Seekers Group Summary 12.4.17

Hope is the bird that feels the light
and sings while the dawn is still dark.
– Rabindranorth Tagore

We are deeply troubled by many of the messages, decisions, and actions of our government and fellow citizens.  Some days, the intolerance, suspicion, and greed almost overwhelm us, and it is a challenge not to sink into despair.  Holding onto hope can be a spiritual discipline.  It seems vitally important to spend time with people who inspire us, whether by the specific work that they do or by the heart and integrity with which they live and breathe.  We are compelled to do something, whether through words, actions, prayers, or breath, that affirms our beliefs in justice, non-violence, peace, equality, and care for all of life.  Letting the Light we have experienced within us shine through is a faithful witness to what we as Friends have come to know of that of God in the stillness of worship together.  We appreciated the heart balm of this evening’s laughter, homemade cookies, and sweet oranges.  We are more grateful than ever for each other and for the hope that rises amongst us, helping us to continue to sing – and shine – despite the darkness.  

Our next gathering will be Monday, January 8, 2018 at 7pm in the Community House.  All are welcome to join us.

Much Love,

Gretchen

The Power of Storytelling: Building Empathy & Bridging Differences

Westport Friends Meeting will host a workshop: 

The Power of Storytelling: Building Empathy & Bridging Differences

Individually we hold many complex and diverse experiences and identities (i.e. race, class, age, gender, sexuality, etc.). These experiences and identities help to shape how we view the world as well as how we interact within it.

In this workshop, led by facilitator Olivia Worden, we will consider and assess the various social identities that we hold and how our own experiences of privilege and marginalization impact our ability to communicate, advocate, and listen across differences. Through interactive exercises, participants will learn how to utilize their own stories as a tool for navigating conflict and building empathy.

Whether you are new to social justice work or a longtime advocate and ally, this workshop will provide you an opportunity to learn more about yourself, your community, and the ways in which you can create change.

Please bring a bag lunch; beverages will be provided.  The workshop is free, but registration is required by contacting Gretchen Baker-Smith below.

All are welcome.

When: Sunday, September 10, 2017.  11:30-1:30

Where: Macomber Friends Community House
                938 Main Road, Westport, MA 02790

Contact/Registration:  Gretchen Baker Smith Cell: 508-287-6441

 

Cuffe Event Press Release

As Friends know, our Meeting will provide the setting for parts of the Paul Cuffe event to he held Sept 15-17, 2017, as detailed by the press release by the Westport Historical Society. Buddy Baker-Smith (508-287-7815) will serve as our Meeting’s liaison to the program for the weekend. Questions regarding the Cuffe event should be directed to Jenny O’Neill at the Westport Historical Society. Questions regarding the facilities and grounds of Westport Friends Meeting during the event should be directed to Kevin Lee. Kevin’s cell is 508-742-8709 The Meeting’s phone number is 508-636-4963. 

Press Release

August 12, 2017

Contact: Jenny O’Neill

Westport Historical Society

508.636.6011

Email: westporthistory@westporthistory.net     

Paul Cuffe Day in Westport Set for September 16 

Westport, MA.  On Saturday, September 16th five local historical organizations will commemorate the 200th anniversary of the passing of local hero Paul Cuffe with the inauguration of an African-American Native-American Heritage Trail, an informational website, and a symposium dedicated to new research on this remarkable man and his family. The town of Westport will declare September 16 as Paul Cuffe Day and proclamations from Governor Baker and other citations and recognitions will mark this occasion.

In celebration of Cuffe Day, a symposium will be held at the Westport Friends Meeting House and the Westport Grange with presentations of new information and insights about the lives of Paul Cuffe and his long-term business partner and brother-in-law, Michael Wainer, and their families. Following the symposium there will be a launching of an African-American and Native-American Heritage Trail comprising ten sites in Westport, Dartmouth and New Bedford that were important in the lives of Paul Cuffe, his parents, Cuff and Ruth Slocum, and his brother-in-law and sister, Michael and Mary Wainer. Throughout the day a display at the Macomber Community House will offer new perspectives on the Cuffe and Wainer families.

The title and theme of the symposium is “Paul Cuffe: 1759-1817, Following His Footsteps.” The keynote speaker, Vanessa Julye, is coordinator of the Committee for Ministry on Racism of the Friends (Quakers) General Conference and co-author of the book Fit for Freedom, Not for Friendship: Quakers, African-Americans and the Myth of Social Justice. Lamont Thomas, the author of the most frequently cited biography of Paul Cuffe will chair a panel of Paul Cuffe scholars in a discussion of “Paul Cuffe and His Vision for a New World.”  There will also be a presentation on the many images that profess to be of Paul Cuffe and a discussion of which ones are legitimate and which ones are not.

In the afternoon, the African American Native American Heritage Trail will be launched with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and an opportunity for participants to travel over the trail by bus with Cuffe scholars. The Heritage Trail will connect historic sites between Westport, Dartmouth and New Bedford that belonged to the Cuffe, Slocum and Wainer families.  The trail will extend from the Captain Paul Cuffe Monument and grave markers at the Friends Meeting House in Westport to the soon to be re-opened Captain Paul Cuffe Memorial Park at the New Bedford Whaling Museum. Along the way it includes sites that were the homesteads of Paul and Alice Cuffe, Michael and Mary Wainer and Cuff and Ruth Slocum, several business properties including a windmill at Westport Point, a residence and tannery of Michael Wainer’s in Russells Mills, and a store in New Bedford selling West Indian products owned by Paul Cuffe and two of his sons-in-law, Peter and Alexander Howard. A self-guided description of the sites will be available to participants and will be available at Westport Town Hall, the Handy House and other sites in the region. 

