Announcements for November 2017
Reading and Discussion
Reading and Discussion meets on second and fourth Sundays in the Corner Room from 10:05 to 10:55.
November 12: Following on our Fall Retreat (Quakers and Race: A Spiritual Journey), Neil Shadle will lead discussion of the faith dimensions of the emerging New Poor People’s Campaign, drawing on the vision and leadership of Rev. William J. Barber (The Third Reconstruction).
November 26: Rick Plewa will lead a discussion of how we seek and struggle— sometimes successfully, sometimes not—to live the call to "love our neighbor." We will use brief passages from a number of authors as a point of departure for sharing our thoughts.
All are welcome. Look for the readings on the lobby table the preceding Sunday.
Friends are invited to gather on Tuesday, November 14, at 7:00 pm in the Meetingroom to discuss the Meeting's communications/publications needs and how best to meet them. Friends are encouraged to think about what kinds of information we want to include in our print and/or electronic communications. We will also consider what sort of staffing would be appropriate to meet our communications needs.
Friends are invited to Midweek Meeting for Worship every Wednesday at 7 p.m., in the Fireplace Room or Corner Room (see the calendar). For more information, contact Lisa Klopfer (lklopfer at gmail.com).
News from the Committee for Children and Families (CCF), November 2017
You may have noticed our quiet entrance to meeting for worship. We are perfecting the process, and although we may not reach perfection, we are pleased with the results. We do want to continue to reserve the benches between the doors and have found that we nearly fill the space most Sundays. Please help us by using the other benches in the Meetingroom.
We have heard that some people feel they may need to censor what they wish to say at the end of the meeting for worship, especially when presenting joys and sorrows, for fear of the children being disturbed by the messages. It is our experience that children do not hear or understand adult concepts that they are not developmentally ready to know. You should not feel you need to censor yourself. If the children have questions, they can ask their parents or their teachers after meeting for worship.
The volunteers helping with the teaching and with the nursery are stepping forward and filling the roles needed. Thank you for that. We are continuing to fill some of the roles and we thank you in advance for stepping forward. We are making the roles easy to fill by providing curriculum and maximizing the use of our teen childcare assistants.
We are reinstating the role of “helping hands” during the hour after meeting for worship. A childcare assistant will be wearing the “helping hands” sign and hanging out where the young children gather. This is so that parents can have someone available to assist with their children when their attention may be diverted during the fellowship time. The parents are still responsible for their own children after meeting for worship, but we wanted to offer an extra set of eyes and hands. If the children are going to be outside, the assistant will need at least one other adult outdoors with the children, and we think that will likely be a parent.
Coming up in January: CCF will host a simple soup and potluck dinner for the families on Saturday, January 20. We will be discussing families and spirituality.
For further information or to volunteer, please contact Sheila Johnson (sheila at johnson-mcloyd.com) or Su Hansen (suhan722 at gmail.com).
Spiritual Formation Group Focuses on Forgiveness for 2017–18
“Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself.”
“Forgiveness is the most powerful healer of all.”
“Forgiveness is a continuous process, not something we do just once or twice.”
If you are intrigued by one of the quotations above, please consider joining our local Spiritual Formation Group for 2017–18. We will examine the practice of forgiveness as a way of establishing deeper connection with ourselves and with Spirit. This involves healing, self-care, and releasing trapped energy for better uses. The group will meet monthly through next spring, and encourages development of a daily spiritual practice between the group meetings. The next session is on Sunday, November 5, from 2:00 to 4:00 in the Corner Room. Contact one of the following for more information: Karen Connor, Peggy Daub, Rebecca Hatton, or Bill Riccobono.
Job Opening for AAFM Publications Coordinator
The Ann Arbor Friends Meeting (AAFM) seeks a part-time publications coordinator to produce and distribute weekly, monthly, and other publications in print and electronic formats.
• Annual directory: Prepare AAFM directory, gathering information as needed,
produce and distribute to AAFM community.
• Monthly newsletter: Receive/gather information about AAFM activities and those
of related organizations, write/edit, format, and proofread material. Consult
with others as appropriate for accuracy and clarity. Produce newsletters for
distribution via email, mail, and in the Meetinghouse.
• Weekly handout: Gather information, write/edit, format, and proofread.
Duplicate and distribute via email and in the Meetinghouse.
• Website: Update monthly with information from newsletter, more frequently as
• Electronic communication: Maintain and update listservs and distribute urgent
messages as directed by the Meeting clerks.
• Scheduling: In consultation with the Meeting worker, schedule events at the
• Office staffing: Work in the AAFM office one morning a week (3 hours),
answering phone and email inquiries, maintaining lobby table and bulletin
boards, and clearing/refilling table as needed for weekend events.
Applicants should note that the duties of the publications coordinator may change to include an increased emphasis on electronic communications. Should this occur, other duties would likely be adjusted to keep the job within the 10-12 hours a week as described below.
• Familiarity with AAFM and/or Religious Society of Friends.
• Experience producing publications, both written and electronic, including
experience with software for writing, editing, designing, and producing
materials in each format.
• Demonstrated ability to work in collaborative environment, consulting with
various Meeting officers and members on decision-making as appropriate,
working collaboratively with AAFM Meeting worker in shared office space.
• Demonstrated ability to attend to details in publications, scheduling, and other
This position is 10 to 12 hours a week, with approximately three of those hours spent in the AAFM office on Fridays. Other hours may be worked at home or in the office (scheduled in consultation with the Meeting worker). Hourly rate is $17-$19, depending on experience. The position includes 30 hours of paid vacation annually and 20 hours of paid sick time.
