FMW Newsletter, August/September 2022

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Published monthly – Issue #92 – 08/09

August-September 2022


Sundays:  9:00 - 10:00 am (online);  10:30-11:30 am (online & in-person);  6:00-7:00 pm

Tuesdays:  6:00 - 7:00 pm
Monthly Meeting for Business:  Suspended in August; resumes September 11

Sunday 10:30 Meeting for Worship is now in-person indoors and outdoors.  

Masks and proof of Covid vaccination are required.

Meetings for worship are being held via Zoom.  Join here.

For more information, email

8th Query:  Outreach 

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? (See: Fellowship and Community. Source:  BYM Faith & Practice, Part II The Queries)

9th Query: The Social Order

Do you promote social justice and make your life a testimony to fair dealing? Do you seek to understand and appreciate differing cultures and social values? Do you support fair treatment of all regardless of race, gender, age and other differences? Are you concerned for those in our society who are disadvantaged? Do you take your full share of civic responsibility by voting and giving service? Do you oppose the use of land, labor, technology and capital for human exploitation or in ways destructive to other living things?


Migrant Respite Care: Thanks to the governors of Texas and Arizona, thousands of recently arrived migrants are being sent by bus to Union Station and dropped off, often without resources. A number of houses of worship are coming together in a mutual aid society to provide respite care, including Friends Meeting of Washington. We offer food, clothing and other necessities, a chance to clean up and focus on next steps. Dozens of you have volunteered to help, and have done excellent work. We are providing respite care September 7 and 21

Sign up here to volunteer.  For more info, contact Barbara Briggs, email:

You can bring any of these urgently needed items to FMW.   

Summer clothing ⬥ Small toys & kids books ⬥ Bookbags & Duffle bags ⬥ KN-95 & N95 masks ⬥ Portable chargers ⬥ Phones  ⬥ Socks & Underwear ⬥Toiletries(Deodorant, shampoo, soap) ⬥ Cases of water and sports drinks  ⬥ Portable Snacks⬥ Ziplock/storage bags(gallon size)


Debby Churchman, Martha Solt, Candy Miller, Nardos and Viticia Thames at the July 9 Women’s March for Reproductive Rights

Help us sell our FMW honey! The honeybee collective is planning to do a sale of honey at the Dupont Circle Farmers market on a Sunday sometime in late September/early October. We are hoping that Friends will take part. The market will allow us to have a table. Let me know about your interest and what weekends would work best for you. Contact Mary Melchior at 

War Amongst the People/ From Swords to Plowshares - Former member Tara Tappert has created an exhibit in the Cumberland County Historical Society in Carlisle, PA which focuses on the history of war making in America and the costs of war. For more information, see 


School Supply Collection

–for a school serving kids from low-income households–


Please donate any of these items you have on hand or care to purchase next time you are shopping. Your school supply donations can be brought to FMW and left in the box marked school supplies, or delivered to project coordinator JE McNeil (4119 Garrison St NW) anytime from now until the end of September. For more info, contact JE McNeil at


Here’s the list of what students will need: crayons, scissors, pocket folders, 3-ring binders,  Dividers, #2 Pencils, erasers, Ballpoint pens (blue or black), Highlighters; colored pencils, markers or crayons; loose leaf, college-ruled notebook paper; Index cards; Glue sticks; Pack of graph  paper; Composition or spiral notebooks; Ruler (inches and centimeters); Compass

Protractor; Graphing calculator (TI 84 or similar model)


Adelphi Friends Meeting seeks a resident caretaker to start as soon as October. We are close to College Park and roughly 4 miles outsidc of DC. The position offers free use of the resident’s quarters, a tidy two room apartment on site, in exchange for approximately 15 hours of work a week. (No other compensation is provided.) For more information, contact Victor Thuronyi, 



Quaker Spiritual Development Programs - Full schedule for  September 2022

Grate Patrol resumes at FMW, Sept 4 (and each 1st Sunday), Assembly Room, 12:00 - 2:00

We are resuming FMW’s participation in Grate Patrol–Salvation Army’s program to provide meals to people who are unhoused and living on DC’s streets.  For more information, contact Emilie Schmeidler,

Quaker Bible Study resumes!  7:00 pm weekly on Thursdays beginning on Sept 8.  All are welcome!)  Join on ZoomFor more info, contact convener Gene Throwe email:

FMW Trip to Friends Wilderness Center, Saturday, September 10 (Depart FMW 8am. Back at 5-6 pm. FWC is 150 acres of trails and wilderness on the western slope of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Great place to hike and camp and escape the DC grind! (There is also a China Folk House from Tibet, rebuilt by Sidwell Friends School. ) Greg can lead a caravan and has some room in his car.  Rain date September 17.  For more info, contact Greg Robb Gregory.Robb 

FMW Monthly Meeting for Business, Sunday September 11, 12:15 pm, Quaker House & on Zoom

DC Unity Walk, Sunday, September 11, Resource Fair 1:30, Opening Ceremony 2:15, Walk starts 3:00 pm  Starts at: Washington Hebrew Congregation, 3935 Macomb St NW - Registration required.  Full program and registration here.  For more info, contact Joe Izzo,  

FMW’s Quakerism 101 – Fall Class starts September 13, 7:00-8:30 pm.   Register here

FMW’s Quakerism 101 class consists of five sessions that will provide a strong foundation of understanding as you begin your spiritual journey into the rich tradition of the Religious Society of Friends - Quakers.  Sessions will be held on Tuesdays,  7:00-8:30 pm from  September 13th through October 11th. For more information, read this detailed outline or contact Ann Herzog, email:

“Caste” One Book Project Beginning September 14   Register online hereThe Working Group on Racism is asking Baltimore Yearly Meeting Friends to read Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents, The Lies that Divide Us by Isabel Wilkerson. WGR members will host a Caste reading group on Zoom (video or phone).  This is an important book for those seeking to understand historical and present-day racial prejudice and trauma. For more info contact Ellen Cronin, email:

First Day School & Young Friends (high school) Group resume on Sunday, September 18!For more info, contact RE Committee: Marissa Yeakey,

Rabbi Leila Gal Berner: Listening to the Heart of Genesis: A Contemplative Path, September 18, 12:30 pm  Rabbi Berner offers a fresh experiential approach to personal contemplation, based on a Christian method of reading Scripture—lectio divina. Rabbi Berner’s adaptation, kriat ha-kodesh (reading the sacred), is welcoming and accessible to readers of all backgrounds. Rabbi Berner explains rabbinic perspectives that have illuminated the stories in Genesis and suggests questions for contemplation and meditation, interspersed with chants  and silence. Groups have formed throughout North America using her method. Please register here. For more information, contact Sabrina McCarthy,, cell 240.778.5234. 

September 25: Radical Transformation - read Vanessa Julye’s important new Pendle Hill pamphlet and come together to discuss how it applies to Friends Meeting of Washington. Are our current structures functional? For whom? Why are they largely staffed with older white people? Meet in person and by Zoom, Noon, Sunday, Sept. 18. For more information, contact Debby Churchman, 


Childcare is returning to FMW in September!

FMW will be offering childcare for 0 through 3 years starting the Sunday in September 11.  Childcare will be available every Sunday during Meeting for Worship, approximately 10:30-11:30 am.  First Day School and Young Friends (teens) will resume on September 18.

For any questions, please contact Julie Johnson, clerk of RE, at


Still seeking childcare staff

Our childcare team is still seeking two additional staff members to round out the childcare team. This is a part-time, paid position. Staff would sign up for specific Sundays and help provide coverage when needed. If you or someone you know may be interested, please contact Katorra Enoch Longshore at


Thinking about Race

The “Thinking about Race” July-August offering was published in FMW’s July newsletter.  Thank you Langston for stepping into the breach:

Let America Be America Again

Langston Hughes - 1901-1967

Let America be America again.

Let it be the dream it used to be.
Let it be the pioneer on the plain
Seeking a home where he himself is free.

(America never was America to me.)

Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed—
Let it be that great strong land of love
Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme
That any man be crushed by one above.

(It never was America to me.)

O, let my land be a land where Liberty
Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath,
But opportunity is real, and life is free,
Equality is in the air we breathe.

(There’s never been equality for me,
Nor freedom in this “homeland of the free.”)

Read the whole, wonderful Langston Hughes poem on here.

Meeting for Business Minutes & Attachments (prev month)

Friends Meeting of Washington

Monthly Meeting for Worship with a Concern for Business

Minutes - July 17, 2022


Meeting for business began at 1:15 pm.


Attendance Count: 19 in-person, 5 online

New Attendees: Camilla Greer


Query for Worship Sharing: With so many issues vying for our attention, how do we choose what to work on together?


Clerk’s Report, July 2022


In Memoriam

  • Frances Walther died on Christmas Day 2021. She was a long-time attender at FMW who often favored us with a message. She dealt with life with music and with humor.  Frances  was an accomplished pianist who played regularly for the Gurdjieff group.  Her last few months were spent in the nursing home on O Street.


One friend noted that Frances brought joy and spirituality to the evening meetings.

Another friend noted Frances’s humor and spiritual grounding.


Upcoming Events  

  • Quaker Spiritual Development Programs - Full schedule for July 2022 

  • Quaker Film Club, July 27, 6:00 pm at FMW

The movie for July will be Lars and the Real Girl (2007) PG-13.  See Trailer Here.  Note: We may institute a Zoom option for the discussion portion of the evening.  Stay tuned!  For more info contact convener Bill Parker, email

  • FMW Migrant Respite, July 20, August 3, August 17 - volunteers & support needed. For more info, contact Barbara Briggs, email:

  • Baltimore Yearly Meeting Annual Session 2022, Hood College, Frederick, MD, August 1-7  Registration is open through July 15.


FMW Community Highlights & Kudos

  • Large attendance at Rev. Barber’s Poor People’s Campaign on 6/18

  • Celebration of Juneteenth, 6/19

  • Peace & Social Concerns workshop on Trans Rights was well-presented, inspirational and well-attended.

  • Friends from the Reproductive Rights Working Group attended the Women’s March on 7/9/22 and testified before the DC Council on 7/14/22.

Tenant Updates- Activities at our Meeting House

Earnings in FY 2021-22 came in around $270,000; prospects look good for 2022-23.
See attached report from Brian. 


Major Business


Personnel Committee Annual Report - Bill Strein

(See below)

One friend noted the detail and excellence of the report. Another friend agreed.


Friends accepted the report.


Presiding Clerk's Summary of Reports of Reps to Certain Related Organizations  (Debby)

  • FCNL - Tamina Chowdhury

  • AFSC - Bill Parker


Tamina noted that FCNL was focusing on House Resolution 87 on the Yemen Water Crisis, which would end US support for the war. Tamina also noted a new FCNL DC advocacy chapter was opened in the previous year and they were looking for new members, and new member trainings begin on July 25th.


Bill noted that AFSC was working on peace building, humanitarian responses to migration, justice, and economic policies. Bill noted that new members can receive information about how to support AFSC by text, and information for that is available on the website.

Report on BYM Interim Meeting - David Etheridge

Youth Program Manager Sunshine Klein reported that the JYF or Junior Young Friends Program for middle schoolers was very small with from two to six participants this past year. The high school program, Young Friends, however had 35 participants. A major project for that group was developing their own COVID protocols. Sunshine is trying to recruit more members for the Youth Program Committee and more Friendly Adult Presences (FAPs).


General Secretary Sarah Gillooly introduced two new BYM full time staff members. Dyresha Harris, who grew up in the camping program and was one of the founders of the camping diversity program called STRIDE, has been promoted to become the first year-round camp director. Lucy Azenga, who worships at the programmed Meeting for Worship organized by Kenyan Friends at Stony Run Friends Meeting, is now the Administrative Coordinator for BYM. 


Bette Hoover of Sandy Spring Friends Meeting was nominated to be the new Clerk of Interim Meeting. Susan Griffin from our Meeting has been nominated to serve on BYM’s Supervisory Committee. FMW Member Monique Russell has been nominated to the BYM Nominating Committee.


One friend noted that BYM was developing working groups on reproductive rights and gun violence.


Nominating Committee - Michael Beer

  • Grant Thompson to continue as asst. treasurer for another year (July 2022 - June 2023)


One friend noted that approval for these nominations may have been approved earlier in the year (April). This friend later noted that the nominations were in fact approved in April.


Minute on the War in Ukraine - Helena Cobban, Peace & Social Concerns

  • See Proposed FMW Minute - Below


One friend thanked Helena, Joe, and Jim for their leadership on this issue.

