Report of PSO Committee for PYM Rep Com
submitted by Anthony Manousos and Stephen McNeil
The Peace and Social Order Committee of PYM has had phone conference calls on a more or less monthly basis, but attendance has been down. (All are welcome to take part.) Peace Committees seem to be languishing in many Meetings. Hence, the relevance of the title of an interest group proposed by David Hartsough, lifelong Quaker peace activist from San Francisco: How do we rekindle the fire and spirit of the Peace Testimony in our Friends Meetings, our communities and our nation?
David Brietzmann (San Francisco Meeting) and Linnea Hanson (Chico Meeting) are surveying Friends Meetings of Pacific Yearly Meeting to find out how meetings are serving and helping their communities. Your input would be greatly appreciated. Orange Grove Meeting approved a minute, based on a statement by FNCL, calling on our elected officials to allow at least 10,000 Syrian refugees, along with other refugees (including those from Latin America), to find a safe haven in our country. We are wondering: what other minutes have been approved in other Monthly Meetings? What are Meetings doing to promote peace and justice?
PSO is encouraging Meetings to consider priorities for FCNL and send them to Washington, DC, before the April 15 deadline. This year the focus of FCNL is on Atrocity Prevention.
Follow-up on the 2015 minute "Facing the Climate Crisis" approved by PYM. Sacramento Friends Meeting, at its Business Meeting on October 11, 2015, approved endorsing the Citizens’ Climate Lobby’s Carbon Fee and Dividend letter with the Clerk signing on behalf of the Meeting. Orange Grove Meeting Friends came to unity in support of the this minute approved by Pacific Yearly Meeting and over 40 other Quaker groups and organizations. During the FWCC gathering in Peru in January, 2016, Friends approved a statement calling for each Yearly Meeting to take at least two concrete actions to support sustainability. It is becoming increasingly clear that the environmental crisis and sustainability have become global concerns felt by Friends world-wide. What action has your Monthly Meeting taken in response to the climate crisis?
The PSO Committee approved the following interest groups:
- How are Friends Meetings Serving and Helping Communities? David Brietzmann (San Francisco Meeting) and Linnea Hanson (Chico Meeting) are surveying Friends Meetings of Pacific Yearly Meeting to find out how meetings are serving and helping their communities. Their interest group will highlight some of the different ways that meetings are providing service. They would like to develop a spreadsheet that can be posted on the Western Friend website for all Friends to use to post their service activities.
- The 2016 FWCC World Plenary in Peru and its minute on sustainability. Presentations by PYM Friends who took part in this world-wide Quaker gathering, which unanimously agreed on a sustainability minute calling for specific actions by individuals and meetings. What does this minute, and the work of FWCC, mean for the Society of Friends? Led Anthony Manousos (Orange Grove Meeting), Jan Turner (Humboldt Meeting), Hulda Muaka (Palo Alto), Janet Leslie (Chico) and Roena Oesting (La Jolla).
- An AFSC presentation by "67 Suenos," an organization of high school in the Oakland area that raises the voices of undocumented high school students. See http://afsc.org/video/67-sue%C3%B1os-introduction
- Waging Peace: How do we rekindle the fire and spirit of the Peace Testimony in our Friends Meetings, our communities and our nation? When the US is bombing seven Muslim nations, when the US and Russia are threatening nuclear war, the time is NOW when we must Speak Truth to Power with our words, our actions and our lives. Facilitated by David Hartsough (San Francisco Meeting) and Anthony Manousos (Orange Grove Meeting)/
- Quaker Involvement in Government. FCNL (Friends Committee on National Legislation) and FCL-CA (Friends Committee on Legislation—California) lobby to influence elected officials at the federal and state levels and often make ballot recommendations for us. I propose an interest group which focuses on and trains us to influence our local governments, especially our school boards. Friends should also campaign for like-minded candidate and/or run for office. Led by Janet Gastil (San Diego Meeting).
- Friends Peace Teams works for peace in many parts of the world. San Diego Meeting just gave FPT Peace in Latin America a grant to help with its work. FPT Asia West Pacific is establishing a Peace Center in Pati, Indonesia, where people from Asia West Pacific come to a yearly conference to learn about AVP and peaceful development. The African Great Lakes Initiative is working to hold together the peace in Burundi which is unstable because the President wants an unconstitutional 3rd term. Led by Gay Howard (Central Coast).