Blacksburg Friends Meeting Spiritual State of the Meeting Reports
The Blacksburg Friends Meeting is an intergenerational and financially diverse Meeting, both of which contribute to the health of our community of faith. The oldest member of the Meeting is 92, and we have regular attendance at Worship by a few Virginia Tech students. There is a strong youth group with dedicated mentors involved with them. Last year the teen-age youth, with their mentors, studied and discussed current issues such as intergenerational relationships, conscientious objection along with the complex side of war, and racial injustice.
The Blacksburg Meeting is intent on maintaining good stewardship practices with finances and care of the property. We maintain a budget that is balanced and are currently paying off the mortgage for the Meetinghouse, which was constructed in 2010. A monthly Saturday work day helps keep our building and grounds in good order, and we have a strong Building and Grounds Committee. Another strong committee is our EarthCare Committee, which focuses on issues of environmentally wise practices for ourselves and for our role as a concerned organization in the larger community. The Adult Education Committee has provided programs of substance that are thought provoking and of current interest. We’ve discovered the value of the Quaker Speak videos and intend to use them again as a basis for some of our studies.
We are also a community of people who are mindful of the emotional, physical and spiritual wellbeing of each other, both members and attenders. Many people associated with the Meeting are involved in hospitality, outreach, and ministry in the local community and beyond. Some of the outreach efforts are the community Interfaith Food Pantry, The Blacksburg Refugee Partnership, and various ministries of visitation in the area. A member of the Meeting is currently revising the Blacksburg Friends web site with the intention of making the format more user friendly and providing information for people who might be interested in local Quaker activities.
Members and attenders, who are committed to the Spiritual Formation group, participate in a quarterly large group meeting and once a month in small worship sharing groups. After Meeting for Worship, we share our joys and concerns with each other. This can at times become a lively and spirited exchange. At other times, there is compassionate listening and affirmation for what someone expresses. A technology committee that is part of the Buildings & Grounds Committee is currently assessing possible resources for providing audio amplification in the meeting worship room for those with hearing difficulties.
We’re also trying to be attentive and active in making visitors feel welcome when coming in to the Meetinghouse.
For the second year, on 2 October 2016, we conducted a brief order of observance for World Quaker Day at the beginning of Meeting for Worship. The focus of the observance this year was the historic involvement of Quakers in the Boarding schools for Native American youth in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. We are concerned about the cultural and spiritual damage to the Native American children and families, even in the present generation. We see this as an injustice imposed on native people’s lives.
Blacksburg Friends have established a tradition of ending each calendar year with an informal Christmas Eve shared meal and service, and a New Year’s gathering as we look forward to the year to come.
No report received.
No report received.