Quakerism = Hope

April 17, 2018

“As the stillness of Quaker Meeting unfolds,

it opens up a space in which we can listen and wait — both comfortable and uncomfortable, holy and ordinary, still and dynamic. And whilst I don’t pretend Quakerism has all the answers, sitting in collective quietness with other Quakers has been profoundly healing for me because the silence has made way for something else in my life: hope. The radically kind and egalitarian foundations of Quakerism, coupled with this weekly practice of stillness, has sparked a flicker of hopefulness that I can make a difference, in whatever small and mundane ways I am able. That it is ok to rest. That it is ok to fail. That it will all be ok.

“Regardless of whether you are young or old, atheist or faithful, I would encourage you to take some time for silence today. Sit down, let the quiet wash over you, and breathe.”

From Jessica Hubbard-Bailey, Life Is Tough for Young People But Being a Quaker Has Given Me Hope

h/t Martin Kelley, Quaker Ranter Daily

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Woman’s Society Report, March 19, 2018

Woman’s Society Report March 19, 2018

By Angie Reed, Secretary

Six women met the evening of March 19 at Theresa Oleksiw’s home. Theresa presented the program and devotions on our need to be stewards of the environment,

In business, the Treasurer and Secretary reports from last month were reviewed and accepted with minor revisions. The card ministry was completed, and Nancy reported that the Monthly Meeting approved Woman’s Society holding a Silent Auction prior to and ending at our next meeting. Gently used items appropriate for an auction can be brought to the Meetinghouse on April 8 and 15. The final bids will be accepted at our next meeting on April 16. Prayers were asked for the new principle of Ramallah Friends School, Adrian Moody. There was a discussion about the Tedford teams and a list was made of people to ask to join teams. Theresa agreed to make these calls. There was also a discussion about the status of the tablecloths at the Meeting house. Both items will be discussed further at our next meeting.

We ended the meeting with a poem read by Dorothy Curtis and refreshments provided by Theresa.

All are welcome to join us at our next meeting which will be on April 16 at 7pm at the Meetinghouse. We will start the program with the auction and have the program and business meeting after it.

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Silent Auction in April: Come Join the Fun

Silent Auction

By Angie Reed

Please join Woman’s Society for this fund raiser. Bring your gently used items, jewelry, household items, children’s games, and other items that someone may want to bid on.

Items can be brought to the Meetinghouse on April 8 and 15.

There will be a list near each item for your bids. Minimum starting bid is 50 cents, and minimum continued bid is 25 cents.

Items will be rewarded at our next Woman’s Society meeting which will be held April 16 at the Meetinghouse. COME JOIN THE FUN!!!

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New Book By Doug Gwyn

Library News, By Dorothy Hinshaw

Our library has added a new book to the library by Doug Gwyn, our former pastor: “The Call to Radical Faithfulness, Covenant Quaker Experience”, an interesting and readable historical overview.

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You can also see a new QuakerSpeak video on Queries featuring Doug Gwyn.

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Powell House Pastoral Ministry Event

Tending the Flock:  A weekend to encourage Friends called to pastoral ministry

April 27–29, 2018  Powell House Retreat and Conference Center,  Old Chatham, NY

This is a workshop for those:

  • Who feel called to pastoral concerns for the wellbeing of the Meeting as a body.
  • Who walk alongside individuals and encourage them in their spiritual development.
  •  Who Friends turn to when there are difficulties to untangle, trusting their guidance and care.

Martha Hinshaw Sheldon and Sukie Rice will be attending the conference for Ministry and Counsel.  Others interested should be in contact with one of them.

In keeping with the Powell House commitment to welcome Friends regardless of financial means, this is a Pay-As-Led event.

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Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, March 18, 2018

Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends convened in worship for the conduct of business on Sunday, March 18, 2018 with 18 people present. Clerk, Sukie Rice, opened the meeting with a reading from the 1985 New England Faith and Practice section on The Meeting for Business.

  1. The February minutes were approved.
  2. Martha Hinshaw Sheldon sent a report from Ministry and Counsel.
  3. Speakers are scheduled until mid-April. If you are interested in bringing a message, contact Kristna Evans or James Douglas.
  4. They continued to discuss specific and general issues for pastoral care, and are thankful for those who have helped with pastoral care concerns in the past months. Please contact anyone on Ministry and Counsel about pastoral care concerns you, or someone you know, may have.
  5. “Tending the Flock; a Weekend to Encourage Friends Called to Pastoral Ministry” is the title of a retreat which will be held at Powell House Retreat and Conference Center in Old Chatham, NY April 27-29, to which at least two of our Ministry and Counsel members will attend. Others interested should contact Martha Sheldon or Sukie Rice.
  6. They discussed developing a prayer group and Sukie Rice and Joyce Gibson volunteered to take a lead in this concern. Interested people should speak with one of them about participation.
  7. Ministry and Counsel began a discussion on the flow of worship and giving adequate time for waiting worship. They agreed that the call to worship with prayers of joy and concern would begin very shortly after the second hymn followed by the children’s message if there is one.

We expressed our gratitude for the work of Ministry and Counsel.

