Doctrine of Discovery: Unmasking the Domination Code

The Indigenous Concerns Subcommittee of Pacific Yearly Meeting’s Ministry and Care Committee invites you to join a noon screening and follow-up session of the film “The Doctrine of Discovery: Unmasking the Domination Code.”

The film explains how the “Doctrine of Discovery” was used to justify Europeans” seizure seizure of the lands of Indigenous peoples, Nations and Tribes in the name of “civilizing” and “Christianizing” them. This Doctrine was explicitly incorporated into US law in the 19th Century. It remains the foundation of US “Indian Law”, and the US legal system continues to use this Doctrine against Indigenous peoples to this day.

We are offering a two-session series in March and April, the first being a screening and initial reactions, and the second diving deeper into where we go from here. 

March sessions will be on Wednesdays, March 8th and 22nd, from 7-8:30pm (Pacific) 
April sessions will be on Sundays, April 16th and 30th, from 3-4:30 PM

If you would like to join our scheduled sessions, please reach out to the subcommittee at lesliezd@reninet.com. 

To see a trailer of the film, click below:

Quaker Spirituality and Somatic Practices

The Peace and Social Order (PSO) Committee of the Pacific Yearly Meeting (PacYM) announces an interest group-type session held outside of Annual Session

Title: Quaker Spirituality and Somatic Practices
Date: Saturday, April 15, 2023   10:30-noon and 1:00-2:30 pm (Pacific), online
Contact: Linnea (linneachanson@gmail.com or Betty (bguthrie42@gmail.com)

Presenter: Shannon Frediani, member of Santa Cruz monthly meeting Worship & Ministry committee member. Former co-clerk of PacYM PSO committee.

Recognizing and countering the responses of trauma exposure is needed for navigating the multiple crises of our time (climate, war, racial and systemic injustice, COVID, etc.)

  • Exploring and deepening comprehension of Quaker resonance practices and bridging them with modern scientific somatic practices. A brief introduction to trauma exposure responses
  • Experiencing self-regulation and rebalancing somatic practices as a form of deepening Quaker practice for being instruments of peace. Online format, with a link to be sent out. Teens are invited to attend

For context:

This particular interest group, a 2-session workshop, is a replication of the Spring retreat held at Santa Cruz Friends Meeting in May of 2021, sponsored by the W&M committee. It was designed by Shannon Frediani based on her teaching experience at Starr King School for the Ministry, a Unitarian Universalist Seminary. The response from Santa Cruz Monthly Meeting participants was overwhelmingly positive.


Giving a brief overview of Quaker Spirituality and a story of when Quaker practice for maintaining regulation of bodies in a high stakes environment was successful, as well as an introduction of trauma exposure responses and what those look like, this workshop is designed to engage regulating somatic practices, foster Quaker formation, and offer a way forward.


Advices and Queries for the Third Month*

Meeting for Worship on the Occasion of Business

Advices

Come to Meeting with hearts and minds prepared to be open and faithful to the leadings of the Spirit. Then the conduct of business will lead to truth, unity, and love.

When a matter is before the Meeting for Business, each person present contributes to the corporate search for a decision that accords with the will of God. Inaction is a form of action. Silent worship in the Meeting for Business contributes to the process of achieving unity.

Listen attentively to others’ words and use the silence between messages to reflect carefully on what you might contribute. When you are clear, speak simply what is in your heart, without repeating what has already been offered. While making your insights clear, lay aside personal opinions and attend to what God requires.

Queries

  • Do I attend Meeting for Business regularly?
  • Do I speak in Meeting for Business only when I am led to speak?
  • Is the Meeting for Business held as a Meeting for Worship in which we seek divine guidance for our actions?
  • Are we tender and considerate of different views, coming to a decision only when we have found unity?
  • Do we give prayerful support for our clerks that they may be sensitive to the movement of the Spirit among us?

