A      LETTER       TO       FRIENDS

Newsletter of the Santa Fe Monthly Meeting       1st Month 2006           

 

 

Calendar of Events

All events to be held at the Meetinghouse, 630 Canyon Road, Santa Fe, unless otherwise noted.

Meeting for Worship is held every Sunday at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. 

Childcare and teen First-Day School are provided during the 11 a.m. service.

 

Sunday, Jan. 1          10:00 a. m.  Singing, First Day School room

                                    12:10 a. m.  Potluck following 11 a.m. Meeting

                                       

Sunday, Jan. 8             9:15 a. m. Ministry and Oversight Committee, guest apartment.  Friends with

                                       concerns to bring before the committee, please come at 10:00

                                    10:00 a. m. Draft and Military Counseling Committee. 

                                       10:00 a. m.  Singing, First Day School room

                                    Spiritual Nurturing group meets at Rise of Meeting.  All are welcome.

 

Sunday, Jan. 15           10:00 a. m.  Singing, First Day School room

                                    12:30 p. m.  Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business 

 

Sunday, Jan. 22           10:00 a. m.  Singing, First Day School room

                       

Sunday, Jan. 29           10:00 a. m.  Singing, First Day School room

 

Sunday  Feb. 5                        10:00 a. m.  Singing, First Day School room

                                    12:10 a. m.  Potluck following 11 a.m. meeting

 

Attention All Committee and Group Members:  Please send calendar items to the newsletter editor at katemoses at earthlink.net  The editor is not aware of committee meetings, events, etc., unless you make her aware.  Help get the word out!  Please include date, time, place, and description of events.  Thanks.  –ed.

                                             Queries for January
The Ministry and Oversight Committee has selected the following advices and queries for January.  The queries were read at beginning of meeting on January 1.

 

"Different ways of understanding the divine life may occur among us. These differences should not be ignored for the sake of a superficial agreement. They should be recognized and understood, so that a deeper and more vital unity can be reached. Convictions which might divide or disrupt a Meeting can, through God's grace, help to make it creative and strong. Friends should keep faith and fellowship with each other, waiting in the Light for that unity which draws them together in the love and power of God.”

“How do we use our diversity for the spiritual growth of our Meeting?”

“Are we prepared to let go of our individual desires and let the Holy Spirit lead us to unity?"

“When problems and conflicts arise, do we make timely endeavors to resolve them in a spirit of love and humility?"

 

Gitmo Lawyers Report Torture Of Hunger-Striking Prisoners
Submitted by Ann Anthony

 

 An attorney from one of New York's highest-prestige law firms, working also with the Center for Constitutional Rights, reports disgusting and criminal behavior by guards and physicians against hunger-striking prisoners in Guantanamo.

Julia Tarver is an attorney with the law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, and cooperating counsel with the Center for Constitutional Rights. She obtained a court OK for public release of her declaration regarding the situation at Guantánamo.

Tarver's notes detail her interviews with her clients, Yousef Al Shehri, Abduhl-Rahman Shalabi, and Majid Al Joudi, who are currently engaged in a hunger strike. The declassified notes reveal the dire conditions of these men. According to Tarver's declaration:

Force-feedings resulted in prisoners "vomiting up substantial amounts of blood. When they vomited blood, the soldiers mocked and cursed at them, and taunted them with statements like 'look what your religion has brought you.'”

”Large tubes - the thickness of a finger - were viewed by detainees as objects of torture. They were forcibly shoved up the detainees' noses and down into their stomachs. Again, no anesthesia or sedative was provided."

"[D]etainees were verbally abused and insulted and were restrained from head to toe. They had shackles or other restraints on their arms, legs, waist, chest, knees, and head... with these restraints in place, they were given intravenous medication (often quite painfully, as inexperienced medical professionals seemed incapable of locating appropriate veins).  Their arms were swollen from multiple attempts to stick them with IV needles. . . . If detainees moved, they were hit in the chest/heart.”

