|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.