All posts by renofriends

Hybrid Worship and Quaker Values

Ever since the Quakers broke from the Church of England in the mid-seventeenth century, they have gathered for Silent Worship in plain rooms – ones usually bare of any religious art or symbols. This tradition has served Quakers well, as most Quaker Meetings still prefer simple rooms with few distractions.

But in 2020, Quakers around the world responded to the pandemic closings by retreating to Zoom, seeking that quiet, communal worship space in a virtual environment. Zoom worship didn’t work for everyone, and seemed like second-best to many of us, but over time we discovered some advantages: everyone could hear each other when messages were shared; we got glimpses into each others’ homes; far-flung attenders who could rarely travel to in-person worship showed up more often; and those who were sick or frail or just too tired could easily attend. We also found that the fellowship we shared after worship, all of us together in the Zoom, was more communal and richer than the usual pattern of splitting into separate conversations during coffee hour in the Meeting House.

With the pandemic waning, the question before us is what to do when we reopen. Do we go back to the seventeenth-century model of in-person worship, or do we find a way to meld the new with the old: virtual + in-person?

Such a blend of approaches – often called Hybrid Worship – was the topic of a recent Quaker workshop on the Future of Worship. The gathering was held on Zoom and drew folks from all over the west, including Honolulu and Mexico City. As Quakers will, we started with silence, to ground us in the spiritual seriousness of our task. After that, I thought we would leap into a debate about technical devices and approaches, but instead the leaders called on us to start with our Quaker values. “Don’t skip of the question of why with a headlong rush into how,” one of the leaders said. And this is part of what I love about Quakers:  every decision starts with discernment.

For those in the workshop, the testimonies of Equality, Simplicity, Community and Unity with Nature all seemed useful guides. Our Quaker testimony of Equality – that there is that of God in everyone, including those from widely different stations and life experiences – pointed us to the importance of making worship available to all, including those who were disabled or elderly, or who lived too far away (a major concern out here in the west). Many Meetings said they had picked up new attenders via Zoom during the pandemic, including folks who lived far away and might not be able to get to in-person worship on a regular basis. No one wanted to cut those people out by dropping a Zoom option once in-person worship resumed.

Others focused on the Unity with Nature testimony, saying that anything that reduced the energy cost of traveling to worship would ultimately be better for the climate, another strong reason to continue to offer a Zoom option.

When it came to the Community testimony, however, it was clear that many Meetings longed to resume in-person worship because they had missed the powerful presence of others in a gathered Meeting. They also looked forward to the social aspects of Quaker Meetings – the coffee hour or potluck or spiritual discussions that usually met in the Meeting House. To meet the needs of their entire Meeting community, it seemed clear to most at the workshop that they needed to offer both options.

For Reno Meeting, the pandemic has both expanded our scope (pulling in attenders from Minden, Truckee and Quincy, California,) and changed our self-image. As the only Quaker Monthly Meeting in Nevada, there is no reason we cannot offer our worship to anyone in the state (or the Sierras) looking for Silent Worship, which will mean a Zoom option. At the same time, however, we recognize the sweetness of in-person gatherings, and want to encourage our members and attenders to come to the Meeting House when they can. To that end, we plan to start with a Hybrid Worship experiment:  we will offer a Zoom option along with in-person worship on first and third Sundays.  On other Sundays, including our 4th Sunday potluck day, we will hope most folks attend in-person if they can.

We’re not sure exactly how this will all work. When the workshop turned to the question of electronic devices to share screen images and sounds to the virtual attenders, the Simplicity testimony floated overhead, urging us all to make our technical solutions as seamless and unobtrusive as possible. We agreed we didn’t want it to look like we were worshipping a microphone sitting in the middle of the Meeting House, and others pointed out that many attenders were concerned about privacy and didn’t necessarily want their images shared virtually during Meeting. As I said, all this will be a big experiment, and I’m sure we will get better at it as we go along.  For now, though, Reno Friends Meeting is committed to doing what it can to offer Silent Worship both in-person and online. We will listen tenderly to everyone’s needs as we re-imagine what Worship can be and remain open to continuing revelation.

