Philadelphia Quarterly Meeting News
We are coming up to the 24hr deadline within which all online registrations for PYM Sessions have to be in. PLEASE REGISTER, PYM do not have the staff and Muhlenburg do not have the flex to accommodate late registrations as in the past!
The Greater Olney branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia (at 5501 N. 5th St., Philadelphia) will be hosting an event focusing on human trafficking/modern slavery. The event is on June 19 or Juneteenth, the anniversary of the day soldiers in 1865 enforced the Emancipation Proclamation. It will be held from 5:45 – 7:15 p.m. The presenters will be Carol Metzker, who is a member of PYM’s End Modern Slavery Working Group, Shea Rhodes, and Ellyn Jo Waller
After some followings and leadings, Spirit provided with a piggy-back on an event that is already happening within the Quarter on June 2nd which is the Southwestern Burial Ground Annual picnic hosted by CPMM and Arch St. It will be an Outdoor Meeting for Worship at 11:00 with potluck picnic to follow. Bring a chair or a blanket, potluck, dishes and utensils.
Southwestern Burial Ground
236 Powell Lane
A chance to gather for worship and fellowship at the hidden treasure that is Southwest Burial Ground and to learn about their Green Burial Program and tour with Graham Garner Superintendent.
In case of rain please check the PQM Facebook Page/Group.
At Wyck Historic House, Garden, and Farm ~ 6026 Germantown Ave. Philadelphia, PA 19144 (at Germantown Ave and Walnut Lane) Sunday, May 19th 10:30 am in the Garden. Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday 17th with an estimated head count so Margaret can inform Wyck for seating.
WHAT: Philadelphia Quarter is holding two “Listening Session(s)” to hear views and ideas about program work for social and economic justice in metropolitan Philadelphia that AFSC might consider taking on.
WHO: All who are involved with (or concerned about) social and economic justice work in the Philadelphia area are invited. “Listeners” from AFSC will be present. Please feel free to extend this invitation to others who would be interested.
WHEN and WHERE:
Wednesday, May 15 – Germantown Friends Meeting
7:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Friday, May 17 – – Unity Friends Meeting (4731 Waln Street in Frankford)
6:30 – 7:15 worship
7:30 to 9:00 listening session
HOW TO PREPARE: AFSC would like to hear your responses to the following queries:
By: Stephen Willis Dotson
Historically, Quakers have had a complicated relationship with the legal system. Regardless of whether the year is 1762 or 2013, or whether the location is Great Britain or America, Friends have been entangled in the criminal justice system, typically due to their peculiar witness to the testimonies of the faith. Rarely do Friends find themselves in the position of handing down judgment and punishing others, but an exception may soon be coming in Philadelphia, in the form of Giovanni Campbell, a member of Germantown Friends Meeting now running for Judge in the Court of Common Pleas.
Giovanni was born in Panama City, Panama to working-class parents. His mother was a special education teacher, and his father was a laborer and manager of warehouses. His mother and siblings moved to New York City to join his maternal grandmother when Giovanni was 12. Though he had visited the US numerous times, living there was a different experience, and he was soon confronting cultural ideas that were challenging and confusing.
“For all the Latino people, I was black, they didn’t really see me as Latino like they were, but all the black people saw me as Latino and not really black like they were, so I never really fit into the frameworks in a way that was convenient,” Giovanni said, as we spoke in the early morning light outside of Germantown Friends Meeting before worship.
Though challenged to translate himself into American culture, Giovanni found a home in swimming, diving, and teaching others to do the same. This work became a process of both personal and community discovery as Giovanni went from pool-to-pool in the many neighborhoods of New York, seeing first-hand the disparities and differences than just a block or two can make. Beyond discovering the realities of living in New York City, Giovanni discovered his own gift for empowering people, and the pleasure he took from seeing someone swim their first lap on their own.
From the days of the first Friends, judges have played vital roles in shaping how the community has been able to organize and express itself. Without the generosity of Judge Thomas Fell, George Fox and Margaret Fell would never have had the sanctuary of Swarthmore Hall to organize the Quaker movement and avoid the harassment of the police and others. Moreover, if not for a judge pejoratively referring to George Fox as a “Quaker” for his tendency to “tremble before the word of the Lord”, Friends may have never become commonly known as Quakers. However, for Giovanni, the intersection of Quakerism and the practice of law has much more to do with the honest search for truth than anything else.
