The ongoing renovation and extension of our Meeting House has occupied much of our energy this year. With the major work basically completed we are now dealing with items like painting, furniture, lighting, flooring and landscaping. Budgeting and mortgage issues remain front and center. We are also having to devote some thought about how best to configure and use the new space, both for neighborhood and community organizations and for our own Religious Education program.
Charlottesville Friends continue to be active in social issues. In May, our former co-clerk, Helena Cobban published her book Re-engage! America and the World After Bush, a project launched and written with the support of Meeting clearness and oversight committees. Our Peace and Social Concerns committee has embarked on a listening project with military families which will occupy us for the rest of this year and some of next. We have also had to prepare with sadness for the resumption of executions in Virginia after a welcome hiatus.
The day-to-day life of the Meeting has continued even with construction. The end of the school year gave us a chance to celebrate younger Friends’ accomplishments. At the same time, we are much aware of the challenges faced by our older members and attenders, including illness, financial needs and transportation problems. A much loved Meeting event, the annual bird walk, took place in May, with a good turnout that even included a few birds.