 

“In front of Guantánamo physicians - including the head of the detainee hospital--the guards took NG tubes from one detainee, and with no sanitization whatsoever, reinserted it into the nose of a different
detainee. When these tubes were reinserted, the detainees could see the blood and stomach bile from other detainees remaining on the tubes. A person detainees only known as Dr. [redacted] stood by and watched these procedures, doing nothing to intervene."

Detainee Abdul-Rahman communicated that, "one Navy doctor came and put the tube in his nose and down his throat and then just kept moving the tube up and down, until finally Abdul-Rahman started violently throwing up blood.  Abdul-Rahman tried to resist the 'torture' from this physician, but he
could not breathe."

Detainees complying with the nasal tube feeding were doing so only because they believed it had been ordered by a U.S. court, a belief that is simply untrue. After years in U.S. custody without formal charges or a hearing on the legality of their detention, despite a Supreme Court ruling in their favor, the hunger-striking detainees at Guantánamo have come to the conclusion that, according to Abdul-Rahman,"now after four years in captivity, life and death are the same."

 While the Center for Constitutional Rights and cooperating habeas counsel have continuously voiced concern for their clients' health given the length of their detention without trial and the conditions of their confinement, the situation has become acutely dangerous since detainees began their latest hunger strike on August 8, 2005.  It is unclear how many detainees are on hunger strike at this time, but as many as 200 men have participated at various times.

"What we learned on our last trip to Guantánamo was troubling to us as lawyers, as human beings, and as Americans. We never thought we would see the day when this sort of treatment took place at a facility run by the United States government.”

"It is inconsistent with the rule of law this country was founded upon, and it is inconsistent with the spirit and values of the American people," said Julia Tarver.

CCR cooperating attorneys from Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, and many other firms have emphasized the life-threatening nature of the situation at Guantánamo. They have informed the court that the DOD has invited representatives of the American Medical Association to visit Guantánamo and investigate the medical treatment provided to prisoners on the hunger strike.
The attorneys urged the court to appoint physicians to investigate the medical treatment or to consider allowing counsel to bring their own medical experts to Guantánamo. Attorneys also asked that they be able to accompany the AMA representatives if they go.

"It is both depressing and yet profoundly moving that this hunger strike continues in the face of such horrible adversity.  Despite the very real possibility that some of these men may die, it is  deeply life-affirming that so many of these detainees living in such dire circumstances are willing to risk their lives and bodies for the sake of basic democratic values that should be, and sadly are not, part of American
policy today," said Barbara Olshansky, Deputy Legal Director of the Center of Constitutional Rights.

There are plans afoot at CCR for a Fast for Justice on November 1 in affirmation of the detainees' human rights. We will send more information as these plans develop.


John J. Meyer
Coordinator of Extended Education Programs
Pendle Hill
338 Plush Mill Road
Wallingford, PA 19086
610-566-4507, ext. 121
Fax:  610-566-3679
johnm at pendlehill.org

 

 

Minutes Of Meeting For Worship With Attention To Business

Third First Day, 12th Month                              December 18, 2005

 

Meeting opened with a period of silence. 

 

Attendees:  Audrey Miller, Peggy and David Giltrow,  Beverly Busching, Alison P. Martinez,  Rebecca Henderson, David Henkel,  Jeanette Young,  Steve Spencer,  Bettina Raphael, John Kretzmann, Susan Robinson, Philip Balcombe, Eliza Packard, Roland Pool, Ann Anthony, Bob Gaines, Mary Ray Cate, Kip and Helen Corneli, Joan Spencer, Interim Clerk..

 

We considered six paintings by Olive Rush donated to Meeting by Robert Jerkins and his partner Joe Paull (deceased, November 25, 2005).  Bettina Raphael gave a progress report:  It was the long term intention of Joe Paull to will the paintings to the Meeting: Bettina asked for the meeting to formally accept them so that the estate settlement can be completed by the end of the year.  Paull’s niece and executor, Mrs. Millam, asked the Meeting to arrange appraisal: Bettina reminded her that the donor customarily provides the appraisal fee.  Bettina has located an appraiser.  Meeting thanks Bettina for her valuable services and appreciates Mr. Paull’s generosity.  A formal Minute was crafted.

 

MINUTEThe Santa Fe Friends Meeting gladly accepts Joe Paull’s bequest of six paintings by Olive Rush.

 

It is our understanding that the gift is given with no restrictions.  We send our sincere appreciation to the Paull estate for these remembrances of Olive Rush’s place in, and importance to the meeting. The Clerk will write a letter of thanks; Bettina will send back the required deed of gift form and a letter expressing our grateful acceptance.

 

Treasurer’s report:  Frank Hirsch asked for guidance: Would Friends like him to distribute the treasurer’s report by e-mail early each month? The idea met with instant commendation.  He then announced that donations now exceeded expenses, and that disbursements for the few remaining Good Works items will soon be made.  The Maintenance Fund stands at $7,540; the General Fund at $8,696; and he expects a few year-end donations.  A new committee for Good Works will be formed next summer will filter the many appeals we get from many worthy groups for his guidance.  Frank will study the IRS rule about tax exempt status and report implications to us.  We decided to draw $200 a year from the Brinton Turkle fund to provide for our needs in the case of Sufferings.  The Paul Olmstead fund will be used to support war resistance.

 

The 2006 budget was approved.

 

Beverly Busching has agreed to serve as Clerk from January through June, 2006.  Greg Cliburn has stepped down as Convenor of M & O.  Thank you, Greg! Audrey Miller has agreed to convene M & O until June.  A new Committee, The Fellowship Committee, consisting of Jesse Bertran, Bob Gaines and Margy Willen, will see that the Meeting  House is clean and ready for First Day Worship, is left in an orderly state at closing, and doors are locked.

 

Beverly Busching, Convener, reported that Peace and Social Concerns met to discuss concerns related to US Military occupation of Iraq, in light of current developments.  A letter to congressional leaders, the President, and newspapers was drafted and sent, as directed by the November Meeting for Business.  (A copy of that letter may be found immediately following the minutes, below).

 

Christmas Plans: Young Friends will take responsibility for the 6:00 pm Christmas Eve Service; light farolitos, etc.  Concerns were expressed and resolved about putting out the fires.  David Giltrow consented to come early the next morning (as he has often done) to straighten up and ready the building for worship.

 

Should we continue the experiment of display and reading of Queries?  Existing placards were circulated and scrutinized.  It was decided that a query selected by the Ministry and Oversight Committee would be read on First First Day.  The accompanying Advice,   provided by Intermountain Yearly Meeting, will be published in the Newsletter.  We are all glad that we are not losing our editor, Kate Moses.

 

M & O Committee reported that the Clearness committee for the marriage of John Kretzmann and Pattie Ravenheart met on December 8.  The committee “united with John and Pattie in their intention to be married and joyfully recommends that the Santa Fe Monthly Meeting take them under the meeting’s tender care.” Meeting rejoiced.

 

Resident Roland Pool reported the guest apartment is booked for 11 days in December.

 

A discussion about the Native American headdress, displayed on the Meeting room wall became a mini-threshing.  Although unity about its display was not achieved, the growth of sensitivity to the area of cultural appropriation was recognized.  After a full exploration of history, feelings, objections, responsibilities, proprieties, and the object’s possible fate should it be removed, it was agreed to ask Bettina Raphael to take the object down.  A committee consisting of Steve Spencer, Kip Corneli and Bettina will attempt to get more specific information about the headdress.

 

Ministry and Oversight Committee announced a retreat on January 7th.  Members of that body will consider the question: “How do we best deepen relationships within, and the spirituality of, our Meeting”.  Input is welcome. Call Audrey Miller to give her your ideas: 424-1208 or e-mail at Audrey88 at clovermail.net.

 

Building Committee will correct the problem of cold air entering the Ramada.

Last month’s minutes were approved.

 

We closed in a peace-filled silence.

 

Respectfully, Helen Corneli, Secretary pro tem.

 

 

A letter to Congressional Leaders, the President, and Newspapers, Drafted and Sent, as Directed by the November Meeting for Business

Dear _________

 

As a congregation of Quakers, the Santa Fe Friends Meeting wants to communicate to you our deep concern about the disastrous situation in Iraq.  We grieve for all of those who have been killed or injured, and for their families – both here in the United States and in Iraq.  We understand that Iraq has been a country of suffering for many years.  Even though now there is movement toward a constitutional government, it is evident that life is still perilous for Iraqi citizens.

