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Monthly Meeting Reports

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Evanston Monthly Meeting
   Nancy Halliday

Evanston Meeting celebrated the marriage of our clerk, Karen Carney and Jeff Carpenter on July 23. The exchange of vows was followed by a reception in our downstairs dining hall.

Sara Mitter returned from Cosa Rica on June 3, full of enthusiasm and joy from her studies at the Peace University. David Summerhays, on the other hand, left for a new life in Canada. We miss his contribution to our music program and wish him Godspeed.

On July 1, we were visited by Shan Cretin, the new director of AFSC, who gave us an illustrated talk on the impressive work AFSC is doing around the world. On July 31, Janet Owen spoke to us of her experiences traveling with a group that visited both Israel and Palestine.

Joey Rodger was presented with the badge of an Interfaith Chaplain/Clergy by the Evanston Police Department in a ceremony at the meeting-house on May 22. Joey also organized a “walk and talk” in Evanston to promote religious and racial diversity for the commemoration of the September 11 terrorist attacks.

We continue our monthly participation with the Night Ministry in delivering food to homeless youth in Evanston and Chicago. A group devoted to nonviolent communication practice meets once a week.  Another group is studying Quaker approaches to solving economic inequalities. All six queries from FWCC have been examined by our meeting and our replies sent in time for inclusion in the 6th World Conference of Friends in Kenya next year.

The decision has been made to hold Quaker Quest sessions at Evanston Meeting from January to April of 2012. A schedule has been drawn and volunteers are being recruited.

Evanston Meeting celebrated its 75th anni-versary in December 2011.
We were shocked and grief-stricken when our member Sue Tursman succumbed to colon cancer on September 9, just weeks after her diagnosis. Only 52 years old, Sue often spoke in Meeting for Worship with passion, conviction and remark-able insight.  She was our faithful representative to ILYM and was known to many there. A memorial meeting was held on September 18. Royal Buscombe died on October 21 at age 93. A memorial meeting will take place after her wide-flung family has had opportunity to convene. We are writing a memorial minute for Fred Anrod, a former member, who died in June.


South Bend Friends
   Monica Maria Tetzlaff

In the past year, South Bend Friends have been worshiping in the Quaker Room of the Charles Martin Youth Center, where large storefront windows shaded by mini blinds still show treetops, a traffic light and the sky near downtown South Bend. The spirit has nurtured us in the not-totally silent room and interested attenders have found us through our streetside window sign or our website, which help our Light shine.  One floor below our worship space, three classes of First Day School for babies and toddlers, pre-schoolers, and older children gather fifteen minutes after worship begins.  We have been blessed with two new babies this year, as well as two adoptions of children who were already part of the meeting community.  It has been a priority to provide religious education for our children and childcare for our adult programs and we are fortunate to have a consistent Friend for childcare as well as college students from St. Mary’s College to help us.  

In September, we held our annual retreat, beginning on a Friday evening with worship sharing around the query: “What are you feeling to be the spiritual truth or essence of your life right now?” The next day we gathered at a county park to discuss, in small groups, subcategories of the weekend’s theme: “Speaking truth with our power.” Friends were able to speak intentionally about spiritual matters in a way that was deeper than during times of fellowship at Meeting.  

In October, we hosted the Friends World Committee for Consultation (FWCC) Linda Kusse-Wolfe and David Wolfe.  They talked about what they had learned as the only two publicly-declared Christians living in Qom, Iran, an education center for Shiite Muslim clerics.  The theme of this event and the larger world-wide FWCC gathering in Kenya in April is “Salt and Light: Being the kingdom of God in a broken world.” Through this small FWCC gathering, we were able to make contact with Brenda and Bill Beadenkopf, who visited from Penn Friends Church in Cassopolis, Michigan, and later invited us to an Underground Railroad tour of Cass County.

We are thankful for all the Friends in our meeting and in the wider community of Friends in ILYM and other yearly meetings who worship and visit and hold us in the Light.