Last winter, Gunpowder Friends engaged in an extended conversation about the meaning of membership in a Quaker Meeting. We reflected and commented on the proposed voices, advices, and queries by the BYM Faith and Practice Revision Committee; we held a pot-luck supper and forum on the subject of membership; we approved a new name for our “Care and Oversight” committee and commended their careful work in attending to the needs of our members and attenders. One result of our focus on membership has been requests for (and approvals of) membership from three of our families with young children. Our spiritual center continues to be nurtured by these families, and we are deeply grateful for their presence.Other diverse activities continue to sustain the spiritual vitality of the Meeting: we have a large and engaged Spiritual Formation program, with nearly twenty Friends from Gunpowder, Homewood and Stony Run Meetings participating monthly; quiet retreat days continue on the second Saturday of each month; Bible Study and Quakerism study groups meet monthly; this winter, twelve of us gathered for a ten-week workshop on writing our spiritual autobiography; currently another group is meeting weekly to focus on how we are called to live the testimony of simplicity.As we come to know one another through these opportunities for sharing, we learn how God is at work in all of our lives and build the trust necessary to deal with all opportunities and issues that require our loving attention. We have labored carefully and lovingly over the relationship between BYM and FUM and continue to hold the entire Yearly Meeting in the light as we seek God’s guidance on this issue.
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