We have been invited by New England Yearly Meeting (NEYM) to submit our “State of the Society – 2019” report. Throughout this past year, we have been meeting together as a community to find a path forward in these complicated times. We feel we might be on the edge of something new in our life together and invite you to join us in reporting our “condition”, and to that end offer these queries.
“What Does Love Look Like in Challenging Times?” “What does love look like in worship?” “What does love look like in our gatherings outside worship?”
On March 1st, the Forum at 9:30 will be our State of Society Report, an opportunity for sharing thoughts. And please do feel free to speak with members of Ministry and Counsel as well as our Clerks to offer your input.
Here are some queries we hope might initiate thoughts and conversations among us.
How are we leaning into this work of learning and Spirit’s call? When we fall short of what we might be and do, how do we all hold each other in those moments and grow there?
How do we lift up each other’s gifts and contributions?
What practices does FMC hold on to and what should be let go as our meeting strives to share power more equally, chip away at oppressive behavior, and be more welcoming?
How can FMC be more transparent in our structures and practices for the benefit of all?
How are we doing in the FMC community to support and integrate families and young adult Friends? What are we doing well and what can we do better?
What voices are we not hearing or can better hear?
How does our budget reflect our values, our ways of being and moving through these times?
FDS and Youth Events
Click image above to view all FDS Happenings… After clicking the image, close the browser tab to resume reading newsletter.
To help the Material Aid and Advocacy Program (MAAP) housed in the Meetinghouse basement, First Day School is collecting items for hygiene kits on the list that they will all put together during March 8th Meeting for Business. Click the image above to see the flyer.
There will be baskets for your donations in the Meetinghouse and Friends Center in both the lobby and the Friends Room on Sundays to collect items.
In February in First Day School, we talked about equality of all sorts, including the rights of people to vote. Here is one of the FDS teachers, David Smith, reading a book about voting. Afterwards, local voting activist Robin Chen talked about her work towards lowering the voting age so that youth have a larger voice in the government!
Seventeen people made their way out on Saturday, February 1, for time snowshoeing and cross-country skiing in Weston, MA. Here are some of the participants enjoying the snow!
Young Adult Friends (YAF) News
Spring Young Adult Friends Retreat + trip to Living Faith Gathering April 3-5, 2020
This is a chance to gather in a warm and welcoming peer group for young adults (YAFs) to connect around our spiritual seeking and growth, and then take a trip as a group to connect with the wider New England Quaker community at the all-ages event for connection and fellowship, Living Faith Gathering. Living Faith is where Friends deepen our relationship to each other and our Quaker faith, and this is made even more meaningful by experiencing it within the intimacy and support of a group of YAFs. This retreat is an excellent opportunity to both build close connections to people in the same life stage as you, AND find out what’s alive in the larger Quaker community. Plus, the YAF community in Portland is kind of on fire right now and we’re excited to share that with you.
More about what this retreat will be like on the event page here and on the Facebook event here. Be sure to share with young adults you know who might find this experience meaningful!
Registration will open in about a week. Feel free to email me with questions at email@example.com.
Two opportunities for YAFs at Pendle Hill
Below are two summer opportunities (an internship and a conference) that will be held at Pendle Hill, a Quaker retreat center outside of Philadelphia.
Farm-to-Table Organic Garden Summer Intern
In this paid internship, the Intern will participate in day-to-day garden tasks and projects, fostering and sustaining a holistic, cost-effective, land-centered food ethic that nurtures the body and spirit of the Pendle Hill community in accordance with our food philosophy and Quaker Testimonies. Throughout the summer the Intern will work on a project of their choosing and have the opportunity to participate in Pendle Hill Education workshops taking place in the garden. The hottest few hours of each work day, as well as one full day a week, will be spent in the kitchen, assisting in the incorporation of garden produce into meals, and performing other tasks as assigned. The full posting, including timing, pay, and application details, is attached and available here.
Continuing Revolution: Transformative Conflict and Justice
The second opportunity is this young adult conference taking place June 5-10, 2020. I’m very excited about how the program is taking shape! From the explorations of the nuances of various identities in individuals’ upbringings around approaches to conflict, to community accountability in harm, from the common patterns of group dynamics to policing, the (in)justice system, and imperialist militarism – we’re covering it all, with a special focus on experiential engagement, tools to take away, and spaces for healing and holding our transformation. Registration is open and we would love to see you and/or some folks from your programs! I’ve attached a flyer, and would be most grateful if you would bring it to an event and/or help spread the word among young adults in your regions otherwise. Questions can go to me, Hannah, or Lina at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pronouns: she, her, hers
338 Plush Mill Road, Wallingford, PA 19086
610-566-4507 x 144 | www.pendlehill.org | @pendle_hill
2019-2020 Annual Staff Evaluations
Your feedback is needed to help evaluate our staff. For principal staff (David Dunphy, Facilities Manager; Amy Mercure, Office Manager, and Greg Woods, Youth Ministries and Education Coordinator), nursery workers and Center Residents, please email your comments to LJ Boswell at email@example.com. For the Resident Friend (LJ Boswell) only, please email your comments to Liz Moore at firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also speak with Liz to share your comments about the Resident Friend. Specifics about job duties are more helpful than general statements about the person. Consider both what is working well and what could be improved. Please note that our practice is to include the author’s name with the comment when it goes to the staff member unless you request otherwise. Thanks for your feedback!
Do you have a few extra hours to give to FMC?
Much gratitude to those of you who have volunteered to help out in small ways around Friends Meeting at Cambridge. The small things that you can do, take pressure off those who are carrying the larger pieces of our community. Here’s some current needs:
Help with childcare once in a while
At the Alfred Retreat in Maine help with children’s program or childcare. It’s the weekend of March 20. Or just come and enjoy the retreat!
Co-facilitate a study group on Faith and Practice (our guide to how to be a Quaker and a Quaker Meeting.) (Just check it out even if you don’t want to help co-facilitate.
Greet folks at the door on Sundays.
Partner for a Sunday with a member from Ministry and Council to welcome people at rise of meeting, co-facilitate Afterthoughts.
Sit at our desk and answer questions on random evenings when we need a substitute for our Center Residents.
Help with our facilities in small ways.
Organize food and labels for one of our monthly potlucks.
Thanks for considering these! Let me know if you have any questions or have other ideas how you might like to be of service to FMC.
Your Resident Friend LJ Boswell (with Ella)
Sundays – Thursday by email & phone/text
Fridays & Saturdays by phone/text only. Please limit this to important time sensitive needs.
Fellowship & Outreach Committee wants to add an umbrella stand in the foyer of the Meetinghouse to hold wet umbrellas on rainy days. We are thinking the umbrella stand should hold at least 10 umbrellas, including folding and non-folding ones. If you have an umbrella stand to donate (or for us to borrow for a trial), please contact Holly Lapp at email@example.com
Wear Slippers Inside at FMC
Make a Fashion Statement! This is a gentle reminder to bring slippers to FMC to save the wear on our floors and rugs, especially during wet and/or snowy days. If you are able to bring a change of foot gear, every little bit helps. Some slippers to borrow are available in the Meetinghouse and in the entryway to the Friends Center. Put your wet/salty/snowy footwear in the plastic trays.
Pastoral Care at FMC
Our FMC Community of Hope provides the following types of care and support to individuals within our community:
Friendly visits to someone’s home or a visit to someone in a hospital or nursing home
Accompaniment to a medical appointment
Preparing and/or delivering meals
Conversations to assist in determining the need for a Support or a Clearness Committee
Supportive visits and listening presence during a challenging life experience
Sending cards on behalf of FMC
If you, or someone you know within our FMC community, might benefit from one of these care and support activities, please let us know. You may reach the program by emailing your request to PastoralCare@fmcquaker.org.
Do you enjoy reading the FMC Newsletter?
Consider joining the Publications Team that brings you the monthly FMC newsletter. Various talents are welcome: proof reading, event creation, reporting, photography. This is a great way to get to know the meeting. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and see what we can do for you!
Cornelia Parkes, Holly Lapp, Amy Mercure
Simple Lunch Needs Additional Helpers
The almost-weekly Sunday Simple Lunches started in November 2015. Participation these days is usually large and always appreciative. The Lunch Crew has a number of very fine cooks, and gets a lot of help from lunch-eaters in setting out chairs, rinsing dishes, and putting away tables. Sometimes we are a little short-handed in the cleanup department—running the dishwasher, putting away leftovers, clearing the serving table, washing pots and pans. We invite Friends to consider joining us occasionally to do your preferred activity: cooking, putting out food and dishes, welcoming, running the dishwasher (great fun and training is available to supplement the written instruction sheet). Contact David L Myers at email@example.com.
