New England Yearly Meeting

A community of Quakers and Quaker meetings across New England.

A letter from the presiding clerk

Nov 3, 2017

Dear Friends,

Friends gathered at New England Yearly Meeting Annual Sessions at Castleton, Vermont, August 6–10, 2017, approved two minutes to be shared with monthly meetings and ecumenical bodies in New England.  I am including these minutes in this letter.

Minute 2017-42 is in support of individuals threatened due to their immigration status, religion or other factors.  The minute concludes “…We call on our fellow community members to join us in defending human rights for all, working toward nonviolent religious and civic sanctuary that protects all who are vulnerable, and striving together for compassion, dignity and safety for everyone.”

Minute 20-43 states:

We encourage each monthly meeting and quarterly meeting within NEYM to share minute 2017- 42 with local faith communities and publish it in local papers, and to discern further how they are led in this issue.

We will forward this minute to the wider Quaker world.

We will look for ways to collaborate with other faith communities in addressing these issues, and ask that our Ecumenical Committee share this minute with the wider church.”

The full text of these minutes may be read at: https://neym.org/news/2017-support-threatened-individuals.

Minute 2017-46 is a statement on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, a concern that Friends in New England Yearly Meeting have carried for decades.  To have united with this minute is a significant step forward.

The minute states: “The Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) testimony on peace, justice, and nonviolence is based in our experience of the divine in all of creation and within all persons. Thus, we are deeply troubled by the suffering and injustice caused by the Israeli/Palestinian conflict and we are concerned that our government perpetuates that violence by continuing to send billions of dollars of military aid to the region.”

Friends made some specific commitments as we carry this concern forward.

The full text of this minute may be read at: https://neym.org/news/2017-minute-israel-palestine-conflict

At our annual gathering in August 2018, I will be inviting Friends to report on how we have faithfully engaged with these two concerns.  I encourage each monthly meeting to share these minutes and see how you might be moved to respond.

With love,

Fritz Weiss (Hanover)
Presiding clerk, New England Yearly Meeting

New England Yearly Meeting of Friends

901 Pleasant Street, Worcester, MA 01602

(508) 754-6760 - [email protected]