Greetings, Friends, from West Side Meeting, a worship group under the care of Milwaukee Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends.
The State of our Meeting is very good. We are a small Meeting, traditionally having between five and ten people worshiping at our twice monthly Meetings. This year our numbers have regularly been closer to ten than five and sometimes there are even more than ten of us, which has been very heartening.
We are a distinctly elderly group, there are no children in our Meeting, although our meeting place, a kindergarten room at a Waldorf school in Pewaukee, Wisconsin, does give us some feeling of youth, surrounded as we are during our Meetings for Worship by the displays, projects, art work and currently the sprouting seeds of the children whose space we share. We were pleased that a high school student whose studies had led to an interest in Friends attended our Meeting several times and has remained in touch. Two of our members married each other this year under the care of Milwaukee Meeting.
During the past year, our age has showed, as several of us have either suffered health problems or have family members and close friends with health problems. We have done a lot of “Holding in the Light” but at this moment we are all stable, recovering, hobbling about at least a bit, holding our own. We realize what a blessing good health is and quietly celebrate seeing each other each time we meet. The Meeting has been very supportive of those whose health has faltered. We continue to hold each other in the Light and also family and friends who have not been as lucky in their health as we have been.
Our Meeting takes a keen interest in the world around us. We try hard to be careful of the natural world, to consider our local, national and international political responsibilities and to reach out personally to those around us who might need our concern. One of us regularly stands vigil in prayer at the far too many murder sites in Milwaukee, another is a prison visitor, and another is developing libraries at inner-city schools with enthusiastic support from our Meeting. One of our most regular members has now moved three hours away from us to implement an innovative program for preschool children. Luckily she can usually make the trip back to be with us for Meeting.
We now almost always have music and singing before each of our Meetings for Worship. How blessed we are to have this new joy, the love and care for each other which we share and joy of worshiping together.
Yes, at present the State of our Meeting is very good.
A number of West Side Friends have contributed to our State of Society for 2013-2014.