Virginia Beach Friends Meeting

August 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 August business meeting are posted at this link…

Query #1 - Meeting for Worship:

Do we faithfully uphold our testimony for worship which is based on silent waiting, and for free and un-programmed ministry that may be shared by all? Is there a living silence in which we feel drawn together by the Light of Christ, the power of God in our midst; and is this inspiration carried over into our daily lives? Do we come to Meeting with hearts and minds open and ready to worship in silence or in vocal ministry or prayer as the Holy Spirit leads us? Does our meeting encourage those who may have a gift for the spoken ministry?


Our Meeting has consistently been good with silent worship, waiting for the Light, and responding “as we are led.” Our Meeting is always learning anew what is involved in ministry. We are drawn in this query to the words “living silence” which we experience as a deep listening and deep searching in our worship together. Attending meeting has changed our spiritual lives for the better, giving us new ways of understanding God. We struggle to find words adequate to express how this has inspired us over the years, renewing our spirits and connecting us with one another. The messages that do come seem heartfelt and authentically spoken by that “still small voice.” We cherish memories of those who have helped us grow through their vocal ministry in the past.

Recorded Minutes include:

  • Joint Property Task Force Report: Nancy Craft reported on a joint property task force activities that have occurred this week. Lewis White reported that the closing documents for the temporary construction easement and permanent gas easement along our Laskin Road frontage are being finalized by Virginia DOT. After considering the issue carefully, the Joint Property Task Force has recommended that the anticipated $156,500 payment from VDOT be divided as follows: $100,000 to the School, and $56,500 to the Meeting. This division needs to be approved by both the Meeting and the School Committee. Lewis clarified that the School is taking responsibility for hiring an arborist to protect the meeting and the school’s interests, including the trees, during entrance-way construction and re-landscaping. Treasurer David French reminded the Meeting that several years ago VDOT had previously paid the Meeting $115,000 for the temporary easement. This $156,500 is new money, which Lewis said should be available to the School and the Meeting within a week or two. Another $11,900 will be coming to the Meeting in the near future as a result of the Dominion Power Easement.
    Approved: that the $156,500 payment expected to be paid this week by VDOT be divided as follows: $100,000 to Friends School and $56,500 to the Meeting.

  • Head of School Report: Mike Barclay compares the three summer months to Friday, Saturday, Sunday of a week. By this reckoning, it’s already almost midnight on Sunday. The first day of the new school year is 8th Month 28. Among the many who have been working hard on behalf of the school over the summer months, Mike singled out Lewis White, convener of the Friends of Friends LLC for special thanks. Many landscaping improvements have been achieved. There are now walls on the Cottage as part of the ongoing renovation, which will be completed by the beginning of school. He invites the Meeting to go out and view the improvements behind the Cottage. ViComm has been installing fiber optic cables throughout the campus. Two new toddler teachers, a new science teacher, and a former Spanish teacher have been hired for the 2019-2020 school year. Expected incoming enrollment is currently in the 90s. The enrollment target is 112. Enrollment growth is most promising in the earliest grades, where the new toddler program should continue picking up new students through the fall. The school is active in local marketing, through magazine and online ads, as well as creative signage on Laskin Road. Mike’s recent vacation experience with his son, Grier, on the tallest roller coaster in New England reminds him of his Head of School experiences during the 2018-19 school year.

  • School Committee Report: Hank Ghittino presented the report of the School Committee. He commended School Committee Clerk Joanne Young, for her resourceful cultivation of local business connections and leadership of the School Committee, and Candace Jardin for her skills and leadership as the new CFO of the School. The accounting is now much more transparent than in recent years. The School Committee has met multiple times in executive session over the past two months with Friends of Friends LLC and with local bankers and has participated in a brainstorming meeting with local business professionals. Hank stated that the School’s unique mission is still relevant. These meetings have focused on short-term and long-term financial planning for the school. Hank gave some history of past outreach efforts by the Meeting and the School. Head of School Mike Barclay is engaged in new opportunities to bring added revenue streams to the school to supplement tuition income. Mike and Hank spoke positively about the School’s efforts to upgrade the campus, improve educational quality, achieve financial transparency, and prime the pump of enrollment growth from the earliest grades, with a goal of climbing out of deficit spending within four years. There is an immediate need for additional cash flow to fund the school while these efforts are underway. Hank reported that School Committee intends that the total of $200,000 would be repaid to the Meeting once alternative financing by the school has been achieved. David French indicated that the Meeting does have funds in the Meeting’s Friends Fiduciary Fund to cover another $100,000 loan. Approved: that Meeting loan Friends School an additional $100,000, pending a simple agreement for repayment to be reviewed by the Finance Committee over the next few days.

