Virginia Beach Friends Meeting

September Newsletter




Dear Friends:

Thank you for all who contributed.

Please respond to vbfm.emailer@gmail.com with ideas for future Newsletter Articles and suggestions for improvements.

Thank you,
VBFM Communications committee
vbfriends.org


Contents:


Link to Virginia Beach Friends Meeting Home Page - VBFriends.org




Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business

Minutes from our September business meeting are posted at this link…

Highlights include:

  • A committee was formed to plan activities for World Quaker Day on the seventh day of 10th month.
  • Nancy craft reported on plans to host interim body on 10th month 27.
  • A suggestion from Ministers, Elders and Overseers to move the regular meeting time to 10 AM and to move business meeting to follow the meeting for worship was discussed. No decision was made, the matter being left to season.

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North Carolina Yearly Meeting (Conservative)
2018 Epistle to Friends Everywhere

Dear Friends Everywhere,

We gathered at Guilford College on Seventh Month 12-15, 2018, for our 321st Annual Sessions, remembering with love and gratitude our distant Friends. We were blessed with many newcomers and visiting Friends. Our theme this year was “Speak through the earthquake, wind, and fire” - a line from John Greenleaf Whittier’s poem “The Brewing of Soma” that also references the passage in 1 Kings 19 about the “still, small voice”.

Our clerk opened the business sessions with Romans 12:9-13 that starts with “Let love be genuine,” and we experienced this love throughout our time together.

Our theme was also evident during the bible study led by David Hobson of Rocky River Meeting (FCNC). The bible study explored scripture through hymns, including “Dear Lord and Father of Mankind”, which incorporates the words of the Whittier poem. We found that singing helped engage us in different ways, and our young Friends chose a number of favorite hymns for us.

During our annual sessions, each monthly meeting reads their responses to each of our 12 queries. This year, we started with query 11 - “Do we reverence that of God in every human being with concern for the needs of each individual? Are we seeking to rectify existing social injustice and racial discrimination in our local communities and in the world at large?” We set aside extra time for reflection after the reading of these query responses as we feel the times call for particular attention to these issues. We find a deep sense of closeness in sharing how the Spirit is moving in our meetings, and our struggles to remain faithful.

After a presentation about the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, we found that while we strongly supported the mission and goals of the campaign, we struggled with whether and how to convey that to the monthly meetings and their members and attenders.

On Fifth Day evening we enjoyed a dramatic reading of letters and journal entries written by North Carolina Friends during challenging times. It was helpful to look back at our history through first-hand accounts, and to see how the yearly meeting handled difficult issues in the past. It also helped us see that we sometimes made mistakes, such as supporting efforts to send freed slaves to Africa, which resulted in unanticipated suffering. The program also reminded us of the deep ties between North Carolina Friends and those in Ohio and Indiana.

We have been engaged for several years in revising our discipline. This year we turned our attention to the queries. We find that examining our practices in light of both the past and the present gives us new openings. Because the process has been deliberate and Spirit-filled, it is bearing good fruit.

During our time together we held numerous interest groups and heard from representatives from several Quaker organizations. Kendra Bradley, who has been the director of Quaker House for the past year, spoke passionately about the work being done there. Andrei Israel shared about the work of William Penn House in Washington. Lauri Langham reported for Quaker Earthcare Witness on the work of caring for and restoring our planet. Bill Geary expressed gratitude from the Southern State Prison Worship Group for the yearly meeting’s continued support and encouraged us to write to the prisoners, as the ministry of letter writing is so important to prisoners.

On Sixth Day evening we headed across the street to New Garden Friends Meeting to hear Diane Randall, the executive secretary of Friends Committee on National Legislation. She titled her talk “Gracious Calling, Ordered Lives: the faith and practice of Friends in the political maelstrom”, borrowing some phrasing from the Whittier poem. She described the difficulties of working in Washington, that are far from the calm Whittier speaks of, and more like the earthquake, wind, and fire. In describing FCNL’s work, she quoted Edward Burrough’s letter “To the Present Distracted and Broken Nation of England”, saying “And we are not for Names, nor Men, nor Titles of Government, nor are we for this Party, nor against the other, because of its Name and Pretence; but we are for Justice and Mercy, and Truth and Peace, and true Freedom, that these may be exalted in our Nation; and that Goodness, Righteousness, Meekness, Temperance, Peace and Unity with God, and one with another, that these things may abound”. Diane touched on various aspects of FCNL’s work in the areas of peace, Native Americans, mass incarceration, migrants and refugees, and an Earth restored. She noted that the world is hungry for a spiritual life lived both externally and internally. She demonstrated how FCNL’s work proceeds from a spiritual basis and is grounded in a practice of being present with, and listening to, everyone. Her talk left us with a sense of hope for repairing what is broken in our nation.

