Nottingham Monthly Meeting continues to have many concerns related to our sense of size and feelings of loss. Our small size has resulted in an increased focus on maintanence issues, which may be detracting from more spiritually growthful opportunities. However, we recognize our need to find the energy to address our practical matters, nurture our spiritual growth, and take steps to ensure our vitality. We have a strong sense of community and have created a spiritually safe and open environment where members are able to share their spiritual journeys together.
Our Adult Religious Education Class has been focusing monthly on the new draft queries from BYM. We read a query and then engage in worship sharing. We then take time to process our reflections and consider suggestions so that we might provide written feedback to the Faith and Practice Revision Committee. Participants report finding the process spiritually enriching through the insights received about our faith and each other, and hope that BYM will find our responses helpful to their process.
Our historic meeting houses continue to be used for seasonal worship. We were informed that one of the very large white oaks on the Brick Meeting House property is a State of Maryland champion tree for both it’s age and size. We were given a certificate and letter thanking us for our stewardship. Our Christmas sing at the Brick was very well attended by meeting members and visitors from the surrounding community. Little Elk continues to benefit from the care of interested area residents with family connections to the burial grounds. We also continue to provide tenant support for the local Head Start Program, and the George Fox Friends School has been growing as demand for infant and daycare has increased.
Our relationships with other meetings within our Quarter have revitalized over the past year. We reinstituted a spring meeting to devote special attention to burial grounds within the Quarter. Through the experience of several workshops, we also jointly learned about Quaker Quest, a community outreach program sponsored by FGC. Those who enjoy worshiping and socializing in a larger group experience have enjoyed the energy present in our Quarterly meetings. Members of Nottingham Monthly Meeting have joined with other members of the Quarter to form a core group so that plans for Quaker Quest can move forward. We share the hope that through outreach and increasing the communities’ awareness of our presence and offerings, our spiritual communities will grow. However, there is both excitement and trepidation about what we might have to risk in order to realize growth.