ANNAPOLIS FRIENDS NEWSLETTER — APRIL 2011

 

April 2011 Calendar

Queries for Fourth Month: Personal Spiritual Life

Quaker Quotes for April

Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business Minutes

Allison Duncan to Lead Discussion on “Fit for Freedom, Not for Friendship” on April 10

Second Interfaith Café Discussion Evening, Hosted by GAIN on April 12

Spring Clean-Up and Project Day on April 16

African Meal Benefit on April 17

Deconstructing Racism Group Meeting on April 23

Easter Early Morning Worship and Breakfast on April 24

Do You Have a Story to Tell? On April 30 and May 1

Event Honoring Quaker Historian Kenneth Cole at Third Haven on May 1

Thinking about Race

AFM Book Reviews—From Our Library Collection

Baltimore Yearly Meeting Service Opportunities!

Couple Enrichment Group to Meet

How to Submit Newsletter Items and Announcements

Contact Information

 

APRIL 2011 CALENDAR

 

· Meeting for worship: 11 a.m.

· First Day School for children: 11 a.m. (Joining meeting for worship from 11:45 a.m. to 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 Fourth Month: Peace and Social Concerns

 

APRIL 3: 9 a.m. Meeting for worship with attention to business; 11 a.m. Meeting for worship; 1 p.m. Potluck lunch

 

APRIL 10: 11 a.m. Meeting for Worship; 12:15 p.m. Speaker: “Fit for Freedom, Not for Friendship”

 

APRIL 16: 9 a.m. Spring clean-up day – bring rakes, have fun!

 

APRIL  17: 9 a.m. Committee Meetings; 11 a.m. Meeting for Worship; 12:30 p.m. African meal benefit

 

APRIL 24: 7 a.m. Early Easter worship (30 minutes), nature walk & breakfast; 11 a.m. Meeting for Worship; 9 p.m. Newsletter items deadline: please email!

 

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QUERIES FOR FOURTH MONTH: PERSONAL SPIRITUAL LIFE

 

Do you make time for meditation, prayer and worship? Do you read the Bible, the writings of Friends, and other inspirational works, seeking new light? Do you regularly seek God’s guidance? Are you open to guidance and support and so you give thanks for them? Do you share your spiritual insights with others and willingly receive from them in turn? (Faith and Practice, p. 38)

 

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QUAKER QUOTES FOR APRIL

 

There is a way of living in prayer at the same time that one is busy with the outward affairs of daily living… At one level we are immersed in this world of time, of daily affairs. At the same time, but at a deeper level of our minds, we are in active relation with the Eternal Life. (Thomas Kelly, Reality of the Spiritual World)

 

Man will come to a spiritual dead end if he does not allow time apart and in solitude for things to happen inside him. It is possible to drown children and adults in a constant flow of stimuli, forcing them to spend so much energy responding to the outside world that inward life and the creative imagination which flowers from it becomes stunted or atrophied… In homes where silence is lived, the child finds it easy and comfortable to turn to it. In a large and noisy family (like my own) the period of hush that begins every meal sweeps like a healing wind over all the cross-currents that have built up in the previous hours and leaves the household clean and sweet. Times apart of special family worship, hard to come by in the daily routine, become ours to be remembered and valued for their very scarcity, and never fail to catch us up to another level of love and awareness…. Some families must work harder than others to create the physical situation in which times of solitude become possible, but when silence is treasured, the quiet place is found. (Elise Boulding, 1962)

 

But in all these things, it is the will to pray that is the essence of prayer, and the desire to find God, and to see Him and to love Him is the one thing that matters. If you have desired to know Him and love Him you have already done what was expected of you, and it is much better to desire God without being able to think clearly of Him, than to have marvelous thoughts about Him without desiring to enter into union with His will. (T. Merton, Seeds of Contemplation, 1949, p.143)

 

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MEETING FOR WORKSHOP WITH ATTENTION TO BUSINESS MINUTES

 

Sixth day of the Third Month, 2011

Elise A. (Clerk), Mary K. (for the Recording Clerk), with 21 other Friends and attenders present

 

Our Meeting began with centering worship.

 

Request for transfer of membership: A letter from Friend Stuart G., requesting transfer of his membership from Annapolis Monthly Meeting to Patapsco Monthly Meeting, was read and is attached to these minutes. Friends spoke fondly and appreciatively of Friend Stuart’s contributions of healing and verbal ministry to our Meeting and our regional Friends community. We send him forward on his journey with our love. Friends approve Stuart’s request for this transfer, and the clerk of AFM will forward the request to the clerk of Patapsco Monthly Meeting. 

