FMW Newsletter, 10.2016

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Queries & Advices


Hospitality Report

BYM Epistle

Upcoming Events

Thinking About Racism

Random Happenings



Friends Meeting of Washington

Order of Worship

Monthly Meeting for Worship with a Concern for Business

September 2016



Do you, as the way opens, share Friends' principles with non-Friends? Do you witness to your Quaker faith by letting your life speak? Do you make non-Friends welcome in your meetings for worship? Do you find ways to encourage their continued attendance?



It is not easy to find community and fellowship in the modern world. Many Friends view relationships within the local Meeting as similar to partial relationships established with people met regularly at work, at play, and in the neighborhood. It is perhaps too much to expect that we all will make the Meeting central to our lives. But unless the Meeting fellowship can be made to speak to something deep in our lives, our Society falls short of fulfilling the true spiritual needs of its members.


Typically Friends come together in meetings for worship from diverse neighborhoods, seeing one another rarely except on First Day or on special occasions. Many Meetings find it helpful to encourage groups to meet in one another's homes for worship, recreation, study or fellowship. Committees provide opportunities for other kinds of relationships within the Meeting. But all too often these contacts fail to satisfy our yearning for community. Sometimes a glimpse of the meaning of community comes as Friends work together in projects of social service, peace education, religious education or pastoral care for fellow members. Each Meeting should have as an active concern before one or more of its standing committees the nurture of the Meeting community in whatever ways may open. – BYM Faith and Practice



The very simple heart of the early Quaker message is needed as much today as it ever was . . . The really universal thing is a living experience. It is reached in various ways, and expressed in very different language… The common bond is in the thing itself, the actual inner knowledge of the grace of God. Quakerism can only have a universal message if it brings men and women into this transforming knowledge. The early Friends certainly had this knowledge, and were the means of bringing many thousands of seekers into the way of discovery. In virtue of this central experience, the Quaker movement can only be true to itself by being a missionary movement.

- Henry T. Hodgkin, 1916


2016/9-1 Welcome of Visitors Meeting for Business opened at 12:15 pm with 18 Friends present. Friends welcomed Leonard Eoussa, Rashid Darden and Ahmad Al Olabi as a first time attenders and Elizabeth Dooley from Nelson Recognized Meeting in Nelson, New Zealand and Robert Baldridge from 15th Street MM in NYC as visitors to our Meeting for Business.


2016/9-2 Clerk’s Report

  • Update on our building project – where the process now stands. In October the Trustees will be discerning how to go forward with our project to make the Meeting campus accessible and more environmentally sound.
  • On Saturday, September 17, 2016, from 10: 00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Friends Meeting of Washington is offering the first of a series of workshops intended to improve pastoral care practices among Friends. Jenn Fredette will lead a workshop to explore pastoral care, strengthening our ability to care for ourselves and each other, and developing good boundaries to build strong relationships. The fee is $20 and includes pizza for lunch. Financial assistance is available.

We look forward to learning with you on September 17. Please let the office know if you’re coming:, or 202.483.3310.

  • The Catoctin retreat will actually be held this year at Friends Wilderness Center on Sept. 17 and 18, because the bathrooms at Catoctin are being renovated. Anita Drever has a sign-up sheet, and there are more details on the bulletin board between the restrooms downstairs.
  • On October 16, we will be the focus of the Dupont Circle Civic Association's House Tour. They plan not only to include us in the tour but put us on the cover of the tour guide and hold their tea here in the front garden. There will be notices on the listserv as to how you can acquire tickets if you want to take the tour. They will be staffing the event, and actually don't want us on the premises more than necessary, so please do not show up without a ticket.
  • On November 5, the Saturday before the election, Peter Blood and Annie Patterson will hold a sing-along concert here at FMW to benefit the Harriet Tubman House, a safe house located in the Baltimore community where Freddie Gray was killed. Peter and Annie (and the late Peter Seeger) are co-creators of Rise Up, Singing and Rise Again, two vast collections of songs used by many for the past 25 years. These two have often led the singing at the Gathering, and are wonderful musicians in their own right. This event will be co-sponsored by the Folklore Society of Greater Washington. Starts at 7:00 pm; they're asking for $15 at the door.
  • Sometime later--we think the Sunday after Thanksgiving--the Meeting will host an all-city memorial meeting for families that have lost a child. This concern was brought to us by a woman who lost her baby about five years ago and has been struggling ever since to deal with the grief. It will be an interfaith meeting with messages from various Christian, Jewish, and Moslem leaders. Ministry & Worship and Personal Aid, as well as Howard University, are co-sponsoring. The meeting has a special welcome to the families in DC whose children have been murdered.
  • On Saturday October 22, 2016, from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Friends Meeting of Washington is offering the second of a series of workshops intended to improve pastoral care practices among Friends. Ronald Hopson will lead a workshop on predatory behavior, how it manifests itself, what the warning signs are, and how to recognize and contain it. The fee is $20 and includes pizza for lunch.
  • An article about our new rest room signage will appear in the next BYM Interchange.
  • Meg Greene, our clerk, will lead a discussion in the near future about intergenerational community building.
  • Shannon Zimmerman, member, who is pursuing peace studies in Australia, has given a TED talk about her research on UN Peacekeeping around the world.


