Virginia Beach Friends Meeting

October 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

The October Business Meeting minutes were not available at the time of this Newsletter publishing.

Check our Archives where they will be published when available.


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...

If you have a favorite QuakerSpeak video that you would like to see in our Newsletter then please email


Environmental sustainability is a global concern. How do Quakers approach this work? We talked with two Friends who have collaborated with Quakers from around the world to answer this question.


Quaker Women
Submitted by Linda Smith

The Quaker women had a warm and lively gathering at the The Village restaurant.

Our next gathering will be in January around the theme of the Epiphany. Stay tuned for details.

Church Women United - Human Rights Day
Submitted by Liana Flemng

Date: Friday, November 8
Time: 10:30 am
Location: Village Church
4913 Indian River Road
Virginia Beach, VA 23456

"The Time is Now" and "United We Serve" are the recurring reminders of Church Women United.

As I have written in the past, this very active and vibrant group of women and men continues sponsoring events after events, "inherent to the dignity and the equal rights of all members of the human family, the foundation of freedom, justice, and peace in the world". (So says the Preamble of The UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights).

Robert Kent and I have been able to participate to these events including the September 28, 2019 Program, as CWU Committee for Virginia Beach Meeting House, or, as the Welcome Sign at our table indicated, "The Friends of the Inner Light".

The last beautiful Program on Human Rights presented the opportunity to recognize and honor members of our community who have exemplified commitments to human rights. Their names were: William Shedlick, Amanda Stankey, Chris Liwman, Phillip Meyer.

Virginia Organizing Events
Submitted by Jordan Storm

Virginia Organizing has two important events coming up and we are asking you to attend!

First, on November 9th, Hampton Roads residents of all backgrounds are attending our annual one day Dismantling Racism Workshop. During this workshop, people of all different races and ethnic backgrounds will have the opportunity to reflect on personal experience, discuss issues, explore theories in anti-racism work, and focus on how to make changes in their communities. This workshop will be on Saturday, November 9 from 9:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. at First United Presbyterian Church (745 E 29th Street, Norfolk VA 23504). Attendees must be able to attend the entire day, and are asked to bring a cold dish for our potluck. RSVP is required to be able to attend. 

Second, we are hosting a DACA rally on Tuesday, November 12 at 5:30 p.m. in front of the Federal Courthouse (600 Granby Street, Nofolk, VA 23510). In 2012, President Obama created the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (called “DACA”). DACA allows young people who were brought to the United States without documentation (called “Dreamers”) to remain in the country, get a work permit, and live without fear of deportation. The Trump Administration wants to end the program, putting 700,000 young immigrants at risk. The Supreme Court will hear the case on November 12 to determine their fate.

For more information or to RSVP to either event, please call Meghan McNamara at 847-922-1213, or email