Seeking Database Apprentice
Put your database experience to work in support of a good cause! FMC urgently needs a person to learn our Filemaker Pro database that has been developed and maintained by one person over the last 9 years. David Myers, also known as the simple lunch guru, is a really cool guy. Find him in the kitchen any Sunday and check out this opportunity!
This is where a couple of us from FMC were most of the day last Wednesday, February 19: The Weymouth Compressor Station, MA. The opening speech by Kerry Labrador is particularly powerful. 13 people arrested that day. Those who have gone before the judge in the Quincy courthouse thus far have all been dismissed for disturbing the peace and/or trespassing. They have been given 6 months probation in MA (to not to be arrested again and this incure a penalty). My ‘best guess’ is that some of them will break their probation. The compressor station is almost finished, unfortunately. Thank you protestors!
Click the image to watch the video!
Scenes fron the Joyful Noise Coffee House
Saturday, February 8, in the Meeting House
Photos by Greyson Acquaviva
News Lita Newdick’s death came as such a surprise to so many. She was so recently an active member of our community. Diana Lopez wrote, “The pint sized body of Lita held several gallons worth of compassion, love and talent. Lita was a true seeker.” Here is a link to an article she wrote on “Addison’s Disease: A Patient’s Story”
Lita Newdick, Lita Sally (Wreszin), of Watertown was born June 27, 1930. She died February 21, 2020, age 89. Mother of Vivian Newdick & her husband Justin Pratscher of Austin, TX. Grandmother of Milo Newdick Pratscher. Sister of Robin Resin of CT. She joined FMC on May 13, 2004.
We are saddened to learn that Ghanda DiFiglia died Saturday, December 28. Her niece, Becca, and her husband, Josh, were with Ghanda and relayed that she “passed away quietly surrounded by love.” Becca has said so often over the past few weeks how strengthened she was by the caring and support Ghanda received from her FMC community.
Ghanda’s presence in our community will be greatly missed. Her commitment to peace and social justice reflected in her witness over so many years will continue to serve as an inspiration to many. Over the past several months, Ghanda demonstrated such consistent grace and caring about the welfare of others even as she was battling health issues of her own.
Please hold Ghanda, Becca and her family, as well as Ghanda’s family in California in the Light.
A memorial meeting for worship to celebrate Ghanda’s life will be held on Saturday, April 25, at 2:00pm at Cambridge Friends Meeting.
Click on the image above to view
the featured events for February, 2020.
Close the tab to return to reading the newsletter.
The FMC Quaker home page also has the current announcement sheet, this month’s forums, Minutes and Reports for the next business meeting, and this newsletter. Bookmark this page and consult it frequently to keep current on FMC happenings. If you explore further you will find pages of interest to the community and to newcomers. You are encouraged to add your voice to the mix. Send comments and suggestions to Cornelia Parkes at firstname.lastname@example.org, who is your friendly website master and newsletter editor.
March 1: State of Society/Worship-sharing with Richard Ristow
March 8: “Entrusted with the mysteries of God: Stewardship of spiritual gifts.” A Nurturing Faithfulness panel.
March 15: “What does Lent mean for you?” with Jim Hannon, Anne Hurley.
March 22: “Comprehensive Compassion: From Me to We: The Path of an Evolving Humanity” with Abraham Sussman
March 29: Extended Worship in the Meetinghouse. No forum.
Child care is available during forums. For more information or to present a forum contact Patricia Wild at email@example.com
On February 23, Michael Cox, director of policy for Black and Pink, Boston, gave the forum “Outlawed Love, from Stonewall to Prison.” Black and Pink is a prison abolitionist organization rooted in the experiences of LGBTQ+ and people living with HIV.
Michael writes: Thank you for such a wonderful morning. I’ve always found a direct correlation between my political vision and my spiritual path. Today was a nice blending of those two things. I wanted to offer a few articles for anyone who might be interested in learning more about the topics we discussed today. I also included a link at the end of this email to contribute to the Boston chapter of Black and Pink.
Lawsuit regarding DOC interference with attorney-client contact here.
