[Sayma-Discuss] Britain Yearly Meeting urges recognition ofPalestine
c.vmbra at frontier.com
Wed Sep 3 11:39:18 EDT 2014
It's not clear what the Friend who expressed concern about budgets and
nominations meant by "Are we so focused on nominations and budgets that
witnessing to the world from our faith becomes secondary?" Perhaps we spent
too much time on nominations and budgets and not enough time on the
Palestine boycott minute at the last Yearly Meeting. As someone who was
there to the end, I'm pretty convinced that no amount of additional
consideration would have made a difference in the outcome; if we had not
spent the small amount of time on budget that we did (he said defensively),
I can't imagine it would have, either. Friends were not prepared to unite
behind that minute for good reasons well summarized in the minutes.
Nevertheless, I feel the distress (if that's an adequate word) of those who
are called to *do something* in the face of innocent suffering.
The difficult question is, what are we called to do? Meaningful corporate
action is serious business. I am assuming that corporate action related to
social justice issues involves at least two key goals. We want to protect
victims. We want those acting unjustly to stop. But unlike governments,
who tend to see such things in terms of "Do as we say or we will bomb you or
cut off your resources," we want to achieve those aims by reconciliation,
i.e., by changing hearts.
Minutes expressing an opinion, such as the immigration minute a few years
back, may make us feel better. But have they changed hearts? Either our
own, or of those we are trying to influence? When Friends stopped holding
slaves, they didn't just say "slaveholding is wrong." They stopped holding
slaves and they worked (sometimes illegally) to free them. Friends first
removed the beam from their own eyes, and their hearts changed. When SAYMA
adopted the immigration minute what did SAYMA and SAYMA Friends subsequently
do? It may be that individual Friends felt empowered by SAYMA's position,
but there appears to be nothing that SAYMA has actually done subsequently,
and there is almost no mention of immigration in the State of the Meeting
reports from SAYMA monthly meetings.
How hard and in what specific ways are we called to work to change hearts of
Israelis and Palestinians? What change is needed in our hearts to make it
possible for us to be effective ministers?
It often takes the Light considerable time to work in the hearts of all
Friends and bring them to unity, not just in sentiment, but in action. In
the meantime, SAYMA and monthly meetings can labor with concerns brought by
Friends who have may have a greater share of Light. One or more of these
Friends may be a Woolman who will lead us to unity. We can and should
support such Friends by helping them to clearness about what they are called
to do, while we seek unity on what we, corporately, are called to do. There
is no shortcut to unity, as Woolman knew.
I unite with Friend Larry's call to prayer for guidance.
From: Sayma-Discuss [mailto:sayma-discuss-bounces at kitenet.net] On Behalf Of
Roy H Taylor III
Sent: Sunday, August 17, 2014 8:23 PM
To: Becky Ingle
Subject: Re: [Sayma-Discuss] Britain Yearly Meeting urges recognition
I think that many in the room left disappointed. For me it was because the
action that we were brought was not one that I could find myself in accord
with. I felt that it was not in line with our testimonies. When I read the
message that Free sent that came out of Britain Yearly Meeting. That speaks
my mind. Maybe that should be our starting point to bring this forward
I would have anyone read what was brought before us and what came out of BYM
in the same sitting and see the differences. I believe they would understand
why ours needed additional seasoning.
On Aug 17, 2014, at 2:02 PM, Larry Ingle <lingle at bellsouth.net> wrote:
I am sorry that due to prior obligations I could not be at this year's final
session of SAYMA when this matter was discussed and add my voice to those
who called for a boycott of various products made in the occupied West Bank.
But I am even more distressed that Friends in SAYMA were unable to unite on
this proposal. When I see British Friends calling for a much more
comprehensive solution to the tragedy of Palestinians and Jews failing to
live together, I hope that next year's yearly meeting might find the way
open to suggest a way we can move forward on this peace-threatening issue.
I hold our Peace and Justice Committee in the Light and pray that the Spirit
of Christ, by which we profess to be guided, may lead us also to address
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