A couple of study groups served as early building blocks of the worship group. Some of us were drawn together at Twin Cities Friends’ Meeting in 2002 when we read and discussed Lloyd Lee Wilson’s Quaker Vision of Gospel Order. We felt drawn to the Conservative branch of Quakerism as it was represented in the book. Later, a few of us gathered on a regular basis for a Bible study, which was also offered through Twin Cities Friends Meeting.
Over the summer of 2002, members of one household felt led to invite others to their house for “visits,” fellowship, and worship about once a month. Over the next several months, a collective sense of God’s leading emerged. We felt a calling to worship together. By early 2003, we were worshiping regularly together once a month. In the fall of 2004, we determined that way was opened for us to worship together as a group every First Day, and we drafted an initial minute of who we were. In 2005, we chose a name, and we began to worship in a rented room of Bethany Lutheran Church on First Day afternoons. In 2006, after growing and changing somewhat, we revisited our initial minute and approved a new minute about who we understood ourselves to be.
Since we started worshiping together, several babies have been born into the group. We have always worked to provide child care during worship and help families participate in the group.
For the first few years as a worship group, we threshed whether we should affiliate with Northern Yearly Meeting or Iowa Yearly Meeting (Conservative) [IYMC]. Members of Laughing Waters first attended yearly sessions at IYMC there in 2003, and we have often been represented at their yearly and midyear sessions since then. Members of IYMC have come to visit and worship with us in 2005 and 2006. We were also joined for a visit and some worship with representatives of Northern Yearly Meeting in 2005.
At our business session July 20, 2008, we approved a minute to seek affiliation with IYMC. We are leaving the door open with Northern Yearly Meeting–for ongoing friendship and connection, and for possible dual affiliation at a later date.
A few years later, in 2012, we formally affiliated as a preparative meeting with IYMC, under the care of Bear Creek Friends Meeting. Some Friends and their families continue to participate in the activities of Northern Yearly Meeting as well.
Last updated 29 Fourth Month 2014 liz