Metamorphosis 2010 November

November 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, (933-4566) and Susan Richardson (733-5477), Ministry and Counsel Members: 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)

Query for November

As we work for peace in the world, are we nourished by peace within ourselves?

(Faith and Practice, page 45)


Nov 28 Circles of Trust – Don Goldstein & Annelise Pysanky
Dec 5 Potluck and Potlatch
Dec 12 M4W4B
Dec 13 Book Group Christmas Party at Betty McMahon’s (734-0244) at 7 pm.
Dec 19 Holiday Program – intergenerational activity
Last chance to give Interfaith contributions to Sharon
Dec 26 No 2nd hour
Jan 2 Potluck
Jan 9 Meeting for Worship for Business
Jan 16 Seeds of Violence Seeds of Hope – Virginia
Jan 23 SPICES – Don & Kirsten
Jan 30 Intergenerational? Other?

Let Don Goldstein know how much money you intend to give the Meeting in 2011. A realistic budget is impossible without some indication of expected income. (Some churches call it a pledge, but that sounds too much like a sworn oath.) Just tell Don your expected donation amount by calling him at 671-1395 or e-mailing him at

Interfaith Holiday Gifts Program
The needs are: diapers, gift certificates for grocery or department stores, passes to movies or the aquatic center, warm hats, scarves and mittens, towels, phone calling cards, children’s books, art supplies, toys, personal hygiene products. If you wish to donate cash, our representative will use it to purchase one or more gift cards (with a personal bias toward the Co-Op and used bookstores.) Any contributions may be given to Sharon Trent (714-6141 or so she can deliver them before the December 20th deadline.

Eco-Suggestion of the Month
The Eco-Suggestion of the Month: Instead of candles with a paraffin-wax base, buy candles made from soy wax, beeswax and essential oils. Paraffin is a byproduct of petroleum refining and contains contaminants such as toluene, benzene, naphthalene and methyl ethyl ketone, all of which enter the air in our houses when the candles are burned. Burning any candle also adds fine particles to the air, but the organic types pose less threat to our health.

Speaking Truth to Power

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates is proposing a few measures to reduce Pentagon spending about $100 billion over 5 years. This will not actually reduce military spending, only decrease the projected increase. It does not actually address the fact that the Pentagon budget, which has more than doubled since 2001, is out of control. The books have not been audited, nor does the Pentagon know how many employees and contractors it has.
Congress people are reluctant to address these issues because of the widespread military contracts across the country, and fear of job losses if these are cancelled. In most cases, however states rely for 95-97% of their economic activity on other industries. Communities can, in fact, thrive on a diverse economic foundation. In Washington, only 2% of the economy depends on the military, while government spending on education, health care or clean energy would create many more jobs. Moreover, our nation’s security depends on these other factors at least as much as it does on military spending.
Please write or call your Congress people with this information and tell them your priorities now, while they are involved in determining the budget for the next fiscal year.

SUSBCRIBE TO WESTERN FRIEND MAGAZINE TODAY! Eight issues a year, jam-packed with articles, art, photos and stories by and about Friends you know. $25 to subscribe through or organize a group subscription through your Meeting: $25 for groups 5-19, $22 for groups of 20+. Request a free sample copy: Ask your Clerk or Lorina Hall for the group subscription form today! Your subscription organizer is Lorina Hall,, 734 8170. Contact her by Jan 10!

Two exciting updates from Earth Quaker Action Team – Allen Stockbridge

1. Check out our first EQAT video…we, along with some other activists, effectively shut down a branch of PNC bank for a day! You can see my dad being led away in handcuffs. 😉 (many thanks to Stephen Dotson for his videography & editing skills)

2. Quakers (and EQAT) have made the Huffington Post! Please check out this
piece by Eileen Flanagan on Quakers and “Right Relationship”

Book Group has been getting book kits from the library. This means that you can read and discuss great books for free! Coming up:

Dec 13 Christmas Party at Betty McMahon’s. Talk about reading you’ve done outside the group and bring a book to exchange.

Jan 10 Bones of the Master by George Crane: true story of a Buddhist Monk’s escape from China

Feb 14 Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows: life and friendship in post-war London and Guernsey

Mar 14 Mountain Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder: true story of Dr. Paul Farmer’s efforts across the globe in the field of public medicine.

April 11 Little Bee by Chris Cleve: novel about a Nigerian girl and British editor, both harrowing and hopeful.

