If the first two weeks of December were a bit routine, the last two were anything but. On the first Sunday we continued our study of Jim Pym's book Listening to the Light: How to Bring Quaker Simplicity and Integrity into Our Lives, with Aster serving as facilitator for that discussion. Second Sunday we held a Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business, and the following worship hour brought out a couple of Friends who normally join only by Zoom. With two Friends joining virtually, one all the way from Edmond, OK, we were eleven in all that day.
The culmination of much planning was the seasonal gathering on the 18th. Those who had volunteered to shop for the family whom we have helped for several years now brought the wrapped gifts. (After our gathering, those were delivered to that single mother and her five children.) With Friends joining both in person and online, we totaled 17 adults and four kids! The Young Friends lit candles; each child present received the gift of a book selected by our Young Friends program director, who also presented us with two additions to the library. Featured in both a gift book and new library book was Bayard Rustin (1912-1987), an African American leader in social movements for civil rights, nonviolence, and Gay rights. He was also a Quaker. Titles given to the children or procured for the library that day include Syria's Secret Library by Mike Thomson, Troublemaker for Justice: the Story of Bayard Rustin by Jacqueline Houtman, and picture book A Song for the Unsung: Bayard Rustin, the Man Behind the 1963 March on Washington by Carol Boston Weatherford.
Young Friends led us in two intergenerational crafts. We made Shrinky-Dinks using colored Sharpies, plastic sheets, and a toaster oven, and paper chains.
The potluck that is becoming a third Sunday tradition coincided with the festivities.
After the meal and good conversation, a few sang carols and other songs from Worship in Song: a Friends' Hymnal.
One family drove in from their home in the shadow of Spring Mountain. We were so happy that they and others who cannot often make it to the meetinghouse were able to join us this day.
At the end of December, a flash freeze resulted in a burst pipe and flooded kitchen. In times like these, we are grateful for the technology that allows us to come together virtually, which is just what some of us did. Those who joined online on the 25th shared on the topic of simple gifts.
What simple gifts came into your life in 2022?