Call to Intermountain Yearly Meeting’s Gathering for 2021
Please join us at the virtual gathering of Intermountain Yearly Meeting, from June 16-20, 2021. We look forward to implementing many of the skills and lessons that we have learned over the last year, to create a Spirit-led time for all Friends and others who join us. We have learned that a virtual platform can be more accessible for those who live at a distance, or have physical mobility issues; it can be problematic for those without adequate computer equipment. Friends have commented that they found a surprising depth of worship in many of the sessions, and a deepening connection, both with Spirit and with other Friends.
We acknowledge and recognize that our inability to gather in person for a second year will weigh heavily on all our hearts, particularly for our younger Friends, for whom the in-person experience is particularly important. We anticipate being able to gather together for “live” hugs and closer interactions next year, in joy and in confidence.
We hope you will join us to experience worship, fellowship, and deep learning, and that you will participate in business meetings to help with discernment on a variety of issues. We expect to welcome Friends of all ages from Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, West Texas, Wyoming and nearby states, as well as Friends from more distant locations, including Mexico City.
Theme and Friend in “Residence”/Keynote
In recent years the Program Working Group has discerned a theme for the upcoming IMYM and then searched for a keynote speaker who could engage with us on that theme. This year, with so much uncertainty surrounding our personal lives and the life of the Annual Meeting, we have reversed that sequence. First we chose the speaker; now we will work with him to identify a rich and relevant theme for this year’s focus. We are delighted that José Santos Woss has committed to be the Keynote Speaker for IMYM 2021.
José is a Quaker with deep roots. He works as the Director for Justice Reform at FCNL. His bio, including some of his writings, can be found here.
In addition to our usual keynote address and Q&A session, José has been invited to participate in all our virtual sessions, and expects to meet with our Senior Young Friends (SYFs), Junior Young Friends (JYFs), and possibly our Children’s Yearly Meeting (CYM).
We expect to have a vibrant youth program this year, and hope to share those plans in the near future. We are gathering input from our SYFs and JYFs, including their clerks, and the adults who work with them.
We have been considering whether the youth program should be on separate dates from the regular IMYM Gathering, to limit conflicts in the use of limited resources (e.g., computers, and parental attention when needed); that decision has not yet been made. As always, younger Friends are welcome to attend any sessions that interest them…including movies, sing-alongs, and other musical possibilities, as well as worship sharing and other more “serious” sessions.
We are currently looking to hire someone as the primary coordinator of the technical aspects of the sessions. Last year, our tech hosts were invaluable in making the virtual gathering possible and enjoyable for each of us…thank you all! Again, we will need a number of volunteer hosts to ensure that everyone is able to reach their breakout rooms, worship sharing sessions, interest groups and seminars, as well as social activities. We expect that last year’s tech guru extraordinaire, Polly Washburn, will be available to assist to some degree, but she will be more “behind the scenes” than last year. Please see the job description if you or someone you know might be interested.
Arrangements Committee met virtually in January, and continues to work on the details for our Gathering. We expect there to be a rich program of activities, fellowship, learning, spiritual growth, and IMYM (and Quaker) business. A schedule of sessions and activities will be included in the registration materials, which will be found on this page in the coming months.
We look forward to virtual fellowship with Friends this summer, and to deepening our spiritual connections with each other and with the Divine.
Gale Toko-Ross and Valerie Ireland
Presiding Co-Clerks, IMYM