Major items


2016/9-3 Hospitality Committee

Kate Steger, co-clerk of Hospitality Committee, presented their annual report, a copy of which is attached. She noted what joy she has had being on the Hospitality Committee. It was the hospitality after worship that drew her back from to the Meeting after her first time attending. Many people help to make this feeling happen. More people helping would be welcome.


They hope to hold a meal on a Sunday for families with the First Day School Coordinator and Religious Education Committee.


Friends ACCEPTED the report.


We are holding Jorge and Mimi Sanchez in the light as they anticipate a difficult birth of a new child.


2016/9-4 Membership Committee

Janet Dinsmore, clerk of the Membership Committee, presented the request for transfer of membership of Pamela Lebeaux to Trenton Monthly Meeting where she has attended many years.


Friends APPROVED the request.


2016/9-5 Marriage & Family Committee

Debby Churchman, member of the Marriage & Family Committee, presented the first request for marriage under the care of the Meeting of Tracy Hart and Ahmad Al Olabi who were legally married on June 21st to meet immigration requirements.


It will be held over for one month as is our custom.


2016/9-6 Nominating Committee

Todd Harvey, clerk of the Nominating Committee, presented the following resignations.


Michael Huffington from Ministry and Worship

Blair Forlaw from Ministry and Worship


Friends ACCEPTED the resignations.


Todd Harvey also brought forward the following nomination:


Alex Mathews (member) to Property Committee, term through 2018


Friends APPROVED the nomination.


Nominating Committee is looking forward to people coming forward to join committees in the following year.


2016/9-7 Milestones


Member Jack Coleman died at age 95 last week. A Memorial Meeting will be held at FMW on October 1 at 3 pm. Another memorial will be at Haverford on October 2 at 2 pm. A bus will be provided for Friends wishing to attend the Haverford Meeting.


2016/9-8 Other business

Report on Baltimore Yearly Meeting Annual Sessions. Mary Campbell read the BYM Epistle from annual sessions, a copy of which is attached. Friends considered the many ways in which we are called to find clearness and action. The new General Secretary, Ned Stowe, was welcomed and a new committee, HOPE (Healthy Organization and Purposeful Evolution committee) was established. We call to ourselves to find ways to be more inclusive. George Lakey, the Carey Speaker, called us to reach out to those around us. A suggested change in the visions statement to become a more diverse community was brought forward. A clear need to address class was seen.


Virginia Avanesyan spoke about the programs for children. The programs were joyful and many parents as well as grandparents brought their children. There were a number of opportunities for the children to interact with the adults. The Coffee House night lead by the high school Young Friends and participated in by all ages was great fun, as usual. The Frederick location seemed to have a positive impact in building our community.


Friends ACCEPTED the reports.


Friends APPROVED the minutes as improved.


The Meeting closed at 1:20 pm with approximately 26 persons in attendance to reconvene as Way opens on October 9, 2016.





Hospitality Committee Annual Report


Hospitality Committee is responsible for providing or coordinating hospitality at Friends Meeting of Washington with the purpose of making the Meeting a warm and welcoming environment where Friends may gather to strengthen the bonds of community and to welcome others to the Meeting for Quaker or other functions.


