FMW Monthly Newsletter - November 2023

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Issue #93 – 11

Table of Contents

11th Month Query

-Quakers Take Action on Israel-Palestine
Thinking About Race

Minutes-Meeting for Business, October 2023


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

Monthly Meeting for Business:  12:15 pm November 12 (2nd Sunday)

Masks encouraged.  See FMW’s masking policy here. 

Meetings for worship are being held via Zoom.  Join 10:30 Meeting here.
For more information, email

11th Query:  Education 

Do you provide religious education, including study of the Bible and of Friends' history and practices, in your Meeting? Do you ensure that schools under the care of Friends exemplify Friends' principles? Do you support and strive to improve the public schools?  (Source:  BYM Faith & Practice, Part II The Queries. For more see: Education; Science and Religion; The Arts and Religion)


Quakers Taking Action on Israel-Palestine

On Wednesday evening, October 25, members and attenders gathered in the Assembly room to join a Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) and American Friends Service Committee (FCNL) briefing on Israel Palestine.  The briefing, centered on presentations from AFSC director Joyce Ajlouny (Palestinian, former director of Ramallah Friends School) and FCNL Middle East program assistant Odeliya Matther (Israeli), and Hassan El-Tayyab, FCNL’s legislative director for Middle East Policy.  Both organizations are calling on the U.S. government to press for an immediate ceasefire, and urging constituents to take action and contact their members of Congress.  FCNL is offering guidance and special office hours to provide extra support for those who wish to contact their representatives.

Quaker organizations around the world are calling for a ceasefire and humanitarian protections in Gaza.  Here is their joint statement.

FMW community members participated in protests organized by Jewish Voice for Peace and the Jewish human rights organization If Not Now calling for immediate ceasefire, humanitarian support for the residents of Gaza, and respect for the human rights for all who live in Israel/Palestine. 


Quaker Spiritual Development Programs - Full schedule for November 2023

FMW AV Tech Training, Meeting Room, November 5, 9:30 am
Learn how to do audio-visual tech and Zoom setup for Meeting for Worship and other meetings at FMW.  Lead tech Rob Farr is offering this training for people who would like to join our tech team (paid or volunteer).
For more info, contact Rob Farr, (, cell: (571) 722-4449.

“Wait For It”- Envisioning FMW’s Future: Sunday November 5, 12:30-3:30. An interactive focus group facilitated by FMW member and Quaker leader Rashid Darden. This will be a space for Friends of Color and Friends under 40 to begin conversations about how we will shape FMW for the future. For more information contact: Betsy Bramon, email:, Registrar here.

Pendle Hill First Monday Lecture with Matt Bevin, online, November 6, 7:30 - 9:00 pm “Awakening the Witness: Convincement and Belonging in Quaker Community” 
More info and register here.  

African Dinner at Adelphi Friends Meeting, Friday, November 10, 6:30 pm
When Kenyan Quaker immigrants joined Adelphi Friends Meeting a decade ago, Friends created a project to aid widows and orphans in the Kenyan town of Magada.  Adelphi invites FMW friends to join them for an African food dinner to celebrate their connection with Kenyan friends, plus updates on orphans graduating from school and widows who have opened small businesses with support from this project.  RSVP Mary Leonard (301) 704-7478.  For more information contact Ray Lane (301) 270-2104,

Pendle Hill Spring Term Info Session, November 11, 2:00 - 3:00 pm
An informal opportunity to hear more about Pendle Hill’s residential study program.
Learn more and register here.   

PIANO-POETRY SALON at 1740 Corcoran St NW, Sunday, November 12, 4:00 - 6:00 pm.  Join Susan and Bob Meehan, friends and family for a warm afternoon of music, poetry, food and drink.  With the uptick in COVID numbers, the Meehans suggest that those planning to attend get their COVID & flu vaccinations at least 10 days ahead “or at least wear an N95 masks”. (They will have some on hand.).  For more info, contact Bob Meehan (

Friends Committee on National Legislation Quaker Policy Institute, November 15-19
This year’s Quaker Policy Institute will focus on peace and peace-building.  For information and registration here.   

FMW Committee Fair, Assembly Room, November 19 at Rise of Meeting
FMW Committees will be at tables in the Assembly Room to chat about what they do with FMW members and attenders.  FMW’s Committee’s are the lifeblood of our community.  Membership in most committees is open to attenders as well as meeting members, and it’s a great way to develop deeper relationships in the Meeting.
For more info, contact Nominating Committee clerk Michael Beer (

Thinking About Race, November 2023: "Some kind of hustle”

“Racial exclusion from the mainstream economy, [Malcolm] later reasoned, meant that ‘almost everyone in Harlem needed some kind of hustle to survive, and  needed to stay high in some way to forget what they had to do to survive ….  In one sense, we were huddled in there, bonded together in seeking security and warmth, and comfort from each other, and we didn’t know it.  All of us—who might have probed space, or cured cancer, or built industries—were, instead, black victims of the white man’s America social system.’ ” (p. 180)

From The Dead Are Arising – The Life of Malcolm X, 2020, by Les Payne.  Here, Payne is quoting from p. 91 of The Autobiography of Malcolm X, 1992, by Malcolm X and Alex Haley.

