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January 2015 Letter to Friends

Letter to Friends

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

First month 2015

 

Calendar of Events

 

Meeting for Worship at the Meetinghouse, 630 Canyon Road is held every Sunday at 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. First Day School is during the 11:00 a.m. Meeting. Singing is at 10:00 a.m. each Sunday.

The South Santa Fe Worship Group holds Meeting for Worship every Sunday at 10:30 a.m., 2098 Calle Ensenada on the northwest corner of Siringo Road. 

 

Sunday, 1/07 12:30 Potluck @ Rise of Meeting,

Sunday, 1/14 10:10 Chanting as Preparation for Worship

Sunday, 1/21 12:30 Business Meeting at the rise of Meeting

Sunday, 1/28 10:10 Chanting as Preparation for Worship

 

 

The Monthly Query for the 1st month, 2015

How do humility and willingness to learn help us transcend differences in dealing with others?” (Inspired by Advice #2, page 131, Intermountain Faith & Practice)

Announcements

Jan. 4 – Monthly Potluck occurs at the rise of the 11:00 meeting. Please bring a dish to share and stay for a potluck in the library.

Jan. 7 – People for Peace meets the 1st Wednesday of the month at 6:00pm. Meetings are held at the Commons Co-Housing, 2300 W. Alameda St. Questions to Linda Hibbs, 983-3906 or lhibbs@ cybermesa.com

Jan 14 & 28 @ 10:00 am – 2nd & 4th Sunday Singing -- Chanting as preparation for worship. John Kretzmann & Guthrie Miller learned this practice Tony Martins Chanting workshop at Friends General Conference, July 2013.  And now John is writing his own AMAZING chants! These are simple chants repeated for a long time so that they can be picked up by ear.  For questions or suggestions, please contact Guthrie Miller at 954-4224 or _guthriemiller@gmail.com_

Jan. 21 - Business meeting for Worship will meet at the rise of the meeting.

Jan. 29 – Ministry & Counsel will meet @ 5:30 at Quaker House.  Anyone wishing to bring an item to M&C should please contact Allen Winchester @ allen14@cybermesa.com in order to be placed on the agenda.

 

Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business

 

Twelfth Month (December 14, 2014)

 

Present: Jan-Willem Jansens (clerk), Peggy Giltrow (recording clerk), Margaret Stannici, Linda Hibbs, Karen Kuranz, Guthrie Miller, John Kretzmann, Rebecca Allahyari, Eliott Skinner, Pam Gilchrist, David Murphy, Allen Winchester, David Henkel, Bob Gaines, David Giltrow, Wyn Lewis

 

Meeting began with silence at 12:45. The Clerk then read an excerpt from pp. 4-5 of

Rebecca Henderson’s “Quaker Practice and Business Meetings” about arriving at a Sense of the Meeting.

 

In Meeting for Worship we can experience what’s called a Gathered Meeting, when all are focused deeply upon the Spirit and upon the experience of being with each other in the present moment. Arriving at a Sense of the Meeting in business meeting will bring a similar awareness of the Spirit and of the group. This can happen as frequently in Meeting for Business as it does in weekly Meeting for Worship. Our practice is not just a matter of detail drudge work, it is a time when we can experience the Divine working amongst us. This keeps us coming back to work together.

 

After a bit more silence the Clerk read the proposed Agenda, which was approved by Meeting.

 

Minutes for the Eleventh Month 2014 Business Meeting were approved.

 

Report from South Santa Fe Quaker Worship Group to Santa Fe Monthly Meeting of Third Quarter Activities —please see the full report in Appendix A.

 

The report, which details activities for third quarter, includes the SSFQWG budget for 1/1/14 to 11/30/14. Typical First days find 12-15 people attending Meeting for Worship, with pot-luck and worship sharing following 2nd First Days. Besides other Quaker discussions (including an informational meeting on the Artesia Detention Center), the building is used by SFMM Peace and Social Concerns and Ministry and Counsel, 2 Quaker discussion groups, Surviving Sisters, and We are People Here!