Indictments after the January 10th incident at Souza, here.
Rev. Dr. Kaia Stern has over 25 years of experience being in conversation about justice in various communities. From Sing Sing prison to the White House, she explores what it means to repair harm in relationship and change structures that cause harm. She also considers the internal work necessary to sustain our commitments to social justice when there is so much trauma. Join us as we discern: What is transformative justice? What is harm? What is healing? Register here.
Salem Quarterly Meeting
Grant Applications due March 31, 2020
Salem Quarter has a new website, but the grant application information is still on the old website. They will be considering grant applications at their regular quarterly meeting on Sunday, April 26. Watch this space for grant application updates!
Salem Quarterly Meeting of New England Yearly Meeting consists of 9 monthly meetings: Acton, Amesbury, Beacon Hill, Framingham, Friends Meeting at Cambridge, Fresh Pond, Lawrence – Andover, North Shore, and Wellesley, located in a geographical area centered around Boston, Massachusetts. Salem Quarter meets officially three times a year, usually on the fourth Sunday of October, January, and April, to conduct business and share in programs for spiritual renewal. Under current practice the granting of money from the funds entrusted to Salem Quarter occurs only at the October and April meetings.
March 24th at 7:30 pm at Wellesley Friends Meeting
Come learn about Friends General Conference (FGC), its programs and ministries, and hear about possible plans for a major fundraising effort. The purpose of this meeting is NOT to ask for contributions. Rather, it is to ask all those present to help FGC season its consideration of this fund-raising campaign that would focus on bolstering the Gathering endowment, invest in programming (e.g., Ministry on Racism, Spiritual Deepening, Youth and Young Adult Ministries), strengthen connections among FGC meetings and dramatically increase FGC’s long-term sustainability. Light refreshments will be served. Questions? Ask Polly Attwood.
Please consider joining Polly at this meeting to learn about and support FGC.
Please RSVP to Holly Baldwin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bible as a Door to Transformation
Woolman Hill Retreat Center
March 20-22, 2020
Peter Blood Patterson and Adria Gulizia
Adria Gulizia is a Friend from New York Yearly Meeting, whom some of you may recall as one of the plenary speakers at NEYM Annual Sessions in 2018. This weekend will not be Bible study in the sense of talking about the Bible, who wrote a passage, or what at meant when it was written. Instead we will seek to become a listening community together, where we can open our hearts and allow God speak to us as we read and hear passages in the Bible that have were powerful in the lives of early Friends – and have special significance for many Friends today.
We anticipate this to be a rich weekend both for those who have a long journey with the Bible and also for those with little or no experience with it. See here for flyer and registration information.<
New England Yearly Meeting Living Faith Event
April 4, 2020
Cheverus High School in Portland, Maine
Living Faith is a day-long gathering of Friends from throughout New England. The event is a chance for 100+ Friends to worship together, get to know each other, share the different ways we experience and live our faith, and build spiritual community.
These semiannual, day-long gatherings are usually held in April and October, and include large group worship, fellowship and relationship-building, workshops led by dynamic Friends, an integrated youth program, and opportunities to connect on shared concerns. New England Yearly Meeting of Friends exists to support and nurture New England Quakers, and we hope Living Faith gatherings will equip individual Friends and local meetings with resources, tools, and connections to more fully live our faith.
Through worship reflecting the diversity of Quaker practice in New England, inspiring speakers and experiential workshops, Living Faith gatherings nourish our spirits and strengthen our ability to live our faith through action. A concurrent youth program explores these same themes in ways accessible to kids. The day opens and closes with programming for all generations, allowing us to be together as a multigenerational community. Families with young children are especially encouraged to attend. We hope that this initiative continues to engage Friends who have participated in wider Quaker events before, and welcomes many who haven’t. Please join us, and help spread the word! See here for more information.
Quaker grants are available to support individual spiritual leadings and for other purposes. Some of the upcoming grant application deadlines include:
Prejudice and Poverty Fund Grants. Grants are awarded to address the needs and concerns of organizations who work to alleviate the suffering of segments of the U.S. population who experience discrimination.
Obadiah Brown’s Benevolent Fund awarded three times annually: deadlines April 15, and September 15. Primarily focused on New England Friends and Friends’ organizations, grants shall be made for Quaker purposes. OBBF favors discrete projects. OBBF encourages applications from Friends engaged in a wide range of ministries.
