Bloomington Monthly Meeting
A Historical Sketch
In the late 1940s, a small group of Friends began to meet regularly for worship and business in their homes. When it was decided to formally establish a Meeting, Friends looked about for a suitable Yearly Meeting to affiliate with. An acquaintance at Blue River Monthly Meeting encouraged application to Western Yearly Meeting, and so the choice was made. Accordingly Bloomington Monthly Meeting was officially established on February 19, 1950, under the care of Blue River Quarterly Meeting of Western Yearly Meeting.
There were six adult founding members:
J. Keogh and Faye Wood Rash
W. Norris and Ruth Jones Wentworth
Hazel Cronk Smith
There were also four associate members:
Marjorie F. and William E. Rash
Nancy J. and Samuel M. Wentworth
In addition to the weekly unprogrammed meeting for worship, the early Bloomington Friends scheduled guest speakers once a month. Indiana University students were invited to these special meetings for worship. Guest speakers included William Lowe Bryan, President Emeritus of Indiana University, Paul Furness, E. Merrill Root, and Tom Brown, all from Earlham College; Glen Reese, General Superintendent of Western Yearly Meeting, and pastors of several Friends churches in Western Yearly Meeting. These meetings proved to be popular with students, attracting 40 to 50 attenders. Attendance increased, and by 1960 there were 30 members. By 1970, resident and non-resident members numbered 89, with an average weekly attendance of about 60. In 1980, members numbered 115 (48 resident adults, 12 associate, and 55 non-resident), and the average attendance was 45.
As attendance increased at meetings for worship, the homes of attenders were no longer adequate. Thus arrangements were made in 1948 to use the Bryan Room of the Indiana Memorial Union. The four children attended Sunday School at the First Presbyterian Church, then walked to the Union for meeting for worship. In 1957, the Meeting once again relocated. The Indiana School of Religion, at the corner of Seventh and Union Sts. became the home of the Meeting for the next seven years. Several alternative Sunday School arrangements. In the mid-60s, Fred Coons started and led a teenage group, in which he was active until his death some years later. Since then the Meeting has always attempted to give its teenagers a spiritual home, even though the numbers have sometimes dropped very low.
In 1965 the Indiana School of Religion building was sold to Indiana University, making yet another move necessary for the Meeting. The Meeting rented the Seventh Day Adventist Church (on the 46 Bypass) every Sunday morning for one year. During this time, when attendance dropped to a very low level, Friends became convinced that the Meeting needed a home. The first meeting of the newly-appointed Meeting House Committee was on August 12, 1965. Each member of the committee was to try to locate suitable properties which were close to the university and cost about $25,000, an amount which was felt to be obtainable. Several properties with buildings on them were rejected for one reason or another before December of 1965,when Monthly Meeting approved the purchase of 2.2 acres of land located on the Highway 46 Bypass at Third St.
In February 1966, quite by chance a small house on 2 acres on Moores Pike was found for sale by Hazel Smith. At first there was opposition to thelocation because of its distance from the campus. When it was finally determined that a Sunday School bus could be routed by the Moores Pike property, there was agreement that it had many advantages over the high cost of developing the property already purchased. At the April business meeting, a decision was reached to sell the Bypass land and buy the Moores Pike property. It was sold at a slight profit, easing a little the raising of funds. It must be remembered, when the thought of a Meeting at the bustling intersection of Third St. and the 45-46 Bypass now seems inconceivable, that in the 60s the only shopping established in the area was the modest-sized Eastland strip, and the explosive commercial development of succeeding years could not be foreseen.
During June and July of 1966, arrangements were made for necessary repairs and alterations to the house. The first was the removal of the walls of a small room to enlarge the living room into a meeting room, what we now call the 'piano room'. Numerous work days were scheduled for cleaning, trash removal and painting, and for cutting the weeds and tall grasses on the entire property behind the Meeting House.
On July 31, 1966, the first meeting for worship was held in the Moores Pike Meeting House. Monthly meetings for business, which until this time had always been held in member families' homes (normally in the evening), now began to be held in the meeting house. The meeting room was soon outgrown, and plans were begun for an addition to the building. Among Meeting members at the time were Bob (who would often run miles to meeting, even in winter) and Yasuko Adams and their three daughters. A memorable part of the ongoing discussion was an elegant model in airy Japanese style constructed by Bob, which sadly could not be approved because it would have exceeded our slender means several times over. The architect engaged was William Strain, brother of Mary Kay Strain Rash, second wife of Keogh Rash following the death of Faye in 1957. He was shown pictures of a number of historic Meeting Houses, and created a design that everyone has always felt to be entirely in the spirit of Friends. The porch was not part of the meeting room design, but was added to the front of the house during construction. In the spring of 1968, a team of volunteers spent a Saturday demolishing the car port that stood on the east side of the house so that the new meeting room could be built onto the house.
