JYM Family Programs

What does it look like, what does it mean, to be a Quaker Family? There's no one blueprint. Listening within both individually and as a collective, each family answers this question with Spirit, time, intention, support, and the fellowship of other Friends. Connections with other Quaker families, both those of similar ages as well as those in other phases of life, can be deeply meaningful and important to parents and young people. Families' local Quaker meetings are vitally important sources for these friendships and support. As a response to the Covid-19 pandemic, we have been offering some family programming to supplement and spotlight ministry from local meetings. 

Quaker Family Nights are a wonderful time for making new friends, seeing old ones, and being together on Zoom. Hosted by local meetings or vetted youth staff, they are geared towards children (or your inner child) and usually include a story, singing, some activity, and time to share in small groups. They ALWAYS include laughter. Friends of all ages—those with or without children—join us. Check the Events Calendar and/or the JYM-JHYM Newsletter for the date and registration link for the next one. If you or your meeting would be interested in providing the content for one of these nights, please be in touch with Gretchen Baker-Smith, Children and Family Ministries Coordinator.

Valuable Resource for Parents

The Quaker Parenting Initiative is dedicated to helping parents find direction and spiritual meaning in their journey with their children as they seek to nurture and guide while loving and living with them. 

The new QPI website is a wealth of information about Quaker parenting for local meetings, parents, and all who care for and nurture children and families. The interactive site invites you to raise questions and share experiences with others in affirming spaces facilitated by experienced QPI leaders.

Two upcoming series this winter and early spring will provide opportunities to explore how our Quaker faith can support and guide the nurturing and parenting  of children and teens. The Testimonies as Directives for Living Children, facilitated by Emma Richter and Harriet Heath, will be a seven week series exploring using the concepts of Peace, Equality, Simplicity, Stewardship, Service, Integrity and Community as guides for family living. Each week, from Jan.18 to March 8, 2022, will focus on a different form of witness. Searching to Better Nurture and Guide Children, facilitated by Gretchen Baker-Smith and Harriet Heath, will use seasoned queries - questions to aid reflection on the faithfulness of our living - to help parents discern how they want to deal with issues and patterns that arise within their families. We’ll reflect on our families’ lives, both joys and frustrations, and consider alternative scenarios and responses. This series will run 5 Wednesday evenings in March, 2022. For more information on either workshop series, contact Harriet Heath, Coordinator of the Quaker Parenting Initiative.