2022 Annual Sessions

Table of Contents

“Embrace the Healing Power of Community”

Wednesday, June 8 through Sunday, June 12, 2022
Mount St. Joseph University, Cincinnati, OH

We are meeting in person again!  It’s now been three long years since we last came together.  We still struggle to find our way forward but here we begin again, putting one foot forward to start gathering together side by side.

Selected Zoom attendance options are now available for those who wish to remain virtual.

 

Share the News!

Print out one of our flyers advertising everything Annual Sessions has to offer.

2022 Annual Sessions General Flyer

General FLyer

2022 Annual Sessions Families Flyer

Special Attention on Families

COVID Safety Policy

Please note that there is a COVID Safety Policy this year.  Here’s a summary:

  • All attenders agree to abide by the detailed policy (see link below)
  • Per MSJU, visitors who have signs, symptoms, or a diagnosis of COVID-19 are not permitted on campus. Likewise, unvaccinated young children who have a recent exposure (within 1 week) may not enter campus. 
  • All OVYM attenders must be up to date on COVID-19 vaccines: Anyone over 5 as of April 15 will have completed a primary series, and everyone over 12 will have received one booster. Consistent with our testimony of integrity, we will not ask for proof of vaccination.
  • Bring at least one mask that fits well to wear when unvaccinated young children are present, when another attender prefers you do so and you must remain in close proximity, and if COVID-like symptoms occur.  
  • We recommend that you bring some rapid tests for you and your household.
  • Respect for others and protection of the most vulnerable is paramount. 

Please take time to read the full policy here: OVYM COVID SAFETY POLICY. The full policy outlines how we will try to meet together safely and respectfully.  

Registration

Online registration is now open: click here to register.

Please register by May 25th for in-person attendance. Mount St. Joseph University needs meal counts so they can order the correct amount of food for us. Please contact the registrar Eric Wolff for registrations after this date. He can be contacted with any questions by phone at (513) 378-8730 or by email at ovym.registrar@gmail.com and please include the word “OVYM” somewhere in the subject line.

Zoom registration is also found at the registration link above. Zoom registrations are taken through early June. You will find a check box for attending by Zoom and other instructions there for negotiating the registration form. We ask Zoom registrants to pay a $30 registration fee. Zoom registrants will be sent links to the available session events and any updated information on June 6th or 7th. Here is an overview of what Zoom attendees can expect at this time:

On-Site Registration Confirmation. Receive ID badge, pick up your keys, complete payment with the Registrar. There will be a clear schedule of times when the Registration will have a person available to help those who arrive later than Wednesday 1pm to 6pm.

Arriving on Campus

Here is a map of the campus explaining where Friends can plan to arrive and where they can park.

Reports in Advance

The reports in advance will be made available soon.

Plenary Sessions

For plenaries at the 2022 annual sessions we will have two exciting speakers. On Thursday night we will have Angela Hopkins and on Friday night we will enjoy hearing from Gloria Stearns-Bruner. Brief biographies of each speaker follow. 

Angela Hopkins

Angela Hopkins

Born in Ohio and raised in the Missionary Baptist church, Angela became a Friend in Nzoia, Kenya, where she met Priscilla Makino, pastor of a meeting there. The two traveled extensively in ministry throughout Africa and the US. Through a journey of discernment she returned to join the Friends in the US, were she was released to found the Friends Center for Racial Justice (FCRJ) in Ithaca, NY. 

Gloria Stearns-Bruner

Gloria Stearns-Bruner

Gloria Stearns-Bruner, a violinist and music therapist, creates unique ways of expression through improvisation reflecting what she hears in nature, experiences on her personal journey, and faces in our society. Her wellspring is the Quaker spiritual practice of deep listening in silence. Gloria’s work includes audio recordings, multimedia projects, workshops, collaborations, and public gatherings.

A Friend now for 35 years she began her journey in Washington, D.C. in 1983 volunteering with Sojourners, a social activist Christian community and magazine then living in L’Arche, an intentional spiritual community for individuals with disabilities. Gloria met her husband of 34 years and raised four children while continuing to free-lance as a violinist, teach privately and offer creative music workshops. 

She became a board certified music therapist in 2011 working in psychiatric settings, schools, and in Alzheimer care, and now serves individuals on the autism spectrum. 

Gloria co-facilitates virtual workshops on “Mediating Trauma through Creative Expression” with Dr. Jennifer Elam, psychologist of 40 years and published Quaker writer, dancer, and artist. 

Bloomington Friends Meeting actively supports Gloria’s ministry in music and activism through ongoing loving guidance and counsel. She continues to create music as a sacred practice and seeks opportunities to engage with and offer music to her community.

Schedule

Click here to download the full printable schedule.

Children’s Program Schedule

Click here to download the full printable schedule for children and youth.

Children’s programming is located in one of the 2nd floor lounges of the Seton Center. Watch for signs. See the section “Working as a Volunteer with Children and Youth” if you are led to volunteer. Hannah Branson is once again our program director for the Children’s Program. Contact her with questions or concerns. Note that we will ask everyone above the age of 2 to wear a mask (indoors) if there are unvaccinated children present.

Wednesday

Program runs 2:45 – 8:30 pm. Children join families for dinner and attend Welcoming Activity.

Thursday, Friday, Saturday

Program runs from 8:30am to 8:30pm with children joining families for meals as desired. Activities include crafts, story time, games, swimming. We will be outdoors as much as possible.

Saturday

7pm: Children attend variety show and perform a skit

Sunday

Program runs 8:30am to 12:30pm.
Children write an epistle to read at the adult Meeting for Business. They will attend worship for 20 minutes or so.

Youth Program Schedule

Click here to download the full printable schedule for children and youth.

There will be a home base located in one of the lobbies on the 3rd floor lounge of the Seton Center. See the section “Working as a Volunteer with Children and Youth” if you are led to volunteer with the Youth. We are pleased to have Adam Funck as the acting director of the Youth Program at sessions this year. Adam went through many years of the program as a teen and has also worked as Adult helper to other directors.

Wednesday June 8

2:45 – 5:30 Hang out. Get acquainted. Seton 3rd floor lounge /MSJU campus
6:30 to 8:00 Welcoming activity and worship. Interfaith Chapel
8:30 to 9:00 Mandatory parent/guardian/sponsor meeting. Seton 3rd floor lounge.
9:00 to 9:30/11:00pm Hang out time (Middle Youth Program ends at 9:30pm)

Thursday June 9

8:45-9:30am Meeting for Worship and Meeting for Business
9:30-12:15 Activities
1:30-5:00pm Holocaust and Humanity Center
7:00 Teens attend Plenary. MY activities until 9:30pm
8:30 Teens return for evening activities/Teen Time

Friday June 10

8:45 Depart for Canoe trip
3:00-5:15 Youth program
7:00 Teens attend Plenary. MY activities until 9:30pm
8:30 Teens return for evening activities/Teen Time

Saturday June 11

Same as Thursday through lunch.
1:30-5:00pm Service Trip (Imago Environmental Education)
7:00 Variety Show
9:00-11:00 Free Time (MY program ends at 9:30pm)

Sunday June 12

8:45-10:00am Closing and Epistle Writing.
10:00 to 11:00 Read epistle at adult Meeting for Business.
11:15-12:15 Meeting for Worship

Workshops

Friday, June 10
1:45-3:15 pm

“How Is Your Meeting a Community?”
facilitated by Paul Buckley

Paul worships with Clear Creek Friends in Richmond, Indiana. Paul is the author of numerous articles and books on Quaker history, faith, and practice. When possible, he travels in the ministry urging spiritual renewal among Friends. His most recent book is Primitive Quakerism Revived: Living as Friends in the Twenty-First Century.

Each of us lives in multiple overlapping and interconnected communities. Some we are born into, while others we choose to join. Each one provides us with an opportunity to test, refine, and express our beliefs, attitudes, and preferences. Claiming membership in a community is a way to define ourselves to others. As we live into that commitment, community can be more than just a group of people. It can embody our testimonies – a way we witness to the world about what we believe to be most important.

