Letter to Friends

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

Seventh Month 2007


"Let me light my lamp, says the star,

And never debate

If it will help to remove the darkness"

Rabindranath Tagore, Fireflies




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 in summer recess this month. The South Santa Fe Worship Group holds Meeting for Worship every Sunday at 10:30 a.m. at the Jewish Center at 1382 Vegas Verdes.


Sunday 7/1/07              10:00 a.m.        Singing, First Day School room or in garden

                                                12:30 p.m.        Potluck

Sunday 7/8/07              9:15 a.m.          Ministry and Oversight Committee

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

Sunday 7/15/07            10:00 a.m.        Singing, First Day School room or in garden

                                                12.30 p.m.       Meeting for Worship for Business

Sunday 7/22/07            10:00 a.m.        Singing, First Day School room or in garden

Sunday 7/29/07            10:00 a.m.        Singing, First Day School room or in garden

                                                10:00 a.m.        "Meeting for Muffins" *


Please tell the editors about any items that should be in the calendar:  David Vaux, 988-9545 dvaux@comcast.net. or Alison Martinez, 438-0729 alison1@cybermesa.com. Thank you.


[*MFM coincides with the activity listed above it, but "We try not to sing with our mouths full," reports multi-tasker Howard Shulman.]



Meeting for Worship for Business

24 sixth month 2007


Present:  Frank Hirsch, Ford Robbins, David Vaux, Peg Martin, Philip Balcombe, Ann Anthony, Alison Martinez, Alan Rogers, Wyn Lewis, David Giltrow, Bob Gaines, Bettina Raphael, Beverly Busching, clerk, Mary Ray Cate, recording clerk.


Meeting began with a reading from the British Quaker Faith and Practice followed by a short period of silence.


1.  Minutes from fifth month’s business meeting were approved.


2.  Alan Rogers presented the Nominating Committee report.


Note: Officers of the Meeting, members of M&O, and IMYM representatives are nominated and approved on first and second readings. Except for members of Ministry and Oversight, only committee clerks and first conveners are approved by Meeting (one reading).  Committees are encouraged to recruit their members and are asked to report an accurate list of members to business meeting. The incoming Clerk, Jennifer Wellington, has already been approved, in the Spring. The 9:00 a.m. meeting has offered to suggest a member from their group if M&O agrees to meet at a time that does not conflict with their worship, in other words, not at 9:15 a.m. on First Day.


Officers and others nominated on first reading

Archivist: David Giltrow

Recorder: Beverly Busching

Recording Clerks: Peggy Giltrow and Mary Ray Cate

Treasurer: Bob Gaines

Ministry and Oversight: Ford Robbins (clerk), Michael Simon, Roxanne Seagraves

IMYM Continuing committee: Bob Gaines


The first reading of the report was accepted with appreciation for the hard work of the nomination committee.


Standing committee clerks and first conveners

Building: Bettina Raphael (clerk)

Communications: Bob Gaines (first convener)

Conscientious Objection: Howard Shulman (clerk)

Fellowship: Bob Gaines (first convener)

Finance: Frank Hirsch (first convener)

Garden: Lorraine Graham (co-clerk)

Good Works: Steve Spencer, Ford Robbins, Beverly Busching

History: Ford Robbins (first convener)

Library: Jonathan Ashworth

Newsletter: Alison Martinez and David Vaux, editors

Peace and Social Concerns: Anne McLaughlin (clerk)

Residence: Molly Vaux (clerk),

Young Friends: Jan-Willlem Jansens (clerk)


Worship Group Contacts:

Las Vegas: Shelley Cohen

Los Alamos: John Kretzman

Taos (Clearlight): Ford Robbins, Peg Martin


Other contact people

Fellowship of Quakers in the Arts: Ford Robbins and Caroline Rackley    

FCNL: Ann Anthony

Pendle Hill:  Mary Carroll


Friends approved these nominations with appreciation for the Nominating Committee and those Friends who serve the Meeting.


The following positions need to be filled: IMYM Faith and Practice committee representative, IMYM Joint Service Project representative, IMYM nominating committee representative, Co-clerk of Garden committee, AFSC liaison, AFSC representative, Greeters.