Diane Randall asked us, “Can we see the Spirit moving among us?” In our patient processes of working together, in our times of study together, and in our socializing together, we have seen and felt the Spirit at work, and are deeply grateful. We meet for our 322nd session in Wilmington, NC, on Seventh Month 11, 2019, if consistent with Divine Will.

On behalf of North Carolina Yearly Meeting Conservative,
Gwen Gosney Erickson, clerk

A printable version of this article can be accessed by clicking here...


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QuakerSpeak

QuakerSpeak is a project of Friends Journal and is directed by Jon Watts.

QuakerSpeak is in its 5th Season!

A new QuakerSpeak video is released every Thursday and folks can SUBSCRIBE to be in the know!

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Communications cmte and the VBFM Newsletter staff have decided to focus on a different QuakerSpeak video for each of our issues in 2018.







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Friends School Back To School Picnic

On Friday September 21 Friends School held its Back To School Community Picnic.

Tamra Andress, Admissions and Social Outreach Director commented - "From watching the kiddos indulge in cookie monster ice cream, to sweating and screaming with laughter in the bounce house obstacle, to gaga action with the teachers - this surely will leave an impression for each of us as we continue into an exciting school year ahead".


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World Peace Meditation at Friends School, September 21

World Peace Meditation is a global movement. This year there were over 1,500 group meditations reported around the world. Through meditation, prayer, service and moments of stillness, we can bring peace and harmony to our world. We define peace as being in the state of acceptance, appreciation, love and forgiveness. This is our second year Friends School welcomed Trine’, the owner of Reiki Wellness & Meditation Center, to lead over 60 people into a beautiful world peace meditation followed by a oneness exercise. In silence, without a single word, we stared into each other’s eyes and just simply loved the stranger that sat across us. There were no words exchanged, only a silent prayer of love, peace, wellness and blessings. We envisioned the person across from us in their divine state where all conditions are perfect. An exercise that opened many hearts as we radiated our divine light and inspired many tears to flow freely.

As we realize the presence and the love of the Divine is within, we consciously choose to radiate it out to the world. We absolutely love sharing the World Peace meditation with everyone that attended. Friends School has a special place in Trine's heart as she was not only a student, a substitute teacher, a mother, an aunt, but her mother, Teacher Frances, taught at the school for many years. Friends School cultivates peace in the lives of their students which creates a ripple effect of compassion, love and peace to our community and our world. Thank you for attending and amplifying unconditional love which supports the planet to heal. Love heals everything.


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Invitation To Celebrate Rich Square Monthly Meeting 150 Year Anniversary

This year marks 150 years Rich Square Monthly Meeting Friends in Woodland, NC have gathered to worship at Cedar Grove. We are thankful Woodland had no damage from recent storms. We invite NCYM-C Friends to Homecoming at Cedar Grove on Tenth Month 14 with worship at 11:00 followed by fellowship and a catered dinner. If you are able to be with us, please let me know by Tenth Month 6 so that we can give the caterer a more accurate meal count.

- posted on Facebook by Barbara Gosney


Click here or picture below to access the Rich Square Monthly Meeting website...


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Poor People’s Campaign National Convening Report

The first annual Poor People’s Campaign National Convening was held September 5-7, 2018 at the Maritime Conference Center in Linthicum, MD (near Baltimore). There were 174 attendees from most states. Besides my representing Hampton Roads, VA had representation from Richmond, Northern VA, Charlottesville, and Harrisonburg. I had productive small group meetings with members from other states where we exchanged ideas. Info on musicology, arts, documentation, and education was provided. 120 copies of the latest Hampton Roads Gazeti newspaper, which contains a PPC cover story, were distributed to attendees and were well received.

This report will focus primarily on three areas covered during the convening: Phase II Campaign goals, Phase II near-term organizing tactics, and the upcoming Poor People’s Hearing in Richmond.

