With Our Whole Hearts

Dear Friends,

I’ve been ill for the past few weeks, so I hope you’ll forgive my not sharing a longer reflection this month.

Last week, with support from many Friends, our presiding clerk and I published a public statement on behalf of Quakers in New England, “The Love that Overcomes.” You can read the letter here.

I hope the stories of faithful living and opportunities for engagement featured in this month’s newsletter will bring you encouragement and nourish your spirit. My prayer is that in these turbulent days, each of us might find space—even if only for a few moments—for the refuge, rest, and renewal that will allow us to be who we are called to be.

May we help each other to discern and do just what is ours to do—what only we can do—and to do it with our whole hearts.

In faith and service,

Noah Merrill
Secretary
New England Yearly Meeting of Friends (Quakers)

Partners in Spirit matches young adults and aspiring mentors

February 15–18, 2019
Woolman Hill
Deerfield, MA

Hilary Burgin (Beacon Hill, MA, Friends Meeting) and Nia Thomas (Northampton, MA, Friends Meeting) will be joined by guest teacher Kristina Keefe-Perry (Fresh Pond, MA, Friends Meeting) to lead this weekend retreat bringing together two cohorts: emerging adults (ages 18–25) seeking to strengthen their understanding and experience of Quaker spiritual practices and more experienced Friends seeking to grow in their gifts as mentors and spiritual nurturers.

Attendance is by application. For more information, click here.

At the Well

A gathering for Friends in public ministry who identify as women (cisgender and trans), trans men, genderqueer, non-binary, and all gender expansive identities, December 6–9, 2018.

At the Well aspires to witness to the particularity of callings laid upon participants’ hearts by providing a venue for Spirit to knit together a blessed community of connection, support, mentoring, restoration, and passion.

The weekend will include times of worship, worship-sharing in small groups, workshops, multiple participant-led offerings, socialization, rest, and renewal. We intend to follow a hybrid model of structured planned program time and some time for Open Space/Unconference exploration.

An optional 24-hour pre-gathering will offer participants space for self-led sabbatical time or guided discernment program facilitated by Jennie Isbell Shinn (Mt. Toby, MA, Friends Meeting).

Attendance at the gathering and pre-gathering will be open to any Quaker in public ministry whose gender identity is targeted by any form of gender-based discrimination.

Learn more about At the Well and register.

Other events coming soon

Upcoming Quarterly Meetings

Upcoming Youth Retreats

View More Events

Dawnland film streaming on PBS this month

Dawnland, the acclaimed documentary chronicling the work of the Truth and Reconcilation Commission in Maine, is now available to stream in the United States on the PBS website and apps through the end of November in recognition of National Native American Heritage month. The Upstander Project team, Dawnlandfilm participants, and their partners at Maine-Wabanaki REACH are available for teacher workshops and to join conversations at all screenings of the film.

Click here to book a speaker. For more about the film, visit the Dawnland website.

Faith & Practice Revision Committee invites
your insights

This year at Annual Sessions, the committee charged with leading the revision of Faith and Practice, our Yearly Meeting’s book of discipline, brought two additional papers to NEYM for Friends’ consideration; one on Pastoral Care and one on Dying, Death and Bereavement. In addition, the Faith and Practice Revision Committee is continuing to work on the papers on Personal Spiritual Disciplines and Membership. Friends can find all of these papers here.

The committee is asking Friends to engage with these papers corporately, in each of our local meetings, and to share our advices and responses. The Faith and Practice Revision Committee is particularly interested in responses to the two new chapters: Pastoral Care and Dying, Death and Bereavement. Responses can be sent to the Committee’s email address, preferably no later than February 1, 2019.

These Friends have been doing careful and deeply discerning work in bringing forward a new book of discipline for New England Yearly Meeting. The invitation to read this material and to engage with it together is an invitation to consider corporately who we are and how we are called to live into our faith.

Song, prayer, and fellowship gather Friends at Living Faith

Photos: (top, lower left) Maggie Nelson, (lower right) Lisa Graustein

More than 125 Friends gathered for a day of community-building, worship, workshops, and fellowship on Saturday, October 27th at The 224 EcoSpace in Hartford, Connecticut. We began the day with a game, and closed the day with worship and song. Read more voices of Friends sharing about the day here.

“Provoke one another to Love” Chosen as Theme for 2019 Annual Sessions

The theme for the 2019 Annual Sessions has been discerned: “Provoke one another to Love.” The phrase comes from a 1656 epistle from Margaret Fell, and was quoted in the Yearly Meeting 2018 Epistle.

Read a message about this theme from Yearly Meeting Presiding Clerk Fritz Weiss

Responding to Climate Change

Measuring your carbon footprint

As many Friends are aware, the Yearly Meeting gathered in August committed to assessing New England Quakers’ current impact on the climate and taking concrete steps to reduce our carbon footprint—both for individuals and our local meetings—by December 20, 2019.

An online carbon calculator developed by Friend Steve Gates (West Falmouth, MA, Friends Meeting) can be used by individuals and groups to estimate your carbon footprint. Steve and Rebecca MacKenzie (Quaker City/Unity, NH, Friends Meeting) from the NEYM Earthcare Ministries Committee would love to visit your meeting to listen and share with you about the calculator, to explore the transformations required of us, and to support your meeting in taking steps forward.

Contact Steve by email or call 508-564-2761. Rebecca can also be reached by email or by telephone at 603-504-2851.

