As summer draws to an end and local farmers' market tables brim with late summer bounty, so too it seems we as a meeting are coming into a period of harvest. A lot of time, devotion, and energy has been poured into our little meeting of late, and we are seeing some of the fruits of that labor of love.
At our first August meeting, we concluded a months' long journey into Jim Pym's book Listening to the Light: How to Bring Quaker Simplicity and Integrity into Our Lives. The last section we read included Quaker Testimonies, Simplicity, and an Adventurous Life. The appendix includes the Advices and Queries.
All arriving at the meeting house on the morning of the 13th were greeted by the long-awaited sight of the SCYM traveling quilt hanging in the southwest corner of the worship room. In addition to artfully representing all the meetings that make up South Central Yearly Meeting and beautifying the space, Zoom attenders reported a noticeable improvement in sound quality that day!
Having already reached unity behind our 2023-2024 budget the previous month, Second Sunday found us continuing the final piece of our budget discussion by reflecting upon the organizations that Little Rock Friends Meeting supports. A list of those can be found on our website under ABOUT US - "Our Meeting Supports". The Alban Institute at Duke Divinity School asks the question of congregations "How do we take [our] assets and use them to establish justice, and for the right reasons?" This question helped frame our discussion. We ended the day with a potluck.
Third Sunday was, as is now the custom, our meeting for worship with attention to business, and the last Sunday of August was an energized and very well attended open discussion. In fact, the presence of sixteen people caused some to muse whether we ought not weave open discussion time into the first-hour slate more often. Among those present were two Friends in the process of moving to Little Rock--one from southeast Arkansas and one from Texas. A few newer attenders are also contributing to the recent swell in attendance, something in which we all unequivocally rejoice and welcome.
While the animated open discussion was taking place in the front of the house, three were gathered in the Young Friends space to learn to use our donated sewing machine. We are exploring ways in which learning to sew connects to many of our Quaker testimonies, so often represented by the letters of the word SPICES. Which of these six values--simplicity, peace, integrity, community, equality, stewardship / sustainability--do you think is/are related to learning to sew? (Yes, this blog has a comments feature!)
Friend Liz Lesher gave a report on the memorial meeting that was held for Sue Garzon in Stillwater, Oklahoma, on the fifth. Liz' grandchildren, who had loved Sue, took great care in making cookies for the memorial meeting. Jan Michael, Sue's widower, was moved by how well-attended the gathering was and was especially touched by the fact that his siblings had driven a great distance to be with him at this time.
Little Rock Friends Meeting ended the month in a spirit of gratitude for our beloved community and for the fact that more seem to be finding us. We look forward to Arkansas Peace Week commemorations and gatherings, including many opportunities to break bread with those of other religious backgrounds at a number of interfaith meals planned in September.
Depending on where in the world you find yourself sitting in silence among Friends, you may encounter those who still follow the early Quaker habit of abandoning the use of Gregorian month names in favor of the more simple first month, second month, third month. Whether we call it seventh month or July, it was a hot one, and those gathered in the meetinghouse this month voiced appreciation for a permanent meeting place that has central air conditioning and other comforts not all meetings enjoy.
Over the past few weeks, as cicadas droned and fireflies jeweled Arkansas evenings, our meeting has explored the history of Little Rock Friends, engaged in Compassionate Communication role plays, collaborated across generations to create a booklet, sat down to eat together, and has (mostly) approved a budget for the new 2023-2024 fiscal year. We also received an in-depth report with photos from Friend Liz Lesher after she attended, with our sponsorship, the annual awards dinner of the Oklahoma Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty. Also in July, some of us began to make plans to travel to Oklahoma for the memorial service of Susan Garzon--a longstanding and very active member of the Arkansas-Oklahoma Quarterly Meeting.
Regarding her attendance at the OK-CADP 2023 annual dinner with reporting and keynote speaker, Friend Liz let us know that over 160 people attended the June event, filling an Oklahoma City church hall. The keynote speaker was Adam Luck, retired chairman of the Oklahoma City Pardons and Parole Board. Friend Liz was delighted to be asked to represent Friends this year, physically taking the place of our late friend Rex D. Friend, who appeared in a recently taken photo that was enlarged and placed on each table as a tribute to his years of support.
Other speakers and attenders included Paris Powell, exonerated in 2011, who spent fourteen years on Death Row at the same prison as Richard Glossip for a crime he did not commit. He, his wife, and their three daughters were seated at the table with Liz. She also had an opportunity to talk to law student Lea Rodger, Richard Glossip's wife.