One friend applauded the report and noted that it speaks their mind.

One friend noted that they cannot support the minute, noting that the minute appears to blame the US for not doing more rather than the blame being on Russia and Vladimir Putin.

One friend noted their appreciation for the views of the previous friend and that he held similar views previously, but his opinion had changed and noted Russia’s likely feeling of being under threat.

Another friend also noted their appreciation and concern for the views of the previous friend, and noted the issue was about what we as Quakers could do to promote nonviolent resolutions, which would mean focusing our attention on our government.

Another friend encouraged friends to read the documentation that Helena provided.

Another friend noted that the proposed minute neglects to mention the nonmilitary efforts by the US to end the conflict. This friend also noted that the minute was inadequate, and that the minute was likely unrealistic in its proposed solution. This friend noted that the minute did not provide or suggest ideas for what could be done in the present moment. This friend noted that negotiations would begin when one side wins and one side loses. This friend proposed that the minute be amended to include a fundraiser to aid Ukrainian refugees, as effective action we could take currently, and that the current minute would make us feel good but do nothing.

Another friend rose in support of the minute, and the push to recommend the US to directly negotiate with Russia. This friend also requested clarity on the wording of the fourth paragraph.

One friend noted that the minute did not address what outcome was hoped for from the negotiations, and that “an end to violence” was not sufficient.


One friend recommended that the minute be adjusted to include methods for friends to donate to organizations that could provide humanitarian aid to Ukraine.

One friend noted that the minute was designed to serve as an educational document and provide context to the situation, and noted their support for the minute.

One friend requested that we reach out to Friends House Moscow to ask what they wanted.

One friend noted that it would be important to consider how Russians, Ukrainians, and US Citizens would each perceive the minute.

One friend noted that the purpose of a minute was first a statement of values, followed by a proposal of action.


Helena noted that, rather than the analogy of Hitler and appeasement, the analogy of the Cuban Missile Crisis was more appropriate. Helena noted that the guard rails setup after the Cuban Missile Crisis were mainly dismantled, and that the minute was intended to have US Citizens as an audience. Helena specifically wished to highlight the danger of nuclear war.


One friend noted that we are now dealing instead with a Hitler that has nukes, and that we are dealing with a nation that has interest in conquering its neighbors. This friend proposed that peace and social concerns work directly with those who were unable to support the minute.


One friend recommended a strategy for composing the minute be to divide the work between the proposed solution versus the framing.


Friends did not approve the minute, and a recommendation for a called meeting during August focused on a revised minute was proposed.


Migrant Support Work - Barbara Briggs

  • Report on 1st respite and follow up.


One friend requested information on how FMW was collaborating with other faith-based institutions. Barbara responded that several faith institutions were working together on this.

One friend requested clarity on whether Barbara expected the work to continue far into the future. Barbara noted that this was an initial step and hoped that the meeting would continue as way opens.


Defending Democracy - Debby

See below call. Meetings are being asked to consider the following queries:

  1. 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?

  2. How can I/we respond with resolute love even while I/we may be struggling with fear, anger, apathy, or hate?


One friend noted that several members of the Washington Interfaith Network were also similarly considering these issues. This friend noted that framing the issue as defeating factionalism may not be as powerful as the frame of justice, community building, and raising up those who have been or felt aggrieved.

One friend noted that there should be consideration as to whether America is crumbling.

One friend suggested that American conservatives were targeting vulnerable populations, and that the meeting may be helpful in protecting the vulnerable. This friend noted that there are initiatives that could be taken rather than being reactive or defensive against attacks on democracy.

One friend noted that a discussion of the issue was being taken by the Earlham School of Religion.

One friend noted the example of how election officials were treated, highlighted by the January 6th commission, and suggested that friends could volunteer to help with elections.

One friend noted that the concept of christian nationalism is often associated with what are considered attacks on democracy, and that connection with those christians through faith has been a powerful tool for dialogue.


(MJ Simpson Scholarship and Semiannual Report on Handbook changes moved to October)


Friends approved the minutes.


Meeting for business concluded at 2:05 pm after a period of silence.






Annual Report of the Personnel Committee of Friends Meeting of Washington

July 17, 2022

This Annual Report covers the period since the 2021 report presented to Meeting for Business on June 13, 2021.

