Announcements for May 2017
Reading and Discussion
Reading and Discussion meets on second and fourth Sundays in Quaker House Living Room from 10:05 to 10:55. All are welcome.
On May 14, Rick Plewa will lead a session on "Faith." What does it mean for us — individually and collectively — to call ourselves "people of faith" (if we do), and to style AAFM as a “community of faith?" After reading a number of brief passages about "faith" from the pens of well-known writers, we will share our own responses to this question.
On May 28, Amy Beaumont will lead discussion of a book by Richard Rohr, What the Mystics Know, that may be particularly helpful at this time of political distress. We will touch gently upon assurances, such as "all great spirituality is about what we do with our pain” and ”carrying the dilemma.”
Look for readings on the lobby table the preceding Sunday.
Midweek Meetings for Worship will begin on Wednesday, May 10. The Committee on Ministry and Counsel has received requests to hold meetings for worship in the middle of the week, so we’ll test this concern by offering times of worship and sharing at 9:30 to 10:30am and 7:00 to 8:00pm on Wednesdays in the Corner Room. We hope that by offering two times each Wednesday we will enable many interested friends to participate. This trial period will begin on May 10 and run until June 28, when we’ll decide whether to continue. If you need childcare, please contact Nancy Taylor for the morning worship (netaylor at comcast.net) or Lisa Klopfer for the evening worship (lklopfer at gmail.com).
A Meeting for Canoeing will take place on the Huron River on Saturday, May 13, starting at 9:30am. Later, June 8 to 11, a canoeing excursion is scheduled on the Au Sable River. More information and sign-up sheets are on the lobby table. Please sign up for the Meeting for Canoeing by Sunday, May 7.
A memorial meeting for Max Heirich will be held on Saturday, May 27, at 10:00 at the First Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Ann Arbor (4001 Ann Arbor-Saline Rd). A reception will follow. All are welcome. To read Max's obituary, click here.
Save the Date of May 27: Ann Arbor Friends Claire and Paul Tinkerhess are co-clerks for the 2018 Friends General Conference Gathering in Toledo, Ohio. Everyone is invited to join the planning committee! The first meeting of the 2018 FGC Gathering Planning Committee will be at Ann Arbor Friends Meetinghouse on Saturday, May 27, from 9am to 5:30pm. Please join the Committee online at www.FGCquaker.org/gathering-committee. Also, volunteers are needed to host a Friend or Friends who may need beds either Friday night or Saturday night (or both). If you can offer hospitality on May 26 and/or May 27, please contact Nancy Taylor at netaylor at comcast.net.
News from the Committee for Children and Families (CCF), May 2017
First Day School Plans: We are moving into the last weeks of First Day School for this school year. We will be learning about and practicing centering and prayer — at Meeting, in our homes and in the out of doors. We will then focus on grounding and growing as we plant and tend the AAFM garden. We will have a closing celebration on Sunday, June 11 in the backyard (weather permitting).
Mark your calendar for Family Camp July 15 and 16: Plans are underway for Family Camp at Friends Lake. Further information to come, but it will be an opportunity to spend some time playing and worshipping in nature. Anyone who is in a family, came from a family or wants to be part of a family is welcome!
AAFM wants parents to be able to participate in all areas of the Meeting, so when committees and Friends are planning activities please arrange for childcare. For instructions on how to do this, contact Su Hansen at suhan722 at gmail.com. Then, when submitting a handout or newsletter announcement, please indicate either a) "call by a certain date” if you are seeking to determine whether childcare is needed, or b) "childcare is provided” if you will be providing childcare and do not need to ask Friends.
The Contributions Committee will meet on Sunday, May 7, at 10:00 in the ICPJ Office (or possibly the White Room) to start the process of considering Meeting contributions to other organizations. These are generally limited to organizations in which Meeting attenders or members have significant leadership or voluntary service roles, and are reflective of continuing concerns of the Meeting. However, contributions to organizations like AFSC, FCNL, LEYM and other major Friends organizations are included as line items in the Meeting budget, and thus not handled by this Committee.
If you are led to suggest a new group and are willing to be the contact person, please fill out a Funding Request Review Form, found in the Contributions cubby in the lobby (near the mailboxes). If you have questions or suggestions, please feel free to contact members of the Committee: Anne Ogren, Tom Blackwell, Judith Becker, Hernán Drobney, Shirley Wolfe and Sharon Simonton.
Peace & Social Concerns Committee writes:
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.”
Let Them Hear From YOU!
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
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.
Most Sundays a limited amount of Palestinian olive oil (Free Trade, Certified Organic, produced by farmer cooperatives) is available on the lobby table for purchase at $12 per 500 ml bottle. Sale of this high quality oil supports Palestinian farmers who face great challenges getting their produce to markets.
Quaker House Residential Community: Openings Expected!
Summer openings are expected in the Quaker House Residential Community (QHRC). Enjoy community living with a commitment to diversity, sustainability, and open, honest communication.
Click here to see a description of QHRC, here to see FAQs, and here to link to the application form as a Google form.
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).
Try Out the SmallWorld Project
In an effort to help Friends get better acquainted and widen their circle of F/friends, Membership and Outreach Committee has introduced a program made possible with an app developed by a Meeting attender and Quaker House resident. The program works by randomly pairing participating Friends to spend a half hour or more conversing one-on-one. These conversations might happen after meeting for worship at AAFM, or elsewhere at a time and place of the participants' choosing. New pairings are arranged every three weeks. Friends are invited to participate by visiting tinyurl.com/smallworldaafm. Questions about the program can be addressed to Cassie Cammann, co-convener of Membership & Outreach (cassie at cammann.net).
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. See exact date in the calendar. 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.
The Chelsea Worship Group has meeting for worship at Michigan Friends Center on most second Sundays (May 14) at 10am. The contact is John Deikis (395-7414); please check with him before attending, to confirm that worship is taking place that day.
For information about programs at Michigan Friends Center, click here.