Spiritual State of the Meeting – 2010

Our Committee framework continues to be a centrally important support to Spirit in our Meeting. Friends experience the work of our committees as safeguarding the creative tension between worship and action, caring for individual needs in Clearness Committees, keeping us abreast of national and International peace and justice concerns, and allowing Friends to share their gifts both with the Meeting and with the larger community. Religious Education continues the important work of nurturing our youngest friends. House and Grounds and an ad hoc committee on meeting room renovation, with careful oversight from Stewardship and Finance (including special fundraising), have worked to make our meetinghouse both comfortable and beautiful.

As a way of encouraging verbal participation, Worship and Ministry suggested changing the manner in which we end our Meetings for Worship. Now, near the end of silent worship, a member of W&M invites those present to either share spiritual messages that need a nudge for vocal ministry or to ask that we hold someone in the Light. This was adopted by our Meeting after a trial period, and has helped make those present feel more comfortable.

The spontaneous spirit that emerges when an individual asks for the support of the Meeting is a reflection of our corporate spiritual vigor. In asking, the individual trusts that the need expressed will be tenderly held, and that we are gathered up in Spirit as we support the one in need.

During the past year, the adult religious education Second Hours, overseen by Worship and Ministry were based on themes built on central concerns such as Quaker witness as sacrament. These were well attended, and most participants spoke about the readings, sharing deeply felt personal responses. As one Friend said, “This makes me feel valued. I am listened to and taken seriously.” In this way, too, we come to know one another and together advance our spiritual journey.

It remains helpful to remind ourselves that we are having trouble in some areas. For instance, our committees are thinly populated. But we have reached a level of spiritual maturity, so that we trust the work of our committees. Thus Meetings for Business are kept short and our corporate needs are met. This is a healthy change, and one that sustains the mutual benefits of giving and receiving in committee work.

We are yet again challenged to find ways to make Maury River Friends more central to our lives and to make Meeting more significant in the larger community. This includes reaching younger people and younger families who attend infrequently or only on special holiday occasions—both made more difficult because we lack the appropriate committee to focus on this concern.

Our meeting encompasses a range of views about fundamental theology. This is a real strength. Spirit is manifested within the numinous silence of our expectant waiting and in the acceptance and encouragement we give one another on our individual spiritual journeys.

Mary Barnes
Clerk, Maury River Friends Meeting

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October 2010 Monthly Newsletter

Maury River October, 2010 Monthly Newsletter

CALENDAR

10/1-3  Fall Retreat @ Camp Shiloh

10/3            “Quaker Witness as Sacrament”

10/9            Meetinghouse Fall Work Day

10/10            “Quaker Witness as Sacrament”, Part 2

10/16            Interim Meeting @ Richmond Friends Meeting

10/17            Mountain Top Removal

10/24            MWB and Potluck

10/24            Simplicity:  To Mend Our Ecological Footprint @ Blacksburg Friends Meeting

10/31            Fellowship

11/6            Workshop on RIGHT RELATIONSHIP

Committee Notes

FROM THE CLERK’S TABLE

Dear Friends,

Our last MWB had quite a few items to bring to your attention, many of which are told in greater detail below in committee reports.

First of all, please remember the fall workday on October 9.  If you can’t come on that day, there are a variety of jobs that can be accomplished on your own schedule–simply sign up for what you can do.

Second, Peace & Justice presented the compilation and analysis of their survey on environmental issues.  They will have a workshop on RIGHT RELATIONSHIP: BUILDING A WHOLE EARTH ECONOMY November 6th from 9 to 12 followed by a Second Hour the next day.   Call Jim Warren has ordered books.   They also gave the first reading of benevolences.

The Ad Hoc Meetingroom Committee brought their proposal for wainscoting to finish the work in our meetingroom. Meeting approved having Eric Sheffield do the work and asked the committee to go forward with accomplishing this task.  Since we do not have the all the money to pay for this work, Finance & Stewardship will send out a letter soliciting donations and loans from meeting F/friends.  After the level of support for this work is seen, F&S will bring a report back to the meeting on securing the funds necessary.  It is lovely to see how the meetingroom is reaching completion.  Special thanks go out to Jim Warren and Bill Jones for painting the newly plastered wall.

