Maury River September Monthly Newsletter


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


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


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 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.


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 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.


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, 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.


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.


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.


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


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


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



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,


This is what I wanted.

– James Wright


— 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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