Phase II Goals: See the “Phase 2 Goals” pdf file at https://poor-peoples-campaign-va.mobilize.io/main/groups/26493/lounge/files. Phase II runs from now through 2020. The goals remain: (1) to shift the narrative, (2) to build power among poor and moral leaders, and (3) to impact elections and policies. More details are provided in the referenced file.

Phase II Tactics: See the “Ph 2 Organizing” pdf file at https://poor-peoples-campaign-va.mobilize.io/main/groups/26493/lounge/files.This file lists seven (7) key tactics that will be used between now and June 2020 to achieve the Phase II goals. Our immediate focus is on the two tactics we will use through the end of this year: (1) the organizing drive including canvassing in poor communities, and (2) the Poor People’s Hearing in Richmond on September 26. Details are provided in the referenced file. I think we are tracking well on the organizing drive but need to expand our reach and spend more time talking to impacted persons about the issues that matter most to them. The public hearing in Richmond is being planned by our state coordinator and will be attended by our national leaders, Revs. Barber and Theoharis. We need to be prepared to lend assistance and have a Hampton Roads PPC delegation attend.

Richmond Poor People’s Hearing: See the “Field Hearing” pdf file at https://poor-peoples-campaign-va.mobilize.io/main/groups/26493/lounge/files. This file explains what a field hearing is. Field hearings will be scheduled in most states. The first hearing will be in North Carolina on September 24 followed by the hearing in Richmond on Wednesday, September 26 at 6pm. This is a great initiative to change the narrator from the privileged to the disenfranchised. Impacted people will have the stage to tell their plight, their fight, and their insight. Politicians will be invited to listen, not pontificate. I plan to attend the Richmond hearing. Let me know if you need a ride or have a ride to share.

Steve Baggarly
Norfolk Catholic Worker


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Campaign to Promote the Treaty on the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons

19 States Party & 67 signatories: the Nuclear Ban Treaty gains support at record pace

September 27, 2018

Last night, at a high-level ceremony in New York coordinated by ICAN and a cross-regional group of governments, a group of states marked the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons in a very special way: by signing and ratifying the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. With 7 new signatories and 4 new ratifications, the Nuclear Ban Treaty now has 67 signatories and 19 States party. It has also set a record pace for the speed with which it is moving towards becoming law, compared to other treaties on weapons of mass destruction, such as the conventions on chemical and biological weapons, and nuclear testing and proliferation. The treaty will enter into force when 50 countries have signed and ratified, or acceded to, it.

Read more here...



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A Note From The United Kingdom - The Latest on the Refugee Crisis

On August 2018 UK laws on Immigration were modified in regard to Special Talent Visa, Investor Visa, Student Visa, and other types of entry permits.

But for refugees crossing the 35 mile Channel from France to UK the entry has become dangerous. They go to jail!

Once found by the Police, these no-visa immigrants are interrogated about where they are coming from, and when and why they left their country. Then they are taken to prison, while members of the European Union can travel freely through the European Continent with a simple Driver's License. No questions asked.

Several persons have commented to me: "We are doing just what USA has been doing, no more, no less".

These restrictions are applied and strictly reinforced for all refugees from Africa and beyond.

(Today there are at least 15 African Countries experiencing conflicts or post-war tension. In West Africa these Countries include Cote d'Ivoire, Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, and Togo, and in East Africa Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Uganda, Sudan).

While these refugees are being processed, and, it does take almost a year to complete the paper work, they are placed in detention facilities run by the Prisons.

In the past they were housed at the government expenses in private housing and they were free to seek work.

Now, all that has changed.

Refugees Advocacy Groups argue that detention farther damages the mental health of those adults and children who have already suffered rape, torture or persecution in their own countries.

Current laws no longer allow immigrants to relocate as in the past when, by European Convention, a single individual was to receive the equivalent of $40 a day as well as medical assistance, and, eventually, a job. Today they are being sent back to Italy or Greece, whichever of the two had been the European Country of their entry.

But Italy and Greece, like France, Spain, and Germany refuse to take them in.

According to The Independent newspaper, as far back as February 2017, UK stopped accepting disable children from Syria and other war zones because the government could not take care of their needs.

And according to The Guardian newspaper, a research indicates that life remains a terrible struggle also for those families, mostly from Iraq, who came to UK before the year 2017. Their poverty level has become worst than it had ever been before.

