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October 2007 Newsletter

Letter to Friends

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

Tenth Month 2007

“Divine am I inside and out, and I make holy whatever I touch

or am touched from.

…Why should I wish to see God better than this day?

I see something of God each hour of the twenty-four, and

each moment then;

In the faces of men and women I see God, and in my own face

in the glass;

I find letters from God dropped in the street, and every one is signed by God's name.”

Walt Whitman

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. The South Santa Fe Worship Group holds Meeting for Worship every Sunday at 10:30 a.m. at the former International Institute for Oriental Medicine, 4884 La Junta del Alamo, Agua Fria.

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

12:30 p.m. Potluck

Sunday 10/14/07 9:15 a.m. Ministry and Oversight Committee

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

Sunday 10/21/07 10:00 a.m. Singing, First Day School room or in garden

12.30 p.m. Meeting for Worship for Business

Sunday 10/28/07 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 or Alison Martinez, 438-0729 Thank you.

Meeting for Worship for Business

16th, ninth month, 2007

Present: Beverly Busching, Ford Robbins, Roxanne Seagraves, Philip Balcombe, Alison Martinez, Pam Geyer, Rebecca Cecil, Marty Carroll, Wyn Lewis, David Giltrow, Bob Gaines, Jennifer Wellington, clerk, Mary Ray Cate, recording clerk.

1. First day school committee will be meeting next Sunday 9/23/07 at 10:45 a.m. with parents to discuss program for the coming year.

2. Peace and social concerns committee urges Friends to write letters regarding the Defence Authorization bill (military funding).

3. Minutes from eighth month’s business meeting were approved with the following correction to the Building committee report: “The security gate has been installed and is not visible from the street when open.

4. Ministry and Oversight committee’s report from their meeting on 9/9/07 was read and accepted. Specific concerns that were discussed included

a) There is a need to schedule another “Quaker 101” series as well as a need for general information pamphlets and/or brochures. Pendle Hill has a “Quaker 101” curriculum. Ford will inquire as to cost and whether Pendle Hill has other useful materials.

b) The lack of summer childcare has left some parents feeling unwelcome and uncomfortable. M&O will ask the First Day School Committee to consider reinstating summer childcare.

c) The naming committee needs to be in place by November. Jennifer asked for volunteers and Ford volunteered.

d) M&O will periodically announce an invitation to form Friendly 6’s at meeting for worship and through the newsletter. Nine o’clock meeting for worship and all the worship groups will be included in this effort.

e) M&O will update the general contact card it has previously published and will provide that information as a reminder to Meeting in the newsletter.

f) Concern has been raised about noise made by the big square fan in the meeting room. The matter was referred to the Building committee for appropriate action.

g)The query for tenth month, 2007, will be: “Do we use our time, abilities, money and material possessions in a spirit of love, aware that we hold these gifts in trust?”

5. Bob Gaines gave the following Treasurer’s Report. A more detailed report was submitted to the finance committee.

General Fund donations to September 13: $10,841

Percentage of budgeted donations received: 48%

General Fund expenses to September 13: $10,947

Percentage of budgeted expenses paid: 68%


Total cash in bank on September 13: $14,029

General Fund: $8,066

Maintenance Fund: $3,719

6. Alison Martinez reported that the South Santa Fe Worship Group has had over 20 individuals attend, from 2 to 11 people at a time. They have moved to a new space at 4884 La Junta del Alamo, Agua Fria, in the former Institute of Oriental Medicine building. Everyone is welcome to join then at 10:30 a.m. on Sundays. Alison will be on KSFR, 90.7 FM, on Saturday, October 6th at 12:30 p.m. speaking about Quakerism.

7. The Meeting camp-out, sponsored by the Earthcare committee, was a success.

Six people from Los Alamos participated in Meeting for Worship under the pines and were eager to meet with us at Bandelier again. Roxanne Seagraves has offered to organize another camping weekend and outdoor worship for the weekend after Memorial Day, 2008.

8. The Residence committee will meet on 9/19/07 for an 'end of one year of service' evaluation. Peg has been home recovering from surgery and associated drug reactions. We express appreciation for all the little things she does that we’ve noticed since she’s been unable to do them.

9. Spiritual formation groups: Wyn reported that the orientation was well received and the program will begin October 5th &6th with a retreat. It has not been decided whether attending the retreat is a prerequisite for participating in the program.

10. Dave Giltrow reported for the Building committee that there has been dirt sifting through the ceiling of the guest apartment bathroom and kitchen. A contractor did some of the repair work between guests and then had to stop. Next year’s budget for the building will be developed at a meeting to be held sometime in the next two weeks.

