Fallsington Friends Meeting Annual Report
To Bucks Quarterly Meeting
May 20, 2018
Held at Camp Onas, Ottsville PA
This past year Fallsington Friends Meeting continued to grow as a close, loving community. Grounded in worship, we support each other in our individual and Meeting-wide ministries and are an active presence in our local community. We have paid renewed attention to our nominating process, strengthened committees and worked to avoid burnout. Nurturing spiritual gifts and sharing leadership roles have been central to this process.
This past year we completed moving all our investments to Friends Fiduciary, reaching a long-held goal of screening and greening our money. As a result of this work, more financial resources are available to support charitable causes and address long delayed maintenance of our buildings and grounds.
Our membership continues to grow. We welcomed three new members, and are blessed by the presence of new attenders. Our inreach and outreach are supported by public events and our adult classes, including an on-going study of PYM’s new Faith and Practice and “Meeting for Healing,” a powerful practice of holding in the Light and laying on of hands. We enjoy singing at the close of worship (we put the “sing” in Fallsington!) and sharing lunch each Sunday.
We have wrestled with ways to reduce disturbance to worship by late coming. We affirm that worship begins at 11 am, and ask Friends arriving after to wait to enter until the children leave at 11:15 for First Day School. This practice of waiting has caused distress to some Friends, but has led to deep discernment about caring for each other and our commitment to our worship life as a community.
In January a concern to provide winter clothes for people moving to our community from the hurricane destruction in Puerto Rico lead to an unforeseen outpouring of local community support. Our Meetinghouse became the collecting point of 80 bags of clothes! Sweaters, hats, socks and more covered the benches as volunteers sorted and prepared for donation. Clothes were also available to people coming to Bucks Food For Friends, a monthly shared meal for those in need held at the Meetinghouse.
Other concerns of our Meeting and individual members have been:
- Climate change
- Mindfulness Meditation
- Earth Quaker Action Team
- Middle East peace
- Bucks Peace Center
- Refugee aid
- Mercer St. Friends Center
- Heifer International in Bangledesh
After careful discernment, and the support of Bucks Quarterly Meeting, we agreed to take Bristol Friends Meeting under our care as a Preparative Meeting. We are supporting Bristol Friends in caring for their finances and Fallsington Friends have attended Bristol Meeting’s worship.
As we look to the coming year, we feel a strong concern to attract more families and grow our First Day School. We hope to make deeper connections with the Hispanic Community, working with them on issues of racial profiling and deportation. We also want to be allies with those in Trenton, NJ who are working on issues of racial injustice, mass incarceration and poverty.
We are both soothed and challenged by our worship and community life. We find comfort in our close Meeting friendships. We seek to deal lovingly with diversity and conflict, and to grow from it. We encourage each other to seek the Spirit and go deeper in faith, as were challenged in our recent intergenerational Easter program to “roll away the stone!”
Jonathan R. Snipes