Palmetto Friends Gathering News Coronavirus Information, Alternatives to Violence Needs Volunteers, Mutual Aid Help, Quaker Earthcare Witness Meetings for Worship, FCNL Zoom Presentation on Nuclear Arms
We have been in a state of emergency with the virus becoming a pandemic. Our Friends at FGC have shared some precautions that we all need to take; a link will be at the bottom of this text. Most Meetings are being held online. Please contact the individual Meeting for information. This is a time we have to reflect on our current state of the world and what really matters to us. This temporary isolation gives us a chance to reset our thoughts and actions moving forward with one another.
The Alternatives to Violence Project has been invited to do trainings in prisons in South Carolina. AVP is a program enabling participants to deal with potentially violent situations in new and creative ways. Workshops are run by trained volunteer facilitators and are experiential (not based on lectures). These workshops greatly reduce the violence in prisons where they are held and also the rate of recidivism. We are looking for more volunteers to help lead these trainings. AVP-SC started a program at Estill FCI and Trenton SCDC Institution; we are starting a program at DJJ in Columbia. We would love to to offer workshops to more prisons and jails, but we need more volunteers. AVP started in prisons in the U.S.A. in 1975. Today AVP offers workshops in prisons, communities, schools, colleges and refugee camps around the world. AVP has done work in over 50 countries, 35 U.S. states, and is in 110+ prisons throughout the U.S. We have provided tens of thousands of workshops impacting hundreds of thousands of individuals. Our workshops use the shared experience of participants, interactive exercises, games and role-plays to examine the ways in which we respond to situations where injustice, prejudice, frustration and anger can lead to aggressive behavior and violence. AVP workshops work by creating a space of safety and trust, and a strong sense of community among participants and then generating empathy and compassion. The building blocks are Affirmation, Communication, Cooperation, Community, and Creative Conflict Resolution. NOTE: because of the COVID virus, we are currently developing virtual workshops. You can find more information at https://avpusa.org/ and https://avp.international/
Remember you are not alone. We all need one another to get through this thing called ‘life.’ Now more than ever. Here are some ways to find resources and tools to keep you strong and encouraged. A brighter day is on the way, but until then we have each other to help stay informed.
Quaker Earthcare Witness is hosting monthly online worship sharing groups in partnership with Friends General Conference. Together we are creating more opportunities for Friends to be in spiritual community with one another. You can worship with us by registering here. FGC staff will email you the Zoom login information. You’ll be able to join with the Zoom app on a computer, tablet, or smartphone, or you can call in for audio-only.Worship sharing focuses on a particular question and helps us to explore our own experience and share with each other more deeply than we would in normal conversation. It seeks to draw us into sacred space, where we can take down our usual defenses, and encounter each other in “that which is eternal.” QEW is also hosting workshops during FGC’s virtual gathering. We hope you can join us. Visit their Programs and Events page to learn more. Registration will be open soon. Please let me know if you have any questions and please consider making a donation to QEW to support this work. In peace and friendship,Hayley Hathaway Communications Coordinator, QEW
As part of the virtual Palmetto Friends Gathering in August 2020, we were especially privileged to hear Anthony Wier talk about developments regarding nuclear weapons. Anthony, who leads FCNL's lobbying on nuclear weapons policy and efforts to reduce Pentagon spending, helped craft and negotiate the resolution that led to Senate ratification of the New START treaty in 2010 as staff to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He discussed the disturbing possibility that low yield nuclear weapons could be used as a way to justify using nuclear weapons. Another extremely troubling situation is that only 5 to 8 minutes is the time frame for making a decision regarding detonating missiles in silos and that decision can only be made by the President. In the current policy environment in which nuclear weapons are discussed, the horrible effects and purpose of the weapons are discussed in a way that minimizes the specific physical effects that the weapons unleash. This was perhaps the greatest call to action in his presentation. As Quakers, we have a long history of confronting laws that allow cruel outcomes. On an encouraging note, he mentioned the following House members who voted in support of an amendment offered by Rep. Ro Khanna during the June 2020 House Armed Services Committee markup of the annual defense authorization bill that would have cut the proposed funding for the upcoming fiscal year 2021 for the program to build a new intercontinental (nuclear-armed) ballistic missile (also known as the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent) from the $1.5 billion requested by Trump administration to $500 million, which is roughly the amount of funding provided for the current fiscal year: Rep. Salud Carbajal (D-CA-24) Rep. Gil Cisneros (D-CA-39) Rep. Joe Courtney (D-CT-2) Rep. Jason Crow (D-CO-6) Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-TX-16) Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI-2) Rep. John Garamendi (D-CA-3) Rep. Bill Keating (D-MA-9) Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA-17) Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ-11) Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA-9) Rep. Lori Trahan (D-MA-3)