Among_Friends_2015 10 October redacted

Among Friends
The Newsletter of the Richmond Monthly Meeting of
the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
Tenth Month 2015
Baltimore Yearly Meeting Proposed Queries on Vocal Ministry
How do I discern when to speak and when not to speak, both in Meeting and elsewhere?
How do we encourage Friends to allow ample time to absorb the previous message before speaking?
How do I practice listening to the Truth which may be revealed by others?
Vocal Ministry: Voices
Waiting upon the Holy Spirit in silent expectation and prayer is the basis of our meeting for worship. Vocal
ministry should arise out of a sense of being inwardly moved to share a message aloud. Sometimes a message is
not ripe yet, or comes clearly but is meant only for the person receiving it, not for the group. Some Friends are
led to speak frequently, and others only rarely; yet the timid or brief message of one who seldom speaks may be
as moving and helpful as that of a more practiced speaker. The most satisfactory vocal ministry arises out of a
leading that is felt in the silence so strongly that it cannot be ignored. It should be delivered with as few words
as possible, yet as many as necessary.
Baltimore Yearly Meeting, 1988
Calendar (* indicates story in the newsletter)
October 4th – Singing First Day from 10:35 to 10:55 by the piano.
October 4th – "Understanding Being a Conscientious Objector" with Curt Torrell from Quaker House, (9:30
am is for adults; 11 is for Religious Education Youth and their parents if they wish to attend; and
12:30 a session on Being an Advocate for youth seeking CO status. All in Community Room.
October 18th – Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business from 11 am to 12:30 pm.
October 18th – "Healing the Divide in Israel and Palestine" with Dr. Alice Rothchild, 1 pm in the
Community Room
October 24th – "Workshop on Moral Injury" with Quaker House Co-Directors Lynn and Steve Newsom from
10 - Noon.*
October 25th – Potluck lunch at rise of meeting. Please come and bring a dish. All are welcome.
October 25th – "Sustainable, Healthy Food" with guest Margaret Fisher, 9:30 am in the Community Room.*
November 1st –VCCW (Virginia Correctional Center for Women) volunteers gather for a light lunch and
discussion, and invite people to learn more about their prison ministry (RSVP Rita Willett).
November 13th, 14th & 15th – Fall Retreat with John Calvi, Quaker author on healing and torture. On Friday
is a presentation about Quaker Initiative to End Torture (QUIT) from 7:30 to 9 pm. Saturday is
The Goodness Workshop with John Calvi from 9 am to 3 pm at the Clearing. Sunday is ‘Journal
Reading of a Quaker Healer After 30+ years’ with John Calvi at 9:30 am at RFM.
Child care is available each First Day starting at 10:45 am for 11:00 worship.
News Among Us
Two RFM families are hosting foreign exchange students
this year. Verónica Corrales Fuentes from Costa Rica is
staying with Frances Stewart and Wendy Wadsworth and
attending Hanover High. Sebastian Wolff from Germany
is staying with the Thoburn-Mello family and attending
Patrick Henry High.
Emily Kimball announces the publication of her new book:
A Cotton Rat For Breakfast: Adventures In Midlife And
Beyond--a memoir of life transitions during the last four
decades of her life from 45-84. Watch for book signings
around town.
RE Birthdays in October
We wish a very happy birthday to Ben Thoburn and Thea Rugg!
Please Park as a Good Neighbor
The Meeting recently has been reminded that we are located in a residential community, and that our activities
can disturb our neighbors. Parking is one of the primary issues. Please do not park in front of any neighbors’
homes. If there are no spaces on Commonwealth Avenue, go over one block to Woodlawn Avenue, which runs
parallel to Commonwealth, and park there.
The Meeting is a busy and vibrant place, even on many nights during the week. We can disrupt family life if we
are not always careful about where we choose to leave our cars.
RFM Website Update
The RFM website ( has been up and running for more than a year now. With that
experience under our belt, the committee recently made a number of revisions to make using the site more
convenient and more intuitive. Major changes include: The Home page now features a warm welcoming
statement, and it shows the calendar for regular, repeating events (meeting for worship, business meeting, RE,
etc.). The About Us page is less cryptic, making clearer how to sign up for the e-newsletter, for example. The
Calendar page now contains a Google calendar (the familiar rows and columns) immediately; the user no longer
has to click a link.
The committee intends to add many photos to the site to illustrate the life of the Meeting. Before starting this
feature, they are first developing a policy regarding the appearance of faces in photos. When is it okay to show a
photo of our children? When is okay to show a photo of our adults?