A recent United Nations Summit on Ethics and Refugees has tried to find an answer to the responsibilities that we all share towards 63 million refugees.

One would think that our moral obligations should go beyond giving them refuge, and resettlement. European governments disagree.

Racism, prejudice, antagonism, xenophobia, and intolerance are breeding daily episodes of violence. Moral obligations are no longer fulfilled.

It is complicated. Most people believe that this urgent crisis is a direct and natural consequence of US reckless war in Iraq. Others defend that invasion in a sovereign Nation remembering 9/11, when Europeans' love affair with Americans was at its peak.

All that has changed.

Today 's emergency desperately needs a powerful moral leadership on both sides of the shores.

But what about us, with a home, a car, a job or pension, and food on the table? What do we do?

Visualizing, affirming, and praying are tools we were all given. They seem a good starting point at the moment.

Submitted by Liana Fleming
Fri, Sep 14, 2018 at 10:22 AM


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Beer, Drinking Water And Fish: Tiny Plastic Is Everywhere

Plastic trash is littering the land and fouling rivers and oceans. But what we can see is only a small fraction of what's out there.

Since modern plastic was first mass-produced, 8 billion tons have been manufactured. And when it's thrown away, it doesn't just disappear. Much of it crumbles into small pieces.

Scientists call the tiny pieces "microplastics" and define them as objects smaller than 5 millimeters — about the size of one of the letters on a computer keyboard. Researchers started to pay serious attention to microplastics in the environment about 15 years ago. They're in oceans, rivers and lakes. They're also in soil. Recent research in Germany found that fertilizer made from composted household waste contains microplastics.

And, even more concerning, microplastics are in drinking water. In beer. In sea salt. In fish and shellfish. How microplastics get into animals is something of a mystery, and Chelsea Rochman is trying to solve it.

Rochman is an ecologist at the University of Toronto. She studies how plastic works its way into the food chain, from tiny plankton to fish larvae to fish, including fish we eat.

She says understanding how plastic gets into fish matters not just to the fish, but to us. "We eat fish that eat plastic," she says. "Are there things that transfer to the tissue? Does the plastic itself transfer to the tissue? Do the chemicals associated with the plastic transfer to the tissue?"


Read more here...


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Save The Dates!


Listed below are events that Virginia Beach Friends Meeting is supporting/promoting for the next three months - as recorded on our website at the time this month's Newsletter was published.

Frequently check our Virginia Beach Friends Meeting Upcoming Events webpage as event details are worked out and new events are added.


Lynnhaven River Now Fall Festival

Date: October 6
Time: 11 am - 3 pm
Location: Williams Farm Park
5269 Learning Circle
Virginia Beach VA 23464

World Quaker Day / Welcoming Potluck For New Members and Attenders

Date Sunday October 7
Time: Noon - 2 pm
Location: Meetinghouse

Lynnhaven River Now Waterway Cleanup - Great Neck Creek @ Laskin Road

Date: Saturday, October 13
Time: 9 am - noon
Meet Up Location: Virginia Beach Community Chapel
1261 Laskin Road / Virginia Beach / Va 23451
Contact: Whit Peace, whitpeace.vbfm@gmail.com / 757-613-2828

Haunted by God - The Life of Dorothy Day

Date: Saturday October 13
Time: St. Pius X School
Location: 7800 Halprin Drive, Norfolk VA 23518
Cost: $10

Work Day at the Meetinghouse

Date: Saturday October 20
Time: 9:00 am - noon
Location: Meetinghouse

Interim Body Meeting

Date: Saturday October 27
Location: Virginia Beach Friends Meeting

Friends School Fall Festival

Date: Saturday November 3
Time: TBD
Location: Friends School Campus

Bob Clapp Memorial

Date: Sunday November 4
Time: 3 pm
Location: Friends School Wilson Center

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Next Meeting for Business Query - #3 / Love and Unity:

Do we follow the teachings of Jesus and seek the inspiration of His Holy Spirit in our daily lives? Are love and unity maintained among us? Do we cultivate a forgiving spirit, and do we avoid and discourage needless and destructive criticism of others? When differences arise, do we endeavor promptly to resolve them in a spirit of love, honesty, and humility?


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From Back In The Day



 


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