State of Society Invitation for 2020/2021 State of Society Report

Deadline for submissions: Friday, March 19, 2021

A Vision of a Year Unlike Any Other

Dear Friends,

Our practice is to create a report each year reflecting on the spiritual well-being of FMC. New England Yearly Meeting includes in their request for reports this year that we consider:

The quality of worship and spiritual ministry; efforts to foster spiritual growth; stands taken on Friends’ principles; personal and family relations; relations with your local community and other religious groups; participation in general activities of Friends; and significant activities, outreach or concerns of the meeting; youth of the meeting; meeting community.

This year has been a year of visual images that are likely to long stay with us—a knee on George Floyd’s neck, Black Lives Matter demonstrations, election signs, wildfires, the storming of the Capital…. Many of us spend hours in front of a grid of faces on Zoom.

What are the images within our Meeting that speak to our spiritual life together? We want to compile them for a visual State of Society Report this year.

Please choose from the following to help us record this unusual year (you can use the queries for prompts if you wish):

  • Choose someone among you to take a screen shot of your group meeting, or send an image, photo, or drawing that speaks to the FMC spiritual condition.
  • Have each of you contribute a square to your committee or group’s “quilt” showing something about your work this year.
  • Share a short video related to your work/joy/play.
  • Draw (and annotate) what worked well in the community or what you appreciated.
  • Draw (and annotate) what was most challenging in the community or where you struggled.

Please email submissions by Friday, March 19, to Cynthia Knowles at Jonathan Vogel-Borne and Betsy Roper at state@fmcquaker.org.

Queries as Prompts for Committees:

  • What is the quality of ministry among you and how has it been affected?
  • How is religious education faring, for adults and for younger Friends?
  • Are there things important to the life of the Spirit the meeting has been led to take up in the past year, or that felt right to lay down?
  • Has the meeting been able to respond to the pastoral care needs among you, whether ongoing or directly pandemic-related?

For Youth, Families, and First Day School:

  • Share with us a video of what you do to connect with others, what you do to shake off hard times, how you connect to Spirit.
  • Do you dance, cook, or go sledding?
  • Take a photo of yourself at Family Meeting, reading a book together, or putting up a crèche.
  • Tell us with a caption of what this moment meant to you.
  • Draw a picture together about how you have gotten through this pandemic.
  • Show us in some way you have related to one of the Quaker Testimonies (Simplicity, Peace, Integrity, Community, Equality, Stewardship.)

Queries as Prompts for Youth and Families:

  • How you have related to one of the Quaker Testimonies (Simplicity, Peace, Integrity, Community, Equality, Stewardship?
  • How have you stayed in touch with FMC?
  • Has the FMC community helped you through the pandemic? How?
  • What could have been done better?

Questions? Contact Cynthia Knowles at state@fmcquaker.org