Our Elders Speak
Who is Jesus to me?
The forum topic on December 22 was “Who is Jesus to You? What does the Christmas Story Mean to You?” , Susan Davies and Mary Gilbert shared their answers; forum attenders did, too.
Susan said, “I believe in a spirit, an essence, a god who/which is experienced as within us and apart. This God moves us toward love, kindness and fairness, and can be experienced as a sense of unity or as a sense of disunity, of “ill-ease”, with ourselves and others.” See here for her complete presentation.
Cornelia Parkes, a forum attender, also shared her experience with Jesus. Her story is here.
FDS and Youth Events
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On December 15 at the rise of Meeting for Worship, the First Day School, family, and friends presented a Christmas pageant written and directed by Ruthanna Kern.
Young Adult Friends (YAF) News
FCNL Spring Lobby Weekend 2020
Saturday March 28 – Tuesday March 31 in Washington, DC
At Spring Lobby Weekend 2020, hundreds of students, recent grads, Quakers, and young adults will come to Washington, D.C. to lobby Congress on one critical issue—climate change.
Office Holiday Closings
The FMC Office will be closed on Tuesday, January 1 and Monday, January 20, 2019.
Deadline for Adds/Changes for New FMC Directory is January 12
Please check your entry in the draft directory, now available in the binder outside the FMC office! You can make any changes right on your entry. If you aren’t listed but would like to be, fill out one of the blank forms in the front of the binder. Printed copies of the new directory will be available in the office by late January. Questions? Contact Holly Lapp at email@example.com.
The Clerks Team for 2019-2020
Ian Harrington is serving as Co-Presiding Clerk, Jonathan Vogel-Borne is serving as Assistant Clerk, and David L Myers is serving as Recording Clerk for the whole new year (through June 30). Six Friends are sharing the other Co-Presiding Clerk position. The rotation is as follows:
- January 12 – Ian Harrington
- February 9 – Debby Colgan
- March 8 – Ian Harrington
- April 5 – Ariel Maddocks
- May 3 – Ian Harrington
- May 17 – Patricia Wild
- June 14 – Ian Harrington
- June 28 – Liz Moore
The Meetings for Business in Worship are scheduled for the Meeting House at 1:15 pm on the second Sunday of the month: January 12, February 9, March 8, April 5 (to avoid Easter), May 3 (to avoid Mothers’ Day) and May 17, and June 14 and June 28.
Contacting the team is easy though, as an email sent to firstname.lastname@example.org will get to the right people.
Do you have a few extra hours to give to FMC?
Are you interested in finances and/or databases? Or children? or good with tools? or words? or just want to chip in a bit more on Sundays?
I have a few invitations for you to consider
- We are organizing a small group to meet one time to go over our finances and understand them more deeply and update our projections based on the current deficit FMC is running and the current amount of reserves we have saved. This could be a great opportunity to both help FMC and also understand our finances better.
- FMC currently uses Filemaker Pro, programmed by David Meyers. We are beginning to research other possibilities. There are two parts to this invitation. The first is to help David and be a back-up Filemaker troubleshooter. The second is to help us research and decide about the possibility of switching. You could let us know what you already know, volunteer to research one option and fill in info on our Google Drive excel chart where we will be gathering information, or be part of the full planning process. In other words, there’s so many different ways to be involved.
- We have need for folks to be occasional childcare workers when a parent is at a meeting. Sometimes this is on Sundays and sometimes this is during the week in the evening. You’d be one of two adults in the room, so the responsibility would be shared and not solely on you.
- We have a large facility in need of various things such as the dryer vent cleaned out and other small maintenance jobs. Ideally this would be someone who could come in during regular M-F daytime hours. Do you have a flexible schedule and miss using your hands?
- Editing the newsletter and announcement sheet. The Publications group just lost a member of their team and is interested in finding someone else to help out!
- Help on Sundays: Write the Whiteboard announcments in the morning before worship, help with Simple Lunch prep, help organize the food info cards for our monthly potluck, welcome folks to Simple Lunch and facilitate the process.
Your Resident Friend LJ Boswell (with Ella) 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. We don’t wish to cause hardship for anyone, but for those of us 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!