The team who sets-up, greets, serves, and cleans-up includes:

  • Pam Callard
  • Kathy Lipp Farr
  • Susan Griffin
  • Gregory Robb
  • Jorgé Sanchez
  • Kate Steger
  • Greyson Acquaviva


Sarah Radomsky is a new attender who has placed herself in rotation to serve on fifth Sundays of the month when those occur.

Two of our Clerks Emeriti, Bill Strein, and Alex Matthews, volunteer with the committee regularly.In addition to a steady presence on 3rd Sunday’s, Professor Strein is attempting to solve the mystery of multiple coffee makers, with an array of working and non-working parts.All of us are optimistic that his efforts will supply us with one additional working percolator.

Alex Matthews, a kitchen regular, carts away compost and launders dishtowels and tablecloths—Glamorous Work Indeed!

Patty Murphy is an experienced kitchen-hand who responds readily to the committee’s entreaties for help and will often just poke her head in kitchen and see if we look bedraggled.

GT Hunt and Bruce Kellogg regularly make coffee for the early crowd—coffee is always ready for the first Hospitality volunteer—Thank you!

Kate Steger, Co-Clerk, is the director of Souper Sunday—providing much needed sustenance prior to Meeting for Business.Kate also keeps a discerning eye out for plastic utensils and platters that appear through the generosity of the many groups who rent our facilities. These utensils are no longer invited to stay—they are now recycled or whisked away to Church of the Pilgrims.

We now have the once-monthly presence of First Day School Students who prepare cookies to celebrate birthdays of FMW community members.Michael Beer is working with the Religious Education Committee to replicate the enormously successful Family Brunch that occurred First Sunday in September.Our two committees are working out those details—stay tuned.

Finally, Jorgé Sanchez and his wife Mimi expect their first child this week.Upon arrival, Baby Sanchez will be going to Children’s Hospital for special care.Please hold the Sanchez family in the light.

During Jorgé’s time away, we would very much appreciate additional help.Actually, we are in regular need of two or three additional people to ensure that there are 4-hands available for every First Day.Please consider joining our ministry of welcoming and community.


BYM Epistle


Reported to Annual Session at Frederick, Maryland 8th Month 7th Day, 2016


To Friends Everywhere,


At a time when the greater world finds itself in upheaval, over 400 Friends (with approximately fifteen percent of the body being first time attenders) gathered in Frederick, Maryland, for the 345th Annual Session of Baltimore Yearly Meeting. During the week, in plenaries, workshops, individual conversations, and Meeting for Worship with a Concern for Business, we considered the many ways in which we are called not only to respond but to plan for action. This sense of change was enhanced by being at Hood College for the first time where we savored the shifts and transformations in the air.


The opening retreat, led by Nancy Bieber of Lancaster Meeting, called our attention to willingness, attentiveness, and responsiveness, three strands of spiritual discernment which braided their way through the week’s deliberations, workshops and activities, with each taking precedence at varying turns.

A sense of movement further permeated our time together. In Business Meeting, we worked to discern our future by: furthering the Growing Diverse Leadership initiative; welcoming a new General Secretary, Ned Stowe; continuing to raise the issues of our impact on the environment by asking Friends to calculate their own and their Meeting’s carbon footprints; and, hearing the Healthy Organization and Purposeful Evolution (HOPE) Committee’s recommendations for organizational structure change and definition which would support and nurture the work of our committees, staff, and local Meetings. We adopted a budget which supports our values of care of the environment and transformation of our youth into adults unafraid to express their Quaker values in action, and took on rethinking the apportionment formula, or the Methodists to determine financial contributions by Meetings to the Yearly Meeting, as a challenge for the coming year.


Our first plenary speaker, Christina Repoley, told us that young people need something deeper than values: they need an attachment to something greater to live in this world. Quaker tradition tells us this is possible. We need to be prepared and pay attention when moments of clarity happen. The ad hoc Growing Diverse Leadership Committee (GDLC) reminded us of the need to be intentional in growing our inclusiveness, which includes looking at ourselves and our practices that present roadblocks which many of us do not easily recognize. Although the opportunities are sometimes uncomfortable, we are guided by the GDLC to be courageous as we examine our Monthly and Yearly Meetings.


We were deeply saddened by the racist behavior of local police enforcement that was encountered by Friends of Color at the Friends General Conference Gathering. It heighted our awareness of how much work there is to do in removing obstacles to inclusion in our Yearly Meeting.


