Friday, May 1, 2009

News from Western Quaker Newsletters

April 4- April 17, 2009

It seems that many Quaker roads have converged on Oregon this year. We have been pleased to have so many visitors from other places. For example:
February - Friends for Gay, Lesbian, Bi-Sexual, Transgender Quaker Concerns met near Portland.
March - Friends World Committee for Consultation, Section of the Americas, and the Central Executive Committee of FWCC met near Portland.
April - Quakers Uniting in Publishing met in Newberg and on the Oregon Coast.
April - The Quaker Youth Book Project International Committee met near Portland.
It’s exciting to have these Friends in our midst and as often was the case, we had opportunities to get together with Quakers from around the world and throughout our country. It’s been very enriching for all of us.

I am sure that many of you know that many Quaker organizations are facing difficult financial times. I think all have laid off staff. And FWCC is no exception.
Dorothy Day, our office manager, will leave us the end of April. She’s been a wonderful person to work and travel with and I treasure my times with her.
I will be leaving my position as Western Field Staff the end of June. I’ve had an incredible time – 7.5 years of working with so many of you in the West. My life has been richly blessed.
However, there is a possibility that I will continue on a contract basis with a few of the things that I do, such as this Newsletter Summary. So keep those newsletters coming!

In Friendship,

News of Friends Meetings and Churches

Arcadia and Glendora Friends Churches (CA) partnered at the Santa Anita Race Track for an outreach ministry with the Backstretch Community Workers. There were games and face-painting for kids, a sock, clothing and sleeping bag give-away and a Prayer Booth Ministry where Bibles in Spanish and English were distributed.
Earthcare Committee of Bellingham Meeting (WA) has suggested that Friends bring starter plants to Meeting to share with Friends as a means of welcoming Spring.
Youth of Boise Friends Church (ID) are participating in Stamps for Camp to help families pay for the cost of summer camp. Youth participate in different types of ministries – scripture memorization, community service, volunteer work, etc. – and earn “stamps” which become dollars earned for camp.
Friends at Boise Friends Church (ID) will hold an Autograph Party. Friends will bring old Autograph Books to be displayed. Elementary School children will be given new Autograph Books and will be seeking autographs.
Bridge City Meeting (Portland, OR) will hold intergenerational worship monthly for the next three months. After a time of silence, Friends—children and adults—will come together for a sharing circle. For the first intergenerational worship time each person was asked to bring some small "thing" that represents something hopeful. This item could be an object, a story or poem, something to show to the group.
Chico Meeting (CA) notes that Friends are asked to reflect on how they do business with worship as a foundation, yet also strive to preserve a tone of lightness.
Corvallis Meeting (OR) has approved that the Meeting join the Community of Welcoming Congregations. The meeting then noted that it takes more than putting a sign out to be welcoming. What do they expect of themselves in this regard?
Eastside Meeting (Bellevue, WA) has approved establishing an Outreach Committee to raise awareness of the Meeting within the greater community, to encourage use of the remodeled building, to improve the Meeting’s visibility and expand the community’s knowledge of Quakers and Quakerism.
Eugene Meeting (OR) has received a generous bequest from the estate of former members. The Meeting has now paid off all building loans. Three threshing sessions have been set on a monthly basis to help determine how to use the remaining funds.
Flagstaff Meeting (AZ) assists at the Family Food Center on the third Monday of each month. Dinners, free and open to the public, are served cafeteria style. In this dignified and enriching experience, Friends, as servers in the Christian tradition of feeding the poor, are nourished and fed in a rich and sometimes transforming way.
Foothills Community Church (Pasadena, CA) hosted the Bad Weather Shelter in Pasadena., the first time for the church to take part in this ministry to the homeless. Friends shopped for, cooked and served dinner, set up sleeping spaces and visited with the guests.
Gateway Friends Church (Walnut, CA) participated in Campus Serve Day at Western Christian High School, cleaning indoors and out. Because of inclement weather, Friends plan to go back to accomplish other tasks such as painting the softball backstop.
The clerks of all committees of Grass Valley Meeting (CA) comprise the naming committee to choose the nominating committee.
Tristan Anderson, an American citizen, was shot in the head with a tear gas projectile from around 60 meters by Israeli forces on March 13, 2009, during a demonstration in the West Bank village of Ni’lin. Tristan’s parents, Nancy and Mike Anderson, are long-time participants of Grass Valley Meeting (CA).
