Third Haven Friends Meeting - Library and Outreach Committee:
January 10, 2010
The Library and Outreach Committee had an active year supporting the activities and needs of the Third Haven community. The ongoing activities included overseeing the Meeting's collection of books and related media and keeping materials in order and reviewing options for improvement. The committee notes that members and attenders continue to access and use materials from the library in the Brick Meeting House, and gently remind users to return materials when they have completed using them.
The Committee was also active this year in supporting the 325th anniversary of the Old Meeting House. It thanks the members and attenders who participated in the events as well as the additional assistance and support from the First Day School, during the first 'kick-off' event during Quarterly Meeting, who produced a wonderful, illustrated 'timeline' of Third Haven's history that decorated our Common Room. Particular thanks for help from Paige Bethke and Susan Claggett.
Through the efforts of Candace Shattuck, a commemorative 325th anniversary item was commissioned—a wood-block rendition of the Old Meeting House. [There are a few of these are still available at $25.]
Several additional events were held in conjunction with the 325th included a special 'workshop' by Orlando Ridout, Maryland's renowned architectural historian, attended by more than 45 participants from Third Haven and other Meetings, as well as individuals from Talbot County. Ridout holds the Old Meeting House in a special light, and gave a detailed description of the original construction. The interactive/hands-on presentation included a walk-around and walk inside of the building, showing participants how to determine when materials now on/in the structure were made, including the 'weatherboards' now on the exterior of the building. He also shared how to 'read' clues as to how the building was constructed and renovated over time. Those who attended also got to view the 'upstairs' of the Old Meeting House, normally closed. Ridout showed the remaining evidence on how the building was conserved [and saved from tumbling down] during its most recent conservation in the 1980s. Excellent publicity and coverage of the event was provided by Clay Owens, Pete Howell and Candace Shattuck. Based upon notes and pictures of the workshop we hope to see a resource document prepared for the Meeting. Many thanks for Marsie Hawkinson for arranging Ridout's visit.
In late September, during the Chesapeake Film Festival, in conjunction with the 325th anniversary, Third Haven sponsored the film "I Bring What I Love", an inspiring movie about Senegalese Singer-Songwriter Youssou Ndour, and his effort as a practicing Muslim to bring his message of peace to the world. This visually and musically exciting movie touched all who saw it. Many thanks to Molly Burgoyne for enabling this special event, and to Tom McCall and all those who participated in the pre-screening of additional movies that were considered for showing and sponsorship. Additional thanks to those who attended the Festival viewing giving witness to Third Haven's presence and relevance to the community.
During the culminating 'official' 325th anniversary weekend of October 3rd and 4th, two invited speakers gave special presentations to mark the occasion. On Saturday, internationally renowned artist and member of Third Haven Meeting, James Terrell, gave an illustrated talk entitled "Plato's Cave and the Light Inside". The standing-room-only audience of Quakers and other guests shared a fascinating and thought-provoking talk on Terrell's work with the medium of light that included slides of his work sited around the world and as well as the completed Live Oak Meeting House in Houston, TX. During a reception that followed Terrell generously shared his experiences both as an artist as well as a birth-right Quaker.
On Sunday, following the rise of Meeting, Arthur Larrabee, General Secretary of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, spoke on 'Carrying the Light of Quakerism into the Future'. Larrabee's thoughtful ideas, assessment and insights into the challenges for the future of Quakerism were well received by those in attendance. It provided an appropriate conclusion to the anniversary events enabling us all to look back at our past and then to turn to take stock of our future. Following Larrabee's talk, Hospitality provided a celebratory luncheon to mark the conclusion of formal anniversary activities.
One task yet incomplete, is an anticipated 'planting' of a White Oak sapling where the original 'grove of oaks' stood before our Old Meeting House was constructed.
Finally, later in the Fall Library and Outreach hosted our traditional Waterfowl Festival "Open House" on Saturday November 14th. Our grounds looked wonderful, and while the weather dampened attendance we were very happy to welcome three sets of visitors from the Easton community, who expressed interest in learning more about what Quakers believe and what we 'do'. One visitor mentioned she had attended the viewing of "I Bring What I Love" and wanted to learn more about the church that sponsored it.
Library and Outreach will be changing in 2010 and looks forward to meeting the needs of the Third Haven community in new ways. Many thanks to all those who have contributed time and effort to the work of the committee and the Meeting this past year.
Clerk, Library and Outreach