Friends oppose all war as inconsistent with God’s will. As every person is a child of God, we recognize God’s Light also in our adversaries. Violence and injustice deny this reality and violate the teachings of Jesus and other prophets.
Friends challenge their governments and take personal risks in the cause of peace. We urge one another to refuse to participate in war as soldiers, or as arms manufacturers. We seek ways to support those who refrain from paying taxes that support war. We work to end violence within our own borders, our homes, our streets, and our communities. We support international order, justice, and understanding.
Become an instrument of peace. At every opportunity, be peacemakers in your homes, workplaces and communities. Steep yourself in the power of the universal Spirit. Examine your actions for the seeds of violence, degradation and destructiveness. Overcome the emotions that lie at the root of violence and nurture instead a spirit of reconciliation and love. Come to know the oneness of all creation and oppose the destruction of the natural world.
Do I live in the virtue of that life and power that takes away the occasion of all wars?
How do I nourish peace within myself as I work for peace in the world?
Where there is distrust, injustice, or hatred, how am I an instrument of reconciliation and love?
What are we doing to remove the causes of war and destructions of the planet, and to bring about lasting peace?
Do we reach out to all parties in a conflict with courage and love?
We are reminded that Friends have diverse identities, life experiences, and faith traditions. Some Friends come from generations of Quaker ancestors, other convinced Friends have Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, mono or polytheistic, or non-theist backgrounds.
As an inclusive religion and community of seekers, we strive each day to live with integrity and to listen for and see that of God, the Divine, the Light in all.
The centering theme for this fall’s quarterly gathering is “Back to Basics – The Roots and Fruits of Quaker Testimonies Then and Now.”
Paul Buckley, a traveling Quaker minister and author will share with us his perspectives on the Quaker Testimonies in two presentations based on his recently published Pendle Hill pamphlet, Quaker Testimony: What We Witness to the World. Paul’s presentations will look at early Quaker testimonies, what he considers the 5 essential characteristics of a testimony, how early Friends testified.
Contemporary Quakers have come to “package” our testimonies as the SPICES: Simplicity, Peace, Integrity, Community, Equality, Stewardship or Sustainability. Yet we can ask, are these our only testimonies? Are there others?
Fall Fellowship is a wonderful opportunity to worship and share together, participate in interest and affinity groups, a meeting for healing, hiking, plenaries, community night, and lots of fellowship.
Families especially are encouraged to attend onsite (the cost for all those 18 and younger are covered by SCQM) as the children’s and teen program committees are planning a wonderful weekend of activities on the beautiful grounds of Temescal Gateway Park in the Pacific Palisades, just north of Santa Monica. See below for a brief schedule outline and see the scqm.org website for full details.
In peace, Jane Blount SCQM Clerk
A Few Notes on Registration
There is a registration fee of $25/person for onsite attendance and $5/person for online participation.
Additional costs to attend either onsite or online is “pay-as-led”; suggested contribution amounts are on the registration form.
We encourage Friends to ask their Monthly Meeting or Worship Group for financial assistance if needed to cover the actual costs of attending.
Registration closes at midnight on October 22, 2023.
Brief Schedule Outline
Friday evening – Zoom only: Interest Group – Radical Hospitality
Saturday afternoon: Lunch, Interest groups/workshops, FCNL and our Quaker Advocacy Community – Onsite and Online, The Seekers – Onsite only, “How Long Can I Wear my Sword” – Onsite and Online, affinity groups, free time.
Saturday evening: Dinner, community night, informal gathering
Radical Hospitality: Join Lloyd Lee Wilson in a discussion on “Radical Hospitality…a way of being in the world that helps to bring the Kingdom of God into full realization …through inclusiveness toward all people, through letting go of personal cravings for possessions and power, and through noncoercion.” See more about the pamphlet and where to purchase it at Radical Hospitality – Pendle Hill Quaker Books & Pamphlets.
This is an online program (those coming Friday afternoon to help set-up are welcome to join us in Stewart Hall).
Lloyd Lee Wilson is a recorded minister of the gospel in West Grove Monthly Meeting, North Carolina Yearly Meeting (Conservative). His publications include Essays on the Quaker Vision of Gospel Order, Wrestling with Our Faith Tradition, Holy Surrender, Change and Preservation in the Same Current, and numerous contributions to Friends Journal, Quaker Life, Quaker Theology, and The Journal of North Carolina Yearly Meeting(Conservative). His message is that “Christ has come to teach his people himself.”
Being Violent While Being Quaker – How long can I wear my sword? – Onsite and Online
Dan Strickland will share his perspective as a karate student of 50+ years’ standing, how that squares or conflicts with being a Quaker, and what violence is in our lives. Will have a rich discussion around questions like, Does our aversion to violence affect our honesty? Where is the balance between fear and hospitality?
FCNL and our Quaker Advocacy Community – Onsite and Online
Come learn first-hand from advocates who have led successful issue FCNL campaigns through building people power and taking action. In this workshop we’ll focus on different ways you can work with FCNL and our Quaker advocacy community to advance our shared vision and values. These ideas can help our meetings and worship groups prepare for deeper work towards the world we seek.
We will hear from young friends about their experience in the FCNL “Ambassadors” program; our regional FCNL Advocacy Coordinator, Jessica Bahena; and the FCNL Quaker Engagement Program Manager, Bobby Trice. Online and onsite attenders are welcome (onsite participants will meet in Stewart Hall).
In daily relationships with others, both inside and outside the home, our lives as Friends speak immediately and lastingly. In these relationships, our faith may also be severely tested. We are called to respond to that of God in everyone: we are all children of God.
Friends celebrate any union that is dedicated to mutual love and respect, regardless of the unique make-up of the family. We strive to create homes where the Spirit of the Divine resides at the center and where the individual genius of each member is respected and nurtured.
Human sexuality is a divine gift, forming part of the complex union of body, mind and spirit that is our humanity. In a loving adult relationship in a context of mutual responsibility, sexuality brings delight, fulfillment and celebration.
The presence of children carries a special blessing as well as responsibility. Children bring unique spiritual gifts — wonder, resiliency, playfulness and more. Recognize and honor the Divine Light within children and treat them with the dignity and respect that is due to all people. Listen to and learn from children; share with them those values and practices that are central to our own lives. Special care must be given to resolving problems between adults and children in a manner that gives equal weight to the feelings and needs of both children and adults. Tender parenting is one of the critically important peace vocations in our society. Make every effort to offer all parents the personal and institutional support that this challenging work requires.
Take a strong stand against any form of abuse, whether that abuse is minor or severe, and whether it is emotional, physical or sexual in nature. The terrible impact of abuse on the most vulnerable members of our families creates lifelong suffering for its victims and is a major source of violence in our society. Perpetrators are themselves usually victims of similar violence and should be approached with compassion as well as firmness.
Do I make my home a place of friendliness, joy and peace where residents and visitors feel God’s presence?
Are my sexual practices consistent with my spiritual beliefs, and free of manipulation and exploitation?
What barriers keep me from responding openly and lovingly to each person?
Do we open our thoughts, beliefs and deep understandings to our children and others who share our lives and our hospitality?
Do we provide our children and young adults with a framework for active, ongoing participation in meeting?
Many Friends expressed how nourished they felt by attending, either in person or by Zoom, Pacific Yearly Meeting’s annual session this past July. I encourage you to read the epistle that came from the 77th annual session, which Centered the Voices of the Next Generation. I hope Friends from Southern CA will feel nourished when we gather this November for our Quarter’s Fall Fellowship.
We are reminded that Friends have diverse identities, life experiences, and faith traditions. Some Friends come from generations of Quaker ancestors, other convinced Friends have Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, mono or polytheistic, or non-theist backgrounds. As an inclusive religion and community of seekers, we strive each day to live with integrity and to listen for and see that of God, the Divine, the Light in all.
Foundational to our experiential faith community are the Quaker Testimonies which we contemporary Quakers have come to “package” as the SPICES: Simplicity, Peace, Integrity, Community, Equality, Stewardship or Sustainability. Yet we can ask, are these our only testimonies? Are there others? What is a testimony?
