Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Minutes of meeting for worship for business 3 July 2016

 Minutes of a Meeting for Worship for Business on Sunday 3rd July at 11.35 am in the Bethany Room of the Wesley Centre, Witney.
6 Friends present were present.  Paragraph 29.01of Quaker Faith and Practice was read in our opening worship.
16.31  Matters arising: 
a)  Refugee support in Witney.   Four Syrian Refugee  families have now arrived in Witney and a family of two adults and three children has been allocated to Witney Quaker Meeting to befriend,  together with a volunteer from the Catholic church (at weekends).  Another family is due to arrive on the 11th July after their previous flight was cancelled.  The sixth family will arrive in September.
Church and community groups are befriending the other  families.  Guidance is given by West Oxfordshire District Council and Asylum Welcome and Amel Alariqi the interpreter is staying with the Masons .  Transport provided by Witney Friends is much appreciated and more will be needed as the families settle in.  Hospitality and outings are being planned by Friends, together with English language teaching organised by West Oxfordshire District Council.
 b) A Report on Sue Bowers’  Memorial meeting was given by Jennifer Barraclough.
There were over 80 people present and a mixture of music and worship allowed us to remember our Friend in the most positive way.  At Sue’s request a cheque for £500 has been sent to Witney Local Quaker Meeting  and Jennifer has replied sending the thanks of the whole Local Meeting.
 A thank you letter and cheque  have been  sent by Sue’s daughter Jenny Johns to  High Street Methodist Church. As Rev. Melanie is away the Church Representatives have acknowledged the receipt of the cheque and sent warm appreciation to Jenny.
We have also sent thank you letters to Mary Burton who arranged the flowers and to Richard Carey the Senior Steward who organised the PA system and to Keith and Anne Crawford who are standing in as contacts while Rev. Melanie is away.

16.32 Representatives to attend  Area Meeting  Burford FMH. on Saturday 9th July, 10.30 am and 2 pm are Jennifer Barraclough and Suzette Hubbert. 
16.33  A Poppy Wreath has been  ordered by Don Mason from the Royal British Legion at the cost of £20 to the Meeting.   He will mix white peace poppies in with the red.    We considered the names of two Friends to lay the wreath this year on November 13th Remembrance Day.  We ask Ruth Slade to undertake this together with Peter Couchman, whom failing,  another Friend will be sought by Ruth.
16.34  There has been a request from Revd. Dr. Jason Boyd re: hosting an afternoon or evening session during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity , which is  Wednesday January 18th-Wednesday 25th 2017. It will be the 500th year of the beginning of the Reformation and the theme is ‘Reconciliation - the love of Christ compels us’ (2 Corinthians 5, 14-20).  The Bethany Room is free from 12 noon until 4pm daily and Monday 23rd January 2017 1.45pm - 3.45pm suits most Witney Friends.  A one hour Meeting for Worship, partly programmed on the Peace and Reconciliation Theme was decided.  This will be followed by tea/coffee,  cake and Friendly conversation.   Booking has started this month for next year and Mahalla Mason will book with Bridie Little (the new Centre manager) a s soon as possible.
16.35   The next S&PC Gathering is September 14th at 7.30pm at 5 Larch Lane. 
The annual Area Meeting’s Elders and Overseers morning gathering will be October 15th at Burford FMH at 9.45am for 10.15am start..  Suzette Hubbert and Mahalla Mason  represent Witney Friends in the Trios planning Group together with Burford and Charlbury Friends . 
16.36  An invitation to Witney Friends to open up and prepare the Bethany Room for Meeting for Worship on the rota once a month has been circulated.  We are glad to see that the rota has been covered.  A key to the Wesley Centre will be given to each of the Friends responsible for opening up.  Three new keys will be cut in all, together with one belonging to the Methodist Church.
We agreed to ask Keith Crawford if we could use the empty corner cupboard in the kitchen for storage of the three boxes that we use each week.  This would be both safer and quicker. Our upstairs cupboard will be used for storage.
16.37  After consideration we have removed the photos of some friends  from our photo gallery. They are those who have moved away or no longer worship with us.  The photos will be put in our Album for a record of their time with us.
We have not removed photographs of our Friends who have died recently as we do not feel ready to do this at the moment.   
There being no further  business our Meeting closed with worship at 12.12pm.  

Statement in response to the referendum

The following statement has been issued on behalf of Quakers in Britain:

The outcome of the EU referendum and the campaigning that led up to it have shown up and sometimes exacerbated divisions within and between our communities. There is now a great need for bridge-building, for reaching out to one another in love, trusting that below the political differences lie a shared humanity and a wish for flourishing communities.
Inequalities run deep in society and some are exposed by the vote. Quakers in England, Scotland and Wales are committed to working together and with others - including Quakers across Europe - for a peaceful and just world. In the coming year our Quaker Yearly Meeting will focus on building movements with others locally and globally. We refuse to prejudge who is or is not an ally.
Turbulent times can be frightening, but the Spirit is a source of strength for all, guiding us in who we are and what we do. We take heart from the knowledge that with change comes opportunity. We will look for creative ways to find common cause, to listen, to influence and to persuade. As the status quo is shaken we and our neighbours must look to one another for support, wisdom and above all ways of healing divisions.