Wendy Swallow, Blog Editor, Reno Friends Meeting

June 2021 Newsletter

June 2021 Newsletter

For upcoming events, see our Calendar. For the monthly Queries, see 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.)

Announcements

Reno Friends Meeting is currently holding Silent Worship in the Garden of our Meeting House at 9:30 am. See our Garden Worship guidelines for details. On first and third Sundays, we will hold Hybrid Garden Worship, combining our in-person Garden Worship with a Hybrid option through the web app Zoom. Click on Silent Worship for the Zoom link. 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. We are also holding online meetings, spiritual discussions and yoga on Zoom through the summer. For details on using Zoom, see our Zoom guidelines.

June Reno Friends Meeting Schedule

Tues. June 1 – Zoom M&O Committee Meeting, 9:00 am
Thurs. June 3 – PM Embodying the Light, 7-8 pm, on Zoom (details)
Sun. June 6 – Garden & Hybrid Silent Worship, 9:30 am (details
Wed. June 9 – AM Embodying the Light, 9:30-10:30 am, at Lake Park (details
Thurs. June 10 – Zoom Clerks’ Committee Meeting, 10:00 am (cancelled)
Thurs. June 10 – Brown Bag Lunch in the Meeting House Garden, 11:30 am (details
Sun. June 13 – Garden Silent Worship, 9:30 am (details
Sun. June 13 – Zoom Meeting for Business, 12:00 noon 
Thurs. June 17 – Spiritual Discussion on “Re-Entry into the World After COVID,” with Edie Uber, 7:00-8:30 pm (details)
Sun. June 20 – Garden & Hybrid Silent Worship, 9:30 am (details
Wed. June 23 – AM Embodying the Light, 9:30-10:30 am, at Lake Park (details)
Sun. June 27 – Garden Silent Worship, 9:30 am (details)
Sun. June 27 – Garden Potluck, 11:00 am (details)

Reno Friends Meeting Events & Notices

Silent Worship on Zoom and in the Meeting House Garden, every Sunday at 9:30 am, with Fellowship afterwards

Our Meeting House is still closed for worship, but we have started meeting in-person for Garden Silent Worship this spring and will continue through the summer. Worshipping in the Garden is weather-dependent, so stay tuned for updates. While worshiping in the Garden this summer, we will conduct Worship on Zoom simultaneously (Hybrid Silent Worship) on 1st and 3rd Sundays. The purpose of Hybrid Silent Worship is to extend our Meeting to those who live too far away to regularly attend in person. NOTE: During Hybrid Garden Worship, a section of the Garden will be blocked from view of the Zoom image, for those who would like to worship with privacy. We also may need to return to Zoom Silent Worship on days when bad weather is predicted (either cold, rainy or smoky). In that case, we will alert everyone the day before that we are worshipping on Zoom instead of gathering in the Garden. (In case of an unexpected cloudburst or other disturbance during Garden Worship, the worship clerk will stop our session and suggest everyone retreat to their cars until we can reassemble.) Here is the recurring Zoom link for online Hybrid Silent Worship on 1st and 3rd Sunday mornings, or any other day that is necessary. (The Zoom session is active between 9:15-12:00, with Silence starting at 9:30.)

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.

Garden Worship Guidelines

For Silent Worship in the Garden, we ask that everyone bring a beach or camp chair of their own. For those who are vaccinated, wearing your mask while outdoors is optional. (If you do not have a mask or chair to bring, one will be provided for you.) We also suggest bringing a hat and umbrella. We encourage everyone to set up their chairs with appropriate 3-foot spacing. For those who are not vaccinated, we ask that you wear your mask through worship, after-thoughts and departure. The Meeting House is not open for gathering, but people may use the bathroom one at a time (please use the north side back door and wear your mask while inside the Meeting House). Please come into the garden quietly a few minutes before 9:30 am so we can all get settled. Again, if weather threatens, we will decide the evening before whether to cancel, so check your email or this website for updates, if necessary. 

