How the Scandinavians got it right — and how we can, too

by George Lakey220px-galdhopiggenfromfannaraki

Sat Oct 15 Keene, NH: Toadstool Bookstore, 4pm.

12 Emerald St. , the corner of Main St. and Emerald St.

Bill McKibben: “A completely fascinating account of the Nordics–and, in particular, of Norway, one of the planet’s most fascinating nations. Viking Economics shows us there’s no reason we couldn’t be making far more progress across a wide range of problems. George Lakey is great at explaining why.” Journalist, climate activist, Schumann Distinguished Scholar at Middlebury College.

Frances Moore Lappé: “Brilliant, fun to read, and most timely–just what Americans need right now! Lakey busts key myths that keep us believing we can’t have the society we want. Bravo for this great source of evidence-grounded hope!” Author of Diet for a Small Planet and Getting a Grip: Clarity, Creativity and Courage for the World We Want.

Dean Baker: “Lakey gives a useful account of the development of the Nordic economic and social model. This model has proven extraordinarily successful in ensuring a decent standard of living for all the citizens of these countries, while at the same time keeping them open to international trade and at the forefront of technology. This short book is a great starting point for those looking for insights into the origins and structure of this model.”  Co-Director of Center for Economic and Policy Research, Washington, D.C.

Chuck Collins: “Carrying student debt? Working longer hours with no vacation?  Do you wonder if it is possible for the U.S. to reverse a generation of extreme inequality?  It doesn’t have to be this way.  Viking Economics helps us envision a different way of organizing our economy to put people and planet first.  With this book, George Lakey stirs our imagination with practical and inspiring lessons from the Nordic countries for U.S. economy and society.”   Senior Scholar, Institute for Policy Studies, and author of Wealthy, Come Home.

In this book, George Lakey, who has lived and worked in Norway, tells an uplifting story. What economists call “the Nordic model” puts Denmark, Iceland, Norway and Sweden at the top tier of international ratings.  That includes education, abundance of jobs, health care, and security for all people.  Only Norway found substantial oil. All four Nordics were nimble in bouncing back from the 2008 crisis that still bedevils Europe and the U.S.

The book is not your regular economics book. It tells a very human story: what is it like to be a professional in Norway, or a parent or student or worker or entrepreneur or farmer or retired person or immigrant? The reader will meet people from many walks of life, even the author’s Norwegian family of in-laws. This book is lively and inspiring.

Surprises in the book include the fact that Norway has more start-ups per capita than the U.S., and Sweden outpaces the U.S. economy’s innovativeness.  Denmark is racing ahead to achieve carbon neutrality and already generates enough wind power to sell surplus to Germany. Iceland’s low crime rate is the envy of Europe; in the years since 2008 Iceland increased its already high economic equality.

Nordic societies are not utopian.  Racial and ethnic diversity challenges them. Women have not fully broken the “glass ceiling,” although they have 40% of corporate board seats and give significant political leadership.   For brief periods Swedes, Icelanders, and Norwegians did de-regulate their financial sectors, with disastrous consequences that forced them back to their Nordic model.  The book tells the dramatic story of how they waged their own struggles for democracy and freedom, and opened the space to create a model that others learn from

Forwarded from the Clerk of NEYM:P1080549.jpg


Orlando Quakers invite Friends across the country to have silent worship at a common time, 7 p.m. on Tuesday, June 14th 2016, whether in your homes or in your meetinghouses.

Here are links for additional information about two local LGBTQ+ non-profit community organizations in Orlando that do amazing work: Zebra Foundation ( and The Center ( They are well run (I know folks who work at both places) and are always in need of financial support, if you have the means to offer such material assistance. Both of these are within 1 to 2 miles of our Orlando meetinghouse, and very much a part of our immediate community.

