WESTERN QUAKER NEWSLETTERS
DECEMBER 2009-JANUARY 2010
News of Friends Meetings and Churches
Marge Abbot will lead a series on Quaker history and practice at Multnomah Meeting (Portland, OR) on three Sundays in February. Topics include: Quakers Over Time; Listening For The Still, Small Voice –in Meeting For Worship & In The Conduct Of Business; and Engaging With The World –Friends’ Witness –Equality, Peace, Truth, Simplicity, & Care for The Earth.
Finance Committee of Multnomah Meeting (Portland, OR) requests that new activities proposed for the Meeting which require expenditure of money, go first to an appropriate committee (Peace and Social Concerns, Social, etc.) before they are sent to Finance Committee.
Multnomah Meeting (Portland, OR) is considering making a donation to the City of Portland is lieu of property taxes.
The food ministry at New Life Friends (Vancouver, WA) recently picked up 10,000 pounds of food from the annual Walk and Knock. Last month the volunteers served 2,700 people a meal; they hand out groceries to 250 to 350 families every Friday;. and run a soup kitchen four days a week. New Life Friends cares for “the least of these.”
The Finance Committee of Orange County Meeting (Santa Ana, CA) is looking for ideas from Friends to help raise money for the Meeting’s philanthropic budget. People have suggested holding a rummage sale, a service auction, a bake sale, and a talent show. Friends may have other ideas about how they might raise the funds needed to help make a difference in the lives of others.
Palo Alto Meeting (CA) has decided that its newsletter will be posted on its new website. Therefore, they will no longer print full Directory corrections in the newsletter, only the names of those whose information has changed.
March 19 -21 Palo Alto Meeting (CA) has scheduled a middle school retreat which
will be open to neighboring meetings.
A Friend applied for membership at Redwood Forest Meeting (Santa Rosa, CA). He noted that he cannot say that he is an absolute pacifist because he does not know what he would do in every possible situation… Another Friend expressed her core tenets: “…to me there is that of God in everyone. Our faith also demands that we love God. So when we love God, we should love our fellows. If we kill, we kill something of God. Therefore, whatever the reason, there can be no justification in taking other life.” Oversight organized a focused and worshipful discussion on the meaning of Peace to Quakers. The two Friends issued a joint statement: “In our different ways, we see and value how each of us seeks and works for Peace. We respect and value each other’s points of view and differing understandings of Quaker values.” The Meeting approved the Friend’s membership.
Rose Drive Friends Church (Yorba Linda, CA) is offering Health classes for the new year: Matter of Balance, Healthier Living with Chronic Conditions, Aqua Exercises (warm weather or indoor), and Effective Living with Hearing Impairment. Each class is 6-8 weeks in length.
Rose Drive Friends Church (Yorba Linda, CA) will sponsor Financial Peace University, a biblically-based video discussion series with Dave Ramsey that will help Friends learn how to beat debt, build savings, and give like never before. Imagine what the people of God could do for the Kingdom of God if they lived by God's money principles.
Friends at Sacramento Meeting (CA) will participate in a Journal Review as a time to reflect upon the year past and prepare for the new year. Friends who do not journal are welcome to create their own style of review. Friends will gather with their journals from the past year and together, in silence, will re-read their year -- quietly reflecting, present to one’s own "on-going revelation" or movement of the Holy. What difference has this year made? What gifts want to come forward into 2010? .
John Helding from FGC is coming to Sacramento Meeting (CA) to lead a Quaker Quest Training Workshop on Sunday, January 17th. Everyone from the meeting is invited – attendance is required for Core Team, Speakers, and Facilitators. Lunch will be provided.
Salt Lake Meeting (UT) learned that the format adopted by Religious Education is working reasonably well. Older youth are now separated from the young kids and participate in a more age-appropriate program. Finding a space for the older children is still being explored.
San Francisco Meeting (CA) is going through the process of establishing a Food Pantry for homeless people at the Meeting House.
San Jose Meeting (CA) has been notified that it will be receiving a bequest from the estate of Betty Bates, for which the Meeting is grateful. As far as they know, there was no request that the money be spent in any particular way. Members and attenders are asked to take a moment to reflect and to let the Meeting know how they think the money might be spent.
