2021 Annual Sessions


06/16/2021 - 06/20/2021    
All Day

Event Type

Table of Contents

“From Revelation to Revolution: Walking Together in Radical Love”

Wednesday, June 16, through Sunday, June 20

The 201st Annual Sessions of Ohio Valley Yearly Meeting will be held online.

Registrations, available here, will be taken throughout sessions. The registrar is Eric Wolff, and he can be reached with questions by phone at (513) 378-8730; or by email at ovym.registrar@gmail.com, or wolffhouse@gmail.com. Please include the word “OVYM” somewhere in the subject line.

Help Desk: Technical help will be available daily by phone and email. The Help Desk contact information for each day of sessions will be provided to all registrants.

Orientation/Welcoming Activity and Opening Worship

The first day of annual sessions, Wednesday, June 16, will include an orientation and welcoming activity followed by opening worship, all through Zoom. The link, along with other connection information, will be provided to registrants before the start of sessions.

The orientation and welcoming activity, to be hosted by Planning Committee members Gloria Stearns-Bruner and Terre Holada, will begin at 4:45 p.m. and last about 45 minutes, before leading into a 30-minute worship time.

Participants will learn more about navigating the yearly meeting schedule and the different forms of support that will be available throughout sessions. We’ll also have some time to connect with one another, with particular attention on welcoming newcomers.

Anyone new to Zoom who would like assistance beforehand in learning how to access sessions may email csimmons45387@yahoo.com or call Carol Simmons at 937-232-4250, and a Friend will happily get in touch with you and walk you through the process.


Please note that details of the program for middle youth and teens have yet to be worked out. Once they are determined they will be added to this schedule.

Plenary Sessions

OVYM Panel: “Stories of Radical Love”

Thursday, June 17, 7:00 p.m.

A  panel of OVYM Friends share their experiences of radical love, moderated by Peter Hardy, of Lexington Friends Meeting, and Kristen Brethova, of Bloomington Friends. Panelists are:

  • James Taylor (JT)
    BIPOC antiracist
    pronouns We/Us/Them
    JT, of North Meadow Circle of Friends in Indianapolis, took the Alternatives to Violence model into prisons while working with the Peace Center in Indianapolis;
  • Melissa LeVine
    pronouns She/Her 
    Melissa, of Lexington Friends, is actively involved in supporting a refugee family from Afghanistan; and
  • LC Hyde
    pronouns She/Her and They/Them
    LC grew up in Yellow Springs Monthly Meeting and participated in the OVYM Youth program including being a participant in the youth trip to Alaska. As an undergraduate, she studied international studies, women’s gender and sexuality studies and French as a way to critically examine intersectional oppressions on a global scale. Recently, LC worked in the Peace Corps in Thailand, and continues to feel conflicted about her service. She returned to the USA in March 2020 just as the pandemic started which derailed many of her plans for the summer. During that period, they were an active participant in BLM protests in Yellow Springs, OH, Columbus OH and in Philadelphia PA. They feel called to social justice work. Currently, LC is living in Philadelphia, PA and is a graduate student at Widener University in their MSW/MEd program she is studying sex therapy. They are interested in working with fellow queer people and the role of pleasure activism in the broader social justice movement.

Carl Magruder

Friday, June 18, 7:00 p.m.

Carl Magruder, a member of Strawberry Creek Monthly Meeting, in Berkeley, California, will offer a message guided by Spirit. A lifelong Quaker in the waiting worship tradition, Carl has a master’s of divinity degree and works as a palliative care chaplain in northern California. His speaking engagements among Friends recently included providing the half-hour Bible session each morning during last summer’s online FGC Gathering.


We are expanding our workshop presentation days this year to include two offerings on Wednesday, June 16, to highlight Quaker organizations seeking to incorporate a Friends perspective in national and global issues and foster a world of equity, justice and peace.

Wednesday, June 16

Friday, June 18

Each workshop is from 12/2:30 p.m.

Saturday, June 19

Each workshop is from 12/2:30 p.m.

Healing Center

(4-5 p.m. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday) 

The Healing Center will offer a variety of individual and group practices, including music and movement, havening, contemplative walking (away from computer!), and compassionate listening. For questions, please contact Gloria Stearns-Bruner, at gloriabruner@gmail.com.

Participants include:

  • Bill Cahalan, a psychologist and member of Community Friends in Cincinnati, facilitating contemplative walks.
  • Michael Fallahay, from Bloomington Friends, is trained in couples and family therapy and is a retired LMHC in Indiana after 27 years as a therapist and leader of men’s domestic violence groups. Since retiring three years ago, he has volunteered with Red Cross as a Disaster Mental Health supervisor, both in metro Indianapolis and on national deployments.
  • Bob Holada, a peer counselor from Fort Way Meeting, offering compassionate listening sessions.
  • Gloria Stearns-Bruner, a licensed music therapist from Bloomington Friends, leading music and movement sessions.
  • Elizabeth Terney, a pastoral counseling student at the Earlham School of Religion, offering compassionate listening.
  • Barry Zalph, a certified Havening practitioner from Louisville Friends, leading sessions in Havening techniques. Barry describes Havening as “a set of techniques developed by Ron Ruden, M.D., Ph.D., to heal trauma, reduce stress, increase emotional resilience, and replace self-limiting beliefs with appropriately affirming ones. It uses gentle touch (applied to oneself, in this session), attention, and imagination to alter one’s patterns of thinking and feeling. In this session, participants will use a guided self-Havening exercise to reclaim calm and to strengthen a personal quality of their choice. This will not involve any self-disclosure or therapy (group or otherwise).

