IMM State of the Meeting Invitation

Barbara Chase


It is the time of the year for preparing our annual State of the Meeting report. You are invited to participate in this process. The process for doing this (as well as for many other things) is different this year. In Meetings for Worship with Attention to Business in December, January, and February, we have (or will) spend some time worship sharing on how the circumstances of the last year have affected our individual spiritual lives and our Meeting.

We know that not everyone is able to or is comfortable attending Meetings for Business on Zoom.  Ministry and Worship still wants your input. The queries we have been using are below. If you would to share your thoughts, ideas, or ministry on these queries or other thoughts on the state of the Meeting, please send them to or call me or one of the other members of Ministry and Worship - Barbara Berry, Kris Altucher, Nancy Rifer, or Clerk Gina Varrichio by February 20.

Thanks very much,

Barbara Chase

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in

                                             ~ Corinthians 14:21 NIV               
(Ok, just kidding. That’s Leonard Cohen.)                                 

Nature is a powerful force for destruction. There’s the obvious, raw, tumultuousness of hurricanes ripping off rooftops, earthquakes leveling skyscrapers, tsunamis washing away entire towns. Much of the time though, its powers of transformation are more resolute and subtle, like wind eroding desert dunes.

Right now, we are in a time of upheaval. Our health, our habits, our finances, our plans for the future, our sense of security, and so much more have been threatened or taken away. Racism, poverty, injustice, and general social and political unrest seem more cacophonous than ever. 

I’m not the first to liken the pandemic to a river, I’m sure. It’s as if it suddenly overflowed its banks and came rushing in like floodwater. And though some things were really swept away with the force of it all, much of the devastation really happened when the water found its way into our individual cracks and social fissures, breaking them open - breaking us open - in a way we never would have chosen. 

But there’s a rare promise in being broken: you have some say in how the pieces get put back together and if they get put back at all. This is as true when considering our personal lives as it is for the reconstruction of social systems. And it is also true when contemplating the life of our Meeting. God/love/the spirit/light finds a way. Like grass will find a way to grow within every sidewalk crack, so, too, are things taking root in our own fractures.

I was highly amused at the thought of giving my opening song quote a biblical citation. My bible literacy is very low, so I ascribed the first book of the bible and number that came to my head, seemingly at random. I was, however, prompted to look it up after the fact, and felt it may have a message for us as well:

In the Law it is written:
“With other tongues and through the lips of foreigners, 
I will speak to this people,
but even then they will not listen to me,
says the Lord.”
                                             ~ Corinthians 14:21 NIV               
(Yeah, actually.)                                 


Where have you experienced the spirit speaking to or through you this year? 
What new life have you seen take hold in your own crevasses?

What impact, positive or negative, has this time of brokenness/openness had on our Meeting community? 
What pieces should be put back together?
What pieces should not be?

Are there unexpected joys and/or sorrows about our Meetings for Worship that have risen for you this year? 
How have you experienced the quality and faithfulness of corporate worship?
Where has the light gotten in?