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Movie Review: A village in Bhutan learns about democracy and teaches us, too, in ‘Monk and the Gun’ – by Jocelyn NOVECK

Writing Opportunity: 400th Anniversary of George Fox’s Birth – Friends Journal

What does George Fox mean to you? What parts of his life or writings have inspired and buoyed your own spiritual path? But we don’t just want a figurehead: we also want to understand the context of Fox’s life—his flaws, his evolutions, the things that make him not a saint but a fellow traveler. Give us the nuance. How did a movement coalesce around him? What lessons does his life provide for those of us wanting to bring together today’s seekers? What pieces of his legacy have we been overlooking? Continue Reading

New England Yearly Meeting – Newsletter February 2024

Friends Journal – February 2024

Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) approved a policy on abortion and other reproductive issues at its November 2023 annual meeting. The move came after a year of discernment by Quakers at FCNL and in monthly meetings across the country. 

Quakers recognize that human life is sacred, and that Spirit can guide us individually and collectively. Based on these beliefs, members of the Religious Society of Friends have come to different conclusions regarding abortion. FCNL supports individual discernment in a spirit of love and truth in making reproductive healthcare decisions, as we do in other areas of conscientious moral choice. Government must ensure that people have the legal right to make these decisions. We oppose the criminalization of people seeking, undergoing, or involved in abortion services. We support equitable access to abortion services. FCNL also supports policies that reduce unwanted pregnancies by ensuring equitable access to contraception, sex education, family planning, fertility and adoption services, and support for all who decide to have children. Friends Journal

A Day of Extended Worship – March 30th – Mt Toby Meeting – 194 Long Plain Rd, Leverett, MA 

Dear Friends, We had our largest number of Friends attending an Extended Worship Saturday this past weekend at Woolman Hill. We had 39 Friends from 12 different meetings. Fourteen Friends came on Friday to stay over at Woolman Hill and were joined by several other Friends for an evening session about “Transformative Experiences in Meeting for Worship. It was a very fruitful weekend. We were touched by the variety of vocal ministry on Saturday. There were numerous messages, and at one point the meeting house was filled with a soprano voice of extemporaneous singing that felt like it was being channeled from an angel. During the afternoon reflections on the worship experience, several Friends commented on the palpable quality of the silence. The day closed with a reminder that the goal of these extended meetings is to “yield to the power of the Living Seed,” and with a sense that the Living Presence had done its work for that day, at that place. We look forward to gathering again. In faithfulness, Jean and Michael

“Living Faith” – NEYM – April 6, 2024 – North Dartmouth, MA

We are excited to announce a next chapter in the ongoing experiment of daylong opportunities for spiritual nurture and intergenerational relationship, what we have called “Living Faith.” On April 6, 2024, we are looking forward to greeting Friends again in North Dartmouth, Massachusetts. 

We are now seeking workshop proposals for the gathering. Our 90-minute workshops provide an opportunity for adult and teen Friends to explore their Quaker faith, connect around an area of interest, and make meaningful connections through activities, conversations, or worship. Do you have a workshop idea? Experienced and emerging facilitators alike are invited to submit a workshop proposal by February 4th. Details here.

Memorial Minute: Jane Ortel – May 20, 1932 to October 13, 2023

When one imagines a life well-lived, it is likely that they imagine a life quite like the one lived by our dear Friend Jane Ortel. Her life was marked by intellectual curiosity, deep companionship, music, laughter, adventure, and lasting love. Continue Reading

Memorial Minute: Shelia Anne Lyons – May 22, 1931 to June 29, 2023

For many years, Sheila would attend our Meeting, and her life actions spoke to our testimonies. She was always seeking and questioning among Buddhists and Episcopalians, as well. She was a mother of six, widowed at age 48, who successfully raised them all to seek and question as well. Read More

Rustin – New Documentary By Netflix

Activist Bayard Rustin faces racism and homophobia as he helps change the course of Civil Rights history by orchestrating the 1963 March on Washington. Rustin, advisor to Martin Luther King Jr., dedicates his life to the quest for racial equality, human rights and worldwide democracy. However, as an openly gay Black man, he is all but erased from the civil rights movement he helped build. Movie Trailer

Quaker Contacts Newsletter

“This is a human crisis, and one thing is very clear: no one will win if this war continues to escalate… As an Israeli who also cares about Palestinian lives, [urging support for a ceasefire] is a meaningful, effective way you can take action to bring us closer to an end to this nightmare.” ~ Odeliya Matter, FCNL Program Assistant on Middle East PolicyFCNL – Quaker Contacts Newsletter

Friends Camp – Dear Friends Camp Community,

Happy fall! Registration opens in one month, and we are already excited thinking about another summer full of new friends, new skills, and new experiences. Registration will open at noon on Saturday, November 4th. Use the “Login/ Registration” button on the top right of the www.friendscamp.org home page.

Evelyn Kirby — Acting Camp Director; Anna Hopkins Buller — Camp Director (on maternity leave until February, 2024)
(207) 877-4302 – director@friendscamp.org

The Peace and Social Justice Committee

Dear Friends, At our last meeting of the Peace and Social Justice Committee, we agreed to forward this link for the video “I Am Not Yet Turned Indian” to the Meeting. This talk was presented by the Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice on March 1, 2023. A few years after his official banishment from Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay, Roger Williams wrote to John Winthrop, assuring the governor that he had “not yet turned Indian.” At first, it may appear that the statement constituted banter between friends and was written in jest. But Williams was making no joke because his “turning” Indian was not just a possibility; it was expected. This talk traces the interactions between the Narragansett and the English colonists who resided within their community and appraises how conflicting interpretations about the parameters of tenancy within the Narragansett Country informed the discord that created Rhode Island. At the present time, the committee has no plans to follow up on this presentation, but we hope to have a discussion based on it sometime in the late fall or winter. 

 2023 Gathering – Friends General Conference (Overview)

Dear John, I’m going to level with you: Although I was excited to attend my first in-person FGC Gathering, I did not know what to expect or whether I would truly enjoy myself.  I had never been to Oregon, much less the west coast.  I had not met many of you face to face just yet, and all of my regular anxieties began invading my consciousness. But Friends, I must say that Gathering was a lot of fun, had a lot of meaning, and was a spiritual experience.  With each conversation I had with Friends, I felt anxiety falling away and calm and clarity taking its place.  By the end of the week, it seems like the problems I had outside of Gathering now had a clear pathway to resolution.  In short, I felt that God was speaking to me through each Friend I connected with, and each conversation was a piece of a larger puzzle that I was solving. In friendship, Rashid Darden. This past July, over 540 Friends came to Monmouth, Ore., for the first all-ages, in-person Friends General Conference Gathering in four years. They came from nearby Salem and Portland, and from as far away as Costa Rica and Vermont. They danced, listened, saw the giant sequoias, and hugged. Overwhelmingly they were glad to be back to almost normal. (Friends Journal)

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