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Reunión de los Amigos de Phoenix (Quakers)

November 2020 Newsletter

We're pleased to present the November 2020 Newsletter. Included in this issue are plenty of articles and updates from within our Phoenix Monthly Meeting. We have a Memorial Minute for our beloved Phoenix Meeting member Polly Kmetz, as well as articles on solar power in the meeting house, books, and in-person meeting options. Plus, there is much more.

Phoenix Meeting Monthly Query

It is our community's custom to consider a query each month. These "help us see if we are living our faith in Truth. We must be honest with ourselves. Do we actively seek to act out that faith in our lives? At times, we may become disheartened when the ideal of following the Light seems impossibly demanding... queries help us assess the rightness of our direction. ...They remind us of the faith and principles held to be essential to the life and witness of Friends. ... We commit ourselves not just to words but also to a way of life." ~ Faith & Practice    

We gather before worship on the first Sunday of each month for discussion of the query.  We also have a slightly different form of worship on first Sundays. After reading the query, individuals are invited to share their thoughts on the topic. 

November's query is Harmony with Nature:  

  • How do we inform ourselves about how our style of living  affects the global economy and the environment?
  • How do we live in accord with our sense of God in all creation?
  • Are we careful to avoid poisoning the earth, the air and water?
  • Do we use the world's resources with care and consideration for future generations and with respect for all life?
  • Do we recycle and reuse all we can?

OBITUARY FOR POLLY KMETZ, Earlham College Class of 1972

PAULA J. KMETZ passed away on July 31, 2020 after a courageous, prolonged struggle with Parkinson's Disease. Born on December 10th, 1950, Polly grew up in western Massachusetts and graduated from Wilbraham High School in 1968. Can it be nearly 50 years since Polly graced us at Earlham with her infectious laughter, her love of Romance language and culture, her quest for meaningful living, and her gifted singing voice?
After graduating from Earlham in 1972 with a BA in French, Polly taught for two years at Barnesville Friends School. At that time she converted to Quakerism and immersed herself in her faith's calling to social justice activism and to its communal spiritual life. Polly moved to Montreal, Canada, where she took a position teaching Junior High School French to English speaking students. After several years she left teaching for a position in Canadian Social Services. In the mid Eighties, Polly returned to Massachusetts and realized a lifetime dream of studying music, earning a BA in Voice Performance from the New England Conservatory of Music.
Soon thereafter, Polly's career shifted when she began her work in the college textbook industry, first as an Editorial Assistant for D.C. Heath, in Lexington,  Massachusetts and then as Project Editor at Holt, Rinehart and Winston in New York City. As Project Editor, Polly found herself at the very heart of the book publishing process, a complex and schedule-driven role which drew heavily upon her literary and linguistic acumen. While in New York, Polly met Roger Rohm, the love of her life. 
They soon moved to the Boston area, so Polly could begin her new position as Senior Project Editor for Houghton Mifflin. In that capacity she was entrusted with overseeing many of their division-critical, complex bestsellers in the fields of accounting, economics and business administration. In April 1989, Polly and Roger were married in Cambridge, Massachusetts, under the care of the Beacon Hill Monthly Meeting
In 1994, the lure of the Southwest drew Polly and Roger to Phoenix, Arizona, where after first working in the Arizona State Department of Archaeology, she became Managing Editor and Director of Editorial Services for The Coriolis Group. Polly excelled in her expanded leadership role, and in 2001, she founded her own Freelance Production Service. 
Polly was actively involved in her Quaker communities, serving on numerous committees, in Boston, where she also served as clerk of Beacon Hill Monthly Meeting and out west, at Phoenix Monthly Meeting, where her careful attention and spirit-led presence was especially appreciated at Meetings for Worship for Business. Along life's way, she found time to teach yoga at Phoenix Monthly Meeting as well as at other venues and to take advantage of her certification in Scuba Diving.
We'll miss you, Polly, mais ta joie de vivre et ton don pour la chanson firent du feu dans notre coeurs, une inspiration durable! You gathered sticks, kindled a fire, and left it burning.

From George Fox

"Nosotros absolutamente negamos todas las guerras..."

We utterly deny all wars..."

George Fox, 1660.

