10 July 2008 - Thursday Evening 7pm
Live captioning services are provided by CSDHH – Communication Services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing in Greensboro, NC. Your captionist today is Vicki Pinson.
Friends! Could we settle in the spirit of worship.
Friends good evening. We appreciate the beautiful music. We enjoy their music every year at our general meeting. You’ll hear more from them later in the program. One short story…Dustin I have to tell this on you, rising junior at western Carolina. 3 years ago senior in high school. He came to my office looking for a project. Where he could give service. After we talked a little some areas I knew… we decided Turkana would be a good place. One glitch. Project wasn’t supposed to be fundraiser. Once we cleared that hurdle Dustin put the story together. Photos and so forth and began to set up meetings among friends meeting. He made his tour and collections began to come in. this young man raised over $14,000 I remember that so well. Thank you Dustin.
This has been just a wonderful day. This evening we sit back and relax and enjoy the moment. This is time we are creating history. This day will go down as being a good day among friends. And tomorrow will be another one as we continue to create history among ourselves. Our God moves in such a wonderful way. His presence this day we have felt in our midst. All have come and gathered here. Let us continue to enjoy this evening as we worship and continue to fellowship. We look forward to the time and days ahead. This will be memorial program. We will begin with a word of prayer and… will lead us.
Father we come to you with praises … worship, welcome we pray Jesus will touch each one of us. I pray that God’s holy spirit will come to show us, … we I believe that Jesus … we pray that this day I pray that Jesus will let our hearts feel that the … fill our cups. Our hearts … because you are God. … in the name of Jesus Christ we pray amen.
Let us continue this time of worship by joining together and sing hymn number 630 what a friend we have in Jesus. Think about Kenyans who shared with us this morning. They didn’t say they were not prepared. They just came with joy overflowing shared their message and smiled while they sang. If we look and see frowns we don’t have joy of Jesus in our hearts. I want to see that joy shared with us about the friend we have in Jesus. Stand and sing 630.
What a friend we have in Jesus
What a … what a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer.
Oh what … oh what
All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.
… trials and temptations … trouble he shall never… take it to the Lord in prayer. Find a friend so faithful who will all our sorrow share. Jesus … take it to the Lord in prayer.
… take it to the Lord in prayer.
…. Take it to the Lord in prayer.
… I will find a solace there.
I understand we may have visitors this evening do w e have delegation from NC conservative friends. Please stand.
Thank you friends and welcome to our evening worship service. I have a couple of announcements. Anne Shaperie has misplaced conference bag. Her name is not in it but her bible has husband’s name James … and also we would like to retrieve that before evening is gone. Look inside if you have bible with James S. name give that back Ann would appreciate it. Evening offerings will be evenly divided between missionary budgets field accounts and general fund. Last evening total $926 plus we had $150 souls present. Thank you friends.
At this time we would like to take offering. If ushers will please come forward.
Heavenly father you cover us with bounty of blessings. Lord when we open our eyes we look and see just how blessed we are. Now open our hearts that we may share our blessings with others that they might receive blessings also. Ask in the name of your son Jesus.
I think I can understands sign language hand motions and I think the God we worship is God of lost bags and it’s down here. Prayers are already answered. Let’s sing 705 it is well with my soul. Let’s stand.
When peace like a river attendeth my way when sorrows like sea billows roll whatever my lot thou hast taught me to say it is well, it is well with my soul.
It is well.
It is well.
With my soul.
With my soul.
It is well, it is well with my soul.
Though Satan should buffet though trials should come let this blest assurance control that Christ hath regarded my helpless estate and hath shed his own blood for my soul.
It is well
It is well
With my soul
With my soul
It is well, it is well with my soul.
My sin o the bliss of this glorious thought my sin not in part but the whole is nailed to the cross and I bear it no more praise the Lord praise the Lord O my soul.
It is well
It is well
With my soul
With my soul
It is well, it is well with my soul.
And Lord haste the day when the faith shall be sight the clouds be rolled back as a scroll the trump shall resound and the Lord shall descend even so it is well with my soul.
