In-person Soup Kitchen Returns

Several times a year our Meeting hosts a Soup Kitchen at Genesis Church in Royal Oak. During the height of COVID we were only offering meals to-go. At our October 28th offering, we were back to face-to-face meal service, as well as take-out. We offered a menu of spaghetti and meatballs with green beans and salad and homemade chocolate chip cookies for dessert. We also re-instituted the distribution of hand-made colorful winter hats.

Many members and attenders from our meeting helped make the event happen. Here’s some photos from the day.

Golden Rule Peace Boat Visits SE Michigan

In 1958, Quaker anti-nuclear weapons activists were arrested to stop the Golden Rule from sailing to obstruct atmospheric U.S. nuclear weapons tests in the Marshall Islands in the Pacific Ocean. Resulting protests lead to the passage of the 1963 Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, halting atmospheric testing. The Golden Rule and her crew inspired the later actions by the ships of Greenpeace and the Sea Shepherds. A short film about the boat’s history entitled Making Waves was shown at this year’s Lake Erie Yearly Meeting along with a visit and discussion with Skip Oliver from Veterans for Peace.

The 34-foot wooden ketch is sailing on a 15-month voyage around the “Great Loop” of the central, southern and eastern United States, making 100 ports-of-call to raise awareness about the growing danger of nuclear war and to build support for the abolition of nuclear weapons. The Golden Rule is a national project of Veterans For Peace, which owns the boat.

Schedule of Events in Our Region

On August 13th-17th, the Peace Boat visits SE Michigan, docking at Milliken State Park & Harbor, 1900 Atwater Street. Tours of the Golden Rule on August 14, 15, and 16 at William G. Milliken State Park and Harbor will be available from 11 am to 4 pm (https://goo.gl/maps/5A5FtHiW955pkjXC7). Along with festivities and talks in Detroit on August 13th and 16th, the crew will give early evening presentations in Ann Arbor on August 14th and in Lansing at the Red Cedar Friends Meeting House August 15th. See image below for additional details. For a full schedule of activities visit https://tinyurl.com/DetroitGoldRuleSchedule.

Also, according to local Michigan organizers from Veterans for Peace Chapters 74 in Detroit and 93 in Ypsilanti, there is a real need of donations to keep the Golden Rule operating and also to help pay for expenses associated with the Detroit stop (lodging, local transportation, meals, etc.). Tax deductible donations can be made at https://www.gofundme.com/f/veterans-for-peace-golden-rule-in-detroit. For more information about the Southeast Michigan visit, contact Jim Rine at jimrine22@gmail.com

To see the full schedule of planned events on the great loop trip and to track the Golden Rule in real time, visit the Veterans for Peace Golden Rule Project website. To find out how you can help the project visit the How You Can Help page.

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

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.

Temporary Cancellation of Meeting for Worship

NOTICE: Due to our desire to curtail the potential spread of COVID-19, Birmingham Friends Meeting is temporarily suspending our weekly face-to-face Meeting for Worship. We are exploring ways to continue to support our spiritual lives using online tools and will provide additional information when it becomes available. Contact the Clerk if you have questions or concerns to share.

Birmingham Friends Meeting’s new listserv

The adhoc Web Committee (Pam Melick, Marvin Barnes, Jj Kidder and Bill Warters) is pleased to announce the release of our new meeting listserv. To get the list started we have used the email addresses maintained in our meeting directory. If you would like to added to the email distribution list, you can use the Contact Us link to pass along a request to be added.

We look forward to the connections and convenience provided by the list and trust that over time we’ll find the right balance of supportive and informative messages that can help nurture the spiritual life and growth of our meeting without unduly burdening the inboxes of participants.