Virginia Beach Friends Meeting

February 2019 Newsletter

Dear Friends:

Thank you for all who contributed.

Please respond to with ideas for future Newsletter articles and suggestions for improvements.

Thank you,
VBFM Communications Committee


Link to Virginia Beach Friends Meeting Home Page -

Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business

Complete Minutes from our February business meeting are posted at this link…

Query #7 -Peace Testimony:

Do we endeavor to live in the life and power that takes away the occasion of all war, seeking to do our part in the work of reconciliation between individuals, groups, and nations? Do we faithfully maintain our testimony against nuclear and all other military preparations, the bearing of arms, and all participation in war?


Living in Hampton Roads, we are reminded of our military capacity daily. We are committed to the Hampton roads Campaign to Abolish Nuclear weapons. We consider how we can resolve personal conflicts and we can be influential in our local military.

We reflect on how we listen to our leadings and consider if we are truly doing our part in the work of reconciliation between individuals, groups and nations. We are grateful to be part of a group that addresses problems with open hearts and minds. We all work together for our common goal of finding peace.

Recorded Minutes include:

  • School Report: Current enrollment is 114 students.There was a successful Open House in January. The School is currently raising funds to revive the Cottage which needs extensive updates to accommodate the new Cottage Toddler Program for 2 and 3 year-old students. The school aims to start Cottage renovations Fourth Month. The school continues to need substitutes. The VAIS visit on 2/8/19 was encouraging. We reviewed the Caring Relationship between the School and the Meeting. The Meeting is grateful for the leadership at the school.
  • The Meeting appointed a clearness committee for Rosalie DeerHeart’s request for membership, including Barb French (convener), Tom Bertrand, Mary Pelham White, Gwynne Wells.
  • Meeting approves Becca Briggs’ request to teach yoga in the Meetinghouse if the scheduling coincides with the School’s schedule.

Next Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business is March 10, 2019, 8:30 am in our Meetinghouse.

Quaker Women - Wearing Hearts On Theirs Sleeves for Valentines Day

On Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019 our Quaker Women gathered together to share love stories; not only the romantic ones but ones that are our beautiful memories about grandparents, friends, siblings and even our pets.

As each Friend came through the door, I put a heart on her sleeve. I had gotten a whole sheet of them for Valentine's Day for this purpose. They came in all sizes and sparkled. I think it was Diane who came in a sweater with hearts already on her sleeve as part of the design!

This practice was in remembrance of my grandfather who always said that any good man wore his heart on his sleeve…at least on occasion. As Quakers we are passionate about love your neighbors, love your enemies, love yourself and others with a wide and open heart. It is not always “safe” to wear one’s heart so openly and show your emotions, but at a Quaker Women’s gathering what could be safer?

There were about 12 of us sitting in the sun-room with all these amazing plants; Crown of Thorns, variety of orchids blooming, jade plants, Asparagus fern. One in particular is actually a tree. This huge Ficus had Barb mostly hidden as she sat stoically underneath its branches. We snuggled up and sat close while many of us shared something special about our life. The little fire place radiating the warmth we felt. It was a special time. I was particularly moved by Mary Pelham’s story of how she met her friend, the monk. This deepened our friendships and broadened our awareness of each other. I felt blessed to be part of it. What a nice thing we did for ourselves on a cold, foggy and misty afternoon.

A special “thank-you” to Hank for letting us use his lovely home. We appreciated it greatly.

- Jeanne Crawford


QuakerSpeak is a project of Friends Journal and is directed by Jon Watts.

Communications Committee and the VBFM Newsletter staff decided to focus on a different QuakerSpeak video for each of our issues in 2018, and will continue in 2019.


This month - Quakers and the Light...

News from Friends School

During the break at the meeting retreat with Lloyd Lee Wilson, Andy Young flashed open his flannel shirt to reveal a QYLC t-shirt. “Wait why do you have a QYLC shirt?” I asked. “Because I took a group of students there,” he replied. And this is how I learned that Andy Young was formerly the school counselor at VBFS and he and I have gone to the same Quaker Youth Leadership Conference a couple times. It is always a delightful surprise when these insights into the relationship and history between Friends Meeting and Friends School occur.

It seems appropriate therefore to share a bit with Meeting about QYLC. This is an annual conference that brings students from all different Friends School together for a 3 day 2 night conference. The conference is hosted by one or two schools and the students at those schools develop the theme and programing each year. Then it rotates to a different school the following year. I have gone to 12 conferences over the last 14 years, and the truth is they are what brought me to VBFS. Because during those conferences I met students from Friends and their teachers and was always so impressed with their character and the relationship they had with one another.

