Our Leadings on Social Justice Issues
- Adelphi Meeting’s Commitment to Anti Racism (December 2022)
- On Reproductive Justice (October 2022)
- In support of the Civil and Human Rights of Transgender People (2018)
- Gun violence, hate crimes, and racism (2016)
- Transgender inclusion (2013)
- A letter to other Quakers on LGBTQ inclusion (2012)
- Sustainability (2007)
- Lesbian and gay relationships (1991)
December 11, 2022
The members and attenders of Adelphi Friends Meeting are called to reject any system that lays heavier burdens and restrictions on the lives of people identified as Black, Brown, Indigenous, Asian American, and Pacific Islander—who make up the Global Majority—or elevates people identified as White into a privileged group. This is one way we seek to “walk cheerfully over the world, answering that of God in every one.” (George Fox)
We do this in the context of a society that has often taken the opposite approach. Race is a social construct, but its consequence, racism, is real. We live in a nation built on enslaved labor and land appropriated through genocide. Racism has been pervasive and systemic for centuries and its beneficiaries continue relentlessly to exploit those who are identified as the Global Majority. Many Quakers have been staunch allies in struggles for human and civil rights. However, Quakers have also been complicit in the violence that is White supremacy, sometimes through action and sometimes through inaction, sometimes knowingly and sometimes not.
Adelphi Friends Meeting renounces complicity in White supremacy, the conviction that people identified as White are inherently superior to people identified as other; and the social, economic, and political systems that collectively enable White people to maintain power over people of other races. A country free of racism will not only liberate the Global Majority from unjust oppression but will also enable all Friends to experience the Spirit more fully.
As individuals, we will identify and acknowledge in ourselves the benefits that come to us while they are denied to others due to racism.
As a Meeting, we will examine and change those of our practices that do not foster equity, inclusion, and a sense that every Friend belongs in, and is essential to, our faith community.
As a community, we will listen to, support, and join with each other as we challenge practices, laws, and social and economic structures that disadvantage the Global Majority. We will participate in healing harms of past and current oppression.
Adelphi Friends Meeting will set annual goals for our anti-racist work—both within our Meeting and in the wider world—and hold ourselves accountable for their accomplishment, including reflection in our annual Spiritual State of the Meeting report.
Above all, we will listen to the Spirit and embrace the messages of universal love and care that we hear. We want to witness change in ourselves and in our community. We will hold ourselves and one another to these commitments with firmness, tenderness, and love. We move forward with truth as we understand it right now, knowing that continuing revelation, deep listening, and lived experience will change who we are. We will revisit this statement every year as our understanding grows.
AFM Endorsement of Declaration by Baltimore Yearly Meeting as an Anti-Racist Faith Community: Adelphi Friends Meeting is in unity with the Baltimore Yearly Meeting August 3, 2019, declaration, with the understanding that our work in becoming an anti-racist faith community is very much still in progress.
October 23, 2022
As Quakers, we recognize that our spiritual journey is one of continually seeking the Divine and following the inspiration we receive. Often life brings us to difficult moments of decision making. We are taught to hold these decisions in the Light, seeking guidance by Spirit. We may turn to our community for help in gaining clarity. We know and respect the individuality of each person’s spiritual journey, understanding that decisions can lead to both beginnings and endings, often in unexpected ways.
An equitable society does not impose the greatest burdens on those least able to bear them. An equitable society cares for, educates, and ensures that the needs of parents and their children are met.
Adelphi Friends draw on our shared beliefs and practice to support:
- Every person’s ability to freely choose the family relationship that best meets their needs, including full marriage protections for heterosexual, same-sex, gender nonconforming, and interracial couples.
- Ready access to comprehensive sex education and safe, affordable, and legal contraceptives.
- Ready access to high quality, affordable prenatal healthcare and nutrition support for those who are pregnant.
- Ready access to safe, legal, and affordable abortion, with decisions on whether to have, or not have, children to be made by the pregnant person.
- Ready access to high quality, affordable postnatal, infant, and child healthcare, as well as nutrition and other economic support for parents who need it.
- Ready access to high quality childcare and education for all children.
- Protecting children from abuse and exploitation; including physical, sexual, and emotional violence; trafficking; child labor; forced conscription; and the school to prison pipeline.
Our practice recognizes that moral decisions, such as whether to have an abortion or not, are for each individual to discern for themselves. Adelphi Friends Meeting will advocate for and support – to the best of our ability — every individual’s right to make and carry out their personal reproductive decisions.
