Metamorphosis – January 2014

Bellingham Friends meet at 10 a.m. on Sundays

 at Explorations Academy

1701 Ellis Street (Creekside Building)


Mailing Address:  Box 30144

Bellingham, WA 98229-2144

Advice and Query:  Worship is our response to an awareness of God. We can worship alone, but when we join with others in expectant waiting we may discover a deeper sense of God’s presence. We seek a gathered stillness in our meetings for worship so that all may feel the power of God’s love drawing us together and leading us. (Number eight in the Little Red Book)


Schedule of Second Hours:

January 05, 2014 – Potluck Sunday; Please bring nonperishable donations for the Food Bank.

January 12, 2014 – M4W4B

January 19, 2014 – State of Society Report

January 26, 2014 – Mindfulness (Buddhism & Quakerism)

February 2, 2014 – Potluck Sunday; Please bring nonperishable donations for the Food Bank.

February 9, 2014 – M4W4B

February 16, 2014 – Presentation by Jen Marlowe, author of I Am Troy Davis.  (Book is available at Village Books.)

February 23, 2014 – Possibilities:  Revisions to North Pacific Yearly Meeting, Faith and Practice with Alice Robb or Worship Sharing/Worship Discussion led by Ministry & Counsel

March 23, 2014 – Outreach & Welcoming Group Inreach / Outreach:  What is it, and how can it enrich our Meeting?

March 30, 2014 –  1st of Friendly Lunches


Interfaith Coalition Seeks Donations for Annual Hope Auction – To everything there is a season, and the season for Interfaith Coalition’s biggest fundraising event of the year is spring.  This is when Interfaith has its eagerly anticipated Hope Auction. This year, the lively event is on Saturday, March 22. You will enjoy an evening of fun and community spirit, and the proceeds will support housing for homeless families and health care for all in need. The evening begins at 5:30 p.m. at the Best Western Lakeway Inn in Bellingham.

Your help is needed to ensure the auction’s success.  Do you have an auction item or service to donate that would raise essential funds to support programs for our neighbors in need? Popular items include a craft or art item, service your business provides, weekend or vacation home, gift certificate, tickets to a concert, or a dinner or theme party.

There are many other possibilities, as well. Simply think of what appeals to you; chances are those same things will appeal to others. Financial contributions and event sponsorships are another option. If you’d like to participate in making the auction a huge success, please contact Interfaith Coalition at 360-734-3983.


Annoucement of Availability of Sponsorship to Attend 2014 FGC Gathering  – Each summer Friends General Conference organizes a six-day Gathering of Friends which is typically attended by 1000-1500 Friends from around the U.S. and Canada.  The gathering includes a variety of morning workshops; shorter presentations concerning Quaker concerns and ongoing programs; opportunties for worship, singing, dance, and movement; much-aclaimed programs for high school-age and younger children; evening plenary sessions featuring speakers and entertainers; and much more. This year’s Gathering of Friends will take place from Sunday, June 29th through Saturday, July 5th on the campus of California University in California, PA, 35 miles south of Pittsburgh. Detailed information about the program can be found online at, and more will be posted there as the opening of registration on April 2nd approaches.

Bellingham Friends Meeting is blessed to have a restricted fund for the purpose of sponsoring one of our participants each year to attend the FGC Gathering and report back to us about their experience there. Preference is given to a Friend who has never attended the Gathering or who has not done so in the last 5 years. A maximum of $1000 is available to reimburse the sponsorship recipient’s Gathering fees and travel expenses, and possibly the fees/expenses of immediate family members who attend with the recipient. This maximum amount may not cover all expenses, so the recipient is encouraged to also request financial aid from FGC.

Our Nominating Committee receives expressions of interest in this sponsorship during January and February each year and then recommends a recipient to Meeting for Business in March, asking for approval the same day so that the recipient can register in early April for the best selection among Gathering workshops. If you are interested in applying for this sponsorship, please contact Nominating Committee member Lorina Hall (, 734-8170) soon. If you have questions about the Gathering or Friends General Conference, please contact our FGC liaison Don Goldstein (, 671-1395).


Bellingham Friends Meeting received the following heartfelt correspondences regarding the passing of Doris Ferm, along with two generous donations. Our treasurer has replied, kindly, to Doris’ daughters.

Dear Friends,

Thank you all for caring for my mother Doris, all through her years in Bellingham. She found a ready home with the Bellingham Meeting.  She shone and thrived among you good-hearted people. You appreciated and supported her in the most important things in her life.

In her final months, you guys took on such a great part of her care, helping her to get along as she recovered from her December surgery. She relied on you for practical support in doing everyday things, things she never wanted to need help with. I suppose she was able to accept your help because she felt so close to you, and she felt so certain of her place and value among you.

