FMW Newsletter, September 2019

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In Memoriam
FMW Social Justice Fund
Thinking About Race


In Memoriam:

Former FMW member Sidney (Bix) Bixler passed away on August 17 at the age of 79 at his home in New Hampshire.  Sid Bixler lived in DC from 1969 to 2011 and worked for US Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division and DC Attorney General's Office. 



Strike for Climate Action Planning Meetings, Wednesdays September 4, 11, 6:30 at FMW.
On September 23, thousands of youth and climate activists from all over the world will come together in DC to shut down business-as-usual, demanding bold action to defend the planet.   They have chosen FMW for their planning meetings.  FMW Friends interested in forming an affinity group to be part of nonviolent mass action should come to these meetings.  For more information, contact Michael Beer, ,(703) 655-5655 or Barbara Briggs,, 412-417-9384.

FMW Meeting for Business. Sunday, September 8 at noon:
On Sunday, September 8, at noon, FMW Friends join in our monthly Meeting for Worship with Concern for Business, asking the Spirit to lead us in discernment of issues both large and small. 

All are welcome and encouraged to participate in our worship. Meeting for Business will include reports from the Yearly Meeting Annual Gathering, and various FMW Committeee.

Historic Sandy Spring Bus Tour Sponsored by Friends House Retirement Community,  September 14.  Tour will start at Sandy Spring Friends Meeting House with stops at:  Woodlawn Manor Historical Park; Sandy Spring Slave Museum and Sandy Spring Museum.   Start times: Saturday, September 14 at 9 a.m. and at 1:00 p.m.; and Sunday, September 15 at 1:00 p.m. at 17715 Meeting House Rd, Sandy Spring, MD.  For more information, call 301-924-7510.

Pendle Hill Retreat:  Journey Toward Wholeness, September 13-15.   First of 4 seasonal retreats with Valerie Brown and John Baird based on the work of Parker Palmer and the Center for Courage and Renewal.  Register online or, for more information call Pendle Hill: 610-566-4507, ext. 137

SAVE THIS DATE!  Sunday, September 15!  PARTY to inaugurate FMW’s newly renovated space!  Share your ideas on how we should celebrate with Meg Greene and Susan Griffin, Co-Clerks of the Capital Campaign Committee, or

October 11th to 14th: Silent Retreat for Friends
Is your spirit in need of nourishment and refreshment? Come to the Silent Retreat at Dayspring for area Friends. This retreat has never been full, so please join us. We will keep the silence from Friday evening, October 11, until after worship on Monday, October 14, 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 October 4. For details, contact facilitator Jean Christianson (410-544-1912, If Dayspring is new to you, you can get a sense of it at: There is also a YouTube piece online created at an October BYM retreat.


Funds available for FMW Member/Attended Peace and Social Justice Work:  FMW Social Justice Fund:  Members of the FMW community are invited to apply for small grants (generally up to $1,000) to advance the social-justice work in which they are involved.  Details below.
Deadline for our first round of applications is 5:00 p.m. on September 14.  For more information and to apply go to:   Social Justice Fund (, or contact:  Elaine Wilson, or Barbara Briggs,

Part-time, paid Event Hosts & Set-up/Clean Up Crew members needed at FMW.  We are looking for event hosts to staff the office during outside events, and also people to help with event setup and clean up (as needed by space users). (Moving furniture is not a requirement to be an event host.) For more information and to apply contact Brian Lutenegger,, Tel:  202-483-3310

FMW Meeting for Business was not held in the month of August.  Consequently, there are no meeting notes for this edition of the Newsletter.


FMW Social Justice Fund


In 2017, Friends Meeting of Washington (FMW) learned that a Mr. Thomas Crews had bequeathed a portion of his estate totaling just under $28,000 to “The Religious Society of Friends, Friends House, Washington, D.C for assistance in promoting their political endeavors."Consultations among Friends led to the conclusions that (1) the Friends Meeting of Washington should be the beneficiary body, and (2), since FMW does not and cannot engage in endeavors that are directly “political”, the funds should be used for transformational social justice or peace work by Friends, under the supervision of FMW’s Peace and Social Concerns Committee.


FMW's Peace & Social Concerns Committee (P&SC), in consultation with Trustees and others, has created the following plan to make funds available for small scale, strategic support for social justice work in which FMW members and attenders are involved:  

  1. Funds will be spent on projects in which FMW members/attenders are directly engaged, so that these funds will increase the impact of our work. 
  2.  Priority will be given to projects that support structural change--to make the world a more just, equitable and sustainable place (not just use it for educational or charitable purposes).
  3. The focus will be on grants of up to $1,000 that help make work happen.
  4. We plan to spend the funds over approximately four years, awarding 10 to 12 grants a year. BUT we are open to altering this plan should an opportunity for extraordinary impact arise.
  5. Sharing the experience & lessons: P&SC may share some details of successful proposals with the FMW community. (Please communicate any confidentiality considerations clearly.) Grant recipients are also asked to share progress and outcomes of their project.
  6. In one year we will invite members of the FMW community to participate in discussion of the process and impact of these grants so far, and future plans.

The P&SC Committee invites members of the FMW community to apply for Peace and Social Justice Fund Grants to assist, expand, or improve the social justice work in which they are involved. 

How to apply:

Applications should be submitted electronically via email or this Form.

The first deadline for applications for these grants will be 5:00 p.m. September 14, 2019 and applicants will be informed of the decision regarding their application by October 31, 2019.  We plan the next grant application deadline for March 15, 2020.  (Time sensitive funding requests may be considered in between deadlines.)
For more information about the FMW Social Justice Fund, contact Elaine Wilson


Thinking About Race (September 2019)

“A solution for white people”

“… There’s no need to explain to people of color the ways that racism shapes their lives. Instead, real remedies require a frank discussion with people who perpetrate racism and who benefit from racist policies.

“Here’s a solution for white people: Don’t answer questions on race by listing the struggles of people of color. Talk about what you can or will do to decrease support for white nationalism among whites.”

From an op-ed in The New York Times, August 1, 2019, by Dr. Melanye Price, a political scientist who specializes in contemporary black politics, political opinion, and political rhetoric.

This column is prepared by the BYM Working Group on Racism (WGR) and sent to the designated liaison at each local 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,




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