Metamorphosis – January 2013

Metamorphosis: Newsletter for Bellingham Friends Meeting
December, 2012


Advice and Query:
I don’t know where prayers go,
Or what they do.
Is a prayer a gift, or a petition,
Or does it matter?
The sunflowers blaze, maybe that’s their way,
Maybe the cats are sound asleep. Maybe not.

While I was thinking of this I happened to be standing
Just outside my door, with my notebook open,
Which is the way I begin every morning.
Then a wren in the privet began to sing.
He was positively drenched in enthusiasm,
I don’t know why. And yet, why not.
I wouldn’t persuade you from whatever you believe
Or whatever you don’t. That’s your business.
But I thought, of the wren’s singing, what could this be if it isn’t a prayer?
So I just listened, my pen in the air.

Mary Oliver’s “A Thousands Mornings”



The Kulshan Chorus will be singing at City Hall on MLK, Jr. Day, Monday, January 21, 2013 at noon.

There will be workshops during the previous weekend:

Jan 17-18: Tangled Web Conference on Race, Poverty and Prisons at WWU
Jan.19: Whatcom Human Rights Task Force sponsors the 15th annual Martin Luther King Conference at Whatcom Community College.

Before the 12 noon celebration, there will be a MLK Day breakfast at Bellingham High School at 10 am, followed by a Poverty Action March at 11 am.

Second Hours and Special Events

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
Representative to FCNL, Dorsey Green
Spirit Group meets 7 pm
4 pm Peace Vigil @ Cornwall & Magnolia
Singing Sisters, Women with Wings
4 pm Peace Vigil @ Cornwall & Magnolia
Discussion following potluck re: BFM affiliation with FGC
4 pm Peace Vigil @ Cornwall & Magnolia
7 pm Soup Supper Bidder Seventy
Meeting For Business
Book group meets

“It is all hopeless. Even for a crabby optimist like me. Things couldn’t be worse. Everywhere you turn, our life and marriages and morale and government are falling to pieces. So many friends have broken children. Our planet does not seem long for this world. Repent! Oh well, never mind. I meant: Help. What I wanted my whole life was relief – from pressure, isolation, people’s suffering (including my own, which was mainly mental), and entire political administrations. That is really all I want now….”

So, begins the latest book, HELP THANKS WOW, written by Anne Lamott, known for her perceptive and funny writings about spirituality. Readers of all ages have followed her faith journey through decades of trial and error (sometimes more error than Annie wanted), and in her new book, she has coalesced all she knows about prayer to three essentials: Help, Thanks, and Wow. It is these three prayers – asking for assistance from a higher power, appreciating all that we have and all that is good, and feeling awe at the beauty of the world around us – that can get us through the day and can show us the way forward. In Help, Thanks, Wow, Anne Lamott recounts how she came to these insights, explains what they mean to her and how they have helped, and explores how others have embraced these same ideas. Insightful, funny and honest, Help, Thanks, Wow is the everyday faith book that new Lamott readers will love and longtime Lamott fans will cherish.


Eco Suggestion for Pets – Do not use flea collars, as they are toxic to your cat or dog. Rubbing the fur with orange peel may deter fleas. Brush diatomaceous earth into carpet, then vacuum, close the bag tightly and discard in your toter. Use collars made of hemp or other natural fibers, rather than nylon. Cat litter made of organic materials – corn, wheat , pine or recycled newspaper is preferable to clay litter which has to be strip mined. These other materials clump and control odor, too.


Concern of the Month – Our concern of the Month is for Friends Peace Teams en las Americas. They are expanding Alternatives to Violence workshops in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Colombia, which are all places where violence has been widespread.

Speak Truth to Power – Speak Truth to Power: Last year there were two bills introduced that would vitiate the important Lacey Act. The Lacey Act ensures that only legally-sourced wood and wood products are imported into the U.S. Please write to Rep. Rick Larsen and ask him to defend the Lacey Act against any attempts to weaken it and allow illegal loggers around the world to operate with impunity.


…AND FINALLY – A continuation of Quaker Testimonies

INTEGRITY: Consistency in Word and Deed

In the AFSC community we are committed to making our words, actions, and beliefs consistent. We “speak truth to power”–and to each other—even when it is difficult and our message may be unpopular. We deal honestly and fairly with colleagues and partners. We take responsibility for our actions and their results. We fulfill our commitments, and we give credit to others for their contributions.

While acting on our deepest beliefs and values, we are also open to new ideas, anew solutions, and new paths. We know that our understanding at any moment is incomplete, at best an approximation of the truth that may be improved by new insights.


Knowing others is to be clever. Knowing yourself is to be enlightened. Overcoming others requires force. Overcoming yourself requires strength. LAO TZU, CHINESE PHILOSOPHER

Wisdom consists in speaking and acting the truth. HERACLITUS, GREEK PHILOOSOPHER

I have long believed that speaking truth is both the simplest way of leading your life and one of the most difficult to achieve. JUDITH AITCHISON, QUAKER AUTHOR


How can I listen with an open mind to others’ experiences? How can I speak my truth so that those who disagree with me can hear it? How well do I bring my inner life and outer life into wholeness?


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: