ANNAPOLIS FRIENDS NEWSLETTER — FEBRUARY 2011

 

February 2011 Calendar

Queries for Second Month: Meeting for Business

Quaker Quotes for February

Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business Minutes

Thinking about Race

Spiritual State of the Meeting: Preparations for 2011

Homeless "Winter Relief" Programs Seek Volunteers

Keeping Love Alive: Relationship In-Depth

Invitation to Attend Jewels of Quakerism Courses at Old Town Friends

Can the World Prevent a War in Sudan?

How to Submit Newsletter Items and Announcements

Contact Information

 

FEBRUARY 2011 CALENDAR

 

Meeting for worship: 11 a.m.

First Day School for children: 11 a.m. (join meeting for worship from 11:45 a.m. - noon)

Nursery care for our youngest: 11 a.m.

Meetings for Worship with a Concern for Business: 1st First Day of month at 9 a.m.

Adult religious education: As noted in calendar below

Care of the Meeting House for Second Month: Pastoral Care

 

FEB. 6: 9 a.m. Meeting for worship with attention to business; 11 a.m. Meeting for worship; 1 p.m. Potluck lunch

 

FEB. 13: 9 a.m. Meeting for learning - Spiritual State of the Meeting; 11 a.m. Meeting for worship

 

FEB. 20: 9 a.m. Committee meetings; 11 a.m. Meeting for worship; 9 p.m. Newsletter items deadline: please email

 

FEB. 27: 11 a.m. Meeting for worship - Spiritual State of Meeting

 

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QUERIES FOR SECOND MONTH: MEETINGS FOR BUSINESS

 

Are meetings for business held in a spirit of worship, understanding and forbearance? When direction seems lacking, is this seen as a challenge to a more prayerful search for truth? Do we humbly set aside our own preconceived notions as to proper action, seeking instead Divine guidance as to the right course? Is the Meeting aware that it speaks not only through its actions but also through its failure to act? Do you participate regularly in meetings for business, discharge faithfully your committee responsibilities, and assume your share of financial support of the meeting? (Faith and Practice, p. 38)

 

Friends are not to meet like a company of people about town or parish business -- but to wait upon the Lord. (George Fox, Epistle 313, 1674)

 

The Quaker method is likely to be successful in proportion as the members are acquainted with one another, better still if real affection exists among them. (Howard Brinton, Reaching Decisions: the Quaker Method, Pendle Hill Pamphlet Number 65)

 

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QUAKER QUOTES FOR FEBRUARY

 

The belief that the Light is within all [people] means that every person is capable of taking an advanced position and can be appealed to on these grounds. The same identical Light shines in every heart however obscured by selfishness and greed. Hence the nonviolent method of good will and confidence will sometimes produce unexpected results because it reaches something in the other person which responds in similar fashion. That of God in one person arouses similar capacity in the other. [People] tend to rise to what is expected of them. No human being is so depraved that nothing but force can appeal to him [or her]. There are many extraordinary instances in Quaker history in which an evildoer has been suddenly halted and transformed by the power of nonresistance combined with good will. These methods sometimes fail, but so also does the method of violence. (Howard Brinton, "Peace Testimony of the Society of Friends," American Friends Service Committee, no date)

 

My child, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments; for length of days and years of life and abundant welfare they will give you.

Do not let loyalty and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight."

In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. (Proverbs 3: 1-6)

 

In a truly covered meeting an individual who speaks takes no credit to himself for the part he played in the unfolding of the worship. For the feeling of being a pliant instrument of the Divine Will characterizes true speaking "in the Life." Under such a covering an individual emerges into vocal utterance, frequently without fear and trembling, and subsides without self-consciousness into silence when his part is played. For One who is greater than all individuals has become the meeting place of the group, and He becomes the leader and director of worship. With wonder one hears the next speaker, if there be more, take up another aspect of the theme of the meeting. No jealousy, no regrets that he didn't think of saying that, but only gratitude that the angel has come and troubled the waters and that many are finding healing through the one Life. A gathered meeting is no place for the enhancement of private reputations, but for self-effacing pliancy and obedience to the whispers of the Leader. (Thomas R. Kelly, The Gathered Meeting, 1945)

 

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MEETING FOR WORKSHOP WITH ATTENTION TO BUSINESS MINUTES

 

Annapolis Friends Monthly Meeting

Meeting for worship with attention to business

Minutes of First Month, Second Day, 2011:

 

Elise Albert (Clerk), Phyllis Singer (Recording Clerk), and 35 other Friends and attenders present. Our Meeting began with centering worship.

Minute of Appreciation: We joyfully minute our deep appreciation to Barbara Thomas, outgoing Clerk, and to Marcia Ormsby, outgoing Recording Clerk. They have served for four years in spirit and in love, and Annapolis Friends Meeting has indeed prospered under their care. This Minute was approved.

 

Ministry and Worship - Membership request, presented by Marcia O.:

 

Ministry and Worship Committee has met and heard the suggestions from the Clearness Committee for Membership of Jack L., and would like to recommend Jack for membership to AFM. We are in unity and delighted to offer his intentions to enter our Meeting and to become fully engaged with the activities to which he is led. After Meeting on the 6th Day of Third Month, 2011, Jack will be introducing himself, his interests and his path, which led him to us. Please join us for this special potluck, during which we will all welcome him.

 

Our Committee would like to offer this welcome potluck to any new members, if they would like an opportunity to introduce themselves. Some may and some may not wish to speak or even hold this event; if not, perhaps the Committee will be able to create another form of special welcome individualized for them.

 

Thank you to Jack for his initiation of this process. Meeting For Business joyfully found unity with his request.

 

Stewardship and Finance Committee - Elise Albert reporting:

 

The threshing session scheduled for January 23 is postponed.

 

Treasurer's Report - Joel R. reporting:

 

A complete Treasurer's Report will be given at the February Meeting For Business. Several people have inquired on where we are right now. The Treasurer wanted to provide this basic information.

 

Committees have been frugal in their stewardship of funds.

 

Our goal for Unrestricted Contributions in 2010 was $42,500. As of Dec. 28, 2010 we have raised $40,236 in Unrestricted Contributions. We have a gap of $2,264.00.

 

Our rentals were up this year and we have earned $21,484 in rentals in 2010.

 

Building Use Coordinator - Sky E. reporting:

 

During 2010 we had 14 nonprofit groups and 10 profit groups. Of the nonprofit groups, five are long-term contracts (one year) of which four are religious organizations and one is a support group. Short-term nonprofits included church retreats, environmental groups, a quilt guild, and a traditional dance society. Of the profit groups, two are long-term contracts, including a yoga group and a condominium organization. Short-term profit groups include memorial services, piano recitals, and two government agencies.

 

Revenue as of Dec. 18, 2010 was $20,975 and exceeded $21,000 by year's end. Meeting House and Land Committee had suggested a budget of $17,000 for 2010. For 2011 all long-term renters are returning and would account for a bit over $16,000. Meeting House and Land Committee suggested estimated revenue of $17,850, a conservative figure, for next year and this was accepted by Meeting for Business through the budget approval. Meeting House and Land Committee approved a 5-percent increase (in rental rates) across the board effective July of 2010. If anyone wishes to review a rental transaction report by customer, that is available.

 

In preparing contracts in 2010, we began requesting renters to provide rental rider insurance, naming us a third party. In a few cases this has not been done with short-term renters, but should be expanded in 2011. This practice was strongly suggested by an attending attorney (through Trustees).

 

Minette C. and Will C. (alternates) have assisted quite admirably when your coordinator has been away during the year.

 

In the near future, AFM will be able to offer internet connection for the use of renters.

 

We are all grateful for the good use to which our Meeting House can be put by the community.

 

Light House Shelter Volunteers Report - Peter M. & Marcia O. reporting:

 

Since fall, a small committee has been meeting regularly to assess the volunteer needs of the Light House and guide our Meeting's efforts to support the shelter. The committee consists of Carol (member of Board of Directors), Joel R., Nan E., Marcia O., and Peter M.

