The Swannanoa Valley Friends Meeting (SVFM), in Black Mountain, North Carolina, is a monthly meeting in the Southern Appalachian Yearly Meeting and Association of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers). It originated as a mid-week worship group at Highland Farms Retirement Center in November 1994. It began meeting on First Days at the Black Mountain Public Library, and later at 137 Center Avenue, Black Mountain, in 1996, where its first monthly meetings with attention to business initiated in April of that year. While the small, nascent religious community would change worship and business locations a few more times, the SVFM settled for good at its current location, 137 Center Avenue, in the autumn of 2003.
We are growing into a caring community with concern not only for each other but for justice and environmental responsibility. The Meeting has taken a stand for Gay Rights, joining several other area churches to refuse to act in weddings as agent of the state until same-sex couples could share equally in a state-sanctioned marriage. Furthermore, the second wedding under the care of our Meeting was of a gay couple. The Meeting financially supports Quaker endeavors: Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL), American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), Ramallah Friends School, Friends General Conference (FGC), Friends Journal, Friends Peace Teams, Friends for LGBTQC, Friends World Committee for Consultation (FWCC), Pendle Hill, Quaker House (Fayetteville), Quaker Earthcare Witness, Right Sharing of World’s Resources, School of the Spirit, and William Penn House. Among the non-Quaker endeavors we support are: First Call for Help, My Lai Project, PEG, People of Faith Against the Death Penalty, Rainbow Recycling, Swannanoa Valley Christian Ministry, WNC Citizens To End Bigotry, and the Women’s Correction Center.
Individuals in our Meeting are active in social concerns: peace work in the US and abroad (especially in Palestine/Israel), interfaith dialogue, recycling, death penalty elimination and legal assistance to inmates on death row, aid to the poor, and immigrants’ well-being.
We continue to have deep silence and meaningful vocal ministry in First Day worship. Our numbers are growing, and our First Day School is growing along with it. We continue to deepen the practice and understanding of Quaker business procedure, and our knowledge of our faith and practice. Please click on the topics of worship, business, and membership, in the faith and practice page, for more information. Also, registered users of this site can access our Meeting Handbook here.