Philadelphia Yearly Meeting is a founding member of the National Council of Churches in Christ. Philadelphia Yearly Meeting and Friends United Meeting are the only Quaker congregational members. As a member of Governing Board of the National Council of Churches in Christ, Philadelphia Yearly Meeting has been included in the Office of the President’s national updates concerning the events around the shooting of teenager Mike Brown in Ferguson, Missouri (a suburb of St. Louis). The Governing Board of the National Council of Churches in Christ will be meeting next week in St. Louis. It is anticipated that during the National Council of Churches in Christ Governing Board meeting the grand jury will be announcing their decision regarding the possible indictment of Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting of Michael Brown. There are grave concerns of the additional violence regardless of the decision.
Our General Secretary represents us on the National Council of Churches in Christ Governing Board. Given the religious and national significance of the event, Interim Meeting releases our General Secretary to speak on our behalf as led.
Approve Interim Meeting of November 15, 2014
I am travelling tonight to St. Louis for a meeting of the Governing Board of the National Council of Churches. The meeting has been scheduled for this date for a year; the executive committee decided in August to hold it in St. Louis. At the end of last week I learned that it was possible that the decision of the grand jury would be coming out while we were meeting. On Saturday morning our clerk adjusted her report to Interim Meeting to bring this minute to Friends. My experience of the process of approving the minute was far more than an administrative process. It was an expression of the depth of Friends’ concern for the community of Ferguson, for the issues underlying the shooting of Michael Brown, and for speaking Truth to power. The process felt like one that made my trip, and whatever may or may not happen while I am in St. Louis, one that is an expression of OUR work and experience. I feel as if I am getting ready to board a plane together with the Yearly Meeting community.
I am writing this early on Sunday morning and right now I need to get on the road to go worship with Millville Meeting and then enjoy a baked potato meal and fellowship with Friends in that region of our Yearly Meeting. If there is any activity in Saint Louis that amounts to more than a board meeting, I will share that news here.
Information from National Council of Churches
This is the information I received on Friday, 11/14 from the National Council of Churches:
As the National Council of Churches’s governing board gathers in St. Louis on Monday and Tuesday (November 17 and 18), we will be sending out regular updates to our press list and our social media. The situation in Ferguson, MO, is changing by the hour, and it is possible that the grand jury’s indictment, or lack thereof, of officer Darren Wilson will affect the activities of the Board.
To keep our member denominations connected to the NCC’s activities in St. Louis and Ferguson, we will send out press releases on a regular basis. And, regular updates will appear on our Facebook page.
The NCC is sponsoring an event on Monday, November 17 on the Response of the St. Louis Faith Community. Information about this event can be seen on the Facebook event page.