 

We firmly believe that it is time for the United States to change course. Our generals tell us that military solutions are not the answer.  More and more Americans are realizing the hard but real truth -- our continued military presence makes it more, not less, difficult for Iraq to move toward a stable society and government. U.S. troops in Iraq increase the perception among its citizens that the U.S. has imperialistic designs on the region, particularly with regard to control of oil resources. Our continued presence serves as a provocation for extremist violence, to say nothing of the erosion of our moral position as a world leader.

 

What is urgently needed now is a clear policy statement that affirms the commitment of the United States to remove all of its troops and bases from Iraq, coupled with more effective civilian reconstruction and advisory presence.  We support our country’s responsibility for reconstruction.

 

We have been concerned to see Congress mired in discussions of military procedure and materiel.  We welcome the apparent shift of the debate to the serious and complex issues of how to bring our troops home and best meet our obligations to civilian reconstruction and constitutional government.

 

We strongly urge you to commit our country to early military withdrawal and more effective reconstruction work.

 

In quest of peace,

 

Joan Spencer, Clerk

For the Santa Fe Friends Meeting

630 Canyon Road

Santa Fe, NM 87501

 

Clerking: Serving the Community with Joy and Confidence

 

On October 28th and 29th, 2005 the Santa Fe MonthlyMeeting hosted a valuable workshop.  The energetic and many-faceted leader was Arthur Larrabee, Clerk of the Philadelphia Meeting. We are so grateful to Wyn Lewis, Philip Balcombe, and Susan Robinson who arranged the many details of the workshop.

 

Arthur Larrabee is a clerk who brought years of experience, a well-organized 50 page notebook for each participant, and a wonderful sense of humor to this workshop.  He also modeled admirable clerking behavior with our large group using stories, having participants read aloud from the workbook and encouraging role playing and lively discussion. Time flew by as we considered many complex aspects of our decision making processes. Arthur Larrabee urged us all to be real, natural and transparent. 

 

“Friends Decision-making Process in a Nutshell”

 

“Decision-making in the manner of Friends is a spiritual process rooted in the belief that God is present, available to the meeting through each of its members.  In naming God’s presence we often speak of the Spirit.”

 

“In its discernments, the meeting invites and relies on the guidance of the Spirit.  This process is called ‘sense of the meeting.’  Decisions are identified by sufficient unity of the meeting.”

 

“The attitudes, methods and practices of a Friends meeting for business are all for the purpose of supporting this process.”         Arthur Larrabee, Page l, Clerking

 

Participants attending the Workshop were:

Santa Fe: Philip Balcombe, Beverly Busching, Greg Cliburn,  David & Peggy Giltrow, Rebecca Henderson, John Kretzmann,  Pelican Lee,  Wyn Lewis, Audrey Miller, Roland Pool,  Susan Robinson, Nina Sammons, Howard Schulman,  Joan Spencer, Jennifer Wellington, Margy Willen.

Albuquerque: Phyllis Hoge.

Taos: Judith Duncan, Dyckman Vermilye, Jane Engel, Kevin McCourt, Ana Pacheco.

Las Cruces: Vicki Aldrich, Dan Hysel.

Silver City: Theresa Walker, Marilyn Gendron.

Boulder: Denise Webster.

Durango: Robert Lea, Connie Green, Ross Worley.

Denver: Andy Bardwell.

                                             Juarez Reflections  by Mary Ray Cate

The three empty bird cages are stacked forlornly against the wall of the house in the small concrete paved patio, one with a dead parakeet still in its nesting box. Many Mexican families enjoy caged birds, but since the birth of her grandson Angel four months ago, Elodia has been too overwhelmed with other responsibilities to care for songbirds.  Elodia and Fidel were my hosts in Ciudad Juarez December 1-4, 2005, when I participated in a border immersion trip sponsored by Albuquerque's Center for Action and
Contemplation.  The leader of our group of ten was Chuck O'Herron-Alex, a caring and creative man who has developed a simple self-contained box garden that makes it easy for families to grow fresh organic vegetables. Our group participated in his Home Grown Nutrition program by assisting families in a colonia (outlying neighborhood) of Juarez to set up and plant these small gardens.

