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Worship Sharing and Dialogue with Attention to Ouch, Oops & Whoa

[shared by Susan Marcus on the Friends for Right Relationships listserv 7/18/2021]

Worship Sharing and Dialogue with Attention to Ouch, Oops & Whoa
By: Pacific Yearly Meeting (PacYM) Racial Justice Subcommittee (RJSC) of PacYM Ministry Committee
Last updated: April 14, 2021
Welcome, dear Friend! We are excited to have you participate in the upcoming RJSC workshop. Dialogues on racism can be difficult and uncomfortable. Discomfort is natural, and is a good sign – this means we are learning and growing.
Safe Space, Brave Space
“Together we will create brave space.
Because there is no such thing as a “safe space” —
We exist in the real world.
We all carry scars and we have all caused wounds…
We amplify voices that fight to be heard elsewhere,
We call each other to more truth and love.”
– Excerpt from Invitation to Brave Space Poem by Micky ScottBey Jones*
Sacred Space: Repairing the Hurt and Listening to Truth Revealed
We see our time together not only as brave space, but when hurt happens we go into sacred space where we experience deep listening, knowing that Spirit will guide us as we listen deeply, center & allow the spirit to unfold and Quaker Truth to be revealed. When a conflict occurs it is a time for us to hold Spirit and give us an opportunity to deepen our relationships to another level.
Stepping Stones into Sacred Space: Ouch, Oops and Whoa
We invite Friends to explore a process to help us identify unconscious
microaggressions and implicit bias and address their impact by deepening into sacred space, ultimately repairing harm. To this end, we offer a worship sharing and dialogue format with acknowledgment of “Ouch, Oops and Whoa” in this workshop.
● Ouch – when a person experiences a hurt
● Oops – when a person realizes that he/she/they may have caused a hurt
● Whoa – when a person witnesses a potential hurt.
For an example of the power of “whoa”, we recommend this short video clip in the film “Cracking the Codes”, by World Trust: https://www.world-trust.org/cracking-thecodes?wix-vod-video-id=009fcc69a6c34479ad537a6d4a3db471&wix-vod-compid=comp-jxyzu7k9
This approach is based on the concept of the Johari window. By soliciting feedback using “ouch, oops, and whoa”, we aim to shrink our blind spot, raise our consciousness, thereby decrease the incidences of unknowingly hurting each other.

Creating Anti-Racism Sacred Space: Processing “Ouch, Oops and Whoas”
● The burden of educating is not the responsibility of the Friends of Color in the group. If you are a white person with anti-racist practices, your role is to educate other white people in the group to question their own centrality and listen to another’s pain without defensiveness, judgment, or white fragility getting in the way.
● Be in worship together holding the space and ambiguity. Trust that Spirit is here guiding us and that those who say “ouch, oops or whoa” are led to speak.
● The person who experiences the hurt has the right to decide whether or not to address the issue.
● When someone is led to speak about a hurt, slow down the dialogue, center around the ouch, oops or whoa.
● If you are confused or don’t understand the hurt, sit in silence and hold the sacred space.
● Go into sacred listening about the hurt by focusing on the needs and concerns expressed.
● Pay attention to and speak about what’s happening in your body. Be willing to expose your vulnerability and reach for healing the wounds.
● Don’t create more pain for people already in pain. Our goal is to stop the harm that has been committed by becoming conscious of it and repairing the hurt by seeking healing through Quaker Truth being revealed.

Communication Recovery: a simple model for repairing an Ouch**
“Communication Recovery” involves acknowledging your mistake, sincerely apologizing, and then changing your behavior. It allows us to defuse tension, rebuild trust and rapport, and move forward.
1. When someone lets you know you’ve created an “ouch” for them, Accept the feedback: “Thanks for telling me.”
2. Acknowledge what happened, both your intent and the impact: “I didn’t mean to label you, but I see I did.”
3. Apologize: “I’m sorry I said that.” This is the most important step. It’s easiest if you apologize immediately. Your sincerity will help clear the air and allow everyone, including you, to feel more comfortable.
4. Adjust: In other words, don’t repeat the same offense in the future. Say so out loud, if you want – “I’ll try not to be such a clod in the future” – or simply demonstrate your intentions to be respectful through your future actions.