It is well
It is well
With my soul
With my soul
It is well, It is well with my soul.
Friends following special music speaker will be introduced.
In these days of confused situations in these nights of restless remorse. When the lost soul of a nation … from the grave … comes a song bringing glory to the … cry has been heard and the ransom has been paid up in full. Be ye glad. Be ye glad. Every debt that you ever had has been paid in full by the grace of the Lord be ye glad. Be ye glad.
From your … you have heard it again and again, ah but this time the … are turning and outside there are faces of friends. Though your body lay weary from wasting and your eyes show the sorrow they have had oh … has opened the gates be ye glad. Oh be ye glad oh be ye glad. Every debt that you ever had has been paid up in full by the grace of the Lord be ye glad be ye glad be ye glad.
So be like lines on the rim of the water … be a refuge amidst the slaughter of the fugitives in their flight. For you are timeless and part of a puzzle you are winsome and young as a … and there is no disease or struggle that can pull you from God be ye glad. Oh be ye glad. Oh be ye glad. Every debt that you ever had has been paid up in full by the grace of the Lord. Be ye glad. Be ye glad. Be ye glad. Be ye glad. Be ye glad. Be ye glad. Be ye glad. Be ye glad. Be ye glad.
What a delight to have such wonderful congregational singing, special instrumental and vocal music. Truly a gift of God. As we share this wonderful music. Thank you.
About one year ago planning committee for Triennial session approached me about having betty Carter peace lecture. She died suddenly … seemed appropriate to use memorial contributions and some of our funds to establish peace lecture at our college. This is given each spring since 1986. As 1979 political science graduate of Earlham and reporter Betty Lynn wanted to make difference in community life in Richmond. As Quaker she was concerned about friends meeting needs across the world. Those who attended Friends United Meeting in 1981 and 1984 and I supposed there are several of you who attended. Remember betty Carter first thing she presented national and international news to gathered session. She was aware many of you were away from home and regular news sources. Being USA today of those days. That was gift from her to you. Even though lectureship was established at Earlham college president Doug Bennett approved extending support to Friends United Meeting session and providing Betty Carter peace lecture by Landrum Bolling this evening’s Betty Clark peace lecturer … then as president and chairman of board of Lilly Endowment and later president in 1982 he was research professor at institute for study of diplomacy. He has been awarded honorary degrees by more than 30 USA and foreign colleges. Because of years of nonofficial up close involvement in middle east affairs he is well acquainted with many leaders on all sides. From time to time served as informal messenger. Between leaders who had difficulty communicating directly with each other. He served as link for white house and state department under more than one administration. He maintained close relationship even now with many leaders. He recently returned from 2 week visit to that area. He keeps busy. He just returned from 2 weeks in Oregon and California. Following his 2 weeks in middle east. Landrum Bolling is currently director at large of Mercy Core international nonprofit volunteer organization to alleviate poverty suffering and oppression. Especially needy areas of world. He is senior advisor board member of conflict management group and senior fellow at center for international policy washing dc. Don’t know if it’s polite to tell person’s age but Landrum Bolling is well into 90s. I understand he is 93 but haven’t checked. Still working and traveling, speaking helping to unite people in peaceful relationships. Founded on respect and justice. Some couple of years ago CD was prepared about his peacemaking experiences in middle east. I believe that was sent to every friend’s meeting in Friends United Meeting. How many have seen that CD. Sylvia look at the hands. Many.
That means many of you have not.
Landrum Bolling tells me there are 10,000 copies circulating around the world and wanted me to tell you if you want copy of that CD to look at for yourself or meeting. Communicate with Landrum Bolling at email address which I will give you if you will write it down
if you didn’t get it written down see me later.
(reading screen) we are grateful to Vicki doing such wonderful work.
Landrum Bolling is really widely recognized as most effective ambassador for peace. Landrum Bolling home remains in Richmond Indiana where he continues to be member clear creek meeting. He has office at Earlham college in addition to office in Washington dc. There will be copies of lecture on registration table for you to make use of. We are so pleased to present Landrum Bolling. As this evening’s Betty Carter peace lecturer.
