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New England Friend: April 2014
Click links to jump down the page to the relevant section.
- From the Editor
- Reflections on Our Connection to FUM
- Sessions 2014: Important Information
- News from Cuban Quakers
- Other NEYM News
This edition of the New England Friend touches on a number of ways we connect across geographical, theological and structural divides. We're excited to bring you initial Sessions 2014 information, news from our sister yearly meeting in Cuba, plus a survey from the Structural Review Committee, Quaker voices from Moses Brown School and more!
It also feels particularly important to highlight a place we have struggled as a Yearly Meeting to hear one another and to hear God's Truth. Below is the text that introduces Ministry & Counsel's efforts to further dialogue about our relationship with Friends United Meeting. We hope you'll explore the many resources available through the links in this newsletter.
Read on, Friends!
-Jeff Hipp, NEYM Communications Director & NE Friend Editor
Reflections on Our Connection to FUM
Since 2009, in response to concerns around the Friends United Meeting personnel policy, we as a Yearly Meeting have allowed meetings to withhold that portion of their NEYM contribution that would be directed to FUM. Last Sessions our community committed to discerning the continuation of this policy.
What does it mean to me to be a Quaker, knowing that the majority of Friends do not agree with me politically or spiritually? What does it mean to witness to "that of G-d" in those with whom I disagree?
Concerning NEYM and Friends United Meeting: Do we have unity on principles? Can we accommodate principled differences on actions?
When asked to serve on our the NEYM FUM Committee, I wasn't sure that the committee would want to have me. Despite my concerns, I learned that I was called to be there and in relationship with all parts of the FUM fellowship.
Discrimination is alive in NEYM, but we do not talk about it, and I am angry. I believe that by supporting FUM we are endorsing policies that are biased against LGBTQ people and can only promote violence.
These resources have been compiled to facilitate discernment regarding the continuation of this process — monthly meeting actions, historical background and important minutes.
Listening Sessions have been scheduled in May and June for Connecticut Valley, Dover, Northwest and Salem Quarters.
Sessions 2014: Important Information
For the first time in our 354 years, New England Yearly Meeting of Friends will gather for our Annual Sessions in Vermont. We hope you’ll join us on the beautiful campus of Castleton State College. Our guests will include Niyonu Spann, Tom Gates, Jon Watts and more!
Changing the location of NEYM Sessions for the first time in over a decade is a big shift, but there are other exciting changes in store for us this year, as well. Learn about the three main areas where you can expect differences: finances, schedule and facilities.
News from Cuban Quakers
Friends from Hanover (NH) Friends Meeting returned safely — and filled with joy — at the end of February from their 10-day trip to visit their sister meeting in la Habana (an inaugural visit!) and to attend Cuba Yearly Meeting in Gibara.
The Quaker Youth Pilgrimage brings together Young Friends ages 16–18 from different parts of the world to explore Quaker history, gain a deeper understanding of Quaker process, develop a stronger relationship with God and form lasting friendships, all while experience different Friends traditions and forms of worship.
Other NEYM News
We’d like to engage as many individuals and groups as possible to think, pray and share about how God is leading Quakers in New England today.
New England Quakers have been an integral part of Moses Brown School's 237-year history and continue to be today. Meet four Friends who have encountered the work of the Spirit in the halls of this historic Quaker School.
We are re-membering ourselves as part of one Body whose individual cells — our local worshiping communities — must be carefully nourished in order for the whole Body to thrive.
Interested in broadening your understanding of Quakers in the world? Marian Baker has returned from 3 months of grassroots ministry empowering the Quaker women of Uganda and Tanzania Yearly Meetings.