  1. We further discussed plans for an ongoing prayer group; suggestions were made and Ministry and Counsel will bring proposals to monthly meeting in April.
  2. Friends World Committee for Consultation would like to send a representative to visit our meeting and we welcome a visit.
  3. Wendy Schlotterbeck gave the Youth Minister and Christian Education Committee report. They plan several spring and summer events: Leslie Manning will host a Passover Seder dinner on March 29; Easter breakfast at 8:30 on April 1 with activities for children; Game Night, April 7; a New England Yearly Meeting Living Faith Gathering will occur April 14 in Portland; Children’s Day June 3; Campout in Georgetown June 16-17; plant and yard sale June 21. See detailed information about these event in the Newsletter. They hope to have a one-day Peace School in July (Bible School format).
  4. We approved that a silent auction conducted by the Woman’s Society be held on April 8 and 15.
  5. Leslie Manning reported for the Trustees. They recommend replacing the heavy wooden tables with lighter plastic ones, 4 this year and 4 more next year. The Finance Committee will be consulted concerning this purchase and Trustees will bring a recommendation. They hope to paint the meeting room this summer.
  6. Ingrid Chalufour reported for Peace and Social Concerns Committee. “The Mother’s Dream Quilt” is a project of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. A quilting bee is being planned and they request that it be held at our meeting in June.
  7. We approved the use of our meeting for the quilt project.
  8. The Finance Committee requested that the meeting up-date the signatures for our Norway Savings Bank accounts.
  9. We approved the following persons to be signatories for the checking account and any other accounts that require a signature: Nancy Marstallar, Sarah Sprogell, and Katherine (Kitsie) Hildebrandt. Barbara (Bobbie) Jordan and Phyllis Wetherall are coming off the signatories list.
  10. The meeting has begun to receive requests for scholarships for Friends Camp this summer. Announcements will be made in meeting and the Newsletter that interested youth need to apply and that camp funds are available in our budget for scholarships.
  11. We approved the suggestion that Friends can make donations to the Camp Fund in order to increase the budgeted $500 so that more financial assistance will be made available to campers.
  12. Clerks Meeting: a meeting of committee clerks met March 14. They meet every 6-8 weeks.
  13. An extended discussion ensued regarding outreach. Doug Bennett as a member of the Next Steps on Strengthening Durham Friends Meeting Working Group led the discussion using colored cards recording our views on the meaning of the word, “outreach”, and our ideas for outreach. A worksheet listing ideas was presented and we added more ideas. This topic was sent back to this “ad hoc” committee for further discernment on how to proceed with the positive ideas presented.
  14. After much discussion about the meeting room clock, it was concluded that we would continue another two weeks with the present quiet clock, and then not have any clock in the room for two weeks. The issue will be brought to Ministry and Counsel for further discernment, and then to April monthly meeting.

The business meeting closed with a circle of quiet prayer.

Dorothy Hinshaw, Recording Clerk

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“Follow the Bad Guy?” by Doug Bennett

In a message on an Easter that was also April Fool’s Day, Doug Bennett retold a crime story in which the suspect escaped — and leaves us all with important questions.  Should we follow this ‘bad guy?’  If we do, will we escape, too?  You can read the message on Doug’s blog, River View Friend.  

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NEYM Living Faith Gathering, April 14 in Portland

New England Yearly Meeting (NEYM) will hold a Living Faith Gathering in Portland (ME) on April 14.  This all-day event will be held at Cheverus High School in Portland Maine.  Both Wendy Schlotterbeck and Doug Bennett from Durham Friends will be leading afternoon workshops.

The Living Faith Gathering will focus on how Friends are living—and can more fully live—our faith in the world, helping to bring about the Beloved Community for all. Through worship, workshops, small groups, and more, we will be deepening our capacity to foster the relationships of healing and justice so needed at this time.

Living Faith provides child care of ages infant-4 years, and a youth program for elementary and middle school students. High school-aged teens can choose to attend the youth program or the adult program.

NEYM asks that you register in advance.  This is a “pay-as-led” event.

You can learn more about the event on the web site or contact a member of the planning committee at: livingfaith@neym.org (link sends e-mail).  Here’s the schedule

  • 8:45 Registration Opens
  • 9:30 Opening and welcome
  • 9:50 Programmed worship
  • 10:30 Break
  • 10:45 Morning Programs
  • 11:45 Lunch
  • 1:00 Workshops
  • 3:00 Break
  • 3:15 Closing worship and youth program
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What’s Happening on Easter at Durham Friends Meeting?

March 28, 2018

Do Quakers celebrate Easter?  In the past, not so much. For early Quakers, “the church holidays were seen as pagan festivals with a superficial Christian overlay.”  And today?

These days Easter is largely celebrated by Friends standing up on Sunday to break the silence of worship with nostalgic stories of Easters in their pre-Quaker youth. Sometimes they’ll admit to having attended a Easter service at another church before coming to meeting that morning. If you’re really lucky, you’ll get ministry about flowers or hats.

So says Martin Kelley in The Quaker Daily, a new source keeping us informed about what’s happening among Quakers.  Is that a fair assessment of what will happen at Durham Friends this coming Sunday?  Come find out.  Here’s what’s happening:

8:30:  Easter Breakfast.  All welcome.

10:25  Meeting for Worship.  An Easter choir will sing, we’ll have a children’s program,               and Doug Bennett will bring the message.  (Spoiler alert: not about flowers or hats.)

11:40  Refreshments after Meeting.  Always tasty.

12:30  Memorial Service for Eileen Babcock

 

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“Listening” by Craig Freshley

March 25, 2018

Craig Freshley brought today’s message at Durham Friends Meeting.  It was about “Listening:” why it’s important we listen to one another.  You can listen to Craig’s message here.

And you can learn more about Craig’s Make Shift Coffee Houses here.  You can even support them.

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Community Care Notes

3.21.2018 The Meeting has received the startling and sad news that long-time member, Eileen Babcock passed away yesterday afternoon – Tuesday, March 20 – at Midcoast Hospital in Brunswick.  Please join us in holding her partner, Tom Frye, and her family in prayer.  More information will be sent out as plans unfold.

Tom Frye has requested that visitors not call on him at this time.  He is surrounded by family members who are supporting him.  Cards would be welcome at 17 Linwood Road, Freeport, Maine 04032.  Continued prayers would also be appreciated.

3.18.2018 Please hold Daniel and Donna Ross in the Light.  Donna just posted on the DFM Facebook page:  “Please, hold Daniel in the Light. He is back in the hospital. The ablation didn’t take and he went back into a-fib early this morning. This time the cardio vert caused damage to the muscle and they are considering pacemaker.”

3.17.2018   Please continue to hold Mike Rivera and Karen Marston in the Light.  Mike’s surgery went well; they were able to do all they intended.  Unfortunately, they also determined that Mike needs a heart bypass this time.  It will be happening early this week, again at Maine Medical Center.

All your support has been most welcome, Karen reports and she sends thanks.  Again, Mike will not be allowed visitors.  Karen requests that she not receive phone calls.  Cards, emails, and IMs are fine, just know you may… or may not receive a reply.  Prayers are welcome, too.

