Announcements for March 2018
Meeting Announcements Have Gone Paperless
The Meeting temporarily is not putting out weekly handouts or monthly newsletters in printed form. Consultation with our new communications coordinator will help determine whether these will return, or whether we will instead rely on emails and a new, improved website. Meanwhile, we try to keep Friends informed of Meeting events by way of 1) a weekly email with a Meeting calendar and brief descriptions of events, and 2) this website, updated more frequently than in the past, presenting content that has traditionally appeared on the first several pages of the Meeting newsletter.
Please send all announcements relating to Meeting activities and events to the new communications coordinator, Rabindar Subbian, at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you wish to receive the weekly emails and have not previously received the weekly handout via email, ask to subscribe at
Announcements about community events (i.e., in Washtenaw County) can be posted on the bulletin board at the east end of the lobby. We expect to move to a new website system soon.
Midweek Meeting for Worship is suspended, starting in March. For more information, contact Lisa Klopfer (lklopfer at gmail.com).
Come together for supper and worship sharing on the annual Lake Erie Yearly Meeting query on Friday, March 2*, in the Fellowship Room. Pizza supper at 5:30, followed by worship sharing at 6:15. Childcare will be available. Please sign the sheet on the lobby table 1) to let us know that you (and your children) plan to attend and 2) to bring a salad or dessert to complement the pizza (provided).
The queries are:
· How might we support each other as we find peaceful and persistent responses to actions that exclude and judge?
· In what ways do we, as Quakers, hold ourselves and the Other in the Light when our disagreements seem insurmountable?
· How do we find common ground as we listen to those with whom we disagree?
A pdf file with the queries and supporting quotations can be seen by clicking here.
* Note: This event was originally scheduled on February 9, but was postponed because of a severe snowstorm.
Do You Have a Conscientious Objection to War?
The Committee on Children and Families of the Ann Arbor Friends Meeting is offering a program to assist teens and young adults to 1) decide whether they have a conscientious objection to war, 2) discern whether their objection is a deeply held moral or religious belief, and 3) document and claim this belief.
They will also receive information on the Selective Service and how to register and prepare for the possibility of facing a future draft board.
Quaker teens and adults and their friends who wish to learn more about conscientious objection to war are welcome to attend, on Saturday, March 3, from 10:30 to 2:30 in the Meetingroom (at the Ann Arbor Friends Meetinghouse, 1420 Hill Street). Please call Sheila Johnson at 734-845-0963 for more information.
If you plan to attend, RSVP by Friday, February 23. Teens under 18 will need a signed note from their parents giving permission to participate in the program.
Worship Sharing on State of the Meeting
Sunday, March 11, 12:45 pm
Friends will gather in the Meetingroom on Sunday, March 11 at 12:45, after refreshments, to worship together and share from the silence our reflections on the state of our Meeting. This is an opportunity for us to contemplate together the present spiritual condition of our Meeting and the concerns and joys we carry as we go forward.
Through worship sharing we will each offer to the community our understanding and insights of what is going well and where we feel a need for change and growth. In worship sharing Friends usually speak only once, relating their own thoughts and experiences, but not responding to others. The State of the Meeting report will reflect the content of this session.
All are welcome and childcare will be provided.
Reading and Discussion meets on the second and fourth Sundays in the Corner Room from 10:05 to 10:55. All are welcome. Look for readings on the lobby table the preceding Sunday.
March 11: Dwight Wilson will lead a discussion of his recently published book, Modern Psalms in Search of Peace and Justice. Dwight's psalms are a mystic’s words to a Higher Power, crying out for justice, peace, and joy in all areas of life.
March 25: Rick Plewa will lead discussion of the transcript of a TED Talk by Pico Iyer: The Beauty of What We Don't Know. In it, the author shares his reflections on the limits of our knowledge and why “being human” ultimately matters more than “being in the know.”
Save the dates!
Two Sunday Afternoon Seekers Sessions
Open to anyone interested in learning more about Friends.
April 8: Quakers – Who Are We? Friends may explore such topics as the beginnings of Quakerism, silent worship, and Quaker testimonies, as well as share personal spiritual journeys.
April 22: Attender to Member. How and why do people join a Quaker Meeting? Friends from diverse religious backgrounds will share what led them to become a member of a Friends Meeting.
12:45 - 2:00 in Quaker House Living Room (1416 Hill Street).