We were further emboldened to experience and express courage during our Carey Lecture. Our speaker, George Lakey, emphasized the importance of rising to the occasion when opportunities outside of our comfort zone present themselves, and challenged us to turn fear into excitement. He stressed the importance of community and fostered our natural instinct to reach out our hands to those around us in times of chaos and uncertainty through stories of his past.


Throughout the week, our time was enriched by the presence of visitors from Britain Yearly Meeting and Indiana Yearly Meeting as well as representatives from Friends General Conference, Friends United Meeting, Friends Committee on National Legislation, and the American Friends Service Committee. Visitors from several other Yearly Meetings and organizations also deepened our connections to other Friends.


Suggested change to our Vision Statement was brought forward by the Working Group on Racism report, in which a proposed paragraph on our aspirations to become a more diverse Meeting was added. Friends grappled with the connotations that certain words hold and, therefore, which ones would be best suited to accurately convey the sense of the body regarding diversity. Discernment on the matter lead to strong feelings by various members of the community though an undercurrent of excitement could be felt by the body for the minute and the work done by the Working Group on Racism. Ultimately, the proposed addition was approved by the Yearly Meeting as, from it, a clear need to express class as an issue going forward was recognized.


We celebrated the richness of the programming for our children and youth and shared in their joy at being together at Annual Session, though we noted the dwindling number of the youngest children with concern. We give thanks to both the adults who have contributed their time and talents to our young people and to the young people who, in turn, have shared their time and their talents with us. Friends of all ages were invited to explore “the Light within us” through deep discussion and spirited singing in an intergenerational Plenary led by Jen Cort and Lauren Brownlee.


At this year’s Annual Session we have both begun and continued a number of changes in the Yearly Meeting. One Friend shared the conviction that faith does not ask us to pass through a place where it will not guide us. We were challenged to have the courage to step into the future, which assures that there will be still more change to come. We go forth with an open heart and the confidence that we can carry our part of the “joyful burden of love”.


In the Light,

Baltimore Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends


­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­(this ends the Minutes and Reports of the September 2016 Meeting for Business)



Oct. 1: Help cook and serve breakfast to our vulnerable neighbors at So Others Might Eat, starting at 6:15 am. Contact for more details.

Oct. 1: At 3:00 pm, there will be a memorial meeting for Jack Coleman in the Meeting Room, followed by a reception. All are welcome

Oct. 1: Friends Decision Making, a presentation by Arthur Larrabee, Hopewell Center Monthly Meeting, $50. To reserve a space or submit questions, email Betty McCormick (

Oct. 2:  World Quaker Day. Join the Friends World Committee on Consultation in celebrating this day. For more details, see:

Oct. 2: William Penn House Potluck & Dialogue  At 6:30 pm, Roger Burns wil give a presentation on social justice issues facing the District of Columbia and describe his proposal to create an ongoing group of Quaker volunteers who will address these issues at DC Council hearings. Bring a dish to share; family members and friends always welcome. 515 East Capitol St. SE,, 202.543.5560

Oct. 5: Please volunteer for the Grate Patrol, and make sandwiches to take out on the Salvation Army truck. We gather at 5:30 pm. For details, contact Steve Brooks at

Oct. 7 to 10: Silent Retreat for Friends  Is your spirit in need of nourishment and refreshment? Join members of Annapolis Friends Meeting for a Silent Retreat. This retreat has never been full, so please join us. We will keep the silence from Friday evening until after worship on Monday, enjoying the beauty of God’s creation in meadows and woods, reading, walking, resting, praying, finding our own rhythms, and listening for the “still, small voice” at Dayspring Retreat Center in Germantown, MD. The cost of the retreat is $300, and the deadline for registrations is Sept. 30. For details, contact facilitator Jean Christianson (, 410.544.1912). The Dayspring website is here:

Oct. 7: Family Camp Weekend, Catoctin Quaker Camp, Thurmont, MD Family Camp Weekends at Baltimore Yearly Meeting Camp Properties offer us all a chance to come and enjoy our beautiful camp properties at a special time of year. Individuals and families are invited to come and enjoy the camps for a day or for the weekend. This fall, we will have a program coordinator at each weekend who will plan camp-type activities for Saturday and Sunday mornings, as well as Saturday afternoon and evening. These may include things like playing in the creek, a crafts project or hiking around one of the most precious places on earth. There will also be plenty of work projects to do! Work projects offer people with all kinds of skills the opportunity to enjoy some meaningful and satisfying work! We will enjoy meals together, have time to explore and even spend some time around a camp fire in the evening. Come and enjoy a camp experience, give the gift of your time, participate with children in activities and find yourself rejuvenated.

