Support a Minister. Sell Your Meetinghouse.

Vital ministry is essential to vitality. Vital ministry breaks us open, stirs us up, inspires conversations, exposes us, makes us uncomfortable, puts us through the refiners fire. Ministers activate people. In short, without vital ministry, we are lost.

Over the past month or so I have been engaging in a public clearness process about how I should move forward with my music and ministry. I have publicly revealed what is working well and what isn’t. (in short: broad spiritual life and success, financial shortfalls)

I think that my sharing this may be somewhat confusing to Friends. I have heard from many folks who are concerned about me, who wanted to offer emotional support through my tough times. And then there’s the opposite reaction to the same interpretation:

Buck up. Get a job. Quit whining about not getting to live your dream and passion, we all have to give that stuff up at some point and grow up.

“Following Passion” VS Servitude

While I’m grateful for such broad engagement, I find many of these responses to be fundamentally unhelpful.

I consider myself to be a servant and not a self-serving follower of my passion. My musical journey ceased to be my own when I committed to it as a ministry.

And though I’ve said so in my blog, in videos, in my newsletter, I would like to say it here, loud and clear:

I am willing to lay down my musical ministry if it does not serve my community.

Seriously, let me say it again:

I am willing to lay down my ministry.

To further make the point, I want to say that I don’t see it as my ministry. It is yours. You tell me what to do with it.

Am I being of service? Have I outrun my guide? Am I out of touch, unfaithful, a loner?

Tell me. If I am not a valuable servant, I’m gone.

I’ll become a secular artist and make pop songs about romantic love. Or I’ll take a marketing job, settle down in the suburbs and shut up.

(honestly, those sound a little relieving. Stop caring so much, stop working against the system, put my head down and go with the flow and be happy? I’ll take it!)

But that’s not what I’m hearing. I have gotten email after email, Facebook messages, messages on twitter, responses to my newsletter over the course of the past month telling me the opposite:

Don’t stop.
We need you.
Your ministry brings us hope.
Makes us think.
Informs our faith.
Stimulates our communities.

(not trying to toot my own horn, just telling you what I’m hearing)

How many messages like this do I have to get before I know that I have community support? Fifty? A hundred? A thousand? A million? Enough supporters to buy enough t-shirts to pay for my rent & health insurance? Enough to fund my next album?

What if it is less? What if the demand for me to continue is strong… but not strong enough to pay my rent? It certainly would not be a worthwhile business venture.

But is it a worthwhile ministry?

Other Ministers From My Generation Add Their Voices

I try not to blog about myself unless I see wider thematic value in sharing my story.

Since I have made public my process of reconsidering my commitment to music as ministry, several other ministers have also weighed in with their own stories and thoughts about their own ministries. I would like to ask that you also read:

Friends, we are not a small group of whiny moochers who want to sit back and live off of the hard work of others. We are some of the most committed, hard-working public Friends of our generation. And we are trying to tell you something.

We feel like we are on our own out here.

The Voices You Don’t Hear

As one of my favorite authors likes to say, don’t look at my finger, look at the moon. We can discuss my own personal finances, motives and circumstances all day, but that would be missing the point.

Which is this: for every public Quaker minister in my generation that you meet, there are 10-20 that went unrecognized. Unsupported. Unknown. Lost.

Growing up in the Young Friends program in Baltimore Yearly Meeting, I was by no means the strongest performer, the loudest voice, the most charismatic, or even the most thoughtful and committed in my community.

But all of those gifted, charismatic, thoughtful, exciting folks I grew up with in BYM are gone. They don’t attend Meeting, they don’t engage with Quakerism as their faith community, and they certainly don’t blog or write songs about their Quakerism.

Where did they go?

I hope that they have found meaningful work with organizations that value them. But I fear that they are working less-than-meaningful jobs, their gifts wasted. And we are all worse off for the loss of these Friends.

The Ears Unreached, The Hearts Unchanged

What is the use of active ministers?

Vital ministry is essential to vitality. Vital ministry breaks us open, stirs us up, inspires conversations, exposes us, makes us uncomfortable, puts us through the refiners fire. Ministers activate people. In short, without vital ministry, we are lost.

My ministry has touched thousands of people, many of them the next generation of Quakerism. I hear from them all the time, in my inbox, at shows, on my Facebook page. They say that my ministry caused them to engage with Quakerism as a path and not just as a community. They say that my ministry got them excited about applied Quaker theology. That it engaged them, started conversations and helped guide their seeking. That it connected them with God.

