Minute for Midcoast Monthly Meeting, Approved, 5/15/16. Midcoast Friends Meeting Solar Farm Minute
The Midcoast Friends Meeting supports sustainability, clean energy and conservation. We support the development of renewable energy solutions and deliberate action to move away from the primacy of fossil-fuels. To that end, we feel moved to explore the use of a part of the Meeting’s property as a solar farm to generate electricity for the use of Maine residents. We hope that by contributing to the solar energy infrastructure in the State of Maine, we will be reducing residents’ reliance on fossil fuels and providing for the needs of our shared community.
This past First-Day I had the blessing of visiting Midcoast Meeting of Friends in Damariscotta, Maine. Returning from a very full and challenging two weeks of NEYM Sessions, I longed for rest and fellowship that didn’t feel like “work”.
Midcoast Meeting is a vibrant, engaged meeting with many varied expressions of faithful paths. The meeting is deeply involved in environmental issues – starting with their own meetinghouse. Heating with biofuel, installing new efficient solar lighting and thermostats, reducing waste and other measures have been undertaken to model environmental concerns and adaptations at the meetinghouse (find out more about their green building at their website!) Midcoast is now embarking on the creation of a Solar Farm. The Meeting also supports an Outreach and Peace Center which features programs for Quakers and others with local and global concerns.
My visit provided me with deep rest and encouragement. The worship itself was deep and comforting. Friend Ed Snyder had just passed away, and Friends shared messages of hope and encouragement, and gratitude for his long life of Love and service among Friends. I heard both memorial messages about Ed, and a wider confirmation that faithful living is a challenging and long-term path. These Friends themselves are also on that journey, encouraged by their meeting community and the wider body of Friends.
Friends who had just returned from YM Sessions shared exciting news about discernment and openings among the YM body of Friends. Concerns about racial injustice, a clear call to address the issues of climate change, and hopes to gather in upcoming NEYM “Living Faith” gatherings were just some items shared. In all cases, those Friends sharing the news brought back encouragement – these steps suggested in discernment from the YM body spoke directly to the faithful steps this meeting was already engaged in. This meeting can serve as a modal for local implementation of faithful living to the wider body of Friends.
There were visitors on this day, from other NEYM Meetings, from Baltimore YM, and newcomers. Benches held info cards about Quakers for anyone new to meeting or Quaker worship in general. We were all welcomed and told about the meeting. Members were asked to remember/sign up to care for others who were facing hospital visits, and other challenges. There was the usual lively conversation over coffee and snacks.
I was struck by the local living, the faithful day-to-day, the concerns and joys both large and small held by this meeting. An example of faithful living in community on the coast of Maine. Many of our meetings model this experience. I look forward to future visits with this wonderful meeting of Friends!