At this time when strength is needed, our Meeting is strong. Our strength is derived from many sources, first among them a pervading assurance in Divine Power to sustain us in times of stress and anxiety. We are held closely together by that expression of God’s love for us which manifests itself in our love for each other.
We are given hope for the future by our children in first day school and the parents and teachers who nurture them in faith and knowledge of the Inner Light to guide them in their lives. A group of senior high school youth has engaged this year in a Public Achievement Program which has focused on diversity in the Meeting. We are challenged to provide a consistent, dynamic, engaging program for all of our teens. We are gratified by the love and caring that is shown to our elders, assuring us that the faith of our fathers and mothers will continue to be a dominant spirit in the Meeting, even as time and circumstance bring change to it.
We are blessed with an active ministry and executive staff, along with leadership from committees which assure us that the Meeting’s work is done in a timely and effective manner. We are thankful for generosity of members which has kept our financial support equal to our needs.
We are confronted by the actions of our government which violate our most deeply held convictions with respect to war in particular, and also in regard to the death penalty, same sex marriage and other issues. We struggle to see our complicity, and seek leading of the Spirit as we make choices about our own behavior to effect positive change. We are lifted from the temptation to hate and despair by our faith and the knowledge that we are not alone in our views and our struggles.
We are encouraged by movements such as Every Church A Peace Church, which brings to the anti-war movement people of many faiths. We are grateful that Friends for a Non-Violent World has drawn membership and influence from many faiths and for the leadership of its executive director, who has given this organization greater prominence.
We were cheered by the “Peace in the Precincts” movement which enabled our peace testimony to find political expression. We were pleased that Minnesotans of many persuasions rebuffed the governor’s attempt to reinstate the death penalty in our state. And we stood firmly with many who affirmed the right of same sex marriage by witnessing to such a marriage within our Meeting.
The many attempts to divide people do not obscure from us the larger division between the affluent and the impoverished, which proceeds as many people are denied educational opportunity through underfunded schools and health care to insure their physical and mental well-being. We continue our commitment to Loaves and Fishes as an expression of our wish to offer a personal hand to those in deepest need.
These things weigh on the conscience of our members who want to witness to the dignity of all human beings. We are grateful for other meetings in Northern Yearly Meeting which come together to witness more forcefully, as we did in the discussion of diversity that took place this year. We are encouraged by our members who maintain connection with meetings in Cuba and El Salvador, giving us a wider Quaker fellowship.
Truly, our opportunities are unlimited. We seek the continuing strength to take advantage of them that we may continue to be a force for truth, peace and justice in the world.
Membership Statistics for Minneapolis Monthly Meeting
Fifth month, 2004
This report is an attempt to record, as well as possible, the real participation of individuals in the life of the Meeting. It is difficult to determine what constitutes active participation for both members and attenders. This report does not include non-resident or inactive members, nor does it include the membership of Winona Preparative Meeting.
Unscientifically stated, there are currently 105 active members of Minneapolis Monthly Meeting and 20 active associate members. There are 46 regular adult attenders and 34 regular attenders who are children.
New members: 7
by convincement – 7
by transfer – 0
by request (associate memberships) – 0
Released members: 0
by death – 0
by transfer – 0