Warm Greetings, Friends!

Are you ready? This is one of my favorite questions; it makes space to pause and prepare for a transition. The query seems particularly apropos as we turn the page to Fall: the start of school, return to First Day programs, and the fun of autumnal events.

This issue of the Tote Bag highlights resources and events as we resume religious education programs in local meetings and offer some new events for Families and Youth in PYM. Please share these opportunities with families and young people! (Part of being "ready" is registering!)

Are you ready to welcome new faces? It's worthwhile to pause and consider our preparation to welcome families at this time of year. This week, an article circulated on Facebook, " My Teen Daughter Is Rebelling by Going to Quaker Meetings ," also caused some Friends to wonder who it might inspire to visit and see what Quakers are all about! I've shared thoughts on getting ready family-friendly spaces and short videos on welcome and inclusion of families on the PYM website.

Looking ahead: Let's get ready to gather our Community of Practice! Please mark Saturday, December 7 on your calendars for a Religious Education and Youth Work Thread Gathering to explore the ways in which our meetings can support children, youth, and families -- and we can support one another in this ministry.

In service and joy,

Melinda Wenner Bradley
Youth Religious Life Coordinator

Recipients are subscribed to the PYM Religious Education Thread List and the Youth Programs Thread List.
Autumn Programs for Youth & Families

Please share in your meeting! Most programs have registration on the event pages linked below.

Next up . . . Friday, September 13:
Quaker Family Meetups are an opportunity for PYM Families of ALL AGES -- infants to teens -- to join together for fellowship, play, snacks and spiritual refreshment. At the Fall event, we’ll share about plans for the PYM Children & Families, Middle School, and Young Friends programs this year!

Saturday, September 28: Quaker College Fair at Friends Center

Saturday, November 2: Fall Continuing Sessions and Youth Programs at Arch Street Meeting

Click on the image below to print the full PYM Youth Programs Calendar for Fall/Winter 2019!
REsource Sharing:
Have you ever tried "and" rather than "but" and found it changed everything?
This lovely book shares a story how differences in our opinions/experiences/perspectives can be generative! "When an array of opinionated shapes just can't find common ground, AND comes to the rescue. AND is the link that helps each pair of shapes overcome their differences, teaming up to create something entirely new."
Grateful to Rabbi Sandy Eisenberg Sasso for this book in these times , and you can find more of her wonderful children's books here .
Getting ready . . .

Find more " Writings on Religious Education: Practical and Prophetic" on the PYM website .
Celebrate the World Family of Friends:
Sunday, October 6 is

"FWCC invites you to join Quakers around the world to celebrate the 6th annual World Quaker Day. The theme,  Sustainability: Planting Seeds of Renewal for the World We Love   draws us into our shared experience of earth care and the spiritual imperative to sustain life on earth. It is a chance to celebrate our wonderful diversity of expression, whilst at the same time offering an important opportunity to learn about Friends’ experiences of climate breakdown in other parts of the world. You might consider sharing a sustainability story from your meeting or church with another group of Friends elsewhere in the world and beginning a dialogue."

Visit  www.worldquakerday.org  for resources, ideas on how to get involved and to share your story.

World Quaker Day Lesson Plans for children, youth, and multigenerational groups on the QREC website.
Invitation to Join a Virtual Quaker Parent Discussion Group

As Quakers have you ever wondered:
How your Quaker faith can give support and guidance to your parenting? 
How your parenting is part of your spiritual journey? 
What guidance does Quakerism give to knowing how to deal with behavior challenges, from toddlers to teens?

The Quaker Parenting Initiative, with support from New England and New York yearly meetings, is offering an opportunity to explore these questions in a 5-week online series starting on September 25.

"I still have a question about resources, programs . . .
or a great idea to share!"
Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends
1515 Cherry Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102