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Tedford Meal Teams Looking for New Members

By Angie Reed

As many of you know, members of Woman’s Society, along with our community and Meeting friends, provide a homemade meal for the Tedford Shelter in Brunswick the first Monday of every month. This is an adult homeless shelter which houses up to 25 people each night. We have 6 teams of 5-7 members each that contribute to this meal. This means that each team member contributes to a meal twice a year. This community service was started many years ago by Durham Friend Deena Hammond. Some of our teams could use a few more people. If this is something that you would like to be a part of, please let any of these women know: Dorothy Curtis, Nancy Marstaller, Kitsie Hildebrandt, Margaret Wentworth, or Angie Reed. We will be updating our team lists at our March 19th meeting.

Thank you.

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Peace and Social Concerns – March 25 – Request for Meeting Direction

Sunday, March 25: Join a special Called Meeting to Consider Peace and Social Concerns Committee’s Request for Meeting Direction

By Linda Muller, for P&SC

Peace and Social Concerns Committee is bringing the booklet “The World We Seek” created by Friends Committee on National Legislation for Durham Meeting to consider. The Adult Sunday School will be reading and discussing this pamphlet during its 9:30 Sunday School meetings beginning March 4, 11 and 18, and continuing again in April if they have not finished on the 18th. Monthly Meeting joins P&SC in encouraging friends to attend these meetings to really get to understand the issues brought forth by this pamphlet and to discern in what ways it most strongly speaks to our Friends Meeting.

On Sunday, March 25, after a quick “pot-luck finger food” time of fellowship, we will all gather for a Called Meeting to consider what “stirs the heart of Durham Meeting” – what issue calls to us to WORK ON TOGETHER, as a corporate concern or project.

This will be a time of listening to priorities and ideas, coming forth from the discussion of the FCNL booklet, and as people look into their hearts as to what Peace and Social Justice issue(s) call to them.

P&SC is making the booklet available to all who want one. Speak to Brown Lethem or others on P&SC (Cindy Wood, Linda Muller, Ingrid Chalufour) to get a copy. They will also be available at Sunday School. FCNL has requested feedback on the Meeting discernment.

This is an exciting opportunity for Durham Friends to look at our commitment to the Peace and Social Justice testimonies and where we feel we can step forward as a Meeting. We encourage Friends to join us at the Called Meeting.

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Next Steps on Strengthening Durham Friends Meeting

Second Report of a Working Group – February 2018

[The first report of the ‘Paid Position Working Group’ was presented to Monthly Meeting on January 18, 2018.  This is the Working Group’s second report.]

Doug Bennett, Joyce Gibson, Jo-an Jacobus, Theresa Oleksiw, Sukie Rice, and Martha Hinshaw Sheldon.

At the January Monthly Meeting of Durham Friends Meeting, we brought a report that sketched a number of alternative models for an additional part-time paid position at the Meeting. That was what we had been asked to bring. The Monthly Meeting was unusually well attended, and we are deeply appreciative of the many thoughtful comments and perspectives we heard in the consideration of the report. It seemed to us that those in attendance spoke from depth and listened unusually carefully to one another.

In this report we want to (A) summarize what we heard and (B) tell you how we propose to proceed.

(A) A Summary of What We Heard. Here is a brief summary of what struck us as the most important things we heard. (Of course, we heard a great deal more.)

1. We are a healthy Meeting. We affirmed we are a healthy, strong middle-sized Quaker Meeting. We are still adjusting to not having a pastor.

2. We have some things we need to work on. At the same time, we know there are some things we need to work on doing better, especially pastoral care, outreach, and coordination.

3. An additional paid position? Perhaps it is the way to go, but perhaps it isn’t. The report listed some reasons from having another paid position (confidentiality, reliability and accountability), but in the discussion we also lifted up a reason not to have another paid position: we all need to feel responsible for what the Meeting does, and we should all feel called to contribute.

4. Let’s focus on releasing one another to Ministry. There are lots of gifts in our Meeting. We need to encourage one another. We need to call one another out, call one another into taking initiative where and when someone has a leading. Perhaps this would lead us toward a paid position, but perhaps it wouldn’t. (For those who may not be familiar: A Released Friend is a Friend whose leading to carry out a particular course of action has met with approval from a Meeting which then promises to provide such support as would enable the Friend to follow that leading.)

5. We need to talk together more. This was an important discussion together: a joined discussion in depth. We need to have more of these.

(B) How we propose to proceed. Given the discussion at the January Monthly Meeting, we are reluctant simply to bring forward a single recommendation for a paid position, at least at this point.

We heard affirmation that the Meeting needs to work on all three of these matters: pastoral care, outreach and coordination. These are three important matters. All three need attention, but we do not think we should take the same approach with each. Indeed, we think each needs to be addressed in its own way. So, at this point we propose the following ways to work on each.

(1) Pastoral Care. The pastoral care team has now become part of Ministry and Counsel. Ministry and Counsel has taken responsibility for pastoral care, but has not really had an opportunity to consider how best to make sure we are meeting the needs of Meeting members in this regard.

Approach. We should ask Ministry and Counsel to consider how best to proceed with pastoral care, and to report and make recommendations to Monthly Meeting.

(2) Outreach. At present, Outreach isn’t really any person or committee’s responsibility though there are some good efforts being made, especially by Christian Education and Peace and Social Concerns. We lack a Meeting-wide understanding of what we should be doing about Outreach and who should be doing it.

Approach. This should a topic for discussion at a Monthly Meeting in the near future, perhaps March. Our Working Group would be willing to make preparations for having this discussion.

(3) Coordination. A relatively recent innovation, better known to some than others, is to have a Clerks’ Meeting from time to time: a gathering of the Meeting Clerk with the clerks of the various standing committees. This is one approach to coordination and seems to be doing good things. But is this enough? Does this Clerk’s Meeting connect with all the different parts of the Meeting that need to be coordinated?

Approach. Ask the Clerk’s Meeting to consult broadly about the issue and consider whether there is something more we need to do about coordination or whether our new approach to this is sufficient. 7 of 8

Again, they should report and make recommendations to the Monthly Meeting in the near future.

Perhaps consideration of these three matters, as we’ve sketched them, will lead to a recommendation for a paid position, or perhaps not. Perhaps it will lead to a new standing committee, or perhaps not.