 

The draft budget, adopted in March when SSFQWG began using the 2098 Calle Ensenada premises and became fully responsible for its own expenses, was adjusted in July. The group expects to end the year near even in terms of operating expenses. Remaining debt consists of $4,000 owed to SFMM and mortgage balance of $14,464 to Friend’s Meeting House Fund.

 

The report was accepted with thanks

 

Ministry and Counsel Committee – Please see full report in Appendix B.

 

The Quaker Quest initial workshop has been tentatively set for March 28, 2015. A venue is being sought. Meeting will place information about opportunities for Quaker worship in the Santa Fe New Mexican in mid-January and early October 2015. Howard Shulman and Irene Webb, with the help of David Murphy, will coordinate the Christmas Eve Service at Canyon Road. The November potluck for Worship Groups was well received. M&C recommends another be held next year. Meetings and worship groups reporting are vital and busy.

 

Mary Wyse and daughter Libby from the Tres Piedras Worship Group are recovering from a car accident that occurred in Santa Fe on Nov. 2 when they were on their way to attend SFMM Worship Group potluck. Mary is fine, but Libby is undergoing physical therapy in preparation for surgery for a shoulder injury. Friends are asked to hold them in the Light.

 

M&C prepared and approved for reading at Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business a Memorial Minute for Martha Davis – Please see the Minute in Appendix C.

 

After the Minute was read, Meeting sat in silence to remember Martha and her gifts. Friends were reminded of the five panels of photos at the Memorial service, some by Martha and some of her and family and friends. Meeting approved the Memorial Minute for Martha Davis. It will be forwarded to IMYM.

 

Meeting accepted Ministry and Counsel’s report.

 

Meeting approved the proposed Query for First Month of 2015: “How do humility and willingness to learn help us transcend differences in dealing with others?” (Inspired by Advice#2, page 131, Intermountain Faith & Practice)

 

Peace & Social Concerns Committee –Please see full report in Appendix D

 

Peace and Social Concerns recommendations concerned the need for working as a community to support long term solutions to problems of migrants and refugees in New Mexico and around the USA, continued support for Interfaith Shelter dinners, support regarding the Sol not Coal Coalition rally, and Witness from the People (people’s state of the state address in the rotunda on January 20 at 3 p.m.). The report of the Peace and Social Concerns Committee was accepted, and individual items were discussed. One Friend reminded Meeting that our function is only try to clarify committee reports, rather than edit them during Business Meeting. Suggestions can go back to committee for editing.

 

Members and attenders of SFMM are encouraged to consider individual support for the Sol not Coal Coalition rally on January 5, 2015 at the PERA building.

 

Meeting approves sponsorship of Witness from the People, as has been done in years past. Sponsorship includes a financial donation, as congregations are able, to support the work of NM Interfaith Worker Justice. $100 from the Peace and Social Concerns budget will be used to fund the donation. A Quaker will be asked to speak at the event.

 

Letter prepared by NM Faith Coalition for Immigrant Justice of the NM Conference of Churches to our congressional representatives--Please see letter in Appendix E

 

Wyn Lewis read the letter, in which faith communities ask our senators and representatives to take a public stand against incarcerating migrant children and families. Peace and Social Concerns asked Meeting to sign on to the letter. Discussion ensued, as Friends raised concerns about the use of the terms “refugees” or “migrants”, need for addition of Quaker to the list of faith communities if Meeting signs, and the need for timeliness before processing of detainees continues on January 5 after their move from Artesia to Kearney or Dilley detention facilities. Meeting also discussed the proper attribution of letters signed by the Clerk on behalf of Santa Fe Monthly Meeting.

 

Meeting agreed that the Clerk will sign letters on behalf of the Meeting with the Clerk’s signature and the notation “reflecting the unity reached at Santa Fe Monthly Meeting on (date).”

 

Santa Fe Monthly Meeting agreed to sign on to the letter as one of the faith communities.

 

A Friend reminded us of the importance of sending out reports and proposed action items ahead of the Business Meeting date, thus allowing people to prepare for discussion and avoid surprises.

