Volunteers, Non-Profits, Crafts Vendors Needed! The 21st Annual Peace Fair of Bucks Quarterly Meeting will take place on Saturday, September 18, 2021, at Buckingham Friends Meetinghouse in Lahaska, just south of Peddlers Village. Up to 100 booths of local crafts, artwork, food, games, animals and Bucks area non-profits whose focus is peace, community service, healthy living and the environment. Browse the book sale and listen to entertainers like the Tookany Creek bluegrass band, River Drivers and kids’ songster Ecoman. Hear Bucks and Montgomery County poet laureates at the Poetry Reading or tour the Buckingham Quaker Meetinghouse, a National Landmark. The fair runs from 10:30am until 4:00pm and is handicap accessible. The suggested donation is $2 and parking is free. Local residents from toddlers to seniors will enjoy a delightful, engaging and uplifting day among the giant oaks and maples at the Peace Fair.
Buckingham Monthly Meeting
Annual Report to Bucks Quarterly Meeting
May 20, 2018
Held at Camp Onas – Ottsville, PA
The last year has been an exciting and spiritually nurturing one at Buckingham Monthly Meeting. We recorded 62 adult members and 23 minor members (including 2 new members), for a total of 85. There was one death.
Most notably, our Meetings for Worship and First Day School have been enriched by new attenders—multiple young families with children. We try to be welcoming toward new attenders, and our post-meeting gathering—our snacks have now expanded to be nearly a brunch each week—also helps to facilitate meaningful connections. Our attenders, some of whom have become members, have shown exceptional willingness to participate in all aspects of the life of the meeting, as well as finding new ways to get the rest of the membership to be active.
Meetings for Worship have been peaceful and gathered, perhaps more quiet than in the past, with consideration of appropriate messages by Friends in attendance clearly evident. We held meeting for worship outdoors in the graveyard on several Sundays during the summer under a large shady tree. Members have been providing rides for older Friends who are no longer able to drive to meeting themselves. A few power outages also found us worshipping in Buckingham Friends School, which we thank for its hospitality.
Numerous programs outside of worship have also brought our faith community closer together. Our monthly informal “Quaker Conversation” adult programs have continued, and our Social Concerns committee has facilitated other engaging events, including a performance by the META Theater group and a guest speaker from the Peace Center. We frequently seem to have so much going on that it is difficult to schedule committee meetings to get our work done. Unfortunately we were not able to sustain our Games Night this year, but are looking forward to find other ways to gather and socialize.
This year we laid down our formal newsletter (or at least it went on a well-deserved vacation), but communicate more regularly through two different Google email groups, one for general Meeting business or announcements and one for social concerns and activism. We also maintain our web site at www.buckinghamfriendsmeeting.org and Facebook page, which attract inquiries from the wider community. Internally we completed an evaluation of our property manager, and continue to be led in business and spirit by our co-clerks, Pam Caprio and Bethann Morgan.
Last year’s Peace Fair, which we host under the care of Quarterly Meeting, was again very successful, with a record number of exhibitors. The Peace Fair committee is now a standing committee of Bucks Quarterly Meeting, and asks that every meeting try to contribute a member, or at least provide a point of contact within their meeting. Last year there were more volunteers at the Fair from the Quarter than ever on the day of the Fair. The 2018 Peace Fair is on Saturday, September 22.
Our First Day School is a hive of activity every week with new children, whose parents are attending regularly. Committee members have been rotating teaching duties so as to not put too much responsibility on one individual, but we are actively considering hiring a paid teacher to expand our program while letting parents stay in meeting to worship. Our efforts to reach out and stay connected to our college-age Young Adult Friends have resulted in several applying for full adult membership.
This year our meetinghouse will be 250 years old! Caring for our National Historic Landmark property is always a challenge, particularly financially. We applied for and received one grant from PYM’s Quaker Buildings & Programs Granting Group to repair our roof, but were unsucessful in securing another to help strip our shutters of centuries of built-up paint. Our all-volunteer effort to renew the wooden cap on our graveyard wall continued, and now over half of the wall is completed. The many storms we had last winter wreaked havoc on trees all around our property, some of which fell in the graveyard and damaged the wall. We discovered that it is possible to make insurance claims that will cover some of the removal and repair costs, and that doing so does not raise our premiums.