Each session will allow ample time for questions and discussion. Come to both sessions or just one. Light refreshments and childcare will be provided.
Our minute on sanctuary, approved at our October meeting for business, was read at a press conference sponsored by Washtenaw Congregational Sanctuary on February 14 at the First Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Ann Arbor. The minute reads:
"Our Faith that there is that of God in every person and our compassion for refugees and immigrants among us lead us to offer Congregational Sanctuary, including hosting refugees or immigrants in our house of worship. We do this in unity, through deep spiritual discernment."
Financial Assistance to attend FGC Gathering, White Privilege Conference, and LEYM Annual Meeting
Through the Post Enabling Fund, the Meeting is able to offer financial assistance to our members and attenders wishing to attend the White Privilege Conference (April 4-7 in Grand Rapids, Michigan), the Gathering of Friends General Conference (July 1–7 in Toledo, Ohio), or the Annual Meeting of Lake Erie Yearly Meeting (July 26–29 in Bluffton, Ohio).
The funding application form is available here, and printed copies will be available soon on the lobby table. Completed applications should be returned to Lisa Klopfer, convener of the Committee on Ministry and Counsel.
Financial assistance is also available from Lake Erie Yearly Meeting and Friends General Conference to attend these gatherings. See below, under "Larger Circles of Friends," for details.
Palestine-Israel Action Group (PIAG) News
PIAG next meets on Tuesday, April 3, at 9:45am. 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.
Caring for the Homeless: Phil Volk has made a year-long commitment to help with the soup kitchen at Brown Chapel AME Church in Ypsilanti, every Friday from 11:00 to noon. He invites anyone who may be interested in helping to drop in (no need to sign up) any Friday that fits their schedule. Brown Chapel is at 1043 West Michigan Ave, Ypsilanti 48197. Phil encourages Friends to come and just talk to some of the homeless, to make sure they know people care. Pastor Hatter leads a service during the preceding hour (starting at 10:00); Friends interested in an AME service are welcome, but need not attend to help at the soup kitchen. In addition, for the next year Phil will be collecting clothes for the homeless at Brown Chapel. There is a box in the Meetinghouse lobby; feel free to donate at any time. If you wish to donate to the soup kitchen, you can either give cash to Phil or make out a check to the Brown Chapel AME Church and write “soup kitchen” on the memo line.
Joe York is directing a PTD’s production of Disgraced, by Ayad Akhtar, at the Riverside Arts Center, 76 N Huron, Ypsilanti, from March 1 to 3 at 8pm. This mesmerizing drama/comedy about questions of identity and reinvention in the contemporary world won the 2013 Pulitzer prize for drama. Tickets cost $18, $12 for students and seniors; Thursday performances are pay-what-you-can. To learn more, visit https://www.ptdproductions.com/disgraced.
Dwight Wilson will lead the Bible Half Hour each morning at this year's Gathering of Friends General Conference, guiding participants in accord with the theme, The Power of Truth, and using the book of James. What does it mean to listen? How do we live in the world without being tainted by it? How do we listen for a warning call that we might have strayed? Dwight will lead Friends in making connections to personal stories and opening ourselves to unexpected promptings.
Dan Suits, a longtime member of AAFM who moved to East Lansing many years ago, died on December 21 at the age of 99. There will be a memorial service – “loosely based” on a Friends memorial meeting – at the Red Cedar Friends Meetinghouse on Saturday, March 17, at 11:30. The family will receive visitors at 10:30, and a light lunch will follow the service. If you plan to attend, please email or phone Holly (Suits) Kazarinoff at holly.kazarinoff at gmail.com or (607) 592-3894.
Art Wolfe, a longtime member of AAFM, died at the age of 87, after valiantly coping with incurable cancer, on December 28 at the Wolfe family complex on Crystal Lake in Beulah, Michigan. Art’s association with the Meeting goes back to at least 1953, when he came to Ann Arbor and met with Arthur Dunham. A memorial meeting will be held at the Meetinghouse on Saturday, April 21, starting at 2:00 p.m.
Freda Ensign died on February 26. She was a member of AAFM from 2008. In 2013, she and Rich moved to California to be closer to one of their sons. A memorial meeting is to be held on Saturday, April 21, 2018, at Inland Valley Friends Meeting, 4061 Mission Inn Ave, Riverside, CA 92501.