The 2022 Personnel Committee currently has six members: Justin Connor, Ed Hustead, Aaron Johnson, Rebecca Nelson (ex officio, as Co-Presiding Clerk), Martha Solt and Bill Strein (clerk). In January 2022, the committee welcomed Justin Connor and Martha Solt as new members and Ed Hustead who continued into his second term. Because no one was available to become clerk, Bill Strein agreed to a one-year extension as clerk and beyond his second term; the Meeting granted this exception. The appointed members of the committee wish to thank Rebecca for her continued, active and substantive involvement with the committee. The committee holds scheduled formal virtual meetings bi-monthly and additionally engages frequently via e-mail correspondence. 

As detailed in the Meeting Handbook, the Personnel Committee’s primary responsibilities are four-fold: (1) review and revision of FMW’s employment policies and procedures as necessary; (2) providing advisory assistance on personnel matters to committees that supervise employees; (3) making recommendations on employees’ salaries or hourly compensation rates and employee benefits to the Finance and Stewardship (F & S) Committee; and (4) providing ongoing support and supervision of the Administrative Secretary and conducting the Committee of Clerks’ annual review and contract renewal decision of the Administrative Secretary. During the past year, the committee has been involved actively on all these functions.

Review and Revision of FMW’s Employment Policies and Procedures. The committee’s work in this area during the past year involved several items. First, continuing from about this time last year, we worked with Trustees and the Religious Education Committee to implement and fully support the Meeting’s Child Safety Policy in the context of the Meeting laying down the stand-alone Child Safety Committee.  Personnel monitors compliance with the Policy’s requirement that all employees and volunteers who work directly with children complete a background check prior to beginning their work and update those background checks every three years and requests and reviews the background checks.  

Second, in December 2021 we labored and produced a Covid vaccine policy that applies to all FMW employees, most independent contractors and all volunteers who work with children or youth. (See the policy at the end of this report.) Finally, given our reading of the sense of the Meeting, we were pleased to add Juneteenth as an additional paid holiday for Meeting employees with such benefits (those hired half-time or more).

Additionally we began, but did not finish, (1) a discussion of guidelines for requiring our main staff be physically on-site while working versus a continuation of some degree of telework, and (2) a request from Library, Records and Handbook to submit revisions to the various statements and sections in the Handbook related to personnel issues.

Providing Advisory Assistance on Personnel Matters to Committees that Supervise Employees. Our work in this area included working with Religious Education on reinstating and staffing the Nursery Care Coordinator and Child Care Worker positions, so as to enable the resumption of childcare for young children and also working on a modification of the FDS Support Teacher role that will be in place when R.E. resumes at the end of the summer. We were also actively involved with the Property Committee and the main Meeting staff in thinking through the security issues in the Meeting House. The Property Committee thoughtfully held a joint meeting with Personnel around this issue. Finally, we worked with Trustees and Property to navigate the labyrinthine process of filing a workers’ compensation claim for an injury that one of our employees sustained while performing workplace duties.

Making Recommendations on Employees’ Salaries or Hourly Compensation Rates and Employee Benefits to F & S.  The Personnel Committee reviewed data on inflation in the DC metro area during fiscal year 2022 (FY22) and shared these data with the Finance and Stewardship (F & S) and  Property Committees and recommended inflation-adjusted across-the-board increases for our  three main employees plus any additional merit increases that the supervising committees might deem to be appropriate. As the economic situation continued to emerge, we added our endorsement to a proposal by F & S to increase the pay rate for our employees who are employed at least half-time by 10% for FY23. We recommended that Property and Religious Education review the pay rates for our as-needed employees in view of the large amount of inflation over the past year.

Providing Ongoing Support and Supervision of the Administrative Secretary and Conducting the Committee of Clerks’ Annual Review and Contract Renewal. The committee, through its clerk, continued to hold scheduled, weekly Zoom calls with Barbara Briggs as well as any additional email or other communication as the need arose.  In concert with the Committee of Clerks we conducted the annual review of the Administrative Secretary culminating at a Clerks’ meeting on May 29th, with the Clerks being in unity on renewing her contract. Subsequently, the Committee prepared a written evaluation, based on the Clerks’ comments, and met to discuss the evaluation with Barbara. We will work with Barbara to further improve the work of the Meeting Office, build on identified strengths and address identified areas needing improvement.


