Thirty-seven of us met for the Montana Gathering of Friends, February 24-26, 2017, at Camp Make-a-Dream in Gold Creek, Montana, and something profound and deeply moving happened. As a community, we felt a deep and insistent calling during Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business. The Clerk put aside most of the planned agenda, allowing Friends to worship together. We reflected on our own fear as well as the fear we see in response to the rise of hate and violence in our communities, and the targeting of many who are being labeled as different by their race, ethnicity, immigration status, gender identity, or sexual orientation, religion
and political beliefs. The following Minute rose out of this Meeting.
As Quakers, we believe that there is that of God in everyone. We find ourselves in a time of increasing fear for many who feel threatened and marginalized because of their gender orientation, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, religion, immigration status or political beliefs. We witness this same fear in communities across our country and around the world. We cannot ignore this conflict without violating our belief in the just, equitable and democratic principles of our country and our faith.
We acknowledge that labeling people as the “other” emphasizes differences between people and violates the testimony of equality we have shared around the world for
the past 365 years. We therefore speak truth to power. When anyone’s safety and security are violated with labels, hate and violence, we must reach out in love, offer protection and build connections between communities. We are committed to the hard work of building bridges and without judgment, opening our hearts to one another to address the fear of those delivering anger rather than love.
We step forward to protect all people who feel endangered by their differences. We seek to magnify our presence by working in alliance with individuals and organizations also offering loving protection. We are committed to healing, love, and growth of understanding that there is that of God in everyone.
Adopted on February 26, 2017