Love and Justice: Heeding the Spirit’s Power Within and Among Us
“God, who made all, pours out his spirit upon all [people] in the world, in the days of his new covenant, yea, upon blacks and whites, Moors, and Turks, and Indians, Christians, Jews, and Gentiles, that all with the spirit of God, might know God and the things of God, and serve and worship him in his spirit and truth.”
“Here we have a prospect of one common interest from which our own is inseparable, that to turn all the treasure we possess into the channel of universal love becomes the business of our lives.”
John Woolman, “A Plea for the Poor”
As this is being written, we are holding a deep concern for the epidemic of racism―systemic and overt white supremacy in our country. The COVID 19 epidemic and global climate crisis have also greatly impacted Friends this year and many in our community have experienced loss, uncertainty and ongoing grief. And yet we know that these affect Friends in our Yearly Meeting in markedly different ways. Both COVID 19 and the climate crisis disproportionately affect Friends in the Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) communities. We are called to move toward love and justice.
The virtual Annual Session 2021 of Pacific Yearly Meeting will be held July 23 to 28. Our keynote speakers are Avotcja Jiltonilro, a poet, storyteller and multi-instrumentalist from Strawberry Creek Friends Meeting and Gabriela Portillo Alvarado, a second year college student at the University of Pennsylvania and a Young Adult Friend from Sacramento Friends Meeting. These two women will share their poetry and will engage in a dialogue on the theme.
Together we will take the time to connect with the Power of the Spirit within us. The indwelling Spirit connects us to one another and to all of creation.
This interconnectedness requires us to reevaluate how we relate to one another. The dominant culture within our country and our Religious Society of Friends of the Truth has centered whiteness for too long. What acts of love and justice are necessary for us to re-center our Society to a place of justice, of love, for all? How do we begin to move from entitlement to humbly giving our energy to a different way of being? How do we grow our abilities to cherish one another and develop a culture of dignity within our Yearly Meeting and beyond? Ongoing learning, truth telling, and willingness to repair are needed to break the bonds of racism. Each of us can see a portion of Light, but we need all of us to see the way forward, guided by Spirit.
You are invited to the Pay as Led online Annual Session of Pacific Yearly Meeting July 23 to 28, 2021 from wherever you are tending your heart. When registration is open you will be able to choose which activities are right for you. Together at Annual Session we will seek the guidance of the Divine Spirit in worship, in learning, and in rejoicing together.