Interchange – Spring 2009

Roanoke Friends are now meeting at the Alexander/Gish House at 641 Walnut Avenue in Roanoke. It is an old house, built around 1840, owned by a neighborhood alliance and situated in a 32 acre park. We plan to rent it Sunday mornings for at least a year. There is now a room for our small children’s program, and friends are enjoying spring walks in the park. Last fall, we began taking a look at our personal resources and budget as we plan for our future.

Our most recent meeting project has been to work Martin Luther King Jr Day and one other Saturday clearing an area of an overgrown cemetery, hoping to give some dignity and recognition to those buried there. Many of the graves were unmarked or only marked with a metal frame. The Meeting continues to lend a hand in a number of ways to an Eritrean family “adopted” by the Meeting four years ago. We are looking forward to co-sponsoring the Virginia “Eyes Wide Open” exhibit with Plowshare our local peace advocacy group, and a number of folks are active with the Roanoke Valley Cool Cities Coalition, trying to reduce individuals’ and our various municipalities’ carbon footprints.

There are two small liberal arts colleges near Roanoke, Roanoke College and Hollins University. At least monthly, worship groups are held in the manner of Friends on these campuses.

Our recent adult education has offered programs of song and planning for the Gathering, and also reviews of Quaker practice relating to membership, queries, and clerking. We also continue our monthly discussion on a chapter from the Bible.

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