Tuesday, February 17, 2009

News of Friends Meetings and Churches

Mountainview Meeting (Denver, CO)
has Share the Care Groups for Friends who are ill. A Friend who has been on a Share the Care Team for another individual was encouraged to have a group herself following surgery. The Friend learned that she can receive care from others and that she can do it joyfully. She learned that it is a gift to receive love and help from others.
The Archivist of Multnomah Meeting (Portland, OR) is seeking photographs, personal statements, and stories about the recent remodel of a Meeting House to put in a notebook/scrapbook.
Friends from Multnomah Meeting (Portland, OR) (age 6 and up!) are volunteering at the Oregon Food Bank on Valentine’s Day.
Steve Fawver, Pastor of Spiritual Health and Care of Newberg Friends Church (OR), does “emergent” pastoral care when Friends are in the hospital or have another kind of crisis. He reminds Friends of the need to inform the church when going to the hospital, assuming one wants a visit. The hospital can’t give out confidential information unless specifically asked by the patient to call the church.
North Seattle Friends Church (WA) had a Carry In Meal previous to Business Meeting.
Reading Groups of Palo Alto Meeting (CA) are reading Robert Barclay’s Catechism and Confession of Faith and Undaunted Zeal, the Letters of Margaret Fell.
Palo Alto Meeting (CA) will again have in its Newsletter The Quaker Culture Box which is to educate Meeting attenders in the culture and norms of Quakers. Worship and Ministry Committee has periodically continued this project, hoping to inform, and perhaps to amuse, those who find Quakers, our language, and our practices a bit inscrutable.
The Center for Christian Education at Reedwood Friends Church (Portland, OR) is offering “Fill the Well,” a class on creativity and spirituality with a simple creative activity each night.
Salt Lake Monthly Meeting (UT) states in its Guidelines for use of the Meeting House, that it wants to make it available to its members and regular attenders the right to use the Meeting House for their special needs or activities. Friends hope that these activities would be consistent with the spirit of Quakerism. Also the Meeting would like to make the Meeting House available to outside groups that share ideals of Quakerism.

San Francisco Meeting (CA) held a Threshing Session on right relationships with their neighbors. These neighbors include people on the sidewalk, some of whom are homeless and some of whom have places to stay but hang out there, people in nearby residential hotel and apartment buildings and local shops and businesses.
San Jose Meeting (CA) approved that the Christmas Caroling coordinator be made into a formal position. Since the Meeting has been doing caroling for so long, and there is much to organize for this event, it was felt that a coordinator was necessary.
Santa Cruz Meeting (CA) and others are investigating the possibility of a Green PYM initiative to take a bus to Pacific Yearly Meeting (July 27 - August 1, 2009, at Walker Creek Ranch, Marin County, CA). The bus would be a joint venture of San Jose Meeting, Santa Cruz Meeting, and Live Oak Preparative Meeting.
Santa Barbara Meeting (CA) joins several local organizations in opposing executions. Friends join others who gather weekly at the Farmers Market to protest the death penalty.
Santa Monica Meeting (CA) will host the Friends Peace Teams Board at the end of March 2009.
Santa Monica Meeting (CA) includes Children’s Queries in its Newsletter.
On February 15, Sherwood Friends Church (OR) will hold Friends February Follies, an all-church talent night.
Friends Community Church, Spring Valley (CA) has a Prayer E-chain. Friends join the e-chain then pray for requests as they receive them.
The “Younger Meeting” of Tempe Meeting (AZ) presented the following minute to Business Meeting. It was approved. “We have concern for Family Meeting such as the queries not being universal enough for some of our members as far as understanding and relation. We proposed creating our own queries and refreshing our idea of Family Worship.”
University Meeting (Seattle, WA) is holding a series of Adult Religious Education sessions on difficult times, including, “Octogenarians Share About Hard Times.”
First Friends, Vancouver (WA) sponsored a Vision 20/20 Spiritual Gifts Seminar with Jan Wood the weekend of February 6-8
The Clearness Committee for Transition of First Friends, Whittier (CA) is forming a Friends “Publicity Action Group” to get the word out that First Friends Whittier welcomes people to a spiritual path for today’s world.

