Hello my name is Joshua Ponter. I am a member of Haddonfield Monthly Meeting in South Jersey’s Philadelphia area. I have embarked on a year-long mission to travel around the country collecting stories about the founding of different meetings and looking at the way we practice Quakerism today. I will be blogging about my travels on the PYM website. Find my latest entry below. Please email me at JPonter1@gmail.com if there is anyone from your meeting who would like to sit down with me and speak to some of your history — or if you would like more information on me or my project . Thank you!
So, as I may have mentioned the extremely high gas prices in California and their not insignificant impact on my wallet have put a rather large damper on my enthusiasm to explore the state in a manner that I would have preferred. I even ended up selling my good camera on EBay to see if I could recompense some of the cost. Since I am planning to meet my partner when she flies in from NJ to Sacramento, I decided the prudent thing to do was to travel straight up the valley from Fresno. It is a reasonably flat, straight drive and I have been able to stay off many of the highways, which seemed unavoidable closer to the coast and the south.
The next Friends Church I ended up passing through on my way up north was in the little town of Denair, CA. Denair Friends Church is also part of Evangelical Friends Church Southwest. It started under the care of Iowa Yearly Meeting and was a branch off from Citrus Heights Monthly Meeting, which is just north of Sacramento.
So, I was able to visit on Easter.There were about 75 grown up people and a handful of children. I like to think that I am at this point counted in the former rather than the later despite the fact I still am carded at the movies. While I brought my journal into worship and took some notes in between the singing, of which there was a lot (almost 45 minutes of the service was Jesus Praise Music-no electric guitars though this time though!) I left it in the car afterwards when I went and had lunch with the pastor, his wife, and two Friends. I’ll be honest guys, I really just wanted to enjoy myself and sometimes these conversations feel a lot like work. It’s kinda like when we are hiking with a camera. Sometimes we are so consumed by looking for a beautiful picture we miss the true wonders all around us.
Though I don’t remember specifically the variety of subject on which we spoke it was a really nice meal, and I came away with a bunch of leftovers and a whole bag of the most amazing homegrown oranges I have ever eaten. They were gone within two days. I was also given a copy of the Yearly Meeting’s Faith and Practice. I started skimming through it but haven’t absorbed quite enough to talk about yet, but I will have more for you soon!
With that, I’d like to wish you, dear reader; a Happy Easter with this traveler’s humble qualification that it seems to me that every day can be a gift if we can find a reason to celebrate life.