In-Person Fellowship Resumes in the Meeting House Garden, with a Potluck on Sun. June 27 after Worship at 11:00 am

Reno Friends will resume our 4th-Sunday Potluck tradition on June 27 at 11 am, after Garden Worship. We will serve food in the Meeting House but (weather permitting), bring our plates to eat outside. If we need to retreat indoors, we will open windows and doors, and turn on the fan. Please bring food to share that is easy to eat with just a fork or fingers.

Garden Brown Bag Lunch, Thurs. June 10th at 11:30 am

Reno Friends is also bringing back the popular Brown Bag Lunch, but this time it will be in-person in the Meeting House Garden. Peg McCall has offered to be host for this event. Anyone who wants to share lunch and fellowship with other Reno Friends can gather in the Garden on Thurs. June 10 at 11:30 am. As with potluck, our intention is to eat outside unless weather drives us inside. We plan to offer 2nd-Thursday Brown Bag Garden Lunches through the summer months.

Zoom Ministry and Oversight Committee Meeting, Tues. June 1 at 9:00 am

RFM’s M&O Committee will meet on Zoom Tues. June 1 at 9:00 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. June 10, at 10:00 am

RFM’s Clerks’ Committee will meet Thurs. June 10 at 10:00 am on Zoom to discuss the June Meeting for Business agenda. A link for that Zoom session, along with a draft 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. June 13, at 12:00 noon 

Business Meetings will be held on Zoom for the foreseeable future 12:00 noon. A Zoom link will be sent out by email to all in advance of each Meeting for Business, along with the agenda. Everyone is welcome at Meeting for Business.

Embodying the Light: Evening Session on Zoom Thurs. June 3 at 7 pm; Morning Sessions Wed. June 9 and Wed. June 23 at 9:30 am in-person at LAKE PARK!

Rhonda Ashurst leads the “Embodying the Light” class of gentle yoga and Tai Chi/Qigong as a service to Reno Friends and the community. During the summer months, the First Thursday evening class will be on Zoom from 7-8 pm; and the Second and Fourth Wednesday morning classes will meet in-person at Lake Park, from 9:30-10:30 am. For all the sessions, 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 link for the Zoom sessions.

Lake Park is a quiet park is at the intersection of Wesley and Coleman Streets, off Keystone Avenue, which we used for the class last year with great success, as there is shade and little traffic. There is adequate parking on both streets, on the park side. We will do our Tai Chi/Qigong practice standing, but please bring a folding chair or mat for our brief meditation. We will have adequate room to space out, so wearing a mask is optional. There is no bathroom at the park, so plan accordingly.

Zoom Spiritual Discussion, 7-8:30 pm, Thurs. June 17, “Re-Entry into the World After Covid,” with Edie Uber

Please join Edie Uber for a spiritual discussion Thurs. June 17 on the challenges of Re-Entry into the post-Covid World. The link for this discussion, and additional background material and queries, will be sent out later in the month. We welcome everyone.

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 for Garden worship and online for 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 Co-Treasurer Katie Dwyer, at her home at 40 Arbor Oak Court, Reno, NV  89509. 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!

RISE Update

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 “Reno Posse,” please email Melanie Scott, at mel.scott2030(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 met 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. If, or 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. We hope to welcome them back to our Meeting House in fall of 2021, depending on state health regulations at that time.

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 crmmp2001@yahoo.com or Rita Sloan at rwrksloan@hotmail.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; Arlene Van Cleave; Suze, her roommate Mary, and friend Dorothy’s son Larry; Peg’s cousin Cathy; Mark and Edie’s niece Hannah and friends Karen and family, Lee, and Bart; Rick’s wife Beth and all of San Jose Meeting; Melanie’s sister Stephanie and friend Jennifer; Erin’s friend Derek; Rhonda’s friend Deb; Catie’s friend Damien; the animals at the roadside zoo in Reno. 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

“Clerk’s Call” for Pacific Yearly Meeting Annual Session, July 23-28, 2021

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.

