Quakers and Race
In the fall of 2008, the Germantown Meeting Adult Class began a series of classes considering “Civil Rights and the Beloved Community”. We began with the Civil Rights Movement and had several speakers share their experiences in different parts of the Movement in the 1960s and 70s. We then had several speakers talk about other denominations’ struggle and work in the area of race, and among ourselves, began an ongoing conversation – envisioning our own Beloved Community. We considered our wider community with a history of race in Germantown, the racial divide in Philadelphia public schools, and some of the issues around race and class. We ended the year with the story of GFS’s first African American graduate and the introduction of the book, Fit for Freedom, Not for Friendship Quakers, African Americans, and the Myth of Racial Justice by Vanessa Julye and Donna McDaniel, in preparation for Adult Class reading the book, beginning in the fall of 2009.
Our discussions of the book in 2009 and 2010 were rich, sobering and empowering and concluded with setting in motion steps which might make Germantown Meeting truly and beloved community. In October 2010, the Monthly Meeting approved a Declaration on Racial Justice.
School for HIV orphans in Uganda
Our member, Barbara Wybar, has continued a project for more than a decade that was started by GMM meeting members Peter Yeomans and Kate O’Shea to create a school for HIV Orphans in Bududa, Uganda. The students receive training in skills that can help them get a job. Read her article in the June 3, 2020 issue of Toronto Globe and Mail by clicking here.
Garden at Wesley Enhanced Living at Stapeley (Formerly Stapeley in Germantown)
This garden, at 6300 Greene Street, was tended by a small Group from the Meeting, as well as residents of Stapeley. The Meeting’s First Day School students start seeds for the garden in late winter and plant the seedlings in the spring.
The Old Tennis Court Farm
The Old Tennis Court Farm is established by Germantown Monthly Meeting in the tradition of Quakers to grow food, promote sustainable living, and nurture friendly interactions between neighbors. We encourage everyone in our community to share this vision of a splendid green space. For the 2011 gardening season, we are offering plots to individuals and groups in the neighborhood. If you are interested in joining the garden, please contact the Meeting Office at 215-951-2235 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Please see the Garden’s web page
Quaker Voluntary Service House
Quaker Voluntary Service has opened a house in Philadelphia under the spiritual care of Germantown Meeting. Four to eight young adults live together in community and spend the year immersed in service, social change and reflection. They intern with organizations that offer direct support to marginalized communities, and strive to transform unjust systems. For more information about QVS, visit their website at http //www.quakervoluntaryservice.org.
The Working Group with a Concern for Climate Change has put together a Sustainability Survey for the Meeting and interested community members. We encourage everyone to fill out the survey and return it to the Meeting (email@example.com). We hope the survey will help you learn about ways to live more sustainably, and we would like to hear about your ideas and projects.
Potluck on Climate Change, 2012 Jan 28
We had a wonderful evening of presentations, and discussions over a healthy potluck meal. There were presentations on policy change, greenroadway enhancement, solar energy, and better nutrition through vegetable gardening.
Click here to download a presentation on gardening at the Old Tennis Court Farm.
Click here to download a presentation on solar energy at a GMM member’s house.
Second Annual Interfaith Green Fair
Sunday, May 1, 2011 (1 – 5 pm), GFS Science Building
The Germantown Meeting of Friends (Quakers), in cooperation with local faith-based communities and environmental organizations (see list below), hosted the Fair for 2011 in the Germantown Friends School Sustainable Urban Science Center, near the corner of West Coulter Street and Germantown Avenue. This building has been certified as a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) building and was recently given a gold certification.
Exhibits — Workshops — Music and Entertainment — Food — Fun
This was an opportunity to talk to local experts and find out about resources that can help green your homes and neighborhoods. Attendees came and learned how to:
• Reduce your home energy bills
• Join a community garden and grow some of your own food
• Conserve your own water and help protect the sources of your water
• Invest in socially and environmentally responsible ways
• And more…
1:00-1:30 Hydro-Fracking in Marcellus Shale and Protecting our Waters – Iris Marie Bloom, Protecting Our Waters (POW), Director. POW is committed to AWE (Air, Water, Earth), all of which are heavily impacted by horizontal hydro-fracking. This session will address serious concerns about the impact of hydro-fracking in Marcellus Shale on public health and the vital systems that support life.
1:30-2:00 Home Cooling Strategies – Tanya Morris, Energy Coordinating Agency, Director of Communication and Outreach. Learn ways to keep cool by saving energy and money with energy efficient improvements such as air sealing, insulation and cool roof coatings which are available through the EnergyWorks, a Department of Energy Program which combines all available rebates, tax credits and low-interest finance options with expert building analyst and approved contractors to make your home more comfortable and save you money.
