“Travelling in Palestine and Israel: Listening to the ‘Living Stories'” at Brunswick Meeting, October 15, 2023, Noon

Earlier this year Petra Doan and Liz Kamphausen Doan joined a Friends Council on Education study trip to Palestine and Israel. They shared their experiences with MidCoast meeting earlier this summer, but Brunswick Friends have invited them to share  again in Brunswick for anyone interested.

After meeting (which begins at 10:00 in the Morrell Meeting Room of Curtis Memorial Library in Brunswick) we will provide soup and invite any attenders to bring a small lunch item to share. The presentation is expected to begin at approximately noon. 

Note: this conflicts with Meeting for Worship for Business at Durham Friends Meeting

Upcoming Pendle Hill Programs, Fall 2023 and Spring 2024

Pendle Hill (a Quaker Retreat Center outside Philadelphia) calls our attention to a few opportunities this fall and this spring. Anna Hill, their bEducation Engagement Coordinator writes:

I’m reaching out to connect about a few upcoming Pendle Hill programs—I especially want to highlight two upcoming fall workshops focusing on Faith and Practice, Deepening at the Root with Christopher Sammond (Oct 5-9) and Friends’ Decision-Making and Clerking with Steve Mohlke and ,O (Nov 17-19). 

Deepening at the Root 

Friday, Oct 5, 4:30pm – Sunday, Oct 9, 12pm, 2023 

Through experiential exercises, small group sharing, large group processing, and worship, this on-campus workshop with Christopher Sammond explores opening to the divine Source in worship, vocal ministry, and leadings for action. We will create a community of deep trust and openness, opening us into deeper communion with each other and the Divine Source. 

Friends’ Decision-Making and Clerking: Participating in Meetings for Business with Joy and Confidence 

Friday, Nov 17, 4:30pm – Sunday, Nov 19, 12pm, 2023 

This is on-campus workshop with Steve Mohlke and ,O is an opportunity for both new and experienced clerks of Friends’ meetings and committees to meet and think together about the role of presiding clerk in the spiritual practice of meeting for business. This workshop will address racism in the context of Friends’ decision-making; we will be lifting up processes that seek to liberate the Spirit among all participants.

The Seed: Conversations for Radical Hope (Podcast)

Join Quakers, seekers, and host Dwight Dunston for Season 3 of Pendle Hill’s podcast as we explore the 

practices that enrich our connections to ourselves and to each other: How do we cultivate relationships in spiritual community? How do these relationships and practices support our work for liberation and justice and transform our sense of what is possible? Join the conversation on Apple PodcastsSpotify, or wherever you get your podcasts! 

The 2024 Spring Term. I also want to let you know that we will be hosting two information sessions for the 2024 Spring Term, our 10-week residential study program March 1-May 10, 2024, in October and November. At the link above, you can find FAQs, faculty information, and more.

Applications are now open for the 2024 season of this 10-week residential study program on Pendle Hill’s beautiful 24-acre campus.

Do you find yourself seeking space and community in which to share the daily rhythm of learning, work, and worship? Pendle Hill’s Spring Term offers a greenhouse – a protected space for Friends and other seekers to bring leadings, ideas, questions, and other seeds of the “already but not yet” – to nurture these visions into being, through the daily rhythm of study, work, and worship in community. Learn more about this program and all it has to offer, and reach out ot admissions@pendlehill.org with any questions.

Spring Term Info Session (October) Oct 11, 2023, 7:30pm-8:30pm ET via Zoom 

Spring Term Info Session (November)  Nov 11, 2023, 2pm-3pm ET via Zoom 

Falmouth Quarter to Meet, October 28, 2023, 9:30 to 2:00 pm, Windham Friends Meeting

All are invited to the October gathering of Falmouth Quarter on October 28th at Windham Friends Meeting.

Love Boldly, Share Deeply

Falmouth Quarter will meet on October 28th from 9:30 – 2 at Windham Friends Meeting

We invite you to come and share about the life and spirit in your meetings.  Our hope is that our entire time together is a time of worship, with laughter, business, connections and handcrafts.  

Windham meeting is preparing for their annual craft fair and would welcome donations of homemade items, knitting, or crafts for the fair.   Those who knit or crochet are encouraged to bring your materials and work on projects while we meet.  Windham is not welcoming White Elephant items this year. 