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.

May 2021 Newsletter

For upcoming events, see our Calendar. For the monthly Queries, see May: Social and Civic Responsibility. (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 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. Starting on May 23, we plan to transition to Garden Hybrid Worship in our Meeting House Garden, with a Zoom component. See our Garden Worship guidelines, below, for details. 

May Reno Friends Meeting Schedule

Every Sunday for the first three weeks of May:  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.) For May 23 and 30, we will hold Silent Worship in the Meeting House Garden. See the calendar, and details, below.

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

Thurs. May 6 – PM Embodying the Light, 7-8 pm, on Zoom (details)

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

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

Thurs. May 13 – Zoom Clerks’ Committee Meeting, 10:30 am 

Fri. May 14 – Sun. May 16 – College Park Spring Zoom Quarterly Meeting, details below.

Sat. May. 15 – Sugar Pine Planting Party (details below), meet at 10:00 am in Truckee.

Sun. May 16 – Zoom Silent Worship, 10 am

Sun. May 16 – Zoom Meeting for Business, 11:30 am 

Sun. May 23 – Garden Hybrid Worship, In-Person and with Zoom, 10 am (details

Sun. May 23 – Garden Graduation Party for Erin, 11:30 am, at the Meeting House

Wed. May 26 – AM Embodying the Light, 9:30-10:30 am, at Lake Park (details

Thurs. May 27 — Spiritual Discussion: “The Spirituality of Nature, with Peggy Lakey and Wendy Swallow, 7-8:30 pm (details below)

Sun. May 30 – Garden Worship, In-Person only, 10 am (details

Reno Friends Meeting Events & Notices

Silent Worship on Zoom or in the Meeting House Garden, every Sunday at 10 am, with Fellowship afterwards. 

We have been meeting for Silent Worship on Zoom this spring, but we plan to gather in our Meeting House Garden for in-person Silent Worship starting on May 23. This is weather-dependent, so stay tuned for updates. While worshiping in the Garden this summer, we plan to conduct Worship on Zoom simultaneously (Hybrid Silent Worship) on 1st and 3rd Sundays. The purpose of Hybrid Silent Worship is to extend our Meeting to those who live too far away to regularly attend in person. NOTE: A section of the Garden will be blocked from view of the Zoom image, for those who would like to worship with privacy. We also may need to return to Zoom Silent Worship on days when bad weather is predicted (either cold, rainy or smoky). In that case, we will alert everyone the day before that we are worshipping on Zoom instead of gathering in the Garden. (In case of an unexpected cloudburst or other disturbance during Garden Worship, the worship clerk will stop our session and suggest everyone retreat to their cars until we can reassemble.) Here is the recurring Zoom link for online Hybrid Silent Worship on 1st and 3rd Sunday mornings, or any other day that is necessary. (The Zoom session is active between 9:45-12:00, with Silence starting at 10.)

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 Zoom Silent Worship.

Garden Worship Guidelines

For Silent Worship in the Garden, we ask that everyone bring a beach or camp chair of their own, and a mask. (If you do not have a mask or chair to bring, one will be provided for you.) For those who are vaccinated, wearing your mask while outdoors is optional. We encourage everyone to set up their chairs with appropriate 3-foot spacing. For those who are not vaccinated, we ask that you wear your mask through worship, after-thoughts and departure. The Meeting House is not open for gathering, but people may use the bathroom one at a time (please use the north side back door and wear your mask while inside the Meeting House). Please come into the garden quietly a few minutes before 10 am so we can all get settled. Again, if weather threatens, we will decide the evening before whether to cancel, so check your email or this website for updates, if necessary. 

