Solebury Friends Meeting Annual Report
To Bucks Quarterly Meeting
August 20, 2017
Held at United Friends School
Hosted by Plumstead Monthly Meeting
Solebury Friends Meeting’s membership declined by three members this past year. We have 106 adult members and 42 minor members for a total membership of 148 at the end of 2016. Changes are happening in 2017 that may help our census some. A new family joined this year bringing 2 children to the First Day School and as a result of a marriage under the care of the Meeting one of our children members became an adult member.
Our House and Grounds committee produced a 5-year capital expenses report so that we can properly budget the updating of our property. A sobering amount of money. Although we do not have renewable energy sources on the property we are purchasing our power from renewable sources and have super insulated our education building.
In September 2016 a group of our Young Friends traveled to Washington as part of FCNL’s day of lobbying on Sentencing Reform. They met with Senators Menendez and Booker and Congressman Leonard Lance. One of the Young Friends, Quinn Reinert, reported back to Meeting that those they met with were impressed with our Young Friends knowledge of the need for sentencing reform and seemed supportive. The fall First Day School classes were devoted to exposing our teenagers to sentencing, the need for its reform and how we should treat one another.
On Family Day in June, we celebrated the conclusion of another successful year of the First Day Program for our Young Friends. We are grateful to our paid coordinator, Betsy Cotton, for the vital role that she plays by developing the curriculum for the year and preparing weekly lesson plans for our teachers. We have three classes for preschool, elementary and middle/high school students. We average 7 to 12 children each First Day. We decided to purchase and install the FCNL banner “Love thy neighbor, no exceptions”
In December, the children in our First Day School again made Christmas cards that were sent to members who live some distance away or are unable to attend Meeting for Worship regularly. The cards were signed by members of Meeting. This outreach elicited a few thank-yous from the recipients.
Our Annual Pancake Breakfast was successful again this year. Once again, Mercer Street Friends was the recipient of donations made at the breakfast. With the proceeds from the breakfast we were able to make a $2,685 contribution to Mercer Street Friends preschool summer program. We are most appreciative to Steve and Becky Kunkel who continue to tap our maple trees and boil the sap to produce our wonderful Solebury maple syrup.
We held a special celebration of our long-time nonagenarian members, Malcolm Crooks, Irene Fisher and Sue Tinsman where we reflected on their importance to our Meeting. They were all present to hear and feel our worship.
Our Mary Blackmar Educational Fund was established in the 1960s to provide financial assistance to members’ children attending Friends schools. Last year we provided assistance to four students and this coming year we anticipate assisting three. A majority of the funds come from the investment income of the Fund, with the balance from our annual operating budget.
Solebury continues to support the Peace Fair. We were responsible for Food Service Last year.
David Smith, Clerk