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. 

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

Interested in a FREE Equal Justice Initiative Racial Justice calendar?

In honor of black history for every month and day this year, Barnstable Friends Meeting is offering Cape Codders a free calendar. BFM, ( was started in 2006 due to racial justice concerns on our beloved peninsula. We believe the work of the Equal Justice Initiative is critically important because along with advocacy, the calendar provides historical context and continuity to this struggle. 
To request a free calendar please contact us sharing your name, mailing address and email by commenting on this post 
(this is a 100% free offer)
See the calendar at:


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,




Every Sunday -- Meeting for Worship 

10:00am -- Burgess House

BURGESS HOUSE is at 559 Cotuit Rd. ROUTE 149, (south of Rt.6) 
(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.



Toward real peace in a beautiful world

Toward Real Peace in a beautiful world -- published in Cape Cod Times Oct. 16, 2014
Recent letters to the editor criticize County Human Rights commissioner Elenita Muniz for saying “…everyone who is white-skinned is racist.”  One author says she "…should be investigated for hate speech and terminated.”  My purpose for writing is not to judge or get into an argument. Rather to offer a personal statement originally written in 2002 (with slight updating). It also contains a prayer from me and my Friends Meeting for this holiday season, a time of Light returning. 
Hello, my name is Rachel and I'm a racist. No, I'm not secretly a member of the KKK; rather I have come to admit that my attitudes and assumptions around race are unmanageable in a just society. I look to a Power greater then myself to restore me to sanity. 

Just as our collective thinking about what it means to be an alcoholic has changed from simply a derelict with a paper sack to include "respectable" people, so my personal thinking has changed regarding the affliction of racism. The American Heritage Dictionary defines a racist as a person who “…believes that race accounts for differences in human character or ability and that a particular race is superior to others.” While I certainly don't consciously believe this, what about an unconscious belief because of being raised in white privilege? Doesn't this count?  

At a very early age I was very carefully taught and conditioned. Being from a "good" Quaker family, it was most easy for me to deny any part of this problem.  Of course prejudice is wrong. And after all, Friends were on the forefront of the civil rights movement.  Yet white privilege has affected the very structure of my mind. I viewed white practices, customs and attitudes as the norm against which others were to be compared. My spirit requires that I now struggle with the results of these attitudes and entitlements not enjoyed by other groups, including: 
•  Not having to see or feel that Ferguson or all such incidents — before and after — are in any way connected to me or are my problem.
•  Still looking at faces of my society’s leaders and seeing mostly people of my race (congress is 87% white yet people of color make up 30% of our population).
•  Having my race be the source of all the art and music "Great Masterpieces.”
•  Being taught in school about all the famous explorers, philosophers, leaders, etc. who happened to all be members of my race. The list goes on.

Although I have been slow to precisely name my addiction, I have been in recovery for some time now.  Knowing that I am FAR from perfect, I try to educate myself, promptly admit it when I am wrong regarding issues faced by people of color, and work at make amends. Just as importantly, I seek through prayer to bring spiritual energy for a solution both within my heart and the world.  I look forward to someday reaping a harvest of Joy, Light and Oneness.
In closing we ask each reader: Are we morally, spiritually and visibly, stepping into this moment?  Are we bearing witness both to the injustice and also to how Spirit is being made manifest for us at this particular time and situation? How do we build a truly beloved community that embraces that of God in everyone? Are we a part of this awakening, speaking Truth about who we are in relationship to all humankind, all our relations? 

At this season, may each of us be lamps of pure Love and Light to bring a new dawn of real peace into this beautiful world.
Rachel Carey-Harper
Barnstable Friends Meeting


Our Letters to the Editor

(letter appeared in Cape Cod Times August 20, 2015)
Not a Solution
Doing away with the Noah shelter is not a solution and could make the problem worse. Reduce the number of beds available and people will still be here, some causing more problems not less. Moving the shelter makes it hard for people we don't have cars to get to work or mental health services which doesn’t help. Ending homelessness need a layered approach. We need 1. some sort of housing that is affordable for people working minimum wage jobs,  2. housing, education and job development for people who have gone through recovery from addiction, etc but not solidly on their feet and for people beginning recovery, like Homeless Not Hopeless  3. a place like Noah shelter.
Most of all though, we need compassion.  We need to understand that this is holy work. The Bible specifically demands hospitality toward the other  "for you were strangers in a strange land" (Lev. 19:34 and see Ex. 12:49).  Isaiah states that one of the duties of those spiritually connected is to "give thy bread to the hungry," and to "bring the poor that are cast out to thy house" (Isa. 58:7).
Where will people go if Noah Shelter is closed?  Will you bring people into your home? What happens in January and zero degrees? What if it was your son or father, your sister or you?
Rachel Carey-Harper for Barnstable Friends Meeting (a Preparative Meeting of Mattapoisset Monthly Meeting)