1:30-2:00 Socially Conscious Investing – Sister Kathleen Coll is a Sister of St. Joseph and the Administrator of Shareholder Advocacy for Catholic Health East (CHE). The workshop will explore significant ways to use investor actions to influence companies. The movement called, Socially Responsible Investing, will be explained and practical applications made.
2:00-2:30 Sustainable Living in NW Philadelphia – An Action Plan to Save Millions – John Ungar, Ogontz Area Revitalization Corporation (OARC), Senior Director of Sustainability and Education. In the Fall of 2010, OARC conducted a sustainability survey of residents in NW Philadelphia to see what sustainable actions were already being implemented and what areas required more outreach. Mr. Ungar will present the survey findings, as well as recommendations that demonstrate how individual actions can save the City millions.
2:30-3:00 Quiet Riot, Bill Mettler, Executive Storyteller, and David Mettler, Person in Charge of Noises and Opportunities. Witness first hand: flying meteors, molten planets, thunder, lightning, burning wheat crops, a raging tsunami, revved-up chain saws, the Flintstones, a fast food hamburger and an imaginary ball point pen. Two brothers, better known as the Quiet Riot, blend storytelling, comedy, music, and sound effects to reveal our true connection to the earth … for what we are doing to the planet we are ultimately doing to ourselves.
3:00-3:30 Panel: Moral Dimensions of the Climate Crisis – Sister Mary Elizabeth Clark, a Sister of Saint Joseph, S.S.J. Earth Center, Director; and Rabbi Arthur Waskow, the Shalom Center, Director; Moderator: Rev. Cheryl Pyrch, Summit Presbyterian Church. This workshop will present two perspectives to help us understand the moral issues involved in global climate change. Rabbi Waskow will speak on “From Pharoah’s Plagues to Planetary Community” and Sr. Mary Elizabeth will address the effects of global climate change on those who are poor and our consumerist lifestyle.
3:30-4:00 Creating Zero Waste Homes – Maurice Sampson, RecycleNOW Campaign, Chair, and Niche Recycling, President. This session will teach participants how to shop and make decisions that support reuse, recycling, and composting for zero waste in your home. The RecycleNOW Campaign is a project of the Recycling Alliance of Philadelphia, a coalition of organizations and individuals working together to promote expanded recycling in Philadelphia in order to improve the environment, economy, and quality of life in our City.
4:00-4:30 Next Great City Initiative – Bryan Collins, PennFuture, Philadelphia Outreach Coordinator. The Next Great City coalition is made up of over 100 civic associations, labor unions, businesses, public health organizations, environmental nonprofits, faith-based organizations and social service groups. Together they are dedicated to creating a positive future for Philadelphia by advocating for common sense cost-effective policies that enhance environmental quality, strengthen neighborhoods, and increase our economic competitiveness.
Other Special Attractions
Music was provided by Bruce Pollack-Johnson, the Folk Factory.
Chris Paulmier showed how to convert your diesel car to vegetable oil.
Contact: Linda Knapp (firstname.lastname@example.org)
• BioNeighbors Sustainable Green Homes
• Clean Air Council
• Energy Coordinating Agency
• EPA (Environmental Protection Agency)
• Germantown Friends Meeting Garden Group
• GRID Magazine
• OARC (Ogontz Avenue Revitalization Corp.)
• PA Horticultural Society
• PA Interfaith Power and Light
• PA Integrated Pest Management Program
• PECO (Philadelphia Electric Co.)
• Pedal Co-op
• PGW (Philadelphia Gas Works)
• Philadelphia Water Department
• Philly Compost
• Philly Green Jobs
• Protecting our Waters
• Shalom Center
• Sisters of St. Joseph Earth Center/Chestnut Hill College
• Tookany Tacony Frankford Watershed Partnership
• Toran Heating and Air Conditioning
• Transition Philadelphia
• UU Church of the Restoration Justice Council
• Weavers Way Coop
• First Presbyterian Church of Germantown
• Germantown Mennonite Church
• Germantown Friends School
• Green Jobs Philly News
• Green Street Monthly Meeting
• Mishkan Shalom
• Peace & Justice Ministry of St. Vincent’s
• Pennsylvania Interfaith Power and Light
• Sisters of St. Joseph Earth Center
• Summit Presbyterian Church
• The Shalom Center
• Unitarian Universalist Church of the Restoration
• Weavers Way Coop