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"...answering that of God in everyone..."
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MEETING FOR WORSHIP AS THE WEATHER TURNS COLDER

Meeting for Worship has been taking place in the grounds behind the Meetinghouse since late May. When the weather is too cold or inclement to gather outside, there are two options: Friends can meet online via Zoom or inside the Meetinghouse. An email notice goes out every Sunday by 9:00am to let Friends know if we'll be meeting outside or online/inside. If you're not receiving those updates and would like to, let us know by replying to this email. Mask wearing and social distancing are observed inside the Meetinghouse and on the grounds.
Upcoming Events

BYM Twelfth Month Interim Meeting will be held on Saturday, December 5. This will be a virtual event. Click here to access the agenda, related documents and registration information.

York Friends December Meeting for Worship with a Concern for Business will be held via Zoom, from 8:30-10:00am on Sunday, December 6. A Zoom link was emailed last week. A reminder email, along with the agenda and supporting documents, will be sent at the end of this week.

Discernment for the first reading of the Marriage Section of Faith and Practice will take place via Zoom on Saturday, December 12 at 10:00am. More information regarding this session is posted at the end of the announcements. 

With disappointment, YFM must cancel our annual Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve gatherings. Warrington Friends Meeting has also canceled its much beloved annual Christmas gathering.
SPIRITUAL STATE OF THE MEETING 2020

Sessions will be scheduled early in 2021 for this (most likely virtual) discernment. BYM Ministry & Pastoral Care has offered the following queries:

·  How does Spirit prosper in your Meeting? How have you protected the Spirit this year?
·  What are Friends doing to support one another? How have you addressed the conflicts that have arisen this year?
·  What does spirituality mean to you and your Meeting? How does your Meeting reflect that? Has it been different or the same during 2020 with the coronavirus pandemic and discussions of racial equality, climate change, and the presidential election?

Click here to view the 2019 Spiritual State of the Meeting.

ELECTIONS, PANDEMIC, RACISM, CLIMATE CHANGE
from BYM Peace & Social Concerns Fall Newsletter

How can Friends prioritize?

"The moral man is he who is opposed to injustice per se, opposed to injustice wherever he finds it; the moral man looks for injustice first of all in himself."
~ Bayard Rustin, 1912-1987

Rustin’s statement to respond to “injustice wherever [we] find it” is apt.  And we will find it, or it will find us. 

Quakers are called to “walk cheerfully over the world,” not to stay in our bunkers. But we may see injustices like John Woolman as we sit and write a letter, or as we perform the duties of our jobs.  How do we respond?

As with the “still small voice” that speaks through us some times in our Meetings, are we also not moved to respond--to Quake-- and to speak to those small injustices that we see in our daily lives?

Maybe we cannot all leave our homes, our jobs, and our families to become a John Woolman evangelizing against one single evil of our day. There are so many problems.

But, maybe, we can try to live our lives and cultivate habits that “take away the occasions” not just of war, but also of partisan hatred, contagion, racism and climate change. As Rustin suggests,  we can ask ourselves, what habits of ours may contribute to these?

Do we “answer that of God” in those with whom we have vehement political disagreement? Do we notice and “speak truth” about racist actions and systems when we see them?  Are we “patterns and examples” in our COVID-precautions and reductions of our own fossil fuel use?  Do we advocate for a  reduction in U.S. militarism around the globe?  

(Read the entire newsletter here)

Now the Work of Christmas Begins
by Howard Thurman

When the song of the angels is stilled,
when the star in the sky is gone,
when the kings and princes are home,
when the shepherds are back with their flocks,
the work of Christmas begins:
to find the lost,
to heal the broken,
to feed the hungry,
to release the prisoner,
to rebuild the nations,
to bring peace among the people,
to make music in the heart.
 

Howard Thurman studied at Colgate-Rochester Seminary between 1923 and 1926. While working as an assistant pastor during this period, Howard Thurman recognized his calling as a minister. After graduating first in his class in 1926, he went to Oberlin, Ohio, where he ministered to a Baptist congregation. In 1929, Thurman left Oberlin for Haverford College, where he studied with Rufus Jones, whose work on ethical mysticism provided inspiration. During his work at Haverford, Thurman was offered a position as director of religious life at Morehouse and Spellman Colleges in Atlanta. At Morehouse, he began to use his pulpit to speak out for social justice.  - excerpted from Mysticism and the Experience of Love (Pendle Hill)

DISCERNMENT FOR THE MARRIAGE SECTION OF FAITH AND PRACTICE
Via Zoom: Saturday, December 12, 2020 at 10:00am


York Friends will gather virtually via Zoom on Saturday, December 12 at 10:00am for discernment regarding BYM's first reading of the marriage section for Faith and Practice. An email with the link to the Zoom meeting will be sent out to the YFM gmail list closer to the time of the online gathering.

Below is the correspondence from the Faith and Practice Committee.
 



To view the contents of the draft Marriage Section, click here. 
 



From the BYM Faith & Practice Committee:

Dear Friends,
 
Faith and Practice Committee has prepared a First Reading of the Marriage Section of Faith and Practice. We ask Friends to season this within their monthly meetings, worshipping communities, and yearly meeting committees, working groups, and other associated groups. When we undertake work of seasoning, we trust that it will be undertaken in a manner attentive to spirit. 
 
As we have worked through this section--some of us as writers, all of us as commenters and editors--we have worshipfully considered these words and the implications for Friends and our faith communities. We have often found that from our worshipful consideration of the proposed text, a Friend in our small committee will question something--a phrase or a concept--that opens our hearts and minds to another aspect of how these words may be construed, and has led to some editing that we believe has made the document a better one. At its best, “seasoning” is a corporate and spiritual discernment process. Your discernment with others gathered in worshipful consideration will make this a truer statement of how BYM Friends approach marriage. Each of our BYM communities has its own understanding, and must discern aspects in their own body. These are mere words that attempt to express our faith and our intention for practice. 
 
As you work through the “Marriage Section” of Faith and Practice in your meetings, committees, working group or other Quaker communities, and discern what comments to forward to us, we hope that you will use not only BYM’s anti-racist queries to consider the document, but your understanding of aspects of the vision statement which refer to marginalized groups of people within our midst.
 
We also ask Friends to consider how this works both as a practical document (our practice) and as a conceptual document. How well does it articulate our collective history, faith, and vision? Is it logically and right ordered? Is it a tool that expresses our living dynamic Quaker faith with the understanding that such a document cannot fully capture the sense of the spirit? How do we make manifest our faith through our practice not only in our own faith community, but also in the world? How can our document, Faith and Practice of Baltimore Yearly Meeting, best express our understanding of Quaker faith and practice in a way that unites rather than divides?
 
We seek to make this document something that reflects BYM Friends' diverse experiences and beliefs, with the understanding that the true faith and practice is not within a book, but is in our shared experience of the Light as we join in worship together.
 
We will continue to update you through the regular BYM channels (The Interchange, BYM Announcements, etc.) but we need comments by the end of January 2021 so that we may have a revised version prepared by March Interim Meeting. We will send it out again for seasoning before the planned Second Reading at Annual Session in 2021.
 
In your communication with Faith and Practice Committee please clearly identify
·         The group by which the text was considered (monthly meeting, BYM committee, etc.)
·         The process the group used to season the text
·         To whom we should respond
·         The text that may need editing/changing
 
We look forward to continuing the seasoning process with you. As you arrange your meetings, if you feel the need to have a member from the committee join you in your meeting (especially if it is online) please let us know. We can be reached at fandp@bym-rsf.org.
 
In the Light,
Faith and Practice Committee

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135 West Philadelphia Street
York, PA 17401

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