Wednesday, June 22, 2022

The joy of becoming a Methodist Quaker!

 


After 38 years of being a Quaker, I felt led to join the First United Methodist Church of Pasadena, where Jill and I have been warmly welcomed, appreciated and supported for the last few years. I still plan to attend Orange Grove Quaker meeting, which meets right after the Methodist service since I love the Quaker way of worship, our Quaker testimonies, and my dear Quaker friends, some of whom I've known since coming to California thirty some years ago to marry Kathleen Ross, my wife of blessed memory. Kathleen was a Methodist pastor I met at Pendle Hill, a Quaker Center for Study and Contemplation near Philadelphia. For twenty years Kathleen and I had a Quaker-Methodist alliance which enhanced both our ministries. She passed away of cancer 13 years ago, but still lives in my heart and inspires me.

I'm thrilled that Jill has been welcomed into the Methodist community where her calling for housing justice is deeply appreciated and respected. We love Pastors Amy, Connie and Jen. They are incredibly kind and supportive of us and our social and racial justice work. As I get to know the congregation, I am enjoying making new friends who seem vaguely familiar since I've been part of the Methodist family for almost as long as I've been a Quaker.

I felt God's presence and love surrounding me when I stood in front of this beautiful congregation and affirmed my commitment to be part of this Christian fellowship. And I am experiencing the spiritual and emotional healing I need to continue my calling to be a Christian Quaker, to practice kindness and friendship, and work for justice and peace. I thank God for leading me to this new and life-giving phase in my spiritual development.

I am also thankful for the 126+ friends who liked or loved this reflection when I posted it on my Facebook page. Their affirmation of my leading warmed my heart. I felt as if the angels of heaven must have been rejoicing when I made my commitment to be part of the First United Methodist Church of Pasadena!

Here are some of the heart-warming comments. (Sandy Olewine is a Methodist pastor I've known for nearly 30 years and love and respect deeply.)

Sandy OlewineYou have been and will continue to be a gift to the UMC family! Welcome my friend

"God speed you on your continuing spiritual journey." --Gil Skidmore.

"This is great Anthony. Good on you for following your leading."  Fe Renee.

Yanire Zamora RodriguezBendiciones dobles

Paul Ricketts: I was a Quaker attender-member for 30+. years. I am now an active attender at a local episcopal church.
Over the past 100 years, Quakers particularly in the unprogrammed Hicksite FGC tradition. Has evolved into a pluralistic “hyphenated” religion. (e.g., Buddhist-Quaker, Jewish--Quaker, Christian--Quaker, Humanist-Quaker, etc.) Include a growing number of “non-theists” Quakers.
Being Anglican-Episcopalian or a Methodist like yourself for me is part of the continuum. I too continue to love the waiting worship both individually and corporately, the testimonies, and my dear Quaker friends, some of whom I've known for many years. For me personally it's not an either-or. It's a marriage of two wonderful traditions.

Paul "speaks my mind," as Quakers say. I thoroughly enjoyed the article he recommended, which explores the profound relationship between modern Quakers and Anglicans. 

I've also written and spoken about "experiencing the Light as a Quaker and as a Methodist": https://laquaker.blogspot.com/2012/03/experiencing-light-as-quaker-and-as.html , For me, Quakerism and Methodism are complementary. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Why I prefer to celebrate Juneteenth rather than July 4th


 
As a child, I loved the Fourth of July and looked forward each year to going to the fireworks displays. But when I grew up and became a Quaker, I began to question the pervasive violence of July 4th--the orgy of fireworks that makes some parts of our cities seem like war zones. When I hear the line "Bombs bursting in air gave proof through the night that our flag was still there," I don't think of the British attacking Washington, DC which inspired our national anthem; I think of Hiroshima, Dresden, the carpet bombing of Vietnam, drone strikes, and much more. That's why I never stand up for the National Anthem and feel empathy for those who “take a knee.” I love my country but abhor the violence for which it all too often stands.

As the Fourth of July approaches, it is worth noting that Quakers did not celebrate this holiday, and it cost them dearly. The first official Fourth of July celebration did not happen until 1781, but on July 4th, 1776, there were a few celebrations in Philadelphia  and in 1777 there were many more. That day was also marked by violence. Homes of Quakers were vandalized by those who believed the Quakers were not patriotic because they did not celebrate the Fourth of July. Because of their pacifist convictions, Quakers did not celebrate any holidays that commemorated military victories.

We Americans like to imagine we are a peaceful nation, yet we are "largest purveyor of war in the world," as Martin Luther King once said, referring to the US arms trade (where we are still number 1). Americans believe passionately in the myth of redemptive violence, and equate freedom with violence, because we imagine our nation could not have become free without a bloody revolution.

In the 1770s the  Quakers in Philadelphia believed otherwise. They sent emissaries to negotiate with the British. They refused to accept tea that had been taxed, but instead of disguising themselves as Indians and throwing it into the Delaware River, they quietly paid the British merchants to take it back to England. They did what they could to avoid war, and I believe the Quakers were right. I highly recommend the book The Missing Peace: The Search for Nonviolent Alternatives in United States History by James Juhnke and Carol Hunter (2004), which describes what Quakers did to avert a war with England.

I feel these Quakers were on the right track. History shows it was possible to achieve independence without bloodshed, as was the case with Canada and Australia. It took time and patience, and I'm sure, a bit of cunning, but think of all the lives that were saved.

The African American historian and former UCSB professor Gerald Horne has given me another reason to question the conventional ideas about the 4th of July. In his book The Counterrevolution of 1776, he debunks that notion that the American Revolution was “a great step forward for humanity.” He points out, “The Africans then living in the colonies overwhelmingly sided with the British” and for good reason. He shows that “in the prelude to 1776, the abolition of slavery seemed all but inevitable in London, delighting Africans as much as it outraged slaveholders, and sparking the colonial revolt.”

“The so-called Revolutionary War,” Horne writes, “was in part a counter-revolution, a conservative movement that the founding fathers fought in order to preserve their right to enslave others.”

This book opened my eyes to an aspect of the American Revolution that was never discussed in my education. You can hear Gerald Horne explain his thesis by going to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C71DIrOmkBM.

I was also never taught that our slave-holding “founding fathers” were deeply in debt because of their lavish lifestyle and used slaves as collateral—a fact that historian Clyde Ford explores in his forthcoming book Of Blood and Sweat: Black Lives and the Making of White Power and Wealth. Ford shows how our banking institutions were tainted by the slave system from the onset and have continued to privilege whites over people of color. For this reason, he calls for debt relief, eviction moratoriums, and reparations.

It is not a coincidence that in 1776, Quakers in Philadelphia Yearly Meeting unanimously came to unity that Quakers were forbidden from owning slaves, and 14 years later they petitioned the U.S. Congress for the abolition of slavery. Quakers are known for being abolitionists, but they were not free from racism. In the early days of colonial America, some Quakers, including William Penn, owned slaves, but eventually the vast majority of Quakers saw the Light, renounced slavery, and some became key leaders in abolitionist movement. Because of their opposition to slavery, and rejection of violence, Quakers saw no reason to celebrate the 4th of July. For me as a Quaker, Juneteenth is a holiday much more worthy of celebration.

Trump: The Man Who Would Be King


As I contemplate the nefarious career of Donald Trump, the greatest con man in human history, I keep thinking of the movie, "The Man Who Would Be King," sharing Michael Caine and Sean Connery, based on the 1888 novel by Rudyard Kipling. Set in Afghanistan during the British colonial period, it depicts two rogues who decide to  seek their fortunes in a remote part of Afghanistan that has not been open to Europeans. Using their cunning, they  manage to con their way into becoming kings. They do this by convincing the natives that they are gods. This happens by accident. One of them is shot by an arrow and unharmed because unbeknownst to the natives, he is wearing body armor. The natives believe that this rogue cannot be harmed, and hence is a god.  When they are installed as kings, the two rogues find out that the natives possess immense treasure and gloat over becoming rich beyond their imagining. But one of them makes a fatal mistake: he falls for a native girl and tries to have his way with her. She resists, bites him on the check, and he bleeds. The natives realize he is a fraud, turn on him,  and make him walk over a cliff, where he is impaled, crucified, but survives. He returns to "civilization" as a crippled beggar.

The parallel with Trump is the belief among his followers that he is invincible, beyond the law. Repeatedly, he is charged with crimes that would ordinarily destroy a politician or a mere mortal, but he emerges unscathed. The more often this happens, the more willing his followers are to believe his lies. He is, after all, above the law, with god-like power. Therefore, he alone can fix our country. 

