Another Friend Crossed Over

Posted by admin on Nov 18, 2016 in Meeting News

We have learned through her husband, Jack Donovan, of Lake Lure, NC, that Bettina Wolff died on October 27, 2016, at their home, assisted by Hospice. She was 89 and had suffered failing health for many years.

Bettina was born in 1927 in Amsterdam, NY. She had been an active member of Swannanoa Valley Friends Meeting in Black Mountain, NC in the early 2000s.. Earlier, she had attended Asheville Friends Meeting.

In addition to her husband, she is survived by three children: Eric, Doug, and Jennifer Wolff. Before coming to North Carolina, Bettina and family spent many years at Olney, Ohio, where she was an active member of Olney Friends Meeting and Olney Friends School.

Her special Quaker interests included Powell House, in NY State, the Alternatives to Violence program, Friends Committee on National Legislation, Friends General Conference, and SAYMA—the Southern Appalachian Yearly Meeting and Association. She will be remembered by her devotion to these causes by all who knew her.

According to her wishes, a memorial service has not been planned.


Energy Audit

Posted by admin on Nov 15, 2016 in Meeting News, Uncategorized

Asheville Friends’ Peace and Earth Committee arranged for an energy audit of our Meetinghouse through Interfaith Power and Light, of which we are a member. You can view their report by clicking this link:

Energy Audit


A Notable Passing

Posted by admin on Oct 28, 2016 in Meeting News

Robert (Bob) Latta Barrus died peacefully, holding his wife’s hand, October 19th 2016. Bob was born in Manchester, New Hampshire, January 19, 1918, and grew up in Rochester and Brooklyn, New York. His parents, George Latta Barrus and Gertrude Emily Schneider Barrus, lived apart from each other when Bob was young, but they were always dedicated to him. He also had an important family connection to his Aunt Ruby and his Searle cousins in Haddonfield, New Jersey.

As a boy, Bob traveled with his father to forestry jobs around the United States and in Europe. Because of his travels, he attended many different schools during his teen years. This included two years at the Fellowship School in Switzerland, where he was introduced to pacifist values and alternative education methods. Bob received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Rochester. He started out studying chemical engineering but changed his interest to sociology before graduating.

During WWII, Bob registered as a conscientious objector because of his deeply held beliefs about the value of all human life. He served in the civilian public service on a forestry project in New Hampshire and at a school for troubled boys in Cheltenham, Maryland. On furlough from service, he met Dorothy (Dot) Somers, when she joined a hiking trip with him and their fathers. After the war, Bob felt a calling to serve in the reconstruction of Europe. He joined the American Friends Service Committee and was assigned to rebuilding houses in Italian villages. Dot joined AFSC as well, and they were married in Rome, November 9, 1946.

Upon their return to the U.S., they lived for a few years in Chapel Hill, where Bob was director of the UNC campus YMCA. In 1951, they moved to Yancey County and joined Celo Community, seeking a more supportive community to raise their children, especially their mentally handicapped daughter. After a childhood in many places, it was important to Bob to put down roots in a place that would be home for the rest of his life. When his parents retired, they both joined him to live in Celo.

When the family first arrived in Celo, Bob worked at a number of jobs, but his calling was to be a teacher. He soon got a position teaching at Harris High School in Mitchell County. He later taught at South Toe Elementary, and Asheville Country Day. In 1963, Bob joined Elizabeth Morgan to help found Arthur Morgan School, where he remained the principle teacher until his retirement.

In 1955, Bob and Dot took over management of Camp Celo, a farm-home summer camp for children. They were encouraged and joined in this effort by Ernest and Elizabeth Morgan. They dedicated their lives to helping children experience the joy of physical work while living on a farm in a diverse community. They made sure this experience was available to children of all races, religions and economic means.

When Bob and Dot moved to Celo, they joined a small group of Quakers who were worshipping together. They helped establish Celo Friends Meeting. Bob and Dot were trained through Friends General Conference to lead couples’ groups in marriage enrichment retreats. This work contributed to the depth of their own marriage of 70 years. The Friends spiritual community continues as a central focus of their lives until today.