 

IMYM request for Letter Writing about Laotian AFSC worker Sombath Somphone – Please see Appendix F for information about Sombath Somphone and draft letters to the Laotian Prime Minister, the Laotian Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the US Secretary of State

 

David Henkel read the request from the IMYM Peace and Service Committee, which included information about the abduction two years ago of Sombath Somphone, one of AFSC’s important partners in Quaker support of the people of Laos. Meetings are asked to write to government officials during early December to appeal for an investigation of his disappearance and his safe return home. Friends are also encouraged to write individual letters of support, using distinctive language rather than just copying a form letter.

 

Meeting approved sending the draft letters on behalf of Santa Fe Monthly Meeting.

Friends discussed whether sending the letter in Lao rather than English would be more effective. Meeting was assured that AFSC, while working closely with Amnesty International on this concern, wants Meetings to speak as Quakers.

 

Resident Friend’s report–Please see full report in Appendix G

 

The Resident Friend served the Meeting for about 14 hours per week during Eleventh Month. The Meetinghouse was used by the AA men’s group, Subud, and the James family for a memorial service. In addition to his usual duties, he was interviewed by Pasatiempo for its December 5 article about Olive Rush. He also rebuilt the compost pile. The Guest Apartment was occupied for 17 out of a possible 29 nights. Income from the guest apartment and Meetinghouse rental was $964.

 

The report of the Resident Friend was accepted with gratitude.

 

Clerk’s report for Sept. 22- Dec. 14, 2014 –Please see full report in Appendix H

 

In addition to his usual duties, the Clerk assisted with several M&C related tasks, aspects of the Future Planning Committee’s work, letters for P≻ and offered suggestions for Regional Meeting as part of the work of the Ad-Hoc Committee on the Kabarak Call.

 

The Clerk’s report was accepted with thanks.

 

New Business

 

  • IMYM Newsletter and Queries from IMYM and MFC—These materials may be found following the Appendices to the Business Meeting of November 16, 2014 and were sent out in the Digest.

 

IMYM would like to have responses from Meetings and individuals to the queries, as would Mountain Friends Camp. Meeting discussed how best to include as many people as possible in consideration of these questions. Friends felt that a worship sharing at rise of Meeting would reach more people than if the queries were made part of the agenda for the January business meeting. The Clerk will talk to Pelican to see if she would clerk the worship sharing about the IMYM queries, and to Beverley Weiler to see if she would clerk the worship sharing about the queries from Mountain Friends Camp. One Friend pointed out that, depending on responses to Mountain Friend Camp Queries, assessments for SFMM to MFC could rise from $750 to about $900 per year.

 

Responses to the queries need to be sent to IMYM by February 7. Friends asked that the queries be circulated in advance of discussion. The Clerk will ask that they again be put in the Digest.

 

The theme of the June 7-14, 2015 IMYM gathering is: Practicing Spiritual Discernment: Where Does the Light Lead Us Now?

 

  • Notification--request by 610 C Canyon Rd. to become a short term rental

The notification requires no response. It is a city formality to let neighbors within 200 feet know of the request.

 

Meeting ended with silence at 2:40 p.m.

 

The January 2015 Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business will be held as usual on the third Sunday of the month, Jan. 18, 2015.

 

Respectfully submitted, Peggy Giltrow, Recording Clerk

 

APPENDICES

 

Appendix A

 

South Santa Fe Quaker worship Group 2014 Third Quarter Activities

A Report to Santa Fe Monthly Meeting

 

Each First Day typically finds twelve to fifteen individuals attending to the Light during meeting

for worship at 10:30 am. There are always at least several who join in centering in worship by

10:15.

 

We hold worship sharing on the 2nd First Days of the month after a pot-luck lunch. Queries

were “How can I witness to my spiritual beliefs about war without condemning or belittling those who see it differently?” We also held three discussions on religious wounding. On the evening of October 8th we watched the life story of Wilbur Wilberforce. On December 10th we are hosting an evening pot-luck followed by a discussion on Quaker Service.

 

Our meeting house is regularly used for: Peace and Social Concerns and Ministry and Counsel

Meetings, two Quaker book club discussion groups, Surviving Sisters and We Are People Here!

meetings. We hosted a discussion on the Artesia Detention Center by Wyn Lewis on December

4th.

 

We rotate responsibilities for maintaining our meetinghouse and providing refreshments at rise

of meeting.

