Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Thoughts

Christmas is really important to me. I enjoy the lights, the color, the special Christmas decorations that have been handed down from year to year. One of the most important ones is my nativity scene. I have to admit it’s probably not the most artistically perfect one. But it has such memories. I went to a two-room school on an island in Puget Sound. The year I was in seventh grade, the bus-driver/custodian expanded his duties to include art teacher. He took all of us kids in the “big room” (grades 4-8) down to the basement and guided us to make the manger from plywood and the people from plaster of paris molds. We varnished and painted to finish these works of art.
And Christmas for me is also about relationships. It’s for getting together with loved ones that are near me and hearing from Friends from afar. I so much love reading stories of what has happened with my friends in the past year. There’s such a sense of awe (God’s love?) in all of this.
And this year will be a year of great stories as we in the Pacific Northwest struggle with snow and ice for an extended period. Nothing has turned out the way we expected in this week before Christmas. As I write, I am essentially snow-bound with granddaughter Sophie because the snow in my apartment complex is so deep. In the meantime the traffic on the nearby freeway seems to be moving fine. But what a gift it has been, these days with Sophie.
Have a very Merry Christmas!
In Friendship,
Nancy
News of Friends Meetings and Churches
Albuquerque Meeting (NM) is planning a pre-teen program for 10-13 year-old Friends. It would focus on the life of Mary Dyer through music and acting.
The “Care of Meeting” person for Bellingham Meeting (WA) closes Meeting. That person, in essence, holds the entire Meeting in the Light, guides worship through modeling and has responsibility for responding to any emergencies or disruptions that might occur.
Ministry and Oversight Committee of Berkeley Meeting (CA) asks Friends for consideration of what makes Meeting for Worship work for them. In the worship context, what makes Friends feel especially nourished, what is the individual responsibility and how can each one deepen the corporate worship and experience for all?
Friends from Citrus Heights Friends Church (CA) did an experimental reverse Trick or Treat night on Halloween. A group of volunteers gathered in front of the church on Halloween, then spread out in the community, ringing bells and delivering pre-made bags of treats. Through the experience, the organizers were reminded of the amazing grace of flexibility and power of God’s love.
Eugene Meeting (OR) will hold a Winter Retreat with the theme, “Spirit-led Finances.” Lee Bennett (University Meeting, Seattle) will provide Quaker financial historical context and lead an interest group on “Friendly money and Meeting finances.”
The children of Fort Collins Meeting (CO) hosted a holiday crafts and bake sale (with adult support) to benefit the Meeting as a whole.
The Spiritual Formation Group of Gila Meeting (NM) is urging others in the Meeting to join them. The commitment is a daily individual spiritual practice, and participation in a monthly sharing group and a monthly reading group.
Multnomah Meeting (Portland, OR) has approved an Immigration Minute which states in part: “. . . We thus believe that all persons who reside in our country should be treated with justice and equality which, at this time, too many in our state are denied. . .”
Pima Meeting (Tucson, AZ) seeks a Resident Caretaker to live in a one-bedroom apartment in the meetinghouse and interact with the Meeting’s fellowship. Eileen-Haney@cox.net
Pima Meeting (Tucson, AZ) is seasoning a recommendation that a consultation group for pastoral care be formed to provide clearness, back-up, or other assistance to theMeeting’s pastoral care coordinators.
Reedwood Friends Church (Portland, OR) is celebrating the holidays with an Evening of Music and Holiday Desserts, a sing-along Messiah, an Evening with Friends Christmas Party (including old-fashioned carriage rides), and a Candlelight Christmas Eve Program.
South Seattle Preparative Meeting (WA) is beginning a process to look at the starting time of Meeting for Worship. The present time of 11:00 a.m., with the hour of worship, announcements and socializing that follow, run into naptimes for young kids.
Spokane Friends Church (WA) is sponsoring a series of workshops on Empathetic Listening. Friends will participate in exercises designed to facilitate a person’s ability to recognize and express their own feelings and accurately understand and respond to the feelings of others.
Tempe Meeting (AZ) received a report from its Finance Committee. Attention was focused on how Friends might reduce expenses and how deep such reductions should be to align with actual income expectations. Friends accepted a “no-growth” 2009 budget.
Tempe Meeting (AZ) holds a concern for how the Meeting supports intergenerational interactions. During a Family Worshipsharing, Friends proposed ideas, including, “The kids could generate queries… for themselves or for the Meeting as a whole.” “The kids would like an opportunity to find their own voice—to meet together without their parents.”
First Friends, Whittier (CA), welcomes in the New Year with an annual New Years Eve Quaker Midnight Party which begins at 6:00 p.m. and ends 9:15 p.m. Friends say they welcome in the New Year on Philadelphia time.

More than one Meeting/Church:
Many Friends Churches and Meetings in the Pacific Northwest are canceling, changing, or combining Meetings for Worship and Business Meetings due to extended periods of snow and ice.

Friday, December 12, 2008

News of Friends Churches and Meetings in the West

The Willamette Falls Worship Group (West Linn, OR), under the care of Multnomah Meeting (Portland, OR), has been laid down.
First Friends, Whittier (CA) will experience a myriad of Christmas activities, including the USFW’s annual Christmas luncheon, a Friday night Christmas movie, and a special Christmas Music Meeting for Worship. The annual Christmas Dinner and auction will include time for a musical play presented by Sunday School classes. The Christmas Eve Candlelight Service begins at 9:00 p.m.
Betsy Ankeny, Interim Pastor, First Friends, Vancouver (WA) reflected on Simplicity in the Church’s Newsletter. She noted C.S. Lewis’ suggestion that giving ought to cramp your style a little. She also said that Jesus pointed out how absolutely necessary it is for us to be generous, to give everything away that comes between us and God.
Tacoma Meeting (WA) has modified its Second Hour schedule for the month of December to allow for events, such as the Special Holiday Worship and Potluck. Other Second Hours will include the opportunity to practice non-violent communication by discussing what’s on Friends’ minds. One such session will focus on what being a Quaker has meant for Friends’ lives.
San Jose Meeting (CA) reports that a recent newsletter indicated that Meeting for Business would be held every other month. At this point, this is an idea that is being seasoned.
Salem Meeting (OR) is responding to a concern regarding handicapped access to its Meeting House.
Sacramento Meeting (CA) is considering engaging in a planning process, to find unity on where the Meeting wants to be in five years. The process would involve all aspects of Meeting, its structure, activities, the Meeting as a whole and the various groups within the Meeting.
Reno Meeting (NV) is planning a clothing exchange in the First Day School for Friends to bring no longer needed clothes in good condition. Friends are encouraged to make donations and look for clothing they might like. Anything left longer than a month will be donated to a charity.
Reedwood Friends Church (Portland, OR) is celebrating the holidays with an Evening of Music and Holiday Desserts (12-7), a sing-along Messiah (12-14), an Evening with Friends Christmas Party (including old-fashioned carriage rides) (12-19), and a Candlelight Christmas Eve Program (12-24).
Pima Monthly Meeting (Tucson, AZ) is seeking a Resident Caretaker to live in a one-bedroom apartment in the meetinghouse and interact with the Meeting’s fellowship.
There will be a prayer blessing in worship at North Seattle Friends Church (WA) for quilts that Stone Soup Quilting Ministry has ready to be delivered to cancer patients at the University of Washington Hospital, the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, and the Children’s Hospital.
The Next Steps Group of Newberg Friends Church (OR) has recommended the development of an alternative form of worship. Friends will meet Sunday evening, December 14, for a relaxed and informal worship which may and may not look like something that will happen in the future. The Advent theme from the morning’s worship will be the focus with conversation, pictures, movie clips to help Friends thank Christ for giving himself for all and as an example of how to give more as an act of worship.
The Lower Columbia Worship Group (Seaview, WA) has been taken under the care of Multnomah Meeting (Portland, OR).
Multnomah Meeting (Portland, OR) Friends will participate in a session on “What do I believe?” led by Marge Abbott on December 14. A soup potluck will precede the session. The session is one of an occasional series exploring the place of belief in Friends’ lives -individually and corporately.
Grass Valley Meeting (CA) holds Meeting for Worship for Business after lunch on First Day. Ministry and Oversight of the Meeting is querying Friends to find out if this is the best time for them.
Fort Collins Meeting (CO) reports its First Day School continues to thrive. The teen and pre-teen program is a place where the youth experience fun, friendships and a growing ability to give service to the world in their own way.
Eugene Friends Church (OR) has future plans that include supporting a Latino Ministry that would be held at the same time as the English speaking services to facilitate fellowship before and after services. The Young Adult Group plans to establish and operate a coffee house for the neighborhood.
Eastside Meeting (Bellevue, WA) will proceed to re-roof the south face of the Meeting House roof, whether or not the Meeting goes forward with its remodel project.
Corvallis Meeting (OR) is considering getting a white board to communicate all Meeting events. The board will be placed inside the entrance to the Meeting House.
Bridge City Meeting (Portland, OR) has laid down its weekly Sunday evening Advent gatherings. The Meeting will have a Sunday evening gathering “Coming of the Light.”
As Berkeley Meeting (CA) begins planning details for renovations of the library and the nursery, the first two areas to be renovated, Friends with particular interest in these areas are invited to become involved in the process.
Berkeley Friends Church (CA) will hold its Quaker Heritage Day on February 21, 2009. Dan Seeger, New York Yearly Meeting, will speak on: Commerce, Community and the Regulations of Universal Love; The Contemporary Relevance of John Woolman’s Witness on the Economy.
Bellingham Meeting (WA) participates in the local Interfaith Coalition’s Holiday Gifts Program. Rather than sponsoring one family, Friends were invited to donate generic gifts to be given to families in need.
At an Adult Education session at Albuquerque Meeting (NM), Friends responded to queries about the Bible: What is the Bible for you today? Infallible? Invaluable? Incredible? Intolerable? What does and will the Bible mean for our Meeting and for Quakers in years to come?

