At hour historic meetinghouse at Markham and Valmar in Little Rock, the big oak has started dropping its little acorns on the ground. Where there were once roses, now there are fat coral-colored rose hips. Might they make a fine tisane?
There were twelve of us gathered online and in person for the launch of our journey in becoming better LGBTQIA+ allies and ensuring we are a welcoming congregation and that ours is as safe a space as we know how to make it. We learned some terminology, learned that we have a Friend among us always willing to answer questions, and shared links to more resources as we prepare to hold our winter quarterly meeting at Subiaco Abbey's Coury Guest House in January. Also, we announced that our application to march in the Central Arkansas Pride Parade on October 21st has been approved. Extra exciting was having a visitor from Batesville!
On the eighth, those who were not away at the AR-OK quarterly meeting had a lively discussion (not worship sharing, but discussion) about animal rights and the wellbeing of animals during First Hour. Five were present in-person and two online. At Meeting for Worship, we had seven in-person and two online. Puppy Roxy attended in-person (or would one say “in-dog?) and schnauzer Pip attended online from Edmond, OK, along with Dave A’s beautiful cat. We had a Friend in attendance from Hot Springs, and a visitor who had read the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting’s Faith & Practice in its entirety in preparation for attending our Meeting. Beautiful experience!
On the fifteenth, sixteen gathered for the Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business and/or worship, fellowship, and the (postponed) monthly potluck. We had a previous visitor return, a once-visitor who is becoming a regular attender, our monthly attenders from Louisiana, a regular attender accepted into membership, and some joining via Zoom. Things are moving forward for several meetinghouse repairs beginning in November. We are gearing up to participate in this year's Central Arkansas Pride parade. The subject of Gaza was heavy on our hearts, and we decided to dedicate that Wednesday's worship to holding in the Light those affected both by the recent violence and by the past seventy-five years of the Nakba. Tina's late friend from Ramallah, May Mansoor Munn, once told her we must not hold only her and other Palestinians in the Light, but also the Israeli soldiers.
On Saturday the twenty-first, we participated for the first time in the Central Arkansas Pride parade, and it was a blast! We learned some things to do differently next year, such as to possibly decorate a float instead of walking, and maybe even having a booth.
The fourth Sunday of October found about twelve or thirteen of us assembled online and in person for John's gathering of feedback on the SCYM Faith and Practice draft and/or worship hour or sewing in the Young Friends room. After checking with those who might be allergic, Tommy and Amanda brought new family member pup Roxie, who settled in calmly on Amanda's lap but eagerly accepted cuddles with tail wags and kisses. Tina brought two handmade items purchased years ago from Palestinian women raising funds for a refugee camp, one of them a table cloth with embroidered cutwork. Back in the Young Friends area, pieces of donated fabric previously cut out were assembled into a throw pillow, stuffed, and sewn shut.
We rounded out the month on the fifth Sunday with another much appreciated installment of Compassionate Communication.
Rose hip tea, anyone?