Metamorphosis 2010 May


May 2010

Meeting for Worship Sundays at 10 AM at Explorations Academy, 1701 Ellis Street, Bellingham

Phone 360-734-0244    Mailing Address  P.O. Box 30144 Bellingham, 98228-2144 Website

Co-Clerks: Mimi Freshley, (922-0004) and Dorrie Jordan (354-3736) , Ministry and Counsel Members:  Doris Ferm (756-0621), Mimi Freshley, Alice Robb (366-6005), Dorrie Jordan and Howard Harris (733-9071),

Childrens Program Clerk, Jessica Bee (393-4249)

Metamorphosis Editor:  Sharon Trent (714-6141)


Do I remember that the purpose of group discernment is not “to make decisions” but to

discover and affirm the truth for the community?  Do I have sufficient trust in the group discernment that

I can accept the group’s decision with equanimity and peace?

From Catherine Whitmore’s Plain Living


Details may be found in the Minutes

Every Wednesday from 4:00 – 4:30, Mid-week worship

Monday, May 10 – Spirit Group, 7 pm Don Goldstein’s Home –

pages 1-101 of John Dominic Crossan’s Jesus: a Revolutionary Biography

Sunday, May 16 – Heron Hatchling watching at Post Point Park (no other 2nd hour, so we can go directly to the site. Care of Meeting: Don Goldstein  Greeter:  Maddie Solenberger

Tuesday, May 18 – Book Group 7 pm at Sharon Trent’s home – Muriel Barbery’s Elegance of the Hedgehog

Saturday, May 22 & Sunday, May 23 – Paul Cienfuegos presenting a workshop on Understanding Corporate Rule

Sunday, May 23 – Intergenerational Singing

Care of Meeting:  Joanne Cowan  Greeter:  Doris.

Sunday, May 30 – no 2nd hour

Sunday, June 6, 9am to 5pm, Meeting Retreat at the Roeder Home, 2600 Sunset Drive

(no meeting at Explorations)

Tuesday, June 8 – End of Life Group, 7 pm at Sharon Trent’s home

Sunday, June 13 – Meeting for Worship for Business

Sunday, June 20 – Potluck to celebrate John Helding’s membership.  John will present the SPICES program.  Care of Meeting:  Sharon Trent

Sunday, June 27 – Worship sharing/discussion of what arose at the Meeting Retreat

July 4-12 Friends General Conference, Bowling Green Ohio

Sunday, August 1—Annual Picnic at Annelise Pysanky’s home

Sunday, August 8 – Meeting for Worship for Business

Eco suggestion of the month

Green America ( says, “The greenest thing you can do is not to buy any new thing at all. Buy used items or barter for items and services.” Check out the Fourth Corner Exchange here in Bellingham at


Lopez Island Preparative Meeting is under the care of Bellingham Friends Meeting.  In order to help Bellingham Friends get to know more about these Friends, a copy of the LIPM Minutes from their Meeting for Worship for Business on April 18th is available for your perusal on the Friends literature table.  Here is an item extracted from those minutes:


Friends Peace Teams Linda Ellsworth emailed our group about a Guatemalan woman, sponsored by a Friends Peace Teams, who may be available to visit us in late June/early July, and has offered to coordinate the visit.  We agreed we are interested and would like to both keep it simple and open it up to our community in some way.  Perhaps we might co-sponsor with Grace Church and meet in their Fellowship Hall.  Timing is an issue since Linda suggested a date around the Independence Day weekend.  Ron agreed to contact Linda and coordinate with her about possible dates and Iris offered to be of support to Ron.


–From BFM Members of Lopez Oversight Committee: Susan Richardson, Don Goldstein, and Sharon Trent


Draft Minutes for Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business – May 02, 2010

Clerk:  Mimi Freshley

Co-clerk:  Susan Richardson

Recording Clerk:  Betty McMahon

Present:  Howard Harris, Joanne Cowan, Tom Hall, Jessica Bee, Judy Hopkinson; Jane Campbell, Virginia Herrick, Sharon Trent, Doris Ferm, Alice Robb, John Hatten, Maddie Solenberger, Dorrie Jordan, Allen Stockbridge

Our Meeting for Business began with opening silence.

