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.
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.
Sorry for the late notice, but our usual worshipful business meeting scheduled for 5/27 is being moved to 6/3, during shared meal.
Yesterday I announced that I will be resigning from my positions as presiding clerk and Quaker discussion coordinator, effective June 24th (June Worshipful Business Meeting). We need nominations for people to fill these positions. We will be using our Quaker discussion on May 20th to discuss the nominations. If you have any nominations, please contact the current Quaker discussion coordinator (me, presiding_clerk at takomaparkfriends dot org).
Please note that the Quaker discussion coordinator position is more than just running the adult education discussions. Since we laid down the M&O committee, all of our committee work is done on an ad hoc basis in Quaker discussion. So this position is additionally the clerk-of-all-committees. Of course, this is not set in stone. If changing the way we handled committee work would better fit the skills of people willing to work for the meeting, it is more important to get the work done than to do it the way we’ve been doing it.
The agenda for worshipful business meeting on Sunday, April 22nd is as follows:
- Treasurer’s report
- Review of request to Adelphi
- Review of proposed survey
- Clerk nomination
- Quaker discussion leader nomination
If there are any other items that should be on the agenda, please contact the presiding clerk by responding here or emailing presiding_clerk at takomaparkfriends dot org.
The Quaker discussion for Sunday, April 15th will be a continuation of our reading of the Spirit of Quakers, by Geoffrey Durham. We will read a short section of the book and then discuss it. You don’t need to have a copy of the book to participate, and as always, the discussion is open to everyone.
Takoma Park Friends Meeting-Preparative gathered on 3/4/2018 at the Dance Exchange in Takoma Park, Maryland, having rescheduled the originally planned 2/25/2018 meeting. We heard queries and advices from the 2013 draft Baltimore Yearly Meeting Faith and Practice on caring for one another. We heard of how it is more difficult to let others know of our needs than to reach out to others; asking for help can feel like a sign of weakness, and can seem inappropriate when others have greater needs.
We are going to have discussion after the meeting this Sunday to discuss how to move forward with the meeting. I don’t think any of us want to lay it down, but if we don’t, then we need to discuss what changes we are going to make and what effort we are going to put forward to revitalize the meeting. If you can, please come with ideas. If you can’t come but have ideas, post them here.