Religieus Genootschap der Vrienden

Vredescafé

Februari: Vredescafé i.p.v.Hapstilsnap

Datum 12 februari 2020
Tijd van 18 uur t.e.m. 20:30 uur
LocatieQuakers, Stadhouderslaan 8, Den Haag
Opgave (t.e.m. 11 februari) bij haagsevrienden@quakers.nu

In februari, bij uitzondering een iets andere avond, in maart zal er weer een reguliere HapStilSnap zijn.

Kom dit keer naar het Vredescafé van Johannes en Erik! Wij vertellen je graag over initiatieven van Quakers op het gebied van vrede en veiligheid!
Wij verzorgen soep en broodjes zodat we wat eerder kunnen beginnen dan anders. Zorg dus dat je er om 18:00 uur al bent.

Wij presenteren op 12 februari de volgende activiteiten:

Werkgroep Inclusieve Veiligheid, wat is inclusieve veiligheid? Hoe kunnen we dat concreet maken? De werkgroep heeft zich aangesloten bij een initiatief dat in Duitsland is opgestart, waar een scenario is ontwikkeld om het mogelijk te maken om per 2040 militaire veiligheid af te bouwen (het leger af te schaffen) en civiele veiligheid op te bouwen. Het scenario is een realistische schets, maar alles behalve een gelopen race. Wil je weten hoe dit scenario eruit ziet, en wil je meedenken over de vraag of dit in Nederland ook kan, zorg dan dat je erbij bent!

Stop Fuelling War (SFW) komt voort uit het protest dat Quakers al meer dan 25 jaar voeren tegen wapenbeurzen. De Eurosatory is de wapenbeurs in Parijs, en is de grootste land- en luchtwapenbeurs ter wereld. In Londen heet de wapenbeurs DSEI, waar twee onderdelen van de
demonstratie, kunst (artthearmsfair.com) en geloof (facebook.com/no-faith-in-war-2019-104103284268824) zijn. Het doel van SFW is het bewustzijn vergroten dat deze wapenbeurs er is; zelfs de meeste Fransen of Engelsen weten niet dat het bestaat. We willen laten weten dat er leefbare alternatieven voor militarisering bestaan. Als je wilt weten hoe we dat doen, en hoe je dit initiatief kunt steunen, kom dan luisteren. We beginnen met een quiz.

Wat kunnen wij hier en nu doen om van Den Haag een vredesgemeente te maken? Wat doet een vredesgemeente, hoe kunnen we de gemeentelijke politiek betrekken? In andere gemeenten (bijvoorbeeld Enschede) is hier veel ervaring mee opgedaan, kunnen wij hiervan leren voor onze mooie stad?

Johannes Borger en Erik Dries

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Retraite

De retraite vindt dit jaar plaats van 13 tot 15 maart in het Stiltecentrum van de abdij St Willibrord in Doetinchem. Het thema is dit jaar ‘Licht en Schaduw’. De invulling van het thema wordt met de aanwezigen samen gedaan, er zal zoal ruimte zijn voor gesprekken uit de Stilte, wandelingen door de prachtige omgeving rondom het klooster en veel stilte. Ook is het mogelijk om de diensten van de monniken bij te wonen.

Meer informatie over de retraite vinden jullie in de bijlage. Er zijn nog plekken beschikbaar, dus kom ook!

Men zou erg graag deze week de aanmeldingen nog binnen hebben, opgave kan bij Wils ’t Hart op hartenhuis@netvisit.nl

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Interne berichten

Berichten lezen

Om deze berichten te lezen heb je een wachtwoord nodig. Als je lid/ bekende bent van de Vrienden stuur mij een mailtje en ik zal je het wachtwoord versturen.

Groet,

Vivian.

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How I came to Quakers from Evangelical Christianity transcript

by Eric Baker

One thing I really appreciate about this Quaker Meeting—this is my only experience of Quaker Meetings—one thing I really appreciate about this meeting is that we allow space. We just clear the table or we try to clear our palates. We are expecting God to speak in different ways because we are different people.

