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Quakers plan yearly meeting near McNabb

‘Witness and Renewal’ theme of week’s events

The Clear Creek Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) will host its yearly meeting from June 20-24 at the historic meeting house south of McNabb. There is no charge to attend the workshops or talks by the featured speakers, which are open to the public.

This year’s theme is “Witness and Renewal,” in observance of the 50th anniversary of the Poor People’s Campaign.

The Plummer lecture at 10 a.m. on June 24 will feature Bonni McKeown, a.k.a. “Barrelhouse Bonni,” a piano player, blues educator, activist, film producer and writer. McKeown’s motto is “Pray for Peace, Work for Justice, Boogie for Survival.” She is a member of the Oak Park meeting.

The Yearly Meeting (ILYM) is a retreat for approximately 200 Quakers who attend from local meetings throughout Illinois and parts of Iowa, Indiana and Missouri. ILYM offers workshops, featured speakers, recreational programs, business meetings, camping facilities, programs for children and meals prepared on site.

Evening programs are from 7:30 to 8:45 p.m. beginning June 20 with a panel discussion “ILYM Friends Called to Witness on Social Justice in the 1960s and Today,” which will feature Dan Stevens, Freedom Rider of 1961; David Finke, Nancy Finke and Judy Jager, participants in Martin Luther King’s Open Housing campaign in Chicago in 1966; and Jason Shenk, organizer for the New Poor People’s Campaign of direct action in 2018.

On June 21, Betsey Means Wills, of Lake Forest Friends, will perform “The March of the Mill Children: A Speech by Mother Jones,” about a march of child laborers in 1903 to President Theodore Roosevelt’s home in an effort to stop labor abuses.

The evening presentation on June 23 will be a discussion focused on “American Friends Service Committee and the Call to Racial Justice and Justice for the Poor” with Brant Rosen, American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) Midwest regional director and rabbi for a new social-justice focused congregation, Tzedek Chicago, and Joshua Saleem, the Peace Education Program director for AFSC’s St. Louis office.

The afternoon workshops on June 21-23 will be held 2:30 to 3:45 p.m. and will address the experiences of the Poor People’s Campaign; a bicycling trip along the Hennepin Canal sponsored by the ILYM Environmental Concerns Committee; other branches of Quakers; a holistic children’s religious education program on lifetime sexuality concerns; solar energy; personal ministry; sanctuary, blues music, and yoga and meditation.

The Clear Creek Monthly Meeting of Friends is the oldest continuous monthly meeting in the Illinois Yearly Meeting. The meeting house at 14365 N. 350th Ave. (“Quaker Lane”) was built in 1875, although Quakers had worshipped at the site since 1843.

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