Virginia Beach Friends Meeting

January 2020 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 January business meeting are posted at this link…

Query #6 - Growth of Our Children:

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

Meeting united in the following response:

As we take down the bells and bows of Christmas with our own children and students at our school, we are reminded of the influence we all have for better or worse on our children. Many of us came to this Meeting because we brought our children to Friends School and were ourselves attracted by its values. Teachers at our School model Quaker values, attitudes, behavior day in and day out, but so do we all, so must we all. The children will find their own paths, but we are grateful to realize how many of our former students look upon their time here at the School and in this Meeting as a blessed time.

Presentation by Kristin Barclay

Kristin came to our Meeting to announce some upcoming events at the school. She serves roles as development and communications director. She announced that Lewis and Mary Pelham White and Garland Waller will be honored at Founders Day on February 22. Kristin reported that Garland, who directs the filmmaking program at Boston University, arranged for her students to produce a documentary about the early days of Friends School. The documentary has just been delivered and will be shown at Founder’s Day, as a way of creating new momentum for the School’s toddler program. Kristin encouraged Friends to purchase tickets ($45 each) and plan to attend Founders Day and contribute for the auction. The aim is to make Founder’s Day inclusive of our diverse community.

Peace, Earthcare & Social Justice Committee

Tom Bertrand presented the written report of the Peace, Earthcare & Social Justice Committee. He explained that in its meeting on January 5th the Committeeengaged in an earnest discussion of various issues, including how our Meeting might respond to the escalation of tensions in the Middle East following the assassination of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani. The Committee proposed extending an invitation to other faith groups to join us in prayer vigils for peace in the Middle East to coincide with our usual Fourth Night intercessory prayer meetings. Without waiting for action by the Meeting for Business, members of the Committee spread the word and were joined in our prayers this past Wednesday night by 15 individuals, most drawn from the A.R.E. Glad Helpers. Also, Tom Kennedy presented a proposed minute concerning peace in the Middle East that he and Tom Bertrand had drafted, with the intent of posting the minute on the Meeting’s website and sharing it with our elected officials, the Virginian Pilot, FCNL, and others.

Action: Meeting united in endorsing the plan to invite others to join our usual Fourth Night Prayer Meeting at 7 pm on January 15th and perhaps several subsequent Fourth Nights, where, in addition to our usual intercessory prayers, we will join in a prayer vigil for peace in the Middle East.

Action: Meeting united in asking that volunteers meet after Business Meeting this day to further craft the proposed minute on Peace in the Middle East and that another Meeting for Business be called on next First Day (January 19) following Meeting for Worship for the purpose of reaching unity on a revised minute.

Tom then encouraged members to review the PESJ Report and take note of upcoming opportunities to join with others in advocacy and action.

Young Friends

Linda Smith reported about upcoming Intergenerational Young Friends Programs, reminding us that on January 26th Galen Hamann will lead a “Faith and Play” program about Martin Luther King Jr. during our Meeting for Worship.

Action: In order to facilitate other upcoming sessions, the Meeting requests volunteers(perhaps one of our committees) on the following dates to assist with children’s activities following the “Faith & Play” and, where indicated, with organizing the potlucks: January 26, February 23 (with potluck), March 29, and May 17 (with potluck).Tom B, Debbie, Jeanne, and Gwynne volunteered to work with the children following “Faith and Play” on January 26th..

Patrick Goold reported on Child Safety Guidelines and background checks. Most big churches require background checks and at least two adults in a room with children. That is now the standard of due diligence in churches. Meeting will study this further, and in the meantime will continue the practice of ensuring that two adults be present with the children in all programs.

Meeting House Usage Request

Whit introduced a request from an Alzheimer’s group to use our Meeting House on one Friday afternoon a month for their Memory Cafe. Whit, the Meeting House scheduler, and Nancy Craft will continue to do due diligence on this request.

