Friends in Residence are volunteers who live at Pendle Hill for anywhere from three months to a year. Their main role is to hold the space for the fulfillment of Pendle Hill’s mission. We attend worship daily, sometimes serving as its conveners. We join staff and guests at meals. We make ourselves available as compassionate listeners and hold Pendle Hill and all of its people in the Light of prayer. In the midst of the busy activity that is required to keep Pendle Hill thriving, we have the charge of holding a consistent and intentional spiritual presence.
Along with holding space, we also sometimes hold other things – a steering wheel or a cleaning cloth, a box of teabags or a plate of snacks, an armful of blankets or a set of keys. As the only campus residents without specific practical responsibilities, we fill in wherever extra help is needed, most often helping the Hospitality staff tend to the often unpredictable needs of guests. This aspect of our work keeps us grounded in Pendle Hill’s day-to-day needs.
Friends in Residence have some time to ourselves, and we each use it in our own ways. We find that our “outside” activities enrich life at Pendle Hill, providing variety and topics for conversation and sometimes making practical contributions as well.
Angela Hopkins, a released Friend in New York Yearly Meeting, spends a good deal of her extra time on the road, bringing programming and a calm listening presence to Meetings throughout New York and New England to support a powerful anti-racist ministry. At Pendle Hill, she has been a strong student support for the Radical Faithfulness program.
Ann Jerome and John Margerum are members of Orlando Meeting in Southeastern Yearly Meeting. Ann administers her homeopathy school, the Academy of Classical Homeopathy, and teaches its live online courses via webinar from the Pendle Hill campus. She also serves as president of a national nonprofit organization and puts her experience and skills at the service of Pendle Hill staff.
John, a lifelong professional artist, is creating original work for juried shows in Florida and for Philadelphia’s Rittenhouse Square Art Fest, where he will be exhibiting this June 3rd-5th. He has been teaching a wheel throwing course for a small group of clay pottery enthusiasts on staff and has been working with Arts and Spirituality Coordinator Jesse White to enhance the Art Studio’s ceramics equipment.
As Friends in Residence, we are grateful for the opportunity to help sustain Pendle Hill’s community, ministry, and mission. —Ann E. Jerome