Here Comes the Sun - Solar Updates

Candace Wilkinson
 This month’s query is Harmony with Nature, so it’s fitting that as a Meeting, we are on the verge of being able to make a significant contribution to reducing our carbon footprint. 
Back in May, members approved a Minute to study the use of solar power for a portion of our electricity.  We have had quite a journey and learned lots about the ins-and-outs of solar power over the last year, but most of the hurdles have been cleared!
The Building and Property Committee is scheduled to meet on November 9th to consider which installer’s proposal (we have three) and finance plan to recommend at the November 15th business meeting.  
The plan is to mount 35 panels on the meetinghouse roof, which will provide about 60% of our electricity. Not only is this good for the environment, it’s good for our budget. Currently we pay APS about $9,000 a year.  The red line on this graph shows how our costs would increase over the next 25 years given the estimated 4% annual increase in APS rates.  By engaging a company that matches investors with solar projects, the Meeting will have the advantage of their oversight of the project and all its legal dealings.  The cost remaining after any contribution Meeting would convert to a 10 year lease of panels, with our purchase/ownership in late 2030.    
But there is even better news.  If we are able to make a substantial payment toward the system upfront, our overall cost and monthly payments for the system are reduced. It might be possible to reach the green dotted line on this chart much earlier (than the 10 years shown), indicating we will be left with only the reduced APS bill each month.  


So here is where you, as a member of the community can join.  If you would like to contribute toward a panel, you can make a donation to the Meeting earmarked for the solar system.  Any amount will be an endorsement of our commitment to the environment.  Each panel costs $882, so you might use that or a multiple / fraction of that amount to determine the size of your donation.


If you would like more information (we have lots) please contact me or Vance Marshall, the clerk.

New at Phoenix Meetinghouse

Friends, we are open for mask-wearing, socially distanced and appreciative Meeting for Worship on Sundays. These meetings will be hybrid: the maximum safely in the Meeting room is about 14 individuals, with a few couples sitting together increasing the number. We will also continue by Zoom, for those Friends who cannot join us physically.
Also new at the Meetinghouse: a new FREE BOX of magazines. Feel free to take anything in the box. Feel free to add. And once the magazine is a year old, we'll remove it.  Look for the RED sign on the box to the left in the Library.


We can think of courage as the emotional labor needed to manage our fears. That is, courage is simply the everyday work of managing our fears. We all practice courage every day when we confront things we would rather avoid. . . Once people overcome their fears they get a rush of energy and a wonderful sense of freedom. Can you taste it? . . 

(Mike Yarrow, 2008, quoted in Extra Extra 10-17-20 by Mary Klein)


If you have dates to put on the Meeting calendar - committee meetings, workshops, etc, please notify Richard Starling to clear the date either for the use of the Meeting room or to see if the Zoom link is available. Text (520) 604-0334,

From Eat, Pray, Love

"Here I am. I'm spiraling in a panic. I reach for my most private notebook. I find the first blank page. I write: 'I need your help.' 
Then I wait. After a little while, a response comes, in my own handwriting: 'I'm right here. What can I do for you?'
And here recommences my strangest and most secret conversation. I talk to that same voice when I first prayed to God in tears for help, when something (or somebody) had said, 'Go back to bed.'  I've found that voice again in times of code-orange distress. I've been surprised to find that I can almost always access that voice too....That calm, compassionate, affectionate and infinitely wise voice (who is maybe me, or maybe not exactly me) is always available for a conversation any time of day or night."

(from Eat, Pray, Love, by Elizabeth Gilbert, Penguin Books, 2006)

Come to Meeting

Come regularly to meeting for worship even when you are angry, depressed, tired or spiritually cold. In the silence ask for and accept the prayerful support of others joined with you in worship. Try to find a spiritual wholeness which encompasses suffering as well as thankfulness and joy. Prayer, springing from a deep place in the heart, may bring healing and unity as nothing else can. Let meeting for worship nourish your whole life. 
Submitted by: Rachel Serna Source: Advices and Queries 1.02 # 10
Britain Meeting - Faith and Practice
(included in Western Friend online discussion of daily inspirational messages)

Pima Meeting Newsletter

You can find Pima Meeting's Newsletter here:

Books at Phoenix Meetinghouse

  1. Returned: Friends for 350 YEARS, by Howard Brinton, with update by Margaret Hope Bacon.. A good read on our Quaker history.
  2. New donation: "HOW TO LIVE: What the Rule of St. Benedict Teaches Us about Happiness, Meaning, and Community," by Judith Valente.   Nicely broken up into thoughtful sections on waking up, peaceful living, silence, etc.
  3. New: "Cathedral on Fire," by Brooks Berndt. Six copies. Free - take one. This is a short book for folks who want to discuss climate change and act on our concerns - either as individuals or as a spiritual community. If you are interested in starting a discussion group on this book with others, contact Nancy Marshall

