Newsletter Archive

December 2020 Newsletter

December 2020 Newsletter

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


Reno Friends Meeting House and the First Day School are closed for now, 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

December Reno Friends Meeting Schedule

Every Sunday for the foreseeable future:  Silent Worship on Zoom, from 10:00 to 11:00 am, with Zoom fellowship following. (Click the “Silent Worship” link, above, for the zoom link.)

Dec. 1 through Dec. 18 – “Be a Friend” Winter Clothing Drive (details below)

Tues. Dec. 1 – Zoom Ministry & Oversight Committee Meeting, 10 am.

Thurs. Dec. 3 – Zoom Clerks’ Committee Meeting 10 am

Thurs. Dec. 3 – PM Embodying the Light, 7-8 pm, on Zoom (details)

Sun. Dec, 6 – Zoom Meeting for Business, 11:30 am. (First Sunday this month)

Wed. Dec. 9 – AM Embodying the Light, 10-11 am, on Zoom (details)

Sat. Dec. 12 — Christmas Cookie Exchange at the Meeting House, 10-11 am (details below)

Sat. Dec. 12 — RFM Zoom Christmas Party, 7-8:30 pm (details below)

Wed. Dec. 23 – AM Embodying the Light, 10-11 am, on Zoom (details)

Reno Friends Meeting Events & Notices

Silent Worship now on Zoom every Sunday at 10 am, with Fellowship afterwards

As of Nov. 1, we will meet for Silent Worship only on Zoom for the rest of the fall, winter and early spring. We will hold our usual social hour after Worship on Zoom, as well, so after we rise from Worship, everyone can go get a cup of coffee and return to the Zoom session. Here is the recurring Zoom link for online Silent Worship on Sundays mornings. (The Zoom session is active between 9:45-12:00, with Silence starting at 10.)

For Silent Worship on Zoom, we have developed a set of Zoom Worship guidelines. For those who would like to learn more about Zoom in advance, go to 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) Our worship clerk will read them at the next Zoom Silent Worship.

RFM Christmas Cookie Exchange, Sat. Dec. 12 from 10-11 am, at the Meeting House

Join us for a socially-distanced Christmas Cookie Exchange on Saturday morning, Dec. 12, from 10-11 am at the Meeting House. Bring 2-3 dozen of your favorite homemade Christmas cookies to share, with a note about the ingredients and the name of the baker (in case people with allergies have questions). A few gluten-free options would be great, and keep in mind that some Reno Friends have nut allergies. Also bring an empty container to take home your booty.  Dress warmly, and wear your mask. If you would like to join us for the fellowship but cannot provide cookies, please come anyway, as there will be plenty to share. We will set up a table with the cookies inside the Meeting House, then take turns collecting the cookies we want from the exchange. Bring a warm drink, if you like, and linger with us outside the Meeting House for a little holiday fellowship. We will have food prep gloves for all. You can also drop off new warm hats, gloves, socks and caps (or laundered, gently-used winter wear) for the homeless, as part of our Be a Friend holiday clothing drive (see below for details).

Reno Friends Zoom Christmas Party, Sat. Dec. 12 in the evening, 7-8:30 pm

We also hope you will join us Saturday evening Dec. 12, from 7-8:30 pm, for a Reno Friends Zoom Christmas Party. The Ministry & Oversight Committee will lead us in games, laughter and Christmas carols! Even though we can’t gather, we can still have fun together. Please wear a Christmas hat or other holiday décor for the head, and supply yourself with a favorite holiday beverage and plate of cookies/snacks (see the Christmas Cookie Exchange, above).  Our zoom party will open at 6:45 pm. Here’s the link:

Meeting ID: 912 4971 2050; Passcode: 651008; One tap mobile: +16699009128,,91249712050#,,,,,,0#,,651008# US (San Jose); +12532158782,,91249712050#,,,,,,0#,,651008# US (Tacoma); Dial by your location:  +1 669 900 9128 US (San Jose)

Be a Friend Holiday Clothing Drive, December Only

With the cold weather setting in, Reno Friends are once again collecting donations to help Reno’s homeless or financially challenged residents stay warmer through the winter. You can contribute in one of several ways:

  1. PREFERRED OPTION: Donate NEW and WARM socks, gloves, hats or caps in any size.
  2. NEXT FAVORITE OPTION: Contribute money to Reno Friends Meeting earmarked for the “Be a Friend” drive. We will use your gifts to purchase new, and warm, socks, gloves, hats or caps.
  3. ALTERNATIVE OPTION: Donate lightly used and laundered winter wear, any size or style.

If you are donating either new or used clothing, you may drop them off at Peg’s house between Dec. 1 and Dec. 18. Please consult the RFM Directory for her address. (If you don’t have an emailed copy, contact Wendy Swallow at wswallow54(at) Please put the clothing in the appropriate labeled box on Peg’s front porch. Or, you can drop off these items at the Friends’ Christmas Cookie Exchange, Sat. Dec. 12, 10-11 am. (Details for the Cookie Exchange, above.) If you prefer to make a donation of money, write a check to Reno Friends Meeting (adding into the memo field “Be a Friend Drive”) and mail it to our co-Treasurer, Charlie Shepard, 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) (You may use Zelle to make cash contributions to the Meeting anytime. It eliminates the need to write a check and, for our Treasurers, to deposit your check at the bank.) All money donations for the clothing drive must be in by Dec. 15 so we have time to purchase the clothing. Dec. 18 is the final day for clothing donations. After that, we will deliver what we have collected to the Reno/Sparks Gospel Mission which will distribute the clothes to the needy. Thank you to Peg and Charlie for organizing our drive, and to everyone for helping out!