Applications for the next QVS Program are due March 15, 2020
Can you help us spread the word about QVS as an opportunity for young adults aged 21-30?
Since October, Zenaida Peterson (they/them), QVS Recruitment Coordinator and 2016-17 Boston Program Alum, has traveled to 16 different colleges and universities. They met prospective applicants at career fairs and while tabling, over coffee and after meeting for worship. Our staff team has hosted virtual info sessions and sent postcards and job descriptions to career centers across the country!
As QVS has grown — to 36 fellowship positions now — our applicant pool has needed to grow too! Over the last two years, we’ve worked to ensure our recruitment strategy is relational, investing in long-term connections rather than just short-term visits.
Over two-thirds of our applicants hear about QVS through a current Fellow or alum. Because of this, we’ve sent over 20 Fellows and alumni to recruit at their alma maters. Inviting Fellows and alumni to recruit makes it possible for QVS to visit a wide variety of locations.
Additionally, at new-to-QVS campuses, we work to build connections with on-campus groups, faculty, and leaders. We believe that what we’re offering Fellows is a unique, almost indescribable experience (which makes my job a bit harder), so we’ve started experimenting with faculty leaders to offer workshops that parallel the QVS fellowship curriculum. Zenaida ends up in front of more young adults in a more immersive way, offering them tools and takeaways, and building relationships with folks who hadn’t been considering QVS but were interested in these skills. This allows young adults a taste of the QVS experience: language and programming, QVS values in action, and a chance to explore the Quaker Way.
Forums are informal devotional discussions, usually with a leader and about a particular topic. They meet in the parlor and are designed to help those who attend prepare for meeting for worship. All are welcome. Forums provide good opportunities for new members, attenders, and visitors to learn more about our Meeting and what issues are of concern to the Meeting, and to get to know other individuals in the Meeting. Childcare is provided beginning at 9:15.
Details for YAF Midwinter Retreat
This retreat is for young adults (ages 18-35) who are Quaker or who want to explore Quakerism. Young Adult Friends (YAF) retreats are an opportunity to “try on” Quaker spiritual practices, connect with peers in the Quaker movement, enjoy time spent in fun & worshipful togetherness, bring a spiritual lens to the decisions in our lives, and cultivate our spiritual friendships with one another.
The theme of this retreat is “Knowing & Not Knowing: Making Space for Trust & Uncertainty.”
Through the program, we’ll explore Quaker practices that can help us get more in touch with what we already know (about ourselves, our gifts, and what we might be led to do in the world) as well as Quaker practices for navigating all that we don’t know (about ourselves, the outcomes of our efforts, and the future). We will spend time sharing our stories of walking with trust and uncertainty side by side. There will also be space at the retreat for resting, playing, eating, singing, worshiping, and enjoying the peaceful beauty of winter atop Woolman Hill in Deerfield, MA.
Participants should show up ready to (mostly) unplug and contribute to making the retreat wonderful for us all.
As you register, here are a few things you might notice:
The retreat will be held at beloved Quaker retreat center Woolman Hill in Western Massachusetts. Woolman Hill is surrounded by the beauty of meadows and woods and features simple facilities such as a big farmhouse-turned-dormitory, an old meetinghouse, and rustic cabins heated by wood stoves. We sleep in shared rooms on a mixture of bunks and other beds and when you register, you’ll be able to specify your housing needs.
You’ll have three attendance options:
Full retreat (Thursday evening-Sunday mid-day)
Weekend-only (Friday evening-Sunday mid-day)
Saturday commuter (10am-after dinner on Saturday) for people who can only come for a short while but still want to participate
We hope these options reduce the fractured a feeling that can arise when people are coming and going throughout the retreat. This also helps us plan for people’s arrival in the flow of the weekend so everyone feels properly welcomed and oriented to the retreat.
We will be asking for a $7 deposit to hold your space. If the $7 deposit is a burden for you, please contact Nia at Nia@neym.org. No one will be turned away for lack of funds.
If you’d like, you can pay your full fee ahead of time online (the retreat is pay-as-led/sliding scale).
We are limiting the number of participants to the number of people we can comfortably feed and house at Woolman Hill. Because of this limit, it is especially important that if your plans change, you contact Nia at Nia@neym.org