George Schaefer serves Philadelphia Yearly Meeting as the Care and Aging Coordinator. He works with meetings, aging Friends, and individuals to support PYM’s spiritual growth, pastoral care, and community wholeness. This essay is his response to the burdens we may be carrying today and in the coming weeks. Tea with George is always perfect. Please sit with these thoughts and have a favorite cup of tea close to hand.
This is now
The 2020 presidential election cycle has activated passionate interest and deep concern among Friends everywhere.
Throughout our yearly meeting Friends have responded to these challenging times with individual and meeting-facilitated actions to promote justice and reinforce our commitment to peace.
Most of us would agree that there is much at stake as we conclude the voting process next week.
Our desire to be heard and our commitment to listen to voices other than our own seem to be thwarted. Mean-spirited and divisive rhetoric dominates the national political debate and the search for common ground, let alone unity, has become unimportant to many of our fellow citizens. This attitude presages difficulties for us as a nation regardless of the outcome of the election.
For this reason, our voice as a community of faith—with a vision of hope in the inner light and its power to unite people—is desperately needed.
A Quaker Vision of Hope
As Friends we have played a unique role in the history of our country, encouraging the practice of deep, compassionate listening to those on the margins and promoting progressive social action and reform.
In the weeks and months ahead, spirit may be leading us to renew this call. Civil unrest continues to roil the social fabric of our lives and this can be counted on to continue. Lives that “speak” to the truth of unity, and the healing power of peace and justice through actions in the world; these are needed more than ever.
We Witness Spirit and Care for One Another
As part of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting (PYM), we support one another as Friends and as meetings through these dark times in witness to aggression and violence. Our loving and tender care for one another as we seek greater light and understanding will be crucial to having the strength we need for the journey ahead.
Let us hold one another as a yearly meeting of Friends, and our country, in the light of love and unity.
May spirit lead as way opens.
George Schaefer, firstname.lastname@example.org
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