Metamorphosis – September 2013

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



When the animals come to us, asking for help, will we know what they are saying?

When the plants speak to us in their delicate, beautiful language,

Will we be able to answer them?

When the planet herself sings to us in our dreams, will we be able to wake ourselves, and act?


A poem by Gary Lawless, Earth Prayers From Around the World
Upcoming Schedule: 



Sept. 8, 2013 – Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business

Sept. 15, 2013 – Rob Stoops, will lead a Bible Study for second hour. We are looking forward to hearing from Rob as he compares Jesus in the four Gospels.

Sept. 19 , 2013 -The next spirit group will met at the home of Larry Thompson and Joanne Cowan. Please arrive at 7 pm.

Sept. 22, 2013 –Larry Thompson will bring us up to date on the Affordable Care Act and changes in healthcare during our second hour.

Sept. 29, 2013 –Quarterly Meeting and no second hour

October 5, 2013 and October 6, 2013 – “Seeking Right Relationship with Native Americans”

This workshop is designed to (1) raise awareness among non-Native Americans regarding the legacy of the Doctrine of Discovery as it has affected both European colonizers and Indigenous colonized peoples of this continent for over 500 years, and (2) to stimulate reflection, discussion, and appropriate actions toward building “right relationship” with Native Americans today.

Pre-registration required by October 3rd. The workshop will be offered three times. Choose one of the following: Saturday October 5th, 10-noon OR Saturday October 5th, 2-4pm OR Sunday October 6th, 2-4pm. To pre-register, please send name, phone, email, & preferred session to

Cost: $10 or more suggested donation to defray costs

Venue: Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship, 1207 Ellsworth St., Bellingham

Co-sponsored by The Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship’s Native American Connections Committee and

Bellingham Friends Meeting. Facilitated by Paula Palmer of the Boulder Friends Meeting.

“We are seeking volunteers and participants for this event. Please contact Allen Stockbridge or Nan Macy if you are interested in volunteering.”

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

October 14, 2013 – Book Group meets to discuss The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao at the home of Larry and Joanne.
October 20, 2013 – Vocal Ministry: Please send suggestions to Virginia Herrick.
INTERFAITH COALITION’S WINTER COAT DRIVE – Join us for Interfaith Coalition’s annual winter coat drive. This successful program brings warm coats to people in need throughout the county. Please bring clean, gently-used winter coats, hats gloves and mittens to the worship services during the next four weeks. Children’s and men’s large coats are especially needed. Sunday, October 20, is the last Sunday o bring in items. Many people appreciate this program because they don’t have to spend their limited income on a coat or go without one through the winter. Thanks for sharing the warmth!
Joys – Congratulations & thank you to Karen Gilbert’s membership into Bellingham Friends Meeting and Judy Parkinson’s approval as clerk of Social & Environmental Concerns Committee.

Retreat:-  During Meeting for Worship for Business on September 8th, Bellingham Friends
Meeting approved a plan to hold this year's Meeting Retreat on Saturday, November 16th.
The venue will be in Bellingham, possibly at Explorations Academy (using some of the
newly-renovated space downstairs if it's available).  The proposed program is an exploration
 of tools for Meeting Outreach and In-reach, using a workshop outline produced by Friends
General Conference. Program and logistical planning for the Retreat will be done by an ad hoc
Retreat Planning Committee which currently consists of Allen Stockbridge, Joanne Cowan and
Don Goldstein.   We would be happy to be joined by one more Friend if someone else steps
 forward in the next week or so, by September 17th if possible.  If you are interested in
participating in the planning process, please contact Don Goldstein ( or
Allen Stockbridge (, letting us know something about your availability
 for meetings (daytime, evening, weekdays, weekends, etc.) so that we can schedule a first
committee meeting soon.  Thanks, and please note the Retreat date on your calendar whether
 you can help with planning or not.

From Quaker Earthcare Witness –

Dear Friends,

At the friends general conference gathering in Greeley, Colorado, six friends participated every morning in the QEW sponsored, week long search for “deeper relationship with earth.” When the steering

committee approved this adventure, there was a request that the group report back to the QEW community. The participants in the workshop were Mary Coelho, Mary Jo Klingel, Shelley Tanenbaum, Paula Palmer, Mary Gilbert, and Eric Maya Joy. A written account of our time together is in process. Some of the thoughts and experiences arising from the week can be listened to in an interview my Mark Helpsmeet of Northern Spirit Radio with three of the participants. This interview reflects a sense of our time together.

