It was the fall of 1979 when I first sat beside the Brinton House fireplace. Although I was not yet a Friend, immediately I knew I was home. Since then I’ve returned as often as possible, but finally this past January, nearly 40 years of dreaming came true when John Margerum and I moved into Main House as Friends in Residence.
What’s the effect of doing the work of a Friend in Residence every day? As Friends in Residence we’ve become part of a community that we’re here to assist in whatever ways we can. Our participation – physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual – brings us to the center of Pendle Hill, its people and its mission. As an analogy, if Pendle Hill were a meeting or worship group, we’d be the first to enter the meetinghouse, centering down to prepare the space and ground the worship. To support the staff in their responsibility for a plethora of essential tasks, we help set the context for the quality of all that happens here.
We are increasingly aware of the power of our Quaker faith, the transformative effect of humble service and sharing of gifts, the openings of Truth that come from patient listening. As our feet walk these paths and our hands share the work, we’re viscerally aware of being part of a past, present, and future of sacred hospitality and the enactment of Friends witness in the world.
It was worth the wait. —Ann E. Jerome, Friend in Residence, 2016