Report on open meeting to discuss realignment of responsibilities of our traditional MEO (Ministers, Elders & Overseers)

Patrick reported that meeting on January 5 opened with silent waiting. Good discussion/sharing followed. There was unity in moving forward with the discussion beginning with two separate meetings of the two "new" committees. At this time there is not unity on the exact names of these two new committees. Each committee will meet and discuss its duties/responsibilities and choose a specific name for each committee. Follow up planning: Jeanne Crawford will convene a “Counsel and Care” meeting on Saturday January 25, 11:00 am at the Meetinghouse. Linda Smith will convene a "Worship and Ministry" meeting on Sunday January 26, 9:00 am at the Meetinghouse. Everyone who is part of our Virginia Beach Friend community is invited and encouraged to attend and participate in both of these meetings. Until these new committees are up and functioning, MEO will continue in an advisory capacity.

Update on Clerking committee progress

Kathy Garner reported that Elizabeth, Gwynn, Linda, Nancy Nixon, and Kathyhad to discuss how the duties of Meeting Clerk might be shared effectively. Over the coming year, Linda, Gwynne, and Elizabeth will share the clerking duties, starting with Gwynne in May. Jeanne and Linda will put together a clerking handbook. The Meeting will send some of our aspiring clerks to a Pendle Hill clerking workshop.

January 19 Called Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business

Complete Minutes from our January 19 Called Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business are posted at this link…

Our Meeting united on the following minute, to be shared by the Clerk with our senators and representatives in Congress, the Virginian Pilot, Friends Committee on National Legislation, and posted prominently on the Meeting’s website:

We, of the Virginia Beach Friends Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends, stand up and speak out for peaceful action. We value the lives of all human beings.  We declare our faith in the abiding truths that every individual of every race and nation, is of supreme worth; that love is the highest law of life; and that evil is to be overcome, not by further evil, but by good.

We call on the President and Congress to return our nation to the path of diplomacy and international engagement. We support efforts in Congress seeking deliberation.

As Quakers, we ourselves must find effective new ways to speak for peace; to insist on justice in our own land; to care for the earth we hold in trust; and to welcome the refugees as we build an ever more just, visionary, dynamic, and hospitable nation.

In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., if we do not rise to these challenges, “we shall surely be dragged down the long, dark, and shameful corridors of time reserved for those who possess power without compassion, might without morality, and strength without sight.”


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The Work of Quaker Earthcare


Angst, Raising Awareness around Anxiety
Submitted by Friends School Event

Date: Thursday, February 6
Time: 7 - 8:30 pm
Location: Friends School


Virginia Beach Friends School Founders & Alumni Day
Submitted by Mike Barclay, Head of Friends School

Date: Saturday February 22
Time: 6:30
Location: Friends School Campus
Purchase Tickets: Click Here...

Laskin Rd. Bridge Replacement & Widening Project
Report from DVOT submitted by Nancy Craft

VIRGINIA BEACH - As soon as Monday, January 27, travelers should expect a traffic shift and feeder lane closure on Laskin Road between Red Robin Road and Gay Drive, as work progresses on the Laskin Road Bridge Replacement & Widening Project. All work is weather permitting.

Traffic shift information:

Two-lane traffic on Laskin Road west, towards Hilltop, will be shifted slightly north between the Linkhorn Bay Condominium Complex and Gay Drive. The lanes will then continue through the current configuration between Gay Drive and Winwood Drive.

Two-lane traffic on Laskin Road east, towards the Oceanfront, will remain in the current configuration between Winwood Drive and Gay Drive and then will shift slightly north from the Linkhorn Bay Bridge to the eastern project limits at Red Robin Road

Motorists wishing to head in the opposite direction on Laskin Road should anticipate making safe, legal U-turns onto Laskin Road west/east at one of the following locations:

  • Winwood Drive
  • Cardinal Road

Safe, legal U-turn access on Laskin Road will not be possible between Winwood Drive and Cardinal Road after the next traffic shift.

Feeder road closure:

The feeder road that is currently open to traffic between the Linkhorn Bay Bridge and Red Robin Road will be closed as part of the ongoing construction activities.The feeder road that is currently open to traffic between the Linkhorn Bay Bridge and Red Robin Road will be closed as part of the ongoing construction activities.

Travelers are advised to be cautious when navigating the work zone, follow posted signs, and observe the reduced speed limit of 35 mph.

Click here for more information and to sign up to get Project Updates...

