Letter to Friends

Newsletter of the Santa Fe Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends

Fifth Month 2007

“Lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle(dove) is heard in our land.” (Song of Solomon 2:11-12)


Calendar of Events

All events take place at the Meetinghouse, 630 Canyon Road, unless otherwise noted.  Meeting for Worship is held every Sunday at 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.  Child care and First-Day School are provided during the 11:00 a.m. Meeting.


Sunday             4/22/07                        10:00 a.m.        Singing, First Day School room or in garden


Sunday             4/29/07                        10:00 a.m.        Singing, First Day School room or in garden

                                                10:10-10:50     Meeting for Muffins: all welcome!

                                                7:00 p.m.          Immigration & border concerns discussion


Saturday           5/5/07              3:00 p.m.          Worship Sharing about south Santa Fe worship

group at Southside branch library


Sunday             5/6/07              10:00 a.m.        Singing, First Day School room or in garden

                                                12:30 p.m.        Potluck

Mother’s Day

Sunday             5/13/07                        10:00 a.m.        Singing, First Day School room or in garden

                                                12:30               Potluck with FGC Traveling Ministries


Sunday             5/20/07                        10:00 a.m.        Singing, First Day School room or in garden

                                                                        Meeting for Worship for Business


Sunday             5/27/07                        10:00 a.m.        Singing, First Day School room or in garden

                                                12:30 p.m.        Meeting for Worship for Business


Please tell the editor of items that should be in the calendar:  Alison Martinez, 438-0729 apapmtz@msn.com.  Thank you.


Minutes of the Meeting for Worship for Business

Santa Fe Monthly Meeting of Quakers, Fourth Month, 2007


Present:  Pamela Geyer, Bob Gaines, Philip Balcombe, Jennifer Wellington, Ford Robbins, Shelley Cohen, Frank Hirsch, David Giltrow, Rebecca Henderson, Bettina Raphael, Beverly Busching, clerk; Mary Dunham, acting recording clerk.

Meeting began with silence and a message from the banner in front of the Homewood Friends Meeting, Baltimore:  Together we seek a peaceful world.

Minutes from Third Month were approved with one correction: Alan Rogers’ telephone number is 984-1172.

            A draft of the State of the Meeting Report (for IMYM) was shared and discussed.  Beverly will incorporate suggestions and share by email with those present and Ministry and Oversight.

Immigrant and Border Concerns.  At Regional Meeting in Albuquerque a panel of activists spoke on immigrant health and civil rights issues, and a minute for Regional Meeting was drafted. (To be shared with our Meeting later.)  We would like to be able to share information and suggestions for action at our own meeting.  For example, in Albuquerque attenders learned that 700 detainees from all over the country are being held in an Albuquerque detention center.  The upcoming immigration bill in Congress is worth our support, but changes in the bill were suggested.  Friends decided to hold a meeting on immigration issues at the Santa Fe Meetinghouse on Sunday evening, April 29th at 7 pm.  Wyn and Beverly will convene the meeting. An AFSC representative will be invited.

Ministry and Oversight Committee.  M & O discussed personal concerns in the Meeting and visits to Las Vegas, Los Alamos, and Taos Clearlight Worship Groups.  The query for fifth month will be:  Do we search diligently for ways to assure the right of everyone to be loved, to be cared for, to be educated, to obtain useful employment and to live in dignity?  The committee laid over two items for further information and discussion:  the special Advisory Committee on Stewardship and Long Range Planning and decisions about “long lost” Friends.

            M & O asked Meeting if action should be taken regarding the Peace and Social Concerns Committee which is now without conveners and has not been meeting regularly.  It was mentioned that this committee is ‘at the heart of the Meeting’ and is a very valuable resource for us.  On the other hand, Friends in the Meeting have been very active on peace and social concerns even though the committee has not been meeting.  Friends decided to let the Nominating Committee look for a new convener and members.  M & O further asked Meeting to consider whether the Good Works Committee should be extended throughout the year, instead of just operating in preparation for the new year’s budget.  It could handle the many requests and reports that come in during the year.  Meeting approved the Good Works Committee as a continuing standing committee.

Display of a Message on the front of the Meetinghouse.  The suggestion that a message might be displayed on Canyon Road was reintroduced, after being disapproved last month.  Although there was some support for this idea, it was decided to consult informally with the Resident and other Friends to explore more thoroughly the objections, and to consider different kinds of messages or display types.

Treasurer’s Report.  The balance of the General Fund at the beginning of the month was $9736.  Income received was $1,677; $5099 was disbursed, leaving a balance of $6,314.  For the Maintenance Fund, the beginning balance was $7896.  Funds received were $462; funds spent, $1354, leaving an ending balance of $7004.  Guest apartment income for March was $430, with an occupancy rate of 33%.  We were pleased to see that the financial report letter resulted in increased donations in the first part of the year, enabling the treasurer to pay the large amounts due in this period.

The Meeting census has been sent to IMYM.  We have 98 members, and regular attendance on Sunday Meeting for Worship (9:00 and 11:00) is 50-60.  There is often overflow into the library for the 11:00 Meeting.

Earthcare Committee Report.  On Saturday April 14 at Climate Change Action Day at Franklin Miles Park, the committee had a table to give out literature and lemonade, under the slogan “if you’re given lemons, make lemonade.” Jennifer W. showed the dramatic display of paper lemons with definite steps to save the earth. Friends are encouraged to bring appropriate kitchen and garden contributions.  Next Sunday, April 22, Hazardous Waste Drop-off Day in Santa Fe, the committee will have a pickup truck in front of the Meetinghouse, for Friends to use to drop off hazardous waste.

            They have enlisted the help of Dante Valore, the student organizer of A Wonderful Sense of Humus, to begin composting in the garden. Two bike racks will be installed.  Peg Martin was commended for the work she has done in the garden. 

