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Whatever your political views, and whatever the outcome of the election, all of us, our nation and the world will need prayerful grounding. Anyone is welcome to come to the Meetinghouse for any length of time, from 8am to 10pm Tuesday and Wednesday, to pray, worship, contemplate. On Wednesday, we will hold our weekly unprogrammed Quaker worship from 5:30 to 6:30pm followed by about 20-30 minutes of worshipful sharing. All are welcome.

WOOLMAN HILL QUAKER RETREAT CENTER 107 Keets Road, Deerfield

Tuesday November 8 Wednesday November 9

Meetinghouse open 8am to 10pm

For more information: 413-774-3431, info@woolmanhill.org http://www.woolmanhill.org

Woolman Hill Quaker Retreat Center

“Energy giant Kinder Morgan Inc. hascropped-940_conf_ctr_spring476k suspended additional work and spending on its Northeast Energy Direct project, a controversial natural gas pipeline proposed through Massachusetts and New Hampshire.
Kinder Morgan said on Wednesday that the company didn’t receive the extra commitments from big customers that it needed to proceed with the $3.3 billion project. As a result, Kinder Morgan said in a statement, ‘there are currently neither sufficient volumes, nor a reasonable expectation of securing them, to proceed with the project as it is currently configured.'”
SO MANY THANKS TO ALL WHO WORKED TO OPPOSE THE PIPELINE.
Margaret
Margaret Cooley
Executive Director
Woolman Hill Quaker Retreat Center

 

Dear Friend,

Built on the four core values: Community, Service, Transformation, and the Quaker Way, QVS offers young adults the opportunity to discover their gifts, while helping change the world. It is an experiment at the intersection of transformational spirituality and activism. It is a chance to live your life with compassion and justice, within a community of fellow social change agents, and in conversation with the various expressions of the Quaker Way.P1060533 We are excited to announce that we are recruiting Volunteers for FOUR houses this year (Atlanta, GA; Portland, OR; Philadelphia, PA; and Boston, MA).

QVS Volunteers work full time in professional positions at local nonprofits, schools, and other social justice agencies that offer support to marginalized individuals and communities. For examples of the service site placement possibilities in our current cities see:www.quakervoluntaryservice.org/current-placements/.

Through simple, communal living, Volunteers learn to care for self and others. Volunteers receive housing, all utilities, health insurance, a transportation and grocery allowance and a small living stipend. Volunteers will be supported by and engage with local Quaker communities. Volunteers are not required to be a Quaker to participate in QVS, but they should come prepared to deeply engage in Quaker worship and practice! , and be genuinely open to sharing their spiritual journey with others.

QVS alumna Becca Bass reflects on her experience with QVS:

“….The beauty of QVS is that it gives you a secure space in which to clarify a sense of your own values and ideals, it helps you c ultivate a vocabulary with which to process them and continue to explore them, and provides you with communities that support and validate the search.”

Do you know a young adult who is looking for this kind of experience?

Applications are due by March 15, 2015.

For more information and to apply, please see: 
www.quakervoluntaryservice.org/apply

You can watch a brief video introduction titled QVS: Transforming Service, Living Faith

Rebecca Sullivan

Recruitment Coordinator
Quaker Voluntary Service
610-551-8439 (cell) : 404-624-5299 (voicemail)
750 Glenwood Ave SE or PO Box 17628 Atlanta GA 30316
Watch a video about QVS here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O9-iRiq9dWw

Earth Quaker Action Team 2Earth Quaker Action Team Climate Disruption Investigation of PNC Bank

Saturday, September 20th, in New York City.

As UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon gathers government leaders to support “an ambitious global agreement to dramatically reduce global warming pollution,” the Earth Quaker Action Team is joining tens of thousands of people in New York City for the People’s Climate March. In addition, we’ll take action at PNC bank demanding it also take ambitious action on climate change.