Sometimes there is ONE MORE STEP – ASK. If someone gives you feedback – “Ouch!” – and you aren’t sure why, then Ask: “What do you mean?” Then Accept their feedback with an open heart and an open mind.
——————
* Invitation to Brave Space — a poem by Micky ScottBey Jones
Together we will create brave space.
Because there is no such thing as a “safe space” —
We exist in the real world.
We all carry scars and we have all caused wounds.
In this space
We seek to turn down the volume of the outside world,
We amplify voices that fight to be heard elsewhere,
We call each other to more truth and love.
We have the right to start somewhere and continue to grow.
We have the responsibility to examine what we think we know.
We will not be perfect.
This space will not be perfect.
It will not always be what we wish it to be.
But
It will be our brave space together,
and
We will work on it side by side.
** The Ouch! Files, Vol. 5, No. 1, www.DiversityInclusionCenter.com. Copyright 2014, Leslie
Aguilar,
https://www.diversityinclusioncenter.com/archives/ouch_files/Archives/Ouch_Vol5No1.html

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Actions for Building and Maintaining Right Relationships with Indigenous Cultures

At North Pacific Yearly Meeting’s 2021 Annual Session, I presented an Interest Group on “Toward Right Relationship with Indigenous Cultures”: ‘As we consider the Earthcare minute, let’s reflect on how the ethics and worldviews of Indigenous cultures can help us decolonize our own. We’ll consider some ideas for Friends as a group to act upon, bringing us to effective action.’

The presentation will eventually be posted here. Meanwhile, here is the list of proposed actions, followed by a list of web links referenced in the presentation:

Individual/Home:

Examine every element of your physical life to determine to what degree it reflects Indigenous Ethics and Worldviews.

Educate yourself and others. Attend and help develop educational events. Share your ideas and concerns through writing and lending books, creating publications, initiating conversations, and participating in electronic social media.

Reduce your consumption of food. Choose foods based on the sustainability of their production and distribution, specifically including energy costs, pollution and social impacts. Grow your own food and plant trees.

Travel lightly– cycle, walk, use public transport or alternatives to private cars, keep air travel to a minimum.

Share housing and community resources: Form or join a community, share housing, participate in a transition town movement.

Become politically active in promoting right relations concerns. Stay alert for opportunities to support your local indigenous people.

Invest ethically and divest from fossil fuels.

Reduce energy use especially for home heating and electricity consumption.

Use less water and harvest water.

Make time for spiritual connection with nature and God. Develop your own sense of connection with Indigenous Ethics and Worldviews. Learn the local language, closely paying attention to the deeper meanings it can express. Bonus: “We Are Still Here” https://www.sos.wa.gov/legacy/werestillhere/language.aspx

Within the Meeting:

Examine every element of the Meeting’s physical life to determine to what degree it reflects right relationships.

Encourage Friends to carry out the individual tasks listed earlier.

Educate Friends and others. Share your ideas and concerns through organized events, writing and lending books, creating publications, initiating conversations, participating in electronic social media.

Encourage Friends to share transport, equipment and sustainability skills with others in the Meeting community.

Encourage Friends to feel their inherent connections with all of nature: lead children out in nature; take care of nature around the meeting house (e.g., landscaping with native plants).

Renovate the Meeting House for sustainability.

Build alliances with like-minded organizations, especially with those that promote right relationships, and publicize our efforts with decision-makers.

Within our Quarterly and Yearly Meetings

Support the above actions of Monthly Meetings.

Build solidarity with local people, especially indigenous people.

Support Quaker activity in establishing right relations through politics and international work.

Connect and share with other Yearly Meetings, directly or via FWCC Sections and World Office. Consider breaking denominational lines, e.g. with Sierra Cascades and Northwest Yearly Meeting churches.

In the wider world:

Develop deeper ideas of Right Relations, e.g. the “gift economy” and “mutual aid”

Advocate for broader and deeper partnership with more earth-centered cultures.