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 first Saturday, 10:00 am to 1:00 pm, currently via Zoom.  If you would like to attend, contact the clerk at

Meeting for Business Minutes - October 2023

Friends Meeting of Washington
Monthly Meeting for Worship with a Concern for Business
Minutes - October 8, 2023

In-Person Attenders: 16
Online Attenders: 2
New Attenders: Sebastian Iagrossi

Query for Worship Sharing:  How can we make our shared work of creating and maintaining our community more joyful?

Clerk’s Report, October 2023

Upcoming Events

  • Quakerism: A Deeper Dive book group, Sunday, October 15, 12:15
    For more information contact convener Joe Izzo, (
  • FMW Anti-Racism Spiritual Friendship Group, Sunday, October 15, 12:15 pm 
    For more information contact David Etheridge, email: 
  • Save the date!  BYM Women's Retreat, Saturday October 21 IRL & online.
    This will be a one-day hybrid event, taking place at Friends Community School (5901 Westchester Park Dr, College Park, MD 20740) and online.  For more info, contact Heather Carter, email:
  • Committee of Clerks Meeting, Quaker House, Sunday, October 29, 9:00 am
  • “Wait For It”- Envisioning FMW’s Future: Sunday November 5, 12:30-3:30. An interactive focus group facilitated by FMW member and Quaker leader Rashid Darden. This will be a space for Friends of Color and Friends under 40 to begin conversations about how we will shape FMW for the future. For more information contact: Betsy Bramon, email:, Registrar here.

FMW Community Highlights & Kudos

  • Wedding of Jenifer Morris and Chris White under the care of our Meeting|
    FMW member Jenifer Morris and Christopher White were married yesterday in FMW’s Meeting Room, under the care of our Meeting.  One friend noted that the wedding was in good order and that another friend was a great dancer.
  • FMW Retreat at Catoctin Quaker Camp took place last weekend (September 29-October 1.  Thank you Robin Appleberry for coordinating!  More to come.

Tenant Updates- Activities at our Meeting House

  • FMW Property is extending the search for a new events associate.  This is a half time position.  Here is the job description.  If you are interested or know someone who might be, contact Brian Lutenegger, email:

FMW Anti-Racist Queries

"Queries"--leading questions--have long been used as an integral part of Quaker spiritual and social justice practice.  Our community has agreed that we will use the queries below in all of our decision processes, to help us become aware of the racism that is built into our culture and our Meeting, and work to heal it.

1. How will we provide opportunities for those most likely to be directly affected by the choices we are contemplating to influence the decision making process?   

2. How could the choices we are contemplating affect those who have been harmed by systemic, institutional, interpersonal and/or internal racism?

3. To what degree have privilege, class, stereotypes, assumptions, and our ability to include other perspectives affected this decision making process?

4. How will the choices we are contemplating promote equity, diversity, and inclusiveness? Will they enable us to be more friendly and whole, engaging across racial divisions?

5. How do the choices we are contemplating support the declaration of our Yearly Meeting that we aspire to be an anti-racist faith community?


Membership Committee - Rebecca Nelson

  • 2nd reading–Marissa Yeakey.    Friends approved.
  • 2nd reading–Chip Yeakey.  Friends approved.
  • Associate membership for their children, Norman Yeakey and Milena Yeakey.  Friends approved.
  • 2nd reading–Michael Wood.  Friends approved.

Report from American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) Representative - Bill Parker

This report will be delayed for one month.

Report from Interfaith Council of Metro Washington Representative - Joe Izzo

One friend asked if MfB was deciding on membership in IFCMW, and indicated that he would support the decision.  Joe Izzo responded that we were not.  The prior friend wished that the meeting thank Joe Izzo for his work and recommended Joe Izzo as a liaison.  

Report from Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) Representative - Susan Griffin

This report will be delayed for one month.

Report from Hunger & Homelessness Task Force - CJ Lewis

During her report CJ noted that Grate patrol needed consistent kitchen time and coordination with other events.

One friend, noting that the shoebox project was setup to be on the second sunday of December, suggested that meeting for business be moved to the third sunday of December.
The clerk noted that, in prior years, much of the work had been done prior to Sunday afternoon.
The prior friend suggested moving MfB to later in the afternoon.
One friend noted that several committees also meet on the third Sunday.
One friend noted that MfB may have fewer attenders if the time is pushed to later in the afternoon.