Construction of the addition was started in June of 1968, and was completed in October of that year. In order to give literally everyone the feeling of "doing their bit" even the children were encouraged to help with the raising of money for the house and then the meeting room. Some who were children then still remember saving Indian-head nickels (some of which were still in circulation at the time) to put in their own special fund. They still have the satisfaction that they helped buy the meetinghouse. The rest of the cost was covered by contributions to a special building fund, a loan from the Friends Extension Corporation, and an annual grant of $1000 for ten years from Western Yearly Meeting. The indebtedness was paid in full by 1978.
The present meeting room was originally intended as a projected first phase. The outside of the south wall of the meeting room was left unfaced with brick, to enable the possible later enlargement of the room and the construction of a lounge between the lobby and the meeting room. These plans were never carried out. It was soon decided that, if our meeting room should be outgrown some day, rather than expand it we would prefer to establish a new Meeting elsewhere in town.
Even before construction was complete, in the summer of 1968, at Norris Wentworth's urging, a group of Friends held the first meeting for worship in the new meeting room, sitting in a circle on folding chairs on crushed stone. In keeping with the Quaker belief in simplicity, plain wooden benches were found for the meeting room. The benches, more than a century and a half old by now, came through efforts by Ruth Atkinson Moore, mother of Marilyn Moore Bigelow, of Plainfield. Ruth Moore's ancestors were among the founders of the Sugar Grove and Plainfield Conservative Meetings, in the second of which our benches were originally used. They are made of large solid planks of yellow poplar. When Meeting first acquired the benches, Friends got cushions made from material we acquired inexpensively from the Halls of Residence on campus. By the early 80s these were due for replacement, and the present cushions were made with material chosen and bought by JoAnna Henegar.
The Meeting had a modest book collection, but when we acquired our own home it was felt that we could expand this into a regular library. Books soon filled the bookshelves on both sides of the entrance door, a Library Committee continues to see to new acquisitions. The Wentworths donated a collection of rare Quaker books which are to be found in the wooden bookcase on the west wall.
In the late 60s and early 70s, the churches in town rotated the responsibility of providing a daily few minutes of devotional readings on the radio. Norris Wentworth represented the Meeting in this outreach. These years were also the time of the Vietnam war. Many people, the majority of them students, were attracted to the Meeting because of the well-known Quaker pacifist stance. Many members of the Meeting were involved in helping young registrants clarify their position with regard to conscientious objection. Some members of the Meeting (Steve Smilack, Bruce Sunstein, William Shetter) participated in workshops on draft counseling, and helped many registrants with their statements required by the registration laws. One of the students active in the Meeting in the early 70s was Tom Conrad, who later joined the staff of AFSC as a fundraiser. In the early years, H. Haines and Catherine Turner had joined Meeting, and in the late 60s Haines followed a leading to participate actively in peacemaking in Vietnam for a year under the auspices of the AFSC.
The First Day School continued its activities through all these years. Attitudes of the teachers toward use of the Bible has had many swings toward the positive and toward the negative side, probably fairly accurately reflecting attitudes among members and attenders of the Meeting itself. The special library of children's books is still called the 'Carlton Fischer Library', named after the son of Ann Fischer killed in an accident in 1965. An offshoot of the First Day School was the annual custom of holding a Christmas party, the high point of which was almost always a play presented by the children. The Christmas parties continue to be as popular as ever.
Bill and Mig Dietz were from Quaker families. They lived this side of Columbus IN and in this period were faithful members of Meeting. Bill served two terms as Clerk of the Meeting. For those of us who knew them then, there are two cherished memories. One is the meeting for worship followed by potluck that we held each year at their house on Harrison Lake. Equally indelible is Bill's unique style of playing the Santa Claus role at our Christmas parties. He did the part to perfection. Bill and Mig started a worship group in Columbus, which eventually became a Preparative Meeting under the care of Bloomington. When it was recognized by Western Yearly Meeting as an independent Monthly Meeting in 1982, the Dietzes transferred their membership there. The Meeting has since been laid down again. Bill died in 1985, and Mig a few years later.