 

SSFQWG adopted a draft budget when it began using the 2098 Calle Ensenada premises in

March and became fully responsible for its own expenses. It adjusted that budget in July based

on experience. The budget remains a best guess budget because we have had less than one

full year of expenses. As of November 30, 2014 based on the adjusted budget, unrestricted donations are down, as are expenses. Year to date we have spent $152.09 more on operating

than we have taken in. We are encouraging and expecting greater donations in December and

believe we will end the year near even. The full report for November is attached.

 

As of November 30, we have $1,203.87 in our checking account, $55.00 in our share account,

and $2,001.67 in our reserve account. $800.00 has been set aside as a maintenance account.

 

We have also received generous restricted donations (for a particular purpose) which have allowed us to pay off renovation expenses in full, and to pay off most of our debt. Remaining debt consists of $4,000.00 owed to Santa Fe Monthly Meeting and our mortgage balance with

Friend’s Meeting House Fund of $14,464.04. We have been fortunate to be able to pay down

the mortgage slightly with the small residue from one of the gifts we have received.

 

SOUTH SANTA FE QUAKER WORSHIP GROUP

 

PERIOD: 1/1/14 - 11/30/14

 

Income Nov 2014 % Yrly Budget

Donations:Unrestricted 262.00 71.43

Interest 0.00

 

Total Income 262.00 71.43

 

Expense

 

Utilities: Electric 27.84 79.53

Utilities: Gas 21.13 63.19

Utilities: City SWT 47.30 85.31

Insurance 0.00 91.18

Supplies:Hospitality 0.00 23.17

Supplies: Operating 62.02 133.50

Telephone 16.49 82.44

Subscriptions 0.00 41.67

Postage 0.00 67.88

Permits & Fees 0.00 10.00

Miscellaneous 67.02 0.00

Mortgage Payment 134.82 99.94

Total Expense 376.62 90.37

 

NET -114.62

 

Maintenance Reserve:

Beg. Balance 800.00

Expenditures 0.00

Bal. end of month 800.00

 

 

Appendix B

 

December 14, 2014 M & C Report to SFMM Meeting for Business

Ministry and Counsel met on Nov 24, 2014 at Quaker House. Present: Allen Winchester, Clerk; Karen Kuranz, Reporting Clerk; Jan Willem Jansens, Margy Willen, Ann Lindsay and Howard Shulman.  Betsy Lombardi was out of town.

Query for 1st Month, 2015:  “How do humility and willingness to learn help us transcend differences in dealing with others?” The Query was inspired by Advice #2, page 131, Intermountain Faith & Practice.

Quaker Quest: March 28, 2015 has tentatively been set for the Quaker Quest Workshop.  This date works for the presenters too.  A site for the event is being sought.  

Advertising in New Mexican: Jan Willem produced a write-up for the New Mexican. It will appear in mid-January and early October 2015. Additional ads may  be placed several  times throughout the year.

Observations on the spiritual life of the Meeting and its worship groups:

9 a.m. continues to explore and deepen connections.

11 a.m. is experiencing lots of visitors and beautiful vocal ministry and chanting during worship. 

South Santa Fe Worship Group is seeking ways to educate new attenders about Quaker process in business meetings.  They are also working on improving communication and encouraging members and attenders to take on duties regarding care and upkeep of the Meeting House.                                                                                                                            

Tres Piedras:  Mary Wyse and her daughter Libby are recovering from a car accident that occurred in Santa Fe Nov 2 when they were on their way to attend SFMM Worship Group potluck. Mary is fine, but Libby is undergoing physical therapy in preparation for surgery for a shoulder injury.  

There were no updates from Las Vegas Worship Group or Taos Clearlight Worship Group.

Martha Davis Memorial Minute: This was read and approved by M & C to be read  at Meeting for Business. 

Christmas Eve Service:  Howard Shulman volunteered to coordinate the Christmas Eve Service at Canyon Road.  Information has been shared through the Digest,  David Murphy is helping too.

Pot Luck with Worship Groups:  The early November potluck was well received and M & C recommends another one be held next year perhaps in a place that more easily accommodates the large number of attenders.

