Friends General Conference

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Baltimore YM Peace and Social Concerns Spring Networking Day

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There are two days in the year that we can not do anything, yesterday and tomorrow . -Mahatma Gandhi So, sign up for BYM Networking Day workshops today!


Rescheduled from March to avoid conflicts with “March for Our Lives” (see next column of this newsletter), our BYM Peace & Social Concerns “Networking Day” workshops will be offered on Sat., 5/12/18, 9:30-3:30 pm will be held at the Friends Meeting School (click for directions) near Frederick, Md. Four 90-minute workshop topics & handouts will include:

(a.m.) How Friends can speak to polarization & racism in our communities

(a.m.) Strategies for addressing homelessness, reentry & poverty – shelters, “open tables” & more

(p.m.) Immigrants, refugees & sanctuary - updates

(p.m.) Issues and outreach: survey & group discussion of FCNL advoc.-teams, peace festivals, death-with-dignity, LGBT, animal rights, healthcare under Trump, & more.

Before & after workshops, Friends are encouraged to mingle & discuss programs & concerns of our local meetings. Fact sheets, contact info. & other take-home resources about these also should be available.

Continental breakfast & lunch, including vegetarian / vegan treats, will be provided by BYM’s Working Group on Right Relationships with Animals. Donations to cover costs will be welcome!

Please RSVP by email to [email protected], telling how many Friends will attend, your meeting, and your choice of a.m. & p.m. workshop._____________________


*Congress considers draft’s revival- Friends comments? Please act before 4/19 deadline.

*Amount of U.S. military spending per hour? (click here.)

*SSM Friends urge anti-nuke pledge“Back from the Brink”


  1. MARCH FOR OUR LIVES – 3/24/18 demonstration in wake of recent school & other mass shootings, seeking cures for gun violence on the Mall in Washington, D.C. and simultaneous local marches in Annapolis, Philadelphia & Lancaster, Pa., & many others. Friends Meeting of Washington offers lodging and logistical advice to Friends coming from out of town to the D.C. demonstration.

  1. A.C.T. Now! – 4/3-5/18 events in Wash.,D.C., commemorating the 50th Anniversary of MLK’s assassination and renewing the “Poor People’s Campaign.” (Also, see attachment.) Organized by the National Council of Churches in response to the apparent recent upswing in U.S. racial incidents and recognition of still-repressive trends, this program seeks to organize lobbying and other ongoing community actions to deconstruct racism. Annapolis Friends offers a webpage to coordinate Friends lodging & transp. support for those coming from out of town.

  1. BYM’s IMMIGRANTS, REFUGEES AND SANCTUARY WORKING GROUP –update . Please see report attached with this newsletter.



A Frederick County sorority also urges us to A.C.T., both to help us remember our historic roots & to progress on current issues such as mass incarceration, immigration, infrastructure neglect, healthcare, education quality, and more with reenactment of 1913 Women’s Suffrage March. The group will march from the Frederick Keys Stadium into downtown Frederick. For more information and to register, see


DOES YOUR MEETING OR YOUR COMMITTEE HAVE PROGRAMS OR INFORMATION TO SHARE WITH OTHERS AROUND BALTIMORE YEARLY MEETING? Please email these for our next e-newsletter to our BYM Peace & Social Concerns Com. to [email protected], &/or visit us on Face Book -

Working group on Refugees, Immigration & Sanctuary

under the care of BYM Peace & Social Concerns Committee

Across the Baltimore Yearly Meeting, many Monthly Meetings and individuals are responding to the crisis of immigration, migration and asylum seekers in the wider world and in our communities. In September 2017, representatives from a dozen Meetings agreed to form a “working group on refugees, immigration and sanctuary”.

Those who agreed to serve are: Bette Hoover (Sandy Spring), Lauren Brownlee (Bethesda), Jim Bell (FMW), Annette Breiling (Frederick), Maria Brown (Stoney Run), Roselle Clark (Midlothian), Kathy Fox (Maury River), Deb Hurley (Patapsco), Sheila Kryston (Goose Creek), Erinn Camp Mansour (Sandy Spring), Will McCabe (Goose Creek), Erin Murphy (FMW), Jon Nafziger (Charlottesville), Linda Rabben (Adelphi), Anna Rubin (Patapsco).

An email address [email protected] was set up for the group by BYM office staff. Working group members are encouraged to use this as a means to communicate with each other. Initially our stated intention was to 1.)share what we are doing at our Meeting(s) 2.) get inspired from what others are doing and 3.)build a network across our Yearly Meeting on issues of immigration. Although a web based site for sharing documents and information was suggested, this has not yet materialized.

In the DC Metro area, many of us have participated in rallies, marches and actions in the past months. This photo was taken on December 6th, 2017, on the East steps of the Capitol in Washington DC. The rally to support Dreamers/DACA was organized by United We Dream and CASA de Maryland (aka WeAreCasa). Those of us arrested (197 people) carried pictures of Dreamers that included their real life stories. Undocumented young people were among those arrested for the civil disobedience and seemed fearless as they spoke up loudly and clearly.

Several of us make regular visits to Maryland Detention Centers with the organization The detention centers/prisons in Howard, Frederick and Worchester Counties house upwards of 500 people on any given day. The stories we hear are de

pressing and unjust and there seems so little we can do to help. Those detained are so appreciative of our Friendly visits for they get to talk with someone from the “outside”.

Several of our Meetings are members of and DMVSanctuary Congregation Network, a part of the PICO network ([email protected]) These networks offer workshops on accompaniment, know your rights trainings and keep us informed. Sandy Spring, Adelphi, FMW, Bethesda and Herndon are among the Meetings in the network. (Even if your Meeting has not yet decided to become a part of the network, individuals or committees - like a Peace Committee - could sign on.)

Friends Meeting of Washington has offered events and workshops that included immigration attorneys, Detention Visitation training and others.

Baltimore Meetings (Stoney Run and Homewood) continue to care for refugee families and are part of an immigration network that supports their work. Syrian, Eritrean, and Somali families benefit from their efforts. Patapsco Friends have a network of members and attenders supporting a Syrian family.

Midlothian, Richmond, and Charlottesville meetings have been actively involved with the Central Virginia Sanctuary Congregation Network (CVSN), which is connected to the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy (VICPP). There is a lot going on with the General Assembly, and Friends volunteer as "witness at the capitol" observers. In addition, many Friends are planning to attend the Day for All People at the General Assembly on Jan. 23. 

Midlothian Friends Meeting has decided to focus on their immigrant students. They are investigating the circumstances under which the public schools might collaborate with ICE. So far, they have not uncovered any major offenses, but it is hard to find out information due to confidentiality. They have reached out to Legal Aid, the ACLU, and the school system for more information.

The School Board of Broward County, FL has approved a resolution designed to protect immigrant students (read about it in AFSC), and thus, Friends are using that resolution as a model for what they want to see in Chesterfield schools. (Btw, AFSC has been offering a series of webinars on Sanctuary Everywhere). Midlothian Meeting is trying to educate the community and will be showing the movie, Documented on March 3 to give a face to the immigration struggle. 

The new clerk of the sanctuary committee at Richmond Meeting is Ellen Arginteanu: [email protected].

This report is just a snippet. There is so much more work in process among us. Let’s meet at BYM Networking Day on March 24th at Friends Meeting School to continue this conversation. In the meantime, you can email me, Bette Hoover [email protected] or send a message to the group [email protected].

Saturday, May 12, 2018 - 9:15pm