Meeting Site Change, Building Proposal, (8/2000)

From the minutes of the meeting for worship with a concern for business, 8/27/2000, the following report was presented by Sherri Morgan and the included proposal was approved:

Reasons to Obtain a Building or a Full-time Lease of Property for Patapsco Meeting

1. We have many regular meetings and special events at different times of the day and week (Vacation Bible School, seeker sessions, committee meetings, music lessons, meeting for healing, discussion group, Bible study, welcoming events, workshops, threshing sessions). From time to time, we are limited by the availability of Mt. Hebon House or the church. The budget is affected every time we plan a new event. We would have more flexibility in planning meetings and setting up for events if we had 24-hour access to a site.

2. We are currently limited in our ability to provide many types of services to the larger community due to lack of our own facility. Possible additional uses we could offer if we had our own site:

a) overnight hospitality to traveling Quakers, including BYM committees, special speakers, youth groups, individual travelers.

b) low-cost rental or free use to community groups offering services such as after school programs, daycare, support groups , emergency shelter, literacy classes OR direct provision of such services under the care of Patapsco Meeting.

c) expanded library space

d) centralized office for meeting business, including a phone (with our own phone number!), copier, computer, filing space, etc. to reduce the personal, out-of-pocket expenses of individual members who conduct Meeting business. Also, this would give those without office equipment at home the opportunity to perform meeting tasks which they are not currently able to do. This would also reduce the burden on individual members for keeping Meeting records archived at home.

d) First Day classrooms could be arranged and decorated to reflect the personal efforts and interests of the children, providing them with a sense of continuity for ongoing projects and an avenue for displaying their work. Quaker themes could be highlighted more readily in the classrooms. Work and play space more appropriate to the children’s developmental levels could be created. Toys and supplies could be arranged in a more user- friendly manner.

e) We would offer a more permanent, tangible Quaker presence in Howard County.

3. Purchase of property requires a greater commitment from the members of Patapsco meeting: financial, time/labor, spiritual. Patapsco Meeting is growing and maturing and has a strong core of members dedicated to it’s long-term existence. Having a space to identify uniquely with our meeting is a step that, with faith, we can handle. It is also a step that would reflect a collective leading to establish a space for spiritual growth and worship that is more enduring than the presence of any individual member of the meeting.

4. Resources are available to assist us in our efforts. Seasoned Friends within BYM can offer expertise in planning and deciding how to meet our needs for a physical facility. Funds may be available from Sandy Spring or BYM to assist with costs.

SUMMARY: A full-time lease or our own facility would provide more scheduling flexibility, expand the services we could provide to the community, increase the convenience of conducting meeting business, enhance the religious education of our children and increase the Quaker presence in Ho.Co. We are able to do it and help is available.


  • To schedule a threshing session to focus on our respective thoughts about a more permanent site, uniquely our own.
  • To schedule a workshop to gain more knowledge about the planning process for a Quaker meeting contemplating purchasing, leasing or building a facility.
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