Different Friends and meetings in PYM and across the United States are responding to the upcoming election with prayer and concern. Here is a perspective:
As members of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, we along with others are engaged in an effort to protect our country’s democracy from spoken threats to subvert the 2020 elections. We do so not as a partisan effort, but out of a concern for truth, integrity, and the nonviolent resolution of conflicts.
As Quakers, we are called to stand fast in Truth, not political truth but moral truth, that is capital T spiritual Truth. Lying is not Truth. Hating is not Truth. Killing is not Truth. Manipulation is not Truth. Truth is love. We are called to stand fast in love.
We have helped to create a new, temporary organization titled ‘Choose Democracy’. Our efforts in the Choose Democracy Project are guided by our love for our democracy with all its flaws. Out of this love, we feel a call to stand up against all those things that are not Truth.
Trainings with George Lakey and Other Resources
Choose Democracy is providing nonviolent training and associated resources to defend our democratic institutions and political processes. By making our training program and other online resources directly available to many thousands of people, as well as to one hundred or more grassroots organizations and networks, we are well on our way to preparing more than 100,000 people for effective nonviolent actions to protect the democratic electoral process. The trainings have all been oversubscribed. The resources have been downloaded by hundreds of thousands of people already.
To access these resources, and/or to sign up for a 2-hour Zoom-based training program with Central Philadelphia MM Friend George Lakey, go to www.choosedemocracy.us.
When Faced with a Challenge: We Worship. We Listen. We Trust. We Act.
As we have been working on this project to help protect our U.S. democracy, we have been grounded in our commitment to have our decisions, actions, and behaviors flow from our connection with the Divine Within. When faced with a challenge we worship. We wait. We listen. We trust. We act.
We have communicated by email with hundreds of Quakers across the country and they have distributed our emails to hundreds more Quakers, many of whom have shared with us their call to action and to worship at this challenging time.
A Vermont Friend Wrote: Holding the Country in the Light
Friends, I have adopted a practice of holding our entire Country in the Light that brings us into love and peace – many times every day. I am sure that many Friends all over, and many other people too, already do this, including many among you. It looks really important that more of us join in doing this now, at this particular time of fear, anger, hate, estrangement, desperation, and suffering—and at this critical time of decision and choice in our Country.
Holding us all in the Light is of course one kind of intention and action for us, and it does not preclude other kinds of wise actions for love and peace and justice. It does feel like a strong foundation for all intention and action, and like powerful and essential action in itself.
This holding in the Light is based on the spiritual reality of our connection to each other and all Beings, and of the love that flows around and among us.
Friends Are Praying
We’re also aware of a weekly online prayer meeting in PYM that, throughout September and October, has been “focusing on prayers for the healing of the nation and for wisdom for the people as we choose our President.” We’ve learned that in New England Yearly Meeting, the Woolman Hill Retreat Center is offering meetings for worship before, on, and after election day. What is your meeting doing?
Again, we invite Friends to find more information on this effort, including articles and a “how-to” manual, or to sign up for an online training session at www.choosedemocracy.us.
Bruce Birchard and Michael Wajda