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Peace Resources


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Purpose & History

The Peace Resources Committee consists of 6-12 members appointed for 3 year terms to accomplish the objectives listed below. The ILYM Peace Resources Committee neither duplicates nor replaces the work done within monthly meetings. Instead, over time, the hope is for a liaison relationship to develop between monthly meeting committees and this yearly meeting committee. The Nominating Committee has aimed to find members for the committee who are Friends with gifts, skills, knowledge and strong leadings regarding the objectives.
 
Objectives:
a) To develop a proactive conscientious objection counseling program;
 
b) To assist young Friends in expressing their personal peace testimonies and documenting these beliefs for their spiritual growth as well as for a draft board, should one be activated;
 
c) To share these processes with junior high, senior high and Adult Young Friends in cooperation with the Youth Oversight Committee;
 
d) To explore possibilities of working with existing peace-building activities such as the Quaker Volunteer Service, Training & Witness Committee; Project Lakota; and the AFSC/Intermountain Yearly Meeting Joint Service Project to enhance peace building with a spiritual and service-oriented basis for Young Friends;
 
e) To encourage Friends to examine and re-examine the meaning of the Peace Testimony in the context of our response to modern terrorism and war which has made it possible to wreak major devastation on people and their environment with minimal direct human involvement;
 
f) To become a source of knowledge and to encourage Friends' consideration of the options for and rationale of resistance to payment of war taxes;
 
g) To serve as a resource for monthly meetings, quarterly meetings, regional meetings and IYLM's program committee in identifying knowledgeable speakers and workshop leaders on the above topics.
 
Current membership includes:


Kent Busse (2015)

Mark McGinnis (2015)

Jan Mullen (2016)

Lucas Burkett (2017)
Carl Sherrod (2017)

 

Resources

Since the committee's inception, many different leadings have taken shape and collective projects and initiatives have manifested the committee's work in different ways:
 

 

"How Do You See Peace?" blog

Members of the PRC committee are now regularly writing on issues of peace today on our official blog: "How Do You See Peace?" where Friends are invited to visit, read what has been contributed to this 'virtual potluck conversation', and leave your own thoughts to further the dialog and discourse underway. Thanks to all that have already participated!

 

Peace Testimony Workshop

In 2006, the IYLM Peace Resources Committee developed a workshop for use by Monthly Meetings to deepen our corporate and individual understandings of Friends' historic Peace Testimony and contemporary expressions of it. The Peace Testimony Workshop is available to any gathering of ILYM, recommended as an all-day workshop (approximately 7 hours, including lunch). To schedule facilitators to visit your Meeting or gathering, contact Peace Resources Committee here.
 
Peace Testimony Workshop Advance Readings
After a Monthly Meeting has arranged for this workshop and a date for the workshop has been chosen, the assigned PRC facilitators will choose for one of them to serve as the Meeting's liaison to oversee preparations, including Advanced Readings. This collection includes both Required and Recommended works. While workshop participants are encouraged to read recommended texts, required texts are crucial to ensure that the workshop will be a deep and meaningful experience. It is suggested that numerous copies of the required texts be made available by the Meeting to Meeting members and attenders; please ask the PRC facilitator assigned to your Meeting if you'd like help arranging this.
 
When creating this workshop, PRC members themselves walked through the experience, which culminates in the authoring of one's personal peace testimony. To read a selection of Personal Peace Testimony Statements, click here.
 

 

On the Death Penalty

Illinois Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends reaffirms its historic and continuing testimony in opposition to capital punishment. Among other places, our testimony is set forth in "The Book of Discipline of the Religious Society of Friends, Christian Practice, Business Procedure", adopted by Illinois Yearly Meeting 1927, at page 59, in a section headed "Treatment of Civic Offenders", which states:
''Enlightened treatment of civic offenders by constructive methods rather than by merely punitive action is a reform challenging those who endeavor to follow Christian principles. While condemning unrighteous acts, we should at the same time seek to have offenders treated in a manner conducive to the strengthening of moral character, the maintenance of their self-respect, and their reclamation as useful members of society.
 
Friends are opposed to capital punishment because it is contrary to the Divine law of love. The application of the death penalty is brutalizing and degrading to the public mind. It leaves no room for the reformation of character, which should be the principal aim of criminal law, nor for the revision of the sentence in the event of a miscarriage of justice.''
Presently, capital punishment is provided as a possible sentence in two of the four states in which Illinois Yearly Meeting of Friends’ members live, as well as in United States federal and military prosecutions. Execution of prisoners remains an active possibility in each of those jurisdictions (including the states of Indiana and Missouri).
 
Friends are encouraged to become involved, as their individual consciences dictate, in local activist organizations opposing capital punishment; contact information for such organizations is listed on the website of the Death Penalty Information Center. Monthly and Quarterly Meetings also are encouraged to invite local speakers to address their groups, and to make written information available to attenders, to raise awareness of this issue; given the mobility of the American population and existence of federal death penalty laws, such awareness is crucial even in states which do not practice capital punishment. ILYM Peace Resources Committee is available to suggest and/or lead such programs on request of Monthly or Quarterly meetings.
 
Friends are invited to download and sign the anti-death penalty “Declaration of Life” wallet card, demonstrating your personal opposition to the death penalty.  For more information about this campaign, click here.
 

 

An Ecumenical Call to Just Peace

In July 2011 the Friends of Illinois Yearly Meeting gathered at our historic meeting house outside of McNabb, IL.  During this time together, business was conducted and resources shared, including a document from the World Council of Churches called, “An Ecumenical Call to Just Peace.”
 
ILYM Peace Resources Committee has been asked to further distribute this document widely for consideration. Authored in February 2011, the Preamble includes the decree:
Aware that the promise of peace is a core value of all religions, [this Call] reaches out to all who seek peace according to their own religious traditions and commitments. [sic] The call is … commended for study, reflection, collaboration and common action.
We share it with you here, recommending it for study by individual Friends and monthly Meetings, and invite for you to share your thoughts by Leaving a Reply here.
 

 

Minutes on Peace (archive)

Click here for a collection of monthly, quarterly, and yearly meeting minutes on peace concerns.

 

Additional Web Resources

Click here for a wealth of internet peace resources and documents.

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