the last 325 years, Philadelphia Yearly Meeting (PYM) has helped
individual Quakers to know and work together to do God's will through
its many programs. Downingtown Friends Meeting is one of 100 meetings
that come under PYM’s services.
The most notable service of PYM is The Annual Sessions. Each year,
Friends gather at the Arch Street Meeting House for a weekend of
discussions and the annual Meeting for Business. Bi-annually, Yearly
Meeting also holds a four or
five-day-long gathering for worship, business, and fellowship, known as
the Summer Sessions which takes place on a college campus. Here
Friends have unique and joyful opportunities to celebrate and play
together, as well as worship and work together, building a deeper and
stronger Quaker community.
PYM also conducts a variety of conferences and workshops, developed
by its Worship and Ministry, Religious Education, and other working
groups. PYM now has seven standing committees, all of which have working
groups under them. These bring Friends together to
learn more about and grow in their faith and to deepen their spiritual
lives. Friends can also participate in workcamp and service projects.
It also sponsors conferences for Young Friends and Middle School
Friends which offer wonderful opportunities for our youth to explore
their religious identity and develop their spiritual lives with other
like-minded young people.
The Friends Conflict Resolution Program teaches creative, nonviolent
ways of resolving conflicts to adults and youth, modeled on Quaker
ideals. PYM also provides superb conflict resolution services to its
The Family Relations Group offers support and counsel to overseers
and others responsible for pastoral
care in our Meetings. It also sponsors the Friends Counseling Service,
which serves individual members with counseling needs. And the Aging
Concerns Group provides expert advice and support to both Meetings and
individuals dealing with the needs and dilemmas of aging. This group
also distributes funds to aging Friends in need and Quaker institutions
that serve them.
Under PYM’s Support and Outreach Standing Committee different
working groups carry on a wide range of activities designed to
strengthen member Meetings and help them grow. The Outreach Services
Group offers ideas, connections and materials to enable and encourage
Meetings to become more visible to seekers in their communities; and the
Membership Development Support Fund provides grants to Monthly and
Quarterly Meetings to fund such initiatives.
PYM’s Meetinghouse Trust Funds Group provides expert consultation
and advice on the repair, improvement,
and management of Friends meetinghouses and properties; as well as
If you'd like to volunteer to serve on
any of the PYM workgroups, contact PYM.
Back to The Quaker Way
Our monthly Meeting
belongs to Caln Quarterly
Meeting which meets four times a year to conduct business
of the Quarter, to worship together, to renew friendships, and
continue effective communication.
We’re also part of Philadelphia
Yearly Meeting, which gathers annually in the spring to
conduct business and determine directions of the whole Yearly
Interim Meeting, formerly called Representative Meeting,
business and genuine operating concerns
for Yearly Meeting. It also suggests major topics to be discussed
in Yearly Meeting in March.
Each meeting appoints representatives to be a part
of Interim Meeting. Every member or attender of individual
meetings can make suggestions or bring concerns to be forwarded to
Interim Meeting, which meets seven times a year at Arch Street Meeting
in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.