This year the QYLC was hosted by Sidwell Friends and Dee and I brought 6 students- 3 seniors,1 junior, and 2 sophomores. The theme was higher ground through common ground. On Thursday night we heard from keynote speaker John Biewen, audio program director at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University and host of the podcast Scene on Radio. Mr. Biewen’s presentation detailed his personal journey as reporter and documentarian and how he used his platform to “turn the lens” in order to raise awareness on issues related to social justice and race. On Friday we went into the city, to the NEWSEUM, students had organized a panel of journalists and prepared questions so we could learn about media ethics. They also had a presentation from FCNL on lobbying and making one’s voice heard. And NEWSEUM Educators taught about 1st amendment rights in schools. Afterwards we stopped at the Portrait Gallery to see famous portraits. On Saturday morning the students went to student led workshops on topics such as responding to micro-aggressions, and sex education in our schools.

These same students returned to school and began planning our black history month program for the entire Upper and Middle School. As they said in their introduction to students “We normally do a presentation on a person or moment in the past. However, we are currently living what will become history so we decided to focus on a current issue. Race relations in our country are very strained today. Multiple incidents can be blamed for this. Today we would like to focus on a current issue for the state of Virginia. Our Governor, Dr. Ralph Northam has been accused of appearing in a racist photo that was in his medical school yearbook in 1984.” They then went on to explain elements of this case, including the history of blackface in this country. Then they broke the group up into small groups for discussion of prepared queries.

The queries they asked students to consider were:

  • Although this is a mistake made more than 30 years ago, how do you think Virginians respond to learning of this today?
  • Should a person be held responsible for a mistake made more than 30 years ago? Why? Why not? How does this apply in this situation?
  • Congressional Black Caucus member statement "He has lost the authority to lead, he's lost the authority to govern. He has to resign. It's in the best interest of the commonwealth, it's in the best interest of the party." Should Ralph Northam be forced to resign his position as Gov? Why? Why not?
  • What impact do you feel this incident will have on race relations in Virginia?

I had been downstairs with our lower school, where 3rd and 4th graders presented on famous African-Americans throughout history that they had researched and learned about. When I came upstairs there was respectful and engaging conversation happening as a whole school. The QYLC students preparation had led to a fruitful conversation and learning for our community.

These same Quaker Leaders will also be leading a social justice day in March. This year they have chosen the theme of gender. This QYLC conference began on the 50th anniversary of the founding of AFSC in hopes of inspiring future Quaker leaders who serve and work for justice. My experience here at Friends is that dream has become a reality as I watch our QYLC students (with the support of their faculty leader Dee) bring their learning and desire to lead for positive change back home to the Friends School community.

- Galen Hamann, Assistant Head of School

Virginia Beach Friends School Founders Day

Date: Saturday March 23
Time: 6:30 - 9:30 pm
Location: Beachside Social - 2728 Atlantic Avenue, 2nd Floor

Secure Your Tickets Today! - Click Here...

Introduction to Quaker Nominating Season

Once again the time is here for us to individually consider that portion of Query 4 relating to service, particularly to our Meeting.

"...Do we regard our time, our talents, and our possessions as given us in trust,and do we use them freely for the needs of others."

Our committees perform the important work of the Meeting and there is much work to be done.

Our Committees

Adult First Day School History
Building and Grounds Library
Communications Nominating
Faith and Practice committee Peace and Social Justice
Finance Young Friends

Nominating Committee will report committee memberships for 2019-2020 in our June Meeting for Business. Between now and then, Nominating Committee members (Andy Young, Debbie Reilly, Kathie Garner, Mary Pelham White and Nancy Nixon) will discuss with the Meeting community their individual committee experiences and interests and will verify or update contact information. Please feel free to approach any Nominating Committee member to discuss leadings you have for service on a particular committee.

To the Ministers, Teachers, and Priests: (So Called, and So Stileing Your Selves) in Barbadoes, by George Fox

Hi Friends:

Our son, Sam works in the USA library, digitizing ancient documents. A couple of weeks ago, he ran across an essay written by George Fox. Attached is a link to the essay, which can be read online by anyone with an Internet connection.

Click this link to access:

I thought some might be interested to see it.

- Andy Young

Interfaith Demonstration at the Norfolk City Jail

On February 14 The Virginian-Pilot ran a two-page article, Norfolk sheriff has quietly held 1,200 suspected illegal immigrants in city jail:

With a firestorm over illegal immigration raging across the country, the Norfolk sheriff has been quietly working with federal authorities for more than a year to lock up hundreds of suspected illegal immigrants in the city jail.

Since September 2017, Sheriff Joe Baron has held more than 1,200 people arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, all while the embattled federal agency fought blowback and withstood calls from high-level officials for it to be abolished.