The Quakers

Of all Protestant sects the Quakers went furthest in stripping off from Christianity its non-essential features of doctrine and ceremonial. Their ideal was not a theocracy but a separation between church and state. They would abolish all distinction between clergy and laity, and could not be coaxed or bullied into paying tithes. They also refused to render military service or to take the oath of allegiance..In doctrine their chief peculiarity was the assertion of an "inward Light" by which every individual is to be guided in his conduct in life. [ from "Persecution of Quakers in Colonial New England," by John Fiske]

On Cruelty to Animals

“We must fight against the spirit of unconscious cruelty with which we treat the animals. Animals suffer as much as we do. True humanity does not allow us to impose such sufferings on them. It is our duty to make the whole world recognize it. Until we extend our circle of compassion to all living things, humanity will not find peace.”    ~Albert Schweitzer

Speaking Truth to Power during a Pandemic: 
A Quaker Scientist's Reflections

Saturday, November 7, 2020
1 pm - 2:30 pm EST
We will hear from Gray Handley, a Quaker scientist in the U.S., who serves as Associate Director for International Research Affairs at the U.S. National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). NIAID is the institution in the United States that has led the research response to COVID-19. Gray coordinates and facilitates the institute’s international activities, ensuring that NIAID has a well-integrated, scientifically productive program of international research cooperation. 
Gray asks, “What is our truth and how do we share it for the good of all?” As a Quaker, as a scientist working in international health during a global pandemic, as an observer of the power structures in the world, Gray raises this as vital query for our times. His overall professional goal is to foster peaceful relations between countries while helping to advance biomedical science that will improve public health in communities around the world. In some ways Gray has found his professional life’s work culminating in the current challenges posed by the pandemic.
More info on Gray Handley here:
Register Here:

The Light Within

Richard Rohr
Friday,  October 2, 2020
First gathering in 17th-century England as the Religious Society of Friends, the Quakers have always existed on the margins of Christianity, but that doesn’t mean their impact has been small. In many ways, they were ahead of their time (and even our times) when it came to women’s legitimate place in spiritual leadership, abolitionism, pacifism, and even the necessity of silence to hear the voice of God. From the beginning, they insisted that every individual had access to the “Light Within” and must follow their own conscience. It took the Catholic Church until Vatican II to state that clearly! In this passage by Quaker mystic Thomas Kelly (1893–1941), I hear echoes of the writings of Thomas Merton, as Kelly encourages his readers to recognize, trust, and live authentically from the “Light Within.”
Deep within us all there is an amazing inner sanctuary of the soul, a holy place, a Divine Center, a speaking Voice, to which we may continually return. Eternity is at our hearts, pressing upon our time-torn lives, warming us with intimations of an astounding destiny, calling us home unto Itself. Yielding to these persuasions, gladly committing ourselves in body and soul, utterly and completely, to the Light Within, is the beginning of true life. It is a dynamic center, a creative Life that presses to birth within us. It is a Light Within that illumines the face of God and casts new shadows and new glories upon the human face. It is a seed stirring to life if we do not choke it. It is the Shekinah of the soul, the Presence in the midst. Here is the Slumbering Christ, stirring to be awakened, to become the soul we clothe in earthly form and action. And [Christ] is within us all.
You who read these words already know this inner Life and Light. For by this very Light within you is your recognition given. In this humanistic age we suppose we are the initiators and God is the responder. But the Living Christ within us is the initiator, and we are the responders. . . .
The basic response of the soul to the Light is internal adoration and joy, thanksgiving and worship, self-surrender and listening. The secret places of the heart cease to be our noisy workshop. They become a holy sanctuary of adoration and of self-oblation, where we are kept in perfect peace, if our minds be stayed on [God] who has found us in the inward springs of our life. . . . Powerfully are the springs of our will moved to an abandon of singing love toward God; powerfully are we moved to a new and overcoming love toward time-blinded human beings and all creation. In this Center of Creation all things are ours, and we are Christ’s and Christ is God’s.

Friendly Connections Corner

Friendly Connections Corner
Hilltop Haven Home (for 4 people) and Cottage (for 1 person) available outside Sedona, through Airbnb, for those seeking quiet, rest, retreat, and relaxation. For more info:
Sign up for the AZ Legislative Alert:
The first announcement is a request that if you are eligible to vote, you take

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 with a cc' to Nancy Marshall at and Ruben Soliz at Your voice matters and we'd love to give you a platform for it.
Phoenix Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
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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