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January 2022 Newsletter

For the schedule of upcoming events, see the list below. For the monthly Queries, see January: Spiritual Life. (The red text on this page and within this web site contains embedded hypertext links. Click on a red link to open the web page associated with that link.)

Announcements

Reno Friends Meeting is currently holding Silent Worship at 10:00 am on Sundays on Zoom. Our First Day School is open at parent request on Sundays when we gather in person, and will be held outside, if possible. Please contact clerk(at)renofriends.org a few days in advance if you would like to request First Day School for your children . We are also holding online meetings, fellowship, spiritual discussions and yoga on Zoom. For details on using Zoom, see our Zoom guidelines.

January 2022 Reno Friends Meeting Schedule

Sun. Jan. 2 – Zoom Silent Worship, 10 am (details

Fri. Jan. 7 – Zoom Ministry & Oversight Committee Meeting, time TBA

Sun. Jan. 9 – Zoom Silent Worship, 10 am (details

Sun. Jan. 9 – Zoom Meeting for Business, 12:00 pm

Wed. Jan. 12 – Zoom AM Embodying the Light, 10-11 am (details

Sat. Jan. 15 – Midwinter clothing and non-perishable food drive begins (details)

Sat. Jan. 15 – Zoom College Park Winter Quarterly Meeting

Sun. Jan. 16 – Zoom Silent Worship, 10:00 am (details

Thurs. Jan. 20 – CANCELLED: Brown Bag Lunch, hosted by Melanie and Peg, 12 noon 

Sun. Jan. 23 – Zoom Silent Worship, 10 am (details)

Wed. Jan. 26 – AM Embodying the Light, 10-11 am, on Zoom (details)

Thurs. Jan. 27 – Zoom Spiritual Discussion on “Leadings” with Rhonda Ashurst, 7-8:30 pm (details)

Sun. Jan. 30 – Zoom Silent Worship, 10 am (details)

Reno Friends Meeting Event Details & Other Notices

Reno Friends Meeting is currently holding Silent Worship on Zoom at 10:00 a.m. with fellowship afterwards. Here is the recurring Zoom link for online Silent Worship:

https://zoom.us/j/98305205938?pwd=cDZseGdLbWMyYWZsZDdiN00rMjRUZz09

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 Silent Worship.

Should Reno Friends Return to In-Person Worship? Share Your Thoughts!

Meeting for Business is soliciting opinions from Reno Friends on how and whether we should return to the Meeting House for In-Person Worship. A small task force is collecting thoughts and concerns, so if you would like to share, please email Wendy at wswallow54(at)gmail.com. The task force will report their findings at the Jan. 9 Meeting for Business (on Zoom at 12 noon).

Winter Clothing and Food Drive begins Jan. 15th, organized by Peg

The mid¬winter months can be long and cold for persons in need of food and clothing. Peg is again sponsoring the collection of warm hats, gloves, socks etc. (new or used) and also this time, non-perishable food, January 15th – February 15th. Peg will provide a collection box at her house. She welcomes suggestions about where to donate the clothing; the Sparks Food Pantry always welcomes food. If the Meeting approves in-person worship during this period, a box will be provided at the Meeting House.

Zoom Spiritual Discussion, 7-8:30 pm, Thurs. Jan. 27, “Leadings,” with Rhonda Ashurst

Please join Rhonda Ashurst for a Zoom Spiritual Discussion of “Leadings,” on Thurs. Jan. 20 at 7 pm. The Zoom link for this discussion, and additional background material and queries, will be sent out later in the month. We welcome everyone.

