Rockland Friends Meeting History
The origins of a meeting in Rockland County in New York date back to the early nineteenth century when the Kakiat Meeting was established at the old Meeting House on Quaker Road. Little is remembered about this early meeting except that it is discontinued and then later rejuvenated in 1934. Meeting continued through the Depression until gas rationing during World War 11 made attendance difficult as many Friends were traveling to meeting from a substantial distance.
After the war in 1948, several couples, who were involved with Quakers elsewhere formed Rockland Friends Meeting by gathering in each other’s homes. As membership grew, a more formal setting was found at the Rockland Foundation (now Rockland Center for the Arts) in West Nyack. Membership continued to grow and the Meeting moved to the Fellowship of Reconciliation in Nyack in the early fifties.
Continued growth prompted the decision to consider finding a permanent home. For years the Meeting struggled over whether its resources should go into buildinga meeting house and, if so, what such a building should look like. Finally construction began in 1964 and was completed a year later.
The majority of Rockland Friends come from different faiths. There are a few birthright Quakers. Current membership includes many young Quakers who are active in regular Meeting business.
Over the years, Rockland membership has been active in the areas of Quaker concern, including: anti-war activities, conscientious objection, care and housing for the poor, food for the hungry, parenting, education in jails, American Friends Service Committee for material aids program, Central American issues, and environmental issues. Rockland Friends Meeting also hosts an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting two evenings a week.