Our schedule is: 

9:30  – Gather in worship – Singing,  connection, perhaps some Juice and coffee and snacks and sharing

10:00 – Meeting for business to approve the budget, approve donations for the year, to confirm the dates for 2023-2024 Quarterly meeting, consider what program we might like to bring to the Quarter in January and to share news from each meeting.  If you have additional items for the business agenda, please forward them to Fritz Weiss @ rossvall.weiss@gmail.com.

11:30 break, potluck lunch.  There is a stove and microwave to heat up items and an electric tea kettle to heat water.

12:30 Sharing experiences from the 2023 annual sessions of New England Yearly Meeting – especially the two plenaries.

— a plenary with Joseph Bruchac (an Abenaki storyteller) & Jesse Bruchac (an Abenaki language teacher), and 

— the Bible half-hours with Emma Condori Mamani, a Bolivian Friend who spoke recently at Durham Friends Meeting. 

–       A plenary with Anna Fritz (cello) (examples of her ministry are available at: https://annafritz.com/

2:00 Wrap up, close worship.  

Questions, ideas, comments or concerns can be forwarded to the co-coordinators of Falmouth Quarter:

Fritz Weiss (rossvall.weiss@gmail.com) and Wendy Schlotterbeck (wendy.schlotterbeck@gmail.com)

The Quaker Indigenous Boarding Schools: Facing Our History and Ourselves, September 10, 2023, 12:30 to 2:30 pm

The Quaker Indigenous Boarding Schools: Facing Our History and Ourselves; A presentation by Paula Palmer, Gail Melix, and Andrew Grant on Sunday September 10 from 12:30 to 2:30. 

Join us in the Durham Friends Meetinghouse. We will gather as a community to participate in this event by Zoom. Bring a picnic lunch.

Peace & Social Concerns

Donations to the Food Security Project for Bolivian Families

At its July 16, 2023 business meeting, Durham Monthly Meeting approved a donation of $500 from our Charity Fund to the Food Security Project for Bolivian Families. This can be supplemented by additional personal donations.

Friend Emma Condori Mamani, the Director of the Friends International Bilingual Center of Bolivia, brought the message to Durham on July 16th, and attended our Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business. She shared details about the FIBC’s  emergency food project for Indigenous communities in the Bolivian Highlands.

If other Friends are led to contribute, earmarked donations made payable and mailed to Durham Friends, received by August 1, will be included in one check.  An overview about the project plus contact information are found in the flyer.

We are grateful to Emma for her ministry and to New England Yearly Meeting for making it possible for Emma to travel among Friends and meetings in New England, as she is the Bible Half Hour presenter at our annual sessions in August.

Time of Remembrance for Kitsie Hildebrandt, July 30, 1 to 4pm, Orr’s Island

From Kitsie’s family, posted on her Caring Bridge site:

Hello Family and Friends, 

We will be hosting a time to gather and remember Kitsie on Sunday, July 30th from 1pm to 4pm at the Orr’s Island Schoolhouse. 

You all are invited to stop by anytime between 1pm and 4pm on July 30th to share memories of Kitsie and celebrate her life. This will not be a formal service, so please, come as you are at a time that works for you. 

We will have lots of pictures of Kitsie through the years, some of her artwork, and lemonade to share. 

Thank you all for your love and support, we feel it and it helps, 

Sarah, Bill, Willis, Lori, and Matt

Orr’s Island Schoolhouse info: 1594 Harpswell Islands Rd., Orr’s Island, ME 

Notes: When parking, please be sure not to block the Fire Station, which is right next door. Car pooling is encouraged because parking is limited.

Ancient York Lodge Contributes $1000 for Dorothy Curtis Travel to USFWI Triennial in Kenya

Wayne Ackley joined Daniel Henton in making an announcement at the end of Meeting for Worship on June 18. The Ancient York Lodge of Masons # 155 (Lisbon Falls) gave Dorothy Curtis a check for $1000 to support her travel to the United Society of Friends Women Triennial Gathering July 2-8 in Nakuru, Kenya.

Wayne had made the motion to the Masonic Lodge, and it was approved unanimously. Dan is the Lodge Master; Wayne is the Lodge Deacon. (And it was Wayne’s first visit to Durham Friends Meeting.)