In May 2013, the UN investigated claims of human rights abuses in Appalachia connected to mountaintop removal coal mining leading to birth defects, poisoned water and economic paralysis. EQAT and allies will expand our footprint to New York City, to “find” evidence of climate disruption at PNC bank in a theatrical nonviolent direct action.

We will present PNC with a copy of the letter we will send to the UN naming PNC bank as a climate disrupter.

WHAT: Climate Disruption Investigation

WHEN: Saturday, September 20, starting 10am for briefing and nonviolencetraining

WHO: Earth Quaker Action Team and allies

WHERE: New York City, exact location to be announced

CONTACT: Chris Baker Evens, chris.bakerevens@gmail.com

If you’re planning to come to the action sign up here:

http://eqat.org/september-20-nyc

Arrival:

If you’re coming from out-of-town, please arrange to arrive in NYC no later than 9am on Saturday Sept 20th in time for a 10am briefing / action training. Location to be announced.

Accommodation:

Local Quaker Meetinghouses have offered housing for Saturday, 20th and Sunday, 21st. We are looking into options for people arriving on Friday, 19th. If you have particular needs, please let us know.

The Meetinghouses are setting up a web page to to sign up for housing. We’ll get this information out to you as soon as we know.

Transportation:

Please arrange your own transportation to and from New York. There are plenty of cheap options like Megabus. We recommend making your plans soon.

Putney Friends Meeting is a member of Friends General Conference and Friends United Meeting. Our meeting has gone on record that it supports the overall work of FUM internationally, but opposes FUM’s personnel policy that discriminates against gay men and lesbians, including married ones. Below is a recent personal letter to FUM leaders from a member of Putney Friends Meeting who participated in this Fall’s international 40 Days of Prayer sponsored by FUM. It raises important issues about both faithfulness and justice.

Dear Colin Saxton, Friends United Meeting Staff and General Board,

Thank for creating a global prayer effort through the 40 Days of Prayer this fall. More than a dozen of us participated from Putney Meeting in Vermont. I heard comments that for many of us it opened our eyes to the important work FUM does with women and children. Others were grateful for the daily practice of prayer that they have continued in their own way. I noticed differences as a Quaker from Putney Vermont, an unprogrammed meeting, in our language and concepts regarding our faith and practices in the world. The themes of “stepping into deeper spiritual waters,” “radical inclusion,” and “healing fractured relationships,” constantly lead me to our testimony of equality.

I find the FUM personnel policy as it defines marriage to be incongruent with the Quaker testimony of equality. In the reader you point out that Jesus uses the words, ”follow me.” We are reminded that Jesus was a,” fisher of people.” We read about “abiding “ in Christ. One writer shares how, “other people carry within them the breath of God.” I believe that the FUM personnel policy denies a certain class of Friends to follow, join, and abide even though they too “carry within them the breath of God.” The personnel policy hurts Friends. The policy points Friends in a different direction. If one is called to follow and abide it is unacceptable for Quakers to reject another Friend’s calling.

The personnel policy is causing suffering. The children you teach do not all identify with the heterosexual model you share in the Belize school. Equality does not mean a select few are acceptable in God’s sight. One of the highest suicide and homeless rates is among gay and lesbian youth. Throughout my hours of prayer, I have felt confusion and deep grief. I am not patient with a policy that causes suffering. Please write an inclusive policy this year. Please do not use slavery as an example. Who today would agree to taking 100 yrs. to abolish slavery?

My suggestion for your strategic priorities around leadership development is that you broaden your acceptance of all who feel called to serve. Go through the routine discernment of course. Seize the opportunity for ministry. Remember, Jesus was a “fisher of people.” There were no exceptions.

