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December 2023 Newsletter

December 2023 Reno Friends Meeting Schedule

Sun. Dec. 3 – Hybrid Silent Worship (In-Person and on Zoom), 10 am (details

Sun. Dec. 3 – In-Person First Day School, 10 am (details)

Sun. Dec. 10 – In-Person Silent Worship, 10 am (details

Sun. Dec. 10 – Zoom Meeting for Business, 12:30 pm (details)

Wed. Dec. 13 – Zoom Embodying the Light, 10-11 am (details)

Sun. Dec. 17 – Hybrid Silent Worship (In-Person and on Zoom), 10 am (details)

Sun. Dec. 17 – In-Person First Day School, 10 am (details)

Sun. Dec. 17 – Holiday Vegetarian Potluck & Cookie Exchange, 11:30 am (details)

Thurs. Dec. 21 – In-Person Brown Bag Lunch, 12 noon (details)

Sun. Dec. 24 – In-Person Silent Worship, 10 am (details

Wed. Dec. 27 – Zoom Embodying the Light, 10-11 am (details)

Sun. Dec. 31 – In-Person Silent Worship, 10 am (details)

Other Important Dates

Nov. 5 – Dec. 13: RFM Fall Clothing and Food Collection (details below)

Announcements

We hold online meetings, spiritual discussions, book discussions and yoga on Zoom throughout the year. For details on using Zoom, see our Zoom guidelines.

Reno Friends Meeting Event Details & Other Notices

Join Us for Silent Worship in the Meeting House Every Sunday, or for Zoom Hybrid Worship, 1st and 3rd Sundays

Reno Friends Meeting holds Silent Worship in the Meeting House every Sunday at 10 am, with fellowship afterwards. On First and Third Sundays, we hold Hybrid Worship — and you may join us either in person or online via Zoom. You can read more about our setup here. For Hybrid Silent Worship on Zoom, we have developed a set of Zoom Worship guidelines. Here is the recurring Zoom link for Hybrid Silent Worship:

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

If you cannot attend, we invite you to send after-thoughts, joys and concerns, and requests to hold people in the Light to Rhonda at classes(at)renofriends.org. Our worship clerk will read them at the next Silent Worship.

First Day School: In-Person, Sun. Dec. 3 & Sun. Dec. 17, 10-11 am.

Our First Day School hold in-person classes twice a month, usually on second and fourth Sundays, though this month it is different: FDS will be Sun. Dec. 3 & Sun. Dec. 17. Children attend their class in the First Day School building and then join their parents for the last ten to fifteen minutes of Silent Worship. Please contact the Meeting if you are interested in bringing children to the First Day School for the first time or would like to have your children attend First Day School on a Sunday other than when it is usually scheduled. You can email us at firstdayschool(at)renofriends.org.

COVID Updates

If you are not feeling well – even if you think it’s just a cold or allergies – we ask that you stay home, even if you are vaccinated. Masks are optional but welcome at all our events. You can read more about our COVID policy here.

RFM Fall Clothing and Food Collection, Nov. 5-Dec. 13

Please consider donating either new or gently used winter clothing and/or non-perishable food for the needy this fall. Our collection ends Sun. Dec. 13. Donations may be brought to the Meeting House or to Peg McCall’s home at 75 Hastings Dr., Reno, 89503. There is a collection box on the bench near her front door.

Planned recipients for our collection are: the Good Shepherd Clothes Closet, Greenbrae Dr., in Sparks; The Assistance League for more “dressy” clothes; and the Sparks Food Pantry at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church at 12th and Oddie Blvd.

Holiday Vegetarian Potluck & Cookie Exchange, Sun Dec. 17, 11:30 am

Please join us for the annual Holiday Vegetarian Potluck and Cookie Exchange! Bring a vegetarian dish to share for the potluck, and a plate of cookies for the exchange. Two to three dozen will be fine, and please attach a note with the list of ingredients for dish and your cookies. And don’t forget to bring bags or plastic containers to take your cookie booty home. The Cookie Exchange just gets bigger and better each year!

Embodying the Light: Wednesdays on Zoom, Dec. 13 & Dec. 27 , at 10 am

Rhonda Ashurst leads our “Embodying the Light” class of gentle yoga and Tai Chi/Qigong as a service to Reno Friends and the community. The class is usually held on Zoom from 10-11 am, on second and fourth Wednesday mornings. Zoom sessions this month will be Wednesdays Dec. 13 and Dec. 27. The Zoom link will be sent in the Weekly Update. See our website for more details.

Brown Bag Lunch, Thursday, Dec. 21, at 12 noon

Join hosts Peg McCall and Melanie Scott for an in-person Brown Bag Lunch at the Meeting House on Dec. 21 at 12 noon. Anyone who wants to share lunch and fellowship with other Reno Friends is welcome.

