Roanoke Monthly Meeting
Although it hasn’t been forty years and we aren’t wandering through the desert, it does seem like our Meeting’s search for a permanent Meeting House has been a long one. However, the search has been productive in helping us define our needs and be open to possibilities that come. Way will open and when it does, we will be ready!
The Development Ad Hoc Committee is exploring small and large ways to raise funds for a new Meeting House. One was revealed at Meeting for Business in March - a very nicely designed T-shirt that has some real possibilities for broad marketing. We hope to have some available for sale very soon.
Last month, our Meeting produced an editorial commentary on the topic of gun control which was published in the Roanoke Times.
Members of the Peace and Social Justice Committee have been actively involved with lobbying and have visited congressman Mark Warner’s office three times in the past six months, regarding reduction of military spending in the current budget.
One Friend recently chaperoned several Roanoke College Students to Washington, DC to take part in FCNL’s Spring Lobby Workshop. Our plans to host Quaker Quest are now a reality and we are looking forward to this in the fall.
Roanoke Friends also mark the passing of John Vicoli and Ellen Coleman-Wolfe, who were active in the Meeting during our years at Hollins.
Roanoke has experienced an increase of new attenders and inquiries over the past several months and so we are exploring ways to promote understanding of what we are about to newcomers. We will be hosting Quaker Quest sometime this year. There are also monthly dinner and discussion meetings at the home of our clerk which address aspects of Quakerism.
Our Peace and Social Justice Committee continues to seek projects in which Roanoke Friends can labor together. For the fifth year, we will be volunteering on MLK National Day of Service to assist with the clean-up and restoration of Springwood Burial Park, a long neglected African-American cemetery in Roanoke. We are also involved as volunteers in local elementary schools, assisting in school activities, providing take-home snacks and tutoring in math and reading. The reading tutoring even includes one of our dogs who is trained to “listen attentively” as children practice reading to him and his handler.
Roanoke Friends mourn the loss of Jeremy Mott who died suddenly on September 2nd. Jeremy was well-known for his activism during the Vietnam War, as well as his advocacy for peace and justice issues. His presence will be dearly missed, not only within our Meeting, but in the wider world as well.
Roanoke Friends continue to search for a permanent Meeting House location. While our search committee has labored diligently to research and investigate all potential sites, nothing suitable has been forthcoming yet. However, the process of the search has been beneficial to us as a community, as we labor together in decision-making and discussion. We trust that Way will certainly open and there will be a Meeting House in our future!
This spring we began a series of discussions every fifth first day based on Pendle Hill pamphlets. These discussions have been well-attended and serve not only to stimulate us but also to familiarize Friends with Pendle Hill and the pamphlet series. We rejoice in the birth of Anna Josephine Dybdahl, born June 22nd to Angie Martin and Peter Dybdahl and look forward to her presence in the life of our Meeting.