June 2019 Newsletter

For a list of upcoming events, see our Calendar. For the monthly Queries, June: Reaching Out. (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’ June Schedule

Every Sunday – Meeting for Worship, 10:00-11:00 am

Every Sunday – First Day School, 10:10-11:00 am

Every Sunday – Singing in the Meeting House, 9:30-9:50 am

Sunday June 9 – Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business, 11:30 am

Sunday June 23  – Potluck, 11:30 am (4th Sunday)

Reno Friends Meeting Events & Notices               

Embodying the Light Class starts Wed. July 10, 6:30-7:45 pm

Rhonda Ashurst will offer a class “Embodying the Light” starting with two sessions this summer: July 10 and August 14 (both are second Wednesdays). NOTE: This class was going to start in June, but the start has been delayed to July. It will meet from 6:30-7:45 pm in the Meeting House. The class draws upon Tai Chi/qigong and yoga practices with the intention of embodying the Light in our physical bodies and our daily lives. Learn about becoming a clearer vessel for the Light, clearing blocks, releasing tension, being present in the moment, feeling the flow of inner energy, improving balance and breathing, and strengthening the muscles that carry us through physical life. These practices are also helpful in decreasing back, muscle and joint pain, plus they are a wonderful way to wind down mid-week and get a good night’s sleep. Movements will be gentle and easy so anyone can do them. They can be done in a chair if standing is difficult for you. Most of the practice is done in silence as a moving meditation. Following the movement, there will be time for questions, discussion and reflection. If you cannot participate this summer, but are interested in such a class in the fall, please let Rhonda know.

Next RISE Dinner for the Homeless, Sat. July 20, 5-6 pm

Join us to feed the hungry on Sat. July 20 at 5 pm. To participate, cook a large dish and help serve it at the RISE Dinner station on the east side of the parking lot of the Community Assistance Center, 335 Record Street. You can carpool with other Quakers from the Meeting House at 4:45 pm, or meet us at the CAC. Dishes to bring include casseroles, salads, vegetable sides, rolls or crates of fruit. No soups, please, as everything is served on plastic plates. For the full RISE schedule for 2019, check the RFM website.

Grover Hot Springs Fall Camping Trip! Fri.–Sun., Sept. 20-22

Mark your calendars now! The popular annual camping trip to Grover’s Hot Springs will be the third weekend of September, the 21-23. Carson Friends will join us in this beautiful mountain spot above Markleeville, CA. More details in the months to come.

The Wisdom of Living in Community

A group of Reno Friends met recently to discuss Matthew 18, using the guidance of a Quaker pamphlet (Pendle Hill) by Connie McPeak Green and Marty Paxson Grundy. Together, with Bible passages, queries and personal sharing, we explored the link between understanding and reconciliation as a spiritual practice.

We began with the disciples asking “who then is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?” (The disciples were often concerned about greatness.) Jesus settles this question by bringing a child into their midst, saying: “Assuredly, unless you change and become as little children, you will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven.” This prophecy was the beginning of much of the internal work in Matthew 18.

“Our experience has shown us that the first step in healing relationships and in building a deeper faith community is to become as a little child, striving to become humble, trusting, open, hopeful, teachable and obedient to God.” (Green & Grundy)

The reference in Matthew 18:7 describes how sin, offenses and stumbling blocks will come, as each of us is human, and that people will inevitably hurt one another. We shared how hurtful behavior can sometimes be damaging for years, and the ongoing struggles keep us from experiencing spiritual growth. Through the guidance of Mathew18: 8-9 we asked, what causes us to stumble.  Is it our hands, our feet, our eyes?

We also read the parable of the “lost sheep” and how the shepherd rejoices finding the one who strayed from the ninety-nine. As an example, Green and Grundy say: “this lost sheep, for whose welfare Jesus seems so tenderly concerned, is that person whom I dislike in Meeting; but this little one, this lost sheep, is also me with my shortcomings.”