At some point we also believe the Meeting Handbook should be updated and revised, but we believe that should wait until we take these further steps.

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Woman’s Society Report for February 19, 2018

By Angie Reed

Eleven women attended this month’s meeting at Clarabel Marstaller’s new place at McLellan House.

The card ministry was completed, and we enjoyed a program from the Blue Print book.

This month’s program was a reprint of a program from the 1950-51 Blueprint book. The program was written by Milton Hadley who was Clarabel’s father and a past minister of Durham Friends Meeting. He wrote about a woman who spoke about her mental perspective as a Holocaust survivor and how she experienced freedom in her closeness to God during that time. Milton spoke about how we often need to reframe our experiences, and good or bad, it is not so much our experience as our response to them. Clarabel also shared her experiences related to the period just after WWII and how her family was involved in the resettlement of refugees from Europe and Japan.

In business, we filled out the program calendar for the remainder of this year, reviewed and accepted Treasurer and Secretary reports from last month, and decided that we need to update the Tedford team list. Angie will work on the outline and write an article for the newsletter. We will finalize the changes at next month’s meeting.

Prayers were requested for Shawn and Katrina McConaughey, the new program officers for Friends United Meeting Africa Ministries Office in Kisumu, Kenya, and for Dale and Sylvia Graves who are experiencing a difficult time right now. The Tedford meal for February was turkey, gravy, cranberry sauce, frozen veggies, and brownies. We were reminded that Woman’s Society is hosting the women of United Society of Friends Women of New England on June 10 with an after-Meeting potluck. We also decided to have a Silent Auction at our April meeting which will be at the Meetinghouse.

The meeting ended with a poem read by Dorothy Curtis and we enjoyed refreshments provided by Nancy and Clarabel. The next meeting is on March 20 at Gene Boyington’s home with Theresa Oleksiw hostessing.

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“Overcoming Obstacles” by Roland Gibson

Teacher, what is the greatest commandment? Love the Lord your God with all you heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.

And the second is like it: ‘Love our neighbor as yourself.’ Matthew 22:36-39

Have you ever asked yourself, why, our Country, ‘founded on Christian Principles’, has had difficulty honoring that commandment? Why is our Country still struggling with issues of Race, Gender, Inequity and Injustice?

The purpose of human life is to serve and to show compassion and the will to help others. Albert Schweitzer

Schweitzer was a person who made a conscious effort to align his actions with his beliefs. He made a life-long commitment to honor the two greatest commandments. I don’t think he was a Quaker, but he shared Quaker values.

Justice will only be achieved when those who do not suffer injustice feel the same outrage as those who do. Socrates – Socrates was definitely not a Quaker. However, he could have been.

This morning will be about interventions, by individuals who Overcame Obstacles.

Thank you for inviting me to return to Durham Meeting. I have been uplifted by our previous conversations and hope they have added value to your life-journey. We’ve all been inundated with bad news, so today, I thought it would be refreshing to share some good news. For those in this room, for the first time, previous conversations have included asking questions:

Why are things related to race, the way they are today?

What did Quakers do, from the beginning, about issues of inequity and injustice, related to matters of race that was very different from the ‘mainstream’?

Two significant events embracing ‘Outrage’, ‘Love thy neighbor’, and ‘Showing the will to help others’, initiated by white people; that got my attention.

1965 – August. I was just hired to teach, my first job. Looking for an apartment, I came upon a church, drove into parking lot, hoping someone could give me information about a Realtor. I met the minister.

I did not know, that minister, along with other church members, college students and professors, from Oberlin College, were ‘outraged’, made a commitment to ‘help others’, and took a significant risk. They went to Blue Mountain, Mississippi, in December 1964, to rebuild one of the 30 Black Churches that had been burned. They all returned. Some white people, from the North, who went to help Black people in their struggle for Justice and Equity, in the South, returned in a box. That got my attention. 2 of 8

1973 – August. I was hired, as an Elementary Principal, in the Town of Weston, MA. After I was hired, I learned 7-years before, 1966, a handful of individuals, were ‘outraged’, and made a commitment to ‘help others’ by addressing decades of inequity and injustice in BPS. That got my attention.

Quakers understood, before Independence in 1776, there was something very wrong, fundamentally wrong, with a social, political and economic system that was unjust, and oppressive, and supported by The Christian Church.

Quakers understood the lofty concepts of ‘Freedom’, ‘We the people’, and ‘The pursuit of life, liberty and happiness’, were not inclusive, they were a ‘Myth’! Some groups were intentionally excluded from the Social Contract: Native People, People of Color, Women, and those who did not share ‘religious beliefs’ of those in power.

There have always been two versions of The United States of America story:

  • ‘Land of the free and home of the brave’.
  • ‘Land of the free and home of the brave, with significant flaws, from the beginning, which continue to result in profound conflict’.

Today, I will draw your attention to interventions, created by individuals, to address one of the profound flaws – inequity and injustice in education.

There are two take aways. First, Quakers have had a long history of challenging tradition, being outraged, and trying to live enlightened lives, by actively honoring the Greatest Commandments. Second, here are two illustrations of non-Quakers, being outraged, and acting on Quaker values.

  • Jonathan Kozol, and
  • A few citizens of Weston, MA.

“Overcoming Obstacles”  Time Line: 1950’s and beyond, modified by Roland A. Gibson

1954 – Brown v. Board of Education, Supreme Court landmark decision. Implications?

1955 – Roland graduates high school, enlists US Air Force. I took an oath to ‘Defend the Constitution and the United States’. What was I supposed to do about the flaws that impacted me and others? A conversation for another time.

1960 – Roland attends College, in Quincy, had to deal with matters of race; puzzled, because this was a ‘Christian College’. Race matters never addressed in classes.

1963

a. Spring – ‘March on Washington’. Why?

b. Every city in America was in turmoil – why? Boston – Huge Demonstrations by black parents and boycotts by their children. Why? Gross inequity and injustice in BPS; was never addressed in college classes.

