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March 2024 Newsletter

March 2024 Reno Friends Meeting Schedule

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sun. Mar. 24 – In-Person First Day School, 10 am (details)

Sun. Mar. 24 – Vegetarian Potluck, 11:30 am (details)

Tues. Mar. 26 – Book Club Discussion 7-8 pm (details)

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

Sat. Mar. 30 – Annual Remembrance Gathering and Potluck, noon to 3:00 p.m. (details)

Sun. Mar. 31, Easter – In-Person Silent Worship, 10 am (details

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 ministry(at)renofriends.org. Our worship clerk will read them at the next Silent Worship.

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. Masks are optional but welcome at all our events. You can read more about our COVID policy here.

First Day School: In-Person, Sun. Mar. 24, 10-11 am.

Our First Day School holds class once a month, on fourth Sundays, which is also potluck Sunday. Children attend their class in the First Day School building and then join their parents for the last ten minutes of Silent Worship. Please contact the Meeting if you are interested in bringing children to the First Day School for the first time. You can email us at firstdayschool(at)renofriends.org.

Embodying the Light: Wednesdays on Zoom, Mar. 13 & Mar. 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 Mar. 13 and Mar. 27. The Zoom link will be sent in the Weekly Update. See our website for more about the practice.

Rhonda has recently made a new video teaching an advanced version of her Embodying the Light practice. You can learn more about all her available videos on our website.

Brown Bag Lunch, Thurs., Mar. 21, at 12 noon

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

Reno Friends Book Club on Zoom, Tues. Mar. 26, 7-8 pm

The Reno Friends Book Club meets 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 club selection for March 26 is 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.

Upcoming dates and book selections are:

May 28, 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.

August 27, 2024: TBD

October, 2024: Seeking the Light: A Quaker Journey for Quakers and Non-Quakers by Linda Seger ThD The author, Dr. Linda Seger, is a long-time Quaker who has integrated her Quaker values as a professional in the scriptwriting and film industry for 40 years. This practical and accessible book deepens the faith of Quakers and introduces non-Quakers to Quaker testimonies, practices, and values. 329 pages; paperback and Kindle available; 11/23 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.

Next Spiritual Discussion: Tues. Apr. 23, 7-8 pm

There is no Spiritual Discussion in March. The Spiritual Discussions meet every-other-month on Fourth Tuesdays from 7-8 pm on Zoom, and the next meeting is Tues. April 23 with Kristin Winford leading a discussion on Stewardship. 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:

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.

Annual Remembrance Gathering, Sat. Mar. 30, 12-3 pm

Reno Friends will hold our annual Remembrance Gathering and Potluck on Sat., March 30th, from 12 noon to 3 pm. The gathering will give those who have lost someone or something important to them in the past few years a chance to share about who or what they have lost. You are welcome to bring a photo or talisman of your loved one(s) to place on the center table. We will have battery-operated tea candles available to represent the Light of the loved ones we are remembering. There will be time for sharing memories, if you wish, around the table during a vegetarian comfort-food potluck lunch. All are welcome! You do not need to have lost anyone or something; everyone in the Meeting community is welcome to come and provide love and support for those who have experienced loss. If you are interested in participating, please RSVP to ministry(at)renofriends.org.

Peace and Social Concerns Committee Update

Reno Friends Meeting’s February Business Meeting approved donations to the following nonprofit organizations that have either a Quaker connection and/or a purpose that our Meeting has decided is a priority:

  • Friends Committee on National Legislation [FCNL] lobbies Congress and the administration to advance peace, justice, opportunity and environmental stewardship. Our donation is directed to the FCNL Education Fund which promotes civic engagement through education and training.
  • American Friends Service Committee [AFSC] works for peace and social justice in the United States and around the world.
  • Right Sharing of World’s Resources provides loans to microbusiness ventures run by women in Guatemala, India, Kenya and Sierra Leone.
  • Quaker house, Fayetteville, NC, provides counseling and support to service members who are questioning their role in the military; the organization also advocates for a more peaceful world.
  • Quaker Earthcare Witness is a network of Quakers inspiring Spirit-lead action for ecological integrity and environmental justice.
  • Western Friends is a magazine published by a nonprofit established jointly by Pacific, North Pacific, and Intermountain Yearly Meetings to build practical and spiritual connections among Friends in the West.
  • Ben Lomond Quaker Center offers programs and personal retreats nurturing the spiritual growth and faithfulness of Friends and others.
  • RISE (Reno Initiative for Shelter/Equity) operates emergency housing for families, women, and seniors, providing equal access to shelter, knowledge, and opportunity.

Each month, we will feature one of these organizations in more detail.  This month’s feature:

American Friends Service Committee

AFSC was founded in 1917 in Philadelphia in response to an urgent need for conscientious objectors to find alternatives to military service during World War I. In 1919, AFSC created a program to feed thousands of children in Austria, Germany, and Poland. In the postwar era, AFSC was willing to do what others would not – to house, feed, and train people scorned as “enemies.” Domestic programs were also a priority:  In 1922, AFSC established a feeding program that would help thousands of Appalachian coal miners and their families. In 1927, AFSC hired Crystal Bird, a young Black woman, to speak around the U.S. on racial equality.   This effort to bridge the racial divide preceded decades of work to stop lynching, integrate public schools, and foster equity in jobs and housing.

These relief, economic and social justice, and racial equality efforts continued to expand, including assistance to Jewish refugees in the 1930’s, humanitarian relief throughout WWII, aid at Japanese internment camps in the U.S., as well as halfway houses and pre-trial programs for incarcerated people who couldn’t afford bail. AFSC also runs relief programs for refugees in Gaza, which began in 1948 at the request of the United Nations and have continued for over 70 years; today AFSC provides humanitarian relief to Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank. In 1947, the Nobel Peace Price was jointly awarded to AFSC and the British Friends Service Council in recognition of the work of all Friends worldwide to heal rifts, tend to the wounded, and oppose war.

Other notable work includes: helping to create the United Farm Workers, playing a prominent role in the late 1960’s Poor People’s Campaign, standing with Indigenous people organizing for self-determination, establishing a Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual Rights Task Force [1975] and creating an informational clearinghouse for LGBTQ youth [1992], providing humanitarian support and human rights monitoring for Central American migrant caravans [2018]. The needs for action continue; millions of people around the world are being forcibly displaced by war, persecution, climate disasters, and more. Current priorities include supporting refugees from Ukraine, providing essentials to people in Syria and Turkey who have lost everything after devastating earthquakes, and helping communities address root causes of forced migration in Central America, Somalia, and other places.

A new AFSC program is the Emerging Leaders for Liberation program for young adults, which serves to deepen their social justice and leadership skills. Reno Friend Catie Polley was part of the 2023 Cohort, the second year of the program. Over eight months, these young leaders take part in trainings on anti-racism, organizing, advocacy, nonviolent action and more, learning from AFSC’s experienced organizers and program staff. Since 1917, AFSC has been on the forefront of some of the most important social movements in working for a more just, peaceful world. AFSC continues to connect activism to the issues that matter today. (Source:   afsc.org/history)

Donating to Reno Friends in 2024

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) UPDATE

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 2024 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.