In 2010, our Friends’ Meeting community in Charlottesville had many experiences of the work of the Spirit among us that were deep and very strengthening—and we also faced some challenges. Our Meeting regularly holds two worship sessions each Sunday, with a 60-minute session of adult education, discussion, or worship sharing called “Connections” between them. We have members at many different stages on their spiritual journeys, who range from the early months of life to well into their tenth decade. We have an active First-Day School, regular social activities, seven or eight active committees, and a similar number of Friendly Circles. Continue reading
Charlottesville Friends Meeting was pleased to be able to take part in the PACEM (People and Congregations Engaged in Ministry) program by providing food, shelter and a friendly welcome to homeless women from the Charlottesville area for a week in November. This is the second year the women have been able to live and eat in our new community room since the addition to our meetinghouse was completed.
The 5th, 6th, and 7th grade First Day School group, The Fells, have been studying early Quakers and their impact on community. They have focused on the hospitality and outreach of Margaret Fell and Lucretia Mott, the travels of John Woolman, the comfort offered by Elizabeth Fry to women and their children in prison, and the brave undertakings of Harriet Tubman and Levi Coffin with the Underground Railroad. Inspired by these historical figures, our young Quakers have baked bread and made soup for potluck, collected trash in the neighborhood, cared for the Sparklers and read them stories, provided gingerbread for business meeting attenders and assisted in collecting canned goods for the Jefferson Area Food Bank. It has been a meaningful six weeks, full of learning and good works.
In February Charlottesville Friends Meeting hosted a three-day session for Playing in the Light — a Godly PlayTraining led by Michael Gibson from FGC and Melinda Bradley from Philadelphia Yearly Meeting . Eight members of CFM and one out of town guest completed the Quaker version of Godly Play Training and are certified to teach the Godly Play and Faith and Play curriculum. CFM Religious Education Committee, teachers, and parents will be considering how to implement this curriculum into our First Day program. Participation in this training not only developed a strong teaching reasource but was also personally enriching.
Our dear friend and longtime member, Carolyn Worrall, died on March 21. She is sadly missed. Her memorial service will be held at the meetinghouse on April 16.
We are most grateful for the Spirit’s movement among us. We believe we accomplished more as a whole than we might have individually. We experienced this movement in acts of
kindness among us, in feelings of gathered Meetings for worship, for business, for sharing, for healing, and as we labored together through committees and long business meetings. In the spiritual practice of discussing revision of yearly meeting queries, in participating in adult discussions at Connections, and during teaching and learning with the children of our community, different ones of us felt the Spirit moving. Through the power of this Spirit we were kept open to the possibility of new messages. Continue reading
In December Charlottesville Friends hosted a group of local homeless women, providing them with warm food and a safe place to sleep over a two-week period. This was part of our contribution to the local PACEM program (People And Congregations Engaged in Ministry), and we were partnered with a United Methodist Church nearby. The arrival of two feet of snow on the last scheduled day of our hosting offered us an unexpected challenge, but thanks to the commitment of our volunteers we were able to offer our guests shelter for two additional days. Friends found the experience a powerful one. As one reported, “it’s hard to say just who it was receiving the gifts … In the enigmatic way of the Spirit, we all discovered something divine.” Continue reading