More than one Meeting/Church:
Meetings and Churches are finding ways to gather canned foods and dry goods for people in need and then to send the donations to appropriate agencies

PS. Personal note:
Do you remember the song that goes “If you’re happy and you know it…” Then there’s a line that says, “If you’re happy and you know it, your face will surely show it…”
Apparently, if you are happy, not only will your face show it, you’ll send that happiness to others around you. I just read an article that says studies show that you can spread happiness to those around you.
Life gets in the way sometimes, and it’s not always easy to be happy. But this article reminds me that if I keep in mind my desire to keep happy, not only will I feel happier myself, but I might be able to help others be happy. Sounds good to me.
What I do wonder about, though, is what happens when one really isn’t happy, but pretends and shows a smiley face to the world? Does that false-happiness still affect others positively?
In our rainy climate snow is unusual, even in the middle of winter. We have snow forecast for this weekend. I will be happy; I will be happy! (And if I were a kid, this wouldn’t even be a question.)

Saturday, December 6, 2008

News of Friends Churches and Meetings in the West

Berkeley Friends Meeting (CA) is forwarding a minute to Pacific Yearly Meeting requesting that Pacific Yearly Meeting seek formal affiliation with Friends General Conference.
Bridge City Meeting (Portland, OR) held a threshing session to determine the senses of the Meeting to guide the Meeting’s Peace and Social Concerns Committee. Friends expressed concern about hunger (locally and internationally), housing, Alternatives to Violence Project, homelessness, Palestine, engagement with the larger community, immigration, and companioning. The P&SC Committee will meet to establish action plans for 2009.
Flagstaff Meeting (AZ) devoted November’s Meeting for Business to guidance on Quaker process for Meeting for Business itself and for committees so they can bring spirit and well-researched minutes to Meeting for Business. All were invited to attend and learn more about Quaker process.
Gila Meeting (Silver City, NM) spent time discussing the problem of hunger. Friends agreed to have a box for donated food at Meeting for Worship. Food collected will be distributed each week.
Glendora Friends Church (CA) is inviting Friends to “The Big Party,” as a way of celebrating Advent. The Big Party began with a morning of worship and celebration, the year-end Congregational Business Meeting, and a potluck of favorite family dishes. It continues with “Holy Silence,” a Saturday retreat with the question, “Do we choose to be with God?” The month-long celebration will culminate in an all-church Celebration Feast, remembering and rejoicing over God’s provision of rescue and redemption sent through the birth of his Son.
Multnomah Meeting (Portland, OR) Friends will participate in a session on “What do I believe?” led by Marge Abbott on December 14. A soup potluck will precede the session. The session is one of an occasional series exploring the place of belief in Friends’ lives -individually and corporately.
The new Pastor to Children and Families at Newberg Friends Church (OR) is Michelle Akins.
Newberg Friends Church (OR), in its thoughts about the “Advent Conspiracy,” suggests that Christmas should be a time to love friends and family in the most memorable ways possible. The church will host a Do-It-Yourself Fair on Saturday, December 6, to help Friends make gifts.
Reedwood Friends Church (Portland, OR) is celebrating the holidays with an Evening of Music and Holiday Desserts (12-7), a sing-along Messiah (12-14), an Evening with Friends Christmas Party (including old-fashioned carriage rides) (12-19), and a Candlelight Christmas Eve Program (12-24).
The all-school testimony focus of San Francisco Friends School (CA) is Community. Ways that the school is uniquely Quaker include Meetings for Worship, daily moments of silence and reflection, daily practices of the testimonies, and meetings for business (often to address issues that have arisen on the playground).
San Francisco Meeting (CA) is holding a threshing session on the Meeting’s right relations with its neighbors, especially those who hang out on the sidewalk. Recently Friends have started a street ministry, serving food twice a month around the corner from the Meeting House.
Santa Fe Meeting (NM) is creating an interim care sub-committee which will receive requests for support of various kinds from Meeting members and attenders and facilitate appropriate responses to practical needs; Ministry and Oversight will continue to focus on spiritual matters.
South Mountain (Ashland, OR) will hold a worship-sharing session, “Acknowledging the Meaning of Christmas,” as part of their holiday celebration.
South Mountain (Ashland, OR) has established an Outreach Task Force to consider and lead the Meeting in implementing “doable” ideas for getting out the Meeting’s message of welcome to seekers and the Meeting’s message that it has something to share.
South Seattle Preparative Meeting (WA) considered the possibility of the children staying in Meeting for Worship for the beginning rather than the end as they do currently. Friends decided the present method is best. The children bring in joy.
Elizabeth Bwayo is sojourning at Tigard Friends Community Church (OR) to recover from injuries after she and others were attacked in Kenya and her husband killed. She has written a long letter of thanks to the Church and other Friends, in which she updated Friends on the progress of her healing and indicated she hopes to return to Kenya February 2009 and work with orphans.

PS. Personal note:

I’m getting pretty good at this riding-the-bus thing. I can dash out of my apartment, get to my bus stop and be anywhere in the greater Portland area within a period of time. (Well, almost anywhere. The bus doesn’t go to my grandaughter’s house.)
The trusty backpack is ready to be grabbed with hat, umbrella, gloves, plastic bags, etc. ready to be used. It isn’t usually THAT cold out in my part of the world, but it can be mighty wet!
The bus isn’t perfect and everyone on the bus isn’t perfect either. There are a couple of routes I take that, honestly, I’m glad I’m a bit too na├»ve to know what’s going on. But the bottom line is there are people on the bus; people who have wants and needs just like all of us.
This morning I was marveling at what a service the bus provides. Within a few minutes my bus (Number 19) had gathered up a group of people that included a middle-aged woman who spoke virtually no English, an older woman using a walker, and a blind man. Then a young woman with two small children, joined the older woman who handed her the money to pay her bus fare.
I do sometimes take reading material with me on the bus, but often don’t read it. Most of the time I just “read” the people.