 

Stewardship and Finance - Mary K. reporting: The 2010 surplus of $12,401 derives from surplus income ($3831 surplus rental income + $924 surplus interest income - $355 deficit in Unrestricted Contributions) and $7660 from committees under-spending their budgets. S&F presents the following preliminary recommendation for Friends to consider: $419 added to income to bring budget back into balance after the multiple adjustments made in early 2010, an unknown amount to meet needs committees budgeted but postponed due to our financial concerns in 2010, an amount guided by committees to fulfill committee requests for restricted funds in 2011, and a fourth category yet to be determined. Friends suggested that the fourth category might include: Building fund, contributions to Friend Ann Riggs or the Kenya Theological College or solar panels for the school, Quaker organizations, or to additional Quaker Causes as directed by P&SC. Friends approved the categorical allocations, with further discussion of the fourth category to follow.

 

Committees are asked to provide a list of their deferred needs to S&F. Friends are invited to offer further suggestions or requests. Final allocation will be brought back to Meeting for Business. Meeting approved a two part financial discussion incorporating a Meeting for Learning followed by a Threshing Session on our particular needs a few weeks later. Friends express appreciation to the Stewardship & Finance committee and our Treasurer for their stewardship.

 

Save Darfur Action - Sylvia O. reporting: Two letters were sent in February, to the U.S. Senate and House, urging that humanitarian aid not be cut. One letter was sent to President Obama, calling for a new special envoy to Sudan and a reinvigorated peace process. These letters are attached. A Friend expressed appreciation for Friend Sylvia providing us with complete information to keep these concerns in our hearts.

 

Peace and Social Concerns Committee - Phil F. reporting: Presenting information about the Fund Our Communities, Bring the War Dollars Home coalition and a draft minute. The coalition is described at http://ourfunds.org/, and Friends are encouraged to consider this proposal. Friends approve joining the coalition. Friends thank Chris Comeau, of Fund Our Communities, for joining us today. A Friend pointed out that we need to be very clear about what we’re seeking. If we only cut the military spending, it will cut programs other than bullets and bombs. If we’re asking to reduce spending on conflict, we need to state that clearly.

 

Draft Minute to Join Fund Our Communities, Bring The War Dollars Home: The Annapolis Friends Meeting is committed to live “in the virtue of that life and power which takes away the occasion of wars.” For this reason, we join with Fund Our Communities: Bring the War Dollars Home, a coalition of community groups in Maryland, in supporting efforts in the U.S. Congress to make significant reductions in military spending for armed conflict and to increase funding for much-needed domestic and peace-oriented foreign programs.

 

Friends approve this minute.

 

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

 

Respectfully Submitted,

Elise A., Clerk, and Mary K., Recording Clerk

 

LETTER SEEKING TRANSFER OF MEMBERSHIP

 

February 25, 2011

Dear Elise, Clerk of Annapolis Friends Meeting and to all of my dear friends there,

 

I know this has been a long time in coming but I feel it is finally time to request that my membership in the Religious Society of Friends be transferred to Patapsco Friends Meeting where I have been led to sojourn for the last 2 years. They are a loving, vibrant community very much like yours in Annapolis and they have welcomed me warmly and with understanding. 

 

My dear Annapolis Friends, I feel like I’ve have been raised by you as your child. 20 years ago I came to you in a burnt-out, broken condition -seeking community and in your love and care I received God’s opportunities for healing. Currently with my home base of Patapsco I am growing into a vocation as a public friend. 

 

The words “thank you” seem so very trite and insufficient because they are.  Your love of each of other, your seeking and the bright living of the Light and the guidance given you by the Great Spirit provided me the most fertile garden to grow in. One cannot ask more from a parent. Thank you!!!

 

In Joy, Stuart Greene

 

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ALISON DUNCAN TO LEAD DISCUSSION ON “FIT FOR FREEDOM, NOT FOR FRIENDSHIP” ON APRIL 10

 

Quaker history is fascinating. We have so much to be proud of. And mixed with our heroic deeds are our all too human imperfections.

 

On April 10 after worship, Friends will hear a presentation by Alison Duncan, BYM youth secretary, who has had training in presenting the history of white American Friends and African Americans as written about in “Fit for Freedom, Not for Friendship,” by Vanessa Julye and Donna McDaniel. She will cover a period when Quakers held people in slavery, the growing understanding that slavery was not consistent with that of God in everyone (thanks to Friends like John Woolman and Anthony Benezet), Friends’ work with the Underground Railroad, and Friends’ involvement in the abolition movement.

 

Just as today, some Friends took the lead in these matters of conscience and others hung back, putting their financial interests and desire to fit in with the larger society ahead of their sensitivity to God’s leading. Much to think about! Teen-agers would be most welcome.

 

A simple lunch will be offered, compliments of the Quaker History and Heritage Fund, followed by the program. Alison suggests that you read any one chapter (more if you wish) from Part 1 of the book. There is a copy in the library.  If you contact Pat Schenck by April 1 at 410-263-4529 or pat.schenck@verizon.net, she will order copies for you to own. They cost $28. Or, look for one of the two copies to borrow from the AFM Library. (If you don’t read a chapter, come anyway!)

 

Join us to learn about and discuss this important part of our Quaker past. 

 

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SECOND INTERFAITH CAFE DISCUSSION EVENING ON APRIL 12, HOSTED BY GAIN

 

The Greater Annapolis Interfaith Network (GAIN), to which our Meeting belongs, will hold its second interfaith café on Tuesday, April 12, from 6:45 to 8:45 p.m. at the Pip Moyer Rec. Center (273 Hilltop Lane, Annapolis).

 

All are invited to explore and share about their faith traditions, personal spiritual journeys and ways we can join together to address needs in our community.

 

Topics participants may wish to explore include, “What has drawn you to your faith tradition? What commonalities do you find with those at your table? How do these translate into action in our community? How do we live our faith?”

 

Enjoy the company of Muslims, Jews, Protestants, Catholics, Baha’i, Buddhists, Quakers and general seekers as we seek common ground for understanding and outreach. Coffee and snacks will be available.

 

For more information, contact Barbara Thomas at bthomas60@comcast.net or 410-867-2473, or www.gainonline.org.

 

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SPRING CLEAN-UP AND PROJECT DAY ON APRIL 16

 

Remember when you spent Saturdays in old clothes, playing outdoors with your Friends, until someone called you in to have lunch? You can have this experience again at the Meeting House on Saturday, April 16, from 9 a.m. to noon (or, if it’s raining hard that day, on the next Saturday, April 23).

 

Bring rakes, weeding tools, and other ”implements of destruction.” Weeding, mulching, nature-trail work, play area inspection, and many other exciting tasks await us.

 

Lunch will be provided just before noon and snacks will be available through the morning. For more information, contact Bill K. or others on the Meeting House and Land Committee, or listen for announcements in the circle after meeting.

 

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AFRICAN MEAL BENEFIT ON APRIL 17 TO BENEFIT THE SOLAR PANEL FUND OF FRIENDS THEOLOGICAL COLLEGE (FTC) IN KENYA

 

On Sunday, April 17 there will be a traditional African meal after Meeting for Worship, provided by the PSC (Peace and Social Concerns) Subcommittee on Environmental Change that is presenting programs to AFM in conjunction with our Baltimore Yearly Meeting's committee, Unity with Nature, and FWCC, Friends World Committee on Consultation. There will be a 4-person panel to briefly present an overview of our purpose in having this event. Tricia Robinson will explain our involvement with the FWCC and BYM effort to raise awareness and answer queries regarding environmental/climate change. Will Candler will speak to us again on some of the issues of climate change. We will also have an overview of solar panels and the need for these at the FTC in Kenya. (We believe that AFM's Ann Riggs, Acting President of FTC in Kenya, will be present at this event.) There will also be information presented for AFM to possibly have a book discussion group on a book, to be selected, on this topic of environmental change.

 

A free-will donation may be made to the FTC Solar Panel Fund.

 

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DECONSTRUCTING RACISM GROUP MEETING ON APRIL 23

 

Dear Friends: The next Deconstructing Racism discussion will take place on Saturday, April 23, from 2 to 4 p.m. in the meeting house library. Our group is under the care of AFM Ministry and Worship Committee. Friends gather every few months to talk about our recent experiences related to race and diversity. We open in silent worship, update each other on events in our lives, examine our own unaware racism, discern our individual and collective leadings for furthering equality and justice, and close in silent worship. Hope you can join us. Newcomers, oldies and all in between are welcome! Peace, Jean

 

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EASTER EARLY MORNING WORSHIP AND BREAKFAST ON APRIL 24

 

Worship at 7 a.m. for about half hour to 45 minutes. We will walk around the ravine to see what is in bloom and this year since it is late we should have a lot to see. This is followed by breakfast of pancakes, sausage, and juice. Any questions can be directed to Sky and Nan Elsbree at 410-647-3591 or skyelsb@verizon.net.