May 20, 2018
Adelphi Friends Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) rejoices in the transgender people in our midst. Our transgender members enrich our community and deepen our worship. We believe that there is that of God in everyone and everyone has gifts to bring to the world. Whenever anyone is excluded, God’s ability to work in our midst is diminished.
We commit ourselves to support the civil and human rights of our transgender members and all transgender people. No one should face discrimination in employment, housing, health care, or otherwise, or have their dignity assaulted and their human rights curtailed because of their gender identity.
November 15, 2016
We are deeply disturbed by ongoing gun violence in this country, the senseless killing of children, young women and men, fathers and sons, daughters and mothers, citizens and police officers. There are no words to express what is lost when even one life is needlessly cut short.
Gun violence, hate crimes, and racism are intimately linked problems whose causes are deeply rooted in structural inequality, cultural practices, and individual fear. The complexity and seeming intractability of these problems must not lead us to despair. The most fitting expression of our grief and outrage over violence, hate, and racism in our communities is spirit-filled action to work for peace and justice. Identifying and implementing solutions must begin with careful listening and be based in love.
As Quakers, we believe in that of God in every person, regardless of race, class, creed, sexual orientation, gender identification, disability, or immigration status. We believe there is that of God in people who are targets of violence as well as those who engage in violence.
Adelphi Friends Meeting seeks partnerships with organizations and individuals with the goal of collaboratively identifying and implementing concrete actions that foster love where there is racism, understanding where there is hatred, and peace where there is violence.
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January 13, 2013
Adelphi Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends understands that God, who loves all people unconditionally, is leading the Meeting to honor the gender identity of each person, as that person determines it.
In addition to welcoming transgender persons to worship with us, in 2009 our Meeting supported a Friend and her family through her gender transition as she claimed her wholeness as a woman. Our testimonies of equality and community confirm that when we embrace that of God in everyone, including the full spectrum of gender identities in our Meeting, our worship deepens and our community is enriched.
Every person should be able to live out fully what the Spirit is leading them to be. Adelphi will be an affirming, safe, and nurturing place for everyone. We extend our loving care to all transgender persons, and their families and friends, who seek to share our Quaker spiritual journey and corporate life.
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February 1, 2012
To Friends Everywhere,
We at Adelphi Monthly Meeting are deeply concerned that there are Friends in any Meeting or Quaker organization who cannot be honest about their intimate relationships and know that they are honored and fully included in their worship and work communities. Such a condition diminishes not just those relationships, but all in the community as we endeavor to minister to one another. We witness to our conviction that every person should be able to live out fully what God is leading them to do in their lives.
The Spirit that resonates in our souls is one that affirms love, that celebrates love, that rejoices in the presence of love. When we embrace that of God in everyone, including the full richness of the loving relationships in our Meeting, our worship deepens and our community is enhanced.
After laboring for almost a decade, Adelphi Monthly Meeting approved a minute affirming same-sex marriage in 1991. We have done our best to welcome equally gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, questioning, and heterosexual Friends into the life of our Meeting. The first same-sex marriage under Adelphi’s care was celebrated in 2006. After twenty years, Adelphi’s policy on same-sex marriages continues to feel Spirit-led.
We of varied sexual orientations and gender identities worship together and accomplish the committee work of our monthly Meeting. We raise our children and minister to one another in the wide variety of ways that the Spirit leads us. Our Meeting recognizes “the Light in all sincere, loving, supportive relationships, which are characterized by growth and in which faith, hope, love, and truth abide.” Although we do the work of community imperfectly, we have all been blessed by the open, accepting, and loving atmosphere of our Meeting.
Adelphi works hard to be a welcoming place for young people from our monthly and yearly Meetings. We owe our youth the guarantee that Adelphi be a safe place where our community will defend their basic human rights, including their right to have responsible loving relationships without discrimination of any sort.
Our lives are better for this. We are grateful for the gifts each member brings to our faith community. We have been uplifted by the openness with which our children accept differences.
Our Meeting is now considering whether we have a corporate leading to organize a gathering for Friends with a concern for the loving inclusion of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and questioning Friends in their meetings and within the wider circle of Friends. Perhaps there are other Meetings or individuals with similar leadings. We would like to hear from you.