Nancy

Beyond the Monthly Meetings/Churches

The Christian Friends Conference in Northern California will meet Saturday, Dec. 6 at the Santa Cruz Friends Meetinghouse. The gathering will include Christ-centered worship, Bible reading in the manner of Conservative Friends, and fellowship over a brown-bag lunch, with possibly an afternoon speaker on Early Friends.
College Park Quarterly Meeting will gather January 17, 2009 at Palo Alto Meeting.
Evangelical Friends Church Southwest will hold its Annual Conference and Serve Day in three locations. In Southern California the Representative Session and Equipping Community Dinner will be January 23, and the Serve Day, January 24, 2009. In Arizona/Nevada the Equipping Community Dinner will be February 6 and the Serve Day, February 7, 2009. In Northern California the Equipping Community Dinner will be February 20 and the Serve Day, February 21, 2009.
The Midwinter Gathering of Friends for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Concerns will take place February 14-16, 2009 at Camp Adams near Portland, Oregon with the theme “Faith Calls for Justice on the Same Terms.”
Harbor Villa (a ministry of Twin Rocks Friends Camp and Conference Center) offers its Center for Personal Growth in Christ during the month of January. Participants come to Harbor Villa for a week-long retreat.
Each year, Intermountain Yearly Meeting sends queries to member Meetings and Worship Groups. This year’s queries relate to drug and alcohol use and spiritual storytelling and storytellers. Queries include the following: What are the beliefs and experiences of Friends in your Meeting concerning the proper place of alcohol or drug use in the home, in gatherings of Friends, or in everyday life? What benefits do Friends find from alcohol use? Could we be comfortable requesting that alcohol use be avoided at gatherings of Friends?. . . . Are there Friends whose spiritual stories you would particularly like to hear or Friends who would particularly like to learn to tell their story, including stories directed especially to children?
Intermountain Yearly Meeting Continuing Committee will meet January 9-11, 2009 in Tempe, AZ.
Montana Gathering of Friends (MGOF) will meet February 6-8, 2009.
North Pacific Yearly Meeting Steering Committee meets January 24, 2009 at the Multnomah Meeting House (Portland, OR) This will be the last NPYM Steering Committee Meeting; the Yearly Meeting will switch to a Coordinating Committee status. Steering Committee had authority to act on its own with guidance from monthly meetings; with the new yearly meeting structure, much of the decision making goes back to the yearly meeting at annual session.
The Junior Friends (high-school age) of North Pacific Yearly Meeting will hold their Ski Trip February 13-16, 2009.
Northwest Yearly Meeting’s Midwinter High School Retreat will be held January 16-19, 2009 on the Oregon Coast at Twin Rocks Friends Camp. The theme will be “Where’s the Whole Gospel,” with Steve Sherwood, George Fox University, who will teach about relationships and service within the community.
Northwest Yearly Meeting’s Mid-Year Boards will be held February 6-7, 2009.
The Pacific Northwest Quarterly Meeting Silent Retreat will be held January 30-February 1, 2009 at Camp Huston, Gold Bar, Washingon. This retreat offers an opportunity to reach more profound depths in the Silence of Quaker worship.
The Future of Pacific Yearly Meeting sub-committee is holding a face-to-face meeting in January and is looking for input from Meetings regarding individual Meeting's interaction with Pacific Yearly Meeting.
Quaker Heritage Day of Berkeley Friends Church will be February 21, 2009. Dan Seeger, New York Yearly Meeting, will speak on: Commerce, Community and the Regulations of Universal Love; The Contemporary Relevance of John Woolman’s Witness on the Economy.
Utah Friends Fellowship will meet in Logan, UT, January 17-18, 2009.
The Walk with Earth Pilgrimage, for the beauty of the earth down the watersheds of the Americas, started March 2nd at San Francisco Meeting. Led by Rolene Walker, this pilgrimage ends in Chile in 2.5 years.
Western Young Friends' New Year's Gathering will be held at Camp Myrtlewood, southern Oregon, December 28, 2008 - January 2, 2009. http://nyg.phoenixflight.net/nyg-flier-2008-2009.pdf
Willamette Quarterly Meeting will meet for Business Meeting at the Corvallis Meeting House on February 7, 2009.

Monday, November 24, 2008

News of Friends Meetings and Churches
Boise Friends Church (ID) has begun its Indoor Park, a parent-supervised program for preschool children. It runs November to March and provides indoor play space when the weather is too cold for the children to play outside. The program is run by Boise Friends Church volunteers.
Boulder Meeting (CO) publishes brief descriptions of Meeting Committees in its Newsletter. Friends are welcomed to visit committees, contact conveners, and then are invited to sign up in January for service from the following May-April.
Chico Meeting (CA) is considering an annual Open House, possibly in February during the Season of Nonviolence.
Glendora Friends Church (CA) is beginning its Advent adventures with “The Big Party, Pastor Bruce Butler’s sermon on Isaiah 9:1-7. After the service, Friends will share a potluck luncheon of their “favorite things.”
La Jolla Meeting (CA) suggests the corner by the coat tree for those who wish to remain in a worshipful state after announcements.
Missoula Meeting (MT) is considering alternative forms of worship and group activities. It was noted that the neighborhood around the Meeting House has qualities that would make it suitable for worshipful walking activities.
Multnomah Meeting (Portland, OR) is considering a minute on immigration which includes the statement: The world should move toward becoming a global community that safeguards human rights and guarantees the economic opportunity of all people in their country of choice.
Multnomah Meeting (Portland, OR) Friends are urged to think of the Meeting when potting or repotting plants. Even though Spring is a long way away, Friends are urged to keep the Meeting’s Spring Plant Sale in mind.
Newberg Friends Church (OR) will offer a Service of Consolation on December 14 for those who at times find Christmas events overwhelming.
The Clerk of Palo Alto Meeting (CA) met with committee clerks and representatives with the following query: “We hope for a sense of community and common endeavors, with the expectation of sharing the work of the meeting. What binds us (the Meeting) together? What do you or your community hope will be Meeting involvement in your committee’s work or with the movement or organization you represent? How does your committee build relationships beyond First Days?
Pima Monthly Meeting (Tucson, AZ) is seeking a Resident Caretaker to live in a small one-bedroom apartment in the meetinghouse and interact with the Meeting’s fellowship.
Redwood Forest Meeting (Santa Rosa, CA) has adapted a “Four Bucket” system of dishwashing to hygienically wash the dishes and not waste water.
Reedwood Friends Church (Portland, OR) has a support group for Friends who have divorced.
Salmon Bay Friends (Seattle, WA) are presenting an evening with Peterson Toscano and his zany, heartwarming characters in his one-person show. A comic actor and theatrical performance artist, Peterson thoughtfully and humorously explores queer issues.
Santa Monica Meeting (CA) is wrestling whether or not to resume having a fire in the fireplace. This practice had been stopped due to concerns about environmental pollution and global warming, However, many consider a fire to be a valued addition to worship as there are spiritual and emotional aspects of hearth and fireplaces.
South Mountain Meeting (Ashland, OR) is pondering if it is a small Meeting or a medium-sized Meeting? Is the “small-Meeting” mindset getting in the way of progress in the Meeting? Friends ask, “Are we limiting ourselves by the way we look at ourselves?”
South Mountain Meeting (Ashland, OR) holds a monthly Winnowing Session. Topics include global climate change ideas, landscaping concerns, and the revision of NPYM’s Faith and Practice.
South Seattle Preparative Meeting (WA) is developing a brochure to give to people new to South Seattle Preparative Meeting and/or to Quakers. The impetus came from a woman who attended Meeting then left in the middle of worship. Friends wonder if she would have stayed if she had something to read which explained Quaker worship?
Tacoma Meeting (WA) is considering its Meeting-caretaker relationship with questions such as: who should pay for health insurance? Is the Meeting satisfied with hiring a caretaker who does not have another source of income? Is the Meeting willing to value a caretaker’s interests that don’t produce income to the extent that the Meeting pays a stipend sufficient to meet basic needs?
Tacoma Meeting (WA) will do care packages for the Meeting’s college/university students, probably in January or February.
Women from Tempe Meeting (AZ) meet to plant a metaphorical garden—meeting on a regular basis so women within the meeting can get to know one another better.
University Meeting (Seattle, WA) approved that 11:00 a.m. on second Firstdays be the Meeting’s regular time for Monthly Meeting, starting with unprogrammed worship.
Friends at First Friends, Vancouver (WA) are making a church cookbook.
Friends at First Friends, Whittier (CA) are “Stuffing the Bird” with Thanksgiving food items for families who need a little help. Friends are to look for the Turkey in the foyer which holds food donations but also comes equipped with its own pocket for holding checks.
Members of First Friends, Whittier (CA) recently brought the message at Sunday worship. Dottie Andersen asked “What is that in your hand?” Kings 4: 1-7, and Lynda Ladwig suggested “Love one another.” I Corinthians 13.


