Thursday




To many of us at Barnstable Friends Meeting, it seems that as a society we are at an inflection point. 

Great and horrible things are afoot and collectively we can choose which path to take. As this time requires active, diverse, powerful and spiritual ways to move us personally and societally forward toward the goal of beloved community,

please share with white people you know who might need to learn a bit more about why Black Lives Matter.

https://tools4racialjustice.net/ 

May all our lives speak Truth, Justice, 
Peace and Love,
Barnstable Friends Meeting

Tuesday

Due to the coronavirus in person meeting for worship has been suspended until further notice.We will be meeting for worship virtually through Zoom. (Usually we worship offline on our own and then connect for tea and a chat). There are only a few of us and we would love it if you would like to join us.Please leave a comment and an email if you wish to join us. 

Stay safe and sane,

with Love, Gratitude and prayers for Health and Healing,

Rachel

keep paying attention

June 5, 2020

Message from Chairman Cromwell: Court Rules in Favor of Tribe

"Today, the DC District Court righted what would have been a terrible and historic injustice by finding that the Department of the Interior broke the law in attempting to take our land out of trust." ...
________________________
(it might seem over for now but keep paying attention)
 The Mashpee Wampanoag reservation on Cape Cod is being threatened with disestablishment of their tribal recognition.
Dear Friends
Your help is needed now!  We are writing out of concern for the decision the Secretary of the Interior, David Bernhardt, made on March 27, 2020, that the Mashpee Wampanoag reservation on Cape Cod will be disestablished and their land be taken out of trust. Taking land out of trust means that the special status will no longer exist and therefore the tribe could be unable to make its own decisions on how to develop the previously tax-exempt land and its natural resources. Some of the other things threatened by this decision could be the tribe's four-judge court and two-member police department because they would no longer be operating on sovereign land as well as the transportation program that has helped elders and differently-abled folks to get to medical appointments, do food shopping, pick up RX, etc. Their health department and housing development for tribal elders and families could also be in jeopardy as well the tribe and its members again being subject to state and local taxes at the worst possible time. How many homes, how much land under indigenous control will be lost this time around? This decision has potential for wide ranging consequences for many other tribes as well.  

Some of what you can do is:
  • MAY 3rd, the Mashpee Wampanoag Nation will light sacred fires, smudge sticks and candles in prayer and in protest of the Trump Administration for “disestablishing” the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe's reservation amid a pandemic. Light your candle or fire, let it burn 1-4 days, and post a picture with the hashtag #StandWithMashpee. Fires are lit May 3rd, official hearing in D.C. is May 7th.  Cleanse the air of negativity, greed, jealousy, racism and capitalism attached to these wrongful decisions.  May the Mashpee win their case and keep their Lands In Trust! We are not protesters we are protectors. Protectors of Indigenous lands and sovereignty. 
  •  Sign PETITION calling on Congress to Pass the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe Reservation Reaffirmation Act:  https://sign.moveon.org/petitions/stand-with-the-mashpee?utm_source=Newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_content=Urgent+Ask+to+Protect+Wamponaog+Tribe+Sovereignty&utm_campaign=SWL+2020+March+-+Wamponaog+Tribe+Soverignty
  • Call Senator John Hoeven of North Dakota, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs: (202) 224-2551. Urge him to support the forward movement of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe Reservation Reaffirmation Act (Senate Bill 2628)
  • CALL AND EMAIL the Secretary of the Interior, David Bernhardt, who issued the order to disestablish their reservation lands  PHONE:  (202) 208-3100, EMAIL:  https://www.doi.gov/contact-usCall the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121, and ask to Speak to your Senators.. Urge your Senators to support the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe Reservation Reaffirmation Act (Senate Bill 2628)
...
In 2001 a committee of Friends from Sandwich Monthly Meeting (the Committee of Concern for Native People) supported federal recognition for the Mashpee Wampanoag. The committee wrote a letter that spoke to some of the fears that led some Friends to oppose recognition and encouraged people to send a letters of support to the Department of Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs, their congressional delegation and others.  (Letter and an article written for the New England Friend newsletter in 2002 attached for reference.) While a lot has happened in the intervening 19 years, today it seems like time has been rolled back.

