Tidings from Friends: Issue No. 26

Tidings from Friends

The Weekly Newsletter of Guilford College Friends Center

Welcome to Tidings from Friends, the weekly newsletter published by Guilford College’s Friends Center. In this time where we are more disconnected than usual and trying to find ways to connect and support the campus, we offer this as a means of lifting up our campus community with a brief thought and other reflective pieces for you.

Each week this newsletter will contain a list of upcoming events, a selection of local and/or student artwork or poetry, some resources for navigating religious life on campus, and a “mindful moment.” This mindful moment might be a passage of scripture, a written meditation, a link to a video, or something else. If you are interested in submitting artwork, poetry, or a mindful moment, please contact perkinsja1@guilford.edu.

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This photo by Jacob Perkins, Guilford College

Mindful Moment

Sacred Text: 1 Peter 5:7 AMP: Cast all your cares [all your anxieties, all your worries, and all your concerns, once and for all] on God, for God cares about you [with deepest affection, and watches over you very carefully].

Nowadays my mind seems to receive little repose. I am continuously thinking about the path towards healing. There is so much space needed for healing in our nation, on our campus, and in our lives. Many of our treasured Guilford College staff and faculty are no longer at the college. Some students have transferred, many remain. We all feel their loss. As we do the hard/heart work of rebuilding and saving the college, we must also hold space for repair, trust- building, healing, and reconciliation. Pain must be acknowledged.

On a national and local scale, this past year has pivoted the nation and our campus into an unprecedented year of social justice, social change and a call to action. While our campus is responding to its own trauma, the world is responding to a global pandemic, racial tensions and violence. How can we cultivate a community of care and concern? How can we mirror the image of God by receiving the cares of our loved ones and community? In an attempt to foster self-care and community care, I have been studying different healing practices. A few of those practices follow. Click the links to learn more. 

Quaker Silence, Meditation and Prayer: Originally offered through the Friends Center, I have attended Quaker minister Sara Beth Terrell‘s Experiment in Silence for over a year. For me, even as a non-Quaker, it has been life changing and consciousness altering. Sara Beth shared, “Out of silence, we can come to new places, we can allow new thinking. We must reimagine how we do education and the church, and many other longstanding institutions. New thinking often comes about when we are in conflict. When we are in silence together, bonds form that we may not even be aware are forming. Silence can bring a sense of care, bonding and healing.” 

Talking Circles/Peacemaking Circles: I recently invited Dr. Kenneth Wallace to speak to my Multicultural Leadership Scholars class, an African American Choctaw residing in Montreal, Canada. He shared about the indigenous practice of Talking Circles, also called “peacemaking circles.” These circles privilege both talking and listening as mechanisms for deeper understanding and respect. According to practitioner Alaina Winters, “Processes are based upon equality between participants and the principle of sharing power with each other instead of having power over one another.”

The Black Church: Theologian Shar Walker wrote, “The black church was birthed from a place of marginalization and hardship. From its foundations it has known dark times, but it has also been given the privilege of experiencing God as strength and shield (Ps. 28:7).” The Black church is an imperfect institution in many ways, but for me it has served as a space of empowerment, inspiration, revolution, resistance, and resiliency. In particular, I love the freedom of the Spirit that has power and relevance for real life. I love the practice of music and worship. I am encouraged by the tradition of the testimony service, where we use our lives and experiences to encourage one another through stories of overcoming. 

Query: I now invite you to consider your own rituals and sacred spaces. What spiritual practices do you honor that bring healing to your spirit? How can our individual practices impact our communities?

This Mindful Moment provided by Dr. Krishauna Hines-Gaither, Associate Vice President for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion and Director of the Intercultural Engagement Center at Guilford College

Upcoming Events

Wednesday4.14.20218:30 AMMeeting for Centering Silence (staff/faculty focus)Friends Center
Wednesday4.14.20217:00 PMGCM Weekly Fellowship on Founders Hall LawnGuilford Christian Ministry
Friday4.16.20211:00 PMMeeting for Centering SilenceFriends Center
Monday4.19.20211:00 PMMeeting for Centering Silence (student focus)Friends Center
Wednesday4.21.20218:30 AMMeeting for Centering Silence (staff/faculty focus)Friends Center
Wednesday4.21.20217:00 PMGCM Weekly Fellowship on Founders Hall LawnGuilford Christian Ministry
To find more information about these events, please click on the event. This will direct you to the event registration if required, or directly to a zoom link. If you notice events missing here, please let us know.
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To find information about the Interfaith Leadership Council, faith leaders who work with students on campus, or to see a full calendar of all campus faith-related events, visit our Multifaith page.

The Friends Center Prayer Room is available to students of all faiths and spiritual journeys. Ideal for prayer, meditation, or reflection, we encourage folks to make use of this space. See our flyer for more information.

To contact Friends Center Director, email danielscw@guilford.edu.

For a variety of self-care resources, visit our Self-Care page.

To provide feedback or suggestions, submissions for artwork or Mindful Moments, or questions about this newsletter, contact perkinsja1@guilford.edu.

About Friends Center:

Friends Center is a collaborative project between the Religious Society of Friends and Guilford College. Friends Center is responsible for nurturing Quaker life and renewal on campus, building and sustaining interfaith cooperation on campus, and building relationships with the global Quaker community. To read more about Friends Center, visit the homepage of our website.