Our relationship with Buckingham Friends School has continued to be strong. It is very helpful that the clerk of the school board, Michael Godshall, is a member of our meeting, but we (and other meetings) have not yet filled our quotas for membership on it. While the school continues to be challenged by enrollment and budget considerations, they have hired a new permanent head for next year, Paul Lindenmaier, who will help take them in a new direction (and who is a Quaker).
Buckingham Monthly Meeting
Annual Report to Bucks Quarterly Meeting
Fifth Month 2016 to Fifth Month 2017
Held May 21, 2017
The last twelve months have been ones of activity and growth for Buckingham Monthly Meeting. We recorded 61 adult members and 27 minor members (including 1 new member), for a total of 88. There were two births, no deaths, and one transfer of membership.
Our Meetings for Worship have been peaceful and gathered, with consideration of appropriate messages by Friends in attendance clearly evident. In particular, we weathered the storm of the 2016 election with admirable restraint by Friends to not intermix the secular and the sacred. We have been welcoming towards new attenders, of which we have had several in the past year. Two meetings for worship were also held outdoors in the graveyard during the summer. On the fourth First Day of each month, we extend our pre-worship singing an extra fifteen minutes to make a joyful noise together through song.
Numerous programs outside of worship have brought our faith community closer together. For our informal “Quaker Conversation” adult programs we began using videos from the Friends Journal QuakerSpeak series as a starting point for discussion. Our Social Concerns committee has planned an ambitious Speakers Series that has included an imam, a Standing Rock protester, education about drug addiction and human trafficking, and an advocate for homeless teens. Buckingham also hosted presenters from the Spiritual Formation Group of PYM to prepare for an upcoming Bucks Quarterly Meeting group. We have cut our Games Nights back to a more infrequent schedule. The meeting continues its outreach to the community through our newsletter, web site (www.buckinghamfriendsmeeting.org), and Facebook page. We have also started using a Google Group so members can send messages to the entire community more directly.
Last year’s Peace Fair, which we host under the care of Quarterly Meeting, was again very successful and well attended. There were more volunteers from the Quarter than ever on the day of the Fair. We are most grateful to all of our participants, and to the Quarter for its continued personal, spiritual, and financial support of this important expression of Quaker testimonies. The 2017 Peace Fair is on Saturday, September 23.
The members of our First Day School committee have been rotating teaching duties so as to not put too much responsibility on one individual, while continuing to provide a coherent program to meet the needs of our children and their families. Due to increased attendance by members and attenders with young families we have been blessed to have up to a dozen children on some First Days! In an effort to stay connected to and support our college-age Young Adult Friends we sent care packages to them at school.
Caring for our National Historic Landmark property is always a financial challenge, but this year we had some significant help. After seeing an article in the Bucks County Herald about our deteriorating slate roof, a member of the community with no ties to the meeting wrote us a check for $10,000. We also received a substantial grant from the Quaker Buildings & Programs Granting Group of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting toward the project. These unexpected sources of revenue demonstrate that we do not always know what image we present to the community at large, and that we might be surprised with the results if we take our Light out from under a bushel. Another way we have defrayed some costs is by doing work ourselves which otherwise would have gone to contractors. Our all-volunteer effort to re-cap the graveyard wall continued, and now about half of the wall is completed. After receiving high estimates for the re-glazing and painting of windows our caretaker and hired summer help made significant progress in completing the work at a lower cost.
Our co-clerks, the Head of School, and the clerk of the School Board, Michael Godshall have begun regular “triad” meetings to keep lines of communication and cooperation open between the Meeting and Buckingham Friends School. While we (and other meetings) have not yet filled our quotas for membership on the School Board, the School continues to focus on enrollment and the sustainability of their programs and budget.