Participating in Yearly Meeting as a Local Group

On this page are some ideas for activities for local groups and the technical requirements for business meeting participation as a small group.

While health and safety concerns continue to limit the ways we can gather, gatherings in person may be possible following CDC and local communities’ safety guidelines. We are thus hopeful that if so led, individual monthly meetings and/or quarterly meetings might plan for in-person events as they feel comfortable doing so.

In your local monthly meetings and quarters, we invite you to consider whether your Friends community might wish to supplement your online participation in Sessions with any of the following:

  • Hosting a plenary “viewing party” on Saturday, August 7th, at 1 p.m. so that Friends can listen together
  • Hosting a picnic or other outdoor get together in the afternoon of Saturday, August 7th, when Friends across New England will be doing the same
  • Inviting Friends to gather to participate in a short, family-friendly activity during Sessions
  • Other in-person opportunities for gathering with other Friends during Sessions

If you are planning to host an in-person event during Sessions, we’d love to know! Please submit this form. If you’d like help with planning, contact Sessions Committee Clerk Rebecca Leuchak at [email protected].

For Business Sessions

Is your meeting considering participating in business sessions at Yearly Meeting as a local group? If so, support is available! You’ll be expected to have a local tech host, to provide for accessibility needs of those present, and to practice some of the logistics in advance. Please read these expectations for group participation in business, and register your interest.

These expectations are in place to meet the needs of the clerk's table and those of the body doing business. In particular:

  • the clerk needs to be able to tell who is asking to be recognized to speak
  • the body also needs to be able to tell who is asking to be recognized
  • everyone needs a sense of ease and comfort with the online format, with as little technical difficulty and on-the-fly troubleshooting as possible

So with those needs in mind, here are the expectations for "pod" participation:

  • If your pod is larger than three people, it should have a designated tech host with specific responsibilities. Your pod tech host will be a co-host of the overall Zoom meeting.
  • Your pod will have a short “pod name” which is displayed as the name on your Zoom square. When an individual in your pod wants to ask to be recognized by the clerk of business sessions, they come on camera, raise their physical hand, and the pod’s tech host temporarily renames the pod’s Zoom name to include the name of the individual.
  • If your pod is larger than three people, it should have at least two devices logged into the business meeting. One should be the device with the camera, and the other should be the pod’s tech host.
  • Your pod will need to be attentive to audio feedback loops: only one of those devices should be handling audio at a time.  
  • Someone in your pod should be assigned the responsibility of bringing the camera to anyone in the group who requests it.
  • Your pod should have a tech rehearsal in advance to work through the audio and visual details, make sure the physical space works (including being aware of the path of the sun), and gain confidence that you have prepared adequately. The Sessions tech team can help with this rehearsal.
  • The sessions tech team will offer rehearsal opportunities, where local pods can join and practice in a real-life situation. At least one or two people from your pod will be expected to attend at least one of these rehearsals.

As soon as you are aware of a group forming for this purpose at your meeting, please email [email protected] to let us know.