At their committee meeting, Worship & Ministry seriously considered the comments from August’s WMB concerning W&M’s practice of inviting vocal ministry during the end of meeting for worship.  As we said, we welcome F/friends comments to committee members concerning this practice, and we will bring our recommendation and invitation for discussion later in the fall to a WMB.  Meanwhile, we will continue the practice.  Friends should remember that vocal ministry, as well as silence, is welcomed at any time during meeting for worship–an invitation is not necessary.

Finally, it is lovely to see how the heat is finally breaking and the rain is coming.  It has been a long, dry spell, and we are all ready for cooler, wetter weather.  May your spirit find an accompanying refreshment and you find your way to our community with joy.

Best wishes,

Mary Barnes

FROM THE EDITOR’S PEN

If you are reading this newsletter and are not receiving it but would like to, please speak to Phil Hyre at meeting, call him at 463-7156 or email him at haiku49@gmail.com and request to be put on the list, either email or postal mail.  And if you receive the newsletter by postal mail but have acquired the capacity to have it sent to you electronically, please let him know.  It would be good to reduce the current monthly mailing list of around 10 newsletters as much as possible.

Bill Jones has graciously agreed to be the original contact person on our reconstituted “phone tree”.  If there are future announcements to the MRFM email list, especially messages of broad import, please CALL Bill at (540) 377-5513 and he will call the others w/o email.

WORSHIP & MINISTRY

October 3:  Pendle Hill Pamphlet, “Quaker Witness as Sacrament” led by Nancy McLaughlin

October 10:  Continue “Quaker Witness as Sacrament”

October 17:  Mountain Top Removal led by Sandra Hayslette

October 24:  MWB and Potluck

October 31:  Fellowship

HOUSE & GROUNDS

Fall Work Day scheduled for October 9th.  Please sign up on the task list.

Meeting has approved H&G’s recommendations regarding winter meetinghouse temperatures.

Meeting also discussed H&G’s recommendation regarding snow plans.  We ask that people review this document and forward concerns to Dan, Joseph or Daphne. We will revisit the recommendation at next meeting for business.  Both of these documents from H&G follow the body of the newsletter.

We will lead a second hour with Eli Fishpaw on November 21st in a spirit led examination of the energy audit of the meetinghouse.

PEACE & JUSTICE

Please make note of the November 6th workshop at the Meetinghouse, 9-12, with potluck following.  The focus will be Peter Brown’s RIGHT RELATIONSHIP, copies of which are available at Meeting for $12.  Friends of Friends are welcome.  We will discuss the book and then move toward thinking about how to implement the idea of right relationship in our individual and corporate lives.

Jim notes that, “my own purpose is to seek spiritual sustenance through witnessing for earthcare.  I don’t have grand solutions for how we need to live.  I just know that in the work we have to do, we need to sustain our belief in the future.”

Kathy thanks Richard Barnes who has agreed to take over as the point person for the new website which BYM is pulling together.  He has a good vision of a MRFM website and the technical skills which will help make it possible.

Death Penalty update:  Teresa Lewis was executed Sept. 23rd, 2010.  There was a vigil and 12 people attended—-5 from MRFM and 6 students with 1 professor from W & L law school.  We appreciate everyone’s attendance.  It was very encouraging to see many young people there.

We have extra copies of the survey results on the table with the donations box.  Kathy also has extra copies.  We are giving Kit Jones a huge thank you for all her excellent work—both getting the survey ready and analyzing the results.  It was a huge job and much appreciated.  We also thank everyone who completed the survey.

At MWB it was approved to participate in the Lexington holiday parade on Sat. Dec 4th.   There are squares for folding cranes at the Meetinghouse.

CARE & COUNSEL

As is the custom of Care and Counsel and Maury River Friends, we want to hold in the Light those in the Meeting community who are experiencing difficulties in their lives. Though we regularly review the list of Meeting attenders, we are only five people, and may miss occurrences that deserve our attention.  As with other committees, we have areas of concern that we are charged to look after, but we invite and encourage other Meeting folks to exercise similar concern and attention.  If you are aware of someone in Meeting particularly needing our care or Light, please call a member of C&C – Morris Trimmer, Keely Massie, Mary Stratton, Tasha Walsh, or Peggy Dyson-Cobb.

