2004 WILMINGTON YEARLY MEETING EPISTLE

Greetings to Friends Everywhere:

Friends from Southwest Ohio and Eastern Tennessee, who comprise Wilmington Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends, met July 14-18 in Wilmington, Ohio for their 113th annual meeting. Most meetings were at Wilmington College but the pre-yearly meeting retreat and the Sunday worship and dinner were at Quaker Knoll Camp nearby. The United Society of Friends Women/Quaker Men Banquet was held at the Senior Citizen's Center. Renovation of Boyd Auditorium necessitated these various locations. We look forward to the completion of Boyd Cultural Center and the Quaker Heritage Center now under construction on the Wilmington College campus.

The Yearly Meeting continued to use the two year theme, "Workers Together with Him" 2 Corinthians 6:1. Our resident creative lyricist, Mary Elizabeth Stanfield, wrote new words to a traditional American melody which emphasized this theme. As we sang this repeatedly, we were reminded to be workers with God - preserving fields and forests, clean air and water, saving resources instead of rushing pell-mell to war. Our faith and hope is in a gracious God who works to these ends and guides us as well.

Michael Snarr of Wilmington College faculty, urged us to think outside the box, challenging our sense of identity as a people of God and our resulting world view through Bible Meditations. Worship sharing groups followed. He also gave the message at Sunday worship. The Quaker Knoll Camp Board served a delicious picnic lunch following worship.

We were blessed by visitors - Andy and Lisa Stout, now serving in Jamaica at Happy Grove School as Friends United Meeting representatives; Chuck Fager, of the Quaker House at Fayetteville, North Carolina; (Chuck gave the Peace Memorial Lecture); Jeanne Herrick-Stare of Friends Committee on National Legislation; Patricia Edwards-Konic, editor of Quaker Life; Josh Medlin, Earlham student from Indiana Yearly Meeting and intern of Friends World Committee on Consultation; Peggy Hollingsworth, Historian of United Society of Friends Women International; and Keith Kendall, executive secretary of Associated Committee of Friends on Indian Affairs.

Many Friends from local meetings were honored for their work with God at local Meetings, and Mary Cochran was honored for her over 50 years of service as a pastor and caregiver of Westboro Friends Meeting. We were pleased that Young Friends and Junior Yearly Meeting sessions were held also.

In Christian Love,
Lois Hall Hackney, Presiding Clerk