Tuesday, January 6, 2009

News of Friends Meetings and Churches in the West

Pastor Andy Koomen of West Community Friends Church (Corona, CA) suggests that rather than make New Year’s resolutions based that something Friends should or would like to do, that Friends make this a year of prayer. He suggests taking five minutes more each day than one normally does to pray.
First Friends Vancouver (WA) in January will meet people interested in becoming pastors at First Friends.
University Meeting (Seattle, WA) has approved re-opening a homeless shelter in its facilities. The shelter will be for both men and women, with separate sleeping spaces.
Tempe Meeting (AZ) notes that "Undie Sundays" are NOT times to appear at TFM in one’s underwear!! They are, instead, opportunities to collect new underwear and socks for Tempe's homeless population.
Friends at Friends Community Church Spring Valley (CA) are invited to join the church’s prayer e-chain. Friends then pray for requests as they receive them.
Friends Community Church Spring Valley (CA) has had a rash of graffiti vandalism recently. Friends are urged to be on the lookout when they pass the church facility and let Pastor Ken know if they see suspicious activity.
South Seattle Preparative Meeting (WA) will hold an Adult Education session on raising a family as Quakers, and in the Quaker faith. The Neff family will share their experiences.
South Mountain Meeting (Ashland, OR) will use Fourth Sundays to address the new chapters in NPYM’s Faith and Practice. Friends will discuss one chapter per month.
Sherwood Community Friends Church (OR) had a New Year’s Eve party planned by the youth leadership team.
Sherwood Community Friends Church (OR) will celebrate Faith Sunday on January 11. The morning speaker will be Bob Adhikary from Nepal and the afternoon speakers are Lee and Elsa Jane Weislogel who will share about their recent trip to Africa.
A Meeting for Healing is held by the Visitation Committee of Santa Monica Meeting (CA) every first and third Wednesday with prayers for healing, worship, and gratitude.
Santa Fe Meeting (NM) is, upon the advice of its lawyer, creating a "title-holding trust" to receive the title to land which is being donated to the Meeting. The trust will hold the title on behalf of the Meeting.
San Jose Meeting (CA) will hold a threshing session on “Does the practice of reading deepen our experience of worship?” Some individuals feel that reading inspirational texts such as the Bible or other Quaker literature deepens their experience of worship. Others believe that a Quaker Meeting for Worship consists of expectant waiting, and that reading is not quite the same as waiting expectantly for divine instruction. Is it ever appropriate to use an electronic device during meeting for worship, such as to read Bible verses?
San Francisco Meeting (CA) has been on record since 1971 as being willing to marry a same gender couple under its care. The Meeting recently received its first application.
Pima Meeting (Tucson, AZ) received a report from Juan Pascoe S. on the status of his ongoing work with the Mexican and U.S. Governments on the issue of Mexicans seeking work in the U.S.
Worship and Ministry Committee of Palo Alto Meeting (CA) is discussing how to help parents with vocal young children and babies in Meeting for Worship to preserve the quality and spirit of silent worship while insuring that young families feel welcome and supported by the Meeting.
Orange County Meeting (CA) is considering moving from their current rental location. They looked at a site near the Orange County Airport. While the facilities were good, Friends were concerned about airplane noise. Friends will continue looking. They find that they are too small for real estate agents and are searching on their own.
North Seattle Friends Church (WA) is holding a Friday night Movie Night. Friends will watch To Kill a Mocking Bird.
Newberg Friends Church (OR) is building a Children’s Discernment Team composed of a “parental representative” from each Sunday School class. The team will work to shape Children’s Ministries into a place that leads children to the love of Jesus and builds a foundation of faith.
Discussion continued at Mountain View Meeting (Denver, CO) about whether or not to do background checks for people interested in working with children. While all are in unity that safety of the children in paramount, there is a growing sense that background checks cannot substitute for knowledge of the community, vigilance, and active shared responsibility for children's activities and whereabouts.
Fresno Meeting (CA) is considering that the Meeting terminate membership for three people who the Meeting has not had contact with for many years, nor do they have current addresses.
Chico Meeting (CA) holds Meeting for Worship for Business after Meeting for Worship on Sunday. Clerks meet together on that morning before worship.
To deepen Friends’ understandings of the work of the Meeting Committees, Boulder Meeting (CO) is offering a series of Program Hours in which the committees are to respond to: “How does the work of your committee relate to the essence or magic of Quaker Meeting, to Quaker spiritual roots. What is the forefront in your area and how are you addressing it?”
Boise Friends Church (ID) donated 49 shoe boxes to Operation Christmas Child.
A message to Boise Friends Church (ID) is that the really good thing about Christmas is that it lasts all year. What doesn’t go away is the Christ of Christmas. He stays all year.
Berkeley Meeting (CA) has placed signs outside the Meeting House, notifying the community of the Meeting’s plans to renovate its buildings. This was a first step in seeking permission from the city of Berkeley.

More than one Church/Meeting:
Meetings and Churches are hosting homeless shelters.

Personal note:
The snow is gone, the holidays are over and life is back to normal. At first I say to myself, “whatever that is,” but then I acknowledge that “normal” is rain in the northwest; communications with Friends—both with local Friends and with FWCC; and, for this year, logistical preparations for the Annual Meeting of the Section of the Americas. Normal is good.
I haven’t really made any resolutions this year. (I like the idea of praying more.) I’d like to be/do better and hear better. (Hear God, of course)
I hope your holidays were the way you wanted them to be and that you have a happy and joyous 2009.
In Friendship,

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