  • Report on the Barbara French Memorial Service: We celebrated the life of our beloved Barbara French at a well-attended and deeply moving Memorial Service held in the Wilson Center, Friends School, on the afternoon of Seventh Month 27. David French indicated that he and his family would be happy if the approximately $1000 contributed to the Meeting as memorial gifts in Barb’s name be donated to the School. Approved: that the total amount of gifts contributed to the Meeting in memory of Barbara French be transferred to the School.

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


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

Click here to find out more about QuakerSpeak and to subscribe to receive QuakerSpeak by email when new videos come out each week on Thursday...


How accurate are modern translations of the Bible? Quaker translator Sarah Ruden says they’re often missing nuance. And humor.


Adult First Day School Restarting
Submitted by Patrick Goold

After our summer break, on September 15, Adult First Day School will continue our discussion of the book Engaging Scripture: Reading the Bible with Early Friends by Earlham professor Michael Birkel. (Click here for the Goodreads review...)

As I stated before our study began - A spiritual life cannot be based on external authority but must grow out of an individual’s personal experience of the Light.

And yet the writings of early Quakers are full of Biblical references and there is abundant testimony about the frequent use of biblical language in spoken ministry (See this chapter from a book on early Quakerism for some background in their use of the Bible).

I am suspicious of any attempt to turn a book into an authority over the spirit. History is full of examples of misguided attempts to use the Bible as an instrument of control over others. Early Quakers suffered directly from many such attempts. But they did not respond by eschewing the Bible as many modern Quakers do. They clearly found in the Bible language that deepened and expanded the spiritual power in their lives and testimonies.

I want to understand whether we, too, might read the Bible as a source of language that could deepen and expand our own experience of the light within, and if so, how.

I hope you will join me in a friendly conversation using Michael Birkel’s gentle text as a springboard.

The goal is not only to understand Quaker history but to reflect on how our imaginations and our language could become more adequate media for experience of the divine light.

- Patrick Goold

Adult First Day School meets at 9:30 am on the third Sunday of the month.

Memorial Service for Patty Levering on September 21
Submitted by Nancy Craft

The main memorial service for Patty will be held at St. Albans Episcopal Church in Davidson on Saturday, September 21, at 2 p.m. If you are planning to attend, please try to arrive at the church not later than 1:45 (a) so that the service can start on time, without unnecessary interruption, and (b) so that we can have time to determine, before the service starts, whether additional chairs will be needed to accommodate those who arrive later than 1:50. I am truly grateful to Carmen Germino, the rector at St. Albans who knew Patty, for kindly allowing us to hold the service there.

The service will have some traditional elements (singing and Bible readings), but will mainly be in the Quaker tradition of speaking out of the silence, as led by the Spirit. If you are thinking that you may be led to speak about Patty and her impact on your life, please know that all speaking, in addition to being Spirit-led (insofar as we humans can determine that) should be (a) spontaneous (i.e., not written down in advance), and (b) short (i.e., not more than 2-3 minutes at the most, featuring for example the best memory you have of Patty or the greatest impact that she had on your life). In order to try to keep the service at a reasonable length, I will ask the person leading it to enforce the time limit if needed, so that as many people as possible who wish to speak will be able to do so.

