Friends General Conference

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A Quaker community in Frederick, Maryland

Meeting for Worship Is Cancelled for the Next Two Weeks

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On Friday night Ministry & Counsel Committee, along with Co-Clerk of Meeting Betsy Tobin, met to discuss the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak on our Meeting. After deliberating on the matter, we concluded that it would be best to cancel meeting for worship at our meetinghouse for the next two weeks -- this means this coming Sunday (March 15) and the following Sunday (March 22). Our decision was based, in part, on the guidance from the state of Maryland and from Frederick County to avoid large gatherings for the next two weeks in order to slow the spread of the disease. We also considered the fact that many of our members and attenders are over 60 years old and thus are in the high risk category for the coronavirus. With these things in mind, we believe cancelling meeting for worship is appropriate, despite the disruption that it will cause. (PLEASE NOTE: Committee meetings, meetings by outside groups, and activities by our tenants at the meetinghouse are not covered by this announcement.)

As we weather this storm, we recognize that we need the fellowship of our community more than ever. Isolation can be spiritually and even physically devastating. So Ministry & Counsel is working on a few things to help us stay in contact with each other while we can't meet in person:

  • We are looking into options for virtual meetings via teleconferencing software. (Watch this space for an announcement on using the listserv for a virtual meeting this Sunday.) We still need to work out the logistics of how to hold a virtual meeting that would enable as many people as possible to participate.

  • We will be getting in touch with everyone in the Meeting directory over the next week to see how they are doing. If you need, say, to go on a walk or pray on something or hold something in the Light, let us know. (Our contact information is at the bottom of this announcement.)

  • Our listserv, of course, is a great way to stay in touch with our community.

  • Our website will continue to have announcements on meeting for worship and other Meeting activities.

  • If you are on Facebook, remember to check out our Meeting's page for announcements and to comment on the inspirational posts we share there.

When in-person meetings for worship resume, it will remain important to follow proper hygiene to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. See Baltimore Yearly Meeting's announcement on best practices there.

Lastly, I want to share this quote from James Nayler, an early Quaker, which speaks to the hope that we should look to as we go through this difficult time:

Art thou in the Darkness? Mind it not, for if thou dost it will fill thee more, but stand still and act not, and wait in patience till Light arises out of Darkness to lead thee. Art thou wounded in conscience? Feed not there, but abide in the Light which leads to Grace and Truth, which teaches to deny, and puts off the weight, and removes the cause, and brings saving health to Light.

Grace and peace to you all.

Isaac Smith
Clerk, Ministry & Counsel Committee
Frederick Friends Meeting

Contact Information:[email protected]