Business Meeting, 1:15pm, Sunday, May 6 June Newsletter Due, Monday, May 14 June Minutes & Reports Due, Monday, June 4
Announcement Sheet Due, Mondays at midnight
Threshing Sessions on the Future of the Meeting
We had three very lively threshing sessions in April to explore the future of FMC. The sessions covered a review of the past, an exploration of what we value about FMC, and an examination of several dilemmas that FMC is currently facing including the fact that our expenses consistently exceed our income. A total of over 100 attendees in the 3 sessions shared their input; people expressed how quickly the sessions went and how much they wanted to keep talking. The Planning Group will synthesize these conversations and report back to the Meeting. May Meeting for Business in Worship will emphasize finances; please consider attending to make sure your unique viewpoint and ideas are heard!
Recent FMC Events
Good Friday Witness for Peace
Held annually since the early 1960s, folks from FMC held a meeting for worship on the Boston Common with most standing in silence, some holding signs or banners. A leaflet was also distributed to those passing by. The theme this year was the Poor People’s Campaign. Click here for additional information about the Poor People’s Campaign: a national call for moral revival.
All-Meeting Retreat, March 20-22, in Alfred, ME
Member Mary Spitzer, North Shore sculptor and woodworker, helps the children in the retreat program use clamps to hold wood steady while working on it. Twice in the last three years Mary has offered her “unprogrammed” woodworking class during the all-meeting retreat by bringing tools, supplies such as glue and sandpaper, lumber, and techniques for putting wood together. Students, (adults and kids) bring an idea for something they’d like to make and Mary tries to match the techniques to the project.
Youth Ministries and First Day School Events
Greg Woods, Youth Ministries and Education Coordinator, hit the ground running with youth programs and First Day School. Here are some highlights:
On March 27, 13 defendants went into the West Roxbury District courthouse to answer charges related to their arrests protesting the West Roxbury Massachusetts Lateral Pipeline. They expected to have charges against them reduced to civil infractions — the equivalent of a parking ticket. While finding no grounds to deny that motion from the prosecution, the judge chose to let each defendant testify briefly on the necessity of their actions.
The defendants collectively presented a powerful and comprehensive argument for why it was necessary to engage in civil disobedience to stop the imminent local and global harms of this fracked gas pipeline. Following their testimony, the judge acquitted ALL the defendants by reason of necessity. [Excerpt from the Popular Resistance website. Read full article here…]
The March 27 2018, verdict at the West Roxbury District courthouse was phenomenal, the best of news in the Lamb’s War against oil companies and their greed.
Three years ago 10 Friends from Cambridge Meeting risked arrest, claiming that this pipeline, like all new gas infrastructure was a Voldemort against living creatures. We entered into the construction zone on Grove St. beside a granite quarry (with regular dynamite explosions) to stop building the dangerous pipeline. This campaign was standing up for Earth Rights while standing firm for a Massachusetts edict to reduce fossil fuels by 2020. We wanted a world of justice and joy and renewable energy. 198 people got arrested over many months. Friends were clear to draw attention to the evil putting their bodies in the way. My group of Friends were singing and giving lilies to the security guards while laying in the pipeline trench. To be symbolically buried in the ditch felt right for Tim deChristopher. As he lay in the ground (May 2016), people in Pakistan were so preoccupied with the crippling heat wave, that they were digging graves before people had died. (Read more…)
End of the 2018 Fiscal Year (June 30) is Approaching
The end of the 2018 fiscal year is almost upon us (June 30, 2018) and our donations are not showing up as reliably as our expenses. Please consider a donation to the Meeting if you’ve been putting it off, or an additional gift if possible. There are many demands on our charitable giving, but please consider what the Friends Meeting at Cambridge community provides to you and make a high priority donation before the year ends. —Thank you from the Fundraising Committee
Screened Volunteer Youth Program Workers Needed
The FMC Youth Program always needs more screened volunteers to help with programs at the meetings and on trips like going snow tubing or visiting other congregations. Contact Greg Woods if you would want to be screened.
Men’s Group at FMC
If you are interested in starting a Men’s Group at FMC, please contact David Arond at firstname.lastname@example.org. He would be happy to act as host and suggests meeting every other week unless others prefer more.
This year’s Good Friday Leaflet featured the Poor People’s Campaign (PPC). Peace and Social Concerns chose the theme because members of the committee were involved in the Campaign. We would like to ascertain the extent to which other people in the Meeting are supporting the PPC and its plans for six weeks of action, beginning on Mothers’ Day. If you are supporting this effort in any way, please reply to Ghanda Di Figlia.
Qualifications: Mature adult minimum age 18, experienced with taking care of and interacting with multiple children infants to teens, the candidate must be able to work as a team with other childcare provider and parents, and respect Quaker values. Hours: Sundays 9:45 AM to 1:00 PM on 3 Sundays a month, 9:45 to 11:15 on 1 Sunday a month and any fifth Sunday. Childcare takes place in the gym at Cambridge Friends School, option of playground in warmer weather. The provider will escort the children to Meeting for Worship for the last 15 minutes of the Worship hour. Competitive salary. For more info call or text Gail Charpentier 857-272-0045.
Tuesday, May 1. Mindful Parenting with Alison Yaeger from McLean Hospital.
Alison will discuss mindfulness in parenting, starting with an information session describing the practice, followed by ways to achieve mindfulness in your own life, and finally, offer real-world applications for parents and educators to help their children and students achieve mindfulness in their lives. Register here.