Our History – Howard Harris Shared an article from the current edition of Friends Journal:  In early Pennsylvania, 1691, William Penn was given land from the king (of England) for those escaping religious persecution who wished to settle in North America.  This land was also purchased from the Indians, who by the way were not so happy about this arrangement, although they were treated quite nicely by the Quakers, which was unusual for the times.  The Amish arrived from Germany and settled in Germantown, PA.  In 1684, The Amish passed a resolution against slavery.  It took another 92 years before Quakers gave up their slaves. (John Woolman had voiced his feelings against slavery, but the Pennsylvania Friends Meeting didn’t agree with him.)  Howard stated that he hopes there will be a time when people view all wars in a similar vein as slavery is viewed today.

Our Future – Regarding the building, it was suggested that a couple of signs, reading, “Quiet Zone 10:00-11:00 a.m. ” be placed at both entrances to the school.  We’re excited to see the kitchen remodel; let’s pay attention to quiet while preparing coffee, etc.  On the same topic, please be aware of your conversations while in the hallway, prior to Meeting for Worship.  The opposite of The Golden Rule was suggested: Instead of “Do onto others as you would do onto yourself,” consider “Don’t do to the group what you would not like done to yourself.”

Agenda Review The agenda was amended and approved.

Minutes Approval – A correction was made regarding the Friends Earthcare Committee Report last month.  The next meeting date should have read April 27 instead of May 27.

Committee Reports

Ministry & Counsel – Alice Robb

Ministry and Counsel Committee wishes wish to minute thanks to Doris Ferm for her wonderful clerking of Ministry and Council.  We have appreciated the spirit of worship she brought to our committee meetings.

May’s Query — from Plain Living by Catherine Whitmore

Do I remember that the purpose of group discernment is not “to make decisions” but to discover and affirm the truth for the community?  Do I have sufficient trust in the group discernment that I can accept the group’s decision with equanimity and peace?

Retreat:  Sunday, June 6, 9am to 5pm, at the Roeder Home, 2600 Sunset Dr.

A flyer will be circulating soon.  We will begin at 9:15 am with worship sharing about our vision for our Meeting to be followed by Meeting for Worship at 11 am.  Potluck will follow worship, and in the afternoon we will continue to share about our vision for our meeting with a focus on what kind of meeting space will best fit our long term needs.

Clerks’ Supper – Friday, May 7, we will gather at 6:00.  RSVP to Mimi Freshley would be appreciated.   3403 Bay Rd, Ferndale (Exit 260 from I-5)

In keeping with the theme of our upcoming retreat of envisioning the future, the theme of our supper will be:  “Where we have been and where are we going?”  We hope to spend some time getting to know each other a bit more.  Feel free to bring a potluck dish from an area where you’ve lived (Mimi is going to make Cincinnati chili) or bring a photo or story – whatever works! There will also be some discussion about how things are going in committees and within our meeting for business process. Please feel free to bring questions and concerns.

2nd Hour Schedule

May 02 – M4W4B

May 09 – Potluck

May 16 – Heron Birding (no other 2nd hour, so we can go directly to the site)

May 23 – Singing or Intergenerational

May 30 – no 2nd hour

June 06 – Retreat (no meeting at Explorations)

June 13 – M4W4B

June 20 – Potluck for John Helding’s membership; SPICES program

June 27 – open

M&C recommends that BFM accept Annelise’s offer to host our August picnic at her home.

We discussed BFM’s relationships with other/larger Quaker organizations:
Quarterly Meeting
– Many Bellingham Friends attended the 2010 Quarterly Meeting, and they reported having a good time.

NPYM Annual Session – This will take place in Missoula on Wednesday, July 14 through Sunday, July 18.  Registrations are available online at, and Alice also has brought several hard copies.  Financial aid is available through NPYM.  The process for requesting that assistance is to make your need known to BFM’s Ministry and Counsel committee.  M&C will consult with Finance Committee and the treasurer to assess whether/how much BFM might be able to assist, financially, and then pass on to the NPYM Registrar our recommendation that the rest be granted by NPYM.  NPYM has a fairly large fund available for this purpose and encourages all Friends to consider attending Annual Session no matter what their financial situation.