Embodying the Light: First Thursday evening class on Zoom, 7-8 pm, Dec. 3; Second and Fourth Wednesday morning classes on Zoom, 10-11 am, Dec. 9 and Dec. 23.

Rhonda Ashurst leads the “Embodying the Light” class of gentle yoga and Tai Chi/Qigong as a service to Reno Friends and the community. Starting in November 2020, all the Embodying the Light classes will be held on Zoom.  For the foreseeable future, Rhonda will teach an evening class from 7-8 pm on first Thursdays (Dec. 3), and morning classes from 10-11 am on second and fourth Wednesdays (Dec. 9 and Dec. 23). We will do our Tai Chi/Qigong practice standing, but please have a chair or mat for our brief meditation. See our website for more details. Please watch the Weekly Schedule Update for the Zoom link.

Zoom Ministry and Oversight Committee Meeting, Tues. Dec. 1, at 10 am

RFM’s M&O Committee will meet on Zoom Tues. Dec. 1 at 10 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. Dec. 3, at 10 am

RFM’s Clerks’ Committee will meet Thurs. Dec. 3 at 10 am on Zoom to discuss the November 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, Mark Woolbright or Steve Wolgast.

Zoom Meeting for Business, Sun. Dec. 6, at 11:30 am (NOTE: First Sunday of Dec.)

Business Meetings will be held on Zoom for the foreseeable future and we are returning to our usual gathering time of 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.

COVID Financial Appeal from Reno Friends

The Reno Meeting Treasurer recently reported that – while the Meeting is in good financial shape – it faces several unique circumstances in the current COVID-19 environment. The outside groups that use the Meeting House for weekly meetings have not been able to do so since March, resulting in a loss of rental income. Cash donations in the Meeting’s donation box have also stopped during this shut-down period. And to avoid large groups in tight spaces while serving at RISE dinners for the homeless, we are donating to RISE monetarily instead. As a Meeting, we will continue to budget so that we are operating within our means; however, any extra small donations to meet these special circumstances will be appreciated. Because the Meeting House is closed for the foreseeable future, 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) 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.

Reno Friends are considering trying to help prepare meals to be distributed to the homeless in their camps, which RISE is already doing. If anyone is interested in helping with this effort, please email Wendy Swallow, at wswallow54(at) For a report on RISE from Steve Wolgast, the RFM RISE liaison, please see the Reno Friends RISE Report.

The Quaker Earthcare Witness Corner

Quaker Earthcare Witness (previously known as Unity with Nature) is the largest network of Friends working on the earth’s care today. They work to inspire and promote spirit-led action toward ecological sustainability and environmental justice. They also provide inspiration and resources to Friends throughout North America by distributing information in their newsletter, BeFriending Creation; on their website; by providing workshops and forums at Monthly, Quarterly and Yearly meetings; and through popular social media channels. Show you care about our dear Earth by checking them out!

Alternatives to Violence Project Update, from RFM liaison Cheri Smith

Though Covid 19 has stopped all Alternatives to Violence Project workshops in prisons, Rita Sloan, Nevada’s AVP leader, continues to help inmates as a member of the Board for the Nevada Coalition Against the Death Penalty.  They have been especially active recently and have begun planning for the next legislative session. Newly enlisted Board members, including Public Defenders in Clark County, plus a couple of large grants, have enabled the group to really push toward ending the death penalty in our state. They have been able to hire a full-time “project coordinator” and will soon be hiring a full time organizer. With connections to the ACLU and other nonprofits and also a number of national organizations, they are hopeful the coalition’s mission will be successful. Check out NCADP’s website  to learn more and keep informed of their important work. The death penalty in Nevada is costly, ineffective, racially and economically biased, and does nothing to make us safer.  Let’s end it!

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:  ON HIATUS

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

Stamping for Dollars, previously know as 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 this worthy 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: You can help make a difference in the world – one stamp at a time!

Outside Non-Profits That (Previously) Met at the Quaker Meeting House

NOTE:  These groups are currently meeting online only.

Adult Children of Alcoholics and Dysfunctional Families meets every Tuesday and Thursday from 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm, and every Saturday from 5 pm to 6 pm. ACA is a world service 12-step program for those struggling with the legacy of growing up in an alcoholic or dysfunctional home. These groups are open to all.

Citizens Climate Lobby of Northern Nevada works with local and national legislators to pass a carbon tax and dividend to help stop global warming. CCL meets the 4th Tuesday of the month, 6:30 to 8 pm (except for Dec.). For more info, email Betsy Fadali at bfadali(at) Feel free to bring friends and neighbors, if they are interested. For more on CCL, go to

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 or Rita Sloan at

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: Rhonda’s uncle Harry, Steve Wolgast and his family, Mark and Edie’s niece Hannah, and Len Brune and his family.

To request prayers, please leave a message at the Meeting House or contact the Clerk at clerk(at)

Quaker Activities & Announcements

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

  • 11th Annual MUSIC AND DANCE RETREAT  Dec. 4-6
    Join us online as we sing, dance and make music, beginning Friday night, December 4th, Saturday afternoon/ evening and Sunday morning worship with song.
  • Living Into the Center: Integrity & Renewal, Dec. 27-Jan. 1                    An Online Program with Quaker Center Co-Directors, Susan Wilson and Bob Fisher.  “We shall not be able to rebuild our shattered world until we recover our faith in eternal realities, and we shall not do that until we discover spirit within ourselves..”
    ~ Rufus Jones 1863 – 1948

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

Quaker worship and fellowship online through Western Friend Magazine:

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) 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 WCTSWCTS 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), 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) or call at 775-473-5559.