What will stop Trump, and hopefully deflate Trumpism? If he is not only charged with a crime, but found guilty and forced to accept consequences. These could include some kind of confinement (maybe at home), community service (I'd love to see Trump serving meals in a homeless shelter) and being disqualified from running for office. His crimes deserve much harsher punishment, but what I propose should be enough to prevent him from further mischief. 

Once his followers see that Trump is human, and not above the law, many will likely turn on him, as the Italians turned on Mussolini after he was defeated. I don't want to see Trump shot, but I do want to see him punished in a way that convinces his followers that he is a con man, not a would-be king. 

The only risk I see is that  some of his followers will be seen as a martyr. They will continue to worship him till the day he dies. This will be a passionate minority who will continue to cause mischief with their crack-pot conspiracy theories. It will take more than punishing Trump to cure the disease of Trumpism. It will take a generation or more to undo the damage that Trump and his ilk have done to the body politic of America. But punishing Trump is a necessary first step.

That's why I want the Select Committee to send criminal charges to the Justice Department, and pray that Merritt Garland will have the courage to bring this con man to justice. If Garland fails to do so, there is a chance that Trump could be elected and rig the system so he could be president for life, in other words, America's first king. This may seem outlandish, but who would have imagined that a con man could take over the Republican party and convince a majority of Republicans that he won an election that he clearly lost. Who would have imagined that tens of millions of Americans would succumb to the Big Lie and the Big Rip off? Trump wants to be America's first king. If he is allowed to break the law with impunity, there is a chance that his dream will become America's nightmare. 

Monday, June 13, 2022

Lady Wisdom Incarnate




Photo: Lady Wisdom puppet being carried at the Palm Sunday Peace Parade in Pasadena. Created by Gloria Newton.


Does not wisdom call out?
    Does not understanding raise her voice?




At the highest point along the way,
    where the paths meet, she takes her stand;
beside the gate leading into the city,
    at the entrance, she cries aloud:
“To you, O people, I call out;
    I raise my voice to all mankind.
You who are simple, gain prudence;
    you who are foolish, set your hearts on it.
Listen, for I have trustworthy things to say;
    I open my lips to speak what is right.
My mouth speaks what is true,
    for my lips detest wickedness.
All the words of my mouth are just;
    none of them is crooked or perverse.
To the discerning all of them are right;
    they are upright to those who have found knowledge.
10 Choose my instruction instead of silver,
    knowledge rather than choice gold,
11 for wisdom is more precious than rubies,
    and nothing you desire can compare with her....


33 Listen to my instruction and be wise;
    do not disregard it.
34 Blessed are those who listen to me,

    watching daily at my doors,
    waiting at my doorway.
35 For those who find me find life

    and receive favor from the Lord.
36 But those who fail to find me harm themselves;

    all who hate me love death.

I love this delightful passage from Proverbs 8, which was the reading at the Methodist church on Sunday. But before I reflect on it,  I'd like to share a story about how God is working through this blog. On Saturday, I felt led to write a reflection about my spiritual life--something I haven't done for months, maybe even over a year, because I'm so busy with my activist life. The next day I dropped by the Orange Grove Friends Meeting during fellowship time and a young man named Bobby I never met before eagerly approached me and said, "Anthony, it's great to see you! I was reading your blog yesterday and want to talk with you." I was amazed: I don't usually get this kind of response from my blog entries. (Actually it's never happened.) He went on to tell me that he wants to start a Quaker meeting in Long Beach, and is seeking my advice. I was delighted by his enthusiasm, and eager to help, but that's a conversation for another time. For now, I'd like to share briefly my thoughts about Lady Wisdom.

I love this passage because it shows Wisdom as the female side of God. Lady Wisdom (like the logos in John's Gospel) existed before creation and was present as God crafted the universe, delighting in God's creativity. Wisdom is also portrayed as prophetic, calling out in public places, calling us to practice justice and live righteously. Wisdom is attained not by poring over books acquiring knowledge (or googling for more info), but by listening--"waiting and watching" patiently at her door. For me, this is a metaphor for contemplation.

Lady Wisdom is not only audacious, the spirit of prophesy, she is also hospitable. She welcome us into her spacious home  and serves us her bread and wine--not the intoxicating kind, but the kind that leads to life-giving "insight."