FWCC Youth Pilgrimage – We have had correspondence from Bill Schroder-Ehli asking for some help with the FWCC Youth Pilgrimage, the dates of which overlap NPYM’s Annual Session in Missoula.  Originally, Bill was asking if we could transport young people from Seattle to Quaker Cove, on Fidalgo Island.  Last month we realized that our meeting is not really geographically handy for this task, and that we would contact Bill to let him know some Bellingham Friends who might like to come for a potluck on the final weekend of their gathering.

Other Items:

Lopez Island Preparative Meeting – Bellingham Friends Don Goldstein, Susan Richardson, Sharon Trent and Alice Robb will be visiting Lopez Friends on Sunday May 23.  Their second hour that day will concern their status as a Preparative Meeting.

SPICES Program – John Helding (from Lopez Island) will be at BFM Meeting on June 20 and will talk about the SPICES program.  He will also lead a sample exercise so that we can consider whether we would like to go forward with the complete program in the fall.

Quaker Quest – Some Friends (Don Goldstein, Dave Hopkinson) have been learning about the Quaker Quest Program and suggest it might be a good thing in which BFM can participate.  At this time, M&C feels that we have plenty going on, and that this would be a good thing to keep in mind for a future year.

We discussed some of the activities of our Meeting that happen other than on Sundays, and how we might support and encourage these groups:

End of Life group – has now met twice in the new incarnation and seems set to continue.  Next meeting will be June 8 at Sharon Trent’s.  M&C would like someone in the group to be a contact person for new people who may wish to learn about attending.  (Doris has volunteered.)

Spirit Study Group has been going on for quite awhile now.  M&C would like someone in the group to be a contact person for new people who may wish to learn about attending. (Although Don Goldstein was not present to accept this, it was suggested that he has already taken on this task.)

Book group has also been going on for several years.  Susan Richardson is the contact person for the group and obtains the book kits from the library.

Wednesday Worship has been going on for a couple of months.  It meets Wednesdays at 4 pm at the Circle of Life office (103 E Holly, Suite 408).  Worship lasts for 30 minutes.  Alice Robb is the contact person since this is her workday office.

Nominating Committee – Virginia Herrick

1.  Updating job descriptions: I am in the process of sending the most recent job descriptions on file to the committee clerks and other Friends holding Meeting jobs.  Please, as you receive these job descriptions, look over them (with your committee, if you’re a committee clerk), make any changes, and either (if the changes are minor wording changes) return to me with a “date revised” on it; or, if the changes are substantive, bring the new job description to M4W4B for approval.

2.  Children’s Program Committee changes. Committee clerk Julie Batten has resigned from the committee.  Sherri Kneeskern also left the committee some time ago, but that still leaves five members on the committee, so we did not move right away to nominate a new member.  Now, however, the committee will need a new clerk and/or new member, with current members moving into clerk and co-clerk positions. With Julie’s resignation, the committee has currently four members: Jessica Bee, co-clerk; Adrienne Solenberger, Coordinator; Kelly Wyckoff; and Dave Hopkinson.  The committee meets once monthly, at a regular time (7 p.m., third Thursdays?) at the Hopkinson’s home and is open to all interested Friends.

Nominating Committee will be holding this matter in the Light and welcomes input from Friends who feel led to join Children’s Program Committee, or to recommend another Friend for consideration.

3.  Sign-up Sheet. The committee has been asked to take a look at the sign-up sheet as a way of getting Meeting jobs filled, and we are in the process of doing so, but have not reached any conclusions at this time.  After studying the sheet, we decided to forward the question to M&C (which oversees the Care of Meeting and Second Hour roles) and Hospitality (which oversees the Key Person and Snacks jobs).

