News from Western Quaker Newsletters
Weeks from March 16- April 3, 2009
The Annual Meeting of Friends World Committee for Consultation, Section of the Americas was a wonderful event. Friends came from all over the world; Friends came from throughout the United States and Canada, and Friends came from the greater Portland area to work, worship, and fellowship together.
And we worked hard. We changed the way we organize committees and we took a hard look at our financial numbers. We were inspired by Friend Jan Wood who in speaking to the theme, “The Vision is for its Appointed Time,” reminded us how important it is to see the best in one another.
The Local Program Committee did an incredible job of showing Friends what it is like to be a Friend here in the Pacific Northwest and what great relationships we have among the unprogrammed and Evangelical Friends who live here.
The weather wasn’t perfect. There were showers and threats of showers most days, but we did have some sun breaks. The magnificent Douglas fir trees on the Canby Grove Conference Center both offered beauty and buffered the rain as Friends scurrying from place to place.
After Annual Meeting I took three Friends on a trip up the Columbia Gorge as a post-Annual Meeting excursion. We saw the river (of course), beautiful waterfalls, grass widows and other wild flowers. We learned about Sam Hill’s connection to Quakers; watched the terrain change from the wet western side of the mountains to the more arid central Oregon; and were hosted for a potluck by the Mountainview Worship Group in Hood River. We even (almost) got lost in the snow.
News of Friends Meetings and Churches
Yorba Linda Friends Church (CA) will host a women’s conference this weekend, April 3-4. Kay Arthur will speak on “Resting in God instead of wrestling with life.”
Yorba Linda Friends Church (CA) will host the 3rd Annual Women's Empowerment 5/10K Walk/Run on April 26th. This event challenges women through fitness training and sponsorships to empower the Dalit women of India in their quest for social, economic and spiritual freedom.
First Friends, Whittier (CA) is hosting a month-long Heifer Project International awareness and giving campaign. The campaign will culminate with a multi-cultural event on May 3rd to which the public will be invited. International foods, goods, clothing, music, etc. will be available to promote cultural understanding and to raise funds to combat world hunger.
Vashon Worship Group (WA) heard a presentation by Bob Schutz, an FCNL advocate, on effective lobbying.
Women at First Friends, Vancouver (WA) will enjoy a “Girls Night Out” where they will hang out, chat, play games, and munch.
At Adult Religious Education Classes at University Meeting (Seattle, WA) Friends shared about Meeting for Worship using the booklet Four Doors to Meeting for Worship by Bill Taber.
Peace and Social Concerns Committee, University Meeting (Seattle, WA), posted the question, “What do you do that’s green?” Responses fell into several categories, including transportation, recycling, food, energy, paper, and activism.
Tacoma Meeting (WA) came to unity to invite Quaker Quest facilitators from Friends General Conference to lead the Meeting in a workshop providing detailed information and experiences to lead to discernment about whether the Meeting is called to provide this program for the greater Tacoma community. Should they decide to not offer Quaker Quest, the workshop promises to deepen sense of community and to teach how to reach out to others.
Friends Community Church of Spring Valley (CA) is working on its Fresh Start Project, being judicious regarding the economic downturn and to not get ahead of the Lord regarding the project. The chapel is to be named Friends Chapel and new signs installed. The front of the chapel will receive a facelift and makeover and three pine trees will be removed.
Spokane Friends Church (WA) has a Wednesday Night Neighborhood Kid’s Club with mostly boys. They have been reading the story of Joseph in the Bible and have been so engrossed in the story they had to be asked to put down their Bibles.
Spokane Friends Church (WA) is concerned about winter damage to the Meeting House. Currently, the roof will not support more than 12 inches of snow. Extensive repairs are needed.
South Mountain Meeting (Ashland, OR) will hear a presentation about Jobs for Justice on April 12. As it will be Easter Sunday, Friends will share a finger-food potluck breakfast before the talk.
At South Seattle Preparative Meeting (WA), the First Day School decides a percentage of the Meeting’s corporate giving.
South Seattle Preparative Meeting (WA) is considering what it needs to do to progress towards monthly meeting status. The conversation will continue and if necessary, a retreat day may be arranged for the spring.
School age Friends of South Side Santa Fe Worship Group (NM) join Friends in Meeting for Worship and, when led, go to the quiet activity nook in the meeting room to color, draw, do puzzles, play quiet games or read books that speak to Quaker values.
Sherwood Community Friends Church (OR) will hold a Mother’s Day Tea, “Hats off to Mother.” Women are encouraged to bring favorite tea cups and wear special hats.
Randall E. Brown of Sherwood Community Friends Church (OR) will be returning to Burundi this summer on a mission serve trip. He left Burundi in 1965 after having served 16 years.
Santa Fe Friends (NM) approved the Resident hosting and scheduling a weekly garden meditation, focusing on an outreach to people in the local community. The invitation is expected to read: “Drop in to connect with your Divine Self and Nature.”
The Visitation Committee of Santa Monica Meeting (CA) is charged with visiting Friends during illness and visiting Friends unable to attend Meeting for Worship.
Sandpoint Meeting (ID) is sponsoring singer-song-writer Tom Rawson for a benefit concert for the local Food Bank. Tom will start the evening with children’s songs and move into social and environmental justice music.
San Jose Meeting (CA) will hold a Re-circulate Party and Discussion. Friends were invited to bring items to exchange, with all to receive something more useful for them. The discussion was to be of childhood experiences of First Day School.
