18 Apr

PeaceQuest2016 at Olympia Friends Meeting – Saturday, May 21

In May 2016 Olympia Monthly Meeting hosted the annual meeting of Friends Peace Teams, a Spirit-led organization working around the world to develop long-term relationships with communities in conflict to create programs for peacebuilding, healing and reconciliation. FPT’s programs build on extensive Quaker experience combining practical and spiritual aspects of conflict resolution.

Each year on the Saturday of their annual meeting , FPT organizes PeaceQuest, a day long celebration in peacemaking techniques for folks in the area of the hosting meeting, members and others interested in joining them. We are lucky that in 2016 that was us! We were joined by FPT peace activists from all over the world and the USA for learning and celebrating peacemaking techniques for a day in peace-action training for service and opportunities.

PeaceQuest2016

Date: Saturday, May 21, 2016
Place: Olympia Friends Meeting, 3201 Boston Harbor Rd. NE, Olympia, WA 98506
Time: 8 am to 4:30 pm

PeaceQuest2016 was proud to honor and support the work of Friends Peace Teams including African Great Lakes Initiative, FPT-Asia West Pacific, and Peacebuilding en las Américas.

The agenda was:

8:00 to 9:00 AM–Registration, coffee and bagels.
9:00 to 9:30 AM–Meeting for worship
9:30 to 10:45 AM–Keynote Speaker, Nancy Irving
10:45 to 11:00 AM–Break
11:00 AM to 12:30 PM–First series of workshops
12:30 to 1:30 PM–Simple lunch included in registration fee
1:30 to 3:00 PM–Second series of workshops
3:00 to 3:15 PM–Break
3:15 to 4:30 PM–Peacemaking panel/Closing

Listen to the keynote address: “Letting our Lives Speak–Near and Far” by Nancy Irving, former General Secretary, Friends World Committee for Consultation–World Office:

Nancy has had three careers: with business trade associations, as a lawyer, and in management of Friends World Committee for Consultation. She is multi-lingual in Friends’ languages. Presently she lives in Lacey, Washington, is co-clerk of Olympia Monthly Meeting, a member of North Pacific Yearly Meeting, and serves as clerk of the 11th Pacific Northwest Quaker Women’s Theology Conference [2016].

Interactive workshops ran in four tracks: Personal, Local, Global and Parent/Child.

The workshops were offered in two sessions – see the schedule below and much more information about each workshop attached to a flyer about this event here. (PDF format)

Workshop Schedule: Title. Facilitator(s)

11:00 AM to 12:30 PM

1. Leadings/Ministry: Discerning, Supporting, Fulfilling and Laying Them Down When the Time Is Right–session I. Val Liveoak
2. Spiritual Hospitality and the Power of Visiting. Nadine Hoover
3. Water and Peacemaking: The Work of Friendly Water for the World. David Albert
4. Veterans For Peace–Exposing the True Costs of War and Militarism. Dennis Mills and Zahid Chaudhry
5. Harnessing the Power of Micro-Credit: Local and Global Connections. Lisa Smith

1:30 PM to 3:00 PM

6. Leadings/Ministry: Discerning, Supporting, Fulfilling and Laying Them Down When the Time Is Right–session II. Val Liveoak
7. Power of Goodness. Nadine Hoover
8. Hands On–Building a BioSand Filter. David Albert and Wayne Medrud
9. Nonviolence and Jesus. David Bellefeuille-Rice
10. Listening–Prelude to Relationships, Negotiation, and Peace. Nancy Shippen

Registration:

The registration fee was $20.  No charge for children up to 16 years of age (and childcare was offered to those who per-register children). Scholarships for adults were available if needed.

Olympia Monthly Meeting found accommodations for visitors from out of town.

For more information on Friends Peace Teams, visit their website, http://www.friendspeaceteams.org or call the FPT office at 314-588-1122. You can also contact David Zarembka at dave@aglifpt.org

This was a very special event! Download the flyer and workshop schedule – click here or on the image below to download it. PeaceQuest2016-flyerworkshop-image

23 Jun

Regarding the May 21 Shooting of Andre Thompson and Bryson Chaplin

June 18, 2015 — We are still processing with shock and horror the police shooting of Andre Thompson and Bryson Chaplin, two unarmed young Black men, on Thursday, May 21 on the West side of Olympia.

Shoplifting beer is not a felony. The effect of White privilege can be difficult for privileged people to perceive, but when White young men on skateboards are suspected of shoplifting beer at a grocery store at 1 a.m., police are unlikely to shoot them.

dove&branch-smWe believe it is not acceptable to say, “We don’t think race was a factor.” Race is always a factor in our race-conscious society. If we pretend that race does not influence us and others, those of us who are White not only lose the opportunity to recognize and counteract the effects of racism and oppression, we offend and lose credibility with our Black neighbors and friends who live knowing this truth because they live Black lives in Black skin.

While we are grateful for those who endeavor to serve and protect our community, who risk their own safety in order to increase the safety of others, the shooting of these young Black men ‘armed’ with skateboards by those acting in our name is intolerable and inexcusable.

Race colors everyone’s perceptions, both during and after such an event. Regardless of who is right about the facts being disputed at this time, we need to admit this was a failure, find out all the reasons it failed, and fix everything we can to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

Anger, frustration, fear, and hostility are symptoms of the ongoing racial inequalities that continue to be a part of what forms our community and our society.

We have all been affected by this event, but Black residents of Olympia have been affected most of all. Accountability by our police department is critical.

Regardless of the outcome produced by the legal system in this case, we ask for a steadfast commitment to working for an end to race bias in our police department.

In the coming months we ask for full transparency about planned changes in police selection, training, technology, and tactics. We ask that Black citizens of Olympia be involved at every step so that, when faced with situations we cannot confidently handle alone, all of us — regardless of our skin color — can be confident that our police will serve and protect us with integrity.

We call upon the Olympia Police Department to stand up and stand for what is right and good and against bias and hate within their ranks — as we call upon ourselves to do so. This is in keeping with our faith and our Quaker testimonies regarding peace, equality, integrity, and community.

Finally, we are proud to live in a community that at the best of times seeks to uphold the highest human values. We pray and hope and work toward that.

As members of the Peace and Social Justice Committee of the Olympia Monthly Meeting (Quakers) with other concerned members of our faith community, we are: Gabi Clayton, Steven Aldrich, David Albert, Polly Boyajian, Dennis Mills, with Renee Binns, Judith Bouffiou, Susan Campbell, Kathy Cox, Dave Cundiff, Ward C. Miles, Anne M. Mills, Alan Mountjoy-Venning, Jane Mountjoy-Venning, Kathleen O’Shaunessy, Ellen Sawislak, Vince Schueler, Donna Schumann, Jane Sherman, Naki Stevens, Suzanne Simons, Evan Welkin, and Jack Zeiger.