Respectfully submitted, Mary Dunham, acting recording clerk


Regional Meeting Urges Study and Action on Immigration


Approximately forty Friends from Santa Fe, Las Vegas, Durango, Socorro, Gallup, Cuba, Silver City, and Albuquerque gathered at Albuquerque Meetinghouse April 14-15 for spring regional meeting.  Albuquerque Friends welcomed the visitors with sweet-smelling lilacs on the check-in table and delicious meals.  They even arranged for simultaneous interpretation of Spanish presentations in the panel on immigration.  Congratulations and thanks go to all who helped with this regional meeting!

“Dying to Live,” a video produced by the University of Notre Dame, showed the dangers and injustices suffered by illegal immigrants from Mexico.  A panel of four speakers told their experiences as legal immigrants from South America and first-generation U.S. citizens.  One shock for them was racial discrimination.

Deeply moved, Friends approved a minute urging love for all—migrants and others—affected by the migration of peoples, and action based on principles enunciated by FCNL.  The minute urges monthly meetings throughout the region to learn about the issues and issue minutes as they are led.

Santa Fe Monthly Meeting will hold a meeting to discuss Immigration and Border Concerns Sunday evening, April 29, at 7:00 PM at the Meetinghouse.


“The Heart of Christianity: Rediscovering a Life of Faith”

by Marcus Borg, reviewed by Bob Gaines


Newcomers – and long-time Quakers – occasionally ask whether Quakers are really Christians or whether to be a Quaker it is necessary to be a Christian.  The answer probably turns on what one thinks it means to be “Christian.”  Marcus Borg describes an “earlier paradigm” of Christianity, “shaped by the conflict with modernity over the past few hundred years,” which “views the Bible as the unique revelation of God, emphasizes its literal meaning, and sees the Christian life as...believing now for the sake of salvation later....”  Borg finds an “emerging paradigm” which sees the Bible and Christian tradition as “a metaphor and sacrament of the sacred, as a means whereby the Spirit continues to speak to us today...the Christian life [which] is about a relationship with God that transforms life in the present.”

From the book jacket: “Borg offers a practical guide to thinking about God, Jesus, the Bible, faith, and Christian practice. He shows how faith in God and Jesus has never really been about believing certain propositions but rather about a dynamic relationship. He shows that being “born again” is at the center of Christian life and that the “kingdom of God” is a matter of transforming society into real world values of justice and love. And that the Christian life is essentially about opening one’s heart—to God and to others....Marcus J. Borg is Hundere Distinguished Professor of Religion and Culture at Oregon State University and author of the bestselling Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time, Reading the Bible Again for the First Time, The God We Never Knew.”

“The Heart of Christianity” is in the Meeting library and the Santa Fe Public Library, and available for $9.42 at Amazon.com.


From Draft IMYM Faith and Practice


“It is thought that realizes will.  Only a thinking person can live.  Only a thinking people can create history.  Only an thinking kind can live in the midst of the dead.

            “The future always belongs to us.  It is neither the working of nature, nor that of fate.  It comes by our resolution.

            “Only a person who resolves not to be enslaved enjoys freedom.  Only a person who resolves not to assert his own enjoys freedom.

            “Only the person who resolves to love even at the cost of his/her life can win love.

            “The first ingredient of life is courage.

            “The problem of today is not that of knowledge or technology.  It is a spiritual problem.  It is a question which requires a revolution in our outlook on life, on history, and on the nation.

            “The world today does not require an increase in technology nor an easier access to its store of learning.  It requires faith and spirit to overcome the present hurdle.  The age calls for a new religion.”  From the writings of Ham Sok Hon, 1965, Ch. 9.12 pg. 98.  Submitted by Ministry and Oversight Committee.




Alison Martinez asks, how about a south-side worship group?  If the idea interests you, please gather at 3:00 p.m. Saturday afternoon, May 5 in the Community Room at the Southside Library for worship sharing on the subject.  Directions to the library: from Airport Road turn south at the light on Country Club Road.  Pass the Woodmen Lodge and some new housing on your left.  The library is on the corner with Valentine Way; turn left on Valentine Way to enter the parking lot.

For more detailed directions, or to share your thoughts if you can’t attend the meeting, please contact Alison: 438-0729, apapmtz@msn.com.


Shelley Cohen is coordinating a wonderful opportunity for us to learn more about Friends General Conference Traveling Ministries Program—very timely, as Yearly Meeting's membership in FGC will be considered at IMYM this summer. There will be a pot-luck and discussion with representatives from Friends General Conference Traveling at the rise of Meeting on May 13.  It’s not too late to help with the visit and potluck.  Contact Shelley at 231-9091, scohen@plateautel.net.


Ann Anthony asks, Friends General Conference anyone?  This Wisconsin gathering offers wonderful workshops, inspiring speakers, and the chance to get to know Quakers from all over.  Look at the program, posted at fgcquaker.org—and do so soon, because although it runs June 30-July 7, the conference is very popular and fills up fast.  Ann is going and would like a roommate and someone to share driving her car. 955-1959.


John Calvi, whom many of us know from Ghost Ranch, announces the second Quaker Conference on Torture, June 1-3, 2007 at Guilford College, Greensboro NC.  Joan and Steve Spencer found the first conference last year “very valuable,” she says.  Workshops will delve deeper into the issues, and there will be many opportunities for access to information and resources, as well as networking with other anti-torture activists.  Space is limited, so visit quit-torture-now.org and register soon.  Late fees apply after April 30.


Alan Rogers reminds Friends that Freecycle Santa Fe can be a resource for simple living.  Visit http://groups.yahoo.com/group/FreeCycle_Santa_Fe.