Trying what Love will do

This week the news of two more shootings of black men by police sends our hearts reeling. We are praying, mourning, crying again for justice, for healing, for wholeness. The devastating bombing in Baghdad claiming hundreds of lives again lays bare both the enduring wounds of war and the flawed belief that violence can bring peace. The corrosive litany of fear, prejudice and division that has come to characterize the U.S. election process rolls on. Yet even in this time—especially in this time—Love is kindled, present, active. Let us then try....jpg

For many of us, our local Quaker meetings support and challenge us to live in the guidance of Love every day. Hundreds of Friends across New England are preparing to gather for Annual Sessions in August, where we’ll continue to explore together how our community of faith can more fully “be the hands of God” in the world.

Whether you’ve ever attended Annual Sessions or not, whether or not you consider yourself involved with the wider movement of Friends beyond your own local meeting, you are a vital part of this web of Love, woven and sustained through a living faith. It is this Love that calls and strengthens us to work for justice, to witness to the world we know is possible, and already being born.

In this third edition of the new monthly email newsletter, we offer some glimpses of how Friends across our region are loving in the world with everything they have, challenging and encouraging all of us to do the same.

In faith and service,

Noah Merrill
New England Yearly Meeting of Friends

P.S. – Does your meeting have a story to tell? We’d love to hear from you.

Friends across New England and beyond are increasingly connecting through social media to share news and coordinate their work and witness. Don’t forget to follow the NEYM Facebook Page, Twitter and Instagram for announcements and sharing the ministry of Friends as it happens, as we continue to bring Friends together to raise our voices and our hands in the work of Love. Just use the icons at the top of this message.

And make sure to read to the bottom of this message for exciting upcoming events, service opportunities and more. 

New England Friends Respond to Orlando
In the immediate aftermath of the tragic acts of violence in Orlando last month, Galen Hamann of Providence (RI) Meeting received a request from Orlando Quakers asking for meetings to gather to hold all affected in prayer.The request she forwarded was posted on the New England Yearly Meeting Facebook page, and then shared widely through social media and email in New England and in Quaker networks beyond, leading to an outpouring of Friends communities lifting up Love and Life and calling for acts of healing in a time of grief, anger and confusion.

The Presiding Clerk and Clerk of Permanent Board offered a public prayer on behalf of New England Quakers. Read it here.

Other Friends quickly translated this prayer into Spanish to be shared with Latino communities in the United States, and with Friends in Cuba and throughout Latin America.

Moving swiftly and with clarity, local meetings throughout our region organized worship gatherings and public events to pray for those affected, to express their support and to advocate for life-giving responses. These included Monadnock (NH), Gonic (NH), Putney (VT), Cambridge (MA), Worcester (MA), New Haven (CT), Beacon Hill (MA), Wellesley (MA), Providence (RI), North Sandwich (NH), Northampton (MA), and Smithfield (RI). Several other meetings participated in interfaith events in their communities. 

Friends of Midcoast (ME) Meeting issued a statement of their own, renewing their commitment to building a more just and compassionate society, and affirmed that their meetinghouse opens its doors “to all, regardless of ethnicity, expression or identity.”

Here’s an article summarizing some of the wider Quaker response from Friends Journal.

This week, New England Friends are again taking to social media to organize worship and vigils in support of #BlackLivesMatter. May we remember how deeply we are connected with all who suffer, and may this awareness strengthen our willingness to witness to Truth.

What is God’s Dream for Friends?

Connecting the ministry of New England Friends with our wider Quaker community across the continent, Yearly Meeting staff Hilary Burgin and Nia Thomas share news of their recent experience leading a workshop on the future of the Quaker movement with Friends from the West Coast of the United States and Canada.

What they learned might surprise you.Read the article

image of earthFriends Climate Witness Continues

Quakers from throughout our region participated with people of many faiths in the #StopSpectra #EscalationSummer actions to oppose the construction of a new natural gas pipeline in West Roxbury, MA on June 29.

Read a reflection from Kristina Keefe-Perry of Fresh Pond (MA) Meeting on participating in this witness.

To learn more about a new email list connecting Friends for mutual support and coordination of climate witness, click here.

