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Annual Session 2020

Documents for Review and Consideration

Documents Contents

Welcome Friends!

I hope and trust that you are keeping well and keeping it together in these very challenging times. Perhaps, like me, you have found just how valuable it is to stay connected with others, especially with our spiritual communities, as we find our way through this. Along with other spiritual practices, staying connected helps keep us centered. In turn, that helps us to act and fulfill our spirit-led commitment to let our lives speak, responding to all the challenges we face with courage, faith, and hope.

Next week, our virtual Annual Session provides a fabulous opportunity to sustain and build that connection, centering, and commitment to live out our faith. Our theme is Courage, Faith, and Hope to Love Across our Differences, as we have a rich program to offer (more below). It will be very, very different this year. Still, in these past few months, many Friends around the world have found how rich and truly spiritual our worship and work together can still be in a virtual setting. Please join us! Registration will stay open. And it is pay-as-led; cost is not an obstacle.

The virtual setting creates greater accessibility in many ways: less travel, less time, less cost, greater flexibility. We hope to see people, even if for just one event, who have not been able to join us otherwise. However, the virtual setting limits accessibility in other ways for those without good internet connection, good electronic devices, and other limitations with technology. On that we ask your help. Please reach out to those who might have such difficulties and see if there are ways to help them join us. Perhaps gather a few together (observing social distancing, wearing masks, etc.) in a home or Meeting House where the connections can be provided. The Yearly Meeting may have resources, like mobile hot spots, that could help with that. Let us know.

Please prepare for Annual Session! Good preparation for our business meetings always helps our discernment together move more smoothly. This year, that is more important than ever because we will have only half as many hours in which to gather for business. Preparation means seasoning our work as much in advance as possible by reading the reports and providing questions and concerns through the contact information provided. That helps us work through concerns before business meeting begins, thus requiring less time on the floor and increasing the likelihood that we can find unity on a way forward.

To that end, we are experimenting with some new approaches this year, taking advantage of technology so we can be more nimble. Our advance reports will be live documents in the cloud that their presenters can update in response to questions and concerns. Changes will be tracked so you can see them. Also, for the first time, we will use a list of approval-ready business items (sometimes called a “consent agenda”). It is especially important for you to review these documents before Annual Session to help ensure that they are, in fact, ready for approval and do not require time on the floor for reports and discussion. We also have live documents for Advance Reports that are coming to the floor. Please review the complete listing of all of our Advance Reports and check back periodically for updates and additions to it. Also, take a look at our Annual Reports and reference documents, which are static files on our website. Finally, our agenda will also be a live document. It’s still very much in development; there are holes, things to be added, and things may still move around.

To review, here are the key documents we ask you to look at this week before Annual Session:

Of course, there is far more to Annual Session than business meeting! Our Program Committee has really been scrambling for several months to reimagine and reinvent our whole Annual Session in a new, experimental virtual setting. It has tried to provide the variety, richness, and opportunities for fellowship that we have always had when we meet in person. Varied opportunities abound to spend time with and get to know some really great Friends from other Meetings, sharing experiences, laughter, leadings, concerns, and wisdom that we can take back to enrich our own Meetings. We have some great workshops and plenaries lined up, as well as time for casual conversation. Please check out the full schedule and program.

Beginning on the 21st of July, we will send the electronic Daily Minute to Friends who have registered for sessions scheduled for the next day. These emails will include the connection information for those sessions as well as any new or changed information about the schedule. There will also be instructions should anyone decide they want to add a session that they hadn’t previously selected.

In worship together, we seek to discern Divine Will for our actions as a Yearly Meeting on many levels, from the mundane to the magnificent, from the trivial to the triumphant, all with loving care and tenderness for each other. We get to try, at least, to live into our vision and to see what it might be like to live as God would have us do, to “try then what Love will do.”

I hope that this week nurtures and lifts your spirit. Thank you for the joy, energy, and faithfulness you bring into our community.

Love and Light,

Ken Stockbridge
Presiding Clerk

Reference Materials

2019 Yearbook

Minutes of Eleventh Month 2019 Interim Meeting

Minutes of Fifth Month 2020 Called Interim Meeting

Minutes of Sixth Month 2020 Interim Meeting

Youth Safety Policy

Spiritual Formation Reports of Baltimore Yearly Meeting and local worshiping communities

Daily Minute
for Wednesday, July 22

Daily Minute
for Friday, July 24

Daily Minute
for Monday, July 27

Daily Minute
for Tuesday, July 28

Daily Minute
for Wednesday, July 29

Daily Minute
for Thursday, July 30

Daily Minute
for Friday, July 31

Daily Minute
for Saturday, August 1

Daily Minute
for Sunday, August 2

Annual Reports of Committees and Working Groups

Advancement and Outreach Committee

Camping Program Committee

Camp Property Management Committee

Development Committee

Educational Grants Committee

Faith and Practice Committee

Growing Diverse Leadership Committee

Indian Affairs Committee

Manual of Procedure Committee

Ministry and Pastoral Care Committee

Nominating Committee

Peace and Social

Concerns Committee

Program Committee

Religious Education Committee

Search Committee

Stewardship and Finance Committee

Sue Thomas Turner

Quaker Education Fund

Supervisory Committee

Trustees of Baltimore Yearly Meeting

Unity with Nature Committee

Youth Programs Committee

End of Life Working Group

Growing Our Meetings Working Group

Internet Communications Working Group

Intervisitation Working Group

Pastoral Care Working Group

Refugee, Immigrantion, and Sanctuary Working Group

Reparations Action Working Group

Spiritual Formation Program Working Group

Supporting Transformative Relationships
in Diverse Environments (STRIDE) Working Group

Women's Retreat Working Group

Working Group on Civil and Human Rights of Transgender and Non-Binary People

Working Group on Racism

Working Group on Right Relationship with Animals

Youth Safety Policy Working Group

Young Adult Friends

Affiliated Organization Reports

American Friends Service Committee

Friends Committee on National Legislation

Friends General Conference

Friends House Retirement Community

Friends Meeting School

Friends Peace Teams

Friends United Meeting

Friends Wilderness Center

Friends World Committee for Consultation

Interfaith Action for Human Rights

Miles White Beneficial Society

Prison Visitation and Support

Quaker Earthcare Witness

Quaker House

Quaker Religious Education Coalition

Right Sharing of World Resources

Sandy Spring Friends School

William Penn House

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