Table of Contents

Sustainers’ call 20 January 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
January 20/21, 2017

Present: Gay Howard, Moira Darling, Chris Hughes, John Michaelis, Deb Wood, Fenna Mandolang, Nadine Hoover, Valerie Joy, and Jenna Morales.

Welcome: A moment of silence to stop, open to the Spirit, and give thanks
Introductions: Name and why you support Friends Peace Teams in Asia West Pacific
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: Should we do this annually or twice a year? Proposed dates: If twice a year, June 16/17, 2017; If annually, January 19/20, 2018.
Closing Comment from each person

Chris Hughes, the work actually does building friendships and relationships and peace. We do it to be the change we’d like to be in the world.
Moira Darling, supporting Chris because I believe in and admire the work of Friends Peace Teams. It’s extremely important in the world today, because it reminds me of my work, the internal work.
John Michaelis, living in the US and Australia and involved in FPT for about four years now. I realized that sustaining the organization became important in order to sustain the work. As pensioners we do this by creating an annual choir concert, which raises money and interest.
Gay Howard, living in Los Osos, California. Nadine invited me to a FPT meeting in 2009. I became clerk and now I”m a rep from PacYM (CA, Mexico City and Hawaiian Islands). It’s a great way to make peace in the world.
Deb Wood, was privileged to go to Indonesia with Nadine in 2006. Nadine was working on getting the work started, and I loved it there. I don’t have the language needed to be effective in Indonesia and SE Asia, though, but I can sustain this work.
Fenna Mandolang because I have had the opportunity to travel to Asia, which informs the strength of conviction and knowing peace is possible, or even be able to think of the world when we want to think of peace, and it affects my daily decisions, even indirectly. When I know the story of the old man asking where we think our lumber comes from, and I’ve seen the devastation of the deforestation, and I think of that when I go into Home Depot and it shapes my daily decisions.
Nadine Hoover because all big things come from small things, from a seed, from attention, from taking dolls up a mountain. All the big things have resulted from being there with people in small, simple ways. Friends Peace Teams honors those small things.
Valerie Joy in the beginning it seemed like a good step to make myself and my knowledge useful and of assistance for peace. I responded to an invitation from the Filipino Quakers to bring AVP to the Philippines.
Jenna Morales because it does good work in the world and it’s something I can do from where I am.

Friends Peace Teams AWP Mission and Way of Work

Please put the Common Agreements on postcards, that could have magnets, with decorative designs to post and remember.

Moira feels the deep integrity of Friends Peace Teams. Statements like these are often statements of outward activity rather than the inner work and the holding of the space. Globally we need more attention to this inner, stabilizing work that underpins everything. Like we talked about the power of companion’s attention before. Moira feels a sense of disquiet that the inner role is not clearly stated. The inner work is not action oriented, but it sustains the action. Quakers call it holding in the Light.

Gay feels our work in the world should come from our relationship with God, to oneself, to each others, society and the earth. We need to love ourselves, each other and the earth, and of course that love comes from God. Our motivations need to come from that spiritual orientation and be based on a spiritual way of looking at the Earth.

Fenna reminds us of FPT-AWP minutes of December 6/7, 2016 on what Quakers uniquely have to offer peace work in the world:

That Quaker peace work has no sides, peace takes everyone, and peace is possible with everyone. And that is integrated with the moral authority of focus on truth, justice and fairness, which has it’s own structure. Quaker peace work comes alive with the living reality of love and conscience. This happens through long-term person to person work in the place where war has happened, as well as being involved locally – grassroots – Quakers make real people’s lives a priority. We think of all people as my family and once I get to know them to treat all with respect and love, we’re interdependent. Individual interactions are conducted respectfully and meeting their needs, eg after WW2 in Germany. We depend upon others in our Meeting to help us to be true to our promptings. Peace work in the Quaker context is more grounded and sustainable. It’s not limited to a purpose or a goal, but it’s woven into the fabric of things. Present, not only when it’s in the news or fashionable, but for the long-term personal relationship.

The Vietnamese said they allowed Friends stay in Vietnam when Vietnam was closed because Friends were the only ones who said they did not take sides, and could be trusted to do what they said. Quakers were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for “the silent assistance from the nameless to the nameless”. The respect for everyone, the integrity that can be trusted, and the attention to the small things, the small kindnesses.

The inner work and healing, that we need, the world needs, that shapes who we are, and is needed in the world, is not clearly stated and presented in our statement. Balancing the inward and outward journeys, and our relationship with God and with others, both with depth.

