Our new building addition is now up and running, with a mortgage secured. We marked its opening with a short but heartfelt celebration in February. We are still adjusting to the new space, and spent the fall months dealing with innumerable smaller issues, from the installation of kitchen cabinets and sinks to mulch, heat settings and bicycle racks. The building process has sometimes been stressful, and our Ministry & Worship Committee has organized several worship sharing sessions to help heal the tensions and strains in the Meeting community.
We continue to be active in sheltering the homeless in the winter months through the local PACEM program, partnering this year with a local Methodist church. For the first time we have also participated with other local worship communities in a program called IMPACT, which works each year to identify a small number of pressing community issues and direct local leaders’ attention to them. The focus this year has been on affordable housing and access to dental care.
A number of Friends have lost family members in the last year, and we have had to say goodbye to several members and former members of our Meeting community. These included Elaine Bell, a beloved Friend well-known to many BYM members, who died in Silver Spring on November 10.