Virginia Beach Friends Meeting

December Newsletter

Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business

Minutes from our December business meeting are posted at this link…

Highlights include:

  • Kathie Garner is working on the door lock situation for the Buildings and Grounds committee.
  • The Peace and Social Justice committee will be working on Grassroots legislative priority setting as input to the Biennial Friends Council on National Legislation (FCNL).
  • We will continue to work together on rise of Meeting Hospitality setup and cleanup vs. having individuals 'sign-up'.
  • Nominating committee is looking for a volunteer to help with this spring's Nominating Season.
  • Communications committee is moving its bulk VB Friends Emailing to use the MailChimp email service.

Christmas Lunch

Remembering the “good old days” when Quaker Women gathered socially, Nancy Nixon and Kathy Garner reserved a table for Dec. 8th at the elegant La Yaca Restaurant at Hilltop and used the VBFM mailer to encourage all to attend. Ten of us gathered to slow down the hectic holiday preparations and to enjoy each other. We all agreed we want to gather more often. a Thank-you Nancy and Kathy. Others are encouraged to initiate gatherings when led.

Christmas Eve - Singing and Caroling and Open Worship

Christmas Eve Meeting for Singing was really nice. A talented pianist (who also sings!) accompanied fifteen of us as we sang from freshly enlarged song sheets, illuminated by just enough light. The benches were arranged in U-shape behind the piano so we sounded great and we could see each other’s faces. We sang a little longer than planned since quiet-seekers had not arrived and then we had light refreshments in the library. It was a sweet gathering of Friends and I hope even more will join us next year.

QuakerBooks of FGC

QuakerBooks of FGC is a ministry of Friends General Conference that serves Quakers, Quaker meetings, and interested individuals who are spiritually inquisitive. As the first part of our name implies carry books, pamphlets, ebooks, curriculum, and the like that help Friends and others live our lives as expressions of our faith, serve our values, and learn about the Quaker way past and present.

In addition to selling books on-line at, we also sell books annually at the week-long FGC Gathering in July and work with yearly meetings and other Friends organizations to offer book tables at conferences and gatherings.

QuakerBooks of FGC offers discounts for spiritual formation groups, study groups and meeting book groups. We offer 10% on most titles where you order 6 or more.

The website is:

Bob Young - December 2017

On December 14 Bob urged some of us to read a letter that he had written to the newspaper. Bob also suggested any or all of the following behavior opportunities that fit:

  • Notice what is going on within you;
  • breathe;
  • pray;
  • write a letter to someone or someplace of what you believe;
  • send some money to an organization that speaks your mind and heart;
  • engage with someone who disagrees with your point of view in respectful listening and sharing;
  • join with Steve Baggarly (Norfolk Cathoic Worker) and others in public demonstrations of protest and dissent;
  • engage with those in politics or religious practice from a place of seeing those activities as a spiritual practice;
  • have confidence that you can make a difference.

Bob's letter to the editor was published in the Virginian Pilot on December 16 (click here for the Newspaper editted posting...):

It is not easy writing this letter when one’s point of view is so against the grain of our culture, and knowing that, if it is published, many will be hurt and angry at the content and the writer.

I am a citizen. I served in the military in the 50’s. I have a responsibility to speak my mind and heart. I am deeply troubled by the details of the Virginian-Pilot photo stories of our dependence on the military in our region.

We are being asked not just to acknowledge its presence, but to celebrate it. Yet history teaches us that violence and war begats more of the same.

To me, my way of thinking, is more of a “conservative” and spiritual point of view more than a “liberal” or “leftist” one. Spending precious tax dollars on “arms,” when we should be spending them on common human needs?

No. Thank you.

Peace and Social Justice

During January through March 2018, the Peace and Social Justice Committee in cooperation with the Communications Committee will lead our Meeting through the biennial process of recommending legislative priorities for the 2019-2020 Congress to the Friends Committee on National Legislation. Two years ago, our Meeting's priority recommendations to FCNL in April 2016 were well received by the national office and our Meeting's process has been used as a model by other meetings around the country.

Tom Bertrand asked to announce, Joyce Ajlouny, the new General Secretary of American Friends Service Committee (AFSC).

Tom says that Joyce is a Palestinian American Quaker who was previously head of the Ramallah Friends School and a leader in international humanitarian work. She's a remarkable woman.

Our Meeting supports both AFSC and the Ramallah Friends School.

The article below is from the American Friends Service Committee, February 2017.

As the American Friends Service Committee celebrates its 100th year, we are pleased to announce the appointment of Joyce Ajlouny as our next general secretary beginning Sept. 1, 2017.

A transformative Quaker leader, Joyce brings to AFSC a depth of experience in strategic planning, financial and personnel management, fundraising, and communication spanning 27 years.
She is currently employed by Friends United Meeting and serves as the director of the Ramallah Friends School in Palestine, where she has led a diverse staff of over 170 educators and administrators for the past 13 years. She spent the prior 14 years working in international development focusing on minority and refugee rights, gender equality, economic development, and humanitarian support. She served as the country director for Palestine and Israel with Oxfam-Great Britain, chaired the Association of International Development Agencies there, and worked as a program officer and project manager at various United Nations agencies. Joyce holds a master’s degree in Organizational Management and Development from Fielding Graduate University in California.

Joyce expressed her enthusiasm for joining AFSC, stating, "I am honored and humbled to accept this opportunity to help lead AFSC into its second century of working to achieve lasting peace through active nonviolence and the transforming power of love. I look forward to working with such a talented, passionate, and committed group of staff and volunteers. I am driven knowing that the future will be a more just and compassionate one when we join together to address social and political injustices, poverty, oppression, and racism, wherever they may be."

Phil Lord, clerk of AFSC’s Board of Directors

Quick Links

Next Meeting for Business Query - #6 / Growth of Our Children:

Do we endeavor by example and precept to cultivate in our children a sense of openness and expectancy about life, and to aid them in their growth in spiritual understanding and moral discernment? Do we share with them the faith that guides the practice of Friends, while encouraging them to develop their religious insights as the of the Spirit of God may lead them?

Dear Friends:
As previously reported, our Newsletter format is evolving.
We welcome your feedback.
Please respond to with suggestions for improvements.

Thank you,
VBFM Communications committee


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