In 2013 NEYM minuted "The Doctrine of Discovery was used to justify Christians’ ‘right' to dominate, exploit and claim the lands of non-Christians ... It has the force of law globally and serves as a framework of oppression fully intact in U.S. federal Indian law today…”.    The Doctrine of Discovery speaks directly to this current issue. It is part of the continuum of people of European descent leadership and corporations, with the support of law, taking indigenous people’s land, possessions and resources. This decision to disestablish the Mashpee Wampanoag reservation and take their land out of trust clearly demonstrates that the Doctrine of Discovery is very much alive and in operation. A leader in the Mashpee Wampanoag community wrote " it is horrible news and we feel like we've been sucker punched in the stomach….again.  … The emotional and psychological damage is indescribable as our Youth try to decipher, make sense of this as the timing [during the coronavirus] is simply cruel."

What can we do? We can all again write to encourage and support positions such as US Rep. Bill Keating Keating and others in their opposition to the decision of the Secretary of the Interior. We can write in opposition to those who support the Secretary’s decision. Following is a possible sample letter. Please, ASAP send a letter of your choosing to your members of Congress, the Department of the interior or anywhere else you think would be helpful. Also, very important, please forward this request to whoever else might be enlisted to this important cause. It's way past time we start to heal our broken system and world.

I respectfully ask Friends to prayerfully consider appropriate responses and support for the indigenous people in Mashpee and other places. Taking this action, demonstrating our respect and unconditional support, allows the divine spark within every individual to join in harmony with all others.  Let us come together to have a positive influence on this travesty of justice. Let’s envision and work toward a renewed commitment to  respect and healing. As this blossoms in all our hearts, it enables us to meet each other with Light and unconditional Love.

Rachel Carey-Harper, Barnstable Friends Meeting (Preparative of Mattapoisett Monthly Meeting)

For further information and to check for updates, see https://mashpeewampanoagtribe-nsn.gov/the-news
If you choose to send or post excepts on Facebook or wherever please consider including the following link for the full version of this request.   http://quakersofthelight.blogspot.com
                                     …………………………………

Possible sample letter
Dear _______________,
We/I need your help!  I am/we are writing out of concern for the decision of the Secretary of the Interior, David Bernhardt that the Mashpee Wampanoag reservation be disestablished and their land be taken out of trust. [(insert for those who oppose the Secretary of the Interior actions, Keating, Warren, etc: Thank-you very much or your active support for the Mashpee Wampanoag. Please continue your efforts on their behalf)] 

The federal government hasn't removed a tribe's land trust status since the Termination Era of the 1940 - 1960 when Congress tried to end tribal independence by removing federal protections and pushing for the assimilation of American Indians, say Native American groups and federal Indian law experts. Taking land out of trust means that the special status will no longer exist and therefore the tribe could be unable to make its own decisions on how to develop the previously tax-exempt land and its natural resources. Some of the other things threatened by this decision could be the tribe's four-judge court and two-member police department because they would no longer be operating on sovereign land as well as the transportation program that has helped  elders and differently-abled folks to get to Drs appts, do food shopping, pick up RX, etc.  Their health department and housing development for tribal elders and families could also be in jeopardy as well the tribe and its members again being subject to state and local taxes at the worst possible time. How many homes, how much land under indigenous control will be lost this time around? This decision has potential for wide ranging consequences for many other tribes as well.

I (We) join together with others to seek a world in which all people can join together as equal and respected parts of the human family.  By holding each other in respect and unconditional support, the divine spark within every individual joins in harmony with all others.  Let us envision and work toward a renewed commitment to justice, truth, respect and healing. As this blossoms in all our hearts, enables us to meet each other with Light and unconditional Love.

