We're pleased to present the July 2020 issue of the Phoenix Quakers Newsletter. Included in this issue are articles on:
And much more...
- Updates from Judy Lundy on a family that is connected to Meeting
- Celebration of a Wedding Anniversary
- Introducing the Administrative Assistant to Phoenix Meeting
- Various pieces on Race/Racial Justice
From Candace Wilkinson: "Joan Keck's parents were among the original Friends in Phoenix. Joan grew up as a part of this Meeting. She and Don have been joining us again by zoom these last couple of months from their home in Buckeye. Two Sundays ago, June 7th, Don shared their joy that they were celebrating their 45th anniversary."
From Joan Keck: "Below is a photo of our wedding that shows (sort of) the property to the north east. The home that is in the background has been removed. There was a huge, beautiful bougainvillea on the front of the house as well as the great view of Squaw Peak. From the meeting house to that house was just dirt. I don’t think the residence was there yet and the Ramada was used for the women’s quilting and any other crafts. The meeting used to have an annual sale of craft works, quilts, jams, breads, etc. The women made a quilt for us as a wedding gift. Long gone are those days!"
Meenakshi Kapur - Administrative Assistant to Meeting
Introducing Meenakshi Kapur ~ our new administrative assistant!
As the Recording Clerk's position was unfilled this year, the Nominating Committee
asked to establish a part-time paid position ~ Administrative Assistant for Communications. This was approved in May.
We are happy to announce that we have found an excellent candidate to fill the job and she has accepted! She will help gather information before each business meeting, send out the agenda, zoom invitation, and follow up with a report the week after.
Message from Judy Lundy
This August will mark the two year arrival of our Afghani family to Phoenix.
Their departure from Afghanistan in 2013 was initiated through politics and necessitated their spending the following four years in a refugee camp in India. Upon their selection to re-locate to the United States through the auspices of the International Rescue Committee, they arrived in Phoenix in 2018.
The four children and their mother have worked hard. The two younger boys are straight A students and the older sister and brother both hold jobs at a local retail store. The father unfortunately passed away and the mother is struggling to find employment. She needs a job in the
Peoria-Glendale area and asked if any of our members might know of a position that her qualifications in basic hotel work would be something that one of us could direct her towards This is very important because in order for them to own their own home, she has to be bringing in money to enable them to proceed with this process. We have an excellent real estate person who is very sympathetic and caring and it is the hope of all of us that this will come to a positive ending.
Needless to say, the family of five is most appreciative of the support that has been forthcoming from our membership. Food donations have been extended in addition to gift cards, clothing. and a variety of household items. They are all overwhelmed by your generosity, kindness and love and look forward to the day when they can join us on a Sunday in Glendale.
Message from Len S.
During this peculiar time, the scope and variety of those we interact with on an in-person basis has narrowed. Conversely, we are spending more time with our significant others, family members, and our own selves. In this time of closeness, the need to speak and to be listened to, may not be being met for some. Out of the silence of worship sharing a few Sundays ago, I felt prompted to offer time and a listening ear to those who need someone to talk with. If you could use a listener in your life, or you know someone who could, please feel free to contact me.
Submitted by Gloria Maxdeo
"Si hay un atardecer, detente y admíralo. El conocimiento es finito. El asombro es infinito."
"If there is a sunset, stop and look at it. Knowledge is finite, wonder is infinite."
"Tu vida es un viaje sagrado. Estás en un camino...justo donde debes estar. Y de aquí, solo puedes ir hacia adelante, conformando la historia de tu vida en un cuento, magnífico, de triunfo, sanación, valentía, belleza, sabiduría, poder, dignidad, y amor."
"Your life is a sacred journey. You are on a path...exactly where you are meant to be right now. And from here, you can only go forward, shaping your life story into a magnificent tale of triumph, healing, courage, beauty, wisdom, power, dignity, and love."
