Faiza speaks in Asheville

Posted by admin on Jun 29, 2009 in Other Events

Susan O writes:

Faiza gave a presentation last night at Asheville Friends Meeting.

We had about 30-35 people show up to hear about what has happened in Iraq and the projects Faiza is working on. One project is a water treatment project, which is funded for Veterans for Peace. This was started in the 1990’s and has recently been revived, since clean and safe drinking water is a problem in many areas of Iraq.

The other project Faiza is working on is the ‘sewing machine project’ which the local Vets for Peace and Peace & Earth Committee of Asheville Friends Meeting have taken up as a cause. This project will get sewing machines and materials to Iraqi widows, so that they can make clothes for their children and families, and then make clothing to sell on a market. The sewing machines are able to be powered by foot treadle.

You can talk to Susan or other members of P&E about supporting this project.

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Upcoming: Transforming ‘Us vs. Them’ Thinking

Posted by admin on Jun 11, 2009 in Other Events

Father Louis Vitale, a Franciscan priest and social activist, will speak on the theme “Love your enemies: Transforming Us vs. Them Thinking” at the lecture hall in the Thomas A. Simpson Administration Building at A-B Tech, on Sunday, June 21st at 6 PM.

Father Louie has been involved in Civil Disobedience in protesting against torture and against the bombing of civilians in Afghanistan. He has served two prison terms for his recent actions.

Our Meeting, along with Veterans for Peace and the Asheville War Resisters League, is sponsoring his talk.

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Upcoming: NC Racial Justice Action

Posted by admin on Jun 10, 2009 in Other Events

Our Meeting is a co-sponsor of The North Carolina Coalition For A Moratorium, which is joining with other social justice organizations to present “LET JUSTICE ROLL! The Church Speaks Out For Racial Justice In Our Court System”. The event takes place Sunday June 14th, 2009 at 6:00 p.m., Nazareth First Baptist Church, 146 Pine Street. Join in for an afternoon of prayer, praise, song and testimony as people of faith join their voices in support of the Racial Justice Act, and fairness in our court system.

Scheduled to Appear:
Representative Susan Fisher
Mr. Edward Chapman — NC Death Row Exonoree
Mr. Frank Goldsmith — Mr. Chapman’s Attorney
Music provided by Area Choirs and Soloists

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Gardening and the spiritual life

Posted by admin on Jun 9, 2009 in Meeting News

A Friend related how his spiritual life is like his garden. He has been spending a lot of time in his garden lately, preparing the ground for planting. He finds that the spiritual life is like a garden in that most of the time and effort is involved in preparing the ground. And as with the garden, some things don’t grow well despite his best efforts. As with his spiritual life, he must discern what’s not growing well in the garden and take it out before it harms the healthy plants. And as with his spiritual life, he makes a lot of plans as to what he plant and where, but inevitably most of the seeds in his garden fall from the heavens. He has to determine which will grow into noxious weeds and which will be beneficial. So it is with the spiritual life. We have our disciplines, but much of what comes into our lives falls from the heavens.

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An impromptu memorial service

Posted by admin on Jun 8, 2009 in Meeting News

A Friend told of the death of a dear friend. He related how he tries to put the events of his life into a grander context, but as he has reflected on his friend’s untimely death, he has been at a loss to know what context to put it in. Certainly it illustrates how fragile we all are and how unpredictable are our relationships. He and this friend had been very close, many years ago, but in time they became geographically separated and lost contact for several years. More recently, they had re-established contact. He recounted that this friend was a thoroughly admirable person: intelligent, kind, great sense of humor, the most likable person you’d ever meet.

Ten days ago, he learned that his friend had committed suicide. He wondered about having a memorial service, in the manner of Friends. But the parents were very private people, and he knew they had to deal with this in their own way. And other friends were more inclined to put it behind them and move on. As the Friend spoke of his longing to have a memorial service for him, he realized that, in a weird way, that’s just what he was doing.

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Update: NC Racial Justice Act

Posted by admin on Jun 1, 2009 in Meeting News, Other Events

Our Peace and Earth Committee has been actively supporting this effort to acknowledge the inherent racism in our judicial system, especially with regard to the Death Penalty, and to declare a moratorium on capital punishment. Below is an update on the legislation. You can read more about the Racial Justice Act in this brief document.

The Racial Justice Act was heard the week of 05/11/09 in both the Judiciary I Committee in the NC Senate and the Judiciary I Committee in the NC House. Both committees supported the Racial Justice Act, and as a result, the bill moved to the floor in both the NC House and the NC Senate. (Sen. Nesbitt is the chair of the Senate J1 Committee)

The Senate heard the Racial Justice Act first, and Sen. Phil Berger proposed several bad amendments, one of which was a proposal to restart executions immediately. These amendments passed overwhelmingly, but Sen. Nesbitt did not support these amendments.

The Senate ultimately voted in support of the Racial Justice Act with the bad amendments attached.

The same week Judge Donald Stephens issued his ruling about the Council of States decision to approve lethal injection protocol without considering the people on death row who will be killed by lethal injection. Stephens ruled in favor of the Council of State, clearing the way for executions to restart. An appeal to his decision is likely.

The Senate passed the Racial Justice Act on third reading with an additional amendment to limit the range of statistical evidence to judicial districts. The bill and amendments moved to the House, where it was referred back to the House J1 Committee. The House J1 Committee is planning to strip the bill of the bad amendments and send it back to the Senate for another vote.

If Friends want to take action, it would be great to send Sen. Nesbitt a note or email thanking him for his continued support of the Racial Justice Act. His email is Martin.Nesbitt@ncleg.net or you could send a note to Senator Martin L. Nesbitt, JR, NC Senate, 300 N. Salisbury Street, Room 300-B, Raleigh, NC 27603-5925. Thank you for your help.

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