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Attacks on Friends helping LGBTQ Ugandans

During the past few months, the Ugandan government has ramped up its efforts to revive the country’s Anti-Homosexuality Act, including renewed calls for the death penalty for LGBTQ Ugandans. General violence against LGBTQ Ugandans has risen sharply, including violence against members of Bulungi Tree Shade Friends Meeting, a meeting that is in relationship with Olympia Friends Meeting (NPYM).

Conscientious Objection in Russia

Conscientious objectors in Russia have a new online source of information about “alternative service” which can be chosen instead of military conscription.

Abolished in 1939, conscientious objection became legal again in Russia in 2004. Friends House Moscow supports this opportunity for young Russians by publishing the website, Alternativshchik.

Job Opportunity – FGC Conference Coordinator

Friends General Conference (FGC) is now accepting applications for the Conference Coordinator position. Ruth Reber, our current Conference Coordinator, will retire at the close of the 2020 FGC Gathering. FGC seeks a skilled and dynamic person with event management experience to lead our organization’s flagship event. The Gathering is traditionally a week-long event, held annually on college campuses in different areas of North America, which generally involves between 1100 and 1400 Friends of all ages and requires a budget of $500,000 to $900,000.

Pen Pals for Prisoners

Orange Grove Friends Meeting supports a program of corresponding with prisoners, to help relieve their loneliness. When a prisoner is reading or writing letters, as one prisoner put it, he can “forget where he is.” We, on the outside, can encourage inmates to take classes and prepare for release. Our letters can create a positive relationship with another human being. And, most importantly, we can give hope.

Citizens Climate Lobby in Hawaii

The Peace and Social Concerns Committee of the Honolulu Meeting sponsors the Honolulu Chapter of Citizens Climate Lobby (CCL), which supports the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, nationally. CCL started in 2007 in San Diego, California, and has chapters all over the world (not just in the US).The local chapter has been involved with testimony on several actions proposed in the Honolulu City Council regarding climate change issues.

Eight Years of Way of the Spirit

When I graduated from the ecumenical Seattle University School of Theology and Ministry in 2008, I began a dialogue with the School of the Spirit Ministry in Philadelphia, about offering a similar Quaker contemplative study program in the West. After several years of consultation and program development, I launched the first Way of the Spirit retreat cycle in January 2012.

Since then, Way of the Spirit has offered 45 retreats between January 2012 and November 2019. That’s over 225 days of reflection, prayer and growing with God.

Virtual Bridge to COP 25 in Madrid

Friends in Portland have helped to organize a virtual bridge to COP25, this year’s international climate conference being held in Madrid. We had our first two Bridge gatherings here in Portland on December 2 and 7.

For folks outside the area, you can connect with events at COP 25 by going to our PDX Bridge Website. Places to go to on the site to connect up with events are: “Related Bridge Events” on the home page and “Conference Highlights” on the Schedule / Events page.

ICE Flights from El Paso

On Friday, Dec. 6, 2019, Members of El Paso Meeting met with Debbie Nathan, a renowned freelance reporter and author, who has been gathering info on deportation flights. These flights have been taking place for years, but have increased lately as the result of the current administration's harsh immigration policies.

Becoming an Anti-Racist Organization

At the October and November 2019 Meetings for Worship for Business, the Whiteness Study Group reminded Meeting of the minute that Albuquerque Monthly Meeting (AMM) approved in 2017 in support of the Friends General Conference Institutional Assessment on Structural Racism.  We also shared highlights from that Assessment that we found personally compelling.

In January, the Whiteness Study Group will lead us in an exercise to discern where AMM stands in its journey toward becoming an Anti-Racist Multicultural Organization. 

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