Vaccination Requirements for Employees and Volunteers Working with Children/Youth

(Adopted 12/10/21)

All employees of FMW are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and to have all boosters currently recommended by the CDC and for which they are eligible. This requirement also applies to any independent contractors who provide services that could result in COVID-19 transmission. Any current employees who are not yet fully vaccinated and boosted must schedule vaccination at the earliest opportunity.

Further, all volunteers authorized to work with the Religious Education program or to provide childcare must be fully vaccinated and boosted prior to such work as part of FMW's commitment to the protection of children and youth. The vaccination status of all employees and all volunteers authorized to work with children/youth will be maintained along with the information on their background checks in accord with the Meeting’s Child Safety Policy.

All new employees and all volunteers working with children/youth must submit proof of vaccination to their supervisor who will inform the Administrative Secretary of the individual’s vaccination status. Any medical or religious exemption requests should be submitted to the Personnel Committee ( for review.



On order from the governors of Texas and Arizona, thousands of migrants are being sent by bus to Union Station and left here, many without resources.  A number of houses of worship are providing on-site respite for a day, offering food, clothing, a chance to clean up and figure out next steps. FMW has stepped up to provide care on the first and third Wednesdays of each month, and dozens of volunteers have pitched in–shopping, cooking, sorting, driving, and deeply listening to those who have risked so much to enter our country. It’s richly rewarding work. More help is needed. Contact Barbara Briggs,

Proposed FMW Minute on the War in Ukraine


War is never the best answer. It brings death, injury, destruction, and disruption that often spreads far beyond the immediate "war zone." It hardens hearts and attitudes, too often leading makers and survivors of war to dehumanize members of the "other" side. 


Like many around the world, members of Friends Meeting of Washington were deeply disturbed by the invasion of Ukraine that Russia launched in Second Month 2022, and by the destruction that invasion visited (and continues to visit) on the people of Ukraine, on the already-tenuous food security status of nations of the global South, on global efforts to combat climate change, and many other aspects of the interconnected world we live in.


We have searched our hearts for the best way to respond to the invasion, mindful of valued teachings such as that of early Quaker Margaret Fell who said, " We are a people that follow after those things that make for peace, love and unity; it is our desire that others’ feet may walk in the same, and do deny and bear our testimony against all strife, and wars... and [we] love and desire the good of all." 


We are deeply dismayed at the overwhelmingly military nature of the response of our national government to the crisis in Ukraine and its apparent refusal to seek direct talks with Russia to explore ways to end the fighting or to support the efforts of other governments that have tried to do so. Instead of committing to diplomacy, President Biden and some cabinet members have made ill-considered statements that implied a desire for "regime change" in Russia. Those statements, like the strongly military nature of Washington's interventions in Ukraine, have dangerously increased the level of tension between our country and Russia, which are still far and away the world's two largest nuclear powers and therefore carry unique responsibilities for the survival of humanity and the glorious natural world we live in.


We are reminded, too, that every million dollars paid to arms manufacturers to procure arms for Ukraine is a million dollars that the U.S. government could have invested into much-needed social and infrastructure programs here at home, or worldwide.


Friends Meeting of Washington calls on Pres. Biden to work for an immediate, all-parties ceasefire in Ukraine so that negotiations can resume without more needless deaths there, and to return swiftly to the high-level diplomacy with Russia that is needed to bring about a lasting end to this crisis. He should pursue this diplomacy in full consultation with the government of Ukraine, with the members of the U.N. Security Council and European allies, with the goal of speedily attaining lasting, sustainable formulas for both the intra-Ukrainian governance issues and the broader Europe-wide security issues that underlay the eruption of the current conflict.



Quaker Call on Defending Democracy


To Friends Throughout the United States:  


Greetings in the Spirit of Love.   

We write to share with you the attached “Urgent Call to the Religious Society of Friends” concerning the current extensive threats to our U.S. democracy. We are led to speak out against the lies, extremist movements, and anti-democratic actions that are the opposite of our Quaker understandings of integrity and Truth.   This Call was prepared by a group of nineteen Friends.


