Nenana Wellness Coalition
May 10, 2016
The Nenana Wellness Coalition is an alliance of representatives from various organizations, government agencies, community groups and individuals that meets weekly to discuss, evaluate, coordinate, consolidate, celebrate, masticate and help implement plans for improving the wellness and quality of life in Nenana Alaska.
We had 21 participants today: Bonnie Reed, Kat McElroy, David Poppe, Mary Alexander, Virginia Young, Annette McDonald, Chuck, Carrie and Cyrus Hugney-Farr, Jim Hautla, Miles Martin, Natalie Chong, Tim Young, Amie, James and Kenneth Verhagan and Evelyn, Johnny, Ephraim, Levi and Samuel Verhagan.
We enjoyed beef and potato casserole with roasted carrots and broccoli, raw cheddar cheese, pineapple coconut Cole slaw, fresh fruit platter, Ritz crackers with sliced cheese and mixed raisins and pecans for lunch.
Natalie could not stay due to her work schedule but she brought us copies of the latest Nenana City Public Schools, The Nenana Newsfeed, and gave us an update on the mysterious re-appearing plastic pink flamingos which continue to pop up in the vicinity of her house. Thanks for the newsletters, Natalie. It looks like the students are busy in the end-of-school-year flurry of activities.
WELCOME and READING OF MISSION STATEMENT: By this week’s chairperson: Virginia Young
SPIRITUAL MOMENT: was lead by Chuck, with a silent prayer.
PRESENTATION OF AGENDA AND CALL FOR MODIFICATIONS: There were no items added to the agenda.
MINUTES: There were no minutes generated last week nor posted at the WIN link at http://www.railbelt.org nor submitted electronically to the WIN e-list.
INTRODUCTION OF GUESTS: Annette MacDonald introduced herself; Chuck and Carrie introduced their grandson Cyrus.
The Society of Friends: Chuck prefaced his remarks with a bit of history; the Society of Friends was founded by George Fox. Dissatisfied with the teachings of the Church of England, he had a revelation and became convinced that it was possible to have a direct experience of Christ without the aid of an ordained clergy. In 1650, Fox was brought before the magistrate on a charge of religious blasphemy and admonished the court, saying he feared no man or court but that he quaked before the power of the Lord. Thus, the name Quaker began as a way of ridiculing George Fox’s admonition, but became widely accepted and is used by some Quakers. They are known officially as The Religious Society of Friends.
Around three-quarters of Quakers worldwide belong to the “evangelical” and “programmed” branches of Quakerism and worship in services with singing and a prepared message from the Bible, lead by a minister. The other quarter practice unprogrammed worship where the order of service is not planned in advance, is predominantly silent, and may include unprepared vocal ministry from participants.
A basic Quaker belief is that God is in everyone, the basic template is there. Quakers are taught to seek God in silent prayer. They believe that we all have a direct avenue to God. They also believe in a few simple testimonies: 1) Simplicity; they believe in using resources wisely, be mindful in all things 2)Peace; build conflict resolution skills 3) Integrity; let your outer life reflect your inner life 4) Community; an example of this he used was their project of making Care Packages to distribute to homeless peoples, with gloves, socks, and other small items that could be useful 5) Equality; God is in everyone, which is the basis of their interest in social justice for women and minorities 6) Stewardship; we care for the Earth, which he noted brings us full circle to Simplicity.
The Hugney-Farr family belong to a Friends church that is unprogrammed, The Chena Ridge Friends Church which actually meets in Goldstream Valley in Fairbanks. Nils Koponen was a founding member. They come together for silent worship, which they see as being ministry from the spirit. The Fairbanks group is the largest unprogrammed meeting in Alaska. In their services, they sit in a circle in silent prayer. At times, someone may feel moved to speak. Silent prayer is used to deepen personal relationship with God. In their church body there are about 30 families, Chuck said, who are members. There are an equal number of people who are attendees but have not joined the group in any official way. At any meeting, he said, they typically would have maybe 20 people, giove or take, depending on time of year.
Chuck described a process of personal queries each member would explore for themselves. “Where am I going?” is a basic prayer question, seeking God’s will. When a person feels they are being lead by God, they are encouraged to share their thoughts with a Clearness Committee who will sit with them in prayer. If a person feels particularly guided by God to some action, they might request the assistance of a Support Committee to help guide them in their actions towards their goal.