The church is located at 301 Caldwell Lane in Davidson. I know most of you use the Google Maps app, but it doesn't tell you that the parking lot is behind the church. So quickly, the full directions: (1) From the main nearby street, Concord Road, turn north onto St. Albans Lane for 407 feet (I haven't measured it myself to verify!). (2) When the church is in front of you, turn left (northwest) onto Caldwell Lane for 128 feet. (3) Turn right on the narrow Mary E. Gamble Byway (is there a signpost there?) past the church's bell tower and then on down a hill to the parking lot. There is an entrance to the church on the basement level.

I deeply regret that a number of Patty's North Carolina Quaker friends have a conflict on the 21st, and I'm sure others do as well. This is the date that seemed to work best for close family. Anyone who wishes to do so may share memories of Patty with Ralph via email (, a good platform for him that allows him to respond comfortably and hopefully confidentially.

- Good health and God's blessings from Patty's still-grieving husband, Ralph

Click here for Patty's obituary...

Quaker House in Fayetteville is Celebrating its 50th Anniversary on September 21
Submitted by Nancy Craft

World Quaker Day - Save The Date, Sunday October 6
Submitted by Linda Smith

The Virginia Beach Friends Meeting would like to invite anyone who may be interested in learning more about us to join us for the annual World Quaker Day. Each year World Quaker Day is celebrated on the first Sunday of October.

This year we will explore and discuss the theme of sustainability.

Families with children are welcomed. We will have programs for children.

Please contact for more information and if you would like to help with the Program Planning and/or otherwise volunteer to help that day.



2019 NCYMC Epistle to Friends Everywhere
Submitted by Yearly Meeting

Dear Friends Everywhere,

While gathered on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Wilmington on Seventh Month 11-14, 2019, for our 322nd Annual Sessions, we send warm greetings of love to our distant Friends.

Our theme this year was “Retire to the quietness; let the light shine,” which brings together two thoughts of Robert Barclay. These words indeed describe how our shared time together gave us a quiet space to retire and reflect -- so that we may better let our light shine. This year finds Friends on both a monthly and yearly meeting level wrestling with questions of how to best let that light shine – how to live out our faith in a divided nation and a world characterized by systemic racism, inequality and militarism -- and what practically needs to be in place to support those efforts.

We have struggled over what should be our relationship to the Poor People’s Campaign, in which many of our monthly meetings are active participants. However, at these sessions, we came to clarity with a statement of endorsement for the Campaign that we will publicize (attached). We approved the creation of both a budget line-item and a committee for the purpose of supporting those in monthly meetings working with the Campaign.

Our Book of Discipline revision is in its sixth year. The committee has been faithful in its work and we are grateful for all it has done. At this session, provisional approval was given to the section on the Queries. A central activity of our yearly meeting is the reading of the monthly meetings’ answers to the Queries, and their State of the Meeting reports, to the gathered body. In those exercises this year, Friends shared moving accounts of their meetings’ struggles, joys, sorrows and growth that helped us better understand our shared opportunities and challenges.

On Fifth Day evening, Toby Berla (Durham Meeting) led us in “Reflecting on the Images of the Cross.” He shared with us the history of what the cross has meant to different religious communities. He asked us to think of the cross as a place where chronos and kairos – the temporal and eternal, the human and divine -- meet. He then led those present in a wide-ranging discussion of what the cross means to us today.

On Sixth Day evening, Visiting Friend Johan Maurer (Sierra Cascades Yearly Meeting, Moscow Monthly Meeting) was inspired by a text from Robert Barclay’s Apology, “For, when I came into the silent assemblies of God’s people, I felt a secret power among them” to explore both how we encounter the “secret power” of the Divine and how we share such truth. He then illustrated how these processes informed his experience in Russia as a Friend who wanted to share his faith, but could not always do so directly. He stressed the positive, loving relationships that can be established between Russians and Americans.

During our time together, we heard from several representatives of Quaker organizations and ministries.

Nikki Holland asked for our prayers and financial support for FUM’s Belize Friends Ministries.

Emma Condori of Holiness Friends Yearly Meeting in Boliva told us about the climate change work of the Quaker Youth Action Project, which has also made connections with youth in the United States.

Riley Robinson of Friends Committee on National Legislation spoke of FCNL’s mission and accomplishments.

