I’m pleased to share with you the latest online edition of The New England Friend.
One of the great joys of my work is getting to see new Life rising up in so many corners of our Quaker community. In a season when our society and our world seem besieged by conflict, violence and injustice, I find hope in the ways our meetings–at our best–can serve as circles of Light. I keep hearing stories of how we are helping one another find courage, seek deeper relationship with our neighbors and with Creation, and join with others to build the world of wholeness and right relationship that Jesus called the Reign of Heaven–and what Martin Luther King, Jr. called The Beloved Community.
As the demonstrations seeking deep change in response to the laying bare of systemic injustices mount across the country, and with the release of the Senate report on torture making visible the tragic costs of failing to acknowledge that of God in one another, I believe recommitting ourselves to living our faith as Friends is ever more important. We need each other’s help to be faithful, to consider the implications of Ferguson and Guantanamo in the lives of each one of us. Friends, how is the Spirit shaking our assumptions, calling us to pray, to serve, to witness, to speak, to act? How can we share that news with one another, strengthening connections and helping each other find courage and humility to learn, to grow, and to live?
In this online content, you’ll find news from the growing edges of the Quaker movement in our region, including exciting updates giving you a glimpse of new explorations in several of our diverse local meetings.
As you’ll read below, New England Friends are helping to kindle new collaborations in support of Quaker religious education, and partnering with Friends organizations like Quaker Voluntary Service and Friends World Committee for Consultation to bring the richness of the global community of Friends to enliven our life together in New England, in worship and in witness.
I hope you’ll also check out the updates on our work to improve our Yearly Meeting’s staffing and organizational structure to better support the life of the Spirit among us. Finally, we’ve included a summary of highlights from this past summer’s Annual Sessions, held for the first time in our 354-year history in Vermont. The full Minutes of business sessions are posted online. It would be wonderful to welcome even more of our Quaker family next summer at Sessions in Vermont, August 1-6, 2015.
Below are two events I’d like to especially highlight in the coming months, with more information to be posted to the online calendar and shared with local meetings soon. The conversation will be more complete with your meeting’s participation!
Finally, we want to hear from you. Do you have:
Please send an email to Office Manager Sara Hubner at firstname.lastname@example.org(link sends e-mail) or call the office at 508-754-6760 to learn more about submissions, suggest upcoming themes and share how the Light is at work in your meeting.
In faith and friendship,
Noah Baker Merrill
Doug 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 email@example.com or 802-425-3377.