In June, Little Rock Friends celebrated Pride Month, dealt with the breakdown of our decades-old HVAC system just at a time when it was needed most, and mourned the loss of a dear Friend in the AR-OK Quarterly Meeting.
Pride Month in Arkansas is important to us as Quakers, and we welcome all to listen in on Peace and Justice Committee meetings, bringing your ideas and energy as we strive to participate more and more in local peace and justice initiatives like the celebration of 2SLGBTQIA+ Pride in Arkansas. Meanwhile, the Communications, Outreach, and Web Committee is trying out a few pamphlet ideas so that when we do set up our table at Juneteenth, wear our t-shirts while joining Arkansas Peace Week events, or have a picnic in a park, curious members of the public can walk away with something that invites them to join us while dispelling common myths and misconceptions about the Religious Society of Friends.
Regarding the air conditioner, with a flurry of calls to contractors, impromptu meetings of the (currently clerk-less) House and Grounds Committee, quick reviews of bids, and a lot of time and energy put in by a few, a new unit was installed within a couple of weeks.
Emergencies such as this one and the frozen / burst pipes this winter have driven home to us the great importance of having a functioning House and Grounds Committee with a clerk. With this in mind, we have recently begun sharing a list of list of current repairs and needed improvements along with an invitation for anyone who feels so led to answer the call to convene regular meetings and clerk them.
For the June 4th meeting, many chose to stay home and join by Zoom. For those who braved the heat, there was a sweating growler of chilled lemon-and-mint-infused water to guzzle. All present heard John and Liz recap their experiences at this year's South Central Yearly Meeting. They both found this year's theme and promise of "Spiritual Refreshment for the Long Haul" to have been fulfilled.
Susan Garzon passed away peacefully at home Sunday night, May 28th, after a long struggle with cancer. She and Jan Michael were happily married for 32 years and were cornerstones in the building up of the Arkansas-Oklahoma Quarterly Meeting, which is where many Little Rock Friends got to know them both. We continue to hold Jan in the Light as he grieves the death of his beloved life partner. A memorial service will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the Guatemala Scholarship Program at Redwood Forest Friends Meeting (redwoodforestfriends.org) or Guatemala projects at Heifer Project International (heifer.org).
Not knowing if the new HVAC system would yet be up and running by second Sunday, the monthly potluck was cancelled for June. On the 11th we continued our study of Listening to the Light: How to Bring Quaker Simplicity and Integrity into Our Lives by Jim Pym. The third Sunday was Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business. By the end of worship hour, fourteen members and attenders were gathered between Zoom and the now pleasantly cool meethinghouse. On the 25th, we used the worship sharing format to explore how often and in what manner we might broaden our Compassionate Communication journey. Many agreed that getting together one Saturday per month in person and on Zoom could work for them. Friends' value of community, seen in fourth position on our Quaker SPICES banner, was embodied in the sharing of summer squash freshly picked by Friend Jim. He even brought extra shopping bags to make it easier for everyone to partake of his garden's bounty.
Given the right inward state, right action is inevitable.
By the time Little Rock Friends Meeting had gathered for our first meeting for worship in May, Friend Liz had already joined others on the steps of the Oklahoma State Capitol to bring attention to the injustices in death-row inmate Richard Glossip's case and to the wider issue of capital punishment.
On the seventh, there were ten in the meetinghouse and four online. We are nearing the end of our reading and discussion of Jim Pym's book Listening to the Light: How to Bring Quaker Simplicity and Integrity into Our Lives. The penultimate chapter is entitled "The Adventurous Life" and begins with a quote by Charles Carter, 1971, QFP, 26.39. Here it is in part: "True faith is not assurance, but the readiness to go forward experimentally, without assurance." This chapter was a potent springboard for rich and deep sharing and reflection.
On the 14th of May, all generations came together for singing, and Young Friends led us all in an activity called Kooky Quakers, a game in which three people collaborate on the drawing of a Quaker without being able to see the other two parts until after all three parts have been drawn. During second hour, another intergenerational activity took place in the Young Friends space while worship was happening in the front room. Some chips and bananas were spotted in the kitchen, but most forgot it was potluck day!
With so many Friends away to attend Arkansas-Oklahoma spring quarterly meeting at Lake Fort Smith State Park, the May meeting for worship with attention to business was skipped. Those present took part in an open discussion.