San Francisco Meeting (CA) heard a report from Laura Magnani, Interim Director of the Pacific Mountain Region of the American Friends Service Committee. Laura’s particular work is on prisoners’ rights and criminal justice.
As a way to encourage Friends to be ready for Meeting for Business, the Alternate Clerk of Sacramento Meeting (CA) will ring a gong about five minutes prior to the start of the Meeting.
Reedwood Friends Church (Portland, OR) will hold a rummage sale June 6th. Friends are encouraged to hold onto usable items and set them aside. Items of all sorts are desired, including electronics, but NO computer anything!
Scholars in Residence of the Center for Christian Studies of Reedwood Friends Church (Portland, OR) will be Tom and Nancy Faus Mullen. The Mullens will focus on “Faith and Laughter” during the Sunday morning education hour and on “Christ and Culture” in Wednesday evening sessions.
Nominating Committee of Redwood Forest Meeting (Santa Rosa, CA), noting that membership in the Meeting is a requirement for Worship and Ministry and Oversight Committees, asks the Meeting if this requirement is a rule or a guideline? Is it spirit-led?
At Pima Meeting (Tucson, AZ) a non-member Friend’s name was proposed for a Committee whose membership requires membership in the Meeting. As a result, Pima Meeting is having a discussion on what membership means to the Meeting.
The Middle School Group of Palo Alto Meeting (CA) is sponsoring a weekend retreat for 5th-9th Grade Friends from College Park Quarterly Meeting on April 3-5 at the Palo Alto Meetinghouse.
Palo Alto Meeting (CA) has discontinued its role as fiscal agent for Randy Mont Reynaud’s Haiti project.
The Price Fund of Orange County Friends Meeting (Santa Ana, Ca) is available to help young Friends of the Meeting attend Quaker activities such as camps and pilgrimages. Young people must apply in writing before the May Meeting for Business.
North Seattle Friends Church (WA) had a Movie Night with the quirky film, Millions (2004). Friends were invited to bring friends. Complimentary popcorn and cold drinks were served.
Newberg Friends Church (OR) is sponsoring a Marriage Small Group, a six week seminar for couples. The seminar will draw on topics from the book Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas.
The Women’s Friendship Tea at Newberg Friends Church (OR) will be April 4. Women are encouraged to bring neighbors, friends and family for a delightful three-course afternoon tea and conversation.
Multnomah Meeting (Portland, OR) has invited Friends from Worship Groups under its care, Fanno Creek, Mountain View and Lower Columbia, for two events the weekend of April 4 and 5. On Saturday there will be a welcome gathering, followed by a simple supper with discussion about “How We Live Out Our Quaker Witness.” On Sunday Friends will potluck with visiting Worship Group members at the rise of Meeting, then join in a conversation about the joys and challenges of starting, maintaining and being part of a Worship Group.
Grass Valley Meeting (Nevada City, CA) has new teachers in First Day School. Until recently the parents had taken turns teaching. The Religious Education Committee sat with the idea of asking others who might be willing to share their gifts with the children. They wrote a letter to those folks asking each of them to teach twice during this term. Each person asked said yes! Another person volunteered to teach with a current teacher after hearing about it.
Fresno Meeting (CA) will hear a presentation on Quaker practices, procedures & consensus
Entiat Friends Church (WA) has an intergenerational Sunday School class where adults, youth, and children learn alongside each other. Families take turns teaching the class.
Corvallis Meeting (OR) is evaluating how to schedule Sunday mornings and whether to change Monthly Meeting from the second Sunday to the first Sunday of the month.
Citrus Heights Friends Church (CA) hosted the Greenleaf Friends Academy Concert Choir and Full Measure Ensemble in March. Greenleaf Friends Academy is in Greenleaf, Idaho.
Oversight and Fellowship Committee of Chico Meeting (CA) is holding “Open Hours” or “Open Meetinghouse” on Tuesdays from 3-5:00 p.m. The Meetinghouse and Fellowship Hall will be open for cleaning, making repairs, reading in the Library, working on the grounds, or other activities.
Bridge City Meeting (Portland, OR) is sponsoring Alternative to Violence Training April 3-5 at Reedwood Friends Church.
Ministry and Worship Committee of Boulder Meeting (CO) has presented a draft set of new queries to the Meeting. The intention of Boulder Meeting’s new queries is to help members and attenders examine their personal lives. The queries are divided into sections of approximately three sentences which could be printed on cards and made available to take into worship or home to ponder.
Boise Friends Church (ID) has been a long-time supporter of Boise Rescue Mission which has appreciated the church’s donations. During these difficult economic times, requests for support and resources continues to grow. Friends are encouraged to join the Rescue Mission’s “March to End Hunger” food drives during March and April.
Friends of Berkeley Friends Church (CA) heard a presentation by Nadine Hoover on Indonesia Initiative of Friends Peace Teams.
Friends of Berkeley Friends Meeting (CA) are pitching in with building renovation fund-raising efforts. They are making and selling cupcakes; they are having yard sales; and they are offering ink and water color paintings as well as ceramics for sale.
Bellingham Meeting (WA) would like to have a plant starter/seed exchange. Friends are to bring plant starts and extra seeds to the next two potlucks to share with others.
Mike Gray attended Albuquerque Meeting’s (NM) Peace and Social Concerns Meeting to answer questions about the IMYM-AFSC Joint Service Project.
 Purple/magenta wildflowers common only to a specific area in the Columbia Gorge.