*from PACIFIC YEARLY MEETING FAITH AND PRACTICE (2001), 48-49

Quaker Call to Action

Our Meeting has been asked to endorse the following call to action, which was initiated by a group of 18 Friends who were concerned about threats to our democracy.  Before endorsing it, we ask that Members and Attenders read the text, ponder the queries, and contemplate the suggested actions. Other resources related to the project can be found here.

An Urgent Call to the Religious Society of Friends

May 2022

We Quakers, members of the Religious Society of Friends, hold strongly to the principle of speaking truth with integrity. We ground our speaking truth in our worship and our searching of ourselves, as we listen deeply and honestly within and across all differences. Our testimony to the world includes standing up for spiritually discerned Truth, the equality of all persons, the peaceful resolution of conflicts, and respect and care for our neighbors and the earth. Right now, we see many forces at work in our country and the world that are undermining these basic values. Accordingly, we call on Friends everywhere to act.

In this country, in 2020, we witnessed an attempted coup. The January 6 assault on the Capitol was a deliberate, violent attempt to prevent Joe Biden — the clear winner of the 2020 election — from taking office and keeping then-president Donald Trump in power. To maintain that the last election was riddled with fraud is demonstrably false. This politically motivated movement has now embarked on an orchestrated campaign to suppress voting by black, brown and young people and to pass new state election laws giving the power to throw out huge numbers of valid ballots to highly partisan legislatures, governors, and state attorneys general. Thus, this lie is being used to deprive people of their constitutional rights and constitutes a major injustice.

As Friends, we feel called to speak out against these falsehoods and anti-democratic actions. We encourage Friends to seek spiritual guidance on any actions that you and your meetings might take to witness against this gross injustice. If this politically motivated movement succeeds in its anti-democratic takeover attempt, any hope of making significant progress on racial and economic justice, the equality of all people, the climate crisis, gun violence, and other urgent issues of our time will be gone.

We know that democracy in the United States has many flaws. During the past 100 years, our local, state and federal governments have acted to prevent formerly enslaved people and other communities of color from voting. It was not until 1920 that women finally won the right to vote, and their equality is still being challenged. We call on Friends to act — first, to resist all efforts to undermine our current democratic processes, and second, to support true democratic reforms to our still flawed election system. We cannot allow a government that is built on lies and injustice.

We the undersigned are encouraging Quakers throughout the country to work in their local communities, states, and the national arena to take critical actions to prevent an authoritarian takeover of our democracy. We urge Friends to discern the deep truths that provide a foundation for active love, wisdom, compassion, and a truly democratic electoral system—and then to actively support such changes. We know that love conquers fear. Let us lean into Divine Love and find ways forward in Truth.

Queries

  • What, if anything, is the Light Within calling Friends to do in response to the unprecedented rise of domestic extremism, white supremacy, and authoritarianism that is threatening the destruction of our democracy at home and abroad?
  • How can I/we respond with resolute love even while I/we may be struggling with fear, anger, apathy, or hate?

Possible Actions

Defending Truth

We urge all Friends to discern the deep truths that provide a foundation for active love, wisdom, compassion, and peace in the world — and then to defend them. We ask:

  • Individual Friends to search yourselves about the threats to our country, and the world, and to witness publicly to the truths that you discern are grounded in your experience of the Spirit.
  • Quaker meetings and organizations to issue public statements calling out lies and the purveyors of lies, all in the context of our understanding of love, equality, and justice for all. Working for True Equality and Justice for All We urge Friends to act for equality and equity within our diverse society.

Working for True Equality and Justice for All

We urge Friends to act for equality and equity within our diverse society:

  • Speak, write, and protest in support for full equality of all people in American society, whatever their racial or sexual identity, gender, or class.
  • Support legislative and economic changes that would lead to actual equity among all peoples.