Consider Supporting Quaker Earthcare Witness

Those who support Quaker Earthcare Witness, a Quaker-led environmental group, say they believe it is important for Quakers to have a place to share concerns about the planet within the context of Quaker values, while also being cared for. One members said: “It is inspiring to be a small part of a community of Earthcare activists.” If you’ve enjoyed and benefited from reading BeFriending Creation this year, please consider making a donation to support our efforts. In peace, Hayley Hathaway, Editor, BeFriending Creation

For suggestions of books recommended by Quaker Earthcare Witness, click here:  https://www.quakerearthcare.org/article/qews-favorite-books 

Other Quaker Activities & Announcements

College Park Winter Quarterly Meeting: Sat. Jan. 15, on Zoom

Reno Friends Monthly Meeting is a member of College Park Quarterly Meeting (CPQM), a quarterly meeting of the unprogrammed Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in northern California and northern Nevada. CPQM holds Quarterly Meetings in the Winter, Spring and Fall, which are gatherings of Quakers from all the member Monthly Meetings, and it also provides support for member Meetings. There are 24 Monthly Meetings and six Worship Groups in CPQM. The next College Park Quarterly Meeting will be Sat. Jan. 15, on Zoom. Registration details online at https://collegeparkquarterlymeeting.org/; see the email forwarded by Wendy for more details.

Pacific Yearly Meeting
Join Pacific Yearly Meeting’s Climate Action Workgroup

The Climate Action Workgroup of the Unity With Nature Committee of the Pacific Yearly Meeting (PacYM), invites you to connect with other Quakers who share the following concerns and aspirations:

We are already well into what must now be decades of disasters too late to avoid and rapidly worsening threats to all of life on this planet, and to our own existence as a species–caused by us and without precedent in human history. And yet, paradoxically, at the same time and for the same reasons, we are also blessed with the greatest opportunity we have ever had to transform society, help heal our planet and achieve a truly livable future.

What is it then, in these times, that we as Quakers are called to do? How can we find discernment as deep as the crises, the needs, and the opportunities demand? How do we give each other–and our communities—support for the intense feelings that surface whenever we face the full impact of these realities? How do we name, support, and live-into the grief, overwhelm, and even despair moving through ourselves, our meetings and our local communities? And by what processes–Quaker and other–do we find the clarity we need, and the courage and compassion to act as led—no matter the cost–in service of Life.

Moved by these questions, the Unity with Nature Committee has started a working group to reach all in PacYM who share these concerns and aspirations in order to exchange resources, help each other find spiritual guidance and, as led, take strategic action. In starting this effort, we have been specifically inspired  by the recent report of the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting (PYM), Moving Forward Together in the Face of Climate Change, that is “bringing us all under the weight of climate change as a corporate witness.”  

Our Workgroup meets most Wednesdays and we are asking you to invite others in your Meeting who share these concerns to visit this meeting and, as led, to join in the work.  

7:00-7:30 pm Wednesdays    PacYM Midweek Meeting for Worship

Meeting ID: 813 4193 2011 Passcode: 131328

7:30-8:30 pm Wednesdays   PacYM Climate Action Working Group   

Meeting ID: 834 4514 1574   Passcode: 752059  [See also our   Google Folder]

Pacific Yearly Meeting is a community of “unprogrammed” Friends (Quaker) Meetings in parts of Mexico and the western USA. After decades of independence, PYM recently became affiliated with Friends General Conference. In FGC there is another PYM, Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, so Pacific Yearly Meeting is now known as PacYM instead. Reno Monthly Meeting is a member of PacYM, and uses the PacYM book Faith and Practice which sets out the beliefs of Friends, PacYM’s structures and processes, and the spiritual foundation of these processes and of our way of worship. Western Friend is the official publication of Quakers in Pacific, North Pacific, and Intermountain Yearly Meetings. PacYM is a year-round community, and holds a four-day summer gathering called “PacYM Annual Session.” The dates for the 2022 Annual Session have not yet been announced.

Ben Lomond Quaker Center Workshops

Ben Lomond is still operating despite pandemic restrictions, but most programs are currently held online. For more information about their Quaker programs and retreats, including Worship Sharing and Silent Worship, or to donate, go to http://www.quakercenter.org.

Reno Friends Newsletter: How To Contribute

Submissions: Please submit your items for the newsletter by the 25th of the month for inclusion in the following month’s newsletter. Send Friends 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 by emailing wswallow54(at)gmail.com or calling 775-473-5559.

Donating to Reno Friends in 2021

If you would like to support the Meeting, donations should be sent to our Meeting Co-Treasurer Charlie Shepard at his home at 4395 Mountaingate Drive, 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. Zelle eliminates the need to write a check and, for our Treasurers, to deposit your check at the bank. Thank you from Reno Friends!

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. Attenders are asked to wear a mask. 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. If anyone would like to be connected to the Carson group, just email clerk(at)renofriends.org.

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 negotiating their return to our Meeting House. Please contact the groups directly for updates.

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.

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.

Speaking in Silent Worship

Quakers are known for gathering to worship in silence, and yet they also gather to hear the many voices of God. Instead of a prepared sermon or liturgy, Quakers worship through “vocal ministry,” messages offered out of the silence by those who feel moved to speak.

Many Quaker Meetings have just a few messages during Silent Worship, and some Meetings go week after week without any vocal ministry. When I first started attending Quaker Meeting, I mostly listened as others shared messages that were usually thoughtful and eloquent. Sometimes they started with personal anecdotes, sometimes with musings on a theme. Occasionally they included a quote from the Bible or some other spiritual text. Many messages, whether brief or extended, bloomed into something universal and important. I wasn’t sure how they did it, but I loved the moving narratives that bubbled up in the Meeting.

During those early years, I sometimes felt a message stirring in my heart, but I wasn’t sure if I should share it. There were guidelines: only speak if you can’t stay seated; only speak if the message is intended for someone other than yourself; refrain from political or non-spiritual comments; don’t lecture or use worship for a personal announcement. It could be bewildering.

And yet, at the same time, I sensed that there was value in sharing if I had something genuine and deeply felt. Deciding whether to share a message can be difficult, but if everyone is too circumspect, then the Meeting goes quiet and loses the wonderful mystery of vocal ministry.

In a recent spiritual discussion on Speaking in Worship, Reno Friends offered advice:

  • Share more about how we are human rather than how we are perfect;
  • Think of messages from others as gifts – even if we don’t recognize the source or the language used, there may be something in it that speaks to us;
  • Experienced Quakers can set an example by sharing their ministry;
  • Aim for the universal rather than the personal.

Our guidebook Faith & Practice tells us this: “Do not assume that vocal ministry is never to be your part. Faithfulness and sincerity in speaking, even very briefly, may open the way to fuller ministry from others. When prompted to speak, wait patiently to know that the leading and the time are right, but do not let a sense of your own unworthiness hold you back. Pray that your ministry may arise from deep experience, and trust that words will be given to you. Try to speak audibly and distinctly, and with sensitivity to the needs of others. Beware of speaking predictably or too often, and of making additions towards the end of a meeting when it was well left before.”

We all have wisdom and questions and soul to share with the Meeting. The power of vocal ministry lies in its variety and heartfulness. May we all continue to speak out of the silence, and to one another.

By Wendy Swallow, Blog Editor, Reno Friends Meeting

The opinions expressed above are not necessarily those of Reno Friends Meeting.

The Simple Meeting

Reno Friends recently gathered on Zoom in the sacred space of a Worship Sharing to tell each other what we all believed was most important about our Meeting. The pandemic spun us away from one another, and yet – through the efforts of many – we kept our community alive and busy by holding meetings, spiritual discussions, brown bag lunches, and even a Christmas party, all online. We learned to use Zoom, and figured out (through herculean efforts by our tech team) how to hold hybrid worship: in-person and online at the same time. We met outside for a holiday cookie-exchange, and even worshipped from the relative quiet of our shady garden on summer days.

Continue reading The Simple Meeting

December 2021 Newsletter

For the schedule of upcoming events, see the list below. For the monthly Queries, see December: Meeting for Worship. (The red text on this page and within this web site contains embedded hypertext links. Click on a red link to open the web page associated with that link.)

