Quaker House: Still The Best Quaker Job There Is
As Quaker House of Fayetteville NC begins the search for a new Director (or Co-Directors), the situation there is in many ways different from my time as Director, from 2001 to 2012: then we faced a couple of big wars. Today’s many small wars are almost entirely invisible to the U. S. public. And the public so far seems grateful not to see them — which is to say, there’s no significant anti-war “movement” anymore. Hasn’t been for years.
But there’s still plenty of work for Quaker House to do. Troops come back from secret combat as much subject to PTSD as they do from big open battles. And a steady succession of them still end up questioning this war business, and call Quaker House and the Hotline for information and help. Young people are still being swept up by recruiters from mostly poorer communities, to fill the ranks — and the VA hospital beds, and the coffins.
Plus, there’s still the unexpected. Soon there will be a new administration in Washington, and at the Pentagon. The talk of new big wars is in the air, from every side; where or when isn’t clear, but the urge to strike out at somebody is definitely there.
All this adds up to steady work for Quaker House. Did I mention that it’s the only concrete Quaker peace project next to a major military base: it’s where the rubber of talk about “peace witness” meets the road travelled every day by the war machine.
And one other thing the American public seems happy not to notice is that the war machine is still growing. Quaker House organized a conference in 2011 to mark the 50th anniversary of President Eisenhower’s warning about the burgeoning growth of what he dubbed the “military industrial complex.” Ike was prophetic: the MIC had kept on burgeoning for that half-century since then.
And it’s still burgeoning, bigger now than then, despite whatever you’ve read or been told about “winding down.” Militarism remains as American as apple pie; even more so.
The current Quaker House Co-Directors, Steve & Lynn Newsom, have been plenty busy too. And they’ll be retiring in late 2017. So it’s time to find their successors.
I say this is the best, most real job in Quakerdom, and I stand by that: the testimony is real, and applied in real time, with real people. The job calls for a wide range of skills; you can stretch and will be stretched; the stakes are high. The connections to Quakers are genuine too. If you think you’ve got religion, you’ll be putting it to use. There’s nothing else like it.
And Quaker House is not a fly-by-night, Society of Trends activist fad. The next Director will get to oversee –and celebrate– its 50th anniversary.
And did I mention that the pay is good too? (Though, to be plain, the Director has to make sure the budget gets raised so she/he has that generous paycheck. Which in my book is another way of keeping it real.) Plus free rent and utilities in a darn nice house (all tax-free “income”), in what’s long been a safe neighborhood; and health insurance.
But it’s not a job for the faint of heart, the dilettante, or the unimaginative.
I’ve copied the official flyer from the Search Committee below. Look it over. If it’s not for you, please pass it on. But if the Peace Testimony means anything to you, then you know this job needs to be filled right. You can help. Perhaps you know a promising candidate. Let us know!
Opportunity: Director of Quaker House
Quaker House, a landmark Friends peace witness, is seeking a Director to continue an active program promoting peace and non-violence. It is located in Fayetteville, North Carolina, home of Ft. Bragg, a major US military base.
Duties include: develop new programs to meet changing conditions; collaborate with Quakers, other churches and peace groups, extensive visitation among Friends and others; conduct fundraising, including fund appeals, soliciting and managing contributions from individuals or groups; supervise GI Rights Hotline counselors, Domestic Violence in the Military Counseling Program and administrative staff; counsel military personnel on conscience and discharge issues; write newsletters and respond to media inquiries; update the website, computer systems, databases, and QH archives; oversee building upkeep and maintenance.
Remuneration: beginning at $38,000, based on experience; plus health and dental benefits; free housing and utilities in renovated home located in Fayetteville’s historic district.
Qualifications: We seek a Director who is closely aligned with and familiar with the Society of Friends and the Quaker peace testimony; who understands the significance of upholding this light in a U. S. military setting. The position requires proven leadership, strong writing, fundraising, and management skills.
Candidates must have the stamina to live for an extended period of time in a military community. Familiarity with concepts in military counseling and recruitment is desirable. The candidate will preferably be available to attend some Quaker conferences during the summer of 2017 and begin full time in September of 2017.
Submit letters of inquiry in confidence to: Quaker House Search, 223 Hillside Ave, Fayetteville, NC, 28301, or by email to the Clerk of the Search Committee:
More information about Quaker House: www.quakerhouse.org
And at the Facebook page: Quaker House of Fayetteville.
Applications will be taken from September 1 to December 1, 2016.