 

We plan to report later this year. But we met last month with Michele Marshall, the shelter's volunteer coordinator, and we wanted to let Meeting know some of the areas we are looking at:

 

  • 1.Jobs center: Clients need help with resume writing, interviews, online job searches, and customer skills.
  • 2.Other client skill training: financial counseling, anger management/conflict resolution, reading and literacy
  • 3.Tutoring children: The need is greatest for children ages 8 to 12, with some additional need for 5 to 7 year olds.
  • 4.Volunteer staffing, overnight and on weekends (the most pressing need right now).
  • 5.Mentoring (long-term relationships only)
  • 6.Babysitting for parents who have programs in the evenings
  • 7.Bagged lunches (M-F only). About 150 are given out every day, some at the shelter and some downtown. If you desire to contribute lunches, please call ahead of time to tell them the number of sack lunches you plan to bring. The Lighthouse Shelter suggests that sack lunches contain: bottle of water, piece of fruit, sandwich (preferably NOT peanut butter and jelly - they get too many), and some other item (traditionally chips or cookies, but they're trying to go healthy).

 

A background check is required for some of these duties.

 

Several of us have attended trainings or informational sessions in some of these areas. Until we assess where we can best direct our efforts, we encourage anyone who is interested to call Michele independently at the shelter if you can offer time. Nan in particular does so a lot, and she says that if you simply show up and ask what needs doing they can find you something very quickly.

 

It is helpful to identify oneself as being from Annapolis Friends Meeting when volunteering.

 

Other Friends' Concerns:

 

We should be considering our reliance on rental income for covering the budget. AFM is concerned that the Meeting House be used during the week by the community and not be left empty.

 

The Worldwide Quaker Fellowship in London is soliciting answers to about half a dozen questions about the earth and environment in 2011. In April 2012 they will provide a report on what they found. Tricia R. will ask the Peace and Social Concerns Committee how AFM should proceed.

 

A member thanks whoever filled the bird feeder this morning.

 

JE McNeil will speak today at 1 p.m. about conscience and war at AFM.

 

A member expressed pain at the unfeeling assumptions made by visitors about members who are people of color. We have so much to learn to become more sensitive to each other's pain. The Deconstructing Racism group is one avenue for F/friends help in this search.

 

These minutes were read and approved during Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business. Meeting closed with silent worship.

 

Respectfully Submitted,

Elise Albert, Clerk, and Phyllis Singer, Recording Clerk

 

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THINKING ABOUT RACE

 

Conversations on racism often bring up the question of, "What can I do?" Learning about the history of science's role in racism and the cultural barriers we erect around race can lead to feelings of guilt, anger, and frustration. The artist, author, and speaker damali ayo has some constructive antidotes to these unproductive emotions. In her work with groups discussing these issues, she has asked people for five things individuals can do to help end racism. Here are the solutions in their own words. (From "I Can Fix It!" at http://fixracism.com or http://damaliayo.com)

 

For White People

Admit It: You have a race that makes a difference in your life too.

Listen

Educate Yourself

Broaden Your Experience

Take Action

 

For People of Color

Get Real

Speak Out

Educate Yourself

Build Ties

Take Care of Yourself

 

NOTE: Friends who wish to comment on this or any other "Thinking About Race" items, may do so at this website: http://racismwg.bym-rsf.net. The BYM Web Manager has set this up as a kind of blog. You will first need to register by emailing webmanager@bym-rsf.net.

 

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SPIRITUAL STATE OF THE MEETING: Preparations for 2011

 

Every year Baltimore Yearly Meeting (BYM) asks all the Meetings to reflect on the Spiritual State of their Meeting to explore the life of the Meeting during 2010. Each Committee is also completing a report on the Spiritual State of their Committee. These reports are distilled into a report on the Spiritual State of the Baltimore Yearly Meeting and presented for further reflection at Annual Session in August. For consistency across the Meetings, we stay close to the queries that BYM suggests. This year the queries for reflection are:

 

How does the Spirit prosper among you? How does your Meeting ensure that ministry is nurtured and that members and attenders feel valued and cared for?

 

What supports the life of the Spirit in your meeting community? What challenges and troubles are you facing? What could the Meeting do to better serve your hopes and expectations?

 

How is the presence of Spirit manifested in your lives individually and as a meeting community?

 

Ministry and Worship Committee is responsible for the report which is due in BYM office by mid-April. We have scheduled a Meeting for Learning on Feb. 13 at 9:15 a.m. to explain the process and provide an opportunity to discuss the queries. Then on Feb. 27 during Meeting for Worship the silence will be broken and those present will have opportunity to speak in a worship-sharing format. If you are unable to attend Meeting for Worship on Feb. 27, you can send your reflections to any member of Ministry & Worship.