Meanwhile at Lake Fort Smith State Park's Kingfisher Lodge, Sammy led everyone down to the basketball court and for an hour of the millennia-old practice of Qi Gong while the air was still fresh and cool. Attenders also enjoyed time for fellowship, worship, worship sharing, a meeting for worship with attention to business, music, games, puzzles, nature walks, naps, and healthful meals lovingly prepared with sensitivity to those who don't eat meat or gluten. We were especially mindful of the absence of two Friends, a husband and wife, spending that weekend adjusting to hospice care for her.
On the 28th, between online and in person, we were thirteen in number, two in the Young Friends room, where (rumor has it) there is a sewing machine being set up for the projects that will follow the t-shirts. First hour was an interactive exploration of Compassionate Communication based on a recorded session led by Jim Manske focused on gratitude and empathy. All of Jim's offerings are free / donation-based for all. His website is pathwaystoliberation.com.
Monday was a day off for many, and we took advantage of our own grounds and generous late afternoon shade of the grand oak tree with a quickly organized picnic open to all; it came together beautifully.
"Have faith and the way will open." --Quaker proverb
At the beginning of April, Spirit was moving in ways of which we were not yet aware.
On the second, we continued our study of Jim Pym's book Listening to the Light: How to Bring Quaker Simplicity and Integrity into Our Lives. We read and discussed the section titled A New Way of Working, which explores Quaker ways of doing the business of the meeting; creatively listening to one another in a worshipful fashion; finding clearness on important decisions; and conducting weddings and funerals. Outside, the purple Bearded Irises were at their peak where they are potted along the front walkway.
On the ninth, the intergenerational t-shirt project resumed in the back of the house while in the front the topic of what Easter meant to early Quakers was explored in worship sharing format. We are beginning to weave little 'Quakerism 101' segments into all we do, and in that spirit some worship sharing guidelines were shared ahead of time.
As we have recently switched up our monthly calendar, potluck was on the second Sunday while Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business fell on the 16th and will be held on the third Sunday for the foreseeable future. There were seven online and five in the meetinghouse, including one visitor, whom we wholeheartedly welcome. Our Friend from Perryville was able to drive in, and the Friend who lives in Crossett joined online, as did our Friend who lives in Edmond, OK. Sweet Mock Orange was in full bloom against the west side of the house, and the the bush that shields one side of the front porch is aflame with red roses.
After worship and time for us all to refuel with lunch, several Friends participated in the ninth annual Pilgrimage for Peace, of which Little Rock Friends Meeting was a sponsor. Our co-clerk Amanda Moore represented us by reading a segment of the names of those who died by violence in Central Arkansas last year. She was one of many peacemakers and activists from a wide array of religious organizations in this community.
On the 23rd, we continued learning about compassionate communication with that Sunday's focus on empathy. On the 30th John gave us a repackaged version of the winter quarterly presentation by Sister Cecelia Brickell, a member of St. Scholastica Monastery in Fort Smith, and a Benedictine monastic. John reports having been impressed with her story, entitled "Silence and Simplicity in the Benedictine tradition," in part because she reminded him of Quakers he's heard who've spoken or written about a "prolonged seeking of God's will." He was also struck by the manner of her presentation--her kindness and her openness.
Here is one of the excerpts John shared from her remarks that February day:
In our meetings all are encouraged to share respectfully and reflectively whatever they feel the spirit is leading them to say. During that time we do not respond, or form response in our minds, or at least we aren’t supposed to; we LISTEN. Then we consider all that has been said silently and prayerfully come to a consensus. Even in our communal praying of the liturgy of the hours we take short quiet pauses between the psalms and readings in order to consider what God has said to us, and how we are to live God’s word at this time in our lives.
During the announcements and pastoral concerns period at the end of worship, Liz gave us an update on the Richard Glossip case in Oklahoma, which our meeting is closely following. She also reported that over $800 has been raised for the ongoing care of the animals of our late friend Rex D. Friend; the horses, donkey, and ponies were taken in by a kind couple nearby. We also got news this day that Friend Elise, after a period of sitting in the Light to discern the direction her life will take has felt led to move to Little Rock in order to participate more fully in the life of the meeting. As you can see in the photo, the first to receive this spectacular news could not stop beaming. The phrase 'way opens' came up more than once that brilliant April day.
