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Vision Statement of Baltimore Yearly Meeting

Baltimore Yearly Meeting Vision Statement Approved at Annual Session 2011
(amended at Annual Session 2016)

Dearly beloved friends, these things we do not lay upon you as a rule or form to walk by, but that all, with the measure of light which is pure and holy may be guided; and so in the Light walking and abiding, these things may be fulfilled in the Spirit, not from the letter, for the letter killeth, but the Spirit giveth life. The [Quaker] Elders at Balby: 1656 (quoting 2 Corinthians 3:6)

Baltimore Yearly Meeting is a worshiping community, gathered in the presence of the Divine, affirming that of God in every person. The Yearly Meeting knits Friends from the Chesapeake to the Appalachians into the larger Religious Society of Friends. As Quakers, we seek to know and follow God’s will for us as a gathered people, to speak the truth that is revealed to us, and to listen to the truth that is revealed to others.

We aspire to listen deeply and inclusively to each other, to actively welcome all, and to attend in joy and faith to the Inward Teacher, whom some call Light, some call Spirit, and some call Christ.

We Friends are of many skin colors, ethnicities, socio-economic backgrounds, gender identities, sexual orientations, abilities, stages of life, and socially constructed racial identities. We are all seeking the Spirit’s presence in our lives, and in our life together. We recognize that some of us have experienced oppression and marginalization in ways that others have not. We aspire to live as members of the blessed community, which is one of liberation, equity, and great diversity across all differences.

We aspire to teach and nourish Quaker ways of worship and service for this and future generations, to uphold and promote Quaker values and to support Friends Meetings in our region.

We seek to expand opportunities for Friends to meet together and know each other in that which is eternal.

We seek to serve others in love, to share our gifts and resources, to reach out to those in need, both friends and strangers, and to witness in the world to our shared experience of the infinite love of God.

In the fall of 2009, Baltimore Yearly Meeting undertook a process of seeking to discern a common vision for the community.

On October 3, 2009, a day-long retreat was held at Sandy Spring Friends Meeting. Following that session, the Yearly Meeting appointed a group of Friends to visit each of the Local Meetings. In conjunction with these Visiting Ministers, each committee and working group of the Yearly Meeting was asked to consider and submit a statement of their vision as well.

At the conclusion of this process, the ad hoc Visiting Ministers Committee proposed a Vision Statement for the Yearly Meeting that was shared with the community, considered, and finally approved during Annual Session 2011.

Listed below are links to the reports from the initial session, the Visiting Ministers travels, and from the committees and working groups.

Following the approval of the Vision Statement, the ad hoc Vision Implementation Committee undertook to discern how the Yearly Meeting should move forward from the Statement and begin to implement its meaning across the entire Yearly Meeting community. At Annual Session 2014, the committee presented its Report, Recommendations, and Plan.

Summary of BYM Visioning Day

Reports of Visiting Ministers Local Meeting Sessions

Vision Statements of Committees

Report of ad hoc Committee of Visiting Ministers

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