Santa Cruz Meeting (CA) is considering the issue of flowers on the table during worship. If Friends feel that flowers are important they are to team with a member of Ministry and Oversight to provide flowers. This will be like a “flower potluck.”
The Library Committee of Santa Fe Meeting (NM) will sponsor the Meeting's First Quaker Talent Show on Saturday 27th. Friends are asked if they sing, dance, write, play the ukulele, or impersonate Barack Obama?
Santa Fe Friends (NM) agree to incorporate and to adopt the December 20, 2009 draft of
the bylaws with the changes noted during the discussion regarding the purpose of the corporation, membership in the corporation, and the wording of Bylaw 13. The Meeting acknowledges the need to deal with the issues concerning Olive Rush's bequest identified during the discussion.
Santa Monica Meeting (CA) will hold Adult Education Sessions, using the worship sharing format, on “Constructing our Discernment of God Together.” Friends will focus on how Quakers learn together to be open to the Divine. They will explore the face of the Divine in its many different guises.
Amy Watson is the new youth minister at Sherwood Friends Church (OR).
South Seattle Preparative Meeting (WA) will hold another brief teacher orientation. This ten-fifteen minute meeting will give potential teachers the basics of how First Day School is run. (Here's the quick summary: curriculum is provided, the Friend team-teaches with another adult, and is encouraged to sign up for two consecutive Sundays so the kids have more consistency.)
The Community and Spiritual Life Committee of South Seattle Preparative Meeting (WA) has been thinking of ways to help the Meeting grow spiritually, and help individuals in their search for a better understanding of themselves, the world and the nature of God.
A. Spiritual Sharing Group: An opportunity to deepen one’s spiritual journey through personal reflection and dialogue with others, with the possible use of Parker Palmer's Circle of Trust model.
B. Spiritual Reading and Discussion Group: Quaker and other religious writings will spark discussion and exploration of spirituality and deepening of spiritual lives, beginning with Patricia Loring's Spiritual Listening.
Tempe Meeting (AZ) will hold a retreat Jan 22-23 at the Tempe Meeting House. The guest speaker, Lucy Duncan of Friends General Conference, will lead on the topic of telling spiritual stories and the technique of deep listening to the stories of others.
Friends at Tempe Meeting (AZ) are organizing a monthly sewing gathering where Friends will bring their own projects or join another’s.
Gathering on Life, the Universe, and Quakers will be held at University Meeting (Seattle, WA) on January 24. Friends are invited to a worshipful sharing of thoughts on scientific understandings of the 14 billion year history of the universe (Deep Time) and the evolutionary development of life (the Tree of Life). How does new knowledge which has been acquired in the last half century about the universe and life affect our view of ourselves as Quakers? Does this knowledge affect our experience of the divine in our lives?
Queries from the Year of Discernment from University Meeting (Seattle, WA):
Is thinking differently about our existing work seen as a means to an end, or as an end in itself? Does Meeting still see the ultimate goal of the process as a shift back to thinking in terms of “doing different work” (and if so, what)?
For ongoing discernment related to our current ministries: What has life? What should we lay down? How are we supporting our individual and corporate ministries?
How does prophetic witness fit with the four essentials we identified in the meeting (worship, community, stewardship, and service)?
What is our understanding of discernment now and how should we continue the work after the Year of Discernment?
In doing outreach, Vancouver Meeting (BC) was reminded behavior in meeting needs to be conducive to encouraging newcomers to return. Quaker Quest Committee and Ministry and Counsel could brainstorm together to implement additional changes to ensure meeting is welcoming and supportive of newcomers. Meeting approves undertaking the Quaker Quest and the committee going forward with the proposal outlined in its report.
Shan Cretin, Pacific Southwest Regional Director of the American Friends Service Committee, will speak Wednesday, January 13, at First Friends Whittier (CA). Shan will present an overview of AFSC’s international and domestic work and program details.
