Flushing Friends Meeting hosts Alternatives to Violence Project
From the Alternatives to Violence Project website: "The AVP program began in 1975 when a group of inmates at Green Haven Prison (NY) was working with youth coming into conflict with the law. They collaborated with the Quaker Project on Community Conflict, devising a prison workshop. The success of this workshop quickly generated requests for more, and AVP was born. The program quickly spread to many other prisons."
Flushing Friends Meeting: an oasis for calm, tolerance, human rights, education and non-violent struggles for over 300 years. Quakers in Flushing click here
Battling violence in Flushing, New York City. SJ Dodgson MJoTA 2014 v8n1 p0625
Citizens of Flushing have been non-violently fighting for human rights since the 1600s, and in 2014, still in evident is the passion that was present in John Bowne and others of his time. We came together at Flushing Meeting House early on 2 Saturdays in June, with 4 volunteers from the Alternatives to Violence Project to rid ourselves of violence. This project has worked very well, as we can see. Two of the co-ordinators had come to nonviolence in prison, they were big chaps, like giant teddy bears, all the violence sucked out of them.
The program started at 9.30 am and went on both days until after 7pm, and included exercises in getting to know and respect others, building paper towers (see below), playing cool word games and musical chairs games, talking about the nature of violence, and sitting together for meals. By the end, we were all each other's best friends, totally relaxed and not a negative thought was even smelled anywhere.
Flushing Meeting House is the oldest continously occupied house of worship in New York City, and whenever I am there, I can feel the prayers and good wishes of Quakers going back over 340 years. It is a beautiful, tranquil space, used for weddings (one held on June 22), and funerals and community events.
Being a Quaker. and being non-violent, is a 24-hour commitment, and a gentle commitment, because no-one every yells at you to be non-violent. Early on, in the early 1630s, Quakers denounced the abuses and thefts of clergy running churches, demanding that non-payment of tithes was equivalent to robbing God.
Being a Quaker is to live in the time of continuing revelation, understanding that the Bible is not the only book where the path to the non-violent spiritual life is revealed. Being a Quaker, my belief in anything is neither demanded, nor even required. I believe that any person's spiritual beliefs are so important that they are no-one else's business. My beliefs are mine, they are part of me, and they are not open to public discussion, public agreement or public ridicule.
137-16 Northern Blvd, Flushing, NY 11354 (718) 358-9636
(7 train to Roosevelt Avenue, walk down Main Street about 3 blocks, turn right)
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