To those who have no sense she says,
    “Come, eat my food
    and drink the wine I have mixed.
Leave your simple ways and you will live;
    walk in the way of insight.”

As I reflected on this passage, I thought of those I know who have embodied Wisdom, and most of them are women. I thought of Janet Riley, a Quaker I met in the 1980s when I first joined the Society of Friends. During the darkest days of the Cold War, when Reagan was calling the Soviet Union an "evil empire," Janet was passionate about starting a Quaker meeting in Moscow and led an effort to create a joint Soviet-American book project--a collection of poetry and stories by Russians and Americans that would be published in both countries and dispel stereotypes. Janet was not reticent about sharing her vision. She told everyone and her enthusiasm was contagious. I joined Janet's efforts and came to love her bold, beautiful spirit. She was in many ways the embodiment of Lady Wisdom. She was constantly calling us out to do the right thing, to build bridges of understanding between Russians and Americans, to put our Quaker peace testimony into practice. She was also kind and hospitable. Thanks to her, I played a small part in helping to end the Cold War.

My wife Kathleen, a Methodist pastor, also embodied Lady Wisdom for me during the twenty years we were married. Kathleen was a contemplative and compassionate listener but she also spoke powerful "words of wisdom" when she preached. I met her at Pendle Hill, the Quaker Center for Study and Contemplation, in 1988, not long after I became a Quaker. As a young girl, Kathleen was extremely shy, but once she found her calling as a preacher and pastor, she spoke the word of God with such power I was often brought to tears. Over the years, she helped me to find gifts I never dreamed I had--such as leading youth groups. She encouraged me in interfaith peacemaking and my calling as a Quaker "publisher of truth" when I became editor of Friends Bulletin, the official publication of Western unprogrammed Quakers. Her wisdom helped me to became a little more wise, a little more patient, and a little less judgmental. After she died of cancer, I realized that Kathleen had taught me much more: how to live like a Christian, love like a Christian, and face illness and death like a Christian. Her life of love and wisdom still inspires me. She was like the wife in proverbs: "a woman of valor, more precious than rubies."

I feel the same way about my current wife Jill, who is a "passionate, prophetic and persistent" activist for housing justice. Eleven years ago Jill and I met at the Palm Sunday Peace Parade, which celebrated Jesus as the Prince of Peace. This set the tone for our marriage. In our marriage vows, we affirmed: "The Prince of Peace brought us together for a purpose greater than either of us can imagine." That's proven to be true. Three years ago we started a nonprofit devoted to housing justice that has had remarkable successes.  Thanks to Jill, I have led an advocacy team for affordable housing that will ensure hundreds of units of affordable housing for  low-income and and unhoused people. Jill has another quality of Lady Wisdom: the gift of hospitality and creativity. Like her artist and fashionista mother, Jill is a creative spirit who delights in beauty. What a joy to be married to another "woman of valor" with a heart of gold!

I want to conclude by saying that it's not just women who embody Lady Wisdom. According to Bert Newton's compelling book "The Subversive Wisdom of John's Gospel," Jesus was portrayed as the  embodiment of Lady Wisdom and often quotes her words. Jesus displayed both the boldness and the compassion of Lady Wisdom, offering his disciples life-giving "bread and wine" and showing them a new society based on loving kindness and truth--the antithesis of materialism, empire and the domination system.

Two Quaker men who embody Lady Wisdom for me are George Lakey and David Hartsough. Not only are they giants of justice and peace, they are also gracious and joyful. David is one of the kindest, most hospitable people I have ever known, with a smile that lights up the room. George Lakey loves to gather people around a piano and lead sing-a-longs to Broadway show tunes. Like Lady Wisdom, they rejoice in God's creation, and in humankind, as she explains in Proverbs 8:

.... I was constantly  at [God's] side.
I was filled with delight day after day,
    rejoicing always in his presence,
31 rejoicing in his whole world
    and delighting in mankind

I feel deeply grateful for these blessed souls who have embodied Lady Wisdom in their life and work and shown me the path that leads to Wisdom. I pray God that others will open their hearts and minds to Lady Wisdom and learn to walk in her ways. Maybe we can walk together!

Saturday, June 11, 2022

Pausing to Reflect on a "Wild and Precious Life."

