Grand Rapids Friends Meeting celebrated World Quaker Day this year by Zoom, with fellowship and a group photo following our Meeting for Worship on Sunday morning. There were 12 of us in attendance, and 10 stayed for the picture taking. Most of our fellowship centered around sharing about different experiences each of us has had with various Quaker communities around the World and also some stories about growing up in Friends Meeting or how we originally came to Quakerism. Our tradition during “normal times” is to host a homecoming potluck on World Quaker Day, and invite Friends who may not have attended for a while to join us. This year we have been able to expand our community to those who are too far away to attend in person, but can now join us by Zoom. Instead of potluck, each of us enjoyed our own snack or beverage at home while we visited. In doing so, we were all nurtured by sharing a simple meal, and precious time together.
On May 11th, our Friend Laura Arcila Villa graduated from Earlham School of Religion in Richmond, Indiana.
ESR is a Christian theological school in the Quaker tradition which prepares students for leadership that empowers, and for ministry that serves. Laura was Clerk of our Meeting from 2014 until 2017, when she and her husband Frank moved to Fort Collins, Colorado. She now attends the Fort Collins Friends Meeting. Laura is one of eight degree candidates to graduate in her class. She was accompanied during the full weekend of commencement exercises by Jana Norlin, who was there representing all of us at Grand Rapids Friends Meeting in support of Laura’s accomplishment. Congratulations, Laura! We miss you.
Kirsten Fedorowicz has a joy to share! She has just graduated from Aquinas College, with honors as the top student from the English Department. We celebrated her achievement after Meeting for Worship on Sunday, May 19th with cake and a group photo.
Kirsten announced that she has been selected for a position with the Quaker Voluntary Service, beginning in August in Minneapolis. She will be coordinating a program called Bridging, which supports people in transition from homelessness to permanent housing. Thank you for being a part of our Meeting community, Kirsten. We wish you all the best, and welcome you back anytime!
We are also happy to recognize our high school graduates for their hard work and accomplishments:
On May 23rd, Ivan Reynolds, son of Amy and Mark Reynolds graduated from Lowell High School,
and Isaiah Starks-Kalis, son of Jay Kalis graduated from Sparta High School.
Congratulations and best of luck to both of you, in all that you do!