 The next M&C meeting set for 5:30 p.m, Monday, January 12, 2015, at Quaker House.

Appendix C

Memorial Minute – Martha Lou Davis

 

Martha Lou Davis, born August 20, 1953 in Dallas, OR, passed away October 8, 2014 in Los Alamos, NM.   In a life characterized by love and caring for her family and others, she moved often, and in each new home left a double legacy:  a ready participation in her Quaker meeting and a passion to make the natural world more sustainable and beautiful.

Martha grew up in Willamette Valley Quarterly Meeting and attended Salem and Corvallis Monthly Meetings with her parents Paul and Crystalle Davis and sister Joy.  After completing high school in Corvallis, she attended Earlham College for a year before returning to the University of Oregon where she received her degree in biology.  She worked for the U. S. Forest Service in central Oregon before going  to the University of Colorado to earn her Ph.D. in biology.  As her thesis project Martha chose to study populations of Douglas fir trees, so that she could work mostly in the field and not in the lab. While in Colorado, she was a member of Boulder Monthly Meeting and served as recording clerk; she was active in Young Friends of North America during her graduate school days.  After a postdoctoral position at Ohio University (she attended Athens Monthly Meeting), Martha accepted a teaching position at the University of Michigan - Flint.  

In 1987, she married Jonathan Thron (whom she had met while in graduate school in Colorado) under the care of the Boulder meeting.  Jonathan was a physicist at Argonne National Laboratory and she moved to the Chicago area to be with him.  Martha was active in Downers Grove (IL) Monthly Meeting for many years.  She is remembered there “for her care for ill Friends and for her skill as clerk, understanding all concerns and beautifully capturing the sense of the meeting.”  She was a proponent of native plantings for around the meetinghouse, once again putting into action her concern for the health of the environment.

      While in the Chicago area, she taught briefly at Northwestern University and then focused her attention on horticulture, both educating and creating. She gave presentations to many area garden clubs and organizations and taught classes through the Morton Arboretum’s education department.  In 1990, Martha and Jonathan bought a house in Bolingbrook, and she proceeded to transform its yard with retaining walls and a fishpond and by enriching the soil and planting a variety of unusual trees and shrubs.

When Jonathan’s work took him regularly to northern Minnesota, Martha often went along to pursue nature photography.  She photographed animals, landscapes, water, and ice formations, and later published some of her photos.  Martha also combined art and her interest in the natural world with the exquisite ceramic bowls she made with leaf imprints.  A voracious reader, Martha’s tastes went well beyond horticulture and she read mysteries, fantasy, and the latest non-fiction.  And Martha combined horticulture with cooking, teaching others how to use the fruits, vegetables, and herbs she grew.

In 2005, Martha and Jonathan moved to Los Alamos, NM for his new job.  Again, she bloomed where she was planted.  That is, she immediately researched xeriscaping and permaculture, and their home and large yard became a model for low-water and indigenous plantings, water catchment and storage.  Martha taught classes at the Pajarito Environmental Education Center, and she worked at the Alcalde Sustainable Agriculture Science Center monitoring and selecting jujube trees that would do well in New Mexico.  Martha’s skill in fruit tree grafting (e.g., over 100 varieties on a handful of trees in her backyard) was acknowledged when she was asked to teach the Oklahoma National Guard some of her techniques so they could go to Afghanistan and show farmers there how to improve their yields.  Weeks before her death, Martha was able to attend a ceremony at the Los Alamos Master Gardeners’ demonstration garden where its fruit tree grove was named “Martha’s Orchard.”

                  Upon her arrival in New Mexico, Martha became active in Santa Fe Monthly Meeting and Los Alamos Worship Group until illness slowed her involvement.  She served on the Ministry and Counsel Committee and was involved in other meeting events and ongoing activities.  Recognizing Martha’s kindness and wisdom, one Friend referred to Martha as “a true Quaker elder.”

Martha was diagnosed with cancer in 2010 and used her research background to evaluate and understand treatment options. She embraced alternatives as long as they had a scientific basis. Until her death on October 8th, 2014 she was steadfast in her own care and connecting with the many friends she had cultivated.  She is survived by husband Jonathan, sister Joy Ragsdale, sisters-in-law Penelope Thron-Weber and Karin Thron, brothers-in-law Peter Thron and Rajinder Thron, and nieces and nephews.