May 9 Border Songs by Jim Lynch: a novel about a dyslexic 6’8” Whatcom County border guard and other interesting characters. This and another Lynch Book, The Highest Tide, are the Whatcom Reads! selections for February. Free presentations will be held at 1:30 and 7:30 on February 24th at the Whatcom Community College.

June 13 Whistling Season by Ivan Doig: a novel set in rural Montana in the early 20th century about education in and out of the one-room schoolhouse.

July 11 Selected Works of TS Spivet by Reif Larsen : the story of a 12-year-old genius cartographer and his travels. It is said to be a combination of Thomas Pynchon, Mark Twain and Little Miss Sunshine.

Meeting for Worship for Business
Minutes – November 14, 2010
Present: Alan Stockberger, Alice Robb, Susan Richardson, Virginia Herrick, Doris Ferm, Joanne Cowan, Kristen, Don Goldstein, Maddy Solenberger, Jessica Bee, Howard Harris, clerk Mimi Freshley and substitute recording clerk Sharon Trent.
Opening worship
Joanne Cowan reported on the Rightly Ordered Financial Management conference, which was held on October 28-31, 2010 at Friends Twin Rocks Camp, Oregon.
The event was sponsored in part by Western Friend and conducted by five presenters from Friends Fiduciary Corporation with support from Philadelphia Yearly Meeting and focused on help for Finance Committee Clerks and Meeting Treasurers. Around thirty Friends attending, from as far away as Maine, Utah and Colorado and many from the Pacific Northwest, representing programmed Friends Churches and unprogrammed meetings.
I attended sessions on talking and communicating about finances, long range planning, budgeting, financial report presentation, the language of money and finances, and fund accounting. Bellingham Meeting employs some recommended practices in our budgeting and reporting and there are some ideas that I will share with our Financial Committee for consideration.
General Overall Thoughts: A Meeting’s financial management is not solely an administrative responsibility of a committee, but the concern of everyone. It is an opportunity for building community and deepening God’s presence in a practical way, as concerns are weighed about how much and to whom to give, followed by monitoring how to pay for those choices. A repeated phrase mentioned was “Spirit infused finances.” I came away with a sense that an approved budget and tracking its development throughout the year can become an ongoing chance to recognize Spirit moving in our lives as money is collected and spent. As financial reports are shared, an opening is presented for a community to join together in celebration and/or problem solving. There is also a chance for seeking Spirit as we examine and evaluate when contributions lag and fail to underwrite our intentions. Financial reporting can be an invitation for greater discernment and involvement of God in our lives.
It is truthful to talk in words like “money” and not euphemistic words like “contributions or funds”. An approved budget is how a Meeting plans to spend its money, which comes from the money of its members. This is an obvious, but unspoken reality—its money. Language is important in truth and seeking to balance the dreams and hopes of a Meeting.
Eugene Meeting struggled with deficit accounting for two stressful years, but they turned it around by “spirit-infused finances.” This involved more communication about personal and meeting finances and how to fund spiritual leadings.
It is important to labor over our policy before creating designated or restricted funds, noting the definitions:
• Designated funds: a place to put funds for particular things. The meeting approves this fund, but can change the purpose for these funds.
• Restricted funds: donor-designated and limited. Legal action is required to use these funds otherwise.
1) Full Scale Engagement: In long range planning it has been identified that if there isn’t unity among Friends in major decision making implementation and movement forward is difficult.
2) Vision must be Fitted with Resources regarding long range planning and budgets.

3) Regarding bequests and Fund Designation: It was strongly suggested that a Meeting wrestle with its policy before a bequest presentation. Also recommended establishing Designated (Meeting determined) vs. Restricted (donor defined and limited) funds.

4) Budgets reflect both dreams and hopes. Ask, is a budget realistic? What does it reflect when expenses intended exceed money given? These thoughts and the queries presented at the end of my talk came from Eugene Meeting’s work after struggling with a deficit for three years in a row. They turned around their thinking and approach.


• What is the measure of our worth? Are we mindful and Spirit-led in our relationship to time, talent, skills, money and other resources?

• Are our decisions about money consistent with Friends’ testimonies of integrity, equality, social order, [peace, right sharing of resources, and care for the earth? Do we buy, sell, save and trade in good conscience?

• How do we embrace the grace of giving to transform the fear of lack of money into faith? How do we open our hearts to the ever-presence abundance surrounding us?

• How does the fear of loss of possessions and financial security affect our connection to community? How do we create opportunities to minister to those in need?