The youth groups of First Friends Whittier (CA) gathered to cook, stir, dip and mold the ingredients necessary to make tootsie rolls, divinity, caramel turtles, fudge, peanut butter balls and cups for the Christmas dinner candy sale. The proceeds, $852, were divided between the Heifer Project International and the Youth Travel Fund.
The Wyoming Friends Meeting gathering is to be held in Jackson January 22-24.
Agate Passage Meeting (Poulsbo, WA) hosted a Breaking Bread and Barriers potluck with the goal of raising awareness in the community about immigration policies pertaining to undocumented workers.
A Friend is donating $2,000 to Bellingham Meeting (WA) for the purpose of enabling Meeting participants to attend the Friends General Conference Annual Gathering of Friends in the future, as she herself had done for the first time earlier this year. She also indicated that she would be very likely to donate additional money for the same purpose in subsequent years. Friends are considering that an ad hoc Committee develop a process by which recipients of grants for this purpose could be recruited, selected, and awarded funds in order to attend the Gathering.
Berkeley Friends Church (CA) will hold its 2010 Quaker Heritage Day on Saturday April 10, 2010. Carol Spencer will speak on Holiness: The Soul of Quakerism.
The Oral History Project of Berkeley Meeting (CA) is looking for a computer-savvy
member or attender to convert its old audio recordings of Oral Histories to CDs, for storing digitally. They have about 21 tapes of elders telling their stories.
Eric Moon and Laura Magnani of Berkeley Meeting (CA) will facilitate an informational session on Quaker decision-making process, what unity is and how the work of committees
helps the Meeting function on Sunday Jan 31.
Ministry and Oversight of Boise Valley Meeting (ID) reviewed the process for becoming a member of Meeting, in response to inquiries. It was noted that a prospective member may request a Clearness Committed to discern one’s readiness for membership without firmly committing oneself to requesting membership.
Camas Friends Church (WA) used the Northwest Yearly Meeting Peace Trunks for the church’s third annual Peace Playhouse for children in the 4th-6th grades. The overall goals were to teach the children peace-making and conflict resolution skills and to send them as peace ambassadors into the community.
Chico Meeting (CA) asks all committee clerks to send electronic versions of their committee reports to the Assistant Clerk who will have electronic copies of the minutes and all attachments available by the day of Business Meeting. The Assistant Clerk is to post a note in the newsletter that the minutes and reports are available upon request by email or postal service.
The Peace, Justice, and the Environment Committee and its Homelessness Subcommittee of Corvallis Meeting (OR) proposes that each member or attender of the Meeting consider hiring, or financing the hiring of, a homeless person for three days a year under the auspices of the Homeless Employment Launching Project (HELP)
At Corvallis Meeting (OR) a person took a copy of the Meeting Directory and has misrepresented himself to several members asking for money. It was suggested that from now on the Directory be handed to people and not left on the public table.
The Discussion Committee of Claremont Meeting (CA) presents Philip Clayton, speaking on Why There is not a Quaker Theology: Exploring Ways that Friends Connect Beliefs and Practices. Philip is a second-generation Quaker and a well-known Christian theologian. How can a person be both? How can Quakers sort out what they do and don’t believe about God and other central religious questions?
Steve Smith of Claremont Meeting (CA) will lead two workshops at Pendle Hill:
February 7-11 – Eastern Light: Buddhist and Quaker Spirituality;
February 12-14 – The Joy of Quaker Communities: Clerking and Working with Spirit.
Davis Meeting (CA) needs a few mugs. Friends are asked to check their cupboards for lonely ones that would enjoy the warmth and conviviality of coffee and tea with me and thee.
Davis Meeting (CA) Friends have been told that if they are planning to serve a treat and a knife will be needed to accomplish this, they should bring one with them. The huge assortment of knives formerly in the Meeting House kitchen have been removed and are being stored off-site until a better storage situation can be arranged. This is for the safety of little children and other visitors.
Davis Meeting (CA) heard a concern from the Interfaith Rotating Winter Shelter (IRWS) organization. Can IRWS accommodate pets? So far, none of the participating congregations have agreed to this. In the next month, one or more of the congregations providing shelter may agree to accept dogs, in which case, Davis Meeting (which serves as the intake site each night) would need to allow dogs during the intake process. The committee suggests that guests be allowed to bring their dogs on to the Meetinghouse grounds but not inside the Meetinghouse.
