Radnor Meeting supports Afghan Refugees

Radnor Meeting members have been working with members of the local interfaith community who have been involved with hosting and caring for refugees. 
I-LEAD, Inc., the nonprofit organization was able to make an apartment in Bryn Mawr available rent-free. The family moved into the unit receently. Radnor Meeting members participated in furnishing and cleaning the unit and preparing food for the beautiful young family, a mother, her brother, and two young children ages 2 (boy) and 5 (girl). The family is energetic and joyful.  The family does not speak English yet and has many education, social and economic needs. Our Peace and Social Concerns committee is coordinating closely with the Mainline Refugee and Resettlement Committee along with I-LEAD, with support from the Nationalities Services Center, which has the contract with the federal government to support the resettlement of this family.

Forum recording – “The Ideal of Quaker Worship”

Ben Pink Dandelion presented a forum on November 7 at the rise of meeting for worship on the ideal of Quaker worship.  Ben is a Professor of Quaker Studies and Programmes Leader at the Centre for Postgraduate Quaker Studies, Woodbrooke, and University of Birmingham, England. He worships at Sawley Meeting in the shadow of Pendle Hill. He has written numerous books and articles about Quakerism and Quaker history. The recording is available here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_C4JrMq2D0M


Update from the Radnor Meeting Carbon Busters

On May 23rd the Carbon Busters (Carbon Net Neutral Committee) facilitated a forum to explore the committee’s progress four months in, and offer ideas and food for thought.

We spoke about the potential value of several ideas:

  • Mowing less area or less frequently, while turning our thoughts to how we might nurture carbon-absorbing native flora. Climate impacts of mowing are direct (fuel for mowing) and indirect (as native plants help to sequester carbon).
  • Shifting to plant milks and vegan baking for Fellowship, in the spirit of celebrating harmony with our environment, other living beings, and our health. An avid baker requested vegan baking tips. Lee (climatelaw[at]me.com) sent resources and is always available for support and resources.
  • Offering a continued Zoom option for Meeting. Optional attendance by Zoom is one way to limit gasoline emissions. The hybrid meeting, with some attending physically and others through Zoom, cuts greenhouse gas emissions and also provides a way to expand connections and include family and friends from other states and internationally. A round of thanks was given to David C. for making it happen!
  • Having committee meetings on Zoom as far as practicable. The benefits include less driving and the way Zoom supports the goal-oriented purposes of committees. Some noted that in-person committee meetings have social value; each committee will have its own perspective.
  • Other ways we can we cut driving emissions. Carpooling has the benefit of cutting per-person emissions, and also of increasing the time members and attendees spend together.
  • Weatherproofing the building and considering geothermal heat pump options. Further discussion involved the potential of the First Day school building’s south-facing roofs to collect solar power for the heat pump and use the energy for charging EVs in a few years’ time.
  • Switch to renewable electricity. Individual homes can stay with PECO yet switch easily and seamlessly to renewably sourced electricity. An example option is Green Mountain Energy. You can see options and compare costs at www.papowerswitch.com or call PECO.

We enjoyed some discussion time together. We found that some of these ideas are immediately practical, and others have good potential over the longer term, as we learn more.

The Clerk of Finance requested that the committee put together detailed proposals with cost estimates and work with the appropriate committees to budget the expenses over the next couple of years. The resulting plan should be presented to the Meeting for approval.

Collectively, we know the challenge presented to us by climate disruption is urgent and must be addressed. A recurring theme of our conversation was the importance of decisive action in our community, individually and together, if we expect our greater society to act. We reaffirmed this at the conclusion of the forum, and then enjoyed the rest of a gorgeous May Sunday.