Taking action

Middlebury (VT) Friends expressed their gratitude to the local Jewish community by purchasing solar panels for Havurah House, the building where Middlebury Friends meet. These Friends have been thinking for some years about how to help Havurah make the building more environmentally friendly. Once electricity begins flowing from these solar panels, Havurah will get a credit on its electric bill that will offset most or all of the building’s electricity expense.

More resources and inspiration

Andy Burt (Midcoast, ME, Friends Meeting) has created a full-length documentary that tells how 13 Maine activists started their journey of activism for climate justice, and where they find support and hope. The film is free for downloading and streaming at downtoearthstories.org.

Traveling Ministry: Art & Spirituality

Maggie Nelson, of Portland Friends Meeting (ME), is beginning a traveling ministry this year (through May 31, 2019) offering workshops for New England Friends of all ages to explore art as an expression of faith. Additionally, there is an open call for work from Quaker artists exploring this topic. The project will culminate in a collection of artwork that illustrates and illuminates Quaker testimony. Are you an artist with work to share? Would you like Maggie to visit your meeting, retreat, or school? Contact her at maggie@neym.org.
Maggie also served as artist in residence at Friends Camp, in China, Maine, this past June. Read about her experience here.

Friends Camp Registration is Open!

Friends Camp offers 2-week overnight camp programs for children and teens ages 7 to17 in South China, Maine. Campers ages 7 to 12 can try camp for just one week. Check out the Camp’s Instagram photos here and watch a video from this past summer. Visit the Friends Camp website for more information and to register your child.
Learn More and Register

Following Where Faith Leads

An unexpected leading to visit Friends in New Bedford led Martha Mangelsdorf in surprising new directions—with significant implications. Read about her journey here.

Wellesley Friends Join Area Clergy to Support Transgender Rights

June 6, 2018, Needham Community Conversation about Transgender Equality, First Parish UU Church. Cynthia Ganung is at the far left.

Wellesley (MA) Friends Meeting, represented by Cynthia Ganung, joined area clergy in a letter supporting Question 3 on transgender rights in Massachusetts. The faith-based statement was read at the Needham Transgender Equality Coalition program on October 22, “Why Yes on 3? A conversation on preserving transgender rights in MA.” (The photo above is from an earlier event supporting transgender equality.)Cynthia reports “I was proud to be part of this group and to speak out as a Quaker who supports transgender equality. At the end of the program, a woman who is transgender told me she was moved to tears during this reading and is beginning to feel that she might be able to reclaim her faith.”

The Transgender Day of Remembrance is November 20.

New Quaker Action Program Manager at
Beacon Hill Friends House

The Beacon Hill Friends House (Boston, MA) is excited to announce that Emily Savin has joined the staff and residential community as the organization’s first full-time Program Manager. Emily is a Friend, a writer, and a community-builder, coming to the Friends House from Northampton, MA. A former staff member and resident at Pendle Hill, Emily also brings many years of experience as a grassroots organizer at the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) and in several U.S. congressional campaigns. Her work will center on stewarding and expanding the Friends House’s educational and action-focused programming on Quaker and social justice topics—both those designed in-house and those hosted by outside individuals and groups.

The addition of the Program Manager—who joins three existing staff and 18 other residents—is the latest step in living into the Friends House’s 2017 strategic plan to grow its role as a center for learning, witness, and action for Friends and others in the Boston area and beyond. Learn more about Emily and the plans for her work in this post on the Beacon Hill Friends House website.

Collaborating for Religious Education

The Quaker Religious Education Collaborative (QREC) is a grassroots network of Friends holding a sense of stewardship for life-long Quaker faith formation. Friends from all branches involved in religious education are welcome to join. The collaborative is a community of practice to share resources, skills, gifts, questions, and insights, and to support one another in this vital ministry. QREC hosts monthly online conversation circles on relevant topics.This month’s theme is Friendly Resources for the Holiday Season. For more information on the collaborative and to sign up for the conversation circles, visit the QREC website.

Explore Quaker Parenting

The Quaker Parenting Initiative, with leadership from Harriet Heath of Schoodic (ME) Friends Meeting, offers online parenting discussion series. During a series, parents share their experiences and explore how their Quaker beliefs, the testimonies and practices guide and support their parenting. As one parent wrote:

Online makes it accessible. It was amazing to connect to the community this way!! It has been so lovely to feel part of something with like-minded people, each with their own challenges. It is difficult to commit to a weekly time slot for a number of consecutive weeks, but I am so glad that I did.

She continued by noting how she and her partner now approach each situation using their values, beliefs, and the cognitive development of their children.

Two new series of five sessions of parenting discussions will start in January 2019, one on the 9th and the second on the 10th. For more information or to register, contact Harriet Heath at 413-230-6568 or email her.

In 2019 Friends Peace Teams will be offering opportunities for training in peacebuilding and healing and rebuilding communities. The 6th Annual International Peace Training will happen in Indonesia, January 10 through 23, 2019. Two sessions of “Healing and Rebuilding Our Communities” will be offered, February 3–23, 2019; and July 7–27, 2019; both in Rwanda. For more information on their work, visit the Friends Peace Teams website.

News of New England Friends sharing and acting from their faith in the past month:

Are you aware of Friends or Friends Meetings featured in the media? Email us so that we can share the news!

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You are receiving this email because you expressed interest in the life and ministry of New England Quakers.Our mailing address is:

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