The organizations that are sponsoring these events include the Westport Historical Society, the Dartmouth Historical and Arts Society, the New Bedford Historical Society, and the Westport and Dartmouth Historical Commissions.  The public is invited to the symposium and advance registration is requested. The Westport Historical Society website at http://wpthistory.org provides additional information and access to the on-line registration process.  The registration fee is $10 and covers a light lunch, refreshments and a special commemorative souvenir. The Westport Friends Meeting, the Westport Women’s Club and the Westport Grange are providing support for these events.

Westport Friends Annual Book Fair Runs July 8 – July 16, 9 AM to 7 PM!

Our 56th Annual Westport Friends Book Fair opens on Saturday, July 8 and runs daily through Sunday, July 16, from 9 AM until 7 PM.

For more information, please consider reading the article in the Sunday Standard Times of July 9, 2017. Everything you need to know about our annual Book Fair is covered there! Click here for article.

Questions? Call 508-636-4963.

Westport Friends Meeting
938 Main Road
Westport, MA 02790

Next Seekers Group Meeting is June 5, 2017 at 7 PM

Hello Friends,

The next meeting of the Seekers Group will be held on Monday, June 5, at 7 PM. All are welcome!

Questions? Contact Gretchen Baker-Smith. Or, 508-287-6441

Seekers Group Meeting, Monday, May 1 at 7 PM


Hello Friends,
 
Just a reminder that our next Seekers Group is this coming Monday, May 1, 2017 at 7pm in the Community House.  All are very welcome to join us!
 
love,
Gretchen

Westport Friends Meeting Peace and Social Concerns Working Group

The Westport Friends Meeting Peace and Social Concerns Working Group met recently on Feb 27. Gretchen Baker-Smith, convener, sent the following info and resources out to working group members:
 
As promised, here are things that Friends brought to the meeting today, followed by other links that we talked about!  LOTS to check out here.
  • Info on the Massachusetts Bail Fund, attached.  (Note:  I contacted Martha Yager this afternoon, and she put me in touch with Ben Evans, the staff person working on this in Southeastern Mass.  I will forward you updates.)
Here is the website for From the Otherside, the organization that matches people, one to one, who voted for ‘the other’ candidate in order to get to know “them” and understand “their” perspective and experience:  https://www.hifromtheotherside.com
 
Here is the list to New England Yearly Meeting’s Living Faith gathering on April 9 at Moses Brown.  Please let me know if you want to go — I can take up to 6 people in my car!  Also, we should think about checking in on what workshops we sign up for so that we get to as many different ones as possible.  PLEASE DO NOTE that the “pay as led” philosophy is very much for real — pay what you can….  NEYM is committed to Friends attending this regardless of whether or not they break even.  Do NOT let money stop you from going!  (Really)  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/living-faith-gathering-april-8-2017-registration-30265939239
 
Here is the transcript of the Ted Talk Gail spoke about regarding our failing refugee system and how to fix it:  https://www.ted.com/talks/alexander_betts_our_refugee_system_is_failing_here_s_how_we_can_fix_it/transcript?language=en
 
 
Here is a list of other Ted talks that Gail recommended:
 
 
 
 
 
Plus an article on practical ways to help refugees:
 
In addition, I came across this article tonight — and it so spoke to our last topic around understanding Trump’s supporters that I wanted to include it.  It’s a quick read, but pretty enlightening!  http://www.businessinsider.com/sam-altman-interview-trump-supporters-2017-2
 
​Oh, and a link to The New Jim Crow: http://newjimcrow.com/
(I am going to buy a copy of it pronto, and if it seems worth it, I’ll scan a copy of the first chapter to you.)​
​Do keep sending things on to me — I’ll send them around to everyone on the list.
 
And yes, our next meeting is 8:30 AM on April 9, 2017.
 
Deeply grateful,
Gretchen​

Next Seekers Group Meeting to be held Monday, March 6, 2017 at 7 PM.

Next Seekers Group Meeting to be held Monday, March 6, 2017 at 7 PM the Community House.

Seekers Group Upcoming Programs

The next regular gathering of the Seekers Group will be on Monday, February 6, 2017 at 7pm in the Community House.

There will be a special Seekers Group conversation on Sunday, February 5, 2017 from 11:30 – 1:30 in the Community House on Friends’ Meeting for Business.   We’ll share lunch (bring your own or something to share).  It is suggested that Friends consider reading Pendle Hill Pamphlet #307, Beyond Consensus: Salvaging Sense of the Meeting by Barry Morley for that conversation.  Ministry & Counsel approved purchasing copies of it for those who would like one.  There are some available in the foyer of the Meeting House.  Be in touch if you need additional copies.  If child care is needed so you can join us, please let me know!

All are welcome to join us!

Gretchen Baker-Smith

 

 

Midweek Meeting for Worship, Wed, Dec 14, 7-8 PM

Greetings all, 

We are happy to announce that Westport Friends Meeting’s midweek meeting for worship will be held tonight, Wednesday, Dec 14, from 7-8 PM in the meetinghouse. All are welcome to join us.

Westport Friends Meeting
938 Main Road
Westport, MA 02790

508-636-4963

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