In addition: It is requested that job descriptions include a statement about reporting “regularly” to Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business – and to define what “regularly” means to your committee, and also, a statement about contributing to the annual State of Society Report in writing.

Treasurer’s/Finance Report – Joanne Cowan

There have still been no donations-out made to Friends organizations for 2010, and there is also a significant bill in hand, not yet paid, for the second half of our 2009-2010 NPYM assessment, in the amount of $858.00.  The fee for the retreat at the Roeder Home has already been paid.

BELLINGHAM FRIENDS MEETING Treasurer’s Report (Cash Flow 4/1/2010 – 4/30/2010)

Category                                     Amount


Contributions to Meeting: Operating Fund (Pledged)   885.00

Contributions to Meeting: Operating Fund (Unpledged) 187.45

Contributions to Meeting: M4W4B lunch                20.00

Contributions to Meeting House Fund                  50.00

Contributions for FCWPP                             100.00

Contribution for April Cause of Month (FOR/Colombia) 70.00


TOTAL INFLOWS                                     1,312.45


Administration – Total                             -503.91

Rent: Explorations Academy                -500.00

Photocopy: QM registration packets           3.91

Children’s Program Committee – Total               -295.76

Childcare                                 -95.76

Honorarium for February                   -200.00

Communications Committee – Total                    -94.66

Advertising: Friends Journal listing       -44.00

Newsletter postage                         -33.85

Newsletter printing                        -16.81

Donations Out – Total                              -195.00

FCWPP                                     -125.00

Colombia F.O.R. (2/10 COM)                 -70.00

Hospitality Committee                               -10.26

M4W4B lunch reimbursement                  -10.26

Special Events                                     -300.00

Rental of Roeder House for 6/6/10 retreat -300.00


TOTAL OUTFLOWS                                   -1,399.59


OVERALL TOTAL                                       -87.14

Retreat – Susan Richardson

We will have worship sharing:  What’s important to us as a Meeting?  How do we see our future?  There will be no decisions made but rather a listening to each other.  There will be a potluck meal.  Susan will check the dimensions of the bathrooms and children’s room, and it is hoped that parents of small children will be relieved for part of the time to attend our worship sharing. There is a flyer in progress about the retreat that will be sent to Friends.  Your attendance is strongly encouraged.

Friends Earthcare Committee – Doris Ferm

1.  ECO-SUGGESTION OF THE MONTH:  Green America ( says, “The greenest thing you can do is not to buy any new thing at all. Buy used items or barter for items and services.” Check out the Fourth Corner Exchange here in Bellingham at

2.  Upcoming Outings: May 8 John Horner leads an Audubon Society walk to Point Whitehorn; May 16 second hour or post-second hour visit to the heronry at Post Point to see young Great Blue Herons on their nests.

3.  Discussions:

a.  John Horner reported on an Earth Day assignment he gave his class, to figure out their carbon footprints. Results showed the need for 3 to 7 Earths to support similar lifestyles for everyone on Earth. A few parents objected strongly to the lesson, insisting that no changes in lifestyle are necessary.  Have you done your carbon footprint?

b. Doris and Judy reported on Transition Whatcom’s Great Unleashing. Ask them for details.

c.  Brainstorming on our mission and activities led to a suggestion to explore a quarterly event such as a joint soup supper/movie/discussion with Peace and Social Concerns Committee. The American Experience:  “Earth Days,” a documentary profiling some of the key players who carried on the challenge of the first Earth Day in 1970, is suggested for the first event.

4.  Our mission statement is being revised and updated.

5.  Next meeting is on Tuesday, June 1, 7:00 pm at Doris Ferms’.

FCWPP – Tom Hall

A.  Legislative

1.  Overall, a difficult year because of fiscal constraints on legislature.

(Recent loss of our legislative advocate, Carol Estes)

2. Quaker Lobby Day – 40 Friends attended, visiting offices of 15 legislative districts.

3. Sentencing Reform – there was no legislative action but contact with legislative offices was   made.


a.  Establish sentencing review board.

b.  Reduce sentence lengths.

c.  Expand earned release.

d.  For juveniles, end the sentence for life without parole.

e.  All three-strikers go to under indeterminate sentence review board.

f.  Reform the Three-Strikes Law

4. Drug Reform

a.  Decriminalize marijuana (this failed four to three in committee).

b.  Replace War on Drugs with Regulation and a public health model (this was defeated five to two in committee).

