West Branch Monthly Meeting Interchange Reports
The Meeting is pleased to announce the birth of a new member. Silas Clair McGary was born to Adam and Justine McGary on May 29, 2015. We are also saddened to report the passing of Richard A. Greendoner on May 20.
West Branch Friends have been very busy. Grampian has an informal eccumetical council that joins all of local denominations together for services during holidays. National day of Prayer, Thanksgiving eve service, Grampian days and Lenten services round about at each church, and a non denominational bible school that serves approximately 200 adults and children for a week in the summer. This year a new roof was put on the Meeting House and the pews were repainted. Our nursery class is expanding nicely with the arrival of several babies. We continue to support and pray for friends, neighbors, and our nation. Many have much and many more have less.
West Branch welcomed Sheila Bach and Ellen Arginteanu to discuss and review the revisions to the new version of Faith and Practice. A pot luck lunch followed Meeting for Worship.
Kirk Thorp and Billy Bell, both in their nineties, passed away recently. We are mourning the loss of Margaret “Peggy” Fry after a lengthy illness. Peggy and her husband Walt represented West Branch at Meetings and Sessions all over the Northeast. March welcomed a birthright great grandson to Bob Wriglesworth. Little Shane David joined sister Iree, parents Abby and Cole, and grandparents Donna and Martin McGarry. Easter morning will begin with breakfast prepared by the men of the Meeting. We continue to help with Relay for Life fundraisers to fight cancer; and continue to pray and support our less fortunate friends and neighbors in the community. As we mourn the loss of our older members; we enjoy the birth of the new generation.
Walt Fry, West Branch
West Branch Friends Meeting acknowledges 200 years of worship. Friends, primarily from the Quaker community in Half Moon Township, Pennsylvania, settled in the Grampian Hills of Clearfield County beginning in 1810. These included the families of James Moore, Samuel Johnson, David Wall, Joseph Davis, Gideon Widemire, Jonathan Waln, Jason Kirk, Joseph Spencer, Caleb Way and others. From the beginning, they met for worship, primarily in the home of James and Lydia Moore.
Centre Monthly Meeting authorized an Indulged Meeting for Worship in Clearfield County on December 17, 1812 to be known as West Branch. Worship continued in homes until the first Meeting House was built in 1824. At this time, Centre Monthly Meeting approved West Branch as a Preparative Meeting, which means that it could conduct its own business with approval of the parent meeting. In 1833, West Branch was given Monthly Meeting status to stand alone.
West Branch Friends are a presence in the Grampian-Penn Township area with participation in the various activities of Grampian Area Ministerium. Individual Friends are also involved in the community in various ways. West Branch Friends are the owners/operators of Friends Cemetery on route 729 east of Grampian. We energize and equip Friends through the power of the Holy Spirit to gather people into fellowship where Jesus Christ is known, loved and obeyed as Teacher and Lord. We welcome any who would like to be part of our faith community.
West Branch recently celebrated the 200th year anniversary at Grampian, Pa. In November fruit baskets were packed and delivered to shut ins, the elderly, and friends of the Meeting. West Branch participates in the Jesse Tree, a program sponsored by the churches in the Grampian and Curwensville area for under-privileged families in the area. Clothing and gifts are provided as needed to families by individuals anonymously. The pick-up day was at the Meeting House for the Grampian area. Christmas enabled us to do a food bank for a young family. The father was battling cancer and passed away soon after. Christmas Eve service was an unstructured candlelight service with participation by many of the members and their families. We continue to pray for the ill, support those in need and be good friends to all. Many have much, many more have less.
West Branch Meeting has been very active in the community and with its outreach services. The Meeting members supported the community Lenten services and hosted one. The ministerium of Grampian takes turns hosting weekly services and on Good Friday also. Our community raised over $9,000 for Relay for Life. Many local families have been affected by cancer. We continue support with prayers and resources to those in need. Recently West Branch was one of the sponsors for a community wide Vacation Bible School. Children and adults were welcomed with an average of 100 attending daily. It is held annually during the week of Grampian Days, our community home-coming festival. A special thank you to Sue Johnson for her dedication to the program, and to Ashauna Wriglesworth one of our youth for her leadership during Grampian Days. We continue to support our friends; neighbors, and those in need with prayer, emotional and financial support.