Communications group called for 9:30 session on August 29
Queries, Advices & Voices for July and August
If you'd like to have an event included in the YFM announcements, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org by the first of the month.
Summer Worship at the Meetinghouse
* Friends are meeting in-person for Meeting for Worship inside the Meetinghouse every Sunday at 11am.
* Friends are also welcome to join us at 10:00 on Sunday mornings for an unstructured gathering with time for catching up with one another and some Friendly discussion.
* Meeting for Worship is still accessible via Zoom on most Sundays. Reply to this email if you'd like more information about virtual Meeting for Worship.
* Wearing masks is encouraged at all Friends' gatherings, regardless of vaccination status.
* The next Meeting for Worship with a Concern for Business will be on Sunday, September 5 at 9:00am.
2021 ANNUAL SESSION
Seeking Wholeness: Knowing Our Shadow and Our Light
Held virtually, July 26 - August 8
From BYM Presiding Clerk, Stephanie Bean: "You are joyfully invited to join the 2021 Annual Session of Baltimore Yearly Meeting. This session is being held virtually again this summer, as much as we still miss seeing each other in person. The Program Committee has thoughtfully arranged times when we will gather to worship together, do our corporate discernment for business, and spend time in community learning and deepening into our spiritual practices. Our theme this year, Seeking Wholeness: Knowing Our Shadow and Our Light, will guide us as we listen to each other, hear from our plenary speakers, and attend the opening retreat, workshops, and worship sharing. Though we will not be sharing dormitories or dining halls, we will gather in groups large and small to celebrate our faith, our community, and the gifts we each bring to each other."
* Join York Friend Cathy Smith who is presenting a workshop on Thursday, August 5 at 2:00pm entitled "Labyrinth Walking for Inward Reflection: Outdoors, Indoors and/or Online." Find out more about the Annual Session workshops here
350th ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONS FOR BYM: 1672-2022
Our yearly meeting has a long and storied history over the last 350 years. Monthly Meetings have come and gone. Splits and reunification have taken place. The physical boundaries of the Yearly Meeting have changed over time. Members of our Religious Society have struggled over many of the same social issues over this history. And this searching for Truth continues today in BYM.
The Ad Hoc 350th Anniversary Committee was established to organize anniversary event/s. Our small but enthusiastic committee has been working on a number of projects to mark this 2022 anniversary year, beginning with this year’s Annual Session. To get us started, Jim Fussell is working on two workshops to talk about Quakers and our Testimonies, during the first 300 years and then over the last 50 years. Sharon Stout is organizing an interest group to talk about a “Stone Soup” project that collects resources for BYM Friends about the various Quaker Witness projects in which we are involved. And, finally, we are putting together an anniversary kick-off event for Thursday evening, August 5th at 7 PM with music, first person interpretation of historic Friends, interviews with long-time BYM members, and ending with a stupendous virtual fireworks display!
Our committee is also working on curricula for First Day Schools, plans for intervisitation, activities for monthly meetings, and activities that encourage outreach beyond our Religious Society. Meetings have already been asked to start working on timelines of their Monthly Meeting’s history. Sample timelines will be available for viewing during Annual session this summer.
To add to the significance of 2022, it also marks 100 years since the founding of our camping program. Stories and photos are being collected, and plans are being made for the camps next summer.
So, plan to join us at Annual Session this August to kick off BYM’s 350th anniversary, and the 100th anniversary of our camps, and then to participate in announced activities throughout the year.
To find out more, speak with committee clerk Harry Scott.
Adopting the BYM Declaration as an Antiracist Faith Community
York Friends came to unity on considering applying the BYM Declaration to its own decision-making processes. We will continue to discern how this might take shape at a 9:30 session on Sunday, September 26. Here are some resources to consider in preparation for that session.
* Click here to read the BYM Antiracist Declaration.
* Click here to review a powerpoint put together by the BYM Growing Diverse Leadership Committee.
* Click here to read a summary of how the Declaration might be translated into tangible action steps.
* And finally, click hereto read how other meetings are doing the work of antiracism.
Discernment on Meeting Communications
Sunday, August 29 @ 9:30
Join us for an informal session on Sunday, August 29 at 9:30 to consider how the meeting might build its communications infrastructure. Topics will include:
Organizing & sending agenda for Meeting for Worship with a Concern for Business
Updating Members & Attenders list and email distribution list
Content for monthly announcements
Maintaining website & social media accounts
Hosting virtual Meeting for Worship
All are welcome to attend and assist in discerning Way Forward for meeting communications. Questions and suggestions can be directed to Chad Smyser.
Queries, Advices & Voices for July and August
(from 2013 Faith & Practice Resource Document)
* How does my life reflect “the virtue of that life and power which takes away the occasion for war”?
* Where there are hatred, division, and strife, how are we instruments of reconciliation and love?
* How do our lives illustrate our understanding of the basis of our peace testimony?
* As we work for peace, are we nourished by peace within and among ourselves?
* How do we regard those we believe have harmed us or others?
* How does this affect our spiritual lives?
Since its founding over 350 years ago, the Religious Society of Friends has testified to the worth of every individual by refusing to participate in war. We repudiate war because it violates the primacy of love, destroys lives that God has given, and tears the fabric of society. Members of our Society have traditionally refused to serve in the armed forces. The Peace Testimony is, however, more than a mere refusal to participate in war.
Fox’s assertion that he “lived in that light and power that takes away the occasion for war” and Woolman’s advice that we “examine our lives to see that the seeds of war are not contained therein” firmly establish connections between this and other testimonies. As we work for peace in the world, Friends need to search out the seeds of war in ourselves and in our way of life. Instead of joining in actions that may lead to destruction and death, Friends are urged to cooperate to save life and strengthen the bonds of unity among all people. Work to create the conditions of peace, such as freedom, justice, cooperation, and the right sharing of the world’s resources. Seek not only peace with one another, but peace with the earth. Recognize that wars can arise when poor environmental practices lead to scarcity and unjust distribution of resources.
Our faith calls for us to be fully present to the person before us. We need to bring into God’s light those emotions, attitudes, and prejudices in ourselves which lie at the root of destructive conflict, acknowledging our need for forgiveness and grace.
"Our work for peace must begin within the private world of each one of us. To build for man a world without fear, we must be without fear. To build a world of justice, we must be just. And how can we fight for liberty if we are not free in our own minds? How can we ask others to sacrifice if we are not ready to do so?... Only in true surrender to the interest of all can we reach that strength and independence, that unity of purpose, that equity of judgment which are necessary if we are to measure up to our duty to the future, as men of a generation to whom the chance was given to build in time a world of peace." -Dag Hammarskjold, 1953
"George Fox did not say that he believed war to be wrong, or that in his opinion brute force never settled anything; he went straight to the heart of the matter and said that he “lived in the virtue of that life and power that took away the occasion of all wars.” To uphold such a testimony involved a dedicated life. The Quaker peace testimony is more than a repudiation of war, and more than a denial of the use of force; it is a way of life to which we must be faithful in small things as well as in great, in our human relationships, our business and social activities, and in the life and witness of our meetings." -Elfrida Vipont Foulds, 1966
"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the clouds of war, it is humanity hanging on a cross of iron." -Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1953
Looking for the Minutes?Minutes from Meeting for Worship with a Concern for Business are available upon request. Send us an email if you'd like them.