“We believe that every person is loved by the Divine Spirit. There are
Quakers of all ages, religious backgrounds, races, education, sexual orientations, gender identities, abilities, classes and experience. You are welcome to join us as you are.”
These words were approved by the Monthly Meeting today as an update to our welcoming language to the world. Our thanks to the Committee on Nurturing Ministries of Friends General Conference in allowing us to use some of their language.
“Everyone felt that the whole weekend was very successful, deep and meaningful and well worth the time we put into it.”
~ Reflection from the Retreat Committee
Dear folks connected to Putney Friends Meeting,
We have put up a sign saying that Black Lives Matter.
We had a film series in late spring on looking at racism and some of its evolution.
And this is your invitation to join a focused group this fall. Details are below. Please contact Gail Haines to register (or with questions).
802-387-5676 or 802-258-0369.
Please register by September 10th.
Thanks and toward justice and peace, Gail
> Whites confronting our Racism – study and dialogue to action
> A group to meet 5 times. Regular attendance at all sessions is important for group development, so let us know if you have to miss a time. There will be readings sent out ahead of each session. We hope everyone who attends will have seen or see the films that were in the racism series in the spring. (they can be borrowed from the meeting)
> Tentative session titles:
> White privilege and white fragility within the context of a society that has structural racism
> Micro aggressions
> Practicing interventions
> Being black / person of the global majority in a majority white community and congregation
> How to take action
> Wednesdays, 6:30 – 8:30 pm
> Sept 21, Oct 5, Oct 19, Nov 2, Nov 16
> At Mareka’s house, 126 Main St. Putney – go in front door and ring bell on right (residence)
> Please let Gail Haines know by September 10th if you want to participate. Gail.email@example.com
> Organizers and facilitators of the series – Claire Halverson, Sandy Lynn, Mareka Ohlson, Sheila Garrett, and Gail Haines.
On Sunday August 7th, Jon Watts, Director of the popular QuakerSpeak video series, will be worshipping at Putney Meeting for the 10:30worship.
Following the rise of meeting, Jon would like to invite anyone who is interested to join him for another brief period of worship, during which he will be filming Friends in worship for use in the upcoming series of QuakerSpeak.
New England Yearly Meeting and QuakerSpeak are partnering on Season Three of the video series, and are producing several videos featuring the life and ministry of Friends in New England. This filming of Friends in worship in Putney’s beautiful meetinghouse are intended to help provide context and background to the videos.
To clarify, there will be no filming in the regularly-scheduled meeting for worship, but only in the special brief time, attended only by those who are comfortable being filmed in worship.
Two local artists are joining forces with words and music for a poetry reading with violin interludes on June 18th, Saturday at 1 pm.
Gudrun Weeks, violinist and Lynn Martin, poet, will be reading in Marlboro at 355 Upper Dover Road in the barn of Edie Mas (second place on the left after leaving Higley Hill). Visitors are asked to bring a folding chair if they can or a cushion to sit on the floor.
Gudrun says, “We two met in the West Brattleboro Quaker Worship Group. We had fun together reading Lynn’s poetry and seeing what idea that set off in me for my choice of music and Lynn’s reaction to that. There is no close connection between the two, just enjoying the partnership. We asked a third Quaker, Edie Mas, to host the happening in her barn up in Marlboro. It feels like a supportive, complimentary relationship.”
Gudrun was formerly a Marlboro resident, having built a house on Lucier Road with Larry Gay, teacher at the college and their two children. She taught solfege there under Blanche Moyse and was part of the founding of the Brattleboro Music School. In the seventies she also played in the Vermont Symphony and its quartet, giving school concerts. In the sixties she helped to form the Eugene Symphony and was its concert mistress. Earlier she taught at Putney School and played in the Kansas City Philharmonic after a year in the National Training Orchestra in NYC. While at Sarah Lawrence College she studied under Dorothy DeLay and Robert Koff from Juilliard. Previously she spent a year in Munich at the Conservatory.
Lynn has lived in Brattleboro for many years. You can view her work on poetlynn.com <http://poetlynn.com>. She has three books of poetry: Visible Signs of Defiance, Talking to the Day and Birds of a Feather.
“Lynn comes to poetry from a working class background. Her verse contains a raw truthfulness uncontaminated by privilege. Lynn’s style compliments that of the state of Vermont: sharp lines, a tough backbone, and an aesthetic the quality of moss.” Meg Mott. Marlboro College
Can a Quaker Meeting be quiet enough? Putney Friends Meeting has been working towards sound remediation in the Worship space over the past few years. With so many wood surfaces, the sound of voices was very reverberant and it was difficult at times to hear vocal testimony.
