Abingdon Friends Meeting Interchange Reports

Winter 2010 Interchange

Abingdon Friends Meeting has had an applicant confirmed as a member in Twelfth Month 2009 our very first. Other attenders are considering applying for membership. Our attendance has been averaging about 14 people. We have exceeded twenty on a number of First Days.

We are pleased with the vitality of our group. Expressed in spoken messages, social outreach, Quaker related classes, community work and participation in Peace demonstrations sponsored by the Appalachian Peace Education Committee (APEC). We are discussing participation in other events 2010. There seems to be a base of people interested in Friends in the Abingdon area. We hope to be a light to all.

Fall 2011 Interchange

Abingdon Friends is truly blessed to have a membership, at this point, of eleven convinced Friends. Four of which are transfers. We started out four years ago with one recorded Friend! We have twelve very regular attenders. First Days draw an average of 19 people. Of course, the number of committees has expanded. Committee work does bring us all into the care of the Meeting and Quaker outreach to the greater community. Also, we now have a First Day program for children. We are following FGC’s outlines for religious education.

The town of Abingdon has many progressive citizens and our Peace and Social Action Committee feels that it is fertile ground in which Quaker ideals and actions may be of help. The convener of Peace and Social Action, Cinny Poppen, is a well seasoned social justice advocate. Her husband Roger Golden, who sojourned with us, and still supports us, is also an experienced social justice worker has participated in this vital work.

The Meeting is sponsoring a six session showing of The Jesus Seminars. We are using DVDs that cover who Jesus was and what did he actually preach. A half hour discussion will follow the DVD showings. The first session begins September 12th.

Our Clerk, George Strawbridge, Recording Clerk Jamie Tubman, Recorder Nancy Hunter, and member Terry Walker (Finance and Stewardship Committee) attended a seminar on clerking at Stony Run Meeting the past February. Our Meeting is pleased that they attended this session, a great benefit for a new Meeting. The Meeting held five discussion this past winter covering the 2010 Draft Revisions of Faith and Practice. These were very uplifting and transformative occasions as most of the attendees were new to Friends ways and practice.

The Blue Ridge Association of Meetings here in southwest Virginia is a source of Friendly support for us and we hope we are to the other Meetings. Nothing formal, but there is hope that the forming of a Quarterly Meeting may be considered by area Friends. We encourage Meetings to feel free to instigate communications with us by adding us to your email lists or by sending us articles to us at PO Box 2022, Abingdon, VA 24212-2022 .Our email address is AbingdonFriends@gmail.com.