All posts by Chuck Fager

Support for Bradley Manning from South Central Quakers

Friends: South Central Yearly Meeting just adopted the minute below. Please share it widely.

One of the main authors of the minute is Phil Newberry of Stillwater, Oklahoma Meeting. (OK is Manning’s home state.) Phil is already going on the road, to share the Minute and his concern with Friends and others in Kansas, Missouri & Iowa, in hopes of building ongoing support work around Leavenworth prison while Manning is there. I invite those interested in this developing work to contact him at: newcat@nullsbcglobal.net

Continue reading Support for Bradley Manning from South Central Quakers

When Wonks Attack: Philadelphia YM Budget Saga, Cont..

Well, friends, one report I read of the April 9 PYM Interim Meeting session o n the new budget, which cuts 25% of the staff to close a million-dollar deficit, was that all was sweetness and light and serene acceptance.

More recent reports give a different view. “Left reeling in shock,” is another reaction.  No doubt individual responses varied. But two items have surfaced to suggest that the waters are troubled.  One is a memo from General Secretary Arthur Larrabee, announcing that he is taking a voluntary 5% salary cut, effective immediately. (Text below.)

Continue reading When Wonks Attack: Philadelphia YM Budget Saga, Cont..

Back To Class: Friends, “Our” Schools, And The Shock of Recognition

Friends seminary, Manhattan New York
Friends Seminary, New York City

Settle in, guys and gals; this one is lengthy. But worth it. (It should be especially useful for recovering from an overdose of Supreme Court hearings.)

In a couple of earlier posts– here and also here — many months ago, I mentioned discussions of class as a factor that complicated self-understanding and community-building among Friends today, and promised to return to them at some point.

This is one of those points, precipitated by another New York Times report back  in 2011, describing tensions between some Friends in New York City and an expensive private school, Friends Seminary, which adjoins and shares facilities with the Fifteenth Street Meeting in Manhattan. It seems there are New York Friends who say that ties with the school should be cut. This saga is part of the background to the current issue at the school over the firing of its only remaining Quaker teacher. Continue reading Back To Class: Friends, “Our” Schools, And The Shock of Recognition

PYM Postscript: Kumbaya and Goodbye

Reports are trickling in about the Interim Meeting session of Philadelphia YM last Saturday (April 9), when the budget with the staff layoffs was brought forward. What I’ve heard so far is that all went quietly, decisions were put off for a couple of months, but it sounds like the deal will be done, and the pink slips issued. This is not surprising, as none of the dissidents have as yet offered any other way out of the million-dollar deficit the new budget and its layoffs will undertake to close.

I’ll be interested to hear more. But for now, we’ll turn to other matters.

PYM Document dump: Budget Details at Last! (Plus: Deja Vu All Over Again . . .)

With an appropriately self-mocking headline, Have you heard about the proposed PYM Budget? PYM Clerk Tom Swain finally joined the fray and uploaded a bunch of documents Thursday to the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting website.

The disclosure is good. The timing, not to put too fine a point on it, stinks.

Continue reading PYM Document dump: Budget Details at Last! (Plus: Deja Vu All Over Again . . .)

Some PYM Budget Cut Blog Feedback

Found a couple of blog posts that speak of the PYM budget situation, mainly the YAF part of it.

The most interestingly titled one is: A Letter to Chuck Fager About His Blog and the Recent Budget Conflicts in Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, by Zach Dutton.

Zach says he’s a student at one of my alma maters, Harvard Divinity School; but what really distinguishes him is the fact that he’s read my Quaker mystery novel, Un-Friendly Persuasion. Dude!

Continue reading Some PYM Budget Cut Blog Feedback

More Philly Turmoil: Two Documents in the PYM Budget Battle

PYM Logo

Many thanks to the sources up north who have passed on these items. Keep the cards and letters (and memos) coming!

Medicaid-Budget-CutsA Friendly Letter has recently obtained a copy of the original “confidential” document listing planned staff cuts (described as a “realignment”) and the projected budget savings they are supposed to yield for Philadelphia Yearly Meeting. This document, which is now being widely discussed, is online here as a PDF. It confirms our earlier reporting, and proposes to save around a half million dollars in PYM spending by layoffs and cutbacks.

Continue reading More Philly Turmoil: Two Documents in the PYM Budget Battle

The YAFS Strike Back! Philly YM To See Budget Cut Pushback

In our previous post, we noted that Philadelphia Yearly Meeting officials have proposed a budget which includes numerous staff cuts.

Among the positions on the chopping block is the Young Adult Friends Coordinator.
Coming to Philadelphia YM?
Coming soon to Philadelphia YM?

But the post will not be dropped without a— thee should pardon the expression, Friend — fight.

A “worshipful and loving” fight, it is insisted; but a fight just the same.

Continue reading The YAFS Strike Back! Philly YM To See Budget Cut Pushback

Three Homelands: A Revelation In Ireland

Three Homelands: A Revelation In Ireland

In December 2010, on a bright but cold afternoon, I took a serious blow to the ego, and what’s left of my cultural pride. It probably did me good, but I’m still rubbing the sore spot: it’s like a bruise that just won’t heal.  It started out fine, when I got off a bus not far from Waterford, Ireland, just in time for an interview.

Dog-Days-Logo-CF-Dog-Days-box

Continue reading Three Homelands: A Revelation In Ireland