We felt the deep power of the silent and expectant waiting on the Spirit in our Meetings for Worship and in our other gatherings. We found this silence to be an important part of our corporate as well as individual experiences. Friends nurtured this Spirit among our young children by encouraging parents to bring them into Meeting for Worship for the first 20 minutes. We wanted children and Young Friends to know they are valued members of our community. We recognized the need for fostering intergenerational activities where Friends of all ages can get to know one another.
Our energies in 2008 were driven largely by our responses to individual losses and needs. Our community grieved the loss of three long time members, Linda Heacock, Donna Rugg and Wendell Williams, whose lives had touched our Meeting community and beyond. Our members and attenders grappled with serious illness, financial stresses, and the challenges posed for their family members. Throughout, Friends sought to tenderly support “that of God” in one another with various gifts of love. We strived to see the blessings which result from the challenges of daily living.
The Meeting focus for 2008 stood in contrast to the last several years, when we were working on the collective goal of renovating the Meetinghouse and paying the mortgage. The completion of this payment in 2008 provided a validation of a risk taken.
In 2008 our committees continued to be very busy. Issues they brought to Meeting for Worship with a Concern for Business (Business Meeting) were generally well seasoned. This year, Friends were very willing to serve on committees and to support each other. However, it is our sense that Meetings for Worship as well as Business Meetings were somewhat less well attended than in the previous few years.
Dialogues within our Meeting proved to be opportunities for growth. We were able to recognize and illuminate our differences. We embraced our community’s diversity and felt enriched by these differences.
We are addressing our relationships with the wider community through our outreach activities. We are examining how we define our beliefs to ourselves and to each other.
In these many aspects we report that our “Spiritual State” was strong yet, as ever, struggling, changing, and developing as our community attended to the Spirit and each other.