Ohio Valley Yearly Meeting

The Religious Society of Friends

c/o Community Friends
3960 Winding Way
Cincinnati, Ohio 45229


Our Ministries

Adult Young Friends (AYF)

The Adult Young Friends (AYFs) program is for adult Friends ages 18-40 and is in the process of reorganizing and rebuilding an active program. They have a Facebook Page on which their upcoming events and other information can be found.

Adult Young Friends enjoying fellowship during an Annual Session

Friends Music Camp

Friends Music Camp: A Musical Ministry
Held annually at Olney Friends School in Barnesville, Ohio, Friends Music Camp (FMC) is a transformative experience. Whether you're fortunate enough to go as a camper (thanks, Mom and Dad!) or you join the staff later on, this special one month spent in the rural Ohio countryside will change you in ways you hardly expected.

Times of Reflection
An integral part of Friends Music Camp is its spiritual element. Founded by lifelong Quaker Peg Champney with Jean Putnam, camp incorporates the gentle spiritual practices of Friends into everyday life. Each morning, campers and staff gather for collection, centering themselves for the busy day ahead. At night, evening collection begins with a group song, and ten or fifteen minutes of reflective silence prepares both campers and staff for a restful night's sleep.

A Month to Remember
The end of camp is a difficult time for all FMCers. Campers form incredible bonds over the course of the month, leading to tearful goodbyes as they depart for their homes all over the US and the world. But camp friendships, once formed, can never truly die; this is the most special part of camp. This article is an abbreviation of the Friends Music Camp document (.PDF).

OVYM Executive Committee

The Executive Committee transacts business for the Yearly Meeting. In general, the duties of the Executive Committee include printing and distributing Friendly literature, furnishing forms to Monthly Meetings for use in keeping records of members, transfers, births, marriages and deaths, maintaining a current list of members with their addresses, endeavoring to extend the knowledge of our principles, rendering advice and assistance to Meetings in the matter of property and trusts, upon their request, and to individuals who feel the need of support in maintaining our testimonies. This Committee shall keep in close and sympathetic touch with other committees appointed by the Yearly Meeting.

Being Faithful Behind the Scenes Deborah Jordan, OVYM Secretary

The Ohio Valley Yearly Meeting Executive Committee keeps watch over our Yearly Meeting affairs, meeting regularly during the year to guide and administer the work of the Yearly Meeting and its various committees.

"From 1667 on, George Fox was active in helping to organize the system of monthly, quarterly, and yearly meetings and in arranging methods of procedure therein." (Faith and Practice, p. 4).

Most of us look forward to Ohio Valley Yearly Meeting for the fellowship, the worship, the workshops, the plenary speakers, the food, the youth programs, and, oh yes, transacting the business. There is a group that seems to like business so much, they meet four times between the sessions in person and via conference call (a 21st century experiment for the February meeting), to carry on that worshipful work.

"(The Executive Committee) shall transact business for the Yearly Meeting between its annual sessions in all cases where the welfare of our Society makes this desirable, and shall carry out instructions given it by the Yearly Meeting. In general its duties should include printing and distributing Friendly literature, furnishing forms to Monthly Meetings for use in keeping records of membership, transfers, births, marriages and deaths, maintaining a current list of members with their addresses, endeavoring to extend the knowledge of our principles, rendering advice and assistance to Meetings in the matter of property and trusts, upon their request, and to individuals who feel the need of support in maintaining our testimonies. This Committee shall keep in close and sympathetic touch with other committees appointed by the Yearly Meeting when that body is not in session, but it shall not make changes in the Book of Discipline or issue any statement of faith.- (Faith and Practice, p. 62)

In other words, the Executive Committee (EC) keeps watch over our Yearly Meeting affairs, helps us stay in right order and good communication, and follows through on the ongoing work of our committees. EC is made up of faithful Friends; many of these Friends wear several hats (and bonnets) both as representatives of their Monthly Meeting and as clerks of committees or Yearly Meeting officers. They give of their time as servant leaders, listening to the Spirit while wrestling with the budget. All of this and expectant worship fills the afternoon at an EC meeting.

We can be grateful that EC helps focus our time in Annual Sessions by seasoning business for approval by the Yearly Meeting and by deepening the community's connection and ability to discern together. The next Executive Committee meeting is June 5th at North Meadow Circle of Friends. Come sit in on an EC meeting"there is joy in being among Friends discerning the ongoing work of Ohio Valley Yearly Meeting.

The Executive Committee meets the first Saturday in October, February, April and June. Visit our Blog to find locations and times.