But there was much that was wholesome and nourishing in the Meeting's relationship to Western Yearly Meeting. During the 70s the Meeting began to be increasingly involved both in the YM and in the community. Especially Norris Wentworth was so well known through WYM that Bloomington Meeting was sometimes referred to as "Norris Wentworth's Meeting". When the Yearly Meeting reorganized the Quarterly Meetings into Area Meetings, we were automatically a member of Southern Area (a group of Meetings centered on Paoli, but including Bloomington and Evansville). Norris and several other members of the Meeting continued to be active in Area Meeting, and he served for a time as its Clerk.
Norris' vocal ministry in meeting for worship was regular, and usually consisted of a favorite quote with a devotional content. A few of these were quoted so often that they became dependable centering points in our meetings for worship. Two of the most familiar of them are the words to a well-known hymn
Spirit of God, descend upon my heart,
Wean it from earth, through all its pulses move ...
and the last few lines of Millay's Renascence:
. . .
The world stands out on either side
No wider than the heart is wide;
Above the world is stretched the sky,
No higher than the soul is high.
The heart can push the sea and land
Farther away on either hand
The soul can split the sky in two,
and let hte face of God shine through.
But East and West will pinch the heart
That cannot keep them pushed apart;
And he whose soul is flat --the sky
Will cave in him by and by.
(An endearing little idiosyncracy of Norris': in his frequent quoting of this poem he always ignored Millay's enjambement in the last two lines, with the result that 'flat' found itself rhyming with 'by', and he unfailingly said 'fall' instead of her intended 'cave').
Haines also had a set of favorite quotations that anchored meeting for worship. One was the first verse of Psalm 127:
Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain
that build it:
except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.
He began quoting this to us during the period when we were acquiring our Meeting House and building the new meeting room. Another was a few lines from Eliot's Four Quartets:
I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope
For hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love
For love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith
But the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting.
Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought:
So the darkness shall be light, and the stillness the dancing. ...
Some of us can still hear these words of Norris' and Haines' echoing in the meeting room now and then.
Ruth Wentworth was a birthright Friend originally from Philadelphia YM who graduated from Westtown School in Pennsylvania. She was at Meeting every Sunday, but was never heard to speak during meeting for worship. But this was never felt as a lack because of the strength of her centeredness, which exercised a powerful influence in helping to create and undergird the silence. She was a rock on which Meeting depended in another way: Sunday after Sunday she made sure the Meeting House--particularly the Meeting Room-- looked clean and orderly, which in her mind were prerequisites to 'worshipful'.
The Meeting has also been a temporary home for many members of other Meetings in Western Yearly Meeting who came to study at Indiana University. Many of these have gone on to positions of responsibility in the Yearly Meeting (Peggy Hollingsworth, Don and Carolyn Moon, Joe and Leanna Roberts, Esther Carter...). Tom Hamm, now a professor at Earlham College and curator of the Quaker archives, was a regular attender at our Meeting while he was working toward his degree in history. Over the years, the Meeting has also provided a home for many Mennonites most comfortable in another 'peace church', most of them students.
One of the earliest ties to the community was Hazel Smith's strong involvement with Monroe Co. United Ministries (known as MCUM, always pronounced mackum'). Along with Ruth Wentworth, she helped organize Opportunity House, selling donated clothing and other items to low-income families. For many years Hazel and Ruth alternated responsibility as manager or as president of the supervising Council. MaryKay Rash, Betty Qualls, Cay Turner and Ethel Auf der Heyde were also intensively involved in 'Op House' as it is still called. Another MCUM community service undertaking is the Food Pantry, to which churches (including the Meeting) donate cans and boxes of non-perishable food that can be picked up without charge by low-income families. A few times a year, groups of volunteers from the Meeting work about three hours sorting and shelving the donations.
There have been numerous other community involvements through the years. One of the most sustained of these community social concerns has been the commitment made by Diane Thayer since 1992 that Meeting would provide three volunteers to work the third Saturday of each month at Community Kitchen. Another of the most prominent of these has been the program of weekly visits to the Monroe Co. jail. Lib Buck started these around 1976, and was soon joined by Haines Turner and assisted by many other Meeting members at various times: Joelene Bergonzi, Phyllis Martin, Chris Payne and Melanie Isaacson. Melanie was able to add a special touch in giving art lessons that encouraged artistic expression among the inmates, and she organized support and display of their work. By now these weekly visits to inmates have continued uninterrupted for about 25 years.