1964

a. Operation Exodus – Black and White parents came together to address problems.

b. Jonathon Kozol begins teaching at Gibson Elementary School, Dorchester. He was 28. The next year I was 28, teaching in Town of Harvard. (Read excerpts – ‘Frozen In Time, Remembering The Students Who Changed A Teachers Life’, June 30, 2015, NPR, All Things Considered)

1965

a. Spring – ‘March on Selma’. Why?

b. Summer, Camp Blue Hill, Roxbury Weston – Initiated by a handful of white suburban parents, women who were ‘outraged’! See Weston Historical Society November 2017 Bulletin, pages 8, 14-16.

c. Fall, Roxbury Weston Pre-School. See Weston Historical Society November 2017 Bulletin, pages 11-14.

d. Fall, Roland begins teaching career Harvard, Mass, upper income, suburban town. My students were baffled by turmoil. What was I supposed to tell them?

e. Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity (METCO), created, transportation initially funded by Carnegie Foundation, and later by the Massachusetts Legislature.

1966 – 200 Boston resident students bussed to 6-suburban towns:

Arlington, Braintree, Lexington, Lincoln, Newton and Wellesley.

1967 – Weston Public Schools becomes METCO partner, along with close to 30 other suburban towns.

1968 – National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorder, Kerner Commission Report:

a. Our country is moving toward two societies, one black, one white, separate and unequal.

1973 – Roland appointed Elementary School Principal, Grades 3 – 6, Weston Public Schools; first cohort of Boston resident students in grade 6.

1974 – U. S. District Court Judge W. Arthur Garrity found Boston’s Schools to be Unconstitutionally segregated…initiated forced busing plan.

1984 – Roland becomes 5th Weston METCO Program Coordinator, inherits major challenges.

See Historical Society Bulletin, pg. 27

1993 – District recognized by Mass Board of Education – ‘Exemplary Integrated Education Model’; and The Network, a Private Non-Profit – ‘Outstanding efforts in celebrating diversity’. See Weston Historical Society Fall Bulletin, pg. 29.

2017 – November: Roxbury Weston Preschool and Weston METCO Celebrate                 50 years.

a. Weston Historical Society Forum speakers: 1 – Founder citizen; 1 – Founder                     educator; 2 – Weston METCO Coordinators.

b. Over 100 people in the room, standing room only! Founders, parents and students from Boston and Weston. Some parents and students were in my school and spoke with me about the impact this program had on them and their children.

c. One panelist asked: ‘Why are you here?’ Responses:

  • (1) To say ‘Thank You.’
  • (2) To continue to support the program’
  • (3) I see value and have personal experience with the program.
  • (4) Panelists are great!
  • (5) We still have ‘flaws’ and not dealing with them is not an option!

d. Follow-up meeting, to ‘Brain Storm’ initiated.

This is not about ‘blame’ or ‘guilt’. It’s about making a commitment to honor the ‘Greatest Commandment’; it’s about being ‘Outraged’; it’s about ‘showing compassion and the will to help others’, something very personal, seeking and finding ‘the purpose of human life’.

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Mr. Gibson began his education career as a Social Studies Teacher, grades 7 – 9, at Bromfield School in 1965, during The Civil Rights Movement – the latest struggle by African American citizens, to achieve Civil Rights equal to those of white citizens, following centuries of oppression, inequity and injustice. His 50-plus years of service, in public and private schools include positions as: Department Head; Teacher; Assistant Headmaster, Director of Admissions; Field Elementary School Principal, Grades 3 – 6; Graduate School of Education Professor, UMass Lowell; School Committee member in Littleton, his home town; Educational Consulting, and facilitating workshops in: conflict resolution, parent training, problem solving, board development, staff development, cultural identity, equity and diversity.

Mr. Gibson challenged traditional views of identity, which profoundly impact student achievement. He believes strongly that each educator has a role to play in improving the education process for all students and creating change in society. As a result of his work to improve outcomes for all students and facilitate change Mr. Gibson has received numerous awards.

 

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Friends Journal Editor – March 4 – at Portland Friends Meeting

Learn how Friends Journal is growing the audience for Quakerism, using video to nurture and educate new generations of seekers, and standing up for Quaker values in a changing world.

Presentation by Friends Journal director, Gabriel Ehri

Where: Portland Friends Meeting, 1837 Forest Ave., Portland 04103

When: Sunday, March 4, at 12:00

What: Potluck and Program

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Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, February 18, 2018

Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends convened in worship for the conduct of business on Sunday, February 18, 2018 with 13 people present. Clerk, Sukie Rice, opened the meeting with a reading from the 1985 New England Yearly Meeting Faith and Practice section on meeting for business, “Sense of Community.”

1. The January minutes were approved.

2. Martha Sheldon reported for Ministry and Counsel: A request was made to assist a home-bound member to safely traverse her walkway; a neighbor volunteered to help with this request at no cost. The committee discussed the pastoral care needs of the meeting with the aim of cultivating an environment for people to volunteer or test callings to meet certain pastoral needs.

3. The ad-hoc working group on Strengthening Durham Friends Meeting presented us with a two-page report (attached) which summarized what they heard at the January monthly meeting, and a proposal on how to proceed. They concluded that three areas need attention: pastoral care, outreach, and coordination. Ministry and Counsel is asked to consider how to best proceed with pastoral care and make recommendations to monthly meeting. It was recommended that the Clerks Committee meet on a regular basis to address coordination of meeting activities and committees, and report to monthly meeting. It was suggested that we have a discussion on outreach at the March monthly meeting.

4. It was approved that we include the full report in the Newsletter and approved that significant time be allotted for discussion of outreach at the March monthly meeting for business, with the hope that many people will be present.

5. Kitsie Hildebrandt, treasurer, brought the 2017 Finance Report. In a nutshell, the meeting spent $40,199 for committees, contributions, meeting expenses, meetinghouse and parsonage physical plants, and youth ministry. The income for our Operating Account totaled $54,021. Capital expense (meetinghouse roof, solar panels and heat pump) were mostly funded by grants and fundraising. Reports included source of funding, accounts list, operating expenses, and other accounts (designated, charity and capital). All these reports will be attached to these minutes. We accepted, with gratitude, this report.

