Households guide that is being developed (see The guide lays out areas in which you might want to take action, such as energy (want to lower your carbon footprint?), water (learn how to build a rain garden or hook up a rain barrel) or money (is your bank investing in damaging or unjust practices?). The guide offers multiple levels at which you may choose to work—spiritual grounding and basic learning; changes at the individual, household or meeting level; or in the public domain via lobbying, rallying or engaging in active nonviolent campaigns. Seek a small group in your meeting to talk about moving this idea forward. Have an initial potluck meeting where you can get to know one another’s interests better and perhaps watch a film such as Story of Stuff, Inside Job or Power of Community—all of which are

available from the PYM library. Once you have made a start, consider making an announcement at rise of meeting to see if there are other households who may like to join you as a Friendly Household. Sound too daunting to start on your own? Consider inviting a member of the Eco-justice Working Group or a member of an ongoing Friendly Households team to visit your meeting. Request an Awakening the Dreamer showing at your meeting—a program that inspires and energizes everyone and will help you kick off your Friendly Households projects. For more information, contact Margaret Mansfield (Mount Holly Meeting) - 609-261-8190 or mmansfield14@, Paige Menton (Plymouth Monthly Meeting - 215-654-0126) or Patricia Finley (Old Haverford Meeting) - 267-475-0391.



LIVING THE HOLY EXPERIMENT: Philadelphia Yearly Meeting Annual Sessions 2012 Howard Cell Germantown Monthly Meeting


illiam Penn identified the colony he founded as a holy experiment - an experiment in applying religious principles to the work of the world. During our 2012 Sessions we will explore the meaning of Penn’s Holy Experiment for us today. We will consider how we apply our religious principles to: • living in the world, • living with one another in our meeting communities, and • conducting our business. This year’s theme, “Living the Holy Experiment”, is in part related to the fact that we will be ‘coming home’ to Arch Street Meeting House where we will be close to Philadelphia’s rich Quaker history. But we shall also initiate at least two significant experiments at Annual Sessions this summer. One will be the formation of Worship Sharing groups for all adult participants, to prepare us for the issues and challenges in our Meetings for Worship for Business (previously called Plenary Sessions). Second will be the opportunity for all - children and adults alike to participate in a variety of Holy Experiments each afternoon, rather than holding workshops as we have done in the past. (See the article about Holy Experiments on page 17.) Our theme, “Living the Holy Experiment”, is significantly connected to what we learned from speakers, what we experienced together and decisions we made during the 2011 Annual Sessions. For example, the Children’s

Priority refers to making the world a better place and sharing our Quaker faith by treating all as brothers and sisters; this echoes Penn’s basic hope for his colony. We also agreed to undertake a long-range discernment and planning process - which is another experiment for our Yearly Meeting. As always, PYM Annual Sessions provide us with opportunities to gather in worship; to learn from and support each other as we seek to enrich the spiritual lives of our meetings and members; to discern with guidance from the Spirit how best to navigate the difficult issues that face our Yearly Meeting; to make spiritually-based decisions; and to simply enjoy each other’s good company in fellowship and fun. Children and youth programs include opportunities for quiet worship and discernment surrounding their concerns as well as fun, fellowship and service. The voices of children and youth are respected and their concerns may be seasoned and expressed in Minutes they deliver to the Yearly Meeting during meetings for business. Each youth group also prepares an epistle to the Yearly Meeting which is presented at the close of sessions. (Note: some Holy Experiments and other activities are planned as

multi-generational programs.) Wouldn’t it be fantastic if Friends filled Arch Street Meeting House during our 2012 Annual Sessions from Wednesday, July 25th through Sunday, July 29th? Please plan to join your Yearly Meeting family as we live into our own “Holy Experiment” this summer. And remember, financial assistance is available - please do not stay away for financial reasons: • ‘Radical Hospitality’ - that is, hospitality provided by Friends who live in or very near Philadelphia, will be available. • Work grants and scholarships are available. • Program fees, housing at Temple University and meals at Arch Street Meeting House will be waived for children entering 8th grade or younger. • Saturday lunch at Arch Street is free for Friends who have not attended Sessions for the last five years. • Sunday is free for everyone! To register for Annual Sessions visit: annualsessions or call 215-241-7238.




William Penn’s Holy Experiment Howard Cell Germantown Monthly Meeting


all persons in the province be permitted without question complete freedom of conscience “in matters of religious worship.” However, in The Frame of Government and Laws Agreed upon in England (May 1682), for Pennsylvania, religious toleration is significantly restricted in three respects:

illiam Penn’s first use of the expression “Holy Experiment” occurs in a letter to James Harrison, who became the first steward of Pennsbury (Penn’s estate on the Delaware River, north of Philadelphia) but who was still in England when the letter was 1. All government officials and electors of the members of the two branches written on 25 August 1681 (or 25th day of the provincial legislature must 8th month 1681). Penn says that he ”profess faith in Jesus Christ;” ‘sees the hand of the Lord in the obtaining of it’ [the grant], and express2. All who live in the province are to be es the desire to do what might ‘answer free ‘in matters of faith and worship,’ to God’s kind providence and serve His William Penn (1644-1718) so long as they “confess and acknowltruth and people by setting up an edge the One Almighty and Eternal example to the nations.’ Penn states his abstain on First Day (the Lords Day) God, to be the Creator, Upholder, hope that ‘there may be room there (in from their common daily labor, so and Ruler of the world…”; and Pennsylvania), though not here (in that they may worship God according England), for such a holy experiment.’ to their understandings.’ [The docu3. Those who live in the province ‘shall The key elements of Penn’s Holy ment does hold that this practice not Experiment, according to only follows ‘the good one commentator, are: example of early Chris‘religious toleration; libtians, but also allows for erty disciplined by altruthe ease of the Creation.’ ism; recognition of the That’s certainly a plus!] Thomas Swain primacy of the divine, Clerk, Philadelphia Yearly Meeting natural, fundamental or Penn had intended to “eternal” law; governinclude a less qualified ment, limited by law and guarantee of religious ur Annual Sessions, July 25-29, will be held at Arch by the consent of those of toleration in the Frame Street Meeting House. We have many lasting memories the governed who are and Laws, but it took associated with our historic meeting house at Fourth and Arch properly qualified, “subsome 10 drafts of the Streets. In some ways, this invitation to “come home” reservient to a higher end, document before it was minds Friends that you will find a warm welcome when you to wit, the general good”; approved - and then it arrive. and protection of the faced ratification by the While many feel that the meeting house is home, we rights of property, both first provincial legislature Friends have another sense that “home” is where we find tangible and intangible.’ (in March 1683). One fellowship. This is an important dynamic of gathering at AnThough religious lesson, apparently, is that nual Sessions. There is still one other important dimension of toleration was clearly the all Quakers were tolerant, coming home: home is where the heart is! Our hearts are cornerstone of Penn’s but some were more with and in the Divine. Coming together strengthens the exHoly Experiment, it was tolerant than others (to perience of being at home with the Divine and enables us to more qualified in the case paraphrase George Orwitness and minister to each other and the world out of love. of Pennsylvania than it well). Another, that the Come home with any of these meanings. You will find love had been for West Jersey. Quaker enthusiasm for and warmth among and in us. Help us to make it so. His ‘Concessions and wordsmithing goes way Agreements of 1677 for back! West Jersey’ provided that

