Pacific Yearly Meeting’s Annual Session will be held in person July 21-26, 2023 at Mount Madonna Center (near Watsonville, CA). It will also be possible to attend remotely via Zoom. This year’s theme will be Beloved Community Part II: Centering the Voices of the Next Generation.
Click here for more information, including the Clerk’s Call, bios of the keynote panel members, the schedule, and a link to registration.
When: July 2-8, 2023 Where: Monmouth Oregon Registration begins: April 23, 2023
Gather: One small word with many meanings.
Gather can mean to collect, especially from far-flung locations: They visited gardens, libraries, Meetings, and websites to gather materials to share in this workshop. Or it can mean to come together: Friends of all ages are gathering in Oregon in 2023 for an annual event. It can also mean to increase speed: Quaker witness is gathering momentum around criminal justice. Gather can mean gaining understanding: From the looks on the children’s faces, the performers gathered that their art was what the audience needed that night.
We expect that the 2023 FGC Gathering will be special, in part due to the location. It will be in the Pacific Northwest for the first time in a generation. It will be in Oregon for the first time ever. Some offerings will be online, but mostly, it will be an all-generations in-person experience for the first time since 2019.
We understand that it is a heavy lift for most people to come to the Gathering. It’s a big expense for ever-tightening budgets and those of us who don’t have much disposable income. It’s a large amount of time away from work for shrinking vacation benefits if we are so fortunate to even have a job with benefits. We may be apprehensive about the location. It costs a large carbon footprint to travel no matter what the offsets. Plus, there are all those roommates who snore and long cafeteria lines. Ah, the travails of travel. 🙂
We are convinced, however, that to gather, in and of itself, with all that word’s meanings, is deeply important. We cannot truly be a society, let alone a religious society, without gathering. Societies must have gathering spaces and places to exchange ideas, to share common experiences and to coalesce as a community. We must gather corporately and corporally to worship. Otherwise, we just dissipate into an unholy mess.
There is nothing like living together for a week. An event like the FGC Gathering creates life-changing opportunities – both scheduled and spontaneous – to worship, eat, sing, play, pray, explore, and learn together. The Gathering Committee is working diligently to welcome you just as you are and however you are, and we will do our best to make it work for you. We are preparing a unique opportunity to experience “gather” in all its meanings and for all to do a lot of learning, healing, sharing, inspiring, and creating together across our Religious Society of Friends..
The theme this year is “Listen, so that we may live.” We ask you to listen to this invitation prayerfully and see if there is life in it for you and your family. Come to The Gathering, enjoy Oregon’s Willamette Valley, gather for a while.
With Love and In the Light,
Jessica & Kate
Jessica Bucciarelli and Kate Jaramillo
2023 Friends General Conference Gathering Co-Clerks
When: Saturday, May 6, 2023, 10AM-Noon, Pacific Time Where: online (via Zoom)
Join us online for the FWCC Southwest Regional Gathering, a fully bilingual gathering of Friends from Intermountain Yearly Meeting, Pacific Yearly Meeting, and the Western Association of the Religious Society of Friends.
Travelling Quaker minister Emily Proance will help us explore the challenges of meeting via computer. Can we sense the “presence of the Room” when the room has no walls? How do we maintain unity? The meeting will be conducted in both English and Spanish. All Friends are welcome.
Are you curious about how other Friends Meetings and Worship Groups are navigating life as a spiritual community in these shifting times now that the pandemic is not so intense? We’ll hear excerpts from Meetings’ Spiritual State of the Society Reports and have worship sharing opportunities together.
The Children’s Committee is planning lots of fun activities including candle-making. In addition, children will have an opportunity to fold-form a copper bowl with metalsmith Marne Ryan.
Get to know other Teens in Southern California! Junior Friends aged 12-20 are invited to attend Spring Gathering on Saturday for fun, fellowship, and community building led by Linus Hartigan (co-clerk of PacYM’s Jr. Yearly Meeting).
The Peace & Social Concerns Committee is hosting an online interest group Friday evening at 7 PM, exploring where we are and what is next for us as individuals, within our meetings, and our Quarter, on the journey towards “radical transformation” and a fully welcoming and inclusive, beloved community.
Saturday’s schedule is from 9:00 – 3:15 (Pacific time). All program activities will be available for those joining us in person and via Zoom, except the children’s program, which will be in-person only.
