A Collective Project Touched with Joy

November 28, 2022 | Regina McCarthy

Photo: The BHFH Board of Managers at its hybrid meeting this fall

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of eating dinner at the Friends House for the first time in quite a while.

Sitting at one of the large wooden tables in the Meeting Room, I was drawn into the warmth and camaraderie of a shared meal prepared with love and skill — an everyday event for those who live in the house, and a special treat for me.

In the 65 years since the House was founded, sharing meals (from setup through dish crew) has been central to the delicate and powerful fabric of community that is continually woven anew in this House.

I’ve served on the BHFH Board of Managers, off and on, for more than a decade. Last year I was invited to serve as Clerk. In that role I have the privilege of listening, observing, facilitating, and helping guide the board and organization faithfully into the future. When we engage in work that is spirit-led, our obligations feel lighter and are touched with joy — that is what has kept me coming back to the Friends House for all these years. Contributing to the wellbeing of the House as best as I can with the gifts I’ve been given seems rightly ordered, a way to make my faith tangible in the world. And I get to meet cool people and share delicious meals with them along the way.

I once heard Nils describe BHFH as “a collective project of a large group of people over a long period of time.” After more than two years of pandemic, when so many organizations have struggled, I have been awed by how much the Friends House has, if anything, gained momentum over the past few years. I am so proud of, and grateful for, the amazing staff, board and committee members, residents, alumni, and broader community of supporters who together have made this happen.

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