More than one Meeting/Church:
Meetings are noting end of calendar year finances and predicting whether or not they will receive enough contributions to get through the year.
Many Meetings and Churches are holding Thanksgiving meals, some on Thanksgiving Day itself, others on the weekend before or after.

Deaths noted in Newsletters
Cecilia Alvarado Kirkman, La Jolla Meeting
Rebecca Valdivia, La Jolla Meeting
Ruth Allen, Redwood Forest Meeting (Santa Rosa)
Joyce Tappan, Redwood Forest Meeting (Santa Rosa)
Larry Wolf, San Jose Meeting

Bob Monroe, University Meeting (Seattle)
(I apologize to University Meeting that I wrote Bob Monroe’s name incorrectly last week.)


PS. Personal note:
I know it seems a bit crazy to have just bought a “new” car and not use it, but that’s pretty much my plan. (My “new” 1986 Volvo wagon) I did use my car last week to pick up granddaughter Sophie from preschool and take her to a park where we had a great time talking with ducks.
Last weekend I rode Greyhound and then a small bus line to Florence, Oregon on the Oregon Coast to visit Charlie and Jeanne Kimball of the Florence Worship Group. And I did get an opportunity to worship with the Worship Group on Sunday morning. It was a very satisfying time.
One thing about the ocean is that its color varies so much, depending on the light. On our first walk, in brilliant sunshine, the ocean was a deep, deep blue, turning to aquamarine as the waves smashed against the brown-black rocks with incredible force and plumes of white froth. The next day was overcast and the ocean at best a steel gray, with hints of blue.
I think the brightly colored day seemed even more special because as a dyed-in-the-wool web-footed Northwesterner I am used to gray days. I see the beauty in them; I love them. The bright days? They are a gift.

Nancy

Thursday, November 13, 2008

News from Western Quaker Newsletters
November 13 2008

News of Friends Meetings and Churches
The Ukiah Worship Group (CA) is now meeting on Sundays at 10:30 am at the Plowshares Peace and Justice Center at 1346 S. State Street in Ukiah, California.
The Clerk of Tempe Meeting (AZ) is convening an Ad Hoc Committee to assist the Meeting in discerning its general process for affiliation with organizations. A clip board was passed around to Friends to share their interest in serving on this committee.
Salt Lake Meeting (UT) is considering its policy on outsider use of Meeting House and kitchen facilities.It is suggested that a regular attender or member of the Meeting be present for the whole process of setting up and taking down of special outside occasions.
Ministry and Oversight Committee of Salem Meeting (OR) is meeting with Committee clerks to check with them and to find out how Ministry and Oversight can support committee work in the coming year.
Prior to a Threshing Session on Sacramento (CA) Meeting’s peace and social justice priorities, a poster board was set up on in the Meeting House foyer for Friends to note their thoughts for the two Sundays prior to the threshing session.
As Newburg Friends (OR) prepared to go to their church’s weekend retreat, they received notice that the main road to Twin Rocks Friends Camp is closed due to mud slides. Luckily there are alternatives.
Gila Meeting (NM) will hold a series of three post-worship discussions in November/December to focus attention and action on advanced life directives. The hope is to raise awareness and encourage Friends to make decisions in accord with their personal long-held values.
Eugene Meeting (OR) is holding its Annual Quaker Holiday Gift Sale on November 15th. Items are all created by EFM Friends, reasonably priced, and artists will donate to Food for Lane County.
Katherine Bragg of Eugene Meeting (OR) is joining Friends Peace Teams in El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Guatemala doing facilitator training in Alternatives to Violence.
Eugene Meeting (OR) has changed the name of its Oversight Committee to the Nurturing Committee.
Eastside Meeting (Bellevue, WA) had a session called, “How is it with thee, Friend?” a time for sharing concerns about current circumstances.
The Oversight and Membership Committee of Boulder Meeting (CO) is encouraging long-term attenders to consider joining the Meeting. A series of short essays that describe Oversight and Membership members thoughts on their personal journeys to membership will appear in the Meeting newsletter.
Bellingham Meeting (WA) is seasoning the concern as to whether a committee can act on its own behalf, using its own name without representing the Meeting. The concern has been referred to Ministry and Counsel.
Albuquerque Meeting (NM) held a workshop in which the following query was considered: “What is our current and evolving collective identity in terms of presence, work, and witness in the world?”

More than one Meeting/Church is talking about:
Young people (especially young men) are affirming their conscientious objection to war and military service.
Sensing that our country’s economic downturn may affect Friends, Meetings/Churches are considering how to help members and attenders. Will they even need to house families? Let them camp on Meeting/Church grounds?

Deaths noted in Newsletters
Richard (Dick) Counihan, Boulder Meeting
Edie Barton Self, Eugene Meeting

