Kickapoo Valley Monthly Meeting
State of Society – April 2014
To prepare our State of Society we considered five questions.
What is Vital/Living in our Meeting? The worship experience is vital and provides a spark to most attending individuals. Singing Valentines provided more of a spiritual and community connection than even regular participants in that event had expected. While many members/attenders have had difficult times this year, our Meeting has offered a lot of support and nurture. These interpersonal connections remain important to us. We find that we are sometimes surprised by where the spiritual and relational treasures are found. We have remained fairly steady in the number participating in Meeting during the past year except where loss was due to significant health issues or the availability of other worship options.
What gifts are arising? The worship group in Viroqua provides a connection for our members and attenders who choose to travel a shorter distance to Meeting for Worship and broader Friends community activities. The need for compassion and care increased this past year and we were able to meet those needs. Youth have taken leadership roles during our Intervisitation.
What growing edges does our Meeting have? We gained a new regular attender in 2013 and the Viroqua Friends Worship Group emerged to meet the needs of Quakers in that area. We miss having young people at our Meeting. At least one member would like us to stretch beyond the repetitiveness of our regular annual activities.
What helps us grow and stretch? We, as folks with Quakerly leanings, are so geographically and culturally spread out that we are challenged to mother/nurture them all as we might like. We need to figure out how to develop adequately-sized meetings in other portions of our region. We recognize that we don’t need to resist change just because we always have been/acted a certain way. Newcomers may change and challenge us. We need to learn how to get folks to the point that they want to be actively involved. To that end, we had a community potluck and discussion that was rewarding for those in attendance.
What activities does Meeting offer for children? We have children attend events but none who are regular Sunday attenders. Such events include our Singing Valentines, holiday gatherings, intervisitation apple strudel making, Camp Woodbrooke and our highway clean-up. We continue to provide Camp Woodbrooke scholarships to children linked with our Meeting.
We have nine adult attenders and four youth and children.