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Cannon Valley Friends Meeting, State of the Meeting 2018-2019

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State of the Meeting
Cannon Valley Friends Meeting, 2018-2019

Cannon Valley Friends (CVFM) meets regularly for worship and business at 512 Washington St., Northfield, Minnesota. Attendance at worship has remained relatively steady with 20 to 25 people each week, including 2 children ages 7 and 8, as well as students from St. Olaf and Carleton colleges. Membership, engagement with the community, as well as prayerful consideration of the leadership and direction of the meeting have formed the main foci of the meeting’s life and actions this past year.

We make effort to inform and educate children and adults. The First Day curriculum for children is Quaker Earth Care. Friends Forums have covered such subjects as membership, finance, responsible political action, and spiritual journeys. In August, the meeting held its second week- long Peace Camp focused on care of the Earth for twelve children ages six to nine. We are now planning for a third Peace Camp.

Our focus on membership has led us to deep reflection on its meaning and also brought sadness and joy. Three long-time members passed away: Mac McCutchan, Nancy Cantwell, and LaNelle Olsen. And during this past year two people have joined the meeting and three have transferred their memberships to CVFM. We have honored those who have passed with memorial services characterized by rich stories of their impact on our lives and community. And we have welcomed our new members and transfers with celebrations of good food, fellowship, and song.

As a meeting community we support our older members with friendly assistance and transportation to and from worship. We financially support groups at work in the wider Quaker
community such as AFSC and FCNL. And one of our members, with the meeting’s full support, has been a leader in the work of carrying forward the FGC Institutional Assessment on Systemic Racism. We are archiving our records, putting past newsletters online, and trying to make better use of electronic media. Our building, now a recognized part of the Northfield, regularly hosts meetings of the League of Women Voters, Citizens Climate Lobby, community singing evenings, and also provides rental space for other community groups.

Much of CVFM’s energy has gone into long and prayerful consideration of the patterns of leadership in the meeting. Out of this has come a decision to establish a new committee to help us address issues of social justice. We have also recognized that each of us has a significant role and voice in meeting leadership and the direction of the meeting. With this recognition, we have come to understand the importance of our committees’ work, the need for even greater participation of the committee clerks in meeting leadership, and a decision to share the tasks of clerkship of the meeting by moving from a single clerk to a co-clerk structure.

We are thankful for Friends’ generosities of time, talent, and financial resources they give to the Meeting. We can now say that we are a more visible and active part of the Northfield community. And we look forward to the coming year as a time of growth in mission and spirit.