11. The Finance committee asks all committee clerks to submit budget requests for next year before October 1, 2007.

12. The Good Works committee requests any members with suggestions for good works spending in next year’s budget to send them to Ford Robbins by October 1, 2007.

13.The Communications committee is announcing Quaker activities in the Saturday New Mexican. There was some discussion of what events would be appropriate to announce.

14. The garden always needs work. Come any Saturday. Meeting for worship for Business closed with silence at 2:30 p.m.

Mary Ray Cate, recording clerk

South Santa Fe Quaker Worship Group

The worship group has its own space now.

"A way opens, and I'm just amazed," Alison Martinez says. "I shouldn't be. I should be amazed at bigger things, but here I am amazed that the Lord of Creation could find us one little room in the low-rent district! He really came through for us."

The worship group is now meeting every Sunday at 10:30 a.m. (the original, convenient time) at the former International Institute for Oriental Medicine, 4884 La Junta del Alamo, Agua Fria. To get there, from Agua Fria Road, turn south (towards Airport Road) on Lopez Lane. The first cross street is La Junta del Alamo. Turn left on it, towards the sign for the International Institute. Or go north on Lopez Lane and turn right just before Agua Fria Road.

Alison explains that although the opportunity to get started at the Center for the Natzratim was invaluable, the group decided to move because a Spanish Pentecostal congregation also met there, "and did they ever make a joyful noise!" she says, with a drum set, keyboard, two guitars, and an amplifying system.

"The new location provides a peaceful, semi-rural atmosphere and a huge, black-topped parking lot," Alison says. "Everyone is always welcome, without any obligation to become a regular," she adds.

Dreaming Beyond War

Hadassah Haskale's book with the above title, a personal graph in poetry and prose of a quarter century of ups and downs of violence and hopes for peace in the Middle East, issued by Mazo Publishers in 2005, is now available from Barnes and Noble and Amazon. Just out in 2007, also with Mazo and distributed by Amazon, is Wayfaring, 'a journey to inner space'. It includes the journal of Hadassah's passage from Israel to India in 1977 through Greece, Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan, the continuing record in prose, poetry and letters of an increasingly 'inner' journey in India itself in 1977-78, plus Inscape 'a meditative journey through the cosmos within'. (A slightly different version of Inscape was first published as a folio and audiotape in Santa Fe in 1992.)

Press Releases

Eighth Month Business Meeting authorized an outreach effort by the Communication Committee: one press release per week about Meeting and Worship Group activities. Committees and individual Friends are invited to suggest subjects. These should be forthcoming activities of interest to the wider community. Please contact Alison Martinez or David Vaux with your ideas. Alison will be writing up the press releases. The schedule is: You contact Alison or David no later than Thursday; Alison writes the press release on Friday; the "New Mexican" publishes it (if all goes well) on Saturday eight days later. With your help, our community will understand better what Quakers are about, and we'll enjoy more participation in our activities.

The Elevator Nine

Meeting endorsed the "Declaration of Peace" in August 2006. Our Philip Balcombe is among the "Elevator Nine" who tried to talk about it with Senator Pete Domenici, but were stuck in the elevator on the way to Domenici's office when security turned off the electricity. Philip writes:

I was one of the nine defendants who cleared security to enter the Montoya Federal Building in Santa Fe on September 26th 2006. We were bound for Pete Domenici's office, to deliver a copy of The Declaration of Peace for that republican senator's consideration.

It had been my intention to make sure Domenici could no longer evade the issue by remaining in his office until he gave a meaningful response to the proposals contained in the Declaration––or to show by public example that he was ignoring it if he failed to respond, even if it meant my being arrested for trespassing at the end of the day in the tradition of nonviolent civil disobedience. In the past Domenici himself has said that that sort of action is a legitimate expression of our constitutional right of assembly and speech.

To our surprise our group was not allowed to proceed to the senator's office. Federal Building security disabled the elevator to prevent us proceeding because Domenici's office manager asked them to do so. Shortly thereafter the lobby was cleared by an occupation force of as many as two dozen armed men and women including a SWAT team. They remained in the lobby while we, all Santa Fe constituents of the senator's, mostly elderly, completely defenseless and committed to peaceful nonviolence, remained in the elevator. We kept hoping that they would realize that we were on legitimate business and allow us to proceed. The five police jurisdictions involved could not determine whose right it was to make us leave or arrest us and so we remained without food, water or use of a restroom, afraid to leave the elevator, for five and a half hours.