We encourage your prayerful discernment of this “Urgent Call” and ask you as individuals, monthly meetings, yearly meetings, and Friends organizations to consider how you might be called to act with integrity in response to these concerns. 


We also are inviting all concerned Friends and friends to join us in the first of a series of national conversations on these issues to be hosted by the Earlham School of Religion on either Monday, July 25 (7 to 9 PM, Eastern time), or Sunday, July 31 (3 to 5 PM Eastern time).  You can find more details and register at


We are an ad hoc group of Quakers who believe in the power of Truth and who have faith in the witness of Friends. We know that the individual and collective actions of Friends and friends can have a powerful impact in our communities and in our individual faithful journeys. 


Please distribute this email, along with the Urgent Call, as widely as possible.


We welcome your questions, suggestions, and resources at  


We also apologize if you receive more than one copy of this email.  We are a group of volunteers working from multiple email lists, from which we are unable easily to remove duplicates.


In faithfulness,


The Urgent Call Steering Committee


Bruce Birchard, Sam Caldwell, Gretchen Castle, Mary Ellen McNish, Diane Randall, and Michael Wajda, clerk 



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:

  • Join or support organizations led by people of color which are working for the empowerment of black, brown, indigenous and Asian people and communities. 

  • 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:

  • Initiate discussions on the impacts of voter suppression and new laws enabling partisan actors to legally throw out ballots and change the results of elections, then garnering support for nonviolent resistance against all this, and forming community-based networks of support for such actions. 

  • 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.

FMW Rental Report - June 2022

 Prepared by Brian Lutenegger, Event and Rental Manager

Financials – FY22 and FY23 Bookings

Here is a breakdown of where we ended up in FY22 as of June 30, 2022 in comparison with other past and future fiscal years.

The chart above shows $949.60 in new bookings during June 2022 and approximately $267,508.59 booked for the fiscal year (note: I am still finalizing the number). We actually booked around $7500 worth of events during June specifically taking place during the month of June. However, I transferred some outstanding deposits over to FY23.

During June, we also booked $31,311.35 worth of events for FY23 that began on July 1st. So far, we have booked $127,406.35 for the next fiscal year. Our fiscal year runs from July 1 to the following June 30th.


During FY22, we booked approximately 262 events, including 114 on Peerspace. This includes some space users like DC Minyan who book multiple dates at once as well as some events that may have been canceled or rescheduled.

Approximately 35% of earnings came from events booked on Peerspace. 

Financials – FY22 Earned in June, we earned $26,413.60 for events successfully completed.

 June Events - The following activities occurred at FMW during June:

·         DC Minyan continuing to hold regular services

·         A graduation event for a small dance studio

·         Three weddings for non-FMW members

·         Two memorial services

·         Several staff retreats / conferences / workshops

·         Weekly Al-Anon meetings

·         Several graduation parties

·         Five days with film crews

 Office Space Rentals

Income from office rentals has changed in recent months due to turnover in tenants.

 This fiscal year, we collected $158,304 in office tenant rent – more than our fiscal year budget of $151,172.

At present, we have ten nonprofit and small business tenants. Dupont Circle Village has moved into the suite formerly occupied by AsylumWorks and I am still looking for a new tenant to take their old spaces. We also learned that one of our third floor tenants will move out at the end of August.

FY23 Outlook

While FY22 went well and FY23 is off to a good start in terms of advance bookings, I do think there is room for caution with the next fiscal year. 

If there is a recession, it remains to be seen how much that will impact event rentals and office tenants (and for how long).

Further, the condition of the lower west gardens – the space that generates the largest amount of rental interest – makes it hard to sell to prospective space users, particularly since we do not know whether it will be primarily grass or another material by next year.

I am largely holding off on new rentals of the lower garden for larger events in 2023 until we know for sure what to expect with that space. Not having these advance rentals will also impact our FY23 income. However, we do have several larger events that will use that space in the fall as well as next spring. 

Opportunities for the FMW community to help with rentals

Please think about whether your employer, an organization whose board you sit on – or even yourself for a special event – might be able to make use of our event rental spaces. Of course, at least for now, these events would need to be kept small and happen safely.

If you have ideas for content that we can post on Facebook and Instagram that might be of interest to a wide (not necessarily Quaker) audience, I am happy to consider.


Finally, if you know of any potential new office tenants, please connect them to me.