Announcements for December 2017
Meeting Holiday Events
Come sing! Friends are invited to three sessions of Sunday morning carol singing with piano accompaniment, from 10:05 to 10:55 in the Meetingroom on December 10, 17, and 24. Bring instruments to play and voices, including those of our children, to join in the chorus.
All Friends are invited to a Christmas Eve Carol Sing at 7pm, followed by Meeting for Worship from 7:30 to 8:30 in the Meetingroom.
Schedule Changes in December:
- There is no meeting for worship for business.
- Reading and Discussion usually takes place on second and fourth Sundays at 10:05, but none is scheduled this month. Friends are instead invited to sing carols at that hour on December 10, 17, & 248 (see above).
- There will be no Midweek Meeting for Worship on December 27.
- The Meetinghouse and Quaker House will be closed from Christmas Eve through New Year’s Day (except for Sunday morning activities and the Christmas Eve carol singing and meeting for worship mentioned above).
Friends are invited to Midweek Meeting for Worship on Wednesdays at 7 p.m., in the Fireplace Room or Corner Room (see the calendar). Please note that there will be no Midweek Meeting for Worship on December 27. For more information, contact Lisa Klopfer (lklopfer at gmail.com).
Meeting Announcements Going Paperless
As we are currently seeking a new Communications Coordinator, we will not have weekly handouts and monthly newsletters after December 1. On a temporary basis, Lisa Klopfer and Jeff Cooper will try to keep Friends informed of Meeting events. Lisa will send out a weekly email with a Meeting calendar and brief descriptions of events, while Jeff will continue to update this website, presenting content that has traditionally appeared on the first several pages of the Meeting newsletter.
Please send all announcements relating to Meeting activities and scheduling of events to email@example.com, which will reach both Lisa and Jeff.
Please note: If you wish to receive the weekly email and have not previously received the weekly handout via email, ask to subscribe at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Announcements about community events (i.e., in Washtenaw County) can be posted on the bulletin board at the East end of the lobby. We expect to move to a new website system soon.
Discussion on Ways to Reverse Global Warming
Thursday, December 7, 7pm, Michigan Friends Center
What do we do about climate change besides worry or argue about it? Michigan Friends Center and the AAFM Environment and Social Concerns Committee are sponsoring a discussion, on Thursday, December 7, from 7 to 9pm, of a timely new book that describes dozens of proposed ways to reduce, halt, or reverse the effects of human activities that contribute to the warming of our planet. The book is Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming, edited by Paul Hawkin. Join in to gain insights and contribute your thoughts and opinions. Discussion will be led by John Williams, Jim Crowfoot, and Patrick Zieske. Carpooling can be provided. See John Williams if you want a copy of the book. There is a flier on the Meeting bulletin board.
News from the Committee for Children and Families (CCF), December 2017
WHAT DOES YOUR CONSCIENCE SAY ABOUT WAR?
This is a query we all need to explore, not just draft-age males. Quakers have a history of checking in with their consciences to discover what is true and how that affects their actions. We don’t expect a draft at this time, although the unexpected has been happening a lot lately. What we do expect is that unless there are changes, there will continue to be wars.
CCF will be offering an opportunity to explore your conscience and for young people and draft-age professionals to build a file as a conscientious objector. We have not yet worked out the date and times because we are working around the high schoolers' schedules. It will take place in late February or early March, either late morning or early afternoon on a Saturday or on a Sunday afternoon. We will let you know the details as they become clear. For now we just wanted to give Friends a heads-up.
The reason for doing this at this time is twofold. First, one of our high schoolers requested it for himself and interested friends, which shows concern. Second, Nadine Hoover (of the Conscience Studio) and allies are starting a registry for conscientious objectors to war. In her travels both here and abroad, she is finding strong support for declaring war illegal. She is collecting statements of conscience to support that effort. You do not need to know if you are a conscientious objector to war right now, you just need to be willing to spend a short time listening to the still small voice within with attention to war.
FAMILY AND SPIRITUALITY NIGHT
Anyone who is or has ever been in a family is welcome to join us Saturday, January 20, from 4 to 7pm, as we explore queries about families and spirituality. We will also share a meal together. Children and babies, of course, are welcome!
For further information or to volunteer with CCF, please contact Sheila Johnson (sheila at johnson-mcloyd.com) or Su Hansen (suhan722 at gmail.com).
Upcoming Congregational Sanctuary Events
The first step for our Meeting to become a Sanctuary site is for everyone to participate in congregational sanctuary training on Saturday, January 20, from 9am to noon, at Church of the Good Shepherd (2145 Independence Blvd). This meeting will be run for host and supporting congregations by Washtenaw Congregational Sanctuary (WCS). Topics will include safety, de-escalating situations, and cultural sensitivity. It is an important time for AAFM members to meet those who will be working with us.