The New England Yearly Meeting Earthcare Ministry Committee maintains a page here.

Images below, from Top Left: Jay O’Hara (West Falmouth Preparative and Sandwich (MA) Meetings, with friend and climate advocate Tim DeChristopher. Top Right: Severyn Bruyn of Friends Meeting at Cambridge (MA) is arrested as Maureen Lanan, also of Cambridge Meeting looks on. Bottom Left: Frances Crowe, Northampton (MA) Friends. Bottom Right: Jennifer Serdy, Arthur Klipfel, Gwen Noyes, Mary Coelho, Nancy Cirillo and John Bach of Friends Meeting at Cambridge (MA). 

Seeking a Just Peace in Israel-Palestine

A group of New England Friends carrying a concern for peace in the Middle East has been working to develop learning opportunities for Quakers in our region, including films, presentations and discussions.

Northwest Quarterly Meeting, as well as Storrs (CT) and Cambridge (MA) Monthly Meetings have affirmed minutes related to the conflict, and the group encourages other meetings to explore these important issues. They expect to have a vibrant presence at Annual Sessions.

More information about what Quakers are doing nationally and internationally about this conflict can be found at

To learn more about the work of this group, or to get involved, contact Sandy Isaacs of Monadnock (NH) Quaker Meeting by clicking here.

Kenyan Pastors Visit New England

Last week Wellesley (MA) Meeting hosted a Godly Play/Faith & Play training at Wellesley (MA) Friends Meeting with Kenyan pastors as honored participants, as they traveled in New England with recorded minister Marian Baker of Weare (NH) Meeting before going on to the Triennial of the United Society of Friends Women (USFW) in Iowa this week. They’ll also join Friends at Annual Sessions in Vermont in August.

Recognizing the recent travels in ministry of another African Friend, Sukie Rice of Durham (ME) Friends writes about the successful visit of Pastor Ida of Kakamega Orphans Care Center Project to New England and beyond.

Seen in the image below, left to right: Agneta Kwayumba Injairu, Marian Baker, Beth Collea, Cynthia Ganung, Pam Cole, Margaret Namikoye Musalia.

Quaker Events

Coming Soon

Save the Date

  • October 21-23: A gathering for Quaker Women in Public MinistryMade possible with support from the New England Yearly Meeting Future Fund.
  • November 5 in Portland, ME: The first in an exciting new series of daylong gatherings sponsored by New England Yearly Meeting for worship, spiritual nurture, connection and celebration across generations for Friends throughout our region. We’re calling it “Living Faith.” More info coming soon!

So, How Was It?

  • Last month we shared the news that Framingham (MA) Friends planned to celebrate their 50th Anniversary with a “Friendly Fair” for the whole community. Read a report from this time of outreach and connection.

But Wait…

Don’t see events in your area? 

We’d love to hear more about your exciting upcoming events and news. Please reply to this message with details so that we can share more of what’s happening in future issues!

And as always, check out the Yearly Meeting calendar for more events in the life of Friends across New England

Service Opportunities

Service for Annual Sessions

  • Volunteers are the backbone of Annual Sessions. Help in the bookstore, carry a meal tray for someone in need, play with kids under the tent in the afternoon.If you plan to attend Sessions (still time to register!), please tell us how you would like to serve. Click here to fill out a simple form.
  • Special Volunteer Position: Display coordinator/plenary supportThis Friend will coordinate the reserving and arranging of informational displays on Saturday (and occasionally throughout the week) at Sessions.  This person will also provide support for clerk’s table and plenary speakers for all plenaries as needed (providing water, setting up clerks table, ringing childcare bell at the end of sessions).  A partial fee waiver is provided. Email Kathleen at
  • Help is especially needed after Sessions to unload the truck at the Yearly Meeting office in Worcester, MA on the evening of Thursday, August 11. If you can help, email Sara Hubner, Office Manager at

More Opportunities

One response to “Trying what Love will do”

  1. Please hold Asheville NC (SAYMA Yearly Meeting) meeting and community in your prayers and in the LIght. A Black father of 5 was killed this week by police. The community is in deep grief and Friends are very involved in support and grief as well. Thanks. Gita Larsongit

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