Metamorphosis – October 2013

Metamorphosis is the newsletter for Bellingham Friends Meeting.  We meet at 1701 Ellis Street each Sunday morning.  Silent worship begins at 10 am, followed by refreshments and conversation.

Advices:  (Derived from Little Red Book #13)  When prompted by the Spirit to speak in Meeting for Worship, wait patiently to know that the leading and the time are right, but do not let a sense of your own unworthiness hold you back. Faithfulness and sincerity in speaking, even very briefly, may open the way to fuller ministry from others. Pray that your ministry may arise from deep experience, and trust that words will be given to you.



October 6, 2013 – Potluck Sunday (Please bring nonperishable food donations for the food bank.)

October 13, 2013 – Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business

October 17, 2013 -The next spirit group will meet; please arrive at 7 pm.

October 20, 2013 – Vocal Ministry Worship Discussion led by Virginia Herrick

October 27, 2013 – Bible Q & A with Rob Stoop

November 3, 2013 – Potluck Sunday (Please bring nonperishable food donations for the food bank.)

November 10, 2013 – Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business

November 17, 2013 – Alternative Holiday Market (nonprofit crafts sale at the Church of the Assumption on Cornwall; Lopez celebration of Karen Gilbert’s new membership.


Retreat:  This year’s Bellingham Friends Meeting Retreat will take place on Saturday, November 23rd instead of November 16th.  Our Meeting was offered a remarkable opportunity to have Steve Matchett come and do a short version of his FGC workshop on Friends and the Bible.  Steve is going to be in Seattle in November visiting his parents and agreed to come up November 22 and 23 for a potluck meal Friday, followed by a day-long workshop on Saturday.  The venue will still be in Bellingham, at Explorations Academy (using some of the newly-renovated space downstairs, if it’s available).

Pacific Northwest Quarterly Meeting’s Silent Retreat is scheduled for January 24-January 26 of next year at Camp Huston in Gold Bar, WA.  Registration deadline is January 13, 2014.  Interested Friends can contact any member of M&C for registration materials.


Guided by Quaker principles, values and testimonies, Friends Fiduciary provides prudent, cost-effective management of financial assets for Friends organizations.  Join Friends Fiduciary for a review of the third quarter 2013 investment performance for the Consolidated Fund.  Richard Kent, CFA, Chief Investment officer, will report on performance and discuss the economic outlook.  In addition, Rich will give a brief overview of the Short Term Investment Fund.  For more information call us at 215-241-7272, or email us at

Bellingham Friends are invited to join Susan and Allan Richardson, Judy Hopkinson, Sharon Trent, and Don Goldstein in traveling to Lopez Island on Sunday, November 17th in order to join Karen Gilbert and Lopez Friends in celebrating Karen’s new membership in the Religious Society of Friends via BFM.  Don will be coordinating logistics for the trip.  We will leave Bellingham at around 6:30 am that morning, using as few cars as possible for the number of Friends involved, and drive to Anacortes in time to walk aboard the 7:35 am sailing for Orcas Island (there is no direct sailing to Lopez in the early morning).  We will stay on the ferry at Orcas while it unloads and then loads cars and passengers for a westbound trip to Lopez with a stop at Shaw Island, arriving Lopez at 9:35 am.  We will be met there by Lopez Friends who will take us to the meeting location for worship, social time, and a potluck lunch with special celebration of the new membership.  We will head back on the 1:35 ferry from Lopez directly to Anacortes and then drive back to Bellingham, arriving around 3:30 pm.

Since welcoming new members is part of our Meeting business, BFM will pay for walk-on ferry tickets and other travel costs for this occasion.  If you’re interested in joining us, please send a message to Don at with the subject “Lopez trip”.  (Don is away until November 12th, so you probably won’t receive a reply until then.)