6. The Peace and Social Concerns Committee report was given by Brown Lethem. They wish to initiate a period of exploring our meeting’s heart regarding the Quaker Peace Testimony with three suggestions: they recommend that the Friends Committee on National Legislation booklet, The World We Seek be discussed as a meeting; that we connect with the Seeds of Peace Camp; and discern a whole meeting project that we can support with a corporate mission.

7. It was approved that we discuss the booklet, The World We Seek during the Adult Sunday School hour (9:30) for the first three Sundays in March and conduct a special discussion after meeting on March 25. An announcement will be included in the Newsletter and booklets will be distributed.

8. We received a report from Leslie Manning for Trustees that the basement window installation is partially completed, and the heat pump is repaired and covered.

9. Tess Hartford reported for the Christian Education Committee: the game night/pot luck held on February 10th was enjoyed by all who attended (19) and they hope to continue this activity on a regular basis. There will be an Easter Breakfast April 1st and activities for children.

10. Wendy Schlotterbeck, Youth Minister, reported that she presented two youth stories in meeting, filled in twice for child care, taught Godly Play class for teachers who were away, and helped coordinate the Game Night. She holds all children/families/youth in the meeting in prayer. At least three families are interested in pursuing the question, “How can we prepare our children and youth to stand up for justice in developmentally appropriate ways?”

11. A brief discussion ensued concerning the ticking clock in the meeting room. Although the clock is much loved by some, others find the tick-tock noise to be a real distraction from centering down. Further conversation is needed about this, but it was decided, for a trial period, to replace the clock with a silent one during the month of March.

The clerk closed the meeting, expressing gratitude for worship, love and care in our gathered business meeting.

Dorothy Hinshaw, Recording Clerk

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Jay O’Hara — Message on February 25, 2018

February 22, 2018

Jay O’Hara will be giving the message this Sunday, February 25. Jay is known among Friends and beyond for his faithful prophetic work on climate change, which has included blockading a 40,000-ton shipment of coal and helping shut down 5 tar-sands pipelines in 2016. He travels in the ministry among Friends in New England under a minute of Sandwich Monthly Meeting on Cape Cod with a “concern for the spiritual foundation that gives Life to Friends’ actions in these times of crisis.”

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Advices 4, 5 & 6 from New England Yearly Meeting

Quakers are generally wary of creeds or other statements of faith in which members are expected to believe.  Instead, Quakers use Advices and Queries.  Here are the second three Advices from the 2014 (Interim) edition of New England Yearly Meeting Faith and Practice. (The first three Advices are here.)

Advices

4 Make space in your daily life for communion with God and for spiritual nurture through prayer, reading, meditation, and other disciplines which open you to the Spirit.

5 No one human being or group has the full measure of the Light. Seek to understand the experience of those whose theology and practices differ from your own. Take opportunities to enter into prayer and work with the wider community of faith. Find ways to articulate your own faith so that it may be shared with others.

6 Ground your spiritual life in your own experience of the Divine. Speak and act from that experience.

New England Yearly Meeting Faith and Practice (Interim Version, 2014) has this to say in general about Advices and Queries:

The advices and queries … help us to discern what God is asking of us in specific areas of our lives. These general advices and queries challenge us to turn to the Inward Teacher and to nurture faithfulness as a foundation for every thought and action. We seek the particular ways we might be led to serve the one common interest of which Woolman speaks, both as individuals and as meetings, “turning all we possess into the channel of universal love.”

Advices convey the wisdom gained from the inward experiences of Friends trying to live faithfully in the Light. They may reassure us, counsel us, or challenge us.

Queries are tools directing us toward the Source of guidance as we reflect on our current condition, as individuals or as meetings. They elicit responses, but not answers. The value of the queries lies in our thoughtful consideration of them, recognizing both the response that rises out of our current condition and the one that expresses our aspirations. Bringing these two responses together is a continuing challenge as we strive to live faithfully. While we may formulate queries related to particular situations, these general advices and queries can be used again and again as a spiritual tool as we grow and change.

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Intergenerational Family Game Time & Potluck, February 10

Please join us at Durham Friends Meetinghouse

for an Intergenerational Family Game Time & Potluck

4:30 – 6:30 pm, Saturday, February 10.

Bring your friends, kids, food to share &

some inside or outside games if you want.

Sponsored by the Christian Education Committee and open to all!

Contact Wendy Schlotterbeck for more information.

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Durham Monthly Meeting Minutes, January 21, 2018

Durham Monthly Meeting of Friends convened in worship on Sunday, January 21, 2018 with 30 people present. Clerk, Sukie Rice opened the meeting with a reading from the 1985 New England Yearly Meeting Faith and Practice on the meeting for business.

1. Martha Hinshaw Sheldon reported for Ministry and Counsel which met on January 14 with new and returning members present. They agreed to coordinate a meeting prayer circle and will work on how to be mindful of those in need of and requesting prayer. Also, the Pastoral Care Team will now be an integral part of Ministry and Counsel. If F/friends have concerns, questions or pastoral needs, feel free to contact members of Ministry and Counsel: Martha Hinshaw Sheldon, clerk, Sukie Rice, Wendy Schlotterbeck, Joyce Gibson, Doug Bennett, Kristna Evans, and Jim Douglas.

2. Wendy Schlotterbeck reported for the Christian Education Committee and included the Youth Minister’s report. The committee met January 7 and welcomed two new members with enthusiasm and gratitude. They had an energetic discussion of continuing to support families to come together with an inclusionary bent on creating intergenerational activities in the coming year. Most of the discussion centered around meeting the needs of kids and families in the following ways: continuing the richness of Godly Play; family/intergenerational activities; family field trips – with possible connections to people living sustainably including the Maine indigenous communities; a summer week long day program for children and youth, possibly in a “vacation Bible school” format; and developing opportunities for kids and families to participate in activism. Their next family/intergenerational activity will be a potluck and friendly game time on Saturday, February 10 from 4:30 – 6:30. The new members, Amy Kustra and Scott Barksdale, will be a great addition to the work of Christian Education. Their ties to Friends School of Portland will add to the committee’s connection with that community as well. Amy and Scott expressed their appreciation for the Godly Play curriculum and how it has blessed the children.

We expressed our gratitude for the work of the committee and the Youth Minister.