After doing his undergraduate education in the city and state university programs of New York, Giovanni Campbell came to Temple University in Philadelphia to study law. It was during his time that he first encountered Quakerism through relatives of his then-girlfriend (and later wife). He was struck by the centrality of social justice within Quakerism, its openness to other faith traditions, and emphasis on what Giovanni describes as, “the intellectually honest pursuit of truth.” After settling in Philadelphia, he and his wife decided to become members and raise their kids in Germantown Friends Meeting and send them to the school started by the Meeting.
Throughout his career, Giovanni Campbell has made the community his focus, locating his offices in some of the disenfranchised neighborhoods in Northeast Philadelphia in order to work more directly with local residents. One client of Giovanni’s, a young autistic boy, was being underserved and some would say, neglected, by the public school system. His curriculum had remained the same for years, and he was operating at a non-verbal level. Giovanni worked to win him the right to attend a specialized school for autistic kids in the district, and since then, the student has made great progress, speaking without the help of a machine, and has made even more progress in the year or so since the ruling than in all the previous years of schooling combined. This is poignant given that Giovanni’s mother spent her life working in special education.
In describing his motivations for becoming judge, Giovanni Campbell continually comes back to a belief that he can be in a position to provide justice for many who are under-privileged in the current system. “I found myself encountering the failures of the system and saying, ‘One day, I’m going to do something to change that.’” While hesitant about becoming involved in the political process, eventually it became clear to Giovanni that he was being called to the bench, as that was his best opportunity to create a positive change.
In describing his view of the criminal justice system, Giovanni Campbell paints a stark picture, “It’s so adversarial. I almost think about it as a contest. A contest similar in fairness to that between the early Christians and the lions in the coliseum.” He went on to elaborate how courts in the US could be more like those in Europe, which empower more independent investigation by the judiciary (as opposed to the police or district attorney). Such a system emphasizes coming to the truth of the matter, not pitting one argument against another to discover which party can buy the better legal representation to argue their side. Giovanni’s career has been defined by his representation of the indigent, under-privileged, and disabled in Philadelphia, so he has seen many such instances of David vs. Goliath.
Giovanni would be joining an especially problematic court system in Philadelphia. Make-up of the bench is disproportionately white when compared to the racial make-up of the city and too often these public servants are divorced from the communities in which they are ruling. Moreover, corruption and questionable ethics frequent rear their head in Philadelphia’s system. Earlier this month it was revealed that a judge who recently acquitted a police officer accused of hitting a woman in the face (with strong video evidence to support the accusation), was in fact married to a police officer! According to Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts and a number of law professors in the Philadelphia, the judge should have recused himself from the case. The U.S. Department of Justice has now been asked to investigate the case. This is nothing new to Philadelphians, just the most recent tale in a long litany of questionable judgments by those holding the public trust.
It’s never easy to live outside the box, but Giovanni has managed to build a career from spanning worlds and taking the road less travelled. One can only hope that this has prepared him for the possibility of becoming on May 21st the first naturalized citizen, and the first Quaker in almost 100 years to become a different kind of judge in Philadelphia.
The Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP) is a worldwide effort of volunteers dedicated to increasing peace by fostering people’s awareness of helpful ways to respond to conflict and violence. Inspired by Gandhi and Martin Luther King, and developed by men in prison, the AVP workshops offer inspiration, practice and feedback. Go online: AVPUSA.org.
Day 1, Friday 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Day 2, Saturday 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Day 3, Sunday 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Enjoy a hands-on, experiential workshop where you’ll connect deeply with others, laugh, share, and listen while learning ways to reduce conflict in your world, your classroom, your family, or at work.
Treat yourself to this workshop purely for personal growth, or make it a first step toward facilitating alternatives to violence project (avp) workshops in prisons and the community or classroom.
This workshop is led by experienced volunteers who are currently facilitating workshops at prisons and in the community.
Refreshments: Coffee, tea and snacks are provided. Saturday lunch is brown bag or on your own.
(Advance Reservations are Required)
Contact: Sr. Barbara Brigham 215-291-4401, email@example.com to register.
PYM THREAD GATHERING: Faith & Play
Sat, April 13, 9am – 6pm
West Chester Meeting, 425 North High Street, West Chester, PA 19830
We welcome Friends who are using Godly Play® and Faith & Play™ in their meeting (or Friends school) communities to gather for fellowship, sharing, and worship together. We will build a circle, share from our experiences, and leave feeling enriched. Saturday, April 13, 9:00 – 6:00, West Chester Meeting Registration fee of $25 may be sent to PYM in advance or brought to the event Breakfast, lunch and dinner are provided; Childcare provided with pre-registration by 4/10 Download a flier Location: West Chester Meeting, 425 North High Street, West Chester, PA 19830 Please note: this gathering is not a training in the Godly Play® method or using Godly Play and Faith & Play™ stories. For information about training, contact Friends General Conference.