The website contains a trove of information accessible to friends. How to contact Meeting officers, how to
submit items for the newsletter, subscribing to the e-newsletter, contacting other Quaker organizations, and
other contacts are available on the Contact Us page. An up-to-date listing and description of upcoming events
can be found on the Calendar page, along with the traditional calendar format. On the Life of the Meeting page,
you will find postings organized within categories. You can also find items by entering a keyword in the Search
Bar. Examples include financial policies, minutes of business meeting, minuted decisions of Meeting,
committee descriptions and current committee memberships, officers of Meeting, guidelines for use of the
meetinghouse and a visual tour, newsletters (redacted) back to 2010, pieces on Quaker history and Quaker
writings. And much more. You will also find complete information about the Clearing on the Clearing page.
The website also has a password-protected area. It contains the RFM Directory and financial documents such as
budgets and Treasurer’s Reports. It also has folders with files for the committees to use. You can get the
password from any committee clerk or officer of Meeting, any member of the Website Committee, and
probably from the Friend sitting next to you in meeting!
If you need information that isn’t on the website, please contact the website editor (currently Don Miller, next
year Jim Thoroman) to see if it can be made available on the site.
RFM children at BYM Camps
Care and Counsel is happy to report that RFM was able to send 9 children and teens to camp this summer.
They attended Shiloh, Opequon, Teen Adventure and Music Camp. Thank you for your support.
Friendly 8 Groups
Sign up sheets are up for Friendly 8’s!!
Friendly 8’s are small groups interested in exploring a topic together. They are a great way to get to know
others in Meeting. In the past there have been movie groups, book discussion groups, writing groups etc. So far
this year there are groups for Birding, Dog Training, New Friends/Old Friends and there will be many more. If
you don’t see one you like, start your own!
Sign up sheets will be up until October 11 and will begin meeting shortly afterwards. Sign up now to take
advantage of these wonderful opportunities!
From Peace and Social Concerns
In our exploration of the Israel Palestinian conflict we have learned of the destruction and theft of olive trees as
part of the Israeli process of taking Palestinian land. We feel that one small way to help is to buy Extra Virgin
Olive Oil that is produced by Palestinians. Olive oil from Palestine meets standards for organic.
PSC committee plans to buy a case of extra virgin olive oil from Zatoun because 25% of the profit goes directly
to the farmer and also uses some of the proceeds to help education, establish small businesses, etc. We are
hoping that enough people in meeting will be interested in buying this product to make our effort worthwhile.
The price is $20/750ml bottle, including shipping. It would be helpful to know of your interest so we can order
an appropriate amount. You can email Verna Boos to place an order ahead of time. We will also have a small
number of bottles to sell at meeting without prior order.
October Programs from Adult Spiritual Education Committee
October 4th Program on Conscientious Objection and the Peace
Testimony. With no draft and a Selective Service registration system
often linked automatically to obtaining a state driver's license, the idea
of Conscientious Objection is fading from the consciousness and
relevance of Friends, monthly meetings, and perhaps Quakerism as a
whole. Without nurturing this fundamental component of our Peace
Testimony in ourselves and our youth, we, as Quakers, run the risk of
raising a generation ill-prepared to articulate and document claims
against war and violence. Everyone is encouraged to attend at least
one session.
These workshops are the first step in setting up a more formal meeting process for assisting youth in their effort
to become more knowledgeable about conscientious objector status and giving them tools now to begin
documentation. In addition to youth and parents, we need all meeting adults to be informed also. Quaker House
board member Curt Torrell will be here to conduct these workshops. Sponsored by Religious Education and
Adult Spiritual Education committees.
Curt will give three presentations on Sunday, October 4th.
9:30 – 10:40. Curt will speak to the whole meeting, presenting ways to nurture and support teens as they
explore their register for Selective Service. A significant goal of this presentation is to re-vitalize an aspect of
the Quaker Peace Testimony that is becoming too obscure and forgotten.
11:00 – 12:00. Curt will lead a presentation and discussion with Young Friends on ways to search within about
the Friends Peace Testimony and personal participation in war. They will also learn how to make their claim as
a CO as they are asked to submit their Selective Service registration with their driver’s license application and
specifics about documenting CO status. It will help YFs (and adult mentors) discern and establish a case for
Conscientious Objector status.
12:30 – 1:30. At the rise of Meeting, Curt will address those teens, parents and others who are interested in
taking the lead in learning more about the process presented and utilizing materials to mentor and be an ally to
youth seeking CO status. Refreshments provided.
Sunday, October 18th at 1 pm in the Community Room. Healing the Divide in Israel and Palestine. Dr.
Alice Rothchild, Boston physician, human rights advocate and Jewish advocate for peace in Israel and
Palestine, will present on her recent and ongoing travels to Gaza. This session is a kickoff to Dr. Rothchild's
three day visit to Richmond, where she will speak and meet with numerous groups and organizations. Dr.
Rothchild is the author of Broken Promises, Broken Dreams: Stories of Jewish and Palestinian Trauma and
Resilience and On the Brink. In addition, she produced the documentary film Voices Across the Divide. Her
visit to Richmond is co-sponsored by Richmonders for Peace in Israel and Palestine, the Richmond Peace
Education Center and our Adult Spiritual Education Committee. For more info about speaker, please see her
website at Finger foods will be served after meeting and before the 1 pm program.