In regard to FUM’s Global Partnership; I ask you to consider creating a safe haven, a place of refuge for the very people the personnel policy has hurt. I imagine that our gay and lesbian Friends feel unwanted and unsafe among many people and places in the world. Do we dare to embrace the outcasts like Jesus did? Do we have the “faith, courage and compassion” frequently written about in the reader to stop our part of oppression? Do we Friends in Putney Vermont, Indiana, Kenya, Belize, Ramallah have the courage to open our hearts and minds to the “others who carry within them the breath of God?”

Day 39 reminds the reader that, “ you are FUM.” Therefore, as one who is FUM, I urge heartfelt equality among all Friends, in all places, at all times to do what God is calling us to do in all ways now, before more Friends suffer.

Please choose love.

How can I help?

Holding us all in the light,

Frances E. Herbert-Poma

I stumbled on to this poem by Howard Thurman on Christmas eve. Thurman was a mystical, prophetic preacher active in the civil rights movement who studied with Rufus Jones and joined the Wider Quaker Fellowship in the 1960s. I found this Christmas poem of his in the book Black Fire: African American Quakers on Spirituality and Human Rights and thought it worth sharing. Many of his books have been published by Friends United Press.

The Work of Christmas

When the song of the angels is stilled,
When the star in the sky is gone,
When the kings and the princes are home,
When the shepherds are back with their flock,
The work of Christmas begins:
To find the lost,
To heal the broken,
To feed the hungry,
To release the prisoner,
To rebuild the nations,
To bring peace among brothers,
To make music in the heart.

Click here for a 28 minute audio of AFSC’s Friends Liaison Lucy Duncan explaining some of the opportunities for local Quaker faith-based activism in cooperation with the American Friends Service Committee.

On October 18, 2012 Lucy Duncan, AFSC’s Friends Liaison, and Madeline Schaefer, Friends Relations Fellow, discussed a new and developing program at AFSC—the Quaker Meeting/Church Liaison Program.

The liaison program supports Quaker congregations’ work for peace and justice, while at the same time working to broaden the impact of AFSC’s programs.

On this call, Lucy and Madeline discussed how the program was developed, the components of the program, and how your meeting/church can get involved.

At the end of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting Summer Sessions this Sunday, it was announced that Steve Chase’s new Quaker Press book, Letters To A Fellow Seeker: A Short Introduction To The Quaker Way was chosen as the coming year’s selection for PYM’s “One Book, One Yearly Meeting” program.

As noted on PYM’s website, “One Book, One Yearly Meeting is an opportunity for meetings, quarters and Friends of all ages to connect and grow in the Spirit through one shared experience. Each year a book is chosen which reflects the theme of our Annual Sessions. Friends are invited to read the book individually or with their meeting over the next year. An accompanying curriculum provides support for going deeper into the book.” The website also says that more information for ideas about how Quaker meetings can promote discussing the new selection will be posted soon.

Steve Chase reacted to the news this weekend by saying, “I am touched that this book, which seemed to write itself this Spring, is now being viewed as such a valuable tool to help spark discussion of our different faith journey’s within all the meetings in New Jersey, Delaware, and Pennsylvania.”

In its promotional literature, Quaker Press of Friends General Conference describes the book this way: “In seven letters to a fictional correspondent, Steve Chase describes his spiritual journey among Friends. The writer, a member of the Quaker Quest travel team, introduces the Quaker way to a newcomer in language that is personal and gentle, while offering powerful inspiration through his own stories. Written as an invitation to inquirers, Letters to a Fellow Seeker will also stimulate discussion among longtime Friends about how we experience and remain true to our Quaker faith.”

A second printing of the book has also already been ordered by the publisher. Paper copies and ebook versions can now be ordered online at Quaker Books, the bookstore of Friends General Conference.

Steve Chase is a member of Putney Friends Meeting, the educational director of the environmental studies master’s program in Advocacy for Social Justice and Sustainability at Antioch University New England, a founder of the Transition Keene Task Force, a member of the Transition US Trainers Team, and a moderator of the New England Yearly Meeting of Friends’ website Quakers In Transition.