Click on the link “deeper relationship with earth” to go to the interview page. Then click on the “listen to program” link when it appears. The interview should begin. Mark suggests that people respond at the “leave a comment” link on the listen to page. You will then see a box for comments and a “rate this show” drop down menu on which to click. Responding can make this information more broadly circulated, giving QEW more exposure (it’s all actually pretty straight forward).
I’d like to thank all those within QEW, Northern Spirit Radio, and the gathering staff that were so supportive in making the workshop and interview possible.
Sincerely and seeking light with love,
Eric Maya Joy


Bayard Rustin: The Man Who Organized The March On Washington by Cheryl Corley – 8/15/2013


The trailblazing strategist behind the 1963 March on Washington will this year be posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. That’s a long way from the days when civil rights activists counted on Bayard Rustin’s hard work, but tried to push him aside because he was gay. For 60 years, Rustin fought for peace and equal rights — demonstrating, organizing and protesting in the United States and around the world.

‘Strategic Nonviolence’

In the summer of 1963, he was the main organizer of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. On August 28, of the same year, speaker after speaker roused a crowd of 250,000, including the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr., with his seminal “I Have A Dream” speech. Rustin had less than two months to organize what was the largest demonstration the country had ever seen. “As we follow this form of mass action and strategic nonviolence,” he said, “we will not only put pressure on the government, but we will put pressure on other groups which ought by their nature to be allied with us.”

Washington, D.C.’s Congressional Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton was a law student in 1963 and a volunteer for the march. Rustin was her boss. “Bayard was one of a kind, and his talent was so enormous,” she says. “The great achievement of the March on Washington is that Rustin had to work from the ground up,” Norton says. “There had been many marches from the South … but calling people from all over the country to come to Washington, the capital of the United States, was unheard of at that time.”

Speaking Truth To Power

Rustin grew up in West Chester, PA. In college in the 1930s, he joined the Communist Youth League for a few years, attracted by the group’s anti-racist efforts. He later embraced socialism.

He was a gay, black man, tall, with high cheekbones, and a gifted singer. He played a bit part in a Broadway musical alongside Paul Robeson, and Rustin often sang for his audiences as he toured the country, conducting race-relations workshops.

Rustin was considered a master organizer, a political intellectual and a pacifist; he served time in prison for refusing to register for the draft. He created the first Freedom Rides, which challenged segregation on interstate buses. Along with King, Rustin was one of the founders of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

Reconciliation hired Rustin as a youth secretary to conduct workshops and demonstrations against war and segregation. Rustin’s other mentor was A. Philip Randolph, the head of the first predominantly black union, the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters. “What Rustin took away from Randolph, especially, is the recognition that economic issues and racial justice issues are completely intertwined,” says his biographer, John D’Emilio.

In 1953, Rustin’s homosexuality became a public problem after he was found having sex in a parked car with two men. He was arrested on a morals charge. Later, when he was chosen to organize the 1963 march, some civil rights activists objected. In an effort to discredit the march, segregationist Senator Strom Thurmond took to the Senate floor, where he derided Rustin for being a communist, a draft dodger and a homosexual. Ironically, author D’Emilo says, it became a rallying point — for the civil rights leaders. “Because no one could appear to be on the side of Strom Thurmond, he created, unwittingly, an opportunity for Rustin’s sexuality to stop being an issue,” he says.

The march was a success, and at its end, a triumphant Rustin stepped up to the microphone to read the demands that the leaders of the civil rights movement would take to President John F. Kennedy. First on the list: “effective Civil Rights legislation — no compromise, no filibuster — and that it include public accommodations, decent housing, integrated education, [fair employment], and the right to vote.”

Rustin wanted to move the civil rights agenda from protesting to politics and to work within the system — blacks and whites together — to create jobs and other opportunities. His effort fell flat, stymied by a more militant generation and the dominant issue of the times, the Vietnam War. Rustin said, “It has split the civil rights movement down the middle.      Despite his extensive involvement in the civil rights movement, Rustin was content to remain behind the scenes, D’Emilio says. “I think of it as part of the Quaker heritage that he internalized. You don’t push yourself forward,” D’Emilio says. “It doesn’t matter if you don’t get the credit for it. What is important is this notion of speaking truth to power.”


‘A Visionary’

In his later years, Rustin continued to speak out on a variety of fronts, and his personal life also changed: He met Walter Naegle. (Rustin’s surviving partner).  Naegle says that in the final years of his life, Rustin became more involved in gay rights. “He saw this as another challenge, another barrier that had to be broken down — a larger struggle for human rights and for individual freedoms,” Neagle says. Or, as Rustin put it: “The barometer for judging the character of people in regards to human rights is now those who consider themselves gay, homosexual, lesbian. The judgment as to whether you can trust the future, the social advancement, depending on people, will be judged on where they come out on that question.”

Activist Mandy Carter says Rustin was a visionary, understanding the parallels in the civil rights struggle and the gay rights movement. Carter is on the leadership council, The National Black Justice Coalition, an LGBT civil rights group. “For me and for a lot of us who are black, and gay and lesbian, bi, trans, who see ourselves as social justice advocates as well, to have this person — such an amazing role model,” she says. Carter says there was just no one like him, and she is delighted such a key individual in the civil rights movement is now being recognized with the nation’s highest honor.

Rustin died in 1987 in New York. He was 75.

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