Oct. 8:  Friends Wilderness Center Work Day, 10 am to 4 pm. Help with chores around the cabin and in the yard. RSVP to Sheila Bach so she’ll know how many to cook for.

Oct. 8:  Friendly Sing-Along, Frederick Friends Meeting, Frederick, MD  Who said Quakers don’t sing? Frederick Friends Meeting invites all those who enjoy singing and fellowship to join us at 9:30am. We will enjoy a wide range of music: from songs from the Friends hymnal to karaoke camp songs and pop rock. And the day will include “soulful singing” and guitar-accompanied favorites as well. Bring your favorite easy-to-eat finger foods for the potluck lunch. Child area will be available if requested by September 30. Contact Susanna Laird at for more information.

Oct. 8:  William Penn House Birthday Celebration Open House, 9 am to 3 pm. Join us for food, fun, and fellowship to celebrate 50 years of service and activism. Engage in a hands-on service project to honor the light in others, enjoy a free lunch and meet William Penn and Lucretia Mott in person! Families, individuals, and groups of all ages are welcome. Register by Sept. 26 at this link or at If you have questions or would like to volunteer at this event, contact or call (814)769-6906.

Oct. 9:  Refugees in our Midst: How can we help? Sandy Spring Museum (Sandy Spring, MD)  Do you want to understand more about the current refugee crisis and how people of compassion can plug in and help? The Peace Committee of Sandy Spring Friends Meeting and Maryland Welcomes Refugees announce a forum to be held on from 1:00 pm until 4:00 pm at the Sandy Spring Museum. There are an unprecedented 20 million refugees in the world at present and over half are children under the age of 18. 42,500 people are forced to flee their homes daily due to conflict and persecution, according to the UNHCR. Nearly 5 million have fled the violence in Syria and at least 200 Syrian families will be resettled in Maryland in the coming months. Join in an afternoon of education, networking and action. Recommended donation at the door - $10.00. Doors open at 12:30 pm for registration and light refreshments. For more information, call Bette Hoover (202-329-4667) or Erinn (410-961-1332). Register at

Oct. 15:  Tenth Month Interim Meeting, Sandy Spring Friends Meeting  Get to know Yearly Meeting Committees and Friends from other Meetings! Be a part of important decision making. Join Friends for morning committee meetings and the afternoon’s Interim Business Meeting. Sandy Spring Friends Meeting, Friends House Retirement Community, and Sandy Spring Friends School are teaming to host the Tenth Month Interim Meeting. Friends will begin gathering at 10:00 am. Lunch will be provided, and the afternoon Business Meeting will be held with dinner following the rise of Meeting. Check the Yearly Meeting website for more information.

Oct. 16: Dupont Circle House Tour,, noon to 5:00. Friends Meeting of Washington is one of the stops—and the site of their end-of-tour tea. Come meet the neighbors!

Oct. 16:  Open House, Sandy Spring Friends School (Sandy Spring, MD)  Are you considering a Friends education for your child? Please join us on Sunday, October 16th from 1-3:30PM to learn more about our academically rigorous college preparatory program for children in PK (ages 3 and 4) – 12th Grade. Our students develop a love of learning through close collaboration with their teachers and peers (average class size is 14). We invite you to come and learn about our inquiry-based approach, and how we incorporate the natural beauty of our 140-acre campus in hands-on learning. During the Open House families will be able to tour the campus, talk with teachers, and hear more about our programs. Student and parent ambassadors will be available to answer questions and talk further about the SSFS experience and community. We hope you can make it! Please RSVP.