LARGER CIRCLES OF FRIENDS
Winter LEYM Bulletin Available
Copies of the Winter Lake Erie Yearly Meeting Winter Bulletin are available on the lobby table and can be downloaded from leym.org (with color photos in the online version). This issue includes the registration form for LEYM Representative Meeting, on Saturday, April 14 in Athens, Ohio (with an advance registration deadline of March 23). The winter Bulletin also provides information about the Annual Meeting plenary speaker, Nominating Committee's plea for Friends to serve, the FGC Gathering in Toledo (Ohio), the White Privilege Conference in Grand Rapids (Michigan), "Resources for Understanding Racism in the U.S.," news from constituent monthly meetings, and more.
FGC Gathering in Toledo, Ohio July 1-7
Find out what happens when hundreds of Quakers from the U.S., Canada, and around the world come together for a week. This year the location could not be more convenient for AAFM Friends, as the Gathering will take place at the University of Toledo. The theme is “The Power of Truth.”
Claire and Paul Tinkerhess, of our Meeting, are serving as co-clerks of the Planning Committee; they and many others are working hard on organizing an enriching and meaningful experience for all. The evening programs will include talks by Robin Wall Kimmerer on “Justice for All: Reciprocity, Restoration and Respect for All Beings”; La’Ron Williams on “Culture of Struggle; Culture of Faith: Using Storytelling to Help the Truth Survive in a Nation Riddled with Lies”; Reverend William Barber on “America Must Have a Moral Revival”; Baldemar Velásquez on “Securing Bargaining Rights of the Poor: A Call to Action”; and three Friends sharing their journeys and understandings of Quaker truths. 48 daily workshops are offered on a wide variety of topics and activities; workshop leaders with connections to our Meeting include Claire Bates and Thea Torek, Susan Wilson, and Peter Blood. The FGC website, www.fgcquaker.org/connect/gathering, provides full information on workshops, opportunities for worship, registration, the lively programs for children, teens, and young adult Friends, and much more.
To have the best chance of access to the workshops you want and to be considered for financial assistance from FGC, plan to register during the period of Early Registration, April 2–11. During this time, all full-time registrations are given equal priority for workshop, housing, and financial aid. Early registration does not guarantee workshop choice; if your top choice workshop is oversubscribed by the end of early registration on April 11, then Gathering staff conduct a random lottery to see who will actually be in that workshop. When registration re-opens, on April 19, new registrants enroll directly into any workshop that has available space on a first-come, first-served basis. After early registration, some workshops will be full, and housing choices and financial aid may also be limited at this point.
Full details can be found at www.fgcquaker.org/connect/gathering/registration-details.
Financial assistance is also available from our Meeting (see above) and, this year, from LEYM, too (see below).
LEYM Scholarships to Attend the FGC Gathering
This year the Yearly Meeting has made available up to $8000 to help LEYM Friends attend the FGC Gathering.
Children and teens (up through age 18) should apply for assistance by filling out the application form provided as Appendix C (page 11) in the LEYM Financial Manual. (Go to leym.org and click on “Scholarships and Financial Help” and then on “Financial Manual” or go directly to https://leymquaker.files.wordpress.com/2018/01/manual-of-leym-finances-8-17.pdf); send the completed form to Joe Mills (of Finance Committee) at email@example.com or 4404 Carver Dr, Kalamazoo, MI 49009. Please note: although the application form instructs applicants to send it to the LEYM presiding clerk, in this instance it should instead be sent to Joe Mills.
Adults should also apply to Joe Mills (see above) with a letter or message requesting, as specifically as possible, the amount of assistance that would enable them to attend the Gathering and listing their other potential sources of financial help (e.g., FGC or monthly meeting).
Applications received by March 1 will be given first consideration.
Pre-Gathering AYF Retreat: Adult Young Friends (ages 18-35) will hold a one-day retreat prior to the Gathering, on Saturday, June 30. This year’s AYF Retreat will be a day of reflection and skill-building around race and white supremacy. We’ll discuss how this affects our lives and communities, and what actions we can take. Learn more about the AYF Retreat at www.fgcquaker.org/connect/gathering/adult-young-friends/retreat
Friends of Color and Multiracial Families are invited to a retreat immediately prior to the FGC Gathering. This retreat is restricted to Friends attending the Gathering. Learn more at www.fgcquaker.org/connect/gathering/programs-and-events/pre-gathering/poc-retreat.