Ministry & Counsel – Susan. Query : As we work for peace in the world, are we nourished by peace within ourselves? (F&P p. 45)
Budget request same as last year.
Nov 21 SPICES – Howard Harris and Allen Stockbridge
Nov 28 Circles of Trust – Don Goldstein & Annelise Pysanky
Dec 5 Potluck and Potlatch
Dec 12 M4W4B
Dec 19 Holiday Program – intergenerational activity
Dec 26 No 2nd hour
Jan 2 Potluck
Jan 9 M4W4B
Jan 16 Seeds of Violence Seeds of Hope – Virginia
Jan 23 SPICES – Don & Kirsten
Jan 30 Intergenerational? Other?
Carpool for Margie – WTA will resume Sunday service, but the start date is yet unknown. Please consider bringing her to Meeting. If you can’t take her home there is usually someone who can return her.
Action Item: Creating a standing Outreach Sub-Committee. Ad hoc committee has been active and positive. They would report to M&C, have one member from M&C. The subcommittee would be in communication with the Treasurer, coordinate with the Communications Committee. This subcommittee wishes to be referred to as the Outreach and Welcoming Group in the outside world, but function as a Subcommittee. Consists of: Alan, Don, Virginia, Joanne and Howard. Others are encouraged to be added to the distribution list so they can be informed of meetings and activities and participate as they feel moved. Approved.
Judy Hopkinson’s nomination to Nominating Committee has been approved.

Bellingham Friends Meeting Treasurer’s Report, 11/14/2010

As of November 8th, we have a current-year actual operating deficit of a little over $2,430. I am expecting additional contributions to our operating fund before the end of the year in the amount of roughly $1730. I also expect income for Western Friend subscriptions (which will partially balance funds we paid out for Western Friend subscriptions early this year) in the amount of about $225. I am expecting additional obligatory operating expenses this year in the amount of roughly $970.

Therefore, if the are no further discretionary expenses (i.e., donations out) this year, I predict that we will end the year with a deficit of:

$2430.00 (current deficit)
+970.00 (additional expenses)
-1955.00 (additional income)
$1445.00 This is approximate because it’s based partly on estimates.

Budgeted donations out which have not yet been made total $695, of which $300 was for the Whatcom Peace & Justice Center, $100 for Friends World Committee for Consultation, and the remaining $295 consisted of individual contributions ranging from $20 to $75 for Western Washington Fellowship of Reconciliation, Washington State Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, Si a la Vida, Whatcom Human Rights Task Force, Whatcom Land Trust, and the Fair Trade Alliance.

The Finance Committee has discussed our situation at some length and brings you the following two recommendations:

1. That no additional donations out be paid for this year unless additional income (beyond the $1955 now expected) is received before the end of the year; and

2. That if additional income is received, priority be given to paying all or part of the remaining $300 budgeted for the Whatcom Peace & Justice Center.

We currently have operating funds (checking plus savings) in the amount of about $1830.

Even without any further discretionary expenditures we will have enough of a deficit for 2010 that this pattern cannot be repeated for even one more year without our finding additional income from some source and/or reallocating a portion of our Meetinghouse Fund to use for operations. Otherwise, budgeted expenses must be reduced, and this is likely to affect significantly our donations to support other organizations.

Finance Committee – Don Goldstein
Projection for this year’s deficit is $1,445. A deficit budget for future years would not be prudent.
Action Items
1. No additional donations will be paid out for this year unless additional income beyond the expected $1,955 is received.
2. If we get donations over the deficit amount, the budgeted $300 for Whatcom Peace and Justice Center would be the top priority. (Note: This could be done with a donation of $10 from 30 people.)
Meeting approved.
The rough draft of the 2011 budget is for educational purposes rather than action. It would require $15,491 in donations. It is not yet at the proposal stage because the sketched 2011 budget would have a deficit of $7,101 given current income expectations. The hope is that 2011 pledges would eliminate that deficit. As Friends further discern their pledged donations and more is known about revenues, the intent is to present a Proposed Budget at the December business Meeting.
Thanks to the Treasurer and Committee for educating us on financial planning.