The centering theme for this fall’s quarterly gathering is “Back to Basics – The Roots and Fruits of Quaker Testimonies Then and Now.” Paul Buckley, a traveling Quaker minister and author will share with us his perspectives on the Quaker Testimonies in two presentations based on his recently published Pendle Hill pamphlet, Quaker Testimony: What We Witness to the World. Paul’s presentations will look at early Quaker testimonies, what he considers the 5 essential characteristics of a testimony, how early Friends testified, and the more contemporary evolution of the Quaker “SPICES”.
In addition to our keynote presentations and worship sharing on Saturday and Sunday mornings we will have interest and affinity groups, wonderful children’s and teen’s programs, a meeting for healing, time for fellowship, hiking, possibly singing, plenaries, community night, and worship.
Please mark your calendars and SAVE THE DATE for SCQM’s Fall Fellowship to attend either in person on the beautiful grounds of Temescal Gateway Park in the Pacific Palisades, just north of Santa Monica, or via Zoom. Full schedule and details to come soon.
Life is meant to be lived from a Center, a divine Center—a life of unhurried peace and power. It is simple. It is serene. It takes no time, but it occupies all our time.
Thomas R. Kelly, Testament of Devotion, 1941 p.124
A life centered in God will be directed toward keeping communication with God open and unencumbered. Simplicity is best achieved through a right ordering of priorities: maintaining humility of spirit, avoiding self-indulgence, resisting the accumulation of unnecessary possessions, and avoiding over-busy lives.
Elise Boulding writes in My Part in the Quaker Adventure: “Simplicity, beauty, and happiness go together if they are a by-product of a concern for something more important than ourselves.”
Do I center my life in an awareness of God’s presence so that all things take their rightful place?
Do I live simply, and promote the right sharing of the world’s bounty?
Do I keep my life uncluttered with things and activities, avoiding commitments beyond my strength and light?
How do I maintain simplicity, moderation, and honesty in my speech, my manner of living, and my daily work?
Do I recognize when I have enough?
Is the life of the meeting so ordered that it helps us to simplify our lives?
Family Work Camp will be held at the Ben Lomond Quaker Center on August 1 to 6, 2023.
First time at FWC? Family Work Camp is a joyous celebration of community, collective labor, Spirit and fun. After gathering for dinner on Tuesday, August 1st, we’ll spend the next four days divided into work crews. We’ll work on various projects for three-hour shifts between breakfast and lunch, and then spend the afternoons and evenings doing other things together, such as hiking, singing, resting, visiting the San Lorenzo River or a nearby Friends’ pool, or doing nothing at all.
What kind of work will we do? There will be a number of options to choose from, which will include both heavy and light work, and outdoor and indoor projects. Experience is welcome but absolutely not necessary to attend and participate. There will be a trail maintenance crew, a wood-splitting crew, a letter-writing crew and a playground improvement crew, and as always there will be a few surprises.
“Do I have to be in a family to attend?” As with all Quaker Center programs, all are welcome at Family Work Camp. Parents come with their children and their parents, grandparents with their grandchildren, and those who come without family members.
I’m a teen and I want to come but my parents can’t bring me this year. Can I come without my parents? Family Work Camp is a beloved annual gathering for teens and young adults. If you want to come and your parent(s) or guardian aren’t able to bring you, you may be able to come with a responsible adult sponsor over 25 years old. If you’re a teen that fits this description, or an adult who might be willing to sponsor a young person, get in touch with us at (831) 336-8333.
How much does Family Work Camp cost? We don’t want finances to prevent anyone from attending, and like all our programs, FWC will use a Pay-As-Led fee structure. We ask you to consider how much you can comfortably contribute towards this week of service and fun. Housing with be in Quaker Center’s Orchard and Redwood Lodges, and campsites will be available. Meals will be prepared by Tod Nysether.
Questions? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at (831) 336-8333.