3. Leslie Manning sent a Trustees report, for which we expressed appreciation. The Trustees met and reviewed outstanding work, much of which was put off by weather, and one new project: the freezing of the pipes for the washer at the parsonage. The plumber has offered an estimate, not to exceed $800 to reroute the pipes. It was suggested that the appliances be moved into the house from the room off the 3 of 6

kitchen and place them in the office, tapping into the bathroom pipes. The plumber has not yet responded.

They also affirmed that green burials at the Lunt Cemetery be allowed, since it is at the discretion of the cemetery owner.

The Trustees confirmed that Donna Hutchins has been retained as custodian, since they were going to have a three-month trial to make sure that it worked out for her and for the meeting, and it does.

4. Martha Hinshaw Sheldon has transferred her membership from Wilmington (Ohio) Friends Meeting to Durham Friends Meeting and requests that her recording as a Friends minister also be transferred to Falmouth Quarterly Meeting.

5. The meeting enthusiastically approved this request, and will forward the recommendation to Falmouth Quarterly Meeting.

6. Doug Bennett reported for the Ad Hoc Working Group set up to explore a stipend position for the meeting. An outline of five possible models was read and discussion followed. This first report from the Ad Hoc committee was a basis for discussion among members and attenders of the meeting. The committee intends to bring back a single recommendation for consideration. Attached are their proposals which were sent in advance to meeting members and attenders.

7. The meeting ended with a period of silence.

Dorothy Hinshaw, Recording Clerk

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Spiritual Journeys: 4th Sundays at 9:30

Spiritual Journeys: 4th Sundays at 9:30

The 4th Sunday of every month, we do a special Adult Sunday School.  We invite a member of the meeting to recount their spiritual journey — in whatever way they want.  The series has been interesting and enjoyable.  Here is the line-up for the first four months of 2018

January 28 — Brown Lethem

February 25 — Paul and Cindy Wood

March 25– Wendy Schlotterbeck

April 22 – Gene Boyington

Spiritual Journeys will return in September

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Exploring Wabanaki History: An Interactive Exercise

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Strengthening Durham Friends Meeting – Working Group Report 1/18

Report and Recommendations of a Working Group            January, 2018

Doug Bennett, Joyce Gibson, Jo-an Jacobus, Theresa Oleksiw, Sukie Rice, and Martha Hinshaw Sheldon.

At the October Monthly Meeting for Business, Durham Friends Meeting approved a recommendation from Ministry and Counsel that we continue as a semi-programmed meeting but without a part-time pastor.

The six of us were appointed by the Monthly Meeting at that same Monthly Meeting for Business as an ad hoc committee to develop a job description for a stipend position to address pastoral and other needs. The committee will explore alternative models to help us discern what might work best for us. The entire community is asked to hold in our hearts the concerns that we have heard for pastoral care, confidentiality, spiritual nurture and outreach.”

This first report from the Ad Hoc Committee we intend to be a basis for discussion among members of the Meeting. As requested, we present a few “alternative models” for consideration. After discussion by the Meeting, we intend to bring back a single recommendation to consider for approval.

The full report can be obtained here.

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Advices 1, 2 & 3 from New England Yearly Meeting

Quakers are generally wary of creeds or other statements of faith in which members are expected to believe.  Instead, Quakers use Advices and Queries.  Here are the first three Advices from the 2014 (Interim) edition of New England Yearly Meeting Faith and Practice.

Advices

1 Take heed, dear Friends, to the promptings of love and truth in your hearts. Seek to live in affection as true Friends in your meetings, in your families, in all your dealing with others, and in your relationship with outward society.

2 Seek to lead others to Truth through love. Let us teach by being ourselves teachable. We are all humble learners in the school of Christ.

3 Do not fear periods of doubt and questions; they may lead to openings.

New England Yearly Meeting Faith and Practice (Interim Version, 2014) has this to say in general about Advices and Queries:

The advices and queries … help us to discern what God is asking of us in specific areas of our lives. These general advices and queries challenge us to turn to the Inward Teacher and to nurture faithfulness as a foundation for every thought and action. We seek the particular ways we might be led to serve the one common interest of which Woolman speaks, both as individuals and as meetings, “turning all we possess into the channel of universal love.”

Advices convey the wisdom gained from the inward experiences of Friends trying to live faithfully in the Light. They may reassure us, counsel us, or challenge us.

Queries are tools directing us toward the Source of guidance as we reflect on our current condition, as individuals or as meetings. They elicit responses, but not answers. The value of the queries lies in our thoughtful consideration of them, recognizing both the response that rises out of our current condition and the one that expresses our aspirations. Bringing these two responses together is a continuing challenge as we strive to live faithfully. While we may formulate queries related to particular situations, these general advices and queries can be used again and again as a spiritual tool as we grow and change.

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Racism, Privilege and Quakers

Upcoming Programs at Portland Friends Meeting  1837 Forest Avenue, Portland

An Open-Hearted Inquiry into Racial Identity  Sunday 1/14/18; 12:30-2:00

Facilitators:          Julie de Sherbinin (Portland) and Susan Davies (Vassalboro)

Format:    Interactive workshop for everyone; bring your lunch if you wish

Description:         This workshop offers an entry point into the conversation about racial identity for all Friends, wherever we may be on the journey toward increased awareness, action and racial healing. Julie de Sherbinin and Susan Davies have co-led a number of sessions on inquiry into racial identity in Maine. Both are members of NEYM Permanent Board’s ad hoc Work Group Challenging White Supremacy.

Cracking the Codes: The System of Racial Inequity   Sunday 1/21/18; 12:30-2:00

Facilitators:          Julie de Sherbinin

Format:                Film Clips & Discussion; bring your lunch if you wish

Description:         Shakhti Butler’s film delves into the internal components and external relationships that perpetuate the system of racial inequity. We will watch pre-selected clips and focus discussion on responses to the issues posed therein. “Cracking the Codes” is designed for dialogue and is being used at meetings around New England as a catalyst for conversation.