Nancy Haines (Durham Meeting) reported for the Friends Committee on North Carolina Legislation, newly created to help bring the values of Friends to the state political process. While FCNCL is under the spiritual care of Piedmont Friends Yearly Meeting, they are a group that is independent of any yearly meeting, and welcome all to participate in their work.

Mary Jo Klingle of Quaker Earthcare Witness announced that Lauri Langham (Durham Meeting) will be visiting the monthly meetings, and that Earthcare Witness will be meeting in Durham in April 2020.

Director Kindra Bradley reported that Quaker House is on the eve of their 50th anniversary celebration. At a Seventh Day evening program, she shared the work of Quaker House through a series of new videos, followed by a panel discussion featuring past directors Bob Gosney and Chuck Fager, as well as current counselors Lenore Yarger and Steve Wollford.

We were blessed with many families with young children. A devoted team of volunteers offered a robust children’s and youth program that included games, activities and a trip to Kure Beach. Visiting Friend Chuck Jones (Chattanooga Meeting) offered a daily “Kites, Wind and Spirit” program. The children and youth also spent time helping at the Good Shepherd Shelter.

Ruby Braye led a daily intergenerational Bible study on the Gospel of John (4:24, 16:13, 6:63), the First Letter of John (4:4) and Galatians (6:16). We also had several interest group meetings, a book room, shared activities and shared meals. On Seventh Day evening, Friends enjoyed an intergenerational talent show. Friends had many opportunities for spiritual growth and fellowship in our time together, whether during evening snack time or walking across campus together. The weather was hot and humid, but the lovely campus landscaping featured many shade trees, and we appreciated the hawks and other birds who live there.

We hold you in our hearts and pray that you know the love that we have for you, and experience the Love of God with which we have been so richly blessed. Please know that it would warm our hearts if you were able to visit with us next year. We will meet for our 323rd session in Greensboro, NC, Seventh Month 9-12, 2020, if in accordance with Divine Will.

On behalf of North Carolina Yearly Meeting (Conservative),

Gwen Gosney Erickson, Clerk

A New Year at Friends School
Submitted by Galen Hamann

Aug 30, 2019

This August begins our 64 year at Friends School, and I am reminded- while there are many changes; Louise Wilson’s vision of providing a Friends Education to students in Virginia Beach remains the same. Let me share a snapshot of some of the moments I experienced that vision for a Friends Education this week.

On Tuesday, we held a new parent orientation to Friends Education in the Meetinghouse. In the room were 30+ families (last year only 6), we shared silence and introduced them to what it means to be a part of a Friends community. During the open time for questions one parent shared- “I picked the school because it is Quaker. I went to a Friends school and when I found out we were moving to Virginia Beach I told my husband there is only one place our daughter is going- Friends School.” After that a couple asked me, “Do you ever talk about God? We believe that all people are created with a purpose from God but how does that connect to the Inner Light? How can we help our daughter make the connection between our Methodist faith and Quakerism?” This led to a conversation about the Inner Light and its connection to the Divine, and how I share about God with children during the faith and play stories.

On Wednesday, we held our first Meeting for Worship. Downstairs I read a book about going to Meeting for Worship to all our Lower School students. I asked them what the silence in Meeting for Worship reminds them of, and what do they like to do or think about during the silence? Upstairs our Quaker Leaders had prepared queries for the Middle and Upper School students to consider during worship. When we all joined together for the last 10 minutes there was a deep and rich silence. I watched two very active 6 year old boys, reunited from summer sit quietly enjoying the peace of being in worship together again. During the joys and concerns, we listened to what was on the heart of the community, celebrating the return to school and lifting of community members who are ailing.

Thursday during our Middle School faculty lunch meeting I felt the camaraderie of the faculty I read about in Louise’s book. Our faculty shared their goal for the year: to build community with one another and act as a team. We discussed how to best care for students and laughed together over lunch.