Please support the Mashpee Wampanoag and other Native People to correct this miscarriage of justice by asking our representatives to take concrete action.
(Your signature)
…………………………...
send to your congress people such as:  
**— US Rep. Bill Keating (9th Dist., D)   https://keating.house.gov/contact  508-771-6868,  202-225-3111 — 259 Stevens Street, Suite E Hyannis, MA 02601 Phone: (508) 771-6868
**— US Senator Elizabeth Warren: 2400 JFK Federal Building , 15 New Sudbury Street  Boston, MA 02203 Phone: (617) 565-3170 ,  202-224-4543
**— US Senator Ed Markey  https://www.markey.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/Privacy%20Release%20Form1.pdf  — 975 JFK Federal Building 15 New  Sudbury Street  Boston, MA 02203  Phone: 617-565-8519   202-224-2742
**— Bureau of Indian Affairs, MS-4606 1849 C Street, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20240
_____________________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________________
**FOR REFERENCE ONLY**

Sandwich Monthly Meeting Committee of Concern for Native Peoples
c/o Rachel Ann Carey-Harper
P.O. Box 585, Dennis  MA 02638  4/30/2001
   -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

In 1977 Friends (Quakers) from New England wrote the following at our annual gathering:  "We note with great concern the potential for prejudice-born  over-reaction which accompanies the growing cultural awareness and demand for legal and economic rights among Indians in New England. We believe that factual information about these matters can help to find a more peaceful and just response by the neighbors of the Indians… Through this process (continuing education) we look to renew our historic friendship between Friends and Indians."

Today,  Friends from Cape Cod reaffirm the above minute and are distressed and greatly disappointed that 24 years have passed and yet the Mashpee Wampanoag continue to experience an atmosphere of distrust and insensitivity as they pursue Federal Recognition.". We respectfully ask you to give your support and understanding to the Tribe.  (For congressional delegation:)  Furthermore, as your constituency,  we ask you to take a leadership role both within the Massachusetts delegation as well as Congress in encouraging a favorable recommendation.  We also ask that you write a letter in this regard to the Branch of Acknowledgment and Recognition* and forward a copy to us and the Mashpee Wampanoag .)  (For others:)   Furthermore,  we ask for leadership within your community including writing letters to our Congress people urging their active support of a favorable recommendation and writing letters to the newspapers in support of recognition.  We would appreciate your forwarding copies back to us and to the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe.

Federal recognition requires the Tribe to meet seven specific criteria which will be reviewed by a panel of experts in the field. Whether or not the Wampanoag decide to be involved with gaming has nothing to do with the legitimacy of their petition. However, it is understandable that this could be of concern to all inhabitants of this fragile peninsula.  The concern of the  Mashpee Wampanoag for the quality of life on Cape Cod is well documented.  They have repeatedly responded to questions about the possibility of casinos on Cape Cod with unconditional denial of any intention in this regard.  Their statements and record on this issue are clear.

Another issue for some on Cape Cod is a fear about loss of property.  To our knowledge no one in the history of the US has ever been evicted or been forced to sell their home because an Indian tribe has been recognized. A local example of this is that during the land suit of the 1970s the Mashpee Wampanoag added to their portion of the case a clause that stated that if successful they would not pursue action against the houses of non-Wampanoag citizens of the Town of Mashpee.

We write today to encourage people to familiarize themselves with the facts. We strongly urge you to speak to the tribe directly with any questions that remain unresolved. They have stated their willingness to be available either in large settings or small groups. If an individual has a question they can contact Glenn Marshall;  president Tribal Council, If a group wishes to meet ,  we recommend a letter of request be sent to the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribal Council at P.O. Box 43, Mashpee MA 02639.

We ask that you share factual information with your colleagues and friends.  We ask that you resolve to be firm against any backlash that the tribe might experience such as the recent vandalism of their property. Finally we beseech you to take a positive role in fostering harmony, friendship and justice, being models for acceptance, respect and love.  Together let us demonstrate our commitment to peace.