To apply, contact Catherine Shaw (cashaw at umich.edu) for an application form, or write to:
Personnel Committee/Publications, AAFM, 1420 Hill Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48104.
The Property Committee has not yet picked a date for the November property work party. Look for an announcement in a weekly handout.
The Meetinghouse (and Office) will be closed on Thanksgiving Day and the following day.
Peace & Social Concerns Committee says "Let Them Hear From YOU!"
Here’s Why You Should Call, Not Email, Your Legislators
Activists of all political stripes recommend calling legislators, not just emailing — and certainly not just venting on social media. Several lawmakers, along with those who work for them, said so in interviews, according to Daniel Victor in the New York Times last November. A phone call from a constituent can, indeed, hold more weight than an email, and far outweighs a Facebook post or a tweet. To understand why, it helps to know what happens when someone answers the phone at a legislator’s office. Even if you don’t speak directly to the lawmaker, staff members often pass the message along in one form or another.
Emily Ellsworth, whose jobs have included answering phones in the district offices of two Republican representatives, said the way your points reach a lawmaker depends on how many calls the office is getting at the time and how you present your story. In some cases, it’s a simple process. When a caller offered an opinion, staff members would write the comments down in a spreadsheet, compile them each month and present reports to top officials, she said. But a large volume of calls on an issue could bring an office to a halt, sometimes spurring the legislator to put out a statement on his or her position, Ms. Ellsworth said. She recommended the tactic of a series of tweets shared thousands of times. “It brings a legislative issue right to the top of the mind of a member,” she said. “It makes it impossible to ignore for the whole staff. You don’t get a whole lot else done.”
While scripts found on the internet can be useful for people uncomfortable talking on the phone, she suggested making the phone calls as personal as possible. In some cases, if she was moved by a call, she would pass on the comments to her district director, she said. “What representatives and staffers want to hear is the individual impact of your individual story,” she said. “I couldn’t listen to people’s stories for six to eight hours a day and not be profoundly impacted by them.”
Sen. Debbie Stabenow
Sen. Gary Peters
Rep. Debbie Dingell
Rep. Tim Walberg
Rep. Mike Bishop
U.S. Capitol Switchboard: 866-220-0044
White House Comment Line: 888-225-8418
Palestine-Israel Action Group (PIAG) News
PIAG will next meet on Monday, November 20, at 9:45. All are welcome. Contact the convener, Helen Fox (hfox at umich.edu) for more information, including the location.
In January 2009, AAFM established a Travel Fund for Witness in the Middle East for F/friends wishing to learn firsthand about the conflict in Israel/Palestine. Originally inspired by a Friend whose own travel experiences led to a deeper understanding of Palestinian life in the West Bank and Gaza, the fund provides a unique opportunity to experience the joys and sorrows that affect all who are involved in the conflict.
Many wonderful guided trips are available through various recommended organizations. To explore them, check out www.quakerpi.org/QActivism/TRIPS.htm. If you wish to apply to AAFM for partial funding, click here to read the AAFM Minute that details the application procedures.
Quaker Bible Study – involving a close reading of a short Bible passage followed by individual responses – takes place every Wednesday morning at 8:30 in the Corner Room. All are welcome. Questions? Ask Rebecca Hatton(rebecca.hatton1 at gmail.com).
Want to Keep Up with MQEA? The Environmental and Social Concerns Committee has begun a group called Michigan Quakers for Environmental Action, which is intended to promote better environmental policy and legislation in the state. If you would like to join MQEA and receive occasional updates, please contact Peggy Daub (peggydaub at hotmail.com).
The Fall LEYM Bulletin and the LEYM Annual Records 2017 Are Available
Copies of the fall LEYM Bulletin and the LEYM Annual Records 2017 are available on the lobby table. The Annual Records includes minutes and committee reports from the 2017 Representative and Annual Meeting; the full text of Greg Woods' inspiring plenary address; reports on workshops presented at Annual Meeting; epistles and reports from various age groups; State of the Meeting reports from constituent Meetings; statistics on membership and attendance at Monthly Meetings; memorial minutes and obituaries of Friends who led fascinating lives; a section on how to find Meetings and worship groups within LEYM and another identifying their officers and committee clerks; the full slate of officers, committee members, and representatives of LEYM; and a directory of those who attended Annual Meeting or are otherwise named in the Annual Records. The Bulletin also looks back at Annual Meeting in an abbreviated way, but with many colorful photographs, while presenting reports on other topics and a calendar of coming events. Friends who are involved—or interested—in the Yearly Meeting are welcome to take a copy of either publication. The Bulletin can be downloaded from leym.org, and Friends in the LEYM database will receive a copy of this issue via email.
Karen Vigmostad is the newsletter and handout editor. Please send announcements for Sunday handout to kvigmostad at icloud.com no later than noon on Thursdays. Newsletter announcements are generally due by the 25th of the month. The deadline for the December newsletter is Saturday, November 25, at noon. We expect to move to a new website system soon.
Friends can make donations to the Meeting online. Clicking here will link you to a page that enables donations through PayPal (which takes 1.9% plus 30˘ per transaction). Contributions to the Meeting are tax deductible. You can also contribute by leaving cash or a check in the contributions basket on the lobby table or sending a donation c/o Treasurer, Ann Arbor Friends Meeting, 1420 Hill St, Ann Arbor, MI 48104.
Copies of the Meeting Handbook are available in the lobby. A contribution of $4 to cover printing costs is requested.
The Meeting’s wheelchair is stored in the outer lobby for the lift. Friends may borrow it for use between the parking lot and the lift or inside the Meetinghouse and Quaker House.
For information about programs at Michigan Friends Center, click here.