From NEYM’s Webpage:

With joy and anticipation, Permanent Board will bring the name of Noah Baker Merrill to NEYM Annual Sessions in early August for approval as Yearly Meeting secretary, beginning January 1, 2013.

Noah and his wife Natalie are members of Putney (VT) Monthly Meeting, where Noah has been released* for service in the ministry. Noah already has a long history of service, ministry and listening intently to where and what he is being called. Noah has worked for the American Friends Service Committee in Providence, in Philadelphia and in Washington, filling a variety of roles including community organizing, policy advocacy and technology consulting. With Natalie he co-founded and was program director for Direct Aid Iraq, an organization devoted to advocacy and material support for Iraqi refugees.

Noah is a writer, with articles in Friends Journal, Quaker Life, Spirit Rising and other publications. He maintains a web page and blog. And he is a gifted vocal minister, both in unprogrammed worship and in prepared messages. Noah was selected to give the plenary message on behalf of the Section of the Americas at the recent Sixth World Conference of Friends. This fall he’ll be traveling in the ministry supporting Friends World Committee for Consultation’s theme: “Let the Living Waters Flow: Friends Serving God’s Purposes.”

Demonstrating his belief that Quakers hold an untapped power to create positive change, Noah is a founding board member of Quaker Voluntary Service, an organization seeking to orient young adult Friends toward lives committed to service and justice, grounded and sustained by their Quaker faith.

In conversation, Noah displays a remarkable breadth of knowledge including Quaker history and current practice around the world. And he brings a tender sensitivity to the spiritual needs of the individual, the monthly meeting, the quarter, and the Yearly Meeting. He has a remarkable depth of understanding of the issues and the potential of NEYM, and of the role that the Yearly Meeting Secretary plays in these issues.

Most of all, interactions with Noah demonstrate his quiet energy and his sense of connection to the living tradition of Quakerism, past and future, and to the vision that we can make a difference in the world. In Noah’s words: “My small part in this work is encouraging the life of the Spirit among Friends, helping us together … to live more fully into the promise that if we are faithful, we can be made channels of Love’s life-giving work.”

—Bruce Neumann, on behalf of the Yearly Meeting Secretary Search Committee

Search Committee: Deana Chase, James Grumbach, Dwight Lopes, Wendy Schlotterbeck, Jackie Stillwell, Donn Weinholz, Hannah Zwirner and Bruce Neumann, clerk.

*A Released Friend is one whose leading to carry out a particular ministry has met with approval from a Meeting which then promises to provide such support as would enable the Friend to follow that leading. In Noah’s case, he is released to speak, preach, write, lead workshops, and generally nurture the life of the Spirit.

Peterson Tuscano will be appearing in Brattleboro at New England Youth Theater Tuesday, June 26 at 7 PM. He will be preforming his one-person show Transfigurations–Transgressing Gender in the Bible as a fundraiser for the Men’s Program AIDS Project of Southern Vermont. (For ticket information for this daring and caring performance, please call 254-4444.)

In this play, Peterson re-teaches the story of Sodom and Gormorra to find wisdom for today about human sexuality, compassion, and social justice. Drawing on inspiration from interviews with transgender and genderqueer individuals, Peterson weaves their experiences into the stories of transgender and gender-variant people from the Hebrew and Christian scriptures. Hilarious and moving, Toscano’s one-person play deepens well-known (and lesser-known) Bible stories as he presents an array of characters with an array of genders.

Peterson Toscano is a Quaker theatrical performance activist using comedy and storytelling to address social justice concerns. He spent 17 years and over $30,000 on three continents attempting to change and suppress his same-sex orientation and gender differences. Since 2003 he has traveled in North America, Europe, and Africa performing in diverse venues and speaking in the media. He writes and perform plays that explore LGBTQ issues, sexism, racism, violence and gender.

Please join Putney Friends Meeting in welcoming Peterson Tuscano to the area!