Fourth Day Morning

The morning began with a small prayer session on the porch of the Meeting House. I hoped to attend, but I stayed up too late last evening and did not get ready in time.

The morning session began at 10:00. Friends today sit in the left side of the meeting house, the historic women's side. In the yearly meetings west of the Appalachian mountains, I do not know of any Friends meeting house in which the women were expected to use the right side (usually east) of the meeting house. In the New York-Philadelphia-Baltimore corridor, the women used the east room in roughly 65% of the meeting houses I am familiar with. I might also state that Stillwater is oriented differently from most meeting houses. About 90% of Friends meeting houses constructed in the Quaker Plan have separate entrances on the main (south) elevation for the men and women. At Stillwater, the main elevation faces east rather than south. This allows a fresh breeze to flow through a window behind the clerks throughout the business meeting, which can be quite refreshing.

Three different Friends spoke in ministry. The first gave a message about the welcome we will receive on that final day when we meet the Lord face to face. The second message centered around the idea that while we are called to individual faithfulness, we are also called to be a people. The third speaker urged us to gather in Christ Jesus's name only, as no earthly place can be our real home.

The worship here has been outstanding. It is truly amazing to experience the healing, encouraging, and uplifting messages from so many concerned Friends.

The scriptures 2 Timothy 1:6-11, 14 were read.

Reports from the two Quarterly Meetings were read. Salem QM developed four brief queries they considered and forwarded for the Yearly Meeting to consider. All Representatives from the Quarterly Meetings save two were present.

The bulk of the meeting revolved around the Queries. The meeting read the first three, with the Quarterly Meeting answers, and Yearly Meeting summaries were approved. The handouts contained several typographical errors, which annoyed several Friends. Several changes were made to the text. One of the ministers urged Friends to keep their hearts and minds towards God in their God.

After the Treasurer's report and the report of the Yearly Meeting Property Trustees, the meeting adjourned for the morning.

1 comment:

Paul L said...

The Illinois Yearly Meeting meetinghouse in McNabb, Illinois, which I attended from 1980-90, is of the type you mention. It is oriented lengthwise east-to-west but faces north. It has two front entrances leading to one of two sections separated by removable shutters. (When the shutters are raised, the half-wall between the two sections is about 4 feet high.)

I'm told, and have seen old photographs confirming it, that the men used to meet on the left or east side and the women on the right, or west side.

Now the east half of the room is used for most large meetings for worship or business (and speakers, talent show performances, etc.) The other side used for displays and other activities, though Friends sit there, too, when the east side is full and can hear proceedings and ministry just as well despite the physical barrier.

Clear Creek MM which is the only rural meeting left in IYM now usually meets in a smaller, new or newly remodelled building on the YM property.