A Message from New England Yearly Meeting
Noah Merrill, New England Yearly Meeting Secretary, sent us a letter written by their staff in the wake of the tumultuous US elections. As an introduction, he writes:
“In recent days, Friends meetings across our region have been opening their doors and organizing public worship opportunities. We’ve been receiving prayers and word from Quakers across the country and around the world–and from across the theological spectrum–calling us to lift up our voices and our witness for who we are as Friends, and for the vision of the Beloved Community to which the Spirit calls us.
“Our yearly meeting staff have written a letter to meetings in New England in the wake of the election. In it, we lift up some brief suggestions and encouragement for how we hope our meetings can be places of sanctuary and witness in these changing times. We’ve heard Friends in other yearly meetings have found it helpful, and that it’s being shared across their networks as well. At a time of change and turmoil, Friends are coming together and reaching out. As always, the Spirit is moving. “
The Fellowship of Quakers in the Arts (FQA) is organizing The Art of Fearlessness Project, an effort to “bring attention to the need for courage, in these times of fear mongering.” It will occur May 14 – 20, 2017, as nationwide art happenings organized by FQA members or others interested in celebrating courage and fearlessness.
Whether it be freedom from a personal fear or national refusal to let terrorists make us hide from life, we could all be a bit braver. Let’s speak to this idea through art. Please consider organizing an Arts event (small or huge) in your location in the name of Fearlessness. All areas relating to Art: Dramas, Music, Art Shows, Performance Art, Discussion groups, Intercultural, Youth, more.
The Fellowship of Quakers in the Arts has as its purpose “to nurture and showcase the literary, visual, musical, and performing arts within the Religious Society of Friends, for purposes of Quaker expression, ministry, witness, and outreach. To these ends, we will offer spiritual, practical, and financial support as way opens.”
FQA sponsors an art gallery and performance art events at the FGC Gathering every year. There is an annual retreat in the Philadelphia area, usually in the fall. (Most members live in the Philadelphia area, although chapters are beginning to appear in other areas.) A quarterly journal, Types and Shadows, is published and distributed to members.
If you have questions about FQA, talk to Bonnie Zimmer (Gainesville MM, email: firstname.lastname@example.org). She has been a member since its inception in the mid-1990’s and is interested in possibly starting a chapter in Florida.
“Affirming the presence of God in all people, Friends gathered for three days of worship, worship with a concern for business, presentations and fellowship. The gathering explored the concerns and crises facing the African American community, including state-sanctioned violence against men, women and children of African descent. A minute was created to express the Fellowship’s testament concerning the state-sanctioned violence against people of African descent. The minute contained four action items: to create a peace force; to establish peace centers; to promote community training of the police; and to advocate for disarmament of both the police and the community.”
There are still openings to attend this summer’s Peacebuilders Camp, a social justice summer camp for middle school youth. Peacebuilders Camp is nonreligious, but has a lot of support from social-justice-oriented faith communities, including SEYM Friends. There are 3 sessions in July. Visit the Peacebuilders Camp website >
QREC Annual Gathering
4/1/16. The Quaker Religious Education Collaborative (QREC), a grass-roots network of Friends interested in sharing resources and collaborating to support Quaker religious education (for children, youth and adults), is hosting their third annual gathering at Quaker Hill in Richmond, IN this summer, June 10-12. See the flyer here> Their new website, www.quakers4re.org, includes resources and conversation circles for religious education.