Today I received this note from one of our assistant teachers. “Today Kindergarten went to science...included an introduction to the garden and then we experienced the garden first hand. Plus we had a potential new student who participated......and her parents observed… What an amazing experience! Kate was so connected to our students...she was so knowledgeable, patient, accepting, and re-directing...What a lovely experience for the first day in the garden…”

This summer I have been reading a book on mindful leadership. Making time to be aware of the beauty and gifts of our school, and be present to these moments amongst the business of an administrative day of doing is one of my personal goals for the year. I hope you will help me with this goal, join us for Meeting For Worship, come have a walk to the garden with me, enjoy our winter concert, come share a cup of coffee with me in the faculty lounge, or stop in to see the artwork on your way to our newly revitalized library.

Meeting members have been so vital to the continued Friends Education at our school. I am so grateful for your support and hope you will visit often to see the ways the seeds you have planted are growing.

Happy New Year! Galen Hamann, Assistant Head of School

Home - by Warson Shire
Submitted by Steve Baggarly

no one leaves home unless
home is the mouth of a shark.

you only run for the border
when you see the whole city
running as well.

your neighbours running faster
than you, the boy you went to school with
who kissed you dizzy behind
the old tin factory is
holding a gun bigger than his body,
you only leave home
when home won't let you stay.

no one would leave home unless home
chased you, fire under feet,
hot blood in your belly.

it's not something you ever thought about
doing, and so when you did -
you carried the anthem under your breath,
waiting until the airport toilet
to tear up the passport and swallow,
each mouthful of paper making it clear that
you would not be going back.

you have to understand,
no one puts their children in a boat
unless the water is safer than the land.

who would choose to spend daysand nights in the stomach of a truck
unless the miles travelled
meant something more than journey.

no one would choose to crawl under fences,
be beaten until your shadow leaves you,
raped, then drowned, forced to the bottom of
the boat because you are darker, be sold,
starved, shot at the border like a sick animal,
be pitied, lose your name, lose your family,
make a refugee camp a home for a year or two or ten,
stripped and searched, find prison everywhere
and if you survive and you are greeted on the other side
with go home blacks, refugees
dirty immigrants, asylum seekers
sucking our country dry of milk,
dark, with their hands out
smell strange, savage -
look what they've done to their own countries,
what will they do to ours?

the dirty looks in the street
softer than a limb torn off,
the indignity of everyday life
more tender than fourteen men who
look like your father, between
your legs, insults easier to swallow
than rubble, than your child's body
in pieces -for now, forget about pride
your survival is more important.

i want to go home, but home is the mouth of a shark
home is the barrel of the gun
and no one would leave home
unless home chased you to the shore
unless home tells you to
leave what you could not behind,even if it was human.

no one leaves home until home
is a damp voice in your ear saying
leave, run now, i don't know what
i've become

Click here for Wikipedia content for Warsan Shire...

Angels With One Wing- Mentorship and Kids Stuff
Submitted by Liana Fleming

Why did I volunteer to be a Mentor?

Well, the word Mentor reminded me of the Odyssey and Ulysses (or Odysseus), who, before leaving for the War of Troy, had placed his son Telemachus in the care of Mentor, son of Alchimus. And, while Ulysses was away, Telemachus, with the help of Mentor, had grown up to be an outstanding young man. But that was the 12th or 13h century BC !

(In Middle School we had to memorize these myths).

I thought of the personal relationship a Mentor could build with a pre-teenager.

But, was I capable to be a mentor? A guru'? A confident?

This implied the possibility to integrate body, mind, and spirit to help a student achieving a higher potential.

My fantasy was out of control.

I thought of the old American TV Game Show called "Are you smarter than a Sixth Grader?"

In that show everything had to do with school and home assignments. But, did I remember Elementary Science? Geometry? Math? (My worst subject in school!) Still, I thought I would try to be a Mentor.

You see, an "Official Mentorship Request" had come to our Rotary from a local Public School representative.

(Helping in the local Community is only one example of the multiple dimensions of the Rotary concept of "Service Above Self").

This particular request was called "The C- Straight Mentorship of Virginia Beach Public Schools", the second largest school system in Virginia.

Did I have the skill, expertise, and patience to provide educational, moral and social guidance and encouragement to one or more sixth graders?

