[saymaListserv] Fw: [Quaker-L] f.u.m. and the peace testimony

Julia Ewen jewen at micronetsystems.net
Sat May 24 18:32:26 JEST 2003


----- Original Message -----
From: "kenneth maher" <kmaher at rochester.rr.com>
To: <quaker-l at quaker.org>
Cc: <benr at fum.org>
Sent: Thursday, May 22, 2003 4:20 PM
Subject: RE: [Quaker-L] f.u.m. and the peace testimony


> dear friends
>
> i am heartened by the response below from ben richmond at friends united
> meeting, and i wanted to pass it on to you.
>
> ken maher
> rochester (ny) friends meeting
> ----------
> From: Ben Richmond <benr at fum.org>
> Date: Thu, 22 May 2003 10:11:07 -0500
> To: kmaher at rochester.rr.com
> Subject: RE:  [Quaker-L] f.u.m. and the peace testimony
>
> Dear Ken,
>
> I don't subscribe to Quaker-L any more, but your note came to me via the
> network!  Carol reported accurately things that were said at the
> consultation about the state of the peace testimony in parts of FUM.  My
> impression from many years of work in this area, however, is not as bleak.
> I would say, for instance, that throughout the Midwest pastoral meetings,
> that there is MUCH more than 10% support for the peace testimony.  Perhaps
> half hold to a personal pacifist conviction -- which, of course, is much
> weaker than it should be, but is also much more than a nearly forgotten
> vestige.  I know many pastoral meetings where the peace testimony is very
> vibrant.  Universally, the leadership within the yearly meetings are
solidly
> supportive of the traditional Friends pacifist tradition -- even in times
> when it is controversial such as immediately following 9-11.
>
> In fact, the call for this consultation came first from Indiana and
Western
> Yearly Meeting leaders who were looking for a way to help under gird the
> peace testimony within Monthly Meetings, and overcome a perceived split
> WITHIN many meetings between "peace activists" and those whose primary
> Quaker identity is located in inward spirituality or evangelism.
>
> I'm also aware of family members of Friends in east coast yearly meetings
> being in the military, and there has been lots of discussion (see FJ on
> Scott Simon) about reassessing doctrinaire pacifism.  One of the
interesting
> comments in a small group discussion I heard came from someone from an
> unprogrammed meeting who said words to the effect:  in your meetings it
> sounds like the peace testimony is controversial, in my meeting talking
> about Christ is controversial.  Several participants in the consultation
> were clear in saying that the peace testimony won't hold us together in
the
> absence of Christ.  We all have a lot of work to do in shoring up the
unity
> of Friends.
>
> During the consultation, all of the FUM north american yearly meetings
> reported on outward peace witness over the last few years.  All of them
> reported work in support of conscientious objection and making public
> witness for peace in response to the build-up for the war in Iraq.  There
> were differences of tone, but Friends across the board are continuing a
> unified witness for peace.  FUM, itself, has continued public witness for
> peace, issued statements and joined other Quaker statements (see our
> website), maintains a Peace Tax Fund for co's to military taxation, and
> remains the Friends sponsor of Christian Peacemaker Teams.  One of the
> outcomes of the consultation is that the participants are taking back to
> their yearly meetings the question of whether the Friends Coordinating
> Committee on Peace should be revived in some form.  So, I think that you
can
> continue to look to the peace testimony as an important link holding all
> Friends together.
>
> In the context of the consultation, Friends were able and willing to be
very
> vulnerable and honest with each other about problems within our yearly
> meetings and among us.  I'm not sure if that vulnerability translates very
> well in the context of wide public discussion, where an individual's
> extemporaneous expression may be given more weight than it really
deserves.
>
> If you think it would be helpful, you have my permission to forward this
on
> to the Quaker-l list.
>
> Blessings,
> Ben Richmond
> -----------
> Ben Richmond
> North American Ministries
> Friends United Meeting
> 101 Quaker Hill Drive, Richmond IN 47374
> (765) 962-7573; (765) 966-1293 fax
> mailto:benr at fum.org  -- http://www.fum.org
>
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>




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