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Annual Session 2021
Workshop Descriptions

Thursday, August 5 Workshops
2:00pm to 4:00pm

1. Connecting Local Meetings: Change Groups Working to Reduce Racial Barriers: A growing number of BYM local Meetings have small groups (sometimes called “Change Groups”) dedicated to lowering racial barriers in their Meetings. Friends doing this work will share with each other what they have been doing, what they plan to do, and what challenges they face. Facilitated by David Etheridge and Peirce Hammond, Working Group on Racism and Growing Diverse Leadership Committee.

2. Listening: The Other Half of Vocal Ministry: In Meeting for Worship, only a few participants speak, but we all listen to vocal ministry. There is a protocol for deciding when to speak, but we are rarely taught how to listen to Spirit speaking to us through others. Facilitated by Alexandra Bell.

3. Labyrinth Walking for Inward Reflection: Outdoors, Indoors and/or Online: Labyrinths provide a path for mediation – a way to find the light within. Because of their unique design with many turns, the brain relaxes. Worries are replaced by thoughts from deep inside. We will explore different patterns, then walk and discuss. If online, we can “fingerwalk” using a downloaded pattern. Facilitated by Cathy Curry Smith.

4. Native People and BYM Friends; 226 years and Counting–Part 2 Current Issues: COVID-19 has presented unique problems for Indian Country. A Supreme Court decision changed interpretations of sovereignty. Missing and murdered indigenous women continue to weigh on the consciences of all of us, crying out for justice, What guidance do we as Quakers have for land acknowledgement? Reparations? Decolonization? Facilitated by Sue Marcus and Indian Affairs Committee.

5. Quakers and Conflict: Quakers are not immune to conflict. What has changed since 1660, what has remained the same? What has been gained? Lost? Using 2 books by Rosemary Moore, The Light in Their Consciences and Knowing the Mystery of Life Within, we’ll talk about Quakers & conflict then & now. Facilitated by Martin Melville, and Pastoral Care Working Group.

6. Restorative Practices for Peacemaking: “It’s simple but it ain’t easy.” The circle process comes from the practices of African and Indigenous peoples. They are effective for adults and children to break thru prejudice and bias and build equity in the community. Use of the 5 basic questions can get to the heart of a conflict in order to work together to make things better. Facilitated by Bette Rainbow Hoover and Marcy Seitel.


Friday, August 6 Workshops
2:00pm to 4:00pm

1. The Joys and Challenges of Being Good: Learnings from a Supervised Ministry: Preparing to graduate in 2021 with an MDiv from Earlham School of Religon, Windy’s supervised ministry project was in service to BYM’s Pastoral Care Working Group. This workshop asks from that experience: what does it mean for us Quakers to be “good”; what if we discovered that we could not be “good”? Facilitated by Windy Cooler and Pastoral Care Working Group.

2. Spiritual Paths towards Healing Creation, Transforming Awareness into Action: Two guided meditations. First, becoming aware of how the planet heals us. Secondly, following leadings on ways to heal the earth. Both meditations will be followed by sharing. Facilitated by Fran Palmeri.

3. Advocate for Migration Justice with FCNL: Immigration Policy in the 117th Congress: This workshop will provide a legislative update on immigration reform progress under President Biden and the 117th Congress, forecast prospects for change in the coming year, and equip Friends to support the vision of A Quaker Statement on Migration with advocacy and action. Facilitated by Ali Rahnama and Jim Cason.

4. Five Decades of Quaker Testimony in Baltimore Yearly Meeting since 1972: Quaker Testimony in recent decades in Baltimore Yearly Meeting. All six testimonies of S.P.I.C.E.S. will guide us exploring our evolving mid-Atlantic Quaker witness since 1972. While we will mostly discuss Equality, Peace and Environmental Stewardship, we will also address Simplicity, Integrity and Community. Facilitated by Jim Fussell.

5. How Friends May Engage with and Empower Impacted People in the Reparations Process: Initially, Friends will hear from a panel of local & national African-American and indigenous leaders as to their reparations goals. Then, Friends will divide into Zoom breakout-sessions to discuss how reparations work could be supported. Finally, Friend can question/interact with panelists. (Workshop organizers will invite participants to two follow-up workshops.) Facilitated by Phil Caroom, Reparations Action Working Group.


Suggested Materials for Workshops

Since there will be no bookstore for Annual Session 2021 this year, Program Committee is recommending that you check out these suggestions from our workshop leaders this year. All are available from Amazon, but you may want to check out Bookshop.org and support your local bookstores. Some may also be in your Meeting library already. The workshop date and number are listed after the listing in case you want to prepare for your workshops. (i.e Th29/4 will be the 4th workshop choice on Thursday the 29th.)
Suggested Reading List from Workshop Facilitators for 2021 sessions:

  1. How to be an Anti-Racist, by Ibram X. Kendi: (Tu27/1)
  2. The Master and his Emissary, by Iain McGilchrist (Tu27/2)
  3. Silence: A User’s Guide (Vol 1), by Maggie Ross (Tu27/2)
  4. Autopsy of a Deceased Church, by Thom Rainer (Tu27/3)
  5. Unwelcome: 50 ways Churches drive away First-Time visitors, by Jonathon Malm (Tu27/3)
  6. Paths to Quaker Parenting Using Quaker Beliefs, Testimonies and Practices, by Harriet Heath, editor, Danielle Beauvais, et al. (Tu27/4)
  7. The Third Pillar, by Raghuram Rajan (Th29/1)
  8. Testimony and Practice in the Society of Friends, by Jane P. Rushmore, 1959 (Th29/2)
  9. The Message and Mission of Quakerism, by W.C. Braithwaite and H. T. Hodgkin, 1912 (Th29/2)
  10. My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending our Hearts and Bodies, by Resmaa Menakem (Th29/4)
  11. Stop being Afraid, by Amanda Kemp (W4/1)
  12. Me and White Supremacy, by Layla Saad (W4/1)
  13. The Doomsday Machine, by Daniel Ellsberg (W4/2)
  14. Do all Indians live in Tipi’s? by NMAI, Wilma Mankiller, et al (W4/5) Sue Marcus has some available for $7
  15. New Albion: Four British Folkways in America (section on cultural history of Quakers, by David Hackett Fischer (W4/6)
  16. The Pentacost Paradigm: Ten Strategies for becoming a Multiracial Congregation, by Jacqueline J. Lewis and John Janka (Th5/1)
  17. Path Companion: A Guide to Walking the Labyrinth to Heal and Transform, by the Rev. Dr. Lauren Artress (Th5/3)
  18. The Light in their Consciences, by Rosemary Moore, Penn State University Press (Th5/5)
  19. Cultivating Wholeness: a guide to care and counseling in Faith Communities, by Margaret Komfeld (F6/1)
  20. When the Trees say Nothing: Writing on Nature, by Thomas Merton (F6/2)
  21. From Here to Equality: Reparations for Black Americans in the 21st Century, by Wm. Darity and A.K. Mullen (F6/5)
  22. The Future We Choose, Surviving the Climate Crises, by Christiana Figueres and Tom Rivett-Carnac
  23. Uprooting Racism, by Paul Kivel

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