Jane Volckhausen Obituary
Submitted by Nancy Craft

Jane Braucher Volckhausen died peacefully at home, surrounded by her family, at the age of 100 years, on January 26, 2019. Jane lived her long life with compassion, joy, and commitment to helping to create a better world for all of us. Jane grew up in Long Island and received her B.A. from Bryn Mawr College. Her father was director of the National Recreation Association and her early jobs involved creative family recreation programs. At age 20, she lived in Geneva working for the International Labor Organization, until the escalation of World War II forced her to take one of the last passenger ships still sailing to the USA. While working in public housing in Washington, D.C., she met a young man involved in organizing healthcare and food cooperatives - Bob Volckhausen. They married in 1947 and lived in Greenbelt, Maryland, a town built as a model of cooperative housing during the New Deal. Moving to Hampton, Virginia, Jane and Bob joined the Friends Meeting, where Quaker values of simplicity, justice, and caring for all people shaped their lives. Working for peace and civil rights, they took their four children to demonstrations against the war in Vietnam. Jane agreed to speak to a small rally against segregation, but then found herself in front of television cameras and a huge crowd which broke into applause at her words. Later the family attended Highlander Folk School, where Martin Luther King spoke with great inspiration. A photo of Jane with an inter-racial group of children went out on the AP wire across the country, and Jane and Bob were labeled "Communists." They continued undaunted. Jane was a leader in the League of Women Voters and the United Nations Association in Virginia, recipient of a Humanitarian award, and Hampton Woman of the Year. Jane and Bob never forgot how to play. The family enjoyed summers swimming and sailing at their cottage in Monterey, Massachusetts. Jane and Bob danced together every evening until shortly before Bob's death. Jane loved theatre, books, music, dance, and song. Her family feels that in the world of spirit, she is dancing now in the light with Bob. After Bob's death in 2003, Jane moved to Boulder, Colorado, to live near her son Tom, daughter-in-law Françoise, and grandchildren Taran and Tasia, who embraced Jane into their family and community of friends for many wonderful years. Jane blossomed in her new life at the age of 85, finding close friends and immersing herself in the community of Boulder. She joined the Boulder Friends Meeting, which she called her "spiritual family." While planning one of her three 100th birthday parties, she said, "If it's going to be a party, there better be dancing." And dancing there was, led by her son Jim and friend Tamara. Jane remained vigorous, doing errands by foot in her neighborhood, touching people she met. Jane loved singing with her daughter Janet Rose, playing Scrabble with her friend Wendy, and meeting with her women's coffee group at Vic's. Visits to the Monterey cottage and to Paul and Karen's farm in Maine provided cherished reunions with her family. During Jane's final years, Brookdale North Boulder's senior community welcomed and supported her. Jane is survived by four children and their spouses: Janet Rose, Paul (Karen), Tom (Françoise Poinsatte), and Jim (Gabrielle) Volckhausen; eight grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren. A memorial service will be held at Boulder Friends Meeting at 1:45 PM Saturday, February 16, followed by a reception. Contributions in Jane's honor can be made to American Friends Service Committee Development, 1501 Cherry St., Philadelphia, PA 19102. Visit to share condolences.


Virginia Beach Friends Celebrate World Quaker Day 2019
Submitted by Linda Smith and Mary Pelham White

On Sunday, October 6th, Virginia Beach Friends celebrated World Quaker Day beginning with Meeting for Worship, a potluck lunch and QuakerSpeak videos with discussion on Sustainability and Quaker beliefs.

At 10:30 a.m., Young Friends (and the rest of us!) gathered in the Meetinghouse for Friend Galen’s Faith and Play story about taking care of our Earth. The children sat in rapt attention and then spoke of particularly meaningful parts of the story and ways they might take care of the earth. After the story, the adults continued in silent worship while Young Friends continued activities in the sustainability theme. They were led downstairs and outside to make reusable lunch bags with the older children and to plant flower bulbs.

At the Rise of Meeting, Natalie Bray took our group photo for posterity. Then we adjourned to a bountiful potluck lunch and conversation -- with some children opting to “picnic on the floor!”

Toward the end of our meal, we welcomed newcomers and invited everyone to share something about our lives as Quakers. The program discussion centered on two QuakerSpeak videos: Arthur Larabee's 9 Core Quaker Beliefs, and Quakers and Climate Change Around the World, from Susanna Mattingly.

We enjoy these times together to visit and to share thoughts on topics such as stewardship of the earth, and the experience of carrying and spreading our Light.

Op-ed: There are no ‘winners’ in war
Submitted by Mary Pelham White
This article appeared in the October 2, 2019 edition of the Navy Times.

The United States has been at war for the last 18 years.

While the U.S. Constitution grants Congress the power to declare war, the 2001 and 2002 Authorizations for Use of Military Force (AUMF) have allowed three U.S. presidents to expand our military presence across the globe.

I am certain that we will continue down this path unless Congress takes back their responsibility to decide if our troops should be sent to war.

It’s clear that there is a financial cost to war.