How I Came to Quakers from Evangelical Christianity

My name is Eric Baker. I’m a part of First Friends Meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana, and I’m the music director here. I grew up in a very conservative—almost fundamental—Evangelical church setting, and really my whole adult life—or let’s say the first 15, even 20, years of my adult life—was me really questioning the values, the language, the theology behind that. I was the music director at a large non-denominational Evangelical church not far from here. Six, 7 thousand people. It just wasn’t working for me. So for about 2 years, I was trying to figure out the best way to leave that and also to do the best things for me. Really, it sounds funny, but this was the first time in my life, in my late thirties, that I was getting the opportunity to figure this out apart from what I was doing vocationally.

Finding the Quakers

I was really not familiar with the Quakers at all. I had read a few authors, people like Parker Palmer and Phillip Gulley, and it really resonated with me. It’s kind of funny, at the big church where I was directing the music, one of my jobs was to make sure that everything was programmed, and now I look back and it’s sort of “entertainment church” where there’s lots of moving lights and screens and a full band and smoke and all that stuff. I walked in here, and this is a semi-programmed meeting, so we have music and a message, but there are going to be multiple times throughout the meeting where it’s just silent.

So the first time I walked in, I think the minister got up and read a scripture and she sat down and nobody did anything, and I thought, “Oh boy, how embarrassing is this? Somebody has missed their cue.” And man, it’s my first time here, I wonder if this happens often. And then four or five seconds stretches into 15 seconds, into 30 seconds, and I start to realize what’s going on, and I at first was very uncomfortable. And then I looked around, and I thought, no one else seems to be uncomfortable. Just be cool. I can sit through this. I can weather whatever this is, you know?

Embracing Not Knowing

I grew up in such a Jesus-centric environment. What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus. And that was used as this, like, “Hey we’ve got the answer and those people, they don’t.” So what do we need to do? We need to tell them about Jesus, whether it’s people in the inner city, or people in Africa, or the kids I go to school with.

One of the things that I just really started to struggle with, even early into my twenties, was this idea that we all had to be on the same page when it comes to what we believe. But what that does is it sends this message that if you believe this, then you’re with us. If you don’t, then either you’re not with us or you may really may need to think about coming over to our side, and I always really struggle with that. So to now say not only are we not going to make you say what we believe in this one voice—so making sure: “Hey, we’re all on the same page, right?”—we’re not going to say anything. And we’re going to allow God to speak into this.

It took a little while for me to not only learn that, but to give myself permission that that was okay. That God is not this, that our experience of how religion should be is not this, it’s this.

Recognizing the Light of God in Every Person

Recognizing the light of God in every person has been a goal of mine to try and unlearn a lot of things. Recognizing the light of God in every person that’s different than me, that looks different than me, that has a different ethnic background or socioeconomic background or sexual identity or… I don’t understand their world, but they are created in the image of God. It’s not, “I recognize that you are created in the image of God and you’re welcome into this place. Now, we need to get you in here and talk about this sin in your life.” That’s been my experience. It’s like, yeah, everybody’s welcome here. And then they can sit here and get changed until they’re just like the rest of us.

What if we don’t do that? What if I don’t purport to know exactly what a follower of God or Jesus Christ is supposed to look like? What if there’s no “supposed-to-look-like?” What if we just say, “You are created in the image of God and I am created in the image of God and I recognize that in you and the value that you have because of that and the beauty that you bring to me and my life and the perspective and the value on your ideas and your thoughts and the value that brings to this meeting.” What if we just do that? That’s what’s had such a significant impact on me.

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Voorkant Vriendenkring

Er wordt nagedacht over een nieuwe voorkant en eventuele andere naam van onze maandelijkse blad (nu De Vriendenkring.) Enkele voorgestelde opties zie je hieronder. Als je je mening hierover wilt geven kun je deze hier invullen (graag je naam erbij vermelden). Ik zal de feedback doorgegeven aan de commissie Vriendenkring.