The Reno Friends Book Club on Zoom

The Reno Friends Book Club is not meeting in December, but starting on Jan. 23, 2024, the Book Club will meet every-other-month on fourth Tuesdays from 7 to 8 pm on Zoom. The Zoom link for the book gathering will be sent out in the RFM Weekly Update email. Volunteers facilitate the discussion, and all are welcome to join our lively debates — even those who have not read or finished the book!

Our book selection for January 23, 2024 is: Busara Road, by David Hallock Sanders; https://www.amazon.com/Busara-Road-David-Hallock-Sanders/dp/0999550128. After the death of his mother, 11-year-old Mark Morgan starts a new life with his father at the Kwetu Quaker Mission high in the rain forest of western Kenya. It is 1966, just after Kenya’s bloody struggle for independence. As Mark embraces his own independence in this new home, he develops a deep love for the Kenyan people while experiencing cultural and sexual awakenings beyond his years. Beneath the mission’s calm surface, however, simmer animosities left over from the long fight against colonialism—and what Mark discovers here will change him forever. Paperback, Kindle edition, new and used copies available.

Upcoming book selections are:

March, 2024: The Peaceable Kingdom: The Children of the Light, 1652-1653 by Jan de Hartog; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Peaceable_Kingdom:_An_American_Saga; Children of the Light is the first book in de Hartog’s three-book novelization of the development of the Quaker movement. This first book describes the meeting of George Fox and Margaret Fell. Published in 1972, it’s out of print but was a bestseller; 409 pages. The US edition has the first two volumes in one book and goes by the title The Peaceable Kingdom. You will need to order this book used, so plan ahead. Due to the age of the book, a hardback is likely a better choice than a paperback, as the binding should be in better shape. If you don’t have a favorite used book seller, try  Abe Books

May, 2024: Sacred Nature: Restoring our Ancient Bond with the Natural World, by Karen Armstrong. From one of the most original thinkers on the role of religion in the modern world, a profound exploration of the spiritual power of nature—and an urgent call to reclaim that power in everyday life (Amazon). The book is Nonfiction; 224 pages; a Kindle version is available. The book is a new release.

We are always looking for the next volunteer to lead our book discussions. Is there a Quaker-ish book that you would like to share with us? Take a look at a list of our past and upcoming reads. For the book discussion, you can provide Quaker-style queries, or a few easy discussion questions, or a few quotes or passages from the book we’re discussing. If you have questions, email bookclub (at) renofriends.org.

The Reno Friends Spiritual Discussion on Zoom

There is no Spiritual Discussion in December. Starting in 2024, the Spiritual Discussions will meet every-other-month on Fourth Tuesdays from 7-8 pm on Zoom, beginning February 27. At each gathering, we will consider a different topic, with brief readings or online videos, and a volunteer facilitator to summarize the material and pose queries for discussion. If you can, please read the assigned readings or watch the videos and come prepared to discuss the material. Upcoming topics are:

February: Spiritual Discussion on Transpersonal Psychology and Quakerism: Where do They Intersect? With Lyn Gunn-Smith.

April: Spiritual Discussion on Stewardship, with Kristin Winford.

June: Spiritual Discussion on Ways to Connect with the Divine, with Cliff Smith.

If you have questions, please email them to classes(at)renofriends.org. Rhonda Ashurst is the Spiritual Discussion coordinator, and she welcomes ideas/topics for future discussions and encourages everyone to consider facilitating on a topic of interest to you, if you are so inclined.

Peace and Social Concerns News Update

Reno Posse: Melanie is collecting clean, lidded plastic food containers, up to 16 ounces (e.g. that held yogurt, margarine) for use by the Reno Posse, a local group that provides meals for the un-housed. See Melanie for details.

Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) has the following opportunities related to our interests in diversity:

  • FCNL is holding an online discussion “Quakers Uprooting Racism” on Wednesday, December 13 at 3:30-4:30 pm PST; register at the FNCL.org website.  This event will continue the discussion of six Quaker organizations who are working together to accelerate the movement for and capacity to create racial justice among (and beyond) Friends through the creation of the 2024 Quakers Uprooting Racism, racial justice changemakers learning and experimenting with actions together.
  • FCNL’s Native American Legislative Update is a monthly newsletter on the most important developments on Capitol Hill related to Indian Country.  You can sign up to receive at fcnl.org/issues/native-americans.