Endless war has caused our federal budget deficit to soar to a startling one trillion dollars per year. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan alone have cost us more than $6 trillion with no end to the violence in sight. Yet and still, the Trump Administration and lack of congressional action to repeal the AUMF are inching us closer and closer to another dangerous conflict — one with potentially more devastating stakes — with Iran.

Though the Middle East may seem like it is worlds away for many of us, war and its resounding impacts feel closer to home. Whether you were alive during the Korean or Vietnam Wars, or born after 9/11 and have never lived in a conflict-free world, war has become eerily familiar, if not normal.

I’ve personally witnessed the human cost of war, of veterans physically and emotionally scarred for life. My brother was killed in 1967, six months after his arrival in Vietnam. He was loved, West Point-trained, and he had a bright future.

Then in 1984, twelve years after he served in Vietnam, my nephew snapped and shot both his parents and himself.

But this only part of the story. As a person of faith, I can’t in good conscience only look at how war has affected us in the United States.

Countless civilians in war-torn areas worldwide have endured starvation, witnessed traumatic devastation and violence, and lost everything they had.

The U.S. has been complicit in exacerbating the turmoil in many of these areas. We have withdrawn foreign aid, weakened trade, left NATO and abandoned nuclear treaties and environmental efforts. We no longer recognize allies but create enemies.

Lately, the “art of the deal” supersedes civil diplomacy.

But with sanction after sanction intended to force Iran’s hand, we are instead promoting corruption and engaging in a dangerous game that has us teetering towards nuclear war.

Frighteningly, the administration said the 2001 and 2002 AUMFs could be used to justify potentially going to war with Iran.

Thankfully, lawmakers are paying attention and working to prevent this from happening. Our own U.S. Rep. Elaine Luria, D-Virginia, has shown leadership on this issue.

She supported the bipartisan Khanna-Gaetz amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to prohibit an unauthorized war with Iran and help us avoid unnecessary, violent confrontation in the future.

That amendment passed the House by a vote of 251-170.

House leaders Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer will be looking to her as they negotiate the final version of the NDAA with the U.S. Senate.

We are looking to Rep. Luria to work with her colleagues in Congress to ensure that the final NDAA contains provisions that prohibit unauthorized war with Iran and repeals the 2002 AUMF to help reassert Congress’s authority over war and peace.

War is never the answer. The human toll at home and abroad, as well as the ballooning financial burden of these endless wars are too much to bear.

Congress and the administration must shift the focus from military intervention to diplomacy if we are to achieve lasting and sustainable peace.

Mary Pelham White is a Quaker living in Virginia Beach. Her views are not necessarily shared by Navy Times or its staffers.

Wind Just Surpassed Nuclear in Terms of Capacity
Submitted by Whit Peace

September 20, 2019: On a day that millions of people across the globe are out on strike to raise awareness about the climate crisis, a major milestone has been achieved in the race to replace fossil fuels with renewable energy. As of today, the US now has more installed wind power than nuclear power, as measured in megawatts (MW) of generating “capacity” (see below).

The American Wind Energy Association has reported that an additional 736 MW of wind generating capacity was added to the US electricity grid during the second quarter of 2019 (April-July). This brought the total generating capacity from 57,000 wind turbines in this country up to 97,960 MW.

Meanwhile, the closure of the last remaining nuclear reactor at Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania just reduced the total generating capacity from nuclear power by 819 MW. This means, according to World Nuclear Association figures, the total generating capacity from the remaining 97 nuclear power plants in the United States now stands at 97,722 MW – that is, 238 MW less than wind!

Solar capacity still lags behind wind and nuclear, but not for long. Solar farms already in the works will soon bring the total US solar capacity to 117,000 MW, according to the Solar Energy Industry Association. In addition to these utility-scale systems, houses, farms, and businesses across the country are rapidly installing solar panels and wind turbines that are not included in these figures.

