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.)

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