Meetings for Worship
Meetings for Worship Aside from 10:30am-11:30am Sunday morning worship in the Meetinghouse, FMC offers two additonal meetings for worship: Wednesdays from 8:30am-10:00am (come for whatever portion you are able), and Sundays from 5:00pm-6:00pm. Both take place in the Parlor and are generally small (usually under 15 people). Refreshments are provided after both Sunday meetings for worship. Most Sunday afternoons there is a potluck or simple lunch (a donation of up to $5 is requested). For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meeting for Worship near Raytheon in Cambridge, MA, meets on third Sundays from 10:45-11:45 am. Carpools leave FMC at 10:30 am. We gather in front of Raytheon (the nation’s and world’s fourth largest defense contractor and the leading manufacturer of guided missiles) on Concord Avenue, Cambridge (intersection at 10 Moulton Street). Parking can be found on Moulton Street, two blocks from Raytheon. Contact John Bach at email@example.com.
Adoracion Compartida en Español meets online 4th Mondays from 6:00pm-8:00pm. Please join in this opportunity to worship share together and to practice Spanish. People with a basic understanding of the Spanish language will get the most out of this. If you are interested in receiving written information ahead of time in Spanish, please contact Jonathan Vogel-Borne at firstname.lastname@example.org
Te invitamos a participar en la Adoracion Compartida en Espanol. Es necesario una comprension basica del idioma y las ganas de practicar poco a poco. Si estas interesado en recibir informacion por escrito para prepararte antes de venir por favor comunicate con Jonathan Vogel-Borne email@example.com
Other Small Groups
Artists and Writers meets second Wednesdays from 7:00pm-9:00pm. This group gathers monthly for mutual support in our respective artistic endeavors. We share, discuss and respond to each other’s work, and often touch on ways that creative work draws us deeper into the experience of life. Contact George Campbell at firstname.lastname@example.org.
New Story Group meets monthly on fourth Mondays from 7:00pm-9:00pm with a brown bag supper at 6:30pm. We are an interfaith group working to understand the emerging cultural narrative sourced in science and in spiritual traditions. We seek wisdom to respond to the crises of our time. Contact Cornelia Parkes at email@example.com.
Prayer Circle meets fourth Sundays from 12:30pm-1:15pm. What happens after you put a request in the “Prayers and Praise” box? A small group meets on the fourth Sunday of the month in the Selleck Room to hold these requests in the Light. We welcome anyone who is in need of prayers or who is moved to pray for others. Contact Cornelia Parkes at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Prison Fellowship meets fourth Tuesdays from 7:00-8:30 pm. We gather each month to share our experiences of working as volunteers or teachers in prisons, visiting prisoners, driving relatives on visits, facilitating a Sharing Circle with former prisoners, organizing a Bail and Legal Defense Fund, sponsoring events for FMC to increase awareness about criminal justice system issues, and learning more about building a community to welcome returning citizens and decrease the rate of incarceration and re-incarceration. Contact Michael Carey at email@example.com.
Science Fiction and Fantasy Read Aloud Book Group meets offsite 2nd and 4th Saturdays from 6:00pm-9:00pm. Join us to read aloud, discuss, and enjoy science fiction and fantasy short stories and novels! Bring a sf/f story to read or just come and listen; bring a munchie to share, or just share in what’s there. Familiars/daemons/sprites optional. Sponsored by Fellowship & Outreach Committee. For more information, or to join the email list, contact Betsy Roper / Jonathan Katz / Jonathan Gilbert at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Simple Lunch Group – This group prepares and serves a Simple Lunch on Sundays when there is no potluck or no food provided for an afternoon event and oversees the cleanup. Volunteer cooks prepare vegan soup, salad and hummus. Some cooking is done at FMC and some is done in volunteer homes. More volunteers are needed. Contact David Myers at email@example.com.
Stone of Hope Drumming meets Thursdays from 7:00pm-8:30pm. “Touching Inner Spirit with a Beat” weekly sessions led by Toussaint Liberator are brought to you by Stone of Hope Ministries (under the care of Beacon Hill Friends Meeting) and Gatorwood Upreach with co-sponsorship by FMC’s Peace and Social Justice and Friends for Racial Justice Committees. Along with drumming lessons and practice, there will be time for conversation on many topics, including racism. Bring your drum if you have one. If not, we have drums available to borrow. A donation of $10-$20 to support the ministry is requested but no one will be turned away for lack of funds. There are many ways to contribute other than financially. Contact Ian Harrington at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Young Adult Friends (18 – 35ish) meets fourth Sundays at 6:15pm Friends between 18 and 35(ish) years old are welcome for our monthly potluck. You are welcome whether or not you are able to bring a dish. This group also organizes other ad hoc activities. We maintain a listserv to communicate with each other. Contact Greg Woods at email@example.com for more details.