Even though the total capacity of wind and solar electricity is even higher than these figures suggest, it must be pointed out that “capacity” of an electricity source is not the same as the amount of electricity actually delivered to the customer. Nuclear power plants need to be shut down, sometimes for months, for routine maintenance, repairs and refueling. But when they are running, they are generating electricity fairly consistently around the clock.

According to the Energy Information Agency (EIA), nuclear power in the US has an average “capacity factor” of 90-92%. Wind, on the other hand, is sometimes blowing very hard and sometimes not at all. According to the EIA, wind power has had an average capacity factor of 32-37%, although the newest wind turbines are reaching capacities of 40-50%.

Solar power is even more erratic than wind, due to clouds and nightfall. The EIA rates the average solar capacity factor at 25-26%. Once again, continuing developments in solar technology are steadily improving the capacity factor, with some newer systems now approaching 40%.

So, in terms of actual electricity generated, wind and solar still have some way to go before they surpass the actual electricity output of existing nuclear power plants. But the milestone reached today makes it clear that this is certainly possible. Who could have imagined, even a few years ago, that so much wind power would be up and running in this country by now?

The United States is still heavily dependent on fossil fuels for generating electricity, as well as for transportation, heating and other uses. According to the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, we have until 2030 to drastically reduce this dependence if we are to avert a climate catastrophe.

With a serious commitment from the next Administration, coupled with sufficient investment, moving to 100% fossil-free electricity in the next 10 years is entirely doable. Reaching other fossil-free targets may take longer (or cost more), but there is a clear pathway for doing so, and there is no time to spare. We must all being demanding a Green New Deal – and voting for one!

This article was published by Timmon Wallis as an update for NuclearBan.US's Treaty Compliance Campaign. The original article is posted at this link...

Believe In Guardian Angels!
Liana Fleming

In Hebrew 13:2 we read: "Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it".

They are supernatural, powerful creatures at the service of the Divine, assigned to protect and guide us...

Jesus said they were real. An Angel comforted him during his agony.

I have had one or two of them protecting me from dangers that my old, recycled soul ignored. And you have had similar experience, I am sure.

Then, life changed.

During a dark and hopeless time an angel crossed my material Path at a Karaoke night in the Reef. (No, not a rift of jagged coral. or some sand above the sea, but just a neighborhood bar across the street from the Bay, around the corner from home). Not long after this encounter, the Reef burned down!

As you know, earth angels change jobs, get divorced, may need a place to stay.

Mine moved in my (converted) garage, proving that angels are never too far from us, can overcome many obstacles, and do the work assigned.

We need to keep in mind that people like you and I have one wing, we are born to serve, and therefore need one another to soar.

He drives my Sonic, and he catches blue fish. He takes me to Horse events, Baseball games, Marfan conferences, Emergency Rooms, and other places I, alone, had never been. Oh, and he rakes dead leaves in the back yard, and shovels snow out the front for elderly friends. And then forces me to visit them in hospitals or Rehab.

He makes my morning cappuccino with almond milk. (But adds water to his espresso).

He carries my beach chair and books bag with all his fishing gears.

And he finds my phone by searching it on his iPad. And finds my earrings, and all the small lost things. And, he picks off the floors pieces of the many broken glasses or ceramic plates, I have absently dropped.

He bakes pizza, banana, pumpkin, French bread, cakes and brownies, laced with Limoncello, and everything turns out tasty... square, and tall. (My culinary expertise is limited to quiches, frittata, Nicoise salad, ratatouille, and pasta dishes).

He teaches part-time grade school and Special need children, and Math and ESL to our NATO friends with me. He looks out for coupons and special sales. And carries boxes of groceries for others when we shop at Aldi or at Lidl.

He drives me out of town to the Alliance Francaise events, (where he tries to speak his high school Spanish). He volunteers with me at the Association for Research and Enlightenment, (I think he makes coffee and walks around with the mike during the Conferences).

And he loves the Friends at the Quaker Meetinghouse where he helps when he can. (The Search for God is universal, he told me once, regardless of your religion).

His grandfather was a Quaker by birth.

He enjoys the Sister Cities, fellowship, and the World Affairs Council Speakers, the Rotary where he has had a perfect attendance, even serving on the Board, volunteering to pick up trash for hours with other Rotarians, and becoming a proud Paul Harris Fellow!

And voila'! He switches from a fisherman outfit to a sparkling Tuxedo with colorful papillons to attend functions at the Consulates, Embassy, NATO, or the Opera...

He loves small creatures, worms, lizards, toads, frogs, and tries to bring them in the house. Carolina, a free spirit, painted reptile, managed to escape, and Mrs. Williamsburg, this very old Turtle climbs the back yard patio stairs to greet him!

His eagle eyes are always looking for new pets on the roadside to save.

He is the house engineer, plumber, general repairs handyman, and car technician.

His more recent studies at San Leo U. gave me an insight in his past life as he described to his professor, Dr Simone in class room Papers. I saved these papers.

And we travel extensively to visit my family in D.C. and Europe, his adopted family in Texas and Europe, helping refugees and their families along the way.

But beware of worldly Guardian Angels!

He does not believe in UFOs. (Made fun at one of my Presentations).

He thinks he is (was?) Republican! Can you just imagine that?

He only eats food with red pepper. Well, maybe you do too?

He quotes the Old Testament, (from time past when he went on Mission). I argue that it was replaced by the New. But I do not mean to be disrespectful.

And he refuses to answer to anything but his full name, Robert.

Supernatural Angels are not concerned with climate changes, they do not die.

He is a human angel, and don't we all have an expiration date?

"Carpe diem", wrote Horace.

"Per aspera ad astra", from difficult times to the stars. And that is the way it is.

Yes, my friends, Life is Now, a borrowed Gift, and we try to be good to each other to others, to Nature.

Thank you for inspiring me to write this for his Birthday, October 22nd.

As I hold each one of you in the most brilliant Light, may you all meet an angel.

Or maybe you have, or you are!

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,

Somerton Friends Bazaar

Date: Saturday November 2
Time: 10:30 am - 2 pm
Location: Somerton Friends Meeting
3239 Quaker Dr, Suffolk, VA 23437

How Shall We Remember?: The American Civil War Museum Grapples with the Legacies of Slavery and the Confederacy

Date: Saturday, November 2, 2018
Time: 12:00 – 1:30 pm
Location: Virginia Wesleyan University
Susan S. Goode Fine and Performing Arts Center
Speaker: Christy Coleman, CEO of the American Civil War Museum in Richmond, VA

FCNL Annual Meeting & Quaker Public Policy Institute

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

Virginia Organizing - Dismantling Racism Workshop

Date: Saturday November 9
Time: 9:30 am - 4:00 pm
Location: United Presbyterian Church
745 E 29th Street, Norfolk VA 23504
Contact: Meghan McNamara, 847-922-1213 or

Charlie King Is Coming To Town

Date: Saturday November 9
Time: 7 pm
Location: Coastal Virginia Unitarian Universalist Church
809 S Military Hwy
Virginia Beach, VA 23464

Virginia Organizing - DACA Rally

Date: Tuesday November 12
Time: 5:30 pm
Location: Norfolk Federal Courthouse
600 Granby Street, Norfolk, VA 23510
Contact: Meghan McNamara, 847-922-1213 or

FCNL Annual Meeting & Quaker Public Policy Institute

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

Christmas Eve - Singing and Caroling and Open Worship

Date: Tuesday December 24
Time: 7pm to Midnight
Location: Meetinghouse

2020 Dates

Coastal Friends Gathering

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

VICPP Day for All People

Date: Wednesday January 22
Time: 7:30 am - 3:00 pm
Location: Centenary United Methodist Church
411 E Grace St. Richmond, VA 23223

Next Meeting for Business Query - #4 / Work of the Meeting:

Do we assume our rightful share in the expenses of 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?

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


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Updated: Monthly