Visioning and Creating a Moral Economy – conference at Pendle Hill with George Lakey

A conference for inspiration, education, networking, and action. Co-sponsored by Quaker Institute for the Future.

>> SAVE THE DATE: December 1-4, 2016.  <<

Pendle Hill pamphlet #405The election will be over, and no matter who wins, progressive people of faith will be called to continue the work of building the Beloved Community. We will still face increased corporate power on a global scale, precarious Wall Street financial meltdowns, widening wealth and income inequality, the criminalization of poverty, the scorching of our planet, and resource wars, among other threats to the common good and true democracy. The health of the natural world and the well-being of our species depend on our participating in the Great Transition away from an extraction/domination economy based on perpetual growth and towards a sustainable political economy focused on ensuring that basic human needs are met.

George LakeyGeorge Lakey, lifelong nonviolent activist, direct action strategist, author and recently retired Swarthmore professor, will share findings from his new book, Viking Economics: How the Scandinavians Got It Right-and How We Can, Too. He describes how mass social movements moved the Nordic nations from elitist-governed, class-based societies with high rates of poverty, insufficient jobs, and neglect of basic needs to the positions they occupy today in terms of social well-being and the global happiness index with universal health care, free college education, and a surprisingly high level of entrepreneurship.

If you are interested in co-sponsoring this event or obtaining more information, please e-mail moraleconomy@pendlehill.org, or phone John Meyer at 610-566-4507, ext. 129.

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Films on natural & affordable habitation (transition towns) at Michigan Friends Center Fall 2016

The Michigan Friends Center in Chelsea, Michigan (near Ann Arbor) is holding a series of free movies & discussions on natural and affordable habitation on Fridays from 7:00 to 9:00. Topics to be addressed include:

o How can we use building technologies to make our homes ecologically and economically responsible?
o What are the alternatives to conventional construction?
o Who are the people who choose different dwellings?
o What is it like to live in these places?
o How have people overcome the barriers to change?

Co-hosted by Transition Town Chelsea

Flyer with schedule and additional information

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Minute Regarding State Sanctioned Violence from Fellowship of Friends of African Descent

Minute as a PDF file

The Fellowship of Friends of African Descent at its 2016 Annual Gathering approved the following minute for public circulation to Friends and concerned communities worldwide:

The Fellowship of Friends of African Descent is a 25 year old Quaker organization that supports the spiritual nurture of Quakers of African descent and provides opportunities for the sharing of our concerns. As those of us in the United States witness the media portrayal of high profile police violence and the resulting racial tensions, we are moved by our compassion for our communities to call for action that will lead to justice and respect, particularly for black men but also for black women and children in America. We stand with those who have identified bigotry, structural racism and state sanctioned violence as historical and continuing sources of senseless suffering and death among our people.

We grieve the loss of any human life, including the lives of police. However, the presence of the police too often seems like an occupying force designed to protect and serve an invisible elite instead of protecting those who reside in our communities. We also recognize that the violence and tragic killing of innocent civilians have touched so many in our communities. We believe that these evil forces cannot be overcome through retribution and retaliation, and can only be overcome through respect, resources and love. Jesus taught us that the love of God and our neighbor is the greatest commandment.

The problems of racism, militarism and violence that we face are rooted in the deeper, less recognized sicknesses of materialism and greed. From the slave trade and plantation economies of the American south to the terroristic subjugation of Jim Crow to the modern-day profits of miseducation and mass incarceration, racial stereotypes have been used to mask and justify the exploitation and denial of economic human rights to people of African descent. As a result, these communities are under-resourced, as is evidenced by the lack of jobs, healthcare, quality education and decent housing. In the absence of real opportunities for employment and economic self-sufficiency underground economies rise up in our communities to fill the gap. People in these economies are criminalized and
prosecuted even though they are only seeking to provide enough resources to support their families. We realize that we cannot have a meaningful conversation about ending racial oppression without also addressing classism, joblessness and wealth inequality.

In response to these realities, we, as Quakers and as people of African descent call for the following:

1. PEACEFORCE. The training, support and employment of a “peaceforce” consisting of police officers and community based peacekeepers, none of whom are armed. The peacekeepers will be local residents who have the community relationships and street credibility (especially with young people) to cultivate the capacity and inclination for the use of non-violent methods for de-escalating conflict. [Returning citizens are an important resource for this work.]