Orange County Friends Meeting in Costa Mesa will be hosting the in-person gathering at their campus 2845 Mesa Verde Drive East, Costa Mesa, CA in the larger space where the Orange Coast Unitarian Universalist neighbors have their sanctuary (Daniels Hall). There will be ample space for everyone who would like to attend in person,
Covid-19 Safety Policy: Everyone is expected to wear high-quality masks when inside and maintain social distancing between members of different households. If you are sick please stay home. All are welcome regardless of vaccination status.
Lunch: OCFM will be providing a simple lunch and refreshments during the day on Saturday and will be asking for donations to cover the cost of hospitality.
There is an outside courtyard area where we can enjoy refreshments and lunch together.
Friends joining us online will be able to join in our shared virtual space with everyone gathered in Costa Mesa as well as online (except for when we are in smaller breakout groups and at lunch).
May we gather with openness, humility, and a spirit of loving-kindness and gratitude. May we come together to listen, share, and learn from each other and look towards the future of the Quarter.
The Indigenous Concerns Subcommittee of Pacific Yearly Meeting’s Ministry and Care Committee invites you to join a noon screening and follow-up session of the film “The Doctrine of Discovery: Unmasking the Domination Code.”
The film explains how the “Doctrine of Discovery” was used to justify Europeans” seizure seizure of the lands of Indigenous peoples, Nations and Tribes in the name of “civilizing” and “Christianizing” them. This Doctrine was explicitly incorporated into US law in the 19th Century. It remains the foundation of US “Indian Law”, and the US legal system continues to use this Doctrine against Indigenous peoples to this day.
We are offering a two-session series in March and April, the first being a screening and initial reactions, and the second diving deeper into where we go from here.
March sessions will be on Wednesdays, March 8th and 22nd, from 7-8:30pm (Pacific) April sessions will be on Sundays, April 16th and 30th, from 3-4:30 PM
If you would like to join our scheduled sessions, please reach out to the subcommittee at email@example.com.
The Peace and Social Order (PSO) Committee of the Pacific Yearly Meeting (PacYM) announces an interest group-type session held outside of Annual Session
Title: Quaker Spirituality and Somatic Practices Date: Saturday, April 15, 2023 10:30-noon and 1:00-2:30 pm (Pacific), online Contact: Linnea (firstname.lastname@example.org or Betty (email@example.com)
Presenter: Shannon Frediani, member of Santa Cruz monthly meeting Worship & Ministry committee member. Former co-clerk of PacYM PSO committee.
Recognizing and countering the responses of trauma exposure is needed for navigating the multiple crises of our time (climate, war, racial and systemic injustice, COVID, etc.)
Exploring and deepening comprehension of Quaker resonance practices and bridging them with modern scientific somatic practices. A brief introduction to trauma exposure responses
Experiencing self-regulation and rebalancing somatic practices as a form of deepening Quaker practice for being instruments of peace. Online format, with a link to be sent out. Teens are invited to attend
This particular interest group, a 2-session workshop, is a replication of the Spring retreat held at Santa Cruz Friends Meeting in May of 2021, sponsored by the W&M committee. It was designed by Shannon Frediani based on her teaching experience at Starr King School for the Ministry, a Unitarian Universalist Seminary. The response from Santa Cruz Monthly Meeting participants was overwhelmingly positive.
Giving a brief overview of Quaker Spirituality and a story of when Quaker practice for maintaining regulation of bodies in a high stakes environment was successful, as well as an introduction of trauma exposure responses and what those look like, this workshop is designed to engage regulating somatic practices, foster Quaker formation, and offer a way forward.
When we talk about migration, too often the conversation overlooks the humanity and experiences of the people impacted. Popular rhetoric about the “border crisis” and political stunts like the busing of migrants only makes this worse. FCNL’s February Quaker Changemaker Event will feature a conversation about faith and community work on the border and across the nation.
Register to join our conversation on Thursday, Feb. 23 at 8:00 PM EST
Quaker Center, a retreat and conference center located in Ben Lomond, California, offers annual calendar of both online and in-person programs that explore spiritual growth and deepening, the faith and practice of Quakerism, peace and social justice, environmentalism, and much more. Here are some ongoing and upcoming programs in March, April, and May.
Wednesday Morning Online Worship sharing each Wednesday at 10:00 AM Pacific Time
Many of us are over-scheduled. Even the lives of our children are over-scheduled. When we can allow ourselves to rest and relax, healing becomes possible. There is no healing without relaxation. In the Plum Village Tradition, we learn the art of being lazy, at least one day a week.
