Letter to Friends

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

Eighth Month 2007


“And whereas men come against us with clubs, staves, drawn swords, pistols cocked, and do beat, cut and abuse us, yet we never resisted them, but to them our hair, backs and cheeks have been ready… Our swords are broken into ploughshares and spears into pruning hooks, as prophesied in Micah iv. Therefore we cannot learn war any more, neither rise up against nation or kingdom with outward weapons, though you have numbered us among the transgressors and plotters.”

From a Declaration given "on the 21st day of the 11th month, 1660, by the harmless and innocent people of God, called Quakers, to the King of England" –– recorded in the Journal of George Fox, Chapter XVIII.




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. The South Santa Fe Worship Group holds Meeting for Worship every Sunday at 9:30 a.m. at the Jewish Center at 1382 Vegas Verdes.


Sunday 8/5/07              10:00 a.m.        Singing, First Day School room or in garden

                                                12:30 p.m.        Potluck

Sunday 8/12/07            9:15 a.m.          Ministry and Oversight Committee

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

Thursday          8/16/07            11:00 a.m. – 1 p.m. Peace & Social Concerns Committee

Saturday           8/18/07            from 8:00 a.m. (or when able to join in) Meetinghouse

                              Garden working group

Sunday 8/19/07            10:00 a.m.        Singing, First Day School room or in garden

                                                10:00 a.m.        Open discussion with Friends from Quaker

House, Fayetteville, NC (see notice within newsletter)

                                                12.30 p.m.       Meeting for Worship for Business

Sunday 8/26/07            10:00 a.m.        Singing, First Day School room or in garden



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.




Meeting for Worship for Business

15th, seventh month 2007


Present: Frank Hirsch, Wyn Lewis, Philip Balcombe, Beverly Busching, David Giltrow, Sarah Cutler, Bob Gaines, Alison Martinez, Audrey Miller, Mary Ray Cate, Jennifer Wellington–Clerk, Peggy Giltrow–Recording Clerk


Meeting began at about 12:40 with a short period of silence.


There were two corrections to the minutes of the business meeting of 6th Month, 2007:


Item 5, South Santa Fe Quaker Worship Group.  After sentence 1 of the 2nd paragraph, add a new sentence:  “Practical questions were raised that were seen by some as critical.”   At end of paragraph 2 add a new last sentence:  “The new Worship Group has the spiritual support of Santa Fe Friends Meeting.”

Correction of the minutes for 6th month evolved into the first item of business for 7th month.  Meeting was anxious to affirm its spiritual support of the new Worship Group, but concerned to discuss right practice, past history and future responsibilities. After lengthy and thoughtful discussion, Meeting for Worship for Business came to unity in the decision to take the South Santa Fe Quaker Worship Group under the care of Santa Fe Monthly Meeting of Friends.  Meeting thanked Alison for being willing to bring their difficulty before us so that we were able to mend a potential breach in our Meeting.

Item 6, Spiritual Formation groups.  The sentence reading “We would need to decide at our next business in order to apply for funding from IMYM,” is changed to read:  “We will make further decisions about the spiritual formation program at next month’s meeting for business after the concern has been addressed by M & O.”

The Ministry & Oversight Report had been e-mailed to the Clerk.  A printing glitch meant no written report was available at the time of the Business Meeting.  A verbal summary was given by a member of the committee and accepted by Meeting.  No action was requested.  The written report appears below:



7th Month 2007


The Committee met on 8 July 2007 at 9:15 a.m. in the Garden.  Present were Philip Balcombe,  Dimitri Mihalas, Michael Simon and Ford Robbins, Clerk.

            Ford gave a short reading from the writings of George Fox.

            The reading was followed by silent worship.  

            Members of the committee shared concerns regarding themselves, others within the Meeting, and worship groups under the care of Meeting.  

            The Query for Eighth Month, 2007 will be:         

            “Are we charitable with each other? Do we avoid hurtful criticism and gossip?”


            M&O revisited the Meeting’s request that it make recommendations to Meeting regarding the members of the Special Advisory Committee on Stewardship and Long Range Planning.  Business Meeting asked that M&O add a member from the Finance Committee.  The list of nominees will be called by members of M&O. M&O will make a report to Business Meeting when the calls are completed.  

            M&O discussed at length the request of the Southside worship gathering/group to be brought under the care of Meeting. Because the matter needs to be handled with great care and sensitivity (as well as the need for “seasoning”), a member of M&O will meet with Alison Martinez to discuss M&O’s concerns at this time. M&O wishes to convey its support of continued Southside worship while working toward a resolution of this request. M&O will offer its care and support to the Southside worshipers as requested or needed.