3. Ministry and Oversight committee report.  See kiosk in library for full report.  This is a summary. The query for seventh month will be "Where there is animosity, division and conflict, do we facilitate healing and reconciliation?"

     Suggested members for new ad hoc Committee on Stewardship and Long Range Planning:  the trustees of the Meeting (Elliott Skinner, David Henkel, and Jennifer Wellington, as current clerk of Meeting), David Giltrow, Ford Robbins, Bettina Raphael, Beverly Busching, and John Kretzmann.  This committee is to do an in depth study of options for Meeting to consider regarding the future of our current building.  Business meeting suggested that a member from the finance committee be added.  Those suggested will be contacted for their agreement to serve on the committee. 

     M&O favors placing a small peace sign in the window facing Canyon Road.  The sign from AFSC, "Friends for Peace," will be presented for approval at next business meeting.


4.  Building committee: Bettina responded to M&O’s request for information with a detailed report.  The amount spent on building repairs so far this year is $4070 ($2400 from insurance company for garage doors and $1670 from Meeting funds). This includes $888 for shower in guest apartment and $32 for asbestos testing. (None was found).  Temporary inner garage doors cost $354, and minor repairs and light bulbs, $200. The display case for the tableta cost $600. (Bettina donated her skills to clean & mount the tableta. Please read the temporary explanation posted near the tableta and give comments to the building committee.)

    Bettina estimates that the cost of repairs that need to be completed by the end of 2007 will be $7000. (See list posted on kiosk.)  Meeting approved $7000 from the maintenance fund to cover these expenses.  Bettina has found a contractor to do the work, which includes repairs of guest apartment and ramada, parapets and walls of Meetinghouse and protection of outdoor fresco.  

The cost of a 6 foot tall iron security gate, $700, was not included because this issue will be discussed again at a meeting next week after potluck. The gate would need to be approved by the city’s Historic Design Review Board and the process would take about 6 weeks.  Whether a gate is the most effective way to increase the personal security of the resident and guests in the apartment is not certain.

    Bettina will report in 2 months how much of the $7000 has been spent and give more accurate estimates for cost of remaining work if available.  Peg proposed that the ramada be renamed more accurately the "casita".  This was referred to the history and resident committees.


5.  South Santa Fe Worship Group:  Alison reported on the formation and success of the group, a moving story that includes a clearness committee and extensive search for a location.  They meet in a lovely space at the Center for the Natzratim, 1382 Vegas Verdes (off Cerrillos Rd.) every week at 10:30 a.m. on First Day.  There are four regular attenders, two of whom cannot participate at Canyon Road.  All are welcome to attend. 

    Alison asked that their worship group be taken under the care of the Meeting. Friends were confused about the definition of a Worship Group, as this group seemed more closely tied to the Meeting than our other Worship Groups. It was found that the new IMYM Faith and Practice includes no guidance on the formation of worship groups. Friends asked that a formal declaration of this group under our care be delayed until we understood better what a worship group entails, but expressed informally that they continue their endeavor with our love, care and blessing. [Later note: The 1985 edition of Pacific Yearly Meeting Faith and Practice p.61 has a clear section on worship groups and preparative meetings.]


6.  Spiritual formation groups:  Wyn Lewis presented the idea of a 9 month long program involving small groups (4 people each) who would meet twice a month to study texts and be spiritual guides to each other.  Each person would commit to a daily 15 minute spiritual practice.   It sounds like a wonderful idea.  We would need to decide at our next business meeting in order to apply for funding from IMYM.  Wyn will find coordinators to organize the program and set a date for an opening retreat.  M&O will discuss at their next meeting.


7. Residence committee proposes increasing the fees for guest apartment to $40/one person/night, $50/two persons/night, with a $40 deposit.  This was approved.  The committee would like to enhance security for Peg and guests and suggests a threshing session to consider options other than the gate which Meeting approved in February after minimal discussion.  It was decided to combine this threshing session with the meeting on garden concerns, already scheduled for after potluck next week. 


