STATE OF SOCIETY REPORT 2006
CAPE COD FRIENDS MEETING
(5/27/2007 at request of Sandwich Quarter, we approved changing our name to Barnstable Friends Meeting)
STATE OF SOCIETY 2006
Our group of Friends began worshiping together on 6/18/06. We responded to a spiritual call to bear witness to our Quaker faith by worshiping on the lawn outside the Meeting House in East Sandwich when a person of color was prevented from entering the Meeting House for worship. A number of Friends from Yearly Meeting Ministry and Counsel Working Party on Racism joined us in support. This continued for approximately four weeks until we were informed that we were not allowed to congregate on the lawn and no trespass orders were threatened. Soon the Meeting House was closed by the Monthly Meeting with 8 people out of 32 not in unity with the decision. We then formed a worship group and for the next four months met in the home of one of our members. During this time we discussed reconciliation and restitution of our beloved community. We drafted a minute and presented it to Sandwich Monthly Ministry and Counsel November 15 and at the Business Meeting December 3, 2006. The minute was rejected in both groups. The Sandwich Monthly Business Meeting minuted “the proposed minute does not address actual problems in the meeting and therefore does not move us towards reconciliation.” No alternative proposal was brought forward.
Following George Fox’s advice, “Let the authority of your Meetings be in the power of God” (epistle #264), after deep reflection and a process of spiritual discernment, both individually and collectively, we were led to form a new Meeting. Stating that we were available to meet with the committee appointed by the Quarter, we respectfully requested that Sandwich Quarterly Meeting approve the organization of a new meeting in accord with Faith and Practice p. 219 under the name Cape Cod Friends Meeting - Quakers of the Light. Rufus Jones said that for early Friends, “ The thrilling thing was the certainty of God’s light and love in the individual’s soul.“ Cape Cod Friends Meeting affirms this universal principle through our word, action and name.
At our December 26th Business Meeting we approved entering into an informal agreement to use the Burgess House in Barnstable as our spiritual home, opening a bank account with an initial donation of $4,000, and approved officers. All of us have been greatly enriched by the gathering in the power of the Spirit. We have been committed to focus only on the positive and not engage in accusatory or defensive behavior. Our group has doubled in size with several people joining us who are new to Friends. Our worship is deep and meaningful. There are many spoken messages, all true to the Spirit. We rejoice in the support and affirmation of the best in each of us and find comfort with each other during the difficult times.
Cape Cod Friends Meeting is a diverse group which includes Universalists, Jews, Native Americans, Pagans, Agnostics and Christians. We honor this by refusing to deny that problems exist or our responsibility to address these issues, be they homelessness, homophobia, sexism, narrowly defined Christianity, racism, poverty, war, or social injustices. We feel that to do otherwise is contrary to our witness to truth. Cape Cod Friends Meeting encourages discussion and is a place where we can freely be a Quaker and follow our spiritual path. We are very grateful to NEYM Faith and Practice for its clear guidance in all matters and are enthusiastically looking forward to a new year of manifesting the Light within the outer world and ourselves.