I like getting these messages. They are validating. But they also make me a little sad.

What if there were more of me? How many more exciting, thoughtful, seeking Young Friends would be stimulated, challenged, engaged and activated?

But there aren’t more of me. There used to be. But I saw them drift away when their gifts went unrecognized, underutilized, unvalidated, and ultimately, unsupported.

What’s worse, I’m worried that we are doing the same thing to the next generation.

But I’ve figured out a solution:

“We Can Meet at Larry’s House”

I admit it, I’m excited about all the property that Quakers own.

Seeing a huge, old, beautiful Meetinghouse makes me feel proud and powerful. My faith community is a valid one. We have played an important role in history and we have it together enough today to keep up with the Joneses.

But I do wonder about the amount of resources that we are pouring into our old drafty Meetinghouses. When I can’t pay my rent, Micah can’t afford to refinish his basement to make room for traveling ministers and Ashley can’t afford to take time off from work to follow the leadings of the Spirit, I wonder at the value of these empty, expensive buildings.

So I ask you, Friends, what’s more important? Big empty buildings or vital ministry? Are we alive or are we already lost?

If your answer is, “We’re alive!! Quit calling us stagnant and asleep!” I would say, prove it:

Support ministers.

Support Friends who show promise as future ministers.

Support them spiritually.

Support them financially.

If you don’t have the extra cash, tell your Meeting to sell their Meetinghouse.

Put the money into releasing a hundred active traveling ministers for two years. Or fifty active traveling ministers for 4 years!

Imagine how much more alive, how much more relevant, how much more vital and activated we could be as a faith community.

If I could lay down and sacrifice my making music for anything, it would be this.

This is Just a (Blog) Post

Listen to the Spirit. And then act. Bring this subject up in your Meeting. Start conversations. Share this post. I believe that the future of our religious society and indeed, our society, our very species could very well depend on it.

27 thoughts on “Support a Minister. Sell Your Meetinghouse.”

  1. I have visited about 75% of the current and existing former meeting houses in Britain. When I started, 6 years go, most of the owners of former meeting houses would tell me that Quaker no longer existed. That is not now the case in my experience.
    Meeting houses are perhaps the biggest single vehicle for outreach in Britain. Just one example: we visited Bradford meeting house http://www.flickr.com/photos/qmh/3533569320/ to photograph it but the door was locked. When we knocked, two young Muslim women opened and explained that they were running a retreat for battered Muslim wives in the meeting room. One then said, “Thank God for the Quakers! No one else would let us have a room.”

  2. Insightful, and real.
    I have been saying for 40 years, the best thing to happen to most churches is having the building burn down.
    If I have a choice of tow churches I choose the one that values it’s worship more than its building. Many churches worship their buildings.
    Free us from outward signs is a big part of what Quakerism is about.
    Ministry has a value and ministers have to be housed an fed.
    In this culture where the dominant religion is capitalism and the creed is competition and greed, it is a challenge to trust in the true source of all that we need.
    things you may need to know:
    what do you need?
    What must you do?
    Who should you be with?
    Two things I know, one for sure.
    the correct response to any situation is meditation and prayer(any form including music)( this i know for sure)
    Once you know and live in the Spirit, you can live no other way- you can try- and you can only be who you are. there is no turning back.thanks be to God.
    Love you Jon- hang in there-my door is open for r and r.

  3. Thought-provoking and insightful. I’m sad too about those talented young friends who drifted away. Jon, you have done more to engage and inspire the next generation of Quakers than anyone I know through your many visits to Quaker schools and meetings, and through your powerful messages. Thank you so much!!

  4. I love how your last project seems to be evolving from personal nakedness to community nakedness. The community can remove its clothes and live more truthfully by leaving behind the meetinghouse. Neat.

    1. Hey Jacob!

      Insightful, thanks for your perspective! I think that some Quakers are perceiving me as rude and a little out of touch, which might be true, but it is also possible that their dismissing my message is actually defensiveness coming up as a barrier from the searchlight of the Spirit.

      I think part of what Quaker practice has to offer the world is just this: the “righteousness” part of “Clothe Yourself in Righteousness“… as many folks as dismiss my message, calling me immature and obnoxious, I can feel grounded in my knowing that I felt led to share it and can love them as they wrestle with the message that came through me.

      That is: my groundedness in the righteousness of the Spirit. Personal attacks on me and those who would dismiss my message because of my own imperfection don’t actually put a dent in the Truth of the Spirit. I think this is something that the Early Friends knew innately, and that’s why they were able to confront their fallen society with such forcefulness, not distracting themselves with questions of their own righteousness.

