North Pacific Yearly Meeting

of the Religious Society of Friends (QUAKERS)

Interest Groups

Interest Groups

Annual Session attenders may sign up for Interest Groups (IG) during registration, or upon arrival at Whitworth University (space permitting). A list of Interest Groups with brief descriptions follows; a full description will be available online, and offered at the IG sign-up table at Annual Session. PLEASE NOTE: where there are limited participants, they will be assigned on a “first come, first served” basis. Later registrants may not be able to attend a limited participant Interest Group.


IG-1 Formation in the Vocation of Being the Quakers the World Needs.

Robin Mohr

A continuation of a conversation with our Friend in Residence.

IG-2 TheNontheist Quaker

Sarita Lief & Elizabeth Willey

A nontheist does not believe in a supernatural creator who influences the fate of creation. How does spirituality fit for a nontheist Quaker? What do “that of God” and “hold in the Light” mean?

IG-3 Quakers and the Casa de los Amigos—a Social Justice Tour in Mexico City

Doug Smith, Reno Friends

Doug was one of seven Friends from Pacific Yearly Meetingwho experienced a Quaker learning tour focused on justice and equality in Mexico. He will present the incredibly inspiring work of Casa de los Amigos.

IG-4 Retreat—the Balance between Inner and Outer Lives

Lucretia Humphrey

This will be a time of reflection and discussion on how Quakers retreat. What are the various forms of retreat, individual and group? What is accessible and what is needed?

IG-5 Racism and White Privilege

Peace and Social Concerns

What is white privilege and what responsibilities does it put on those who benefit from it? What can Friends do about injustices that comprise our economic and social life? What is our response to those who suffer from discrimination?

IG-6 Chanting

Tommie Carlisle

Sing your prayers! Come sing scripture-based chants and short songs. Chants are repetitive, easy to learn. If you know a chant you’d like to share, you’re invited. Harmonizing welcome. Learn by call/response. Song sheets to take home.

Limit of 20 people.

IG-7 Living Our Faith through Action: A Call to Conscience on Climate Change

Megan Fair, Friends Committee on National Legislation

FCNL is a multi-issue advocacy organization working with Congress on the Hill and with constituents around the country. We will address the call to conscience on climate change and how Friends bridge the divide to advocate for the Earth.


IG-8 A People Gathered—Remotely

Western Friend, Mary Klein

Join in a conversation concerning best practices and worst worries regarding Friendly communication online. Add your ideas to our discernment regarding issues of privacy, security, equitable access, and limits. Help us improve electronic communication processes.

IG-9 Ecomystical Theology for Friends

Quaker Earthcare Witness, ericmaya joy

How can Friends ground ourselves in deep spiritual wisdom? This session will explore ecomystical perspectives in the context of the human impact on Earth changes. Insight from indigenous peoples is included.

IG-10 Trauma, Mental Health, Poverty and Their Interplay

Johannan Kelly

Issues related to poverty, mental health and trauma are all interconnected. We will consider their interplay and how our current response systems (medical, mental health, housing, police, and justice) can be helpful or destructive.

IG-11 Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions Movement to End Israel Occupation of Palestine

Peace and Social Concerns

Description of the campaign, its origins and support, with the possibility of developing a minute to present at Plenary. Participants are encouraged to read:

IG-12 Extracting Fossil Fuels from Your Investments

Gayle Matson

This interest group will explore the how, what, and why of divestment from the top 200 coal, oil, and gas companies. Friends are encouraged to bring their divestment questions, concerns, and experience to share.

IG-13 What Do You Know?

Valerie Milliron

George Fox was a mystic. Mysticism is experience based religion whereby you come to really know something for yourself. It is not just believing something; it is knowing something. This is why George Fox and many early Friends spoke with such authority. What do you know?

    IG-14  Who Are The Ministers Among Us?

Elinore Jordan, Friends World Committee for Consultation

Friends World Committee for Consultation connects all the branches of the Religious Society of Friends. FWCC Section of the Americas offers programs that unite Friends across the hemisphere through Spirit-led fellowship. FWCC is interested in finding out - who are the ministers among us? How can we nurture those with a gift of ministry and share that gift with others?



IG-15 What We Talk about When We Talk about God

Robin Mohr, Friend-in-Residence

What do you mean, what do you think I mean when we talk about God? Encouraged by Rob Bell’s 2013 book, we will share our own understandings.

IG-16 Living in the Spirit. Do Friends Practice Discipline?

NPYM Committee on the Discipline (Faith and Practice)

What way do we have of practicing our Quakercraft? How do we deepen our faith as a foundation for our witness? We will continue conversation about our revised Faith and Practice.

IG-17 Continuing Revelation: Energizing NPYM

Joyce Zerwekh

Dialogue focusing on possibilities for creative alternative structures and process. Group discernment will not include complaining but will include openness to the Light leading us forward. Imagination will be rooted in deepest Friendly convictions.

IG-18 Prioritizing: North Pacific Yearly Meeting Peace and Social Concerns Work

Kate Hunter, Clerk, Peace and Social Concerns

We invite individuals and worship group/meeting representatives to join in a prioritizing process to help our region focus on issues we will work on together over the coming year.

IG-19 Our Beautiful Brains: Built for Spirit and Community

Rick Ells

New understandings of how our brains work can help us understand how we nurture our spirituality, trust, compassion, and community. Then we are able to build a strong foundation for discernment and action in the world.

IG-20 Bringing a Quaker Voice to Your State Capitol

Friends Committee on Washington Public Policy

Many decisions about criminal justice, economic justice, and environmental stewardship are made by the states. From the Washington State experience, we’ll share interactively how you can bring Quaker testimonies to state lawmaking.

IG-21 Healthy Boundaries in Quaker Groups

Dorsey Green

Discussion and slide show focusing on:

  • Knowledge about sexual assault, grooming, sex offenses

  • Risky people and situations and what you can do

  • Opportunities to discuss and practice healthy boundaries