Landrum Bolling: Thank you Wayne for that very elegant introduction. When I hear something like that I think people will think what a schizophrenic guy that is can’t make up his mind what he will be when he grows up. I’m 94 though. Not 93.
You know the music part of program this evening was so moving so uplifting I didn’t want it to stop didn’t want to break spell with spoken word. I have never seen orchestra of saxophones. I loved it. I was running through the lyrics as they played. And for singing together. One song we sang. … the one last one. It is well with my soul. If you look at bottom of page you saw text there is a long story I won’t go into painful to me. When I saw it was there. I must tell you I began to tear up. Because a few weeks ago as I checked in to hotel in Jerusalem. I asked about the last remaining member of family. The widow of Horatio who was grandson of … I asked about her every time I go. I asked at the desk as I checked in. she doesn’t come to meals anymore up in apartment. She died in a few days. Very elegant obituary. One of the most remarkable families I ever knew. They were unusual. They are symbol of the best of farmers living in the holy land make friends of people on both sides and witness for peace. Forgive me if sentimental about this. He was wealthy Chicago lawyer in 1880s I think decided as many others devout Christians that end of world was at hand and he took family to Jerusalem to wait for the Lord. He sent ahead his wife and children. At sea the ship they were own went down. 3 members died 2 children lived. He wrote that song on ship as he went back to claim the remaining children and pick up his life again. He decided he will still go to Jerusalem. He gathered people around. He bought old palace and began to turn into … he also started clinic for children. Generous wonderful spiritually oriented family I was privileged to know the later generations in recent years. It touched me as we sang that hymn tonight.
Talking to group of Quakers like this is not only honor and joy but also hudspah. Without apologizing for this I chose to call this renewing Quaker testimony on peace. I think it’s important that each of us as individual reexamine who we are, what we really believe, where we are going in our lives, what we want to accomplish. Can’t just label gaze and be introspective. We need to answer these existential questions. Renew itself by answering some of these questions. In asking us to think together tonight I want us to think seriously about what this testimony of peace Quakers have talked about for year what it really means to us today. Means much as it first did. I’m sure George Fox and his followers had same insights that come to us in 21st century and yet I think it’s important to examine again and again what does it mean and do we really believe it try to live it out. Understand the consequences of such ideas. There are two or three warnings… confession that may not be agreeable. I’ve had discomfort about historic peace churches. Implied smugness how special we are we are peace churches. There are a lot of people in other denominations in peace churches. In recent years I’ve had close contacts with catholic churches. Father Tim and I became best friends when we were both fellow presidents kept in touch through the years. He’s past 90 but not quite as old as me. I’ve come to know great deal about Catholics. How liberal many are and how devoted to peace. In last 20 years he went around country again and again saying colleges and universities should get on issue of peace. Put in curriculum. He was evangelist for this idea. In San Diego a women from audience came up to him and asked about his idea. How much money would it take to get project started. He this was widow of man who invented McDonalds. And so he got up nerve and said with 8 million I could start she wrote him a check. Over the years she provided funds for him and later she developed similar program. I had opportunity to speak there only 2 weeks ago so I have out of my own experience I have seen how this idea commitment to peace is not just something peace churches have. So the term Quaker testimony of peace. I’m more comfortable with Christian testimony of peace. Or divine call to peace. Let me share a few stories about individual I know living … of commitment and hard work on behalf of divine call to peace.
One is a Jew now deceased. He was Israeli violinist member of Israeli symphony orchestra. He was also … in a county that requires all except for those who claim religious waivers men and women are required to do military service. He refused and went to jail. He had a hard time of it but persisted and one Quaker I don’t know if Tony is here tonight he got very well acquainted with him and wrote biography published on him. Here was a man who … fellow Quaker saw as a brother in faith. I also speak about one of dearest friend I have had in last 20 years Dutch Christian, Dutch conservative evangelical he went to become missionary and got sidetracked. Never served in Indonesia. Felt compelled to carry bibles behind iron curtain. Some may have heard him speak. Brother Andrew. He wrote book called God’s… something like 10 million copies of that book in circulation around book. This is brother Andrew. Let me tell you about him as peace witness person. 10 years ago or so defense minister of Israel decided to round up all Palestinian nationals … they shoved them across the border in no man’s land the Lebanese authorities met them Lebanese said no we won’t let them cross border. Israeli’s said they won’t take them back. They wouldn’t cooperate. Israeli’s left them on mountainside in winter. Red cross came in brought tents, food medicine. Brother Andrew heard about this. He went to see these radical Palestinians on the mountainside. All of them Muslims. He made friends with them got stories took pictures had them write messages. He took pictures and messages back to their families. He went to west bank Gaza and … you can imagine rejoicing from families and few months later they went back again. Camp better set up and they put feast on for brother Andrew. He was delighted with the experience. He said alright when you get out surely some day you will I will come to Gaza and put on feast for you. 11 months later Israeli’s let them go home. Brother Andrew stuck with promise he went to … he had 200 people he confessed to me when he saw the crowd he wasn’t sure what he would do but he had a feast. At end of celebration one said now … we want you to make a speech. He asked what to speak about. They said … whatever you want to speak about. He said I speak about Jesus. They said ok. He gave them a speech about Jesus and made it clear to them that he was doing in this gesture of forgiveness and peace was because he was trying to be follower of Jesus. When he finished speech one leader said could you give that speech in Islamic University and he did. Few students walked out but most stayed to hear the speech about Jesus in Islamic university. No other Christian on earth ever had that kind of opening. And he was able to rise to the occasion.
Brother Andrew is witness for peace. He is spokesman of divine call to peace. Just this past week I’ve been with old friend of mine Jerry CNN bureau chief for middle east. He was captured years ago in Beirut and shoved him in car and drove off. Kept him in isolation solitary confinement for 11 months. He said in beginning of his capture when he finally got to mountains he was able to talk to other captives. But after being in solitary confinement no chance to talk to anyone. And language barrier with guards. I said to myself I will go crazy. What can I do. I will talk to God. But you don’t believe in God. I’m atheist. Jerry’s grandfather was chief rabbi of Detroit. Father rebel again his father and became lawyer and atheist. And jerry was brought up in this home. In solitary confinement in Lebanon I began to ask myself could I really believe in God. I couldn’t talk to him if I don’t believe in him but I gotta talk to somebody. So he said for 24 hours I had nonstop argument if I could believe in God or not. In 24 hours God spoke to him in clear tones I began to ask him how universe came into being. Some mind some great spirit behind this couldn’t have just happened so finally at end of self examination I said there has to be a God I believe in God I’m gonna talk to him saved my sanity, saved my life. After some months talking to God every day but you don’t know anything about God. Never read bible nothing. I began to pester guards to bring me bible. They finally brought me a pocket size new testament with gospels and book of psalms and proverbs and I began to read and read it through again and again. He showed me the notes he wrote in margin.
First little note I was drawn into his life’s story by Gordon Cosby in Washington he had met Jerry’s wife who came to see him distraught about disappearance of her husband. Tried everything possible to find anything about what had happened to him. Came home. State department she constantly talked to … false tips came in scam operations. Finally she said she decided to go on crusade … Gordon Cosby … have you taken … Syrians I tell you what I will be in … Amaan Jordan if you will meet me there I will drive you to Damascus we will see what we can find out. Sure enough they met there and drove to Damascus and the American ambassador was helpful. And many others. I went to see some leaders of most extreme wings of PLO they said they couldn’t tell me anything but we began to attract attention. The message she wanted to get across my husband she was Christian. My husband is Jewish but is a man who does not harbor evil hate thoughts. I know him when he gets out he won’t be bent on revenge but promoting reconciliation. That is what happened here.
I was invited by state department to go with her and family to pick him up in Germany on way home she told me this story. As he talked I was touched by it. I said Jerry you have been on inward journey. In Washington the news cameras were there. He made statement I just made friend on trip back. He heard my story and told me something about myself. I have had inward journey and here in this strange setting he tells something of his experience. When he got back he talked about importance of reconciliation. Important to get dialogue with people who are enemies. He was a Jew recently atheist. This was too much for CNN. (laughter) it did not greatly please US state department either. And eventually CNN eased him out. What is he doing now he has joined Christian peace makers team in which there are Quaker and many others.
He goes and stands on street corner just to watch to see what’s going on. If Israeli soldier is about to beat someone Jerry is there to observe. Over and over again soldiers ask for his passport. They look at passport. Lebanon, you are a Jew what are you doing here. He is witness for peace. He is witness for peace.
I just spoke to friend I’ve known since teens his father was general in Israeli army he was part of 6 day war. As logistics man who computerized military establishment. Organized carefully planes and tanks. Which came to be known as 6 day war which is embarrassing to Arabs. .because that was so carefully planned. Found Egyptian air force went to breakfast 7:30 every morning. They unleashed themselves at that time. Hit all Egyptian fields and air force mostly on ground. When war as over he decided not what he wanted to spend his life doing anymore. He came to America and got PhD became professor at Tel Aviv University he decided to go into politics. Not as part of a party but individual. Was elected to parliament. Arguing for peace and reconciliation. He went to speak to defense minister went to Rome to make contact with PLO. At a time when PLO could not be touched by anyone not even Americans. That is against the law they said. He said yes I know it’s against the law but I’m gonna do it. Yes. Well ok. Keep me informed. That opened the door. I was friend the Jewish … fascinating man widely knowledgeable about leaders of Israel and also leaders of PLO. He convened meeting in villa owned by his brother the island from which new Wimbledon champion comes from. … for second or third time leaders of PLO we sat for 2 days listening to general … and he talked about peace between Palestinians … they were waving arms I said these two guys could settle this, they are agreed on reasonable settlement… he was medical doctor he trained in Cleveland Clinic went back to be doctor for PLO and became fighter himself. Suddenly came to him he was saved as inspiration from God. We keep talking in PLO about military option. This is nonsense. This will get us nowhere. We have to sit down and talk with the other side. We have to find way to reconciliation. I have blood on my own hands but there is no hope in that direction. He became champion in side PLO for peace. I had pleasure of being involved with him on many occasions. Introduced him to many leaders. … he was a chain smoker. I asked him why as medical doctor he smoked like that. He said he knew. I will enjoy as long as I can they will kill me anyway. Within about one year it happened. Someone came up behind him and fired bullet into head. He was voice for peace. Muslim fighter doctor he was a voice for peace. Many voices for peace in the world. We need to claim them as our friends. I’m nervous about talking about Quaker peace testimony many are out there making testimonials. I come back to reformation not asking us to change testimony just look at major principles of testimony you know what they are.
Do unto others as you would have them do to you. Love neighbors as you love yourself. … pray for those who spitefully use you. Recompense no man evil for evil. As much as lies within you live peaceably with all men. If enemy hungers feed him if thirsts give drink blessed are peacemaker for they shall be called children of God. We know that. This is part of our childhood. In renewing peace testimony how do we define. These are basic principles. Let me shift gears a minute. There are consequences to ideas. Consequences to belief. Mistake to try to separate consequences from causes. I don’t believe you can really make a clear division between religious faith and practice and political action. There is a difference not in same world exactly. But there are political consequences of what we do or fail to do. This we must come to terms with. Today we face serious challenges in the world. Just I picked up New York times couple of days ago 3-4 stories caught my eye. Focus on this problem. We need to look at political consequences of our beliefs. Statement republicans Jim Baker and … saying that one crises America faces is crisis of presidential power. In recent years trend started before George bush came to office saying and acting on belief that president as chief has virtually unlimited power to decide what is to be done about peace. Mr. Bush under guidance of Cheney and others … has usurped power from field of foreign affairs Colin Powell had no chance to be secretary of state. They took that power from him. This team has pushed as hard as they can to expand powers of president to have unlimited decision making over issues of war and peace. Former secretaries of state saying this has to stop. In making witness for peace have we anything to say about this kind of thing. I think we should. Or think about what’s to be done about future of Iraq and Afghanistan. The end is nowhere near. What will we do about it. I don’t know. But this cannot go on. There are consequences of such beliefs in our government. There are consequences that something should be done towards peace. I could go on with other illustrations. Policies that have to be addressed we don’t have time tonight. We would probably have severe disagreements if we explored them fully. We are faced with responsibility unequal in history of western world. To find ways to deal with people different from us, religion, economics, beliefs etc. we have to face challenge that has been put before world American supremacy and military might. We have largest military establishment in world. We spend more on arms than all other countries put together. Now we talk about threat of Iran. All this military might bombs and everything else we think Iran is about to attack us. Politicians in Washington are pushing to start war with Iran. If not directly get Israel to do it. Big air force. They just put exercise on last week. Planes and tankers drove 900 mile course to show they could to 900 mile trip into Iran on demonstration. Where is this going. What will it lead to. To me as I look at political problems we face today #1 issue is preventing war against Iran. Enough of that. Maybe I shouldn’t have gotten into politics of this. I believe very strongly in kind of beliefs we have and Quaker peace testimony. I believe that is shared by many people of faith around the world. Urgent for people around the world to come to terms with this issue. As citizens try to use influence at grass roots in our community local news etc. somehow to get out the message of importance of working for peace. I’ve told you nothing you don’t already know. Where we are what hope is there. In recent trips to middle east I spent time in Gaza hard to get in there. Working with relief agency gave me way to go in. I went to gate and showed passport looked me up on computer stamped me and let me in. I was amazed at what I found. I used to think I spent 4 years in Jerusalem I used to take people into Gaza easy to go then. 25-30 years ago they called it hellhole of world. .since … took over and made life so miserable … not a chance in the world. But the people were having difficult time. Short of food not starving managing. World community is still able to get in basic food, medicine. What amazed me resilience of people. Extent to which these people in most terrible circumstances have not given up. And have not become hate filled. I went to see family in center of Gaza strip I have known for some time. One son was shot by Israeli don’t know if accident or not. Shot in back badly wounded he is now studying in Boston. I went to see his family. Father is principal of a school he left job and came to see me in his home. Unbelievable hospitality. He had a meal for us ready there. Chicken rice and other things, vegetables. I asked how things were he said fine. How is school fine. Head of only coeducational school K-12 in Gaza. I asked if he got hard time about this. Strict about separating sexes boys and girls in same school I asked do they let you. They give me full support they trust me. Believe I am doing good job. He talked about how important that … in reconciliation. Moral of all this is as I see it do not give up hope. The situation I don’t know how it will resolve. See no indication whatsoever that it will happen anytime soon. Peace initiative … I think well meaning I think president bush wanted something to happen too late. 7 years went by with nothing coming about peace issue. It won’t happen now. But important thing is not to give up hope. Some people say to me I am most naive person. People will keep killing there. I know so many find wonderful decent honorable Jews and Israelis who believe that peace is possible and are willing to live for it and die for it. And I know same of Palestinians who also believe peace is possible. They do not give up so I won’t give up either. And I pray that you will pray with me that we not give up. We keep reaffirming traditional Quaker testimony for peace. Link to it people of other faiths if you are able to do that. We have been given insight to reality into the truth of human relations. We belong to each other need each other. All children of God. There is bumper sticker I like says God bless everybody no exceptions.
Reconcile… make us love each other no exceptions.
Thank you Landrum Bolling for challenging us with hope. Thank you for being here tonight. We rejoice in coming to close of beautiful God blessed day and we can rejoice together in that and message we heard.
Lord we are grateful for your presence for your gift of hope that you have birthed within us and encouraged tonight. Lord help us be peacemakers reconcilers bringers of the hope that lies in our Lord Jesus Christ in whose name we pray amen go in peace.