I have been so busy with my activist life over the last few years that I haven't had time for much reflection on my spiritual life in my blog. I intended to spend this morning writing a reflection about how Spirit is at work in my life, but I got an urgent call from my wife that she needed me at a meeting she is leading for churches that want to have affordable housing built on their land. I rushed over to the Methodist Church and got back half an hour ago, with most of my morning gone. I don't regret having responded to my wife's call--that's what a good husband does, and I was happy to support her. But finding time to reflect is challenging when you are co-founder of a fledging nonprofit.

Let me begin by saying why I am happy that "God had other plans" for my morning. By heeding my wife's call, I got to see the amazing work that the MHCH Congregational Land team is doing: feasibility studies for churches that want to have affordable housing built on their underutilized property. Seeing these beautiful plans laid out on tables helped me envision what these projects would look like.

I also got to hear my wife give an inspiring devotion on the theme: "Without a vision the people perish..." (Proverbs 29:18). I am thrilled that our organization is helping churches envision a new and hopeful future not just for themselves, but also for the community they are called to serve. 

I am happy to be part of this work because I feel it's God's work. I am convinced of this not only because this work is helping low-income and unhoused people to have decent and affordable housing, it is also helping to create the Beloved Community. 

But what I want to reflect on is not my social justice work (which I write and talk about all the time), but the spiritual work that undergirds what I do.

Prior to marrying Jill, I was much more contemplative than I am today. My spiritual practice was mainly a form of silent worship,  or as I would prefer to say, "listening and expectant worship." That's what drew me to the Quakers (and also to the Buddhists). 

What has changed for me is that Bible study is now a much more important practice. I take time most days to reflect on daily devotions from the Methodist "Upper Room" Devotional. I also read  "Jesus Calling" by Sarah Young--a series of daily devotions in which Jesus speaks directly to us, followed by Bible passages. On Mondays, I have a brief Bible study with Jill during our weekly "staff meeting."  On Wednesdays, Jill and I have a brief Bible study with our friend Mark who lives in our back house. On Thursdays at noon, we often attend the Methodist Bible study with Pastor Amy Aiken of the First UMC of Pasadena (where we now attend worship). Once a month, we have a Quaker bible study. During my walks I often listen to a podcast by Bert Newton called "Parody and Subversion in Matthew's Gospel."  As you can see, my Evangelical wife has had a huge influence on me!

I have always been a Bible-loving, Jesus-loving Quaker, however, so this is not an utterly new direction in my spiritual life. It's more of a change in emphasis.

These Bible studies are not just reading and interpreting the text, they're also a chance to explore one's spiritual life with others and see how the Bible/s lessons and insights can be applied. This kind of Bible study strengthens relationships and builds community. 

I usually start my day with prayer. Before I get out of bed, I take time to be thankful for the gift of life and friends and family, and for God's presence in my life. I hold in the Light those I know who are sick or struggling, or people in the world who are suffering.  I ask for Divine wisdom and guidance for the day, and listen for what Spirit is calling me to do. I often start with the prayer from Psalm 51: "Open my lips, O Lord, and my mouth shall proclaim thy praise. Create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit within me." Often Jill and I pray together, which is very precious (especially when we cuddle!).

My spiritual practice is to remember to thank and praise God as often as I can throughout the day, and to listen for God's guidance. I feel this helps me draw nearer to the Source, and to hear the precious Inward Voice more clearly. This Inward Voice--what Quakers call the Inward Light of Christ--is incredibly loving and wise. It tells me that I am God's beloved child, in whom God is well pleased. It reminds me that everyone is God's beloved child and worthy of love and appreciation. It also encourages me to do what's right, even if it isn't easy.

I am grateful for this Inward Voice because being a broken human being in this broken world, I need help. There is so much pain, and disappointment, and struggle. Trying to bring healing to the world, and to oneself, sometimes feels incredibly difficult, even hopeless. And yet if I pause and catch my breath and listen, and "wait upon the Lord," there is also the peace and joy that makes life worth living.  

This isn't to say that I don't have times of busy-ness and stress when I am oblivious to Spirit and act out of ego or hurt. Perhaps the reason I am writing this is to help me not to forget what is crucial and life-giving when I do what I feel  Spirit is calling me to do.

