As we look ahead to election week we’ve assembled resources for Friends concerning care for community, crisis response planning, buddy systems, worship sharing, alternatives to calling the police, plus state-specific websites and some democracy organizations. We know that different communities have different needs and interests so have provided a range of alternatives.
Influx of Newcomers and Care for the Community
Philadelphia Yearly Meeting helps local Quaker communities cultivate meaning and purpose by being part of a larger network of Quakers. In times of civil unrest, the role of wider spiritual community becomes ever more critical. Local Quaker communities, including Friends Meetings, typically experience an influx of newcomers in search of support. Committees and groups within meetings that care for the worship and for the pastoral care of the community need to be prepared to:
- Elaborate worship – a resource from Friends General Conference
- Offer mental wellness support – a resource from Britain Yearly Meeting
- In These Times: A Pastoral Message– a thoughtful resource from George Schaefer, Care & Aging Coordinator
Crisis Response Preparedness
We also recommend developing an overall crisis response plan. Philadelphia Yearly Meeting uses this crisis response plan, which can be adapted to the needs of your local Quaker community.
Some meetings have already organized worship sharing within their meetings. People can volunteer to convene virtually in small groups for the purpose of responding to queries. This is a way of getting people community and basic support. This is not considered a replacement for more acute mental health intervention or group therapy. There are several ways to conduct worship sharing. Here are two methods that we like to use:
We highly recommend the implementation of a buddy system during the week of the 2020 U.S. general election, assigning all known people in the community the responsibility to check in on at least one other person to ensure they are okay.
Emergency Response Preparedness
Friends may be wondering how they can prepare for election-related crises as an emergency response and in other ways. Find below a list of resources by state and democracy-related organizations:
Emergency Response by State
Democracy-Related Organizations & Articles
- Choose Democracy
- Resources and Trainings on Nonviolence
- Civil Resistance Against Coups, Historical Perspectives
- Holding the Line: A Guide to Defending Democracy
- 10 Things You Need to Know to Stop a Coup
- Training Manual for Nonviolent Resistance
Alternatives to Calling the Police
In the context of civil unrest, Friends may be wondering how to interact with the police. We have compiled a list of resources to help guide you in your discernment:
- Questions to Ask Before You Call the Police
- Good Shepherd Mediation Program
- Dispute Resolution Program Mediation Services
- Philly Alternatives to Calling the Police – Google Doc
- Transformative Justice, a Brief Description by Mia Mingus
- Transformative Justice, Excerpts of Mia Mingus – Instagram
Some meetings may be considering whether and when to provide sanctuary to individuals. We recommend reviewing this article from the American Friends Service Committee.