Friday, September 12, 2014

Rachel’s New Elderwalk Program Begins

Rachel McGinness knows that staying mobile is very important, especially for the elderly. She understands that a chance to socialize and get a little movement can lift spirits as well as activity levels. Plus, she makes delicious soup! Rachel holds a free “Elderwalk” twice a month, here at the Meetinghouse.

Benches provide convenient rest stops.
Rachel provides a delicious home-made soup luncheon, some warm conversation, and a chance to walk the nature paths or, in inclement weather, step to music or engage in gentle body movement indoors. In preparation, we've mowed walking paths through our meadow and around the building. Some of the trails are easier than others, but we've put out some wooden rockers and benches for rest stops. We've done up a small flyer to give to area "Care" agencies, and are planning to begin advertising the program gradually to be sure not to take on too much work as it starts up.

The first Elderwalk took place September 4th. Rachel served a delicious soup, bread and butter, ice tea, and cookies. She describes a lively conversation full of introductions, stories and sharing about each other's lives. After the group cleaned up, they went  outside. "The weather was perfect and the nature was great no matter which trail was taken, we even saw a Monarch caterpillar looking to make a cocoon."

Elderwalk takes place on the first and third Thursday of the month from 12:00 to 2:00, at the Meetinghouse located at 77 Belvedere Road in Damariscotta. All are welcome, and those needing help with mobility issues should bring their caregivers, too. There is no charge, but reservations are appreciated. Call the Meetinghouse phone at 563-3757 and let us know how many to expect!  

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

A Service of Remembrance for Michael Brown on Sunday September 7th, 2pm

The Members of Midcoast Outreach and Peace Center, an initiative of the Midcoast Friends (Quaker) Meeting, are shocked and saddened by the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri on August 9th.  We grieve for Michael as well as for his family and friends, but also for the larger context in which this shooting took place.

 American society still suffers from the long legacy of racism. African-American communities too often find themselves administrated by insensitive white officials and police departments. With alarming frequency young men of color are stopped, frisked, harassed, booked, and become victims of unjustified lethal force.  Michael Brown was one such victim among many—too many—young people of color to be abused in this manner or killed.

When the people in Ferguson protested this senseless killing, they were met initially by an overwhelming show of military-like force that deepened and exacerbated community tensions.  We deplore the militarization of local police, which is taking place through a U.S. government program that is providing “surplus” military equipment to communities around the country.  Too often, economic decisions are made by communities that result in reductions in the number of schoolteachers or in beneficial services, while—as we now know—dangerously high levels of weapons, combat gear and military equipment are being provided to local police departments.  In Ferguson, police dressed in full combat gear aimed their high-powered military carbines at unarmed citizens, with armored vehicles and additional militarized police with machine guns backing them.

 Instead of adopting proven “community policing” techniques, we have seen a trend toward insensitive displays of military procedures, warlike mindsets and excessively lethal equipment on the streets of our towns and cities. This, too, is part of the tragedy of Michael Brown and Ferguson.

 With heavy hearts and deep empathy for the suffering spirits in Ferguson and beyond, we invite all who share our concern: for the family of Michael Brown; for justice in the Brown case; about the need for constant awareness to counter the damaging effects of Racism; about the need for humane policing practices; and, who believe that civic authorities must show respect to all citizens to join us for:

on SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER  7th at 2 P.M.
77 Belvedere Road, Damariscotta
(a short distance off Route One).
Please sit with us in silent prayer and reflection, with brief spoken
ministries as the Spirit moves.
For more information or questions, please contact: 
Sue Rockwood, Outreach Coordinator, at 207-563-3757.

Those who may wish to contribute to the work of justice and reconciliation in the St. Louis area are encouraged to send donations to the St. Louis office of the American Friends Service Committee. A.F.S.C.’s St. Louis staff members are working with youth in the city and surrounding towns to help them become agents of nonviolent social change. A.F.S.C. is also working now to help residents of Ferguson respond to the current emergency. Please write to: A.F.S.C., 462 North Tayler Avenue, Suite 103, St. Louis, MO 63108, phone: (314) 932-5994. Any one wishing to send a message of condolence to the Brown family may send it to this A.F.S.C. office where it will be delivered by staff directly to the family.