Haines was also instrumental in getting Harmony School up and running; many of the children in the Meeting have attended Harmony as a valued part of their schooling. Haines' undeterred persistence and quiet persuasiveness in innumerable social areas was a model of what it means tobe a Quaker and follow leadings in addressing concerns both within and outside of Meeting. In meeting for worship with attention to business, it was always Haines who had the most sensitive antenna for group process. As soon as he sensed any straying from an atmosphere of worship, he would call for a few moments of silence to restore it.
One day in a Monthly Meeting for business, Friends were discussing the best way of getting a certain matter accomplished, and in his grave voice Haines asked "who's normally responsible?". Without missing a beat or even looking up from her needlework, Cay chimed in "he's abnormally responsible!" His long involvement in the community was so many-sided and his letters to the editor on local social issues so regular that on his death the Herald-Times devoted an editorial to him. It concluded with the words "it will take ten people to replace Haines".
The ties of Friends in Bloomington Meeting to various national Quaker organizations are almost too numerous to mention. Examples of involvements outside Bloomington are Roy Leake, Bill Edgerton and Haines Turner with AFSC, Bill Edgerton and John Daschke with FCNL, and Janice Clevenger with FWCC. Janice first started attending meetings here in the late 40s when they were still meeting in Friends' homes, and from 1957 until the 70s spent 10 years in Japan and 4 years in Korea as a 'Friend in Residence', under the auspices of FWCC though not supported by it, since she supported herself with school teaching. For many years, the FGC Gatherings have be enattended by a number of devoted Friends from Bloomington.
From the 60s on, Meeting engaged a 'Young Friends Secretary', as the person was called then. With modest financial contribution from Western Yearly Meeting for 'campus ministry', helping to make a home for Quaker students on campus, a student or the spouse of a student was paid a smallamount to assist student-age members and attenders in forming whatever organization within Meeting they felt appropriate. We have usually had a Friends on Campus' Committee to support and oversee the Secretary (now more often called the 'Friends on Campus Coordinator'), and many years there has been a brown-bag lunch on campus one day a week.
For the first several years we have been meeting in the present meetingroom, the floor was bare concrete. In order to improve warmth and acoustics, some Friends soon proposed that we lay down a carpet, but others resisted this as an unnecessary expense and not representative of 'Quaker simplicity'. Recognizing the softening of sound that the carpet would provide, Friends withdrew their objections except for the expense. A few families financed from their own resources the purchase and installation of the present carpet.
In the mid-70s the need was increasingly felt to establish our own burial ground. An area at the south end of the Meeting property (at the top of the back hill under the pine trees, now marked by a metal post at each corner) was surveyed and 48 plots were laid out. Following consultations with attorneys about meeting the legal requirements, the burial ground was approved by the Board of Zoning Appeals in 1978 and duly recorded in the Courthouse. It was mainly William Shetter who saw this project through to completion. Friends formed a standing Burial Ground Committee, and approved a few restrictions: Meeting members can be interred without charge, all others only on approval of Monthly Meeting; any headstones must be flush with the ground, and cremations are encouraged. There have been a few burials and several scatterings of ashes.
Numerous memorial meetings have been held at our Meeting in this first half century, though not all have made use of our burial ground.
Greta and Hilary Balderston (murdered in Ecuador)
Jon Barwise (ashes interred)
Gary Burris (ashes scattered) *
Amanda Moser (a child; ashes buried under a tree in back yard)
Shirley O'Donnol (ashes scattered)
Cay Turner (ashes scattered)
Haines Turner (ashes scattered)
Norris Wentworth (ashes interred)
Ruth Wentworth (ashes interred)
* Gary was a convicted offender executed by the State of Indiana. Out of gratitude for Friends' personal concern for him in prison, he requested that his ashes be scattered at a Friends' Meeting. Bloomington Meeting agreed to take this under our care, and the ashes were scattered ("but wait until spring; I don't like being cold") as he requested.
In the 70s Bob and Judy Ramaley, regular attenders at meeting, moved away and gave their piano to the Shetters. It stayed in their house for a number of years, but eventually it was donated to the Meeting. This is the piano in the 'piano room'.
One of the many Friends who joined us in meeting for worship was the well-known Quaker economist Kenneth Boulding, who was always a memorable figure with his flowing white mane, colorful British accent and slight stammer. We were always inspired by his ministry when he was in town to visit his son and daughter-in-law. After the death of Kenneth, Elise Boulding has attended Bloomington a few times. Around 1980 Russell, who had been attending meeting for a few years, felt a leading to seek recording as a minister in order to address Friends' Peace concerns inWestern Yearly Meeting. The Meeting clearness committee that met with him helped him see that this route was probably not the best for him after all.