What helps me to be mindful are walks in our lovely neighborhood where the noble trees and exuberant flora remind me of God's amazing and joyful creativity. I am also inspired by the abundance of fruit and vegetables and flowers in the little plot of paradise we call home....

Perhaps that's why I love the poetry of Mary Oliver. She is constantly reminding me to take time to connect with the amazing natural world around me. I love her idea that prayer is "paying attention," being completely present to nature's surprises, like the grass hopper eating sugar out of her hand (who knew?). 

I'd like to end this reflection with one of my favorite poems by Mary Oliver, one that ends with the marvelous "query": "What do you intend to do with your one wild and precious life?"

 “The Summer Day”

Who made the world?

Who made the swan, and the black bear?

Who made the grasshopper?

This grasshopper, I mean—

the one who has flung herself out of the grass,

the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,

who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-

who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.

Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.

Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.

I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.

I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down

into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,

how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,

which is what I have been doing all day.

Tell me, what else should I have done?

Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?

Tell me, what is it you plan to do

with your one wild and precious life?

 

 



Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Ukraine: The Path to Peace --- ICUJP Forum on Friday, April 1

 

Please join us online

ICUJP Friday Forum
April 1st, 7:30-9:30 am Pacific

4/1/22fridayforum

Ukraine: The Path to Peace

Join video conference here
Call in by phone: +1 669 900 6833* 
Meeting ID: 819 0298 3152 PASSCODE: 107678

*Meeting controls for call-in attendees:
To mute/unmute yourself: *6
To raise hand: *9

Description: Brian Becker, National Director of the ANSWER Coalition, Host of The Socialist Program podcast will discuss the US/NATO Role in the creation of the Ukraine Crisis. 

Ukraine as a Pawn w/ Vijay Prashad
Follow Brian on Twitter

Speaker:

Brian Becker

Brian Becker is the National Director of the ANSWER Coalition and the host of The Socialist Program podcast. He is also a founder of the Party for Socialism and Liberation

 

-----

Passing the Virtual Bucket

We can't pass the bucket in person, but ICUJP still needs your support. Please give as generously as you can:

• On our donation page. (Set up recurring gifts!)
• Use the Give+ app for iPhone or Android
• Text a gift amount to 323-701-1467
• Send a check to ICUJP c/o Rod Sprott, Church-Biz, 1125 N Fairfax Ave #46836, LA 90046

Thank you!
----------

Help Support Families in Need

The need for Immanuel Presbyterian's Food Pantry is greater than ever. Please donate here. Thank you

Schedule:

7:30 - 7:35  Log in and socialize
7:35 - 7:45  Welcome and introductions 
7:45 - 7:50  Reflection (5 min. maximum)
7:50 - 9:15  Program and Q&A
9:15 - 9:20  Announcements
9:20 - 9:30  Closing circle and prayer

Start your morning with us!

Reflection: Stephen Rohde
Facilitator: Carolfrances Likins
Zoom host: Michael Novick

* Link to this week's agenda*
** Meetings begin promptly at 7:30 am Pacific. **
-----

Here's how to join the online meeting:

To join by video conference, you'll need to download the Zoom app on your computer or mobile device. Click on the link to join the meeting and then enter the Meeting ID number and passcode. You'll be able to see slides and video, as well as speakers and other attendees.

If you prefer to join by phone, you'll be prompted to enter the Meeting ID number and passcode. You won't be able to see the visuals or attendees, but you can view them on the meeting video recording afterward. 

If you're new to Zoom and would like to use the video option, we recommend you download the app well ahead of time.

ICUJP Friday Forum 4/1/22
Time: 07:30 AM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Option 1: Join video conference here

Meeting ID:819 0298 3152
PASSCODE:107678

Option 2: Dial in by phone only:
+1 669 900 6833 US (California)
Meeting ID: 819 0298 3152
PASSCODE: 107678

(To find a dial-in number closer to you, go here.)
-----

Please note: Our Friday Forums and other events are open to the public. By attending, you consent to having your voice and likeness recorded, photographed, posted on ICUJP's website and social media, and included in ICUJP materials and publications for noncommercial purposes. If you don't want to be photographed or recorded, please let the facilitator know.


UPCOMING FRIDAY FORUMS:

ICUJP CALENDAR

FOLLOW US!