Meeting members (most especially Dorothy) voiced their gratitude to the Masonic Lodge for their generosity. Dorothy leaves for Kenya on June 27.

Meeting for Listening: The Spiritual Life in Our Local Meetings, June 24, 9am to 3pm

On June 24th, “Meeting for Listening: The Spiritual Life in Our Local Meetings” is an opportunity for Friends across New England to reflect together on the spiritual life in our local meetings:  to dream together; to identify the resources meetings have to offer each other; to unpack themes in State of Society reports, as well as trends from statistical reports; and to explore what’s possible now.

From 9am to 3pm, Friends can gather together in-person or Zoom in. You can register for the event here online. There will be a local cluster participating at Midcoast Meeting House in Damariscotta, ME.  This is a smaller group of Friends connected to the other participants via a shared Zoom connection.  If you are interested in participating from this site, please contact clerkmfm@gmail.com.  If you plan to attend on-site in Concord, please register by June 20th, if possible.

Meeting for Listening: The Spiritual Life in Our Local Meetings

Saturday, June 24, 2023, 9am to 3pm, Concord Friends Meeting (NH) and also via Zoom from Midcoast Meeting.

​Join us for a day of worship, prayer, celebration, and discovery. Come together to explore the gifts and paths that our meeting’s challenges have offered us the past year. Let’s see where Spirit is alive in our communities. 

​We will reflect on the life in our local meetings to see where we can inform the Yearly Meeting on how to best support local meetings through programmatic priorities.

​Together we will:

  • ​Dream together
  • ​Identify the resources meetings have to offer each other
  • ​Unpack themes in State of Society reports as well as trends from statistical reports
  • ​Explore what’s possible now

​A guiding quote for the day will be the following:

​“Friends are most in the Spirit when they stand at the crossing point of the inward and outward life.  And that is the intersection at which we find community. a place where the connections felt in the heart make themselves known in bonds between people, and where the tugging and pullings of those bonds keep opening our hearts.” (Parker Palmer, A Place Called Community, Pendle Hill Pamphlet #212, 1977)

​This meeting will be planned and hosted by the clerk of Ministry and Counsel, the clerk of the Meeting Accompaniment Group, and by the Program Director.

​Participants can participate in this event on-site at Concord (NH) Meeting, via Zoom, or gathered with a local cluster connected via Zoom.

​There will be a local cluster participating from Midcoast Meeting in Damariscotta, ME. If you are interested in participating from this site, please contact clerkmfm@gmail.com

​ If you plan to attend on-site in Concord, please register by June 20th, if possible. This will help us comfortably accommodate everyone.

​We are looking for volunteers who are willing to serve as event greeters and tech assistants. If you are interested in volunteering, email Nia (nia@neym.org).

​Questions? Suggestions? To contact the gathering hosts, email Carl Williams (mc-clerk@neym.org)

Covid Precautions for this event

​All in-person participants over the age of 4 years must be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 (with boosters strongly encouraged for all eligible). Friends are encouraged to test at home before the event.  Stay home if you are experiencing Covid symptoms. Participants who have recently tested positive must follow the CDC guidelines for isolation and exposure. Masks are optional and the choice to mask will always be respected. There will be indoor and outdoor dining spaces.

Eden Grace Has Passed Away

[Updated 23.6.13, and again 23.7.19]

Any who wish to attend Eden Grace’s Memorial Service at 1 PM on Saturday, July 22 over Zoom are invited to gather together at the meetinghouse.  The link is 


Meeting ID: 820 7515 1413; Passcode: 301733

Eden Grace, a resident of Maine, a member of Beacon Hill Friends Meeting, a longtime key staff member at Friends United Meeting passed away at the end of May at a hospice center in Scarborough.

A memorial service for Eden will be held on Saturday, July 22 at 1pm, under the care of Beacon Hill Friends Meeting in Boston.  There will be Zoom access; details will be posted here when available.

“God freely gave us the life of Eden Grace. Freely,” her husband Jim posted a few days after she passed. “This realization overwhelmed and enveloped me last night in a period of wakefulness. God had no obligation to give us this life. Like all of God’s gifts it was freely and abundantly given.”