Voices of Color/Color Of Change   Sunday 2/11/18; 12:30-2:00

Facilitators:          Julie de Sherbinin & Dorothy Grannell

Format:     Discussion of selected text & film clips; bring your lunch if you wish

Description:         Further exposure to the heartbreak of racism and the ways it shows up in Quaker communities.  Getting comfortable with the words “white supremacy.” Readings will come from “Black Quakers”; October 2014 volume of Friends Journal (the articles are available online at Friends Journal and some copies may be available in the library)

White Fragility and Dismantling Racism  Sunday 2/25/18; 12:30-2:00

Facilitators:          Julie de Sherbinin, Melissa Brown & Maggie Nelson (Portland)

Format:     Readings/small group sharing/discussion; bring lunch if you wish

Description:         Moving from learning to action ideas on advocating for racial    justice. What holds us back? Where do we start? How do we discern future action?

Privilege Walk  Sunday 3/11/18; 12:30-2:00

Facilitators:          Sophie Szatkowski & TBA

Format:                 Experiential activity for middle school, high school, and adult ages

Description:         A Privilege Walk is a group exercise enabling participants to investigate how a range of types of privilege manifest in their lives. Possible sources of privilege and identity include social, economic, gender-based, age-based, racial, and cultural.  Participants will be invited to discuss their experiences of the Walk after the exercise.

Worship Sharing  Sunday 3/25/18; 12:30-2:00

Convener:           PFM Facilitators

Format:     Worship sharing

Description:         Join with others to both listen deeply and share as led on two key questions: “Racism, Privilege & Quakers – What have we learned personally and as a meeting? Where or what do we do next personally and as a meeting?”

Child Care will be provided as needed for those planning to attend any of the series of programs offered through Portland Friends Meeting on “Racism, Privilege & Quakers”  To ensure that your child has care, please contact Susan Grannell at grannell8@gmail.com  or call 401-413-5951.  Indicate the dates you will plan to attend, you name and the child’s (children’s) name.

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“What Were We Expecting from Christmas?” by Doug Bennett

Excerpts from a Message given at Durham Friends Meeting, January 7, 2018 by Doug Bennett

This Christmas season I found myself very struck by the passages in Isaiah where the birth of the Messiah is foretold. It was all foretold by this prophet: that’s the suggestion. Says Isaiah,

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.  Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end…” and “with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth.”

And then there’s this: “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them…. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.” (from Isaiah Chapters 9 and 11).

All this sounds like the coming of a king doesn’t it, a mighty ruler who will bring peace and prosperity. My goodness, what a promise. Lie back and enjoy it because here come the good times. Those good times, those peaceful and just times have been promised to us – without our ever lifting a finger.

Is that what you got for Christmas? I didn’t.

I woke up with the same President, the same Congress, and the same war in Afghanistan. I woke up with mass shootings, rampant racism, rising inequality and falling life expectancy in the U.S.

Were we cheated on Christmas day?

Maybe Isaiah was just a fool, or maybe we’re fools because we just don’t know how to understand his prophecy. But there’s a third possibility: Maybe Isaiah is on to something. He sees the possibility and he tries to tell us about it in a prophecy, but it’s so new and so surprising that he really doesn’t quite understand it. So what he says isn’t exactly right. It’s important, and we should hear it, but what he says isn’t the whole of the matter, the last and complete word.

I want to add here that I think this is more or less what happens in our worship together. Someone rises to speak out of the silence. What they say is important and truthful, but it isn’t perfect and whole. It’s a message we all need to hear, and yet it needs something added – more to be added, or greater clarity. One message adds to another.

What happens after Christmas is the real jaw-dropping part of the story. Jesus doesn’t turn out to be what we think of when we think of all-powerful, all-just rulers. He’s a carpenter’s son, an itinerant preacher/story-teller. He hangs out with low-lifes, he enrages authorities, and he ends up crucified.

In this surprising, unexpected example of Jesus, God asks to live a completely different life than what people had previously thought proper: to be humble, not proud, to be generous, to love our neighbors and to forgive.

Isaiah didn’t quite get it right in his prophecy. It won’t just happen by itself. If we are to celebrate the Prince of Peace, we must keep His memory alive and live by His example. If we are to have righteousness and peace and justice, now and forevermore, WE will have to make it so. We will have to live by this new way of living that Jesus taught.

God has no hands but ours. That’s what Isaiah didn’t tell us.

+++++

The entire message is on Doug Bennett’s blog, River View Friend.

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Living Faith Gathering – April 14, 2018

New England Year Meeting will hold its next Living Faith gathering on Saturday, April 14, 2018 in Portland, Maine—and you are invited!

Living Faith is an initiative of New England Yearly Meeting of Friends (NEYM) bringing together Quakers from across our region to nourish our faith, grow our communities, and strengthen our witness.

These semiannual, day-long gatherings include large group worship, fellowship and community-building, workshops led by dynamic Friends, an integrated youth program, and opportunities to connect on shared concerns.

Our April 14th Living Faith Gathering will focus on how Friends are living—and can more fully live—our faith in the world, helping to bring about the Beloved Community for all. Through worship, workshops, small groups and more, we will be deepening our capacity to foster the relationships of healing and justice so needed at this time.

Living Faith provides child care for ages infant through 4 years, and a youth program for K through 6th-grade students. Seventh-graders through high-school students can choose to attend the youth program or participate in the adult program and workshops.

In keeping with our Quaker community’s commitment to remove barriers to participation, this is a Pay-As-Led event.

Registration will open in early March, so save the date—April 14th!

 Workshop Proposals Invited
We are looking for Friends interested in leading  workshops at the event. We hope to offer a wide range of opportunities that explore and enrich how we share and live our faith, including the social, political, economic and communal dimensions of our spiritual lives.

Interested in leading a workshop? Click here to learn more and submit a workshop proposal.

Questions? Contact a member of the planning committee at livingfaith@neym.org. We hope to see you there!  In faith and service,

the April 2018 Living Faith Planning Team – Lisa Graustein (clerk), Jay O’Hara, Sarah Cushman, Elizabeth Hacala, Hannah Zwirner Forsythe, Noah Merrill

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Falmouth Quarterly Meeting – January 27, 2018

Falmouth Quarterly Meeting

Date: Saturday, January 27, 2018 – 10:00am to 12:00pm

Location:

Durham Monthly Meeting Meetinghouse

532 Quaker Meetinghouse Rd

Durham , ME

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