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Growing Our Meetings Working Group Annual Reports

The text of recently received Annual Reports are below, with the most recently received at the top and older reports below. To jump to a particular report, simply click the year listed below.

2019 Report 2020 Report

2020 Growing Our Meetings Working Group Annual Report

No report received.

2019 Growing Our Meetings Working Group Annual Report

The Growing Our Meetings Working Group (GOMWG) is under the care of the Advancement and Outreach Committee. The group started forming in April 2019 and its creation was approved at Sixth Month 2019 Interim Meeting. Please see the working group’s page on the BYM website for a list of members and its charge.

The initial focus of the GOMWG will be to facilitate a discussion of questions around growth at the BYM level, as well as in local Meetings. To this end, the group intends to gather information and engage in a listening exercise. This includes BYM committees. How do the various activities of BYM committees relate to growing membership in the Religious Society of Friends in the BYM area? The listening exercise will also include local Meetings.

The listening exercise will include the following queries: Does the Yearly Meeting wish to undertake coordinated steps that would facilitate a substantial increase in the membership of the Yearly Meeting? What might be reasons for (or against) growth (at the Yearly Meeting or local Meeting level)? How does a growth initiative relate to increasing the racial, age, and other diversity of BYM? How do local Meetings articulate a diversity goal (for example, coming more into line with the population of their local community)? How would becoming more welcoming require a given local Meeting to change? Is the Meeting willing to change in that way? Does becoming more attractive to newcomers involve articulating what BYM Quakers do and believe? What statements would help in this respect?

Parallel to this listening exercise, the working group will identify steps that the Yearly Meeting might take which make sense on their own and might also remove barriers to growth or otherwise facilitate growth.

Just to provide one example. The camping program has an ongoing issue with enrollment. Enrollment closer to full capacity is healthy for the life of the camps and for our budget bottom line. One way to increase enrollment is for local Meetings to step up their outreach and communications efforts. This can be enhanced by increasing the involvement of members of local Meetings as promoters of the camps. While one result of an enhanced outreach effort is more robust enrollment, there are important follow-on results. If more children of local Meeting attenders enroll in camps, the connection of camps to local Meetings is tightened, and more children of attenders benefit from the Quaker education that the camps offer. In addition, those who are involved in promoting the camps attain a better understanding of what the camps offer and feel more connected. These deepened connections promote BYM growth. The opportunities provided by the camps can also be a draw for those who are deciding whether to join local Meetings.

The GOMWG is looking for additional members who are led to join. Please see our webpage for a link to send us an email.

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