TREASURER                                                                                            Friends who want to make a donation to Meeting can put it in the little wooden box on the table with the guest book on it.

FAMILY NEWS

Rosa’s college mailing address:

Rosa Friedrichs

c/o Earlham College

Drawer No. 771

801 National Road

Richmond, IN 47374

BYM NEWS October 16 – BYM Interim Meeting at Richmond Friends Meeting

Expand your involvement with the Yearly Meeting and be a part of important decision making.  Join Friends for morning committee meetings and the afternoon’s Interim Business Meeting.  Richmond Friends Meeting is hosting the Fall Interim Meeting.  Friends will begin gathering at 10:00 am at the Meeting House (4500 Kensington Avenue, Richmond, Virginia 23221).  Check the BYM website for more information.

October 24, 7–9pm – Simplicity:  To Mend Our Ecological Footprint

Blacksburg Friends Meeting welcomes you to a presentation by Hollister Knowlton on the environment, simplicity and spirituality.  Hollister is a founding member of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting’s Eco-Justice Working Group, former clerk of Quaker Earthcare Witness of the Americas, and a member of the Policy Committee of Friends Committee on National Legislation.

Contact Information:  Alwyn Moss at (540) 552-3136 or mailto:alwyn24060@yahoo.com

FIRST DAY SCHEDULE – ALL ARE WELCOME

— Meeting for Worship is held at 10:00 a.m. LATE COMERS PLEASE ENTER AS QUIETLY AS POSSIBLE.

— From September through May, First Day School begins in the back rooms at 10:00.  Children come in to sit with their parents in worship at 10:40. During Second Hour, (after worship) there is an adult program while children are tended in the classrooms.

— During the summer, children are supervised during worship in projects or outdoor activities, and there is no 2nd Hour.

— Meeting for Worship with a concern for Business is held the fourth First Day of each month, after worship.  We share a potluck lunch after Meeting for Business.  All are welcome and are encouraged to stay.

Maury River Friends Meeting

Committees and Contacts:

MRF Clerk – Mary Barnes – 540/997-9179

Care & Counsel – Peggy Dyson-Cobb, cl. – 464-3511

Fellowship – Eric Sheffield, cl. – 261-4306

Finance& Stewardship – Sandra Stuart, cl. – 463-5663

House & Grounds – Daphne Raz, cl. – 463-7156

Newsletter – deadline is the Friday after Mtg. for Business

Editor: Phil Hyre – 463-7156

Nominating – Peggy Dyson-Cobb, cl. – 464-3511

Peace & Justice – Jim Warren, co-cl. – 464-5980

Kathy Fox, co-cl. – 463-7001 Recording Clerk – Judy Wiegand – 540/886-5474

Records Clerk – Sarah Giddings – 463-1951

Religious Education – 4th Firstday at Meetinghouse

Elise Sheffield, cl. – 261-4306

Treasurer – John White – 464-3815

Worship & Ministry – Ruth Woodcock, cl. – 464-5692

Young Friends Service Committee – Meets 1st First day

Silvia Sheffield, cl. – 261-4306

Meeting House winter temperatures

September 2010

Due to repeated concerns, House and Grounds has given significant consideration to the issue of meeting house winter temperatures.

We have learned that the nature of heating a heavy masonry room for one morning of the week has different issues than the heating situation in our homes.

While we can bring the air temperature up to ambient temperature by turning the heat on in the early morning, we cannot heat the walls in that period of time.

We have discussed the situation both in meeting for business and individually with some of our frailer attenders, and there is a strong sense that the status quo is satisfactory.  We also recognize that a strong meeting wide concern for the environment discourages unnecessary use of carbon based fuels.

Therefore, House and Grounds expects that we will continue to keep the thermostats set at 72 degrees, and heat the building from 6 am on Sunday mornings.

We recommend that during cold weather attenders sit close together and make use of the blankets scattered around the benches.  We also recommend that people dress appropriately for the weather.

We remain open to concerns from the meeting and leadings from spirit.

Respectfully submitted,

Daphne Raz, clerk

H&G

Snow Preparations

September 2010

After last winter’s large snowfalls, House and Grounds feels that it be helpful to Meeting and the committee to be prepared with a snow plan.

