Friends General Conference

Together we nurture the spiritual vitality of Friends

Coronavirus update: no Meeting for Worship through the end of March

Public ContentAnyone can view this post

Dear friends: 

As you all know, the COVID-19 coronavirus has arrived in Pennsylvania and is quickly spreading through neighboring communities. Committee clerks and members of Care and Oversight consulted extensively over the last 24 hours. We have decided that the best way to protect the safety of our community -- both the Meeting community, and the community around us -- is to cancel all in-person Schuylkill Meeting events at the meetinghouse at least through March 30. 

This means that there will be no meeting for worship on March 15 or March 22. Friends Reading Group will not meet, and the Peace Meditation group, the spaghetti dinner and the drum circle scheduled for this month are also cancelled. We look forward to rescheduling those events as soon as we can! 

This isn't a decision we take lightly. The coming weeks and months will be challenging for many of us, and I know that I will very much miss the centering and stillness of a weekly Meeting for Worship. I'm sure many of you share that feeling. As this public health crisis plays out, we will need to be mindful of one another, and to look for non-traditional ways to strengthen and nourish our beloved community. I plan to continue working with Care and Oversight to find ways of keeping our connections healthy and vibrant, even though many of us will be stuck at home. Please feel free to email or call me if you want to talk. 

Please stay safe. I know everyone's heard all the instructions about hand-washing, coughing into your sleeve, frequent disinfection, avoiding handshakes and hugs, and staying a few feet away from other people. The CDC website is the best place to look for information on preventing the spread of the virus.

I encourage all of us to consider the following queries (borrowed from FGC): 

  • How can we best nurture community in the absence of regular face-to-face meetings? 
  • How can we care for members of our community who are sick, grieving, or facing financial strain through this crisis? 
  • How can we prepare to help our communities recover once the crisis is past? 

When we act from a concern to keep our community safe and healthy, we are performing an act of love. As William Penn said, "Let us then try what love can do." 

In friendship, 

Nathan Rein