8.  Joint resolution to be presented to City Council on ending war in Iraq:   Ann Anthony gave out copies of resolution and Meeting decided to sign on as a sponsor.  Ann will let us know when City Council is to consider the resolution.


9.  Meeting approved specifying that our contribution of $600 to FCNL will go to support work on border and immigration concerns.


10. Treasurer’s report given by Frank was approved.  General fund opening  balance on 5-1-07:  $6773.61. Closing balance:  $6883.84.  Maintenance fund opening balance. $9277.58.  Closing balance: $9344.25.  Many thanks to Frank for serving for the past two years as treasurer.


12.  There have been positive comments lately about the beauty of the garden. Garden furniture was donated by an individual Friend.  A guest who stayed in the apartment offered to donate a sculpture of an eagle for the garden, but difficulties associated with the offer led Friends not to accept. Finance committee is asked to come up with a policy for accepting donations and in-kind contributions.


13.  Visitors from Quaker House in Fayetteville NC will be here on August 19th.  Friends suggested a 10:00 discussion. Perhaps our CO committee would like to meet with them.


14. We give our heartfelt appreciation to Beverly for serving as clerk for the past 18 months. 


Meeting for worship of business closed with silence at 4 pm.


Mary Ray Cate, recording clerk



Quaker House, Fayetteville NC

Friends who wish to learn about the work of Quaker House will find it is well worth googling. Also, a remarkable New York Times story of a brave young army sergeant can be found at http://www.quakerhouse.org/clousing-02.htm. Ricky Clousing was helped by Quaker House, when he was troubled in his role as an interrogator in Iraq and was prepared to plead guilty to desertion and face severe consequences.



Friends’ Committee on National Legislation (FCNL)


The FCNL is our lobbying group in Washington. They work hard talking to legislators, and keeping abreast of the progress of legislation, so that they can alert Friends to what proposed legislation is good or bad.

There have been many successes, such as stopping new production of nuclear weapons, but eternal vigilence is needed because such proposals have a way of reappearing.

Log on to FCNL.com to find out what you can do to influence our legislators to bring the troops home, close Guantanamo, and pass reasonable immigration legislation.

Ann Anthony


South Santa Fe Worship Group


The new South Santa Fe worship group meets each First Day at 10:30 a.m. at the new Jewish center, 1382 Vegas Verdes. [See minutes of Meeting for Worship for Business.] All are welcome at this meeting for worship. The query of the month will be the same as at Canyon Road.  We hope that many Friends and friends of Friends will benefit by the additional time and location for worship.

Vegas Verdes crosses Cerrillos Road between Avenida de las Americas and Zafarano Road. 1382 is a little adobe-brown strip mall angling off Vegas Verdes on the north-west side.

For more information, please contact Alison P. Martinez, 438-0729.



Besides Tagore…


On the subject of service, here are some other ideas:


"All service ranks the same with God,

With God, whose puppets, best and worst,

Are we: there is no last or first."        Robert Browning,  Night


"To serve is beautiful, but only if it is done with joy and a whole heart and a free mind."                                                         Pearl S. Buck,  To My Daughters, with Love


"No one has greater love than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends"

                                                           Gospel of John, Chapter 15


"There is something better, if possible, that [we] can give than [our] life. That is [our] living spirit to a service that is not easy, to resist counsels that are hard to resist, to stand against purposes that are difficult to stand against."

                                                           Woodrow Wilson,  in a 1919 speech.


"To die for a religion is easier than to live it absolutely."

                                                           Jorge Luis Borges, Labyrinthes


"Pressed into service means pressed out of shape." Robert Frost, The Self-seeker


Here is an anecdote on this subject from Robert Lawrence Smith's A Quaker Book of Wisdom:  "A Friend takes a non-Quaker to Meeting for Worship. Everyone is sitting quietly with heads down and eyes closed. After five or ten minutes of continued silence the visitor becomes increasingly restless and puzzled. He nudges the Quaker and asks in a loud whisper, 'When does the service begin?' The Quaker replies, 'The service begins when the worship ends.'"



