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.