There was only one way to find it out.

I signed up Robert and myself up as Mentors for the school year at one of the 15 Middle Schools of our city.

That night, on "Dr. Google" I researched that particular school's Test Score Ratings in English, Reading, Math, and Science, and learned that some groups were not getting the support needed to succeed as others did.

These were the students’ scores I found:

Black 58% 4/10
White 18% 9/10
Hispanic 10% 8/10
Two or more Races 9% 7/10
Asian 4% 10/10

Soon the Mentorship Program began, duly reported in The Virginian Pilot newspaper between the Sports and the Obituaries.

So, I reported to the school as a Mentor, and was directed to a Multi-Purpose Room where I was assigned to a long table with ten sixth graders, mostly girls.

One of them, who spoke for all of them, immediately informed me that they had "no home work, ever". Then they busied themselves ignoring me for the rest of the time, making colorful Friendship bracelets with material such as Lego and Starburst wrappers, with threads and yarn.

The word Lego, from the Danish language, means "play well", and this they did at every meeting for that semester.

They would put their yarn together, fold it in half, knot it in the middle, and, voila', they would carefully create several strands of colorful bracelets!

And I sat there, thinking of the lyrics of "Silence is Golden, but my eyes still see... Talking is cheap... " (The Four Seasons rock and pop Band, early 70's... )

And the "golden silence" ruled at the long table where I sat with these kids where one could hear a pin drop, while one child had another child holding the strands. Occasionally, the two would switch role. In silence.

Angels with one wing, I thought, who need one another to fly.

And I watched them intrigued and mesmerized.

Once in a while I would break the silence to express sincere admiration and warm approval for their incredible talent. They would look at each other, and smile back in appreciation.

And I would come home with several gifts of wrist-size bracelets.

So it went, as these middle schoolers would swap dazzling beads from the numerous boxes the School had provided to them.

I thought how different this was from my strict Catholic schools, wher we spent the school day in our dark uniforms doing Latin and Greek translations, without interaction with other peers, and fearful to look up, above the blackboard, where a life-size nailed Christ was copiously bleeding from a cedar, pine or cypress Cross, as the tradition required.

One of the Assistant Principals, a smartly dressed young woman, would occasionally walk in the room with more treasured boxes of colorful beads, advising us about how long time was left before the Ice Cream would be served.

During this time, Robert would be in another part of this state-of-the-arts school, monitoring, coaching other kids playing kickball, maybe sitting on a bench.

Eventually, all of them would join us for the "all you can eat ice cream", at which time the sixth graders would become excited and talkative, even hugging one another.

But during the time they were assigned to me they stayed quiet and respectful. With no homework, no questions, no answers, and, sadly, nothing to say, they would spend the entire time at the table, without even asking to be excused to go to the bathroom.

It seemed they were there for the beads, for each other, and for the ice cream. Or was it because a single parent or guardian was working late and there was noone at home?

Regretfully, I was never able to learn any of that, nor to get to know any one of them better.

Still, I was grateful for these afternoons.

I benefited the most. Not only I was taught how to make fancy and brightly colored Friendship braids, candy stripe, and staircase Chinese pattern bracelets, but, most importantly, I became aware of aspects of their self-management, their ability to control their behavior, their vivacity and exuberance.

There was no discipline issue, no drama.

Being with these 11, 12 years old kids engaged in a creative and recreational after-school pursuit was a most rewarding and revealing Mentorship experience.

Open My Eyes That I May See...
Submitted by Mary Pelham White

Open my eyes that I may see
Glimpses of truth Thou hast for me;
Place in my hands the wonderful key
That shall unclasp and set me free.
Silently now I wait for Thee,
Ready, my God, Thy will to see;
Open my eyes, illumine me,
Spirit Divine!

Open my ears that I may hear
Voices of truth Thou sendest clear;
And while the wave notes fall on
my ear,
Everything false will disappear.

Open my mouth and let me bear
Tidings of mercy everywhere;
Open my heart and let me prepare
Love with Thy children thus to share.