Beyond the Monthly Meeting/Churches
Alaska Friends Conference Fall Quarterly Meeting will be held Nov, 28-30. Hosted by Chena Ridge Meeting, Fairbanks, Friends will consider Witness and Worship: Sacred Interconnections with All Beings. Inspired by the work of Joanna Macy and John Seed, the gathering is envisioned as a time to explore together what Friends can do as Friends to be faithful to Earth.
Barclay Press has published Through Flaming Sword, the life and legacy of George Fox, a spiritual biography of Fox and a closer look at Fox’s legacy, particularly his thoughts on Christian holiness and the nature of the church.
Casa de los Amigos (Mexico City) reports that the Migration Program and the Economic Justice Program are now firmly built into the fabric of the Casa. The Casa’s Volunteer Program has matured into an expression of the shared vision for the Casa. Volunteers now divide their work hours into three areas: the Hospitality Program, the other Casa Peace Programs, and Casa community life (which include cooking breakfast for guests, planning events and activities, furthering efforts to "green" the Casa, and more).
The Christian Friends Conference will meet Saturday, Dec. 6, 9:00AM - 4:30PM at the Santa Cruz Friends Meetinghouse. The gathering will include Christ-centered worship, Bible reading in the manner of Conservative Friends, and fellowship over a brown-bag lunch, with possibly an afternoon speaker on Early Friends.
Evangelical Friends Church Southwest will hold its Annual Conference and Serve Day in three locations. In Southern California the Representative Session and Equipping Community Dinner will be January 23, and the Serve Day, January 24, 2009. In Arizona/Nevada the Equipping Community Dinner will be February 6 and the Serve Day, February 7, 2009. In Northern California the Equipping Community Dinner will be February 20 and the Serve Day, February 21, 2009.
The Midwinter Gathering of Friends for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Concerns will take place February 14-16, 2009 at Camp Adams near Portland, Oregon with the theme “Faith Calls for Justice on the Same Terms.”
Harbor Villa (a ministry of Twin Rocks Friends Camp and Conference Center) offers its Center for Personal Growth in Christ during the month of January. Participants come to Harbor Villa for a week-long retreat.
Northwest Yearly Meeting is publishing Connections a printed Newsletter which is sent to Friends’ homes. Extended versions of the articles and dialogue about the subjects are available on the yearly meeting website, http://www.nwfriends.org/. The theme, with queries, for the November-December issue was Simplicity. Connections is also available in Spanish.
Northwest Yearly Meeting’s Midwinter High School Retreat will be held January 16-19, 2009 on the Oregon Coast at Twin Rocks Friends Camp with the emphasis on ministry through service.
The Pacific Northwest Quarterly Meeting Silent Retreat will be held January 30-February 1, 2009 at Camp Huston, Gold Bar, Washingon. This retreat offers an opportunity to reach more profound depths in the Silence of Quaker worship.
Utah Friends Fellowship will meet in Logan, UT, January 17-18, 2009.
The WalkwithEarth Pilgrimage, for the beauty of the earth down the watersheds of the Americas, started March 2nd at San Francisco Meeting. Led by Rolene Walker, this pilgrimage ends in Chile in 2.5 years.
Western Young Friends' New Year's Gathering will be held at Camp Myrtlewood, southern Oregon, December 28, 2008 - January 2, 2009. http://nyg.phoenixflight.net/nyg-flier-2008-2009.pdf
Willamette Quarterly Meeting will meet for Meeting for Worship for Business on February 7, 2009 at Corvallis Friends Meeting, Corvallis, OR.



PS. Personal note:

We had an incredible storm come into the Northwest this week with lots of rain and wind. Several communities, especially many towards to coast, have had to contend with major flooding.
I took the bus to Portland State University for a midweek worship. It was one of those days when the umbrella seemed relatively useless; it kept trying to blow inside out. It’s exhilarating to be in a storm like than and then just wet and damp on the bus, etc. But the calm of worship made it all worth-while.
Registered my “new” car with the state of Oregon today. Now she’s all mine.

In Friendship,
Nancy

Monday, November 10, 2008




News of Friends Churches and Monthly Meeting
Dorsey Green of University Meeting (Seattle, WA) is to be named the new clerk of Friends Committee on National Legislation.
Spokane Friends Church (WA) will offer a Christian Educators Seminar, “Teach the Way Jesus Taught,” on November 15.
Santa Fe Meeting (NM) met for Meeting for Worship for Business in the garden under the crabapple tree.
Santa Fe Meeting (NM) sent a message to Santa Fe Friends, including the following message:
“Customarily, people donate generously at the end of the year. We would encourage you to do so to the best of your ability, despite the current dismal financial picture for the country and the world. Each contribution is greatly appreciated for the love and thought with which it is given. The widow’s mite is as precious as the prince’s gem.”
The Clerk of San Francisco Meeting (CA) asked for Friends’ input on where they should turn their attention as a Meeting. Friends were asked to share reflections out of the silence on (1) spiritual life, (2) budget and money, (3) diversity, (4) witness (including their connection with AFSC), (5) outreach, (6) spiritual development, and (7) education.
Interim Pastor at Olympic View Friends Church (Tacoma, WA) is Mark Kelley, formerly of First Friends, Vancouver, WA..
Children in grades Kindergarten to Second Grade were offered a K-2 Fun Night with pizza, stories, and games on November 8 at Newberg Friends Church (OR). Their parents were offered a night off!
Multnomah Meeting (Portland, OR) is holding a second threshing session on helping those in need with queries, (1) Should we have different processes for meeting the needs of the Meeting community and meeting the needs of those who are unknown to us? (2) What are appropriate levels of assistance that we are capable of providing? (3) What is our calling for supporting organizations that help people locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally?
Ministry and Oversight of Corvallis Meeting (OR) is considering issues of safety, including what is published in the newsletter that might compromise the confidentiality of a member; what the meeting might do if a weapon is observed during worship; and that people with communicable diseases consider the risk they might pose to other members.
Friends at Capay Friends Church (CA) during a Vision Sunday drove to a cemetery where they found a giant tombstone with the epitah “Loved God, Loved People, Loved Life.” Friends then found name cards available to place their names on the tombstone. They were challenged with the questions: Are you as close to God as you should be? What kind of impact have you had on others? What has your life stood for?
Caldwell Friends Church (ID) has approved the launching of a Latino Church plant with the help of Jorge Sileoni.
Bridge City Meeting (Portland, OR) held a Day of the Dead gathering. Friends were encouraged to bring favorite food, a significant clothing item, and/or a picture of a loved one who has passed on.

Deaths noted in Newsletters
Faith Carson, Olympia Meeting

PS. Personal note:
I was so sorry to hear of Faith Carson’s death. She’s been a mentor to me in many ways since the early 1970’s when I first started attending Meeting at Eastside Meeting (Bellevue,WA). Faith was always so cheerful and hopeful. She lived up to her name.
It’s been a family time the last couple of weeks. Sophie and I have had two sleepovers recently. When she stays over we do lots of baking and cooking. We made pizza one night and pancakes another morning.
During one of her visits I was reminded of a delightful visit with my other two grandkids last summer, so we called Juniper and Nigel to see what they were doing. They and their Papa were getting ready to go pick apples to make applesauce for the winter.
Sophie’s family had to move recently because the duplex they were living in was foreclosed upon. The end result is very pleasant for her. She is now living with her parents, grandparents, uncle and dogs and cats in a big house east of Portland. I got involved with some packing and unpacking for the move, but my biggest contribution was keeping Sophie for about 24 hours during the actual move. It’s a rough job, but somebody got to do it!
Some of you know that I have been without a car since late June, relying on the generosity of friends (but as little as possible) and public transportation. I am proud to announce that I am the proud owner of “Rocy*,” a 1986 Volvo wagon. I plan to continue to use the bus as much as possible and Rocy and I will go to the store and to places (like my daughter’s house) where the bus doesn’t take us easily.

*Short for Rocinante, of course.

FWCC Website
Look at www.fwccamericas.org for information about the Section of the Americas.
Would you like to learn about Friends from throughout the western hemisphere? Please contact americas@fwccamericas.org to receive the Section of the Americans Electronic Newsletter. (And if you’d like to receive our postal mail Newsletter as well, indicate that also.)

Friday, November 7, 2008

News from Western Quaker Newsletters
Week of November 3 2008


Dear Friends,

It has been my practice since shortly after I started working for FWCC (2001!) to write out a summary of News from Friends in the Western United States, most of which I glean from Newsletters although I often find news on-line as well now.

There are a couple of “larger” FWCC-related issues that are on my mind.

The Quaker Youth Pilgrimage Committee is planning for the 2010 Pilgrimage in the Northwest. Do be thinking about whom in your Quaker community will be 16-18, July-August 2010, and would be appropriate for this experience. These young people will travel together and see Quaker and other sites in the Northwestern continental United States. Even more important is the fact that they will form a diverse Quaker community for the time that they are together.
Please don’t forget that the Annual Meeting of FWCC, Section of the Americas, will be in Canby, Oregon (near Portland), March 19-22, 2009. You will find information at http://www.fwccamericas.org/ very soon. All Friends are welcome.