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Quakerhaus – Bad Pyrmont

Vrienden zijn uitgenodigd om het Quakerhaus te bezoeken en te meedoen met hun activiteiten.

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Gelijkwaardigheid

Ongeacht geslacht, leeftijd, afkomst of maatschappelijke status zijn mensen gelijkwaardig. Van meet af aan wezen Quakers alles af dat onderscheid bracht, zoals rangen en standen en het gebruik van academische titels. Dit getuigenis heeft Vrienden ook gemotiveerd om onrechtvaardige situaties te bestrijden en zich in te zetten voor bijvoorbeeld de hervorming van het gevangeniswezen, de afschaffing van doodstraf en slavernij, het stimuleren van sociale woningbouw, aandacht voor immigranten en de bescherming van kinderen en de zwaksten in de samenleving.

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Integriteit, getuigenis van de waarheid

Woorden hierbij zijn: trouw, betrouwbaar, eerlijk, echt. Het streven naar waarachtigheid en oprechtheid is essentieel voor Quakers. Het Bijbelse ‘laat het Ja dat je zegt, Ja zijn en het Nee, Nee’ is maatgevend. Daarom leggen zij geen eed af. Waarachtig taalgebruik betekent ook het vermijden van overbodige bijvoeglijke naamwoorden en overdreven onderdanigheid.

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Eenvoud

Quakers vermijden opsmuk en poespas, zij hechten aan duidelijke taal. Zij verzetten zich tegen ongeremde economische groei, materialisme en egoïsme. Zij zetten zich in voor de rechtvaardige verdeling van de natuurlijke hulpbronnen. Niemand heeft de wereld in bezit en mag zondermeer beschikken over haar rijkdommen. Quakers streven naar een eenvoudig en duurzaam leven en zijn terughoudend in het gebruik van genotsmiddelen. (er zijn ook veel vegetariërs onder de Vrienden)

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Justimore Musombi: Being Gay in Kenia

Part One: Being Gay in Kenya

I’m looking for a new family honestly, because my family has disregarded me. They did a ceremony in the African context of when you are gay or you commit suicide, they perform a certain ritual that people don’t want to associate themselves with you. To me, they performed it. They burned my clothes. They destroyed my things. They have sold my commercial plots in town. Some of the things I have bought. They have sold my things, meaning they don’t want to associate themselves with me.

I don’t have family in Kenya. I don’t have support in Kenya. I don’t have friends in Kenya.

Being Gay in Kenya

The law of Kenya is against homosexuality. If you are gay and found having sex with a person of the same gender you are jailed for 14 years. People need to understand, you know, what we mean by sexual preference and sexual orientation. I think that is the big thing that Africans are struggling with. So if they come to the fullness of understanding what is sexual preference and what is sexual orientation I think they can distinguish that and not demonize people and I think it is just homophobic, you know.

Being brought from where—I just don’t know because people say it is a Western thing, but honestly speaking it’s not a Western thing because I have done research and I found out that in the African context we have some terms that they used to refer to people of the same sex having sex—and so it is something buried down that they don’t want to bring it up. And yet it is there.

Coming Out

When I came out, close friends of mine heard about my coming out and they demonized it. They started calling me—that I am evil, I am possessed—and they treat me as someone who is suffering from mental illness.

“Praying for God to lift this curse”

I can say that what Paul says, “a thorn in the flesh,” something that disturbed me for many years and so I wanted this thing to come out. But it didn’t come out. It is something that I have grown up with my entire life. The first time that I discovered that I was gay it was far away in high school. I was being attracted to men sexually—those who dress well and they look nice. It was just me.

I would go to people to ask, “I have these feelings about my sexual desires. How am I going to do it?” Most of the time people advised me to pray and fast because they were telling me that it is a demon. And so I believed maybe, you know, people who are heterosexual and they engage themselves into gay sex: it is an abomination. It is a curse.

So I was praying God to lift this curse away from me.

Reconciling

So it has been so difficult for me to reconcile my faith, to reconcile my culture, and my sexual orientation. People refer me to books like Leviticus: “It is wrong for people to be together, have sex with the same gender,” and then they quote so much what Paul said. But you know, they don’t look into the culture of that time. The context and the content.

