State of Society Report, BCFM 2016

State of Society Report  
Bridge City Friends Meeting
March, 2016

Each Monthly Meetings is asked to conduct a self-examination by the Meeting and its members of their spiritual strengths and weaknesses and of efforts to foster growth in the spiritual life.  In our Bridge City Friends Meeting, one Friend observed that we feel more settled, comfortable and steady as a community as if we have made it through our adolescence. We appreciate the familiar practices we have developed that allow us to center – to let go of burdens we carry and to be available to hear and feel the presence of the Spirit. 

We have continued our practice of singing as preparation for worship, pausing after each piece of music to absorb the message of the song.  Upon occasion, we have experienced the message in the music emerging later in spoken ministry. We have some concern about vocal ministry.  Sometimes it feels inspired and rich; other times we wonder if Friends are holding back and not “testing.”  Our Meeting has implemented Friendly Sevens to create additional opportunities to explore our faith and energize/encourage our attention to the Spirit.

We are all adults, most of us beyond 50 years. We continue to welcome visitors and have been delighted when they are accompanied by children.  The children of our own families are scattered far and wide.  Many of us travel long distances to visit children, older relatives and to experience other parts of the world including visits to other Meetings.  With retirement comes freedom to be away and come back – often with new energy and appreciation for the groundedness we find in worship together.  Our aging has also meant an increased attention to health conditions among us that need our care.

Our Meeting has spent a year and continues to struggle with discerning an integrated approach for social action – how to support peace and equality.  We have had a number of meetings where individuals have shared the work they personally support and are actively engaged in the wider community. Our monthly  Meetings for Worship when business is addressed is well attended.

We are wary of cocooning in our country where differences in culture and faiths are all around us, many experiencing misunderstanding of each other, even violence.  We share the same God. With attention to the Spirit, we seek understanding and friendship.