Facebook ICUJPTwitter ICUJPYouTube ICUJPInstagram ICUJP


You are receiving this email because you are a part of the ICUJP Mailing List. You cannot reply to everyone through this email.

If you wish to join the ICUJP discussion list, sign into Google Groups, search for ICUJP, and use the "Ask to join group" button.

For inquiries about our other programs, please email communications@icujp.org

Interfaith Communities United for Justice and Peace
To learn more about ICUJP, please visit our website.
 

Interfaith Communities United for Justice and Peace
This email was sent to interfaithquaker@aol.com. To stop receiving emails, click here.
You can also keep up with Interfaith Communities United for Justice and Peace on Twitter or Facebook.

Created with NationBuilder, software for leaders.

Monday, March 7, 2022

A Quaker Vigil for Peace in the Ukraine, Yemen, Everywhere



I am very grateful to those who took part in our Quaker peace vigil. It was inspired by Cecelia Valentine, the newest member of Orange Grove Meeting's  Peace and Social Concerns Committee, who called on us to have this demonstration. This vigil wasn’t authorized by Orange Grove Meeting. But I feel that it was authorized by the Holy Spirit who called us to witness for peace during this dark time. What a joy it was to stand together and "be peace!"

Ten people took part: Bill Evans, Estelle Stevens, Steve Rosenbluth, his two

children, Jill Shook,  Barbie, Lou Byerly, and a Methodist named Anna Soulriver from Colombia. Our vigil started at 12:30 and ended at 1:00 pm.

Highlights: Steve Rosenbluth’s daughter holding up a sign that said, “Cookies, Not War.” Hearing the approving honks of passing cars (at least 35, by Steve’s count), someone donating $5 to our cause. People smiling when they saw us and our signs.

Interest was expressed in having a vigil next Sunday from rise of meeting till 1:00 PM (so it won’t interfere with business meeting). Everyone is welcome to join us. The more, the Friendlier!

Next steps?

·   Urge our elected officials to opt for diplomacy and sanctions, not war. FCNL.org


·   Donate to the UN relief fund for Ukrainian families and children: https://www.unicefusa.org/stories/unicef-children-crossfire-ukraine-crisis/

I also encourage you to pray for guidance and take part in an international Quaker worship service that takes place daily at 9 am. I have attended a couple of times and it was a deeply spiritual experience, with between 180 and 450 Friends attending from the USA, UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Latvia, etc. I give thanks to God for this beloved Quaker community and for my dear friend Julie Harlow who has been faithful in her support of Friends House Moscow since the 1980s. Here’s what Julie says about this daily worship:

This daily Meeting for Worship is sponsored by Friends House Moscow, a small Quaker non-profit living out Friends' testimonies in service to the people of Russia, Ukraine and


beyond.

We invite you to join other Friends holding in the Light all the people affected by the current crisis in Ukraine. 

The room opens at 8:45am Pacific time in the US; if you are familiar with security and other co-hosting functions, consider arriving at 8:45 and volunteering to co-host.

We allow the first 10 minutes for centering in silence and the last 10 minutes also in silence to let the messages settle in our hearts.

The host will mute everyone at the beginning of Worship.  Sink deeply into the Spirit which is not of this world and let ministry rise from that spirit to give us guidance and light.  Raise your digital hand if you have ministry to offer and wait patiently to be asked to unmute yourself to speak. A co-host will also be scanning for those who must raise a human hand or use chat to request to speak.

We leave a cushion of silence between messages, giving everyone a chance to fully


absorb the message and return to centering in the Spirit.

During Worship use the chat only for contacting the host if you are having technical difficulties or notice something that does not seem right.   If you are new to Quaker unprogrammed worship and wish to talk with someone about it, send a message to the host and someone can join you in a breakout room.

Live transcription will be available for those with hearing difficulties so please speak slowly and clearly.  Some other functions will be disabled during the meeting in order to discourage disruptions. 

After Worship has concluded, you will be invited to a breakout room where you can introduce yourself to a small number of Friends and share thoughts that did not rise to the level of ministry.

Peace in our hearts, Peace for all the people,

Julie Harlow

Friends House Moscow board

Join Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/4165005614?pwd=NUtieEtqbDBYbjBrcGdMMzBKQ3drQT09

Meeting ID: 416 500 5614

Passcode: 182805

 

One tap mobile
Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kohl8vkT8