Deer Creek Meeting Interchange Reports
A highlight of the winter for Deer Creek Friends Meeting has been the addition of several newcomers to its membership who are regular attenders making welcome contributions of their talents.
The Meeting has also enjoyed the contributions of its young members who planned a Christmas pageant and enlisted the participation of their elders in the traditional roles. The young people also solicit weekly contributions of “Magic Pennies” for causes they have selected, such as programs for autistic children at Darlington School and the Humane Society of Harford County.
Monthly “Dinners for Eights” through the winter have brought new and old members into closer association, as do monthly Ladies Luncheons at local restaurants.
Members of the Peace Committee continue to meet monthly at potluck suppers at members’ homes. In November three committee members visited the AFSC office at Friends Center in Philadelphia where a staff member gave them a tour of the building’s “green” innovations and Kristen Richardson and Clinton Pettus explained the organization’s goals and activities.
After a First Day School presentation on their visit, Deer Creek’s next Meeting for Business increased its contribution to both AFSC and FCNL in Washington. The Committee will lead a three Sunday series in February based on the book, Nonviolent Communication, A Language of Life, by Marshall B. Rosenberg, detailing techniques for transforming potential conflicts into peaceful dialogues.
An independent group, led by a Peace Committee member, will meet every other Thursday evening through the winter on a study of Sustainable Living.
The Committee on Ministry and Oversight has prepared a brief statement on the beliefs and practices of the Religious Society of Friends to place on the benches in our Meeting House for the enlightenment of future visitors.
The annual Blueberry Festival on July 17, a joint project of the Deer Creek and Little Falls Meetings, was its usual success with 200 pies, 240 quarts of blueberries, and two auctions, silent and live, yielding over $11,000 for the benefit of the Harford County Friends School.
James E. Pickard, a lifelong Deer Creek Friend, retired this spring after teaching for five years in the newly established Friends School, a second career after 34 years as a popular teacher in the Harford County public school system. The occasion was marked by the establishment of the James E. Pickard scholarship fund for the development and training of new teachers for the school.
Among the outstanding presentations at Adult First Day School this spring two were especially so. Andy and Kim Holloway described, with the help of slides, their experiences traveling through Nepal as guests of Heifer International, to visit villages and see and hear first hand how the simple gifts of cows or goats had enhanced the lives of the people there.
An engaging teenage Iraqi student at Goucher College in Baltimore, who had been brought there on a four year scholarship by the Iraqi Student Project, described his experiences before and after coming to this country. Ahmed’s family had had to flee their country because of the hostilities between the Moslem sects in Baghdad, and he used only his first name for their protection.
Ann Gregory, who teaches the children’s First Day School, reported at the end of summer that the children’s Pennies for Peace collections had resulted in $500 for schools in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
At a Worship Sharing following a regular Sunday Worship this winter, members of Deer Creek Meeting brought their personal insights to the Minute on Equality from the Gender and Sexual Diversity Committee of the 2010 Baltimore Yearly Meeting. It was a low key and in some cases very moving sharing of thoughts and experiences with general approval, some rewording and some reservations expressed.
Connecting with the local Darlington Community, the Meeting set aside one Sunday a month to bring in canned goods, frozen foods, “gently used” clothing and household linens for the community’s Twice Blessed Thrift Shop.
Connecting with each other, the Meeting has continued this winter with monthly “Friendly Eights” dinner parties each with different guests in different homes.
The summer’s major event for our Meeting was a two-week tour of England and Wales in June/July centering on historic Quaker sites. Twenty-five members and friends ranging from teenagers to seniors were led by Pat Pickard, a longtime British tour guide who now attends our Meeting. A favorite stop was Fenny Drayton, the village where George Fox was born and the lovely and little-changed Anglican Church he attended as a child. The arrival of our bus had been quite unexpected by those still lingering after their Sunday service, but they were most hospitable, serving us coffee and offering the church for our own worship service. In Lancashire’s beautiful countryside our bus stopped by a meadow where we walked or ran, depending on age, to the foot of Pendle Hill where George Fox had the epiphany that led him to speak to large crowds and win many followers in the area. We explored Swarthmoor, the home of Judge Thomas Fell and his wife, Margaret, that was to become known as “the cradle of Quakerism.” In nearby Kendal we saw the history of Quakerism presented in the several dozen panels of the famed Quaker tapestry. Our three-day stop in London included a visit to the grave of George Fox in Bunhill Fields where also are buried the artist and poet, William Blake, and John Bunyan, the author of Pilgrim’s Progress, and across the street, John Wesley. It was a tour that is expected to carry over into First Day School discussions this fall.
The annual Blueberry Festival held at Deer Creek Friends Meeting in July for the benefit of Harford Friends School was its usual success clearing about $8,000 from the sale of blueberries by the quart and in pies, scones and muffins. On January 14, Deer Creek Friends young and adult had a dinner at the Meeting House for the benefit of the little church in the village of Fenny Drayton. Their church is lovely but in need of repairs and its congregation is small. We returned their kindness by raising over $1,000 at the dinner to help with its preservation.
Deer Creek remained active through the summer with its annual Blueberry Festival on July 14, an event attracting wide participation in the community as well as members young and old. On August 25, a Tea promising an assortment of “Sweets and Savories” attracted a gathering of about 75. It was conceived by Kim Holloway, who, with her husband Andy, had visited villages in Nepal benefiting from the Heifer International project, on a study tour in 2008 and shared their experiences with the Meeting with words and slides. Kim and Andy will participate in a Nation’s Triathlon in Washington on September 9 and the Tea will support their effort for the benefit of the Heifer project.
On October 21, 2012 Deer Creek approved the FCNL Executive Committee Minute on the Pentagon Budget Cut. We will communicate the approval of this concern to our elected representatives in Washington, DC.