Seminars, Interest Groups, and Early Days Arts – 2017

Longer descriptions of the seminars and interest groups offered at IMYM 2017

(S)=Seminar presentation (IG)=Interest Group presentation (S+IG)=both

Public Banking/Quaker Values–Nichoe Lichen:  Quakers established the first public bank in the U.S.  Could a public bank in your community reduce the community’s debt burden while providing funding for important projects and services that benefit the common good?  This presentation is a description of the history and processes of public banking.  You will learn how a public bank would function and be different from a credit union or commercial bank like Wells Fargo or “First National Bank of Anytown.”  Publically funded banks are governed by a public mission statement and managed independently of government or special interests.  Historically this was the type of bank prominent in the U.S.  Interest in re-establishing the model is spreading and is already functioning in other parts of the world.  Hear about the Public Bank for Santa Fe. (S + IG)

Quaker Arts Group—This group includes artists using a variety of mediums.  They invite you to join their activities.  See the daily schedule for when collage, mural, spiritual writing, haiku, pottery, a trip to Georgia O’Keefe’s house, theater, and song with magic happen. (S)

Quakers, Business and Money — Rob Pierson:  A look at three centuries of the relationship between Quakers and business.  Quakers once drove the industrial revolution, pioneered advances in engineering and worker welfare, built whole towns for their employees and developed networks of finance and trade that bankrolled the Religious Society.  What happened?   What can we learn from the generations of our religious ancestors about our roles around money today—as citizen activists, concerned customers, responsible investors, ethical workers and visionary leaders?  Rob Pierson brings the material from his workshop last year, “Do Quakers Mean Business?” held at Ben Lomond Quaker Center. (S+IG)

Additionally Rob will be doing song and magic around “Magic Penny” with young friends and the young at heart.  Tuesday evening + other times.  Check on times and locations.

Sanctuary and Accompanying Immigrants and Refugees–Tom Kowal and others from Mountain View Meeting: These presentations will focus on the practical and spiritual basis of accompanying immigrants in their struggles to keep their families together in the face of unjust, inhumane and harsh U.S. immigration system oppression.  How do Friends and like-minded people of faith respond?  How (and why) do we engage in Sanctuary and Civil Initiative responses?  What are the related immigrant and refugee rights issues and practices that inform and implement accompaniment?  Metro Denver Sanctuary Coalition, comprised of Friends and Unitarians, is now housing its third guest. Why and how (including fund raising) do Friends and the New Sanctuary Coalition offer Sanctuary and engage in Civil Initiative?  What are the related immigrant and refugee rights issues and practice?   Examine organizing in faith and immigrant communities, offering sanctuary, fund raising, legal assistance, lobbying and administrative resistance.  (S+IG)

Climate, Race, and Justice–Pamela Haines:  Climate, Race, and Justice: We’re All in This Together. Explore the interconnections among ecological destruction, income inequality and racial injustice, and their common root in our failing economic system. Ecological destruction, income inequality and racial injustice cannot be treated as isolated concerns.  They are systemically interconnected, with a common root in the failure of our economic system.  The economies of virtually all nations require growth to function.  Yet more growth makes the wealthiest even wealthier without easing poverty, unemployment, injustice or violence—and human economies are already far larger than the Earth’s commonwealth of life can continue to support.  How can we live into these connections and be part of creating a new economic system that promotes justice, sustains livelihood for all, and offers a future for our life on earth? (S)

Upcycling and the Stewardship of “stuff”–Roni Burrows and Lisa Grenier: Where does “stuff” come from?  Where does it go?  How can we generate less new stuff?  How can we keep stuff in use as long as possible before its ultimate disposal?  The “stuff” we use comes from the biosphere and in some form or other, returns to it.  Right stewardship is helped when we know where all our stuff comes from, the energy and additional “stuff” needed to make it, the energy and additional “stuff” needed when we use it and the energy and yet additional stuff required to upcycle it, recycle it or dispose of it back into the biosphere.  These seminars and interest groups are offered in two parts:  Part A is lecture/discussion.  We’ll go over the basics of life cycle analysis: the history of “stuff” from when it comes out of the biosphere and returns to it.  This will include discussion of recycling and upcycling—a process between reusing and recycling that modifies and repurposes manufactured items for new use and increased value.  Part B is hands-on/crafty where we will take used manufactured “stuff” and repurpose it.   Although a large fraction of upcycling is focused on art, we will make practical upcycled items to take home and use.  Templates (themselves upcycled) will be available, and information, instructions and additional templates will be made available electronically.  Participants are encouraged to bring plastic shopping bags, plastic net produce bags, used calendars, and old roadmaps.  Scissors, glue, crochet hooks and knitting needles would be welcomed, but not required. (S+IG)

DVD Alternatives to Capitalism–Ross Worley:  Ross will lead the discussion on the DVD by Gar Alperovitz.  Ross has studied this issue for many years.  The DVD is a clear presentation of simple ways individuals and Meetings can act to circumvent the control of large corporations in our lives. (IG)

DVD GrowthBusters–Richard (Dick) Grossman: Dick will lead the discussion of the GrowthBusters DVD.  He writes and studies about population control.  As an obstetrician and social activist this has been a long-time area of concern for him.  The DVD is a presentation on world-wide economic problems.  It uses excellent graphics to show how these problems are related to population growth.  (IG)

Employee-owned Businesses–Lorenzo Mondragon: Lorenzo Mondragon will speak on Employee-owned Businesses with examples from the co-op group with which he is associated. (IG)

Climate Change, Standing Rock and Divestment–Shelley Tanenbaum:  Shelley Tanenbaum visits us from Quaker Earthcare Witness to present Climate Change, Standing Rock and Divestment.  Stewardship includes divesting from banks and stocks/mutual funds that profit from unsustainable practices.  We will explore how fossil fuel divestment has two goals:  to influence companies that profit from fossil fuel use and to broaden public awareness of the unsustainable practices.  We will examine how the climate change movement and the water protectors at Standing Rock have used these tools.  What about Friends’ investments—are we being good financial and environmental stewards? (IG)

Experiment with Light Meditation–Katherine Youngmeister and others from Santa Fe Meeting:  An explanation and experience of the Light Group of Santa Fe Meeting. The group has been gathering for 18 months, usually twice a month.  They invite you to come join them to experience this worshipful process for yourself. This group will meet daily during Early Days allowing Friends to attend one or more sessions. British Quaker and theologian, Rex Ambler, developed this worshipful process as he sought to answer the question, “What did early Quakers do that gave them the spiritual clarity and the fortitude they had?”  More information is available at and (S)

Wild Words of Wisdom: Spiritual writing – Mary Klein: Mary Klein, Editor of Western Friend, will present material on Spiritual Writing during Early Days. Come play with words. In a series of creativity exercises, we will coax the wild and Still Small Voice to speak in words that we can catch and release. Bring writing materials. (S)

Meetings and Money–Mary Klein and Bob Schroeder: Mary Klein will be joined by Bob Schroeder, Tempe and past IMYM Treasurer and Clerk of Finance Committee for Meetings and Money: A discussion of how Meetings make choices about uses of money.  Share ideas with members of other Meetings about 1) how your help Meeting members better understand your Meeting’s finances,2) how you determine your Meeting’s spending priorities (especially how to weigh Meeting maintenance expenses against contributions to other organizations against funding reserves), and 3)how your Meeting raises funds when needed.  Western Friend has developed materials on these questions which contribute to this conversation. (IG)

Using Clearness and Support Committees to help with your Social Action–Vickie Aldrich and Mary Burton Risley:  They will discuss their personal experiences using clearness and support committees for social action.  Vickie is a war tax resister and Mary took civil disobedience action at Fort Huachuca (S)

The plight of Palestinians in Occupied Territories–Bob and Carol Pearson:  Pearsons  have become greatly concerned with the human rights of Palestinians in the occupied territories of East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza through the Pearson’s work with Amnesty International.  This presentation will be based on their personal experience and on study of the history of the situation.  The main topics:  1) peace in the Middle East: it is not possible until the Israel-Palestinian conflict is resolved; 2) the survival of the state of Israel:  can it continue to exist as an occupier and oppressor of the Palestinians? 3) Palestine:  suffering 68 years of dispossession and 49 years of serious violations of their human rights.  In 2014 they joined a delegation to Israel and Palestine with Interfaith Peace Builders.  One year ago, with the support of the Mission and Peacebuilding Committee of their local Presbyterian Church, they led an in-depth study of the history and current aspects of the conflict.  An outline of their presentation is as follows:  the history of Zionism to 1948, Zionism since 1948, the nature and purpose of the occupation, wars on Gaza, the peace process, the call of Palestinian Christians, who pays for the occupation and what are the uses of boycott, divestment and sanctions.  Their presentation will include a video produced by the Israel/Palestine Mission Network of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) as well as discussion based on their experiences and the experiences of others. (S)

