10/28/2018 minutes

Takoma Park Friends Meeting-Preparative gathered on 10/28/2018 at the Dance Exchange in Takoma Park, Maryland. We heard queries and advices from the 2013 draft Baltimore Yearly Meeting Faith and Practice on listening. We heard of the aggravation of being one-on-one with a person who feels the need to dominate conversations; one way that may work is to limit the time spent with such people. We heard of the disappointment of listening to people who talk a great deal but do little. We heard a sense that there’s an understandable reluctance to talk about listening. We heard a sense that reading can sometimes be more effective than listening; books can be life-changing things. We heard of how the challenges we face can influence which podcasts we listen to; we can be aware of how our perceptions influence who we listen to and step outside our areas of comfort. We heard of “bliks,” statements made that no evidence can contradict, regardless of how unbelievable they seem.

6/24/2018 minutes

Takoma Park Friends Meeting-Preparative gathered on 6/24/2018 at the Dance Exchange in Takoma Park, Maryland. We heard queries and advices from the 2013 draft Baltimore Yearly Meeting Faith and Practice on equality. We heard appreciation for the meeting’s gifts to Parents of Special Needs Adults. We heard of the tension between being competitive and compromising. We heard regret for society’s focus on the rich and famous, with the good works of the poor covered as an afterthought. We heard of the social value of taking part in continuing education, which provides an opportunity for people of different backgrounds to mix. We heard of how racial equity is an enormous issue, and of the danger of trying to deal with it with small responses. We heard of how speaking in positive terms of those who are different applies to those who simply have opinions different from our own, especially when those others may have poor opinions of us. We heard of how stands that we disagree with may be understandable when we learn the reasons for them.

6/3/2018 minutes

Takoma Park Friends Meeting-Preparative gathered on 6/3/2018 at the Dance Exchange in Takoma Park, Maryland, having rescheduled our planned 5/27/2018 meeting. We heard queries and advices from the 2013 draft Baltimore Yearly Meeting Faith and Practice on education. We heard of how holding a degree can confer status and of how lacking a degree can lead to a sense of lack of status. We heard a concern about lack of Quaker focus on public schools, recognizing that that’s a big piece of cheese. We heard of interest in and participation in board of education elections as ways to promote education. We heard of the clash of the idea of continuing revelation with the idea that “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks;” we get to overcome the second idea when promoting the first. We heard of how religious education can come from practice, and that study may be inadequate. We heard a concern that our meeting does not spend enough time learning about other faiths and beliefs. We heard of the use of different translations of the Bible by different Christian denominations; variety of belief occurs both among and within faiths. We heard of how learning about other faiths can help us find common ground with and understanding of people of those faiths.

4/22/2018 minutes

Takoma Park Friends Meeting-Preparative gathered on 4/22/2018 at the Dance Exchange in Takoma Park, Maryland. We heard queries and advices from the 2013 draft Baltimore Yearly Meeting Faith and Practice on diversity. We heard of a dream involving irritation at sending someone to a dangerous part of town, followed, on waking, by irritation that the dangerous part of town in the dream was Black—a deeply rooted bias. We heard of a remark by a person of color to someone being chosen last for a sports team: “Now you know how I feel.” We heard of how it can be as uncomfortable to be wanted in a group because of your race as it is to not be wanted in a group because of your race, and of how being asked to speak for a group is impossible when they don’t all want the same thing. We heard of a practice of using “all-age” rather than “intergenerational;” we can help build diversity by communicating in ways others can understand. We heard of how use of the term “people of color” may be inaccurate and divisive. We heard of how people with brain injuries and others with special needs also face prejudice and abandonment.