Connect and share with other religious bodies, directly or via organizations like Earth Ministry and the Church Council of Greater Seattle.

Develop urban agriculture, community gardens, community supported agriculture, and plant trees.

Uphold, publicize and support related activities of Quaker and other organizations. This would include FCNL’s legislative work, AFSC’s community organizing, QEW’s education, and developing something like EQAT’s social activism.

Specific Actions from Friends Peace Teams/Toward Right Relationship program: https://friendspeaceteams.org/trr-resources-and-actions/

  • Support treaty rights and water protectors, Line 3 and elsewhere

  • Support Investigations and Healing for Indian Boarding Schools in Canada and the US

  • Sponsor workshops & other educational events

Other potential actions:

  • Consider the impact of the Doctrine of Discovery and how to counter it

  • Establish Land Acknowledgement as a regular practice in your Meeting

  • Consider how to return land to Native nations

  • Monitor and advocate for appropriate legislation through FCNL, Quaker Voice. Note ATNI and NCAI as information sources.

Web Links:

Mike Yarrow: https://westernfriend.org/memorials/michael-mike-norton-yarrow

Quaker Indian Schools: https://www.patheos.com/blogs/spiritualitychannelseries/2016/08/quaker-indian-schools-a-legacy-we-need-to-heal/

PacYM Braiding Sweetgrass Worship Group: https://www.pacificyearlymeeting.org/2021/2021-events/braiding-sweetgrass-worship-group/

Woodbrooke Epistle: https://www.friendssocialconcerns.org/2021/07/05/epistle-a-quaker-response-to-collapse-from-friends-at-woodbrooke/

Decolonize First workbook: https://www.nahaneecreative.com/products/decolonize-first-a-liberating-guide-and-workbook-for-peeling-back-the-layers-of-neocolonialism

Balancing Act: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0360544219325198

Related to all: https://www.colorincolorado.org/book/shanyaakutlaax-salmon-boy

Salmon Boy Story video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iGH8cmKKZ78

Life Lessons from Animals: https://www.onegreenplanet.org/animalsandnature/important-life-lessons-we-can-learn-from-animals/

Recycling not good enough: https://www.knkx.org/post/green-merit-badge-recycling-just-isn%E2%80%99t-good-enough-anymore

Learn a Local Language: https://www.sos.wa.gov/legacy/werestillhere/language.aspx

Annapolis Friends Meeting EV initiative

http://www.aprs.org/AFM-EVs.html

Snoqualmie Tribe asks public: https://snoqualmietribe.us/the-snoqualmie-tribe-asks-the-public-to-recreate-respectfully-on-its-ancestral-lands/

Aotearoa/NZ YM Epistle: http://fwcc.world/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/ANZ-YM-2021-Epistle.pdf

Indigenous Concerns Committee: https://www.pacificyearlymeeting.org/committee-newsletters-and-reports/indigenous-concerns/

Earth Quaker Action Team: https://www.eqat.org/our_history

Toward Right Relations/FPT: https://friendspeaceteams.org/trr-resources-and-actions/

Doctrine of Discovery: https://www.afsc.org/resource/legacy-doctrine-discovery

Land Acknowledgement: https://nativegov.org/a-guide-to-indigenous-land-acknowledgment/

Land Reparations [“Landback”]: https://resourcegeneration.org/land-reparations-indigenous-solidarity-action-guide/

 

 

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Epistle: “A Quaker Response to Collapse” from Friends at Woodbrooke

To Friends and Seekers of Truth everywhere,

from a group of Friends from both sides of the Atlantic as we gather in worship to discern ‘A Quaker response to climate collapse’ on Zoom in the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic, this is an epistle agreed with participants of a Woodbrooke course led by Jackie Carpenter in May 2021.

The subject of climate collapse (the title we started with) or societal collapse in a time of climate breakdown (the title we developed together) is of such overwhelming importance, that we wish to share our findings.

Our understandings are diverse. Some of us feel that collapse is now inevitable with a real possibility of the end of life, at least the end of life for human beings and many other species, while others believe that moving forward to a sustainable future is still possible and even likely. Our differing viewpoints do not prevent us from experiencing a sense of relief in the discussion itself.

