FOX VALLEY FRIENDS MEETING
STATE OF SOCIETY REPORT, 2014
Fox Valley Friends meet for worship at 11:00 AM on Sundays, at the Mauthe Center on the campus of the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay. Ten members/attenders come to Meeting regularly. One teenager occasionally comes to Meeting and participates in First Day School. We always have a potluck lunch after Meeting for worship. In the past year, one new attender started coming to our Meeting. One longtime member withdrew.
Our Meetings for Business are held on the second Sunday of the month, after lunch. On the third Sunday of the month, we have letter writing at 10:00 AM before Meeting for Worship. On the first and fourth Sundays, we have Faith and Practice study or some other program at 10:00; many people especially enjoyed discussion of the Integrity chapter in NYM’s Faith and Practice. We recently started having evening potlucks with discussions once a month. So far, we’ve discussed prison reform, and plan to discuss a book written by one of our members.
Once again, the past year was a time of struggle and growth for our Meeting. We continued to deal with conflicts about how to conduct Meetings for Worship and for Business, and how to budget our money. Some of us continued to deal with the difficult behavior of a former attender. In discussing the past year, one member commented that personal growth is often painful and uncomfortable, since people don’t like to change.
A visit from members of NYM’s Ministry and Nurture and Advancement and Outreach committees was helpful to us. They helped us reframe our customs as practices to follow, not rules to be enforced. They also suggested the longstanding Friends’ practice of assigning work to committees, instead of trying to handle the details of all issues in Meeting for Business. As a result, we formed a Ministry and Nurture Committee. This committee talked individually with each person about their concerns and desires for Meeting. We found that we were a lot closer in many ways than we had thought.
Some people have to drive a long way to come to Meeting. The distances between us are challenging – we can’t get together or work together on projects as often as we would like. As a result, we tend to pack a lot of activities into our Sunday mornings.
Our Meeting was involved in the larger community in several ways over the past year. Two members gave a presentation about Friends at a local Catholic retreat center. We have representatives to the faith and social justice organizations RUTH and JOSHUA in Manitowoc and Green Bay. Many people in Meeting helped to prepare a meal for a local homeless shelter. We all felt good about working together on this project.
Friends, we hope you will consider visiting us when you are in the Green Bay area, or on your way to or from Door County.