Loring—Patricia Grady Loring, 80, on August 21, 2016, in Greensboro, N.C. Pat (original surname Grady) was born on July 26, 1936, in Rochester, N.Y., to Bernice Dammart and Stanley Grady. She grew up in Greensburg, Pa., and graduated from St. John’s College in Annapolis, Md., moving to Hartford, Conn., and joining West Hartford Meeting after she married Robert Basine in 1959. She earned a master’s degree in anthropology from Hartford Seminary, and after she and Robert divorced in 1976, she changed her name to Patricia Grady Loring. She lived in Eastport, Maine, attending Cobscook Meeting in Whiting, Maine; Pendle Hill study center in Wallingford, Pa.; and Princeton, N.J., attending Princeton Meeting. She studied at the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation in Washington, D.C., and joined Bethesda (Md.) Meeting in the 1990s. Drawn to the study of Quaker spirituality and spiritual formation, she was a gifted teacher and writer. Her classes, workshops, and retreats on subjects such as Quaker faith and practice, Quaker history, and spiritual formation drew her students into Quaker practice and meeting life. She also saw individuals for spiritual direction and was a thoughtful, encouraging, and grounding presence for them.
When she felt a leading to write about Quaker practice, Bethesda Meeting was glad to release her for this work. Having a released Friend and supporting the development and publication of her books enriched the meeting community and individual Friends, especially those in her support group. Many Bethesda Friends wish the meeting had labored longer and more lovingly in ending that release, but it didn’t, and there was pain and sorrow in that separation. Her work culminated in the two-volume Listening Spirituality, a guide to the personal and corporate practices that open our hearts and minds to God for both seekers new to Quaker practice and spirituality and those who have been on the path for a while.
In 1998, she moved from Bethesda to eastern Oregon, hoping to improve her health in the dry climate. Bethesda Meeting still feels her presence and is stabilized and rightly led by it. She moved to Greensboro and Friendship Meeting in 2008, finding in the meeting a spiritual home and a blessed community and attending meeting for worship and meeting for business as often as she could. Her vocal ministry was both inspired and instructive. She lived her last three years in Brookdale Northwest Greensboro, still attending meeting with the help of Friendship Meeting.
Her books remain a source of inspiration and guidance, and Friends are heartened to know that through them her contributions to Quakerism will live on. In its minute, read at her memorial meeting on September 25, 2016, Friendship Meeting includes an excerpt from the introduction to Volume I of Listening Spirituality.
To some extent this book has turned out to express my vision of all things made new by the presence of God in our world—not a judging God, who descends with drama at the end of time, but the loving, encouraging, empowering, hidden God who is present with us, within us, among us, here and now as well as radically beyond us, the God who, in each moment, offers to transform our personal lives, our communal life together and—through us—to continue unfolding the creative, reconciling work of the world.
Pat is survived by two children, Robert Basine Jr. and Melissa Basine; and a brother, Dale Grady. Memorials may be made to Hospice and Palliative Care of Greensboro, 2500 Summit Avenue, Greensboro, NC 27405; or to Friendship Friends Meeting Building Fund, PO Box 8652, Greensboro, NC 27419-0652.