Promoting Free and Fair Elections

Stemming from our testimonies of Integrity and Equality, we urge Friends to:

  • Support non-partisan voter-registration drives, particularly in communities under attack from those seeking to prevent them from voting.
  • Publicly condemn partisan efforts to restrict access to voting.
  • Confront partisan efforts to seize control of the election administration apparatus.
  • Support conscientious, non-partisan election officials in our communities.
  • Volunteer as poll workers, election monitors, and drivers to get people to the polls.

Preparing for Non-Violent Resistance

We believe that as a religious society grounded in nonviolence, we can:

  • Arrange for nonviolent direct-action training in our Quaker meetings and organizations, as well as with others in our larger communities.
  • Form small “affinity groups” that can prepare to carry out direct actions in support of free and fair elections and the state and local officials who support them.
  • Support wider efforts to plan and organize nonviolent resistance on a state and nationwide level, as needed.

MARIAN BEANE
Charlotte Friends Meeting, Piedmont Friends – Yearly Meeting
and Fellowship

BRUCE BIRCHARD
Central Philadelphia Friends Meeting, Philadelphia Yearly
Meeting, Former General Secretary, Friends General Conference

LAURA BOYCE
Providence Friends Meeting, Philadelphia Yearly Meeting,
Ujima Friends Peace Center

MARTHA BRYANS
Downingtown Friends Meeting, Philadelphia Yearly Meeting

SAM CALDWELL
Providence Friends Meeting, Philadelphia Yearly Meeting,
Former General Secretary, Philadelphia Yearly Meeting

GRETCHEN CASTLE
Doylestown Friends Meeting, Philadelphia Yearly Meeting,
Dean, Earlham School of Religion, Former General Secretary,
Friends World Committee for Consultation World Office

ROBERT DOCKHORN
Green Street Friends Meeting, Philadelphia Yearly Meeting

TOM EWELL
Whidbey Island Friends Meeting, North Pacific Yearly Meeting

EILEEN FLANAGAN
Chestnut Hill Friends Meeting, Philadelphia Yearly Meeting

JOHN HELDING
Lopez Island Friends Meeting, North Pacific Yearly Meeting

AYESHA IMANI
Ujima Friends Meeting, Philadelphia, Clerk, Ujima Friends
Peace Center, Former Clerk of the Fellowship of Friends
of African Descent

PHIL LORD
Ujima Friends Meeting, Chestnut Hill Friends Meeting,
Philadelphia Yearly Meeting

MARY ELLEN MCNISH
Byberry Friends Meeting, Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, Former
General Secretary, American Friends Service Committee

DIANE RANDALL
Hartford Friends Meeting, New England Yearly Meeting,
Sojourning Friends Meeting of Washington, Baltimore Yearly
Meeting, Former General Secretary, Friends Committee on
National Legislation

CHRISTINA REPOLEY
Atlanta Friends Meeting, Southern Appalachian Yearly Meeting
and Association, Founding Director of Quaker Voluntary Service

COLIN SAXTON
North Valley Friends Meeting, Newberg, Oregon

JOE VOLK
Executive Secretary Emeritus, Friends Committee on
National Legislation

MICHAEL WAJDA
Goshen Friends Meeting, Philadelphia Yearly Meeting,
Sojourning Bennington Friends Meeting, New England
Yearly Meeting, Former Associate Secretary, Friends
General Conference

PAM YALLER
Upper Dublin Friends Meeting, Philadelphia Yearly Meeting

Meeting and Organization Affiliations are listed for identification purposes only


Advices and Queries for the Second Month*

Spiritual Life

Advices

The life of the spirit gains depth and vigor through devotional practices, prayer, study and meditation. Take time regularly for individual and family worship, discussions. Readings from sacred texts and other spiritual refreshment in order to live a more centered life and to bring a deeper presence to the Meeting for Worship. Friends believe that the spiritual path is best found in community. Create opportunities in your Meetings for people of all ages to explore and express their evolving relationship with the Divine, their spiritual highs and their doubts. If different metaphors and language interfere with communication, listen more deeply, honoring the Spirit in which the thought and words have their beginnings.