 

The BYM letter says: "On a deeper level, these reports help knit together the body of Baltimore Yearly Meeting. They give us an opportunity to rejoice together, to grieve together, and to hold each other in prayer. As you prepare your meeting's Spiritual State of the Meeting report this year, consider what you might report that would bring joy to others in the Yearly Meeting, how your experience might help another meeting on their journey and what troubles or hurts you would like others to hold in the Light."

 

Peace & Joy,

Tricia, Clerk, Ministry & Worship

 

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HOMELESS "WINTER RELIEF" PROGRAMS SEEK VOLUNTEERS

 

Dear Friends,

 

NORTH COUNTY WINTER RELIEF PROGRAM: For several years, Annapolis Friends Meeting has partnered with Magothy United Methodist Church on Mountain Road in Pasadena to provide shelter under the umbrella of Winter Relief, a program run by the nonprofit Arundel House of Hope to provide temporary shelter for the homeless in North County.

 

Like many other area churches, Magothy UMC has signed up to house the homeless in its church offices for an entire week, April 4-10. The church, while historic, is small and not very wealthy, and by helping out we are making it possible for them to provide a service that they could not offer on their own.

 

Please consider helping with this effort, towards which Friends have shown remarkable generosity over the years. Volunteers are needed for three roles:

 

  • 1.Evening/overnight supervision. There are two shifts each night, 8 p.m. - 1 a.m. or 1 a.m. - 6 a.m. This will be a mixed shelter and both men and women are eligible for these shifts.
  • 2.Preparation/serving of Sunday dinner on April 10 (this will be the very last night of Winter Relief, which operates seasonally).
  • 3.Visiting with guests Saturday, April 9 or Sunday, April 10 (very ad hoc--the recommended time is to allow 2 hours, but if you can make it, just do it!)

Please let me know if you are willing to help in any of these roles, particularly the evening or night shifts, which are hard to fill.

 

ANNAPOLIS LIGHTHOUSE WINTER RELIEF: The above program is entirely separate from the Light House shelter in Annapolis, although it was through our representation on the Light House board that we became involved. Since the new Light House shelter has opened on Hudson Street it, too, is housing the transient homeless on very cold nights, and as you may have read, it is appealing for volunteers for that effort as well. If this interests you, I can steer you to the right person at the Light House.

 

Peace, Peter

410-647-2487

 

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KEEPING LOVE ALIVE: RELATIONSHIP IN-DEPTH

 

Saturday, March 12, 2011

10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

 

Annapolis Friends Meeting

351 Dubois Road, Annapolis, Maryland, 21401

410-573-0364

 

Relationships need support and nurture to stay vibrant and grow. This Couple Enrichment workshop will apply our Quaker faith and practices to:

 

Help couples assess their relationship,

Learn and practice relationship skills that deepen intimacy and facilitate creative use of conflict, and

Commit to continued relationship growth in the Spirit.

 

We will help couples affirm common values and priorities and, using Divine Assistance, effectively handle differences and stresses that we experience in our day-to-day lives. Participants will worship together and work as a couple and in small groups, using Couple dialogue, the centerpiece of Couple Enrichment.

 

Leader couple: Joan and Rich Liversidge

 

Joan and Rich are members of Sandy Spring Friends Meeting and a Recognized Leader Couple of the Friends General Conference Couple Enrichment Program. They have led Couple Enrichment events for over 25 years among Friends. Their ministry started at FMW in the mid 80's.

 

Please register early by contacting Leo Pickens (leo.pickens@sjca.edu; 410-280-0939)

 

Breakfast: 9:30 a.m. Coffee and bagels while we gather

Lunch: Please bring a bag lunch

Cost: $10 per couple to support FGC Couples Enrichment program

Note: If childcare is an issue, please let us know and we will work with you to try to come up with some arrangements.

 

COUPLE ENRICHMENT FOR FRIENDS

 

Couple Enrichment is a ministry of couples who, recognizing the Divine center of committed relationships, support them through the practice of deep dialogue and other authentic sharing consistent with our Quaker faith and testimonies.

 

Couple Enrichment is not therapy, not marriage counseling, and not an encounter group. It is designed for couples with a strong commitment to each other who want to enhance their relationships.

