Statement of Purpose for Chesapeake Quarterly Meeting of Baltimore Yearly Meeting Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)

June, 2005

We are called into community with each other, not only in our local Meetings but also in the wider community of Friends. The Religious Society of Friends consists of many interwoven circles. Providing mutual support and enhancing communication among those circles have been vital practices since our earliest days. Today, we need to keep that woven fabric whole as much as ever. Quakers are few and somewhat scattered. Some Meetings are small and isolated. Individual Friends can also feel isolated within their own Meetings. Coming together to share nourishes us, enriches us, and helps deepen our sense of the wider community of Friends. This can be especially important for our children. Large or small, our Meetings have much to gain from each other and much to offer as well.

Who we are

Chesapeake Quarterly Meeting is one of the many interwoven circles of Friends. Since the early 18th century, this Quarter has brought together Friends from central and southern Maryland. It seeks to build a vibrant community of faith, service, and action. It nurtures the tradition of mutual support, communication, and intervisitation among Friends. At this time, the Quarterly Meeting includes nine Meetings: the Monthly Meetings at Annapolis; Baltimore, Homewood; Baltimore, Stony Run; Gunpowder; Little Falls; Patapsco; Patuxent; and Sandy Spring; and the Preparative Meeting at Seneca Valley, under the care of Sandy Spring.

Meeting together

Our Quarter now meets three times per year, on the second First Day of the third, sixth, and ninth months, hosted in turn by each of its member Meetings. We worship together. We develop and renew friendships. We participate in programs of interest that stimulate and support our spiritual journeys and social witness. We conduct business relevant to the Quarter, seeking what God is calling us to do. We explore and affirm our Quaker faith and our collective witness to the world that arises from that faith. We especially strive to provide opportunities for our children, Junior Young Friends, and Young Friends to build relationships, both drawing on and helping support the relationships nurtured at the Yearly Meeting level. With assistance from Baltimore Yearly Meeting, we have had a Youth Coordinator to organize activities of interest to Junior Young Friends.

Service, ministry, and action arising from faith

Our Quarter provides the opportunity for Meetings and individuals who are supported by their Meeting to share a leading, to develop a clearer sense of a ministry, and to find ways to serve and take spirit-led action in the wider community. Through our Meetings for Worship with a Concern for Business, Friends may seek clarity, support, or collaboration in these efforts. In recent years, Friends have sought and received support for minutes to further their ministry or witness in several areas, including population concerns, health issues, and violence prevention. When the Quarter takes a witness or ministry under its care, then we ask for regular communication about it to help us discern how and whether to continue it under our care.

Currently, our Quarter appoints representatives to two organizations. The West River Burial Ground Board of Trustees cares for this historic site in Galesville, near the site of the first Baltimore Yearly Meeting, attended by George Fox, in 1672. The Interfaith Coalition for Peace of the Central Maryland Ecumenical Council fosters multi-denominational dialogue and approaches to issues of peace and social justice.

We invite Friends and all who are interested to join us far one of our gatherings.

Further information about Chespeake Quarterly Meeting may be found on the web at http://chesapeake.bym-rsf.net/