Whites confronting our Racism – study and dialogue to action

Dear folks connected to Putney Friends Meeting,
BLM
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).
Gail.haines.48@gmail.com
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 actioniur
>
> Wednesdays, 6:30 – 8:30 pm
>
Sept 21Oct 5Oct 19Nov 2Nov 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.haines.48@gmail.com
> 258-0369.
>
> Organizers and facilitators of the series – Claire Halverson,  Sandy Lynn, Mareka Ohlson, Sheila Garrett, and Gail Haines.

A Community Conversation on Policing

PLEASE JOIN US FOR A COMMUNITY CONVERSATION

POLICING IN BRATTLEBORO


JULY 27, 2016

5:00 TO 7:30

At the

RIVER GARDEN

157 Main Street, Brattleboro


Our Panel:  Ken Williams (Interim Dean, S.I.T.), Chief Michael Fitzgerald (Brattleboro Police Dep’t), Dan Davis, Esq., José Moldando, Orlando Alverez, Patrina Lingard (moderator), and Darah Kehnemuyi (Director, Brattleboro Community Justice Center)

 

Sponsored by:BCJC.png

Supported by: Town of Brattleboro

A Prayer in response to the shootings at Pulse in Orlando

New England Yearly Meeting of Friends (Quakers)

“How deeply we are connected.”

A Prayer in response to the shootings at Pulse in Orlando.

Friends believe there is that of God in all people. To intentionally harm another—with our actions, our words, or our policies—is to separate ourselves from God. We are here to love one another and to be loved as God loves us, and as Jesus teaches. We are not whole without each other.

To those who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, intersex, asexual and queer, whose place of safety has again been targeted and attacked, we stand with you in love. We pray for love big enough to hold us all.

We seek to create a world in which all people are unconditionally loved and cared for, as God unconditionally loves and cares for each of us.

We call on people of all faiths, and no faith, to recommit to the work of ending homophobia and transphobia within our faith communities, our neighborhoods, and our nation. The rhetoric of exclusion, of separateness, and of hate creates a culture that gives rise to acts of terror. We know the power of God’s love is great and that we are called to make manifest that love in the face of hate. We believe that God never calls any person, communion or community to hate or to engage in violence.

We know God’s love extends fully and unconditionally to all who are GLBTIAQ, to all who are Latinx, to all who are Muslim, to all who some in our culture would denigrate or deny full humanity.

We stand with all those who call for this moment in our nation to be a catalyst for greater love, stronger community, and a justice that heals and unites. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that (Martin Luther King).

Fritz Weiss,  Presiding Clerk

Sarah Gant, Clerk of Permanent Board

Quiet Please

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.

Race: the Power of an Illusion – The differences between us

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 P1080847racism, 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.

Open Letter in Support of Black Lives Matter

MLK Sunset, photo by Roger Vincent Jasaitis, RVJart.com, Copyright 2016

Open Letter In Support of Black Lives Matter

“Those of us who have grown up with a white identity in America have a particular challenge in that we have been conditioned not to notice the system of racism and white privilege. Our well intentioned attempts at color-blindness can have the unfortunate result of blinding us to the system of racism in which we unwittingly participate.”

Excerpted from the Minute on Racism ~ Approved at New England Yearly Meeting Sessions 2003

Putney Friends Meeting, in solidarity with the “BLACK LIVES MATTER” movement, has erected a sign in front of the Putney Friends Meeting house on Route 5 in Putney, Vermont. What’s important for us is that it’s not just a sign, not just a statement, it’s a commitment to join with others in doing the work we need to do.

“BLACK LIVES MATTER” is a local movement as well as a national movement. Even in Vermont people of color are disproportionately singled out, treated with suspicion and treated as outsiders. When Putney Friends Meeting agreed to put up the sign, we intended it for the whole community. Yes, we do hope that people of color will know our intentions to be in solidarity, to honor their leadership and support their efforts. And Putney Friends Meeting also wants to remind ourselves and others that this means being actively involved in whatever ways we can to make our Quaker Meeting and our community as a whole a part of the change that needs to happen.

Because Vermont is one of the least racially diverse States, we have different challenges than States with more residents of color. This means exploring the opportunities to support and learn from those who are most affected by racism and bias. All Vermonters are affected in a variety of ways. There are programs and activities that help people learn about how racism and white privilege exist everywhere and how everyone is involved. The goal is to become a community that is truly welcoming, open and affirming, where anyone can come and know they are valued and safe.

Putney Friends Meeting looks forward to working with other religious communities, groups and individuals to communicate and share what they are doing, engage in further actions, and challenge each other to do effective organizing.

Contact information:

Carol Forsythe, Clerk~ Putney Friends Meeting

P.O. Box 381, Putney, Vermont 05346

Carol@putneyfriendsmeeting.org

Called Meeting; Racism in Our Culture

View From Putney Mtn Top, Copyright 2015 Roger Vincent Jasaitis, RVJart.com

At our October Meeting for Business Putney Friends Meeting agreed to the following:

PFM will host a called Meeting on a date to be determined by the

Clerk and Social Justice and Peace committee before the next Meeting

for business of 11/15/15 to consider how the Meeting can support in

unity the planting of a “Black Lives Matter” sign in front of the

Meeting house and how PFM wants to proceed in addressing the issue

of racism in our culture

Here are queries from the NEYM Committee on Racial, Social & Economic Justice:

  • How has the issue of white privilege touched your life? 

  • What are the spiritual consequences and brokenness related to living in a world that hasn’t achieved perfection in these justice concerns?

  • What does that still small voice say to inform us of our responsibilities in this regard?

  • How does your Meeting bear witness to this work?

This is now scheduled for Dec. 3 (a Thursday) at 6:30.

In preparation Friends are asked to consider the NEYM Query:

Minute on Racism
New England Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends affirms its commitment to
becoming an open, affirming, anti-racist Religious Society. Our understanding of racism is that
it is a system that accords advantage or disadvantage based on racial identity. Racism is
fundamentally inconsistent with the divine guidance that has led our Religious Society to
testimonies such as Equality, Peace and Community. We seek divine assistance and the help of
other friends of Truth to examine our individual and corporate complicity in racism. We aspire
to a more perfect union with the Author of all, who shows no partiality in the diversity of
creation.
Those of us who have grown up with a white identity in America have a particular challenge in
that we have been conditioned not to notice the system of racism and white privilege. Our well intentioned
attempts at color-blindness can have the unfortunate result of blinding us to the
system of racism in which we unwittingly participate. Let us remember Jesus’ admonition to
remove the log from our own eye before seeking to remove a speck from our brother’s or sister’s
eye. We all pray for clarity of vision so that in the words of George Fox, we may “be patterns,
be examples in all countries, places, islands, nations wherever you come; that your carriage
and life may preach among all sorts of people, and to them; then you will come to walk
cheerfully over the world, answering that of God in everyone; whereby in them you may be a
blessing, and make the witness of God in them bless you.”
Approved at New England Yearly Meeting Sessions 2003

Also:

Visit the Black Lives Matter Site:

http://blacklivesmatter.com/

Here is an Article entitled: Please stop telling me that all lives matter

Article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/julia-craven/please-stop-telling-me-th_b_6223072.html

Response – Ability

Oh Shenandoah! Photo by Sheila Garrett

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.
Blessings, Sheila
To read more about Sheila go to Fellowship of Reconciliation