Click here for the full article...

On Presidents Day, Monday February 18, several members of our Peace and Social Justice committee joined with others in protest ate the jail.

Notes from our P&SJ Meeting, February 3, 2019

The P&SJ Committee met February 3rd following Meeting for worship. Each person shared recent activities as well as issues pressing:

Nancy Craft attended the January VCIPP Day for All People in Richmond. Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax was the keynote speaker. Nancy stressed that the issues and bills discussed during the day will take shape after the cross-over day.

April Megginson outlined the progress of some regional Quakers to plan a tour of sites central to our Virginia/North Carolina history. Most importantly, several people are collaborating to expand on and document Quaker history, focusing on the Somerton Monthly Meeting and the underground railroad through the Great Dismal Swamp. Note: New Garden Monthly Meeting in Greensboro, NC will celebrate the 200th Anniversary of the Underground Railroad this February 9th.

Amy Fisher, a first-time visitor, expressed appreciation for sharing the day as she is presently in Virginia Beach taking care of her aging parents. She found comfort in the tone of Quaker Meeting and offered to help, perhaps with the newsletter.

Mark Connelly told us about his recent retreat to a cabin in New Hampshire to “rough it” for a few days. He also expressed great sadness and confusion related to the call for Gov. Northam’s resignation due to a racist yearbook photo (supposedly of Northam in 1984) that surfaced the day before. Three senior senators from Virginia had just joined those calling for resignation, even though very few details were known about circumstances surrounding the yearbook.

Rosalie Heart reported that the Inter-generational Women met Saturday and expressed differing views of Gov. Northam’s continued service in light of his yearbook photo. Rosie also mentioned attendance at the “Better Angels" event (at The Fellowship of the Inner Light) where the topic was civil discourse. Following that discussion, Rosie considered Matthew Fox’s “Order of Sacred Earth” suggesting a new order with two vows: 1) Love the Earth 2) Protect the Earth.

The question Matthew Fox asks is, “how we build a conscious community that gives is a sense of common sacredness and purpose? He invites us to join the the Order of the Sacred Earth by taking two vows: “I promise to be the best lover and defender of Mother Earth that I can be.” Through being part of the Order of the Sacred Earth we can become part of something larger than ourselves and our combative histories — part of something that is alive, vital, nourishing and a return to community.

Rosalie recommends reading his book, Order of the Sacred Earth.

Faye Bailey urged compassion, both in our families and the larger community. Additionally, she continues her commitment to eliminating litter.

Whit Peace sent notes updating the status of the Hampton Roads Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons that he and Tom Bertrand, have joined with Steve Baggerly (Norfolk Catholic Worker) and others to garner support in our area. Current local focus is community education to encourage support from City Councils.

- Mary Pelham White

Thoughts On Immigration

Contrary to belief, the United States is not the number one Country for Immigration; therefore, our country is not exactly the Land of the Free, now, less than ever.

According to a United Nations recent Report on Immigration, Canada' is the number one Country to accept “the tired, the poor, the huddled masses yearning to breathe free... "

Other Countries are Australia, Singapore, Germany, New Zealand, the United Arab Emirates, Brazil...

On the immigration scale by continents, the largest flow of immigrants comes from Latin America to North America, followed by Asia and Africa to Europe, and Asia to South East Asia.

Today, the Country which makes it a bit easier to settle in is Canada - one of the most beautiful and friendly Countries in the world.

Australia is also a very popular destination for its most liberal policies on immigration, and growing opportunities.

Citizenship is a different matter. For example, to obtain the citizenship in Switzerland the expat or emigrant has to live and work there a minimum of ten years. Japan also requires several years of residence. For many years it was rather easy to obtain citizenship in Ireland, Italy and Israel, but all that has now changed as well.

In the USA, according to NBC, MNBC, and the Department of Home Land Security, the current Administration wants to limit citizenship to legal immigrants.

In the year 2018, USA has seen the most remarkable changes in immigration. These changes are affecting millions of people. For example, immigrants, US residents, who in the past have benefit from SNAP cards (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as food stamps), or Obama Health Care, or free Child Care, well, today these people are disqualified to apply for citizenship.

USCIS (also known as immigration Services) has been ordered to investigate each applicant during the Naturalization process.

Basically, the current Administration has been pushing Congress to pass laws after laws to cut the immigration and citizenship status, limiting the Naturalization Certificate to Green Card holders who are lawful residents of the United States.

As of 30 November 2018, immigrants in the USA accounted for only 13.5 per cent of the entire US. Population.

Also, The Hamilton Project, a well recognized Nationwide Agency that seeks to promote America's promise of opportunity, prosperity, and growth, has released on January 11, 2019, a Report on Immigration and Border Security called "Dozen facts on Immigration" where it explains, among other facts, that "studies and statistics show that immigrants to USA are considerably less likely than natives to commit crimes".