Eden gave a message at Durham Friends on September 6, 2020 titled Telling the Truth About Whiteness. A collection of her essays can be found here.

From 2013 to 2020 she was Director of Global Ministries at FUM. Prior to that, she served FUM in Kenya.

Georgetown Family Campout, June 10-11, 2023

Durham Friends Meeting and Falmouth Quarterly Meeting invite one and all to a family campout June 10&11, 2023. We will gather on the weekend of June 11-12 at Betsy Meunch’s beach house in Georgetown.

All are invited to come to as much of the weekend as you are able.  There is level space for camping looking out on the water, a private beach.  We will feast, have a campfire, and play; and we will have our spring meeting for sharing the states of our meetings, and the ministry that is rising among us.  Sunday we will worship as a whole community outdoors.

Questions? Rossvall.weiss@gmail.com ; Wendy Schlotterbeck@gmail.com

Discussion with Former Penobscot Nation Chief Barry Dana, May 22, 6pm at Curtis Library

Recommended by Peace and Social Concerns Committee:

Arts Are Elementary Presents:

A Discussion with Former Penobscot Nation Chief Barry Dana

Mon. 5/22 at 6:00pm

Curtis Library, Morrell Meeting Room

Arts Are Elementary is pleased to bring Former Chief of the Penobscot Nation, culture preservationist, long time educator, artist, and professional basketmaker Barry Dana to Brunswick. He will lead an open discussion about Wabanaki history and culture.

George Lakey Events in Maine

“George Russell Lakey (born November 2, 1937) is an activist, sociologist, and writer who added academic underpinning to the concept of nonviolent revolution.[1] He also refined the practice of experiential training for activists which he calls “Direct Education”.[2] A Quaker, he has co-founded and led numerous organizations and campaigns for justice and peace.” That is from George Lakey’s wikipedia page

George will be making a number of appearances in Maine over the next few weeks, including a session at the All-Maine Quaker Gathering on May 6 in South China. Here is the full itinerary:

  • April 21: Maine Calling with Jennifer Rooks
    Friday April 21, 11 AM-Noon, Maine Public Radio
    Streaming thereafter on mainepublic.org

  • May 3: College of the Atlantic Workshop:
    “Effective Action for Social Change: A Workshop with George Lakey and Sue Inches”
    Wednesday May 3, 2:15-4:00 PM

    Gates Auditorium
    Open to the public
  • May 3: Jesup Memorial Library, Bar Harbor
    “Finding Hope in the Face of Polarization and Climate Change”
    6:30 PM
    Open to the public
  • May 4: Wilson Center, Orono
    Thursday Dinner and Dialogue Series
    6:00-8:00 PM

    For more info:  Click
    Open to All
  • May 6: All Maine Quaker Gathering
    “Quaker Stories, Past, Present and Future”

    South China Community Church, 9:00-4:00 
    246 Village St, South China
    Open to Quakers and the “Quaker curious”
    Registration: durham@neym.org

  • May 7: Curtis Memorial Library, Brunswick
    Finding Hope in the Face of Polarization and Climate Change
  • An Intergenerational  Conversation
    4:30-6 PM
    Open to the public

All Maine Gathering, May 6, 2023


The All Maine Gathering (our first since the pandemic) will be held on Saturday, May 6 from 9-4 at the South China Community Church (formerly the South China Meetinghouse, home meeting of Rufus Jones).  Our presenter will be Quaker activist and teacher, George Lakey, whose most recent book is Dancing With History.

Our theme is “Our Quaker Stories”.

All ages are welcome, but we ask that those under 16  pre-register by contacting durham@neym.org.

The church is located at 246 Village St., South China (parallel to Route 202) about an hour and a half from Portland.

Since we in Falmouth Quarter are hosting this event, we ask that you bring something to contribute to our pot luck lunch. For more information, you can contact us at the same durahm@nedym.org with questions.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Further information:

Falmouth Quarter hosts All Maine Gathering

Friday -Saturday, May 5 – 6, 2023 in person.

South China Community Church
246 Village St
South China, ME 04358

The theme is “Our Quaker Stories, past present and future.”