We will need to continue working together to discern way forward as monthly meetings, yearly meetings, and an FLGBTQC community in the coming days, weeks, and months. In the meantime, know that we are so very grateful for the love and light everyone has offered to Orlando Quakers,

In peace,

–Stephanie Preston (

4 Oct. 2015

Friends World Committee for Consultation…

. . . invites every Quaker meeting and church from around the world to celebrate WORLD QUAKER DAY (WQD) on October 4, 2015. As the sun rises in each area of the world, we want to remember that Quakers are worshiping through every time zone, celebrating our deep connections across cultures and Quaker traditions. We are united in love and can accompany each other on this special day that draws us together. As we worship, let us hold each other in prayer and thanksgiving, and let our hymns of praise resound across the world.

The theme of the Plenary is Living the transformation: Creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God (Romans 8:19). More information can be found on the World Office website.

QuakerSpeak is now available on Scroll to the bottom of our home page to watch. QuakerSpeak is a Quaker YouTube channel. They interview Friends of all different backgrounds and ask them the core questions of our faith.

QuakerSpeak interviews are personal and intimate. We seek to give viewers worldwide an experience that is entertaining, informative, inspiring, challenging, inviting, unifying and collaborative.

New videos come out every Thursday.


Brattleboro Worship Group with the support of Putney Meeting has provided support to Hubert J Hirwa to attend SIT.  He is now here in Brattleboro.  HIs study was sponsored by the African Great Lakes Initiative of the Friends Peace Teams..   He is currently working in Rwanda.

El Dearborn, Clerk of Ministry & Counsel Committee, has invited Hirwa to lunch at the Meeting House Wednesday June 10th. Anyone available is welcome to join them at about 1 pm.

He will also speak to Meeting at the rise of late Meeting, this Sunday, June 14th.

This is a wonderful opportunity to learn about his work in Africa.

To find out more go to; African Great Lakes Initiative of the Friends Peace Teams

Hello Woolman Hill friends!

The Baltimore orioles are back in the maple trees, the pear trees have just begun blooming, and the daffodils are still holding forth. Spring is in full bloom!image003

As many of you may already have heard, Woolman Hill lost our dear friend and long-time Hill resident, Juanita Nelson, in March. At the end of this month there are opportunities to celebrate her powerful and inspiring life. More information about those opportunities and about Juanita can be found here:

It seems fitting, in conjunction with Juanita, to mention opportunities for joining efforts on three upcoming Woolman Hill volunteer workdays. We’d love your company and extra elbow grease on May 6, May 20 and/or June 20. There’s more information here:

The glory of spring will soon be turning into the abundance of summer… And the Hill has its own special beauty in each season… Come experience it for yourself… As always we welcome you for individual retreats, programs, group gatherings, midweek worship, or just a leisurely walk on the Ridge Trail…

Hope to see you here on the Hill soon!

Margaret Cooley

Executive Director

Woolman Hill Quaker Retreat Center

107 Keets Rd, Deerfield MA 01342


Greetings Friends,

Many of us would like to help the folks in Nepal, and are wondering just how best to do it???

Coincident to the earthquakes, there happened to be members of Friends Peace Teams running Alternatives to Violence Workshops (AVP) as the earthquakes were occurring.   I’ve been copied on several messages from an AVP acquaintance John Michaelis, a very active AVP facilitator from Australia , who was on the 5th floor of a shaking building when the quakes were occurring.  Fortunately he and the workshop participants were not injured.   John has been sending daily reports of the devastation and conditions in Katmandu.  John and others were scheduled to fly home last week, but are now dedicated to staying to offer whatever assistance they can.

The message below outlines the need.  While we individually may not be in a position to personally participate in relief efforts, Contributions to Friends Peace Teams are greatly needed and are a way in which Quakers and others might be able to directly help.  The lower right of their web page outlines ways of donating.


Alan Taplow Nepal

Below is the most recent communication from John:

I am still in Kathmandu where Subhash and I have been struggling to find most effective way Friends Peace Teams Asia West Pacific might further respond to the ongoing tragedy here.
We have discussed four different approaches:

  1. Choosing one badly damaged community that is disadvantaged such as an Untouchable or Dalit caste village or region, send volunteers there with immediately needed support such as food, water, clothing and materials for temporary shelter.
  2. Offering psycho-social counselling using AVP facilitators and others here who have that training..
  3. Providing support for finding homes for orphans
  4. Using our trained facilitators to offer Trauma Workshops for the many who have been traumatised.