  In Concern,

Rachel Ann Carey-Harper, clerk

*Department of Interior,  Bureau of Indian Affairs
Branch of Acknowledgement and Research
mail stop 4627-MIB  1849 C Street NW Washington DC 20240
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A Bounty on their Heads; A Suffering in their Hearts
The Climate Today in New England for Native Peoples as They Seek Federal Recognition
By Rachel Carey-Harper 6/1/2002

When police shoot and kill unarmed people of color what are the consequences for these officers of the law? In Cincinnati they may be get up to 6 months in prison, in New York nothing, in Mashpee Massachusetts they are paid $75,000. David Hendricks, an unarmed Wampanoag, was shot seven times, the last five at point blank range through the driver side window after his car had stopped May 1, 1988. The officer was paid for this murder on the condition he not sue because they asked him to leave town Obviously the relationship between the Wampanoag and some of their white neighbors is at times tense. This is also true for communities throughout New England as Indian people struggle with issues related to gaining Federal recognition, and as they suffer from prejudice and poverty.

Wampanoag people were one of the earliest settlements acknowledged by English law with “ownership” of the southwestern part of Cape Cod and other places recognized by the Plymouth Colony in 1671. According to an American Friends Service Committee report, in Mashpee from 1834-1962 all but one selectman was a native person or married to one. However, according to the AFSC report, this changed in the early 1970s when the Chace family, under the name of New Seabury, began building a high-cost development on 2700 acres which included basically all the Mashpee ocean waterfront. Further, according to the report, in 1970 Mashpee’s unemployment rate was 7.9%; by 1977 it was 21.5%. In 1965 the total population was 665 of which 500 were Wampanoag; by 1978 the total population jumped to 3,000-4000 of which 350-400 were Wampanoag. (This change in demographics meant that all town officials that had previously been Wampanoag were voted out of office.) In 1954 the amount of tax levied was $89.19 per capita; by 1976 taxes levied were $722.11 per capita.

Today Mashpee Wampanoag and other tribes throughout New England continue to experience an atmosphere of fear, bigotry and exaggeration as they pursue Federal Recognition. In a recent Mashpee forum organized by a former selectman, he and his “experts” falsely insisting that, if recognized, the Wampanoag would bring casinos to Cape Cod, and that they would sue non-native people to claim their homes. They essentially said that Indian people lie and don't subscribe to law, insisted that "there is no middle ground," and in opening remarks advised against any reconciliation work with the tribe — equating it with attempts to appease Nazi Germany.

In Connecticut a regional council of leaders from 10 towns reported in the newspaper being concerned that if the Nipmuc receive recognition that their (white) communities will be adversely affected, especially in relation to concerns about gaming and property. These council leaders are requesting 1 million dollars of state money to hire their own “experts” to “deal with tribal issues.” Though this request was rejected by the governor, it has support in the legislature.

Federal recognition requires that any tribe  meet seven specific criteria which will be reviewed by a panel of experts in the field. Whether or not the tribe decides to be involved with gaming has nothing to do with the legitimacy of their petition. As to the issue about the loss of property, according to the AFSC , no one in the history of the US has ever been evicted or been forced to sell their home because an Indian tribe has been recognized. A Mashpee example of this is that during the land suit of the 1970s, the Wampanoag added to their portion of the case a clause stating that, if successful, they would not pursue action against the houses of non-Wampanoag. In Southern Connecticut, one tribe did attempt to place leans on properties where the titles were unclear, but after months in court they were not awarded any properties.

Following the failure of the Mashpee land suit (decided by the same judge who was exposed in the movie A Civil Action), AFSC wrote "We note with great concern the potential for prejudice-born over-reaction which accompanies the growing cultural awareness and demand for legal and economic rights among Indians in New England. We believe that factual information about these matters can help to find a more peaceful and just response by the neighbors of the Indians."

Even among Friends there sometimes is an atmosphere of distrust and insensitivity around this issue. On Cape Cod some Quakers want to stay neutral and be what they define as “peacemakers.” What is the most effective way to make peace between people who refuse to let go of hurtful attitudes and the people they oppress? What can we do if some of us refuse to see and acknowledge the undercurrents of racism? Isn’t tolerating these attitudes that to some degree exist in all of us of European descent — even Quakers, an integral part of the problem? As Friends should we stay neutral as people seek redress for past wrongs or unarmed people of color are killed?