The All-Maine gathering is an opportunity to celebrate our communities as Quakers in Maine, to build relationships and to share and support our ministries. There are some very exciting possibilities. We will have a rich and wonderful time together. We welcome all ages, Quakers and Quaker-curious! Pre-register or just show up! We especially encourage those under 16 to pre-register so we can plan engaging activities for all by contacting durham@neym.org.

Our presenter will be Quaker activist and teacher, George Lakey, whose most recent book is “Dancing with History: A Life for Peace and Justice,” It is a memoir of a Quaker activist and master storyteller on his involvement in struggles for peace, civil rights, LGBTQ rights, labor justice, and the environment. His life will be the subject of a new documentary film.

The schedule for Saturday is:

  • 9:00 Arrival
    • Visiting – welcoming, coffee/tea and snacks will be available
    • Singing in the meeting room
  • 10:00 worship 
  • 10:30 Morning Program – including George Lakey facilitating a whole community conversation, small group focused conversation with themes of Standing on the threshold: finding clarity to say yes or no, and what sustains and nourishes our continuing faithfulness.
  • 11:30 Break and lunch prep
  • 11:45 lunch and visiting 
  • 1:00 Afternoon program An open invitation to share stories of witness, of discernment, of joy and of struggle.  Friends Committee on Maine Public Policy will bring a concern and we expect to hear of Maine Quakers engagement with climate, racial justice and asylum seekers.
  • 3:00 break
  • 3:20 – 4:00 closing worship

! Friday Evening: !

On Friday some Friends will gather at the Belfast Coop parking lot at 123 High St. Belfast at 5:00 PM and share a picnic dinner and will then join the Belfast First Friday Community Dance and Contra Dance.

Here are the details about contra dancing Friday eve:

Belfast Flying Shoes presents the First Friday Community Dance and Contra Dance Series. The evening kicks off at 6:00 with a warm-up session for the All Comers Band, led by Willy Clemetson & Benjamin Foss and open to all musicians, instruments, and skill levels. Tune list available on the website. At 6:30, Chrissy Fowler & Lisa Newcomb call a community dance featuring music by the All Comers Band. The contra dance featuring a guest caller & musicians starts at 8:00 pm. Shoes will fly in the Fellowship Hall of the First Church in Belfast, UCC, 8 Court St, Belfast ME. Community Dance admission is $1 kids & $2 adults; Contra Dance admission is $15 suggested. Masks available for those who wish to wear them. For the BFS community care policy, First Friday FAQ, and more info:www.belfastflyingshoes.org or  belfastflyingshoes@gmail.com.

For Friday overnight accommodations in Vassalboro Meetinghouse with teens or in private homes, contact: Holly Weidner <weidnerholly@gmail.com>

Cuba Delegation Presentation, April 16, Portland Friends Meeting

At Portland Friends Meeting House this Sunday, April 16th, at the rise of meeting, the Cuba delegation — Hannah Colbert, Kim Bolshaw, Fritz Weiss and I — will be sharing photos, answering questions, and telling stories about our trip.  Please plan to stay and enjoy lunch with us.

If you feel led to bring a dish, here are some of the common ones we enjoyed: black beans and rice, cole slaw (without mayonnaise – and sometimes with grated beets or carrots), salad of sliced tomatoes and cucumbers, plantains – fried and mashed, potato salad with hard boiled eggs, and tropical fruits such as pineapple, bananas and papaya.

 It’s not necessary to bring a dish, and of course, anything you might want to bring is welcome!

From Susan Calhoun of Portland Friends Meeting

Kuhkomossonuk Akonutomuwinokot: Stories Our Grandmothers Told Us, Reviewed by David Etheridge — in Friends Journal

Peace and Social Concerns Committee calls our attention to an exciting new book. Here’s a review from Friends Journal:

March 1, 2023

Edited by Wayne A. Newell, associate editor Robert M. Leavitt. Resolute Bear Press, 2021. 208 pages. $34.95/hardcover; $24.95/paperback; $2.99/eBook.

Buy from QuakerBooks

This collection of stories from the Passamaquoddy Indigenous community of Maine, Kuhkomossonuk Akonutomuwinokot: Stories Our Grandmothers Told Us, is a 45-year labor of love by Passamaquoddy editor Wayne Newell, who died in late 2021, several months after its publication (editor’s note: see his milestone here). He was born and grew up on Passamaquoddy lands. He founded a bilingual education program in the 1970s, served on the tribal council, and was president of the tribe’s Northeast Blueberry Company. His life intersected with Quakers when he was ten years old at a Quaker workcamp. In the 1970s, he directed American Friends Service Committee’s Wabanaki Program. In the 1980s and 1990s, he participated in “the Gatherings” with Quakers, Natives, and others to reimagine Indigenous–settler relations.