 

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DO YOU HAVE A STORY TO TELL? ON APRIL 30 AND MAY 1

 

Learn how to tell it. Join us for a Storytelling Workshop.

 

This workshop will be held at William Penn House, a Quaker Center on Capitol Hill: 515 E. Capitol St. SE, Washington, DC 20016. More information can be found at www.williampennhouse.org.

 

Effective Storytelling is a beautiful art that cuts across generations and cultures. Knowing the basics of Storytelling strengthens the story, making it memorable long after the oration is over. It is also a skill that helps organize thoughts for any kind of public speaking from professional presentations to personal conversations.

 

William Penn House is holding a Storytelling Workshop on April 30 and May 1, 2011. Participants are also invited to tell their story at our monthly potluck on the evening of Sunday, May 1.

Cost: $160/person, $190 with lodging.

 

To register, contact Brad Ogilvie at 202-543-5560 or brad@williampennhouse.org. This workshop will be facilitated by Laura Zam, a writer, performer and educator.

 

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EVENT HONORING QUAKER HISTORIAN KENNETH CARROL AT THIRD HAVEN ON MAY 1

 

Dear Friends,

 

I would like to encourage all to take a unique opportunity to visit Third Haven Meeting House in Easton, and honor Quaker historian Kenneth Carroll.  Third Haven will be honoring Dr. Carroll, who has been in failing health, in conjunction with the Friends Historical Society Spring Event.

 

Dr. Carroll came and spoke for our 350th year of Quakerism in America event in 2006, and is truly a treat to hear. He is past president of the Friends Historical Association (NA) and of the Friends Historical Society (UK). A native of Easton, he spent his professional life as a professor of divinity at Southern Methodist in Texas. Then he returned to Maryland to become an expert on Third Haven Meeting and local Quaker history. A unique character. A bibliography of the works of FHA President Emeritus Kenneth L. Carroll is available here: http://www.haverford.edu/library/fha/welcome.html.

 

In addition, Third Haven Meeting is the sister meeting to the Western Shore Meeting which was initiated in 1656 in Galesville.  The Galesville Meeting House does not survive, but Third Haven is the oldest documented structure in Maryland, and the oldest religious structure in the US which has been continually used since it was constructed (I was also married there, since we didn't have a meeting house at the time).

 

We don't have to make the reservation for the bus (from Philadelphia, for FHA members) but I will be communicating with Third Haven about a recommended donation for the lunch, or whether we can offer assistance. Third Haven though once our close "relative" is under Philadelphia Yearly Meeting due to the land route available before the construction of the Bay Bridge

 

If you review Dr. Carroll bibliography, you will see that he has been writing about Quaker history for sixty years. He is a " Living Quaker Treasure.” If you are interested, let me know, and I will keep you " in the loop" until May 1 about this special opportunity.

 

We also have a DVD of Dr. Carroll's lecture for Annapolis Friends that is available for viewing.  After Dr. Carroll lecture on a May 1, you may find yourself clamoring for more.

 

In the light, Kim F.

 

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THINKING ABOUT RACE

 

According to a carefully researched book by Michelle Alexander, the rates of use and traffic in illegal drugs are roughly equal among white, blacks and Latinos. Yet by 2004, three-fourths of all persons imprisoned in the US for drug offenses were blacks or Latinos. Since, in most jurisdictions, it is legal to deny voting rights and employment to persons convicted of serious drug offenses, she argues that the mass incarceration of blacks and Latinos has created a new caste system from which our society makes it very difficult to escape even after release from incarceration. The book is “The New Jim Crow—Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness” (New York: The New Press, 2010).

 

The Baltimore Yearly Meeting Working Group on Racism meets most months on the third Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., usually at Bethesda Friends Meeting or Friends Meeting of Washington. If you would like to attend, either on a regular or a drop-in basis, please contact clerk Elizabeth DuVerlie at eduverlie@jhu.edu or Pat Schenck at pat.schenck@verizon.net.

