Wednesday, July 15 – Sunday July 19, 2015
Whitworth University, Spokane, Washington
QuakerCraft: Becoming Quakers the World Needs
How are we called to service in a broken world?
How do we blend our hunger for action with our responsibilities to our families and our Meetings?
How can our Quaker community support us in living into our leadings?
Climate change. War. Hunger and malnutrition. Poverty. Injustice. The list goes on and on. For many of us, there is a great alarm about the state of the world today. Like the Quaker abolitionists and suffragists of long ago, we have an intense desire to take action addressing society’s ills, and not surrender to cynicism and hopelessness. The Religious Society of Friends has a rich history of Spirit-led activism advocating for justice and peace. Our busy lives in the modern era present us with extra challenges as we seek a path of action that is consistent with our passions and ideals. What can we learn from the experiences of those previous generations of Quaker activists? What is unique to this time in history? How are we guided as we discern our calling?
These are some of the issues we will consider at the 43rd Annual Session of North Pacific Yearly Meeting, July 15-19 at Whitworth University in Spokane, Washington. Our Friend-in-Residence this year is Robin Mohr, Executive Secretary of the Friends World Committee for Consultation, Section of the Americas. Robin has written extensively about convergent Friends and about her own struggle to blend motherhood and ministry on her blog at robinmsf.blogspot.com. In a recent Friends Journal article, “In Celebration of Bivocational Ministry”, Robin addressed the challenge of finding balance in one’s life to sustain a call to action in the midst of the responsibilities of family and community. Robin is interested in how the Religious Society of Friends can best support its members in living into their leadings.
One of the functions of the Annual Session is to conduct the business of North Pacific Yearly Meeting. We are mindful that the full name of business meeting is Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business. As we worshipfully nurture our community and its structure, we will be open to surprises of the Spirit that may lead us to insights on becoming Quakers the world needs.
To highlight our connections with the larger Quaker community, We will have a “Quaker Fair” where individuals can have informal discussions with representatives to organizations such as American Friends Service Committee, Quaker Earthcare Witness, Friends World Committee for Consultation, Friends Committee on National Legislation, and Western Friend.
There is much to do in our time together. In addition to considering the business of the Yearly Meeting, there will be worship sharing groups, interest groups, community night and an open mic time. The children, and Junior Friends will be busy with programming geared to their needs and interests. Put all these activities, along with the inter-generational times together, and our 4 days will certainly be full and rich.
Annual Session has been a very important part of my life for many years. I always leave Spiritually nourished by my time worshiping and sharing with Friends from all over the Northwest. I get much inspiration from hearing about others’ lives and learning more about ways that Friends perform service in the world. As this year’s Presiding Clerk, I am excited about the opportunities we have as a Yearly Meeting to seek Light together in fellowship, worship, and business.
Registration information can be found at www.npym.org. We look forward to seeing you in Spokane in July for worship, singing, play, and joyous renewal
Tom Rawson, Presiding Clerk