Sit in Silent Worship in Your Own Home, Sundays, 10-11 am

If you would rather sit in Silent Worship from the comfort of your own home rather than joining us in the Meeting House Garden, we invite you to send After-Thoughts, Joys and Concerns, requests to Hold People in the Light and bits of Inspiration to Rhonda at rhondalou14@gmail.com. Our Worship Clerk will read them at the next Garden Silent Worship.

Zoom Ministry and Oversight Committee Meeting, Tues. Apr. 29, at 7 pm

RFM’s M&O Committee will meet on Zoom Tues. Apr. 29 at 7 pm. 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. May 13, at 10:30 am

RFM’s Clerks’ Committee will meet Thurs. May 13 at 10:30 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. May 16, 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.

Embodying the Light: On Zoom May 6 and May 12; At LAKE PARK May 26!

Rhonda Ashurst leads the “Embodying the Light” class of gentle yoga and Tai Chi/Qigong as a service to Reno Friends and the community. For May, the First Thursday evening class on May 6 will be on Zoom from 7-8 pm, and the Second Wednesday morning class on May 12 will also be on Zoom, from 10-11 am. For the Fourth Wednesday morning class on May 26, however, Embodying the Light RETURNS TO LAKE PARK and will meet from 9:30-10:30 am. For all the sessions, 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 link for the Zoom sessions.

Lake Park is a quiet park is at the intersection of Wesley and Coleman Streets, off Keystone Avenue, which we used for the class last year with great success, as there is shade and little traffic. There is adequate parking on both streets, on the park side. We will do our Tai Chi/Qigong practice standing, but please bring a folding chair or mat for our brief meditation. We will have adequate room to space out, so wearing a mask is optional. There is no bathroom at the park, so plan accordingly.

Zoom Spiritual Discussion, 7-8:30 pm, Thurs. May 27, “The Spirituality of Nature,” with Peggy Lakey and Wendy Swallow.

Please join Peggy Lakey and Wendy Swallow for a spiritual discussion Thurs. May 27 on the Spirituality of Nature. Peggy and Wendy will explore Quaker traditions as well as other religious and spiritual approaches to understanding the spirituality of nature and the earth. The link for this discussion, and additional background material and queries, will be sent out later in the month. We welcome everyone.

College Park Spring Quarterly: May 14-16 (Virtual) 

The theme for the CPQM Spring Quarterly is Of Life and Breath and Love: Making the connection between care of the earth, peace, and justice.
As we begin to emerge from pandemic isolation, how is Spirit calling us and our Meetings into the work of transforming systems of violence, racism, and exploitation of people and planet?
The meetings will be held on Zoom, making attendance easier, and registration fees are on a pay-as-you-can basis. For more information and registration, go to https://collegeparkquarterlymeeting.org/.

Sugar Pine Planting Party, Sat. May 15:  Meet in Truckee at 10 am.

Reno Friends will work together to plant Sugar Pine seedlings on Saturday May 15. 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. (The road to the planting site is unpaved, so bring your 4-wheel vehicles. If you don’t have one, contact Wendy at wswallow54(at)gmail.com for carpooling help.)

To get to the Ranger District building, go west on I-80 from Reno. As you approach the Truckee area, take Exit 188 (Rtes. 267/89) and turn right (north). You will quickly hit a roundabout; go 3/4s of the way around it and exit on Truckee Way. You will be heading south on Truckee Way and will quickly hit another roundabout.  Go just 1/2 way around so that you are still on Truckee Way. You will encounter a third roundabout after crossing back above I-80.  Go 3/4s of the way around that one and get off on Stockrest Springs Rd.  Go straight on Stockrest Springs and the Ranger District building is the first building on the right. Please note if you are using a GPS, it likely will say to use “Donner Pass Road” for the roundabouts. The name of the street in that section has been changed to “Truckee Way” and the signs in the roundabouts now say Truckee Way.  Total travel time from Reno is about 30-35 minutes.