The sweet goodbye serenade outside her window was a glorious final gift. She left this world surrounded by your love.  I can’t think how to say thank you enough.

Peg (Margaret H. Ferm)

Dear Friends,

Bellingham Friends Meeting was an extended family, safe base of operations and second home to my mom, Doris Ferm. One of the very great delights to me when she moved here in 2000 was to be able to bring her to Meeting, knowing how she would delight in our community, slipping into it happily, like a fish into a pond.

I was also, of course, very pleased to bring her to the Meeting because I knew how valuable a member she would be. And, she was:  perennial clerk of our variously named Earthcare committees, always active and often clerking PEace and Social Concerns, tabling at the Farmer’s Markey, showing up faithfully every Friday for the peace vigil, and even serving as clerk of Ministry and Counsel once. She was active, effective, and articulate, bringing a lifetime of experience, good humor, and gentle sense to the process of being a Quaker.

During her long recovery from last December’s surgery, right up through her final days, the Meeting was there for her – helping drive her to errands and grocery shopping, bring food, and generally letting her know how loved she was. The final serenade in her backyard a few hours hefore her death, and then the amazing coordination and care in creating a memorial service for her, were the Meeting’s final gifts to her and deeply appreciated by me and my sister. You helped make both her life and her dying rich and full of love.

The loss to our Meeting is palpable, and in the months since her death, you have continued to support me, even as many of you have heen grieving yourselves. I have often thought of the Rufus Jones quote about death:  “Nothing has carried me up into the life of God, or done more to opeon out the infinite meaning of love, than the fact that love can span this break of separation, can pass beyond the visible and hold on right across the chasm. The mystic union has not broken and knows no end.”

In honor of my mother, and in honor of the deep bonds between her and members of the Meeting, I am enclosing a donation to Bellingham Friends Meeting.

Thank you, Friends.

Virginia Herrick


Of Quakers and Cowboys by Nancy Dolphin (Western Friend November / December 2013)

The image of the cowboy was created in Western movies and novels as a hard living, hard drinking gambler who is quick with a gun and lonely for women. Quakers are also viewed in popular culture through erroneous stereotypes and are believed to be extinct, except for their image on the Quaker Oats box.

Two thousand Quakers happened to be in Greely, CO last summer at the time of the Greeley Stampede, which is likely one of the three best rodeos in the United States. The Quakers were in Greely to attend Friends General Conference, and a reporter from the Greeley Tribune contacted us to explore the possibility of writing a story that would compare Quakers and cowboys. That article never was written, but the question was plalnted in my mind:  How do popular images compare with the realities of cowboys and Quakers?  I also began wondering whether these two groups might have something more in common.

The Hollywood image of a cowboy does not match the reality of a rancher friend of mine who rides with the cattle and also serves on the local branch of the Federal Reserve Board. The image does not fit our own “Grandpa” as a young man – an overworked, poorly fed ranch hand and cowboy who ate his lunch every day under a tree near the local one-room schoolhouse, where he spotted his future wife.

The popular image of Quakers, if they are even considered to be alive today, has them living in sheltered communities like the Shakers or wearing the peculiar clothing of the Amish. These images don’t fit a Quaker I know who is the president of a large, state-fufnded college. Nor, do they include the many Quakers who work as international consultants, promoting peaceful communities and economic development.

Once I saw that both these groups encounter common misconceptions about themselves, I started seeing other similarities between Quakers and working cowboys.

Both groups care for the flora and fauna of the earth. Quakers do this through organizations like Quaker Earthcare Witiness. Cowboys rotate their herds between pastures to protect the grasses there, and of course, they care for their animals.  Even in rodeos, stock contractors protect the animals under their care, even though the public is generally uninformed about this.

Truthfulness is a Quaker testimony. A rancher’s handshake agreement is considered binding.

Community is another Quaker testimony. The tradition of rachers working the hay harvest together or going to the ranch of another family to do the work of an ill or injured neighbor is part of the cowboy life.

Simplicity is a third Quaker testimony. When on an extended cattle round-up, cowboys are likely to travel for days with only as much as they can tie on the back of a saddle.

A fourth Quaker testimony that illustrates an important similarity is the Quaker testimony of equality, particiularly of women.  Women as recorded ministers and meeting clerks have a long history among Quakers. Similarly, women have long been essential in assisting cattle and horse round-ups, working from vehicles or horseback.  Many ranches are owned by women, who carry all the responsibilities for planning, staffing and financing.

Finally, both Quakers and cowboys share the quality of tenacity. Both are known for sticking to their principles.  Neither is likely to change their ways in response to the misconception of others.

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