The winter tree Resembles me,
Whose sap lies in its root:
The spring draws near
As it, so I Shall bud, I hope, and shoot.
~ Thomas Ellwood, 1639-1714
As winter drew to a close and spring arrived, a few Friends were hard at work behind the scenes calling contractors for bids, appealing to insurance agents, sending around flooring and countertop color samples for opinions, cordoning off the mess, putting up signs around it, and taking care of all the details that in the end allowed us all to gather once again in our almost hundred-year-old meetinghouse by the end of March. We offer our deep appreciation for the time and energy they expended.
And while the sap had not yet risen in the trees outside, and potlucks could not yet resume, there was much business to be seen to for the meeting--primary among them the coming together for the writing of our yearly State of the Meeting report to South Central Yearly Meeting, which was tackled by those gathered online and in the front room on the 12th. Meanwhile four Friends participated in an intergenerational activity in the back of the house creating our next t-shirt designs to help us become more visible in the community.
Though the kitchen was off limits, Zoom and the moving of an electric tea kettle to the front room allowed first-hour discussions to continue all month, with Jim Pym's book Listening to the Light being the focus on the 5th, and our continuing journey into Compassionate Communication being led by David on the 26th. We were very pleased to be joined that day by a Friend who has been active in our meeting without being present for quite some time. She joined via Zoom from another town in Arkansas.
Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business took place on the 19th, and afterward we were delighted to welcome a newcomer who had driven all the way from the Hot Springs area for spiritual communion in the absence of fellow Druids in this state. We peppered her with far more questions than she got to ask us!
Liz Lesher, joining online from her home in Oklahoma, reminded us of the fundraiser for the animals of the late Rex Friend that have been taken in by a kind couple up the road from the ranch from which Rex used to join mid-week worship--often accompanied by his old white horse, Sweetie.
Outside, purple irises in pots out front began unfurling their flag-like petals while decades-old wisteria vines twisted and arched over mossy stone walls, dripping in clumps of bell-like blossoms.
a post by guest writer Lizzie Lesher
So many of us knew Rex as a Friend, as an attorney, and as a friend. His life was brimming over with support for those in need. His spiritual concerns and outreach touched people from all walks of life.
What you may not know is that Rex returned home each evening from the professional world of OKC to a welcome from his grazing animals. “Sweetie”, his much-loved white horse, took evening walks alongside Rex for many years and ‘joined us on Zoom’ from the field where Rex would often sit for mid-week Meeting.
“Sweetie and Friends” – as seen in these photographs – have happily been adopted by a local couple who have land in the Luther area where Rex lived.
In memory of Rex, Friends at Little Rock Meeting are led to donate to the upkeep of “Sweetie and Friends”. Your donation will be very gratefully received.
Please email Lizzie Lesher at: email@example.com
Let her know you would like to donate.
Lizzie will provide her address to which payment by check can be mailed.
Checks should be made out to: Elizabeth M. Lesher
Lizzie will be responsible for writing the donation check.
Lizzie, and her granddaughter, Charlie, aged 8, (a true animal-lover) will hand-deliver the check and report back.
To the ad-hoc planning committee organizing this year's weekend in a state park accessible to Friends across two states, Winter Quarterly Meeting 2023 got shortened to "WQ23". A couple of things were different this year. For one, staying at our beloved Dwight Mission--which has changed ownership--was not an option. For another, those with years of experience planning and executing the weekend gathering had begun sharing knowledge and expertise with those willing and eager to learn the ropes.
Because the group camp can be hard to find in the dark and because phone and internet connectivity can be spotty in those hills, a map was sent out weeks in advance to guide Friends down the winding road to the group of six A-frame cabins and community building we had rented. Kelly set off early to put up signs and get keys. At the office, with an hour and a half till they closed, kind Christal behind the counter offhandedly mentioned that said winding road had flooded as she cheerfully highlighted in yellow an alternate route on a dim copy of a copy of a map. Kelly looked down at her watch and did the math. Would a mass emailing catch everyone in time? Or would carfuls arrive after the office had closed? Would they turn back at the ROAD CLOSED sign? A ranger with keys to hand over was already waiting at the site. There was just enough time to send an email with a snapshot of the makeshift map and its as-the-crow-flies new route penciled in before entering the internet dead zone. Back in Conway, Treasurer Tommy came to the rescue by divvying up a list of phone numbers to ensure all travelers knew about the detour.