            M&O has been asked to consider creating Spiritual Formation Groups under guidance provided by IMYM. Before considering this request, M&O agreed to undertake an informal inquiry into the sense of the deepness of worship held by members and attenders. The inquiry will take place over the next several weeks. M&O will then use the gathered information to begin its discussion of this issue.

            M&O laid its discussion of the time and place of its meetings over to next month. 

The meeting closed with silent worship.

                                                                                    Respectfully submitted,

                                                                                    Ford Robbins, Clerk      


The Communications Committee reported that David Vaux has agreed to be clerk.


The Committee on Conscientious Objection reported that they will host Eric and Jennifer Ginsburg, long-time activists and speakers on the topic of military counseling from Quaker House in Fayetteville, NC, at a 10 o’clock hour discussion at the Meetinghouse Sunday, August 19.  Additional events with the Ginsburgs may be scheduled for that weekend. For more information on the work of the committee contact COCO clerk Howard Shulman, 984-9908.


The Building Committee reported that a contractor and crew did a lot of work on the exterior stucco of the building, including sealing of cracks and holes. People were asked to take a look.  Both appearance and viability of the building for winter were greatly improved. The committee will meet next week to discuss security issues, including the possible gate and additional lighting.  Garage door repair is completed.


Treasurer’s report for 6th month and 2nd quarter were read and accepted, with great thanks for Frank’s faithful service as Treasurer. He noted that the General Fund is ahead of where it was last year, due in part to more contributions sooner, and thanks members and attenders for helping to make it possible to meet commitments for good works sooner. The Maintenance fund is close to the same. An earmarked contribution to FCNL raises that amount to $700. As approved at last business meeting, that earmarked amount will be sent to FCNL as soon as possible. Expenses seem generally to be on schedule, although the newsletter is spending way under the amount budgeted, probably because only about 24 copies are being printed each month.


Nominating Committee proposed the names from the first reading last month for a second reading. All were approved with thanks. The committee will report soon on names for still-vacant positions, and propose those for first reading next month. 

Officers and others approved on second 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


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). That happened last month. 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.


Spiritual Formation report and discussion.  Marty Carroll and Wyn Lewis have asked M&O to help ascertain whether spiritual formation groups are desired by Meeting. Meanwhile, they proposed possible dates for events which would help Meeting decide whether to organize for what will be a 9 month commitment for those who participate. A written handout helped explain the purpose, “a practical way for people in our busy culture to turn to God with their minds through spiritual reading, with their hearts through daily spiritual practices and with their human relationships through local friendship groups.” Participants attend retreat weekends at the beginning and end of the program, 2 meetings per month, and are encouraged to spend at least 15 minutes per day on spiritual practice.

     Meeting agreed to host an introductory session at the rise of Meeting on Sunday, Sept 9.  One person from the Boulder Meeting and one from the IMYM steering committee on the Spiritual Formation Program will be invited to lead the two-hour session. An anonymous donation was promised to meet the transportation costs of bringing the two leaders for this orientation and was enthusiastically accepted. It was suggested that a line item be introduced into the next budget for education for ourselves to cover situations such as this.

     October 5–6 or 12–13 was suggested for the opening retreat if Meeting decides to go ahead with the development of Spiritual Formation groups. Wyn was asked to request that Kitty Ufford Chase, facilitator, be asked to hold one of those dates for us until a decision is made.


The written Resident’s Report was accepted with thanks. Resident hours for June totaled 51. (Resident was away from 6/1 to 6/5.)  The apartment was occupied 66% of the time and brought in income of $590. A set of lawn furniture was donated by a member of meeting for the soon to be refurbished ramada.  Expenses included money for supplies for July-September. That money is accounted for by the resident as it is spent.


The Garden Committee announced its gratitude for an anonymous donation to be used for pruning, which started yesterday. A called meeting will be held July 29 to discuss the new ramada.  Justin volunteered to do a timber frame ramada, and will explain the proposal at that time. Expenses for materials would be about $500. The garden committee will meet Wednesday, have a work day next Saturday, and thanks all who have worked on the garden.


Friendly Sixes:  Some continue; others have been laid down. M&O was asked to discuss Friendly Sixes and their future in the Meeting.


The Recording Clerk for today requested that all committees submit written reports. This facilitates accuracy in preparation of the minutes.


Meeting ended with silence at about 3:15. Our thanks go to Jennifer for her skill and patience as she begins her duties as our new Clerk.


Respectfully submitted, Peggy Giltrow

Note from the Treasurer

About half of the Meeting's annual budget -- $11,480 -- is contributed to local groups such as La Familia and Santa Fe Rape Crisis, and to other Quaker organizations, such as Friends Committee on National Legislation and Quaker Earthcare Witness. The other half of our budget goes for internal functions such as First Day School, the newsletter, and utilities.  To date the Meeting has received $8,855 of the $22,375 in donations needed to fund our operations for the year.  (All repairs and maintenance of the Meetinghouse and garden are covered by income from the guest apartment and outside groups using the Meetinghouse.)



Meeting Takes South Santa Fe Worship Group under Care


"We are so happy to be officially under care of Meeting!" says Alison Martinez. "Thank you, Friends, for showing faith in us."


The South Santa Fe Quaker Worship Group took shape fast, with an organizational meeting in Fifth Month, first worship meeting in Sixth Month, and recognition by Monthly Meeting in Seventh Month.


Attenders point out that they're saving gas by not driving so far to Meeting, and that every gallon saved helps the Earth and gives hope for peace.


The worship group now meets at 9:30 every First Day morning at the Center for the Natzratim, 1382 Vegas Verdes. (Note the new, earlier time!) Vegas Verdes crosses Cerrillos Road between Avenida de las Americas and Zafarano Road. The Center occupies the furthest back in a row of offices just past the northwest corner of the intersection. It has plenty of parking and a wheelchair ramp.


The Center for the Natzratim is a new Messianic Jewish center. Quakers worship in the room housing the Torah. “Our worship has been very sweet and deep,” Alison says. “We hope that everyone will feel free to worship with us, whether occasionally or regularly.”  Children are welcome. “We keep in touch with Meeting by posting M&O’s queries of the month, and by sending representatives to potluck and business meeting,” Alison explains, “and Meeting keeps in touch with us through members who worship with us—several have already made the effort to attend.  We hope that more people can benefit by Quaker worship, now that there is an additional location available.”


Meeting Camping Trip


Mark your calendars now for September 15–16. We are reviving an old Santa Fe Meeting tradition of an all-Meeting camp-out. The location will be Bandelier National Monument, and activities will include a pot luck dinner Saturday evening and Meeting for Worship with Los Alamos Friends Sunday morning. We will car pool from the Meetinghouse on Saturday morning in time to hike or explore Bandelier, and return in time for Meeting for Worship for Business on Sunday. More details later, or call Mary Ray Cate at (505) 989-1630.


Ninth Annual Peace Day, Santa Fe

Sunday August 5th, 2007 Progressive Peace Day – commemorating the 62nd year since the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, with events from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.       


to this city-wide community, improvisational, ceremonial event utilizing the downtown public spaces as the canvas for an experiential day designed to inspire a culture of peace. It is an invitation for every peace loving member of our community to come together, to interact, to expand, to play, to pray, to imagine, to act in participatory activities, with the sole intent of inspiring culture and transforming social consciousness towards peace. All are invited to add to this idea in any way that you feel might enhance the experience. If you would like to host or present a question for the dialogues, participate in the processions in some creative and inspiring way—or bring some other offering for grounding peace in our community and world—please do so. And please bring lots of children to the Children's Peace Statue. For details of the program contact Shannyn at networks@networkearth.org, Telefax (505) 989-4482.




Activity and Growth in the Meetinghouse Garden


There has been lots of activity in the garden, thanks to the many volunteers who have come forward with gloves, clippers, saws, and trucks! A professional pruner removed much of the overgrowth from trees and shrubs, thanks to funds donated anonymously to cover the cost. We have been trimming the catmint, vinca, ivy and roses—and other plants I haven't learned the names of yet! And most significantly, because of those who have come forward with trucks, we have been, and are still, removing and hauling numerous loads to the dump. And, as added benefit, we have made several neighbors happy by preventing unwanted leaves and branches from spilling into their space. 


This is an ongoing process as anyone with a garden knows, and we will be scheduling another workday on August 18th, a Saturday morning. If anyone prefers a different day, or perhaps an evening, please get in touch with me. All help is welcomed and apprec-iated. For those who might want to contribute some time on their own, there is a list of suggested tasks posted in the garage. Or you could ask Peg Martin, the resident, for some guidance. She knows very well all aspects of the garden! Lorraine Graham (986-5005)

                              [See also Garden Committee details in Messages & Announcements.]


Summer: A Good Time to Begin a Low Water Diet

By Barbara Williamson, from BeFriending Creation, the newsletter of Quaker Earthcare

                                                                                              Witness, July-August 2007

At a Master Gardener workshop that I took this spring I learned that most people in the U.S. over-water their lawns and gardens. Most plants grow best when they are watered slowly, deeply, and infrequently. Never use a sprinkler if there's a wind of more than 10mph. Consider installing a drip system. To be efficient and really save water, drip systems do have to be monitored as seasons change. The following website lists the top ten easy things you can do to make sure your drip irrigation system is performing efficiently: <www.watercasa.org/pubs/drip_top.html>.


