Acadia Friends Meeting State of Society 2015
April 3, 2016
Present: Mary & Dean Booher, hosts, Carole Beal, Judith Bradshaw Brown, Rich Bullock, Jan Church, Gray Cox, Ken Doyle, Northwood Kenway, Becca & Jordan Yoder, Ed Snyder, Linda & Eric Uberseder.
Consideration of the State of Society of Acadia Friends for the year 2015 began with silent reflection on two queries: What brought you to Worship and meeting events in 2015? What were the positive results of attending?
Worship is an anchor reinforcing values that we hold dear. Worship deepens our faith and friendships with nonjudgmental fellow seekers who are grateful for the support and examples of each other. There are such wonderful spirits present, so thinking of individual people in the Light illuminates us. It helps us tune into the loving presence of what is best in others. It is a precious time of rebuilding and re-imaging ourselves.
Acadia Friends miss the two members whom we lost this year, one by death and one by moving to another faith community. Several new loyal attenders brought us joy. We cherished time together with our Fourth Sunday potlucks in host homes. At an all day retreat in October, baby photos were identified and beloved writings, music and art were shared. We watched the sun rise on Ocean Drive on the spring equinox and we celebrated Christmas with concern and hope for the earth and its people.
Our Meetings for the Conduct of Business began with thoughtful queries followed by worship sharing and a dedication of our business to actions that reflect that of God in every person. The Kenyan Kakamega Care Center grew with more Acadia Friends sponsoring children. The amount of our donations increased to the Sybil and Eli Jones Ramallah Scholarship, to the Emmaus Homeless Shelter, and two Peace Awards for graduating high school seniors. Because we rent and have no meetinghouse expenses, it is our intention to raise a surplus of funds to further our ideals and values.
After years of holding those fleeing violence in the Light, Acadia Friends, joined by 19 local churches, libraries, and institutions, organized a Syrian Refugee Fundraiser with knowledgeable speakers. Over $4000 was donated for relief, with checks written directly to United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Doctors without Borders, Mercy Corps, International Rescue Committee and Catholic Charities of Maine.
We are grateful for our new Welcoming Statement, expanded fellowship after Worship, volunteer summer greeters, meals for those in need, and volunteer story hours in local libraries.
How could we have done better in 2015? Suggestions included: enhance our seeking with publications and movies followed by discussions, make opportunities for worship sharing considering our individual spiritual and moral underpinnings, attention to our library, attention to our website and list serve, and attention to the Schoodic Friends Meeting/Worship Group under our care in Winter Harbor.