As Quakers, we believe in speaking the truth as we understand it, even when that truth is unpopular or unpleasant. We cannot know what the future holds and ‘The End Of The World As We Know It (TEOTWAWKI)’, may or may not be inevitable, but it seems clear that our lifestyle of driving, flying, and denial of the spiritual nature of this finite Earth and its eco-systems cannot continue. Humanity is facing a time of extreme challenge and holding onto hope for a miraculous turn-around may be avoiding the truth. We recognise that many people are already facing challenges and disrupted lives. Perhaps the time has come for more people to speak about this, and for Quakers to help them.

Studying the fear of death and hearing about terror management we find that death- anxiety drives people to adopt worldviews that protect their self-esteem and worthiness so they feel they play an important role in a meaningful world. This may be an illusion, but we know it is hard for human beings to change from deeply embedded belief systems. We find that helping each other cope with a change of attitude, grief tending to include helping children face their grief, and new ways of thinking about the future are becoming increasingly important practices.

In sharing ideas about ?hope? we discern that for some of us, moving from feeling hopeful (possibly as a form of denial of an unpalatable truth) to a state of acceptance can leave us hope-free, not hope-less.  Reframing the future enables us to reach an understanding that the end might be nigh but that life and love goes on. We discover this reframing to be a powerful even joyful process of unburdening, finding it helpful to be free to discuss what living well and dying well might really mean. Giving up expectations of having to rescue the future personally is enormously liberating, and allows us to focus on living simply, staying local and building community in the present.

Once we accept that climate collapse may be an imminent possibility that could happen suddenly, like snow sliding off a roof, we may choose to change the actions we currently take to reduce our damage to the world. As we become more aware of the loss of habitat for people and wildlife and the anguish of inequality, we are inspired to work to reduce harm. Whatever the future may hold, we believe that it is important to walk forward with a sense of joy, love, and compassion for ourselves and for all of creation, working to reduce inequality and injustice in all places.

In our discernment, we find an acceptance of the real possibility of collapse to be liberating. It becomes a relief and pleasure to talk about how to live with what is. It may lead us to listen with greater compassion to those around us struggling to come to terms with their fears and difficulties, and to take steps to help them live and die better, helping one another up with a tender hand. We consider that Quakers could be poised to become midwives and comforters of the challenging times ahead of us.

You may contact the group through jackie@friendshipcohousing.org.uk

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Seattle Peace Park and University Friends Meeting, a brief history

 

Portrait of Floyd Schmoe, Seattle WA
Portrait of Floyd Schmoe, Seattle WA

Floyd Schmoe was one of University Friends Meeting’s most well-known Friends, and he played a large part in making our Meeting what it is today. Not only was he one of the first rangers at Mount Rainier National Park, but he felt so strongly about the mistreatment of Japanese Americans in the early 1940s that he left his scientific career to work full time on their behalf. After the Second World War he organized many volunteers to build houses in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. So many Japanese people revere him for this work that a few years ago a Japanese television crew visited UFM and made a video about him. 

 

House being build in Hiroshima, 1947
Floyd Schmoe building a house to replace those destroyed by American bombing in Hiroshima, Japan.

In the same spirit, in the late 1980s Floyd Schmoe saw an opportunity in the vacant land across NE 40th Street from the Meetinghouse, and organized volunteers to create a Peace Park, complete with a statue of Sadako Sasaki, a child survivor of the bombing of Hiroshima who died of radiation sickness as she was trying to complete a string of paper cranes to call for peace. Floyd put an enormous amount of effort into this work and recruited supporters worldwide. [He was not above name-dropping his friendship with celebrities and royalty in doing so.]  Numerous UFM members and attenders helped in the fundraising and construction, including my daughter Marissa who was one of the models for the statue. You can find a detailed account on the local website Historylink.org, which makes clear the Quaker roots and origin of the project.