The collection is charming and engaging while also being scholarly. All stories appear in both Passamaquoddy and English with a pronunciation guide for the Passamaquoddy. There is a web address for an online Passamaquoddy Maliseet dictionary, maintained by the associate editor, that includes video recordings of native speakers using some of the words from the dictionary. The stories are also accompanied by illustrations in a variety of styles. Some of the stories were initially recorded on wax cylinders in the late-nineteenth century.

The first story, which was written in 1979, talks about daily life in the 1920s through the experience of Mary Ann, a girl roughly the age of the editor’s parents. It covers events like births and deaths, doing laundry, going to school, celebrating Halloween, and listening to stories told by her elders. This account helps readers understand how storytelling was a part of daily life. It is accompanied by a photograph of school children Mary Ann’s age with annotations identifying those children as people who grew up to help write this book.

The next group of stories are mostly about animals: ants, flies, crickets, and mice. To help readers appreciate the storytelling experience, the first story includes photographs of the storyteller gesturing with her hands and head to illustrate the story as she tells it. The photographs and drawing for that story are by the associate editor of the book, a linguist who also has been working for about a half-century on learning both these stories and the Passamaquoddy language.

The volume then turns to a series of stories about struggles between the devil and ordinary people. These are mostly trickster stories where the devil and ordinary people are trying to outsmart one another. One is a Job-like story where an angel and the devil try to win over a person to their side. In another, the devil asks an ordinary human to help split up a devoted couple. The human uses gossip to accomplish the task. The devil gives the person a bag of gold saying, “You’re more of a devil than I am.”

Another set of stories feature motewolon, which are people with extraordinary powers that are used for both good and bad purposes. They are also responsible for ghosts that sometimes cause trouble, often inspire fear, and at other times are simply mysterious.

The final collection is titled “Passamaquoddy Stories.” The protagonist for most of them is a superhero called Koluskap. In one tale, Koluskap tracks down a huge owl that is making the world too windy by flapping its wings. Koluskap puts the owl in a crevice, so it cannot flap its wings. Then the air becomes too calm. Koluskap extracts the owl in a way that permits it to flap only one wing. The result is the intermittent windiness of modern times. Humans are fearful of the power of Koluskap, but usually those powers are used to benefit them.

Koluskap is also the protagonist in Aladdin-style stories of fulfilling human wishes that lead to unexpected results. For example, a man who wishes to be loved by women is accosted by young women who literally smother him with their attention resulting in his death. The story ends with this statement: “What happened to the maidens is not known.”

The book gives readers insights into several aspects of Passamaquoddy culture as well as an appreciation for the imaginative creativity of that culture.

David Etheridge is a member of Friends Meeting of Washington (D.C.), clerk of the Baltimore Yearly Meeting Working Group on Racism, and previously worked for over 20 years as an attorney in the Indian Affairs Division of the Solicitor’s Office of the U.S. Department of the Interior.

FCNL Seeks Input on Its Reproductive Health Care Stance; Durham Friends to Hold Discernment Session on March 19

Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) is asking for input from Friends and Friends Meetings regarding the stance it should take regarding Reproductive Health Care. We are being asked to discern if we recommend that reproductive health should be included in FCNL’s legislative priorities. 

On Sunday, March 19, Durham Friends will hold a one hour discernment session at the rise of Meeting for Worship for the Conduct of Business. If it is necessary to schedule another session, we will do so in April, as our recommendation is not due until May 1.

As requested, let us hold this matter tenderly.  There is a virtual opportunity for learning on March 22 at 6:30 PM Supporting Friends Discernment on Reproductive Health. All are welcome.

What follows is the request from FCNL and some guidelines for participation

We greatly value your engagement with this complex issue, and we encourage you to hold compassion for each other during these conversations. Continue to seek Divine Guidance and Spirit’s revelation as you weigh deeply the way forward for FCNL—one that respects the different religious and moral perspectives we all carry.