Coming Home





A Safe and Sacred Place Jocelyn Park Providence Monthly Meeting


ast year I attended Philadelphia Yearly Meeting Annual Sessions for the first time. I have never been in a place where I felt more comfortable, surrounded by hundreds of people, all Friends. I walked the halls of DeSales University during Annual Sessions with a bounce in my step the day I realized that I was not alone, that I was welcomed, where ears were lent and handshakes and warm embraces were given without hesitation. I came for a hike but I stayed for the spiritual connection I found. My journey began on a school bus filled with Young Adult Friends and Middle School Friends singing Beatles tunes sweetly off key. We talked, laughed, shared encouragement and hiked up what seemed like a never-ending, almost vertical path to a waterfall. There we threw off our shoes and relaxed. Some splashed about in the cool water, others perched atop rocks and talked about life and faith. We came together that day - various shapes, ages and interests - and left fulfilled, if a bit tired and weary. I attended the next two days volunteering with Children’s Sessions, learning, laughing and playing together with the children. I attended two workshops, one on servant leadership, the other about healing the spirit. I heard stories of leaders through the centuries, stories of a Quaker’s call to lead, stories of heartache and words of compassion. I sat around a table many times sharing meals with new friends and old. I spent the night, meeting Friends my age, a group I had been seeking for a long time, men and women in my state of transition with hopes and wants very like my own. The last day of Sessions I left with a

heavy heart. I was returning to a world that was less understanding, disjointed and uncertain. I was leaving a safe and sacred place, a place where I could learn and share with others just like me, with my fellow Quakers. Attending Sessions last year opened a world previously unknown to me. I had merely attended my local meeting, and not very frequently at that. But this summer I was led to be at Sessions. It was a place where I was surrounded by people like me, who thought like me, whom I could learn from. I shared stories and experiences with a mother whose daughter was in her first year of college and told her of my own trials and tribulations during those years. I talked frankly about my desires for changing the world through my occupation, for seeking my higher meaning in life. I told of adventures in the Australian Outback to those who would listen. I waved to people I met the day before but felt I had known a lifetime. During Sessions I gained a sense of community. I remember feeling centered the entire time, walking with purpose to each destination, looking forward to the day’s interactions. I found that Sessions was a fantastic way to explore my spirituality and what Quakerism means to me with the guidance of others. This year I look forward to maintaining those relationships, which seems so hard to do once we are thrown back into our separate realities so far removed from our centered place. I look forward to the Holy Experiments, to discovering William Penn’s Philadelphia. I am excited to attend Sessions, to see Arch Street Meeting House with new eyes and ears, bustling with life. I look forward to seeing you at Sessions, to greeting you with a smile and a handshake!

Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business Thomas Swain Clerk, Philadelphia Yearly Meeting Let us prepare our hearts and minds for the business of our Yearly Meeting. Our agenda includes stories, reports and interactive experiences for members of all ages.  Financial Outlook & FY2013 Budget We will need time to understand this year’s leaner budget and its implications for our witness. Financial Stewardship Committee (FSC), Financial Oversight Working Group (FOWG), the PYM Treasurer, General Secretary and finance staff will provide reports and a budget proposal for approval.  The Long Range Planning Group (LRPG) is helping us develop our vision for the PYM community and organization. Last year, we recognized the need for a focused exploration of our future as a faith community and approved a process of discernment and planning. The members of LRPG will engage with us in a threshing session. Guided by Spirit, we will listen to each other about opportunities for what Philadelphia Yearly Meeting can be. Core Beliefs and Practices Threshing Session  We will share insights about the beliefs and practices that sustain and enrich us and our meetings. (In a previous session we will consider a revision to the Faith and Practice section on “The Light Within.”) Other Reports and Recommendations will come from Sessions Planning Group, Nominating Committee, Standing Committees, Working Groups, Interim and Junior Interim Meetings. There will be a Minute of Exercise from the outgoing Clerk and a statement from the Rising Clerk. Further details will be available at 13



Youth and Children’s Programs at Annual Sessions F un, fellowship and learning are in store for all ages in Philadelphia at Annual Sessions 2012 - Living the Holy Experiment! We will gather during Annual Sessions to be in community with one another and to discern God’s Big Idea – what is the work that the young people of PYM are called to do? This year, thanks to support from the Education Standing Committee, children 8th grade and younger can attend Sessions for a day or two, or for the entire event, for free, but you must register by June 20th! Children’s scholarships will cover program fees, the cost of their housing at Temple University (for those who are staying overnight) and meals we share together at Arch Street Meeting House. All of the youth programs are led by gifted, enthusiastic adults who will accompany your child’s age-defined group throughout Annual Sessions. Volunteers are always needed to provide a fun and spiritually grounded way to connect with our young people as we explore this year’s theme – What does William Penn’s Holy Experiment mean for us today?

Children’s Sessions and Childcare Infants through fifth graders will meet in age-based groups in the morning and afternoon at First Reformed Church, just two blocks from the Arch Street Meeting House (same time as Meetings for Business). Children actively participate in Yearly Meeting business through their own discernment in peer groups and in the annual Children’s Summit where they will create their own Epistle. On Saturday, children will travel to Pennsbury Manor for their annual Children’s Summit and for a picnic, tour, and William Penn-themed activities. Following each afternoon 14

Meeting for Business there will be time for all ages to learn and play together as a community in Holy Experiments making art, sharing stories and playing games. In the evenings, the community continues with simple activities such as an ice cream social and Bayard Rustin’s 100th Birthday Celebration! In the Family Neighborhood at Temple University, families will be housed together in a dorm centered around a lounge - a place to hang out, play with friends, and (for parents!) keep the conversation going after bedtime! Shuttle buses between Temple University, Arch Street Meeting House and Friends Center will be available several times during the day, or you can take the subway any time.