In Friendship,
Nancy

Beyond the Monthly Meeting/Churches


Alaska Friends Conference Fall Quarterly Meeting will beNov, 28-30. Hosted by Chena Ridge Meeting, Fairbanks, Friends will consider Witness and Worship: Sacred Interconnections with All Beings. Inspired by the work of Joanna Macy and John Seed, the gathering is envisioned as a time to explore together what Friends can do as Friends to be faithful to Earth.
Barclay Press has published Through Flaming Sword, the life and legacy of George Fox, a spiritual biography of Fox and a closer look at Fox’s legacy, particularly his thoughts on Christian holiness and the nature of the church.
Casa de los Amigos (Mexico City) reports that the Migration Program and the Economic Justice Program are now firmly built into the fabric of the Casa. The Casa’s Volunteer Program has matured into an expression of the shared vision for the Casa. Volunteers now divide their work hours into three areas: the Hospitality Program, the other Casa Peace Programs, and Casa community life (which include cooking breakfast for guests, planning events and activities, furthering efforts to "green" the Casa, and more).
The Christian Friends Conference in Northern California will meet Saturday, Dec. 6, 9:00AM - 4:30PM at the Santa Cruz Friends Meetinghouse. The gathering will include Christ-centered worship, Bible reading in the manner of Conservative Friends, and fellowship over a brown-bag lunch, with possibly an afternoon speaker on Early Friends.
Evangelical Friends Church Southwest will hold its Annual Conference and Serve Day in three locations. In Southern California the Representative Session and Equipping Community Dinner will be January 23, and the Serve Day, January 24, 2009. In Arizona/Nevada the Equipping Community Dinner will be February 6 and the Serve Day, February 7, 2009. In Northern California the Equipping Community Dinner will be February 20 and the Serve Day, February 21, 2009.
The Midwinter Gathering of Friends for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Concerns will take place February 14-16, 2009 at Camp Adams near Portland, Oregon with the theme “Faith Calls for Justice on the Same Terms.”
The Greenleaf Academy (ID) auction has been rescheduled for November 7-8, 2008 to help celebrate the 100 year centennial. The school opened on November 10, 1908.
Northwest Yearly Meeting is publishing Connections a printed Newsletter which is sent to Friends’ homes. Extended versions of the articles and dialogue about the subjects are available on the yearly meeting website, http://www.nwfriends.org/. The , with queries, for the November-December issue was Simplicity. Connections is also available in Spanish.
Northwest Yearly Meeting’s Midwinter High School Retreat will be held January 16-19, 2009 on the Oregon Coast at Twin Rocks Friends Camp with the emphasis on ministry through service.
The Pacific Northwest Quarterly Meeting Silent Retreat will be held January 30-February 1, 2009 at Camp Huston, Gold Bar, Washingon. This retreat offers an opportunity to reach more profound depths in the Silence of Quaker worship.
Southern California Quarterly Meeting will hold its Fall Gathering, November 8-9, 2008 at Temescal Gateway Park, Pacific Palisades, CA with the theme, The Search for our testimony on our relationship with nature: What is our Truth?
Utah Friends Fellowship will meet in Logan, UT, January 17-18, 2009.
The WalkwithEarth Pilgrimage, for the beauty of the earth down the watersheds of the Americas, started March 2nd at San Francisco Meeting. Led by Rolene Walker, this pilgrimage ends in Chile in 2.5 years.
Western Young Friends' New Year's Gathering will be held at Camp Myrtlewood, southern Oregon, December 28, 2008 - January 2, 2009. http://nyg.phoenixflight.net/nyg-flier-2008-2009.pdf

