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2010 State of the Meeting Report

State of the Santa Fe Meeting Report to IMYM 2010-2011

    Santa Fe Meeting has once again been blessed with a good year.  Meetings for worship are deep and meaningful to many, vocal ministry has been neither over abundant nor too scarce, and meetings for worship for business have been well attended.  Even this winter, before summer visitors come, we have crowded our main meeting room nearly to capacity on several occasions.  Our future planning committee is busy at work.  For the first time since the founding of the Meeting, we incorporated in order to clarify the Meeting’s legal capacity to hold property.
    Witness for Friends’ testimonies is happening in a variety of ways.  We have a guideline that we wish to contribute as much money to good works as we spend on our own meeting operations, although we were not able to devote that much to good works in our 2010 and 2011 budgets.  We are continuing the discuss whether to attempt to do so in the future.  This past year the Meeting contributed to sixteen local organizations plus our usual contributions to national Quaker organizations.  A good works committee helps us clarify how we balance our contributions among the needs we see.  Our peace and social concerns committee revived itself and has been active this fall and winter.  Several Friends are active in the Interfaith Immigrant Allies group that works on concerns for immigrant rights, particularly for retaining the state policy that allows drivers licenses for all New Mexico drivers.  Other Friends have been active in the Interfaith Leadership Alliance that assists the homeless with food and clothing.  Envision Santa Fe is another community program the Meeting has joined which helps settle and support homeless families.  Much remains to be done to support Quaker concerns in the wider world.
    We have had lively participation in discussions organized by our adult education committee, particularly about John Woolman and his messages for our times.  Recently three of our elders shared a bit about their spiritual journeys.  We have been making more use of the time on Sunday between the 9:00 and 11:00 Meetings.  On second Sundays we have had discussions centering around selected Friends Journal articles, many having to do with deepening worship and gathered meetings.  The fourth Sunday is for adult discussion, and the infrequent fifth Sundays are for Meeting for muffins to help the 9:00 and 11:00 groups get to know each other better.  First Sunday continues to be our meeting potluck and sometimes some of us join together afterward for discussions of various issues.  One particularly good one was about how we reach out to take care of each other.
    First Day School has proceeded well this year, though not without difficulty.  The number of children ranges between none and fifteen, with ages from 1 ½  to 16.  This challenge of unpredictability and age mix has been met as well as can be expected.  Many First Day School sessions include stories for the children from the Bible and about historical Quaker personages, and usually some kind of project – sometimes making food the children bring to potluck.  Our space for children continues to be limited.   
    Ministry and Oversight continues to arrange for care of individuals in need.  Several individuals received help and care from care committees.  These have often proved as valuable to the helpers as the helped.  Many of us struggle with health concerns.  We have been saddened this year by the loss of Sharon Lee Carter.  We have other hurts to mend  also, as do those in other meetings, when we get off our watch and speak to each other in unkindly ways.  We arranged for a consultation/retreat weekend entitled “Exploring our Faith” led by Karen Stewart of the Friends General Conference Traveling Ministries Program.  She is from the Durham Monthly Meeting in North Carolina.  It helped us considerably.  Being tender toward one another is not easy with the pressures of the current state of the world, personal finances, busy lives, and agitation that comes from our political concerns.
    The worship groups under our care in Las Vegas, Los Alamos, and Taos continue to meet periodically, although Los Alamos and Taos struggled this year to find regular places to meet.  We hear that these groups are all doing fairly well.  The South Santa Fe Worship Group, that meets at 10:30, just off Cerrillos Road, is robust and has been having lively potlucks and discussion groups as well.  They are also making their space available to AFSC committee meetings, and to other groups with Quakerly interests.  Both the South Santa Fe and the 9:00 groups have helped mend some of the over-crowding difficulties that the 11:00 Canyon Road Meeting was experiencing.
    It is fair to say that we are endeavoring to make Truth prosper among us, are making some headway in that regard, and hope to continue to be led by the Spirit in our work together.

From Ministry and Oversight, March 19th, 2011


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