This workshop is an opportunity for each participant to explore what kind of community their monthly meeting is and how it empowers its participants.

The workshop will have a short period of presentation, but will mostly consist of small group discussion and sharing by the whole body. We will start with worship and close with worship sharing.

“Gratitude, Grief, and Compassion for Earth”
facilitated by Deborah Jordan and Bill Cahalan

Deborah Jordan and Bill Cahalan are members of Community Friends Meeting. Deborah is an Earth lover and experienced facilitator who has been involved in healing work for decades. Bill is an organic gardener and a psychologist who includes immersion in nature as part of his healing work. Both helped found CROW (Citizens for Rights of the Ohio River Watershed).

After an introduction to our healing circle and a reflective time outdoors, we will reconvene. As part of the larger community of life, we will share thoughts, feelings, and experiences about our appreciation for our interbeing with Earth as well as our sorrow for the losses we know are happening. As Joanna Macy writes, “Pain for the world- the outrage and the sorrow – breaks us open to a larger sense of who we are. It is a doorway to the realization of our mutual belonging in the web of life.”

Workshop activities: An introduction to each other and the workshop; reflective time alone (listen, write, draw) outdoors; large group worship-sharing with queries, closing.

Possible alternate location for the workshop will be at Earth Connection (a ministry of the Sisters of Charity) adjacent to Mount St. Joseph University.

“Amplifying Calls for Economic Justice”
presented by FCNL:

Abibat Rahman-Davies, FCNL Domestic Policy Associate
Alex Frandsen, FCNL Communications Strategist


This workshop will be offered in person and available to Zoom attendees.

Abi and Alex will host a workshop that outlines the key legislative efforts in Congress to promote economic justice and show participants how to make their voices heard in the media to assist in these efforts. The exact focus is to be determined, given that much could change in Congress in the coming months, but the plan is to focus on expansions to the Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit. We can also discuss the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, or pivot to another issue if something more pressing arises prior to the workshop. Abi will provide policy background and present on the issue, and Alex will follow by discussing opportunities for publication in the media through op-eds or letters-to-the-editor (LTEs). We’ll leave time for plenty of questions and set aside the last 15-20 minutes to allow people to draft up their own LTEs.

The format will be part sharing information, part question and answer/discussion, and part hands-on activity.

“Gifted for Healing—All Gifts Lead to Love”
facilitated by Diann McFarland Herzog

Diann has been a member of OVYM and Fall Creek Meeting for 22 years. She has also been an affiliate member of Ohio Yearly Meeting Conservative for 20 years. She is a lifelong spiritual seeker.

We will explore how all our spiritual gifts, working together, strengthen and uplift our communities.

Time will be divided up equally with presentation, activity, and discussion. It is recommended that Friends familiarize themselves with the spiritual gifts listed in scripture (especially 1 Corinthians 12: 4-11 in preparation for the workshop.

Saturday, June 11
1:45-3:15 pm

“Welcoming Newcomers and Bringing New Life to our Meetings”
facilitated by the OVYM Religious Nurture and Education Committee

Presenters will be members of the committee.

We will focus on how we can deepen and challenge our meetings to become communities that welcome and include newcomers of all ages and backgrounds.

Mix of presentation and smaller discussion.

“Prayer Songs: Openings to ourselves and each other”
facilitated by Gloria Stearns-Bruner

Gloria is a member of Bloomington Friends Meeting, IN and has been a Quaker for 35 years. She is a clinical music therapist in private practice and a violinist, currently following a leading in music ministry and activism, writing music as led by Spirit for personal and cultural healing. www.stearnsmusictherapy.com

We will be writing original music springing from worship sharing. Each participant will discover a word or phrase that reflects their relationship with Spirit. No musical skill is needed. Gloria will assist with the adding a very simple melody with or without instruments. We will sing together and seek to deepen connections with Spirit and each other in expressive, creative ways.