Monday, November 3, 2008

News of Friends Churches and Monthly Meetings

October 2008

During Meeting for Worship for Business at Bellingham Meeting (WA), Friends are invited to speak to a vision or hope for the Meeting.
The Long Range Planning Committee of Berkeley Meeting (CA) has established a timeline for its Meeting House renovation with design and zoning approvals by September 2009; completion of the Meeting House Construction by January 2010; and completion of the New Social Hall and Quaker House renovations by August 2011.
Boise Friends Church (ID) recently hosted the NWYM Bible Quiz Meet. Boise Friends provided, housing, food, and judging for youth from all over the Northwest.
Bridge City Friends Meeting (Portland, OR) held a Newcomer’s Gathering with potluck and the sharing of personal spiritual histories.
Caldwell Friends Church (ID) is now a distributor of the War is Not the Answer yard signs from Friends Committee on National Legislation
Caryl Menkhus, pastor, Camas Friends Church (WA) is leaving the church and has accepted a position with Godly Play.
Chico Meeting (CA) is considering a proposed minute which begins, “We of Chico Friends Meeting minute our intention to purchase the Hemlock Street building if we are able to find resources to do so.. .. .” If the minute is approved, the to-be-named ad hoc Resources Exploration Committee would report to the July 2009 Business Meeting.
Corvallis Meeting (OR) is considering the time for Meeting for Worship with the question: Should Adult Religious Education start at 11:00 a.m. and Meeting for Worship at 9:30 a.m?
The Corvallis Meeting (OR) Newsletter notes that grapes are ripe behind the Meeting House and all are welcome to benefit from the harvest.
Eastside Meeting (Bellevue, WA) took a marriage under its care a year ago. The Clearness Committee for that couple has met with the couple again after a year. The Meeting plans to hold annual check-ups for marriages under its care.
Knitters from Eastside Meeting (Bellevue, WA) are creating gifts for the homeless with their hands and time. Last year Eastside Meeting donated about 30 handmade hats and scarves.
Glendora Friends Church (CA) will hold a Pre-Election Prayer Service. During this season in which political issues can come to the fore as matters of division and contention, Glendora Friends seek an opportunity to together enter a time of prayer for covering by God’s Spirit.
Grass Valley Meeting (Nevada City, CA) is considering that Meeting for Worship on the Occasion of Business might take place on first Sundays of the month immediately after 45 minutes of unprogrammed worship (without a break), to be followed by a potluck and fellowship.
Grass Valley Meeting (Nevada City, CA) approved asking Sierra Friends Center (where GVFM meets) about the possibility of providing an electric vehicle charging station at the Center.
La Jolla Meeting (CA) is serious about its “News of Friends” in the Meeting Newsletter, Just Among Friends. There were 28 items of a personal nature in the latest Newsletter.
La Jolla Meeting (CA) has business cards which Friends can give to others who show an interest in the Meeting.
Northwest Yearly Meeting’s newest Friends church, Mision Amigos de Christo with Gerardo Ibarra, pastor, held a kick-off event in Salem, Oregon. including a meal, volleyball, soccer, softball, face painting, ping-pong, and a yard sale. It concluded with a message from Gerardo about issues related to Latino families. Friends will worship weekly on Saturday afternoons.
School of the Spirit, “Owning our Impact on the Earth—A Spiritual and Ethical Matter for Friends,” will take place on November 21-22 at Mountain View Friends (Denver, CO). Hollister Knowlton, of Quaker Earthcare Witness, will help Friends understand the degree to which we are using and emitting more than our fair share of resources and to see that change is possible and individual efforts can be measurable and substantial.
Mountain View Friends (Denver, CO) have set up an ad-hoc committee on Short & Long-term Meetinghouse Needs. Friends understand that loving and careful attention to each other will be necessary, as there is a lot of emotion about the meetinghouse, its use, the possibility of moving, and how resources and priorities are managed.
Oversight Committee of Multnomah Meeting (Portland, OR) is collecting stories from Friends concerning their emotional experiences and attitudes toward money and classism. Friends are being asked, “How has money, the lack, sufficiency or abundance of it, affected your life?”
Multnomah Meeting (Portland, OR) held a threshing session on supporting its same sex couples in reaching full legal recognition.
Spring Break 2009, Friends from Newberg Friends Church (OR) plan to travel to San Luis, Mexico to build three homes for single mothers and their children and to conduct Vacation Bible School for the children of the neighborhood. Friends from North Valley and West Chehalem Friends Churches (Newberg, OR) will join them.
Listening Life Groups at Newberg Friends Church (OR) give Friends a chance to journey with a small group as they together consider the lives of those who have gone before as a springboard for their own lives with God.
Palo Alto Meeting (CA) is laboring with how best to support attender Randy Mont-Reynaud’s work in Haiti and whether or not to continue to serve as fiscal agent for her work.
Reedwood Friends Church (Portland, OR) recently held its annual dessert auction – a fun-filled frenzy of bidding on desserts that are home-baked, store-baked, or kid-baked. All proceeds help send kids to camp next summer.
Sacramento Meeting (CA) is reviewing its policy regarding scholarship funds, including that discussions and decisions are to be confidential; the applicant is to fully explain the need; more weight is to be given to requests that directly or indirectly benefit the Meeting; and the scholarships are intended for Friends who would have difficulty in accomplishing the experience without financial help.
Sacramento Meeting (CA) has paid off its mortgage and is considering how it will celebrate.
Salt Lake Friends (UT) are considering adding a second Bible study group. Those who participate are asked to offer a six-week commitment of one hour per week. They are using the Friendly Bible Study Program.
Salt Lake Friends (UT) are considering whether to have a paid babysitter, a First-Day School program, Friends just go downstairs with the kids, or ? Friends are asking how the Meeting shows its commitment to its children?
San Francisco Meeting (CA) held the first of three evening Adult Education sessions on the Light. What is it? How do we experience it and what have Friends had to say about it?
Friends from San Francisco Meeting (CA) raised concerns about the police being called because of the behavior of people- often homeless- who congregate in front of the building. The Meeting is considering holding a threshing session on the issue.
San Jose Meeting (CA) is considering holding Meeting for Business on odd-numbered months, even though there is concern about special items, such as the State of Meeting report, their Association’s Annual Meeting, or other important items “falling through the cracks.”
Santa Cruz Meeting (CA) has asked Oversight Committee to continue in its temporary role as Nominating Committee and that Oversight name a new Nominating Committee as soon as possible.
Santa Fe Meeting (NM) allocated funds for use by the Future Planning Committee to cover legal and other expenses associated with accepting the gift of land for a new meetinghouse. This will be called the New Meetinghouse Fund.
Second Street Community Church (Newberg, OR) sponsored its Annual Feed the Needy Food Drive. Door hangers were distributed throughout the community one day, then food was collected, sorted, and boxed the next day.
Friends Community Church, Spring Valley (CA) recently hosted four Friends from La Jolla Meeting at Worship and Potluck.
South Seattle Preparative Meeting (Seattle, WA) will hold a Meeting for Remembering and Potluck on November 1.
The Caretaker of Tacoma Meeting (WA) has included in his duties watching Friends’ cars during Worship and after on Sundays.
Tacoma Meeting (WA) held a Threshing Session to examine the Meeting’s relationship with its meetinghouse caretaker, not specifically to do a review of the caretaker’s performance but to bring up concerns about the relationship between the meeting and whoever is in the caretaker role.
Friends from Tempe Meeting (AZ) help serve a meal to those in the homeless community at a nearby church; Friends bring food, serve, and/or clean up.
University Meeting (Seattle, WA) will hold a crafts fair on Sunday Nov 30 for Meeting attenders and friends.
University Meeting (Seattle, WA) includes its Nominating Committee Roster in its Newsletter. Each committee has a specific Nominating Committee representative named as liaison for that committee.
First Friends, Vancouver (WA) has an interim pastor, Becky Ankeny, who is a George Fox University professor on sabbatical.
The Thursday Evening Spiritual Formation Bible Study Group of First Friends, Vancouver (WA) is supporting Vancouver’s Open House Ministry for the homeless by supplying the furnishings for one of its apartments.
Friends received a report on the result of changes in the Vancouver Island Monthly Meeting (BC) structure. The committee noted positive changes as well as areas of concern. Friends expressed special concern regarding isolated Friends and will seek further input from isolated Friends as to how their needs for community can be met with the new structure.
Vashon Friends Worship Group (WA) is considering “What would support look like?”
Victoria Meeting (BC) urges Friends to bring their voices, songs (favorites – old and new), and instruments and to come early to Worship on the Fourth Sunday of the month.
Visalia Meeting (CA) is seasoning a letter of support for Friends General Conference.
First Friends, Whittier (CA) has called William Peterson as a Transitional (interim) Pastor. He is an Intentional Transitional Pastor with the United Church of Christ.
Friends from First Friends, Whittier (CA) went to Ben Lomond Quaker Center in the Redwoods to participate in a service project to maintain the hiking trails; help at the Homeless Garden Project, visit the Boardwalk; experience a labyrinth walk; worship, and play together.
Friends at First Friends, Whittier (CA) were visited by Classic Clowns, a group who entertain children in hospitals and elderly people in nursing homes. The spokesperson for Classic Clowns was “Twink” with gaudy Day-Glo Raspberry hair, a.k.a Dottie Andersen of First Friends.

More than one Meeting
Friends often talk about the Announcement time at the end of Meeting for Worship. How to conduct it so that it doesn’t take too much time, yet be informative for all? If all announcements are read by one person, do Friends then lose their individual voices? If Announcements go on too long, do Meetings lose attenders and what about the children during Announcement time?

Deaths noted in Newsletters
Pat Stewart, Berkeley Meeting
Edie Barton Self, Eugene Meeting
Randall Dicus, Newberg Friends Church
Ruth Allen, Redwood Forest Meeting
Liz Draper, Redwood Forest Meeting
Jean Carr, Vancouver Island Meeting
Chrystal Kleiman, Vancouver Island Meeting
John McDonald, Vancouver Island Meeting
Elizabeth Anderson, Vancouver Island Meeting
Olive Clift, First Friends, Whittier

FWCC Website
Look at www.fwccamericas.org for information about the Section of the Americas.
Would you like to learn about Friends from throughout the western hemisphere? Please contact americas@fwccamericas.org to receive the Section of the Americans Electronic Newsletter. (And if you’d like to receive our postal mail Newsletter as well, indicate that also.)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

It’s been a busy month since I last wrote.
Wearing one of my other hats (member of Outreach and Visitation of North Pacific Yearly Meeting), I took the bus to Yakima, Washington to visit with Yakima Valley Worship Group where I was graciously hosted by Leni and Bob Skarin. I was able to worship, visit, and share a potluck with about 8 adults and 3 children. This worship group has been in existence for a long time (40 years at least) and while Friends are peripherally involved beyond the worship group, I did see it as a strong and vibrant group.
I firmly believe that one should extend one’s boundaries and I will say that riding Greyhound bus can be an experience that does that. One has the potential to be with people that one might not ordinarily associate with. And then there are the adventures, such as the bus breaking down in the Columbia Gorge and the arrival time in Yakima being about 5 hours late.
Margaret Fraser, Executive Secretary of FWCC, Section of the Americas, was in Oregon for a long weekend in late September. She stayed at my apartment with me and my cats and gave me the opportunity to become acquainted with a few Quakers from beyond the Northwest as we took Friends to their overnight hospitality before the Quaker Superintendents and Secretaries Meeting that took place at Twin Rocks on the Oregon Coast.
I mentioned earlier that I visited with Friends in Arizona and New Mexico. I had so many wonderful hosts. While at the Quaker Youth Pilgrimage Meeting I stayed at Friends Southwest Center with Ruthe and Bill Schoder-Ehri. Once I started traveling on my own, I stayed with Carl and LaDonna Wallen in Tempe, Jason Odhner and Tenacity (and Basil the dog) in Phoenix, Patricia Palmer in Tucson, and Bez Booth McCauley in Albuquerque. Ian Ford and family took me to the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta.
It is such a pleasure to be with Friends.