Middle School Friends Middle School Friends will gather at Arch Street Meeting House every morning. In addition to spending most of the day in their age-specific program, Middle School Friends will join the rest of the community for lunch, for part of the afternoon business sessions, and in Holy Experiments each afternoon. On Thursday afternoon, Middle School Friends will organize small creative games involving art, poetry and theater; and on Friday and Saturday, games in Independence Park for all ages. Saturday morning, Middle School Friends will work with Lisa Hamilton at the Philadelphia Academy of Fine Arts to

design and screen-print their own custom T-shirts!

Young Friends (high school age) Young Friends join the community for many activities but much of the time will have their own programs in much the same fashion as for Young Friends Gatherings. We will “camp out” at Friends Center, take part in the Holy Experiments, evening programs and some business sessions that are of interest to Young Friends. Check the Young Friends page on the PYM website at, for further details about our program. Young Friends may also choose to stay with their families and participate in the Young Friends program. Scholarships are available to help Young Friends with the cost of attending sessions. We have a lot of great plans in the works to encourage children to share their Quaker faith, grow spiritually, and have fun at the same time. Being in Philadelphia means we are located in the midst of our Quaker roots and history, and we are certain to have many adventures! For more information, please visit our website:

Contacts Heather Sowers, Children’s Sessions Assistant,, 215-241-7526 Stephen Dotson, Middle School Friends Coordinator, sdotson@, 215-241-7171 Cookie Caldwell, Young Friends Coordinator,, 215-241-7222 Christie Duncan-Tessmer, Associate Secretary for Program and Religious Life, cduncan-tessmer@, 215-241-7008



PYM Annual Sessions: Living the Holy Experiment 8-8:45 a.m.

Wednesday 7/25


Thursday 7/26

Friday 7/27 Saturday 7/28 Sunday 7/29 Early Morning Worship- Arch Street Meeting House (Breakfast is on one’s own- breakfast will not be served at Arch Street)

Sign in for Children’s Sessions, Childcare and Middle School Programs th Children Infants-5 Grade- First Reformed Church Middle School- Arch Street Meeting House (Saturday 9:00 a.m. Children K-5 trip to Pennsbury Manor) Worship Sharing Groups Arch Street Meeting House, First Reformed Church, Friends Center (with Young Friends) Meeting for Worship for Business- Arch Street Meeting House Children’s Sessions and Childcare continue at First Reformed Church Middle School Friends Program continue (Home base at Arch Street) Young Friends Programs continue (Home base at Friends Center)

8:45 9:45 10:0011:30


Children’s Sessions and Childcare sign out- First Reformed Church

11:30 1:30 1:10 p.m. 1:303:30

July 25-29, 2012 Philadelphia, PA

Registration Opens at 3:00 p.m. Welcome to Annual Sessions!

LUNCHArch Street Meeting House

Annual Sessions Adjourns until 2013

Children’s Sessions and Childcare sign in First Reformed Church

Thank you!

Meeting for Worship for Business- Arch Street Meeting House Youth Programs Continue All Ages Meeting for Business 3:15 p.m. Children’s Sessions end after all ages Meeting for Business

3:304:00 4:005:30


Break/Transition to Holy Experiments Gathering Worship, Worship Sharing GroupsArch Street Meeting House

COMMUNITY DINNER-Arch Street Meeting House

Holy Experiments Building Foundations for Monthly Meetings Digging our Quaker Roots Experiments in the Arts (all ages) Exploring our Stories (all ages) Peace and Justice- Deepening our Understanding Peace and Justice- Training for Action Serious Fun- Cooperative Games (all ages) Worship: Seeking the Holy See website for specific details and locations for each day Middle School Programs Sign Out at 5:30 p.m. DINNER-On your own: Locations of your choice-see PYM website for more information Children’s Sessions Family Dinner Friday 6 p.m.- First Reformed Church

7:30-9 p.m.

Multigenerational Gathering Celebration with Earth Mama Arch Street Meeting House

Celebrating the Life of Bayard RustinFriends Center

Meeting for Leadings Monthly Meetings and Individuals Share leadingsFriends Center

Speaker: Harvey Gillman (Britain Yearly Meeting) Living the Holy Experiment Arch Street Meeting House




Worship Sharing Opportunities at Annual Sessions Maia Simon Trenton Monthly Meeting


ne of the experiments to be conducted during the 2012 Annual Sessions is to convene Worship Sharing groups prior to each Meeting for Business. One purpose of these groups is to help attenders prepare for the issues and challenges of the Meetings for Business. Another is to provide an opportunity for members to get to know each other in a way that enhances spiritual discernment and Spirit-led decision making. The Worship Sharing groups will consist of 10 to 15 adult Friends and will utilize queries that are linked to the work to be done in the Meeting for Business. Worship Sharing is a kind of guided meditation. By focusing on particular

queries, we are better able to explore our own experience and share with each other more deeply than we would in normal conversation. It seeks to draw us into sacred space where we can take down our usual defenses and encounter each other in “that which is eternal.” The practice of Worship Sharing has evolved among Friends for the past half-century, drawing on a number of different sources. This practice has been successfully utilized by other yearly meetings and Quaker organizations— notably, Friends Committee on National Legislation and the American Friends Service Committee. Some basic guidelines for Worship Sharing include: • Reach as deeply as you can into the sacred center of your life.

• Speak out of the silence, and leave a period of silence between speakers. • Speak from your own experience, about your own experience. Concentrate on feelings and changes rather than on thoughts or theories. • Do not respond to what anyone else has said, either to praise or to refute. • Listen carefully and deeply to what is spoken. • Expect to speak only once, until everyone has had a chance to speak. • Respect the confidentiality of what is shared. Many who attend will be familiar with the practice of Worship Sharing. The Worship Sharing Groups can benefit from their seasoned experience, as these groups contribute to strengthening spiritual discernment and worship during Annual Sessions.

All adults and young friends who register for Annual Sessions will be assigned to a worship sharing group.

Young Adult Friends at Annual Sessions Elizabeth Piersol Schmidt Swarthmore Monthly Meeting


oung Adult Friends (YAFs) will participate in all that is happening at Sessions, attending Meeting for Business sessions, participating in Holy Experiments and evening programs and providing leadership in the youth programs. Plus, there will be plenty of time & space for YAFs to have peer group time together. We expect many Young Adult Friends to participate in Radical Hospitality homestays, too! More information is available on the PYM website at or you may contact or call 215-241-7075. Elizabeth Piersol Schmidt is the Young Adult Friends Convening Clerk.