Peace and Social Concerns Committee

The responsibilities of the Peace and Social Concerns Committee are:

• To discern how Friends are led on issues of peace, social and environmental concerns

• To consult and share information with Peace and Social Concerns liaisons and/or Committees within OVYM Monthly Meetings

• To bring proposed minutes on peace, social justice, and environmental issues to Yearly Meeting sessions

• To speak publically on behalf of the Yearly Meeting, providing our position on an issue is consistent with one of the following:

⋅ it is an historic testimony of the Religious Society of Friends

⋅ it is included in the Statement of Legislative Policy of the Friends Committee on National Legislation, or,

⋅ it is the subject of a minute approved by the Yearly Meeting or the OVYM Executive Committee

• To assist OVYM's representatives to other organizations that are concerned with peace and social concerns

• To administer and promote the Peace and Witness Fund

Earthcare Committee

We of the Earthcare Committee are deeply troubled by the growing world-wide crisis in our human relationship with the Earth. We unite with the vision of our yearly meeting sustainability minute and our book of discipline in seeking harmony with Creation, and the flourishing of all living beings, as a central religious challenge of this century. This challenge is inseparable from the challenges to right sharing and social justice.

Our goals include educating ourselves and the rest of the yearly meeting, especially as ecological disharmony manifests itself in our ways of life here in the central Ohio River watershed, our home landscape. We want to seek right relationship with Creation in the ways we function in our buildings and grounds, including energy use, transportation, food services, and waste management. This involves embodying right relationship for its own sake as well as for inspiring others to do likewise. Three areas of general focus toward which we have been led include cultivating local food economies, conserving our water, and fostering ecological design. Working for government legal and policy change is also part of our work. We remain open to other leadings as the Spirit moves us.

Membership: We would like a minimum of seven members. Members are appointed by the yearly meeting through nominating committee.

Current members and terms:
BILL CAHALAN (Clerk): 1 year
JAMIE FOTA: 1 year
RIA COLLEE: 3 years

Religious Nurture and Education Committee

Ohio Valley Yearly Meeting’s Religious Nurture and Education Committee has a variety of areas for which they are responsible. Religious Education has been a core value of Ohio Valley Yearly Meeting since its inception. The goal of the Religious Nurture and Education Committee is Quaker spiritual development for adults, youth, and children. Their mission is to provide empowerment and guidance for Quaker spiritual development at the monthly and quarterly meeting levels, as well as within individual Friends. They make workshops, retreats and curriculum materials available to the Yearly Meeting and its quarterly and monthly meetings. The committee is served by those who have a sense of call for travel in the Yearly Meeting and have gifts of loving presence and listening. The Nominating Committee is always open to those who have sensed a call to this sort of work or who have been identified with these gifts by their meetings.


The Religious Nurture and Education Committee will discern, identify, and respond to the spiritual and educational needs of the Yearly Meeting. This charge includes educating children and adults in Quaker spiritual practices. To accomplish this, the tasks of the Committee may include:
• Visitation of Monthly Meetings
• Support diversity and inclusion within the body of the Yearly Meeting
• Support Yearly Meeting members with particular leadings to ministry within and beyond the Yearly Meeting
• Encourage and support intervisitation and traveling ministry
• Offer outreach and consultation to Monthly Meetings in response to their needs and concerns

At Yearly Meeting sessions, the Committee will serve as a Ministry and Counsel Committee for the sessions. These duties include:
• Provide support to the Yearly Meeting Clerks
• Consult with authors of the Yearly Meeting Epistle
• Offer workshops
• In advance of the Sessions, read Monthly Meeting's State of the Meeting reports and prepare the State of the Society reports

Braddock Fund for Prison Ministry

Mission: The mission of the Braddock Fund is to provide support for activities and projects for prison inmates that will promote their successful re-entry into their communities.

Brief History: The Braddock Trust was established following the 1990 death of Raymond Braddock, who had taught inmates at the Lebanon Correctional Institution from 1965 through 1970. Donations were received from family members and others. The Trust provided scholarships for qualified inmates to continue their education following release.
In 2015 the Trust was converted to a Fund under the care of Ohio Valley Yearly Meeting, and its mission was expanded and policies were established.

How Can I Help?: Historically, Quakers have recognized prison ministry as an important need. Today there is especially a need to help prepare inmates for their return to a useful life in their communities, once their term has been served.
If you know of incarcerated individuals who are interested in furthering their education, you can encourage them to apply for funding.
If you are interested and willing to initiate and maintain a program within a prison to improve the success of incarcerated individuals, please submit a grant proposal.
If you know of others who are interested in doing prison ministry but are hampered by lack of funds to cover their expenses, please encourage them to apply.
If you have ideas of how this fund could be used for its highest purpose, please contact the Braddock Fund Committee through the OVYM office at:
3960 Winding Way
Cincinnati OH 45229

For full information, please download the Braddock Fund for Prison Ministry Brochure.

Braddock Fund Application for Grant for those doing prison ministry work.

Braddock Fund Scholarship Application for incarcerated individuals seeking educational assistance.

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Updated: 05/03/2020
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