It was in the mid-80s that we developed, discussed and finally approved our own sets of queries for those applying for membership and for marriage under the care of Meeting. For membership there were two separate sets, one for the clearness committee and one for the applicant. For marriage, we approved an outline of procedure to be given to the couple and a set of queries for the clearness committee to select from as appropriate. Both ofthese sets of queries are still being used. At about the same time we made up and approved a set of job descriptions' that have proved useful in spelling out the responsibilities of each committee.
On February 18, 1990 we held our 40th anniversary celebration. About 100 persons participated in a special program in the afternoon, including representatives from Yearly Meeting and Friends from several other Meetings. We read out and posted letters of congratulation from anumber of former members and attenders. The event was reported in the Herald-Times.
In April 1990, Judy Edgerton, a long-time member of the Meeting, began interviewing Friends in the Meeting and writing biographical sketches of them, one appearing each month in the Meeting newsletter until December1993. They were called 'Quaker Profiles', and by this time there were 37 ofthem. After her death in 1993 William Edgerton collected these, added a 38th about Judy herself, and had it published under the title Quaker Profiles. These were felt to be such valuable windows into the lives and thoughts of members and attenders that, after a couple of years, some members of the Meeting decided to resume publishing a one-page mini-biography of a Friend in each issue of the newsletter. This continued until there were 21 more. A permanent collection of all these is to be found in a red binder in the Meeting library.
In the spring of 1992, Peter Burkholder and Doug McKinney applied to the Meeting for marriage under its care. There was widespread recognition that, before any sense of the meeting could be achieved, extensive and difficult preparatory discussions were going to be necessary. In June and July of this year, on three separate occasions lengthy threshing sessions were held, and smaller groups were organized in Friends' homes as a means of assuring that all opinions would be brought out and all voices heard. On July 7, Meeting approved taking this request under its care, and asked the Committee on Ministry and Counsel to propose for later approval both a clearness committee and a name by which the union in question would be called (some Friends were clear that the term 'marriage' should not be used). A clearness committee was approved a few days later, and on September 13, after a series of meetings with the couple, it announced clearness and recommended that the Meeting approve a 'holy union'. We all recognized throughout this process --notwithstanding unremitting efforts to take account of all feelings--it was impossible to arrive at any solution without divisiveness. There were one or two members of Meeting who, while they would not stand in the way of the decision, nevertheless stopped attending.
At no point did we make any secret of our deliberations and decisions, everything being duly minuted and printed in the Newsletter. While the leadership of Western Yearly Meeting was well aware of our actions, the decisions made were hardly known outside this small circle. On October 18, four members of the WYM Board on Christian Ministries and Evangelism came down, and for two hours listened to our perception of our motivations, asked many questions and raised many objections. Before they returned home, one ofthem remarked "This may seem like a little tremor here, but in Yearly Meeting it's going to go off the Richter Scale!" This prediction turned out to be entirely accurate. Throughout the early months of 1993 and on into the summer, Bloomington Friends found themselves besieged: we received and posted several letters from other Meetings; because of the potential divisiveness in the Yearly Meeting, we were asked to reverse our decision (we respectfully declined), and we sent a letter to all Monthly Meetings in WYM offering to come and dialogue together about our decision. One Meeting did invite us, and seven of us spent the evening in discussion with some 55 Friends from several Meetings. We conferred with many Friends in Plainfield and elsewhere, and the challenge of explaining our sense of having followed divine leading called for extensive correspondence.
In the meantime, on May 29 Peter and Doug celebrated their union in the manner of Friends though not in the meeting house, which would have been too small to accommodate the well-wishers. It was heartening to see two of the oldest members of Meeting in one of the front rows--blunting any tmeptation to think that this decision was only supported by the young.
At the Yearly Meeting sessions in August 1993 all attenders found a binder on the table containing copies of letters on the 'Bloomington concern' that had been received by the Yearly Meeting office. Over a third of the MonthlyMeetings had commented, a few supportive but most firmly opposed--occasionally with hostility. The business sessions of this year were completely dominated by extensive and often tense discusison expressing opinions about the 'Bloomington concern' and coming close to causing the resignation fo a despairing and exasperated Presiding Clerk.
The resentment caused by the perception that Bloomington had acted improperly by going its own way continued to simmer on into 1994, turning now into considerations of the'authority' question: how a Yearly Meeting should relate to its constituent Monthly Meetings, and whether this needs to be spelled out more clearly in Faith and Practice. But the further history of this would lead us too far astray from the history of Bloomington Meeting.
