Tempe Friends Meeting

of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)

 
 

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Friends' Lobby in D.C.

The FCNL advocates for Quaker values in Washington D.C. See how to be involved at

fcnl.org

 

 

Our Actions

I-Help Program

Visits to Federal Prisons

Statement on Arizona Senate Bill 1070

Statement on involvement in Afghanistan and Pakistan

I-HELP PROGRAM

I-HELP (Interfaith Homeless Emergency Lodging Program) recently celebrated the First Anniversary of helping the people living on the street.

I-HELP offers safe housing, meals, and connections to community services to homeless people in Tempe. The program is administered by Tempe Community Action Agency (a private, non-profit, charity). There are now seventeen Tempe Faith communities involved with I-HELP. Some of the congregations host the program in their buildings, some supply the meals, some do both.

Tempe Quakers provide evening meals the first Friday of each month at University Presbyterian Church, 139 E. Alameda Drive, Tempe. We generally start preparing food about 5 PM.

We've been so busy putting the program together this first year that we have done too little to invite others to join this Tempe-based compassionate response to homelessness in our community. Consider this your invitation. We would like to make you a part of the I-HELP family. If you have an interest in our efforts we invite you to "come and see." Steven Sparks is Director of Operations and can be reached at 480-350-5893, or Ruth Kearns, Tempe Quakers at 480-831-3351 or rskearnsnospam@gmail.com (remove the nospam from the address).

 

VISITS TO FEDERAL PRISONS

Prisoner Visitation and Support (PVS) is a voluntary visitation program to Federal and Military prisoners throughout the United States. It has been functioning with volunteers for 34 years. The primary focus is on those prisoners who:

  • do not ordinarily receive visits from family and friends,

  • want or need supportive human contact,

  • are in solitary confinement or on death row,

  • or are serving long sentences.

PVS offers friendship and a listening ear to help prisoners prepare to assume a useful place in society.

Four members of Tempe Friends Meeting visit prisoners at the Phoenix Federal Correctional Institution north of Phoenix (just south of Anthem) once a month. Other Friends in Tucson visit federal prisons near them. We are planning to have a presentation about this at Tempe Friends Meeting in the Fall.

For additional information, see the website http://www.prisonervisitation.org or speak to Carl Wallen at the Meetinghouse.

 


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Our statement about Arizona Senate Bill 1070 adjusted by House Bill 2162

The following Minute was approved by a Meeting for Business held in May 2010.

Senate Bill 1070 among other things makes it a crime to house men, women or children who lack legal authorization to be here as well as transport them whether it's to school, a doctor, or even church.  As modified by House Bill 2162, police will have wide latitude during a stop, detention or arrest while enforcing any law or ordinance to arrest anyone they suspect might be in the country without legal authorization. In light of it becoming law, the Tempe Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends considers the needs of our fellow human beings for medical care, shelter, food and education a higher priority than observance of this unjust law.  This law creates an unjust climate of fear for those whose area of residence, line of work, complexion, spoken language or accent deems them suspicious, even if they are citizens or legal foreign residents or visitors.

People come to this country to improve their lives, but unfortunately at this time, many impoverished people, especially from Mexico and Central America, face a cruel choice of waiting for years with little hope of gaining legal entrance or risking their lives crossing the border, often leaving loved ones behind.

It's unconscionable that the United States, with its great wealth and resources, has refused to come up with a more adequate immigration system, and that the United States and Mexico have failed to address underlying issues pushing people out of Mexico.  But this response in the state of Arizona we find immoral and inconsistent with Quaker testimonies on Community, Equality and Peace.   Senate Bill 1070 will not deter us from providing shelter to those who need it or assisting with the transport needs of others.  We urge police to use discretion and restraint in their interpretation of this law under the United States Constitution, and will stand for humane treatment of immigrants and bear witness to any activity by police to aggressively enforce onerous provisions of this law.

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Statement on involvement in Afghanistan and Pakistan - June 2010

Intermountain Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) remains deeply concerned about the escalating U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan and Pakistan. We remind our nation that the seeds of war are not only in others, but also within ourselves.  Evil does exist. But we cannot define evil as only that which is done by others, excluding all that is done by us. There is no security except in the creation of bonds of faith, trust, fair-dealing, and mutual respect established through diplomacy and understanding of the views and grievances of others.  

Our Quaker Peace Testimony is based on the fundamental conviction that war and violence are wrong in the sight of God, and that every person is worthy of respect:

“We utterly deny all outward wars and strife, and fighting’s with outward weapons, for any end, or under any pretense whatsoever; this is our testimony to the whole world....  Therefore we cannot learn war any more.” (1651)

War and violence are self perpetuating. Creative and courageous non-violence, however, can overcome hatred and violence and bring about justice and peace.  As William Penn once remarked, “force may subdue, but love gains.” (1693)

We are anguished by the deaths, injuries and trauma of so many.  The US participation in military actions in other nations has become a focus of hate and violence, and its continued military presence will only exacerbate hatred, fear, civil war, internal turmoil and the continued fueling of recruitment of terrorists. We must imagine more compassionately and empathetically how our actions are taken by others, and the difference between our intentions and consequences.

We believe that we are called to live in that spirit of love and power that takes away the occasion for all war.  It is in this Spirit that we join with others calling for the termination of military action by the US in its current wars and our government opting for diplomacy over violence in all international disagreements. We urgently call upon our President, the Congress, the government of the US, and the Several states to enact a resolution to this effect. We continue to accept our obligations for compassionate, peaceful assistance to the people of these countries, as through the building of bridges, schools, hospitals, water systems, and similar civil infrastructure. 

To create peace and justice and to insure domestic tranquility, we must act from a peaceful, compassionate center.  As George Fox stated, “I saw the infinite love of God. I saw also that there was an ocean of darkness and death, but an infinite ocean of light and love, which flowed over the ocean of darkness.”(1694) Our faith echoes that of Martin Luther King, Jr., who said “The moral arc of the Universe bends at the elbow of justice.”

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Quaker Action

The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) is one of the many organizations working in Haiti. See how you can help at afsc.org

 

Our Quaker Yearly Meeting

imym.org

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