Chapter 10 » 10.08

Our community

After a leisurely and useful preparative meeting, Friends sat at a long table in the children’s room to enjoy supper together. We depend on those who till the soil, and tend the produce which forms our daily food, so it was good to remember them in thankfulness and for us to eat in fellowship the food mutually contributed, prepared and served. It was sacramental, in the sense in which Friends so profoundly believe. We spoke of those unable to be present, so that there was a sense of the entire meeting gathering in community.

This feeling of community pervaded the weekend. In preparative meeting the allotment committee reported and outlined plans for an orchard in the upper section of our ground; the fruit may not remain to be gathered by us but the blossoms will gladden everyone. The entire ground is in our care: allotments, burial ground, lawns, and we see it as one unit together with the meeting house which it surrounds. Yet true significance lies not in the grounds and buildings but in the people: those who tend the flowers, the grass and the allotment; members of the poetry group (some of whom gave pleasure by readings after supper); the study groups; the gathering of younger people; those whose activities lie in other places… The gravestones speak of the past, of those who also served the meeting, whose lives are woven into ours, as ours will affect those still to come.

William G Sewell, 1977

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