“On Listening” by Ralph Roughton

When I ask you to listen to me and you start by giving advice, you have not done what I asked. When I ask you to listen to me and you begin to tell me why I shouldn’t feel that way, you are trampling on my feelings. When I ask you to listen to me and you feel you have to do something to solve my problem, you have failed me, strange as it may seem.

Listen! All I ask is that you listen, not talk or do…just hear me.

When you do something for me that I can and need to do for myself, you contribute to my fear and inadequacy. And I can do for myself. I’m not helpless. Maybe discouraged and faltering, but not helpless. But when you accept as simple fact that I do feel what I feel, no matter how irrational, then I can quit trying to convince you and get about the business of understanding what’s behind this irrational feeling. And when that’s clear, the answers are obvious and I don’t need advice. Irrational feelings make sense when we understand what’s behind them. Perhaps that’s why prayer works, sometimes, for some people…because God is mute, and He or She doesn’t give advice or try to fix things. God just listens and lets you work it out yourself.

So, please listen and just hear me. And if you want to talk, wait a minute for your turn, and I’ll listen to you.

NOTE: Discussed at a meeting of the Older Friends Group of Hartford (Conn.) Meeting and were published in the meeting’s newsletter in April 1981

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?

It’s all about relationships, and keeping relationships healthy, I need to keep people in my heart. I keep in touch, lovingly, even over technology, and welcome them if they come and I try to visit. I won’t be starting in the beginning if I go, I’ll be continuing the many steps of our friendship.

Gratitude for the faith that peace is possible, that what we do matters, and to do it in reality not in desire or image, but in the real material with our feet on the ground and arms around our neighbors.

We use peace like a verb. We don’t believe that the world can just be peaceful without engaging in it. The exciting struggle is to build those relationships that make us know we can overcome war and violence, and engage in the struggle to make that happen. Someone said, they thought I was interested in Friends Peace Teams because it’s Quakers actually doing something.

If the relationships are there and people act from their authentic realities, we discern the way forward together, and we don’t have to ‘have a leading’ we are simply there and respond when eight bombs get set on homes, or a massive earthquake hits. We meet life’s challenges together, lightening each other’s loads.

Next Meeting:
We liked this meeting and would like to do it again, with more people!
June 16/17, 2017 and January / June thereafter. Jenna will announce.

Closing Comments
Deb Wood: This has been good time to get to hear and see the people. I’m happy to feel connected.
Gay Howard: Glad to be part of this group, I’ll be here next time!
Moira Darling: This has been a good experience for me. I’m always opening things up, and others seem overwhelmed. It’s nice to be in a space where it’s not overwhelming.
Chris Hughes: I think it’s very important as a touchstone. It’s easy to get distracted and caught up in daily affairs. It’s helpful to revisit what’s important and where to put my resources.
John Michaelis: This made my day.
Fenna Mandolang: Moira made me laugh (on mute). I appreciate the time set aside, even though we do talk once a month, I’ve enjoyed seeing people and hearing from each other in a different way.
Nadine Hoover: Grateful for all the people here and your companionship, I don’t know who I would be without all of you. My world would be completely different.
Valerie Joy: I loved to see everyone’s faces, and seeing Jenna’s room. I hope we can build on this day, and let others know that we are in touch with each other. Put it in our diary now, to sustain each other in the busy lives and world we’re in.
Jenna Morales: I’m sorry to miss most of this call for technical reasons. I’m looking forward to the next one.

Mark your calendars!
Share the message!

Next meeting: Friday/Saturday 16/17 June 2017

Los Osos, CA, USA
Friday June 16, 2017; 5:30 PM PDT (Pacific Daylight Time)

Sedona, AZ, USA
Friday June 16, 2017; 6:30 PM MDT (Mountain Daylight Time)

Oklahoma City, OK, USA
Friday June 16, 2017; 7:30 PM CDT (Central Daylight Time)

*Rochester, NY, USA
Friday June 16, 2017; 8:30 PM EDT (Eastern Daylight Time)

Kathmandu, Nepal
Saturday 17 June 2017, 6:15 AM NPT (Nepal Time)

Pati, Indonesia
Saturday 17 June 2017, 7:30 AM WIB (Western Indonesian Time)

Tagbilaran City, Philippines
Saturday 17 June 2017, 8:30 AM PHT (Philippine Time)

Sydney, Australia
Saturday 17 June 2017, 10:30 AM AEST (Australian Eastern Standard 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 (EDT).