Concern over the events of January 6th

The members of Radnor Meeting adopted the following minute in April 2021:

“A minute of concern over the events of January 6th and the increasing culture of violence in our country.”  As Friends, it is our understanding that we are not meant to conform to the ways of the world but to listen attentively and act in obedience to the Light Within. At this time, we are called to bear witness to our commitment to the Quaker testimonies of peace and equality. It is our deeply held belief that we are all equal in the eyes of God.  We embrace the practice of mutual respect and caring for the welfare of all humanity, and when we have differences, we address them peacefully, in a spirit of love and understanding. Conversely, we stand resolute against violence in all of its forms including racial and economic injustice. Violence, hate, and bigotry, regardless of the cause or rationale, should have no home in our hearts or in our society.  Let us be guided in our actions by love of one another and in our shared belief that there is that of God in every person. In direct response to our concern regarding the growing culture of violence and injustice, we as Quakers are led to speak truth to power and to bear witness through our actions that the way forward is through an unwavering commitment to peace, equality, and the power of love to transform.


Radnor Friends Taking Action to Protect Our Environment

The Peace and Social Concerns Committee presented a forum February 23 on “Taking Action to Protect Our Environment,” attended by approximately 25 Friends and Attenders. Jamie Lockard and Burt Dallas led the forum and noted the rise of environmental issues and awareness over the past 60 years. The degradation of our resources and climate change have reached a crisis stage in the current era.  The focus of the forum was to identify ways in which Radnor Monthly Meeting and its members and attenders can become more aware of environmental issues and take concrete action to improve and protect our environment.

Burt noted that caring for the environment is consistent with our Quaker values, including integrity, community, equality and stewardship.  He cited as one important example and action each of us can take is to consider eating a plant-based diet due to the massive resources required to raise animals for food, especially cattle. Articles were provided highlighting these facts.  For example, it takes 660 gallons of water to produce the beef in one hamburger.

Jamie then led us in breaking into four sub-groups to discuss addressing environmental issues at concentric levels: (1) individually, (2) at the Meeting level; (3) locally (township and county); and (4) nationally and globally.

Each break-out group brainstormed about ideas and items for action, summarized as follows (with apologies if any of the wonderful ideas and themes not captured here):

  1. Individual Actions
  • diet-based reduction of carbon footprint:  less meat/more plants
  • consult “Better World Shopping Guide,” which evaluates vendors and their focus on ecological issues
  • buy locally
  • choose business and products that use less packaging
  • take your own reusable shopping bag, versus using disposable plastic bags
  • recycle
  • home composting
  • switch to eco-friendly energy suppliers
  • green burials
  • carpool
  • energy efficient appliances/lightbulbs
  • turn down the thermostat
  • use clotheslines to dry laundry
  • use websites such as Nextdoor for recycling objects/furniture etc. rather than tossing them

2.   meeting Actions

Focus on the green space that we have at Radnor Meeting, including enjoying and respecting our grounds, making more use of the grounds, sharing our grounds with the community or other faith-based groups, having an inter-faith progressive garden tour, and cleaning  up a stream in our area (first day school activity?).

3. Local/Governmental level

Begin to work with other local faith-based organizations on environmental action, lobbying and legislation, including addressing such issues as maintaining open space, planting trees, recycling, better use of energy, charging stations for electric cars, litter pickup, stream cleanup, better public transportation and supporting efforts to adopt rules at housing developments to promote better environmental practices.

  1. National/global level
  • Improving public transportation to reduce the need for cars and imagining our area with less congestion
  • Supporting students from Radnor Meeting with scholarships to attend lobbying events (training the next generation)
  • Providing coordination/access to national efforts such as Friends Committee for National Legislation

The entire group then reconvened and reviewed the thoughts and ideas submitted.  One theme that emerged is that members of our Meeting want more information and resources to educate themselves about environmental issues so that they can act.  Those at the forum strongly supported updating the Meeting website to have more information and resources about the environment and actions we can take.

We will discuss the suggested items for action at the next meeting of Peace and Social Concerns and hope to be returning to the Meeting with plans for further action in the near future.  We appreciate everyone’s enthusiasm and support at the forum, and especially thank Jamie, Burt and Steve Olshevski for their hard work, insights and energy in preparing for this forum and leading our environmental efforts.  We hope this will be an ongoing commitment of the Meeting.