Announcements for February 2018
Friends are invited to Midweek Meeting for Worship on Wednesdays February 21 and 28 at 7 p.m., in the Corner Room. Midweek Meeting will be suspended starting in March. For more information, contact Lisa Klopfer (lklopfer at gmail.com).
Meeting Announcements Have Gone Paperless
For the time being the Meeting no longer has weekly handouts or monthly newsletters in printed form. Consultation with our new communications coordinator will help determine whether these will return, or whether we will instead rely on emails and a new, improved website. Meanwhile, we try to keep Friends informed of Meeting events by way of 1) a weekly email with a Meeting calendar and brief descriptions of events, and 2) this website, updated more frequently than in the past, 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.
Please note: If you wish to receive the weekly emails 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.
Come together for supper and worship sharing on the annual Lake Erie Yearly Meeting query on Friday, March 2*, in the Fellowship Room. Pizza supper at 5:30, followed by worship sharing at 6:15. Childcare will be available. Please sign the sheet on the lobby table 1) to let us know that you (and your children) plan to attend and 2) to bring a salad or dessert to complement the pizza (provided).
The queries are:
· How might we support each other as we find peaceful and persistent responses to actions that exclude and judge?
· In what ways do we, as Quakers, hold ourselves and the Other in the Light when our disagreements seem insurmountable?
· How do we find common ground as we listen to those with whom we disagree?
A pdf file with the queries and supporting quotations can be seen by clicking here.
* Note: This event was originally scheduled on February 9, but postponed because of a severe snowstorm.
Reading and Discussion meets on the second and fourth Sundays in the Corner Room from 10:05 to 10:55. All are welcome. Look for readings on the lobby table the preceding Sunday.
February 11: Marching Isn't Enough. What new strategies are required in the struggle against racism? What does it mean to be (or become) an “ally”? Bill Riccobono will lead discussion based on Uprooting Racism, by Paul Kivel.
February 25: Neil Shadle will lead an exploration of touchstones for faithful living, drawing upon the novel Let the Great World Spin, by Colum McCann.
Do You Have a Conscientious Objection to War?
The Committee on Children and Families of the Ann Arbor Friends Meeting is offering a program to assist teens and young adults to 1) decide whether they have a conscientious objection to war, 2) discern whether their objection is a deeply held moral or religious belief, and 3) document and claim this belief.
They will also receive information on the Selective Service and how to register and prepare for the possibility of facing a future draft board.
Quaker teens and adults and their friends who wish to learn more about conscientious objection to war are welcome to attend, on Saturday, March 3, from 10:30 to 2:30 in the Meetingroom (at the Ann Arbor Friends Meetinghouse, 1420 Hill Street).
Please call Sheila Johnson at 734-845-0963 for more information.
If you plan to attend, RSVP by Friday, February 23. Teens under 18 will need a signed note from their parents giving permission to participate in the program.
Our minute on sanctuary, approved at our October meeting for business, was read at a press conference sponsored by Washtenaw Congregational Sanctuary on February 14 at the First Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Ann Arbor.
Discerning AAFM’s Suggestions for FCNL’s Legislative Priorities
for the 116th Congress
Every two years the Friends Committee on National Legislation invites Quaker meetings, churches, and other Friends groups to take part in its priority-setting process. The aggregation of these inputs then goes to FCNL’s Policy Committee, which in turn recommends priorities to the Board of FCNL at its national meeting in November. The decision of this Board determines the legislative priorities of FCNL for the 116th Congress (2019–2020).
Ann Arbor Friends will gather to identify priorities in an open meeting on Sunday, February 18, from 12:30 to 2:30 in the Meetingroom. FCNL requests that we discern seven priorities, each to be identified in not more than 20 words.
To prepare for our priority-setting meeting, please review FCNL’s current legislative priorities (now being pursued in the 115th Congress). Lists of these priorities will be available on the lobby table as of February 4. To gain a deeper understanding of FCNL's Legislative Policy, read The World We Seek (2013); a copy is available on the lobby table for reading in the Meetinghouse. This document includes four short sections: “We seek a world free of war and the threat of war”; “We seek a society with equity and justice for all”; “We seek a community where every person's potential may be fulfilled”; and “We seek an earth restored.”
Questions? Please contact Jim Crowfoot or Al Connor, AAFM’s representatives to FCNL.