We like to think that we, as the Religious Society of Friends, advocate for the disenfranchised. However to some of us throughout New England Yearly Meeting our Indian neighbors are invisible and irrelevant. Historically, what indigenous communities lived in your local area? What agreement or treaties were negotiated with them? Where are they today and why? Where is information on native peoples coming from, white establishment sources or the Indians themselves? It is important that we familiarize ourselves with the facts and directly contact our closest Indian neighbors to learn about the issues they face. It is important that we speak out against any violence they experience whether it be vandalism on tribal land, issues such as using native names for sports mascots (for example the  Washington Redskins} or the more subtle forms of discrimination.

We like to think we are a nation of law. Should this only be true if  our laws sustain simply the dominant class or group? Will we as Friends passively accept or defend police as being immune from the legal consequences of heinous actions? Do we  perpetuate the commonly held community attitudes about native peoples — because “we can’t pick up every cross” or “it isn’t a social concern that is on my plate”? Is this living up to Friends’ principles and ideals?

We need to look at white privilege and the white supremacist attitudes that all people of European descent carry unconsciously. If we don’t do this, none of the issues of in this article  or the daily assault on the dignity and very lives of people of color   will have any chance of being healed. Only when we address that which each of us is doing unconsciously to uphold an unjust and unholy system will we really demonstrate that we are lovers of peace and servants of the Spirit. Otherwise it is a sham to pride ourselves on our Society’s taking a positive role in fostering harmony and justice.

Why should we allow ourselves to be uncomfortable? The answer depends upon what kind of world we want to leave behind us. Do we want a world in which all people can join together as equal and respected parts of the human family? If so we must let go of that which keeps us separated, apart from each other and apart from the Source of Light, where pure Love and Peace abide, where the divine spark within every individual joins in harmony with all others. Somehow we need to find the courage to go beyond our comfort zone and dare to think holistically, think beyond our minds and look to our hearts. Then a time will come when old blame and shame dissolves into new compassion and harmony.  A place will be created where a renewed commitment to Justice, Truth and Respect blossoms in all our hearts; where we met each other with Light and unconditional Love.

Monday

State of Society Report 2019

Barnstable Friends Meeting (Preparative) and Mattapoisett Monthly Meeting
Joint State of Society Report 2019

Precious seems like one of the best words to describe Mattapoisett Monthly Meeting and Barnstable Friends Meeting (Preparative).  In a world being tossed about in a sea of chaos and division, our Meetings are harbors for mutual respect, unconditionally love (even in the midst of differing, strongly held opinions) and a harbor of peace.  It’s a place where everyone, especially Barnstable Friend feels welcomed, accepted and spiritual affirmed.

Mattapoisett Monthly Meeting and Barnstable Friends Meeting (Preparative) demonstrate loving and tender care in many different ways. These include a real heart felt tenderness that flows forth in attention to needed details; such as a particular potluck dish, or when some express in worship what is moving their spirit.  Much joy comes from after meeting gathering for tea or potlucks. They present opportunities for those present to talk about and resolve old misunderstanding.

This past year, Mattapoisett Monthly Meeting attempted to encouraged newcomers with an open house. Although sparsely attended it did help draw us together and learn new things about our heritage such as the story of Quaker cannibals of Nantucket. Barnstable Friends attempted to encouraged newcomers with a book club using Amanda Kemp’s “Say the Wrong Thing” and initiated a “17 characters ministry” with a changeable street sign that reflects Quaker principles. Meetings also did concrete things in the wider community such as the annual Buzzard Bay swim, tabling for LQBTQ concerns at New Bedford Pride and supporting the local immigrant community.

Loss, love and learning are three themes that rose for us during 2019:  
 Loss of the four members who are deeply missed by our Meeting community. The love was palpable during the three memorial services that were held. They were a lovely time with family and F/friends to remember the unique place these Friends had in the world and special things, like how one of them would be giggling about the sounds of an early spring. Three of these members were artists and there was renewed awareness of the importance of their role in society, the spiritual need for art and beauty.