Bob is survived by his loving wife of 69 years, Dot Barrus; two sons, Gib Barrus and wife Annie of Celo and Greg Barrus and wife Elizabeth of Burnsville; two daughters, Rommie Barrus of Celo and Barb Perrin and husband Tom of Celo; four granddaughters, Gracie Barrus of Celo, Lucia Parker and husband, Clay of Celo, Sadie Perrin of Celo, and Kayla Barrus of Tennessee; three grandsons, Kyle Barrus of Burnsville, Drew Perrin and wife Carly Todd of New York, and Kristian Barrus of Tennessee; and four great-grandchildren, Hayden Parker, Lauren Barrus, Niko Perrin, and Arlo Fields.

A memorial service was held at 4 p.m. on Saturday, October 22nd at the Celo Friends Meeting. The family received friends from 2 until 4 p.m. prior to the service at the Celo Friends Meeting.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Friends of Camp Celo Campership Fund, P.O. Box 2392 Asheville, NC 28802 or http://friendsofcampcelo.org/donate.


Items To Donate For Refugee Relief Kits

Posted by admin on Aug 7, 2016 in Meeting News, Uncategorized
    Peace & Earth Committee is collecting supplies for school kits and hygiene kits for refugees on August 7 and August 14. P&E reminds Friends that all donations should be new, unopened items.


89,958 shipped last year to Jordan, Syria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Lebanon, Haiti, U.S., Serbia, Honduras and more.

Contents (NEW items only)

    • 4 spiral or perforated notebooks (8 1⁄2 x 10 1⁄2 in and 70 sheets)
    • 8 unsharpened pencils
    • 1 ruler (flat, flexible plastic; indicating both 30 cm and 12 in)
    • 12 colored pencils (in packaging)
    • 1 large pencil eraser

Thank you for limiting your generosity to the items listed.


14,507 shipped last year to Jordan, Syria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Haiti, Honduras, Iraq, Lebanon, Ukraine and Serbia.

Contents (NEW items only, in original packaging)

    • 4 large bars bath soap
    • 1 plastic bottle shampoo (13–24 oz; place in resealable plastic bag)
    • 4 large bars laundry soap (Fels Naptha®, Sunlight® or Zote® brands)
    • 4 adult-size toothbrushes
    • 4 new bath towels (medium weight, dark or bright colors)
    • 2 wide-tooth combs (6–8 in)
    • 1 fingernail clipper (good quality)
    • 1 box adhesive bandages (minimum 40 count, assorted)
    • 1 package sanitary pads (18–24 count thin maxi)

Due to strict regulations some countries have on the expiration date of toothpaste, MCC no longer asks for toothpaste to be donated with the kits. Instead, we will provide toothpaste with the kits when they ship from our warehouse. The kit will be re-packed in a new 5-gallon plastic pail with lid.

Soap specifications: New bars of bath or laundry soap: All sizes and brands of bar soap are welcome. Please leave in wrapper.

Towel specifications: NEW bath towels: Good quality, dark or bright colors, medium weight preferred. Washcloths are not needed.

Thank you for limiting your generosity to the items listed,



Minute of Concern about Excessive Police Force

Posted by admin on Aug 4, 2016 in Meeting News
Asheville Friends Meeting approved the following Minute, as recommended by AFM Racial Justice Committee, at a called Meeting For Business on 7/17/2016, with actions to to be discussed and taken as opportunity arises and Spirit leads:

“Our hearts are cracked open by the excessive use of force by police in our nation and in our own community, against people of color, especially young black men and Jerry Williams in particular. We acknowledge that this long history of institutionalized violence has repeatedly broken the hearts and shattered the lives of people in our community.

We recognize that our silence makes us complicit. If we fail to speak now, our silence will be deafening. Therefore, we are called to take the following actions:
• To bear Quaker witness and speak “Truth to power” in our community
• To support the family and community most impacted by racial violence: to stand with them, believe in them, and affirm their vital importance to this city.”


Reflections from a Friend

Posted by admin on Aug 4, 2016 in Meeting News
    Asheville Friends Meeting joins many others in their concern about racial injustice and has formed a committee to address it. We are trying to discern the mission of this committee but have not yet come to unity on the particular wording. The term “white supremacy/racism” preferred by the committee has deeply hurt and offended some of us. Others recognize this term as an academic definition of an historic and ongoing system in which structural or societal racism privileges white people over others, regardless of the presence or absence of racial hatred.

    In the manner of Friends, we continue to hold each other in the Light and hopefully treat each other with respect, tenderness and understanding. I invite each of us to look deep within to examine whether our attitudes, reflections & reactions are derived from Spirit or from our own unresolved issues.

    The following comments are my own personal opinion and do not necessarily reflect the the thinking of the Asheville Friends Meeting:

    As we continue to discern the mission statement of our Racial Justice Committee, let us for a moment or two take our thoughts to a less personal level and try to see the issue as a more systemic reality.

    Let’s pretend for now we’re from Mars or some other planet and we’re looking at the history of planet earth from a few hundred years ago. We see the North American continent with many people of darker skin living and working, raising families and taking care of themselves and their part of Earth. We also see the European continent with white skinned people doing some of the same actions.

    One day, some of these light-skinned people decide to go on an adventure in hopes of gaining more land and wealth. They get in ships and sail away to the American continent. When they get to this far-away place, they see that the people have a different way of doing things and a different way of being. The light-skinned folks don’t particularly like these other ways and they tell the darker-skinned people we have a better way. We will take this land and do things our way so you’ll have a good life. We know better than you what’s best for you.

    Of course, the dark-skinned ones don’t like this and there is much conflict. But the light skins set up laws, systems and institutions to be sure they are in charge and have power over the dark skins. As we keep looking at this history, we see the light skins continue to be in charge and they suppress the dark skins so they can maintain their power over them. The light skins say we have more knowledge and expertise than you so our way is superior to yours. We’ll build the best of all worlds here and for your own good, you’ll help us do things our way.

    Now as an outsider from another planet, wouldn’t we say this scenario illustrates how the light skinned (white) people have supremacy over people of color? Today we can’t change any of this history but can’t we at least acknowledge that our systems, institutions and culture elevate white people to a supreme position? It doesn’t necessarily mean a particular individual has supremacist attitudes but that our white skin automatically puts us at a higher level than dark-skinned folks. My understanding is that our Racial Justice Ministry uses the term “white supremacy” to name and acknowledge this fact.

    ~Patricia M. Johnson


State of the Meeting Report

Posted by admin on Mar 15, 2016 in Meeting News

After some deliberation and revision, our State Of the Meeting 2015 was approved at our 3rd month business meeting and submitted to the Yearly Meeting for wider distribution this summer. The report is also posted here on our website:


State Of the Meeting, 2015


Workshop: Stand Up and Act Against Racism

Posted by admin on Jan 23, 2016 in Meeting News

Developing Our Spiritual Leadership to Stand for Black Lives Matter and Act Against Racism
February 27 (10:00-3:00)
Unitarian Universalist Church of Chattanooga

Join us for a dynamic and interactive workshop with Unitarian Universalist educator Chris Crass on using our spiritual superpowers of prayer, ritual, song, and community to act with courage against racism and for Black Lives Matter. We will talk about the challenges and opportunities the congregation is experiencing as we have taken a bold and public stand for Black Lives Matter. We will explore ways we can deepen our church’s internal understanding and commitment to anti-racism, as well as strengthening out external work for racial justice and racial equality.

Utilizing story sharing, small and large group discussion, this participatory workshop will focus on how we can help create supportive and healthy leadership and culture that enables more and more of us to be effective racial justice leaders in these Black Lives Matter times, in our congregations and our communities.

Chris Crass is a white anti-racist activist, also a Unitarian Universalist, who leads anti-racism trainings around the country, and is the author of Toward Collective Liberation: Anti-Racist Organizing, Feminist Praxis, and Movement Building Strategies.

Click for more info:





Memoriam: George White, founding member of AFM

Posted by admin on Jan 22, 2016 in Meeting News

GEORGE LEVERING WHITE, 88, of Greensboro, NC died from complications of a heart valve failure on Thursday, January 14, 2016, surrounded by close members of his family. He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Marilyn Root White, his four children, Becky White Rodzik, Alan Robert White, Cynthia White Lenda and David Ernest White, and their families including 7 grandchildren and one great-granddaughter: Jason & Rachel Rodzik; Bunny (Paulette), Tristan, Rachel & Nora White, Caleb White; Brian, Ian & Ben Lenda; and Jan & Jonathan White. He is also survived by his sister, Dorothy White Hartley, and was preceded in death by his sister Ruthanna White Holmes.