 

Read at Santa Fe Monthly Meeting 12/14/14

 

Appendix D

 

12-14- 2014 - Santa Fe Monthly Meeting - Peace and Social Concerns report to Worship with Attention to Business

 

Attending our December 3 committee meeting: Rick Coward, and Pam Gilchrist

  1. P&SC will promote attendance and participation of the Interfaith Immigration network through our P&SC Digest as well as the Interfaith Social Justice Network. We continue to explore how we will work together as a community to support long term solutions to migrant and refugee issues in New Mexico and around the US.

 

Following our 12/3 P&SC meeting, SFMM, and all communities of faith, received a letter written by Justin Remer-Thamert of the NM Coalition for Immigrant Justice to be sent to our elected officials. Faith Communities are asked to sign the letter and return it the Coalition. Action item.

 

  1. Members of P&SC will support the Interfaith Shelter Dinner December 13th. We will promote participation, prepare food and attend.

 

  1. P&SC discussed the level of support and commitment regarding the Sol not Coal Coalition rally 1/5/2015 at Pera. The rally is followed by two weeks of public testimony. There will be one hour, 9-10 am, when individuals and organization may testify. Santa Fe congregations will testify at the PRC/PNM hearings. New Energy Economy is asking that a different faith community commit to send people to testify as individuals, or speak for their congregation, each of the 10 days of hearings. SFMM members and attenders will support this effort as individuals. New Energy Economy http://newenergyeconomy.org/ has samples testimonies.

 

  1. Our Clerk received a copy of an appreciative response to our letter to the NM Criminal Defense Lawyers Association supporting their position of protesting the death row status for two NM men, Robert Fry and Tim Allen. 

 

  1. P&SC recommends that SFMM again sponsor Witness for the People at the Round house on opening day, January 20, 2015. Sponsorship will again include a financial donation - as congregations are able - to support the work of NM Interfaith Worker Justice. The choir from the Unitarian Universalist Congregation will sing and The Rev. Dr. James Forbes, Pastor Emeritus of Riverside Church, will deliver a sermon which will be followed by responsive prayers by faith leaders in the community.  Action item.

Appendix E

 

Draft Letter from Faith Communities

 

Dear (Senator, Representative, President, Director of Homeland Security),

We are leaders of Jewish, Protestant, Unitarian, Roman Catholic, Muslim, Evangelical and ______ faith communities and jurisdictions in New Mexico. Together we represent approximately 600,000 (increased based on additional signatures) people of faith across the state. We are deeply concerned by the detention of thousands of migrant women and children. We write to urge you to call on President Obama and the Department of Homeland Security to end the inhumane practice of child and family detention, including the operation of a new 2,400 bed for-profit facility in Dilley, TX.

 

Although President Obama will extend deportation relief to many undocumented parents, he announced plans to continue the dramatic expansion of family detention for young children and their mothers fleeing violence. We condemn this policy which impedes migrants’ access to the immigration legal system, keeps children imprisoned and separated from family in the U.S.

 

Family immigration detention is inherently inhumane and inconsistent with our nation's values and faith traditions. We are horrified by reports of abuse and substandard conditions at family detention centers. In 2009, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) closed the T. Don Hutto Residential Center after media exposure, advocacy, and a lawsuit showed that detaining traumatized families is unjust and inappropriate for the well-being of families and the social, psychological and physical development of children1. The Artesia facility is rightly being shut down, but the children and mothers jailed there should be released to family members in the U.S. rather than transferred to for-profit detention centers.

 

 

Our faith traditions instruct us to welcome the immigrant through text such as Leviticus 19:34, “The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born.” We as clergy throughout New Mexico are living out this command by welcoming immigrant families to our communities and congregations.

 

The vast majority of detained families are neither a flight nor security risk. Many community based support programs and alternatives to detention exist: most notably release to family in the United States while continuing immigration proceedings. Given that over 90% of detained families have relatives in the country, as reported by the American Immigration Lawyers Association, we beseech you to grant release to the women and children, and to the fathers who have been separated from their families and detained in other facilities. We believe the costs of imprisonment – to the children and families, to our local communities, to our federal budget, and to our very souls – are simply too great for us to bear.

