Do not send to ask for whom the bell tolls. It tolls for thee.
-- John Donne
The events of the past weeks and months--really the past several years--have overwhelmed many of us with a flood of emotions that range from fear to fury, from despair to a desire to change our systems and more. With each new assault, each new death, the weight of violence increases. Our ability to encompass it all shrinks, our need to do something floods us, and it becomes impossible to feel - or perhaps impossible not to feel.
So, what do we as Friends and friends of Friends have to support and sustain us in these traumatic days? We have one another and the indwelling Spirit through which we are connected to one another. Our faith reminds us that we first connect to one another and to Spirit; those connections form the base from which we can act.
In that spirit, we offer some queries for you to consider in these challenging days and a time to gather together.
Where is your empathy, your sense of connection to the plight of others, engaged: with those in the Ukraine, those in Russia, those in Buffalo, Laguna Woods, and Uvalde, those on the streets of towns and communities across the four states of our yearly meeting? Others? None?
What fuels your empathy?
How do you recognize and address your anger, your fear?
How can we come together to offer support and comfort to one another?
What makes it difficult for you to reach out to others?
How do we offer support and meaningful comfort to one another individually, when our traditional methods of connection are less available?
What helps you to stay grounded in Spirit?
We encourage Friends to seek ways and places to gather and share concrete tools for managing in these days, for consolation and comfort with one another--in Meeting Houses, on Zoom, in neighborhood parks and grocery stores, out walking (with or without the dog), whenever we may encounter one another. Perhaps your community will find its rightly ordered way to offer aid and comfort to one another. Please share what you find helpful.
The Yearly Meeting is offering an on-line space for Friends to gather together on Sunday, May 29, 2022 at 8:00 pm - 9:15 pm.
Participants will have a choice to join a smaller group by particular focus including:
Children and Families
Youth (this space for middle schoolers and high schoolers will be held by youth programs staff)
Contact for questions and to share resources:
Melinda Wenner Bradley, Director of Programs
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