 

NOTE: Friends who wish to comment on this or any other “Thinking about Race” items may do so at http://racism.bym-rsf.net. The BYM Web Manager has set this up a BYM Working Group on Racism blog. In order to leave comments you need to register first. You can do that by sending an email to webmanager@bym-rsf.net.

 

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AFM BOOK REVIEWS – FROM OUR LIBRARY COLLECTION

 

"THE QUAKERS: A VERY SHORT INTRODUCTION"

 

Although short, this mini-history of Quakerism is dense with details.  Author Pink Dandelion (yes, that is his name, so you already know his choice of words can get your attention) approaches each theme chronologically; worship, belief, theology, language, ecumenism and the future of Quakerism. He touches on the lives of important contributors to Quakerism throughout its 350 (or so) years and provides an excellent chart on the differences between various Friends Meeting styles around the world. 

 

I found the timeline and glossary at the back of the book quite helpful for quick and repeated referencing. The index list of references and ideas for further reading also came in handy. I'd recommend "The Quakers" to anyone, but especially to those seekers just beginning to need more historical and contemporary clarity about a vast and immensely engaging subject. - reviewed by Susan D.

 

“THE MIRACLE OF MINDFULNESS - A MANUAL ON MEDITATION”

 

This book by Thich Nhat Hanh is on the shelf in the Spiritually section. It was originally written as a long letter to another monk. Thick Nhat Hanh is a Buddhist monk from Vietnam. He desired to inspire young people through "engaged Buddhism." This book is very engaging for readers of any age.

 

It is a comfortable read. It presents the possibility to experience inner silence and Mindfulness in every moment of daily life. Every breath is an inspiration. There are numerous simple suggestions of how to make every inhalation and exhalation truly a breath of fresh air. Each step, any activity can be accomplished in Mindfulness.

 

There are many simple suggestions that can be used during worship. There are mindfulness ideas that might seem challenging. For example, imagine your skeleton and that it is not you. "Your bodily form is not you. Be at one with life. Live eternally in the trees and grass, in other people, in the birds and other beasts, in the sky, in the ocean waves. You are present everywhere and in every moment."

 

This small, delightful book can be a confirmation and resource - reviewed by Colette M.

 

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BALTIMORE YEARLY MEETING SERVICE OPPORTUNITIES!

 

Have you ever wondered how the Religious Society of Friends continues to thrive and change? The secret is Spirit-led Friends willing to dedicate time, energy, and hard work.

 

Serving on a BYM committee can be a very special experience. It is an opportunity to engage in meaningful work, deepen Quaker roots, and widen horizons by working with Friends with similar interests from some of the other 53 Monthly Meetings, Preparative Meetings, and Worship Groups that make up our Yearly Meeting. The knowledge and inter-visitation experience gained strengthens the Friend serving and your Monthly Meeting as well.

 

Areas of interest and service include administration; advancing our testimonies in areas such as advancement and outreach, peace and social concerns, and camping programs and other youth work; and representing BYM at various Friends organizations. See BYM’s website (www.bym-rsf.org) for full descriptions.

 

Service is generally a three-year commitment, beginning at the August Annual Meeting this summer. Most committees meet together at Interim and Annual Meetings as well as undertaking various activities throughout the year.

 

From Karen C.: I serve on BYM’s nominating committee and would be happy to discuss the possibility of BYM service with anyone who might be even a little bit interested. I can be reached at 410-280-8995 or kcunnyngham@verizon.net. In addition, there are another dozen people or so from AFM who currently serve BYM in some capacity and would likely be glad to share their experiences.

 

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COUPLE ENRICHMENT GROUP TO MEET

 

A six-hour Couple Enrichment workshop was held on Saturday, March 12 at the Annapolis Friends Meeting house. Led by the leader couple Joan and Rich Liversidge, the training applied 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.

 

Relationships need support and nurture to stay vibrant and grow. Couple Enrichment helps 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 worship together and work as a couple and in small groups, using Couple dialogue, the centerpiece of Couple Enrichment.

 

AFM is starting a Couple Enrichment group with workshop participants who are interested in attending monthly meetings. Ria and Ted H. will serve as the leader couple in order to get the group started, as they have taken part in a couple enrichment group affiliated with Bethesda Friends Meeting for 11 years; eventually the leadership will rotate. 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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HOW TO SUBMIT NEWSLETTER ITEMS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

· Please submit items for the calendar and brief descriptions of events by 9 p.m. on April 24.

· 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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