2020 Doomsday Clock Announcement
Submitted by Steve Baggerly

Humanity continues to face two simultaneous existential dangers—nuclear war and climate change—that are compounded by a threat multiplier, cyber-enabled information warfare, that undercuts society’s ability to respond. The international security situation is dire, not just because these threats exist, but because world leaders have allowed the international political infrastructure for managing them to erode.

Click here for the story...


VB Friends - State of the School (January 29, 2020)
Submitted by Mike Barclay, Head of Friends School

For those who were unable to attend, please click on the link below to view the slides that Head of School Mike Barclay presented.


Quaker Women Epiphany Gathering
Submitted by Elizabeth Waitekus and Debbie Reilly

The Quaker Women gathered at Elizabeth Waitekus's lovely home on the afternoon of January 5th, 2020.

We opened with a prayer, shared a wonderful meal, conversation and fellowship, passing the light from one person to the next.

We discussed how many of us came to Virginia Beach Friends Meeting and any epiphany or aha moments we may have had during 2019.

We ended with a moment of silence and we expressed our gratitude for this gathering and our time together.

There were approximately 15 in attendance.

Prayer every mid-week (fourth days at 7 pm)
Submitted by Nancy Craft

A question was asked recently about our prayer list. Our MEO (Ministry, Elders and oversight) has hosted a prayer group for over 30 years. Around 2010 they decided to post on the meetinghouse bulletin board the names of all who asked for prayer. We are sensitive to not to post a name of someone who may want/need prayer but do not want their name listed.

The prayer list is updated and reprinted monthly around the beginning of each month. Updates between the posted list are hand written by anyone wishing to have a name added (or removed).

All we ask is that the person who places a name on the list let us know when the name should be removed.

We have a smaller list at the bottom of the prayer list of those have died within the past year. We continue to pray for those who died along with their families.

In addition, recently we agreed to invite everyone – including those who are not part of our Quaker community - to join us to hold the Iranians in prayer. This takes place once we have prayed for those on the prayer list.

Currently I am the person who types the updated prayer list, and attempts to keep it up-to-date.

Please let me know when I do not correctly list a name.

- Nancy Craft

The Caged, Lost Children
Submitted by Liana Fleming

As of December 2019, U. S. government data showed that a number in excess of 70,000 migrant children, infants, kids, teens, are held in custody in detention centers in USA.

But, then, it could be fake news. Or not?

ERO (Enforcement and Removal Operation) works with other ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) offices to take children away from their parents to a separated hell.

While we can read in almost everything we want to know about Immigration Detention in USA, The History, The Process of Detention and Removal, other Operations, including Mandatory Detention and Deportation, Processing and Detention Centers, Privatization Detention Centers operated by private companies contracted by the government, similar to prisons conditions: Solitary Confinement, Immigration Detention under Obama, Immigration Detention under Trump (with his two executive orders, including separation of families), and, finally, Treatment of Transgenders - little is known about the caged, neglected, and abused children of migrants and refugees.

The American Civil Liberties Union reports that in 2019 the government has provided the courts with an approximate number of 3,000 children taken away as result of Trump policies.

The Southern Poverty Law Center, a nonprofit legal advocacy, specializing in civil rights, in September 2019 reported that, beginning in 2018, under a pilot program; children were being separated from their parents along the El Paso Texas Border.

The Human Rights Watch, a Movement that helps protect rights and save lives in more than 90 nations, worldwide, last July reported how these separations are hurting families and their children.

The New York Times, with its worldwide influence and readership, has reported in numerous occasions that the number of caged innocent children is much higher than given, and decries how extensive is the damage done to these children.

Statistics also speak of a much higher number.

The Los Angeles Times, NBC, NPR (US World News) all beg to stop this practice.

These children, innocent victims every moment of policy choices, are severely neglected, without justice and humanity.

According to NBC News, in October 2019, immigration authorities reported that in excess of 5400 children were separated at the Mexico Border.

The Department of Homeland Security, whose vital mission is to secure our nation from threats we are faced, with a task force of more than 230,000 employees, has lost track of most children’s names and families because not enough data has been entered into the system.

To date, The Washington Times reports that Feds cannot say how many children have been separated at the Borders.