 

In the absence of meaningful immigration reform at the federal level we, as the leaders of faith communities throughout New Mexico, ask you to take a public stand against incarcerating migrant children and families by calling on the President to stop this unconscionable practice.

 

Sincerely,

 

Title and Name, Faith Community, City

 

__________________________________________________

1 Locking Up Family Values, Again, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services & Women's Refugee Commission, http://lirs.org/familyvalues/.

 

Appendix F

 

Help bring Sombath Somphone home

 

Dear Friends,

 

You may remember the story of Sombath Somphone, a Laotian man who was kidnapped and “disappeared” nearly two years ago, from AFSC’s Acting in Faith interview with his wife in May 2014 < http://afsc.org/friends/disappearance-sombath-somphone-interview-ng-shui-meng>. We’d like to encourage you to ask Friends in your local meeting to call for his safe return.

 

Quakers have been supporting the people of Laos ever since the AFSC began a program there in 1974. Over the years, Sombath has been one of AFSC’s most important partners and has made vital contributions in the fields of education, sustainable development, and environmental awareness.

 

On December 15, 2012, Sombath was stopped at a police checkpoint and driven away. He has not been heard of since. Despite video footage from a traffic camera showing his abduction, the Laotian government denies any knowledge of his whereabouts.

 

You and other Quakers can help bring Sombath home safely. Sustained international attention makes all the difference in cases like these, but your help is needed. Visit our action alert page to sign a petition <http://salsa3.salsalabs.com/o/50601/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=14935> to President Barack Obama, write to key government officials, and learn more about how your meeting can get involved.

 

IMYM’s Peace and Service Committee encourages Intermountain Yearly Meeting to be the first of the Yearly Meetings in North America to coordinate our members to write to government officials during the early part of the month of December. AFSC will be contacting each of our North American Yearly Meetings to coordinate this sequence so that letters flow each month from one yearly meeting. Suggested language for such a letter is attached below. We encourage Friends to base their own letters on this example letter, using words and phrases that retain the major points in the example but make your letter distinctively different from a mere “form” letter signed by you.

 

Please take action on behalf of a man who has devoted his life to Quaker values of community, social justice, and nonviolent social change. If you’d like to discuss this initiative, request more information, or seek clarification, please contact David Henkel at (505-466-2019 and davidhenkel@comcast.net).

 

In Peace,

 

Scott Cowan, David Henkel, Jamie Newton, Gretchen Reinhardt

IMYM Peace and Service Committee

Proposed draft letter

Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong
Prime Minister’s Office

Lane Xang Avenue,
Vientiane
Lao People’s Democratic Republic 

Dear Prime Minister,

We are writing to you concerning the disappearance of Mr. Sombath Somphone from outside a police post in Vientiane on Saturday, 15 December 2012.

As the Santa Fé Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), we are proud to be associated with the work of Quaker Service Laos, which worked on behalf of Laos and its people from 1974 to 2006. 

We are aware of the work of Sombath Somphone over many years in Laos, in cooperation with Lao ministries and Quaker Service Laos, in the fields of education, sustainable livelihoods, and environmental awareness. His exemplary service resulted in his receiving the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership in 2005, and is a model for civil society in Southeast Asia and the world.

We are greatly concerned that there has been no progress in the investigation into the whereabouts of Mr. Sombath Somphone. We appeal to the Government of the Lao PDR to urgently and thoroughly investigate his disappearance, to keep his family and others informed about the investigation, and to return him safely to his family.

We will be very grateful, Prime Minster, for any action you and your staff can take to secure the safe release of Sombath Somphone.

Sincerely,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

14 December 2014

The Honorable John Kerry
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, DC  20520

 

 

Dear Mr. Secretary,

 

We are writing to inform you of [letters/a letter] have written to the Prime Minister, President, and Ambassador of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic about the ‘forced’ disappearance of Mr. Sombath Somphone, a long-time associate of the work of the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) in Laos. Copies of these letters are enclosed/A copy of this letter is enclosed.