Statue of Sadako Sasaki at Seattle Peace Park, 2010
Statue of Sadako Sasaki at Seattle Peace Park, 2010

Since the dedication in 1990, the statue has been regularly decorated with long strings of paper cranes in memory of Sadako’s witness for peace. Many of these come from local schools where the book “Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes” is read aloud. But some come from elsewhere; a few years ago a large box arrived at the UFM office addressed to “Peace Park Seattle”. It held many strings of paper cranes created by a special education class in Connecticut. UFM’s Peace and Social Concerns Committee organized a small ceremony to place the cranes on the statue, on behalf of the Connecticut students. When we sent photos to the school we got a very nice thank you note saying that the students were very happy to see their cranes in place.

Members of Univ Friends Meeting decorate Sadako statue at Peace Park with cranes folded by students from Connecticut
Members of University Friends Meeting decorate Sadako statue at Peace Park with cranes folded by students from Connecticut, June 2013

The park has occasionally served as a location for peace-oriented events, including a vigil by UFM members in favor of election integrity on the day after Election Day in November 2020.

Quakers hold signs calling for election integrity at Seattle Peace Park November 2020
Quakers hold signs calling for election integrity at Seattle Peace Park November 2020

Thirty years after its dedication, Peace Park continues to inspire strong visions of international cooperation and peace. 

 

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Quaker Social Concerns Network fulfills its purpose and is laid down

At a meeting on 4th month 27th, 2021, the participants in the Quaker Social Concerns Network agreed that the group has served its initial purpose and that some Meetings’ Peace and Social Concerns Committees have been established or revived. The group therefore agreed to lay down the network, to be re-formed either in the same manner or as the situation suggests.

This website will continue for the foreseeable future, as a resource for future collaboration among socially-concerned Friends.

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Peace and Social Concerns reports from Pacific Northwest Quarterly Meeting, Spring 2021

One of the benefits of attending Pacific Northwest Quarterly Meeting is getting to hear from other Friends meetings and worship groups in our area how they are doing. The State of Society reports that are published on the PNQM website often include notes of their activities for social justice. Here are excerpts from reports submitted in advance of the Spring 2021 gathering.

Bellingham: Over the summer, the Racial Justice Working Group that presented the online community forum began meeting with our Social and Environmental Concerns committee. The joint gatherings have yielded advocacy for climate justice, racial justice (including supporting Black Lives Matter and creation of an Indigenous/First Nations truth and reconciliation commission), and help for the homeless citizens caught in the “perfect storm” of pandemic, economic downturn, high housing prices, and winter weather. Building on the Land Acknowledgement our Meeting adopted in 2019, the committee developed and presented a Truth and Reconciliation Resolution to encourage Washington State to investigate and remedy the historical and ongoing oppression and injustice toward Native Americans here. The resolution was approved in December. The Meeting also signed onto the Whatcom Human Rights Task Force public statement opposing white supremacy.

Eastside:

Eastside Friends Meetinghouse stands on unceded ancestral land of the Sammamish People, who were closely related to the First People of Seattle, the Duwamish. Descendants of the Sammamish today are members of the Suquamish, Snoqualmie, and Tulalip tribes. We honor these Native communities and their Elders. We appreciate that they have been here since time immemorial, and are still here, continuing to bring light to their ancient heritage. We also recognize that American settlers forcibly removed the Sammamish from this land following the Point Elliott Treaty of 1855. The diseases, greed, and violence of settlers decimated Sammamish communities, along with many other local indigenous communities. This acknowledgement is part of our Meeting’s commitment to moving toward right relations with Indigenous people, through recognition of our own history and responsibility, and through ongoing education. (approved November 2020)

  Our second hours have included several discussions leading up to a new Land Acknowledgement for Eastside Meeting (see above). This statement may change over time as we learn more. We are considering further education and action around our meeting’s relationship to local Native American communities and stewardship of the Meetinghouse woods. We have held several second hours on racial justice issues, including the history of race as a concept in U.S. history (with Paul Christiansen) and close looks at micro-aggressions (with Jodi Newman). We approved and circulated a statement rejecting violence and the threat of violence as tools in political disputes. We experimented with an “activism hour,” sharing information about current issues and sending e-mail messages to state and federal legislators. Even though many volunteer opportunities have been suspended, Eastside Friends remain active in local, state, and national issues. Several Eastsiders have met repeatedly with representatives of the Redmond Police Department (RPD) about racial equity questions. EFM Friends provided statistical analysis about racial disproportionality in RPD reporting. We will continue the conversations about implicit bias with the RPD, and EFM Friends who live in Kirkland are considering similar conversations there. A record group of nine EFM members and attenders participated in the Quaker Voice Lobby Day. Friends continue to work on issues of racial equity, criminal justice reform, Alternatives to Violence, and climate change. An emerging concern is the proposal to broaden the selective service registration requirement to include young women. 

