Interchange – Fall 2007 – Patuxent

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Several significant happenings have enriched the life of Patuxent Friends community in recent months.

After a number of years in planning, Friends completed the first phase of our memorial/meditation garden on Meeting House property this summer. We gathered on hand-crafted benches around the spiral walk of the garden for Meeting for Worship for the first time on September 2nd. Many messages were shared, adding to the sense that another spiritual space for worship and reflection is now available to the meeting. One Friend recently noted that vocal ministry in Meeting for Worship has been rich in recent months.

We bid farewell to long time Friend, Ash Kesler, and welcomed a new sojourner into the annex apartment on Meeting House property. Way opened for Ash to retire from his counseling position and move to Richmond to be near family, and for Shawn McDonald to take his place in the sojourner apartment. The apartment barely went one night without having a peaceful presence there. We will miss Ash tremendously, and at the same time warmly welcome Shawn.

Friends have participated in the planning and organization for International Day of Peace activities scheduled for September 23rd in Prince Frederick. The theme of the celebration is “Weave Us Together” and is being sponsored by the Calvert Interfaith Council. This event is a clear demonstration of the remarkable transformation over recent years from the narrowly focused Calvert County Christian Clergy Council to the vibrant and inclusive Calvert Interfaith Counsel. The program will include a peace walk, prayers offered by different faith traditions including Muslim, Jew, Christian, Baha’i, and Hindu. There will be a “Weave Us Together” Peace Bracelet exchange, plenty of singing and, most importantly, community. White doves of peace will be released at the conclusion of the celebration to lift up our prayers for peace and carry them out into the community and world.

Friends have also been supportive of individual members who have felt a call to support international outreach activities. Two members have been active in support of the Hindu Vidyapeeth School and Peace Home in Nepal. One has also traveled to Africa and volunteered at a refugee camp in Ghana that houses thousands displaced by the long civil war in Liberia. Another member has partnered with other county agencies to send clothing and other resources to an orphanage in Monrovia, which also supports victims of the same civil war.

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