As we moved further into the chapter, we came to a place where we asked ourselves: “what nurtures love, what blocks it, what needs to be changed, and how to put into practice what each of us may be learning inwardly from God.” (Green & Grundy)

Finally, we discovered that one of the most important parts of our spiritual discipline was prayer and forgiveness. Forgiveness becomes necessary because people will inevitably hurt one another. As Quaker author Richard J. Foster says: “when we forgive, the offense becomes a hundred times better, but it is never forgotten.” Jesus shows the way by which genuine forgiveness can come into a community without destroying it. This principle is found in Matthew 18: 15-22:  “If your sister or brother should commit some wrong against you, go and point out the error, but keep it between the two of you.  If she or her listened to you, you have a loved one back.”

“The internal work that we understand Jesus is inviting us to carry out is not easy, and alone we are tempted to avoid it, at the cost of foregoing the sweet joy and peace of healed relationships.” (Green & Grundy)

~ Respectfully submitted, Beatrice Hamilton

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 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.

Quaker Mission Stamp Project

The Quaker Stamp Project helps the poor in Africa and India through Right Sharing of World Resources, a Quaker organization that provides micro-grants to worthy women. To support the Stamp Project, save canceled foreign and domestic stamps, leaving a small rim around stamps when cutting them off. Send stamps to: Stamps for Right Sharing, c/o Indianapolis First Friends, 3030 Kessler Blvd East Drive, Indianapolis, IN 46220. You can help make a difference in the world – one stamp at a time!

Outside Non-Profits That Meet at the Quaker Meeting House

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. NOTE:  The Tuesday night group meets in the Sunday School building on the 4th Tuesday of the month. These groups are open to all.

Citizens Climate Lobby of Northern Nevada is a group working with local and national legislators to pass a carbon tax and dividend to help stop global warming. CCL meets in the Quaker Meeting House every 4th Tuesday of the month, from 6:30 pm to 8 pm (except for December). For more information, email Betsy Fadali at bfadali (at) sbcglobal.net. Feel free to bring friends and neighbors, if they’re interested. For more on CCL, go to www.citizensclimatelobby.org.

Art of Living meets on Monday evenings at 5:30 pm, except for holidays and bad weather days. This meditation group, founded by the spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, “provides breathing techniques, meditation, yoga, and practical wisdom for daily living.” If you are interested in attending, please contact Alison Pratte at amepratte(at)gmail.com.

Other Non-Profits Affiliated with Reno Friends

Be the Change Project is an urban homestead movement in Reno that promotes urban gardening, composting, earthen building projects, environmental speakers and other interesting developments in living off the grid. For more information about the cool stuff they are doing—from community murals to various workshops—check out their new website: bethechangeprojectreno.org. Or, contact Reno Friend Kyle Chandler-Isacksen at kisacksen (at) gmail.com.

Sierra Interfaith Action for Peace (SIAP) has been “holding a space” for peace for over 16 years. The group gathers for a peace vigil in Reno every Monday from 5:30-6:00 pm in front of the Federal Building at Virginia and Liberty Streets. Members take turns leading the group with relevant articles and discussions. Everyone is welcome to attend!


“Life from the center is a life of unhurried peace and power. It is serene and radiant. It takes no time, but it occupies all our time, making our life programs new and overcoming. We need not get frantic. Love is at the helm..”

 Thomas Kelly

Do you want to share a poem, prayer, verse, quote or message that inspires you? Send it to Reno Friends newsletter editor Wendy Swallow at wswallow54 (at) gmail.com.

Hold Them in the Light

Please hold the following in the Light: All who injured or who have lost homes in the wildfires, all those who struggle with loneliness, sadness or privation; all those grieving over the epidemic of gun violence in our country, and for everyone hurt and challenged by war and terrorism and racism; 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 those who have lost loved ones or who suffer illness or injury. To request prayers, please leave a message at the Meeting House or contact the Clerk.