After discussion we have narrowed our recommended focus to 1, 2, and 4. While the need for psycho-social counselling is real, it is relatively expensive because it is a one-on-one process. Trauma workshops on the other hand are effective and reach many participants. We have previously held trauma workshops in Nepal and have a number of trained facilitators here.
Supporting a community is the most urgent and we would like to act on this immediately. If funds are pledged we have limited money available in Nepal from concerned individuals so we can begin before the money transferred to Nepal.
We spoke today to Ram Paudel, one of our AVP lead facilitators and the the executive director of Children Nepal, our partner in the Pokhara district of Nepal. For the past twenty years, a primary mission of theirs has been to find new families for orphaned children . They target a maximum of three months to find permanent homes for each child.
Trauma workshops are cost effective although we must compensate facilitators for time and travel because they must take leave to go to the areas of need.Â
As we better understand the most immediate needs we may need to adapt to accommodate new information.
The life changing work done here and the relationships established in the past two months has been effective and greatly affirmed and appreciated and must continue. We will report separately on these events. We pray that the urgent support need for the earthquake tragedy does not detract from this.
We hope the need here will lead to significant empathy and financial support.
We would welcome your thoughts and suggestions a.s.a.p. If our approach is affirmed by FPT-AWPÂ we will send out letters outlining the need as soon as we can.
In friendship:

Subhash and John in Kathmandu

Subhash Kattel
John Michaelis
FPT-AWP Coordinators

sustainable_lifeDoug Gwyn, pastor of Durham Friends Meeting and author of many books including his recent A Sustainable Life–Quaker Faith and Practice in the Renewal of Creation, is coming to Burlington Friends Meeting on March 29.
Burlington Friends have been reading the book together and have found it to be very relevant to our life and times as Quakers. We’re pleased that Doug agreed to speak at the rise of Meeting on the 29th. Following worship, which is 11am  to 12 pm, we’ll enjoy a potluck lunch. Doug will speak at 1:30 pm and with questions and answers, it may go to 3:30 pm.
Please let us know if you need childcare.
Contact Ruah Swennerfelt with questions and childcare needs at or 802-425-3377.

 sunrise weston

Dear Friends,

I can still remember the first time I chose to make a financial contribution to the ministry of our yearly meeting.

As a young adult traveling in the ministry, living with student loans and an uncertain future, my resources were limited. Like many of us, I grew up with a sense of not enough. I told myself I had nothing to give, that I’d give when I was older, that I’d give next year. But as I clicked the “donate” button, I realized I was choosing to align what resources I did control with this spiritual movement that was changing my life.

For me, it started with five dollars.

Those two cups of coffee a month that I was willing to sacrifice opened a new dimension of relationship with our community of Friends. Giving financially has become a spiritual discipline for me, a practice of abundance. Like becoming a member in my local meeting, giving money is another way I join the Quaker movement as together we bear the fruit of Love in the world.

As 2015 approaches, our hearts turn to what’s most important – and hopefully away from email. I’m looking forward to a time of retreat, reflection and prayer as the old year turns to new. My bags are almost packed.

But before I go, I’m going to make an end-of-year gift to help sustain our shared work together in the coming year.

Here’s what this message is really about:

Financial support is just a small part of the many ways we accompany one another on this journey of faithfulness. But it’s an important part.

I believe giving financially is one more way we affirm the sacredness of every aspect and every moment of our lives, as we walk together in the Light.

In this time of global challenge and change, the world needs a way of life that doesn’t draw lines between “spiritual” and “worldly” concerns. We need an integrated approach that invites our whole lives to be filled with and guided by the Spirit. And this is something Friends have tried to practice for a long time.

In this season, I’m reminded that it’s vital to bring all of my life – including my relationship with money – into the Light.

Might this be true for you, too?

If you’ve already given this year, thank you.

If you haven’t given a gift – or haven’t even considered it this year – I hope you’ll join me in making a contribution in any amount by tomorrow night.

In this new year, may our lives and our local meetings be a blessing in our world.

In faith and service,

Noah Baker Merrill
Putney (VT) Friends Meeting
New England Yearly Meeting of Friends