Friends Approved Meeting for Business for December occurring at 1:00 PM on the Second Sunday (December 10th).  Several friends expressed gratitude on behalf of the meeting for CJ’s work and for Emilie Schmeidler’s work.

CJ also expressed thanks for the work done by Gray Handley, Patricia Murphy, Steven Brooks, and Eric Nothman.  One friend also expressed their gratitude and suggested that it might be easier to fill needed volunteer positions by encouraging one-time participation.  One friend suggested adding detailed requests for volunteers to the meeting announcements.  One friend suggested using handouts during refreshment hour to encourage attenders to volunteer.  One friend noted that young adult friends may have transportation issues for early arrivals, and recommended that young friends and first-day school attenders could be encouraged to attend. They recommended thinking especially about who our target volunteers were and how we were marketing to them.

Friends accepted the report with gratitude.

Ministry and WorshipGray Handley  Update: Efforts to make FMW an anti-racist community.

Elaine Wilson volunteered to provide an update while Gray Handley is absent.

Elaine Wilson noted that FMW, spearheaded by Diane Randall, is working on creating a spreadsheet that notes FMW anti-racist efforts, and recommended other individuals reach out to Diane Randall to add their own contributions to the spreadsheet.

Young Adult Friends Update 

One friend requested that, when YAF co-conveners are found, that the community be gentle and loving with them, as the work is a heavy commitment.  A prior YAF co-convener agreed with the previous friend, and noted that YAF activities were happening but without a point-person or institutionalized structure. They noted that YAF may benefit from attention from the nominating committee.  One friend suggested considering our anti-racist queries in this decision. One friend asked whether a YAF convener is needed and if the current situation was a problem.  One friend asked whether YAFs felt welcomed and included and whether a formal institution was necessary in the current situation.  One YAF noted that they did not think a formal structure was a priority at this time.  One friend noted that the upcoming visioning event would be useful in exploring this issue further.


Elaine Wilson–Trustees are asking the Meeting to change the end date of their terms from September 30 to December 31, as most of the terms of committees now end. This will solve some confusion.  If approved, this change will need to be reflected in the handbook.

One friend asked why the original schedule was set up.  The clerk of library, records, and handbook noted their support and requested the change be in writing.   –Friends approved the change.

One friend noted that the board of trustees must now formally adopt the change and register it, and that Trustees could handle that. They raised that the meeting should formally approve an extension of the existing terms.

Elaine Wilson noted that they had discussed the matter with Trustees and had heard no objections.  –Friends approved the change.

Other Business:

Anti-Aparteid Communities - Peace & Social Concerns:  Steve Chase, from the Peace and Social Concerns committee, noted that the American Friends Service Committee was leading an effort regarding the Israel-Palestine conflict on an Apartheid-Free Communities pledge, and that it would be brought to MfB in the coming months.

Friends approved the minutes.
MFB entered silent worship and concluded at 1:38 PM.

Upcoming Committee Reports

November: Semiannual Report on Handbook Changes; Peace & Social Concerns; Ministry & Worship; Trustees (including Audit report); Search; State of the Staff Report

December: Nominating; Marriage & Family Relations

FMW Community celebrates World Quaker Day, October 1, 2023



The Interfaith Council of Metropolitan Washington (IFCMW) is now celebrating its 40th Anniversary of creating an inclusive, engaged, diverse and welcoming interfaith community in the Washington Metropolitan region. It currently includes in its membership eleven religious traditions: 

Baha'i, Buddhist, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormons), Hindu, Jain, Jewish, Muslim, Protestant, Roman Catholic, Sikh, and Zoroastrian faith communities.

For many years, IFCMW has produced the “Emergency Services Directory” that has served over 300,000 people locate food banks, medical services, and shelter options for the poor and unhoused. For 20 years IFCMW has sponsored the Unity Walk to promote interfaith understanding after the anti-Muslim bias and hate that resulted from the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. The Walk occurs every September on the Sunday afternoon closest to 9/11. A major event and fundraiser is the annual Interfaith Concert which is scheduled for Sunday, November 5, 2023 from 5:00 to 7:30 PM at the Washington Hebrew Congregation located at Massachusetts Avenue and Macomb Street, NW. Friends are encouraged to attend and purchase tickets at .

For a number of years, Joe Izzo has been actively involved with the IFCMW as a participant in the above mentioned programs. I've been an unofficial representative of Friends Meeting of Washington and the wider Quaker community. However, neither FMW nor other Friends Meetings in the DMV have formal membership in IFCMW. I would strongly encourage our Meeting to establish formal membership in this remarkable organization that sponsors many different Youth, Environmental and social service activities within the DMV. It provides an opportunity for genuine advancement and outreach in collaboration with other Faith Communities in helping to build greater social justice, peace and compassionate service to all people in the Washington Metropolitan area.

--Respectfully submitted,  Joseph A. Izzo