2. PEACE CENTERS. The development and support of ‘peace centers” in our communities which will provide safe havens and educational, cultural and recreational opportunities for young people in our communities. Quaker Alternatives to Violence trainings can be redesigned to be rooted in the cultural experience of African people. These centers will also function as spaces where Quaker worship and values can be modelled and developed.

3. COMMUNITY TRAINING. Police training will be ongoing and consistent including sub-conscious bias training that is not just academic but rather is community based. Police departments need to revamp their training so its members are trained to deescalate potentially dangerous situations and are not expected to “shoot to kill” in every situation they consider dangerous.

4. DISARMAMENT. Promoting the disarming of our communities (including segments of the police force responsible for minor offenses) through the elimination of handguns, rifles and automatic weapons. We realize that this goal is long term and will require a cultural shift from our current reliance on violence to solve social problems. However, we believe that we are all safer without guns than with them.

In the words of the poet, Nikki Giovanni, “Black love is Black wealth.” We as Quakers of African descent are making a personal commitment to these ends and invite others to join us in this effort. We call on Friends’ organizations to use some part of our substantial corporate investments to support this work.

*****

The gathering was held August 12-14, 2016, at Arch Street Friends Meetinghouse in Philadelphia.

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Clerking Workshop with Arthur Larrabee – Pendle Hill Nov. 18-20, 2016

Clerking: Serving the Community with Joy and Confidence

This 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. It is expected that each person will leave the weekend with new energy and enthusiasm for being a clerk, feeling well grounded in both the theoretical and the practical. There will be handouts, exercises, and opportunities to share experiences, with most work being done in a whole group setting.

Arthur Larrabee is a lifelong Friend and member of Central Philadelphia Monthly Meeting. He has led many workshops on clerking, including annually at Pendle Hill. He has served as clerk of his meeting, the Committee in Charge of Westtown School, and Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, which he also served as General Secretary for seven years.

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GPQM Business Meeting Agenda for Sept 17, 2016

Printable agenda

Green Pastures Quarterly Meeting,  September 17,  2016
Meeting for Worship for the Conduct of Business

Our search is for unity, not unanimity.  We consider ourselves to be in unity when our search for Truth is shared; when our listening for God is faithful; …when our love for one another is constant.  A united meeting is not  necessarily all of one mind, but it is all of one heart.

We believe that this unity, transcending apparent differences, springs from God’s empowering love, and that a Meeting, trusting in the leadership of that love and gathered in its spirit, will enjoy unity in its search for truth.                          

Philadelphia Yearly Meeting , Faith and Practice, p. 22

AGENDA  (11:30-12:30)

Roll call
Approval of Minutes of May 2016 meeting
Treasurer’s report
Friends School of Detroit Trustees report/proposal
Questions and clarification period

Break for lunch (12:30-1:30)

(1:30-2:30)

Decision on Friends School report/proposal
Expiring terms of FSD trustees:  Patrick Patchett, Peter Dale, and Joe Mills

Reports from:
Michigan Friends Center
Friends Lake Cooperative Community
Michigan Quakers for Environmental Action (MQEA)

New business:
Clerking workshop  — Geoff Brieger
Mid-winter Quarterly Meeting–February 26-27, 2017 (Birmingham MM will lead the program.  Where will it be held?  Who will do youth program?)

End of Meeting for Worship for the Conduct of Business

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GPQM Revised Schedule for Sept 17, 2016

Slightly revised schedule

Green Pastures Quarterly Meeting
Fall 2016 Meeting
September 17, 2016, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Michigan Friends  Center

9:00 – 9:30  Registration and refreshments

9:30-10:00 Singing led by Thomas Taylor (Ann Arbor)

10:00-10:30  Worship

10:30-11:30 Presentation by Natalie Holbrook,  Director of Michigan AFSC – Criminal Justice

11:30-12:30 Roll Call;  Minutes;  Friends School of Detroit Trustees  report and  question  period

12:30-1:30  Lunch arranged by Birmingham Friends  (suggested donation: $7.50 per person)

1:30-2:30 Business Meeting resumes

Decision on Friends School;  Reports from Treasurer,  Michigan Friends Center,  Friends Lake Cooperative Community, and Michigan  Quakers for Environmental Action (MQEA).