Youth of Melba Friends Church (ID) will hold a pancake feed fund-raiser at the Southern Idaho Area Rally at Melba Friends Church, April 26.
On April 24th Multnomah Meeting (Portland, OR) will host the Quaker Youth Editorial Board, an international Board of Young Friends who are working on the Quaker Youth Book Project, an anthology of writings from Young Friends.
Newberg Friends Church (OR) held a Maundy Thursday service in the sanctuary. It was a simple service, focusing on Jesus' last supper with his disciples. One part the service was to take communion together with the elements, as a way to enter into worship during Holy Week.
Newberg Friends Church (OR) will host an informational meeting on April 19, regarding the formation of a group committed to pursuing political and legal advocacy, relationship-building and community education, and service to local immigrant communities.
Seniors of Newberg Friends Church (OR) meet for breakfast at a local restaurant. They have named themselves JOY—Just Older Youth.
Northwest Community Friends Church (Tucson, AZ) during Serve Day Arizona cleaned up neighborhoods of graffiti and trash, cleaned windows, painted fences, etc. People saw a different view of what Christianity is about and Friends were changed as they were allowed to be Christ’s servants.
Northern California Friends Churches hit the streets of Midtown Sacramento to clean parks, pray with people, serve the homeless, and help with other neglected needs of Midtown.
Ministry and Oversight Committee of Pima Meeting (AZ) recognizes that in these challenging times, some Friends will suffer the loss of jobs, housing and other primary needs. How can the Meeting respond in ways that deepen relationships to one another and to God?
For the next three months, Meeting for Business at San Jose Meeting (CA) will follow directly after Meeting for Worship which will last about 30 minutes, depending on vocal ministry. Following visitor introductions and visitors being invited to remain, Meeting for Business will begin. Afterwords and Announcements will occur at the end of Meeting for Business.
Vision and Planning Committee of Santa Cruz Meeting (CA) asks: “Is it too burdensome to ask the Clerk to have sole discretion about which items to place on the Business Meeting agenda?”
Ministry and Counsel of Santa Monica Meeting (CA) is planning a Memorial Meeting for those who have lost loved ones over the past couple of years. There have been a number of losses which Friends feel need to be acknowledged.
Sherwood Community Friends Church (OR) held a Maundy Thursday service in the Quaker tradition, along with the partaking of the elements as optional.
Spokane Friends Church (WA) will hold Missionary Weekend on April 25-26 with Hal and Nancy Thomas, who will speak of their work of educating church leaders in Latin America, enabling leaders to receive doctorate degrees.
Friends Community Church (Spring Valley, CA) held their Annual Easter Love Feast with Tony Svarese of Chosen People Ministries who taught about Christ in the Passover. Friends also enjoyed a traditional Seder meal.
Women from Tempe Meeting (AZ) meet monthly for a brown bag lunch at the Meeting House. The hour is usually filled with conversation, reflection and good food/drink from home.
Tempe Friends (AZ) will find a place to recycle batteries at the Meeting House.
Fresno and Visalia Meetings (CA) meet together for Fifth Sundays. Fifth Sunday on May 31st will be at Visalia Meeting (CA) with potluck to follow.
West Community Friends Church (Corona, CA) held Serve Day at an elementary school in South Corona. After a pancake breakfast, teams of people washed windows, helped teachers set up rooms, washed doors, scrubbed tables, cleaned rooms and weeded planter areas.

PS. Personal note:

It’s Spring and it’s the Northwest so we’ve had days of gray, days of sunshine, and just plain yucky rainy days. But we do know that April showers bring May flowers. All is for the greater good.
I’m looking out to a gray sky filtered through the leafy green of trees in the woods just south of my apartment. On my deck is a pot full of yellow tulips and pansies. It’s almost bright enough to replace the sun that isn’t out.
I also have a pot full of lettuce plants about 2 inches tall, another pot with lettuce that has yet to come up, and a lone pumpkin plant. Thus, so far, is the container garden of farmer Nancy.
Sophie was five years old yesterday. She had birthday cupcakes at school and went out to dinner at the restaurant of her choice. She’s so grown up and she’s only five!
I have errands to run and will probably take the car. It’s kind of hard to do this on the day the EPA has declared that carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are a danger to public health and welfare. In some ways, it has been helpful that my car has issues. Imagine having a car that doesn’t run well in the rain in the Northwest? I know I need to get it fixed, but if it being disabled helps limit my driving, maybe it isn’t all bad.

In Friendship,

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