Announcements

Reno Friends Meeting is currently holding Silent Worship at 10:00 am on Sundays on Zoom. Our First Day School is open at parent request on Sundays when we gather in person, and will be held outside, if possible. Please contact clerk(at)renofriends.org a few days in advance if you would like to request First Day School for your children . We are also holding online meetings, fellowship, spiritual discussions and yoga on Zoom. For details on using Zoom, see our Zoom guidelines.

Continue reading December 2021 Newsletter

November 2021 Newsletter

For the schedule of upcoming events, see the list below. For the monthly Queries, see November: The Meeting Community. (The red text on this page and within this web site contains embedded hypertext links. Click on a red link to open the web page associated with that link.)

Announcements

Reno Friends Meeting is currently holding Silent Worship at 10:00 am on Sundays on Zoom. Our First Day School is open at parent request on Sundays when we gather in person, and will be held outside, if possible. Please contact clerk(at)renofriends.org a few days in advance if you would like to request First Day School for your children . We are also holding online meetings, fellowship, spiritual discussions and yoga on Zoom. For details on using Zoom, see our Zoom guidelines.

Continue reading November 2021 Newsletter

Leadership in Quaker Meetings

It is Nominating season again, the time of year when our Quaker community tries to identify those who will serve as clerks and leaders of the Meeting in the coming year. Which raises an interesting question: What does it mean to be a leader in a Quaker Meeting?     Technically, there are no leaders in unprogrammed Quaker Meetings, such as Reno Friends. Everyone is equal, and no one is in charge. But if there are no leaders, how does a Meeting organize to get its work done? How do Quakers determine how to worship, how to manage their programming and finances, or how to grow?

Continue reading Leadership in Quaker Meetings

October 2021 Newsletter

October 2021 Newsletter

For upcoming events, see our Calendar. For the monthly Queries, see October: Peace. (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.)

Announcements

Reno Friends Meeting is currently holding Silent Worship at 10:00 am on Sundays. On Oct. 3, we will use our garden for Silent Worship as well as offering Zoom Hybrid Worship. For the rest of the Sundays in October, we will be holding Silent Worship on Zoom. Click here for the Zoom link. Please check here for updates on Garden Worship, particularly if the weather is questionable. Our First Day School is open at parent request, and will be held outside, if possible. Please contact clerk(at)renofriends.org if you would like to request First Day School for your children a few days in advance, if possible. We are also holding online meetings, fellowship, spiritual discussions and yoga on Zoom. For details on using Zoom, see our Zoom guidelines.

Continue reading October 2021 Newsletter

The Genesis of Embodying the Light

I teach a Qigong/Tai Chi/Yoga class for Reno Friends three times a month and was recently asked how I came to this practice and what it means to me. I thought a blog post would be the perfect way to answer that question.

I have been practicing yoga since 2008 and Qigong/Tai Chi since 2014. I came to these practices after injuries and during rehabilitation. You might say I discovered them after breaking myself repeatedly. In Western culture, we are programmed to push ourselves to attain physical goals and fitness. Like many people, I was able to do this in my youth, but as I aged, this strategy was no longer working!

Continue reading The Genesis of Embodying the Light

September 2021 Newsletter

September 2021 Newsletter

For upcoming events, see our Calendar. For the monthly Queries, see September: Personal Relationships. (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.)

Announcements

Reno Friends Meeting is currently holding Silent Worship at 9:30 am on Sundays. For the first two Sundays in September, we will be holding Silent Worship on Zoom. Click here for the Zoom link. We hope to return to using our garden for Silent Worship later in the month, if weather and smoke conditions permit. Please check here for updates. Our First Day School is open at parent request, and will be held outside during the summer months. Please contact clerk(at)renofriends.org if you would like to request First Day School for your children a few days in advance, if possible. We are also holding online meetings, fellowship, spiritual discussions and yoga on Zoom. For details on using Zoom, see our Zoom guidelines.

Continue reading September 2021 Newsletter