Interchange – Fall 2008

Patuxent Friends hosted Chesapeake Quarterly Meeting at beautiful Ann Marie Gardens ( on 15 June 2008. During the afternoon program Shawn MacDonald spoke on “Living on the Edge while Drawing from the Center.” She shared her personal journey as a Presbyterian minister and counselor, who is currently living with Patuxent Friends Meeting as a Sojourner. Guests were invited to stay for a follow-up discussion or take a walk in the garden, contemplating what “Meeting that of God while walking in the world” means to them. One visiting Friend commented that Patuxent’s gathering were some of the most intimate and spiritual quarterly meetings that he had attended.

Patuxent Friends joined with members of the Potomac River Association and many others from our community on 26 August 2008 to honor the memory of Erik Torvald Jansson. Eric passed away suddenly on 27 June as the result of injuries sustained while working on a roof at his home at Mulberry Fields. Erik and his family were among the first to join the newly formed Patuxent Friends worship group of the Religious Society of Friends. He remained a strong supporter of the group for the rest of his life. Erik was a private person who was committed to public advocacy. As a researcher for Friends of the Earth in the late 1970s, Erik was instrumental in motivating the EPA to act on the dangers of domestic herbicide use. Shortly after that, he founded the National Network to Prevent Birth Defects, collecting and disseminating scientific data on environmental causes of birth defects. That organization morphed into the Department of the Planet Earth in the 1990s, as Erik’s concerns expanded to global warming, toxics, genetically modified organisms, and the role of aluminum in Alzheimer’s disease. Eric also served for over ten years as the President of the Potomac River Association, which was founded by his parents. His life spoke well.

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