Fauquier Friends Worship Group Interchange Reports
The eight Meetings for Worship held in 2014 by Fauquier Friends Worship Group attracted local attenders from Warrenton, Southern Fauquier County, Culpeper, Stafford and Rappahannock County in Virginia. All are areas that lacked any Quaker group presence at the time of FFWG’s first worship in 5th Month. Under the care of Herndon Friends Meeting, Fauquier Friends Worship Group has had the privilege of welcoming visitors from Herndon Friends Meeting and Friends from Baltimore Yearly Meeting including our BYM General Secretary and previous and current Presiding Clerks of BYM.
Meetings are still held only once a month due to restrictions on rental of the community building (Fauquier County Library Depot at the Bealeton Library). Friends and attenders are sometimes keeping in touch outside the Worship Meetings via e-mail and phone and by looking for announcements in newspapers and newsletters. The development of this new Worship Group has been aided by consultation and support from Herndon Friends and the wider Yearly Meeting, also by Friends General Conference New Meetings Project. The Yearly Meeting’s Advancement and Outreach Committee recently offered needed assistance with future development of an attractive web page, advancement photos, and a dedicated Facebook page. With only adults in attendance so far, this latest offer rekindles the hope of reaching families with children.
“God in Everyone” was the apt title given to the article on Fauquier Friends Worship Group published in the December 30, 2014 issue of the daily Culpeper Star Exponent. The reporter included three photos and quotes from both local attenders and visitors to 11th Month worship. Using “God in Everyone Fauquier Friends” in the search space, the online version of the article may still be located in the Star Exponent archives (www.dailyprogress.com).
Another 12th Month highlight was having the blessing of giving to the three services for emergency or transitional housing in the Fauquier Friends outreach area. Staff from Community Touch (in Bealeton), Fauquier Family Shelter Services (in Warrenton), and the Culpeper Community Development shelter all expressed gratitude for the needed collection of money, new bed linens, personal products, and cleaning supplies. They also were interested in learning more about the local Quakers and the Religious Society of Friends.
At this time, space is rented at the Bealeton Depot, 10877 Willow Drive North, Bealeton, VA for third Sundays (15th) of February and March. Singing and hospitality begin at 10:30 am with an unprogrammed hour of worship starting at 11 am. A First Day activity for children is readied for 11:15 am. Potluck and continued hospitality follow Rise of Meeting announcements. Visitation helps us thrive. Check the Yearly Meeting website listing on Fauquier Friends Worship Group for future dates, times and locations.
Seven attenders gathered in a restored railroad depot in Bealeton, Virginia, on July 20 and eight attenders came on August 17, the third and fourth meetings of the Fauquier Friends Worship Group under care of Herndon Friends Meeting. Singing from the Songs in the Spirit book at 10:30 am was followed by an hour of unprogrammed worship with vocal ministry rising from the quiet. A potluck picnic lunch and informal discussion continued into each early afternoon. The location at Bealeton Library on the corner of Station and Willow Dr. North is a blessing to those in the Warrenton-Culpeper area, most of whom were 35 to 45 miles or more away from their nearest Quaker meeting. The building is affordable and accessible with plenty of tables, chairs, access to library restrooms, parking, i.e. room for many visitors.
The first Meeting for Worship of the Fauquier Friends Worship Group was in May after a Clearness Committee from Herndon Friends Meeting approved actions to rent the Bealeton Depot for the allowed one day per month. The committee also approved advancement and outreach activities to further test the leading. In Sixth Month Meeting for Business, a Minute on the worship group was approved by Herndon Friends.
The Minute includes: “Finding that the process of formation of the Worship Group is proceeding in right order, the Ministry and Oversight Committee recommends that a committee of care for the worship group be established…” and continues to outline some of the specifics of continuing development including use of Herndon Friends phone, (703) 736-0592, for messages. Kim Glazer, Katherine Cole and Harry Tunis served as the original clearness committee with Bonnie Stockslager and graciously agreed to also be the ongoing Care Committee. Donations may be sent to Herndon Friends Meeting designated for Fauquier Friends Worship Group.
The small but growing and enthusiastic worship group has been meeting on the third Sunday of each month so far but Fauquier County Library (owns and rents the Depot) cannot make a long term promise of availability so Friends are encouraged to keep checking the BYM website under Virginia Meetings for Fauquier Friends page to view upcoming dates of worship (bym-rsf.org). A link is also posted upper left corner of www.herndonfriends.org home page.
Fauquier Friends Worship Group is thankful for Yearly and Monthly Meeting visitation, suggestions for outreach, for being held in the Light and for the many encouraging messages that have been sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or to PO Box 224, Bealeton, VA, 22712. If traveling our way, please remember, “You have Friends in Fauquier County.”