Holy Experiments: Sharing our Experiences at Annual Sessions Margaret Mansfield Mount Holly Monthly Meeting “True godliness does not turn men out of the world, but enables them to live better in it and excites their endeavors to mend it.” ­—William Penn


oly Experiments are large group programs that will be held on Thursday, Friday and Saturday afternoons during Annual Sessions. The activities are facilitated by Friends from throughout our yearly meeting and are designed to stretch us to consider what Penn’s Holy Experiment means for us today through worship, fellowship, fun, learning and service. Some programs are designed for all ages while others are appropriate for Young Friends through Adults. There will be experiences at Friends Center and Arch Street Meeting House, nearby city parks and other places “out in the world”. Holy Experiments are organized as themed programs in a number

of realms: Building Foundations for Monthly Meetings: Share practical skills and learn about PYM resources for children and adult religious education, pastoral care, meeting enrichment and outreach. (Adult) Digging our Quaker Roots: Tour the neighborhood of 4th and Arch Street Meeting House, the Burlington Conference Center and inside Quaker records to discover the range of answers Quakers have given to the question, “What’s Quakerly”? (Adult) Experiments in the Arts: Hands on discovery for all ages organized with the help of Young Friends. (Ages 5-95) Exploring our Stories: Listening is a deeply spiritual practice for all ages. Folk tales, fairy tales, Bible stories, and telling our spiritual journeys. In this realm Friends will listen and learn together. (Ages 5-95)

Excerpt from Young Friends Epistle PYM Annual Sessions 2011

Dear Friends, Dear Friends, let us tell you how we feel … It is difficult to put in a letter the intricacies and passions of what makes our Young Friends community so strong and essential. We experience Young Friends as a place of acceptance where we can feel safe and at home being exactly who we are. 2011 Annual Sessions has been an intimate gathering, our smallest yet, but we have welcomed new people and reached beyond our circle to interact with children from Junior Gathering, Middle School Friends and Young Adult Friends…..

Peace and Justice - Deepening our Understanding: How do Friends integrate their faith into their daily lives? This realm focuses on bridging the gap between our good intentions and our busy reality as we live into our witness for equality, justice and earth care. (Young Friends and Adult) Peace and Justice - Training for Action: Learn practical skills to “see what love can do” to mend this broken world. Specific training about non-violent direct action, lobbying and service which helps communities become more self-reliant. (Young Friends and Adult) Serious Fun- Cooperative Games: creative games and field games – each is an experiment to stretch ourselves, to move and to share cheers. (Ages 5-95) Worship: Open space for deep listening to seek the Holy in our lives. (Adult) Friends may choose to participate in the same Holy Experiment all three afternoons, experiencing different aspects of the theme, or choose to try a different realm each day. Signup for Holy Experiments will occur on-site during Annual Sessions. More information about Holy Experiments can be found on the PYM website at /annualsessions

We love you so, Young Friends




Healing the Earth . . . One Song at a Time Joyce Rouse Earth Mama


ey friends in Philadelphia Yearly Meeting! My name is Joyce, aka Earth Mama, and I can’t wait to meet all of you this July at Annual Sessions in Philadelphia! I hear your theme is “Living the Holy Experiment.” Cool. You know how I try to live the Holy Experiment? I use my music and my lyrics to heal the earth, one song at a time! How’s that for a plan? I’m hoping you will help me to do that while I’m with you...I need LOTS of audience participation, so if you like being on stage, hamming it up and even acting a little silly sometimes, I have a part for you! (It’s also fine if you would rather just sit and watch.) Whatever your passion, I’ve got a song for you…. Social justice? “We Are One”

About Earth Mama-Joyce Rouse


oyce Rouse grew up on a farm near Cresco, Iowa where the music of the Earth touched her at an early age. She has been singing and writing ever since. With a Master of Arts in Earth Literacy and extensive music and theatrical training, she has traveled the country for over ten years spreading the message of Earth connection and sustainability. Her first album of family music, Earth Mama, was a finalist for the Nammies, a prestigious Nashville Music Award. Her success has continued to grow with each subsequent album, motivating listeners to take action to preserve and protect our amazing planet. Her music is heard in over eighty countries on syndicated public radio programs including My Green Earth, Every Living Thing and Environmental Directions. Joyce’s original music has been used extensively by educators and by international, environmental and peace organizations including the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, UNESCO, and Earth Charter. For the 75th Anniversary of Women’s Suffrage in 1995, Joyce wrote and performed the theme song, “Standing On The Shoulders”, which premiered at official events in Washington, D.C. Earth Mama’s motto is “Helping Heal the Planet One Song at a Time”.

Living simply? “Enough Is As Good” and “Pay Attention” Deepening your spirituality? Try “How Would We Live…” or “Holy ground” Freedom and justice? “Under the Rainbow” or “Everybody Else” Energy? Get up and dance with “Energy Tango” Links to these songs and more can be found at annualsessions I am looking forward to opening Annual Sessions with you and other Friends of all ages on Wednesday, July 25 at 7:30 p.m. at Arch Street Meeting House in Philadelphia!


About Bayard Rustin


ayard Rustin (1912-1987) was a social activist who played a vital role in the American civil rights, non-violence and gay rights movements. He endured threats, beatings and imprisonment, and was marginalized as an openly gay man living in a homophobic society. He transformed the movement with Gandhian non-violent strategies and organized the 1963 “Great March on Washington” for jobs and freedom. Bayard Rustin High School in West Chester, PA is named in his honor, as is the Bayard Rustin Center for LGBTQA Activism, Awareness and Reconciliation at Guilford College. He was born in West Chester, PA and became a member of Fifteenth Street Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends in his 20’s. During Annual Sessions we will celebrate the 100th anniversary of his birth.



Evening Programs and Speakers A

nnual Sessions will open Wednesday evening, July 25, with dinner at Arch Street Meeting House followed by an all-ages celebration with Earth Mama - Joyce Rouse. Earth Mama is a singer/ writer whose mission is to “heal the planet one song at a time”. You can read more about her, including an invitation to her program, elsewhere in this issue of PYM Today. On Thursday and Friday evenings we will gather at Friends Center for more fellowship, fun and sharing including a 100th Birthday party celebrating the life of Bayard Rustin, ice cream, a film or two and opportunities to share individual leadings and Meeting stories. On Friday evening, Friends of all ages will gather in Worship at Friends Center for “Meeting for Leadings”, a program celebrating our experiences with individual Leadings. On Saturday evening Harvey Gillman of Britain Yearly Meeting will speak, sharing his thoughts on “Living the Holy Experiment” and reflecting on the time he will spend with us throughout Sessions. We encourage you to read Harvey Gillman’s article on this page. Later each evening there will be time for more fellowship in the dorms and Family Neighborhood at Temple University and other places where Friends will stay. More details and a complete schedule of evening programs can be found at

Living the Holy Experiment Harvey Gillman Brighton Meeting Britain Yearly Meeting


he phrase ‘The Holy Experiment’ is well known on both sides of the Atlantic to refer to a particular historical process. When I was asked to explore the phrase as a springboard for a series of conversations with Philadelphia Friends, a number of doors opened which I had not previously considered. I offer you some of my thoughts. The spiritual life itself is an experiment. It is not a path of certainty. It is a voyage of discovery, needing humility, a willingness to be open and recognition of our limitations. It is not a straight line but has many twists and turns. Its authenticity is tested out in the experience of everyday life and may be both challenged and affirmed by those people one meets when undertaking it. An experiment is undertaken because of a hunch, a creative nudge, a leading, something that might spring up from a deep place in the mind, the heart, the soul. It is a response to a call that needs to be heard and listened to and then discerned for the next stages of the journey. The commitment to the journey springs from within, leads outwards and then offers further possibilities for revelation and communion. It brings together seekers who likewise are moved by this creative spirit. But when we talk of a ‘Holy Experiment’ we are talking of something more profound than mere speculation. Biblically the idea of holiness is based on an understanding of the nature of that ultimate reality we may call God. God, the universal spirit of creativity, is holy - that is to be approached with reverence, awe, and humility – and with joy. Creativity is what we humans share with the divine and so this holiness is part also of human experience. Thus the ‘holy experiment’ is the human response to the call to life itself. It is not just an individual response but a social, political, indeed holistic one. It is not summed up in a creed or

definition or party programme. It is not a possession but an adventure. It reveals itself in the very choices the community makes both for itself, its members and the world in which it finds itself.

About Harvey Gillman


arvey Gillman is an author of several works on Quakers, spirituality and language. He was trained as a modern linguist and taught French and Italian. He retired as Outreach Secretary of Quaker Life, Britain Yearly Meeting, in 2001. He was a Rowntree Fellow and continues to write and offer workshops to Friends and others. For several years he was a member of the Committee of SPIDIR, a spiritual direction network, and editor of its newsletter. He was for four years Clerk of Sussex and Surrey General Meeting, and he is an elder at Brighton Meeting. His passions include poetry, cooking, music, Spanish Jewish history and the pursuit of justice. He describes language as, for better or worse, an obsession. Paradoxically, the theme of mysticism is taking a larger role in his understanding of the Quaker way. His publications include Consider the Blackbird; A Light that is Shining; A Portrait of Friends: An Introduction to Quakers; Searching the Depths: Essays on Being a Quaker Today; Spiritual Hospitality: A Quaker’s Understand of Outreach; and the 1988 Swarthmore Lecture and book, A Minority of One: A Journey with Friends.




Annual Sessions Locations Accessibility at Annual Sessions Sessions Planning Group is committed to making Sessions accessible to everyone. You will be asked during registration to let us know of any special accommodations you may need. In addition, our accessibility plans already include: • Priority parking at Arch Street Meeting House specifically for those who are handicapped or otherwise need to park close to the building. • A shuttle bus between Temple University and Center City that will operate mornings and evenings. • Wheelchair accessible rooms at Temple University. • Large print materials as needed. • Speech-to-text transcription during Meetings for Business and Guest Speakers. (In smaller programs, facilitators will be asked to check with participants to make sure everyone is comfortable and can hear.)

Map legend Arch Street Meeting House, 4th & Arch Streets Friends Center, 15th & Cherry Streets Old First Reformed Church-Children’s Sessions Temple Dorm 1940, Broad and Norris Streets Temple Dining Hall, Broad and Diamond Streets Independence Park


Volunteering at Annual Sessions Annual Sessions is only possible through a tremendous amount of volunteer effort. And volunteering during Sessions is a great way to meet people and get involved! By the time you read this, many Friends will have contributed countless hours helping with Sessions publicity, planning and logistics. Opportunities to help during Sessions abound. To name a few, we need help with onsite greeting & registration, the Help Desk, transportation, ushering, children’s programs, photography, reporting, and managing audio-visual equipment. If you wish to help out, you may sign up when you register for Annual Sessions, or on site at Arch Street Meeting House.


Safety at Annual Sessions A

nnual Sessions this year will make use of the city beyond the walls of Arch Street Meeting House. Session planners know that the city of Philadelphia is a new and perhaps unfamiliar environment for many Friends. We have been mindful of this and safety concerns throughout our planning. Here are some suggestions for you to keep in mind in the interest of being safe together: • “It takes a village”. We ask that everyone look after one another and contribute to creating an environment that is safe and welcoming for all. • Friends are asked to pay attention to one another’s emotional safety as well as physical safety. As people who honor that of God in everyone we recognize the importance of this. At this time of change in the yearly meeting, we need to remember to be especially loving with one another. • We will encourage a “buddy system” so that everyone has someone to check in with during Sessions. • Plenty of people who are trained and properly screened will help with children and youth programs. Extra hands will be available as needed when traveling between sites in the city. • Children will be asked to wear matching colored bandanas while out with their groups. (Bandanas will be supplied.) • Information, including maps, walking routes, and help phone numbers will be provided onsite throughout Sessions to help people navigate safely. • Shuttles will be available mornings and evenings to and from the Temple Residence Hall. • We encourage people to travel in groups between locations and we request that those who know the city make themselves available to help others. • Locations of activities have been chosen with an eye to safety. • If something doesn’t feel right to you, please ask for help or information. Volunteers and Staff who know how to help in a variety of situations will wear bright, identifiable t-shirts.

Annual Sessions 2012: Living the Holy Experiment July 25-29, Arch Street Meeting House, Philadelphia, PA Please register by June 20, 2012 at Contact 215/241-7238 or email us at


Financial Aid for Attending Annual Sessions Everyone is encouraged to attend PYM Annual Sessions and we are committed to making it work for you! Work Grants and Scholarships are available to help defray the cost of attending Sessions. You may apply for a work grant or scholarship when you register, however you must register by June 20th to apply for a work grant or scholarship. You may apply for a work grant or scholarship from PYM and/or request funds from your meeting to help cover the costs of Annual Sessions. We encourage Meetings to support Friends who wish to attend Sessions. • Work grants are awarded according to hours served. • Scholarships may be provided for up to ½ the cost of attending Sessions. • Some limited scholarship funds are available specifically for Young Friends. • You may apply for work grants and scholarships when you register. This year, thanks to funding from the Education Standing Committee, children entering 8th grade and younger will not have to pay for program or housing if they stay with their parents at Temple University. Meals at Arch Street Meeting House will also be covered by this scholarship. In addition, lunch is free on Saturday for Friends who have not attended in the last five years; and attendance is free for everyone on Sunday, July 29. Detailed information about fees is available on the PYM website at www.pym. org/annualsessions or you may call Tricia Coscia, Sessions Coordinator at 215-2417238.




