Pelham Half Yearly Meeting
May 1, 2022 by Zoom
Creating a safe and brave space in our Meetings.
A safe space is a place where one can be and express oneself freely without fear of negative repercussions, but a safe place still might be a place where being brave is not without some discomfort.
There was a short video to introduce us to the topic and a couple of questions provided to lead us into our small discussion groups.
- What makes it difficult to have a safe space in our Meetings?
- What can I do to make our Meetings a safe and brave place for all?
Brave spaces do not always mean there is a common agreement but does provide a place for open expression. Courage to be true to oneself is still needed.
The element of trust and being brave in our own person encourages others to be brave also.
12th Night Celebration – Saturday, January 8, 2022
Eleven friends enjoyed lots of laughs, great poems, stories and singing.
Work Bee – May 2021
“One often overlooked communal opportunity for fellowship, bonding and sharing about our faith and aspirations are the work days that meetings have appointed to maintain the meeting’s physical property.” ~ Listening Spirituality, Patricia Loring
Photos courtesy of Marilyn T.
“In A Time of Transition: Seeds of Change, Roots of Strength” From Yonge Street Monthly Meeting May 2021 Newsletter, adapted from article by Bruce Feiler.
On May 1, 2021, Yonge Street Half Yearly Meeting met online to spend the day with Guest Speaker:
Wess Daniels, William R. Rogers Director of Friends Center & Quaker Studies at Guilford College.
“The change brought on by this pandemic will lead to years of transition. … Thinking of it this way will helps us understand what it takes for us to come out the other side.” YSMM Newsletter May 2021_Special HYM Edition 2
‘It is important to distinguish between the idea of Change and Transition.
Change marks an event — usually with a start and an end time. What follows from that change is the Transition’— “Transition…is psychological; it is a three-phase process that people go through as they internalize and come to terms with the details of the new situation that the change brings about.” William and Susan Bridges, Managing Transitions
The 3 Phases of Change and Transition:
1. Ending of one thing = change
2. Neutral Zone = no person’s land between old reality and new unknown era; limbo; grappling with old identity
3. New Beginning = out of transition; a new era has begun
There is no ‘right’ timing shifting between these different phases — we could be in a process for a long time before moving on. YSMM Newsletter_ May 2021_Special HYM Edition 3
“It isn’t the changes that will do you in; it’s the transitions” ~ William and Susan Bridges, Managing Transitions
“Yearning for a new way will not produce it. Only ending the old way can do that. You cannot hold onto the old all the while declaring that you want something new. The old will defy the new; the old will deny the new; the old will decry the new. There is only one way to bring in the new. You must make room for it.” ~ Neale Donald Walsch
Key Concept: ‘Transition is uncomfortable and disruptive work.’
1. Breathe, Listen, Observe, Take in. — gather information & listen to the edges and the center too
2. Check yourself. Go deeper into the story. — are you as grounded and as deep into your own tradition as possible?; are you doing what you need to do to stay healthy?
3. Keep moving. Help others keep moving too. —we don’t want to get stuck in the middle of transition, the goal is to move through the transition so a new thing can be born
4. Remember this is important work. — this is spiritual work; disruptions are to be expected in life; disruptions test our outer and inner safety; offer an opportunity for growing and changing
5. Enlarge the circle. — grow your community; build new community
Key concepts and quotes taken from Wess Daniel’s talk, May 1, 2021.
By Bruce Feiler
“The Only Way Forward” with Nancy Russell – February 28
1. Overview of The Only Way Forward Project. This includes the notion of “Defunding”, sometimes called “detasking” the police. Nancy will highlight salient points that hold particular interest for Coldstream meeting.
2. Showing part of CAHOOTs program. This is a crisis response program that has been successfully running for over 30 years.
3. Q & A discussion.
Communication Challenges with Matt Legge – January 31, 2021
Matt is the Peace Program coordinator, Canadian Friends Service Committee and author of “Are We Done Fighting Yet?”
Matt presented research into communication challenges and what goes wrong in difficult conversations and then had a participant, Carol W, try to respond to his acting as someone with strong contrary views.
If you were unable to attend you can access a similar presentation by Matt here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ke0M4oIrt6A
The Canadian Friends Service Committee’s site regarding peace and Are We Done Fighting Yet? is here: https://quakerservice.ca/our-work/peace/
You can also read Matt’s blog in Psychology Today here:
12th Night – January 9, 2021
While we missed sharing a pot luck meal, we did thoroughly enjoy one another’s company if only via Zoom. And while some prefer not to, or are unable to ‘Zoom’, others were only able to attend 12th Night because we did Zoom.
As always, the offerings were remarkable. Beautiful poetry, stories including a funny, funny tale from Willie that we won’t soon forget, a Quaker quiz, two opportunities to join in song, participation in Qigong, a lovely duet of The White Cliffs of Dover, what the gifts of ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’ might signify, some lively fiddle pieces, a game that got the body and the brain cells moving (won by Stephen), and an intriguing rendition of “T’was the Night Before Christmas,” pandemic version. All in all a fun evening in great company.