A Community Building Social Hour hosted by the Peace and Social Concerns Committee will gather on Sunday, January 17th at Eugene Meeting (OR) Friends are invited to share a cup of tea or coffee and a discussion of actions on peace and social concerns.
An Ad Hoc Committee has met several times to discern the ways in which the Spirit is leading Eugene Meeting (OR) to contribute to its communities locally, worldwide and in between. The committee’s recommendation is in two parts: I. a policy proposal and II. a proposed guideline for the Committee on Meeting Donations to Others.
Mike Gray, a member of Fort Collins Meeting (CO), has received a leading to conduct a ministry of work camps among the indigenous people including the Oglala people on Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota and other communities, especially in Mexico, where he has on-going relationships. He has requested Fort Collins Friends Meeting to release him for this ministry. The Meeting believes that Mike Gray has a gift and a calling for leading such work camps, and embraces his ministry under the care of the Meeting. Mike has been in discussion with William Penn House of Washington DC which currently oversees and delivers dozens of work camps annually through Washington Quaker Work Camps.
The Green Plow Ministry Point (Redmond, OR) coffee house is transforming extra space into a meeting room. One exciting possibility is an interactive conversational worship group hosted by several churches.
A group of Honolulu Meeting (HI) Friends met to discuss the issues of attendance
and Friends' participation in First Day School. Like many other Quaker Meetings, the Meeting has an aging membership and few children attending. Friends asked themselves, "Why are we not attracting more new members, and young families?" "What is it about our First Day School program that discourages our existing member families from attending?"
Live Oak Preparative Meeting (Salinas, CA) was recognized as a Monthly Meeting by College Park Quarterly Meeting in October 2009.
Living Waters Ministry (Plummer, ID) recently held a “Spirit Jam” dance and music outreach.
Lower Columbia Worship Group (Seaview, WA) is now meeting every Sunday, at 3 p.m. at the Peninsula Church Center .
Beyond the Monthly Meeting/Churches
The Alaska Friends Conference Ministry and Nurture Committee has been tending a leading to offer a Spiritually Nurturing Retreat, Spring 2010, a weekend residential retreat. The current theme is “Tending the Spiritual Taproot of our Yearly Meeting individually and collectively.” Possible venues are in the Talkeetna area or the Wasilla or Chugiak area.
Arizona Half-Yearly Meeting will hold its Spring gathering March 27, 2010 at the Phoenix Meeting House.
Friends Center at Azusa Pacific is offering a course on Friends Theology, Worship, and Leadership, taught by Kent Walkemeyer, Friends Center Director. firstname.lastname@example.org
Ben Lomond Quaker Center and Western Friend announce their first collaborative program, Rightly-Ordered Financial Management for Friends' Meetings and Organizations. It will take place at Ben Lomond Quaker Center on March 5-7, 2010.
College Park Quarterly Meeting’s one-day Winter Quarter will be on Saturday, January 16, 2010, in Berkeley with the theme, “Cleaning out our Attics. –to find the stored-away records of the history of our Monthly Meetings and Worship Groups, and bring them into the light of day; --to examine the dusty old beliefs and practices hidden away within us; bring them into the Light, and if they are still useful, keep them, otherwise let them go. Do you have the right tools for the spiritual work you are now doing?”
Evangelical Friends Church Southwest will hold Annual Conference and Serve Day:
• Southern California – Representative Session and Equipping Community Dinner, Friday January 29, 2010; Serve Day, Saturday, January 30, 2010.
• Arizona/Nevada – Serve Day and Celebration Banquet, Saturday February 13, 2010.
• Northern California - Serve Day and Celebration Banquet, Saturday February 20, 2010.
Friends are invited to join an Evangelical Friends Mission Vision Tour led by Chuck Mylander to Nepal, India, and Ireland, March 10-29, 2010. email@example.com.