 

Lopez Island: Many in our meeting have been involved in our local Black Lives Matter movement dealing with racism within our own local community. We’ve also hosted an ongoing anti-racism discussion and action group and have members who regularly attended the FCG White Friends Confronting Racism weekly worship.
[For context, here is a column documenting the cultural conflict on Lopez around Black Lives Matter activities.]

Port Townsend: Members of Peace and Social Concerns guided our Spirit-led action through participation in events commemorating the 75th anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing and facilitating security and de-escalation training at a local BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, & People of Color)-led Black Lives Matter event. The Meeting held worship-sharing discussions on racism and produced a Minute on the Rejection of Violence and Racism. 

South Seattle: Even as we appreciate the natural beauty surrounding our worship, we work to remember that we live and meet on land with a complex history that merits our mindfulness of the Coast Salish people, whose traditional home we share. In gratitude, SSFM and many individual members of our community support Real Rent for the Duwamish tribe.

Our Uprooting Racism Adhoc Committee continued its work this year. Actions included a decision to send a financial contribution to the Ujima Peace Center in Philadelphia and to seek connections with African2 SSFM 2020-21 State of the Meeting Report American community groups such as Rainier Beach Action Coalition. We had a discussion group around reading White Fragility. We also approved the creation of a special fund for donations to support charities that work to address racism, which both supports the values of our meeting and provides an active response to the growing voices over injustice against people of color. 

 

Tacoma: The shocking murder of George Floyd made us examine our hearts, acknowledge our privilege and called us to action. Many committee meetings and programs followed, leading us to a new level of citizenship and social justice work. In short, we expanded into becoming more active Friends in the larger community. We did not feel moved to create a meeting minute or public statement against systemic racism as did many other Quaker meetings and organizations, though we witnessed with horror the ongoing violence and brutality. Instead, we delved into a period of necessary inner work and personal growth which led to an active commitment to put our faith into practice. Our Peace and Social Concerns Committee changed its name and became the Peace and Social Justice Committee to reflect its work more accurately. Many people who had acted individually on social justice issues found others of like mind and the work became lighter with many hands. The committee meeting was re-scheduled to be a regular 2nd hour program when it became apparent that the work of the committee had much to do with the life of the meeting as a whole. Our 2nd hour discussions took on an impressive vitality with guest speakers on topics ranging from climate change to organizations like Quaker Voice, American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), and Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL).

Whidbey Island: In response to the nationwide protests in May and June over deaths of African Americans through police violence, Whidbey Island Friends Meeting worked to craft a statement that reflected Quaker values, vision, and commitment for the future. The resulting minute, “A Statement for Dismantling Racism: A Faithful Ethical and Moral Framework,” was printed in paid ads in Whidbey Island newspapers and sent to Friends Committee on National Legislation and other organizations. Friends engaged in online anti-racism workshops and other learning opportunities, and in October a group began meeting twice a month to work slowly and deeply with Ijeoma Oluo’s book, So You Want to Talk About Race, which allowed us to examine our own experiences around race, confront our thinking and reframe responses to White Supremacy. In this work, we aim to uproot unconscious biases, transform fears and guilt, and respond more freely to Divine Guidance into action. We are aware that for us as a meeting of mostly White people, it can be only too easy to talk about anti-racism without engaging in the soul-searching and active effort that is called for. WIFM Friends also continue to be active around issues of restorative justice, climate change, sustainable food supply, and other social concerns.

As other Meetings and Worship groups submit their reports, they will be added to this post or future posts.

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NPYM Earthcare Minute, with suggestions for action

A passionate group of people in North Pacific  Yearly Meeting have proposed an “Earthcare Minute” for seasoning by monthly meetings and worship groups. It was brought up at Annual Session last summer and, though not adopted there, was widely distributed to Friends across the Yearly Meeting. Friends are requested to send reports of their meetings’ deliberations and other comments to the team coordinator, Jonathan Betz-Zall, at jbetzzall (at) gmail.com.

This work follows on NPYM’s previous minute on Climate Change of 2008.

In following up on that minute, Friends at University Meeting developed a number of specific suggestions for action by Friends. Perhaps this will prove useful in seasoning the Earthcare minute.

University Friends Meeting Peace & Social Concerns Committee

Facing the Challenge of Climate Change: proposed followup activities for Friends to undertake

For consideration at UFM’s Monthly Meeting for Business, 9th month 2016

2016-07-03  Friends approved a minute to support Shared Quaker Statement: Facing the Challenge of Climate Change. The committee was asked to report back to the Meeting with specific ways that members of the UFM community can help translate the sentiments expressed in the letter to action. 

UFM’s Peace and Social Concerns Committee presents a list of actions for Friends to take at four levels: individual/home, within our Meeting, within our Quarterly and Yearly Meetings, and in the broader society. These are based on a minute adopted at FWCC’s recent meeting in Peru. 

Individual/Home:

Examine every element of your physical life to determine to what degree it is truly sustainable. Remember the tripartite nature of sustainability: ecological, economic and social [which includes spiritual]

Educate yourself and others. Attend and help develop educational events. Share sustainability ideas and concerns through writing and lending books, creating publications, initiating conversations, participating in electronic social media.

Reduce meat consumption, choose foods based on the sustainability of their production and distribution, specifically including energy costs, pollution and social impacts. Grow your own food and plant trees.

Travel lightly– cycle, walk, use public transport or alternatives to private cars, keep air travel to a minimum.

Share housing and community resources: Form or join a community, share housing, participate in a transition town movement.

Become politically active in promoting sustainability concerns.

Invest ethically and divest from fossil fuels.

Reduce energy use especially for home heating and electricity consumption.

Use less water and harvest water.

Make time for spiritual connection with nature and God.

Within the Meeting:

Examine every element of the Meeting’s physical life to determine to what degree it is truly sustainable. Remember the tripartite nature of sustainability: ecological, economic and social 

Encourage Friends to carry out the individual tasks listed earlier.  

Educate Friends and others. Share sustainability ideas and concerns through organized events, writing and lending books, creating publications, initiating conversations, participating in electronic social media. 

Generate and maintain a Calendar of Sustainability-oriented Events for Friends and others

Encourage Friends to share transport, equipment and sustainability skills with others in the Meeting community.

Encourage Friends to love nature: lead children out in nature; take care of nature around the meeting house (e.g., landscaping with native plants).

Renovate the Meeting House for sustainability.

Build alliances with like-minded organizations, and publicize our efforts with decision-makers.

Within our Quarterly and Yearly Meetings

Support the sustainability actions of Monthly Meetings.

Build solidarity with local people, especially indigenous people.

Support Quaker sustainability activity in politics and international work.

Connect and share with other Yearly Meetings, directly or via FWCC Sections and World Office. Consider breaking denominational lines, e.g. with Northwest Yearly Meeting churches. 

In the wider world:

Develop deeper ideas of sustainability, e.g. the “gift economy” 

Advocate for broader and deeper ideas of sustainability, in true partnership with more earth-centered cultures.

Connect and share with other religious bodies, directly or via organizations like Earth Ministry and the Church Council of Greater Seattle.

Develop urban agriculture, community gardens, community supported agriculture, and plant trees.

Uphold, publicize and support sustainability activities of Quaker and other organizations. This would include FCNL’s legislative work, AFSC’s community organizing, QEW’s education, and developing something like EQAT’s social activism.

 

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Friends form a Seattle Quakers Affinity Group: “Count Every Vote!”

