Monday, March 9, 2009

Personal note:
I rode Amtrak to Berkeley, CA for Berkeley Friends Church’s Quaker Heritage Day and the Annual Meeting of WARSF, the Western Association of the Religious Society of Friends. Both events were wonderful. Dan Seeger spoke movingly about John Woolman and today’s economic times and it was good to see Friends from Berkeley and Whittier. And Berkeley fed us well, as usual.
Riding Amtrak is like being in a parallel universe. I found this trip pleasant and relaxing. Altogether I was on the train for 36 hours!
Back home, things were a little more difficult. Sophie was sick. The doctor said she had pneumonia. Luckily, medicine got her up and moving around again. She bounced back well.
Last weekend I went to Olympia, Washington for a meeting of North Pacific Yearly Meeting’s Outreach and Visitation Committee. We considered how we can reach out to small meetings and isolated Friends in our region. (And if you are a member of NPYM and are interested in visiting NWYM as an NPYM visitor, e-mail me.)
Now I have the cold, but I will recover and all is well.

In Friendship,
News of Friends Meetings and Churches

Agate Passage Meeting (Poulsbo, WA) reports that the tone of the meeting, because of so many losses (death and ill health), has been somber, and the Meeting is in need of the Spirit and its leavening influence in the face of so much loss. The roots of the community are reaching deeper and Friends are warmly embracing those most affected.
Agate Passage Meeting (Poulsbo, WA) shortened business meeting to spend time in a Threshing Session. Friends were to consider these questions: “When you reflect on the challenge of strengthening our Meeting, what is the one critical thing that we should be starting or continuing? What are you willing to do to make this happen?”
Albuquerque Meeting (NM) held a well-attended workshop on Quakerism and humor.
Bellingham Meeting (WA) approved switching both April and May business meetings to first Sundays due to holidays (Easter and Mother’s Day).
Ministry and Oversight Committee of Berkeley Meeting (CA) affirms the importance of announcements at Meeting for Worship and reiterates that announcements should be brief, spoken loudly and clearly and should only be specifically Meeting-related.
The Peace and Social Concerns Committee of Bridge City Meeting (Portland, OR) is sponsoring Alternatives to Violence Training, April 3-5 at Reedwood Friends Church. Both basic-level 1 and advanced level 2 will be offered.
Boulder Meeting (CO) has published its “Open Records Policy” in its Newsletter, Miscellany. The policy sets forth the requirements for record maintenance by the Meeting and describes the terms of access to the records.
Several Chico organizations are inviting the Dali Lama to visit Chico in 2010 when he will be in California. Chico Meeting (CA) has joined in the invitation.
The Pastoral Care Committee of Eastside Meeting (Bellevue, WA) feels discomfort that North Pacific Yearly Meeting does not acknowledge birthright membership in the Society of Friends.
Eugene Friends Church (OR) is planning to provide a meal for the homeless on Sunday afternoons.
Nurturing Committee of Eugene Meeting (OR) has posted suggested guidelines for responding to telephone requests for help that the Meeting receives from those in need in the wider community.
Gila Meeting (Silver City, NM) is discussing two pamphlets from its library, Invitation to a Deeper Communion, and Spiritual Friendship.
The Newsletter of Mountain View Meeting (Denver, CO) is published by different members of the Newsletter Committee. Each issue includes information on who the current editor is, the deadline for the next issue, and who will be editing that issue. Also included are minutes from the business meeting and complete committee reports.
Multnomah Meeting (Portland, OR) is holding a Book Swap for Youth. Friends are asked to bring books for preschool through middle school children.
Newberg Friends Church (OR) will hold a Dharwad, India Prayer Gathering. Friends will hear from the Reid family who recently returned from Dharwad, receive updated information and pictures from their prayer partners and participate in a live video chat with two young women serving in Dharwad now.
Newberg Friends Church (OR) is reading through the book of Mark during the time of Lent.
Ralph Beebe will lead a Sunday School class during March at Newberg Friends Church (OR) on his as yet unpublished, Quakerly-oriented Civil War novel Their Tears Washed the Stones.
North Seattle Friends Church (WA) plans to turn some of their church yard into garden spaces.
Movie night at North Seattle Friends Church (WA) will be the heartwarming movie, “Sweet Land.”
Orange County Meeting (Santa Ana, CA) is starting a First Day School blog to help to keep members of the Religious Ed Committee, parents, students, and attendees of the Meeting up to date on First Day School Activities.