The fifth Quakers and Business Conference will be held at the University of Toledo just prior to the Gathering, starting at 7pm on Friday, June 29, and ending at noon on Sunday, July 1. It is open to Gathering registrants and those not staying for the Gathering.
Can Quaker Investment Heal an Unjust World? Hear Quaker stories of investment in and by their businesses to address inequality. The Conference includes worship and activities to help us get to know each other as we continue to build a community of Quaker business people. Those who are involved in or interested in business are encouraged to attend.
The conference fee is $110 (financial aid is available), not including meals and housing. Childcare is available. Registration opens on April 2 and closes on June 10; late fees begin on June 1.
To learn more click here.
National and Global White Privilege Conferences
This year’s White Privilege Conference (WPC19) will be held on April 4–7, 2018 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The theme is “Super People & Super Powers: Prepare to be the Future of Social Justice Work.”
The White Privilege Conference was established and is organized by Eddie Moore, an African American Professor, who wanted to provide a challenging, collaborative, and comprehensive experience to empower individuals to work for equity and justice. WPC serves as an opportunity to examine difficult issues related to white privilege, white supremacy, and systemic oppression. At WPC, attendees will be able to participate in forums and critical discussions about diversity, multicultural education, social justice, race/racism, sexual orientation, gender, and other systems of privilege/oppression.
This year, Friends General Conference is also excited to be a part of the first global White Privilege Conference! WPCGlobal is coming to Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada on May 9–12. The theme is “Are Canadians too Polite? Exploring Global Perspectives on White Privilege and Oppression in Canada (and Beyond).”
FGC pre-registration for both White Privilege Conferences opens on Monday, January 15. The FGC-discounted registration fee for WPC19 is $340 ($200 for college students, with various discounts available for others). FGC is also working on ways to support Friends with less expensive overnight housing.
In addition, Lake Erie Yearly Meeting has set aside funds for scholarships to help LEYM Friends who register through FGC attend WPC19. If you are interested in obtaining a scholarship, please send a letter with the requested amount and reasons for attending the conference to Shelley Kotz, co-clerk of LEYM Peace & Justice Committee, at 2951 Emmick Dr, Toledo, OH 43606.
To receive information about ride sharing, lodging options, next steps for WPC, and, most importantly, to receive FGC discount codes for WPC19 and WPCGlobal, pre-register by clicking here.
To learn more, visit https://www.whiteprivilegeconference.com/. For any further information, please contact Amirah Fadhlina at firstname.lastname@example.org or Vanessa Julye at email@example.com.
Friends General Conference invites Friends to:
Take a Spiritual Deepening eRetreat, starting March 4!
What is Quaker worship? Is there a “right” or “wrong” way to do it? Join seasoned Friends and those interested in learning about the Quaker Way for FGC’s upcoming Spiritual Deepening Silence & Light eRetreat. Explore and practice the experience of Quaker worship and silent waiting over the course of six weeks. The facilitator is Phil Fitz. To learn more, visit
Operations Manager Job at Friends World Committee for Consultation
The Section of the Americas office in Philadelphia is seeking a full-time Operations Manager. This person will join the Executive Secretary in managing the wide-ranging activities of the Friends World Committee (FWCC) in North, Central, and South America. This is an exciting opportunity to serve Quakers and help FWCC fulfill its mission.
The Operations Manager is primarily responsible for the smooth running of our international headquarters, including office administration, finance, communications, and data management, and is involved in many aspects of our work, including audience engagement, volunteer coordination, maintaining our directory of Quaker meetings in the Americas, and fundraising. The manager interacts via telephone and email with vendors, volunteers, donors, individual Quakers, and Meeting representatives. This position is full-time, non-exempt with benefits, and is directly responsible to the Executive Secretary.
The expected start date is May 15, and the application deadline is March 15.
For more information on the role and how to apply, click here.
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
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).
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.
Friends Lake Cooperative Community Programs
FLCC is presenting the final part of a three-part program on Pathway to Intimacy: Intimacy with One’s Higher Power through Intimacy with One’s Self and with Others, a benefit for FLCC and Michigan Friends Center, on Saturday, March 3, from 9:00 to 4:00. The program facilitator is Susan Flinders. For more information, click here.
For information about programs at Michigan Friends Center, click here.