Don’t Forget

Dear Friends,

Are you interested in…

  • a summary of public statements and actions taken in the past year to make more visible the witness of New England Friends
  • news from the staff and committees of New England Yearly Meeting on the work they have done on our behalf in the past year
  • a proposed budget for how we plan to use the resources in our care to support the Quaker movement in New England
  • knowing more about steps New England Friends are considering as we:
    • respond to climate change
    • engage with White Privilege
    • support those persecuted because of sexual or gender identity
    • explore new initiatives for supporting ministry in our local meetings

These subjects and more are addressed in the Advance Documents for the 356th Annual Sessions of New England Yearly Meeting of Friends…

…which are now posted online. 

Download the Advance Documents

Don’t Forget

If you are available and would like to participate in worship, discernment, fellowship and spiritual nurture, we invite you to join Friends from across New England at Annual Sessions in Castleton, Vermont from August 6-11, 2016. Please register today.

Register for Annual Sessions 2016
Volunteering is an essential part of serving our Quaker community. If you’re attending Sessions, please complete the brief survey below.
Sign up to volunteer 

Can I still be involved if I’m not attending?

Yes! If you aren’t able to attend Annual Sessions for whatever reason, please know you are still a vital part of our community of faith and practice. We hope your local meeting will send at least one representative so that your important perspective can be included in the discernment.

During Sessions, news and information will be posted at neym.org/sessions. You can follow events and join the conversation on social media using #NEYM16.

Bible half-hour talks and plenary presentations will be video recorded and shared online as they’re available.

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

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

An invitation from Burlington Friends Meeting

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 ruahswennerfelt@gmail.com or 802-425-3377.

New England Young Adult Friends (Quaker) Climate Working Group: Pipeline Pilgrimage

Dear YAF Friends,

14734708055_40a4af8bc9_k1The New England Young Adult Friends (Quaker) Climate Working Group invites

you to join us in a pilgrimage along the route of the proposed

Kinder-Morgan methane pipeline in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

We begin this invitation with confession; that the reality of climate

change is overwhelming and that we do not know exactly how to respond to

the devastating truth that the world is ending on our watch.

Yet there are things that we can say clearly: That we must reduce

atmospheric CO2 levels below 350 ppm immediately and that to do so requires

an immediate phase out of fossil fuel use. Given this reality, the further

expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure makes no sense. Every dollar

invested in energy must be spent building renewable sources, like Cape

Wind, instead of pipelines and power plants for fracked gas.

Therefore, we are called to witness with our own eyes this pipeline route,

to walk its length and to fathom the changes that must be made. We walk

praying for clarity, determination and boldness to take the necessary next

steps. We walk acknowledging that we do not yet possess the inner resources

to live our lives fully into the reality that our scientific understanding

of the climate crisis calls us to. We walk creating a community of climate

dissidents, understanding that we need each other in these challenging

times. We walk bringing public focus to the immorality of perpetuating the

status quo, and to a genuine hope for a different future.

We invite you to join us to bear witness to the power of God in our lives

to make a way out of no way, to move from what is dead and past to what is

alive and new. This is a time for needed renewal and transformation. This

season is one to roll away the stone and to see what new life may move

among us.

The pilgrimage will be a 12-day walk from Pittsfield, Massachusetts along

the 143 mile proposed pipeline route to Dracut, Massachusetts beginning

April 1st. It will be Quaker-led and open to all, with opportunities for

Worship, for meeting local community members working to stop the pipeline,

and for fellowship.

We hope you will consider joining us. To find out more about the route, to

sign up to walk, or to contact us visit http://www.pipelinepilgrimage.org.

“We dedicate ourselves to let the living waters flow through us – where we

live, regionally, and in wider world fellowship. We dedicate ourselves to

building the peace that passeth all understanding, to the repair of the

world, opening our lives to the Light to guide us in each small step.” –

The Kabarak Call, World Conference of Friends 2012

Answering the Call to Radical Faithfulness

Here is an opportunity at Pendle Hill that Steve Chase has shared;
PHp_431

Answering the Call to Radical Faithfulness

Apr 1 – Aug 31, 2015

Equipping Ourselves for Community Action to Heal and Repair the WorldAn Intensive Online/On-Campus Certificate Program (includes four residencies at Pendle Hill)

Pendle Hill’s new certificate training program, Answering the Call to Radical Faithfulness, is designed for people of faith who want to learn how to foster a sustainable society that embodies care and concern for the natural world, social and economic justice, grassroots democracy, nonviolence, and peace. Students in this training program will:

  • engage in four educational residencies on Pendle Hill’s 23-acre campus
  • participate in extensive online discussion of readings and personal experiences between residencies
  • implement a fieldwork project in a social change organization of their choice, and
  • complete a major social change writing project.

Throughout the program, students will be supported by a team of faith leaders, nonviolent action trainers, and community organizers coordinated by Pendle Hill’s Director of Education Steve Chase. For more information, click on the links below, or contact Steve Chase, Director of Education, at 610-566-4507, ext. 123.

Applying to the Program
Who Should Participate?
Program Learning Objectives
Core Components of the Program
Program Schedule and Themes
Educational Philosophy
A Word About Online Learning
Program Costs and Scholarships
Faculty and Advisors

Gun Sense VT Video

Putney Friends Meeting Minute 2014.03.01; Minute on the Prevention of Gun Violence.

Live in “the virtue of that life and power that takes away the occasion for all wars.”

George Fox (1624- 1691)

This applies to all violence including gun violence. Violence is a reflection of the ills of society. We challenge ourselves and others to look at the depth of this issue so we can address the heart of the matter. 

Ann Braden from GunSense VT joined a group of Friends/friends at Putney Friends Meeting on January 18th to share the story of her work in founding this organization. Below is a link to a video explaining what they are trying to accomplish here in Vermont.

Please feel free to share this…

Gun Sense Vermont

GunsenseVT

Putney Friends Meeting has endorsed the work of GunSense.  Ann Braden will be with us on Sunday January 18th at 9:45am at Putney Friends Meetinghouse to speak with us about how we can help support legislation regarding gun ownership here in Vermont.

Gun Sense VT is an independent, grassroots, Vermont-run organization fueled by volunteers from all over the state. Supporters are gun owners and non-gun owners who come from every voting district in the state and cross party lines and who want to see criminal background checks — the single most effective systematic way to keep guns out of the hands of felons, domestic abusers and other dangerous people — required on most all gun sales in Vermont.