Albuquerque Friends (NM) have learning opportunities. For four Saturday afternoons in a row, they will attend “Reading Jeremiah in the Spirit: The Prophet and the Early Quakers.” A Study Group Film series will be a reflection on forgiveness through watching movies together. Queries on forgiveness will follow the films.
Berkeley Meeting (CA) is using new bookkeeping software that helps make the accounting more transparent. The Meeting realized that activities with various funds were not being reported with the financial reports, thus the Meeting had been in deficit spending by a substantial amount. The new accounting system makes clear the true cost of running the Meeting and individual funds can be replenished with annual allocations from the General Fund.
Louise George, Boise Friends Church (ID) shares Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Louise says that we only have to know the next step to take (not the one after that) in order to move forward.
Gil and Louise George, Boise Friends Church (ID), will retire from Gil’s role as pastor on June 30th.
Boulder Meeting (CO) will hold a threshing session titled, “Seeking: What’s Membership Got To Do With It?”
Bridge City Meeting (Portland, OR) originally scheduled business meeting on second Sundays in order to not conflict with Multnomah Meeting’s business meeting. This made sense while Bridge City was a preparative meeting under the care of Multnomah. Now, it means that Bridge City is less able to partner with or take advantage of events sponsored by Multnomah. Friends are considering changing Business Meeting to the same Sunday as Multnomah’s Business Meeting.
The Peace and Social Concerns Committee of Bridge City Meeting (Portland, OR) is sponsoring Alternatives to Violence Training, April 3-5. Both basic-level 1 and advanced level 2 will be offered.
Clackamas Park Friends Church (Milwaukie, OR) held Vacation Bible School on a Saturday in December, calling it Christmas Bible School. This gave Friends an opportunity to share the true Christmas story with children.
Friends in Corvallis Meeting (OR) are sharing spiritual journeys in small groups. Friends will work towards understanding an early Quaker (John Woolman) through writing, contemplative responses and willingness to change lives to be more congruous with Quaker testimonies.
Fresno Meeting (CA) is considering if the Meeting should have a designated membership of Ministry and Oversight instead of operating as Meeting as a Whole. The oversight of a Friend’s hospitalization was cited as a need for designated people for Ministry and Oversight.
Pastor Bruce Butler, Glendora Friends Church (CA) reminds us about Valentine’s Day, saying “While this holiday is devoted to lovers, this year be reminded of the love of Christ for you and your world.”
Grass Valley Meeting (Nevada City, CA) will use a modified structure on First Sundays in April, May and June 2009 and will re-examine this structure in June 2009. During this trial, they will hold Meeting for Worship from 9:45-10:30am, with introductions of visitors just afterwards. The Meeting will then transition directly into Meeting for Business at 10:35am, with potluck held afterwards. There will be no designated time for “After Thoughts” on that day, and announcements will happen in Meeting for Worship for Business.
On Saturday, February 21, Grass Valley Meeting (Nevada City, CA) will hold an extended silent Meeting for Worship from 9am until 12 noon.
Youth of La Jolla Meeting (CA) have invited visitors from a local mosque to meet with them during First Day School so that they can learn about Islam

More than one Meeting:
Many Meetings are considering involvement with the Quaker Quest Program.

PS. Personal note:
I planted some lettuce seeds in a pot out on my deck a little while ago. I just looked out and little seedlings are coming up. And I have a big pot on my deck with a little bit of this and that. Most amazingly, daffodil and tulip greenery are coming through the earth. I know it’s just mid-February but here in the Pacific Northwest we often have hints of spring about now. It’s clearly a God thing. God is good!
I went to Corvallis, Oregon (about 100 miles south of here) over the weekend. Willamette Quarterly Meeting met at the Corvallis Meeting House for Winter Business Meeting. We also heard from two Friends who had attended the recent Peace Conference in Philadelphia. Both Sarita and Sierra gave clear and concise reports, but I was especially thrilled with Sierra’s report. She’s 14 years old. There is great hope for the Society of Friends.
What with one thing and another, I’ve been driving my car too much lately. It was raining and snowing the last time I picked up Sophie from preschool. She agreed it was nice to have the car on such a day! But we’ll go back to the bus for most of our travel together. (Oh, and I did ride Greyhound back from Corvallis. It was relatively inexpensive and a pleasant ride.)
Sophie and I made Valentines for her other grandparents. Such fun to get out red and white paper and doilies, just the way we used to do it. But these modern valentines had lots of Sophie-applied stickers to bring them up to date. And Sophie wrote their names and her own in her own special way.

In Friendship,