We found having the parking area plowed with large equipment time consuming to arrange, while repairing the damage to the gravel driveway and parking area has been an ongoing good weather project.  We question whether this has been the best use of our resources.

SNOW PLAN

House and Grounds recommends that for Saturday/Sunday snowfalls, we continue our process of phone tree to cancel meeting and encouraging people to worship in the safety of their own homes.  For those who choose to venture out anyway, the meeting house remains available.

In the event that bad weather renders the parking lot unusable for a period of time, House and Grounds will work with Worship and Ministry to arrange an alternate site for worship.  We will consider Kendal as a first choice, with other choices including the new Hillel center at Washington and Lee, the new public meeting space in the old courthouse building, and the public library Piovanno room. The agreed upon location for meeting will be sent out by phone tree and email.

Should harsh winters become a regular Rockbridge county occurrence, this snow plan may need to be reconsidered.

As always, we remain open to concerns from the meeting and leadings from spirit.

Respectfully submitted,

Daphne Raz, clerk

H&G

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Maury River September Monthly Newsletter

CALENDAR

9/28            Quaker Booth @ Rockbridge Community Festival

9/5            Labor Day Weekend & last of the unprogrammed summer meetings

9/11            BYM Peace Networking Day @ Sandy Spring

9/12            Report of Friendly Summer Activities by various members

9/19            Christian Peacemaker Teams:  Appeal for Support – Morris Trimmer

9/26            MWB & Potluck

10/1-3  Fall Retreat @ Camp Shiloh

10/9            Meetinghouse Fall Work Day

Committee Notes

FROM THE CLERK’S TABLE

Dear Friends,

Meeting for Worship with a Concern for Business had a number of items to bring to the meeting as a whole.  First of all, there is the general business to bring to your attention.

– Kathy Fox volunteered to be the point person for a new website which BYM is putting together for the yearly meeting.  Maury River will have its own page and will be able to post things for a wider audience.  Kathy will let us know how things are going.

– Both the Goshen Pass picnic and Homecoming are looking for someone who would be interested in seeing these two past functions take shape; if you would like to do this, please get in touch with either Eric or with me.

– Our meetinghouse has been left unlocked in the recent past.  PLEASE–follow the directions for closing posted near the outside kitchen door.  Do close up if you are the last person inside the meetinghouse–even if there are other friends talking in the yard.

– Ann Preuss is working to cull multiple copies of titles from our library.  She will have those extra titles to share with interested friends before they move on to the wider world.  Check with Ann or Katherine to see what is available.

– W&M brought their report saying that the committee felt the summer’s experiment of using the last ten minutes of worship to encourage people to share messages was successful.  As the W&M report says further on in this newsletter, “The committee’s purpose was to encourage Friends to feel more comfortable in sharing vocal ministry and to provide a clear division between messages for ministry and messages of family news, which could be shared at rise of meeting.”  Several friends voiced their discomfort with this new practice, and meeting decided to revisit the issue, after further experimentation, in the late fall.

It seems to me that there are several important points that friends need to keep in mind.  Perhaps most importantly, the Spirit is not confined to our hour of worship on Sunday.  Hopefully, friends turn to their awareness of the Spirit throughout the week and things arise which would be most helpful to share on a Sunday.  After all, as BYM’s Faith and Practice says “we are called to listen with prayerful obedience to God, with a willingness to give as well as to receive.”  God speaks in many ways; we need to listen, and possibly to share, in many ways.  Along this line, friends need to be keenly aware that an invitation to speak or to ask to hold someone in the Light is not a prerequisite for sharing.  Friends are encouraged to give a message or request at any time during meeting.  Silence is a very important part of meeting for worship; so is vocal ministry.

“Finally, remember that our manner of worship is ultimately a mystery under the direction of the Holy Spirit.  Each Meeting for Worship is a spiritual adventure, unique and unpredictable. Let us remember in humility that ‘the end of words is to bring us to the knowledge of things beyond what words can utter.’ ”  Isaac Pennington, 1670

In humility,

Mary Barnes

FROM THE EDITOR’S PEN

If you are reading this newsletter and are not receiving it but would like to, please speak to Phil Hyre at meeting, call him at 463-7156 or email him at haiku49@gmail.com and request to be put on the list, either email or postal mail.  And if you receive the newsletter by postal mail but have acquired the capacity to have it sent to you electronically, please let him know.  It would be good to reduce the current monthly mailing list of around 10 newsletters as much as possible.