Over the next hours, as darkness fell and the Wildlife Management sign serving as a crucial landmark became harder and harder to see, more than one traveller called to say they were lost. Surely a sign warning of explosives and the need for a hardhat meant they had gone astray, right? "Keep coming," Jan overheard Kelly saying into her phone. "Yes, I know it says 'authorized personnel only'. Yes, I know it mentions explosives, but keep coming. Just keep coming that way."
The Friday evening of any AR-OK Quarterly is marked by unstructured activities such as getting settled in cabins, loading up the snack table, hugging and visiting with those we haven't seen in months.
Saturday morning, after breakfast prepared by Stillwater Friend Jan, helped out by the Norman contingent, Friends shared memories, anecdotes and feelings for the late Rex Friend. One Little Rock Friend woke up feeling unwell and spent the whole weekend isolated. Fortunately, there was a cabin to spare.
When there was still no sign of main speaker Sister Cecelia Brickell of St. Scholastica Monastery at 10:30, some began to worry that she had not received the message of the detour. Well, she had received the new map but found herself nevertheless on the blocked road. A quick phone call got her sorted out, or so we thought. Soon enough another call came. "No, you are on the right track. Yes, it does say mining land. Just keep coming." The situation became an apt spiritual metaphor. Kathleen and Kelly walked out to the intersection to wave her in and were in the right place at the right time to witness a herd of fifteen or more White-tailed Deer bound through the forest, splashing across a creek one after another.
Sr. Cecelia was soon seated among us as we listened to the story of how, when, and why she became a Benedictine Sister. Her talk was utterly engaging, and it was a sheer delight to have her among us for her talk and to break bread with us afterward. After Sr. Cecelia explained how Benedictines use silence and how they arrive at decisions, one Friend concluded, "So you are the Quakers of Catholicism!" She responded, "We don't have a monopoly on that."
After lunch prepared by Norman Friends, there was time for naps, hikes, more visiting, and work on the jigsaw puzzle. In the late afternoon we came back together to take advantage of the fact that Mary Linda McKinney was among us, having driven in with her husband, Mark Wutka, from Nashville where they are members of the Meeting there. On one table, the February 2023 issue of Friends Journal lay open to her article The Divine GPS. While the men's cabin hosted a workshop on the death penalty, the main building accommodated everyone eager to learn about Faithful Meetings from this School of the Spirit program facilitator. Mary Linda launched her talk by giving us a query. What is it we each find ourselves hungry for in our meetings? The answers we shared were in some cases eye-opening, such as when the large number of Norman Friends discovered they are all yearning for the same deepening of intimacy and community.
The second half of our late afternoon workshops block gave Richard Tiffany an opportunity to explore how we are showing up for social justice and what road blocks we face. He started us off by recounting the challenges he faces as NIMBY sentiments hinder his ability to continue offering a safe place for unsheltered individuals to camp.
Fayetteville Friends provided supper, and Tina was able to squeeze in the Dwight Mission tradition of sharing a favorite poem. John Coffin led an energizing game, Noël facilitated folk dances from around the world, those who brought musical instruments were magnets for those who love to sing, and the forecast rain continued to hold off, allowing for use of the fire pit.
Sunday morning overnight steel-cut oats in the slow-cooker and leftover fruit salad hit the spot. We gathered for worship, and Karen then clerked the Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business as we all continued to feel the hole left by Rex. Friends are asked to ponder who among us might be called to serve as clerk of our AR-OK Quarterly Meeting, as well as to expect a phone call from Karen should the SCYM nominating committee spot within you gifts you may not have stopped to think could be of value to us all.
Before we knew it, our time at Lake Wister was coming to a close. Everyone pitched in to get the camp looking as clean as we found it, leaving lots of time for chatting, hugs, and prolonged goodbyes in the parking lot. See you at South Central Yearly Meeting in April!
Home is where the heart is, and Meeting is wherever Friends gather--whether on Zoom while a contractor guts and rebuilds a kitchen, squeezed into the front room with an electric kettle, or three and a half hours away at our AR-OK Winter Quarterly. And while Quakers around the world can and do come together as viable and vibrant monthly meetings rotating among Friends' living rooms, in spaces rented from other faith groups, or in buildings they own, we are grateful to be one of the meetings that has managed to acquire a beautiful old house as our physical home. We acknowledge those who planned and labored long and hard for this: a meeting space of our own. And so we take seriously the job of stewardship of this resource. Such sentiments arose many times in the month of February as we felt deep gratitude toward all who pitched in, especially for the Friends doing the lion's share of work: gathering bids, dealing with contractors, getting input on color choices, and so much more. Without a full complement for a House and Grounds Committee, Friends stepped up with recommendations of trustworthy, competent contractors who are desiccating damp wood, eliminating mold, sealing leaks, insulating pipes, propping up piers, installing new flooring, and more.