(See article about Dr. Rothchild later in this newsletter.)
Saturday, October 24th from 10-12 noon in the Community Room. Moral Injury Workshop. A
presentation featuring Lynn and Steve Newsom, co-directors of Quaker House Military Counseling Center,
Fayetteville, NC, home of Fort Bragg. MORAL INJURY, a relatively new term employed by the Veterans
Administration, recognizes that among the effects of war on military personnel is emotional trauma over serious
transgressions of moral, spiritual, or religious beliefs. Acknowledging the reality of "moral injury" provides
common language for people of faith and conscience to collaborate with the medical profession in caring for the
needs of veterans of all wars, past and present. (For more
information about moral injury, see the August Meeting
newsletter for in-depth article.)
This free workshop is sponsored by the Richmond Peace
Education Center, the Alliance for Unitive Justice and
Friends Meeting. It is open to the public so please share
information with others who may wish to attend also. If you
plan to attend, please email Gordon Davies or Betsy Brinson.
(The Newsoms will be presenting on moral injury to the
local Veterans Hospital on Friday.) The October 24
Workshop is a timely opportunity to learn more about this
important concept. (See article about moral injury later in
this newsletter.)
Sunday, October 25th, 9:30 to 10:45 am in the Community Room. The Spiritual Implications of Our Food
Choices. What are the spiritual implications of our food choices? How do our food choices connect us to the
rest of the living world? How can we live in unity with that world?
Our leader for this session will be Dr. Margaret Fisher who is a member
of Herndon Friends Meeting where she has served at various times as
clerk of the Meeting as well as of Peace and Social Concerns, and
Ministry and Oversight. Her current Meeting work is with the Student
Peace Awards of Fairfax County committee.
Dr. Fisher has led workshops on this important subject at the BYM
Annual Session, Women's Retreat, Alexandria and Patapsco Meetings,
as well as Penn Hill Quarterly Meeting.
Dr. Alice Rothchild
From October 18th through the 20th Richmonders for Peace in Israel and Palestine
(RPIP) is hosting Alice Rothchild—physician, author, and filmmaker. Dr. Rothchild
will be showing Voices Across the Divide—her documentary which explores the
history of Israel/Palestine through the family stories of Palestinians now living in the
US. She will be speaking on her health and human rights work in the region, based
on her books, Broken Promises, Broken Dreams: Stories of Jewish and Palestinian
Trauma and Resilience, and On the Brink: Israel and Palestine on the Eve of the
2014 Gaza Invasion. She will also share insights based on annual delegations to the
region and on her most recent visit in March 2015 to Gaza.
Born in 1948 to a Conservative Jewish family with ties to Orthodox grandparents and
Eastern Europe, Dr. Rothchild grew up understanding the significance of Israel to
Jewish people. Her mother, Sylvia, wrote Voices from the Holocaust, one of the first oral histories of Holocaust
survivors. At the age of 14, Dr. Rothchild made her first family visit to Israel. But coming of age in the U.S.
during the 1960's she developed political interests, opposing the Vietnam War and working for women’s
reproductive rights and health care reform. As a student Dr. Rothchild became active in the women's
movement, highlighted by her contribution to the first edition of Our Bodies, Ourselves. With her completion
of a residency in obstetrics and gynecology, Dr. Rothchild combined her commitment to feminism and health
reform and worked in the field for 30 years.
Among the many highlights of her medical career, Dr. Rothchild co-founded Urban and Child Health, Inc., a
non-profit organization of physicians, midwives, and nurse-practitioners. She joined the staffs of Beth Israel
Hospital (now Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center), and the Harvard Community Health Plan (which
subsequently became Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates). Dr. Rothchild also served as an Assistant
Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Biology at Harvard Medical School until November
Beginning in 1997, through her association with the Boston Workmen’s Circle, a secular Jewish organization,
Dr. Rothchild came into contact with other Jews who were questioning the policies of the Israeli government
and becoming aware of a hidden Palestinian narrative. "My childhood love of Israel," says Dr. Rothchild,
"could not mix with my adult political views." Dr. Rothchild went on to co-found American Jews for a Just
Peace Boston and to become an active member of Jewish Voice for Peace Boston. In 2003 AJJP launched the
"Health and Human Rights Project", which organizes yearly delegations of clinicians, students, teachers, and
others to visit and work in Palestine/Israel. Dr. Rothchild writes, “Sixty plus years after the [First Arab--Israeli
War], I feel it is my personal responsibility as my mother's daughter and as a Jewish American who has
grappled with the multiple narratives in this region, to listen and document the tragedy that was created by my
own people's tragedy."