Also, one of the actions taken at FCNL’s 2023 Annual Meeting in November is an “Addendum to FCNL’s Statement of Legislative Policy Regarding Reproductive Health Care and Abortion”.   Reno Friends Meeting’s Statement on Women and Abortion was one of more than 300 responses which guided FCNL’s Policy Committee as they developed the following recommendation approved at the Annual Meeting:

III.2.6. Health Care. Universal access to affordable, effective, comprehensive health care is a right and is necessary to allow all people to fulfill their potential. Comprehensive health care includes primary, acute, reproductive, and long-term care, including prescription drugs, as well as mental health and substance abuse treatment. To ensure access, health services should be provided where an individual’s needs can best be met. Our country can only maintain and improve the physical and mental health of its population with affordable health care that covers the entire life span, from prenatal to end-of-life care. Public health services, which protect us all, require robust federal support.

 III.2.7. Reproductive health and abortion. Quakers recognize that human life is sacred, and that Spirit can guide us individually and collectively. Based on these beliefs, members of the Religious Society of Friends have come to different conclusions regarding abortion. FCNL supports individual discernment in a spirit of love and truth in making reproductive healthcare decisions, as we do in other areas of conscientious moral choice. Government must ensure that people have the legal right to make these decisions. We oppose the criminalization of people seeking, undergoing, or involved in abortion services. We support equitable access to abortion services. FCNL also supports policies that reduce unwanted pregnancies by ensuring equitable access to contraception, sex education, family planning, fertility and adoption services, and support for all who decide to have children
.”

FCNL’s 2024-2028 Strategic Plan developed at the annual meeting can be viewed at:

https://www.fcnl.org/about/staff-governance/governance/2024-2028-strategic-plan.
As stated in the Plan’s introduction, FCNL’s “vision, firmly rooted in Quaker faith and practice, guides our unwavering commitment to building a future that is fundamentally different from the present—a world where the specter of war is replaced by lasting peace, where equity and justice extend to every corner of society, where the boundless potential of every individual is realized, and where the Earth itself is revitalized and thriving.”

American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) is offering a weekly “Action Hour for a Cease-Fire” with live updates from Gaza every Friday at 9 am PST.  After the update, AFSC invites listeners to contact elected officials and call for an immediate cease-fire and humanitarian access to Gaza. Register at https://afsc.org/events/afsc-action-hour-cease-fire.

Quaker United Nations Office:  This international Quaker group also posted moving statements about Israel and Palestinians. If interested, check out this link: https://quno.org/timeline/2023/10/voices-peace-israel-and-palestine

UNICEF:  The United Nations’ agency responsible for providing humanitarian and developmental aid to children worldwide is calling for immediate ceasefire and for unrestricted humanitarian access to reach the children and families in Gaza. Learn more about their efforts at: https://www.unicef.org/emergencies/children-gaza-desperate-need-lifesaving-support

Donating to Reno Friends in 2023

If you would like to support Reno Friends Meeting, donations can 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 the treasurer(at)renofriends.org. Zelle eliminates the need to write a check and, for our Treasurers, the need to deposit your check at the bank. Thank you from Reno Friends!

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. Masks are optional at this time. 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

Your canceled stamps are needed!  Read about it here! https://rswr.org/sites/default/files/Newsletters/2022-Q1-Newsletter.pdf  Reno Friends Meeting has been supporting Right Sharing of World Resources for decades. Learn how this Quaker organization helps women in Sierra Leon, Kenya, India and before too long, Guatemala, support themselves, which in turn helps their families and villages.  

Outside Non-Profits That Meet at the Quaker Meeting House

Adult Children of Alcoholics and Dysfunctional Families meets every 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 Quaker Activities & Announcements

Pacific Yearly Meeting Epistle from the 2023 Annual Meeting (last July)

Pacific Yearly Meeting recently distributed its “Epistle” from the 2023 Annual Session, which was held this past July. The Epistle is a summary of the session, and it is available at:

https://www.pacificyearlymeeting.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2023/09/Pacific-Yearly-Meeting-Epistle-28-July-2023.pdf

Ben Lomond Quaker Center, Ben Lomond, CA

Ben Lomond Quaker Center has posted its 2023 calendar of programs and retreats. Programs include daily online Silent Worship (7:30-8 am) and Wednesday morning online Worship Sharing (10-11:30 am), go to http://www.quakercenter.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 classes (at) renofriends.org. 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 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.

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.

Subscribing and Unsubscribing: We use the same email list for all our communications, including the monthly newsletter and the weekly email update.

  • To subscribe to our email list, attend Silent Worship with us either virtually or in person and be sure that we get your email address. Add the address “update (at) renofriends.org” to your email address book to help keep our email from going in to your spam folder. If email from us still goes into your spam folder, go into your spam folder, find the email from us, and mark it as “not SPAM.”
  • To unsubscribe to the mailing list, email  clerk (at) renofriends.org with the subject line “unsubscribe.”