New England Yearly Meeting

A community of Quakers and Quaker meetings across New England.

Join the "Virtual Plenary"

Jan 4, 2019
Lisa Graustein, Beacon Hill (MA) Friends Meeting

At Annual Sessions in August 2019, Lisa Graustein (Beacon Hill, MA, Friends Meeting) will facilitate a plenary (whole group) session designed to "ground ourselves in the decisions that have led us to this point, ... call in the wisdom of our ancestors, create art and prayer together, and envision a future beyond ourselves …[to] learn, interact, engage, pray, and imagine together, bringing that sense of community, hope and creativity into the rest of our week … [seeking] understanding of where and how we have been the Beloved Community and where we have failed to live up to God’s vision.

In preparation for this summer, Lisa is inviting New England Friends—whether we plan to attend Annual Sessions or not—into an experiment with a "virtual plenary." These videos will explore some of the minutes we have approved in past years, how they are moving among us, and spiritual practices we can try out as part of our shared work living into the minutes. She welcomes Friends with wisdom, insight, and practices to offer to join her (contact Lisa at this email address). Below the links to the videos are links to resources that Lisa used in putting together the content and links to work Friends are doing around the minutes. Below that are definitions and more information about some of the words and terms Lisa uses in the videos.

If you prefer audio-only, those links are provided at the bottom of this page.

Video: An Invitation

Plenary Part 1: Doctrine of Discovery

Video 1 of 3: Exploring the Minute

Video 2 of 3: Patterns

Video 3 of 3: Spiritual Practices

Plenary Part 2: Challenging White Supremacy

Video 1 of 3: The Minute

Video 2 of 3: Patterns

Video 3 of 3: Spiritual Practices

Plenary Part 3: Climate Change

Video 1 of 3: The minutes

Video 2 of 3: PATTERns

Video 3 of 3: spiritual Practices

Plenary Part 4: The Poor Peoples Campaign

Video 1 of 1: Minute and spiritual Practices

Resources About Our Minute Repudiating the Doctrine of Discovery

Indigenous history and background on the Doctrine of Discovery

Review of the legal use of the Doctrine of Discovery

English translation of the Doctrine of Discovery

NEYM’s minute Repudiating the Doctrine of Discovery

Resources for Friends and Meetings about how to Repudiate the Doctrine of Discovery from the Racial, Social, and Economic Justice Committee of NEYM

Research and healing work by Friend Paula Palmer on the Quaker role in Indian Boarding Schools

Friend Diane Dicranian shares about her experience in the AFSC action at the border

Healing and Reconciliation work in Maine that some Friends are a part of


Two-Spirit is a term used to refer to Indigenous people who embody a diverse array of gender identities and sexual orientations beyond the binary of female/male and heterosexual. Check out this article and short video to learn more.

Trans & transgender are broad terms used to refer to people whose gender identity is different from their assigned sex. For more on this term and others used to talk about gender, check out this useful list of words for talking about gender.

Gender non-conforming is a term used to describe people who don’t conform to society’s expectations of how we should inhabit and perform our assigned or expected genders. For more, see this useful list of words for talking about gender.

Neurotypical refers to people without a diagnosis of austism, ADD, ADHA, and other ways that the brain can be wired. Neurodivergent refers to people with a diversity of experiences in how their brains function. The naming of neurotypical and neurodivergent seek to increase our understanding of how diversity in brains can show up as part of the wider diversity of humanity. In the video, when I said, “neurotypical issues,” which was a clumsy way of referencing the ways in which those of us who are neurotypical tend to discriminate against and not include folks who are neurodivergent.

White Supremacy Culture refers to the different ways in which White Supremacy shapes how we are taught to interact; what is considered good, right, beautiful, and just; and perpetuates White Supremacy through explicit and more subtle ways. For more on how White Supremacy Culture can show up, check out this article.

Links for Information Related to Our Minute Challenging White Supremacy:

NEYM’s Minute Challenging White Supremacy

Paul and John Cuffee’s lawsuit for the right to vote.

Article by Peggy McIntosh explaining white privilege

Article by Kenneth Jones and Tema Okun outlining some ways white supremacy shows up in our culture and organziations.

Key terms and core concepts about race, racism, white supremacy, etc., defined and explained.

Friends General Conference Institutional Assessment (audit)

Historical Development of Institutional Racism by Robette Ann Dias

Videos, timelines, and history about racism and racial justice in the United States by the Equal Justice Initiative

Resistance and Movements – information about how different groups of people have resisted and organized against racism and white supremacy

NEYM’s Racial, Social, & Economic Justice Healing Racism Toolkit

NEYM’s Challenging White Supremacy Working Group

Dr Amanda Kemp's web page

"90 Seconds to Freedom" blog post with the spiritual practice shared in the video

3 B's of Being Present with Feelings worksheet


Uprooting Racism: How White People Can Work for Racial Justice by Paul Kivel

White By Law: The Legal Construction of Race by Ian Haney Lopez

Overcoming Our Racism: The Journey to Liberation by Derald Wing Sue

From #Black Lives Matter to Black Liberation by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor

White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk about Racism by Robin DiAngelo

Resources About Our Minutes on Climate Change

Minute 2016-68  on climate change

Minute 2017-67 on reducing our impact

Minute 2018-32 on decreasing our carbon footprint

Facing the Challenge of Climate Change—Shared Statement by Quaker groups

NEYM Climate Calculator

Quaker EarthCare Witness

Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) and Inside the Greenhouse is a monthly newsletter about FCNL’s environmental work, ways to engage members of Congress, and stories that impact our work.

Paris Climate Agreement

Additional links to Quaker and Faith-based resources

Friend Peterson Toscano’s podcast, Citizen’s Climate Radio, episode #30: “What does the Bible Say About Climate Change?”

Presbyterian Pastor Christopher Brown writes about human’s relationship to the Earth in Genesis 1:26.

Climate activist Greta Thunberg’s TEDEx Talk and images from the student global Climate Strike

Awakening the Dreamer:  on-line learning about climate change

The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividends Act is a necessary first step for Congressional action that is fully supported by FCNL. It will be effective in reducing emissions, fair to people and has bipartisan support. Many additional actions will be necessary for those with faith that we can overcome the climate crisis. 

Recording Files: 
Invitation to the Plenary
Virtual Plenary - Doctrine of Discovery, Part 1 of 3: Exploring the Minute
Virtual Plenary - Doctrine of Discovery, Part 2 of 3: Noticing Patterns
Virtual Plenary - Doctrine of Discovery, Part 3 of 3: Spiritual Practices
Virtual Plenary - White Supremacy, Part 1 of 3: The Minute
Virtual Plenary - White Supremacy, Part 2 of 3: Patterns
Virtual Plenary - White Supremacy, Part 3 of 3: Spiritual Practices
Virtual Plenary - Climate Change, Part 1 of 3: The Minutes
Virtual Plenary - Climate Change, Part 2 of 3: Patterns
Virtual Plenary - Climate Change, Part 3 of 3: Spiritual Practices
Virtual Plenary - Poor Peoples Campaign, Part 1 of 1: Minute & Practices
Recording Date: 
Thursday, April 4, 2019

New England Yearly Meeting of Friends

901 Pleasant Street, Worcester, MA 01602

(508) 754-6760 - [email protected]