Four young adults of Newtown Quaker Meeting were recognized at Quaker Homecoming on Easter Sunday after meeting for worship, April 20, 2014, at the historic Friends Meetinghouse.
Each young person in the Quaker Meeting, at age twenty-one, receives a framed replica of one of Edward Hicks paintings of The Peaceable Kingdom inscribed “in recognition of your being a part of our own ‘peaceable kingdom’ and in celebration of your attaining your majority as an adult member of Newtown Friends Meeting.”
Similar copies of this painting have been presented by members of the local Newtown Quaker Meeting to His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet, to Mayor Michael Nutter of Philadelphia, and to Quaker leaders throughout the country.
The young adults who received their Hicks paintings this year are: Maria Blumberg of Morrisville and West Chester University, (majoring in Elementary and Special Education, Parker Borish of Andalusia and Bucks County Community College (studying Business), Marie Le Gall of Doylestown and Millersville University (Majors in English and French), and Martin Roza of Newtown and the Hand and Stone Spa (Massage Therapist).
Edward Hicks was co-founder of Newtown Friends Meeting in 1815. During his lifetime, he was known primarily as a Quaker minister, and painted coaches, signs and “ornamentals” for a modest living.
Hicks traveled throughout the area and sometimes gave one of his more-than sixty versions of The Peaceable Kingdom to Friends who provided hospitality for him during his travels. The paintings are based on the Old Testament prophecy that in God’s peaceable kingdom, the lion shall lie down with the lamb and a little child will lead all creatures. In the background of the painting is the Quaker founder of Pennsylvania, William Penn, arranging a treaty with Native Americans.
Hicks paintings now hang in leading museums throughout the country, are highly valued. Many replicas of his Bucks County farmscapes, paintings of historic occasions of The Signing of the Declaration of Independence, and General George Washington on his horse, as well as versions of his Peaceable Kingdom are exhibited in the Newtown Meetinghouse Gathering Room. Edward Hicks’ home, a Newtown historic site, is on Center Street, and his modest grave is in the burying ground at Newtown Friends Meeting, another Newtown historic site.
Newtown Friends Meeting gives Bibles to children in the Meeting at age twelve and copies of the Quaker “Faith and Practice” guidebook to young people at age sixteen.
Newtown Friends Meeting is open to the public for First Day School with classes for children and adults at 9:45 a.m. and worship “after the manner of Friends” at 11 a.m. Childcare is provided.