Why did Paul say this? Why did the writer of Leviticus write this? They take the scriptures literally the way it is and they want to apply it. Maybe it was that time, it is not this time.

Can’t Go Home

So right now I am operating as a refugee. Not on student status, but student vis-a-vis refugee. So I can’t assure you I will be going home right now, but I do love my country and I want to go back and support my country. But I have no means of going back because of the fear that I have for my life. Sort of like, I have shifted my minds to be here and to look for the Quaker organization and work with the Quaker church to support me and to be there.

Hakuna Mungu kama wewe

Part Two: Being Gay is Just OK

Homosexual is an inborn thing. You can’t get it out of you. If it is in you, it is in you. You can’t change it. It is just like heterosexual.

My name is Justimore Musombi and I’m from Kenya. I come from Algon East Yearly Meeting of Friends Church. I was a pastor in Kenya after graduating from Friends Theological College in 2000.

Quakers are well known for peace work and in Kenya we have the tribal clashes and fighting among the people in Kenya so I thought I really wanted to work to unite my country together and I couldn’t do that unless I have basic knowledge about peace.

So I joined the Quaker church simply because I wanted to know more about peace and work towards peace in Kenya, so that’s one thing that attracted me to Quakerism.

“Rough Times”

Well I have been through rough times. I can’t say that it has been easy for me to come out openly as a gay Quaker Christian. It has been a lot of challenges in my life. Because I was a pastor in Kenya, I preached and people consider me as a very spiritual person and charismatic. Yes I am a very powerful pastor, very charismatic. Sometimes I can even speak in tongues. But now, coming out as gay, it was a shock to many people.

My Monthly Meeting wrote me a letter that was a very bad letter telling me how I am evil, I baptized children there and I held them in my hands and I was preaching there, and all that I did – now it is null and void, it is rubbish.

Asylum

And so I had a clearness committee to help me sort out my way out because I wasn’t sure where to go with all of these threats and phone calls. I had to report it to the police. So talking to the clearness committee, they helped me to apply for political asylum, and I applied for political asylum, which I was granted last year.

Supporting Young People

My plan was to go back home and support the young Quakers. I’ve worked with the young Quakers for long and the young Quakers understand me so much and they love me so much in my country and I have a heart for them. These are people that we can rely on for the future generation of the Quakers and I think in Kenya it’s the highest population of the young Quakers probably in the whole world. So my main focus of coming here was to get the studies and go home and support them. I have so many young Quakers who are gay and lesbian but people in Kenya lead a double life. I wanted to go there to start a different Quaker church that is welcoming and affirming to support the Quaker young people.

I have felt so good because, for example, Earlham School of Religion is the liberal college and is welcoming and affirming. I’ve seen so many transgender, gay and lesbian people. And I felt good because they are supportive. I have been going to West Richmond Friends Church, which is welcoming and affirming.

Pastoring from Afar

I am working to write my story from the time I was born, how I grew up with my stepfather and my stepmom, how I came to know that I was gay. It will include my coming out story. So it’s going to me my life in Kenya and my life in the US, just to let people know that being gay or lesbian is just OK and God loves you just the way you are. And it’s not that you are suffering from mental illness and it’s not that you are a demon or anything, it is just the homophobic people just being afraid. But I really want to write my book so that people can read and create that awareness in the community and I think it will be a great place for people to read my story.

I’m also inspired to look forward to what articles Quakers have written about homosexuality and the Bible and I’m looking forward to translate those articles if people can give me that permission—into Swahili so that people can get that knowledge. Even though I will not be there physically, if I get my book there and some material there for people to read, I will have helped my society so much. If I don’t do it, who will do it?

I am here to sacrifice my life and my gift that God has given me to bless my community.

There is none like you my God. There is none, there is none, there isn’t one like you my God. Hankuna Hakuna Hakuna kama wewe. Hankuna Hakuna Hakuna Mungu kama wewe.

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