Dr. Rothchild invites members of Richmond's Jewish community who are grappling with these painful and
challenging issues to join her in a community conversation. She invites Richmond's non-Jewish community
who are also developing a principled questioning of Israeli policy and the histories that we have been taught, to
join with their Jewish allies. Together we can analyze the on-the-ground realities, the differences between
criticism of the Israeli government and anti-Semitism, and we can stand together in the long and difficult search
for justice.
For more information refer to Dr. Rothchild's website,
Moral Injury: a Challenge Facing Veterans, Active-duty Military, their
Families, and the Rest of Us
Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) has become a
familiar (and perhaps somewhat over-used) term as
societies attempt to cope with the difficulties faced by
women and men who have been engaged in military
conflicts during the past 14 years, and their families. As
we reflect on their experiences, we become aware that
PTSD is not just a phenomenon of the 21st century. It has
affected persons engaged in previous wars, going back
through centuries and perhaps as long as the human
species. Descriptions of what we now call PTSD can be
found in the epics of ancient Greece.
But now the concept of “moral injury” has been introduced to describe a kind of experience with which some
military personnel must deal, whether they are still in service or have returned to civilian life. The distinction
between moral injury and PTSD is not always clear, partly because they are “two different hidden wounds of
war” that are closely related.
Because of PTSD, one veteran observes, the “world was no longer a safe place.”
Now, he goes on, “I always prefer to sit with my back to the wall, … to see what’s going on around me. I like
to be in clear sight of all the exits. And I always identify places that could provide cover and concealment from
possible attacks.”
While PTSD represents a breach of trust with the world, moral injury is described as a “violation of a moral
agreement … with his own internal world, his moral identity.” The soldier struggling with PTSD also is dealing
with a psychological problem that goes to the roots of who he thinks he is and what he believes human beings
can and should do. He fought a war “that he deemed to be illegal and immoral. He allowed prisoners of war to
be tortured, and he killed unarmed civilians.” [Quotations from Soul Repair, by Rita Nakashima Brock and
Gabriella Lettini, Boston, Beacon Press, 2012, p. 87]
For 40 years, Quaker House has helped military personnel deal with their difficult experiences, and has
advocated non-violent ways of dealing with difficult global affairs among nations and militant organizations. It
is a major participant in the GI Hotline, a service that provides telephone advice to troubled military personnel
and offers references to organizations that can provide advice and assistance with issues like conscientious
objection. It handles thousands of calls per year.
In the past few years, Quaker House has expanded its mission to recognize the ways in which the experiences of
military personnel returning from combat can affect their spouses, children, and neighbors. Alienation, preoccupation with personal actions, feelings of guilt, and even domestic violence – all are issues to which Quaker
House now gives priority. The response from counselors, chaplains, and other care-givers at Fort Bragg has
been very positive.
Save the Date! BYM Women's Retreat
January 29-31, 2016
Lighten Up: Sharing Love, Light and Laughter
In January of 2016, all women who attend or are members of Baltimore Yearly Meeting are invited to the
annual BYM Women's Retreat at our new location, Pearlstone Retreat Center in Reisterstown, Maryland. The
theme of this year's retreat will be Lighten Up: Sharing Love, Light, and Laughter.
Please include this Save the Date in your meeting newsletter, and include in your announcements. More
information at (Ada Hammer is willing to help people coordinate rides).
Our mailing address is:
BYM Women's Retreat
17100 Quaker Lane
Sandy Spring, MD 20860-1267
Dayspring Silent Retreat
The fall silent retreat for Baltimore Yearly Meeting Friends is coming soon. Dayspring’s solitude, community,
meadows, woods, ponds, warm hearth and cool breezes all await us. If Dayspring is new to
you, will give you a sense of it, and there is a YouTube piece online created at an
October BYM retreat. The registration form for October 9 - 12 is attached and pasted below.
October 9 - 12, 2015
True silence … is to the spirit what sleep is to the body: nourishment and refreshment. (William Penn)
Is your spirit in need of nourishment and refreshment? Come to the Silent Retreat at Dayspring for Baltimore Yearly
Meeting Friends. We will keep the silence from Friday evening until after worship on Monday, enjoying the beauty of
God’s creation in meadows and woods, walking, resting, praying, reading, finding our own rhythms, listening for the Still
Small Voice.
WHERE: Dayspring Retreat Center, 11301 Neelsville Church Rd., Germantown, MD 20876 (301-916-1131).
FACILITATOR: Jean Christianson, Member of Annapolis Friends Meeting
ARRIVAL: 3:30 -7:00 p.m. Friday. (Dinner at 7 p.m.) DEPARTURE: 2:00 p.m. Monday.
ACCOMMODATIONS: Individual room in the Inn with Bible, bed, desk, sink, bed linens, blankets, towels and
washcloth. 9 vegetarian meals in the Lodge dining room. Gatherings in the Yoke Room for community worship and
shared solitude by the fireplace. 200 acres for roaming.