Eventually a Homeland Security official appeared and announced that we had a choice between being arrested for trespassing and accepting a federal citation, a sort of parking ticket for having stayed in the elevator all day. We accepted the citation, knowing that we would get our day in court. The charge was "Failing to follow signs and directions." We had not seen any signs. Nobody gave us any directions.

Well, there was a sign––the kind of sign that would have involved spending a quarter hour with reading glasses on to read because of the small print. It said, amongst much else, that people are not allowed to loiter in a federal elevator, or to obstruct business therein. To describe our business in the elevator as loitering seems preposterous to me, but that's what the prosecutor did. As for obstructing business––our legitimate, constitutionally protected business was surely obstructed. To claim that we were the ones obstructing, while we waited patiently and peacefully for the obstruction placed in our path to be removed, is a new twist on the idea of the victim being blamed for the crime.

Judge Don Svet's verdict––that we were guilty as charged because we did not have the 'common sense' to leave the elevator, and beyond that, that the senator's people and the security folk were not to be faulted––completely failed to take into account the constitutional issues involved. In fact, he had earlier dismissed our lawyers' motion to consider the constitutional issues. He said he thought we should have handed over a copy

of the Declaration in the lobby and left the building.

Svet's verdict put his court's stamp of approval on Domenici's––and the Bush administration's––continuing refusal to discuss the war in Iraq based on the facts.

We have a right to speak and surely that implies a right to be responded to, to meaningful dialogue. Thousands of people are dying, many more have had their lives shattered and billions of dollars are being squandered, dollars that could be so much more constructively used in pursuit of our country's ideals abroad and at home. This isn't just statistics. It's time for a serious accounting. Peace is the constructive alternative. Let's stop avoiding the issue!

Messages and Announcements

­­­­­­ The new Meeting Directory is now ready. Friends and attenders can request a copy at any time, either 'printed on demand' and mailed to you or sent to you electronically, i.e. as an email attachment. For hard copy please contact Molly Vaux (, 988-9545) or to receive by email contact Bob Gaines (, 466-1746). In either case please specify whether you want the local Santa Fe directory or the outside Santa Fe directory, or both.

 Friends who would like to view the Casita (the Resident's accommodation behind the Meetinghouse, also known as the Ramada) are invited by Peg Martin to drop by for a visit on October 7th following 11:00 a.m. worship and before potluck.

 On Sunday, November 11, at 5:00 p.m. Peg Martin will host a gathering for all Friends who would like to hear about the Oklahoma Friends Women's Gathering. Peg will be serving light snacks and––weather permitting––tea and cocoa by campfire.

 Friends are invited to tune in to Rev. Phil's radio program, "Words of the Prophets," on Saturday, October 6, 12:30 p.m. on KSFR radio 90.7 FM. Alison Martinez will be the guest that day.

 Remember that Michele Chrabot collects brown paper grocery bags for recycling at the SF Food Bank. Give them to her after 11 o'clock Meeting or place in the designated bag in the kitchen.

 Reminder: Betsy Bartels' blog site, where we can read about her Costa Rica journey is:

 The last Meetinghouse garden workday was held on September 20th. There will be no more specific workdays until further notice.

 Are you cleaning out closets, cupboards and bookshelves this fall? Would you like to help our new South Side Worship Group? The group has been running an electronic white elephant sale to help cover its modest expenses—selling books, music CDs, vintage political buttons and miscellaneous items on e-Bay, and Craig's list. Almost anything that you no longer need can help. Contact Alison ( or 439-0729) to arrange pick-up of your excess treasures. Thank you.

Some Key Meeting Contacts

Santa Fe Meeting Websites:

Ministry and Oversight Committee: (for personal or meeting-wide concerns, and needs for pastoral counseling) Ford Robbins, convenor, 466-7665; Joan Spencer, 984-2217; Dimitri Mihalas, 661-7414; Philip Balcombe, 466-2982; Jennifer Wellington, 438-9399; Michael Simon, 989-3817; Roxanne Seagraves, 438-3714

Meeting Clerk: Jennifer Wellington, 438-9399

Meeting Resident: (for guest apartment, or to report building problems, etc.) Peg Martin,


To schedule use of building: Contact Ford Robbins, 466-7665

Newsletter: David Vaux, 988-9545 and Alison Martinez, 438-0729 (ph/fax), co-editors. Please e-mail submissions to 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

Treasurer: Bob Gaines, 466-1746 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

The Peace and Social Concerns Committee welcomes new members. Anne McLaughlin, 995-9655 Meetings as and when announced.

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

For a complete list of committees, see the Meeting Directory. (Available as advised in first item of Messages and Announcements above.)

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