(Zoom Workshop) “The Historical Jesus Welcomes All to His Table”
facilitated by Betsy Neale and Richard Mitchell from Lexington Friends Meeting

Betsy and Richard have been studying the contemporary scholarship on the historical Jesus for several decades and have presented this material to Friends in various monthly and yearly meetings, and the FGC Gathering.

A critical reading of the Gospels and other writings about Jesus shows him to have been a healer who welcomed all to his table, especially the poor and destitute. He empowered his followers to practice healing themselves. How can we follow this Jesus in our lives today?

We will present material from the critical Jesus scholarship of the last few decades and invite questions and discussion throughout the presentation.

Meetings for Worship with Attention to Business 

Attending to business is at the heart of almost every gathering of Friends, and it is one of the ways we get to know each other in and through the Spirit. But attendance is not mandatory. To join in our Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business, come to the Corona Room (see schedule for meeting times), and there you will find copies of the Reports in Advance. Check the (tentative) agenda just inside the front cover. Your presence and your holding all in the Light is most welcome.

Working as a Volunteer with Children and Youth

OVYM welcomes volunteers! Please request a (or submit your recent) background check from our Administrative Assistant, Susan Lee Barton.

If possible, please attend the Wednesday afternoon Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Training, 1:45 to 2:45. We cannot offer childcare during this training, so please arrange for your partner or a friend to keep any children in their care.

If you plan to volunteer with the children’s program, which may include children under 5, please bring at least one mask that fits you well.

Anyone who is unable to complete this training will not be allowed to be alone with any children who are not in their household.

Sharing Dorm Room Suites in the Seton Center

The dorm rooms in the Seton Center are two-bedroom suites. Each Suite has a lockable door from the hallway into the suite. There are two private bedrooms in each suite with one common vanity sink and one private toilet/shower room. If you can find a person that you would like to share this suite with please put this information down on the registration form. This arrangement of shared suite will cost the individual $25 per night.

If you really want to have complete privacy, you will pay $50 per night. There are a few singles available to OVYM and we can always put you in a double suite as a single person.

Typical Dorm Layout

Worship Sharing Groups

On Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday mornings 8:45 to 9:45. We will have a number of different options for people at these sessions for worship sharing. There will be one group located in Seton that will require masks. Another group will be on Zoom. There will be a group that meets outside (as much as possible). And another group that will meet in a regular classroom. To those who have attended Worship Sharing in previous years, let all your Friends know the rich depth of sharing during this time. Queries will be centered around our theme.

Healing Center

For the 4th year at our Annual Sessions, we offer a space for Friends who want to gather to focus on healing – that means receive or give, although they flow into each other.  Healing is a part of many faith traditions, including vivid stories from early Quakers about their experiences.  Sign up on registering to share your gifts at the Healing Center.  In the past, we have had compassionate listeners, music and movement, yoga, foot massages, contemplative walks, and more. Those who work hard at Annual Sessions are most welcome as well to come for some respite and renewal.

We have two Healing Center times scheduled in the Interfaith Chapel  
Friday June 10th, 4:30 to 5:30pm
Saturday, June 11th,  3:15 to 4:15pm 

Questions or thoughts, contact Deborah Jordan at djordan@fuse.net or (513) 328-8178.

Interest Groups

Friends are invited to arrange interest groups or social activities of their choosing during the evening hours on Thursday and Friday nights. If you have an interest group or activity idea you would like to have listed here, please contact Ben Griffith. We can set up Zoom interest groups as well. Let us know what you want to do!

Lunch Hour Anti-Racism Drop-In on Zoom

Thursday, Friday, and Saturday 12:30 to 1:30 pm. Facilitated by members of Lexington Friends Meeting who have successfully hosted weekly sessions during the pandemic, 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. The group strives to stay mindful of the Light in each of us and the love we bear each other. Friends who are on-site at Mount St. Joseph are invited to grab their lunch and walk to an adjacent room to join “hybrid” style if they choose.