Bill Jones has graciously agreed to be the original contact person on our reconstituted “phone tree”.  If there are future announcements to the MRFM email list, especially messages of broad import, please CALL Bill at (540) 377-5513 and he will call the others w/o email.

WORSHIP & MINISTRY

The committee reviewed our new practice during the last minutes of worship of inviting Friends to share messages and requests to hold people in the Light.  The committee’s purpose is to encourage Friends to feel more comfortable in sharing vocal ministry and to provide a clear division of messages for ministry and messages of family news, which could be shared at rise of meeting.  The committee felt this practice had met with success and brought that conclusion to MWB.  W&M members welcome comments concerning this practice as meeting will be revisiting it in late fall.

To help new Friends become more aware of Friend’s practices and history, W&M wants to recommend helpful books.  There is a flyer on the table inside of meetingroom with four specific suggestions.  Additionally, we offer this preview:

Friends for 350 Years

A new edition of Howard Brinton’s classic Friends for 300 Years; revised in 2002 by Margaret Hope Bacon.  A rich sourcebook covering the history and beliefs of the Society of Friends since George Fox started the Quaker movement in England in the middle of the 17th century.   320 pages

HOUSE & GROUNDS

House & Grounds will be going forward with plans to pour a new entry slab at the kitchen doorway.  We are gathering a group of volunteers with John Friedrichs having agreed to act as coordinator of the project. We are looking to schedule the pour in October, depending on volunteer availability.

Ira Friedrichs graciously cut down and stacked the remaining standing dead ailanthus trees behind the meetinghouse.

Sandra Stuart is making some adjustments to how the acoustic curtains are hung in order to improve symmetry and give a more finished appearance.

The Unitarian Universalists will not be using the meetinghouse this year.  They have found a centrally located, free of charge space to use. They have expressed an interest in sharing a booth at the Community Festival with us in the future.

The fall workday is scheduled for Saturday, October 9.  H&G will once again be making available a list of fall chores and attenders will be encouraged to sign up for specific ones to do either on the work day or on a date more convenient to them.

PEACE & JUSTICE

The Rockbridge Community Festival is Saturday, August 28th from 9AM to 3PM.  As things stand now, we have enough help and would love it if people stopped by the booth.  We’ll have chairs and ice water.  Our number is B 37, on the west side of the Main Street between Nelson and Washington Streets.

We have set Saturday, November 6th for a workshop (precise times not set yet) with 2nd Hour on Sunday, November 7th for a follow-up discussion.   Jim Warren will be leading us as we start by considering the environment through the vision of a book by Quakers Peter Brown and Geoffrey Garver:  Right Relationship: Building A Whole Earth Economy.  If you go to amazon.com, you can order a used book and even with $4 shipping, you only have to pay $10 or so.  Jim is collecting names to get new copies with a 2 day shipping deal.   There is funding available to help with the cost.  Let Kathy know if you need help with the ordering process or cost.

With the recent catastrophic flooding in Pakistan, MRFM approved sending $100 from Undesignated Benevolences to Oxfam to help with the relief effort.  AFSC is not working on this.  The complete listing of Benevolences will be presented at 9th Month MWB.

FELLOWSHIP

Fall Retreat at Camp Shiloh

October 1-3.  Camping or cabins with bunks. Also, real beds with private bath available. Please contact Eric Sheffield before September 5, when he will make a decision on whether there is enough interest to proceed.

TREASURER                                       Friends who want to make a donation to Meeting can put it in the little wooden box on the table with the guest book on it.

FAMILY NEWS

Our meetinghouse neighbor, Elanea Montgomery, died July 3rd of a heart attack while making preparations for a birthday party.  She was about 60 years old. Her daughter and family are still living next door.