[both contributions are thanks to Pati Constantino, Mexico City Friends Meeting, visitor to Intermountain Yearly Meeting]
75 Things to Do For Racial Justice
"Given recent events, many of us wonder what WE can do. This link give us some ideas: "75 things white people can do for racial justice.:
[Thanks to Ellen Dean, Park Central Toastmasters]
Submitted by Nancy Marshall
Who was Pen Hallowell? He and his brother were known, during the Civil War,as the "fighting Quakers." Yes, they fought in the war-for the Union. But it wasn't just North v. South. Read the link below on Hallowell's alliance with his Black fellow-union soldiers for equal wages for Blacks. Oliver Wendell Holmes spoke of him as a man of exceptional courage and generosity. Hallowell spoke of needing courage to fight for things in the long haul. Take a look:
AZ Legislative Alert
Submitted by Nancy Marshall
Friends, a reminder:
Quakers have engaged with our governments to express our concerns since George Fox went to jail and Margaret Fell got an audience with the King of England. For some of the most useful information for Friends' concerns in Arizona, Sign up for the AZ Legislative Alert: email@example.com
Letter from Enrique Esqueda Blas
Estimados Amigos en Phoenix y IMYM,
¡No lo puedo creer, pero se cumple un año de que tuve la bendición de conocerlos! IMYM 2019 fue para mí un punto de inflexión.
Mi vida no será jamás la misma. Estando allá, gracias a su hospitalidad, pude comprender mucho sobre mí, de mi país y mi cultura.
En Ghost Ranch tuve una experiencia religiosa profunda que me tocó radicalmente, en cuanto a mi compromiso con la no-violencia.
Después de eso, mi camino como cuáquero ha ganado profundidad. También he tomado decisiones importantes, por ejemplo, me casé.
Mi esposo se llama Juan Pablo, juntos respondimos a la emergencia de migrantes centroamericanos durante 2018. En un par de semanas
vamos a mudarnos a un pequeño departamento en el área centro de la Ciudad de México, cerca de los grandes mercados, del bullicio y los museos.
Estoy seguro de que asistirán por Zoom a la reunión anual. Yo no podré asistir más que a la Adoración del domingo. Tengo un encargo como representante
en la Junta Anual del Pacífico y me estoy preparando. Deseo que Ustedes y toda su familia se encuentren bien en estos tiempos difíciles y que sigan
cultivando su interés por América Latina. Ustedes han dado pasos positivos gigantes en una época donde se recrudece el racismo y se llevan discusiones
sobre la "fragilidad blanca". ¡Los felicito y me siento orgulloso de conocerlos!
I can’t believe it, but it is a year since I had the blessing to meet you! IMYM 2019 was for me a point of inflection. My life will never be the same. Being there, thanks to your hospitality, I could understand a lot about myself, my country and my culture.
At Ghost Ranch I had a profound religious experience with touched me radically, with regard to my commitment to non-violence.
After that, my path as Quaker has gained depth. Also I have made important decisions; for example, I got married.
My husband is called Juan Pablo (John Paul). We responded together to the emergency of Central American immigrants during 2018. In two weeks we will move into a small apartment in the central area of Mexico City, near the large markets, the hustle and bustle, and the museums.
I am sure you will attend the Annual Gathering (of IMYM) by Zoom. I will not be able to attend except worship on Sunday. I have a responsibility as representative in the Annual Meeting of the Pacific and I am preparing. I hope that you and all your families find yourselves well in these difficult times and that you continue cultivating your interest in Latin America. You have made positive giant steps in the era where the worsening of racism is giving rise to discussions about “white fragility.” I send you good wishes and I am proud to know you.
You are Light in the world.,
Enrique Esqueda Blas
ENP Plantel 5 - UNAM
Colegio de Historia
1. "Five Black Lives Matter activists were shot by white supremacists on November 22, 2015 during a late-night demonstration in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Their action at the precinct police station was part of a campaign demanding a just response from the city to the killing of Jamar Clark, an unarmed black man." [How We Win: A Guide to Nonviolent Direct Action Campaigning, by George Lakey]
2. "To be religious, as I understand it, is to perceive reality through a sacred lens, to feel that there are spiritual realities in physical, imminent things." (The Second Mountain: the Quest for a Moral Life, by David Brooks)
AFSC Online Course on Race and Racism
Submitted by Nancy Marshall
"Friends: AFSC is offering us all an online course on race and racism, beginning Juy 9. THere are several books to read, and the link to register is here: https://www.afsc.org/action/online-e-course-radical-acting-faith-white-people?fbclid=IwAR1PusD0DqxQMVbZd10jES4abcJQNwBLXN751r4fBBKeDidQ1kQtjO0s
by Aracelis Girmay
after Nazim Hikmet, for & after Rassan
At the Detroit Metro Airport
with the turtle-hours to spare
between now & my flight, there is
such a thing as the kindness
of the conveyor belt who lends me
its slow, strange mollusk foot
as I stand quiet, exhausted, having been
alone in my bed for days now, sleeping
in hotels, having spent months, now,
without seeing the faces of my family, somehow
its slow & quiet carrying of the load
reminds me of the kindness of donkeys
& this kindness returns me to myself.
