Testimonies & Concerns: 2016 Annual Report
The purpose of Third Haven Friends' Testimonies & Concerns committee is to help members and attendees of our Meeting 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. Quaker values sit at the heart of what we try to accomplish in T&C.
Testimonies and Concerns attempts to meet monthly; currently we are meeting the third First Day of each month at rise of Meeting for Worship and welcome any interested Friend to attend our meetings.
Peace Efforts Request:
As a long time Quaker peace activist, who has just moved to the area, I am anxious to support the peace/social justice movements here. I have met a number of wonderful local folks who are doing great things and in our discussions we have identified two needs which I am glad to help with. I welcome your response to the following requests, which I feel will enhance all our efforts during this important time.
- Establishment of a network of organizations, noting areas of focus, so that people can partner and help each other as time permits. To do this I encourage you to send me the following which I will organize and have available for everyone's use. Please include the name of your organization, contact information and area of focus. Here are some examples:
- Chesapeake Multicultural Resource Center: Contact Matt Peters—firstname.lastname@example.org—assists non English speaking community
- P.E.A.C.E. (Peace Education And Community Effort): Contact Nancy Sajda—email@example.com—supports a variety of peace/social justice causes
- Testimonies and Concerns Committee, Third Haven Friends Meeting: Contact Paige Tilghman—firstname.lastname@example.org—coordinates peace/social justice efforts for the meeting
- Organization of an action network to enhance awareness of all that is happening, and a core advocacy team. Organizations can send announcements of efforts/events etc. to me and I will pass them on weekly to anyone who chooses to join this group. Please send me your email address and I will add you to the list. When doing so, please note if you would like to be a part of a core advocacy team that would lead efforts to lobby and enhance peace/social justice/environmental causes in other ways.
"I appreciate your willingness to take one or both of these steps to enhance our important work on a local, national and international level. Feel free to email or call (302-528-5685) me with any responses/thoughts/questions.
Third Haven's Testimonies and Concerns Committee has been following news from other meetings within Philadelphia Yearly Meeting as they attempt to find ways to support new immigrants and refugees coming to the Mid-Atlantic region. Green Street Meeting is working with the Nationalities Service Center, the largest and most comprehensive provider of services in the Greater Philadelphia area, as they prepare to serve a large number of refugees arriving this fall. During this month of September alone, this agency is preparing to help 117 refugees start their new lives in Philadelphia. The rapid pace of refugee arrivals means that there are a lot of apartments to rent, homes to set up, and welcome meals to prepare. Do you want to be part of welcoming refugees to Philadelphia? Here's how you can help!
- Donate Goods: We are so grateful for all our generous supporters who have made donations of goods in recent weeks, but these are going out to new homes faster than we can get them in the door. In particular, we currently have an urgent need for the following items:
- Twin and full size sheets
- Blankets (any size)
- New pillows
- Amazon Wish List: You can also donate goods through our Amazon Wish List, which has a more thorough list of items needed to prepare a home for one of our refugee families.
- Housing: Nationalities Service Center has worked to develop relationships with great landlords, but the landlords on our current roster don't have enough housing to meet the urgent need for apartments this month. Do you know of a landlord who would be willing to rent an affordable apartment to a refugee? Contact information: email@example.com.
PEACE Study Group:
A reading and study group on the subject of peace is underway in conjunction with the local P.E.A.C.E. organization (Peace Education and Community Effort) using Coleman McCarthy's book "Peace is Possible". This group meets at Third Haven Friends Meeting on the first Tuesday of each month at 7:00 pm. Contact Ralph Young for more details.
"Faith in Action" series:
"Faith in Action" is a series of quarterly events at Third Haven planned and organized by Testimonies & Concerns. Please visit the Third Haven calendar for upcoming events.
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 will be hosting again in February, 2014.
Funds withdrawn from Third Haven's Shoffner Fund in 2015 were sent to Aguayuda to continue to sponsor two water trucks per month for the communityof Cachaca II near Riohacha, Columbia. Third Haven Friends have sponsored Aguayuda since 2010 in its mission to provide clean water and education to thousands of vulnerable people in developing countries through the implementation of cost-effective, sustainable water and sanitation solutions. Please see www.aguayuda.org for more information on their work.
For three years $600 scholarships have gone to Bolivian Quakers as gifts from meeting members and friends. This year the Carriage Shed Sale amplified the scholarships by continuing one for next year. Our two current students are Isaac Limbert Poma Murga, who is in his last year of certification to be a chef and Vanessa Raquel Sirpa Pomacusi who is in her fifth year studying law and political science. The students write lengthy letters describing their studies and participation in their Quaker church youth groups.
Detention Center Lending Library:
Every week, on either Friday or Saturday morning, either Mary and Ralph Young or Leigh Anne Dodge and Robert Wieland go into the Talbot County Detention Center and fill inmate requests for books from the detention center lending library. Third Haven Friends Meeting financially supports this effort. On any given week, ten to twenty percent of the inmates request new books.
Discernment of Bequeathment Funds:
UPDATE: The remaining $3,000 has been alloted: $1000 for Aguayuda; $1000 to the African Great Lakes Initiative, Friends Peace Team for the school discussed by our faith in action speaker last year.; and $1000 to the migrant ministry, spent by the migrant committee (Ralph, Leigh Anne, Gwen, Beth Mufson with hopeful addition of Cindy), for needs of the migrant workers on the Eastern Shore.
The following minute was APPROVED at February 2011's Meeting for Business:
The Testimonies and Concerns committee has, over the past several months, come to clearness and proposes the following division of the Shoffner bequest for approval from Meeting for Business.
$11,772.00 toward the creation of the Shoffner International Education Fund. [WEBMISTRESS NOTE: Please visit the SIEF webpage to view more information; the information is cut here for brevity.]
Further, $3,000 of the total would be directed at once toward the Fuller Center for Housing for rebuilding of homes in Haiti.
The remaining $3,000 will be entrusted to the Committee, to be discussed for further clearness at the next Committee meeting. The committee moves forward with the intention of discerning by the April meeting for business the allocation of these remaining funds between the three causes: Greg Mortensen's Central Asia Institute, Aquayuda, or the creation of an outreach program targeted at the local Hispanic population.
Following deliberation and answering questions, Testimonies & Concerns Committee asks for unity and approval of Third Haven Friends Meeting.