Virginia Beach Friends Meeting

March 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 -


The purpose of this newsletter is to share our monthly meeting minutes and other news with members, attenders and others interested in the Virginia Beach Monthly Meeting.

The minutes represent the official view of the meeting.

Other announcements and articles relating to the meeting are included and reflect the views of the person submitting the information. The name of the person writing or submitting each article is included to avoid the impression the information represents the opinion of the meeting.

Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business

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

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?


Examining the many portions of this query about manner of living we ask ourselves, are our actions based on our beliefs? Do we act on our faith? We reflect on why oaths are pervasive in ordinary speech. There are no degrees to Truth. We reflect on the unfair structure of our society and work toward equality. This query helps us stay connected to God.

Recorded Minutes include:

  • School Report: Mike Barclay shared the re-enrollment letter which outlines some of the many accomplishments since June; including branding, website updates, social media, academics, fund raising, and technology and safety upgrades. This spring the Greenhouse will be re-launched and next year the Cottage will reopen to house a new toddler program..
  • Rosalie Deer Heart’s Clearness membership committee met once and will continue
  • Interim Body April 27 at Durham Friends: Agenda requests are welcome. Dave French and Nancy Craft are delegates. Others are welcome to attend. Please notify the clerk if you plan to attend.
  • The official name of our meeting is Virginia Beach Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends.
  • Hofheimer memorial update: The service, scheduled for 3/30/19 is in the Wilson Center, will be a Quaker service with a few programmed portions. A volunteer sheet was circulated. The Hofheimers express their deep appreciation to the Meeting and the School.
  • School Committee Update: It is important to have a clear recorded title to our Meeting property. It is currently recorded in parcels. We recommend that the Property Task Force move toward a single plat for the meeting property in conjunction with the school when they move forward, as soon as practical. We discussed a future lease between the school and the Meeting.
  • Yearly Meeting Delegates: There was discussion about how delegates are chosen for Yearly Meeting. We requested Nominating Committee consider this issue.
  • Young Friends: Request for more funds for a table and chairs will exceed their budget by about $150. It is approved to provide them with funds to purchase these items.We encourage those who are not parents to help with young friendsas we seek one or two people to helponce a month.Please contact Linda Smith.
  • Building and Grounds: Meeting approved spending $500 for a chair rack. Building and Grounds purchased rubber treads for the stairs to improve safety. Our next work day is 5/18/19.

Next Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business is April 14, 2019, 8:30 am in our Meetinghouse.


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's QuakerSpeak addresses "What Do Quakers Do in Silent Worship.


Season For Nonviolence
Submitted by Steve Baggarly

Herta Okonkwa has worked for years to try to get local school systems to allow for the celebration of the Season of Nonviolence in their schools. The Season was begun 20 years ago by Arun Gandhi, grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, and runs from January 30 (date Gandhi assassinated) to April 4 (MLK's assassination), as a time to spread the message and practice of nonviolence.

Herta has lots of ideas for school activities that could take place during this time. Please take a minute to go to her website (link follows), learn a bit, and sign her petition.


This year's commemoration of the Season of Nonviolence will be Saturday, April 6, at the Little Theater of Virginia Beach.

Church Women United
Submitted by Liana Fleming

The slogan of Church Women United (CWU) is -

       The Time is Now!

The CWU Logo is a circle red and yellow with an exploding sun in the center. The rays of the Sun represent dynamic force, vitality, and life. The rays also suggest movement, action and power.


The Quadrennial Priorities of 2016-2020 are Human Rights, Hunger and Poverty, Health and Wellness, Diversity and Inclusiveness.

On March First of this year CWU participated in the "World Day Prayer with Slovenia."

We met, prayed, sang, had lunch, heard voices and stories: Marjeta's story, Natasha's story, Ema's story. And we had discussions, and recited the Lord's Prayer.

Again, this year, CWU brought together various races, cultures, and traditions in closer fellowship and action, proving once more that prayer and action are inseparable and can influence the world.

The next local CWU gathering will be on Saturday April 6, 2019 from 3-5 pm at Lynnhaven United Methodist Church.

Quaker Women Luncheon
Submitted by Nancy Nixon

Quaker Women will be having their last gathering, prior to the summer months, on Wednesday May 1, 2019, at Waterman's (415 Atlantic Avenue Virginia Beach, Virginia 23451).

Please contact Nancy Nixon (757-375-2224) or Kathie Garner (804-714-4012) if you plan to attend.

We will resume Quaker Women gatherings the fall of 2019.

Book Release - A Samurai Wife
Submitted by Linda Smith

I am pleased to let you know that our friend Midori Bamba has published this book and it is available at this link on

Midori writes under the pen name of O.Snow and has published other books that she has shared with our Meeting.

A follow-up to A Samurai Wife will be focused on in a future Newsletter.

Otama, a brave and beautiful girl, grows up in a high ranking samurai family in 16 century Japan. She is married, by order of her father’s master, Lord Oda, to a strong, jealous samurai named Tadaki. Since Otama is very intelligent, she thinks deep thoughts and is sometimes depressed. Gradually, she learns about Jesus Christ’s unconditional love. Finally she has peace. She tries to follow her strong samurai husband, yet keep her Christian faith. Otama’s life is unique, dramatically beautiful and unforgettable. I want to introduce this samurai wife to a western audience. Fiction based on fact.

Peace and Social Justice Committee Announcements
Submitted by Tom Bertrand

April 7, our regular monthly meeting of the Committee on Peace & Social Justice will focus on these matters, in addition to our regular overview of our members’ environmental and justice activities:

  1. Steve Baggarly of the Norfolk Catholic Worker will be present to talk about the Hampton Roads Campaign to convince local municipalities to declare their support for the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. Steve participated in a March 4 meeting at FCNL offices on Capitol Hill where FCNL’s Diane Randall conversed with Nobel Peace Prize Winner Beatrice Fihn of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons.
  2. We will begin our review of “The World We Seek,” the foundational statement of legislative policy by the Friends Committee on National Legislation. Virginia Beach Friends will remember that our Meeting participates every two years in the process of revising FCNL’s legislative priorities for the upcoming legislative session. “The World We Seek” is the policy statement that underlies those changing priorities. The General Committee of FCNL (on which Tom B serves) has invited comments from Quakers around the country as the Committee works to revise this policy statement for the first time since November 2013. The deadline for submission of comments is the end of April. Please download and read the document before our committee meeting next First Day (April 7th): . We will meet again on April 28th to formulate our response.
  3. Update on support for Central American refugees awaiting asylum hearings.

Upcoming Events:

  • Tuesday, April 2, 12 noon- 1pm, at Granby St. and City Hall Ave, "Nuclear Weapons and the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons" vigil and leafletting. After 14 years of our Close Guantanamo vigil, we are changing to alerting people that we are at two minutes to midnight in terms of proximity to nuclear war (according to the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists), and that there is now a treaty for the complete elimination of nukes. (coordinated by the Norfolk Catholic Worker)
  • Saturday, April 6, 11:30 to 12:30, regular Vigil for Peace at the corner of Main St. and Warwick Blvd. in Newport News. (coordinated by the Norfolk Catholic Worker)
  • Sunday, April 7, Meeting of Peace & Social Justice Committee after rise of Meeting for Worship at Virginia Beach Friends Meeting (visiting presenter: Steve Baggarly)
  • Good Friday, April 19, 11 am, gathering at the Basilica of St. Mary's in Norfolk to begin the justice and peace Stations of the Cross walk through downtown Norfolk. (coordinated by the Norfolk Catholic Worker)
  • Saturday, April 20, 11:30 to 12:30, Vigil for Peace at the corner of Main St. and Warwick Blvd. in Newport News. (coordinated by the Norfolk Catholic Worker)
  • Friday, April 26, 11 am-12 noon, at the main gate to Norfolk Naval Shipyard, on Effingham St., just north of Portsmouth Blvd., "No nuclear war, no Trident" vigil. The USS Wyoming, which carries 7 pounds of TNT for every person on the planet, is still being overhauled at the shipyard. (coordinated by the Norfolk Catholic Worker)
  • Sunday, April 28, Meeting of Peace & Social Justice Committee after rise of Meeting for Worship at Virginia Beach Friends Meeting (we will be discussing “The World We Seek” in order to make a response to FCNL)

Click here for the Peace & Social Justice Committee's report to our March Meeting for Business...


Retreat - “Encounter with God: The Root of Testimony and Witness.”
Submitted by Andy Young

Some twenty-five Friends gathered on Seventh-day, 2/16/19 with Lloyd Lee Wilson of Friendship Monthly Meeting in Greensboro, NC in a program called, “Encounter with God: The Root of Testimony and Witness.” Lloyd Lee was recorded as a minister in Virginia Beach Meeting.

The day-long retreat at the Meetinghouse, sponsored by the Ministers, Elders, and Overseers, was a rare opportunity to look at our concept of God, and to share with others, in a safe space, how it grows and changes. That experience was both enlightening and affirming of our human attempts to put ordinary language to our relationship with a power greater than ourselves. What do we call it? How do we experience it? How do we relate to it?

Everyone there shared their individual spiritual journey, some more than others. It really helped us to get to know one another better, something our faith community has desired for a long time. We also looked at how we, as a meeting, can nurture that process. The retreat was probably one of the best we’ve had in recent memory.

Retreat Follow Up
Submitted by Hank Ghittino

Friends gathered after rise of Meeting on Third month 24 for a brown bag lunch discussion to follow up the recent retreat with Lloyd Lee Wilson. Ministers, Elders, and Overseers had sent out an invitation to all in the Meeting whether or not they had attended the retreat. Those attending were asked to bring their takeaways from the retreat with them and to consider these questions:

  • What questions were generated within you during the retreat or came to you after?
  • What did you hear that can be applied to the growth of our Community?
  • How did the retreat affect you personally?

About twenty people attended the lunch where a deep sharing of memories from the retreat led to broader discussions about Quakers, spirituality, and community.

Poor People’s Campaign Environmental Justice rally in Buckingham County, February 26.
Submitted by Tom Bertrand

Tom Kennedy, Steve Baggarly, Eli Oliver, Tom Bertrand and Curtis Speer attended a rally at Buckingham County Middle School in Union Hill, VA, protesting the high-pressure pumping station at Union Hill proposed as part of the $7.5 billion Mountain Valley and Atlantic Coast pipelines being built by Dominion Power and Duke Power to convey fracked gas. The rally drew between 800 and 1000 concerned local residents and activists from around Virginia.

The Reverend Dr. William Barber and former Vice President Al Gore, as well as various citizens of Buckingham County, gave powerful testimonies at the rally.

At the rally, left to right: Bertrand, Kennedy, Spear, Oliver, Baggarly.

That morning at Point Comfort on the James River, while enroute to pick up Tom Kennedy at his office at Fort Monroe, Baggarly, Oliver and Bertrand visited the site of the first landing of African slaves in Virginia in 1619, 400 years ago.

There are things known, and things unknown, and between them are the Doors
Submitted by Liana Fleming

"There are things known and things unknown, and between are the Doors". (Jim Morrison)

How many of us grew up to the music of The Doors Rock Band of Jim Morrison, the antagonistic and challenging artist who heard it all in his head? Well, he was my favorite vocalist too.

Born on Dec. 8, 1943, this mind bending and outlandish genius produced the first single "Breaking on Through", followed by "The Back Door Man", "Waiting for the Sun", and more.

On July 3, 1971, The Doors Manager released the statement that "27 years old Jim Morrison had broken through the other side". He had died in the bath tub of his Paris apartment of "heart attack".

Critics wrote that "The dark eroticism of his baritone voice and poetic lyrics helped make his music one of the most powerful of those years..."

I knew next nothing of his dark side. I never drank, smoked, or experimented with hallucinogens. It had to do with principles, and the way we grew up, "We are created in God's image", I was taught.

My only drug experience of the '70's is limited to one short episode. We were stationed in Sicily, and some US Navy pilots who lived next door brought me a bunch of leaves from nearby Malta to plant. And I, believing them to be exotic basil leaves, made a green, rich pesto for penne dish for everyone. I remember being sick all night. They laughed.

Eventually I learned that Jim Morrison had named his Band after "The Doors of Perception", the book by the British writer Aldous Huxley, where the author elaborates about his psychedelic experience under the influence of mescaline and other harmful drugs.

In the late '80s on an EF Tour to Paris with my students, I spent a bit of time at the Poets Corner of Pierre La-Chaise Cemetery, and placed a rose on Jim Morrison's Tomb.

Others explored the depth of his sensations and the meaning of his message.

I never understood what he saw, and the magnitude of what he composed.

It never occurred to me to get high and alter the function of my mind to explore the chance to open "The Doors of Perceptions."

Certainly nothing would have appeared to me as it did to him, or to other talented people who left testimonials of their fatal experience with the Infinite.

In February of this year, after a false movement made during a Dance Class, went to the Emergency Room of the local Hospital to have my left knee x-rayed.

"Well, said the young Assistant Physician on duty, nothing is broken, but do not take Tylenol or Advil, or you will be right back here with your pain. Take this prescription, one Dramadol pill every six hours, and you can travel to California as you say you are scheduled to do." And Rite Aide sold me this miracle drug for a few $$.

And I took one that evening, and one more the following morning. And I went in another world, but did not die. Au contrair! Did I overdose on two pills? Yes.

