A Ministry of Presence (Sticky Post)

Welcome to the Baltimore Yearly Meeting Intervisitation Working Group’s page. Whether you are from another Yearly Meeting or from Baltimore Yearly Meeting, we hope you’ll find useful information here about our program and how to participate.

Our Mission Statement:
The Intervisitation Program of Baltimore Yearly Meeting (BYM) seeks to nurture the beloved community of Friends by encouraging, preparing, and supporting those who travel among Friends, both inside and outside of BYM. Our experience has shown the power of visiting in order to care for relationships within and among Yearly Meetings, especially where they are fragile, as well as to enjoy the richer, more abundant life available in the wide family of Friends. Through a simple “ministry of presence” we hope to be spiritually and prayerfully present, to listen deeply with love and without judgment, to be tender with another, not to bring our own agendas, and to get to know each other in that which is eternal. Visits will be in all directions, and involve both offering and receiving hospitality.

Here are some resources. Please note some of these are from our old site, which we will integrate into this WordPress site as we are able:

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Intervisitation Annual Report for 2014

Intervisitation Working Group
Baltimore Yearly Meeting

Annual Report – 2014

“Might there not be a richer and more abundant life in so wide a family?” – Ann Riggs

This past year, the Intervisitation Working Group has been clarifying its new role, as it makes the transition from its predecessor – the ad hoc Intervisitation Committee. A world of possibilities came into view to broaden and deepen our Yearly Meeting’s experience with intervisitation. We have wrestled with the tension between those many possibilities and the need to keep our work focused and doable. As a result, our proposed mission statement has a primary focus on the “ministry of presence.” In the meantime, we have continued to send out visitors and host incoming ones. We continued hosting an annual retreat for any who travel among Friends. In addition, the very well-received workshop on dialogue around our differences, which we sponsored at the 2013 annual session, has been shared more widely and continues to be.

I. Proposed Mission Statement for Intervisitation Working Group

Background:

In 6th month, 2013, Interim Meeting laid down the ad hoc Intervisitation Committee and created in its place the Intervisitation Working Group under the care of the Ministry and Pastoral Care committee (M&PC). We had had a very rich experience with our intervisitation program, which had been initiated in 2004 to help rebuild community among Friends United Meeting. More recently, Baltimore Yearly Meeting (BYM) had also been deeply enriched by intervisitation within BYM relating to developing a vision statement and revising our Faith and Practice. So the new working group was created to build on those experiences, seeking to integrate intervisitation into the routine practice of the Yearly Meeting.

We have developed a proposed mission statement for the new working group, Continue reading

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3/16/2014: Annual Travelers Retreat at Adelphi

Calling All Travelers!

Come explore the rich blessings of visiting among Friends –
Friends of all sorts, in all places, near and far – and
see how this ancient practice is evolving and gaining new vitality.

You are invited to the

Annual Travelers Retreat

sponsored by the Baltimore Yearly Meeting Intervisitation Program
(click here for a printer-ready flyer)

at Adelphi Friends Meeting

Sunday, 3/16/2014
12:30 to 4:00 pm

(the day after Interim Meeting)
(10am worship with Adelphi followed by their potluck)

Who:    All are welcome!  including

  • those who have traveled among Friends, inside or outside of the Yearly Meeting, including those who have traveled on behalf of Yearly Meeting committees;
  • those who have simply visited Meetings or those who have traveled with a concern, shared a ministry, or offered workshops;
  • those who think they might like to travel among Friends;
  • members of clearness/support committees for travelers;
  • those who have hosted or would like to host visitors; and
  • other interested Friends.

At this retreat you will have an opportunity to:

  • share your experiences and hear those of others in their travels among Friends;
  • learn how intervisitation enriches us as individuals and as a Yearly Meeting;
  • connect with the power of the “Ministry of Presence;”
  • ask questions about the nuts and bolts of traveling and supporting a traveler;
  • explore how this ministry connects with our Quaker faith and practice and how it is evolving in Baltimore Yearly Meeting; and
  • see what new Light is emerging among Friends.

To register, use our contact form.

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Report to Interim Meeting – 3/23/2013

Click here for pdf version

“Might there not be a richer and more abundant life in so wide a family?”Ann Riggs

I.   Proposal to Lay Down the Ad hoc Committee and Create an Intervisitation Working Group

Our Intervisitation Program has given our Yearly Meeting a transformational experience with many blessings, including some quite unexpected ones.  We have received more than we have given.  It arose in 2004 from pain and frustration but has brought us to a very different place.  Through the power of the Divine Spirit and God’s Grace, it has taken us from anger and agony to hope and healing… and even joy, for many of us.  It has been a wondrous gift to our Yearly Meeting and, we hope, to the whole Religious Society of Friends.  It is time to take stock of that gift and try to see what God would have us do with it going forward. Continue reading

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Report to Interim Meeting – 3/17/2012

Click here for pdf version

I.   Ad hoc committee status extension

The ad hoc Intervisitation Committee has been in existence for eight years. We have been in an intense discernment process for the last year, including two meetings for discernment that were announced to the Yearly Meeting community, held on October 1 at Adelphi and on November 19 at Sandy Spring. We appreciated the participation of Friends from other committees and those not previously involved in our committee work. From that process, we have come to some clarity.

  • We are clear our work is not done.
  • We feel called to share what we’ve done in response to requests from other YMs who are considering starting their own programs.
  • At current levels, our budget cannot be used to support outgoing visitors; we ask them to approach their local meetings and use their support committees to help raise funds.

A number of questions remain to be resolved, including: Continue reading

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