A message from the IMYM Presiding Co-Clerks

From the IMYM co-clerks,

We are heartbroken by the recent murders, terror and injuries visited on men and women of color. We grieve when we see or hear of miscarriages of justice. What affects any of us, affects each of us. We cannot remain silent, or believe that words alone will create change; that is the path to complacency and complicity.

Together with those who have lost friends, loved ones, and acquaintances, we lift up these names and people:

George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Rayshard Brooks, Robert Fuller, Breona Taylor, Sandra Bland, Michael Brown, missing and murdered indigenous women, immigrants, and too many others who have been victims of systemic racism.

We pray that our hearts will be broken open, helping us to take actions that will help change the face of the legal system, policing, and the way each of us treats every other.

Friend, deal plainly with yourselves, and let the eternal light search you, and try you, for the good of your souls; for this will deal plainly with you; it will rip you up, lay you open, and make all manifest that lodgeth in you; the secret subtlety of the enemy of your souls, this searcher and tryer will make manifest.

~~ Margaret Fell 1614-1702

As Friends, we often focus on silence…not as a means of abdicating responsibility, taking no action, but as a way to listen carefully to that still small voice. Often, we find that voice urges us to take action, and to create change where it is needed. There is no one right way to take action. We must each do what we can from where we are. Change making may take many shapes.

We ask, in preparation for our virtual annual sessions, that Friends take some time for serious reflection. Now is a time when we must come together to determine what actions each of us can take, individually, within our monthly meetings, as a yearly meeting, and as the larger Society of Friends. We also ask Friends to consider what actions we can take that are in keeping with the needs of communities of color, rather than simply speaking words or taking action to make us feel good. We are all weary and grief stricken these days. While our responses to the pandemic must be acknowledged and taken into account, it is our hope that is not used as an excuse to neglect the needs of those communities.

Quakers have historically spoken truth to power, and this is a time when that is absolutely necessary. However, it is not enough…mere words cannot take the place of cooperative action that is focused and ongoing, even after “all this dies down”.

We must remain grounded in our Quaker faith and worship, seeking to hear the still, small voice within, while acting in the world. We query ourselves: How do we embrace our change-making power, while remaining grounded in our faith? What action can we take, staying aware that our focus for action must be the stated needs and desires of those with whom we seek to build alliances?

We look forward to discussion of some of these questions in the coming week, and beyond, and finding new ways to take action to create the world that we seek.

Holding each of us in the Light,

Gale Toko-Ross Valerie Ireland
she/her/hers she/her/hers
IMYM co-clerk IMYM co-clerk

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Meditative Music for IMYM 2020

An Hour of Meditative Music for the Mind and the Soul

An hour of meditative music on cello and harp is offered here this week in an audio recording format. Carolyn Kuban, harpist, and George Banks, cellist, both from Boulder Friends Meeting, are the creators and the performers, They have been playing and performing such improvisatory music duos as this for many decades including for programs at IMYM several times.

This new offering was created along side the reality of the harsh health challenges and social disruptions thrust upon us recently. With this in mind, the music offers an opportunity to release tensions by opening the ears and finding space in the mind and soul as you listen. As a forewarning, the music cannot be considered hum-able, nor is it even familiar for the most part. Instead, Carolyn describes the music as  “exploratory of elements of line and harmony that evolve as the sound travels ever onward, taking the listener along with it”.

We hope you find some time to close your eyes, rest on the floor or a comfortable place, turn on the music and be at peace…..

Introductory remarks starts at 00:00

  1. Fantasia on Shalom Chaverim

Starts 01:55

  1. Quietude for Harp

Starts 12:47

  1. Spangles a’Shimmer

Starts 22:23

  1. Wandering the Aimless Road

Starts 37:52

Download the MP3 File Here.

Play the Music Below