Born in Greensboro in 1927, to Vivian Robert (Bob) and Ruth Levering White, George became an Eagle Scout in high school and joined the Navy as World War II came to a close. He attended NC State University and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering in 1949. George enjoyed his 42-year career with Southern Bell Telephone Co. as an electrical engineer, then district level engineering manager in various cities in North Carolina. He served on the board of Friends Homes at Guilford and was very active in Friendship Friends Meeting in Greensboro. He was active in the BellSouth Pioneers club.

George loved traveling with his family including many road trips across the country that took him to all 50 states. After retiring, George and Marilyn enjoyed bicycle tours in Europe and other travel. He rented a large house at Ocean Isle Beach, NC every year to host his family of up to 18. He loved talking about current events, watching the evening news, and reading the New York Times. George enjoyed telling stories, had a great sense of humor, and loved his family dearly.

A Meeting for Remembrance in the manner of Friends for George White will be held on February 6, 2016 at New Garden Friends Meeting, 801 New Garden Rd, Greensboro, NC at 1:00 pm, with time to share stories of his life after Meeting in the Friendship Hall.

In lieu of flowers, if you would like to give a gift in Remembrance of George White, please consider a donation to one of the following:

Guilford College (memo line: V.R. & Ruth L. White Scholarship Fund)
Friendship Friends Meeting Building Fund
Friends Committee on National Legislation


Memoriam: Brett Miller White of SVFM

Posted by admin on Jan 18, 2016 in Meeting News

Lyman Brett White of Swannanoa, NC, passed away on December 2, 2015 at the age of 87. Born in Nyack, New York to James Henry White and Lillian Victoria Owen White, Brett and his siblings (sisters Joy and Ruth, brother Harry) were raised in Bethel, Connecticut. Brett graduated in 1946 from George School, Newtown, Pennsylvania. He attended Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut before being employed as a Sales Representative and Office Manager with Bard-Parker, a division of Becton, Dickinson and Company.

Brett married Theodora N. Whittaker in 1951 and they had four daughters together. During this time, Brett pursued and accepted a position with Church World Service, the relief, development and refugee assistance arm of the National Council of Churches. The family was sent to Jerusalem, Jordan in 1963 where Brett and his team were instrumental in the building of roads, schools and wells to provide sanitary drinking water. After three years, the family returned to the United States where Brett was involved with the relief effort in Haiti before accepting a position as an Associate Director for Material Aids at CWS headquarters in New York City.

Brett left CWS to pursue his interests in franchising and real estate syndication in Florida. A lifelong Quaker, Brett was associated with the Palm Beach Friends Meeting, the Miami Friends meeting and was a representative of or attended the Friends United Meeting, the Southeast Yearly Meeting and the Friends General Conference. Brett was the Business Director for Pendle Hill, a Quaker study, retreat and conference center in Wallingford, Pennsylvania from 1972-1974.

Brett had many ardent interests one of which was Barbershop Quartet singing. A longstanding member of SPEBSQSA, he sang baritone with many quartets, directed several choruses over the years and was the Sunshine District President from 1971-1972.

A profound event in Brett’s life was the loss of his daughter, Marcia Robertson White, in 1979.

In 1986 Brett met Ruth Passmore Miller; he was devoted to her until her death in 2007. By then a resident of Swannanoa, North Carolina, Brett continued to foster support for the Palestinian refugees and further explored his religious and secular self, described in a narrative theology published in 2004.

Brett is survived by his second wife, Ellie J. Essink White, three daughters, Lorna Brett (Robert Willis), Kendra (Frank Skellen) and Camela (Benjamin Dicus), five grandchildren and seven great grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at the Swannanoa Valley Friends Meeting House on February 6, 2016 at 2:00 PM.

In honor of his life, donations made be made to Church World Service (cwsglobal.org).

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