April 2021 Newsletter
For upcoming events, see our Calendar. For the monthly Queries, see April: Harmony with Creation. (The red text on this page and within this web site contains embedded hypertext links. Double click on any red link to open the web page associated with that link.)
Reno Friends Meeting House and the First Day School are closed for now due to the pandemic, but we are holding Silent Worship through the web app Zoom at 10:00 am (details below). We are also holding online meetings, spiritual discussions, yoga classes and fellowship on Zoom. For details on using Zoom, see our Zoom guidelines.
April Reno Friends Meeting Schedule
Every Sunday for the foreseeable future: Silent Worship on Zoom, from 10:00 to 11:00 am, with Zoom fellowship following. (Click the “Silent Worship” link, above, for the zoom link.)
Thurs. Apr. 1 – PM Embodying the Light, 7-8 pm, on Zoom (details)
Sun. Apr. 4 – EASTER GARDEN PARTY, 2-3:30 pm, (details below)
Tues. Apr. 6 – Zoom Ministry & Oversight Committee Meeting, 11 am
Thurs. Apr. 8 – Zoom Clerks’ Committee Meeting, 10 am
Sun. Apr. 11 – Zoom Meeting for Business, 11:30 am
Wed. Apr. 14 – AM Embodying the Light, 10-11 am, on Zoom (details)
Sat. Apr. 17 – Meeting House Garden Clean-up, 9am to noon (details below)
Thurs. Apr. 22 — Spiritual Discussion: “Are We One Nation?“ with Steve Wolgast, 7-8:30 pm (details below)
Wed. Apr. 28 – AM Embodying the Light, 10-11 am, on Zoom (details)
Sat. May. 1 — Sugar Pine Planting Party (details below), meet at 10:00 a.m. in Truckee
Reno Friends Meeting Events & Notices
Silent Worship now on Zoom every Sunday at 10 am, with Fellowship afterwards
We are meeting for Silent Worship only on Zoom for the rest of the winter and early spring. We will hold our usual social hour after Worship on Zoom, as well, so after we rise from Worship, everyone can go get a cup of coffee and return to the Zoom session. Here is the recurring Zoom link for online Silent Worship on Sundays mornings. (The Zoom session is active between 9:45-12:00, with Silence starting at 10.)
For Silent Worship on Zoom, we have developed a set of Zoom Worship guidelines. For those who would like to learn more about Zoom in advance, go to https://westernfriend.org/media/how-use-zoom-videoconferencing. If you would rather sit in Silent Worship quietly at home rather than online, we invite you to send after-thoughts, joys and concerns, and requests to hold people in the Light to Rhonda at rhondalou14(at)gmail.com. Our worship clerk will read them at the next Zoom Silent Worship.
Embodying the Light: First Thursday evening class on Zoom, 7-8 pm, Apr. 1; Second and Fourth Wednesday morning classes on Zoom, 10-11 am, Apr. 14 and Apr. 28.
Rhonda Ashurst leads the “Embodying the Light” class of gentle yoga and Tai Chi/Qigong as a service to Reno Friends and the community. All the Embodying the Light classes are currently being held on Zoom because of the pandemic. For the foreseeable future, Rhonda will teach an evening class from 7-8 pm on first Thursdays (Apr. 1), and morning classes from 10-11 am on second and fourth Wednesdays (Apr. 14 and Apr. 28). We will do our Tai Chi/Qigong practice standing, but please have a chair or mat for our brief meditation. See our website for more details. Please watch the Weekly Schedule Update for the Zoom link.
Zoom Ministry and Oversight Committee Meeting, Tues. Apr. 6, at 11 am
RFM’s M&O Committee will meet on Zoom Tues. Apr. 6 at 11 am. This meeting is open only to M&O Committee members and helpers. A link for that Zoom session, along with an agenda, will go out to those involved the day before. If anyone in the Meeting has a concern they would like to bring forward to Ministry & Oversight, please contact Wendy Swallow.
Zoom Clerks Committee Meeting, Thurs. Apr. 8, at 10 am
RFM’s Clerks’ Committee will meet Thurs. Apr. 8 at 10 am on Zoom to discuss the March Meeting for Business agenda. A link for that Zoom session, along with an agenda, will go out to those involved the day before. If anyone in the Meeting has an item for the Meeting for Business agenda, please forward it to one of the Meeting Clerks, either John Hervey or Mark Woolbright.