Quaker Activities & Announcements

Pacific Yearly Meeting Annual Session: CLERK’S CALL
Fri. July 12 to Wed. 17, 2019 at Walker Creek Ranch, Petaluma, CA

Dwelling in Truth and Trusting Divine Spirit

We are called to “dwell in Truth.”  Living in Truth is an experience and a confident dependence on the guidance of Divine Spirit rather than a set of beliefs to be accepted.  “Abide in me and I in you” is the promise we find in John 15:4.  Indeed, God is always reaching out to us, always present; it is we who need to come back to the Presence again and again.

And O, know that your strength lies not in yourselves, not in any thing ye can do of yourselves: but in God’s living principle of truth, wherein he appears and whereby he works in your hearts. ~ Isaac Penington, 24 July, 1679

Robert Griswold, in his book Marking the Quaker Way, writes, “Dwelling in Truth, or reality is not a place to visit,” but rather “a place to live.” We have continual work to do as individual Friends and as Quaker Meetings in seeking, looking beyond our ideas, opinions, and comfortable habits toward what Divine Spirit is calling us to be and to do.

Our keynote speaker will be David Johnson, a seasoned Friend and author from Australia Yearly Meeting. He will speak of the many ways the Spirit of God, known to many of us as the Light of Christ, moves and works within us, based on his own experience as well as the experiences of early Friends. Christ is working to enable us to Dwell in Truth.

Discernment is part of the work we will do together in our plenary sessions (our Meetings for Worship on the occasion of Business) at Annual Session. We are called to trust Spirit in deep worship with one another, to speak the truth we see and listen to the truth others bring, and to release our expectations into the hands of Spirit. We are seeking unity with a truth that may be beyond what any one of us sees. This discernment is a vital part of Quaker practice that has been likened to “separating by means of sifting.” We know from our own experience that we can easily misunderstand or be misled by irrelevant worldly fears. The sifting that is discernment must include our hearts and our minds, with faith in the wisdom of the Divine Spirit.

With gratitude to Divine Spirit, I extend this invitation to Pacific Yearly Meeting Annual Session. During our time together we will have opportunities to meet new Friends and visit with known Friends; to play, to wait in expectant worship, to learn and discern together and to be renewed in our faith and practice. Please save the dates and plan to attend. ~ Sandy Roske Kewman, Presiding Clerk

Registration for PYM’s Annual Session is now open. Register by June 12 to avoid late fees.

Ben Lomond Quaker Center News & Workshops
Abundance and Justice in our Common Home, May 31 – June 2, with Shelley Tanenbaum and Sara Wolcott

Summoning gardeners and prison justice reformers, mystics and peace advocates for a time of deep listening stemming from our interconnections. Through history, story-telling, and worship-sharing, we seek an ecology of hope, ways of integration and action.

Quaker Service and Art Camp from June 22 – 29

Kids entering 5th through 9th grades are welcome to join camp staff and seasoned Friends to get a taste of community life in the redwoods through a variety of activities. Multi-generational crews will gather to work on service projects at Quaker Center or travel to Santa Cruz. We will explore Quaker practices through town meetings, worship sharing, inter-generational kitchen and cleaning crews, games and music. Learn more and register your child early at http://www.quakercenter.org/youth-camp/

Family Work Camp July 30 – Aug. 4

It is the best family vacation deal around– only $60 to $140 for all 5 days! Individuals as well as families of all ages are welcome. Quaker Center staff will co-facilitate work camp crews to improve Quaker Center facilities while everyone co-creates the Quaker community. Crews gather in the morning after breakfast and work until lunch. After lunch there will be opportunities to play, hike, swim, and cook together, or for time alone to enjoy the redwoods. Some work campers choose to keep working. Learn more about this inter-generational camp and register online at http://www.quakercenter.org/family-work-camp/.

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.

American Friends Service Committee, West Region

AFSC West has a robust schedule of events in California concerning the Wage Peace Program, Urban Shield events, Responses and Resistance to Militarism, etc.  For more information, go to http://afsc.org/office/san-francisco-ca.

– Submitted by Peter Lin, AFSC West Region

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.

Go to Newsletter Archive for prior months’ news.