Friends Committee on Washington Public Policy Steering and Legislative Committee will meet on Saturday, January 9, at the Tacoma Friends Meetinghouse.
The second annual Quaker Lobby Day of Friends Committee on Washington Public Policy, which will focus on criminal justice issues, will be held in Olympia on Monday, February 15. Help express Quaker voices in Olympia.
For one week in October George Fox University (Newberg, OR) students were encouraged to live lightly as they observed: Skip a Shower Day, Bring Your Own Mug Day, A Day Unplugged, Ride Your Bike or Walk to School Day, and Eat a Vegetarian Meal Day.
Tempe Meeting will host the Intermountain Yearly Meeting (IMYM) Continuing Committee from January 8th to the 10th.
Intermountain Yearly Meeting (IMYM) will be held June 9-13, 2010, at Ghost Ranch, Abiquiu, NM, with early program days on June 6-9 The theme will be "Quaker Service in the 21st Century."
Neighbors East and West is planning a trip to Iran April-May 2010. N.E.W, a Citizen-Diplomacy Community Education Organization led by Sam and Ruth Neff, is based in Richmond, IN and Whitefish, MT. http://neighborseastandwest.org/
The North Pacific Yearly Meeting Youth Committee asks if Meetings, Worship Groups, or individuals would be able to send a one-time donation (or to add a line item in annual budgets) to support the NPYM Youth Opportunity Fund.
Northwest Yearly Meeting has labeled January as "Peace Month," and has prepared and sent to churches materials that can be used for the peace emphasis. Other Friends are welcome to join with in this peace ministry.
Purpose: We recognize that the communities in NWYM represent a variety of beliefs, practices and education levels regarding the Friends peace testimony. We hope Peace Month will provide each congregation space to begin or continue discussions regarding peace and social justice issues in ways that are helpful to them. Our main goal is to create a safe setting where people in your meeting can openly discuss this issue, no matter where their opinions fall along the belief spectrum. Each meeting is encouraged to host one event each week during January related to the peace testimony.
A delegation from Northwest Yearly Meeting has gone to Bolivia Yearly Meeting’s annual business sessions to celebrate their history of working together and to explore the future of their relationship. The delegation includes Hal Thomas (North Valley), Quentin Nordyke (Newberg), Kevin Nordyke, and Dan Cammack (Tigard).
Northwest Yearly Meeting Midyear Boards, the gathering for all board members and representatives, will be January 29-30.
Youth Challenged to Expand their Worldview (YCEW) of Northwest Yearly Meeting will travel to Aquascalientes, Mexico, June 30-July 19. Information - nwfriends.org/youth.
Friends Men’s Retreats of Northwest Yearly Meeting will be held February 19-21 at Quaker Hill and February 26-28 at Twin Rocks. Information: nwfriends.org/friends-men
The 8th Pacific Northwest Quaker Women’s Theology Conference will take place June 16-20, 2010, at Seabeck Conference Center in Seabeck, Washington. The theme is Walk With Me: Mentors, Elders, and Friends. For more information and to register online, see www.pnwquakerwomen.org.
The Pacific Northwest Quarterly Meeting Silent Retreat will be January 29-31, 2010 at Camp Huston in Gold Bar, Washington.
The Religious Education Committee for Children of Pacific Yearly Meeting will be putting on a workshop day for First Day School teachers, hosted by Palo Alto Meeting.
The Annual Southern California Quarterly Meeting Retreat at Joshua Tree is coming up on Jan 15-18 (Martin Luther King Weekend). Joshua Tree is fun (but occasionally cold) camping in the high desert.
Utah Friends Fellowship Mid Winter Gathering will be in Salt Lake January 16-17. Julia Halaby will present on her work with Compassionate Listening in Palestine.
WESTERN FRIEND MAGAZINE Subscribe today to receive 8 issues jam-packed with articles, art, photos and stories by and about Friends you know. firstname.lastname@example.org
Willamette Quarterly Meeting will gather for its annual business meeting on February 6, 2010 at the Corvallis Meeting House.
The Willamette Quarterly Meeting Men’s Retreat will be February 26-28, at Camp Myrtlewood, near Myrtle Point, OR.