This year about 145 members, attenders, sojourners and others (about 50% were members) provided extensive, thoughtful comments on the spiritual state of our Meeting. With faith that they reflect caring and the Light within, these comments collectively reveal a deep appreciation for the spiritual home FMW provides nearly all of us and a sincere yearning to make our community even more welcoming, nurturing and spirit-centered. These responses also provide many observations our community may use as we strengthen our fellowship, assist each in their spiritual journey, make our physical space more accessible, address social concerns, and build caring relationships among ourselves and in the world. Continue reading
FMW has had two large celebrations this year. The First Day School prepared a meal to raise funds for scholarships on Marin Luther King, Jr. weekend. The Personal Aid Committee and the Mary Jane Simpson Scholarship Committees joined to host the first annual Barbara Nnoka memorial luncheon. Barbara worked for decades on raising money for and administering the MJS scholarships. The luncheon raised over $2000 — enough for a fifth first-year scholarship for a DC public school graduate.
Join us May 16, ll:45 am! Two new illustrated histories Seeking the Sense of the Meeting: A History of Friends Meeting of Washington 1972- 1992 and Anniversary Essays: Celebrating 75 Years at Friends Meeting of Washington will feted.
We hosted a day-long introduction to Quaker Quest in October and seek openings to make use of what we learned. Committees continue to work hard on our physical property, with special concerns for greening, accessibility, and keeping water out.
We enjoyed another memorable Christmas Eve potluck, hymn sing, and Meeting for Worship. We welcomed Kathleen Finn as the new coordinator of a growing First Day School. We also welcomed several babies. Tate was born to Robin Appleberry and Ken Forsberg; twins Asa and Ruby were born to John and Erika Hurvitz; and Nathaniel was born to Margot Greenlee and Todd Harvey. Two members died: Barbara Nnoka was a pillar of many decades and many programs, including our scholarship program for students of DC public high schools. Peter Craig was best known for successfully blocking expressways from dissecting the District of Columbia inside the Beltway. Both are missed.
Like two sides of a coin, our Meeting’s strengths can also create challenges. Being a large Meeting in an urban setting blesses Friends Meeting of Washington (FMW) with a dynamic community. We have a steady stream of new worshippers, while active members often depart to pursue career or personal opportunities. We are challenged to welcome inquirers, to support friends as they are called to service elsewhere, and to maintain the vitality and continuity of our Quaker community. The global character of our city provides FMW with a wealth of experiences and deep intellectual resources, but sometimes these gifts also can manifest as verbosity and an apparent reluctance to listen to others’ points of view. Members and attenders who come to FMW from other spiritual traditions – or with no religious affiliation – bring an openness to new perspectives, while they may be less knowledgeable about Quaker thought and tradition.