SBFM History

 

Our Meeting was approved as a Monthly Meeting by the Connecticut Valley Quarterly Meeting on February 5, 1984. However, we have a rich and varied history going back to the 1950’s. A full account of our genesis as a Monthly Meeting was written by our Friend Lester Clarke in 1988.  The more complete history is available in our library.

Informal meetings after the manner of Friends were held regularly in Monterey, Massachusetts beginning in the early 1950’s. Silent worship was often followed by lively discussions of issues that were of concern to the group. The meetings moved to Gould Farm in Monterey and came to include some visiting Friends from Albany Friends Meeting and the New Haven, Connecticut Friends Meeting. With four Quakers (members of the Religious Society of Friends) the group, in late 1955, became eligible to become an Allowed Meeting under the care of the Middle Connecticut Valley Monthly Meeting.

The Meeting moved to the home of Lester and Margaret Clarke, the “House of Earth” in South Lee. The group met there until 1983. Lester is no longer with us. Margaret celebrated her 90th birthday in September, 2010. Our first Meeting for Business was held on February 12, 1984.The attendance at meetings swelled to the point that a new venue was needed. Blodgett House at Simon’s Rock College became our home for several years.

Over the years our Guest Book has listed Friends and friends of Friends from many countries including Uganda, Finland and the Netherlands. We have had a steady stream of guests to our Meeting some of whom have remained and have become dedicated Friends. We now reside in our own beautiful Meeting House and are deeply grateful to all who have preceded us and those who are still with us.

Our Meeting, along with other Quaker Meetings and organizations, has been active in many areas. Peace and non-violence, social justice, civil rights for all and ecological integrity represent some of the issues that have engaged our Meeting. Our membership has participated in direct action as well as approving formal statements that are distributed both to the Quaker community and a wider public. Our Meeting values both the inwardness of our Faith and our outward responses to what we view as appropriate involvement in a troubled world.