Zoom Meeting for Business, Sun. Apr. 11, at 11:30 am
Business Meetings will be held on Zoom for the foreseeable future 11:30 am. A Zoom link will be sent out to all in advance of each Meeting for Business, along with the agenda. Everyone is welcome at Meeting for Business.
Spring Cleanup in the Garden, Sat. April 17, from 9 am to noon
Join us in tidying up the Meeting House Garden before we start sitting outside for worship again later this spring. Bring gardening gloves and tools and please wear a mask, even if you have been vaccinated.
Zoom Spiritual Discussion, 7-8:30 pm, Thurs. Apr. 22, “Are We One Nation?” with Steve Wolgast
Please join Steve Wolgast for a spiritual discussion Thurs. Apr. 22 on the topic: Are We One Nation? Steve will look at this issue through the prism of our Equality Testimony. The link for this discussion, and additional background material and queries, will be sent out later in the month. We welcome everyone.
Sugar Pine Planting Party, Sat. May 1: Meet in Truckee at 10 am
Reno Friends will work together to plant Sugar Pine seedlings on Saturday May 1. We will gather at the Truckee Ranger District building at 10811 Stockrest Springs Rd., Truckee, at 10 am. From there, we will caravan together about 15 minutes to our planting site. To get to the Ranger District building, go west on I-80 from Reno. As you approach the Truckee area, take the Rte. 89 exit and go north. You will quickly hit a roundabout; go 3/4s of the way around it and exit on Donner Pass Rd. You will be heading south on Donner Pass Road and will soon hit another roundabout. Go just 1/2 way around so that you are still on Donner Pass Rd. Soon you will encounter a third roundabout. Go 3/4s of the way around that one and get off on Stockrest Springs Rd. The Ranger District building is on the left down towards the end of that road. Total travel time from Reno is about 30-35 minutes.
We are working with the Sugar Pine foundation, who will direct our work and provide shovels, seedlings and everything we need. There is no hiking or strenuous shoveling involved. The exact time and location will be announced as soon as we have it set. Friends will convene at the site and should bring water, a camp chair, a mask and hat. Brownies and other snacks will be provided, but feel free to bring your lunch if you like. If you want to join us, please RSVP to Wendy Swallow at wswallow54(at)gmail.com. And many thanks to Shanna Mae and her family for suggesting and planning this fun outdoor adventure!
Kudos to Reno Friend Jim Brune, Recently Honored for his Earthquake Work
If you were to type “Brune Stress Drop” into an internet search bar today, you would find numerous scholarly references, peer-reviewed papers, and expert discussion on the merits of the earthquake measuring model developed by our long-time Reno Quaker Jim Brune. Jim described this model in his paper published in 1970 in the American Geophysical Union’s Journal of Geophysical Research. His finding, now familiarly known as the Brune Stress Drop Model, is one of the most cited in all aspects of seismology, and has become the standard used in studies of earthquake source physics, tectonic stress, ground-motion prediction and more. According to Dr. John Anderson, UNR Seismology professor, Jim’s paper significantly advanced seismologists’ methods of measuring internal stresses — forces that cause the earth movements — and their resultant release in earthquakes.
This past December Jim was recognized for this seminal paper during the Annual Meeting of the AGU (held online for the first time.) An entire session devoted to Jim’s work was titled ‘Fifty Years of the Brune Earthquake Source Model: What Have We Learned, and What is Next?’ From the session introduction, we have this excerpt: The Brune earthquake source model “provides a framework in which to link seismic observations to basic earthquake source physics….” Who knew Jim had produced, a half-century ago, such ‘ground-breaking’, ‘earth-shaking’ work?
Reno Friend Conor McQuivey Launches Podcast “Renoites”
Our very own Conor McQuivey recently launched an interesting new podcast called “Renoites,” in which he interviews key people from Reno or the surrounding area on various issues that affect all of us. He plans to cover arts, culture, politics, business: in short, a little bit of everything. Sometimes the conversation is locally focused, and sometimes more broad, but always with people who have a connection to our community here in Northern Nevada. He has interviewed Ben Castro of RISE about homelessness in Reno, and Bob Conrad of ThisIsReno.com about local media. The podcast is available on all the major podcast apps, wherever people prefer to listen. Check out any of the Renoite podcasts at https://www.facebook.com/Renoites/ or directly on the website at renoites.com. Congrats, Conor!
