Goose Creek Friends Meeting Interchange Reports
The text of Interchange reports from Goose Creek Friends Meeting available below. To jump to a particular report, simply click the link below.
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Friends had the honor of leading the Virginia House of Delegates Invocation at the start of their daily session on January 23. This was in response to a request from our member and Friend in the House, Delage Wendy Gooditis from Virginia's House District 10. A group went to Richmond to lead the Invocation which opens each session. Wendy feels that her Quaker roots inform her work in the legislature and that Friends have much to offer in silent worship. In less than a minute, we described to the Delegates that, in silence, we listen for openings and the Divine Light; we seek to share that Light with others in our lives; and we pray for Divine guidance for those charged with the work of our Commonwealth. We asked that the Delegates listen to one another with open hearts. After a minute of silence, all turned to their neighbors and shook hands. There is a lot of ceremony in the Capitol proceedings, and we felt that we contributed to a true opening of hearts and a better understanding of who we are as Quakers. Later in the Assembly Opening remarks, Wendy gave a brief background of the long history of Friends in Virginia. Wendy has been invited to come to the Meeting later this year to tell us more about her experiences and the work before her.
Goose Creek Meeting hosted its second Harping for Harmony concert, featuring harp soloist Nicolas Carter, in March. The Harping for Harmony Foundation’s mission is “to promote harmony and community, locally and globally, through harp music.” Most of its artists and much of its music is Latin American. Stay tuned for more harp concerts at Goose Creek and elsewhere.
Goose Creek Friend and orchardist Eliza Greenman will present a session on pollarding at the Meeting House on June 10, 3pm. This ancient method of pruning trees can result in a sustainable supply of timber for many generations while enhancing a natural state for wildlife and native plants. Please join us!
Goose Creek Friends Meeting is excited to announce a new working group under the care of its Peace and Social Concerns Committee: the S.P.I.C.E.S. Traveling Peace Troupe! Their mission is to engage audiences of all ages in live, interactive performances of stories built on the themes of simplicity, peace, integrity, community, equality, and stewardship as a way to sow love and nurture these values in ourselves and the community. The Troupe expects to have its debut performance on February 12 at rise of Meeting. After a few more weeks of preparation, they’ll take to public venues. The students in First Day School will help with in-Meeting performances only. They are creating their own Youth Peace Troupe for peer group performances. To learn more, contact Maria Nicklin (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Eric Carlson (email@example.com), co-clerks.
Joined by neighbors, family, and friends, we held an autumn harvest festival to celebrate Bill and Bobbie Cochran’s 50th anniversary at Goose Creek Meeting. They moved into the caretakers’ home in the old stone Meeting House (across the road from our present one) in October 1965, and have been looking after Goose Creek Meeting in myriad ways ever since.
We have been pursuing closer spiritual relationships though a regular Wednesday evening discussion gathering and a Spiritual Formation group. A new group is currently being organized to study and discuss the history of Quaker spirituality. Anyone from a nearby Meeting who would like to join this group is invited to contact Patricia Barber (firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-271-8244).
First Day School students have met with an artist-beekeeper and an architect who helps to build affordable houses in Haiti. They have spent time with a young Friend who has been teaching them about sustainable farming, permaculture, and his work growing heritage fruit trees. Monthly activities include a knitting circle and interviews with Friends to find out about their Quaker journeys. We’ve rolled out a new website with lots of information about Goose Creek Friends and what we’re doing: www.goosecreekfriends.org.
On December 6, Goose Creek Friends Meeting opened its doors to the community to dedicate a Virginia Civil War Trails sign telling of the Union burning raids of early December 1864. We had more than 80 people from the community and historians from afar. The First Day School children presented a newly revised rendition of a children's history of the Meeting written by Asa Moore Janney in 1957. By celebrating the persistence of the Quakers and the adherence to the Peace Testimony during such trying times, we were reminded of our Peace Testimony today.
During the past year, Goose Creek has celebrated the birth of several new babies and the addition of several new members. Sadly, we have had to bid farewell to members who have died, including Arlene Janney, whom many in BYM knew over a long period years, and Julie Guroff, who was active in BYM’s Unity with Nature and the Friends Wilderness Center.
We have continued our support of Midwives for Haiti through Wendy Dotson, and Hlekweni Friends Rural Service through Patricia Barber (Goose Creek MM) and Steve Brooks (Friends Meeting of Washington). Our friendship with a group of seasonal workers who come to our neighborhood each year from Mexico and Central America continues to grow. They join us for increasingly lively suppers two or three times during the landscaping season, and a group of Friends tutor several of them in English in the evenings – marveling at how they can muster the energy after a long day of work. In November our Camping Committee staged a successful silent auction of artwork, antiques, and collectibles, raising funds for BYM camps.
Goose Creek Meeting was enriched and enlightened by an inreach/outreach workshop held in November under the leadership of Walter Brown (Langley Hill) and Ken Stockbridge (Patapsco). We celebrated the Christmas season with a potluck supper, carol singing, candle lighting, and an exchange of homemade gifts. Meetings for Worship were held on Christmas and New Year’s Eves. Meeting continues to support the work of Friend Wendy Dotson, who is a volunteer with Midwives for Haiti. We finance a mobile clinic’s monthly visits to treat women in the village of Naran. In February Wendy makes her sixth trip to Haiti, where she will be training local midwives and setting up a new birth center in Trianon.
In June, we celebrated Book Sunday, an annual ritual in which each First Day School student receives a book from Meeting, teachers are thanked for their work during the school year, and everyone enjoys an ice cream social. Many of our kids attended BYM camps this summer, and we were happy to be able to make a donation towards the construction of the new pond at Shiloh.
On a beautiful August evening we held a potluck picnic on the lawn, and afterward hosted a showing of The Last Hardware Store. This new documentary film about the wonderfully old-fashioned Nichols Hardware Store in nearby Purcellville was produced by Goose Creek’s Sarah Huntington. The late Ed Nichols, one of the proprietors of Nichols Hardware, was our treasurer for more than forty years.