It has been a memorable year for Dunnings Creek Friends Meeting. Some of the memories have been sad as we have lost four of our most cherished members. Although their passing may not have fit exactly into a calendar year, the loss of their wisdom transcends dates and time. Bob Miller, Harold McCoy, Agnes Miller and Mary Esther Grazier will be with us for a very long time. The bonding that took place during their Memorials will be with us – and will help us moving forward. Some of the memories were of learning the Quaker way to handle new and different responsibilities. The entire process of combining Fishertown Meeting and Dunnings Creek Meeting was done in a slow, even majestic, way with many thoughts for both Meetings. We are now one with only the problem of what to do with the one unused Meetinghouse left to be handled in a fair and Quakerly way. Some of the memories were of the history of Quakers in the Bedford County area. Heather worked tirelessly to organize the immense number of books in the upstairs room which originally was a school. Those pertaining to local Quaker history and Quaker references were brought down to the Meeting Room and placed in historic cabinets. The author of “Redfield Farm” was a First Day speaker. Her ancestors were members of our Meeting and the book details early Quaker history of the area. Although a work of fiction, the farm still exists and many events in the book happened. All of these memories have led us toward a confidence in our Meeting which shows in our growing sense of community, in the way we greet each other, in the social hours before business meetings, and in our mutual decision to explore more outreach programs. Under Jeff’s enthusiastic direction, two informational meetings were held in Bedford on consecutive weeks. Three attenders were gained from this effort. In addition, Dunnings Creek Meeting organized the event to replace the Peace Tree in Bedford which had been uprooted by County Courthouse construction. Both the tree, a white pine, and the stone mounted plaque were returned to the Courthouse area in a ceremony which was held in conjunction with the Everett and Bedford Churches of the Brethren.
More outreach programs are planned for the coming year to show the spiritual atmosphere of Quaker beliefs. We hope to give people an alternative to anger and a way to cope with what is going on in the world. It was suggested that the title of our outreach could be, “Why hide our/the Light?” We are also trying to make Dunnings Creek Meeting more attractive to young parents by having specific programs for children available. And we feel it is important to keep our longtime connection with the Young Friends. With all of the above going on in our small, rural Meeting, we sometimes lose a sense of the sacred in our First Day discussions. And since we have also been studying Marsha Holliday’s Exploring Quakerism, do we feel the need to occasionally return to more explorations of holding ourselves in the Light?