PJ&E Interest Groups

Interest Group Discussions on Peace & Justice and Earthcare

The LEYM Interest Group will provide a Zoom discussion for Friends of monthly meetings. There will be virtual meetings in the months of December (2020), February (2021), and May (2021). Come and share your thoughts relating to Peace & Justice along with Earthcare with Friends from your region. Topic selections and registration link are provided below.

Introduction to New Interest Groups Project

May 1, 2021 Session Topics

Session TopicsDiscussion LeadersMeeting
1) How to Make Your (Meeting) House Carbon Neutral
The presentation will provide an overview on the definition of carbon neutrality and how Friends Meeting houses can work towards and ultimately achieve carbon neutrality as part of our planetary stewardship.  The IPCC (United Nations) and many cities, businesses and NGOs have called for reaching carbon neutrality but in fact we ultimately need to start reducing CO2 in atmosphere (drawdown).  Meeting Houses produce greenhouse gases (GHG) by combustion of fossil fuel (Scope 1), by use of electricity largely made off site by burning fossil fuels (Scope 2) and by purchase of food, consumer goods and transportation for members to get to Meeting (Scope 3).  If we can replace Scope 1 and 2 emissions by use of renewable energy we will bring down our emission of CO2 by well over 50%.  John Williams (Ann Arbor Meeting) will describe how they have been working towards this goal over the last 5 years.  He will describe their efforts to conserve energy, purchase clean electricity, educate members, and establish an Environmental Improvement Fund to financially support the projects.  Dave Goeddeke (Detroit Meeting) will describe how they are planning to build a new Meeting House and to make it as low energy as possible and generate some energy from solar panels.  Others attending will be given the opportunity to present what they are considering or doing as a meeting or as individuals.  Much of what is discussed will also be relevant to individual houses.
John WilliamsAnn Arbor
2) Gerrymandering – Reforms passed in 2015 & 2018 by the people of Ohio
The program will look at gerrymandering, reforms passed in 2015 and 2018 by the people of Ohio, new rules for drawing districts in 2021 and grass root efforts for accountability and transparency of the Ohio Redistricting Commission/General Assembly.
Paul HelblingBroadmead
3) Sexism is so Yesterday – or is it? Becoming anti-sexist
What is the impact for you of internalized masculine images of God and male religious authority? How does this affect both male and female spirituality? What is the effect of patriarchal culture on Quaker practice? What does it mean to be anti-sexist?
Was the God you grew up with male? How might your faith and life be different if you grew up with a feminine face of God?  Is exploring this valuable for you today? What does it mean to you to be anti-sexist? Are men and women equally represented in all areas of our Meeting (e.g. committees, vocal ministry, care for children, etc.)? Please tell us your story.
Ann Sprague, Ruth Ann Wilhelm, and Joel OttenbreitDetroit

Topics from Feb 6, 2021 Sessions

Session TopicsDiscussion Leader(s)Meeting
1) Quaker Values in Business
How Quaker business owners integrate their faith into their work growing and maintaining business.
Susan LoucksPittsburgh MM
2) Bridging Divisions
The division in our country runs deep. How can we bridge the divide, and help move our country (and the world) towards peace?
Karen TibbalsRahway-Plainfield MM
3) Decolonizing & Angelic Troublemakers
Quakers seeking to learn and act upon the truth of Quaker history with Indigenous Peoples.
Handouts: Session Slides and Social Impact Assessment Principles guide
Beverly WardTampa MM & Deland WG
4) Abolition as a Quaker practice
In this breakout session we will talk about prison abolition, how it connects to the Quaker Peace Testimony, and how to work towards abolition in our Meetings and lives.
Megan Mueller Johnson & Megan WilsonAnn Arbor MM
Feb 6 Session Topics

Topics from December 2020 Session

December 5th Session TopicsDiscussion LeaderMeeting
1) Anti-racism
Red Cedar Friends Meeting is finding the act of minuting our collective intention to become an anti-racist faith community to be deeply helpful in stimulating our exploration of next steps, and nudging us into new discernment about what exactly that means to us all. Lee and Carolyn will discuss what steps were helpful in getting to this point, and what questions are being raised. Other meetings are invited to share their process and learnings as well.
Carolyn Lejuste and Lee SaylesRed Cedar
2) Prison Abolition, Defunding the Police and Related Issues
3) Letter Writing as a Witness
In September, Red Cedar undertook a “letter writing witness” patterned after Amnesty International’s letter-writing campaigns. In fulfillment of our minuted intention to “notice, mark, mourn and protest” acts of racial injustice when we see them, we are now supporting individual Friends to write letters in response to news reports of unarmed Black people being murdered by police across the country. Come hear what we’ve learned and consider whether/how others in LEYM might want to join us.
Joann NeurothRed Cedar
4) Climate Change and Social Inequality
(DEC 5 SESSION IS FULL) We will examine how low-income communities, people of color, indigenous people, people with disabilities, older or young people, and women can be more susceptible to risks posed by climate impacts. A discussion will also focus on the fact that victims of climate change have disproportionately low responsibility for causing the emissions responsible for climate change.
Joel OttenbreitDetroit
5) Open Youth Discussion
Youth will provide their individual perspectives on politics, the environment, and other issues of concern
Jonah & Ellerie BrownfainBirmingham
6) Foundations for Many Generations
Inspired by Isaiah 58:6-12 as we endeavor to be/come “repairers of the breach”, this circle invites listening to Spirit’s leadings, naming how our concerns are linked to one another, and bridging generations.
Mey HasbrookKalamazoo
Topics and Discussion Leaders for December 5th Interest Groups

Questions can be directed to Joel Ottenbreit at joelottenbreit at gmail.com

LEYM on Social Media

Why should peace education be a priority? Watch one of three videos produced in the context of our big conference on peace education last month:
#PeaceEducation #Peace #PeaceMediation #Quakers #nonviolence #EUPolicy

In a 2016 @friendsjournal article by former AFSC staffer Stephen McNeil, we look at AFSC’s decades of work alongside people and communities to challenge homophobia, heterosexism, and transphobia. Happy #Pride and sending best wishes for equality for all! https://bit.ly/3x0D7jM

We're hiring! If you're looking to get involved in our work for peace and justice, take a look and see if any of these opportunities are a good fit. There are positions available in strategic advocacy, policy work, and development. https://www.fcnl.org/about/work-fcnl

Preparations are well underway for LEYM’s 2021 annual sessions July 28 - Aug 1 https://leym.org/annual-meeting-info/

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Related Organizations

  • American Friends Service Committee - afsc.org
  • Friends Committee on National Legislation - fcnl.org
  • Friends General Conference - fgcquaker.org
  • Friends World Committee for Consultation: Section of the Americas - fwccamericas.org
  • Friends World Committee for Consultation: World Office - fwcc.world
  • Right Sharing of World Resources - rswr.org