Table of Contents

Sustainers’ call 16 June 2017

Friends Peace Teams in Asia West Pacific
Sustainers Meeting
FPT AWP Working Group members, FPT AWP Sustainers and potential Sustainers
to discuss the FPT AWP mission, current and future work
June 16/17, 2017

Present: Moira Darling, Chris Hughes, Deb Wood, Nadine Hoover, Jenna Morales, and Jamuna Shrestha.
Regrets: Gay Howard, John Michaelis, Tom Martin, Jasmine Payget, Karen Reixach, Nancy Shippen, Fenna Mandolang, Valerie Joy

Welcome: A moment of silence to stop, open to the Spirit, and give thanks
Mission of Friends Peace Teams AWP: questions, comments, suggestions or concerns (please read attachment)
Testimonials that would help others connect with this work:
What do you feel works and what does not work?
Any suggestions for the coming year or other ways you’d like to be involved?
Next Meeting date
Closing Comment from each person

Note: The invitation email got caught in spam because of so many recipients so a second invitation was sent out a few hours before the call. There may have been some confusion about the meeting time as well. The topic for this meeting was discussed at the last working group meeting, please refer to the minutes dated June 6/7, 2017.

Deb Wood: Got a cold spell, but pulled all the lettuce and put in geraniums.
Nadine Hoover: Completed her second breast cancer surgery this week and is on the mend!
Jenna Morales: Is wrapping up the school year with kids, it’s busy but going well.
Jamuna Shrestha: Nameste, feeling good and trying to coordinate with the Bhutanese communities.

Nadine: At this juncture, should the initiatives still work primarily separately, or more collaboratively?

Deb: Youngsil said there wasn’t enough support to keep the workshops going. Not enough organizing support. AGLI has a group of local people in Kenya to call on to be support. We don’t have that in Asia. What is the Council’s relationship to the work? They keep the work vibrant and make sure the work continues.

Nadine: Organizations reflect the religious society, so what are we experiencing the the wider Society of Friends and our Yearly Meetings that should be reflected in Friends Peace Teams?

Deb: The original purpose of FPT was not for FPT to do the work, but to make sure it happens in the various places in the world. Rosa Packard wanted every meeting to be a center of peace. I think that was part of what she had in mind when FP T was developed. I think NYYM has a ways to go to become a vibrant and fully functioning Friends body, where we feel that our lives speak and that we bring our Quaker beliefs and practices into the world. Friends Peace Teams is doing this through AVP and variety of workshops we have developed. Bringing them particularly to areas where there is a history of conflict, and not pushing Quaker values or Quakerism on people, but bringing the best of our insight as to how the world might operate ideally. Part of the reason we’re doing this is because we’re Quakers.

Nadine: It really is basic, a road map we cannot skip the steps on. There’s a shift going on. It’s time to make war illegal. Paul Chappell is speaking. I went to Aceh with $360 raise by some young people in the US. The people there were supporting families on $40-70/month, so they were allocating $27 for this, $62 for that, $12 for this, and this $110 left please take to the US for that movement of conscientious objection to wa

Deb: To be effective, we need to have peace in ourselves. It’s hard in our society to have peace in ourselves, the ways we are organized and interacting. A world without war starts with me, it starts with individuals. That’s not easy. If we can get to some of the 9-11 year olds, we might be able to help. Because for me it’s take a lot of years being involved in AVP to feel like it’s begun to take hold. I look at the world differently. I try to look at each person that I come in contact with as a human being who’s on a journey, rather than an immediate judgment of what I see on the surface today. And now I’m aware that that’s the way I should be seeing others, but it doesn’t always happen.

Jamuna:I’m keen to learn how people are supporting peace in the world. I’m so impressed with FPT work. Before I didn’t understand AVP and FPT and the difference between the two things. Slowly I”m understanding. I’m slowly understanding FPT and how we are working. I’m trying to think too how we can support the people to live nonviolently and have peace in the world. I appreciate all the people who support me to come to the US, and get an opportunity to see the world and how the peace works. I’ve been working with the Nepalese driven from Bhutan to see them driven into India, Nepal, and then in the camps for 20-25 years, then see them resettled here. I can see their struggles. I see Bhutanese resettled here, working hard here to collect the money to buy a $275,000 home, but they still don’t feel the peace. They still face the caste discrimination and racial discrimination, in Worcester and Buffalo they say AVP is so valuable in our lives. Our lives have been so strained, but now we have a new country, house, place but without love, peace and respect. It still wears on them without these things.

