Langley Hill Friends Meeting Interchange Reports
Langley Hill continues to offer many rich opportunities to its members and attenders and hopes these offerings attract new attenders especially families. Our Religious Education curriculum has been revised to add focus on Quaker values, simplicity, peace, integrity, community, equality and stewardship. Concern about diminished numbers has re-energized our advancement and outreach efforts. Our internet presence is improved, we have WiFi in the Meeting House, and a successful workshop for children and adults on spirituality included communities beyond our Meeting. We’ve welcomed two new children born into the Meeting, Theo Colaninno Brown (7/16) and Bridget Elise Isele (7/29). Theo’s great grandfather was a founding member of the Meeting. Second Hour programs included several intergenerational worship sharing times to bring all our youngest members together with the adults. Programs are already scheduled through May. A weekly “drop-in session” before worship, a mid-week worship hour, and a monthly discussion group on third first-day evening completed opportunities for the Meeting to gather opportunities for the community to deepen its relationship with the Divine. Several topic groups are active: movie night, racism working group and, of course, our committees. We cherish our community, value and appreciate our improved Meeting House. We are blessed.
Summer has been a quiet time at Langley Hill with many away at the FGC Gathering, Annual Session, and various vacations and travels. We have been blessed by a steady flow of visitors. Several members and attenders who had shared writings and poetry over 20 years consolidated them into a a book called Quaker Spirituality from ‘Inside/Out,’ edited by John Surr, Judith Larsen, and Pardee Lowe, Jr. Meanwhile our small, but diligent, Committee on Racism has been meeting regularly and makes more and more materials available to all of us through our Meeting listserve and special events at the Meeting House.
Sadly we have lost two long-time members: Stanly Berkemeyer and John Kettelle. Stanly was one of our Meeting’s founders and served in many positions, including Clerk, before moving to Friends House about 10 years ago. We cherish her in many ways—so it was gratifying at Annual Session to hear additional tributes to her roles among the larger world of Friends. John Kettelle came to us from Radnor Meeting in Pennsylvania, bringing children and grandchildren along, too. John loved to speak in Meeting, and we came to value his wisdom and insights. Like great trees in the forest under whose shade we flourished, Stanly’s and John’s deaths leave great holes in the canopies of our lives. (And for John’s service, as requested by far flung members of his family, the service was broadcast to them via Skype.)
After celebrating our 50th anniversary as a Meeting last fall, our community remains as lively as ever. First Day School students are studying Quaker values. One Sunday the senior high students performed a skit about authority that led to an inter-generational worship sharing on the topic. Other classes are writing and producing a series of plays. For adults, before Meeting gathers, one Friend conducts one-hour “drop-in” sessions on a rotating basis: Quaker texts, scripture, art, and material by and about women. We hold mid-week meeting every second Tuesday evening–a rich experience for all who attend. Among our many travelers are two going to Kenya. Georgia Fuller is teaching a session on the New Testament at Friends Theological College in Kaimosi. Chuck Kleymeyer will be attending the Friends World Conference in April. Our weekly vigil at the west front of the U.S. Capitol continues each Saturday–we approach the 10th anniversary of holding a simple banner declaring “Seek Peace and Pursue It.”