COST: $300.
REGISTRATION: Deadline October 2 (if not filled earlier). Minimum number is 9 participants. Maximum is 18. Friends
will be enrolled in the order in which checks are received.
BRING: Toilet articles, casual clothes, walking shoes, and a flashlight. Long socks and hats are recommended to deter
QUESTIONS? Call Jean Christianson at 410-544-1912 or e-mail [email protected] .
DIRECTIONS: From I-270 take the Damascus exit (#15-A), Route 118 to the north. Go 8/10 of a mile on Route 118 to
MD Route 355. Turn left on MD Route 355 and go a VERY SHORT block. Turn right on Neelsville Church
Rd. Continue 6/10 of a mile on Neelsville Church Rd. to Dayspring Retreat Center. OR From I-70 take Route 27 south at
Mount Airy. It will merge into 355 (Frederick Rd.) continuing south. Turn left onto Neelsville Church Rd. (just before
reaching Route 118) and follow directions above.
The emergency telephone number for Dayspring is 301-916-1131 .
Make check for $300 payable to Dayspring Retreat Center and send with registration form to Jean Christianson, 189
Edgewater Rd., Pasadena, MD 21122
E-mail __________________________________________________________
Special Needs_______________________________________________________________________________________
Thinking About Race
The Other Tennessee. “I never knew anybody who really got active because of guilt. Everybody white that I
know that’s got involved in this struggle got into it because they glimpsed a different world to live in… Human
beings have always been able to envision something better… All through history there have been people who
have envisioned something better in the most dire situations. That’s what you want to be a part of.” Anne
Braden, quoted in the Facebook page, “The Other Tennessee,” (
The Other Tennessee is part of a regional online campaign of Southerners stepping up against hate and racism
in response to both Black liberation movement on the move and the presence of hate groups in our towns and
cities. We're building on and expanding the white anti-racist tradition in the South. See the coalition's full
statement at”
Serena Williams. I asked how winning felt for her. I was imagining winning as a free space, one where the
unconscious racist shenanigans of umpires, or the narratives about her body, her ‘‘unnatural’’ power, her
perceived crassness no longer mattered. Unless racism destroyed the moment of winning so completely, as it
did at Indian Wells, I thought it had to be the rare space free of all the stresses of black life. But Serena made it
clear that she doesn’t desire to dissociate from her history and her culture. She understands that even when she’s
focused only on winning, she is still representing. ‘‘I play for me,’’ Serena told me, ‘‘but I also play and
represent something much greater than me. I embrace that. I love that. I want that. So ultimately, when I am out
there on the court, I am playing for me.’’
Because just as important to me as her victories is her willingness to be an emotionally complete person while
also being black. She wins, yes, but she also loses it. She jokes around, gets angry, is frustrated or joyous, and
on and on. She is fearlessly on the side of Serena, in a culture that that has responded to living while black with
death. -- From The New York Times Magazine, August 25, 2015, “The Meaning of Serena Williams: On tennis
and black excellence,” by Claudia Rankine.
-- The Baltimore-Area Working Group on Racism usually meets 7 – 9 pm on the 2nd Sunday of the month in the
Stony Run dining room. We consider issues around racial justice, share personal experiences, and plan and host
special events. All are welcome to attend. – Anne Braden, Civil Rights Activist.
Report from Keleti Station in Budapest
The following report was submitted by Tom Ilmensee, a member of Meeting, who now lives with his family in
Budapest. It was written in the first week of September.
Tonight my daughter Iris and I walked to Keleti station, the transport terminal in Budapest that is currently
home to thousands of refugees from Syria, Turkey and Afghanistan.
Iris carried a huge bag of apples and oranges (we nearly cleared the inventory at the market). I carried
another huge bag with juice boxes, granola bars, candies and toys.
We met families. Mothers who smiled at us with their eyes. Fathers who beamed with pride. Children who
laughed and said “thank you.” Old people who — despite their weariness — seemed to us the strongest
people on earth.
The fruit went fast. And each piece we handed out was met with kind smiles and heartfelt thanks.
The juice was very popular. Such relief in the eyes of each person who approached us. These are 89 HUF
orange juice boxes — and they were like little miracles to the families who got them.
The granola bars went fast. We handed them out like batons at a relay race.
The fruity candy went to kids between 5–16. Or to their mothers with a wink from me — meaning that I
understood they may come in handy later.
The toys! My friend Lacika predicted we would be swarmed. And we were. I have never seen such delight
over a tiny plastic tiger.
Iris and I waded through the tent city under the station on the Metro level. It’s stuffy. And filthy. And
buzzing with love. Above ground, under the lights of the international media we stood amongst the
protestors. A banner was carried high: “We want peace.” Someone waved a Hungarian flag nearby.
A family of six sat on the ground about five meters from the train terminal. The mother begged her 6-year
old to stop hitting her on the head with a pink balloon. The eight-year old tickled the two-year old. Dad
wandered from their camp to the protest zone.