White Privilege Reading Group meets third Tuesdays from 5:00pm-6:30pm. Please join us to discuss books about white privilege and issues of race. It will be a way, we hope, to help each other build the skills, courage, and stamina to pick away at the walls that go up between cultures and races. The next book choice will be announced shortly on the FMC listserv or you can contact Cynthia Knowles at firstname.lastname@example.org
Minga (second from right) and her activist supporters
Quakers Take a Risk to Stop a Coal Train
On December 16, Minga (Elizabeth Claggett-Borne) joined 30 sturdy souls to stop a train carrying fossil fuels. The insanity of subsidizing coal in 2019 spurred me out of a warm hearth along with Jay O’Hara and Carole Rein, my Quaker companion or traveling minister. From all over New England, mostly young people convened north of Worcester, with the purpose of stopping a coal train traveling on the freight line with 80 loaded cars to the Bow, NH power plant. On a cold cloudy night by the tracks we had tents, hot soup, and popcorn for sustenance. We had a circle with songs, prayers, and last-minute details if the police came. The train came through just before 10pm.
Carole writes, “The plan was based on the train protocol that a call to a posted emergency number of an impending obstruction on the tracks would cause the train to stop. We called and the train did not stop. We watched its approach. The engineer could clearly see the 25 of us and did not slow down, was prepared to kill us. At the last possible moment, as the horn sounded and the headlight approached, we moved to the side of the tracks. Believe me, it had never been my plan to play chicken with a train!”
Friends helped to shut down the coal plant at Brayton Point, MA about 5 years ago. The energy in the #nocoalnogas to shut down Bow is electrifying. But not everyone is clear to stop coal and gas. Quakers are not protesters, we are witnessing to the living Spirit. This movement is building a robust community to transform the way we walk on the Earth. We are building love and power to sustain active hope in the face of a fearsome extinction. This action is ongoing– we expect 4 more trains to push through Massachusetts this winter. If this work interests you, don’t shout and wail into the wind. Use your prophetic voice and join our climate transformation movement.
Follow further developments at the Climate Disobedience Center.
UPDATE DECEMBER 28, 2019:
Climate activists blocked a coal train headed for New Hampshire on Saturday night in the Green Island area. Some 20 protesters stopped a train for about 30 minutes, and 10 were taken into custody by Worcester police. They will be arraigned on January 2. Minga was among those arrested.
Chris Jorgensen sent us her annual letter.
She is leaving January 4 for a three-month sojourn at Ramallah Friends School. Please hold her in the Light during her travels!
Yani (Yanire Zamora), far right, writes, “I joined this group and it’s been fun, healthy and a good option to make the change easier. Actually there are 2 groups of 5 and it is good to know there are at least 10 vegans in Cozumel. I cook for 5. Pack 4 portions and keep one. We trade on Mondays.
I immediately thought of you. You could trade on Sundays !!!!! Please help me with recipes.
Our beloved member Mehmet Rona passed away on October 18, 2019. A Memorial Meeting for Worship to celebrate his life will take place on Saturday, January 25, 2020, at 2pm. A reception will follow. Donations of sweet and savory finger snacks are requested.
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.
Click on the image above to browse the featured events for January, 2020.
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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 email@example.com, who is your friendly website master and newsletter editor.
What Does Love Look Like in Challenging Times?
Our Theme for the Year
January 5: “A Review of New England Yearly Meeting’s Faith and Practice draft on marriage” with FMC’s Marriage, Family, and Relationships Committee.
January 12: “Climate Change: Personal Reflections” with Andrew Ross, Young Adult Friend.
January 19: “Podcasting and Community: My leading to create Queeriously, a podcast for LGBTQ+ voices” with Chris Cucchiara.
January 26: “Spiritual Accommodation: Understanding and Loving our Physical, Sensory, Neurological, and Other Differences” with Liz Moore.
For more information or to present a forum contact Patricia Wild at firstname.lastname@example.org
Wider Quaker World
New England Yearly Meeting News
Junior High Yearly Meeting January Retreat January 10-12 • Westport, MA
Dwelling Deep: A Contemplative Retreat January 17-20 • Old Chatham, NY
Junior Yearly Meeting January Retreat January 24-26 • Wellesley, MA
Multiage Inclusion Hybrid Webinar Series January 28-February 25 • online
Friends Decision Making and Clerking January 31-February 2 • Old Chatham, NY
For more NEYM news visit https://neym.org/attend-event
One Needful Thing
Words may help and silence may help, but the one thing needful is that the heart should turn to its Maker as the needle turns to the pole. For this we must be still.
~ Caroline Stephen, 1834-1909