Evening Programs Events
Plans are underway for our opening session of the 2017 Gathering. It will include a thanksgiving address. These traditional Native American words of thanksgiving come from the people of the Six Nations — the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, Seneca and Tuscarora — also known as the Iroquois or Haudenosaunee, who live in upstate New York, Wisconsin and Canada. Spoken as a spiritual address to the powers of the natural world, these words are used to open gatherings in order to bring the minds of the people together as one and align the gathered minds with Nature. The roots of these words reach back thousands of years to the very origins of the Haudenosaunee as a people. G. Peter Jemison is a Heron Clan member of the Seneca Nation of Indians.
Kenneth Deer has been active in promoting and defending the rights of Indigenous Peoples in the UN system for thirty years. He participated in the Working Group on Indigenous Populations, which drafted the original text of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and in the Working Group on the Draft Declaration, which elaborated and edited the Declaration prior to its adoption by the UN General Assembly in 2007. He continues to be engaged at the UN in the role of Chief Executive Officer of Indigenous World Association, an NGO that has consultative status with the United Nations and has participated in sessions of the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. He also has a long history of partnership with the Canadian Friends Service Committee, working with them both domestically and internationally for the rights of Indigenous peoples.
These small-group sessions often spark new leadings and insights. On Tuesday, choose from varied topics likely to include peace and justice issues, education, economics, spirituality, and other Quaker concerns.
All ages and abilities are welcome to participate in an evening of creativity and fun. Return to this page in March for more details.
An evening to celebrate AFSC's Centennial! What does it mean to live under occupation? What does it mean to be cast in the role of occupier? How does Spirit guide resistance and liberation, awakening and struggle? Sa'ed Atshan and Sandra Tamari are Palestinian Quakers. Dalit Baum is an Israeli Jew. Together they will tell stories of living in the context of the Israeli occupation of Palestine, what moved them to begin resisting the occupation and militarism in that context and how the Spirit informs their struggle. They will draw connections between Palestine/Israel and other struggles such as Black Lives Matter and the need to push back against toxic masculinity. AFSC has worked in Palestine/Israel since 1948 and continues to work on the ground in the region and in the United States to shift policy there.
Quakers have the power and historical momentum to be heard. Friends are poised to drop a pebble, — which in co-creation with spirit, can swell ripples into mighty waves. Deepening our impact on societal transformation requires commitment to the internal work needed to viscerally experience unity among ourselves, and with the planet. The time has come to listen deeply to spirit, and live into the wisdom of natural living systems. We must open ourselves to perpetual transformative self-examination in order to build the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual muscle needed to navigate the uncertain times ahead.