      Once I have gotten naked myself, and clothed myself instead in the righteousness of the Spirit, there is nothing left to lose; I welcome exposure to that Light which is so dangerous for pretenders.

      Or so goes the experiment! Thanks again for your consistent engagement with it.

      Jon

  5. I’ve been reading back through the last few blog posts and the comments, and I’m really blown away by what has been said, wanted to make a few contributions of my own.

    1. You have a huge talent Jon, both as a minister and as an artist. I believe the two things go together and become more. Don’t think you have to drop one.

    2. You have a huge community of support here online. Thank God for the internet! I wish it had been around when I had a similar decision to make. Its not a substitute for discernment, but it can help you keep on the path in times of doubt.

    3. Quakers have always been funny about property (I speak from a British background). In some ways it has been the only thing holding a meeting together whilst the less ‘tangible’ elements go through yet another crisis.

    Property has always been valuable, but today it is ludicrously so. Here in the UK young people can’t find places to live because the private rental market is hugely inflated and they can’t even think about buying (a notion that some politicians decided we should all aspire to in the 1980s) because the valuations of homes are so hugely inflated. Property is broken and it is breaking our culture.

    What does this mean for you and the question above? I’d say its an interesting thought, but not a solution.

    Your question is about how much Quakers value ministry, not property.
    Those who value property highly shouldn’t be distracted from the question you’re asking…

    I know you’re clearly taking the time to approach the question you have asked carefully and with plenty of silence. Way will open.

  6. I hardly ever post online, but you have moved me to do so… actually Micah did by sharing this on FB.

    If an active meeting owns a meetinghouse that has some value to historical/preservation people who might not be Quaker, they could consider selling it to the local historical society or the town… and then just securing an arrangement to continue worshiping there. Of course, this would involve giving up some control over how the building would be used… but would free the meeting from the financial and sweat equity burdens in keeping it up… and presumably would leave the meeting in a better position to support ministers and act in the world in other ways…

    Often meetinghouses have cemeteries attached and local people with Quaker ancestors will step up to take care of the property. That happened with one local meetinghouse around here, but that one didn’t have an active meeting attached to it. These family members formed a corporation and the meeting that owned the property gave it to them in the end.

    Another idea is to do what I understand Arch Street meeting did in Philadelphia… which is to give the meetinghouse and grounds to the yearly meeting. Doing this freed the monthly meeting from the burdens of ownership. I understand Philadelphia Yearly Meeting has a standing committee that cares for the Arch Street Meetinghouse. The monthly meeting continues to worship there, but presumably has a little extra money and energy now that could be used to do things like support ministers? I wonder if yearly meetings might be better suited to maintaining property than monthly meetings – I don’t know.

    Historic Quaker meetinghouses that don’t have an active monthly meeting that owns them are great places to start new worship groups – I was able to do that in a historic meetinghouse here in Uxbridge, MA. It’s owned by a separate 501c3 non-profit corporation that was formed by local historic/preservation people sixty years ago. They allow our worship group to meet there. When the property was deeded over to this civic Association, it was written into the deed that the property be used for civic and religious purposes.

    I wish every meeting could experience the freeing experience of being a worship group that isn’t weighed down by property ownership and other types of business that can burden a monthly meeting. In our case, it has really helped us to remain close to the Spirit in our worship and to build community.

    Our worship group was also able to find several local churches who have been willing to let us worship there for no charge in colder weather – as long as we did so on Sunday afternoon or another time that didn’t conflict with the times of their service.

    I know of at least one monthly meeting in New England that meets every Sunday afternoon at a local church. They don’t own any property.

    Other meetings I’ve heard of meet in nature centers and other such places. You don’t NEED a meetinghouse to be a fully functioning Quaker meeting.

    Maintaining a building together can also be a way for a meeting to build and strengthen community, and the historic meetinghouse our worship group meets in does seem to contribute to our worship in intangible ways. I don’t think I’d be in favor of every meeting shedding its property, but it’s certainly an option. It’s not mandatory to retain ownership to be a thriving Quaker meeting.

