Before something new begins, it's important to pause to give thanks.
Here's some good financial news: Thanks to you and hundreds of Friends like you from Connecticut to Maine, in the recently-ended fiscal year New England Yearly Meeting of Friends met and exceeded our overall fundraising goals, continuing five years of patient progress toward financial sustainability in support of the ministries of New England Quakers. That's a statement about stewardship, and about how we support what matters to us as a regional faith community.
We ended the fiscal year with a smaller-than-anticipated deficit. If we all come together, we're on track to balance our yearly meeting's budget in the coming year.
And there's so much more to be thankful for. With your help, countless Friends worked diligently to nourish the Quaker movement in New England in 2018.
Published a monthly newsletter lifting up the life and ministry of New England Quakers—sharing Friends' stories, and amplifying our shared witness on the climate crisis and work for racial justice;
Raised a more powerful voice on behalf of Friends in our wider region on vital issues of our times through time-sensitive public statements, ecumenical engagement, and organizing;
Partnered with local meetings to help foster multigenerational relationships, and integrate young adults & families more fully in our faith communities;
Offered workshops and opportunities for connection among those whose service sustains our local meetings, from clerks and treasurers to members of ministry & counsel committees;
Removed barriers to participation and offered a wider welcome through the use of the Pay-As-Led approach to event fees;
Hosted events that nurtured faith and Quaker practice, including Annual Sessions, Living Faith gatherings, youth retreats, spiritual nurture workshops, and more;
Supported those who work with our youngest Friends, providing training and background screenings for youth workers, and implementing our newly-approved child safety policy;
Consulted with Friends and local meetings to imagine new and better ways to support the spiritual health and life of children and families throughout New England
As we look to a new year, may we continue to grow in faith, in trust, in relationship, and in grounded joy. From this Center, may we listen, love, and serve boldly as we take up the work before us. For the opportunity to share this journey with you, I give thanks. With prayers for our world in 2019