Bellingham Friends worship at 10 a.m., Sundays at Explorations Academy
1701 Ellis Street (Creekside Building) Bellingham, WA 98225
P.O. Box 30144, Bellingham 98228
Advices & Queries: Is the vocal ministry exercised under the leading of the Holy Spirit without prearrangement and in the simplicity and sincerity of truth? As we listen, or as we speak, are we guided by the Inward Light and sensitive to one another’s needs? Are we careful not to speak at undue length or beyond our Light? (from Faith and Practice, NPYM, page 41)
Calendar: February 22 – Quakerism, Experience It (Mary Ann Percy to lead discussion, Gospel Order
March 01 – Potluck Sunday with baby welcoming for Akeeva Roe Manzo
March 08 – Children’s Programming with Jay Thatcher and Katherine Spinner
March 15 – Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business
March 22 – Quakerism, Experience It (Susan Richardson to lead discussion, The Testimonies
March 29 – Singing
Other Events: Pacific Northwest Yearly Meeting Spring Quarterly Meeting – April 24-26, Ellensburg, WA. Theme: Lift Every Voice, Music & Spirituality
Friends General Conference – at Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, NC, July 5-11, 2015. The theme is Seeking Wholeness.
About Friends Committee on National Legislation (con’t.)
Darkness Cannot Drive Out Darkness by Elizabith Beavers and Maggie O’Donnell (1/7/2015)
Last week, two police officers, Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos, were shot and killed in their patrol car in Brooklyn. These tragic deaths have brought to a boiling point recent tension over nation-wide civilian protests calling for police reform.
As we reflect on these instances of violence, we must remember Martin Luther King’s words: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” At FCNL, we believe that violence fails to address the root cause of a conflict, and instead only begets more violence. We condemn violence in all forms, in all cases, and thus reject violence as part of any movement to reform law enforcement. Instead of meeting darkness with darkness, we encourage meeting it with light; we will continue to support non-violent efforts as the only way to truly affect change.
Instead of meeting darkness with darkness, we encourage meeting it with light. The national conversation over the last few days has wrongly devolved into simplistic, binary debates. Many suggest that any critique of law enforcement is a personal attack on the entire institution, or that the violent actions of an individual disqualify the movement to reform policing. Let us remember that no institution is above critique, nor is a movement. Likewise, movements for reform are not personal attacks. We reject the growing trend of police militarization across our country, but we in no way oppose law enforcement as a whole. Similarly, we condemn violence in the strongest possible terms, against anyone. Allowing these important debates to be sidelined does a disservice to the issues and to the American public. We miss an opportunity for real change if we do not learn from tragedies and work to prevent them from happening again.
There is an opportunity for systematic change, and part of that responsibility now lies with Congress to de-militarize our police by reining in the 1033 program. This program currently allows local law enforcement agencies to obtain surplus military equipment free of charge from the Department of Defense and is plagued with instances of waste, fraud, and abuse. The Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act would take steps to enact much-needed, common-sense reform and would put important limitations on weapons that can be transferred through the program. Find out more regarding this piece of legislation and our work on the issue @ FCNL.com
This recent series of events provides only glimpses into the structural violence and systems of oppression that Americans have created and perpetuated over time. But violence as a mechanism to reform these systems, and particularly law enforcement, is ineffective and unacceptable. Instead, we encourage non-violent efforts as the only way to truly affect change. These layers of reform will take time and they will take difficult work to achieve, but they cannot be reached through violence. In these dark times, we must remember that only love can drive out hate, and only light can conquer darkness.
And finally… “The Arrow and the Song,” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow lived from 1807-1882. During this time, he traveled a lot and learned various languages. In this poem, Longfellow compares the arrow to life, and the songs are compared to feelings. Even though songs (feelings) are unseen, they are still real.
The Arrow and the Song
I shot an arrow into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where;
For, so swiftly it flew, the sight
Could not follow it in its flight.
I breathed a song into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where;
For who has sight so keen and strong,
That it can follow the flight of song?
Long, long afterward, in an oak
I found the arrow, still unbroke;
And the song, from beginning to end,
I found again in the heart of a friend.