Your responses are requested by May 1, 2023. Your group can submit them electronically (preferred) at fcnl.org/policycommittee or by emailing policycommittee@fcnl.org. Postal submissions can be sent to 245 2nd St, NE, Washington, DC 20002.

Please note that during its discernment, the Policy Committee will give greater weight to group responses over individual responses.

What follows are guidelines for participating in this conversation, resources to support your discernment, and answers to frequently asked questions. You can also join us on March 22 at 6:30 p.m. EST for a virtual event to aid your discernment. Click here to register.

Thank you again for your faithful and spirit-led discernment.

Ebby LuvagaIn peace,Ebby LuvagaClerk, FCNL Policy Committee

Guidelines for Participating in the Reproductive Health Care Discernment

Whether you are gathering in person, online, or in a hybrid format, we hope that your discernment will be spiritually grounded and a result of group conversations. These discussions may take many forms, including discernment by a committee, an informal group, or a First Day discussion topic. Some meetings or churches may adopt a minute expressing the sense of their group, although this is not a requirement.

Resources for Guiding your Discussion

You may want to prepare for discernment by reading the pamphlet, A Guide to Dialogue About Abortion. Tools such as this can help your conversation honor the complexity and urgency surrounding this topic.

Tips shared include honoring stories from lived experience, taking short breaks for moments of reflection, and building cultures of trust and understanding. Also refer to FCNL’s Policy Statement, The World We Seek (Section III.2.6), which outlines FCNL’s current statement on abortion issues.

To allow for the inclusion of a diversity of voices, we hope you will include people of different ages, backgrounds, and lived experiences in your discernment. Please identify at least one person who will submit your group’s responses.

Guidelines for Group Discernment

After an opening period of waiting worship, the gathering might begin with a brief description of the discernment process and the purpose of gathering. Participants may share their concerns about reproductive health care based on the queries provided to support their discernment process.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to Submit your Group’s Responses

Please respond by May 1, 2023. Your group can submit electronically (preferred) at fcnl.org/policycommittee or by emailing policycommittee@fcnl.org. Postal submissions can be sent to Amelia Kegan, 245 2nd St, NE, Washington, DC 20002.

What information should you record?

Please include the following information as part of your submission:

  • Who is responding? (Group (preferred) or individual. Note your Yearly Meeting.)
  • Who participated? (The number in the group and approximate ages.)
  • What kind of gathering? (Committee meeting, informal gathering, meeting for business, etc.)
  • Who is the group’s contact person?
  • Responses to the queries.
  • Any additional comments on the process your group would like to share?

What happens to the responses after FCNL receives the submissions?

The FCNL Policy Committee, a working group of the General Committee, will read all the responses and meet to consider what meetings, churches, groups, and individuals are telling FCNL regarding reproductive health care. They will share their summary with FCNL staff and the FCNL Executive Committee, then hold listening sessions with the General Committee in the summer of 2023.

The Policy Committee will bring its recommendation to the FCNL General Committee during its Annual Meeting in November 2023.

Throughout the process, the discernment by Friends across the country remains at the center of the committee’s consideration.

Where can I find more information?

You can find the contents of the previous mailing here. If you have additional questions, contact Policy Committee members Ebby Luvaga (luvaga@iastate.edu) and Genie Stowers (gstowers835@gmail.com).

Two Presentations on Wabanaki Matters, March 8 (6:30 pm) and March 17 (noon)

Peace and Social Concerns calls our attention to two presentations about Wabanaki related matters. Both will be via ZOOM, and both require prior registration.

March 8: Why Tribal Sovereignty? 6:30-8:00 pm, Via ZOOM;

UPDATE: link to introductions here; link to presentation here

A discussion with Maulian Dana, Penobscot Nation Ambassador & President of the Wabanaki Alliance.

Maine, alone among all other states in the U.S., does not recognize the sovereignty of the federally recognized tribes in our state—sovereignty honored in the U.S. Constitution and inherent in the Wabanaki people who have lived on and stewarded this land we now call Maine for thousands of years. Bills submitted to the 131st legislature seek to restore Wabanaki tribal sovereignty in a step towards repairing the broken tribal/state relations. Join us in learning why acknowledging and restoring Wabanaki sovereignty will benefit all people who live in Maine.