–Don Goldstein, Clerk of Lopez Preparative Meeting Oversight Committee


Here is a review taken from Friends Journal, September 2013:

Kindred Spirits:  A Collection by Carrie Newcomer

“The Speed of Soul” is the one new song in this collection, and, in characteristic Newcomer fashion, she begins with the case of someone often forgotten, perhaps a runaway or a woman pushed to the margins by poverty or domestic violence.  Then, in the next verse, we are in Newcomer’s own kitchen, relating to her desire to “do just one thing at a time” as a change from our multi-tasking lives.  Next, on to drone warfare.  If that seems like a huge span to cover in a single song, it is.  But Newcomer ties it together, showing that we are not so different, even from those we may demonize.  In this case, we are all suffering from the same modern illness of traveling faster than our souls.  Unless we stop and wait for them and gather up the rest of our fellow soul-outrunning people to slow down and remember our humanity, we will be left somehow empty.

The rest of the songs are from albums spanning 21 years of Newcomer’s career.  They represent not simply a most popular list, but also a carefully chosen selection of songs that highlight her ability to deftly mix the “holy ordinary” –as both she and Quaker author Brent Bill call it –with stories of people caught up in some of the biggest social justice issues of our day. Love, loss, suffering, hope and injustice –all are seen through the lens of a quiet spirituality that permeates all parts of life.  In the classic, “Gathering of Spirits,” this quiet spirituality comforts.  In “If Not Now,” it challenges.  In “Breathe In, Breathe Out,” it instructs.  There are more familiar favorites here as well.

This collection speaks powerfully to Newcomer’s belief in the power of words and music, the importance of action, and also her understanding that most people are doing “just about the best they can,” as I’ve heard her say more than once.  There is a kind of gentle ferocity that recognizes both the beauty and the pain while calling us again and again to our better selves.  Perhaps the key to the collection lies in her dedication to “my dad James Newcomer, who taught me that the spiritual journey is a daily adventure, and that, if I pay close attention, wonder is close at hand.”


Also from Friends Journal, September 2013:  Retirement – Arthur M. Larrabee


After seven and a half years of serving as general secretary of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, Arthur M. Larrabee will retire from the position on September 1, 2014.  Larrabee announced his retirement in a letter to the community on March 1, 2013.  “I’ve felt as though the job were made for me,” Larrabee wrote.  “It has invited me to function at the intersection of the spiritual and the temporal dimensions of my life, creating an opportunity for me to use what gifts I may have in these areas.  I have thrived in this place.”

He remains devoted to serving the organization “with undiminished commitment and energy” for the remainder of his term. In choosing his retirement date, Larrabee has been mindful to allow time for a smooth and graceful transition as the thoughtful search for his successor proceeds.  Borrowing Harry Truman’s words, Larrabee stated he’s “looking forward to the promotion” of again being one of the people after serving them for many years; and he’s excited to discover what is in store for him in the next chapter of his life.


Appointment – Drew Smith

Friends Council on Education (FCE) has announced the appointment of a new executive director, Dew Smith, to begin service on July 1, 2014.  A practicing Friend since childhood, and a member of Haddonfield (N.J.) Meeting, Smith has much to offer in taking on the director role at FCE.  His personal experience with Quaker education includes both the student and the teacher perspectives.  He attended Westtown School as a boarding student, and then went on to Earlham College, where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in history.  Additionally, his graduate studies in educational leadership were completed at the University of Pennsylvania.

Smith comes to FCE from Russell Byers Charter School in Philadelphia where he currently serves as the CEO and principal.  Before this appointment in 2010, he worked at Friends School Mullica Hill for nearly 25 years in a variety of roles including middle school teacher, director of admissions, middle school principal, associate head of school and head of school.

“It is truly an honor to have been chosen to be the next executive director of the Friends Council on Education,” Smith said after being informed of his appointment.  “I believe that the Council and its member schools have much to teach about how best to educate our children.  I am thrilled to be returning to the World of Friends education!”

Smith will work with a transition team over the next year, learning from the current executive director, Irene McHenry, and meeting with FCE constituents and colleagues.  He will formally start in the position on July 1, 2014.


Friends:  Bellingham Friends Meeting is in need of more donations to cover a deficit of $686.00.  With the upcoming expense of $900.00 to pay for our yearly meeting expenses, we encourage your donations now rather than later.  Many thanks.

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