Open my mind that I may read
More of Thy love in word and deed;
What shall I fear while yet Thou dost lead?
Only for light from Thee I plead.

Figs' Season
Submitted by Liana Fleming

Rich of vitamins, with many nutritional values... sweet and juicy, quickly to turn bad...

Living outside of the box I put them in Polenta, or eat them right away.

Green or purple, they come in several sizes and shapes. Where I came from they are huge and tasty, here they are still tasty but grow and remain small.

It is said the Fig Tree shaped the human history. It may be so.

Hindus have always respected this tree, and today, thousands years later, they still meditate under it.

In the Indian subcontinent and in Indochina the Fig Tree is sacred.

It was under a Fig Tree in Gaya, the Founder of Buddhism was enlightened, or bodhi, and took the name of Buddha, a poor monk who became a great teacher and philosopher. Buddha means just that, "the one who is awake" to nature and reality. If we were more like him!

The Hebrew Bible mentions three different trees: The Tree of Life, the Tree of knowledge, and the Fig Tree.

In Mark and Matthew we read that a hungry Jesus, one morning saw a fig tree full of leaves but with no figs on it. He was so mad that he cursed this tree to become barren of fruits. There are many interpretations to the meaning and symbolism of this story. And we all have our ideas about feeding or not feeding those who are hungry.

We read that there was a Fig Tree in the garden of the Songs of Solomon. This tree would give plenty fruits in the years of love.

The fig tree is found in the Bible in the excess of fifty times. Certainly it is also mentioned for the nutritional and economic value of its fruits, as well as for other reasons.

Genesis 3:7 "Then the eyes of both were open and they saw they were naked and covered their loins with fig leaves".

But Jeremiah 24:2 says it all: "One basket had very good figs, but the other basket had very bad figs, so bad that they could not be eaten".

And that, dear Friends, sums it all up.

- Liana

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,

Friends School Community Picnic

Date: Thursday September 19
Time: 5 pm
Location: Friends School

Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy (VICPP), Annual Celebration and Awards Benefit

Date: Thursday September 19
Time: 5:30-9:30 pm
Location: Hippodrome Theater
528 N. 2nd Street, Richmond

Quaker House - 50th Anniversary Celebration

Date: Saturday September 21
Time: 11:30 am - 1:30 pm

Quaker House
223 Hillside Ave Fayetteville, NC 28301

Church Women United - 2019 Human Rights Day

Date: Saturday, September 28
Time: 10:30 AM
Location: Bayside Presbyterian Church
1400 Ewell Road Virginia Beach

Interfaith Conference to End Drone Warfare

Dates: September 27-29
Location: Princeton, NJ
Details: Click here...

Fifth Sunday Hum Dinging Meeting For Eating

Date: Sunday September 29
Time: 10:30 am
Location: Creeds PM

World Quaker Day

Date: Sunday October 6
Time: Noon - 2 pm
Location: Meetinghouse

Lynnhaven River Now - 2019 Fall Festival

Date: Saturday October 12
Time: 11 am - 3 pm
Location: Mount Trashmore Park, Virginia Beach

Friends School Admissions Open House

Date: Saturday October 19
Time: 11 am - 1 pm
Location: Friends School

Interim Body Meeting

Date: Saturday October 26
Time: 11 am - 3:30 pm
Location: Friendship Meeting, Greensboro, NC

Field Trip To Suffolk

Date: Sunday October 27
Time: 11:00 am - Until
Location: Somerton Friends Meeting
3239 Quaker Dr, Suffolk, VA 23437

Somerton Friends Bazaar

Date: Saturday November 2
Time: TBD
Location: Somerton Friends Meeting
3239 Quaker Dr, Suffolk, VA 23437

FCNL Annual Meeting & Quaker Public Policy Institute

Dates: November 13-17
Location: Washington, D.C.
Details: Click Here...

Next Meeting for Business Query - #2 / Meeting for Worship:

Are we faithful in our attendance at meetings for worship and are we careful not to disturb the spirit of the meeting by our late arrival? Is our behavior therein that of open submission to God in silent communion?

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


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