Damariscotta, Maine

Midcoast Friends meetinghouse
The grounds include a practical statement regarding environmental impact — solar panels for pollution-free energy.

Taftsville Mennonite

Mennonites had a vital influence over the early Quaker movement, largely through their General Baptist connection to England. Like Friends, they maintain a pacifist witness and simplicity.

In fact, the first Mennonite congregation in North America — in Germantown, Pennsylvania — initially worshiped with a Quaker Meeting as one. By tradition, it introduced the first anti-slavery statement among Friends, who were slower to accept its call.

Unlike the mid-Atlantic and Midwest, there are few Mennonites in New England.

Taftsville Mennonite, in a former schoolhouse in eastern Woodstock, Vermont.

A series alive in our own time

While Friends often look to writings from the earliest days of the Quaker movement, much good, often profound, new material is being published in our own time. The Pendle Hill pamphlet series is a fine source of inspiration and practical direction from contemporary voices. Here’s the rack in the Dover Friends social room.

What an incredible range of thought and action emerges in these booklets! Friends’ witness continues in many ways.

Quarterly Meeting

Representatives from neighboring Quaker congregations get together four times a year to check in on each other and events in their home meetings. The practice, called Quarterly Meeting, has its own clerks, treasurer, and other officers, as needed.

In the past, it was a big event. The smaller meetings, in fact, would not have their own worship that Sunday — everyone would be off to wherever the Quarter was gathering. I suspect much of it was a family reunion, one filled with a holiday spirit.

Nowadays is a different matter, especially as we struggle with finding a better fit between our Monthly Meetings (the local groups that worship each week but conduct business once a month) and our much larger Yearly Meetings — in our case, New England Yearly Meeting of Friends.

These photos are from a session of Dover Quarterly Meeting that took place in the newly renovated West Epping meetinghouse.

We came from across much of New Hampshire.
It’s a classic space. Gone, though, is the wood stove, now that propane heating has been installed.