Interchange – Fall 2009

Spring came to Patapsco Friends Meeting by way of our annual retreat. The theme of the Spring retreat was “The role of community in testing and supporting leadings concerning Social justice.” The retreat was held in a Friend’s home and it was facilitated by Bette Hoover and David Etheridge. We gathered to consider leadings as a spiritual practice and how we represent our witness in the larger world. We addressed queries including:

  • What is a leading?
  • What does it look like?
  • What do you do if you think you have a leading?
  • How do you leave, walk or run away from a leading?

The day long retreat, under the gentle guidance of Bette and David was a perfect way to renew our energy as individuals and make deeper connections as a community. As a group we discovered a collective need to learn more about clearness committees. We hope to delve deeper into that topic at third Sunday Spiritual Enrichment sessions during the upcoming year.

As the weather warmed, one Friend proposed the idea of tending the earth together. Out of that suggestion grew “The Friendly Garden”, a cooperative garden adventure! The garden plots are located at the Howard County Conservancy, where five friends gather to grow vegetables and share their love of gardening.

In June, the Cooking-for-Peace project held a workshop on “Baking your own pizza and focaccia”. This project was held as a benefit for Right Sharing of the World’s Resources and the Grameen Foundation. We baked fourteen different delicious pizzas from scratch, while we explored the world of microfinance. Together we learned how just a small amount of money from us, could change the lives of many who live on less than $2 a day. In total we raised over a thousand dollars for RSWR and Grameen Foundation.

At the peak of Summer heat, PFM kids of all ages planned to meet in Sharpsburg, MD for a tubing trip. Thoughts of floating down a spring fed stream, under a canopy of trees, seemed like the perfect antidote for a hot summer day. Then, at the last moment that plan fell through and Spirit intervened. Way opened, and all gathered at a Friend’s pool instead. Proof that the path to joy is always found in the present moment, whether tubing or swimming. If we can let go of our plans and make room for the unexpected, Spirit will take care of the rest. In the end, it was an opportunity to truly “go with the flow!”

As we look forward to Fall, we step up our plans for Quaker 101 sessions which will take place from September through early December. With Exploring Quakerism by Marsha Holliday as our guide, we will meet together in a worship sharing format. A pot luck dinner at the last session will celebrate our journey.

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