    By the way, I also think that it would be great for meetings to open meetinghouses to other groups between First Day meetings for worship a lot more than many do. If a meetinghouse is only used for a few hours on First Day morning, is owning it worth the financial and time burden on members? And the cost, of course, is much higher – when you consider what funds could be raised by selling the property. These questions need to be asked periodically…

    I would love it if our meetinghouses were once more used as community centers… if we’re going to go through the trouble and spend the money to maintain our property, we should make sure it’s used more. That could, potentially, be an additional source of income as well…

    Thinking outside of the box seems to be called for… so often a hard thing to do…

    I do believe God will lead you and all of us in this. We used to talk a lot about when private struggles become public issues when I was in grad school for social work. Since what you’re experiencing seems to be what many like you have already experienced… it seems as if your private struggle is becoming a public issue for all Friends…

  7. Why not use the Meetinghouse as a venue? Many of the old Meetinghouses have great acoustics — host concerts and services multiple times a week, especially evening services so people can have church when they get off work.

    Why not teach music there? Nearly every Meetinghouse I’ve ever been to has a piano. My current Meeting has four. Few people in the Meeting play them. Parents would pay money for their kids to learn how to play. Some Meetings I’ve been to have organs. Someone might learn to play the organ. Or the guitar, or any other instrument.

    Most Meetinghouses are dead and empty six days out of the week. Make the building serve your needs and the needs of the community. My leading is among the poor, so I would get showers and laundry machines installed, as well as ask Friends to donate food and bedding so people can live at the Meetinghouse, whether they are traveling ministers like yourself or just really, really cold and hungry.

  8. Maybe that’s too conservative a proposal. Maybe Friends should lay down their meetings, and seek to bring the beauty of waiting worship to other Christian churches.

  9. This is obnoxious, you have lost balance and perspective and ask for validation of fundmentalist principal. You are wrong. There is a place for quaker property. I am sick to death of this kind o stuff. Stop it. One makes money, one has a house, one has a life. If not, go the fuck away, and jack off in a corner somewhere where you won’t bother people who take care of other people.

  10. I like thinking of selling meeting houses. it’s the kind of idea my fellow members are afraid I’ll try to pursue. But I would sell it and buy or rent in a poorer area where we would be nearer the underprivileged. As an oddball singer-songwriter who has hosted a christian coffee house out of our Quaker Meeing house for two years I marvel at the great talent that is out there. However, talent is not an anointed ministry. I look forward to seeing you minister first hand sometime and hope you survive until I do but I think you have to follow Paul’s example of being open to a time of tent making and a time of full time ministry as the opportunity arises. There is a time for everything under the heavens. If your ministry is truly anointed and deserving your local meeting members should be moved to support it. If they don’t you have to consider the possibility you have to dig another well, whether it’s online or with another community or the possibility that it’s not as anointed as you think it is. In any event pray it through. Don’t quit until you shed blood, just don’t that that literally. 🙂

  11. Jon, I’m not going to get into whether or not it’s a good idea to sell the meetinghouses. You knew they wouldn’t when you wrote it. So that’s that.

    What I do want to address is, the theme of “ministers of my generation.” “We feel like we’re on our own out here.” And so on.

    I’ve been a Quaker minister since sometime in my twenties. Do you think that ministers of my generation didn’t face the same questions? I pastored for a few years, loved it, but as I’ve come to understand, it was just part of a preparation for a different ministry, one of healing. I didn’t know that at the time. I wondered, as you do, why I couldn’t earn my bread, not while being faithful to God’s call, but BY being faithful to God’s call. However, I had to earn my bread one way or another, and God has made of my life what He intended in the first place. Thank God my faithfulness allowed me to accept (not without some anguish in the process) the changes that following the Light has involved. If you read my blog post on A Plain Life — http://lettersfromthestreet.wordpress.com/2012/04/22/quaker-plain-iv-a-plain-life/ — you will see that following my ministry has not been without its costs.

    But oh, the rewards.

    It hasn’t stopped, by the way. If my experience is any benchmark, Quaker ministers of my generation still face this same dilemma. Over the last year I’ve had to make a major decision along these same lines. The good news: it gets easier with practice. Now in my 60th year, after many of these radical twists and turns, I don’t agonize over them as much.

    I won’t say “grow up.” You will, at your own pace, just as I did at my own pace and, I presume, Fox did at his own pace. I do say, don’t think of yourself or your generation as quite so unique. Trust me, someday when you are 35-40 years down the road, you will hear someone say something a lot like you are saying and recognize your younger self in it. I hope you will smile.

    All of which was said as one minister to another. I hope you take it that way. Now, it’s time for some eldering — I mean that in the Quaker sense, and not in the sense that I am chronologically your elder.

