Issue 56, January 2020
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S NOTE
Greetings and best wishes for the new year! May 2020 be a year in which your work is enhanced and amplified.
That said, I can’t ignore the tense world situation. And with Friends Center being the Quaker hub for peace and justice, you may see events, rallies, and flyers for peace over the coming weeks and months. (See “5 things to know about Iran,” below.)
Here is some context for you. As a historic peace church, the Religious Society of Friends—better known as the Quakers—have long had a testimony against war and for peace. See this article on Wikipedia for background. The best-known statement of the Quaker stance was in a 1660 letter to England’s King Charles II:
All bloody principles and practices we do utterly deny, with all outward wars, and strife, and fightings with outward weapons, for any end, or under any pretense whatsoever, and this is our testimony to the whole world.
In 1947 the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to “the Quakers.” On behalf of all Friends, the American Friends Service Committee—one of Friends Center’s equity partners—and the Friends Service Committee in Britain accepted it. A replica of the award certificate is on display in AFSC’s headquarters here.
International peacebuilding remains a key issue for AFSC today. They advocate for a US policy framework of shared security that “recognizes the interconnectedness of all people.”
May Friends Center be a place where we sense and live that interconnection.
– Chris Mohr, Executive Director
AROUND FRIENDS CENTER
2020 Holiday Schedule – This link is always present in the sidebar of our monthly newsletter and the information within is always accessible via our website.
Brand New, Gender-Neutral, Handicapped-Accessible Restroom
The new restroom on the first floor of the 1501 Cherry Street building is now open!
Thank you to the LGBTQ Staff Group of AFSC, who made the original proposal to build an all-gender restroom; other tenants who supported the idea; MJ Settelen, the general contractor; and the PYM Quaker Buildings and Programs Granting Group for financial support. We’d also like to thank our tenants—especially the ones located in the 1501 building—for so graciously handling the noise that this much-needed project came with.
EQUITY PARTNER NEWS
AFSC’s 5 things to know about Iran:
- U.S. aggression toward Iran has brought us to the edge of war.
- These recent developments are just the latest in a long line of provocations between Iran and the U.S.
- Congress has the power to say “NO” to war with Iran but has so far refused to do so.
- The calls for war with Iran echo the misguided calls for war with Iraq.
- War with Iran—or any country—is never the answer.
Young Adult Friends Support 2020 Poor People’s Campaign
“We agree and recognize that everyone has the right to live a life not in economic and environmental turmoil, but in equitable communities. We are in the spirit of realizing the Peaceable Kingdom is here on Earth, and by supporting the PPC, we keep the choice to stand in solidarity with communities and to keep our morals.”
(The Campaign was co-founded by Rev. Dr. William Barber II of North Carolina, who has spoken here in the Race Street Meetinghouse twice in the last few years. The Campaign will organize a national march on Washington in June 2020. Stay tuned for details!)
Greg Barnes reads from his newest book, Living into the Faith: A Quaker Diary
Sunday, February 2, 12:45 PM.
Lucretia Mott Room, Friends Center
The Diary reveals the broad range of activities in modern unprogrammed Quakerism and the Quaker principles , or “testimonies,” that animate them. The setting is Philadelphia and Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, the heart of American Quakerism as brought here from England by William Penn.
“This is a diary and not a history. It follows one man through his Quaker and Quaker-related activities for roughly 8 years. The reader should understand it as reflecting my attempt, made out of gratitude to give back to Quakerism and to my Quaker community…”
Greg has also written an award-winning collection of short stories based on his experiences in West Africa with the Peace Corps.
Quaker Meeting for Worship
You are welcome to join CPMM for meeting for worship on Sundays at 11am followed by a coffee hour.
We are proud to announce that Joe Pyle, President of The Scattergood Foundation, is due to give a speech at the national conference for the National Council for Behavioral Health, which will be held from April 5th-7th. Details and registration here
Cultural Accessibility Forum & Exchange (CAFE) is an initiative driven by Art-Reach to focus on cultural accessibility. These workshops gather cultural organizations, human service professionals, members of the disability community and national experts in the field to learn from one another. The next CAFÉ will be held on Wed, February 12, 2020 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM EST. Click here for more details
OF INTEREST OUTSIDE FRIENDS CENTER
PYM Eco-Justice Collaborative
Jan. 18, 10 am – 4 pm
Germantown Friends Meeting
47 W. Coulter Street, Phila. 19144
As people of faith, Friends are called to witness for a more just and livable world. This gathering will explore the intersections of our climate crisis, economic inequality and racism. We will share ideas on how, as individuals and as a faith community, we can address the climate crisis. We will explore whether to advance a minute establishing the Climate Crisis as a corporate witness.
Playing in the Light:
Godly Play®/Faith & Play™ Training
338 Plush Mill Rd., Wallingford PA 19086
On three Saturdays, January 11, February 8, and March 21, Melinda Wenner Bradley (PYM’s Youth Religious Life Coordinator) will lead a series of three workshops in Playing in the Light– core training in Godly Play and Faith & Play. Godly Play is a Montessori-inspired resource that helps children find words and images for expressing their experiences of holy mystery and wonder in their lives. Inspired by the stories, materials, and methods in Godly Play, Quakers created Faith & Play Stories to add Quaker stories of faith, practice, and witness to the Bible stories in the Godly Play collection used by Friends. This powerful way of being with children can transform your First Day program for children and nurture your own spiritual life.
This is Playing in the Light training for commuters to be completed in three Saturday sessions. Participants are required to attend all three sessions to be trained as Godly Play/Faith & Play storytellers. Registration is for all three Saturdays (9:00 am to 5:30 pm).