Minutes for MPJC Meeting of May 18, 2020

Present: Peter, Ellyn, Glenda Rae, Reynaldo, Lois (Zoom meeting).

Old business

    1.  Approval of Minutes for April 20: The minutes were approved as corrected.

    2. Progress Reports:

        a. Topic of the Month: Public vs Private Education. Reynaldo has done research on this topic but has not yet prepared a draft. If funding comes up in his research, he will include it. Ellyn mentioned wanting to have more information about how the school referenda will affect our taxes. The Community Foundation sent a link to a tax calculator which was helpful. It turns out that the property tax cap will keep our taxes from rising very much.

        b. Book of the Month report: Lois shared an email from her daughter Jan. The text is below:

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” ? Carl Sagan, Cosmos

Here are a few starstuff thoughts to keep your brain humming today! XXX

From Science: http://www.physics.org/article-questions.asp?id=52

We are all made of stardust. It sounds like a line from a poem, but there is some solid science behind this statement too: almost every element on Earth was formed at the heart of a star.

Next time you’re out gazing at stars twinkling in the night sky, spare a thought for the tumultuous reactions they play host to. It’s easy to forget that stars owe their light to the energy released by nuclear fusion reactions at their cores. These are the very same reactions which created chemical elements like carbon or iron - the building blocks which make up the world around us.

From Emerson’s essay, The Oversoul:

One mode of the divine teaching is the incarnation of the spirit in a form, -- in forms, like my own. I live in society; with persons who answer to thoughts in my own mind or express a certain obedience to the great instincts to which I live. I see its presence to them. I am certified of a common nature; and these other souls, these separated selves, draw me as nothing else can. They stir in me the new emotions we call passion; of love, hatred, fear, admiration, pity; thence comes conversation, competition, persuasion, cities, and war. Persons are supplementary to the primary teaching of the soul… In all conversation between two persons, tacit reference is made, as to a third party, to a common nature. That third party or common nature is not social; it is impersonal; is God. And so in groups where debate is earnest, and especially on high questions, the company become aware that the thought rises to an equal level in all bosoms, that all have a spiritual property in what was said, as well as the all become wiser than they were. It arches over them like a temple, this unity of thought, in which every heart beats with nobler sense of power and duty, and thinks and acts with unusual solemnity. All are conscious of attaining to a higher self-possession. It shines for all. There is the lowest, and which our ordinary education often labors to silence and obstruct. The mind is one, and the best minds, who love truth for its own sake, think much less of property in truth. They accept it thankfully everywhere, and do not label or stamp it with any man's name, for it is theirs long beforehand, and from eternity. The learned and the studious of thought have no monopoly of wisdom. Their violence of direction in some degree disqualifies them to think truly. We owe many valuable observations to people who are not very acute or profound, and who say the thing without effort, which we want and have long been hunting in vain. The action of the soul is oftener in that which is felt and left unsaid, than in that which is said in any conversation. It broods over every society, and they unconsciously seek for it in each other. We know better than we do. We do not yet possess ourselves, and we know at the same time that we are much more… The soul is the perceiver and revealer of truth. We know truth when we see it, let skeptic and scoffer say what they choose. Foolish people ask you, when you have spoken what they do not wish to hear, `How do you know it is truth, and not an error of your own?' We know truth when we see it, from opinion, as we know when we are awake that we are awake.

When a soldier stops to consider that the enemy's body might contain the same kind of stardust as his or her own body, he or she may ask, “Why kill my kin?” (from book: You Might Be a Christian and Not Even Know It!)

“Are you looking for me? I am in the next seat. When you really look for me, you will find me instantly. You will find me in the tiniest house of time. Kabir says: Student, tell me, what is God? He is the breath inside the breath.” –Kabir

“Have your attention on what is and see its fullness in every moment. The presence of the divine is everywhere. You have only to consciously embrace it with your attention.” –The Vedas

“A wave of individuality rises from the unbounded ocean, and for a time, forgets that it is the ocean in disguise. When the wave begins looking inside, the memory of wholeness is rekindled, and the wave again knows itself as unbounded, infinite, and eternal.” –David Simon

       c. Immigration Coalition Report: There has been no meeting of the Coalition since our last meeting. Reynaldo said that the forum program he was involved in planning has been postponed until Fall of 2021 because of fear of transmission of Covid-19.

       d. Tax Day and Earth Day Events: These have been canceled or postponed due to Covid-19. Glenda Rae got a note from Diana when she dropped off a newspaper article re Little Taste of Peace, and was asked to help at the June Earth Day gathering. The note gave the date but no other details. Glenda Rae needs Diana's phone number to respond. Ellyn said she would send it.

       e. Updating our social media profile: Reynaldo connected with Ken Riemann but Ken has not suggested any way he could get involved with the facebook page. Rey posted some photos that Ellyn sent and will look at the photo she sent before the meeting.

3. Treasurer's Report: $118.50 with $20 in petty cash.

New Business

    1. What do we (can we) do next? We incorporated this topic into other discussion

    2. Topic of the Month: We will continue with the Public vs Private Education topic.

    3. Restarting the weekly vigils: We could start up again since non-essential travel is allowed and we can space ourselves on the corner. Ellyn mentioned that the traffic on Main St is still pretty sparse. We decided to wait until it picked up before restarting the vigil. Lois regretfully said that she was not able to safely attend the vigils any more. Ellyn suggested that we prepare a lifesize image of Lois and let her watch via Zoom. We will think about how to do this.

    4. Other Topics and Issues: Glenda Rae said she was involved with three groups meeting on Zoom including the Human Rights Commission discussing cases and the League with their annual meeting in June. Ellyn mentioned that the immigration hearings and citizenship hearings are all backed up. The evening citizenship classes have resumed on Zoom on Thursdays. Next week both Tuesday and Thursday classes will resume. Reynaldo had not heard about the resumed classes, possibly because he volunteers with the morning classes.

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    5. Next meeting: Monday, June 15, at 2:30pm. We will hold the meeting via Zoom. Ellyn will initiate the meeting.