Evanston Monthly Meeting of Friends
by Nancy Halliday
EMM has decided to host a Quaker Quest. In preparation, we are reviewing our traditions and testimonies in order to explain them better to others (and even to ourselves).
We responded to the request from ILYM Site Envisioning committee for thoughtful answers to various questions regarding the future of the newly acquired Mills property. To avoid conflict with the new dates for ILYM in June, our Meeting for Business was moved from the third to the fourth Sunday in that month. Our meeting received a special visit from Elias Hicks (a.k.a. Paul Buckley) on April 10.
We hosted the Metropolitan General Meeting on February 5, during which dinosaur expert Rob Sula revealed his insight into Deep Time and its spiritual significance to him, complete with a hands-on fossil display. Thanks to financial help from ILYM, Tom Simpson traveled to Washington, D.C., in November for the annual FCNL meeting. Nancy Halliday attended the steering committee meeting of Quaker Environmental Witness in Chicago on April 7-10.
Our annual peace prize was awarded to Rabbi Brant Rosen of the Jewish Reconstruction Congregation of Evanston. Rabbi Rosen spoke to us movingly about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in January, after his return from the Holy Land. Joey Rodger was endorsed as a representative to the Evanston Interfaith clergy Association, and Margaret Nelson was chosen as a Vision Keeper to attend the annual dinner at the Interfaith Action Network of Evanston. Our Peace, Social Justice and Earth Care Committee has initiated a new outreach we have named Friends With the Homeless. We are preparing and distributing food to homeless youth in the north Chicago area with the Night Ministry.
We are considering the six queries from FWCC’s Global Change Initiative; answers are being garnered from Friends around the world to be reported to the Sixth World Conference of Friends in Kenya in 2012.
The First Day School Committee has begun using the Godly Play/Faith and Play curriculum for our children, and Joan Pine is again offering the yearly adult Inquirer's Group discussions in her home.
We have been blessed with the birth of so many babies this year that yet another celebration was held on April 3 to welcome the newest additions. New parents shared a potluck dinner the following evening.
We welcomed Naomi Bell and Rex Nyquist into membership. Our long time attender, Martha Turner, has transferred her membership from South Bend Meeting. Karen Carney and Jeff Carpenter have been found free to marry; the ceremony will take place on July 23. Many Friends were touched by knowing Carrie Morrison, her husband and two sons, who came to Evanston from Eugene, Oregon, for cancer treatments. We were heartbroken when we learned that she died at her home in February. We were also saddened by the sudden death of our member, Sheila Cassella, on March 9.
Lake Forest Friends Meeting
The big news at Lake Forest Meeting is that we are getting new windows for our meetinghouse. After noticing rotting window frames about ten years ago and duly moving slowly and carefully in the Spirit, we were at last able to see way forward and to identify new windows appropriate for our meetinghouse. After that, raising money happened quickly and easily. It was good to know of the care many Friends have for our building and grounds.
Looking outward and not just through windows, we have had several peace-related forums this year from Quaker and other groups including Friends World Committee for Consultation, Right Sharing of World Resources, and Friends Committee on National Legislation as well as Hands of Peace and Non-Violent Communication. The theme for our children’s religious education this year has been “Turning Belief into Action” including care of ourselves and care of the meeting. We also had another successful year serving one meal each month for a nearby homeless shelter.
We have done some introspective work in our adult religious education class by reading several weighty Pendle Hill Pamphlets. Our Pastoral Care Committee held a forum concerning how we would like to be caring for each other and hopefully gave the committee some direction for the future. Our Environmental Committee is exploring ways of controlling buckthorn on our property.