As mentioned above, when we first affiliated with Western Yearly Meeting, we became members of Blue River Quarter, which onreorganization later became Southern Area. Liberal Bloomington Meeting and the conservative largely rural Meetings around Paoli to the south had always lived in two rather different worlds, and now relations became even more strained. Accordingly in summer 1994 the Yearly Meeting invited us to request transfer to Central Area to the north of us, and when we did this it was promptly approved. We felt considerably more at home associating with [sub]urban Meetings more like ourselves. (In 1998 all Area Meetings in Western Yearly Meeting were reorganized once again into Area Councils').
There was a growing feeling among some members of the Meeting that it would be appropriate for us, and nourishing to us, to be affiliated withan FGC Yearly Meeting in addition to Western Yearly Meeting. Accordingly a number of Friends established increasingly closer contacts with Ohio Valley Yearly Meeting, attending some of their Quarterly and YearlyMeeting sessions. After a prolonged period of discussions beginning in 1994, attempting to discern whether we were led to take this step, in the course of 1996 we applied to Whitewater Quarterly Meeting for membership. A clearness committee came and met with us, and we were welcomed into the Quarter in 1997. This step automatically made Bloomington a constituent Meeting of Ohio Valley Yearly Meeting, and we were enthusiastically welcomed at the Yearly Meeting sessions of 1997.
There were other Quaker involvements, in looser connection to the Meeting. In April 1996, following an extended period of searching for discernment, several members and attenders of the Meeting (Mary Anderson, David Duffee, Donna Eder, Dorothy Glanzer, Greg Haas, Janette and William Shetter) resolved to establish a retreat center to be run in keeping with Quaker principles. Sixty acres of hilly woodland on Mt. Gilead Rd. (northeast of Bloomington) were purchased, and in May the retreat center was incorporated in the State of Indiana as Mt. Gilead Friends Retreat. In December of the same year the corporation's application to the IRS fornon-profit tax-exempt [501(c)(3)] status was approved. Mt. Gilead is closely associated with the Meeting, its Board of Directors consisting mainly of Meeting members and attenders, but is organizationally and financially independent of it.
For as far back as anyone can remember, the Meeting has been holding fall retreats, usually somewhere in the second half of September or the beginning of October in one of the camps or retreat centers nearby. These have become a firm tradition, important to the life of our Meeting as a time of relaxed reflection and reacquaintance in the woods, and a time for newcomers to get better acquainted with Meeting. Another tradition we maintained for several years was a summer outdoor breakfast followed by meeting for worship down at the Henegar farm. Yet another tradition that has grown over the last several years is the Evening of the Arts, held annually in February and giving members and attenders a chance to exhibit artistic work and/or perform music, poems and the like.
A group of women in the Meeting decided to accept the challenge of writing for, editing, and publishing Friendly Woman, a periodical passed on every two years to a new Meeting. Most involved were Erika Knudson, Joanne Cowan, Joyce Adams, Nicola Brogden, Donna Eder, Dorothy Glanzer, Mary and Tia Anderson, Lary Smith, Janette Shetter.
For many years most of the property behind the Meeting House was grass, which we kept mowed down into the valley. A few years ago Greg Haas started patiently working his gardening magic on it, until now it is a veritable botanical garden, with something bewitching to the eye throughout the growing season.
As a memorial to Judy Edgerton who died in 1993, the Edgerton family through a generous gift made it possible for us to completely renovate and enlarge our kitchen and construct new bathrooms, following plans by member and architect Mary Anderson. These plans were discussed and constantly revised throughout 1994, and when they were approved by Meeting, work was begun. Members of the Meeting put in innumerable hours painting and helping realize Mary's brilliantly successful design in a variety of ways.
When we bought the Moores Pike property for our Meeting, our only neighbors across the road were the cows grazing on the grass and among the trees of the Rogers farm. Though we always realized that the farm would inevitably be sold for development. Our weekly attendance at meeting for worship throughout 1999 averaged 48 adults and 5 children and babies. In the last decade there have been an increasing number of Sundays with an attendance of between 60 and 70, necessitating carrying extra folding chairs into the meeting room.
In late 1999, at the close of our first 50 years and comfortably in time for our birthday, an attractive, restful-looking Meeting web site was constructed by Mitch Rice and Jim and Morris Cornell-Morgan.
Compiled by WZS