New business:  clerking workshop;  mid-winter GPQM–Feb. 26-27, 2016

2:30 – 3:15  Sessions (choose one):

  1. Walking the trails of Friends Lake led by Richard Tucker (Friends Lake Cooperative Community)
  2. Discussion on Michigan environmental legislation and how to be more engaged

3:15-3:30 Singing led by Thomas Taylor

3:30 – 4:00 Closing worship

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Agenda for GPQM Meeting 9/17/16

Green Pastures Quarterly Meeting
Fall 2016 Meeting
September 17, 2016, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Michigan Friends  Center

Agenda

9:00 – 9:30  Registration and refreshments

9:30-10:00 Singing led by Thomas Taylor (Ann Arbor)

10:00-10:30  Worship

10:30-11:30 Presentation by Natalie Holbrook,  Director of Michigan AFSC – Criminal Justice

11:30-12:30 Roll Call;  Minutes;  Friends School of Detroit Trustees  report and  question  period

12:30-1:30  Lunch arranged by Birmingham Friends  (suggested donation: $7.50 per person)

1:30-2:30 Business Meeting  resumes

Decision on Friends School;  Reports from Treasurer,  Michigan Friends Center,   Friends Lake Cooperative Community, and Michigan  Quakers for Environmental Action (MQEA).

New business:  clerking workshop;   mid-winter GPQM–Feb. 26-27, 2016

2:30 – 3:15  Sessions (choose one):

  1. Walking the trails of Friends Lake led by Richard Tucker (Friends Lake Cooperative Community)
  2. Discussion on Michigan environmental legislation and how to be more engaged

3:15-3:30 Singing led by Thomas Taylor

3:30 – 4:00 Closing worship

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“Who Do You Say that I Am?” – A Weekend of Worship and Inward Searching, Nov 11-13, 2016

Facilitated by Ken & Katharine Jacobsen and others

“On the way, Jesus asked his disciples, ‘Who do people say that I am?’ Then [after they had answered] he asked them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’” Mark 8:27-29

Following the Quaker practice of attention to spiritual questions, we will allow Jesus’ query: “Who do you say that I am?” to search us during this weekend of worship, silence, scripture, journaling and sharing. There is no one “right” answer. We seek to open ourselves to words, images, visions, stories, or simple silence that may arise from the question. Who is Jesus? Who are we as fellow children of God, as followers of the Way, the Truth and the Life he teaches us?

The Friends Center in Barnesville, Ohio, is a retreat and conference center for exploring Christian unprogrammed Quakerism and its meaning today. It is rooted in Ohio Yearly Meeting (Conservative).

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World Quaker Day is October 2nd

From Friends Committee for Consultation (FWCC)

The theme for World Quaker Day 2016 is “Inspired by Faith – Witnessing Together in the World”. Now is a great time to plan how you can celebrate with your meeting.

Some ideas include:
– The FWCC/QuakerSpeak videos, which come packaged with helpful religious education materials!
– A sunrise worship
– A photo that gathers everyone present after worship

For more ideas on how to bring this message to your meeting on Sunday, October 2, or to see how others have celebrated in past years, go to our WQD page or the WQD Facebook page.

Or, share your pictures and WQD messages on our Facebook or Instagram pages!

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FWCC Setting up a Traveling Ministry Corp

In the 21st century, the traveling ministry is an important way to realize our vision of a thriving and integrated network of Friends woven together in transformative faith. Our goal is still to further draw the strands of Quakerism in the Americas together into the rich tapestry that is the Religious Society of Friends.

In 2016, the Section of the Americas of FWCC is organizing a volunteer corps of Spanish- and English-speaking (though not necessarily bilingual) Friends, to send as traveling ministers throughout the Section, crossing Yearly Meeting lines and other divisions among Friends.

Friends who serve in the Traveling Ministry Corps will visit Friends meetings and churches in yearly meetings other than their own and offer one or more of the following:
* Facilitate a weekend workshop on a topic of mutual interest to the meeting and the minister
* Bring a message and organize worship sharing after a weeknight potluck
* Attend a regularly scheduled worship service
* Write a letter of encouragement and pastoral care, particularly to meetings who were just outside the travel route or who may be wary of receiving a visitor

FWCC will accept applications from Friends who express concerns that are deeply rooted in the Spirit, and who can transcend differences and division to seek broader unity in the Light. FWCC will provide training, support, and accountability for those Friends who are chosen to travel in this ministry. Funding is available to support the travel expenses of the members of the travelling ministry corps. Local Friends Churches, Monthly and Yearly Meetings in the Americas can request a visitor.

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