After assessing the rapidly declining situation around COVID-19, Doylestown Friends Co-clerks Wally Evans and myself have recommended to the Worship & Ministry Committee that we close the meetinghouse effective IMMEDIATELY. The committee unanimously agreed with this recommendation and will revisit the decision in 30 days.
Considering the demographics of our members and attenders, and following the trend of local and national organizations, we feel this is the right decision for the health and well-being of our Quaker community and the community at-large.
We are in the process of creating an online meeting point that will serve as a way for us to keep going with Meeting for Worship and Meeting For Business. Information for accessing this online video meeting point will be sent in a subsequent email, as well as posted on DoylestownQuakers.org. This access point will be free to the community. We plan to use this on Sunday, March 15 and moving forward.
In addition, First Day School will be suspended and the Meetinghouse will be closed to all third party usage.
Please pass the word along to other Friends, especially those you know who may not have an email address or online presence.
In a perfect world, we would have time to discuss this at Meeting For Business, but the next scheduled one is not for weeks. And any the meeting at the meetinghouse of course gathers the community in person, which is what we must avoid.
Obviously, this is a major action. Quakers have a history of taking action, and this is in line with that spirit, albeit in a very new way.
I thought the following testimony from Faith And Practice helpful:
“I have never lost the enjoyment of sitting in silence at the beginning of meeting, knowing that everything can happen, knowing the joy of utmost surprise; feeling that nothing is preordained, nothing is set, all is open. The light can come from all sides. The joy of experiencing the light in a completely different way than one has thought it would come is one of the greatest gifts that Friends meeting for worship has brought me.”
-Ursula Franklin, 1979
Co-clerk, Doylestown Friends Meeting
March 13, 2020