You should water in the early morning or early evening.  In addition to a timer that can be used to control when and how often you water, you can also use a rainfall sensor that determines when there is enough moisture in the ground.  An automated rainfall sensor is nice, but you can also use a rain gauge or moisture-sensing probe.


Collect rainwater and/or install a graywater system that recycles your shower, dishwasher, and washing machine wastewater for reuse.  Enjoy the rest of your summer!



The House

Over the hills—Allaaaah  aah al allah ah—the  rippling sound in overlapping waves echoes the shape of mountains, embracing myriad houses set in them just so, not to break the rhythm.

But this house, beyond a steep incline on a plateau, with random rolls of barbed wire tossed close by the abyss—this house of naked walls waits to be filled with life again. It’s Issa’s house, no longer the roost for a military look-out. These walls, ravaged by those who own history, who know no bounds, not of law nor of hunger for land stolen house by house. This house in Hebron.

So we are here, guardians of the house becoming home again. All day long and throughout the night, in shifts, we keep watch—by day as workers restore the shell (first installing a steel door, barring window frames) and by night lest intruders undo work done by day. We, a living shield with the Star of David on it—the mirror image of the would-be marauders—we too know no bounds, no boundary between Arab and Jew, Palestinian and Israeli; our history goes back to Abraham as well, to Abraham before the breaking.

They face us, implacable, yelling abuse or aiming cameras from yards away. It’s an old-fashioned shoot-out, but not with guns. We position our cameras and they theirs—click  click zoom. Who will outface whom? Click click zoom. The women are yelling now, women in long dresses and with scarves on their heads, in appearance so like some of their Palestinian counterparts. Two of the men in our group wear kippas on their heads as do the men in theirs. We few women here today wear pants, good for sitting on the ground, for ‘holding our ground’ being returned to its rightful owner.

"Shalom aleichem" I chant-sing to the taunting women across the way. "Shalom aleinu v’al kulanu b’yachad" (Peace unto you, unto us, unto all of us together.) A hesitation, a ripple across the line, the ‘front line’ of jeering women. They withdraw like blown leaves, perhaps the spell they were under broken by a familiar unexpected call—Shalom aleinu alei ei ei nuu oo oo.                                                               Hadassah Haskale

Worship Groups in the Society of Friends


This is the section from Faith and Practice of Pacific Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends, 1985, on Worship Groups. Submitted by a Friend, it is included in the newsletter as of some possible interest to those members in our Meeting who may have only a hazy idea of the place of Worship Groups in the Society.


Pacific Yearly Meeting recognizes as a Worship Group a gathering of persons who meet regularly for worship after the manner of Friends and desire to be identified with the principles and practices of Pacific Yearly Meeting. During the time of their development, Worship Groups are encouraged to seek the care and guidance of a nearby Monthly Meeting, the nearest Quarterly Meeting and Pacific Yearly Meeting. Monthly Meetings, in turn, are encouraged to seek out, visit and assist new Worship Groups. When there is no Monthly Meeting able to take the Worship Group under its care, application may be made through an appropriate Quarterly Meeting or the Yearly Meeting, whose committees on Ministry and Oversight will assume the duties normally performed in the Monthly Meeting.


A Worship Group usually names a Correspondent to serve as a convener and corres-pondent of the group. It should organize sufficiently to carry out its responsibilities and to nurture the interests and concerns of its participants. Applications for membership, requests for weddings, or other such formal actions must be taken through the Monthly Meeting to which the Worship Group is related. When a Worship Group feels it is ready to organize and conduct its own business in the manner of an established Meeting it should consider requesting Preparative Meeting status.



Editorial Note


Readers may remember a piece in our Seventh Month newsletter, entitled Profiles in Peace, which was adapted (with authorization) from the AFSC web site, and which reported on the work of a Palestinian Quaker, Jean Zaru, whose lifetime's work has been directed towards humanitarian, peace-building and feminist projects. This remarkable woman confounds several assumptions of which we may be guilty. In the report the word nakba was used, meaning cataclysm or catastrophe, a reference to the dispossession of Palestinian lands for the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948 and the accom-panying suffering and loss of life. When this was read by Jerusalem resident Hadassah Haskale, beloved friend to many in this meeting, it caused distress. As she has said, the language of the report reflected a bias. It is hard to imagine anyone more qualified than Hadassah to express her concern, because she is another who confounds our oversimp-lified assumptions—one who is both an Israeli and a true peace activist. If any should doubt the truth of this, a reading of Hadassah's contribution to this newsletter may prove to them, as it did to me, extraordinarily humbling. Her piece on page 7, The House, is beautiful, informative and deeply moving. This is peace activism born of true love of humanity and true courage. Hadassah, there will be many here in Santa Fe who salute you. We thank you for the work you and your brave colleagues are doing.

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.