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Ohio Valley Yearly Meeting

c/o Community Friends

3960 Winding Way

Cincinnati, Ohio 45229

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Ministries

The Yearly Meeting’s Ministries are planned, organized, and accomplished by committees that provide support to the individual Monthly Meeting, programs the Yearly and Quarterly Meeting Sessions, and the advancement of Quaker Values to the larger world through representation on committees such as Quaker Earth Care and various committees supporting Quaker Heights Care Community.  Should you feel moved to participate in one of these ministries, let us know through the Contact Us Page.

Ohio Valley Yearly Meeting

The Religious Society of Friends

Young Adult Friends enjoying fellowship during an Annual Session

Young Adult Friends

The Adult Young Friends (AYFs) program is for adult Friends ages 18-40 and is in the process of reorganizing and rebuilding an active program. There is a Facebook Page for the YAFs on which their upcoming events and other information can be found.

Friends Music Camp: A Musical Ministry

Held annually at Olney Friends School in Barnesville, Ohio, Friends Music Camp (FMC) is a transformative experience. Whether you’re fortunate enough to go as a camper (thanks, Mom and Dad!) or you join the staff later on, this special one month spent in the rural Ohio countryside will change you in ways you hardly expected.

Like many new experiences, camp begins with introductions. Old campers hug and catch up on the past year, while new campers are welcomed with open arms. While the kids settle into the dorms, staff members meet and lay out expectations, hopes, and responsibilities for the coming four weeks.

Times of Reflection

An integral part of Friends Music Camp is its spiritual element. Founded by lifelong Quaker Peg Champney with Jean Putnam, camp incorporates the gentle spiritual practices of Friends into everyday life. Each morning, campers and staff gather for collection, centering themselves for the busy day ahead. At night, evening collection begins with a group song, and ten or fifteen minutes of reflective silence prepares both campers and staff for a restful night’s sleep.

A Month to Remember

The end of camp is a difficult time for all FMCers. Campers form incredible bonds over the course of the month, leading to tearful goodbyes as they depart for their homes all over the US and the world. But camp friendships, once formed, can never truly die; this is the most special part of camp. -This article is an abbreviation of the Friends Music Camp document (.PDF).

At our annual sessions, typically held in late July at Earlham College, in Richmond, IN, staff and volunteers provide age-appropriate for Teens, ages 15-18. These activities build community, provide opportunities for fun and service, and develop knowledge of Friends principals and practices. Teens also enjoy overnights, typically in the spring and fall. There is also a Service Trip that provides the Teens with the opportunity to donate their time and energy to help those less fortunate, such as residents in poverty blighted areas of Appalachia, which provides an opportunity to learn charity and self-sacrifice as well as an environment that facilitates bonding among the members of the Teens group.

The commitment of Ohio Valley Yearly Meeting Quakers to provide ministry to the aging and chronically ill takes form in services and programs of the Friends Home community. We will care for those we serve with honor, respect, reverence, and love. We optimize the residents' quality of life through concern for physical, emotional, spiritual, and social needs. Our philosophy of care is based on the Quaker values of integrity, equality, harmony and simplicity.

Visit the Quaker Heights Website for additional information.

Our philosophy of care is to provide service in a way that honors the inner light within each of us.

Quakers believe there is an" inner light" or "that of God" in all persons. Just as they seek to nurture and grow this divine light in themselves, they also seek out that of God in others. Revealed Truth is discerned in community where one both gives voice to one's own inner teacher and actively seeks to create space that encourages others to hear the divine voice within. Through their shared life together in community, Quakers have come to recognize certain testimonies that have universal significance for living a life of faith. These four values--equality, integrity, simplicity, and harmony--guide their efforts to bring the inward journey of faith into congruence with the outward journey of practice that seeks to improve the conditions of all people in service of social needs and divine order.

Equality--Respect and Dignity

Seeking the light within" requires that all persons be treated with respect and dignity. The Golden Rule says treat others as you would wish to be treated. The Platinum Rule, which recognizes our desire to be inclusive, says treat others as they wish to be treated--make no assumptions, ask! We celebrate and value the diversity of our community. We resist programs based on artificial distinctions such as race, class, physical abilities, and wealth.

Integrity--Decisions and Opportunities

Our philosophy respects independence and autonomy. This is manifested in the daily choices made by the individuals we care for. We believe all people have strengths and capabilities. We provide an environment, which allows for individual decisions based on reverence for self-determination. In this way, we express our commitment for person-centered care.

Simplicity--Stewardship of Resources

The resources, gifts, and skills granted to us are to be used judiciously, never squandered. The same sense of simplicity which guides our speech and decorum also guides how we are to live our lives. We gladly embrace our roles as stewards of our resources and will use them responsibly to serve and care for one another.

Harmony--Coming Together

We affirm that seeking the divine light helps to create a sense of belonging within a wider community. Our programs are designed to develop feelings of harmony and kinship. Cultivating goodwill and mutual understanding help create an environment in which all persons have an opportunity to learn and grow. This social atmosphere draws on the skills and unique experiences each member brings to the community's live.

Our philosophy honors that of God within. In doing so, Quaker Heights is a place where love is made visible by service.

The Executive Committee transacts business for the Yearly Meeting. In general, the duties of the Executive Committee include printing and distributing Friendly literature, furnishing forms to Monthly Meetings for use in keeping records of members, transfers, births, marriages and deaths, maintaining a current list of members with their addresses, endeavoring to extend the knowledge of our principles, rendering advice and assistance to Meetings in the matter of property and trusts, upon their request, and to individuals who feel the need of support in maintaining our testimonies. This Committee shall keep in close and sympathetic touch with other committees appointed by the Yearly Meeting.

Being Faithful Behind the Scenes
Deborah Jordan, OVYM Secretary

The Ohio Valley Yearly Meeting Executive Committee keeps watch over our Yearly Meeting affairs, meeting regularly during the year to guide and administer the work of the Yearly Meeting and its various committees.

"From 1667 on, George Fox was active in helping to organize the system of monthly, quarterly, and yearly meetings and in arranging methods of procedure therein." (Faith and Practice, p. 4).

Most of us look forward to Ohio Valley Yearly Meeting for the fellowship, the worship, the workshops, the plenary speakers, the food, the youth programs, and, oh yes, transacting the business. There is a group that seems to like business so much, they meet four times between the sessions in person and via conference call (a 21st century experiment for the February meeting), to carry on that worshipful work.

"(The Executive Committee) shall transact business for the Yearly Meeting between its annual sessions in all cases where the welfare of our Society makes this desirable, and shall carry out instructions given it by the Yearly Meeting. In general its duties should include printing and distributing Friendly literature, furnishing forms to Monthly Meetings for use in keeping records of membership, transfers, births, marriages and deaths, maintaining a current list of members with their addresses, endeavoring to extend the knowledge of our principles, rendering advice and assistance to Meetings in the matter of property and trusts, upon their request, and to individuals who feel the need of support in maintaining our testimonies. This Committee shall keep in close and sympathetic touch with other committees appointed by the Yearly Meeting when that body is not in session, but it shall not make changes in the Book of Discipline or issue any statement of faith.” (Faith and Practice, p. 62)

In other words, the Executive Committee (EC) keeps watch over our Yearly Meeting affairs, helps us stay in right order and good communication, and follows through on the ongoing work of our committees. EC is made up of faithful Friends; many of these Friends wear several hats (and bonnets) both as representatives of their Monthly Meeting and as clerks of committees or Yearly Meeting officers. They give of their time as servant leaders, listening to the Spirit while wrestling with the budget. All of this and expectant worship fills the afternoon at an EC meeting.

We can be grateful that EC helps focus our time in Annual Sessions by seasoning business for approval by the Yearly Meeting and by deepening the community’s connection and ability to discern together. The next Executive Committee meeting is June 5th at North Meadow Circle of Friends. Come sit in on an EC meeting"there is joy in being among Friends discerning the ongoing work of Ohio Valley Yearly Meeting.

The Executive Committee meets the first Saturday in October, February, April and June. Visit our Blog to find locations and times.

The responsibilities of the Peace and Social Concerns Committee are:

1. To discern how Friends are led on issues of peace, social and environmental concerns

2. To consult and share information with Peace and Social Concerns liaisons and/or Committees within OVYM Monthly Meetings

3. To bring proposed minutes on peace, social justice, and environmental issues to Yearly Meeting sessions

4. To speak publically on behalf of the Yearly Meeting, providing our position on an issue is consistent with one of the following:

(a) it is an historic testimony of the Religious Society of Friends,

(b) it is included in the Statement of Legislative Policy of the Friends Committee on National Legislation, or,

(c) it is the subject of a minute approved by the Yearly Meeting or the OVYM Executive Committee

5. To assist OVYM's representatives to other organizations that are concerned with peace and social concerns

6. To administer and promote the Peace and Witness Fund.

We of the Earthcare Committee are deeply troubled by the growing world-wide crisis in our human relationship with the Earth. We unite with the vision of our yearly meeting sustainability minute and our book of discipline in seeking harmony with Creation, and the flourishing of all living beings, as a central religious challenge of this century. This challenge is inseparable from the challenges to right sharing and social justice.

Our goals include educating ourselves and the rest of the yearly meeting, especially as ecological disharmony manifests itself in our ways of life here in the central Ohio River watershed, our home landscape. We want to seek right relationship with Creation in the ways we function in our buildings and grounds, including energy use, transportation, food services, and waste management. This involves embodying right relationship for its own sake as well as for inspiring others to do likewise. Three areas of general focus toward which we have been led include cultivating local food economies, conserving our water, and fostering ecological design. Working for government legal and policy change is also part of our work. We remain open to other leadings as the Spirit moves us.

Membership: We would like a minimum of seven members. Members are appointed by the yearly meeting through nominating committee.

Current members and terms:
BILL CAHALAN (Clerk): 1 year
JAMIE FOTA: 1 year
MARCI ANKROM: 2 years
DAVID DUVALL: 2 years
JEANETTE SHETTER: 3 years
RIA COLLEE: 3 years

Ohio Valley Yearly Meeting’s Religious Nurture and Education Committee has a variety of areas for which they are responsible. Religious Education has been a core value of Ohio Valley Yearly Meeting since its inception. The goal of the Religious Nurture and Education Committee is Quaker spiritual development for adults, youth, and children. Their mission is to provide empowerment and guidance for Quaker spiritual development at the monthly and quarterly meeting levels, as well as within individual Friends. They make workshops, retreats and curriculum materials available to the Yearly Meeting and its quarterly and monthly meetings. The committee is served by those who have a sense of call for travel in the Yearly Meeting and have gifts of loving presence and listening. The Nominating Committee is always open to those who have sensed a call to this sort of work or who have been identified with these gifts by their meetings.

Responsibilities:
The Religious Nurture and Education Committee will discern, identify, and respond to the spiritual and educational needs of the Yearly Meeting. This charge includes educating children and adults in Quaker spiritual practices. To accomplish this, the tasks of the Committee may include:
Visitation of Monthly Meetings
Support diversity and inclusion within the body of the Yearly Meeting
Support Yearly Meeting members with particular leadings to ministry within and beyond the Yearly Meeting
Encourage and support intervisitation and traveling ministry
Offer outreach and consultation to Monthly Meetings in response to their needs and concerns

At Yearly Meeting sessions, the Committee will serve as a Ministry and Counsel Committee for the sessions. These duties include:
Provide support to the Yearly Meeting Clerks
Consult with authors of the Yearly Meeting Epistle
Offer workshops
In advance of the Sessions, read Monthly Meeting's State of the Meeting reports and prepare the State of the Society reports.

Recent Accomplishments:
Conducted the survey of OVYM Meetings and Members

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Updated: 10/20/2014

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