5.  Economic Justice Health Care

a.  Restore money for general assistance unemployable – Success!  Restored!

b. Suspend I-960 (a two-thirds majority to raise taxes – Success!  Suspended.

c.  Income tax – no hearing, but is some individual legislators’ support.   New funding through an income tax.

d.  FCWPP – Economic Justice Working Group

i.  Oppose 1033

ii.  Support Expiration of I960

iii.  Support adequate money for GAU and Basic Health Plan

iv.  Work for a new state program funding (for example, an income tax of 5% on each Individual who earns over $200,000).

6. Other Activities

a.  Voting Rights for prisoners and executives:  Law passed in 2009 had misleading language.  Talks to continue.

b.  Support (Friend of the Court brief) There is a pro-Ninth District Appeals Court ruling that felons cannot be denied the vote while in prison.

c.  Restorative Justice – Jefferson County Sheriff training and a model program to start (?).

d.  Post-Secondary Education for Prisoners.  Carol Estes’ founded program at Monroe received a grant to proceed to a full program!
e. In Progress
i.  Search for new legislative advocate
ii. Tell like-minded groups about job opening.

Meetinghouse – Dorrie Jordan
The ad hoc Meetinghouse committee has met and discussed some changes in the lease following recommendations discussed at business meeting.  We plan to meet with Daniel on May 18th.  Schedules have been difficult to coordinate.

Renovations to the school commons are underway.  New chairs have already been appreciated.

(Thank you was expressed to Daniel regarding the new chairs and kitchen remodel.  Please give Dorrie your comments to be passed along to the site liaison.  She prefers to contact Daniel with a weekly email, and does not wish to lump numerous requests into one contact.  Thank you was expressed to John Hatten, previous Meetinghouse liaison.  A floor plan [was suggested] to be kept with the clipboard regarding how to leave the worship room the way it is found.)

Interfaith – Sharon Trent
Volunteers are needed to visit the elderly in their homes.  Call the Interfaith Coalition Office and ask to sign up for a brief training.

Lopez – Susan Richardson
South Seattle Meeting shared their process of becoming a Meeting with Lopez Preparatory Group.  On May 23, Susan Richardson, Alice Robb, Don Goldstein and Sharon Trent will be attending Lopez’s second hour.  Let one of these Friends know if you are interested in attending.

Closing Thoughts

Tom Hall told us about a study group/workshop that will be taking place during Saturday, May 22 thru Sunday May 23.  The presenter is Paul Cienfuegos, and the topic of the workshop is, “Ways of Preventing Corporation Constitutional Courts from Trumping the Rights of People.” Please see the information that follows:

Paul Cienfuegos will be coming to Bellingham on May 22nd-23rd to lead another workshop: Understanding Corporate Rule (his level 1 workshop).

Understanding Corporate Rule
Saturday, May 22nd: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Sunday, May 23rd: 10:30 AM – 5:30 PM
Location: WWU, Viking Union Room 464
Cost: WWU Students $10 — Non-students $25-$100 (sliding scale based on income / honor system)
To REGISTER, contact Cameron at

Join students and community members for two full days of learning how to overcome minority rule and begin governing ourselves. The workshop will guide participants in:
– Critiquing the fundamental shortcomings of how citizens are currently challenging corporations
– Provocative discussions and exercises exploring the root causes and rise of corporate power and takeover of our communities; and
– First steps in creating a true democracy, with a focus on current campaigns and what we can do locally.

For a “taste” of this presentation, go to this website: (for a 30 minute preview).

Our Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business closed at 1:25 p.m.

Respectfully submitted by Betty McMahon, recording clerk.

A human being is part of the whole, called by us “Universe,” a part limited in time and space.  He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest – a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness.  This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us.  Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.

Albert Einstein, 1950