Takoma Park Friends Meeting-Preparative gathered on 11/26/2017 at the Dance Exchange in Takoma Park, Maryland. We heard queries on activism. We heard of the difficulty of working with others and not forcing our values on them, hoping that they won’t force their values on us. We heard of how some people are put off by the outwardly inactive form of Quaker worship. We heard of how activism can be motivated by our own pain, creating an ability to empathize with others in pain. We heard of a choice to avoid working with non-Friends to avoid having to deal with resolving differences before acting jointly. We heard of how the lack of services for us can lead us to try to provide services for others. We heard of how anger can be a motivator in getting us started with work. We heard of how requests for work involving our skills can motivate us to activism. We heard of how activism can be seen as marching, speaking, and writing letters and may not be seen as writing checks. We heard of how seeing the illogic of events can motivate us to speak against them.
The Spiritual State of the Meeting report for 2017 is available here. It does not paint the picture of a healthy meeting. To highlight this, it was approved at a business meeting attended by two people: the presiding clerk and the recording clerk.
Our next Quaker Discussion (February 18th) will be about how we want to move forward based on this report. Do we want to lay the meeting down? If not, what are we willing to do to turn the meeting around?
Please note that we will soon begin sending messages to the Takoma Park Friends Meeting – Preparative (TPFM-P) list through our web server. Once this begins, messages will originate from tpfm-announce at takomaparkfriends dot org. While we transition to the new system, please be sure to check your junk folder for new messages and ensure that your internet service provider (ISP) recognizes this address as a safe sender.
Using the new system, anyone on our mailing list will be able to respond to posted messages and to post new messages to this list by sending the message to tpfm-announce at takomaparkfriends dot org. We ask that all messages posted be limited to items pertaining to Takoma Park Friends Meeting and related Quaker and community groups.
Please visit https://mailman-mail5.webfaction.com/listinfo/tpfm-announce to access general information about the mailing list. To unsubscribe, you may still contact me, or simply send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our January Quaker Discussion (on 1/21/2017) will start a series on The Spirit of Quakers, by Geoffrey Durham. We will read a section from the book and discuss what we have read. The book is an introduction to Quaker faith and practice, and will provide a perfect way for those new to Quakers to learn what we are all about. At the same time, it will provide a broad view of certain Quaker topics, that will provide opportunities for those with broader Quaker experience to explore those topics in depth. We will start with the chapter on Meeting for Worship. Ownership of the book is neither required nor expected.
We will not have meeting at the Dance Exchange on 1/7/2018. Instead we will meet at Tricia Crocker’s house, and have our annual holiday part after meeting for worship. If you need directions, please email treasurer at takomaparkfriends dot org.
Takoma Park Friends Meeting-Preparative gathered on 10/22/2017 at the Dance Exchange in Takoma Park, Maryland. We heard queries on disability. We heard of the meeting’s history in dealing with wheelchair access, of its eventual reluctance to have separate meetings, and of our following practice of looking for space with wheelchair access. We heard of how meeting in nursing homes might increase accessibility for those with both physical and mental disabilities, but might decrease the quality of the meeting space. We heard of the difficulty of understanding the behavior of some homeless people, of the desire to respect them and their space, but a desire to maintain awareness of them and their situations and not leave racist rants unchallenged.