Narrative to Accompany Proposed 2011 Bellingham Friends Meeting Budget

There has been some reorganization and relabeling within the budget document (next page), as compared with last year. Color is used in the document to indicate this, as follows:

• Red is used to indicate lines (in one case a line item, in others a new category) that are completely new this year.
• Blue is used to indicate that a line has been moved to a different position (usually, into a new category) within the budget.
• Green is used to indicate that a line is (at least partly) named/labeled/described differently from last year. For example, what was previously labeled as “Scholarships” is now “Transfer to Quaker Activity Aid Fund.” (Both to end use of the word “Scholarships”, since the fund primarily assists Meeting participants to attend gatherings and conferences which are at most only partially educational, and also to indicate that this expense is actually an annual transfer from the Operating Fund into a special off-budget from which disbursements are considered and approved by the Ministry & Counsel Committee).
• If a line has been both moved and substantially reworded, then it is partly blue and partly green.

Another change that is very real, but not indicated in color, is to show a zero net budget by moving the additional income, beyond pledges and anticipated interest, that is required to balance the budget into the second line under Operating Income, now labeled as “Additional contributions required”. As additional pledges are received, this amount (currently $7,101 for 2011) will go down as the amount in the first line (“Pledged contributions”) increases. Note that (a) these two lines are combined in the first line for the “2009 Actual” column, since pledged and non-pledged contribution were not separately tracked in 2009; and (b) the amount shown in the second line for the “2010 Estimated Actual” column is my estimate of the total amount of unpledged contributions that will have been received by the end of 2010. Thus, the word “required” really only applies to the “2011 Proposed Budget” column.

The remainder of the budget document from prior years, consisting mostly of notes concerning Meeting’s financial policies and explaining most of the budget line items, is currently undergoing substantial revision and updating. It should be available for email distribution before Meeting for Business in December, but will not be distributed in printed form except upon request.

The operating budget document on the next page is a “what if” first look at the consequences of declining meeting income juxtaposed with meeting expenses that are not declining at nearly a corresponding rate. Committees are asked to take the next month to season how they can responsibly address these facts, and individual members and attenders are asked to season whether they are able to contribute more, or make a pledge if one has not yet been made, so that the budget gap in that second line can become a lot more manageable.

–BFM Treasurer Don Goldstein, 11-11-2010

Each item is explained in the notes kept by Finance Committee, using the reference number in the last column.
2011 Proposed
Budget 2010 Estimated
Actual Explanation
Operating Income
Pledged contributions 8,380 16,008 11,660 10,700 1
Additional contributions required 7,101 —- —- 2,625 2
Interest Income 10 48 40 11 3
TOTAL Operating Income 15,491 16,056 11,700 13,336
Operating Expenses
Finance and Administration
Faith & Practice book 0 3 0 0 34
Insurance 475 475 475 475 4
Quarterly Meeting assessment 60 40 120 57 5
Rent 6,000 5,700 6,000 6000 6
State fees 19 19 19 19 7
Supplies, postage & photocopy 40 53 25 35 8
Transfer to Quaker Activity Aid Fund 200 200 200 200 43
Western Friend 0 0 45 45
Yearly Meeting assessment 1,716 1,518 1,716 1,739 9
TOTAL Finance and Administration 8,310 8,008 8,555
Children’s Program Committee
Childcare 2800 1,743 1,730 1,515 10
Supplies & materials 100 207 100 92 11

Honorarium 0 1,700 2,400 1,600 13
TOTAL Children’s Program Committee 2900 3,650 4,230 3,207
Communications Committee
Advertising 44 40 40 44
Directory 25 30 30 25 15
Newsletter postage & labels 75 116
2 120 70 16
Newsletter printing 220 169 180 215 17
PO Box 62 58 65 62 19
Other/website 30 0 30
30 20
TOTAL Communications Committee 456 413 465
Other Committees / Operations
Friends Earthcare 0 0 0 0 35
Hospitality 225 217 250 145 36
Library 50 0 0 0 37
Ministry & Counsel (operations) 125 0 125 155 38
Gifts 75 120 75 0 39
Other & Suffering 200 0 200 75 40
Outreach & Welcoming 100 — — 0
Special events 300 445 300 380 44
Oversight Committee for Lopez P.M. 110 81 100 110 41
Earthcare Committee Peace & Social Concerns 50 29 50 40 42
TOTAL Other Committees / Operations 1,235 892 1,100 905
Quaker Outreach & Support
AFSC 100 100 100 100 22
FCNL 120 120 120 120 24
FCWPP 100 100

