The Richmond Friends Meeting community mourned the lost of two beloved members. Ruth Dahlke passed away on December 7, 2009. Ruth was a longtime member of Richmond. She moved to Friends House several years ago and was in nursing care there. Her son, Carl, has suggested a spring time memorial, as the flowers begin to bloom.
Jean Jones Andersen passed on December 14, 2009 after a courageous journey with cancer. Her memorial was held on December 21, the Winter Solstice, a most appropriate day for Jean. The family requests that gifts may be given to the African Great Lakes Initiative.
Richmond Friends Meeting’s Peace and Social Concerns Committee conducted a survey in the Fall. The survey was in response to the committee’s charge to support members and attenders in seeking a more peaceful and just world. Let Your Light Shine, as the survey is named, offered general statements about ways in which the Richmond community tries to create a better world; ways that many people try to incorporate social justice into their professions; and as a reference, a comprehensive listing of Friends involved in local organizations and interests groups.
Emily Kimball has self-published her first book: Appalachian Trail Stories and Other Adventures: Living Your Dreams at 60 and Beyond. Emily’s book includes stories from the Appalachian Trail, her backpacking trips in the High Sierras, and her recent Elderhostel Wilderness Canoe trip on the Allagash River in northern Maine.
Richmond Friends Meeting’s committees on Care & Counsel and Peace & Social Concerns sponsored two Economic Listening Circles. The Circles provided a forum to discuss the difficult economic times in which we are living and how these challenges are affecting us. Among the concerns identified were fears of losing jobs, anxiety for children now entering the workforce, and confusion about ways in which the world economy is shifting. Among the suggestions for coping were pooling resources, simplifying living arrangements and lifestyles, and trying to “live in the present” without worrying about what comes next. As one Friend said, “If we can hang on to our capacity for generosity and love, there is hope.”
On November 7, 2009, Richmond Organization for Sexual Minority Youth (ROSMY) was honored by the Richmond Peace Education Center as the Peacemaker of the Year. Since its founding in 1991, ROSMY has served gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, transgender, and questioning youth in central Virginia and promoted tolerance and acceptance of GLBTQ youth.
Richmond Friends gathered on November 7 for a half-day Fall Retreat held at The Clearing, Richmond Friends Meeting’s meditative retreat center. Those attending enjoyed birding and Leslie Shiel led the group in active poetry listening and writing.