Donating to Reno Friends in 2021
While our Meeting House is closed until we can safely hold worship inside, Reno Friends are still busily providing food for the homeless, supporting national Quaker efforts around justice and equality, gathering online for worship and discussions and meetings, and working to keep our Meeting House and grounds maintained and functioning. If you would like to support the Meeting, donations should be sent to our Meeting Treasurer Charlie Shepard, at his home at 4395 Mountaingate Dr., Reno, NV 89519. Or you can send money to the Meeting via your bank using the Zelle payment application, which most banks offer for free. To make a Zelle transfer, you’ll need Reno Friends’ bank account number, which you can get by emailing Charlie at cshepard54(at)gmail.com. It eliminates the need to write a check and, for our Treasurers, to deposit your check at the bank. Thank you from Reno Friends!
Changes have been coming to RISE, the local charity that serves Reno’s homeless and which is supported by Reno Friends. RISE, which stands for the Reno Initiative for Shelter and Equality, is no longer managing the RISE & Dine meal service that Reno Friends have helped with in the past. The Catholic Charities (under the direction of the Community Homeless Advisory Board made up of local officials) has taken over that service. Instead, RISE is operating the new family shelter, Our Place.
Some Reno Friends have been working with a group of volunteers who prepare foods to distribute to homeless camps. If anyone is interested in helping with this effort, known as the “Verdi Posse,” please email Wendy Swallow, at wswallow54(at)gmail.com. For a report on RISE from Steve Wolgast, the RFM RISE liaison, please see the Reno Friends RISE Report.
Quaker Earthcare Witness: Books on Climate and Care of the Earth
“Each of us approaches Earthcare from the calling deep within us. Some are called to advocacy; some are called to tilt at the political windmills; some of us are called to teach/share with others; some of us are called to regenerative agriculture and/or native plants. Each has its place in Earthcare. It’s important to find our own starting place – and that will guide our reading. Reading broadly can also help us find that starting place.” – Hope Ascher, Quaker Meeting of Melbourne. For some suggestions of recommended books, click here: https://www.quakerearthcare.org/article/qews-favorite-books
Donate New Stamps to the Homeless
Want to help those in need? Donate new FOREVER stamps to be distributed to the homeless through the Reno Family Resource Center. Put stamp donations in the little drawer under the bulletin board in the Meeting House.
Carson City Worship Group
The Carson City worship group is currently meeting privately because of the pandemic. If you are interested in attending, please contact clerk(at)renofriends.org and we will connect you to the Carson clerk. In better times, the Carson Worship Group meets every Sunday of the month for unprogrammed worship from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm in the living room of the Rectory of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Carson City. St. Peter’s, located at 314 North Division Street, occupies a small city block in the heart of Carson City’s Historic District. The Rectory, an historic two-story brick house, sits just south of the church building. When the Carson Worship Group is able to meet again in the St. Peter’s Rectory, we will announce that here.
Quaker Mission Stamp Project
Stamping for Dollars, previously know as The Quaker Stamp Project, helps the poor through Right Sharing of World Resources, a Quaker organization that provides micro-grants to groups of very poor women for starting up a business. All live in impoverished areas in Africa and India. To support this worthwhile program, save canceled foreign and domestic stamps, and send them to: Stamps for Right Sharing, c/o Indianapolis First Friends, 3030 Kessler Blvd East Drive, Indianapolis, IN 46220. For more information: https://www.rswr.org/stamp-program. You can help make a difference in the world – one stamp at a time!
Outside Non-Profits That (Previously) Met at the Quaker Meeting House
NOTE: These groups are currently meeting online only.
Adult Children of Alcoholics and Dysfunctional Families meets every Tuesday and Thursday from 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm, and every Saturday from 5 pm to 6 pm. ACA is a world service 12-step program for those struggling with the legacy of growing up in an alcoholic or dysfunctional home. These groups are open to all.
Citizens Climate Lobby of Northern Nevada works with local and national legislators to pass a carbon tax and dividend to help stop global warming. CCL meets the 4th Tuesday of the month, 6:30 to 8 pm (except for Dec.). For more info, email Betsy Fadali at bfadali(at)sbcglobal.net. Feel free to bring friends and neighbors, if they are interested. For more on CCL, go to www.citizensclimatelobby.org.
Other Non-Profits Affiliated with Reno Friends
Sierra Interfaith Action for Peace (SIAP) has been “holding a space” for peace for over 16 years. Instead of gathering in front of the Federal Building, as they have done in the past, the group now gathers for a peace vigil on Zoom every Monday from 5:30-6:00 pm. Members take turns leading the group with relevant articles and discussions. If anyone wants to join the group, please send an email to either Pat Coia at firstname.lastname@example.org or Rita Sloan at email@example.com.
Hold Them in the Light
Please hold the following in the Light: All who those who have lost loved ones or who have suffered illness during the pandemic; those who have lost jobs or business; everyone hurt and challenged by racism, war and terrorism; those who struggle with loneliness, sadness or privation; all those grieving over the epidemic of gun violence and police violence in our country, and for and all the people and leaders of our nation and all countries experiencing war or oppression, so that we may find peaceful resolutions to all our economic and political troubles. In particular, please hold in the Light: Sharonlee Souza; Peg’s cousin Cathy; Suze’s friends Anthony and Amber, and Kristy and Aiden; Mark and Edie’s niece Hannah and friends Karen, Lee, and Bart; Rick’s wife Beth and all of San Jose Meeting; Melanie’s sister Stephanie and friend Allen; Erin’s friend Derek; Rhonda’s friend Deb; Catie’s friend Damien; Wendy’s mother Edie and her Aunt Anne.
To request prayers, or to add or subtract someone from the “Hold in the Light” list, please contact Rhonda Ashurst at rhondalou14(at)gmail.com.
Quaker Activities & Announcements
College Park Spring Quarterly: May 14-16 (Virtual)
Mark your calendars for the CPQM Spring Quarterly, which will be held online. The theme has yet to be determined. For more information, go to https://collegeparkquarterlymeeting.org/.
“Clerk’s Call” for Pacific Yearly Meeting Annual Session, July 23-28
Love and Justice: Heeding the Spirit’s Power Within and Among Us
“God, who made all, pours out his spirit upon all [people] in the world, in the days of his new covenant, yea, upon blacks and whites, Moors, and Turks, and Indians, Christians, Jews, and Gentiles, that all with the spirit of God, might know God and the things of God, and serve and worship him in his spirit and truth.” ~ George Fox
“Here we have a prospect of one common interest from which our own is inseparable, that to turn all the treasure we possess into the channel of universal love becomes the business of our lives.” ~ John Woolman, “A Plea for the Poor”
As this is being written, we are holding a deep concern for the epidemic of racism, systemic and overt white supremacy in our country. The COVID 19 epidemic and global climate crisis have also greatly impacted Friends this year and many in our community have experienced loss, uncertainty and ongoing grief. And yet we know that these affect Friends in our Yearly Meeting in markedly different ways. Both COVID 19 and the climate crisis disproportionately affect Friends in the Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) communities. We are called to move toward love and justice.
The virtual Annual Session 2021 of Pacific Yearly Meeting will be held July 23 to 28. Our keynote speakers are Avotcja Jiltonilro, a poet, storyteller and multi-instrumentalist from Strawberry Creek Friends Meeting and Gabriela Portillo Alvarado, a second year college student at the University of Pennsylvania and a Young Adult Friend from Sacramento Friends Meeting. These two women will share their poetry and will engage in a dialogue on the theme.
Together we will take the time to connect with the Power of the Spirit within us. The indwelling Spirit connects us to one another and to all of creation.
This interconnectedness requires us to reevaluate how we relate to one another. The dominant culture within our country and our Religious Society of Friends of the Truth has centered whiteness for too long. What acts of love and justice are necessary for us to re-center our Society to a place of justice, of love, for all? How do we begin to move from entitlement to humbly giving our energy to a different way of being? How do we grow our abilities to cherish one another and develop a culture of dignity within our Yearly Meeting and beyond? Ongoing learning, truth telling, and willingness to repair are needed to break the bonds of racism. Each of us can see a portion of Light, but we need all of us to see the way forward, guided by Spirit.