100 125 25
FGC 100 100 100 100 26
Friends Peace Teams 100 100 100 100 27
FWCC 100 100 100 0 28
Interfaith Coalition 100 100 100 100 29
Quaker Earthcare Witness 100 125 100 100 30
Right Sharing of World Resources 100 100 100 100 31
Whatcom Peace & Justice Center 1,200 1,200 1200 900 32
Contributions under $100 370 375 370 75 33
TOTAL Quaker Outreach & Support 2,490
2,520 2,490
Total Operating Expenses 15,491 15,720 16,840 14,688

Net Operating Budget 0 335 -5,140 -1,352 46

Childrens’ Program – Jessica Bee
Jessica reported on the plans for Potlatch and the Holiday program, Thanks to Kristen for taking on the job of teacher organization. Friends are asked to contact Kristen to volunteer. Next meeting: December 1st, 6:30 pm at the home of the Hopkinsons.
Outreach – Allen Stockbridge
Information items:
We are reviewing the guest book to get more detailed information.
Informational materials for visitors are being developed.
We are looking for ways to put out notices in the community about Meeting for Worship
We are investigating possible sponsorship or donation for Bellingham Human Rights Film Festival for the purpose of public awareness of Friends presence in the community.
We are considering hosting monthly films, perhaps in conjunction with the Peace and Justice Center.
If anything is outreach-related please notify outreach and they will coordinate getting information distributed via the communications committee.
Nominating Committee
Action item: Committee job description reviews would be every five years rather than annually. Job descriptions would be given to new members. If there are changes the new description would be sent to all committee members. Meeting Approved.
Kirsten Ebsen has been accepted for seasoning as a member of Hospitality Committee.
Friends’ Earthcare Committee – Doris Ferm
1. The Eco-Suggestion of the Month: Instead of candles with a paraffin-wax base, buy candles made from soy wax, beeswax and essential oils. Paraffin is a byproduct of petroleum refining and contains contaminants such as toluene, benzene, naphthalene and methyl ethyl ketone, all of which enter the air in our houses when the candles are burned. Burning any candle also adds fine particles to the air, but the organic types pose less threat to our health.
2. We are considering a soup supper to report on Living Democracy, and a second hour on economics from Seeds of Violence, Seeds of Hope for late Jan. or Feb.
3. Greg Moschetti, whose excellent review of Bill McKibben’s book Earth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet appears in the Nov. Friends Journal, expresses his perception that Quakers as a corporate body are not in the forefront of efforts to lead the way to McKibben’s hoped-for “soft landing.” He points out that our testimonies of simplicity, right sharing, community and peace position us to lead the way. He asks how many of our homes are energy efficient? How much do we rely on our cars? Do we still buy industrialist food? Clothing made from petrochemicals?
How can we help each other to make these very difficult changes and be the “patterns and examples” George Fox charges us to be? Moschetti suggests that “Bill McKibben is one of those shining stars who can help us to discern the way.”
If you would like to be a part of this effort, come to the next Friends Earthcare Committee meeting Dec. 7, 7:00 pm at Doris’. (756-0621 for directions.)

Peace and Social Concerns – Doris Ferm – No report

Meetinghouse – Allen Stockbridge
Several people visited synagogue on Broadway. They have just begun construction on their new building with no target date. The question of whether to find another rental location was tabled.
Lopez Meeting Oversight Committee – Don Goldstein
Plans for joint retreat in 2011 at Quaker Cove in Anacortes on Sunday, May 22nd. Sunday December 5th members will be traveling to Lopez for Meeting for Worship and discussion on a topic to be selected by Lopez. Don Goldstein’s and Susan Richardson’s membership on the committee expires next year, and Friends are asked to consider joining the committee.
Interfaith Coalition Representative – Sharon Trent
Volunteers for Cold Weather Shelter. All-night or early morning volunteers are needed, women at the women’s shelter and men (and possibly their wives) at the men’s shelter. Currently shelters open when the temperature reaches 25 degrees or there are several days of snow. With more volunteers shelter could be available before it gets that cold.
Friendly visitors are needed to visit shut-ins.
Fixing/moving Ferndale House: Help is needed to make various repairs and to help move a family over Thanksgiving weekend.
Christmas: Congregations are asked to sponsor a family or to give money and gift cards for needs which are not covered by sponsors. Bellingham Friends plan to do the latter.
Member Concerns
Judy Hopkinson reported that North Sound Alliance, which is comprised of civic organizations, nonprofits, churches, unions, uses Quaker process for decision making.
There was a brief silence to mark the rise of Meeting at 1:45.