Queries

  • Do I live in thankful awareness of God’s constant presence in my life?
  • Am I sensitive and obedient to the leadings of the Holy Spirit?
  • When do I take time for contemplation and spiritual refreshment?
  • Do we share our spiritual lives with others in the Meeting, seeking to know one another in that which is eternal?
  • Does the Meeting provide religious education including study of the Bible and Friends’ history and practices?

An Invitation from Friends Committee on National Legislation

When we talk about migration, too often the conversation overlooks the humanity and experiences of the people impacted. Popular rhetoric about the “border crisis” and political stunts like the busing of migrants only makes this worse. FCNL’s February Quaker Changemaker Event will feature a conversation about faith and community work on the border and across the nation.

Register to join our conversation on Thursday, Feb. 23 at 8:00 PM EST

This event will feature the following speakers:

  • Anika Forrest, FCNL Legislative Director for Domestic Policy
  • Jennifer Long, Co-Executive Director at Casa Marianella, a shelter and community center on the U.S.-Mexico border
  • Bridget Moix, FCNL General Secretary

Hear their reflections following a recent trip to the U.S.-Mexico border and learn more about how community centers across the nation are working to support just migration.

Upcoming Events at Ben Lomond Quaker Center

Quaker Center, a retreat and conference center located in Ben Lomond, California, offers annual calendar of both online and in-person programs that explore spiritual growth and deepening, the faith and practice of Quakerism, peace and social justice, environmentalism, and much more. Here are some ongoing and upcoming programs in March, April, and May.


Wednesday Morning Online Worship sharing
each Wednesday at 10:00 AM Pacific Time

Many of us are over-scheduled. Even the lives of our children are over-scheduled. When we can allow ourselves to rest and relax, healing becomes possible. There is no healing without relaxation. In the Plum Village Tradition, we learn the art of being lazy, at least one day a week.

We think that when we are not doing anything we are wasting our time, that is not true. Our time is first of all for us to be. To be, to be what? to be alive, to be peace, to be joy, to be loving. And that is what the world needs the most. So we train ourself in order to be. And if you know the art of being peace, of being solid, then you have the ground for every action… because the ground for action is to be. And the quality of being determines the quality of doing. Action must be based on non-action.

Thich Nhat Hanh

Queries: Is meditation part of your life? Do you take time out to do nothing?


Dancing with History: a life for peace and justice
In-Person
Friday, March 3rd-Sunday, March 5th, 2023

George Lakey returns to Quaker Center to talk about his new memoir Dancing with History and the growing anxiety around polarization in our country. With lessons he learned as a young man facing violence in the streets and risking his life for human rights, Lakey shows readers how to find hope in even the most challenging times through strategic, joyful activism.


Racial Wealth Gap Learning SImulation
Online Workshop
Tuesdays, April 18, 25, 2023 at 4-5:30 PM Pacific Time

This simulation helps people understand the connections between racial equity, hunger, poverty, and wealth. Participants learn how federal policies created structural inequalities—property ownership and education are just two of many areas affected—and how these policies increase poverty in communities of color.

Facilitator Beverly Ward is the field secretary for Earthcare, Southeastern Yearly Meeting and co-clerk of Quaker Earthcare Witness.


Writing Mental Illness
Online Workshop with Ben Brazil
Wednesdays, May 3, 10, 17, and 24 at 6:30-8:00 PM Pacific Time

Mental illness affects roughly one in four American adults—or about 61.5 million people—in a given year. Yet despite its prevalence, mental illness carries a social stigma, and our mental health “system” offers scant, spotty support for those who suffer. This class asks us, as writers, to engage with the personal, moral, social—and spiritual—dimensions of mental illness. Note: this course involves pre-reading and space is limited.

Ben Brazil directs the Ministry of Writing program at the Earlham School of Religion, a Quaker seminary in Richmond, Indiana.