    God always finds an open heart, Jon, and always makes a way for that heart. He doesn’t need you to tell him what your ministry should be like. Maybe you have a very clear vision of what direction your musical ministry could take, but that doesn’t mean it is God’s vision. If it is, nothing will stop it. Nothing. (I learned this myself in the caldron of uncertainty, and have the burn marks to show for it. ^_^)

  12. My experience may be quite different from your average Friend. I have been experiencing a vital and living faith community that provides a satisfying framework of meaning to those who attend, including college students. This community has gone without our own worship space for more than 20 years.

    What we found was that the community around us knew some Quakers were around, but our profile wasn’t high, despite public talks and other ways of trying to raise our profile. Our youth felt that the community was unstable without a permanent home they could identify with. Our adults had to put a great deal of effort into making sure that we had space for worship, children’s programs, and other activities. We moved around a number of times, and felt that we were fortunate in the generosity we were shown, but the nomadic nature of our meeting space also affected our sense of being able to invite people into community.

    This coming First Day we celebrate our first meeting for worship in our own space, and look forward to new flexibility for activities and nurturing each other in opening to the Divine presence. It seems to me that faith community benefits from a stable gathering place that is able to serve the community needs, and at the same time it is vital for faith community to support ministers. Rather than eliminate meetinghouses, I would ask Friends to work to ensure that both elements of community – home and ministers – are properly supported. Perhaps that means downsizing. But it seems counterproductive to favor one public witness while doing away with another that also allows us to share that this unusual understanding of Christ’s message and God’s presence still exists and is relevant. I have found that I need both.

  13. I think that Quaker Meetinghouses serve an important role in giving visibility and a place of community to Quakers. When I hear of a Quaker Meetinghouse that is underutilized I see that as an opportunity to rebuild community.

    I think seeding these areas with Quaker Ministers called to Outreach would be the perfect solution. The FGC New Meetings Project and similar work by the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting and Britain Yearly Meeting can have the most impact.

    There may be occasional situations where selling a Meetinghouse may be appropriate, but I doubt much of the proceeds would go to Ministers based on the demands on Meeting budgets.

    I do think that collectively we need to support the work of Ministers, and I see more and more of this happening.

  14. May we invite each other to be ministers. Becoming a Quaker is the process of following spirit and finding out that you are a minister.

  15. In full disclosure, I am on the property committee of a meeting that has an 18th century meetinghouse. Our meeting built it, down to the benches, and it wasn’t our first.
    It’s tempting to think that our spiritual lives would be enhanced if we “burned down the meeting house and worshiped in the grass”, but a little thought is in order. Where would we meet? In borrowed and rented spaces littered with decor and symbols of other faiths? In our homes? Maybe that would work, but it sounds like a descending spiral to oblivion to me.
    A meeting house, like any object, can be an idol, or it can be a testament to our values.

  16. Hi Jon – I’m aware of Monthly Meetings (MM’s) gladly paying speakers or workshop leaders for FDS or religious ed (RE) classes. Do you have a rate schedule somewhere that I could publicize? Do you package what you offer as a form of outreach that is recognizable and fund-able by your average MM outreach or RE committee? Once upon a time I tried setting up a network of Friends in the arts who could be reliably available to MM’s, QM’s etc for events. The idea outran the energy I had to put behind it, but I know there’s still the need and scraping together a list of Friends with talent to share into something like a speakers bureau isn’t rocket science. The idea maybe got into my head on account of my own parents thirty year history of leading music and recreation events for churches all over the mid-Atlantic and New England states. But they did it on a moonlighting basis from their professional day jobs, and were motivated out of the joy they took from sharing with people. And they got the occasional grant from the PA Council of the Arts and took off work to visit a couple dozen elementary schools here and there on tours as well. Sadly, it’s common wisdom that being a struggling artist is not often the path to a financially robust career. Last I checked, being a minister in most faiths doesn’t pay that well either. But as you also may know, some MM’s support “released Friends” who’s work is seen as instrumental to the faith. I hope you stick with your clearness committee to pursue that tack. And if you’ve got great new ideas, why not hit up those Friendly grant sources as well? Do you have a business plan that demonstrates more than anecdotal evidence of the community building aspect of your work? Just sayin. That’s the sort of document that the stewards of granting funds really appreciate – it’s not their money after all – they are accountable for their grant awards. And if you’re really in a tight spot, perhaps consider taking a rent-free arrangement where you do part-time care for a senior? Or taking care of a (gasp) meeting house or burial ground? 😉 Or the Fund for Sufferings if really, it’s come to that. Have your convictions led you to a place where you are persecuted for them? Worth considering. Gotta be creative in these times. I appreciate your “crowdsourced” approach to solving this issue, because I do feel as though you have worked diligently to become a resource for the community. That said, the solution isn’t likely to be easily resolved by a MM real estate transaction. PYM is wrestling with the fact that the current membership in 1/3 of our MMs probably does not warrant keeping a meetinghouse open. But with each MM as an independent entity, you can imagine how hard any decisions about selling those meetinghouses will be to face. Maybe “art therapy” or some related professional day job would keep your juices going while you continued your ministry on the side? Yoga teacher? Just throwing out ideas. But please keep rabble rousing and asking uncomfortable questions! In Friendship, Tim

