Annual Report of the Clerk
Bucks Quarterly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends
Presented to Bucks Quarterly Meeting
May 20, 2018
Held at Camp Onas, Ottsville, PA
The Bucks Quarterly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends continues to be an active and sound part of its Members and Attenders religious, spiritual, social, political, educational and economic lives.
Our Meetinghouses have the financial support to keep open their doors and to improve facilities. Southampton has been able to reopen first day for worship. Bristol has received new support from Fallingston Meeting as it has become a Preparatory Meeting under its care. The Quarterly budget once again has proven that we are currently sustainable, as Friends have met their obligations and responsibilities.
I believe a fine example of the attention to the religious and spiritual needs of the Quarter was the success of the Spiritual Formation Group which involved 14 members from many Meetings – more than were expected.
Singing and reading groups were organized. A group attended an aptly named Trenton Thunder baseball game. Many attended the showing of the movie “Quaker Oaths” for a great success. Our poets contributed to and did well in a regional contest. Newtown Meeting invoked a scavenger hunt to explore its history.
Politics and government concerns have played an especially important part in many of our lives. Changes and upheavals in policies that are important to Friends have led to disappointment, frustration, calls to action, anger and even depression. We were shocked and heartbroken over more gun violence. Individuals, committees and Meetings are working to find ways to express feelings and opinions as they look to find appropriate paths to seek truth and justice.
Our Quarter has struggled to find the right way to make and to take corporate action regarding a request to endorse a Minute on Korea from Newtown Meeting. We were reminded by Yearly Meeting about the importance of seasoning minutes of action and have experienced the difficulty of communicating among ourselves in a timely and rightly ordered fashion. I believe this process will need more exploration and development. I also believe that this exercise gave me the chance to see how different Meetings looked at the proposed Korea Minute. All agreed with the basic sentiment of encouraging diplomacy and avoiding war. However, there were enough differences to show that we, as Friends, should not allow ourselves to be caught up in “group think”. It is not fair to assume “all Friends” might be in favor of any one particular action such as boycotts or sanctions, for example. However, as a result, we were not as a Quarter in unity with the Newtown Minute as written.
A few other notes of vitality and interest:
The Quaker School at Horsham reported a very healthy enrolment and much positive feedback from its community; the elevator at Friends Home is completed; children have been an important part of fund raising for refugees and animals and recreational needs for Rwandan children at Quakertown, Lehigh Valley, and Wrightstown Meetings.
- Solebury and Fallingston Meetings organized hugely successful clothing and furniture drives as many help in our continuing support for refugees.
- Buckingham Friends sponsored a sobering and important look at women’s prisons via a presentation by the Meta Theater group.
- We have seen structure support for the Peace Fair increase as a Committee guide entered the Quarter Handbook.
- Well known speakers such as Eugene Sonn and Paul Chappell have been invited to address Friends.
- Quarterly Meetings have gone “off campus” to United Friends School and Camp Onus.
- Quakerphernalia has now become electronic except for a few which are still sent or delivered.
In conclusion, it is very important to note that our coordinator, Holly Olson experience a year with health challenges. We are grateful for the hard work that she continued throughout her treatment. And, we are also grateful for the support that so many gave to help her doing this time.
Bucks Quarter Clerk