 

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INVITATION TO ATTEND JEWELS OF QUAKERISM COURSES @ OLD TOWN FRIENDS

 

Old Town Friends invite you to come learn ways that you may be able to deepen your spiritual relationship with the Divine on Sundays @ 5 – 6 p.m. through Feb. 13, 2011. All Friends and those interested in Friends are welcome. This is an excellent opportunity to visit the old meeting house where Baltimore Quakerism began in 1781, the original site of the Friends School of Baltimore, and the current home of the McKim Center, a youth center on whose board sits members of Stony Run Friends. The format requires no preparation!

 

FEB. 6: Discernment & Spiritual Practices among Friends

 

FEB. 13: Contemporary Quakerism, Contrasts and Connections

 

Format: 20-30 minute video segments followed by discussion / question & answer session

 

Attendees are invited to join Old Town Friends in worship after the session at 6 p.m.; Potluck at 7 p.m.

 

Old Town Friends Fellowship (A Quaker Meeting)

PO Box 2311

Baltimore, MD 21203

www.oldtownfriends.org

410-231-FRND (3763)

 

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CAN THE WORLD PREVENT A WAR IN SUDAN?

 

Jan. 9, the people of Southern Sudan began a historic referendum that may lead to the creation of their own independent state, but could also open the way for a return to violent conflict in this already war-ravaged region. A 2005 peace agreement between North and South Sudan, brokered with strong US support, set the stage for the referendum but also left critical questions, like the sharing of oil resources and demarcation of key borders, unanswered. If the South chooses to secede, these questions will have to be answered through peaceful negotiation - or could easily spark new violence. The South itself will also have to deal with political jockeying for power and conflicts between groups over very scarce economic resources. The new country will be one of the poorest and least developed in the world, with an average life expectancy of just 42 and an adult literacy rate of just 15%.

 

The Sudan referendum has also become a significant moment of global engagement in the peaceful prevention of deadly conflict. The people of Sudan themselves are calling for peace and acting to help prevent violence. Samantha Power, Special Assistant to President Obama and head of the Office of Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights in the National Security Council, has said she's never seen so much political energy and resources from the US government invested in preventing a war before it happens: Former President Jimmy Carter, former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, and a group of other international elders are in South Sudan monitoring the referendum and urging peaceful cooperation whatever its outcome. The State Department has sent a team of the Civilian Response Corps on a "conflict prevention mission." And dozens of non-governmental groups from across Africa and the world are acting as monitors, helping to prevent local violence, and calling on policymakers to help ensure the country does not fall back into war. One new preventive project, a collaboration among the Enough Project, George Clooney's Not on Our Watch foundation, the UN, Google, the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, and MTV, is even using satellite imagery to "Help Stop a War Before It Starts."

 

Can the world prevent a war before it starts? Maybe not, but how amazing that we are indeed trying! What happens in Sudan over the coming months may demonstrate just how far efforts to help prevent deadly conflict have come, or how far they still have to go. What is clear is that FCNL's Peaceful Prevention of Deadly Conflict agenda has moved onto the US and international agenda in not just words, but in practical policy initiatives and dedicated resources. For the people of Sudan, and for the world, that is a very encouraging way to start the new year.

 

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HOW TO SUBMIT NEWSLETTER ITEMS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

Please submit items for the calendar and brief descriptions of events by 9 p.m. on Feb. 20.

Phil Caroom is the editor of the Annapolis Friends Newsletter. Please send any items for inclusion in the newsletter to him at annapolisfriendsmeeting@gmail.com

Friends also are asked to watch your email for announcements of meetings and to listen for announcements at the rise of meeting.

Event and activity organizers, please also post your announcements on the bulletin board for those who do not use electronic mail!

Announce List: announce@annapolis.quaker.org; Discuss List: discuss@annapolis.quaker.org

 

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CONTACT INFORMATION

 

Meeting telephone: 410-573-0364

Address: 351 DuBois Road, Annapolis, MD 21401

Annapolis Friends Meeting website: www.quaker.org/annapolis

Clerk: Elise Albert

Building Use Coordinator (BUC): Sky Elsbree - 410-647-3591

Newsletter Editor: Phil Caroom – contact at annapolisfriendsmeeting@gmail.com

 

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The Annapolis Friends Meeting is a a 501(c)3 tax exempt organization.
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