Housing and Radical Hospitality Several housing options are available for Friends traveling to Annual Sessions this year. Please note- you must register for Annual Sessions by June 20 to reserve housing, unless you are making your own housing arrangements.

Housing options available through Annual Sessions registration: • Dorm rooms are available at Temple University Residence Hall 1940, at the corner of Broad and Norris Streets, Philadelphia, PA. The dorms are on Liacouris Walk near the center of Temple’s campus, close to the dining hall and public transportation. Dorm rooms are suite style each has two bedrooms and a small shared hallway with two baths (one shower). There are lounge spaces in the hall where Friends may gather for conversation and relaxation. The fee is $40 per night per adult. • Family Neighborhood dorms. Also at Temple University Residence Hall 1940, families with children can be housed together in one hallway with a central lounge, called the Family Neighborhood. The fee is $40 per night per adult. Kids stay free. For breakfast at Temple University, you may eat in the dining hall or visit one of several inexpensive restaurants, a convenience store or coffee shop close to the dorms. A shuttle bus to Arch Street Meeting House and Friends Center will be available mornings and evenings in order to ease travel between


the Temple University campus and central Philadelphia. Plenty of dorm space is available and rooms may be reserved during the registration process, by June 20th. See and click “Register now”. • Radical Hospitality has been coordinated among local Philadelphia Friends who have offered to host one, two or more at their own homes. You may request to stay in a local Friend’s home during registration and we will do our best to match you with an available space. Breakfast is provided by the hosts. A small fee of $10 per night is charged for hospitality so that we can offer our hosts meals during Sessions to offset their costs.

Housing Options available on your own: You may choose to make your own housing arrangements. The following are some options you may reserve on your own. • Pendle Hill Conference Center, Wallingford, PA offers rooms during Sessions for $50 per night for a shared room, or $70 per night for a private room. To reserve a room at

Pendle Hill, please call 610-566-4507 extension 137 or 800-742-3150 extension 137. You must make these reservations on your own. Pendle Hill rooms include breakfast. Friends may also relax in the beautiful 23acre arboretum, walk the mile-long perimeter path, enjoy the outdoor labyrinth and browse the bookstore. Wallingford is about a 30-minute drive via I-95 to center city Philadelphia. Public transportation is also easily accessible via SEPTA. For more information, visit the Pendle Hill website at or call 610-566-4507. • Philadelphia area hostels and hotels A list of Philadelphia hostels and hotels is available on the PYM website at You must make these reservations on your own. A limited number of hotel rooms are available at a discounted rate of $129 per night at the Holiday Inn across the street from Arch Street Meeting House. To make a reservation call 1 800-THE BELL and identify yourself as part of the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting group. Reservations must be made by June 20.



Meals at Annual Sessions This year, since not all activities, housing and meals will occur on a single campus, arrangements for meals will be different than previous years. We will not be providing all meals during Annual Sessions, but in place we are offering plenty of information so you can make your own choices and enjoy the variety that being in a city makes possible!

Breakfast • Friends staying at Temple University dorms will be able to find inexpensive, a la carte breakfast in the dining hall (just a block away from the dorms) or at convenient nearby restaurants, coffee shops and convenience stores. • Friends staying at Radical Hospitality residences will have breakfast provided by their hosts. • All others should be aware that breakfast is not included with registration.

Lunch • Lunch will be available for a low cost for everyone at Arch Street Meeting House on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. If you plan to eat the lunch provided at Arch Street, please make your lunch reservation during registration so we can be sure to have enough food for everyone! • Other lunch options are available nearby and you are also welcome to picnic on the Arch Street Meeting House grounds (Note: refrigeration is not available at the Meeting House; bring your own cooler if necessary.).

ners will be on your own with the exception of some designated community dinners at Friends Center or as part of certain other programs (but please keep in mind that even for those meals, seating will be limited).

What I hope for from Annual Sessions Last year, Friends were asked what they hoped for in attending Annual Sessions. Below is a sampling of hopes and aspirations for our faith community.

• Reconnection with the spiritual community • Friends may choose to in which I was raised and meaningful have dinner in the Temple introduction of my daughters to it. University dining hall or • Making friends, having a good time, and take advantage of the getting closer to God. many yummy and low • Being mindful of the care and concern we cost options for dinner in have for each other. center city. Check the PYM • Discerning what I am being asked by God to Annual Sessions website do and being faithful to carry this out. for information about where to find vegan and other food options. (Meals we eat together will always include Check vegetarian, vegan and gluten free for updates. Information will also be options.) available onsite. Water will be provided throughout Sessions. Please bring a refillable water bottle with you!

Dinner • Wednesday. Dinner will be served at Arch Street Meeting House on Wednesday evening only as part of our opening celebration. Please make your dinner reservation when you register for Annual Sessions! • Thursday, Friday and Saturday din23


One Book One Yearly Meeting Christie Duncan-Tessmer Associate Secretary for Program and Religious Life


he One Book One Yearly Meeting program provides an opportunity for meetings, quarters and Friends of all ages to connect and grow in the Spirit through a shared experience. Each year a book is chosen which reflects the theme of our Annual Sessions. Over the next year Friends are invited to read the book individually or with their meeting - an accompanying curriculum provides support for going deeper into the book. This year our “One Book” will be selected during Annual Sessions and all Friends are invited to participate in the process. There are two ways to join in: • Suggest a book. The book should relate to our Sessions theme: Living the Holy Experiment. Suggestions should be suitable for adults, children and/or all ages. • Join us for discerning which book will be THE book. Recommended books will be on display at Sessions along with a synopsis of each. Friends wanting to participate in the process of choosing one of the books will be invited to bring their lunch to a special space on Friday afternoon. The book will be announced at Sessions, and a curriculum based on the book will be shared with meetings in the fall of this year. For more information see /onebook or contact Christie DuncanTessmer, at 215-241-7008 or Christie is a member of Chestnut Hill Monthly Meeting. 24


Members Speak about Annual Sessions h we had to listen to eac dership challenge where lea a !’ d ha am cre we ht ice nig ate y ‘Frida cceed. Then we be gentle in order to su other, be prepared and ) (Childrens Epistle, 2011

“Becoming grounded in God’s love and feeling embraced by that.” (Hopes & Aspirations)

y e being with m

ents. I lik es and reenactm m ga ith w n fu ve (Ellie, 10) “We play and ha out Quakers.”  ab gs in th w ne learn friends and we

“Philadelphia Yearly Meeting must strive to remain open to Spirit-l ed wisdom from all voices, even when those voices come from surprising places, express uncomfortable truths, or challenge the established wisdom of our leaders .” (Young Adult Friends Epistle, 2011)   I was raised and ritual community in which “Reconnection with the spi & Aspirations) my daughters to it.” (Hopes meaningful introduction of   “I like the different experie nces we have, like in the Fox group we made things and got to do projects.” (Ja mes, 8)

the burden of thinking - a shift that will lift We yearn “for a shift in our powerfully now.” ing it with the joy of living waiting for the future, replac (General Epistle, 2011)

“Discerning what I am being asked by God to do and being faithful to carry this out.” (Hopes & Aspirations) ends you can ces. At Middle School Fri pla e saf d an , ing lov , world seems to “Gatherings are fun n when the rest of the eve t ou art he ur yo ing always count on laugh orwin, 12) have grown callous.”  (C



We Can Do It

continued from page 9

Library, offices and some unfamiliar places in Friends Center. Many Friends expressed their joy at having the opportunity to gather with Friends from other monthly meetings. Said one Friend, “it’s good to get people from different monthly meetings together; it promotes community,” and another remarked, “the energy and joy were palpable.” Several Friends also experienced great benefit from the quality of information and perspectives presented. “I learned some valuable ideas about helping committees and the meeting as a whole work together,” noted one participant, while another said, “the information gleaned will definitely help me with committee work, not only at my meeting but with all the committees I’m involved with in other organizations.” If this subject piques your interest, check out the materials from We Can Do It Day! on our Healthy & Effective Committees website at we-can-do-it-day/committees-overview. You will find handouts from the workshops, a schedule, an evaluative report and the collection of best practices gleaned from participants’ experiences called The Healthy and Effective Committees Field Manual of Best Practices. As the sun went down on a very blustery day, We Can Do It Day! participants returned to their home communities ready to practice and share a new set of skills and information in their meetings and their lives. Perhaps this We Can Do It Day! helped Friends realize anew the truth that Mother Teresa so elegantly put it, “we can all do small things with great love and together we can do something wonderful.” May we all have the opportunity to do something wonderful together in the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting community! Hannah Mayer is a member of Maury River Friends Meeting in Lexington, VA.

We are delighted to announce PYM Today Online, a new e-publication designed to strengthen communication, connections, relationships and knowledge among everyone in our yearly meeting faith community. And since it is electronic, you can receive and read it on your iPhone, iPad, laptop, computer and other mobile devices. PYM Today Online is published monthly in addition to PYM Today, our printed journal. The emphasis in PYM Today Online is on timely information about our Quaker faith and practice, news, activities and upcoming events. Colorful, brief, easy-to-read, informative articles provide a quick way to keep up with all that is going on in our faith community. And if you are interested in reading more, each article includes a link to longer articles and additional information on the PYM website. Each month, we include these regular columns: • • • • • • • •

Message from the Clerk/General Secretary Interim Meeting News Featured Resource for Meetings Childrens’ Programs Witness and Testimony Spiritual Inspiration Community News Upcoming Events

Want to receive your own copy? PYM Today Online is free to everyone who wishes to receive it. Just visit the PYM website at pym-today-online or, if you have a mobile phone just scan the accompanying QR code to join our mailing list. It’s that simple! If you already receive PYM Today Online, please consider forwarding it to family members, friends and other seekers - each of whom receive their own personal copy free of charge. We hope that you will enjoy reading PYM Today Online!


CONTINUED Year of Service


Of Books and Bayous

continued from page 10

continued from page 4

course through discernment and business meetings, so the decision to invite all members of PYM to join us on March 10th was not made lightly. Pros and cons were weighed carefully and the children of Junior Interim Meeting came to unity that it would be good for everyone to have the opportunity to follow the Children’s Priority that they had discerned during Summer Sessions last year: “God’s big idea for us is to make the world a better place and share our Quaker Faith by treating ALL as our brothers and sisters. We will do this by raising money and helping those who are hungry and homeless.” The day was an absolute success. The kids had become experts over the previous four months at packing food, making cardboard boxes, organizing supplies and bringing a joyful spirit to their work. Over seventy-five people pitched in to help at SHARE and we were able to finish several truly important tasks. We cleaned and organized a space that will become a store with both food and office supplies available at well below market cost. We assembled hundreds of cardboard boxes that other volunteer groups will fill with a variety of food items for families. We prepped a room so that it can be converted into a classroomkitchen to teach interested members of the community how to prepare healthy meals, and we cleaned out the gardens so they are ready to be planted with fruits and vegetables. The kids of Junior Interim Meeting asked themselves last summer, “What is God’s Big Idea for us this year?” Their clear calling was a gift to everyone who joined us on March 10th and their work will continue in the following school year.

African American Museum is dedicated to exploring the story of the arrival of Africans and the development of the Free People of Color community in Louisiana, particularly in the Attakapas District of Southwest Louisiana in the 18th and 19th centuries. The museum, along with dozens of other newly formed African American and Civil Rights Museums throughout the South, tells the story of a people’s origins, struggles and aspirations for the next generation. “Providing children and adults in this small town with hard-to-find books on topics and thoughts they might not otherwise encounter encourages all of us in this community to intellectually explore and educate ourselves. That is a donation that outweighs monetary value,” said Museum Director and Curator Danielle Fontenette. Our trip served as a reminder of the historic role Quakers have played supporting African American struggles for freedom and justice. Percy Griffin, for whom the Community Center in Davant is named, was a civil rights activist in Plaquemines Parish who likely worked with others in forming the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in New Orleans, which incorporated principles of non-violence introduced by Quaker activist Bayard Rustin. As we toured the African American Museum, Danielle Fontenette pointed to a timeline mapping the first anti-slavery declaration in the colonies in 1688 by Germantown Quakers. What was for our nineteenth century forebears in the Willits Book Trust an exercise in disseminating tracts became for us a twenty-first century exercise in book giving. In presenting a small but substantive collection of books to emerging libraries in African American communities, we found ourselves rekindling an older tradition of friendship and alliance. The ministry of visiting people, having face to face conversations and listening to their stories brought our Quaker practice alive.


Friendly Advertising Quaker organizations and individuals pay to advertise in this section.

Barclay Friends

Continuing Care Community with Short-Stay Rehabilitation – A Kendal Affiliate®. Gardens surround Barclay Friends bringing nature closer to those who live here or come for rehabilitation. Horticultural Therapy enables residents to get their hands in the soil and add purpose to life by arranging flowers for the community. Our special programming for those with dementia is designed to be respectful of their dignity and individuality; segregation is unnecessary. Couples with differing needs can share an apartment in Woolman-Residential Living and Personal Care. Barclay Friends staff are well known for longevity and excellent care. Please visit or call 610-6965211.

Cadbury at Cherry Hill

Cadbury is a beautiful lakeside community in scenic Cherry Hill, NJ. Licensed as a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC), Cadbury offers Independent Living, Assisted Living, Skilled Nursing and Sub-acute Rehabilitation. Amenities include waterfront dining, indoor pool, fitness center, library, auditorium, art studio and computer lab. With over 30 years of experience, based in Quaker tradition, Cadbury respects the dignity of each individual while nurturing independence and encouraging the highest possible quality of life. Direct entry is available to all levels of care. Various contract options are available including lifecare. For more information call 1-800-422-3287 or www.



Chandler Hall

Located in Historic Newtown, Bucks County, offers a wide array of services. The Friends Nursing Home opened its doors in 1973. The well-known Hospice Program began in 1982 and includes “Hospice at Home” and the residential Pavilion. Other offerings include: Residential Apartments, Personal Care Residences, and Community Programs: Home Health, Adult Day, Child Development, and Primary Care. For more Information, please call 215-497-0905.

Friends Home and Village Newtown

Intimate Independent and Personal Care Living - small by design and remarkably priced, our two separate retirement communities are guided by Quaker principles of simplicity, inclusion, equality and respect. The unique settings offer several types of living accommodations from rooms to extra-large two bedroom cottages located in and around Newtown Borough, Bucks County. Pets are welcome! Visit our website for new LOWER Entrance Fees and updated rate structures at www., or call us at 215-968-9222.


Located on 110 beautiful, suburban acres in Montgomery County, Foulkeways at Gwynedd was one of the first Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) and the first Quaker CCRC in the country when the campus opened in 1967. Over the years, “Setting Standards of Excellence in Retirement Living” has become synonymous with the Foulkeways name as it continues to lead the industry with innovative health care, environmental greening initiates and volunteerism efforts. In November of 2010, Foulkeways was recognized as the recipient of the ‘Pathways To Greatness 2010 Award for Exemplary Aging Services,’ co-sponsored by the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging (AAHSA) and LarsonAllen LLP, CPA’s, consultants and advisors serving aging service providers. This prestigious award was designed to recognize and identify the traits of high-performing senior living providers across the country and the selection criteria included Customer Excellence, Best Practices and Innovation, Distinctive Impact and Leadership.

For more information call 215-283-7010 or visit our website at

more information call 1-800-216-1920, or www.kcc.

Foxdale Village Retirement Community

Medford Leas

Come visit our Quaker-directed, continuing care retirement community in State College, nestled in the heart of Happy Valley, amid central Pennsylvania’s beautiful mountains and valleys. Foxdale encourages and supports older adults as they seek to live full and graceful lives in harmony with Quaker principles of equality, simplicity, and compassion. Residents have access to Penn State’s many educational, cultural, and sporting events. State College Meeting is vibrant and welcoming. Reasonable fees include lifetime medical care and pharmacy. Explore how retirement to Foxdale can be your opportunity for personal growth. For more information call 1-800-253-4951.

A Quaker-related community for those age 55+. Visit us and learn all about our: • Two beautiful campuses in Medford and Lumberton, NJ • Over 200+ acres of arboretum settings • Wide choice of garden-style home & apartment designs • Dynamic, resident-driven community life • Ideal locations for culture & recreation • Superior health & wellness services Home of the Lewis W. Barton Arboretum & Nature Preserve. Member, Greater Philadelphia Gardens. For details about our community and our many programs open to the public – call us at 800-331-4302 or visit our website

Friends Village at Woodstown is

a Continuing Care Retirement Community for those age 62+ in beautiful southern New Jersey. Choose a cozy cottage or an apartment. No need to worry about maintenance, housekeeping or cooking. Enjoy more time to engage in favorite activities with the peace of mind that future continuing care services are available on campus. Friends Village at Woodstown is close to major highways and bridges, providing easy access to Philadelphia, New York and the Jersey Shore. For more information, call toll free at 1-888-455-2438 or visit our website at

Kendal-Crosslands Communities

Located on nearly 500 acres, adjacent to Longwood Gardens, Kendal at Longwood and Crosslands are continuing care retirement communities. For 40 years, Kendal has been a leading provider of programs and services that advocates for and empowers older adults. Residents have access to cultural and academic programs, arboretum-like gardens, and wellness and recreation amenities. In keeping with Kendal’s commitment to inclusiveness, smaller cottages and apartments are offered at more affordable rates. For

Policy for Friendly Advertising These notices are the responsibility of the person placing them. PYM makes no claim about their accuracy. Notices by Friends institutions, members and attenders should be mailed with a check for $2 per word (minimum $40, maximum 100 words) to “PYM Today,” 1515 Cherry St, Philadelphia, PA 19102. Questions? Contact us at 215-2417211. Suitability of content is determined by PYM staff.




This publication is made possible by the financial support of friends, meetings, individuals and organizations.

Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends 1515 Cherry Street Philadelphia PA 19102-1479

The cover art for this issue is based on a banner made by Mount Holly Monthly Meeting first day school for Annual Sessions 2005.

Upcoming Events (Please see for complete details of events.) July 16 – 22

Quaker Pilgrimage to England

July 25 – 29

Annual Sessions Arch Street Meeting House

August 19 – 25 August 31 – Sept. 2 September 8 September 8 September 21 – 23 September 21 – 23

Young Friends Summer Gathering Camp Onas, Ottsville, PA Middle School Friends Fall Gathering Camp Dark Waters, Medford, NJ Interim Meeting Arch Street Meeting House Junior Interim Meeting Arch Street Meeting House Spiritual Formation Program Opening Retreat St. Gabriel’s Retreat Center, PA Young Friends Peace Fair Gathering Buckingham Friends Meeting and School, Lahaska, PA

PYM Today is published by Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends and is distributed free to members. 1515 Cherry Street Philadelphia, PA 19102 Phone 215-241-7211 Fax 215-241-7045 Website Thomas Swain, Clerk Arthur M. Larrabee, General Secretary Martin D. Reber, Director of Communications

PYM Today - Spring 2012  
PYM Today - Spring 2012  

PYM Today - Spring 2012 edition