 

Santa Fé Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) has long supported the work of the American Friends Service Committee, a Quaker social justice and humanitarian relief organization drawing on the contributions of people of many faiths and from many countries. Included in that witness has been Quaker Service Laos that worked with local communities to heal the wartime physical and emotional damage between 1974 and 2006.

 

We are distressed to learn that there has been no progress in official investigations into the December 15, 2012 abduction of Sombath Somphone. We have available to us copies of the traffic camera video recording of the event in Vientiane that occurred outside a police post.

 

If there is any encouragement that you or President Obama can provide to Lao authorities about this matter, we would be grateful.

 

Respectfully

 

 

 

 

14 December 2014

Minister of Foreign Affairs
Dr Thongloun Sisoulith
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
23 Singha Road, Vientiane
Lao People’s Democratic Republic

 

Dear Minister Sisoulith,

 

We are writing to inform you of a letter we have written to the Prime Minister [President, and Ambassador] of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic about the disappearance of Mr. Sombath Somphone on December 15, 2012 in Vientiane., A copy of that letter is enclosed.

 

Santa Fé Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) has long supported the work of the American Friends Service Committee, a Quaker social justice and humanitarian relief organization drawing on the contributions of people of many faiths and from many countries. Mr. Somphone was a long-time associate of Quaker Service Laos, a project of the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) between 1974 and 2006, and remains a close friend our programs in Southeast Asia.

 

If there is any assistance that you can provide to other appropriate Lao authorities about this matter, I would be grateful.

 

Respectfully,

 

 

Appendix G

Resident Friend’s Report for Eleventh Month 2014

 

The Resident Friend served the Meeting for about 14 hours per week during Eleventh Month. His duties included attending business and committee meetings, cleaning the meetinghouse and guest apartment, assisting with the opening and closing of the meetinghouse on First Days, purchasing supplies, collecting and distributing the mail, sweeping the sidewalks, shoveling snow, booking the guest apartment and collecting the fees for its use, collecting fees for the use of the meetinghouse, answering e-mails and phone calls, doing laundry, handling the trash and recycling, meeting with guests, meeting with a reporter from Pasatiempo, and working in the garden. Gardening tasks included watering, weeding, pruning, purchasing bales of straw (with the help of Marcy Pompeii), filling bird feeders and bird baths, spreading compost and mulch on garden beds, and rebuilding the compost system.

 

The meetinghouse was used by the AA men;\’s group, the meditation group Subud, and the James family for a memorial service.

 

Guest apartment occupancy: 17 out of a possible 29 nights

 

Income from the guest apartment and the rental of the meetinghouse: $964

 

Appendix H

CLERK’S REPORT

 

SEPTEMBER 22 – DECEMBER 14, 2014

SPECIAL ACTIVITIES

REGULAR ACTIVITIES

Assisted with several M&C related tasks, such as developing a process for healing relationships with SSFQWG

Clerked MFWwAtB for September-December  2014

Assisted with process and programmatic aspects of the Future Planning Committee’s work

Participated in October-December 2014 M&C Committee Mtg (ex officio)

 

 

Assisted P&SC Committee with several letters

Usual communication with and support of committees and Friends, e.g., with letters and conveying information

Assisted with offering suggestions for Regional Meeting as part of the work of the Ad-Hoc Committee on the Kabarak Call

Coordinated several scheduling activities and made arrangements for people to close meeting for worship

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SEPTEMBER 22 – DECEMBER 14, 2014

SPECIAL ACTIVITIES

REGULAR ACTIVITIES

Assisted with several M&C related tasks, such as developing a process for healing relationships with SSFQWG

Clerked MFWwAtB for September-December  2014

Assisted with process and programmatic aspects of the Future Planning Committee’s work

Participated in October-December 2014 M&C Committee Mtg (ex officio)

 

 

Assisted P&SC Committee with several letters

Usual communication with and support of committees and Friends, e.g., with letters and conveying information

Assisted with offering suggestions for Regional Meeting as part of the work of the Ad-Hoc Committee on the Kabarak Call

Coordinated several scheduling activities and made arrangements for people to close mee

 

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