As the last bit of summer warmth comes to an end, and we prepare for a winter 2021 only a South Carolina resident could understand. Friends of Columbia decided to come together for one last hoorah with Mother Nature for the season. The pumpkin spice is brewing and the eggnog is on the way. Tis the season while some went kayaking others visited with members of the Horry Branch of Friends at the meeting house.
The lovely addition of the herb spiral certainly relates to the program today on how we can better connect with one another, support one another and center on what means most in our lives. When we are involved with our spiritual community it deepens our bonds by fostering fellowship. Hopefully, the addition will be enjoyed by our community and also enhance our space. Many, many thanks to Karen Murphy for designing, organizing, and being the catalyst for this functional sculptural spiral. We hope you will enjoy using the culinary herbs in your meal creations.
First Day School had a unique opportunity on October 2, when Matt Kipp a local forager led young Friends and some guests on a plant forage at the meetinghouse. Matt said of foraging, ” It offers me an abiding connection to my surroundings and a feeling of being at home in nature.
Many thanks to Matt for sharing with our young Friends that nature provides food and medicine, if we take the time and are aware of the plants around us. In these uncertain times having information about the world we live in could be a wonderful resource in the future.The First Day Program desires to nurture young people’s connection to God, Meeting, and the Quaker community, by providing a welcoming setting, and we hold that the Creation needs to be respected and valued. The foraging class was a wonderful opportunity to take a deeper look at creation as Matt identified often overlooked plants that provide multiple benefits to our lives. This First Day Young Friends program certainly helped us appreciate our creation by identifying some of the plants in the space behind the meetinghouse.
Addendum to Obituary for Bruce Pearson
While it would be challenging to honor all of the Quaker Faith and Practice of Bruce Pearson, this effort is to add detail.https://www.ranfranzandvinefh.com/obituary/595707/BrucePearson/
Bruce has been described as the “backbone” of Columbia Friends Meeting, and was clerk there. His thoughtful and forthright clerking style navigated the meeting through Quaker process and service. Bruce led Columbia Friends to work on upkeep of the Bush River Cemetery, once also the location of a thriving Quaker community. His efforts helped preserve this historic location where up to hundreds of Friends once gathered for quarterly meeting. Bruce’s ancestry included early Quaker settlers in South Carolina, who eventually joined the migration and left for parts north and west, including his home state of Indiana in the run up to the Civil War.
As an advocate against the death penalty, Bruce was active in Amnesty, International. He was the SC State Death Penalty Abolition Coordinator and a regular prison visitor. With others, Bruce was arrested when they attempted to block a delivery truck entering the Broad River Correctional facility. He organized execution vigils and edited the book The Death Penalty in SC: Outlook for the 80’s. He and his wife Julie adopted a man on death row. He created the first anti-death penalty group in SC. He worked with the Progressive Network, producing pamphlets and receiving the Thunder and Lightning Award, in recognition of leadership and commitment to human and civil rights in the mid-1990’s for his death penalty work.
He was a signer on the first statewide gathering of Quakers in modern times, the Palmetto Friends Gathering that met in Myrtle Beach at the Christian Retreat Center the weekend of January 12-14, 1990. He helped to plan PFG annual weekends and served as clerk for the 5th and 6th annual Gatherings.
Bruce was a skilled mentor, and worked closely with Rebecca Rogers as she seasoned her clerking skills. He is remembered fondly by Ron Caz who took over the Amnesty role in 1991, for his training and support.
In 2004 Bruce and Julie affiliated with the Salem-Black River Friends meeting for a short time before moving to Indiana.
Recollections provided by: Ron Caz, Grace Gifford, Sallie Prugh, Becci Robbins, Harry Rogers and Anna Shockley