Newsletter of Bellingham Friends Meeting – September 2011
Advices and Queries
Live adventurously. When choices arise, do you take the way that offers the fullest opportunity for the use of your gifts in the service of God and the community? Let your life speak. When decisions have to be made, are you ready to join with others in seeking clearness, asking for God’s guidance and offering counsel to one another? -Red Book
When grilling, use a gas, propane or electric grill rather than charcoal to save forests and avoid pollution. If you must use charcoal, look for a product made from sustainably harvested or scrap wood, or coconut shells.
Speak Truth to Power
Health Care for All Washington recommends asking our Congressional delegates to support the “American Health Security Act” S. 915/H.R. 1200, a single payer bill that is simple, fast and cheaper. Also ask for their support of “state innovation waivers”S.73/H.B.439, the Sanders, Leahy, Walsh bill which permits states to implement their own health plans.
Ask your state legislators in Olympia to support a state memorial to Congress requesting “state innovation waivers”, and ask them to support a hearing in 2012 for the Washington Health Security Trust, HB 1096/SB5609, a single payer bill.
|Fri Sept 23-Sun Sept 25||NW Pacific Quarterly Meeting||Held at Lazy F Ranch in EllensburgMeeting will be held in Bellingham, but no second hour|
|Thurs Sept 29||Midweek Worship 4:30 at the home of Annelise Pysanky||Annelise 734-0664Alice Robb 312-8234|
|Sun Oct 2||*Special Guests for Potluck (A list of ingredients is helpful for those who have food limitations)|
|Thurs Oct 6||Midweek Worship 4:30 at the home of Annelise Pysanky||Annelise 734-0664Alice Robb 312-8234|
|October 9||Meeting for Worship for the Conduct of Business|
|Thurs Oct 13||Midweek Worship 4:30 at the home of Annelise Pysanky||Annelise 734-0664Alice Robb 312-8234|
|Mon Oct 10||Book Group7:00 pm||Founding Mothers by Cokie Roberts (anyone wishing to get a library copy may contact Susan Richardson (733-5477)||Sharon Trent’s home (714-6141)|
For the most current calendar and more look at our website: bellinghamfriends.org
* Did you know that North Pacific Yearly Meeting is revising its Faith and Practice? Theo Mace and Debbie Townsend, visitors from the Discipline Committee of North Pacific Yearly Meeting will visit us during potluck on October 2nd. We will discuss the revision of the Chapter on The Monthly Meeting for our new Faith and Practice.
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, good quality winter coats, hats, gloves and mittens to the worship services this month. Children’s coats are especially needed. Sunday, October 23rd is the last Sunday to bring in items or arrange to get them to our representative, Sharon Trent. 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!
The way it happens:
- Services in October: Congregation members can bring clean, quality coats, hats and mittens for children and adults to worship services. The last Sunday to donate is Sunday, October 23.
- Friday, October 28 from 3:30-4:30 PM or Saturday, October 29 from 9 – 10 AM: A volunteer from your congregation brings coats to the gym of Assumption Catholic Church, 2116 Cornwall Ave. Please pull into the parking lot behind the church in front of the gym.
- Saturday, October 29 from 12:00 PM – 2:00 PM and Sunday, October 30 from 10:30 – 1:30 PM . Coats distributed at Assumption.
FGC 2011 Annual Gathering – Iowa: “Meeting at the Center”
Report by Virginia Herrick, sponsored attender of BFM
This summer, Friends at FGC met not only at the center, but at the edges as well – in some cases, you might even say the fringes! While our unity as Friends was evident everywhere – shared values, shared language, shared acquaintance – so, too, was our diversity. There were at least three gatherings of Pagan Friends, and there was also a week-long workshop on Non-theism, and two public gatherings on non-theistic Quakerism. There were gatherings that focused on theology, politics, spiritual practice, and social issues. There were daily meeting of FLGBTQC (Friends with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual, and Queer Concerns). Jewish Friends held a Shabbat service on Friday evening. Friends of Color gathered daily or held open meetings for Friends concerned with racial diversity and healing. And there were many meetings to hear about the work of Quaker organizations and programs, including Friends Journal, FCNL, Quaker Quest, Center on Conscience and War, QUIT (the Quaker Initiative to end Torture), and QEW.
On top of the diversity of Quaker flavors, there were many opportunities to share other interests. I twice attended a Broadway Singalong, hosted by George Lakey each night of the gathering. There was also a center for healing, where Friends with various types of training offered massage, healing touch treatments, and empathetic listening. There were movement activities that included walking, psycho-calisthenics, Tai Chi, Aikido (by me!), and yoga. Many Friends went on the daily field trips.
And then there were the workshops. We got to choose from a multiplicity of workshops: I think there were more than 50. In choosing, we picked the one thing which would be the anchor of our FGC gathering experience. These workshops were three hours each morning, on a host of different choices. I think most of them had a half-dozen to a dozen members, and there was everything from drama and movement to bicycling to Quaker history to spiritual practices.
Just trying to COMPREHEND all the ways that Quakerism could manifest on this one campus in a six-day period was fairly mind-boggling! But, you know, I kind of expected the boggling. I knew there would be many activities, many people I did not know. Annelise and I were taking the Weaving Community and Welcoming the Soul workshop together, but I knew that I’d be mostly surrounded by strangers. The cafeteria really was a bit overwhelming – lines, lines, lines. Lines for pasta. Lines for main menu choice. Lines for vegan options and lines for salad bar and dessert. Just figuring out which line to stand in first could be challenging! And then the various dining areas! The sea of faces!
It got easier when I realized that you only need to sit down across from someone to begin to discover the new f/Friend who only appeared, at first glance, to be a stranger. One morning I sat down across from some Friends who knew Dave and Judy Hopkinson. Another time I sat with a couple who’d been very active in FCNL. My favorite story of serendipity was after I’d missed the lunch gatherings (two days in a row) of Pagan Friends. The evening after the second of these, at dinnertime I wandered hopefully over toward the table where the gatherings had been set, hoping some penumbra of pagan Quakerism might be lingering. No luck. Discouraged, I sat down at the empty end of a long row table. No one around me looked familiar. I’d barely sat down when I was joined by a couple I’d never yet encountered. Turned out the man is an active Pagan Friend. We had a lively and fascinating chat!
There’s so much more that happens at FGC annual gathering, such as the teens and kids programs. I paced myself as best I could, making sure I had some time each day for movement activities, reading, and journaling. Still, it was exhausting. And one thing I hadn’t thought to worry about, turned out to be the most difficult aspect of the gathering for me. I didn’t realize that in only six days, I could possibly meet so many kind, funny, insightful, warm, and intelligent people – people to whom it would be a grief to say “good-bye.”
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 BellinghamFriends.org
Co-Clerks: Alice Turtle Robb, (312-8234) and Judy Hopkinson (713-816-3009), Ministry and Counsel Members: Alice Turtle Robb (312-8234) Lorina Hall (734-8170) , Mimi Freshley (933-4566), Janine Hart-Horner (676-6029). Childrens Program Clerk, Jessica Bee (393-4249)
Simplicity * Peace * Integrity * Community * Sustainability * Equality