Jenna: I like the idea of a US based initiative. The younger generations are used to being talked to and having to process it individually. A US based initiative might be intriguing to them and might bring them in and they might need the training.

Nadine: The world is so intertwined. The idea of separation or regions is not accurate. The Bhutanese is here and there. The problem in Aceh is a US policy problem. The division of our problems by region is not real, the problems are global. The lose of dialog among the young people among the Bhutanese or Quakers.

Chris: This cultural shift is in Australia also. This is true among migrant communities as well as the formally European communities. The Religious Society reflects the broader community, and we struggle with that. In Australia, the interaction between Friends and young Friends is not well integrated. We need to do the work within our own societies, too.

Moira: I notice what you’re saying about collaboration, and that there’s a big shifting going on. The old stuff of separation and isolation is being exposed for what it is, and at the same time there’s a yearning for collaboration and working together and being together in the Spirit. Where are we as Friends in our spiritual practice?

Nadine: Described the stopping and feedback training activities we’re doing for discernment and personal transformation based on relying on transforming power or the Spirit in our lives.

Moira: I’ve been experimenting with how to do the spiritual and healing work in community. Australian Yearly Meeting have Meeting for Learning here as a week residential at the beginning and a week at the end of the year, and during the year you have your project to do and a support group.

Nadine: We are only doing mutual groups that share equal time. This is not small work, this is the work that people want to do everywhere.

Moira: Whatever we can do collaboratively we should do collaboratively. Isn’t this reflected in this same conversation. I’m feeling a call to deepen my own practice and explore ways to do that in community. It’s the small movements of what mail goes to the trash and what does not.

Chris: I’ve noticed I’ve moved farther and farther away from this work as my livelihood work takes attention. Getting the simple practices are important. Spending a little time regularly is better than more time intermittently. Repetition grounds and strengthens.

Closing Comments:
Moira: It’s such a blessing to be part of the meeting. Feeling blessed and humbled, and grateful and that we’ve contributed something.
Chris: It’s really very much a blessing and remind me of what’s important and what’s internal.
Jenna: I thought it was a good conversation. Sometimes it’s interesting when you look at the big picture it focuses the details better.
Nadine: Thank you for all your contributions. I don’t experience your presence as a distraction.
Deb: Certainly an interesting and worthwhile time together.

Nadine’s conclusion: Organizations reflect the broader Society of Friends and our Yearly Meetings, which are taking seriously that it’s time to end war, just like we ended slavery, because it is wrong. That we need to come together in local communities and find peace in ourselves and in our daily lives to reflect that in our faith to live out our beliefs in our public lives and call for changes at work and in governance. That our problems are global as well as local, and that division in Friends Peace Teams reflects a post-colonial division of the world, not our current condition or our current desire for global peace. We need to collaborate in the US, Australia, Aotearoa/NZ and Europe as well as

The three-hour monthly training might be opened to:
Pati, Central Java, Petrus and Nanik
Bohol, Philippines, Kins Aparece
???/Jeju, Korea, Youngsil Kang, Jung Joo
Kathmandu, Nepal, Subhash Kattel, Jamuna Shrestha
Iowa, USA, Sonja Sponhiem
Buffalo, USA, Fenna Mandolang, Sophia Roberts, Megan Callahan
Ann Abor, USA, Jaye Star
Seattle/Portland, USA, Autumn Star, Rene Bove
Melbourne, Australia, Moira Darling and Chris Hughes
Auckland, Aotearoa/NZ, Esther Cowley Malcolm

Next Meeting: *January 5/6 2018 

Los Osos, CA, USA
Friday January 5, 2018; 4:30 PM PST (Pacific Standard Time)

Sedona, AZ, USA
Friday January 5, 2018; 5:30 PM MST (Mountain Standard Time)

Oklahoma City, OK, USA
Friday January 5, 2018; 6:30 PM CST (Central Standard Time)

*Rochester, NY, USA
Friday January 5, 2018; 7:30 PM EST (Eastern Standard Time)

Kathmandu, Nepal
Saturday 6 January 2018, 6:15 AM NPT (Nepal Time)

Pati, Indonesia
Saturday 6 January 2018, 7:30 AM WIB (Western Indonesian Time)

Tagbilaran City, Philippines
Saturday 6 January 2018, 8:30 AM PHT (Philippine Time)

Sydney, Australia
Saturday 6 January 2018, 11:30 AM AEDT (Australian Eastern Daylight Time)

*The call originates from Rochester, NY, USA so if you do not see your time zone or if there is an error, you can check your time against the time in Rochester, NY (EST).