Several members of University Monthly Meeting today agreed to form the “Seattle Quakers Affinity Group” to participate in the “Choose Democracy–Protect the Election” campaign. The initial gathering will be a called Meeting for Worship to be held on Fourth Day [“Wednesday”], Eleventh Month [November] 4, from 5 pm to 6 pm Pacific Standard Time, at the Seattle Peace Park, on NE 40th Street just west of the University Bridge in Seattle. Friends are asked to bring their own signs, for example: Count Every Vote, Friends Love the Truth, Quakers Stand for Integrity.

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North Pacific Yearly Meeting Annual Sessions Interest Groups Addressing Racism

Doing the work to uproot racism,
Interest Groups and events supporting NPYM’s minute

Members of the NPYM Uprooting Racism Committee have identified interest groups that we believe support work within our yearly meeting to help end systemic racism and become a more welcoming, diverse, and anti-racist faith community.
All are encouraged to attend as many of these groups as you can.

We are also greatly honored by and particularly excited about Oregon State Senator Lew Frederick’s presentation, scheduled for Saturday, July 18, 2020 on zoom from 2:00pm to 3:30pm. Lew is a Multnomah Monthly Meeting Attender, he attended Earlham College, did graduate work at PSU in Urban Studies, and has served 13 years in Oregon’s state legislature where he helps lead the People of Color Caucus.

“We no longer ask to feel safe; we demand that we feel safe in our country, state, city and neighborhoods.” –Oregon State Senator Lew Frederick

[link to NPYM Website for additional information about interest groups]

7/10 Friday

  • 6:30-7:30 Starting our anti-racist journey (Karuna Nunyara)
  • 8:00-9:00 No way to treat a child (Jonathan Betz-Zall)

7/11 Saturday

  • 6:30-7:30 Privilege and White Fragility, (Steven Aldrich)
  • 8:00-9:00 “Creating Beloved Community with equality of opportunity, respect, and spiritual well-being for all people.” (Steven Aldrich)

7/17 Friday

  • 6:30-7:30 Stories from the Heart/How each of us learned about race (Laurie Childers)
  • 8:00-9:00 Starting our anti-racist journey (Karuna Nunyara)

7/18 Saturday

  • 2:00-3:30 Lew Frederick presentation
  • 6:30-7:30 How and when do we call the cops? (the CAHOOTS model and more)
    (Laurie Childers, Bob Morse, and Jonathan Betz-Zall)
  • 8:00-9:00 Nakani Native Program for a Healthy Future (Jonathan Betz-Zall, Jeff Smith, and Ellany Kayce)

7/23 Thursday

  • 3:30-4:30 FCNL’s work on the Violence Against Women’s Act, supporting Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (Keri Colfer)
  • 3:30-4:30 Engaging with AFSC in the Time of COVID, Repression, and Rebellion (Matthew Leber)

7/24 Friday

  • 3:30-4:30 Uprooting Institutionalized Racism: One Year Later : What will we do in the year ahead? What are we doing already? What do we need from NPYM? How do we make this work meaningful and rewarding in ways that keep us engaged? (Steven Aldrich & Jonathan Betz-Zall)

7/25 Saturday

  • 3:30-4:30 What is Friends General Conference doing to Support Friends in Becoming an Anti-racist Faith Community? (Vanessa Julye) 
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Sierra Cascades Yearly Meeting adopts Minute for Black Lives

Members of the Quaker Social Concerns Network were very excited to learn that the Sierra Cascades Yearly Meeting of Friends has adopted a very strong Minute for Black Lives.

It begins:
“Sierra-Cascades Yearly Meeting of Friends approves this Minute for Black Lives, noting that
some of us are challenged by the language it uses. Still, we lean into it, knowing that we have
empowered the Equity and Inclusion Committee to be a prophetic voice. Acting as Christ’s
Body to engage in the work of justice will often be uncomfortable for those of us with privilege.

Sierra-Cascades Yearly Meeting of Friends witnesses the current people’s uprising for
police accountability and for racial justice and we take a stand for Black lives. We urge all
Quakers, in our Yearly Meeting and beyond, to do the same in word and action. Neutrality is not
an option if we are to fully embrace our underlying Truth as Friends: to recognize God in all
people.”