Save the dates!
Two Sunday Afternoon Seekers Sessions
Open to anyone interested in learning more about Friends.
April 8: Quakers – Who Are We? Friends may explore such topics as the beginnings of Quakerism, silent worship, and Quaker testimonies, as well as share personal spiritual journeys.
April 22: Attender to Member. How and why do people join a Quaker Meeting? Friends from diverse religious backgrounds will share what led them to become a member of a Friends Meeting.
12:45 - 2:00 in Quaker House Living Room (1416 Hill Street).
Each session will allow ample time for questions and discussion. Come to both sessions or just one. Light refreshments and childcare will be provided.
Financial Assistance to attend FGC Gathering, White Privelege Conference, and LEYM Annual Meeting
Through the Post Enabling Fund, the Meeting is able to offer financial assistance to our members and attenders wishing to attend the White Privilege Conference (April 4-7 in Grand Rapids, Michigan), the Gathering of Friends General Conference (July 1–7 in Toledo, Ohio), or the Annual Meeting of Lake Erie Yearly Meeting (July 26–29 in Bluffton, Ohio).
The funding application form is available here, and printed copies will be available soon on the lobby table. Completed applications should be returned to Lisa Klopfer, convener of the Committee on Ministry and Counsel.
Financial assistance is also available from Lake Erie Yearly Meeting and Friends General Conference to attend these gatherings. See below, under "Larger Circles of Friends," for details.
Palestine-Israel Action Group (PIAG) News
PIAG will next meet on Tuesday, February 27, 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.
Caring for the Homeless: Phil Volk has made a year-long commitment to help with the soup kitchen at Brown Chapel AME Church in Ypsilanti, every Friday, starting February 9, from 11:00 to noon. He invites anyone who may be interested in helping to drop in (no need to sign up) any Friday that fits their schedule. Brown Chapel is at 1043 West Michigan Ave, Ypsilanti 48197. Phil encourages Friends to come and just talk to some of the homeless, to make sure they know people care. Pastor Hatter leads a service during the preceding hour (starting at 10:00); Friends interested in an AME service are welcome, but need not attend to help at the soup kitchen. In addition, for the next year Phil will be collecting clothes for the homeless at Brown Chapel. There is a box in the Meetinghouse lobby; feel free to donate at any time. If you wish to donate to the soup kitchen, you can either give cash to Phil or make out a check to the Brown Chapel AME Church and write “soup kitchen” on the memo line.
Joe York is directing a PTD’s production of Disgraced, by Ayad Akhtar, at the Riverside Arts Center, 76 N Huron, Ypsilanti, on February 22–25 and February 28 to March 3. This mesmerizing drama/comedy about questions of identity and reinvention in the contemporary world won the 2013 Pulitzer prize for drama. Matinées on Sunday, February 25, and Wednesday, February 28, at 2:00, all other performances at 8:00. Tickets cost $18, $12 for students and seniors; Thursday performances are pay-what-you-can. To learn more, visit https://www.ptdproductions.com/disgraced.
Dan Suits, a longtime member of AAFM who moved to East Lansing many years ago, died on December 21 at the age of 99. There will be a memorial service – “loosely based” on a Friends memorial meeting – at the Red Cedar Friends Meetinghouse on Saturday, March 17, at 11:30. The family will receive visitors at 10:30, and a light lunch will follow the service. If you plan to attend, please email or phone Holly (Suits) Kazarinoff at holly.kazarinoff at gmail.com or (607) 592-3894.
Art Wolfe, a longtime member of AAFM, died at the age of 87, after a long battle with cancer and two months of hospice care, on December 28 at the Wolfe family complex on Crystal Lake in Beulah, Michigan. Art’s association with the Meeting goes back to at least 1953, when he came to Ann Arbor and met with Arthur Dunham. A memorial meeting will be held in the afternoon of Saturday, April 21 (time tba).
LARGER CIRCLES OF FRIENDS
Green Pastures Quarterly Meeting Mid-Winter Gathering
A Taste Test—Come Sample the Spiritual Nurturer Program
Kalamazoo Meeting House, Saturday, February 24
The Mid-Winter Gathering of Green Pastures Quarterly Meeting will be hosted by Kalamazoo Friends Meeting (508 Denner, Kalamazoo, MI 49006) on Saturday, February 24 from 9:00 to 4:00.
