Metamorphosis: Newsletter for Bellingham Friends Meeting
Query: How do I imagine death, as an ending, a beginning, or both? During times of despair, do I stay present to the feeling of emptiness and wait for God to fill it with new life?
Thursday – June 13, 2013 – Spirit Group meets at the home of Larry & Joanne, 656-5015, at 7 pm.
Sunday – June 16, 2013 – Please come at 9:30 am for Singing Sunday before Meeting for Worship. We will practice the hymns, with the help of Mimi Freshley, to be performed at Doris’ Celebration of Life ceremony later in the same afternoon.
Sunday – June 23, 2013 – Please note CHANGE OF MEETING FOR WORSHIP LOCATION: WE BE MEET AT 10:30 am AT ST. PAUL’S EPISCOPAL CHURCH. The address is 2117 Walnut Street, North Entrance. Please note that worship begins at 10:30 am.
Meeting for Worship on Sunday, July 7, 2013, will also be held at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. It is located at 2117 Walnut Street in Bellingham. We will also meet here two weeks later on July 7, 2013 at 10 am. This is potluck Sunday; please bring finger foods, as the kitchen is not set up for side dishes.
Monday – July 8, 2013 – Book Group meets at the home of Betty McMahon, 734-0244, at 7 pm.
Second Hours: June 16, 2013 – no second hour
June 23, 2013 – Worship Sharing
June 30, 2013 – We will celebrate Jerry Graville’s membership with a potluck. We look forward to this opportunity to get to know Jerry and other attendees from Lopez Island Preparative Meeting. (Please label potluck items accordingly for those Friends who avoid wheat and dairy.)
Doris Ferm’s Celebration of Life Celebration / Memorial Service will take place on Sunday, June 16, 2013 at the First Congregational Church. If you are bringing finger foods, please arrive by 2:40 pm. The event will begin at 3 pm. We are expecting lots of people in attendance, so your donation of finger foods is greatly appreciated. If you are helping to set up, please arrive at 2 pm.
Through all my living
How the wilder lives of Earth
Brought forth my joy,
And taught me how to be myself.
And I, slow learner, at last
Have opened up to that within,
To care for all that breathing,
Growing, feeding, glowing is.
And in the coming dark,
Across the western sky,
May homeward flights of birds
Now guide me toward the light.
July 17-21, 2013 – Call to North Pacific Yearly Meeting Annual Session
George Fox and other Friends will again join us in worship at our Annual Session, July 17-21 2013. Margaret Fell will again provide spiritual nurture and accommodations in the manner of Friends. Our location is Forest Grove, Oregon hosted at Pacific University. This pleasant campus will give succor as we are challenged by the pressures of our material lives and in particular from firearms violence that springs from fear in our community. Online registration: NPYMmyURI=/NPYM_Registration/on npym.orgNPYM
September 27-29, 2013 – Fall Quarterly Meeting, with the theme: Let the Living Waters Flow
Here’s an excerpt from a Friends Journal article written by Jana Llewllyln and Jane Deil.
“Q&A: Rabbi Michael Lerner”
Rabbi Michael Lerner is the rabbi of Beyt Tikkun Synagogue in San Francisco and Berkeley, California. He is also the chair of the interfaith (and atheist-welcoming) Network of Spiritual Progressives (NSP). He is the editor of Tikkun magazine and the author of 11 books, including two national bestsellers: Jewish Renewal and The Left Hand of God: Taking Back our Country from the Religious Right. His most recent work is Embracing Israel/Palestine.
“Your recent book, Embracing Israel/Palestine, is about helping to foster discussion and bring peace to the conflict in the Middle East. How did you decide to take on this topic, and what are some of the risks involved? Have you been surprised by the reception?”
The greatest opportunity, challenge, and–as it turns out–tragedy, of contemporary Judaism arises from Jews “returning to history” with our own state. The tragedy is that this opportunity came to us only as compensation for the monumental trauma created by 1700 years of persecution, which culminated in the mass extermination of a third of the Jewish population during the Holocaust. That trauma, and the failure of most countries of the world to open their gates to Jewish refugees seeking to escape from Nazi-dominated Europe, left an indelible impression on Jewish consciousness. Many believe that non-Jews hate us and will always hate us, that we cannot trust them and can only rely on our own strength, which will be manifested in the State of Israel.
It is Settler Judaism that is winning. In my latest book, I seek to revive the Emancipatory Judaism of Love by telling the story of Israel and the Palestinians from 1880 to the present moment in a way that highlights the legitimate narrative on both sides. I show that both sides have been cruel and insensitive to the other and have co-created the current mess. Plus I show how have great compassion for my people and its trauma, but I also believe that seeing the world through the framework of that trauma, and acting it out in particular on the Palestinian people, has created a tragic paradox. The State of Israel, insisting on its Jewishness, has embraced what I call “Settler Judaism,” rather than the message of compassion summed up by the Torah commandment, “Thou shalt love the Other (the stranger).” This is the central theme of what I call Renewal Judaism or An Emancipatory Judaism of Love. These two interpretations of Judaism are in struggle today, and embracing a Judaism of Love is the best way to end that struggle.