A lot seems to have changed from the time when, as a bride of an American serviceman, I came to America.

I first obtained the Green Card, (it was actually grey in those days),

Then I dutifully enrolled in Americanization and Government courses night classes, passed the exams, and eventually a Federal Court Judge presented me with a Naturalization Certificate. Then, in an unexpected highly emotional and unforgettable moment, one of the Daughters of the American Revolution presented me with a folded flag that had flown on the Capitol for one day.

This spoke to me of patriotism and pride.

It did not matter that a Naturalized citizen was actually addressed as a Second Class Citizen, (although I have not heard this "politically incorrect" term lately).

I was no longer an "alien", addressed with the husband first and last name.

I had renounced everything for this.

But what is going on today? Are we going backwards?

What are we doing for those whose life is cut from family, friends, language, home, foods, and all that the person was familiar with? Push them back, let them die at sea, shoot them, divide them from their mothers or husbands.

Cain and Abel. The Pardonner Tale... now they come to mind.

Cain justified his brotherly act with lethal logic. The same used today.

We need to be heard.

Change will come again, because nothing and nobody ever stays the same.

That remains my hope.

- Liana Fleming

Quaker International Friendly Folk Dancers

The Friendly Folk Dancers is a group of folk-dancing Quakers who minister through dance. During a typical year, the Friendly Folk Dancers organize one or two major tours (about 10 days long) and one or two mini-tours (usually three-day weekends). They have toured all over the U.S. and in several foreign countries.

The Friendly Folk Dancers will be on a 2019 North Carolina tour that has a special theme, "Dancing the World Together", which carries a dual meaning. Not only do the dances they share span the globe, but their program will consist of sets of dances from countries which are, or have been, at war. For example, they have medleys that "unite" Arabs/Israelis, Hindus/Muslims, and so on.

The events will include a half-hour performance followed by 90 minutes of interactive dancing. This traveling group includes four dancers from Kenya and Rwanda and four dancers from the Midwest!

This special group will be performing on Friday, March 8th at 7pm in Salter Path, North Carolina - at St. Francis by the Sea.

920 Salter Path Road
Salter Path, NC 28512
(252) 240-2388

Click here for the flyer with details...

Click here for more information about the Friendly Folk Dancers...

Save The Dates!

Listed below are events that Virginia Beach Friends Meeting is supporting/promoting for the next three months - as recorded on our website at the time this month's Newsletter was published.

Frequently check our Virginia Beach Friends Meeting Upcoming Events webpage as event details are worked out and new events are added.

Regenerative Yoga Therapy

Dates: Thursdays
Time: 1:30-2:30 pm
Location: Meeting house
Cost: $12 per session
Contact: April Megginson,

Church Women United - World Day of Prayer Service

Date: Friday March 1
Time: 11 am
Location: St. Nicholas Catholic Church
712 Little Neck Road
Virginia Beach VA 23452
Contact: Liana Fleming -

Virginia Beach Friends School Founders Day

Date: Saturday March 23
Time: 6:30 - 9:30 pm
Location: Beachside Social - 2728 Atlantic Avenue, 2nd Floor

Memorial Service for Kristen Diane Hofheimer

Date: Saturday March 30
Time: 1 pm
Location: Friends School Wilson Center

VB Friends Community Judeo-Christian Outreach Center Service

Date: Wednesday April 10
Time: 4:00 - 6:30 pm
Location: Judeo-Christian Outreach Center
1053 Virginia Beach Blvd
Virginia Beach, VA 23451

Interim Body Meeting

Date: Saturday April 27
Time: TBD
Location: Durham

VB Friends Community Judeo-Christian Outreach Center Service

Date: Wednesday May 8
Time: 4:00 - 6:30 pm
Location: Judeo-Christian Outreach Center
1053 Virginia Beach Blvd
Virginia Beach, VA 23451

Coastal Friends Gathering

Date: Saturday May 18
Time: 11 am worship followed by potluck
Location: TBD

Next Meeting for Business Query - #9 / Manner of Living:

Are we mindful of Friends testimonies against alcoholic beverages, tobacco, and other harmful drugs; and do we refrain from using them or dealing in them, realizing that abstinence is the clearest witness against overindulgence? Do we seek to avoid all kinds of gambling and places of diversion that tend to be demoralizing? Do we keep in mind how diverse and widespread are the temptations to grow richer at the expense of others? Are we faithful to our testimony against taking oaths?

Next Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business is March 10, 2019, 8:30 am in our Meetinghouse.


Maintained By: Communications Committee
Updated: Monthly