Chuck said that their first go-to book is the Christian Bible, but in the unprogrammed tradition there is no creed, no specific teachings, no minister guidance. They do not have a national nor an international governing body. Each church group is answerable only to themselves, their church body. Decisions are made by consensus. Finances are determined for the church by the church. “Some projects just never get funded,” Chuck stated. An example, their church has outhouses as they have never had consensus to invest in indoor plumbing. “Decisions often take a long, long time.” They have statewide meetings annually and there is a tri-annual international gathering. The Quaker Church continues to grow, especially in Africa. Kenya has a particularly active membership.
Chuck said that a basic tenant of their belief is self-evaluation. Consequently, they encourage their kids to attend other churches and experience other religions to evaluate for themselves what works best for them. Another basic tenant is acting on your beliefs. As examples of this, he cited the work of Quakers historically in the abolition movement and today in leadings couple’s enrichment groups and alternatives to violence workshops.
Nenana Saturday Market: The garden is in and plants have begun to grow. The initial market is slated to be held at the civic center, Saturday, May 28th, 8AM-1PM. There are notices in The Fairbanks Daily Newsminer, and we are actively recruiting more vendors.
WELLNESS THOUGHT: When we stand in the power, fear cannot exist. How do we find this place of power? We pray our way into it. We ask the Creator to take our hand and help us. When we get to that place, we will feel the fear go away. Great Spirit, hold my hand and guide me today. White Bison
Bonnie: Music Program K-12 Wednesday night, 6:30PM, in the gym
Thursday, the Senior Bus will be going to Fairbanks, 10 AM, to participate in Senior Appreciation Day at the Carlson Center.
May 12, there will be a computer class at the Nenana City Library, 1-4 PM
5:30 PM The Board of Equalization meets before the City Assembly meeting
6:30 City Assembly Meeting, at the Senior Center
May 13 GVEA has their annual giveaway of lilac trees at the Nenana office.
May 14 Senior Prom, Grand March 7PM, in the gym
May 16 Senior Board meeting 5:30 PM at the Senior Center
May 17th, Kat will do a presentation on Storytelling at WIN for Envisioning Wellness
May 20th Nenana Clean Up Day. Starting with the Here Comes The Sun Fun Run and ending with the BBQ at the school.
Kat: Learned a lot at the Annual School of Addiction Studies last week and got the hours she needs to be able to recertify. The Commission meeting was very busy. She got to spend two days with Leon. Senate Bill 91 is creeping along, not dead yet. Passed the House, now has to get tweaked to reconcile differences between House and Senate versions.
David: Had 18 pigs gets loose yesterday, and dig up huge swaths of the yard before he and Kat were able to round them up and get them into a temporary corral. Deryl Kraus came with grandkids and his big stock trailer and all of them got hauled off to go onto pasture at Virginia’s hayfields. David was picking up spent barley at 49th State Brewery in Healy; there was a film crew there doing a segment on that operation so David ended up being filmed in conversation with the owner who wants to buy pork from David for his restaurants. He castrated six baby pigs this morning. Four more to go for this round. He is slated for Jury Duty next week but wants to be planting barley! We will be having new piggy batches birthed in July.
Mary: Digging in the garden. Wes roto-tilled. They got potatoes, kale and carrots planted. They have a big family wedding, birthday party, family reunion to attend.
Jim: Sure enjoying spring, this wonderful sun. He’s busy with herb starts. They also have a wedding to attend.
Tim: The Nenana Book Club is reading Where The Heart Is and will be meeting the evening of the first Monday in June to discuss.
Miles: Planting extra, has tomatoes, cucumbers, basil all up and flourishing. Also parsley, and lots of flowers. He likes to focus on what they do well.
Annette: Has the Denali Chamber of Commerce Dinner Sunday evening. Was pleased to see lots of coverage of the Honor Flight in which her husband AP participated. It really meant a lot to him.
Virginia: Her last kiddo has just graduated college! They had a family reunion to celebrate this event.
Evelyn: Enjoying the summer, great to be able to have the kids outside. They are looking for some inexpensive building materials for a landscaping project they want to do, a patio for their yard.
ADJOURNMENT: 1:50 PM