We think that when we are not doing anything we are wasting our time, that is not true. Our time is first of all for us to be. To be, to be what? to be alive, to be peace, to be joy, to be loving. And that is what the world needs the most. So we train ourself in order to be. And if you know the art of being peace, of being solid, then you have the ground for every action… because the ground for action is to be. And the quality of being determines the quality of doing. Action must be based on non-action.
Thich Nhat Hanh
Queries: Is meditation part of your life? Do you take time out to do nothing?
Dancing with History: a life for peace and justice In-Person Friday, March 3rd-Sunday, March 5th, 2023
George Lakey returns to Quaker Center to talk about his new memoir Dancing with History and the growing anxiety around polarization in our country. With lessons he learned as a young man facing violence in the streets and risking his life for human rights, Lakey shows readers how to find hope in even the most challenging times through strategic, joyful activism.
Racial Wealth Gap Learning SImulation Online Workshop Tuesdays, April 18, 25, 2023 at 4-5:30 PM Pacific Time
This simulation helps people understand the connections between racial equity, hunger, poverty, and wealth. Participants learn how federal policies created structural inequalities—property ownership and education are just two of many areas affected—and how these policies increase poverty in communities of color.
Facilitator Beverly Ward is the field secretary for Earthcare, Southeastern Yearly Meeting and co-clerk of Quaker Earthcare Witness.
Writing Mental Illness Online Workshop with Ben Brazil Wednesdays, May 3, 10, 17, and 24 at 6:30-8:00 PM Pacific Time
Mental illness affects roughly one in four American adults—or about 61.5 million people—in a given year. Yet despite its prevalence, mental illness carries a social stigma, and our mental health “system” offers scant, spotty support for those who suffer. This class asks us, as writers, to engage with the personal, moral, social—and spiritual—dimensions of mental illness. Note: this course involves pre-reading and space is limited.
Ben Brazil directs the Ministry of Writing program at the Earlham School of Religion, a Quaker seminary in Richmond, Indiana.
Quaker Center, a retreat and conference center located in Ben Lomond, California, offers annual calendar of in-person programsthat explore spiritual growth and deepening, the faith and practice of Quakerism, peace and social justice, environmentalism, and much more. Here’s what’s coming in January, February, and March:
Quaker Mystical Experience: Science, Sharing, and Vision Weekend In-person Retreat January 27-29th, 2023
This highly interactive program explores Quaker mysticism and offers a broad, inclusive understanding of all types of mystical experience. It draws on the Quaker mystical tradition, as well as the broader study of mystical experience that comes from the psychology of religion, neuroscience, and philosophy of religion.
Facilitator Don McCormick is a member of Grass Valley Friends Meeting. His interests include Quakerism & mystical experience, minfulness & Quakerism, and Quaker spiritual autobiography. He also trains mindfulness teachers for Unified Mindfulness, which he co-founded. As a professor, he taught psychology of religion (among other things). He is a regular contributor to Friends Journal. His articles include “The Mystical Experience:Reclaiming a Neglected Quaker Tradition” and “Mystical Experience: What the Psychological Research has to Say.”
Embodying the Light Within Online, pay-as-led Tuesdays, Feb 7,14,21,28, Mar 7 5:30-7:30PM Pacific
Take a deep dive into Thomas Kelly’s essay “The Light Within” in order to grasp and embody its mystical message using Brother Lawrence’s practice of the presence, sacred reading and writing, Centering Prayer, discursive meditation, and sharing reflections.
Barbara Birch is a member of Strawberry Creek Meeting, a board member at Ben Lomond Quaker Center, and the author of a forthcoming book called Eating with Christ: Feasting, Fasting, Food, Fun and Friends from Barclay Press. She is married and has three daughters.
Dancing with History: a life for peace and justice In-person Friday March 3rd-Sunday March 5th
George Lakey return to Quaker Center to talk about his new memoir Dancing with History and the growing anxiety around polarization in our country. With lessons he learned as a young man facing violence in the streets and risking his life for human rights, Lakey shows readers how to find hope in even the most challenging times through strategic, joyful activism.
John Watts, the founding director of the QuakerSpeak project, is launching a new venture called Thee Quaker Project, which seeks to disseminate Quaker values through a podcast and other online platforms, as well as to establish a new approach to funding Quaker Organizations. Watch the video below to learn more about the project.