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Reunión de los Amigos de Phoenix (Quakers)

JUNE 2020 NEWSLETTER

Wishing everyone a safe, cool summer. We are pleased to present the June 2020 Phoenix Quakers Newsletter. Included in this issue are pieces on:

  • My Father's Garden (Nancy Marshall)
  • Pandemic Insight
  • Updates from FCC
  • What makes me a Quaker (Ruben Soliz)
  • News from the Navajo Nation
And much more.

Sobre el COVID-19 (About COVID-19)

"Aves Enjauladas        Caged Birds       
       por Rozalén        by Rozalén
 
Cuando salga de esta iré corriendo a buscarte. Te diré con los ojos lo mucho que te echo de menos. Guardaré en un carrito todas los abrazos, los besos, para cuando se amarse en el alma la pena y el miedo.
When I get out of this I will go running to look for you. I will tell you with my eyes how much I have missed you. I will keep in a little jar all the hugs and kisses, to bring up when the pain and fear are knotted in my soul.

Me pondré ante mi abuela de rodillas, pediré perdón por las veces que la descuidé. Brindaremos por los que se fueron sin despedida, otra vez, otra vez.
I will fall on my knees in front of my grandma, I will beg her pardon for the times that I neglected her. We'll give a toast for those who departed without a farewell, again, and again.

Somos aves enjauladas, con tantas ganas de volar, Que olvidamos que en este remanso también se ve la vida pasar.
We are caged birds, with such desires to fly, that we forget that in this haven, life is also seen passing.

Cuando se quemen las jaulas, y vuelva a levantarse el telón, Recuerda siempre la lección, Y este será un mundo mejor.
When the cages burn, and the curtain is lifted again, Remember always the lesson, And this will be a better world.

[The complete song, "Aves Enjauladas," by Rozalén, can be found on YouTube. translation by Nancy Marshall]"

My Father's Garden

Nancy Marshall

During and after World War II, my father always grew a "victory garden." This to help our family feed ourselves and allow commercially grown crops to go to those in greater need.
 
Every January, my grandfather gave Dad a New Year's present - a ton of horse manure on the side lot that could decompose and enrich the soil so it would be ready for planting in mid-May.
 
Working in the garden was a meditative process. He would come back into the house more peaceful, or with the confidence of having figuring out a difficult problem.
 
Until he died, my father kept a garden. He kept tomatoes to share with the neighbors. He grew extra carrots "to feed the bunnies." He grew raspberries on the vine so that, like Mary pouring oil over the Master's feet, he could surprise us with the over-abundance of fresh berries.
 
Preparing the soil, taking care of ourselves, sharing with neighbors - human and animal, meditating, and bringing abundant joy - this was my father's garden.

What Makes Me a Quaker

Ruben Soliz
 
I’m writing a great, long list of things that bring me joy. 

  • Tidying my home
  • Running around skyscrapers
  • RL Stine books
  • Yoga Sun Salutations
  • The purple desert sky
  • Shambhala Meditation
I was three pages in before realizing that I’d listed nothing expressly Quaker. Not Meeting for Worship. Not the manner of business. Not Half-Yearly Meeting. Not any Quaker figures or texts. 
 
So then am I not a Quaker?
 
I paused, settled in the moment. Then I jotted down: 
  • Silence
  • Stillness
  • Simplicity 
I used to refer to SPICE as a summary of my beliefs, intention and conduct; as a uniting factor between me and The Religious Society of Friends. 
 
S – Simplicity
P – Peace
I – Integrity 
C – Community
E – Equality
 
A few years ago, those would have been first on a list of things that bring me joy. But that would have been programmed. It would have been insincere. I think SPICE is great. It’s hard to deny its worthiness but is it fundamental to who I am as a Quaker? Are those testimonies, for me, what it means to be alive? Um. Maybe. I just haven’t arrived at that yet.
 
This is what I know:
  • Silence creates
  • Stillness unites
  • Simplicity centers 

Being convinced of this and recognizing the very intentional and prominent role of these components in the Religious Society of Friends, is what makes me a Quaker.

Book Group
Kaila Luttrell

On the first Sunday in May, the book group met via Zoom to discuss Refocusing My Family: Coming Out, Being Cast Out, and Discovering the True Love of God by Amber Cantorna. Some ideas we touched on include:

- Bridging communities
- Scripture in the context of history
- Personal responsibility
- Suicide rates in the gay community
- Grace
- Reconciliation
 
All are welcome to read and join in on our discussions. Our next book is  Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith by Anne Lamott and is scheduled for Sunday, June 7 at 12:30 pm probably via Zoom. Contact Kaila for the link kaila@protonmail.com

BQEF graduate in the US gets Needed Books

Thank you so much to the folks in Phoenix Meeting who contributed to help Rebeca Ramos receive the three-level Cambridge English Language Learning book series. 