A buffed and polished reporter stood poised with his microphone. A boy about 5 walked over with a sign
made from a pizza box: “Help us save our children from homelessness.” The camera guy pointed the camera
at the reporter, but his eyes were on the kid.
If you’re able, support a family at Keleti — and anywhere else refugee families are camped. Let them know
there’s love for them as they travel along the strange and often lonely road.
The Ancient Mystery of Powhatan Quakers
Few people alive today know that the Powhatan hamlet of Fine Creek was a center of Quaker life in what was
once part of Goochland County; then a part of Cumberland County with its formation in 1749; and finally a part
of Powhatan County with that county’s formation in 1777. The Fine Creek area was first developed in 1735 by
John Pleasants Sr., a member of a prominent and early Virginia Quaker family. He built a gristmill at Lees
Landing Road (Rt. 641) and Huguenot Trail (Rt. 711) along the lower falls of Fine Creek. Within a decade a
small rural hamlet emerged next to the gristmill with several stores, a cooper’s shop, a blacksmith shop, a small
cheese factory, a postal station, and a ferry that provided access across the James River to the northern part of
Goochland County. Eventually a one room schoolhouse was also built for the area’s children.
We know from the historical Quaker record that White Oak Swamp Monthly Meeting (aka. Henrico Monthly
Meeting) allowed a “particular” (or subordinate) Quaker Meeting, Fine Creek Meeting, to be created in the area
in 1746. At that time in Quaker history a new meeting would not have been allowed by the “monthly” (parent)
meeting if there were not a good number of Quakers willing to support its ongoing existence. Quaker discipline
was strict then and not the laisser-faire culture of liberal Quakerism today. Quakers were required to attend
worship every “First Day” (Sunday) at the local meetinghouse if they were to remain Quakers. So, we know
that a ready-made and active membership would have been available to provide ongoing support for the new
White Oak Swamp Monthly Meeting had a dozen or so Quaker meetings under its care during the eighteenth
century. Fine Creek Meeting was just one of these, along with its “sister” meeting of Richmond Friends
Meeting. Had Fine Creek meeting survived the ravages of history, today it would be 49 years older than
Richmond Friends Meeting.
Powhatan County archives do indicate that Fine Creek Quakers were active abolitionists. James Pleasants of
Fine Creek (brother of John Pleasants Sr. who was instrumental in developing the gristmill at Fine Creek) began
emancipating his slaves around 1800 along with Fine Creek Quakers John Pleasants Jr. and Jonathan Pleasants,
both sons of John Pleasants Sr. No doubt they were prompted to do so by a unanimous decision by all Virginia
Quakers in 1800 to “disown” (the term then used to revoke Quaker membership) any Quaker who refused to
emancipate their slaves. All Virginia Quakers had been asked to begin doing so since the mid 1770’s. County
and historical records demonstrate a concerted effort by Fine Creek Quakers to systematically work towards this
end. It wasn’t until 1804, however, that the county finally began providing newly freed blacks their certificates
of freedom.
Fine Creek Meeting existed from 1746 until 1780 – some 34 years. Yet, there is much mystery surrounding the
meeting. At that time in Quaker history, once a meeting was in existence for more than a few years, there was
pressure as well as support to build a permanent meetinghouse. Also, Fine Creek meeting was nurtured by the
Pleasants family – one of the wealthiest families in Virginia. So, the circumstantial evidence would suggest that
a meetinghouse existed somewhere in the Fine Creek area of Powhatan.
Where exactly was the Fine Creek meetinghouse located? Was it in the hamlet surrounding the gristmill; or,
was it in the surrounding countryside? Why was the Fine Creek Meeting “laid down” after existing for 34
years? One can only hope that as ancient records become more searchable due to digitization, someone will be
able to fill in the missing pieces to this local Quaker mystery.
-- Howard Brod, Midlothian Friends Meeting
Scholarship Funds for Adult Spiritual Education
Jean Jones Andersen's passion for spiritual education led her to leave our community funds to support adults in
taking classes, retreats, workshops, etc. to further their spiritual education. If you have an idea, vision, or
leading towards some kind of spiritual growth opportunity—spiritual formation retreat, classes, etc.--and you
need funds to make it happen, the members of the Adult Spiritual Education Committee—clerk Howard Garner,
Mary Fran Hughes-McIntyre, Betsy Brinson, Monica Shaw, and Leslie Shiel--invite you to submit your
request--a letter to our committee--explaining the project and asking for what you need.
You may leave your letter in the ASE mailbox at meeting house, mail it to Richmond Friends Meeting, 4500
Kensington Avenue, VA 23221-2301 (c/o Adult Spiritual Education Committee), or email one of the committee
Guidelines and Application Process for
Adult Spiritual Education Scholarships
From the Jean Jones Andersen Bequest
2015 Richmond Friends Meeting
1. Scholarships of up to $400 are available to Members and active attenders of Richmond Friends Meeting
who wish to participate in adult spiritual education activities, especially those sponsored by the wider
Religious Society of Friends.