Oct. 21-23:  Family Camp Weekend, Opequon Quaker Camp, Brucetown, VA  Family Camp Weekends at Baltimore Yearly Meeting Camp Properties offer us all a chance to come and enjoy our beautiful camp properties at a special time of year. Individuals and families are invited to come and enjoy the camps for a day or for the weekend. This fall, we will have a program coordinator at each weekend who will plan camp-type activities for Saturday and Sunday mornings, as well as Saturday afternoon and evening. These may include things like playing in the creek, a crafts project or hiking around one of the most precious places on earth. There will also be plenty of work projects to do! Work projects offer people with all kinds of skills the opportunity to enjoy some meaningful and satisfying work! We will enjoy meals together, have time to explore and even spend some time around a camp fire in the evening. Come and enjoy a camp experience, give the gift of your time, participate with children in activities and find yourself rejuvenated.

Oct. 22:  On Saturday October 22, 2016, from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Friends Meeting of Washington is offering the second of a series of workshops intended to improve pastoral care practices among Friends. Rev. Dr. Ronald Hopson will lead a workshop on predatory behavior, how it manifests itself, what the warning signs are, and how to recognize and contain it. The fee is $20 and includes pizza for lunch.

Our workshop leader, Ronald E. Hopson, is Associate Professor of Psychology and Divinity at Howard University. He holds a joint appointment in the department of Psychology, and in the School of Divinity. He teaches courses on Psychopathology, the Philosophy of Science, Psychotherapy, the Psychology of Religion, and Pastoral Care.

Dr. Hopson has been serving as the Pastor of Preaching and Teaching at Covenant Baptist UCC and in August 2016 was named Transitional Senior Minister of Peoples Congregational United Church of Christ. Both congregations are in Washington DC. Dr. Hopson received his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Michigan State University. He attended Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary at Northwestern University and was ordained to Christian ministry in 1988. Dr. Hopson has published in the areas of Psychotherapy, Substance Abuse/Drug Addiction, Christian Fundamentalism in the U.S., and Pastoral Care. His most current work is in the area of Sexuality and the Black Church. Dr. Hopson has presented his professional work and conducted workshops in the U.S. as well as in Europe and Africa.

Oct. 22-23:  Junior Young Friends Conference, Frederick Friends Meeting (Frederick, MD)  Please arrive at 10am with sleeping bag, pad, pillow, change of clothes and toiletries. Please remember that the deadline to register and be guaranteed a slot is one week before the conference (October 14). Any one registering after that date will be placed on a waiting list and may not be able to attend. For more information, contact Jocelyn Dowling, Youth Programs Manager. To register, go to the JYF Registration page on the Yearly Meeting website.

Oct. 29:  At the Friends Wilderness Center from 2 to 8 pm, there will be fun for the whole family. Join Hayden Mathews in creating “nature sculptures” in the manner of Andy Goldsworthy. Let Sheila Bach know if you’re coming and plan to eat dinner, so she’ll know how many to cook for ($10 each).

Oct. 30:  A White Historian Looks at Lynching  Susan Strasser, a retired history professor

at the University of Delaware, has presented her perspectives as a White Historian Confronting

American Slavery to several audiences in the area. The response has been enthusiastic. Her next topic is Looking at Lynching. At 1:00 pm in the Decatur Place Room. For more information, contact

Nov. 5: Sing-along Concert with Peter Blood and Annie Patterson, co-authors of Rise Up Singing and Rise Again, 7:00 pm in the Meeting Room. Come join us for a spirited singalong concert using our new songbook Rise Again. Bring a copy of the songbook if you have one. Copies will be available to buy or borrow at the concert. If you buy tickets in advance here, tickets will be on a "will call" basis with a list at the door. Admission at the door is for a suggested donation of $15 for adults and $5 for children, but if you are able to give more it will help make it possible for those with less means to attend. For more information, see their website. (

Co-creators of Rise Up Singing and the 2015 sequel Rise Again, Annie Patterson & Peter Blood have played a central role in helping create a quiet revolution of group singing in North America. They are currently touring the U.S. & Canada with Rise Again, joined by many of the musicians who have songs in their new collection.

