The Resistance Gets a New Song

There was a gathering in Snow Camp yesterday. People came together to share concerns, hear from active groups, and discuss strategies for moving forward.

And, we had the treat of hearing the debut of a song written in honor of just such an occasion. It was written and performed by Scott Holmes. Someday, perhaps there will be a recording so you can hear the music, but here are the lyrics:

We Must Resist

When they make us, feel afraid
And women, are underpaid
We must resist, we must resist

Won’t teach children, how to spell
And tell the poor, to go to hell
We must resist, we must resist

[Chorus

We keep resisting, until they learn
Gonna hold them in the Light, until they burn*]

When they poison, the environment
And they persecute, the immigrant
We must resist, we must resist

Won’t feed the hungry, or fund the arts
Take insurance, and sell our parks
We must resist, we must resist

When they attack, L-G-B-T-Q
When it feels like, there’s no one left to sue
We must resist, we must resist

When they kidnap and torture you
And it feels like ICE is chasing you
We must resist, we must resist

Chorus

We must resist, We must resist
We must resist,

© Scott Holmes

(Lyrics posted here with Scott Holmes’ permission.)

We enjoyed this performance at the end of our afternoon of collaborating. Leading up to this grand finale, we had had discussions with various resource people:

Thanks to Chuck Fager for organizing and Spring Friends for hosting this event – including starting us off with a delicious lunch!

Stay informed. You can make a difference.

_______________

*Don’t worry. “Holding them in the Light” is Quaker Speak that roughly translates to “we’ll keep them in our hearts, thoughts, and prayers that they may be blessed.” “Until they burn,” is just a play on those words — taking the endeavor of “holding them in the Light” to its best conclusion (wholeness/reaching a full potential of unity and alignment with God and that Light that is within each of us).  Quakers enjoy a little fun, too, now and then.

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Always on the Route to Quaker House

I was always on this road, this road to Quaker House. I just did not know it. 

I was raised in a military family — birth to mid-high school.

One of my original majors in college was International Relations, but it was eventually switched out for English and a minor in biology, partly due to scheduling issues and time constraints, of all things.

When I applied to law school, both times (I transferred from Seattle University to the University of North Carolina), I specifically wrote in my essays that I wanted to practice law assisting nonprofit organizations. And, as a member of the first 1L class to get to choose an elective seminar at Seattle, I chose Introduction to International Law with Professor Chinen — because I wanted to know how to help nations and peoples live in harmony.

After I took the bar and felt like it was finally the right time for me to invest in regular volunteer work, I chose the Red Cross. I had no idea, at that time, that the Red Cross would show up several times in my reading of A service of love in war time: American Friends relief work in Europe, 1917 – 1919 as vital facilitators of the Quaker efforts during World War I. And, I think my high school friends would get a kick out of the fact that one of the key Quaker organizers of this humanitarian work was Rufus Jones. He was from Maine.

But, wait. How did the Religious Society of Friends suddenly start factoring into my story?

Turning right and going 2.5 miles brings you to Spring Friends. Continuing straight, off towards the horizon, another 72 miles brings you to Quaker House.

Well, one Sunday, I visited a Quaker meeting, partly because I wanted to learn more about their Peace Testimony. Many religions espouse peace, but I wanted to see what a longstanding core theological principle of intentionally promoting peace among nations, in addition to in our personal behaviors, looked like. I was fortunate in that I already had a strong religious faith upon which to build.

That Quaker Meeting was Spring Friends and, to get there, my best path included a 10-mile stretch of Route 87 South. That stretch of road became a regular journey for me. Little did I know, it would also become a section of my path to Quaker House, both figuratively and literally.

I got the call at about 9:00 Saturday night that I had been selected to be the next director of Quaker House, to follow in the footsteps of amazing directors before me and to work alongside wonderful experienced staff and a dedicated board of directors. They have a smooth transition planned. I will be learning from their expertise and experience all summer long, and Lynn and Steve Newsom, the current directors, will not be leaving their work at Quaker House until September.

Some of the Quaker House services:

  • Answering calls and providing assistance as a significant component of the GI Rights Hotline.
  • Educating about moral injury and its treatment.
  • Providing free and confidential in-person counseling for members of the military community, including for issues of domestic violence, sexual assault, and moral injury.
  • And, of course, advocating for a more peaceful world.

Quaker House assists our military members and families and works to promote world peace. It was established and is supported by a community of faith. My path brought me here. On one hand, it is not surprising.

On the other hand, it is humbling.

A = Burlington, B = Spring Friends Meeting, and C = Quaker House.