The schedule:

Thursday, June 17

Bill Cahalan, 4-5 p.m.
Michael Fallahay, 4-5p.m. (group or individual)
Bob Holada, 4-4:30 p.m., 4:30-5 p.m.
Elizabeth Terney, 4-5 p.m.

Friday, June 18

Bill Cahalan, 4-5 p.m.
Michael Fallahay (if needed)
Bob Holada, 4-4:30 p.m., 4:30-5 p.m.
Barry Zalph, 4-4:30 p.m. and 4:30-5 p.m.

Saturday, June 19

Bob Holada, 4-4:30 p.m. and 4:30-5 p.m.
Gloria Stearns-Bruner, 4-4:30 p.m. and 4:30-5 p.m.
Elizabeth Terney, 4-5 p.m.

Interest Groups

Friends are invited to arrange interest groups or social activities of their choosing during the evening hours after the business meeting on Wednesday, the plenary sessions on Thursday and Friday, and the talent/variety show on Saturday. The start time is 8:30 p.m. or after.

If you have an interest group or activity idea you would like to have listed in OVYM annual sessions materials, please send the title and date to Carol Simmons, at csimmons45387@yahoo.com. Zoom call-in information will then be assigned and distributed.

“Sharing our stories of radical love”
(8:30 p.m. Thursday)

This group will meet immediately after the plenary panel presentation titled “Stories of Radical Love” on Thursday evening. Friends are invited to continue conversations begun during the plenary and/or share their own stories.

Earthcare Interest Group
(8:45 p.m. Friday)

Members of the OVYM Earthcare Committee will briefly answer questions about what the committee has done/is doing, and then spend the rest of the time responding to a few queries about our relationship to the natural world. Bill Cahalan will facilitate.

Talent/Variety Show

(7-8:30 p.m. Saturday, June 19) 

The online format opens the opportunity to think imaginatively about sharing talents. You could sing, dance, offer a family skit, show a short video, play an instrument, share recent paintings, read poetry, tell jokes, or show off your beautiful garden or cool Lego structure. This year’s emcee is Kevin Holm-Hudson, of Lexington Friends and a professor of music at the University of Kentucky. Sign up to participate by emailing Kevin Holm Hudson, at kjholm2@gmail.com.

Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business

(6:30-9 p.m. Wednesday, June 16; 1-3 p.m. Thursday, June 17; 10-11:30 a.m. Sunday, June 20)

Some notes from our presiding clerk, Martha Viehmann, on participating in business sessions on Zoom:

  1. Please avoid using the chat feature, as it is distracting. There will be a number posted in the chat so you can call to ask for assistance, or you may chat privately with the Host.
  2. Expect to see some information posted via Screen Sharing. Note that you can adjust the size of the shared screen so you can still view speakers’ faces.
  3. If you are participating via a device with a camera, please have on hand a piece of paper or anything you can find around the house (t-shirts, books, shopping totes) in the following colors, which will signal to the clerk your response to any item under consideration:
    • White (factual/clarifying question)
    • Black (factual/clarifying answer)
    • Yellow (request to speak)
    • Red (I have a stop)
      If you feel a stop, you do not have to feel ready to articulate it yet.
    • Green (I’m ready to move forward)
      Moving forward may signal a desire to hear a minute, accept a report, or approve a minute.
  4. Participants who are calling in without video will still need to request to be recognized. When you say “Clerk, please.” also state your name.
  5. Participants calling in with a not-smart phone may not be able to mute themselves, which means we will hear EVERYTHING you do, including your taking notes on the table where your phone rests, refilling your water glass, and talking to your pet. PLEASE, cover the mouthpiece unless you want to be recognized.
  6. Remember that folks without video or folks using gallery view may not be able to see who is speaking. Please state your name each time you are recognized to speak during meeting for business.

Welcoming Newcomers Virtual Dinner

(6 p.m. Thursday, June 17) 

Welcome first-time attenders and connect with Friends by coming together over dinner Thursday, June 17, via Zoom. Call in beginning at 6 p.m. for friendly fellowship.

Anti-Racism Drop-in Sessions

(Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, noon to 1 p.m.) 

Facilitated during the lunch hour by members of Lexington Friends Meeting, who have successfully hosted weekly sessions over the past year, the Anti-Racism Drop-in Group offers a brave space where Friends discuss racial issues and seek to recognize racial inequity, our white privilege, and our prejudices. Throughout this work we will strive to stay mindful of the Light in each of us and the love we bear each other. The discussions are unstructured to provide Friends a place to raise issues on their minds. Sometimes the group leader may offer a question, a brief reading or a theme to start the discussion. All are welcome to attend over lunch and join in!

Hymn Singing

(Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, 6:30-6:50 p.m.) 

Join with other Friends for about 20 minutes of hymn singing before each day’s evening sessions. Gloria Stearns-Bruner, with assistance from Carol Simmons and volunteer accompanists, will facilitate an online structuring of the beloved yearly meeting tradition of community singing after dinner.