Quakers to host peace vigil

The Whidbey Island Friends feel called to stand for peace publicly once again.

As war rages on in Israel, Gaza and Ukraine, the Whidbey Island Friends feel called to stand for peace publicly once again.

Community members are welcome to join the Friends for a silent vigil and inclusive prayer at 1 p.m. this Sunday, Jan. 28 at the intersection of Highway 525 and Main Street in Freeland.

Just like the first vigil, attendees must leave the political signs at home and be prepared to enter a quiet, respectful atmosphere.

“Life is precious. Life is sacred,” said organizer Dinah Bachrach. “As a result of our almost 400 years of peace testimony, Quakers are pacifists and oppose all wars. That’s our particular belief, but this vigil, people can come to it from any calling.”

Bachrach, who has been a Quaker for nearly a decade, came up with the idea for a vigil after expressing her distress during a Whidbey Island Friends Meeting about the continuing violence in the Middle East. If a Quaker feels moved during a meeting — known as vocal ministry — they stand up and speak.

The first Vigil of Peace occurred the day after Veterans Day and was well attended, despite the damp weather.

“It was raining off and on, but we had a great turnout,” Bachrach said, adding that over 50 people attended.

The gathering also created greater visibility for the Friends, who have gained a few new attendees of their weekly meetings since then.

The Whidbey Quakers will not be taking a political stance on Sunday. Rather, Bachrach said, the event is a cry for peace and for humanity.

“This vigil is one small but powerful way to come together,” she said.

Following the vigil, the Friends invite people to come to the Trinity Lutheran Church annex from 2:15 to 3:30 p.m. for small group discussions about what peace means to each person. Hot cider and cookies will be provided.

Anyone interested in joining the Quakers for their weekly meeting at 4 p.m. can then head to Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Whidbey Island.