Archive for category News

Letter from Pittsburgh Friends Meeting

Posted 11/13/18

Dear Friends,

We are so grateful for your words of support as well as your prayers for our community and our nation.  It makes a significant difference in these moments to be reminded of the connections we have with each other.

Recognizing the unique role of guns in this violence, we approved the attached minute at our November Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business.

Like you, we want this and all similar events to translate into Spirit-led action.  Right now there are immediate needs – if you’re led to make financial contributions, THIS link supports families of the victims. The roots of this violence are deep, however, and we pray that the tragedy also renews our vigor, dedication, and perseverance in addressing those.  A sampling of ideas that have surfaced for us so far include:

  • Reassuring immigrants in our communities that they are welcome and have our support – they know their presence in this country was a motivation for the violence.
  • Establishing relationships, or deeper relationships, with any group that feels outside of our normal circle (potentially the Orthodox community, people of other political persuasions, or any number of other groups)
  • Increased pressure on technology companies and elected officials to take responsibility for the social effects of their platforms

There are many other potential actions on individual, group, and institutional levels.  Hillel the Elder’s words sound the clarion call more than ever – “If not now, when?” We pray that all of us will find ways to let our lives speak powerfully to these times.

In the Light,

Kathie Hollingshead, Susan Loucks, and Richard Shaw
Clerks, Pittsburgh Friends Meeting

Pittsburgh Meeting: Minute Responding to Gun Violence in our Society

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News on anti-racism steps in FGC

Posted 11/6/18

A few weeks ago, a detailed report and recommendations on steps we can take to move Friends General Conference toward being an anti-racist organization were brought to FGC’s governing body, Central Committee, by an FGC task force that includes three LEYM Friends. Central Committee, which includes a number of additional LEYM Friends, endorsed these steps and is moving forward with the work. You can read the October Progress Report for FGC’s Institutional Assessment on Systemic Racism within FGC on FGC’s website at the following link:

In short, the approved Central Committee minute reads as follows:

Central Committee approves the establishment of a group to implement the work of the Institutional Assessment on Systemic Racism within Friends General Conference.  Its charge shall be to guide the transformation of Friends General Conference into an anti-racist organization.

Consistent with the decision of Central Committee in 2017 to prioritize the work of anti-racism, FGC commits to work to eliminate white supremacy within the Religious Society of Friends and to model anti-racism as we support the work of this implementation group.

Central Committee authorizes the Institutional Assessment Working Group (IAWG) to serve as a naming committee to bring forward the names of eight Friends to serve on this implementation group.  The names for the implementation group shall be brought forward for approval to Executive Committee at its winter 2019 meeting. The individuals to be recommended shall constitute at least 50 percent Friends of Color and consideration shall be given to include Young Adult Friends and broad geographic representation.

The Implementation Group will use the information and recommendations from the Institutional Assessment on Systemic Racism within Friends General Conference 2018 report to begin their work and its work shall not be limited to the scope of the report and its recommendations. The implementation group shall be accountable to Central Committee and will report its progress to each Executive Committee Meeting and annually to Central Committee.  Central Committee authorizes the IAWG to propose an appropriate budget to support the work of the implementation group and authorizes the Executive Committee to approve that budget at its winter 2019 meeting.

You can also read the Executive Summary and the the full Institutional Assessment Report to FGC’s Central Committee.

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“The Love that Overcomes”

Here’s a beautiful letter in response to the massacre of Jews at worship in Pittsburgh and other recent happenings in the U.S. from New England Yearly Meeting.

The Love that Overcomes

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Fall 2018 Bulletin Available

Editors Peggy Daub & Jeff Cooper of Ann Arbor Meeting have put out the Fall 2018 issue of Lake Erie Yearly Meeting’s newsletter, the Bulletin. You can access it here. Paper copies will be going out to meetings and individuals shortly.

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Sign up for monthly e-mails on Quaker books

Friends General Conference’s bookstore, QuakerBooks, sends out an e-mail each month about books that Friends might be interested in. You can sign up for these e-mails if you’d like to keep up-to-date on what books of interest to Friends are available.

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Update on FGC’s Institutional Assessment on Racism Oct 2018

Posted 10/5/18

Lake Erie Yearly Meeting strongly supports FGC’s Institutional Assessment on Racism with both donations and participation. The Assessment is looking at where FGC Friends currently stand in being complicit with the institutionalized racism that permeates North American culture and how Quakers can move toward being anti-racist in our culture and institutions.

Three Lake Erie Yearly Meeting Friends serve on the Institutional Assessment Task Force: Marvin Barnes (Birmingham Meeting), Carolyn Lejuste (Red Cedar), and Dwight Wilson (Ann Arbor). The Task Force has just provided an update on the progress of their work as they prepare to bring recommendations for change to FGC’s governing body, Central Committee, later in October.

The report and links to background on the Assessment

More recent news as of 11/10/18

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“Being a Good Neighbor Takes Practice” interview posted

Read an interview of the Plenary Speaker for LEYM’s 2018 Annual Meeting, Yvette Shipman, by Claire Cohen of Pittsburgh Meeting.

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2019 Representative Meeting scheduled

LEYM’s annual Representative Meeting has been scheduled for Saturday, April 6, 2019, at the Ann Arbor Meeting. Meeting representatives to LEYM and members of LEYM committees should plan to attend.

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Apply to be a traveling minister with FWCC

If it interests you to be a traveling minister, FWCC is accepting applications until September 30, 2018. As well, FWCC welcomes requests for a visit from a member of the Traveling Ministry Corps.

Information on the Traveling Ministry Corps.

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Meetings & Friends being recruited by FGC Welcoming Friend Project

Friends General Conference’s Welcoming Friend Project is actively recruiting meetings and individuals to participate in a project to identify, practice, and evaluate different ways of welcoming newcomers and bringing them into the life of a meeting. This project is in response to a widespread concern about helping newcomers feel welcome at Quaker meetings, particularly seekers of color, families, and folks who identify as LGBTQ.

We are recruiting meetings to experiment with different ways of welcoming and engaging newcomers, to reflect on their experiences, and to report back to our working group. Learn more about joining the Welcoming Friend Project as a participating meeting.

As an individual Friend with a concern for welcoming and engaging newcomers, you can be involved in a number of ways. Find out more.

Just curious and want to learn more about welcoming newcomers? Stay tuned in the spring and summer of 2019 as we will share our learnings with you. We’ll share what we’re learning on our social media, we’ll offer workshops based on what we learn, as an eRetreat and at the Gathering. Sign up for the Welcoming Friend email list to receive project updates and resources.

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