We treasure our kinship with all Friends. We have genuine, heartfelt connections to Friends and Meetings around the world. We have built relationships by worshipping and working together, by sojourning and through visitation. We are filled with hope that, through continuing dialogue within the wider Quaker community, we can come to an understanding that allows us to walk gently over the earth, answering that of God in every person and slighting none.
This is our experience. This is our witness.
In Love and Light,
Jade Eaton, Clerk
Adelphi Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends
2303 Metzerott Rd.
Adelphi, Maryland 20783
August 11, 2007
We of Adelphi Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends recognize that the earth community is in an increasingly visible crisis. There is a decline of world resources and biological diversity, and an increase of toxic contaminants in our soil, air, and water. Human induced climate change is having catastrophic consequences for many species of life and threatens the future capacity of some of the most populated areas of earth to support human life. Irresponsible and short-sighted patterns of energy consumption for homes, transportation, commerce, and food production are rampant. These practices are not in accord with good stewardship, which calls for us to care for, protect, and preserve the earth. Industrial production, over-consumption, and wasteful living patterns are at dangerous and unsustainable levels. These are not in accord with our testimony of simplicity. The disparity in right sharing among people continues to grow. This is not in accord with our testimony of equality. Overuse and misuse of world resources is an increasing cause of war which is not in accord with our testimony of peace. These and other practices are urgently in need of re-examination and change. As we search for the root of these problems, we recognize that living in harmony with creation is first and foremost a spiritual issue.
- As a first step, we affirm that all beings and elements, beyond humans alone, are a part of the web of life. We further observe that all of our actions resonate throughout the symphony of creation, flowing through space and time. We affirm that our spiritual lives are enriched when we experience ourselves as being an integral part of creation.
- With this spiritual grounding, we are called to walk more gently on this earth and to live more sustainably. This involves using resources wisely, increasing biological diversity, health and wellness, finding balance between human and other life, farming for current and future generations, and designing our human culture to support life on earth. At a minimum, sustainability requires our using renewable resources no faster than they can be replaced, replacing the use of non-renewable resources with renewable alternatives, and releasing pollutants no faster than they can be recycled by nature.
- We minute our commitment to live more sustainably personally, in our families and neighborhoods, at our workplaces, and within our Meeting community. We will learn, speak, and act as individuals, families, and as a religious community, for the cause of sustainability.
- We will work individually and through our committees to find ways that our Meeting’s spiritual life, pastoral life, educational life, and physical life can increasingly reflect awareness of and respect for the spiritual interconnectedness of all beings in the web of creation.
- We will develop a greater “sense of place” where we live, travel, work, play, and worship by strengthening our local communities and economies, and by becoming more familiar with our local natural areas and history.
- We will stay informed about the effects of climate change and overuse of world resources and will seek policies and programs that promote right sharing of resources. We will seek to prevent suffering on the part of people and other earth mates affected by climate change and destructive human practices.
- We will encourage and join with other spiritual and social groups outside of Adelphi in similar action, and we will strive for policy changes and deep structural changes in our communities, corporations, and governments.
We take these first steps toward speaking truth to power, even when it is to ourselves. We trust that Spirit will lead the way. We will strive for sustainable lives in order that all of creation might flourish both now and long into the future.
(Adapted and revised from a Sustainability Minute Approved by Ohio Valley Yearly Meeting August 2, 2002)
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May 12, 1991
Our understanding of the spirit of Christ, reflected in the Gospels, leads us to affirm one another and our loving responsible relationships. To do so strengthens our community, opens us to the full richness of the diverse loving relationships in our Meeting, and gives persons in such relationships the support of a loving community.
We accept and appreciate diversity in our community and welcome all who share our search for Truth. Just as a marriage between a woman and a man may provide mutual nurture to both the couple and the Meeting, committed same-gender relationships may also be a source of spiritual growth. We recognize the Light in all sincere, loving, supportive relationships, which are characterized by growth and in which faith, hope, love, and truth abide.
Upon request by a couple, Adelphi Friends Meeting will recognize same-gender relationships through the same careful process we customarily use to arrive at clearness for all couples who wish to unite under our care. We consider the obligations undertaken in these relationships by both the couple and the Meeting to be those of marriage. We expect the couple to become each other’s next of kin, to care for one another and for any children brought into the union, and to share equitably their worldly goods. The oversight committee will work with the couple in securing appropriate legal arrangements to protect the relationship.
We recognize our responsibility to provide continuing nurture to all unions under the care of the Meeting. Jesus calls us to a life of love.
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