How We Put
Faith in Action
On the left: Land of the Lenni-Lenape, 2013 Autumn Drive, Chadds Ford, PA, by likeaduck, License: CC-BY-2.0. On the right: Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape PowWow 2014, image by Larry Wilder, License: CC-BY-2.0
The land upon which we gather is part of the traditional territory of the Lenni-Lenape, called ‘Lenapehoking.’ The Lenape People lived in harmony with one another upon this territory for thousands of years. During the colonial era and early federal period, many were removed west and north: the Delaware Nation, Delaware Tribe of Indians, Stockbridge-Munsee Community Band of Mohican Indians, Munsee Delaware Nation, and the Delaware Nation at Moraviantown; and some remain among the continuing historical tribal communities of the region: The Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Tribal Nation, the Ramapough Lenape Nation, and the Powhatan Renape Nation, the Nanticoke of Millsboro Delaware, and the Lenape of Cheswold Delaware. We acknowledge the Lenni-Lenape as the original people of this land and their continuing relationship with their territory. In our acknowledgment of the continued presence of Lenape people in their homeland, we affirm the aspiration of the great Lenape Chief Tamanend, that there be harmony between the indigenous people of this land and the descendants of the immigrants to this land, ‘as long as the rivers and creeks flow, and the sun, moon, and stars shine.’
This land acknowledgement was approved by Birmingham Meeting
Friends at Meeting for Business on October 2, 2022
Refugee Resettlement Project
The Refugee Resettlement Project began at Birmingham Meeting in 2015 in response to the ever-increasing number of people across the globe being forced to leave their homelands due to armed conflict, violence, persecution, famine, and poverty. Birmingham members were soon joined by volunteers from other Christian, Jewish, and Muslim faith communities, as well as non-religiously-affiliated community members, to form the West Chester Area Refugee Resettlement Project. The team assists refugees in transitioning to their new lives in the U.S. by securing and furnishing initial housing; helping them obtain Social Security numbers/work authorization documents; access medical and social services; find employment; connect with ESL classes and tutoring; enroll children in school; learn about U.S. currency/banking/bill paying---welcoming them and orienting them to American culture and our community.
The WCARRP partnered with Church World Service, a government-authorized resettlement agency, to resettle a seven-member Congolese refugee family and with the Asylum Seekers Sponsorship Project to assist a Ugandan asylum seeker. WCARRP was recently certified as a Private Sponsor Group by Welcome Corps, a U.S. State Department program, to sponsor two Colombian refugees.
Birmingham MM and members of the WCARRP have been incredibly blessed to have had the opportunity to welcome and get to know these newcomers, who have inspired us by their example of perseverance in exceedingly difficult circumstances and enriched our lives with their friendship.
We Strive to Save Lives
On the left: Youth in our Peace Center.
On the right: EOD Soldiers oversee Humanitarian Mine Action training with Chad Students. Photo courtesy of Flickr Commons.
Birmingham Friends Meeting, through the leadership efforts of members Ted Brinton, John Lavin and Ruth Young, has raised money to buy mine detectors for use in developing countries, where warfare has rendered land unusable because of buried mines. This work and support has been taken up by our Youth committee and Peace and Social Concerns Committee, who continue to raise funds for purchasing the detectors.
Who has not seen the distressing photo of a child maimed by stepping on a mine, or read the sad story of a family bereavement from working in a mined area? Providing the means to detect buried mines is a win-win proposition: it prevents injuries and fatalities and it allows land, contaminated with buried mines, to be returned to much needed food production. The detectors have been bought from the Schonstedt Instrument Co. which donates a second one for free with each purchase. The detectors are then distributed worldwide by the UN Mine Action Service. The benefits of these efforts have been huge.
For More information about this program go to: https://www.friendsjournal.org/demining-for-peace/
Birmingham Friends Letter to Editor of Philadelphia paper:
I am writing to urge Our US Representatives from Pennsylvania to sign on as Co-Sponsors of the Sgt. Isaac Woodard, Jr. and Sgt. Joseph H. Maddox GI Bill Repair Act of 2020, introduced by U.S. House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn (SC-06) and Congressman Seth Moulton (MA-06) on December 7, the anniversary of Pearl Harbor. It is long past time to repair the injustices directed toward Black World War II Veterans. Upon their return home from fighting for our country they were denied access to the benefits of the GI Bill. This was due to purposeful discriminatory federal, state, and local policies, along with political and institutional barriers. The result of this discrimination is that Black Veterans were kept from achieving full economic mobility and accumulation of wealth for themselves, their families and their descendants. This Bill importantly extends access to the VA Loan Guaranty Program and to the Post-911 GI Bill educational assistance benefits to surviving spouses and certain direct descendants. Our Congress should do the right thing and show that Black Veterans service matters by voting this Bill into law.