Takoma Park Friends Meeting-Preparative gathered on 3/15/2020 at the Takoma Park Presbyterian Church in Takoma Park, Maryland. In the absence of our recording clerk, we agreed to have Tricia Crocker preside and Arthur David Olson record.
We heard queries from Baltimore Yearly Meeting’s Faith and Practice on meeting community. We heard that our meeting’s small size makes it difficult to take some community-building steps. We heard of how our silent, still worship can be challenging for some to practice, leading them to stay away. There is a declared natural emergency due to a virus; we saw today small, concrete efforts to help those in need due to health matters. We were asked what we might do if someone in our meeting has health problems; we have yet to consider this matter; we heard a desire to consider what we might do beyond informing the meeting of a problem. We heard of differences between Quakers and other groups in how help one another as opposed to how folks help outsiders. We heard of methods used by larger meetings to communicate health matters, and a suggestion that we learn about them. We heard a sense that our willingness to visit the matter of health concerns and communication about them is a sign of our willingness to share openly. We heard a sense that everyone at times gets lonely; perhaps that is not a special need.
Tricia Crocker, as treasurer, handed out copies of a treasurer’s report (attached). We accepted the report.
We considered our draft spiritual state of the meeting report (attached). On this second reading, we approved the report for forwarding to Adelphi Monthly Meeting, changing “in a limited basis” to “on a limited basis,” “that that is” to “that is,” and “Sheperds’” to “Shepherd’s.”
We considered whether to suspend meeting in response to the declared national virus emergency. We heard a desire to be prudent without being hysterical. We agreed to continue meeting if the building we meet in remains open, to forego the handshake at the end of meeting, to forego sharing food during light refreshment, and to take precautionary measures to guard against virus spread, including requiring people to wash hands before entering the meeting room. We will ask our Adelphi liaison to inquire about Adelphi’s measures to respond to the national emergency, to inform its community of infections, and to assist those in need.
We heard, improved, and approved these minutes. We adjourned, to gather next on 4/19/2020 at the rise of meeting, or at the call of the presiding clerk.
Tricia Crocker, presiding Arthur David Olson, recording