You are invited to the Pay as Led online Annual Session of Pacific Yearly Meeting July 23 to 28, 2021 from wherever you are tending your heart. When registration is open you will be able to choose which activities are right for you. Together at Annual Session we will seek the guidance of the Divine Spirit in worship, in learning, and in rejoicing together. ~ Sandy Kewman, Presiding PYM clerk
Ben Lomond Quaker Center Workshops
Ben Lomond is still operating, but most programs are currently held online. Check out their website for Worship Sharing, Silent Worship, specific programs and more. Go to http://www.quakercenter.org.
Embodied Spirituality, A Quaker Center Interest Group Invitation, 90-minute sessions every Monday evening for 6 weeks, starting Apr. 5, Online with Barbara Birch
You are invited to join Barbara Birch, Strawberry Creek Monthly Meeting*, and Susan Wilson, Quaker Center Co-Director in a 6-week exploration of embodiment and how it is a way to resist body image dissatisfaction and societal standards of beauty. Embodied spirituality helps us understand health, intuitive eating and drinking, and mindful exercise. Source material will be our personal sharing through exploration of the Bible and Quaker writings, as well as other topical resources. This program is FREE, but we request a serious commitment to participate all 6 weeks in order to establish a deep and confidential space for spiritual connection.
Choosing Peace: Nurturing Ourselves as Peacebuilders in a Divided World, Apr. 16-18, Online with Bridget Moix
How do we sustain our witness as peacebuilders amid such deep division, violence, and fear today? How do we turn our own anger and dismay into positive change in the world? How do we practice hope?
This workshop will help us reconnect and renew ourselves as peacebuilders. Together we we will learn from the examples of people building peace around the world, take time to reflect on our own
leadings, soak in nature, and share practical ways we can help heal our country and communities. We will worship and work, walk and play, write and reflect. This program will be active and interactive.
Ben Lomond Financial Appeal
Between COVID and the recent fires, Ben Lomond Quaker Center
has lost about $15,000 per month of budgeted income. We started out with some healthy reserves, we’ve cut back on expenditures and Friends have been exceedingly generous in offering financial support. But, as the pandemic continues, and as we recover from the CZU fire, we are nearly certain to approach the limits of our ability to stay afloat and to chart the course. Please help, as you are able: DONATE
British Yearly Meeting Shares a Daily Feed of Advices and Queries: Go to http://quakerthoughtfortheday.com/
Quaker worship and fellowship online through Western Friend Magazine: https://westernfriend.org/quaker-worship-and-fellowship-online
Write for What Canst Thou Say?
Tell us your stories! What Canst Thou Say? (WCTS) is an independent publication co-operatively produced by Friends with an interest in mystical experience and contemplative practice. WCTS is a worship-sharing group in print. We hope to help Friends be tender and open to the Spirit. Articles that best communicate to our readers are those that focus on specific events and are written in the first person. We welcome submissions of articles less than 1500 words and artwork suitable for black and white reproduction. It is published in February, May, August, and November. The editorial and production team is Muriel Dimock, Lissa Field, Mariellen Gilpin, Judy Lumb, Grayce Mesner, Mike Resman, Earl Smith, Eleanor Warnock, and Rhonda Ashurst.
Reno Friends are welcome to email submissions to Rhonda Ashurst at rhondalou14(at)gmail.com. Please send your text submissions in Word or generic text format, and artwork in high resolution jpeg files. Photocopied art and typed submissions are also accepted. All authors and artists retain copyright to their articles and artwork published in WCTS. WCTS retains the right to publish initially and to reprint in WCTS anthologies.
Reno Friends Newsletter: How To Contribute
Submissions: Please submit your items for the newsletter by the Second Sunday of the month for inclusion in the following month’s newsletter. Send Friends Calendar events and information to Reno Friends newsletter editor Wendy Swallow, wswallow54 (at) gmail.com, or leave a message on the Meeting phone, (775) 329-9400.
Getting the newsletter in the mail: If you need to receive your newsletter by postal mail, please notify RFM newsletter editor Wendy Swallow at: wswallow54(at)gmail.com or call at 775-473-5559.