To initiate their official commitment to the Sanctuary Movement, the First Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Ann Arbor (UUAA) will host a Sacred Song concert and fundraiser in support of Washtenaw Congregational Sanctuary on Saturday, December 2, from 7 to 9pm in the UUAA Sanctuary (4001 Ann Arbor-Saline Rd). Tickets are available for a suggested donation of $15 in advance or $20 at the door. The UUAA invites all community members—affiliated and unaffiliated—to join them in this special event. The Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice is acting as WCS’s fiscal sponsor. Tickets can be purchased at https://goo.gl/aBJ99w.
Dwight Wilson, a member of AAFM, writes:
"We are living in an era in which anger and confusion have many of us down-spirited. I am excited to announce that my book Modern Psalms In Search of Peace and Justice has been published by FUM Press. Unlike the self-published book, this one is illustrated by professional artist Quaker, Nancy Marstaller. It can be ordered here: http://ycfb2.5acto.servertrust.com/product_p/978-0-944350-31-7.htm. Feed your inner peace while simultaneously resisting attempts to dismantle our world."
Peace & Social Concerns Committee says "Let Them Hear From YOU!"
Here’s Why You Should Call, Not Email, Your Legislators
Activists of all political stripes recommend calling legislators, not just emailing — and certainly not just venting on social media. Several lawmakers, along with those who work for them, said so in interviews, according to Daniel Victor in the New York Times last November. A phone call from a constituent can, indeed, hold more weight than an email, and far outweighs a Facebook post or a tweet. To understand why, it helps to know what happens when someone answers the phone at a legislator’s office. Even if you don’t speak directly to the lawmaker, staff members often pass the message along in one form or another.
Emily Ellsworth, whose jobs have included answering phones in the district offices of two Republican representatives, said the way your points reach a lawmaker depends on how many calls the office is getting at the time and how you present your story. In some cases, it’s a simple process. When a caller offered an opinion, staff members would write the comments down in a spreadsheet, compile them each month and present reports to top officials, she said. But a large volume of calls on an issue could bring an office to a halt, sometimes spurring the legislator to put out a statement on his or her position, Ms. Ellsworth said. She recommended the tactic of a series of tweets shared thousands of times. “It brings a legislative issue right to the top of the mind of a member,” she said. “It makes it impossible to ignore for the whole staff. You don’t get a whole lot else done.”
While scripts found on the internet can be useful for people uncomfortable talking on the phone, she suggested making the phone calls as personal as possible. In some cases, if she was moved by a call, she would pass on the comments to her district director, she said. “What representatives and staffers want to hear is the individual impact of your individual story,” she said. “I couldn’t listen to people’s stories for six to eight hours a day and not be profoundly impacted by them.”
Sen. Debbie Stabenow
Sen. Gary Peters
Rep. Debbie Dingell
Rep. Tim Walberg
Rep. Mike Bishop
U.S. Capitol Switchboard: 866-220-0044
White House Comment Line: 888-225-8418
Palestine-Israel Action Group (PIAG) News
PIAG will next meet on Monday, December 4, at 9:45. All are welcome. Contact the convener, Helen Fox (hfox at umich.edu) for more information, including the location.
In January 2009, AAFM established a Travel Fund for Witness in the Middle East for F/friends wishing to learn firsthand about the conflict in Israel/Palestine. Originally inspired by a Friend whose own travel experiences led to a deeper understanding of Palestinian life in the West Bank and Gaza, the fund provides a unique opportunity to experience the joys and sorrows that affect all who are involved in the conflict.
Many wonderful guided trips are available through various recommended organizations. To explore them, check out www.quakerpi.org/QActivism/TRIPS.htm. If you wish to apply to AAFM for partial funding, click here to read the AAFM Minute that details the application procedures.
Want to Keep Up with MQEA? The Environmental and Social Concerns Committee has begun a group called Michigan Quakers for Environmental Action, which is intended to promote better environmental policy and legislation in the state. If you would like to join MQEA and receive occasional updates, please contact Peggy Daub (peggydaub at hotmail.com).
Quaker Bible Study, which has met for many years on Wednesday mornings, is no longer scheduled.
Friends can make donations to the Meeting online. Clicking here will link you to a page that enables donations through PayPal (which takes 1.9% plus 30˘ per transaction). Contributions to the Meeting are tax deductible. You can also contribute by leaving cash or a check in the contributions basket on the lobby table or sending a donation c/o Treasurer, Ann Arbor Friends Meeting, 1420 Hill St, Ann Arbor, MI 48104.
Copies of the Meeting Handbook are available in the lobby. A contribution of $4 to cover printing costs is requested.
The Meeting’s wheelchair is stored in the outer lobby for the lift. Friends may borrow it for use between the parking lot and the lift or inside the Meetinghouse and Quaker House.
For information about programs at Michigan Friends Center, click here.