Active hope: an Introduction to the Work that Reconnects
We live in an extraordinary moment on Earth. As we witness unprecedented destruction of ecological, biological, and social systems, we can feel overwhelmed by anger, fear, and other difficult emotions. How can we remain resilient, creative, and empowered to act for the healing of our irreplaceable world?
The Work that Reconnects, developed by teacher/activist Joanna Macy and others, draws on deep ecology, systems theory, and engaged Buddhism. Practices include group meditations, ritual, conversation in pairs, dance, and song. We will explore spiritual, emotional, and intellectual aspects of envisioning and creating a life-sustaining society.
TO REGISTER AND FOR MORE INFORMATION: E-mail email@example.com. Please register early as space will be limited. Suggested Donation: $5-$20
NEYM Quaker Student Financial Assistance
Deadline is May 15, 2018
New England Yearly Meeting has created a grant program of financial assistance for students of any age enrolled in post-secondary educational or professional training programs, whether full- or part-time. Awardees are eligible based on spiritual connection to the Religious Society of Friends and participation in NEYM. An application package can be found at Quaker Grants. Copies of the application are available in the FMC Office. Please direct questions and applications to the NEYM Student Scholarship Grants Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Friends Camp Registration
Online camper registration is available here for families registering for the first time and here for those with campers returning to the Friends Camp.
Location: University of Toledo, OH
Dates: July 1-7, 2018
Theme: The Power of Truth
Taste the vibrancy and the variety that is available by immersing yourself in this community of Friends for a week. We eagerly look forward to welcoming you — in person — to the 2018 FGC Gathering!
Center Residents (CR’s) live in the Friends Center and instead of paying rent for their lodgings help with the regular maintenance of the facilities. They are expected through their presence in the Friends Center to help create a welcoming atmosphere both for visitors and for Meeting members who often see the Meeting as a second home.
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.
FDS Snow Tubing
On March 4th, Resident Friend Lorena and Greg took the youth group snow tubing at Nashoba Valley. We all had fun!
March for Our Lives
Greg organized the Meeting’s contingent (part of the group is pictured above) to go to the March for Our Lives on March 24th here in Boston to rally for gun control in the aftermath of the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida. Several of our teens have been involved with organizing actions at their schools around the Boston area.
Easter Egg Hunt
On April 1st, the meeting held the annual Easter Egg Hunt! The youth group had great fun stuffing and then hiding the 400 plus eggs. The children had great time finding the eggs all over the yard.
Easter Egg Dyeing
On March 31st, we had the annual tradition of Easter Egg Dyeing and Ukranian Eggs Decorating. Toddlers through adults gathered together for this yearly activity. Thanks especially to Annie Myers for leading the Ukrainian Eggs and to Elise Springuel for leading the Easter Egg Dyeing.
Easter Egg Dyeing
The last two events (Skip’s talk and the flower planting) are two examples of how youth are engaging with the Activism & Service part of First Day School Curriculum. Other activities will include packing Hygiene Kits for MAAP and making sandwiches for the Outdoor Church, a local ministry working with people experiencing homelessness in Cambridge.
Easter Egg Dyeing
On April 15th Skip Schiel talked with the 3rd–5th and Junior High FDS classes about his gallery show on the injustices currently happening in Palestine and Detroit-Flint around safe water access.
Reflections on the Roxbury Pipeline Witness
by Minga Claggett-Borne
The March 27 2018, verdict at the West Roxbury District courthouse was phenomenal — the best of news in the Lamb’s War against oil companies and their greed.
Three years ago 10 Friends from Cambridge Meeting risked arrest, claiming that this pipeline, like all new gas infrastructure was a Voldemort against living creatures. We entered into the construction zone on Grove St. beside a granite quarry (with regular dynamite explosions) to stop building the dangerous pipeline. This campaign was standing up for Earth Rights while standing firm for a Massachusetts edict to reduce fossil fuels by 2020. We wanted a world of justice and joy and renewable energy. 198 people got arrested over many months. Friends were clear to draw attention to the evil putting their bodies in the way. My group of Friends were singing and giving lilies to the security guards while laying in the pipeline trench. To be symbolically buried in the ditch felt right for Tim deChristopher. As he lay in the ground (May 2016), people in Pakistan were so preoccupied with the crippling heat wave, that they were digging graves before people had died.
Our action was not a brash decision to break local laws, but a statement of choosing life. (Deut. 30:19). With our mind, heart and body we thwart gas and coal use. Our Love for the Universe and our Children is stronger than our fear of jail time. Isaac Penington advises,
Be not hasty, be not forward in judgment, keep back to the life, still waiting for the appearance and openings of the life. A few steps fetched in the life and power of God are much safer and sweeter than a hasty progress…”
The 10 Quaker defendants were were orginally charged with trespassing. We were released with an order not to return to the site of the pipelines for 6 months. We supported the final 13 defendants who went to trial in West Roxbury and astonishingly were found not guilty, because their actions were deemed a “necessity.” This is the first time that defendants were acquitted based on “climate necessity“. In other words, 13 statements gave a comprehensive argument for why there is a necessity to engage in civil disobedience to stop the imminent local and global harms of this fracked gas pipeline. Thanks to all Friends who supported us in this arrest scene, I feel particular joy in celebrating the judge’s historic decision. What ways are you living into Quaker testimonies?
“..work with us in building a world in which the primary goal of justice is to restore and to heal.”
—Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, 31, Third Month, 1990