AFSC Profiles in Peace


During May and June, American Friends Service Committee celebrated the work of forty Palestinian and Israeli peace builders—in this fortieth year since the Israeli military occupation of Gaza and the West Bank. Although many of these are Muslim, Jewish, or of other persuasions, one remarkable example is a Palestinian Quaker named Jean Zaru. She is a founding member of Sabeel, an ecumenical Palestinian Liberation Theology Center in Jerusalem, and was also instrumental in the establishment of the Friends International Center in Ramallah.

Jean Zaru was born in 1940, to a Quaker family in Ramallah, Palestine. When she was eight, she witnessed the Palestinian "Nakba," when 750,000 Palestinians were made permanent refugees during the creation of the state of Israel. At the time, her father rented a truck, filled it with bread and water, and distributed it to the refugees. He also befriended several families who were unable to continue walking because of thirst, pain, and heat. He invited them to stay in his home. For six weeks, 50 people lived in Zaru’s home. One family lived with them for the next two years. Thus began Jean Zaru’s life-long commitment to the liberation of both individual Palestinian peoples and Palestinian society as a whole.

"We must work hard to find nonviolent ways of overcoming political, social, economic, ecological, and religious violence and to join hands with all those who are committed to fighting the forces of darkness," Zaru says. "In order to hope for justice and to hope for peace, we must work for peace."

Zaru has been a leader in the Palestinian Quaker community and a pioneer for women’s equality, serving as clerk of the Ramallah Friends Meeting, and in various capacities in the World Council of Churches, the Working Group in Interfaith Dialogue, the World Conference for Religion and Peace, the YWCA and in other organizations working for peace. She has written books on the subjects of faith and the struggle for peace and truth.

Her work in the Ramallah center aims to  "lift up and nurture a Quaker presence in Ramallah; find ways to enrich and support the local community; and to hold up and further peace and justice issues in the community."

For more information on the American Friends Service Committee, find numerous web sites by googling AFSC, or call (215) 241-7168.







Messages and Announcements






Some Key Meeting Contacts


Santa Fe Monthly Meeting Websites:

http://sf.imym.org          http://santa-fe.quaker.org/index.html

Ministry and Oversight Committee: (for personal or meeting-wide concerns, and needs for pastoral counseling) Ford Robbins, convenor, 466-7665 fordrobbins@earthlink.net; Joan Spencer, 984-2217 ssspencer@pol.net; Dimitri Mihalas, 661-7414; Philip Balcombe, 466-2982 pjbalcombe@cybermesa.com; Jennifer Wellington, 438-9399 jfloresta@gmail.com; Michael Simon, 989-3817 msimo@lycos.com; Roxanne Seagraves, 438-3714 rstories@aol.com

Meeting Clerk: Jennifer Wellington, 438-9399 jfloresta@gmail.com

Meeting Resident: (to schedule use of building, guest apartment, report building problems, etc.) Peg Martin, 983-7241.

Newsletter: David Vaux, 988-9545 and Alison Martinez, 438-0729 (ph/fax), co-editors.  Please e-mail submissions to dvaux@comcast.net no later than the day after business meeting.  Put paper submissions in the Newsletter box at the Meetinghouse by the day of business meeting and alert the editors.

Recorder: Beverly Busching, 984-8742 bbusching@mindspring.com

Treasurer: Bob Gaines, 466-1746 gaines@Comcast.net  Please mail financial contributions to Treasurer, Santa Fe Monthly Meeting of Friends, 630 Canyon Rd, Santa Fe NM  87501, or put in "birdhouse" box.  Thank you!

Young Friends (18-40ish) get together often.  For information please contact Sarah Cutler, 216-5219 smcutler@mtholyoke.edu.

The Peace and Social Concerns Committee welcomes new members. Anne McLaughlin, 995-9655 gscondon@Comcast.net

The Committee on Conscientious Objection meets as needed.  For information please call Howard Shulman, 984-9908.

South Santa Fe Worship Group contact person is Alison Martinez, 438-0729 alison1@cybermesa.com

There’s a complete list of committees and members, attenders and their contact information in the Meeting Directory. Would you like to receive a paper copy of our new Meeting directory?  Telephone Molly Vaux at 988-9545 to arrange to receive it via the US Mail.