In Friendship,

Nancy

October - Personal Note

It’s been a busy month since I last wrote.
Wearing one of my other hats (member of Outreach and Visitation of North Pacific Yearly Meeting), I took the bus to Yakima, Washington to visit with Yakima Valley Worship Group where I was graciously hosted by Leni and Bob Skarin. I was able to worship, visit, and share a potluck with about 8 adults and 3 children. This worship group has been in existence for a long time (40 years at least) and while Friends are peripherally involved beyond the worship group, I did see it as a strong and vibrant group.
I firmly believe that one should extend one’s boundaries and I will say that riding Greyhound bus can be an experience that does that. One has the potential to be with people that one might not ordinarily associate with. And then there are the adventures, such as the bus breaking down in the Columbia Gorge and the arrival time in Yakima being about 5 hours late.
Margaret Fraser, Executive Secretary of FWCC, Section of the Americas, was in Oregon for a long weekend in late September. She stayed at my apartment with me and my cats and gave me the opportunity to become acquainted with a few Quakers from beyond the Northwest as we took Friends to their overnight hospitality before the Quaker Superintendents and Secretaries Meeting that took place at Twin Rocks on the Oregon Coast.
I mentioned earlier that I visited with Friends in Arizona and New Mexico. I had so many wonderful hosts. While at the Quaker Youth Pilgrimage Meeting I stayed at Friends Southwest Center with Ruthe and Bill Schoder-Ehri. Once I started traveling on my own, I stayed with Carl and LaDonna Wallen in Tempe, Jason Odhner and Tenacity (and Basil the dog) in Phoenix, Patricia Palmer in Tucson, and Bez Booth McCauley in Albuquerque. Ian Ford and family took me to the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta.
It is such a pleasure to be with Friends.

In Friendship,

Nancy

October - Beyond the Monthly Meetings and Churches

As FWCC Staff, I receive Newsletters from many Churches and Meetings in the western United States. These are items I have found of interest; I hope you do too. Nancy

Beyond the Monthly Meeting/Churches

Alaska Friends Conference Fall Quarterly Meeting will beNov, 28-30. Hosted by Chena Ridge Meeting, Fairbanks, Friends will consider Witness and Worship: Sacred Interconnections with All Beings. Inspired by the work of Joanna Macy and John Seed, the gathering is envisioned as a time to explore together what Friends can do as Friends to be faithful to Earth.
Arizona Half Yearly Meeting met in late September with the theme, Growing Vibrant Meetings, with Lynn Fitz-Hugh who talked about Quaker outreach to the world and Quaker in-reach – how we handle conflicts in our Meetings and families.
Casa de los Amigos (Mexico City) reports that the Migration Program and the Economic Justice Program are now firmly built into the fabric of the Casa. The Casa’s Volunteer Program has matured into an expression of the shared vision for the Casa. Volunteers now divide their work hours into three areas: the Hospitality Program, the other Casa Peace Programs, and Casa community life (which include cooking breakfast for guests, planning events and activities, furthering efforts to "green" the Casa, and more).
College Park Quarterly Meeting met at Sierra Friends Center near Nevada City. How have Friends in College Park Quarterly Meeting been guided to stand against war in the past, and what guidance is given now and in the future? Plenaries and interest groups featured war tax resistance, conscientious objection, sustainable living, and formation of new committees to aid CPQM.
Colorado Regional Gathering met at the YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park, CO, with the theme Global Climate Change: Deepening our Heart Connection with all Creation. Keynote speaker Patricia McBee spoke on “Joyful, Quakerly and Carbon Neutral.”
Evangelical Friends Church Southwest will hold its Annual Conference and Serve Day in three locations. In Southern California the Representative Session and Equipping Community Dinner will be January 23, and the Serve Day, January 24, 2009. In Arizona/Nevada the Equipping Community Dinner will be February 6 and the Serve Day, February 7, 2009. In Northern California the Equipping Community Dinner will be February 20 and the Serve Day, February 21, 2009.
The Greenleaf Academy (Idaho) auction has been rescheduled for November 7-8, 2008 to help celebrate the 100 year centennial. The school opened on November 10, 1908.
“Teach the Way Jesus Taught,” a Christian Educators Seminar will be offered in two more locations within Northwest Yearly Meeting: Olympic View Friends Church, November 1; Spokane Friends Church, November 15.
Northwest Yearly Meeting Friends are holding Area Meetings. The Portland Area will gather Saturday, November 1 at West Hills Friends Church. Boards of Congregational Care and Global Outreach will offer workshops. The Southern Idaho Area met Sunday, October 26 at Greenleaf Friends Church
Dorothy Henderson has been named Head of School for Sierra Friends Center and the Woolman Semester. She has been a community member for 8 years and was involved in the setting up of the Woolman Semester.
Southern California Quarterly Meeting with hold its Fall Gathering, November 8-9, 2008 at Temescal Gateway Park, Pacific Palisades, CA with the theme, The Search for our testimony on our relationship with nature: What is our Truth?
Utah Friends Fellowship will meet in Logan, UT, January 17-18, 2009.
The WalkwithEarth Pilgrimage, for the beauty of the earth down the watersheds of the Americas, started March 2nd at San Francisco Meeting. Led by Rolene Walker, this pilgrimage ends in Chile in 2.5 years.

October letter

Dear Friends,

When I went to Guatemala in 2006 for the Annual Meeting of Friends World Committee for Consultation, Section of the Americas, I bought a little stuffed elephant covered with a brightly colored Guatemalan fabric.
I sometimes take my little elephant with me when I visit among Friends because he reminds me of the story of the blind man and the elephant, but in this case the question is, “Who are the Quakers?” Are the Quakers Unprogrammed, Evangelical, Friends United Meeting, Conservative? Do they worship out of the silence or do they have pastors? Do they worship out of the silence with a pastor? My little elephant tells me that the answer to all of these questions is “yes, yes, and yes.”
Those of us who have had the opportunity to worship and work with other kinds of Friends have come away from that experience with the knowledge that our own lives have been enriched and our faith in whom we are more firmly grounded.
I recently traveled among Friends in Arizona and New Mexico. I flew to Arizona to attend the Quaker Youth Pilgrimage Committee Meeting and then spoke to Phoenix, Pima, and Albuquerque Meetings about FWCC and the diversity of Friends. I also was able to visit with many Friends individually which is always such a pleasure. Unfortunately, I did not manage to visit Phoenix Friends Church or Northwest Community Church in Tucson. I regret that.
The Quaker Youth Pilgrimage Committee had three tasks to work on. The Committee looked at evaluations from last summer’s Pilgrimage in Scotland, England, and Ireland. It considered the future direction of the Pilgrimage: should it remain the same (high school youth 16-18, form a community to travel among Quaker sites for a month), or if it were to change, in what direction would it go?
The Committee also started planning for the 2010 Pilgrimage in the Northwest. Do be thinking about whom in your Quaker community will be 16-18, summer of 2010, and would be appropriate for this experience.
Last, but not least, don’t forget that the Annual Meeting of FWCC, Section of the Americas, will be in Canby, Oregon (near Portland), March 19-22, 2009. YOU are welcome.

In Friendship,
Nancy