2. The scholarships are not intended to cover the full cost of these activities but to supplement personal
resources and other scholarships that may be available through the sponsoring organizations.
3. In order to be considered, members and attenders need to have been actively involved in the life of
Richmond Friends Meeting during the preceding year.
4. An individual may receive only one scholarship in a twelve-month period.
5. Scholarship recipients are asked to write a one-page note documenting the experience for Meeting’s
6. In order to apply, an individual should write a letter to the Adult Spiritual Education Committee that
includes the following:
• The activity and the sponsoring organization.
• The possible significance of this activity for the individual’s spiritual journey.
• How this experience might be shared with the broader Richmond Friends community when the
individual returns from the activity.
• The amount of money being requested (up to $400).
• Other scholarship sources one might pursue.
Application letters should be submitted to the Adult Spiritual Education Committee three months prior to
the activity is scheduled to begin.
Richmond Friends Meeting
Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business
Ninth Month 20, 2015
Meeting began with silence at 11:00 AM. Thirtyseven (37) members and attenders were present.
Clarisse Harton was greeter. Frances Stewart from
Ministry and Worship sat on the facing bench to hold
Meeting in the Light. Verónica Corrales Fuentes and
Sebastian Wolff were welcomed as first-time
attenders to MWB. Tracey Cain read the Baltimore
Yearly Meeting (BYM) proposed Queries and Voices
on Peace.
Religious Education: Barb Adams updated the
meeting on the state of the Religious Education
program. There are currently 29 children on the
roster, of which about 14 are expected to attend
regularly. The high school aged Young Friends (YF)
and middle school aged Junior Young Friends (JYF)
have typical enrollment numbers, while the
elementary aged (ELF) class is quite small. All
members of the JYF class will be attending the Our
Whole Lives (OWL) program at the First Unitarian
Universalist church for the majority of the First Days
during the school year, and will only attend the
meeting RE program sporadically. In order to
accommodate these enrollment changes the K–8
children will be grouped together and have a rotating
set of teachers. Upcoming RE events include the
sale of handmade ‘Tz for Pz’ shirts (proceeds to
Doctors without Borders), and participation in the
International Day of Peace vigil to be held at the
meetinghouse on Monday Sept. 21st at 7pm. Barb
announced that there will be a program during Young
Friends First Day class on October 4th on
Conscientious Objection by Curt Terrell of Quaker
House. Betsy Brinson, longtime QH Board member
elaborated on the work of Quaker House.
Nominating Committee: Brooke Davis announced
that the nominating committee is looking for
members to serve on committees next year, and urged
people to consider volunteering both to serve the
meeting and to deepen their ties within the
Care and Counsel: Clarisse Harton announced that
the committee is highly recommending Allen Lee for
membership. As is customary his membership will be
held over for approval to the October MWB,
allowing Friends an opportunity to get to know Allen.
Clarisse also urged people to consider joining a
‘Friendly 8s’ group by signing up on the lists on the
bulletin board. These groups connect members with
shared interests on a monthly basis and are a great
way to get to know other meeting members. She
highlighted the new group that will read One Year to
Live by Steven Levine and discuss how to live
meaningfully. Wade Smith announced that the trip
sponsored by the birding group at the end of October
still has openings.
Ministry and Worship: Tracey Cain announced the
following upcoming events: (1) She extended an
invitation to the Fall Retreat that is being held on
November 14 from 9 am to 3 pm at The Clearing.
John Calvi, a licensed massage therapist who has
worked extensively with survivors of traumatic
events, will lead The Goodness Workshop. This slow
quiet time will include sharing by choice, simple
clothes-on massage, an energy work form for deep
relaxation, and John's stories to keep us laughing. (2)
John Calvi will lead two other events at the
meetinghouse during the retreat weekend. On Friday
evening he will give a presentation about QUIT, (the
Quaker Initiative to End Torture,) and on Sunday at
9:30 am he will present ‘Journal Reading of a Quaker
Healer After 30+ years’. (3) On November 1st, after
meeting, VCCW (Virginia Correctional Center for
Women) volunteers will gather for a light lunch and
discussion, and invite people to learn more about
their prison ministry (R.S.V.P. Rita Willett). The
Quaker group at the women's prison has been
meeting for almost one year and plans to use the
"spiritual state" process to develop a report to be
shared with our meeting.
Website Committee: Don Miller updated members
on changes to the meeting website,, which has been
available for more than a year. The committee has
recently completed a significant revision to make it
more convenient to use and make navigation more
intuitive. Archives of meeting documents and the
current directory are available in a password
protected area. The committee would like to add
more photographs once there is a clear privacy policy
for publishing pictures. Don encouraged people to
explore and use the website. Don also read a letter
from Tom Illmensee, the primary architect of the
website, who has moved to Hungary with his family.
In his letter he talked about his family taking food
and supplies to Syrian refugees who were at the
Budapest train station and visiting the protest zone.
Peace and Social Concerns: (1) Mark Skolnick
reported that PSC is selling Palestinian olive oil.
Orders may be placed through Verna Boos. (2)
Marcia Dickinson reminded members of the annual
food drive we sponsor in October to collect food for
the Fan Free Clinic. Leave donations of
nonperishable foods, dog food, and paper bags in the
collection box at the meetinghouse. (3) Ada Hammer
announced that she is coordinating a dinner our
meeting is sponsoring on 12/12/15 for families
returning from a visiting day at distant prisons
through Assisting Families of Inmates. Donations of
time and food will be needed. (4) At its annual
session in August, BYM approved a Climate Change
Minute which had been created by Quaker Earthcare
Witness, Quaker United Nations Office and Friends
Committee on National Legislation. BYM asked
individual meetings to consider the minute. The
Climate Change minute was read and approved. This
minute is separate from the one drafted and approved
by RFM.
this area to support veterans. (4) Sunday, October
25th, 9:30 to 10:45 am in the Community Room: The
Spiritual Implications of Our Food Choices with Dr.
Margaret Fisher of Herndon Friends Mtg.
Seventh Month 2015 MWB Minutes: Approved.
Clerk’s Business: The next potluck lunch will be
September 27th, 2015, at rise of Meeting. Please
bring food to share. The clerk announced the
scheduled execution of Alfredo R. Prieto on
Thursday, October 1st at 9:00 pm. RFM will hold a
vigil beginning at 8:30. Friends are asked to consult
the VADP (Virginians Against the Death Penalty)
website for further information as the date
Other Business: Margaret Edds of Care and Counsel
reported that Mary Bo Gassman has fallen ill and
would appreciate cards and letters. Elizabeth Smith
announced a silent retreat at The Clearing on
Wednesday September 23rd from 9:30 am to 3:30 pm.
The day is co-sponsored with the group Chrysalis,
and those interested were reminded to bring a bag
All business being concluded we settled into silence
until the rise of meeting was signaled from the facing
Denna Joy, Acting Clerk
Tina Mello, Acting Recording Clerk
Adult Spiritual Education: Monica Shaw
announced the following events, for which details are
found on our website and in the newsletter: (1)
Sunday, October 4th at 9:30 and 11 am in the
Community Room: Workshops on Conscientious
Objection and the Peace Testimony. There will be a
session on Being an Advocate at rise of meeting, (2)
Sunday, October 18th at 1 pm in the Community
Room: Healing the Divide in Israel and Palestine. Dr.
Alice Rothchild, Boston physician, human rights
advocate and Jewish advocate for peace in Israel and
Palestine, will present on her recent and ongoing
travels to Gaza, (3) Saturday, October 24th from 1012 noon in the Community Room: Moral Injury
Workshop a presentation featuring Lynn and Steve
Newsom, co-directors of Quaker House Military
Counseling Center, Fayetteville, NC, home of Fort
Bragg. Wade Smith, Quaker House Board Member
spoke about the work that Quaker House is doing in
Richmond Friends Meeting
4500 Kensington Avenue
Richmond, Virginia 23221-2301
Richmond Friends Meeting
4500 Kensington Avenue
Richmond, VA 23221-2301
Clerk: Barbara Hulburt
Assistant Clerk: Randee
Treasurer: Bronwyn Hughes
Building Coordinator: Bob
Clearing Contact: Kathryn Beaton
Updates to the Directory and
Mailing List should be sent to
[email protected]
To join the RFM Newslist or send
a message to the Newslist, email:
[email protected]
Meetings for Worship
9:30 and 11 am Every First Day
10:35-10:55 am 1st First Days
Meeting for Worship with
Concern for Business (MWB)
3rd First Day
Religious Education:
11:20 am First Day School
Pot Luck Lunch:
4th First Day, at rise of meeting
The Clearing
13941 Genito Rd
Amelia Court House, VA 23002
Contact: Kathryn Beaton at
[email protected]
Midlothian Monthly Meeting
Meeting for Worship
11 am First Days
900 Preservation Rd.
Midlothian VA 23113
(Meeting website)
(to rent the meetinghouse)
(thrift shop)
Send news and events to:
[email protected]
To receive our
newsletter by email,
send an email to
[email protected]
Give your name in the message if it
is not apparent from your email
Among Friends is a monthly publication of Richmond Monthly Meeting. We’d like to remind Friends that the newsletter
deadline is the same day as business meeting, the 3rd First Day. Business meeting-related documents may be sent as late as
the following Tuesday evening. Please send all newsletter materials to [email protected] and 14
[email protected]
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