The trip was an opportunity to become more acquainted with border issues and to meet people who are working and living near the U.S.-Mexican border. Three people who have given up many comforts and privileges to live with and serve the poor spoke to our group.  Ruben Garcia is one of the founders of
Annunciation House, a shelter in El Paso, Texas, for immigrants and victims of torture from all over the world. Frank Alarcon gave up his job as a mail carrier in El Paso to start a clinic, day care center, community dining hall and other services for residents of one of the poorest areas of Juarez. And Sister Donna Kustusch is a Dominican nun who has spent the last 14 years with women who live on the site of the former Juarez garbage dump.


About 75 families are being helped by the Centro Santa Catalina, a remarkable project which grew out of Sister Donna's conversations with the women about their needs, hopes and dreams.  We stayed with some of those families for three nights. Most of them migrated to the colonia from central and southern Mexico in search of jobs. It has become very difficult for small farmers in Mexico since the North
American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) went into effect a decade ago.


Mexican farmers cannot compete with U.S. agribusiness. (Neither can small U.S. farmers, of course.) The former garbage dump is dusty, with few trees and toxic soil. Trash is continually making its way to the surface of the unpaved streets. Many of the houses are built of scrounged materials: cardboard, scraps of wood, Styrofoam and tar paper. Gradually some of the families have managed to build small cement block houses, and everyone now has electricity, a propane cook stove, and at least one water tap somewhere on their tiny lot. We were hosted in pairs, and family members gave up a bed for us.

Elodia and Fidel have six children, ranging in age from 17 year old Patricia to 4 year old Hector.  Patricia and Angel gave up their room and bed for my friend Sheila and me.  Only one of the family's four rooms is
heated--with a small metal stove that looks like it was made out of a tin can. That's the room with two beds where five of the nine members of the family sleep. Elodia does the laundry at an outdoor sink and hangs it on lines to dry.  The family's animals, two dogs, a cat, two roosters (who begin their wake up  calls at 4 or 5 am), two hens and four little chickens, live on kitchen and table scraps which are dumped onto the patio. There is an indoor flush toilet but no running water in the bathroom sink.


The family, especially Elodia, has been stressed by the birth of Patricia's baby, Angel. Elodia feels it is very important for Patricia to stay in school, so Elodia cares for four month old Angel five days a week. Fidel works six days a week, at least ten hours a day, selling snacks and soft drinks to workers in the maquiladoras, factories owned by big multinational corporations. He earns about four dollars a day. The factory workers work ten to twelve hour shifts making many products that can be sold cheaply to U.S. consumers at stores like Walmart and J.C. Penney. Why are the prices in "big box" stores so low? Low wages, lack of enforcement of environmental regulations and few export duties (thanks to NAFTA) make
Mexico an attractive location for corporations to build factories. The workers earn up to $5.50 per day, about 50 cents an hour. Yet prices for food, water, propane and electricity are about the same as here. One of the few advantages of working at a maquiladora is that health insurance in provided.

Attending public school costs money in Mexico. For our family's oldest three children, tow in a technical school learning bookkeeping and one in high school Elodia and Fidel have to pay for uniforms, books, entrance fees, bus fare and supplies. Their five year old, a bright, affectionate and lively girl named Luna, who has black pigtails and sparkly brown eyes, attends the kindergarten at Centro Santa Catalina. It costs two dollars a month, much less than the public kindergarten. Her elementary school age
brother benefits from the after school tutoring and recreation program at the Centro, and all the children get small scholarships since Elodia is a member of the Centro Santa Catalina sewing cooperative and participates in the weekly Faith and Values classes taught by Sister Donna.