The program will be led by three Friends from the Red Cedar Friends Meeting who recently graduated from the School of the Spirit’s On Being a Spiritual Nurturer and found the experience transformational. They will offer a one-day retreat:
“A Taste Test—Come Sample the Spiritual Nurturer Program.” During our day together, we will be invited into interactive exercises that use reflection, reading, listening, sharing, and movement to sink down to the Center, where the Inward Teacher opens each of us to the “school” of the Holy Spirit. The day will serve us all with an experience of reflection, connection, and deep listening—and some of us may find ourselves called to consider joining the longer Spiritual Nurturer program (an 18-month program of coming to “know experimentally” what it is to live in a contemplative rhythm of study and prayer, starting in September, with occasional residential retreats).
Lunch and refreshments will be served (donations welcomed). As soon as possible, please tell Raelyn Joyce, clerk of the Quarter (raejoyce10 at gmail.com), if you plan to attend, so that the right amount of food can be planned.
Families with children are welcome; please tell Raelyn Joyce (raejoyce10 at gmail.com) by January 31 how many children are likely to come and how old they are.
Kalamazoo Friends are offering overnight hospitality to Friends who wish to drive to Kalamazoo on Friday, February 23. If you wish to spend Friday night at one of our homes, please call George Hebben (269 806-2918).
Questions? Contact Raelyn Joyce, clerk of the Quarter (raejoyce10 at gmail.com).
Click here to see a pdf file with a full description.
Winter LEYM Bulletin Available
Copies of the Winter Lake Erie Yearly Meeting Winter Bulletin are available on the lobby table and can be downloaded from leym.org (with color photos in the online version). This issue includes the registration form for LEYM Representative Meeting, on Saturday, April 14 in Athens, Ohio (with an advance registration deadline of March 23). The winter Bulletin also provides informtion about the Annual Meeting plenary speaker, Nominating Committee's plea for Friends to serve, the FGC Gathering in Toledo (Ohio), the White Privilege Conference in Grand Rapids (Michigan), "Resources for Understanding Racism in the U.S.," news from constituent monthly meetings, and more.
LEYM Program Committee Seeking Annual Meeting Workshop Proposals
The Program Committee of Lake Erie Yearly Meeting is requesting proposals from Friends for workshop presentations at our 2018 Annual Meeting, to be held July 26-29 at Bluffton University, in Bluffton, Ohio. The theme of this year's meeting is Building the Beloved Community: Who is My Neighbor?
The deadline for submission is Sunday, February 11. We cannot guarantee that proposals submitted after that date will be considered. We expect to provide about ten workshops, each of which will last an hour and 45 minutes and should have some relationship to the theme.
Please submit the following for each workshop proposal:
1. Name and monthly meeting of leader(s)
2. Title of your workshop
3. One or two paragraphs describing the content of the workshop, including its relationship to the theme of the annual meeting.
All proposals should be sent to Susan Hartman (susandhartman at gmail.com) no later than February 11. We look forward to receiving proposals from individuals or committees and hope that Friends will have thoughtful and interesting ideas to share with all of us.
FGC Gathering in Toledo, Ohio July 1-7
Find out what happens when hundreds of Quakers from the U.S., Canada, and around the world come together for a week. This year the location could not be more convenient for AAFM Friends, as the Gathering will take place at the University of Toledo. The theme is “The Power of Truth.”
Claire and Paul Tinkerhess, of our Meeting, are serving as co-clerks of the Planning Committee; they and many others are working hard on organizing an enriching and meaningful experience for all. The evening programs will include talks by Robin Wall Kimmerer on “Justice for All: Reciprocity, Restoration and Respect for All Beings”; La’Ron Williams on “Culture of Struggle; Culture of Faith: Using Storytelling to Help the Truth Survive in a Nation Riddled with Lies”; Reverend William Barber on “America Must Have a Moral Revival”; Baldemar Velásquez on “Securing Bargaining Rights of the Poor: A Call to Action”; and three Friends sharing their journeys and understandings of Quaker truths. Daily workshops are offered on a wide variety of topics, and there is ample opportunity to worship and make new f/Friends. There is much information at the FGC website, where you can also download the Advance Program: www.fgcquaker.org/connect/gathering.
To have the best chance of access to the workshops you want and to be considered for financial assistance from FGC, plan to register during the period of Early Registration, April 2–11. Full details can be found at www.fgcquaker.org/connect/gathering/registration-details.