(letter appeared in Cape Cod Times,  published  5/29/2014)
Dear Editor,
While we applaud Harwich Conservation Trust's hope to purchase 40 acres in Harwich ("Scrambling to buy some history" May 26 CCTimes), we are concerned that it would be a purchase of stolen land only once removed from the family that perpetrated, and for centuries profited from, the theft in the first place. By what right did the land transfer from Wampanoag people? In all likelihood it was through the Doctrine of Christian Discovery. Receiving stolen property is a crime and in many cases there is no statue of limitations.   We encourage people who are not descendants of the original inhabitants to consider this because the harm that has been done and the privileges enjoyed by our ancestors and even today by us personally, whether we know it or not,  have serious consequences for our souls.   That of God within,  the essence of who we really are, exists in eternity, therefore serious wrongs do not dissipate with the passage of time.  There is a good way to move forward in an effort to be in right relationship with our indigenous neighbors. The long journey of healing begins with the first steps of interrupting the behavior and knowing about and acknowledging the harm.  There are alternatives including a donation of the property to Native Land Conservancy, Inc.  19 Pine Road Mashpee, MA 02649. This way, true love can prevail.
Rachel Carey-Harper, Barnstable Friends Meeting 
(a Preparative Meeting of Mattapoisset Monthly Meeting)

(letter appeared in Cape Cod Times,  published  12/02/2012 )
A recent article about clearing the homeless camps says its purpose was to "encourage people living in them to get off the streets" but is this true? The high price for a rental apartment, "affordable housing" geared to middle income wage earners,  coupled with the extreme difficulties that any organization has in establishing a group living situation and the many bylaws of our towns seems designed to punish rather then help. To walk a path to solve this problem requires reassessment,  both community policies, priorities and personal attitudes.
We are ALL part of the Divine whole; the illusions of the world do give way to the infinite place of Love like the sun through a Cape Cod foggy morning.  Rather then punish the poor, the disabled, those who sleep in the dust , you and I can be part of the solution. We are all related, more same then different, each of us doing our very best to fulfill our divine purpose with all our stumbling even if we can't see it in the "other".  Let's be examples of healing not harm, focusing on Light in heart and mind and spirit and walk cheerfully through this together.
Rachel Carey-Harper, clerk
Barnstable Friends Meeting, Marstons Mills


Minute on War and Peace

Minute on War and Peace

It is with tears that we mourn the deaths of soldiers, freedom-fighters, babies, mothers and fathers, children, victims of endless wars.

It is with sadness that we welcome home our war-shocked veterans who take their own lives when they find a future without hope.

We live in a world of wars without end.
The longest war in the history of our nation,
in a mountainous land that has never been subdued,
A seven-year war of torture and destruction in the cradle of civilization,
Now a desert war of “humanitarian intervention” to save lives by killing,
And a half-war by unmanned drones that kill whole families of tribal peoples.

With all life, we suffer the pains of our precious Earth from wounds by careless missiles, tanks and bombs.

We decry the wasteful destruction of finite resources that are desperately needed at home;
to house the homeless,
to cure the sick,
and to tutor our children in ways of peace.

We vision a world which embraces peaceful means of resolving conflict with equality with justice,
…where before the idea of violence is entertained, grievances are addressed with concrete steps,
…where conciliation, mediation, arbitration, fact-finding, and adjudication are codified international laws and practices of international organizations like the United Nations.

The Society of Friends, born in the chaos of the English Civil War, has offered its testimony of peace and nonviolence.

William Penn, former warrior and statesman taught us how to meet violence:
 We are too ready to retaliate, rather than forgive, or gain by Love and Information. And yet we could hurt no Man that we believe loves us. Let us then try what Love will do: For if Men did once see we Love them, we should soon find they would not harm us. Force may subdue, but Love gains: And he that forgives first, wins the Laurel. If I am even with my Enemy, the Debt is paid; but if I forgive it, I oblige him for ever.
Fruits of Solitude, 1693, 542 – 547.

Penn put this truth to test, achieving peace with the Leni Lenape, Susquehannocks and the Delaware Indians, instituting what was known in Indian terminology as a "chain of friendship."

Let us then try what a chain of friendship, try what Love will do.

Approved April 3, 2011 by Barnstable Friends Meeting,
a Preparative Meeting of Mattapoisett Monthly Meeting

Rachel Carey-Harper, clerk