Metamorphosis – February 2013

Advice and Query:


And oh, how sweet and pleasant it is to the truly spiritual eye to see several sorts of believers, several forms of Christians in the school of Christ, every one learning their own lessons, performing their own peculiar service… Isaac Penington, 1659

The test for membership should not be doctrinal agreement, nor adherence to certain testimonies, but evidence of sincere seeking and striving for Truth, together with an understanding of the lines along which Friends are seeking that Truth… World Conference, 1952



Upcoming Schedule

 Sunday – 2/10 

Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business


 Monday – 2/11 

Book Group at Susan & Allan’s 733-5477

     Tuesday Wednesday      Thursday Friday – 2/15 

Silent Vigil

downtown 4 pm.

2/179 am breakfast

Margaret Coahran & NPYM / 2nd hour = Laura Kohl Jonestown survivor: An Insider’s Look


Silent Vigil

downtown 4 pm.

2/24“A Land Twice Promised” video by Noa Baum


3/1Silent Vigil

downtown 4 pm.


Potluck Sunday

3/8Silent Vigil

downtown 4 pm.

3/10Meeting for Business 3/11Book Group meets at 1 pm 3/15Silent Vigil

downtown 4 pm.


More Events:

February 16th – Soup Supper at Doris Ferm’s and “Bidder 70” video – 756-0621

February 24thA Land Twice Promised, a moving film of the exploration of Palestinian and Jewish



March 17th – Introduction into The Significance of the Bible to Quakers, with Howard Harris.

March 24th – Discussion of Affiliation of BFM (Bellingham Friends Meeting) with FGC (Friends General Conference).  Guest will be John Helding.



Even More:


Dear Friends:

We invite you to attend the 14th annual White Privilege Conference (WPC14) to be held this year in Seattle April 10-13, at the Doubletree Inn near the airport. This year’s conference theme is “The Color of Money: Reclaiming Our Humanity.”  We are keeping with Friends’ clear guidance to seek the brightest light in each person and, also, our centuries-old work of challenging racism and inequity.  Please join us in this invigorating, timely, and engaging opportunity to connect with others who share that same path. Through the leadership of Vanessa July, Friends General Conference (FGC) is coordinating Friends’ presence at WPC14.  This includes sponsoring

a hospitality room where opportunities for gathering, discussion and worship will be offered.


FGC has arranged for discounted registration fees. Use this link to pre-register with FGC in order to receive our great discount:





Be open to new light from wherever it may come…taken from “Friends World News”

I pass this sign every day on my way into work in Friends House London.   As I begin in the

role of General Secretary, I take my inspiration from you, the thousands of Quakers across the

world who call yourselves Friends.  It is in your faces and in the examples of your lives that the

Light shines.  As Quakers, we are asked to let God’s love shine through us and to live in possibility.

God calls us to be patterns and examples in our lives, in our actions, in our worship.  Every action,

every kind deed, every thought, every prayer has the potential to shift the balance of an ailing

world to one of healing and love.  Would God ask any less of us?  Would we ask any less of


At the sixth World Conference of Friends, held in April 2012 in Kenya, 850 Friends

gathered from our many traditions, and each of us could say with enthusiasm, “Yes, I am a

Quaker.”  As we heard stories of pain and suffering, we felt it especially keenly since it came

from our fellow Quakers.  We shared their sorrow on a deep and tender level.  Concurrently,

we knew the joy of being spiritually gathered, coming together as a spiritual family, sitting at

the same table and sharing nourishment, feeding one another, talking to the lost cousin,

listening with heart and mind open – the gift of being salt and light in a troubled world.  Our

presence to one another was palpable.

In the book Call to Commitment, Elizabeth O’Connor wrote:

The world may be fearful and anxious and weary, but we are not weighted by that world.  We are

following One who has unfathomable resources and One who makes them available to us and who

says, “You must set new norms for life so that people can see what life can be.”  This is your task. 

Your primary vocation is to enter into covenant relationships with others who have also met this

Christ – to be that new society into which others can be drawn.

            In my travels, upon mention that I am a Quaker, people often express a respect for the

Quaker voice in the world and the ways in which we are committed to peace and justice.  As

Friends, we may worry that we are resting on past accomplishments of Quakers.  It is a legacy

which we can claim honestly, but we are fearful that it causes complacency, or worse yet, might

set us above others.  Yet, from this world view, I see good works before my eyes, every day, all

around the world.  Quakers are alive and well, working hard to bring humanity to light and to

insist on treating people with dignity.  Our vocation – our life work – is to enter into a covenant

relationship with each other, and in all our actions to create our vision for a new society, a

better world in which life can flourish.   For some of us this involves peace work or sharing

the Gospel, for others it means showing appreciation and caring for those in need, for all of us,

it means sharing in the joy of belonging to the Quaker family and making love visible.

I bring enthusiasm and hope for the positive effect !Quakers can have in the world.  I look

forward to listening to what it means to you to be a Quaker and to hear how God is working in

you.  I look forward to discovering new ways for us to share and learn from each other.

In all humility, God keeps working through me.  It appears to be a life-long process to

continue to live into God’s love.  What a challenging and joyful prospect this is – to deepen and

make love visible in the world.  It is as simple as Jesus’ admonition to “love one another,” yet as

complicated as the world in which we live.  I believe it is our life work – for each of us – and

as Quakers to do this.  Would God ask any less of us?  Would we ask any less of ourselves?

Gretchen Castle is Associate Secretary at the World Office.  She succeeded Nancy Irving as General

Secretary on January 1, 2012.

A fourth Quaker testimony is Community:  Living in Fellowship

            While the Quaker faith is founded on the principle that every person can have a direct relationship with God, an equally central tenet lies in the power of the “gathered community.”  When Friends gather in silence to worship, they are collectively seeking the will of God, rather than meditating individually.  Shared worship signifies unity and trust.

The Friends community also provides a place for individual members to look for wisdom and support.  For example, early Friends relied on their community to provide for the families whose bread-winners were imprisoned for their beliefs—and at Quaker weddings today, the union is not formalized by a clergy member but is witnessed and endorsed by every member attending


Without community, there is no liberation.                                            DUDRE LORDE, POET

One’s life has value as long as one attributes value to the life of others, by means of love, friendship, indignation, and compassion.                                                                    SIMONE DE BEAUVOIR, AUTHOR

Alone we can do so little.  Together we can do so much.                      HELEN KELLER, AUTHOR & ACTIVIST


Do I participate fully in making the American Friends Service Committee community a welcoming, respectful, and caring place?

In what ways do I honor the diverse gifts, talents, and resources of the individuals and communities with whom I work?


Bellingham Friends Meeting

Ministry & Counsel Clerk:  Lorina Hall
Social & Environmental Concerns Clerk:  Doris Ferm
Finance & Budget Clerk:  Joanne Cowan
Nominating Committee Clerk:  Virginia Herrick
Children’s Committee Clerk:  Sharon Trent
Meeting Clerk:  Judy Hopkinson
Hospitality Clerk:  Rob Dillard

Metamorphosis is a monthly newsletter.  If you would like some particular information placed in the Metamorphosis, please send it  via email to the newsletter editor Betty McMahon:



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