Video #1: At yesterday's Meeting for Worship and afterthoughts, the Spirit ran rampant among the dozen or so that sat in expectant silence, to the point that the Member who closed Meeting yesterday noted an extraordinary general calm and peace and actually allowed Meeting to go over by a few minutes. This is what is known as a "gathered Meeting." Many of yesterday's messages revolved around a willingness and openness to allow the Light to permeate our lives, especially in times when it is most needed. That willingness and openness are essential, but it also requires a great sense of vulnerability. Vulnerability is scary, but as Prof. Brené Brown at the University of Houston has articulated in her 2010 TED Talk (one of the top 10 TED Talks ever, with over 25 million views), it's a good kind of vulnerability since through leaning into the discomfort of an uncomfortable situation, that exposure is actually edifying -- not destructive. Many of yesterday's messages revolved around the Quaker testimonies of Simplicity, Peace, Integrity, Community, and Stewardship of Spirit.
Video #2: A few weeks ago, a member of our Meeting shared with us a Call to Action. Here is a quick video prepared by Fusion and another video by Democracy Now on the situation. The Driscoll's corporation is a main source of berry (strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, etc) cultivation and distribution throughout the United States, and they have been cited for its alleged unfair treatment of its workers, especially on the West Coast and Mexico. As such, the workers have called a boycott on Driscoll products. As Quakers, the behavior of Driscoll's towards its workers is a concern for us as the workers suffer unfair conditions in 1- wage compensation, 2- inadequate access to health care, 3- a lack basic amenities at the workplace like breaks and access to water and the bathrooms during working hours, and 4- the employment of children in the fields. This is back-breaking work. Many of the local supermarkets around RFM sell Driscoll products in the produce section, so the next time you want berries ('tis the season), we would like to bring this to your attention and offer as an alternative that you support your local farmers market. (Anyway, Jersey blueberries are so delicious as the flavor is not lost during transport to local markets since the distance is much shorter compared to cross-country.) As Quakers, we strive for a world of peace and the individual is respected; Driscoll's behaviors are inconsistent with Quaker values and the Testimonies of Peace, Integrity, Community, and EQUALITY.