Annual Report of Testimonies and Concerns, November, 2010:
Members: Chris Polk, Cynthia Browne, Gwen Beegle. Jamie duHoffmann, Leigh Anne Dodge, Lorraine Claggett, Nancy Mullen, Norman Hackland, Sarah Sayre, Susan Dabney, Tatiana Harrison, Connie Pullen
The Purpose of the T&C committee is to help its members and the members and attendees of the Meeting to intentionally enact the major testimony of Friends' practice of "letting one's life speak" one's spiritual belief. The Committee's work, therefore, relates to Friends' testimonies of simplicity, peace, integrity, community and equality, especially as they pertain to social justice concerns in today's world.
Testimonies and Concerns attempts to meet monthly, currently we are meeting the third First Day of each month and welcome any interested Friend to attend our meetings.
- T&C authorized the spending of $1,500.00, in donations. $1,000.00 to Partners in Health for their work in Haiti after the January earthquake; $250.00 to American Friends Service Committee, Philadelphia and $250.00 to the Talbot Interfaith Shelter.
- Talbot Interfaith Shelter: TIS, Inc. a faith-based service ministry in Talbot County, MD, dedicated to providing temporary shelter to folk who lack adequate housing during the coldest months of the year. THFM hosted the site two separate times in 2010, during January and March and will do the same this winter.
- Faith in Action Speakers: T&C offered three FIA speakers in 2010, with another scheduled for December.
We heard from Pat Elder, a Friend from BYM, who spoke to those interested in the issue of the increasing militarism in our public schools.
Also, in spring we listened to Zawadi Nikuze from the Democractic Republic of Congo, a Friend working with the Friends Peace Teams, African Great Lakes Iniatiative.
And then, as part of the Southern Quarter quarterly meeting we listened to Tom Loudon & Jenny Atlee talk about their work in Central and South America with the Quixote Institute.
- T&C is now in the process of discerning in what way to use the generous bequest left to THFM by John Shoffner's estate. Please see the attached proposal.
As individuals with varied interests and concerns we have attempted to share and raise awareness of many issues this past year. We have committee members working on issues such as:
- The Stop Outsourcing Security Act, (introduced in the Senate by Vermont's Bernie Sanders, which seeks to eliminate the use of private mercenary contractors for military, security, intelligence, law enforcement and armed rescue activities by the United States government in all conflict zones where Congress has authorized the use of force.)
- The ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict
- Maryland HB 90 which makes legal same sex marriages from other states
- Mediation Services on the Eastern Shore
- Our society's continued dependence on oil, addiction to consumption, and willful ignorance of the risks associated with non-renewable resources.
- Minerals found in our cell phones and other electronics that are fueling a vicious cycle of rape, war and other human rights abuses in resource wars today in the area of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
- The ASVAB bill (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery), which was passed by Maryland legislature and signed into law in May 2010.
- The Alternatives to Violence Project, which monthly brings the AVP workshop to the Eastern Correctional Institute, Maryland's largest prison, located on the eastern shore.