Church Creek, MD – The National Park Service’s National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom accepted the Darby Friends Meetinghouse and School site, in Darby, Pennsylvania., as one of 23 new listings, from the 46th round of applications, representing sites and programs in 14 states across the U.S. and Canada. These new listings, alongside more than 750 sites, facilities, and programs already in the Network, provide insight into the diverse experiences of freedom seekers who bravely escaped slavery and allies who assisted them. [Read more…] about Darby Friends Meetinghouse Named as Underground Railroad Site by National Park Service
“We are responsible for the world that we’ve inherited, and the world that we pass down.” — Reverend Naomi Washington-Leapheart
January Workshop Opens Conversations
At the start of the year, the Mayor’s Commission on Faith-based and Interfaith Affairs invited members of Philadelphia-area faith communities to spend four days examining the intersection between theology and systems of white supremacy alongside reparations and truth telling. Under the leadership of Reverend Naomi Washington Leapheart, Director for Faith-Based and Interfaith Affairs for the city of Philadelphia, and the Commission’s ongoing “Rise Up for Reparations” campaign, inaugurated in June 2022, the January program was part of ongoing work to build a culture of reparations in the city – and one where faith leaders are at the front of the movement. [Read more…] about Reparations: Responsibility & Relationship
On Earth Day, Saturday, April 22, 2023, Westtown School officially announced its partnership with Christa Barfield, owner, and operator of FarmerJawn Agriculture. Earlier this year, Barfield joined forces with Westtown School leasing 123 acres to create an organic farm. Westtown families and residents from the surrounding community celebrated the new partnership this past weekend on the school’s campus. Attendees witnessed a special blessing by Lenni Lenape elders and enjoyed tethered balloon rides, hayrides, and a host of family-friendly activities.
This month is about honoring the radical, imaginative, provocative and gorgeous world Black Americans are bringing forth today as much as recognizing their efforts in the past. May we take this month to contemplate and celebrate the spiritual gifts and leadings Black Quakers have followed that continue to shape our community and encourage us all to come alive.
— Kimani Keaton, Community Engagement Associate for Special Projects
The resources below provide an opportunity to lift up Black voices and explore anti-racism with the young people in our care. Much has been written about the inclusion of Black History in mainstream education and how to teach this history both in terms of the Black American experience and children’s developmental levels. Some of the links to articles and resources below reflect these discussions and may be useful to consider in a religious education context. [Read more…] about Black History: Celebrate in February, Include All Year
On May 25, 2020, police officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on George Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds causing George’s death. The country responded with outrage and protests. On Sunday, June 7th, Southampton Friends held their first Vigil for Social Justice and Equality. They haven’t missed a Sunday since. [Read more…] about Standing for Equality & Justice in Southampton: An Update
On Saturday September 24th, 2022, the Quaker Bakers of Greenwich Friends Meeting participated in the 50th Greenwich Artisans Faire at the historic Gibbons House on Ye Greate Street in Greenwich, Cumberland County. Through the sale of baked goods, tea and coffee as well as the Meeting’s signature cookbook (which combines Quaker family recipes and local lore), funds are raised annually for Greenwich Friends Community Outreach activities. The Faire draws hundreds of people to Greenwich and is a delightful opportunity to meet and greet friends and neighbors. [Read more…] about The Community Outreach of Greenwich Friends Meeting
Spiritual State of the Meeting reports give all of us a glimpse into the communities of meetings in our Yearly Meeting. Together, they create a tapestry that tells the story of our yearly meeting in the last year; a vibrant community engaged in spiritual formation and witness across four states and many experiences of the Spirit. When we are together in residence at an Annual Sessions gathering, there is a thick book with the collected ‘State of the Meeting’ reports. During the years we have gathered online, the special joy of leafing through those printed reports has needed a new model. This year, we again created a virtual “book” of all of the reports. You can access them in this news story and they will also be published in a booklet following Annual Sessions.
Earlier this month, we sent out a print newsletter to Friends in the yearly meeting. We plan to send out a print issue of the newsletter quarterly. This issue of the newsletter illustrates a new way in which our yearly meeting has been called—and our faithful response to it—the call to witness against racism. You can read it online. [Read more…] about In the Light: The Yearly Meeting’s Print Newsletter
In this series of stories, we’ll highlight the workshops being offered on Workshop Saturday, June 25. Sessions Coordinating Committee and staff experimented this year with offering a one-day online event that includes five workshops on different topics of interest to Friends in our yearly meeting. We will gather and listen deeply together on a day of connection, learning, and meaningful conversations.
Read on to learn more about the facilitators and intentions of this Workshop Spotlight, and register for a workshop by Thursday, June 23.
[Read more…] about Workshop Saturday: Co-Regulating & Building Relationships Toward Equity & Justice
Quaker practice invites Friends to listen deeply to the Inward Teacher and then to follow the leading that comes as a result. This is foundational to our faith, and individuals and meetings expect ourselves to be guided by Spirit in our daily decisions and with the direction of our lives. One way of responding to Spirit is through political action, including creating lasting and structural change through local, state, and federal legislation. Individuals may do this without limitation. When monthly, quarterly, and yearly meeting engagement is political, in addition to seeking unity in spiritual discernment we must also consider what is legally necessary for our non-profit organization. [Read more…] about Policy on Advocacy Explained