Our Meeting no longer requires that all attenders be vaccinated or that masks be worn. However, we ask that you use your best judgement. If you are feeling at all unwell, or have recently been exposed to COVID, please attend the Meeting via Zoom.
It would go a long way to caution and direct people in their use of the world, that they were better studied and knowing in the creation of it. For how could [they] find the confidence to abuse it, while they should see the Great Creator stare them in the face, in all and every part thereof?
Adapted from William Penn, Some Fruits of Solitude 1693, 12-13
God is revealed in all Creation. We humans belong to the whole interdependent community of life on earth. Rejoice in the beauty, complexity and mystery of creation, with gratitude to be part of its unfolding. Take time to learn how this community of life is organized and how it interacts. Live according to principles of right relationship and right action within this larger whole. Be aware of the influence humans have on the health and viability of life on earth. Call attention to what fosters or harms earth’s exquisite beauty, balances and interdependencies. Guided by Spirit, work to translate this understanding into ways of living that reflect our responsibility to one another, to the greater community of life, and to future generations.
In what ways do I express gratitude for the wondrous expressions of life on Earth?
Do I consider the damage I might do to the Earth’s vulnerable systems in choices I make of what I do, what I buy, and how I spend my time?
In our witness for the global environment, are we careful to consider justice and the well-being of the world’s poorest people?
Does our way of life threaten the viability of life on Earth?
Pacific Yearly Meeting’s Annual Session will be held in person July 21-26, 2023 at Mount Madonna Center (near Watsonville, CA). It will also be possible to attend remotely via Zoom. This year’s theme will be Beloved Community Part II: Centering the Voices of the Next Generation.
Click here for more information, including the Clerk’s Call, bios of the keynote panel members, the schedule, and a link to registration.
When: July 2-8, 2023 Where: Monmouth Oregon Registration begins: April 23, 2023
Gather: One small word with many meanings.
Gather can mean to collect, especially from far-flung locations: They visited gardens, libraries, Meetings, and websites to gather materials to share in this workshop. Or it can mean to come together: Friends of all ages are gathering in Oregon in 2023 for an annual event. It can also mean to increase speed: Quaker witness is gathering momentum around criminal justice. Gather can mean gaining understanding: From the looks on the children’s faces, the performers gathered that their art was what the audience needed that night.
We expect that the 2023 FGC Gathering will be special, in part due to the location. It will be in the Pacific Northwest for the first time in a generation. It will be in Oregon for the first time ever. Some offerings will be online, but mostly, it will be an all-generations in-person experience for the first time since 2019.
We understand that it is a heavy lift for most people to come to the Gathering. It’s a big expense for ever-tightening budgets and those of us who don’t have much disposable income. It’s a large amount of time away from work for shrinking vacation benefits if we are so fortunate to even have a job with benefits. We may be apprehensive about the location. It costs a large carbon footprint to travel no matter what the offsets. Plus, there are all those roommates who snore and long cafeteria lines. Ah, the travails of travel. 🙂
We are convinced, however, that to gather, in and of itself, with all that word’s meanings, is deeply important. We cannot truly be a society, let alone a religious society, without gathering. Societies must have gathering spaces and places to exchange ideas, to share common experiences and to coalesce as a community. We must gather corporately and corporally to worship. Otherwise, we just dissipate into an unholy mess.
There is nothing like living together for a week. An event like the FGC Gathering creates life-changing opportunities – both scheduled and spontaneous – to worship, eat, sing, play, pray, explore, and learn together. The Gathering Committee is working diligently to welcome you just as you are and however you are, and we will do our best to make it work for you. We are preparing a unique opportunity to experience “gather” in all its meanings and for all to do a lot of learning, healing, sharing, inspiring, and creating together across our Religious Society of Friends..
The theme this year is “Listen, so that we may live.” We ask you to listen to this invitation prayerfully and see if there is life in it for you and your family. Come to The Gathering, enjoy Oregon’s Willamette Valley, gather for a while.
With Love and In the Light,
Jessica & Kate
Jessica Bucciarelli and Kate Jaramillo
2023 Friends General Conference Gathering Co-Clerks