PYM THREAD GATHERING: Finance
Sat, April 20, 9:30am – 3:30pm
Where Moorestown Monthly Meeting – 118 E. Main Street, Moorestown, NJ 08057
DescriptionThe Finance Thread Gathering is an opportunity to develop effective ways to encourage giving to the monthly meeting, gain technical skills relevant to the management of meeting finances, and explore ways to deepen our conversation on stewardship. Monthly meetings rely on financial support from members. In service to the meeting, finance committee members or meeting treasurers, are responsible for asking Friends to give to the monthly meeting and are also responsible for the proper management of the meeting’s funds. This Thread Gathering is intended for meeting Clerks, Treasurers, Finance Committee Members and all Friends who are called to the work of building a culture of giving within our meeting communities. Saturday, April 20, 9:30-3:30, Moorestown Monthly Meeting Registration and refreshments are available beginning at 9:00 am. The program begins at 9:30 a.m. Lunch is potluck with salad and drinks provided by the Yearly Meeting Childcare available with pre-registration by April 17th
Peterson Toscano is a theatrical performance activist using comedy and storytelling to address social justice concerns. He spent 17 years and over $30,000 on three continents attempting to change and suppress his same-sex orientation and gender differences. Since 2003 he has traveled in North America, Europe, and Africa performing in diverse venues and speaking in the media. He writes and perform plays that explore LGBTQ issues, sexism, racism, violence and gender.
Friday, March 29th, Good Friday
Peterson Toscano: A Liminal Space: between crucifixion and resurrection.
Green Street Friends Meeting
45 West School House Lane, in Germantown
Potluck dinner at 5pm
Program at 7 pm
RSVP requested but not required, just so we can judge numbers.
On March 30, a day when churches have their altars stripped bare, folks are invited to come to:
A Liminal Space: Between Crucifixion and Resurrection.
First, some bagels and cream cheese, then settling into a reflective talk together.
10 am – 1 pm
Chestnut Hill Friends Meeting
100 E. Mermaid Lane, in Chestnut Hill
RSVP firstname.lastname@example.org , requested for an approximate headcount, but not required. All comers welcomed.
Friday, April 5th
His big public performance:
“Transfigurations: Transfiguring Gender in the Bible”
Friends filled 6 busses to Washington DC on Feb. 17 for a big climate change rally. EQAT, Earth Quaker Action Team organized the local effort with competence and good humor and inspired participants to tell President Obama to stop the XL Pipeline from the Canada Tar Sands. Bill McKibben, founder of http://350.org/ and one of the organizers welcomed 35,000 people to Washington saying we may finally have the start of a movement. First Nation Canadian women said this was the first time Native and White people had worked together on an issue of mutual concern. Young people danced and chanted and waved their signs, drums beat to keep us warm. We circled the White House calling on the president to veto the pipeline. Friends from Germantown Meeting alerted us to citizensclimatelobby.org. Quakers were out on the street where they belong. Big challenges seem more possible when we band together.
-Jean and Peter Warrington, Chestnut Hill Friends Meeting
Photos from rally:
This event is an extension of the Justice Conference, a nation-wide gathering of faith minded people thinking about the spiritual roots of justice.
For details on the speakers and how to register, go here.
For details about the Justice Conference, click here.
The event is free and open to the public.
ALL ARE WELCOME! ALL ARE LOVED!
“Celebrating God’s Love: A Public Meeting for Worship”
Thursday, February 14, 2013
6:00pm until 8:00pm
The Cedar Works, 4919 Pentridge Street, Philadelphia, PA 19143
RSVP to: email@example.com
Come join a unique opportunity to experience and share the Love on Valentine’s Day in the manner of Friends (Quakers)!
From 6-7pm we will gather for silent, waiting worship.
From 7-8pm, we will transition into worship that includes music, singing, sharing, sacred texts, prayer and whatever else Spirit has planned for us with Love!
Yummy refreshments will be served!!
Feel free to bring something to share.
And invite a friend!
***Please be advised that Friends who arrive after 6:20pm will be seated at 7pm, during the transition into the 2nd hour of worship.
If you are a late-comer, or only plan to come for the 2nd hour, The Cedar Works has a common space for you to wait and hopefully make a new friend or two!***
Sponsored by The Friends of Jesus Fellowship, YAF’s, and other Friends of the W. Philly Worship Group.