Ecology As Spiritual Practice

Posted by admin on Mar 20, 2013 in Meeting Events, spiritual enrichment

Last week at Meeting, a small group of Asheville Friends stayed on for the second hour and were treated to a taste of Celo Friend Bob McGahey’s workshop on “Ecology As Spiritual Practice”. The purpose of the workshop is to acknowledge the Creator’s presence throughout Creation and re-awaken prophetic justice and compassion, both for the earth and for ourselves. The workshop was almost completely experiential, with just enough presentation to keep participants on track.

We engaged in three exercises. First, Bob presented us with three open ended thoughts to help us place ourselves in the continuum of Creation, to think about our impact on the Earth and how it will affect our children’s children’s children. Next we engaged in what Bob called an “unflinching moral inventory” of the actions, behaviors, and attitudes that we have that impact the ecology. After we had given voice to our “sins”, we each asked one another – and ourselves – for “forgiveness”. Last, we joined hands for a prayer-dance for the healing of the Earth. This was not an exuberant jig or complicated folk dance, rather it was a simple, slow series of movements set to a sad Eastern European song, whose words we could not understand, but we were given to know that it was a song about mothers losing their sons to war. After a few rounds of the dance, we were asked to name particular aspects of the ecology that came to us as being especially precious, lifting them up and holding them in the Light.

It was a beautiful, enlightening, and refreshing experience.


Swannanoa Friends Submit Letter On Gun Control

Posted by admin on Mar 16, 2013 in Local Social Action, Peace & Justice

Swannanoa Valley Friends, our sister Meeting “up the valley”, have united on a statement regarding gun violence and sent it to our elected representatives.

Here is what they say:

The recent shooting of children in an elementary school classroom with a legal, military-style assault weapon has deeply touched our hearts and awakened us to our obligation to do what we can to prevent the mass murder of our children from ever happening again.

As citizens and Quakers we are asking ourselves how we can help promote a culture of respect and compassion to replace a culture that allows and even encourages the kind of violence that can lead to such tragedies as Sandy Hook, Aurora, and Columbine.

We urge you as our representative to do your part to promote our well-being and safety by making illegal the buying and selling of weapons that make mass murder possible. We urge you to use your influence and your vote to ban military-style assault weapons and the high-capacity magazines that accompany them. We urge you to vote to require universal background checks to help keep guns out of the hands of those who might kill the innocent.


Asheville Friends Give $8000 To Build Water Well In Vietnam

Posted by admin on Mar 11, 2013 in Actions, Meeting News, Peace & Justice
    In many villages in the mountainous regions in Quang Ngai province existing wells were dug only to bedrock. These wells dry up during the hot season. Therefore, the people must walk up to streams in the mountains to carry water on poles and small buckets back to their homes for their use.

    This project involves drilling for water through up to 120’ of bedrock, where the water will then be pumped to various locations for community use.

    Madison Quakers project coordinator Phan Van Do has been working with village elders and professional well diggers researching the engineering logistics of these projects. This research will allow Madison Quakers to dig these wells deeper once sufficient funds are raised. In addition to the drilling, donations will be used for the pumps, pipes, faucets, and the supplies for the basins.

    Asheville Friends have been supporting Madison Quakers’ Vietnam projects for several years with a modest annual donation. Several Asheville Friends heard Phan speak ar Swannanoa Valley Meeting last year.

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