ACTION for peace & justice

At the January 13, 2024 Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business, TCFM approved a new Minute on the Middle East, which includes updated information and additional proposed action (see also the Minute approved December 9, 2023, below). As before, Friends are encouraged to individually contact their U.S. senators and representatives on this issue using the Friends Committee on National Legislation's electronic letter toolkit linked here.

Minute on the Middle East

Approved January 13, 2024

Twin Cities Friends Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) calls for an immediate cease-fire in the Middle East, an end to the United States providing weapons of war, and swift action to ensure urgently needed humanitarian assistance.

We have witnessed violence and terror caused by Hamas’ attacks killing over 1200 Israelis and the inhumane treatment of civilians, including taking hostages with 150 still held. Since October 7, 2023 and at the time of this writing, the Israeli response has claimed the lives of more than 23,469 Palestinians, 40% of them children.  Another 10,000 Palestinians are estimated to be buried under rubble.  Over 1.9 million people have been displaced from their homes, and over 60% of homes in Gaza have been damaged or destroyed. The United Nations warns that half of the population of Gaza is at risk of starvation.

More armed conflict and weapons won’t bring peace. In the face of growing violence, lawmakers must:

  • Publicly call for a ceasefire, de-escalation, and respect for international law.
  • Protect lives, including hostages, all civilians and members of the military.
  • Stop providing military aid in the Middle East.
  • Greatly expand funding and access for humanitarian aid, including rebuilding Palestinian infrastructure.
  • Address the root causes underlying this explosion of violence.

Quakers have a long history of testimony against all war. We recognize that the seeds of war are sown long before military conflict begins, and that peace requires justice. To that end, we urge the creation of an independent Palestinian state.

 

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Minute:
The U.S. Must Act to De-Escalate the Violence in Israel and Palestine

Approved December 9, 2023

At the December 9, 2023 Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business, TCFM approved a Minute regarding the conflict in the Middle East. TCFM is sending the following Minute to each United States senator and representative representing our members and attenders. Friends are encouraged to individually contact their U.S. senators and representatives on this issue using the Friends Committee on National Legislation's electronic letter toolkit linked here.

 

The letter to Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar follows.

Dear Senator Klobuchar:

Twin Cities Friends Meeting presents this Minute for your consideration as a reflection of your constituents’ values and concerns. Twin Cities Friends Meeting includes about 140 adult members and attenders in Minnesota.

The following Minute was approved at our Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business on December 9, 2023:

“The U.S. Must Act to De-Escalate the Violence in Israel and Palestine.

Our Quaker commitment to nonviolence calls us to speak out following the recent violence in Israel and Gaza. As Quakers, we deeply mourn the loss of all lives and pray for those who have lost loved ones due to this latest escalation.

More war and weapons won’t bring peace. In the face of growing violence, lawmakers must:

    • Publicly call for a ceasefire, de-escalation, and respect for international law.
    • Protect lives—those of the hostages and all civilians.
    • Address the root causes underlying this explosion of violence.

We urge Congress to call for an immediate ceasefire, de-escalation, and restraint to prevent further civilian harm in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories.”

Members of the Religious Society of Friends, or Quakers, are part of an international religious community who seek to facilitate the creation of a peaceful, equitable, just world, and an earth restored.

Minutes are a way that Quakers communicate actions we have chosen to take as a meeting, or worshipping body. They are vital to the Quaker community as a way to formally record a way forward and exercise faithful actions in the world.

We encourage you to act on the concern we raise in this Minute and look forward to hearing your response.

With respect,

 

Peter Rode, Clerk, Twin Cities Friends Meeting

Mary Ellen Shaw, Clerk, TCFM Peace and Justice Committee

COMMUNITY

TCFM Committees

Since we are an unpastored meeting, volunteer committees make up the organizational backbone of our community, coordinating worship, social events, activism, and pastoral care. Click here to view the roster of TCFM committees and their members.

These groups meet at or around TCFM on a monthly basis

Note that during the COVID-19 pandemic, some meetings have moved online while others have been canceled. To get an update on a particular group, contact the person listed. The weekly announcement sheet and monthly newsletter include updates about groups like these and their meeting plans. To get on the email list, contact office@tcfm.org.

Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business (MWB): Held on Zoom on the second Saturday of the month at 9:30 a.m., with virtual fellowship starting at 9:00. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to take part, especially newcomers.

First Monday Friends (formerly Old Friends) typically meets on the first Monday of the month at TCFM for a potluck. The group is currently on hiatus until it is safe to meet in person.

Needleworkers Anonymous meets the first Friday of every month on Zoom. All are welcome, with or without a project! Contact Anne Holzinger for more info: anneholzinger@hotmail.com.

Young Adults (generally 18-35) typically meet on a quasi-monthly basis. During the lockdown they have organized some socially distanced get-togethers. If you would like to get on the email list, contact: yaf@tcfm.org.

Quakers Without God meets regularly on the fourth Monday of each month from 7 to 8:30 p.m. The group aims to provide friendly and inclusive fellowship for people who have varying views of spirituality. All are welcome. For further information contact Dave Crawford, extremelysimple@hotmail.com.

Friends With Nature meets monthly on 4th Saturdays. Weather permitting, meetings are walks at natural areas around the Twin Cities.  Zoom conversations instead if weather or other conditions make this advisable. Nerd out about nature, with spiritual interjections as Spirit may lead us. Please email Dave Crawford, extremelysimple@hotmail.com, to RSVP for each meeting and to get details of the location for the month.

Towards Right Relationship with Indigenous Peoples (TRRIP) are people moved to take collective action regarding Indigenous concerns. Our purpose is to listen to and act in solidarity with Indigenous peoples to work towards the world we jointly envision. We are open to ways that Friends can act in support of the immediate needs and long-term aims of Indigenous peoples, as expressed by Indigenous organizations and leaders.

We also participate in the work of these local and national organizations:

Loaves and Fishes: Together with other Metro area Friends, Ismaili Community of Minnesota, and the Mayim Rabim Congregation, we help to serve a meal at Holy Rosary Church in Minneapolis four or five times a year on the fifth Monday of the month. Volunteers are always needed to help prepare food, serve the meal, and clean up afterward. Greg Leierwood coordinates: email him at leie0002@umn.edu to learn more about volunteering.

Quaker Voluntary Service (QVS): We and the other Twin Cities meetings support a QVS house in Minneapolis. QVS Fellows are provided with room and board and do volunteer work in the local community for a year. > learn more.

Friends for a NonViolent World (FNVW): FNVW pursues the Quaker vision of removing the causes of war, through programs that bring Friends together in common cause. > visit FNVW. The organization is currently focused on just policing through their Bridging the Divides Program program.

American Friends Service Committee: The Saint Paul office of AFSC is focused on restorative justice practices and anti-racist education, and leads a Freedom School program for local youth every year.
> visit the national website for AFSC
> visit the Saint Paul AFSC website