Participating in the activities of the center gives the 23 women in the cooperative extra income, increases their self-esteem, and helps them become more assertive in a macho society.  They are becoming more able to stand up to their husbands and advocate for their children, and the group offers spiritual and social support as they struggle for better lives. They meet at the Centro to sew four afternoons a week, making beautiful bags, table cloths, napkins, shawls and other items that are sold at church bazaars in the  U.S. and via the internet. They make at least $100 a month for 16 hours work a week. Sister Donna, who has a Ph.D. in Theology, developed the four year long Faith and Values course. The weekly meetings include singing, fun games that get everyone laughing, prayer, meditation, discussion and sharing. We participated in these activities with the women, who obviously give each other lots of support, holding each other's babies, praying for each other's sick children, and preparing meals together when visitors come. In one to one sharing time one of the 40 year old grandmothers told me of her deep faith in the Virgin of Guadalupe and how that sustains her. Our Lady of Guadalupe's feast day was approaching,
and all our songs were about her.

We met a small girl who could not return to school because her parents lacked $20 for medicine to control her asthma, and talked with the mother of a two year old boy who is sick all the time because the cardboard roof of their one-room home leaks.  (Our group came up with twenty dollars for medicine, but singling out one family for a larger monetary gift would not have been a good idea, even if we could have made such a donation.)  The mothers of those two children are part of the garden group at Centro Santa
Catalina.  Through the Home Grown Nutrition program they are learning not only how to grow some of their own food but how to prepare healthier meals, collect seeds for future plantings and turn vegetable scraps into compost.

The most moving moment of the weekend was on Sunday morning when we all gathered at the Center to say goodbye. Each of our group of ten was given a blessing by each woman, the blessing she would give to her husband or children if they were leaving on a journey. We were also given small gifts, colorful paper flowers from the sewing coop and from Elodia, for Sheila and me, the pottery mugs we had drunk our tea from at each meal in her house. These women, who had so little in the way of material comforts,
were giving freely to us of their spiritual riches.

When we asked what we could give them, the answer was, 'Tell others about us and our sewing products, send money for scholarships so our children can finish school, come back to visit, and pray for us.' So I am writing this letter for them.

The trip brought up many emotions and questions for our group. How can we respond to the tremendous inequalities and in justices of our world? What can we do to alleviate some of the suffering we saw? What does it mean to live in solidarity with the poor?  We can examine our own lives and look at how we contribute, through our purchases, investments and lifestyle, to the misery of the poor. We can try to live more simply. We can give generously to those who have so much less than we do and are working hard so their children will have a healthier life through self help projects such as Centro Santa Catalina.

Addresses: Centro Santa Catalina, 1207 Alabama St., El Paso TX 79930           www.centrosantacatalina.org
Homegrown Nutrition Program, CAC, P.O. Box 12464, Albuquerque, NM
87195-2464     www.cacradicalgrace.org
Annunciation House, 815 Myrtle Ave., El Paso, TX 79901-1511
www.annunciationhouse.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some Key Meeting Contacts

 

Ministry and Oversight Committee: (to whom you bring personal or meeting-wide concerns and needs for pastoral counseling) Greg Cliburn, convener, 474-7313,  gcliburn at gmail.com; Rebecca Henderson, 989-8627 rebeccahenderson4 at hotmail.com; Jan-Willem Jansons, 471-6167, JanWillemJ at msn.com; Audrey Miller, 424-1208, audrey88 at pobox.com; Beverly Busching, 984-8742 , bbusching at mindspring.com; Roland Pool, 983-7241, RolandPool at aol.com; Reuben Hersh, 983-5044

 

Interim Meeting Clerk: Joan Spencer, 984.2217

 

Meeting Resident: (to schedule use of building, guest apartment, report building problems, etc.) Roland Pool, 983-7241, rolandpool at aol.com

 

Newsletter: Kate Moses, editor, 988.2709, please email submissions, preferably as Word docs, to katemoses at earthlink.net, by the Friday before Business Meeting (held each third First Day).

 

Recorder: Marguerite Kearns Culp, marguerite at owlmount.com, 505-753-9760 home, 505-670-3124 cell

 

Treasurer: Frank Hirsch, 466.0109.  Please mail financial contributions to: Treasurer, Santa Fe Monthly Meeting of Friends, 630 Canyon Road, Santa Fe, NM  87501

 

(All Committees and members, attenders and their contact information are listed in the Meeting Directory.)