This event is a collaboration of Midcoast Indigenous Awareness Group, Unitarian Universalist Church of Brunswick Maine, and Curtis Memorial Library

Date: Wednesday, March 8, 2023; Time: 6:30pm – 8:00pm

This is an online event. Registration is required. Event URL will be sent via registration email.

March 17: Federal Indian Policy: Impacts on the Wabanaki Nations in Maine…And Beyond, Noon to 1 pm, via ZOOM; registration required

A recent report from Harvard University found that “the subjugation of the Wabanaki Nation’s self-governing capacities is blocking economic development to the detriment of both tribal and nontribal citizens, alike. For the tribal citizens of Maine held down by MICSA’s restrictions, loosening or removing those restrictions offers them little in the way of downside risks and much in the way of upside payoffs.” Professor Joe Kalt, co-director of the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, will discuss results of the Project’s recent study of the impacts of the unique provisions of the Maine Indian Claims Settlement Act on the Wabanaki Nations.

Sponsored by Maine Conservation Voters. Registration is required.

Bread Day Gathering, Portland Friends Meeting, March 4, 2023

Portland Friends Meeting will host a Bread Day gathering for local Friends on March 4th. Arrive between 10:30am and 11am and we’ll end between 4:30pm and 5pm.

We will nourish our bellies and our spirits by worshipping and baking together and building relationships across generations. All ages are welcome, especially youth and families.

This year, Portland’s Bread Day will just be in person, with no hybrid or online component.

Watch this sweet little video about what Bread Day was like last year across the whole Yearly Meeting. Read more about Bread Day here.

RSVP here

Craig Freshley to Offer Workshop at FWCC Section of the Americas Gathering, March 25, 2023

Durham Friends Meeting member Craig Freshley will offer a workshop at the upcoming meeting of Friends World Committee for Consultation/ Section of the Americas to be held March 23-26, 2023. Flyer here.

The Workshops at the gathering will be held on Saturday, March 25, from 1:30 to 5:00 pm. Here is how Craig’s workshop is described:

Craig Freshley

Together We Decide: Practical Tools for What the World Needs

Of course there are moral reasons for collaboration and inclusive decision making, yet in this dynamic and interactive workshop Craig will explain the practical benefits for helping all voices be heard. And he’s going to teach us how to do it. By telling stories and explaining techniques, Craig will equip you and inspire you to help your own group make decisions together so tensions resolve and way opens for peace and prosperity. Handouts and other resources provided.


The event will be held in North Carolina (in person registration here) and you can also attend via Zoom (online registration here). The gathering is offered on a pay-as-led basis.

NEYM Living Faith Gathering, April 1 in Portland

We are excited to announce a next chapter in the ongoing experiment of daylong opportunities for spiritual nurture and intergenerational relationship, what we have called “Living Faith.” On April 1, 2023, after a four-year absence, we are looking forward to greeting Friends again in Portland, Maine. More details and registration info is coming soon. In the meantime, please mark your calendars!

A refresher on Living Faith: the Living Faith gathering is an opportunity for Friends new and old (and the Quaker-curious) to get to know one another, hold multigenerational worship together, participate in interactive workshops, eat tasty food, share the different ways we experience and live our faith, and build community. Age-appropriate youth programming and childcare will be available, in addition to some parts of Living Faith programming being intergenerational, like worship. More about a teen-specific offering below.

Workshops sought for Living Faith

We are now seeking workshop proposals for the April 1st Living Faith gathering in Portland, ME. Our 90-minute workshops provide an opportunity for adult and teen Friends to explore their Quaker faith, connect around an area of interest, and make meaningful connections through activities, conversations, or worship. Do you have a workshop idea? Experienced and emerging facilitators alike are invited to submit a workshop proposal by February 5th. Details here.

Living Faith teen retreat

New this year is a weekend retreat for teens built around participating in Living Faith together. Youth age 13-18 are invited to arrive on Friday evening, sleep over on site on Friday and Saturday nights, and participate alongside adults and families at Living Faith on Saturday. There will be time on Friday and Saturday nights for teens to connect with one another, share what the experience was like for them, and have fun with their peers, with support from a few adult staffers. Contact Maggie Fiori (Teen Ministries Coordinator) for more info.