First full day at Pacific Yearly Meeting

Today, Tues. 7/28, is the first full day of Pacific Yearly Meeting's annual session.

Last night, presiding clerk Joe Franko welcomed us (if I had more time I'd link to his blog). He said PacYM was even more like Brigadoon that evening, because the fog was in, we were meeting in a tent not a building, and a Friend was practicing his bagpipes in the distance.

Joe said we are here as a community of faith. Yet the Spirit blows where it will. Friends need to present their ideas or proposals, then step back and make space for the Spirit to enter. We don't have a product to create or a goal. We have a process we know works, our Quaker process, and we need to give it space to work.

The plenary to discuss creation of a youth coordinator position -- which would be the yearly meeting's sole staffer -- is supposed to start in 25 minutes. I skipped the first hour of regular business, I'm afraid. (I had an urgent work matter I'm monitoring, so, here I am....)

For the first time in several years I'm neither on the Children's Program Committee nor a teacher. Nonetheless, I ended up volunteering for the first part of the morning with the elementary group. It was fun, and I think Seven Year Old was happy to have me there, without being particularly attached. Then I went to worship sharing, where the community was, "What does community mean to me?"

I'm here without Robin until the end of the week, so I'm parenting solo. Fortunately, our boys are old enough, and experienced enough with yearly meeting, to hang out with their friends with much looser boundaries, and our various families hang out together, too. It reminds me of something Bill McKibben wrote in Deep Economy, about the way humans are supposed to live in community.

I brought my camera but not the cord to connect it to the computer, so I can't upload the photos from last night of Joe Franko, and of the boys on top of a big rock. Walker Creek Ranch is beautiful.


Robin M. said...

I can bring the cord if you want.

Chris M. said...

You betcha! Thanks.