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.firstname.lastname@example.org
> Organizers and facilitators of the series – Claire Halverson, Sandy Lynn, Mareka Ohlson, Sheila Garrett, and Gail Haines.
Fourth sign – this one painted wood – is hung at Putney (VT) Friends Meeting after third sign vandalized. Friends wrote a letter inviting a conversation with whomever is destroying our signs.
JULY 27, 2016
5:00 TO 7:30
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)
“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
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.
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, 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.
“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.
Carol Forsythe, Clerk~ Putney Friends Meeting
P.O. Box 381, Putney, Vermont 05346
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:
This is now scheduled for Dec. 3 (a Thursday) at 6:30.
In preparation Friends are asked to consider the NEYM Query:
Visit the Black Lives Matter Site:
Here is an Article entitled: Please stop telling me that all lives matter