Friends General Conference

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Unprogrammed Quakers in Wichita, Kansas

Heartland Friends Meeting State of Society Report Fifth Month 2019

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Heartland Friends Meeting

State of Society, Fifth Month, 2019

Friends, meet together and know one another in that which is eternal, which was before
the world was. George Fox, 1657 2.35 Quaker Faith and Practice Britain Yearly Meeting

Heartland Friends Meeting has blossomed with many gifts, some challenging and
others to be savored and simply appreciated. New members have provided joy and
meaning-filled appreciation among Friends; and it’s always heartwarming when
new members bring their children into our presence and subsequently our future.
We continue to learn how much better we can be when a child leads the way.

We share our grounds and meetinghouse with others. We feel joy when children
and teachers of the Wichita Friends School worship in our space on Monday mornings.
We hosted both children and teachers for Christmas parties. On Earth Day in
April, 35 children and their teachers were led in an active and deep worship experience
as they walked our Path of Quaker Testimonies. We are pleased to provide a
place of Spirit and Friendly Community to these children. Other hosted events include
a monthly spiritual study group and an evening poetry concert. We joined
together with University Friends Meeting to host two labyrinth walks: ‘Winter Solstice’
at Heartland and ‘Good Friday’ walk at UFM. Both events were well attended
and brought people from the community to our worship spaces.

We tried something new this year for our Christmas Candlelight Service: the Biblical
story of Jesus told through song selections. Many were appreciative and uplifted
by the experience; some found the changes challenging. We appreciate the
gift of these challenges.

Last summer a member of Heartland Friends Meeting shared a leading, and after
several months of discernment Meetings for Healing were implemented. Every
month on the first First Day people gather in our worship room at 8:15 to intentionally
pray for healing prior to adult education hour.

A new initiative began when building and grounds committee created gallery
spaces for members and friends of the Meeting to share their art creations or collections.
Beautiful artwork from handwoven pieces of clothing to paintings, handcrafted
jewelry, custom quilts, and other art media have adorned the walls of our
meetinghouse throughout the year.

Committees provide opportunities for comprehensive growth and models for
demonstrating Quaker process at Heartland. Our building and grounds committee
meets regularly in an ongoing effort to address the stability and longevity of our
beautiful facility. Heartland members and attenders at-large enjoy the benefits of
coming together 2-3 times a year to gather and work in unity to clean, wax, shine,
mop, cut, weed, decorate, etc., for the sustained upkeep of our grounds and building.
Those days invite each of us to demonstrate good stewardship and build community.

Finance Committee has expanded its membership and is discovering what sort of
rhythm and information-sharing is needed for their work during the year. All attenders
and members of Heartland Friends Meeting enjoy the opportunity to learn
about and be involved in our yearly budgeting process as well as about the work of
the finance committee.

The attendance and membership blessings we’ve experienced during the past year
have served to encourage us to take pause and reflect on the structural traditions
we hold in relationship to our “Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business.”
On the 2nd Sunday of each month, we begin with a 9:30am carry-in breakfast, followed
with worship, and business meeting starting at 12:30. This is a very long
day for most of us. We continue to search for pathways that move us forward and
honor Quaker traditions, while simultaneously embracing and empowering all of
our community.

Listening is an act of patience and love. Our Christ-centered fellowship and our
Quaker faith tradition encourage us be deep listeners … to the God Spirit within
our individual selves, to each other, and to the leadings and unity that weave our
personal journeys together as we move Heartland Friends Meeting, with all that we
need to be, into our future.