Relying on the technology that proved so valuable during the pandemic, we were able to meet via Zoom February 5th to continue our study of Jim Pym's book Listening to the Light: How to Bring Quaker Simplicity and Integrity into Our Lives.
The following Sunday was a blended meeting with some of us accepting our co-clerk's invitation to use a beautiful old house in Conway for that week's worship and business. At that meeting, Friends were united behind a decision to change our monthly schedule. Beginning in March, potlucks will take place on the second Sunday of each month while business will be worshipfully handled on the third Sunday.
On the 19th, thanks to work by Sister Joy, we were able to gather in the meetinghouse in spite of the kitchen still being under renovations. She very thoughtfully moved the electric kettle, put up signs directing Friends around closed areas, and made the space clean and welcoming. Online and in person, we then continued our course on compassionate communication led by David Schoen, with this week's installment focused on love and based on Robert Gonzales' book The Spirituality of Nonviolent Communication.
The last weekend in February found us geographically divided as eight came together (four online) for our usual worship (first hour was an open discussion) and five travelled to Lake Wister State Park in Oklahoma for the AR-OK Winter Quarterly Meeting. That retreat will be covered in a supplemental blog post soon.
Other tidbits of news include the following:
For Little Rock Friends, January was a month in which we shared with each other our aspirations for the coming year. It was also when we learned of the death of our dear Arkansas-Oklahoma Quarterly Meeting clerk, Rex Friend.
Local members and attenders were pleasantly surprised when F/friends from Caddo Area Friends Meeting, a preparatory meeting under the care of LRFM, were in town and able to stop by to worship with us on the first day of the new year. We shared with one another our aspirations for ourselves and for the world in the coming year. Some chose to put those thoughts in writing for this blog.
A deep flash freeze left many homes with burst pipes, our meetinghouse included. At times such as these, we are grateful for the technology that allows us still to conduct business, hold discussions, and worship together, as we did on the eighth of January.
In the days following, just as we were preparing to welcome him as our guest speaker on the 15th, we received news of the death of Rex Friend. Within days there was an outpouring of love and expression of deep grief on the celebration of life Facebook page set up by Laura, Rex's daughter. Little Rock Friends spent the first hour on the 15th sharing memories of Rex as well as moving forward with the work he had planned to guide us through on that day: writing letters in support of Oklahoma death row inmate Richard Glossip's clemency bid, which comes at the end of a years-long campaign to save this man's life--a task with which Rex had been deeply involved. After watching this short video about Mr. Glossip's situation, we decided as a Meeting to compose a letter to the Oklahoma pardons and parole board in memory of Rex D. Friend. Liz Lesher, who lives in Edmond, agreed to deliver our letter by hand by the deadline--at least two weeks before the clemency board would convene in February. With David and Amanda having volunteered with editing and legal support, Liz later said that Spirit guided her in writing the following on behalf of the meeting:
Rex's memorial service was held on Friday, January 20th, at Edmond United Methodist Church. A live stream allowed us all to be present for the moving and very honest tribute.
Sponsored by Arkansas Peace & Justice Memorial Movement, a Just Communities of Arkansas Initiative, Arkansas Day of Racial Healing provided a rich slate of events and many opportunities for us to come together for racial healing all week long beginning on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. John and Kelly were two who reported back to the wider meeting after participating in some of the week's activities.
On the 22nd, we used our first hour to continue reading Jim Pym's book Listening to the Light: How to Bring Quaker Simplicity and Integrity into Your Life. For those who were present and participated, much of the focus was on the holiness of the everyday.
The end of the month found us continuing our journey of learning compassionate communication. Working from the book The Spirituality of Nonviolent Communication by Robert Gonzales, David led us through an exploration of honest expression.
With our AR-OK winter quarterly meeting now one month away, the planning is well under way. All are welcome to join us at Lake Wister Group Camp for one or both nights and any or all of the four community meals. Cost is $30 per adult, kids eat and sleep free. Register HERE, pay on site.