Minneapolis Friends Meeting State of Society Report
April 1, 2016 – March 31, 2017
During this past year Minneapolis Friends have been troubled by issues such as the results of the 2016 election, racism, climate change, ongoing warfare around the world, and the exploitation of natural resources in our country. Within our meeting we are facing the retirement of Patricia Jones, our Director of Ministry, on September 30, 2017. We have also sensed the healing power of the Light, and we are energized by many signs of new life.
We have been fortunate to have Patricia Jones as our Director of Ministry. She has served as pastoral counselor, teacher, organizer, role model, and friend for 38 years. We will dearly miss her leadership. Rather than immediately filling the position of Director of Ministry, we will allow ourselves a time of transition to explore our options for organization and leadership. Plans are underway to worship together and celebrate Pat near her retirement date.
Wrestling with external challenges and a major transition in our meeting, we have been nurtured and guided through our worship together. Several individuals from MFM attended the 2016 Friends General Conference in St. Joseph, Minnesota. Some who participated in Experiment with Light presentations at FGC facilitated the formation of three Experiment with Light meditation groups within our meeting. They meet monthly.
We have had an influx of visitors at both un-programmed and semi-programmed worship. We are very glad that many new attenders are becoming active within the meeting. We value their good energy and desire to learn more about Quakerism. We have continued Friendly Meals as a means for new attenders and long-time attenders to get to know one another. We have also formed a meeting-wide Google Group, enabling us to easily communicate among ourselves online about meeting-related issues, as well as individual joys, sorrows, and requests for support.
We are delighted that our First Day School has grown to the point of adding a middler class. This class hosted other middlers from Northern Yearly Meeting (NYM). They are excited about plans to attend NYM Memorial Day week-end.
Our Peace and Social Concerns Committee sponsored a memorial service related to loss due to climate change, facilitated installation of a new bike rack, sponsored showings of documentary films, nudged us to claim our respective callings about peace and social concern issues and nominated environmentally-friendly organizations for our self-imposed voluntary carbon tax.
We joined Twin Cities Friends Meeting and Prospect Hill Friends Meeting in proposing the establishment of a Quaker Voluntary Service house in the Twin Cities. Our proposal was accepted, and Quaker House Minneapolis is scheduled to open in the autumn of 2018.
We ask that you hold us in the Light as we cope with change: the fear as well as the joy and growth attendant to change; the need for patience and tenderness as we learn to work differently together; the intentional connectedness we will need to practice to make sure each treasured person continues to feel that they belong.