Now the Work of Christmas Begins

BlackLivesMatter_NH 2
      Dover (NH) Friends join with their neighbors to witness for racial justice. photo: David Holt

When the song of the angels is stilled,
when the star in the sky is gone,
when the kings and princes are home,
when the shepherds are back with their flocks,
the work of Christmas begins. 

To find the lost,
to heal the broken,
to feed the hungry,
to release the prisoner,
to rebuild the nations,
to bring peace among the people,
to make music in the heart.

– Howard Thurman

Dear Friends,

As we approach the New Year, my thoughts turn to you as living threads in the web of Love that is my wider New England Quaker faith community.

In the poem above, civil rights activist and theologian Howard Thurman reminds me that this holiday season isn’t an end unto itself; it’s a time for remembering what matters most as we prepare to live more fully in the Light in the year to come.

As Friends, we’re invited to a universal ministry – each gift we bring to the table helps support and strengthen the web of Quaker communities as we embrace the world with Love.

To me, this ministry of Love is what Thurman describes as “the work of Christmas” – and I believe this work is needed every day.

In 2016, Friends throughout our region will seek through the Spirit’s help to:

  • Lift up clear voices and strengthen the public witness of New England Friends, especially in responding to racial injustice and climate disruption
  • Awaken children and adults to the Light within them through youth programs, support for local religious education for all ages, and dynamic workshops & retreats
  • Strengthen Quaker practice in our local meetings through opportunities to gather, learn and share with seasoned Friends and newcomers
  • Help our meetings more deeply engage with elders, young adults and young families as we grow towards a wider welcome
  • Connect New England Friends with people and communities living their Quaker faith around the world

The programs, resources, staffing and connections we offer together through New England Yearly Meeting of Friends will make possible this deeply needed work. 

As the year turns, will you join me to support our shared ministry with an end-of-year gift? 

In Love and Light,

Sara Smith
Concord (NH) Friends Meeting
Clerk, Development Committee
New England Yearly Meeting of Friends

P.S. – For all the ways you share your gifts in the world, including any prior financial contributions this year, we offer our deep thanks. 

P.P.S. – Don’t forget to regularly visit the NEYM online calendar and follow New England Quakers on social media for news, events and resources for living as Friends! Share your calendar submissions at


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