News from Quaker Center (updated 1/7/2023)

Quaker Center, a retreat and conference center located in Ben Lomond, California, offers annual calendar of in-person programs that explore spiritual growth and deepening, the faith and practice of Quakerism, peace and social justice, environmentalism, and much more. Here’s what’s coming in January, February, and March:


Quaker Mystical Experience: Science, Sharing, and Vision
Weekend In-person Retreat
January 27-29th, 2023

This highly interactive program explores Quaker mysticism and offers a broad, inclusive understanding of all types of mystical experience. It draws on the Quaker mystical tradition, as well as the broader study of mystical experience that comes from the psychology of religion, neuroscience, and philosophy of religion.

Facilitator Don McCormick is a member of Grass Valley Friends Meeting. His interests include Quakerism & mystical experience, minfulness & Quakerism, and Quaker spiritual autobiography. He also trains mindfulness teachers for Unified Mindfulness, which he co-founded. As a professor, he taught psychology of religion (among other things). He is a regular contributor to Friends Journal. His articles include “The Mystical Experience:Reclaiming a Neglected Quaker Tradition” and “Mystical Experience: What the Psychological Research has to Say.”


Embodying the Light Within
Online, pay-as-led
Tuesdays, Feb 7,14,21,28, Mar 7 5:30-7:30PM Pacific

Take a deep dive into Thomas Kelly’s essay “The Light Within” in order to grasp and embody its mystical message using Brother Lawrence’s practice of the presence, sacred reading and writing, Centering Prayer, discursive meditation, and sharing reflections.

Barbara Birch is a member of Strawberry Creek Meeting, a board member at Ben Lomond Quaker Center, and the author of a forthcoming book called Eating with Christ: Feasting, Fasting, Food, Fun and Friends from Barclay Press. She is married and has three daughters.


Dancing with History: a life for peace and justice
In-person
Friday March 3rd-Sunday March 5th

George Lakey return to Quaker Center to talk about his new memoir Dancing with History and the growing anxiety around polarization in our country. With lessons he learned as a young man facing violence in the streets and risking his life for human rights, Lakey shows readers how to find hope in even the most challenging times through strategic, joyful activism.



For more information about Quaker Center and its programs, visit its website.

Thee Quaker Project

A Vision for Quakers in the 21st Century

John Watts, the founding director of the QuakerSpeak project, is launching a new venture called Thee Quaker Project, which seeks to disseminate Quaker values through a podcast and other online platforms, as well as to establish a new approach to funding Quaker Organizations. Watch the video below to learn more about the project.

Learn even more about the project here.

Thank you from Friendly Water for the World

A Note of Appreciation

In December 2021, our meeting donated approximately $3000 to Friendly Water for the World, a non-profit organization whose mission is to train and equip communities in sustainable village-scale technologies to safeguard, conserve, and expand essential resources. Our money was used to build two water catchment tanks at Bulovi Friends Primary School (Under Malava Yearly Meeting of Friends) in Kakamega County, Kenya. Because of these tanks, the children at the school no longer need to walk miles to collect water every day.

Below is the text of a thank you letter we received from Eric Lung’aho Lijodi, the Africa Programs Manager for Friendly Water for the World:

Date: 2nd September 2022

To all Friends,
Orange County Friends Meeting,
Religious Society of Friends,
Costa Mesa, California

Dear Friends,

REF: Appreciation

Calvary greetings in Jesus name with an expectation that this letter will find you all well. On behalf of my organization, I would like to express our deepest gratitude for your unselfish contribution towards construction of two Rain Water Catchments at Bulovi Friends Primary School (Under Malava Yearly Meeting of Friends).Your donation was very important to us as it geared us towards our commitment towards serving the community.

Attached to this appreciation note you will find the following documents which I beseech you to find time to read in order to have a deeper understanding of how important your donation has been not only to us as an organization but to the beneficiary community:

We are blessed to have you as our partner and once more thank you very much for your generous support and we look forward to working with you again in the near future. If you have questions or needy clarity, please do not hesitate to reach out to us.

Eric Lung’aho Lijodi
Programs Manager