The reaction did not stop at the shortness of breath, perspiration, and confusional state of mind. I went out of my mind, meaning that my mind went out of the world I had lived iso comfortably in until then.

And my head went through the open Doors into the Infinite.

I hallucinated for hours and hours on the floor of my living room where I was found much later.

I met with Otzi, the man who lived 5300 years ago, whose body had been found in 1991 in the ice of mountains between Austria and Italy. I counted his many tattoos. (In the year 2000 I had actually visited the Museum in Bolzano, Italy, where Otzi is preserved in a special ice cell under glacier conditions).

Next, I was walking on the Moon with Commander Neil Armstrong.

But now the Doors were open, and I had crossed them, unable or unwilling to break away.

I was somewhere, looking into the Infinite, and could not return, even when my sorrowful parents tried to push me away.

But there I was, with so much, and so many others, including my grandmother Adelaide, singing my favorite Arias.

I was totally unable to write down the Pledge to the Allegiance, which Robert earnestly begged me to do when he found me on the floor. He said that I had gone out of my mind.

Within a couple of days I did return to myself in the now world.

Later that week I happily traveled to California, still with a painful knee, and a precious walker - courtesy of Medicare (maybe).

Luckily for me, the elusive Doors had closed behind me and I was alive.

I do believe the Doors hold the key to the Infinite, Life and Death, Light and Darkness, Heaven and Hell, Past and Future, Truth and Lies.

As many seekers, I still hold a relentless curiosity and a considerable fear for places and things unknown.

But I do seek the Divine, and believe that it is not necessary to go very far to find it.

As for The Doors, hopefully, the time to open them will be at my unknown expiration date on this beautiful Earth.

Quaker Funning

Taken from Quakers Are Funny!, by Chuck Fager, Kimo Press, 1987:

One World War II Quaker conscientious objector had been a professional wrestler. Once when he and some other inmates of the Coshocton CPS camp in Ohio made a trip into town, they were hassled about their pacifism by some local youths, who insisted that only force could change the German's views.

In response, the ex-wrestler took off his coat, challenged one of the local boys to a match, and promptly threw the townie across the room. He then asked the youth, "Now do you believe that force won't change people's views?"

"Heck no!" the local boy hollered back.

"That's exactly my point," said the Quaker, who put on his coat and left.

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,

The Art of Humanity - In Honor of a Season For Nonviolence

Date: Saturday April 6
Time: 10 am - 1 pm
Location: Little Theatre of Virginia Beach
550 Barberton Drive
Virginia Beach, VA

Church Women United Spring Gathering

Date: Saturday April 6
Time: 3-5 pm
Location: Lynnhaven United Methodist Church

The Joy and Power of Stillness in a Busy World - An Open House @ The Clearing

Date: Saturday April 6, 2019
Time: 1 - 4 pm
Location: The Clearing - a Quaker retreat
14006 Genito Road (27.85 mi from Richmond)
Amelia Court House, Virginia 23002

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

Lynnhaven River Now Waterway Cleanup

Date: Saturday, April 13
Time: 9 am - noon
Meet Up Location: "Old Moose Lodge"
Whit Peace, / 757-613-2828

Interim Body Meeting

Date: Saturday April 27
Time: TBD
Location: Durham

Quaker Women Luncheon

Date: Wednesday May 1
Time: Noon
Location: Waterman's
415 Atlantic Avenue
Virginia Beach, VA 23451
Contact: Nancy Nixon (757-375-2224), or Kathie Garner (804-714-4012).

Lynnhaven River Now Waterway Cleanup

Date: Saturday, May 4
Time: 9 am - noon
Meet Up Location: Beach Garden Park
2854 Kilbourne Court
Virginia Beach, VA 23451
Whit Peace, / 757-613-2828

VBFM Faith and Practice Brown Bag

Date: Sunday May 5
Time: Noon
Location: Meetinghouse

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

Work Day at the Meetinghouse

Date: Saturday May 18
Time: 9:00 am - noon
Location: Meetinghouse

Coastal Friends Gathering

Date: Saturday May 18
Time: 11 am worship followed by potluck
Location: Fayetteville, NC

Next Meeting for Business Query - #8 / Manner of Living:

Do we observe simplicity and honesty in our manner of living? Are we careful to live within the bounds of our circumstances, punctual in keeping promises, prompt in the payment of debts, and just in all our dealings? Do we choose those activities which will strengthen our physical, mental, and spiritual life; and do we avoid those harmful to ourselves and others?

Next Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business is Sunday April 14, 2019, 8:30 am in our Meetinghouse.


Maintained By: Communications Committee
Updated: Monthly