Friday, May 1, 2009

News from Western Quaker Newsletters
May 1, 2009

Beyond the Monthly Meeting/Churches
Friends in Alaska Yearly Meeting combat the spiritual darkness of suicide. A 17-year-old Yupik Eskimo teen once attempted suicide himself. God has enabled him to express his spiritual journey in a testimony that has captivated both young and old. He has brought a message of hope to youth at Anchorage Friends Church, Kotzebue Friends Church and in addition he has brought his message to six villages.
The former Regional Director of the American Friends Service Committee’s Pacific Mountain Region, Alan Lessik, is now AFSC Assistant General Secretary for Goal Leadership. While this is a national position, he will be working out of the San Francisco office.
Laura Magnani has been appointed Interim Regional Director of the AFSC’s Pacific Mountain Region. She is a member of Berkeley Meeting.
Continuing Committee of Arizona Half-Yearly Meeting has recommended that the Meeting change its format to a Fall retreat weekend at Emmanuel Pines Camp in Prescott and a spring gathering in Phoenix or Tucson for a one-day meeting for worship for business and focus meetings for particular committees.
Christian Friends Conference of Northern California will meet Saturday, June 27th at Berkeley Friends Church.
College Park Quarterly Meeting will gather May 15-17 with the theme, “Care for Younger Friends.” Special guest will be Emily Stewart, Friends General Conference Youth Ministries Coordinator.
Evangelical Friends Church Southwest will sponsor the C.W. Perry Memorial Golf Tournament on June 1st. to raise the resources needed to plant new churches in the Southwest, and memorialize the life of Senior Pastor C.W. Perry, who not only loved golf, but loved the cause of starting new churches.
Friends General Conference has sent a request to Pacific Yearling Meeting asking PYM to host FGC in 2013.
Friends House Retirement Community in Santa Rosa, California is celebrating 25 years on April 24-26 with a trip down memory lane with a panel of founders and original employees, a hors d’oeuvre buffet, birthday cake and garden tours.
Intermountain Yearly Meeting will gather June 8-14 at Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu, New Mexico.
Several members of Newberg (OR) Friends congregations recently attended an immigration forum sponsored by the Mennonite Central Committee and various organizations. One of the results of this forum was the formation of a group committed to pursuing political and legal advocacy, relationship-building and community education, and service to local immigrant communities.
Eighty-two Friends from Newberg (OR) area churches spent Spring Break on a Get Away Give Away mission trip to San Luis, Mexico. They served the local children and built houses for single and widowed mothers and children.
North Pacific Yearly Meeting will gather June 15-19 in Missoula, MT with John Calvi as Friend in Residence.
Northwest Yearly Meeting will hold Yearly Meeting Sessions at George Fox University, Newberg, OR, Sunday July 26-Thursday July 30 with the theme, “We are Witnesses.”. The Outreach Rally will take place Sunday evening, following the Men’s and Women’s Missionary Banquets. Colin Saxton will give the keynote address Monday evening and Bob Adhikary, missionary to Nepal, will speak Tuesday and Wednesday evenings.
Pacific Yearly Meeting will meet July 27-August 1, 2009 at Walker Creek Ranch, Petaluma, CA.
Pacific Yearly Meeting Representative Committee considered, but did not come to unity on, a proposal to hire a Youth Coordinator as a regular employee. The issue will go back to committees and to the Annual Session of PYM. Other issues: The 2008 Annual Session incurred a significant loss. An increase in fees or change in pricing structure is being considered. PYM is having difficulty finding a site in Southern California for the 2010 and 2011 sessions.
The Portland Area Spring Gathering of Northwest Yearly Meeting will be Saturday, May 30th at Clackamas Friends Church.
Southern Idaho Friends churches are hosting a yearly meeting-wide Volleyball Tournament for high school students and youthworkers, May 1-2, at Nampa Christian High Schoo, Nampa, ID.
Utah Friends Fellowship will meet Friday May 1 through Sunday May 3 at Gold Bar Campground outside of Moab, Utah.
Willamette Quarterly Meeting will gather May 1-3 at Sky Camp east of Eugene, OR.

PS. Personal note:

Picture a crowded room full of small children dressing in Native American regalia. Add beloved Elders, family members and interested others. Listen to the drumming; watch the dancing at the Intertribal dances where all ages dance some with intricate footwork, others a simple two-step and others a rhythmic walking. Watch the older children as they display intricate hoop and other dances.
You are at the Children’s Powwow at the Native American Center on the Portland State Campus. It’s both a bedlam of noises and conversation and respectful watching and listening.
My Granddaughter Sophie was there dressed in her latest outfit. (She keeps outgrowing them.)
She and other children from her Native American Preschool participated in dances, happily scrambled for treats in the give-aways, listened when elders described ancient customs, and gave necklaces that they had made to elders. It’s a wonderful experience.
Many of the same children came to Sophie’s birthday party in her new back yard on Sunday afternoon. A warm sun and blue skies greeted children, parents, and extended family. Activities on this day included playing with the swing-set, sand box and just with water; bursting a piƱata, opening presents; eating grilled hot dogs and cake and ice cream; and just visiting with one another.
There was a spiritual element to both of these events. It had to do with the continuity of life within tribal cultures and within families and with growth with small children learning from elders and just being as a part of the continuity of families. I felt the Spirit, God, Great Spirit blessing all.

In Friendship,

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