It reminds me of the kindness of other things I love
like the kindness of sisters who send mail,
wherever you are, &, speaking of mail, there is
the special kindness of the mail lady
who says, "Hi, baby" to everyone, at first
I thought it was just me, but now I know
she says "Hi, baby" to everyone. That is kindness.
Too, there is the kindness of windows, & of dogs.
& then there was that extraordinary Sunday
back at the house, I heard a woman screaming
about how she was lonely & so lonely
she didn’t know what she’d do, maybe kill
herself, she said, over & over like a parrot
in a cage, a parrot whose human parent
only taught it that one sentence. I looked out
the window & saw her from behind, the way she flung
her arms like she was desperate & being killed
or eaten by an invisible predator, like a tiger or a lion, in the chest.
& her voice seemed fogged out with methadone, I don’t know,
something, & I walked away from the window
& sat, angry with her for screaming, & sad,
& not long after, I heard her saying,
What’d you say? What’d you say to me?
& a man’s voice, low, I could not tell if it was kind.
& she said, I’ll kill myself, I’m so lonely.
& did I tell you, yet, that it was Mother’s Day?
Flowers & mothers, flowers & mothers all day long.
& the woman saying, I’m so lonely. I could kill myself.
& then quiet. & the man’s voice saying, It’s okay.
It’s okay. I love you, it’s okay.
& this made me get up, put my face, again, to the window
to see my landlord’s nephew outside, just hugging her so, as if
it were his mother, I mean, as if he belonged to her,
& then, again, quiet, I left the window but sat
in the silence of the house, hidden by shutters, & was amazed.
When the front door of the brownstone opened up
& let the tall nephew in with his sad & cougar eyes,
handsome & tall in his Carolina-Brooklyn swagger, I heard
him start to climb the stairs above me, & my own hand
opened up my own front door,
& though it was none of my business
I asked him, Do you know that women out there?
& do you know what happened next?
He said, No. The nephew said no, he didn’t know
the woman out there. & he told me Happy Mother’s Day
as he climbed the rest of the stairs. & I can’t stop seeing them
hugging on the street, under trees, it was spring, but cold,
& sometimes in the memory his head is touching hers
& sometimes in the memory his eyes are closed,
& sometimes she is holding him
& singing to him I love you. It’s okay.
I mean to tell you that everywhere I go
I hear us singing to each other. This way. I mean to tell you
that I have witnessed such great kindness as this,
in this, my true life, you must believe me.
I mean, on a Sunday, when nobody was supposed to be
watching. Nobody at all. I saw this happen, the two
of them hugging, when nobody was supposed to be
watching, but not a secret either, public
as the street, not for glory & not for a joke,
the landlord’s nephew ready to stand there for the woman
like a brother or a sister or a husband or son,
or none of these at all, but a stranger,
a stranger, who like her, is an earthling.
Perhaps this thing I am calling kindness
is more simple than kindness, rather, recognition
of the neighbor & the blue, shared earth
& the common circumstance of being here:
what remains living of the last
two million, impossible years…
From Monty Williams
"I'm angry. I'm afraid...I don't have all the answers, but I know the solutions start with love, listening, compassion, service and defending those who can't defend themselves.
" And I'm in pain...For those who have sworn to protect and serve ALL people regardless of color, religion or sexual orientation, I say thank you. We have an institutional problem with pervasive racism. It must end now.
"Borrowing from C.S. Lewis, 'You can't go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.'
"We must be the change now. Condemn violence and hate. Embrace love and change."
[from Monty Williams, Phoenix Suns head coach, and the Phoenix Mercury basketball teams]
In hell, people have chopsticks a yard long so they cannot reach their mouths. In heaven, the chopsticks are the same length - but the people feed one another.
–Vietnamese folk wisdom
(from "Daily Meditation" by Mary Mackenzie)
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 Nancy Marshall at firstname.lastname@example.org and Ruben Soliz at email@example.com. Your voice matters and we'd love to give you a platform for it.