Blog

BFM Participates in Story Tree Project

Friends in Birmingham Friends Meeting worked together to produce a quick visual introduction to our Meeting as part of this year’s Lake Erie Yearly Meeting annual sessions. The Story Tree Project invited Monthly Meetings from across our region to create something to share during the opening session where Friends get to know each other. All the contributions were compiled into a LEYM Story Tree Gallery that can be view online whenever one is so moved.

Birmingham Friends enjoyed getting into our history, even uncovering an old audio recording wherein several Friends (Ginny Carhart, Janet Hawksley and Richard Tucker) reminisced about the early days of BFM. Thanks to the skills of Liz Bondar, we now even have a transcript of that recording. Who knew that at one point in our history, there were 4 people all named Rachel attending our MFW!

Trying out Hybrid Meetings

This Sunday, May 1, BFM Friends will be meeting in-person AND online to test our ability to meet in a truly hybrid format. The physical location is the Royal Oak Chamber of Commerce (address below), and the remote Zoom link will be the same one we use every First Day, assuming all works as planned! We hope to have a mix of in-person and online participants to give our system a real test. Join us at 10:15 AM – we’ll settle into silent worship at 10:30.

May 1 Physical Location:
Royal Oak Chamber of Commerce
200 S Washington St, Royal Oak, MI 48067
https://www.royaloakchamber.com

Later in the month, on May 22, we are also planning for a Hybrid session, this time at our old meeting location at Star Presbyterian Church at the location below. We’ll use our regular Zoom link.

May 22 Physical Location:

Starr Presbyterian Church
1717 W. 13 Mile Rd
Royal Oak, MI 48073

Holiday Cookie Exchange

To spice up the 2021 holiday season, BFM Friends decided to do a cookie exchange. Friends took a batch of their favorite homemade cookies to the Bowen’s home, and later in return they received a lovely variety pack of delicious cookies. After the rise of our online Meeting for Worship on December 12th we took time to share stories about the cookie recipes and various family holiday traditions and favorite memories. We also enjoyed carol singing with accompaniment on guitar. A good time was had by all!

Some BFM Friends gather to collect their holiday cookies

The Quaker Way – A Rhyme by Geoff

At a recent Meeting for Worship, Geoff Brieger shared this impromptu rhyme.

The Quaker Way

We twelve Quakers from Birmingham see
Sitting in circle, waiting to be
Blessed with insight in these fraught times
Still small voice, just speaking in rhymes

Can we find ways to better the life
Of the many that live in strife
Live in hunger, live without home
Live without hope, to diseases are prone?

Yes, we can, for we know it’s true
There’s that of God in me and you
And that makes us all one family
And we’ll care for each other in unity

Bring to the table some of your food
Bring some clothing that is good
If you have space, some shelter provide
Counsel the needy, take others inside

These are the actions, what we can do
Just having beliefs is not coming through
Friends have a mission, as you will see
To share our good fortune, whatever it be!

BFM Participates in LEYM Intervisitation Day

Birmingham Friends Meeting (BFM) is affiliated with a broader group of Quakers known as the Lake Erie Yearly Meeting. As part of Annual Sessions this year, LEYM Friends were invited to use Zoom to visit other meetings for their Meeting for Worship on August 1. BFM joined with 6 other meetings to open our virtual doors to visitors, and to encourage virtual travel to worship at meetings other than our own. Here’s the Monthly Meetings that participated in the wonderful opportunity for intervisitation.

  • Ann Arbor Friends Meeting
  • Birmingham Friends Meeting
  • Broadmead Friends Meeting
  • Detroit Friends Meeting
  • Granville Friends Meeting
  • Pittsburgh Friends Meeting
  • Wooster Friends Meeting
Lake Erie Yearly Meetings with Birmingham Friends Meeting highlighted

AFSC April Workshop Series

The American Friends Service Committee invites you to join them for a week of events and workshops on the occasion of AFSC’s annual meeting, a virtual program exploring different dimensions of “Making New Worlds: Pursuing Peace with Justice,” from Sunday, April 11 through Thursday, April 15.

In six workshops, one panel presentation, and one plenary address AFSC will explore questions including: What does it mean to dismantle systems to create justice? What is the Quaker historical perspective on working for liberation, and what is the vision of contemporary Quaker organizers? How is AFSC working to end injustice and the institutions that perpetuate it—and create alternatives based on care and a solidarity economy?

We will explore approaches to working toward peace with justice and ways that AFSC and Quakers are striving to build new worlds. Workshops and programming: Join AFSC for one or two sessions or attend the whole program!

The program will begin on Sunday, April 11 at 7 p.m. ET with a panel presentation, “Quakers, AFSC, and abolition: Then and Now,” featuring historians Marcus Rediker and Katharine Grebner and contemporary Quaker abolitionists.

Workshops will be offered throughout the week, as listed below:

Monday, April 12, 8 p.m. ET: FreeThemAll: How we are living into the call to free folks in the context of COVID-19 and beyond. Presenters: Adriana Jasso, Demetrius Titus, Layne Mullett.

Tuesday, April 13, 8 p.m. ET: Pursuing freedom for Palestine: A campaign for Palestinian children’s rights.Presenters: Jennifer Bing and Zeina Hutchison.

Wednesday, April 14, 4 p.m. ET: Global migrant justice: Manifesting the joint Quaker statement. Presenters: Kristin Kumpf, Marianne Elias, Pauline Muchina, and global migration staff.

Wednesday, April 14, 8 p.m. ET: Restorative JusticeWhat does it look like/feel like in our communities?Presenter: Fatimeh Khan.

Thursday, April 15, 1:30 p.m. ET: Making new worlds: Creating a society based on care and a solidarity economy…what to divest from/what to invest in? Presenters: Rick Wilson, Dov Baum, and Grace Kindeke.

Nyle Fort will conclude the program with a plenary session on Thursday, April 15 from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. ET. Nyle Fort is a minister, activist, and scholar based in Newark, NJ. He has worked in education, criminal justice, and youth development for over a decade and is a lead trainer at Momentum, an activist incubator that builds large-scale social movements in the United States and around the world.

During these sessions discover AFSC’s work, ways you can join them, and hear from historians and wise activists about the contemporary challenges for justice and how we can pursue it together.

Read more about the program and register for each event here.

Conflict Resolution Educator Award goes to Bill Warters

Bill Warters, the webmaster at Birmingham Friends Meeting, has been selected to receive the 2020 International Conflict Resolution Educator Award to be delivered November 6 at the 14th International Conference on Conflict Resolution Education. Dr. Warters has a long background of service to the Conflict Resolution field as reflected in his online portfolio and the meeting is proud of his accomplishments.