ONE OTHER TRAVEL NOTE: We don’t know if the Ranger Station will be open for bathroom use. There is a public bathroom at the Train Station in downtown Truckee, which you might want to visit before the planting. There will be no bathrooms at the planting site.

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. Feel free to bring snacks or a lunch if you like. And many thanks to Shanna Mae and her family for suggesting and planning this fun outdoor adventure!

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!

RISE Update

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 met 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. If, or 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. We hope to welcome them back to our Meeting House in fall of 2021, depending on state health regulations at that time.

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 crmmp2001@yahoo.com or Rita Sloan at rwrksloan@hotmail.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; 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 Jennifer; Erin’s friend Derek; Rhonda’s friend Deb; Jana’s friends Corina and Jim; Kathy Runyon, who recently lost her father to Covid and whose mother and brother are still suffering from it; Charlie Shepard; and Catie’s friend Damien. 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

“Clerk’s Call” for Pacific Yearly Meeting Annual Session, July 23-28, 2021

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.

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.


Quakers and Prayer

Reno Friends gathered online earlier this year for a spiritual discussion about Quakers and Prayer. Newcomers to Silent Worship, puzzled by the unprogrammed quiet, often ask me if Friends are praying. I can understand their confusion, because it’s not clear during Silent Worship what, exactly, we’re doing. Some of us would say we’re sitting in silence waiting to hear what God might have to say to us. Others say they are meditating, and some might say they are praying.  

Continue reading Quakers and Prayer

Preparing for Re-Entry

Near the end of my two years of teaching in China, Volunteers in Asia (the organization that had hosted me) sent me materials about reverse culture shock. I was so excited about going home that I hadn’t thought about problems I might experience upon re-entry. In some ways, returning to “normal” life as pandemic restrictions ease will be a bit like returning home from a foreign land, and we might smooth the transition by taking time to consider the impact of the last year and anticipate what might come.

Continue reading Preparing for Re-Entry

What is God?

When I proposed the topic “What is God” for the February Reno Friends spiritual discussion, I was both excited and anxious. Would anyone come, and more importantly, would we have the courage to share from our hearts and souls about this big question? Fourteen of us met on Zoom last month, and almost immediately we opened into a gathered space of deep sharing. It was truly magical!

Continue reading What is God?

Domestic Noise

On a recent Sunday, our Quaker Meeting was gathering for our Zoom Silent Worship, when something lovely happened. As usual, there was a bit of chitchat as folks welcomed each other to the zoom session, and then people began settling into the silence.  As the session quieted (and before the host muted everyone) there was a short period when we could all hear domestic noise from each others’ homes: the clink of a spoon in a mug, the scrape of a chair on the floor, the whistle of a cockatiel.  It was intimate and wonderful.

Continue reading Domestic Noise

Bringing Light into the World

This is the time when sunlight returns to our winter world and a new year begins. 2020 has been a year of retreat for many of us, clouded by uncertainty and anxiety. We spent more time with ourselves than usual. I have seen this year as an opportunity to go the “mountain”, to use a metaphor common to many spiritual traditions. There has been less outward activity and more inward reflection. But now the energy is shifting, and the time is coming to re-engage with the “marketplace”—to bring our inner Light into the world.

Continue reading Bringing Light into the World

What Does Quaker Membership Mean?

Several weeks ago Reno Friends met online for a spiritual discussion about membership, which was something of a rare event. Usually, modern-day Quakers don’t talk much about who’s a member and who’s an “attender.” Many devoted Quakers spend their lives as attenders of Monthly Meetings, volunteering for leadership roles and participating in Silent Worship, Business Meetings and social events, but deciding against the step of membership. In truth, that pretty much describes me: I’ve been attending Quaker Meeting (with varying levels of devotion) since I first went to the Florida Avenue Meeting in Washington, D.C., more than 35 years ago. I’m a really good attender.

Continue reading What Does Quaker Membership Mean?