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Spiritual State of the Meeting 2018
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Spiritual State of the Meeting 2018

Join the YFM community to discern our Spiritual State of the Meeting on January 13 and January 20 at 9:30 am

 

It is time again to prepare to submit our Spiritual State of the Meeting report, which reflects the experience of our Meeting during the past calendar year. This can be an animating exercise for us. This work is vital for the life of our local and our Yearly Meetings. Our experiences, no matter how small, can offer great insights to other Meetings.

In the early Spring, members of the Ministry and Pastoral Care Committee will read these reports carefully with openness to common themes and insights to help them discern the Spiritual State of the Yearly Meeting. That report will be presented at the Annual Session in August. Ministry & Pastoral Care asks that our report be completed by April 15, 2019. 

Discernment has already started for the Spritual State of the Meeting. Read the notes (below the queries) from our discussion on December 30, 2018 that opened space for our reflections. 

The Ministry & Pastoral Care Committee is offering these queries this year to guide our reflection and experience:

  • With fierce winds of political discord and violent expressions of hate swirling in the world around us, what does your community do to strengthen our attention to the Spirit in Meeting for Worship?
  • What do you do to strengthen the Quaker “roots” of your community?
  • There seem to be dueling forces among Friends. We recognize we can be a shining light and healing presence in troubled times, while on the other hand, we value our individual Meeting Community so much we can be unwelcoming to change or discordant voices. What is your meeting’s experience of this? Do you sense a tendency to avoid tension by not discussing differing points of view?
  • Is your Meeting a diverse community: racially, philosophically/politically, theologically? How is that expressed? In what ways?

Reflections of Our Year

First Day 12/30/2018 9:30 am

Attending: Sue Hunter, Joe Slenker, Lamar Matthew, Dorothy Shumway, Dave Fitz, Belinda Frederick, Pat Long, Louise Heckert, Steve Baker, Wim Neij, Richard Waggy

What have I been most grateful for during the year?

- For all the opportunities the Meeting presents and she see boundless opportunities of the Meeting to grow.
- For a friend to sing at the Meeting before his death.
- For all the people who quietly give weekly/monthly to do the little things that the Meeting needs.
- That she is here.
- That the Meeting was here for her after her absences.
- Just grateful the Meeting is here, it is an anchor to him.  A spiritual and community anchor.  Grateful the Meeting has stayed together through thick and thin, it is always a challenge.
- For the Worship, especially the balance of silence and the spoken word.
- For people who do things he is not lead to do

What role/work would I see myself playing/doing for the Meeting in 2019? What can each of us do personally to strengthen the Life of the Meeting?

- To attend Meeting regularly
- Someone sees his role as a ministry of presence to do what needs to be done within his capacity, not an obligation. He loves the Meeting and everyone in the Meeting, just being here and welcoming to everyone within our walls. Other Meetings seem to have people who are always there giving a purpose of stability, a spiritual home. He wishes there was more vocal ministry.
- A Friend believes the life of the Meeting is strengthened when the Meeting names and calls forth the gifts of the members and attenders. Our part is to listen for that call and answer it.
- Someone would like to help with the adult education program
- We need to clarify the work that needs to be done.
- Invite other people to come to Meeting.
- Time you set aside to be intentional by yourself, retirement,- prayer, preparation for coming to Meeting is an important part.

How was the Meeting been supportive/not supportive of the inner Meeting community?

- We do not have a strong visitation program. He has expressed an interest in visiting members for better interconnections.
- What the Meeting sees as a notion or a concern. Notions and concerns come and go. Concerns we generally embrace. Notions we pick apart and dismiss. Each of us is responsible to be open in listening. He doesn’t speak at Meetings because some people are irritated by what is said. He feels we have unconsciously quieted the Spirit. 
- We feel the issues around the Peace Building Working Group need to be looked at and addressed within the Meeting. Issues within the group may not be known but the issues about needing a bigger space are.
- We have been supportive of some members but have failed to support others.
- How can we listen better and support needs even when someone in distress doesn’t ask for help? In some circumstances it’s difficult to ask for help. We attract people who have needs because we are so open, people think they may find answers here. Is this a setup for disappointment?
- Religious Education Committee met the needs of the children week by week. There is preparedness for the children, even if they don’t come. During the summer when no formal schedule was set volunteers took control and organized time for children during Meeting.
- The pollinator gardens met the need of the outside community.
- The Little Free Library is still serving the extended community.

Did the Meeting meet individual needs this year?

- A sense the CLC is overwhelmed and it is difficult to deal with the personal needs of all members of the Meeting.
- Sense of feeling guilty when we see a member in need butnot knowing how to help
- Is important thing to do, we have met some people needs and others not so much. We need to do better but we don’t know how.

Please share a significant lesson learned this year from the Meeting?

- We don’t have as many gathered Meetings, a Meeting where the gathered community mind or Spirit is genuinely felt. The frequency of gathered Meetings seemed tied to the strength of our morning discussion. 
- It’s important, as a social issue, to have a hot beverage in the first hour (hour and a half) and abstain from the beverages during Worship.
- The older members are feeling limited energy.
- A younger member still has lots of energy.
- Personalities matter.
- A sense that time was wasted on frivolous matters.
- Slow down, Rome wasn’t built in a day.
- Seek unity when setting a goal.
- Falling prey to the temptation to see things as an either/ordecision. Part of the Quaker way is we are looking for a third way, not this or that, but some of each. We get that in our discernment in our Meetings for business and our committee meetings.
- A collection of people of different backgrounds might not make the Quaker experience of a gather Meeting possible. We need collectiveness.
- The first hour is an integral part of First Day Worship, it’s when worship starts.
- Sometimes expectations are not met and people leave because they don’t get theirs met. We all have to look at our expectations during Meeting and see if we can get to a collective experience but that won’t happen because weare individuals.
- Small frequent gatherings and committee groups enable us to interact and form friendships to improve communications.
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