IN THE LIBRARY

First Among Friends, by Larry Ingle, is a biography of George Fox intertwined with his influence in the Religious Society of Friends.  It is a “warts and all” look at the founder which I found engaging and very insightful about Quaker practice even today.  Fox’s relationships with various early supporters, his numerous imprisonments, the need to find a way to give the movement structure while allowing individual leadings, the practical need for the Peace Testimony, his marriage to Margaret Fell, the visits to America and Europe, his millenarian tendencies; all present a comprehensive background for understanding Fox and Quakers.  The print in the book is small and the style is semi-scholarly and loosely chronological.  Even so, for those interested in the First Friend, I think you’ll find the information and “story” very rewarding.                                                             Sandra Stuart

BYM NEWS

Join the Yearly Meeting’s Peace and Social Action Committee on 9/11 from

10:00 am to 3:00 pm at Sandy Spring Friends Meeting’s Community House to hear Nathan Harrington speak from his experience of social justice and action.

Nathan is a member of Sandy Spring Friends Meeting who is creating an intentional community in the Congress Heights section in Anacostia, DC to work on social justice issues. He also works at a challenging public school in

Prince George’s County.

After a delicious lunch we will gather to share each other’s experience throughout the past year as we worked for peace and social justice.  All are welcome; you do not need to be a member of your Peace and Social Action

Committee.

If you do plan do come, please contact Ellen Atkinson (mewa42@aol.com or 301-774-3636) by Tuesday, September 7, so that they will know how much food to prepare.

___________________________________________________________________________________

END QUOTE

Today I Was Happy, So I Made This Poem

As the plump squirrel scampers

Across the roof of the corncrib,

The moon suddenly stands up in the darkness,

And I see that it is impossible to die.

Each moment of time is a mountain.

An eagle rejoices in the oak trees of heaven,

Crying,

This is what I wanted.

– James Wright


FIRST DAY SCHEDULE – ALL ARE WELCOME

— Meeting for Worship is held at 10:00 a.m. LATE COMERS PLEASE ENTER AS QUIETLY AS POSSIBLE.

— From September through May, First Day School begins in the back rooms at 10:00.  Children come in to sit with their parents in worship at 10:40. During Second Hour, (after worship) there is an adult program while children are tended in the classrooms.

— During the summer, children are supervised during worship in projects or outdoor activities, and there is no 2nd Hour.

— Meeting for Worship with a concern for Business is held the fourth First Day of each month, after worship.  We share a potluck lunch after Meeting for Business.  All are welcome and are encouraged to stay.

Maury River Friends Meeting

Committees and Contacts:

MRF Clerk – Mary Barnes – 540/997-9179

Care & Counsel – Peggy Dyson-Cobb, cl. – 464-3511

Fellowship – Eric Sheffield, cl. – 261-4306

Finance& Stewardship – Sandra Stuart, cl. – 463-5663

House & Grounds – Daphne Raz, cl. – 463-7156

Newsletter – deadline is the Friday after Mtg. for Business

Editor: Phil Hyre – 463-7156

Nominating – Peggy Dyson-Cobb, cl. – 464-3511

Peace & Justice – Jim Warren, co-cl. – 464-5980

Kathy Fox, co-cl. – 463-7001 Recording Clerk – Judy Wiegand – 540/886-5474

Records Clerk – Sarah Giddings – 463-1951

Religious Education – 2nd Firstday at Meetinghouse

Elise Sheffield, cl. – 261-4306

Treasurer – John White – 464-3815

Worship & Ministry – Ruth Woodcock, cl. – 464-5692

Young Friends Service Committee – Meets 1st Firstday

Silvia Sheffield, cl. – 261-4306



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Spiritual State of the Meeting – 2009

  1. How does the Spirit prosper among us?
  2. What supports the growth of Spirit in our lives?
  3. How is the presence of Spirit manifested in our lives individually and as a meeting community?

The growth of Spirit is supported by, even dependent upon, our worshipping together. It is in worship that those who need comfort can be comforted; those who are comfortable can be challenged. A challenge to all of us is to seek a deeper relationship with the Spirit, and in this way create a deeper relationship with one another. We need eyes that see and ears that hear and hearts that are open to the Presence that surrounds us. In this way we can welcome the Light which will show us those areas where we have come to rely on our own judgment as individuals rather than seeking the leading of the Spirit.
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