Financial assistance is also available from our Meeting (see above, last announcement before "Among Friends") and, this year, from LEYM, too (see below).
LEYM Scholarships to Attend the FGC Gathering
This year the Yearly Meeting has made available up to $8000 to help LEYM Friends attend the FGC Gathering.
Children and teens (up through age 18) should apply for assistance by filling out the application form provided as Appendix C (page 11) in the LEYM Financial Manual. (Go to leym.org and click on “Scholarships and Financial Help” and then on “Financial Manual” or go directly to https://leymquaker.files.wordpress.com/2018/01/manual-of-leym-finances-8-17.pdf); send the completed form to Joe Mills (of Finance Committee) at email@example.com or4404 Carver Dr, Kalamazoo, MI 49009. Please note: although the application form instructs applicants to send it to the LEYM presiding clerk, in this instance it should instead be sent to Joe Mills.
Adults should also apply to Joe Mills (see above) with a letter or message requesting, as specifically as possible, the amount of assistance that would enable them to attend the Gathering and listing their other potential sources of financial help (e.g., FGC or monthly meeting).
Applications received by March 1 will be given first consideration.
Pre-Gathering AYF Retreat: Adult Young Friends (age 18-35) will hold a one-day retreat prior to the Gathering, on Saturday, June 30. This year’s AYF Retreat will be a day of reflection and skill-building around race and white supremacy. We’ll discuss how this affects our lives and communities, and what actions we can take. Learn more about the AYF Retreat at www.fgcquaker.org/connect/gathering/adult-young-friends/retreat
Friends of Color and Multiracial Families are invited to a retreat immediately prior to the FGC Gathering. This retreat is for Friends attending the Gathering only. Learn more at www.fgcquaker.org/connect/gathering/programs-and-events/pre-gathering/poc-retreat.
National and Global White Privilege Conferences
This year’s White Privilege Conference (WPC19) will be held on April 4–7, 2018 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The theme is “Super People & Super Powers: Prepare to be the Future of Social Justice Work.”
The White Privilege Conference was established and is organized by Eddie Moore, an African American Professor, who wanted to provide a challenging, collaborative, and comprehensive experience to empower individuals to work for equity and justice. WPC serves as an opportunity to examine difficult issues related to white privilege, white supremacy, and systemic oppression. At WPC, attendees will be able to participate in forums and critical discussions about diversity, multicultural education, social justice, race/racism, sexual orientation, gender, and other systems of privilege/oppression.
This year, Friends General Conference is also excited to be a part of the first global White Privilege Conference! WPCGlobal is coming to Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada on May 9–12. The theme is “Are Canadians too Polite? Exploring Global Perspectives on White Privilege and Oppression in Canada (and Beyond).”
FGC pre-registration for both White Privilege Conferences opens on Monday, January 15. The FGC-discounted registration fee for WPC19 is $340 ($200 for college students, with various discounts available for others). FGC is also working on ways to support Friends with less expensive overnight housing.
In addition, Lake Erie Yearly Meeting has set aside funds for scholarships to help LEYM Friends who register through FGC attend WPC19. If you are interested in obtaining a scholarship, please send a letter with the requested amount and reasons for attending the conference to Shelley Kotz, co-clerk of LEYM Peace & Justice Committee, at 2951 Emmick Dr, Toledo, OH 43606.
To receive information about ride sharing, lodging options, next steps for WPC, and, most importantly, to receive FGC discount codes for WPC19 and WPCGlobal, pre-register by clicking here.
To learn more, visit https://www.whiteprivilegeconference.com/. For any further information, please contact Amirah Fadhlina at firstname.lastname@example.org or Vanessa Julye at email@example.com.
FGC is seeking a volunteer to anchor a daily morning worship in the Quaker hospitality room. If you are interested, please contact Amirah Fadhlina at amirahf at fgcquaker.org.
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
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).
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.
Friends Lake Cooperative Community Programs
FLCC is presenting a three-part program on Pathway to Intimacy: Intimacy with One’s Higher Power through Intimacy with One’s Self and with Others, a benefit for FLCC and Michigan Friends Center, on Saturdays January 13, February 3, and March 3. The program facilitator is Susan Flinders. For more information, click here.
For information about programs at Michigan Friends Center, click here.