Members of the Monthly Meetings. Quarterly meetings are organizations usually composed of a group of Monthly Meetings.
Yearly Meetings derive their name from annual gatherings of members and attenders of the Religious Society of Friends — from constituent Quarterly and Monthly Meetings in order to transact the business of the Yearly Meeting.
General description Edit
Yearly Meetings are times for Friends from a wide geographical area to come together to worship, to discuss their concerns, and to seek God's guidance on issues facing Friends in that region. Yearly Meetings also oversee the constituent meetings, and publish the guiding principles, organizational processes and collected expressions of faith of Friends in that geographical area. These publications are often called (Quaker) Faith and Practice books, or are known by other titles.
Like many aspects of Quakerism the concept of the Yearly Meeting arose gradually. English Friends began to meet as a large group starting in the 1650s. However, the oldest Yearly Meeting in Britain, Britain Yearly Meeting (originally the London Yearly Meting), considers the year 1668 its official founding. New England Yearly Meeting dates its founding from 1661. In the early days the business of the meeting was to receive answers to the Yearly Meeting's queries to the Quarterly Meetings, to read epistles from traveling Friends, and to discuss current events and issues. They also proposed and planned the establishment of Quaker institutions, such as schools.
As the Religious Society of Friends grew and spread around the world, new Yearly Meetings were established. While often influenced by the activities of other Yearly Meetings, each of the Yearly Meetings is autonomous.
A Yearly Meeting, as with all Quaker meetings, is considered a time of worship and contemplation, even when dealing with matters of business. The Friends who are gathered wait in silence, listening to the leading of God's spirit within them. Those who feel led to do so share their insights, while the others listen. Ideally a member takes time to listen to the Friend who spoke previously, before sharing his or her thoughts. Eventually a 'sense of the meeting' begins to emerge. The clerk of the meeting—a type of facilitator—tries to formulate a minute that reflects the sense of the meeting, and then more discussion follows.
All decisions are reached by consensus. When it is clear that there is agreement, the sense of the meeting is recorded in the minute developed by the clerk. Some Friends at the meeting may have reservations about the matter but choose to defer to the others. Friends believe and hope that the minute is God's will on the matter. However, nothing is considered a permanent and inviolable law among Friends and every matter is open to future changes.
Before the close of a yearly meeting, Friends will agree on an epistle that will summarise the workings of the gathering. These epistles are published and read out at other yearly meetings.
All Friends who are members of a constituent Meeting are members of the corresponding Yearly Meeting and may attend and participate on an equal basis—there is no hierarchy within the Religious Society of Friends. Many specific issues of concern to Quakers are dealt with by committees selected by Yearly Meetings.
Yearly Meetings are named for a city where the annual meeting originally was held (e. g., New York Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends), for the region encompassed by the member meetings (e.g. Evangelical Friends Church-Mid America Yearly Meeting), or for a nation (e.g. Denmark Yearly Meeting).
Larger groups Edit
Many Yearly Meetings are part of larger groups. In the United States and a few other countries the three main groups of Friends are the Friends General Conference, the Friends United Meeting, and Evangelical Friends International. A broader group that crosses theological, organizational and national lines is the Friends World Committee for Consultation.
List of yearly meetings Edit
- Kenya (see Quakers in Kenya)
- Bware Yearly Meeting, based in Suna
- Central Yearly Meeting, based in Kakamega
- Chavakali Yearly Meeting
- East Africa Yearly Meeting (Kaimosi), based in Tiriki
- East Africa Yearly Meeting (North), based in Kitale
- Elgon East Yearly Meeting, based in Kitale
- Elgon Religious Society of Friends (West), based in Lugulu Via Webuye
- Kakamega Yearly Meeting
- Lugari Yearly Meeting, based in Turbo
- Malava Yearly Meeting
- Nairobi Yearly Meeting
- Tuoli Yearly Meeting, based in Kapsabet
- Vihiga Yearly Meeting
- Vokoli Yearly Meeting, based in Wodanga
- Outside of Kenya
- Burundi Yearly Meeting
- Central and Southern Africa Yearly Meeting
- Congo Yearly Meeting
- East Africa Yearly Meeting
- Tanzania Yearly Meeting
- Uganda Yearly Meeting
(see also Quakers in Latin America)
- Iglesia Evangélica Amigos Central (Central Evangelical Friends Church)
- Iglesia Evangélica Unión Boliviana "Amigos" (Bolivian Union Evangelical Friends Church)
- Iglesia Nacional Evangélica Los Amigos de Bolivia (National Evangelical Friends Church of Bolivia)
- Iglesia Evangélica Misión Boliviana de Santidad Amigos (Bolivian Evangelical Mission Church of Holiness Friends )
- Canadian Yearly Meeting CYM Website
- Cuba Yearly Meeting
- Iglesia Evangélica Embajadores Amigos (Evangelical Ambassadors Friends Church)
- Iglesia Evangélica Nacional Amigos de Guatemala (National Evangelical Friends Church of Guatemala)
- Junta Anual Amigos de Santidad (Friends of Holiness Yearly Meeting)
- El Salvador
- Iglesias Evangélicas de los Amigos en El Salvador (Evangelical Friends Churches in El Salvador)
- Junta Anual Amigos de Santidad (Friends of Holiness Yearly Meeting)
- Jamaica Yearly Meeting
- Asociación Religiosa de las Iglesias Evangélicas de los Amigos (Religious Association of the Evangelical Churches of Friends)
- Reunion General de los Amigos en México (General Meeting of Friends in Mexico)
- Iglesia Nacional Evangélica Los Amigos del Perú (National Evangelical Friends Church of Peru)
- United States
- Evangelical Friends International EFI North America Website
- Friends General Conference
- Alaska Friends Conference AFC Website
- Illinois Yearly Meeting IYM Website
- Lake Erie Yearly Meeting LEYM Website
- Ohio Valley Yearly Meeting OVYM Website
- Philadelphia Yearly Meeting PYM Website
- Piedmont Friends Fellowship PFF Website (PFF is not a yearly meeting, but a fellowship of monthly meetings)
- South Central Yearly Meeting SCYM Website
- Southern Appalachian Yearly Meeting Association SAYMA Website
- Friends General Conference and Friends United Meeting
- Friends United Meeting
- Missouri Valley Friends Conference
- General Conference of Friends in India
- Bundelkhand Yearly Meeting
- Mid-India Yearly Meeting
- Bhopal Yearly Meeting
- Outside of India
Australia and Oceania Edit
- Australia Yearly Meeting Quakers in Australia
- Aotearoa/New Zealand Yearly Meeting (Te Hahi Tuhauwiri)
- Britain Yearly Meeting BYM Website
- Denmark Yearly Meeting Quakers in Denmark
- (Hungary) Evangelical Friends Church
- Finland Yearly Meeting Quakers in Finland
- France Yearly Meeting Quakers in France
- German Yearly Meeting Deutsche Jahresversammlungen Website
- Ireland Yearly Meeting IYM Website
- Netherlands Yearly Meeting Quakers in the Netherlands
- Norway Yearly Meeting Quakers in Norway
- Sweden Yearly Meeting Quakers in Sweden
- Switzerland Yearly Meeting Swiss quakers
See also Quakers in Europe article
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