  17. This ancient Meeting house (1822), was sold in 1907 (it’s a long story). It became available in 2000 and because of the peculiarities of French law was bought by France Yearly Meeting, not by the small local meeting which has grown since a new start in 1994. The Meeting house is home to a ‘non-religious’ association – Le Centre Quaker de Congénies – which manages the property under a légal contract with the Yearly meeting.The managing committee consists of local Friends with the Cerk of YM as an ex officio member.
    The building has been restored and, since 2005 has a multi-purpose Meeting room, kitchen, office and toilets on the ground floor; there are now four bedrooms, 2 en suite, toilets and bathrooms on the landing and a studio for 1 Resident Friend or a couple on the newly inserted upper floor.
    The Centre has a programme of retreats, conférences, musical and artistic évents, wedding réceptions, etc. and also receives holiday guests. these are all income-producing. All surplus of income goes to thé YM fund to repay the generous interest-free loan from a Friend that enable us to buy back the Meeting house at it’s market value at the time. So far since opening after complétion of the works in 2005 the project has paid it’s way, is building a réserve fund against major repairs, and has each year paid loan repayment
    installments. After the original loan this whole project has been funded and furnished by generous responses to appeals for funds. It has all been at no cost to the Yearly Meeting (apart from some commitee and treasurer’s time).
    NB If it became necessary to sell it, it would be as a Bed & Breakfast , going concern, with an increased value. It is not a Listed historical building, despite it’s being valued by the village as part of it’s heritage. There is at present no sign of such a sale becoming necessary.
    So it can be done, especially in a lofty meeting house and with a lot of applied energy, generous financial aid, and willing voluntary workers.
    A musical travellingminister will always be welcome in Congénies.

    1. We spend a lot of energy looking for a place to meet that fits our needs, yes keep things in balance – a heavy commitment needs to be counterbalanced with the other aspects of our witness and if the meeting has not grown for many years despite the meeting house something needs to be done. But i think the human spirit has a fundamental response to a space. A good Quaker space feels like home and home is where you want to stay as long as the other family members are not toooo difficult (why the bad language Friends?). But there needs to be real projects radiating out from the building, that might be ministry, peace work, supporting other groups etc. I am preparing an art event ‘In the light, inner light’. I will paint the light in Quaker meeting houses, there will be installation and texts. I hope this will be an evolving show involving Quaker communities and artists but will primarily be outreach not inreach. The Light is what matters. If any one has ideas for funding, except selling the meeting house please let me know. http://www.karina-knight.com

  18. All those present during your recent 5-day ‘Open for Art’ workshop here at the Congénies Centre greatly enjoyed the experience and will come to another next year. I’m sure they felt at home while here.
    Since you were yourself painting while here perhaps this was the inspiration to start your ‘In the light, inner light’ outreach project.
    Let’s create an association to support thé project morally and financially.
    Like Appleseed the association ‘In the light, inner light’ will need to be in the care of a lively English local or area meeting as its ‘home base’, since most European meeting houses are in Britain.
    I hope ‘In the light, inner light’ will be the theme of your next 5-day workshop ‘Artists Residing’ at Congénies in May 2014.
    [email protected]

    1. Hi Dennis!

      You must have me confused for somebody else! I have never been to Congenies, much less France! I would be happy to come and be an artist in residence there sometime though.

      in peace
      Jon

      1. Bonjour Jon,
        I should have made it clear that I was replying to thé Message left by Karina,
        who had been here recently.
        Perhaps we may see you hère one day, especially if one of those meeting houses gets sold!
        Go well,
        Dennis

        1. Hi Dennis!

          Ah, sorry! I just get a notification in my email and wasn’t able to add up that you were responding to Karina. Now it all makes more sense!

          Be well!
          Jon

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