Palo Alto Meeting (CA) held a retreat at which Friends looked at deepening the spiritual life of the Meeting. Friends did worship-sharing on spiritual life and ministry. The last query was, “How can vocal ministry become more Spirit-led, worship-deepened and Quaker values instilled in all members?”
Worship and Ministry of Redwood Forest Meeting (Santa Rosa, CA) is taking steps to welcome newcomers. An article appears monthly in the Meeting newsletter, introducing a member of Worship and Ministry and that person’s experience of being new to a Meeting. The committee is keeping a list of newcomers to see that contact is made.
The youth of Reedwood Friends Church (Portland, OR) will serve an Easter breakfast with the proceeds to benefit the biannual Youth Mission Trip.
Sacramento Meeting (CA) has decided not to hold its annual Meeting-wide retreat this year to encourage people to participate in the Quaker Quest program.
Bob Segalman, Sacramento Meeting (CA) has published his autobiography, Against the Current: My Life with Cerebral Palsy.”
Salem Meeting (OR) is considering setting up a fund to assist members and attenders with financial difficulties, using funds presently in the building fund. Concerns included jeopardizing tax-exempt status and using restricted building funds.
A small group of Friends from Salt Lake Meeting (UT) will be meeting every other week as a Spiritual Formation group. One meeting will focus on readings and discussion and the other will focus on practice, so that they can support each other to integrate spiritual practice into their lives.
Salt Lake Meeting’s 3rd Annual Quaker Fundraising Extravaganza will happen Friday, March 27th at the Salt Lake Meeting House with music, poetry, silent auction and refreshments.
San Francisco Meeting (CA) is continuing its series of “Frequently Asked Quaker Questions” at the rise of meeting for worship. Questions include: “What is meant by ‘testing’ leadings? What does it mean to ‘let our lives speak?’ Who’s in charge?.....”
San Jose Meeting (CA) is proposing to combine Meeting for Business with Meeting for Worship. Friends are considering various ways of having Meeting for Worship flow into and be a part of Meeting for Business.
Santa Cruz Meeting (CA) has a Nominating Seed, rather than a Nominating Committee. The Nominating Seed doesn’t want to repeat old ways of doing things, but to try a more community-based approach, where they converse about what is needed and how to do it together.
Santa Fe Meeting (NM) will hold Olive Rush Appreciation Day in conjunction with a May tour sponsored by the Historic Santa Fe Foundation. To prepare for this tour. the Building Committee will complete interior maintenance, reframe pictures, and make available archival materials to illustrate Olive’s role in the community.
Sherwood Community Friends Church (OR) announces the opening of its Community Garden for the fourth year in a row. Plots, selected first-come-first-served, are free and the church provides water.
South Mountain Friends (Ashland, OR) will hold an outreach & Inreach session with questions such as “How are we active as Friends? How do we make ourselves visible? What is our message to the community at large and how do we communicate with the larger, Quaker fellowship?”
South Seattle Friends Meeting (WA) will hold its Easter Potluck and Easter Egg hunt in Kingston, a ferry-ride across Puget Sound.
Spokane Friends Church (WA) is seeking permits from the city of Spokane to open a homelesBolds shelter in their building.
Tempe Meeting (AZ) held a Family Fun Night with a scavenger hunt for little treasures, board games, and charades. Punch and popcorn were served.
University Meeting (Seattle, WA) will hold threshing session regarding much needed repairs and updates to its building.
First Friends, Vancouver (WA) is welcoming Doug Balzar, its new pastor.
First Friends, Vancouver (WA) is hosting Barclay College’s Home College distance learning program, Certificado en Biblia y Ministerio, directed by Dr. HernĂ¡n Diaz.
West Chehalem Friends Church (Newberg, OR) will celebrate its centennial on June 28, 2009.
Pastor Jeff Jernigan of West Community Friends Church (Corona, CA) invites Friends to the new sermon series, Think Big – A different kind of living. Each week the church will look at a different parable that illustrates what it means to be Kingdom minded and how this results in a different and better way of life.
Valerie Joy from Australia and Clerk of FWCC’s Asia West Pacific Section, will visit First Friends, Whittier (CA). She will speak on “Enlarging Our Perspective” at the All Friends Fellowship Night.
September 2008, Wyoming Friends Meeting hosted the Development Committee of Friends General Conference. Wyoming Meeting is an independent meeting of Friends General Conference.