“Friends Journal recently helped sponsor the Heschel-King Festival, of which you were an instrumental part. Can you tell us a little bit about the focus of the festival and explain why you believe that celebrating the lives of Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel and Martin Luther King Jr. helps us tackle some of the challenges of our time?”
Abraham Joshua Heschel, the preeminent American Jewish theologian of the twentieth century and my mentor at the Jewish Theological Seminary, and Martin Luther King Jr. are the two major American prophets whose messages are most instructive for the twenty-first century. King’s message of nonviolence teaches us that the most effective way for an oppressed and relatively powerless group to move forward is to mix any political challenge with a message of compassion toward the oppressor. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech electrified the country precisely because it painted a hopeful picture of reconciliation rather than guilt-tripping and revenge. Heschel’s message was that social action was a form of prayer. When he was asked questions about why a Jewish theologian would march arm-and-arm with Martin Luther King Jr. in Selma, or why he was organizing against the war in Vietnam, he famously answered, “I’m praying with my feet.” Heschel also reminded social change activists that human beings hunger not only for material well-being, but for a connection to the spirit, or what I call “a need for meaning and purpose that transcends the individualism and selfishness ethos of the global capitalist marketplace.” In that spirit, we at the interfaith and atheist-welcoming Network of Spiritual Progressives have called for a new bottom line. Every institution, corporation, government policy, law and behavior should be judged rational or productive not only to the extent that it maximizes money or power (the old bottom line), but, also, to the extent that it maximizes love and caring for others, ethical and ecological sensitivity, and compassion and generosity.
The new bottom line would enhance our capacity to see every other human being as an embodiment of the sacred, as well as enhance our capacity to respond to the world around us with awe, wonder, and radical amazement at the grandeur and mystery of the universe. The NSP is our attempt to build a transforming social change movement in the spirit of King and Heschel.
“The People and Organizations that make an Interfaith Peach-Builders’ Delegation Unique”
Delegation to Israel / Palestine August 10-23, 2013
TRAVEL TO PALESTINE / ISRAEL WITH INTERFAITH PEACE-BUILDERS AND AMERICAN FRIENDS SERVICE COMMITTEE
Interfaith Peace-Builders’ Delegation Program presents alternative images of the Israeli- Palestinian conflict; images that reach deeper and give a more complete picture. Voices of Israelis and Palestinians engaged in nonviolent resistance to an illegal occupation are voices that are not often heard in the Unite States. They express cooperation, healing, caring, hope and possibility.
Learn more about our leaders at www.ifpb.org. Cost: $2,200 includes accommodations, breakfasts and dinners, guides, sustained support upon your return, and more. Not included are domestic and international airfares. Limited financial aid is available for those who need help. For more information contact Interfaith Peace-Builders: email@example.com / 202-244-0821 / www.ifpb.org
Peace – Equality – Integrity – Community – Simplicity – STEWARDSHIP
Care for the Earth and Its Inhabitants
Friends strive to use God’s gifts wisely, with gifts conceived in the broadest of terms. These gifts include our talents and our possessions, as well as our natural environment. Friends believe that such gifts are not ours alone.
To Friends, good stewardship means taking care of what has been given, not just for ourselves, but for the people around us and for future generations as well. Friends strive to use their gifts in accordance with their beliefs.
At AFSC, we strive to use our resources with care to achieve their greatest effect. We spend conservatively, seeking creative and cost-effective pathways and avoiding extravagant expenses.
In the workplace, we are attentive to conserving energy, recycling, and reducing waste. Concern for the ecosystem also leads us to strive to reduce our personal consumption and develop a simple yet adequate lifestyle.
All things are bound together. All things connect. Whatever befalls the earth, befalls also the children of the Earth.
–CHIEF OREN LYONS, NATIVE-AMERICAN FAITHKEEPER
Everyone needs beauty as well as bread, places to play and pray, where nature heals and gives strength to body and soul alike.
-JOHN MUIR, ENVIRONMENTALIST
We are called to assist the Earth to heal her wounds and in the process heal our own—indeed to embrace the whole of creation in all its diversity, beauty and wonder.
–WANGARA MAATHAL, KENYAN ENVIRONMENTAL ACTIVIST
Service is the rent we pay for the privilege of living on this earth. It is the very purpose of life, not something you do in your spare time.
-SHIRLEY CHISHOLM, POLITICIAN AND AUTHOR
How can I better use American Friends Service Committee’s resources wisely, recognizing that these resources were given freely by others to be used in service of peace and justice?
How do I help others—colleagues, program participants, supporters—recognize and use their gifts?
How can I be a better steward of our environment in my consuming and recycling behaviors?