Richmond First Friends writes to our local paper

Letter to the Editor, Palladium-Item

Sent Sunday, December 18, 2016

Dear Editor:

First Friends Meeting (Quaker) of Richmond wishes to express our care and concern for our Meeting, our larger community, and the world in this tumultuous moment in our nation’s history. Many of us have strong feelings about the recent presidential election. Quakers throughout history have never shied away from expressing their views about the world— engaging in a variety of social concerns as the Spirit has led them. 

As we at First Friends seek how best to respond to our current events both as individuals and as a faith community, we invite all of us in the larger Richmond community to see that of God in one another even as we may see things from different perspectives and especially when we disagree. May we all participate in deep listening with each other and may we extend that care and respect to all.

May we also pay attention to and stand in support of those who often have no voice or who are our most vulnerable. May we stand up together and reject voices and actions of hate, exclusion, or prejudice in their various forms. Our Quaker testimonies call us to be champions of peace, to work towards greater justice and equality, and to actively seek ways to unite rather than divide. 

The life of Jesus serves as a model and an example for how we can live in community with one another. Again and again, Jesus lived and taught the lessons of tolerance, love, openness, humility, and forgiveness. While these lessons are always our guiding Light, they are especially important in times of great doubt, fear, and change. May we all seek to model inclusion, a loving community, and deep service. May we  all take care of ourselves, each other, and our greater community as our God takes care of us.

Susan Hillmann de Castaneda, Co-clerk, First Friends Meeting
Lincoln Blake, Co-clerk, First Friends Meeting