Often, photos surface on internet and in the press of Detention Centers of Immigrant children along the U. S. Mexican Border.

One photo literally broke my heart - what it placed on our beautiful Country, and in particular, on McAllen, a city in Texas. This city was formally famous for its International Museum of Arts, the Nature Center, the splendid Basilica of Our Lady of San Juan del Valle. The photo shows a large Facility with pictures of innocent children being held in cages.

Is this the new symbol of our Nation? I saw this on a front page of a German newspaper during the recent Holidays.

I did not want to come back. I am so ashamed.

Is this what we have become?

But not all of us. I refuse to accept that normal people can destroy other human beings for too long.

Light should follow darkness. It is a Law of Nature.

In the words of Dan Rather, 88, American journalist and White House Correspondent, “I cannot remember a time when the world saw the United States this unsteady, adrift, corrupt, or incompetent”.

Light should follow darkness. It is a Law of Nature.

More information and pictures from a July 12, 2019 report - Photos show almost 400 migrants packed in cages at Texas processing center...

Poets Place

In memory of our friend Bob Young - who was one of the biggest contributers to our Newsletter, with poems and articles and 'letters to the editor', we are starting a regular section of our Newsletter for poems. You may contribute poems (as well as QuakerSpeak videos, articles and annnouncements - by sending to the VB Friends Emailer -

This months poem was sent to us from Bob's daughter Susan.

Thank You Susan!

In Blackwater Woods

Look, the trees
are turning
their own bodies
into pillars

of light,
are giving off the rich
fragrance of cinnamon
and fulfillment,

the long tapers
of cattails
are bursting and floating away over
the blue shoulders

of the ponds,
and every pond,
no matter what its
name is, is

nameless now.
Every year
I have ever learned

in my lifetime
leads back to this: the fires
and the black river of loss
whose other side

is salvation,
whose meaning
none of us will ever know.
To live in this world

you must be able
to do three things:
to love what is mortal;
to hold it

against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it
to let it go.

Mary Oliver

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,

Intergenerational Women's Gathering

Date: Saturday February 1
Time: 9:30 am - noon
Location: Rosalie Deer Heart's home
220 76th Street
Virginia Beach 23451

Angst, Raising Awareness around Anxiety

Date: Thursday, February 6
Time: 7 - 8:30 pm
Location: Friends School

Virginia Beach Friends School Founders & Alumni Day

Date: Saturday February 22
Time: 6:30
Location: Friends School Campus
Purchase Tickets: Click Here...

Intergenerational Program this Sunday - with Pizza!

Date: Sunday February 23
Time: 10:30 am
Location: Meetinghouse

FCNL Spring Lobby Weekend for Young Friends

Dates: March 28-31
Location: Washington, D.C.

Intergenerational Program this Sunday with Potluck!

Date: Sunday March 29
Time: 10:30 am
Location: Meetinghouse

Interim Body Meeting

Date: Saturday April 25
Time: 11 am - 3:30 pm
Location: Fayetteville, NC

On the lighter side...

These were published in our Virginia Beach "Friend to Friend" Newsletter - Eleventh Month, 1998:

From John Hunt's Journal, 10 Sixth Month, 1837: (concerning facial hair): "Met a committee appointed...on account of Joshua Evans' wearing his beard...the conference was long...very different sentiments prevailed. It was a good, edifying season...though he was left with his beard on, much as we found him, none having power, or a razor to cut it off"

From the minutes of Western Yearly Meeting of Women Friends, 13 Ninth Month, 1872 queries answer: "All of the meetings for worship and discipline are reported as having been attended, except ten meetings for worship, the most of which ommisions were in an isolated neighborhood, two were on account of the housee being occupied by others at the time [Historical note: The house may have been occupied by "Conservative" Friends.]

From the journal of William John Thomas, 18 Tenth Month, 1837: "Hauled in buckwheat and cleared off potato patch. 19th weather changeble. Entered into state of matrimony with Miss Rebecca Porter and we returned home."

Next Meeting for Business 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?

Next Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business is Sunday February 9, 2020, 8:30 am in our Meetinghouse.


Maintained By: Communications Committee
Updated: Monthly