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Refreshing with FCNL

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Susan recently attended FCNL’s 2021 Annual Meeting and Public Policy Day on Zoom and wrote about her "refreshing" experience for the newsletter. Here are some excerpts from her article, along with hyperlinks for more information (and refreshment):

I chose a perfect workshop: Spiritually-Grounded Lobbying. Combining queries on our spiritual roots, our envisioned reach, and the path that opens for action with passages from Thomas Kelly’s Testament of Devotion [available for checkout from the MFM library], our leader Meg Kinghorn of the WV advocacy team brought home what it takes to be effective and to speak truth.

Diane Randall, who is saying goodbye after ten years as General Secretary, introduced us to the care-filled work of FCNL’s community agreement and commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging. Each major session acknowledged the Indigenous People who lived on lands we occupy and there were designated listeners, process facilitators and tools for brave and respectful communication such as “ouch” and “oops.”

The rest of [Day 1] was spent preparing for lobby visits on Day 2 to support extending the Earned Income and Child Tax Credits legislation. We made over 200 lobby visits to 80% of the Senate, 43 states. In TN, visits with Steve Cohen’s and Marsha Blackburn’s staffers went very well.

Day 3 continued with worship, worship sharing, affinity groups, skill building workshops—all opportunities for community building and exploring the theme “Choose Hope. Work for Justice.”

The very powerful evening plenary address was delivered by Vanessa Julye, coauthor of Fit for Freedom, Not for Friendship [available for checkout from the MFM library]. She continues to teach us how Friends were involved in all aspects of the system of enslavement. She challenges us to reframe structures, promote truth and repair harm.

The final plenary was a fun celebration with Diane following her inspired talk about continuing revelation and public theology.

Our last worship together was semiprogrammed with a stirring message from Deborah Suess referencing Elton Trueblood’s holy “and,” leaning into lamentations, and lifting up hope. Worship ended with a rousing music video of Carrie Newcomer’s “Like Molly Brown.” [9 titles by Elton Trueblood are in the MFM library]