Annie is a singer-songwriter, banjo frailer and jazz vocalist with the swing trio, Girls from Mars. Peter edited Pete Seeger’s autobiography, Where Have All the Flowers Gone. Pete Seeger worked closely with Annie & Peter on the creation of both their songbooks. They have joined with other musicians in launching The Carry It On Fund, continuing the work of Pete & Toshi Seeger

Nov. 5:  Memorial Meeting for Pat Loring, Bethesda Friends Meeting (Bethesda, MD) Bethesda Friends Meeting invites Friends to a Memorial Meeting to honor the life and mourn the death of Patricia (Pat) Loring on Saturday, November 5th, at 1pm in our Meeting House. Pat was a member of our Meeting and a participant in the Shalem Spiritual Direction program. Throughout the 1990's, she wrote Listening Spirituality and led classes focused on Quaker faith and practices. We all in Baltimore Yearly Meeting benefited from her wisdom, insights, and loving consideration. For more information, contact Ron Akins ( or Peter Nielsen-Jones (


Thinking About Race  – Witnessing Whiteness

“When we say that we do not see another person’s color, what we essentially are saying is that we do not see a person’s racial placement as meaningful … that we do not see the ways that a person of color experiences the world differently than does a white-appearing person.  Worse, being colorblind usually means that since we do not see differential experiences, people of color will have to convince us that race continues to matter in their lives.“….

“In addition to offending people of color and denying and dismissing their experiences, choosing colorblindness also has one glaringly negative ramification for white people.  Being colorblind truly keeps us blind, blind to ourselves. Our whiteness, already a rather blurry topic, moves from being uncomfortable and out of focus to being purposefully hidden from ourselves.  As we refuse to see the color in someone else’s life, we refuse to see the whiteness in our own.” (pp. 27-28)

  • from Witnessing Whiteness:  The Need to Talk About Race and How to Do It, second edition, 2010, by Shelly Tochluk.  Tochluk trains educators to work with the diverse Los Angeles school population as an associate professor of education at Mount St. Mary’s College.  She led workshops at the 2016 White Privilege Conference in Philadelphia

This column is prepared by the BYM Working Group on Racism (WGR) and sent to the designated liaison at each Monthly and Preparative Meeting.  The BYM WGR meets most months on the third Saturday from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm.  Locations vary to allow access to more Friends.  If you would like to attend, on a regular or a drop-in basis, contact clerk David Etheridge,



Well, it’s been quite a month. The community suffered a big blow with the news that our beloved member, Jack Coleman, had died, surrounded by his family. Obituaries in the New York Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, and Washington Post followed shortly thereafter, and we all learned a bit more about this remarkable man. There will be a memorial meeting for him on Saturday, October 1 at 3:00 pm.

As so often seems to happen in the event of death, a birth followed shortly thereafter. Our beloved member, Jorge Sanchez, and his wife Mimi gave birth to their first child, a tiny daughter with a long name-- Andora Meiomi Sanchez Edwards. She was born with a condition which needed immediate surgery. She was transported to Children’s Hospital and, 24 hours after birth, underwent a difficult procedure. The news is good—she’s apparently recovering with remarkable speed. Jorge and Mimi are basically camped out at the Natal Intensive Care unit for the next month; the “hospitables” on the Hospitality Committee are pitching in with meals. We continue to hold this family in the Light. Grandmother Lucy Norman, who has recently returned to D.C., is keeping us all up to date.

Meanwhile, the pastoral care committees at FMW started what they hoped will be a series of workshops on pastoral care to help us gain and hone our skills. Members of several other area meetings came as well, and we all learned a little something. The next workshop will be on October 22, and will focus on predatory behavior.

Trustees also met to have a Come to Jesus discussion about whether/when/how to go forward with the much-hoped-for renovation. They will bring their recommendations to Meeting for Business on October 9; stay tuned.

This is the month when Friends Meeting of Washington has the privilege of hosting the Dupont Circle Civic Association’s House Tour. Our cleaning crew is pitching in to help us shine, and we’re busily printing up various brochures describing our building, our history, and Quakerism in general. My personal goal is to assure visitors that Quakers are not extinct, but still alive and kicking.

And speaking of kicking, next month is the election. Gah. Fortunately, the Saturday beforehand (e.g. November 5) there will be a wonderful sing-along concert here at the Meeting House, led by Quaker singers Annie Patterson and Peter Blood. Maybe they’ll help us with all those feelings and thoughts we’re likely to be having.

To help with that, I found this quote, which I will leave you with:

 “We are not for names, nor men, nor titles of Government, nor are we for this party nor against the other…but we are for justice and mercy and truth and peace and true freedom, that these may be exalted in our nation…” – Edward Burrough