Weaving Integrity, Community and Stewardship: IMYM delegates to FWCC will be looking at the work of FWCC in answering the worldwide calls to caring for the world through the combined work of different Friends’ practices and viewpoints in worship and leadings.  Following the mission of FWCC to meet face to face and heart to heart answering God’s call to universal love,…to express our common heritage and our Quaker message to the world. The threads of Salt and Light to the Kabarak Call to Weaving the Tapestry to the Peruvian Minute there is a worldwide call of Integrity, Community and Stewardship within FWCC.  Anyone who has been part of FWCC or has an interest in worldwide Friends fellowship and /or the Section of the Americas are encouraged to attend.  (S)

AFSC Reports on Regional Projects

We are also anticipating that we will have presentations from other Friends’ organizations.  Consult postings on arrival for information.(IG)

Investing as a Form of Activism is presented by Krystala Kalil, the national conference coordinator for investment professionals interested in sustainable, responsible impact investing, and Kim Griego-Kiel President of Horizons Financial Services, a company that services SRI investors. They invite you to explore value-based investing as a form of activism for a sustainable, socially just world using sound investment practices.  They will describe the history of responsible investing and its decades long form of activism.  The SRI (sustainable, responsible, impact investing) philosophy developed originally during the anti-apartheid movement as an exclusionary tactic to divest from companies that were actively supporting apartheid.   Currently there is focus on divesting from fossil fuels and investing in renewable energy, local and community development projects as well as companies that operate with transparency and support diversity at all levels.  This type of investment has doubled in the last dozen years.  The interest group will include an information overview presentation, exercises to explore personal goals and attitudes toward money and participatory discussion in addition to worship. (IG)

Financing a Meetinghouse Renovation or Relocation–Ruth Montague and others from Mountain View:  After five years of active seeking, Mountain View Friends Meeting reached unity last May on renovating its current Meeting House rather than relocating or rebuilding.  We started with dissatisfaction with some characteristics of our lovely but inaccessible and inadequate structure, did some organized soul-searching, and then embarked on a search for alternate resolutions.  But it wasn’t until the financial realities became clear that we were led first to inaction as differences of opinion became more concrete, and then to way opening.  With a strong sense of Spirit’s presence, we’re now actively involved in what we’re calling a Meeting House Revitalization, with a blurb on construction, volunteer opportunities, and financial updates in each week’s Announcements and each month’s Newsletter.  With broad volunteer participation and no known loss of members or attenders as work progresses, we’re even seeing “a million flowers bloom” as F/friends sort out where to put the time, energy, and other resources that had been taken up by the unresolved question of the Meeting House. (IG)

Open Session: This is a new concept this year.  At each Interest Group time there will be a chance for those who have information they would like to present.  There will be a place to sign up for time slots in the Registration area.  There will be time for two or three presentations (30-40 minutes each) each day.  Presentations from Friends Peace Team, Friends General Conference and Friends Mountain Camp may occur during this time.

Intergenerational Games: sponsored by the Young Friends working group.  Join in on the Dining Room lawn—all ages welcome.

FCNL: News about lobbying in the current climate from FCNL

Discussion on keynote speech: Group discussion reflecting on the material presented in the Keynote address.

Playback Theatre–Caroline Rackley: PLAYBACK THEATRE [] is improvisation in which participants tell real events from their lives, then watch them enacted on the spot. Guided by a trained conductor, group members become actors in each other’s stories. Any life experience may be told and played out from the mundane to the transcendent, the hilarious to the tragic, no matter the skill level of the actors. Playback allows multi-generation participation, encouraging adults and children [7 years and up] to play together as equals. Respect, empathy and willingness to play are all that is needed for us to illumine one another’s memories. Note this is being offered on Tuesday afternoon. No childcare is available at that time; however, anyone 7 years or older is welcome to attend Playback Theatre.

Georgia O’Keeffe House Tour: Charles Rawson of the Quaker Arts Group has arranged for a 3 hour tour of the Abiquiu home and studio of Georgia O’Keeffe. Important note: There is a $40 charge per person associated with this activity, and the group size limit is 6 people.