This week Brent, Ken, Chris and Roger installed acoustic panels to control the amount of echo. Many thanks to all who contributed to this project.
Justice and Peace Committee of Putney Friends Meeting presents a Film and Discussion series on Racism
All are welcome to this opportunity to watch the films together, consider the history of racism, particularly in the USA, consider what white privilege is for those of us who are white, and pursue conversations on race and racism with one another.
Friday evenings from 7 to 8:30 at the Meeting house
Friday, April 22nd – Race: the Power of an Illusion – The differences between us. Facilitated by Nancy Shepherd
Friday, May 6th– Race: the Power of an Illusion – the story we tell. Facilitated by Gail Haines
Friday, May 20th – Race: the Power of an Illusion – The house we live in. Facilitated by Sandy Lynn
Friday, June 3rd – Last Chance for Eden, part 1 – Conversations around race and racism. Facilitated by Mike Mrowicki
Please join us. For questions contact the Justice and Peace Committee.
Global Healing Labyrinth Walk:
Healing Hearts at Wounded Knee
December 29th Putney Friends Meetinghouse, 7PM,
In the wake of the events in Paris, California, Africa, Georgia (the list can go on and on), please consider joining the Native Elders as they create a Global ceremony
to end massacre, and all that massacre means, and to heal our hearts.
“ALL OF HUMANITY suffers multi-lineal, multi-generational trauma and carries a grief so deep, so profound, so massive as to bring us to our knees in awe, overwhelm, shock, and pain buried in denial. We have WOUNDED KNEES! WE HAVE WOUNDED HEARTS! All peoples have suffered for so very long, indeed our Earth is suffering with us! The choice in clearly dawning — either grow and heal together or perish if we continue alone. Please join us by gathering at your local sites of massacre, holocaust, places of human grief and suffering, places of worship, or in your own home to perform ceremony with us.”
The Labyrinth Walk in Putney for Healing Hearts will be held at 7PM.
This event is being hosted by Sadelle Wiltshire, who is also a Veriditas Certified Labyrinth Facilitator.
Sheila Garrett deconstructed the word responsiblity as part of her following note. Have you ever thought of this word in this way? It opens up possibilities for action in ways that you may not have thought of… both as individuals and as Faith groups.
Sheila is walking from Vermont to Georgia. You can follow her diary on PutneyFriendsMeeting.org; Sheila’s walk to Georgia
Part of what I struggle with in understanding and explaining my ministry is the universality and inclusivity of it. One thing became clear in the past few days. The Doctrine of Discovery, the Papal edicts of the 1400s justifying the subjugation and annihilation of indigenous peoples, was the EXACT same system, the same definition of Christianity that justified/called for slavery of African people. John Woolman’s writings make that very clear. The exploitation of natural resources and of other species is also justified the same way. It really is all connected.
When people ask ‘why are you walking?’ I say ‘I’m walking with a concern for the earth and all it’s beings, including you.’ In saying that, I intend to honor John Woolman’s approach. Woolman was very intentional in making all those connections, perhaps especially the inclusive aspect of concern for the slaveholder as well as the slave. I think when I can, I need to be able to articulate clearly and concisely what I mean by this. It is what Woolman and others say about ‘taking away the occasion for war.’ It is that BLACK LIVES MATTER as much as any lives matter, more than others right now, because the movement (Black Lives Matter) needs support and because they have been so intentionally and consistently disregarded. This is not to say that other lives don’t matter, too. When I met with the working party on Racism at Stony Brook in Baltimore, people were saying they thought the message should be BLACK LIVES MATTER, TOO. I think it’s good to hold the line on BLACK LIVES MATTER as a definitive statement of the need for redress. It means for me that no matter how simply I live I will always be privileged and with that privilege comes responsibility, the ABILITY to respond effectively to injustice. I carry that response ability and I need to use it as best I can. I need to find ways to effectively express it and live into it so it can resonate with each person I meet. For me prayer and direct connection to the divine are completely entwined with this. I cannot do this alone. For some, it is obvious and easy to discuss. For others, ‘God talk’ shuts them down immediately. Same with talk of social justice. And there are levels that work and don’t work for each of us. I pray for the ability to be sensitive to each person’s needs. I try to meet each person where she/he is and engage meaningfully to whatever extent possible.