Rebeca, a BQEF scholarship university graduate, came to the US to be a Volunteer Apprentice Teacher at Oakwood Friends School in New York but is tightly sequestered due to Covid 19.

Several people pitched in and the books are on their way so that even if Rebecca can't teach Spanish to New York students, she can learn English. 
 
Thanks  to Dan and Joan Keck, Candace Wilkinson, Len Schulwitz, Judy Lundy and Louie Audi. Your donations made a difference!"
 
(from Nancy Marshall)

News from Navajo Nation

Our Friends Cindy Yurth and Eric Swanson, who live and work in Chinle, report that the Navajos have finally received about $660 million from the Federal government to assist in the Covid crisis. They are covered, monetarily, but welcome your prayers. The curve may be turning down. Thanks, Phoenix Friends, for holding them in the Light.

FWCC Letter to Yearly Meetings

Friends World Committee for Consultation
 
Attached are two letters to all Friends from Friends World Committee on Consultation (FWCC), one on the challenges of this year, and one on sustainability.  Important for us to be in touch with our FQCC Friends!

https://mcusercontent.com/9d70b495c180b571e81e1d7b3/files/52fd66c9-f91a-46d1-bf70-d3c5ca659e3c/FWCC_WO_letter_to_yearly_meetings.pdf

https://mcusercontent.com/9d70b495c180b571e81e1d7b3/files/8956688f-92cd-4bff-9295-60b74e8d76d8/Letter_to_Yearly_Meetings__An_invitation_to_all_Friends_to_continue_sustainability_conversations_and_build_the_movement.pdf

Stamp Project


Save your STAMPS! Now that we're all at a distance, letters can abound. Save interesting stamps and bring them to Meeting (soon) or send directly to: Right Sharing of World Resources, 101 Quaker Hill Drive, Richmond, In 47434. Proceeds from the sale of stamps will help women in India, Kenya and Sierra Leone.
 

The Four Agreements

There are four agreements to make with ourselves, with other people, with society, and with God. But the most important are the ones we make with ourselves.
 
1. Be impeccable with Your Word
2. Don't take anything personally
3. Don't make assumptions
4. Always do your best.?"
 
[from "Wisdom from The Four Agreements," by Don Miguel Ruiz]
 

Another Pandemic

Nancy Marshall

In 1904…the killer slips into the country from Asia, in the wood of Chinese chestnuts destined for fancy gardens. ..Leaves curl and scorch. Rings of orange spots spread across the swollen bark…Every infection releases a horde of spores on the rain and wind…A researcher at the New York Botanical Garden identifies the killer as a fungus new to man…Death races across Connecticut and Massachusetts, jumping dozens of miles a year. Trees succumb by the hundreds of thousands. A country watches dumbstruck as New England’s priceless chestnuts melt away. The tree of the tanning industry, of railroad ties, train cars, telegraph poles, fuel, fences, houses, barnes, fine desks, tables, pianos, crates, paper pulp, and endless free shade and food - the most harvested tree in the country - is vanishing.” [from The Overstory, by Richard Powers].
 
I think this is valuable because it reminds us that diseases strike not only humans but plants as well (There was the Dutch Elm Disease in the 1950’s that accomplished the same destruction), and that pandemics recur throughout history. 
 

Pandemic

Lynn Ungar
 
What if you thought of it 
as the Jews consider the Sabbath - 
the most sacred of times?
Cease from travel.
Cease from buying and selling.
Give up, just for now,
on trying to make the world 
different than it is.
Sing. Pray. Touch only those
to whom you commit your life.
Center down.
 
And when your body has become still,
reach out with your heart.
Know that we are connected
in ways that are terrifying and beautiful.
(You could hardly deny it now.)
Know that our lives
are in one another’s hands.
(Surely, that has come clear.”
Do not reach out your hands.
Reach out your heart.
Reach out your words.
Reach out all the tendrils
of compassion that move, invisibly,
where we cannot touch.

Promise this world your love - 
for better or for worse, 
in sickness and in health, 
as long as we all shall live.”
 
“Pandemic” by Lynn Ungar
reprinted in“YES!” magazine with permission
 

Next Newsletter

Please consider contributing an article, quote, announcement, link to an article, or anything number of things for our next issue of the Newsletter. Please send contributions to phxquakers@gmail.com with a cc' to Nancy Marshall at nanmar4009@gmail.com and Ruben Soliz at ruben.soliz@gmail.com. Your voice matters and we'd love to give you a platform for it.
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1702 E Glendale Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85020

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Phoenix Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends · 1702 E. Glendale Ave · Phoenix, AZ 85020 · USA

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