The love being shown to our children, particularly a young granddaughter and young adult Friend,  helped people feel connected and attached to our Meeting. When the peace corp volunteer had a medical difficulty and briefly came home, he was grateful for being loved and supported and for the elders who previously had similar Peace corp service expoernece. It helped them all feel part of a caring continuum.

Learning about clerking and some of the strange, funny, quirky Quaker ways is an ongoing process for all of us. We continue to learn to listen in different ways and are becoming aware of how ego can jump in. We find it an interesting and loving process.

Worship at both our Meetings is nurturing and deep. There is a sense of calm, of oneness which carries over into how we engage among Friends, community and the wider world.  What could be more precious or wonderful?

Wednesday

CALENDAR

Every Sunday -- Meeting for Worship 

10:00am -- Burgess House

ALL ARE WELCOME
COME CHECK US OUT
BURGESS HOUSE is at 559 Cotuit Rd. ROUTE 149, (south of Rt.6) 
MARSTONS MILLS (P.O. Box 718) MA
(exit 5 off of route 6 turn south on Rt. 149 (Prospect St) after a small rotary stay straight on 149 (Prospect changes to Cotuit) Burgess House is about 3 miles on right.
There is a large parking area just beyond the house and a walk through the fence on your right.)

Barnstable Friends Meeting is a Preparative Meeting of Mattapoisett Monthly Meeting. 
Periodically we all go there for worship and Business Meeting (103 Marion Road)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Unprogrammed Worship
contemplation, silent prayer
At the center of Friends worship is the core belief in God as “present in dwelling teacher”. The silence of unprogrammed worship is not empty silence. During the silence there are heroic things happening. The Spirit is gently nudging each person in worship toward a central truth. The gathered meeting is the way of discerning that truth and ministry is the way that truth breaks the silence and is experienced.

FOR INFORMATION ON QUAKERISM IN GENERAL VISIT:
http://www.neym.org/ ~~ OR ~~ http://www.quaker.org/

A PERSONAL BLOG OF ONE MEMBER'S SPIRITUAL REFLECTIONS
http://reflectionsfromtheeaglesnest.blogspot.com/

Saturday

This campaign was successful!! 

Barnstable Friends Meeting is working on the following and asks others to join us:

The Time Has Come — Change the Massachusetts Flag and Seal

For 35 years, bills supported by Indigenous leaders to change the Mass Flag and Seal have been continuously blocked in the state legislature. Now, in 2020, H.2776 and  S.1877 , the legislation to change the flag and seal, is advancing with strong support amid a growing grassroots campaign from the Berkshires to Cape Cod. When it passes, the legislation will set up a commission where Native leaders will be invited to sit with state legislators to design a new state flag and seal. Your help is needed to make 2020 the year we finally pass this long-stalled racial justice legislation for the Commonwealth!
Let's be the change we want to see in the world!

Moving Forward in Love -- 

https://changethemassflag.com 

State of Society Report 2017

State of Society Report 2017
BARNSTABLE FRIENDS MEETING 
(a Preparative Meeting of Mattapoisett Monthly Meeting)

Spring comes late to Cape Cod but eventually green shoots appear; just so for Barnstable Friends Meeting.  In 2017 we had a few more attenders make their way to our door and even though we are still very small,  worship is verdant, rich and meaningful.
Mattapoisett continues to hold us in their loving care and we are grateful. The following spoke to our condition:

"Peacemaking doesn’t mean passivity.  it is the act of interrupting injustice without mirroring injustice, the act of disarming evil without destroying the evildoer, the act of finding a third way that is neither fight nor flight but the careful, arduous pursuit of reconciliation and justice.  It is about a revolution of love that is big enough to set both the oppressed and the oppressors free.  Peacemaking is about being able to recognize in the face of the oppressed our own faces, and in the hands of the oppressors our own hands. — From A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals