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: