Metamorphosis – April 2014

Bellingham Friends meet at 10 a.m. on Sundays at Explorations Academy
1701 Ellis Street (Creekside Building), Bellingham
Mailing Address: Box 30144, Bellingham, WA 98229-2144


Clerk:  Susan Richardson
Ministry & Council:  Virginia Herrick
Environmental & Social Concerns:  Judy Hopkinson
Hospitality:  Rob Dillard
Treasurer:  Joanne Cowan
Newsletter:  Betty McMahon
Children:  Sharon Trent

Advice and Query:  #9  from The Little Red Book, Approach old age with courage and hope.  As far as possible, make arrangements for your care in good time so that an undue burden does not fall on others.  Although old age may bring increasing disability and loneliness, it can also bring serenity, detachment and wisdom.  Pray that in your final years you may be enabled to find new ways of receiving and reflecting God’s love.


Schedule of Second Hours:

April 20:  (Singing Sunday prior to worship) Easter celebration with the hiding of eggs by adults and the  searching of eggs by the children.

April 23:  Mary Ann Percy has graciously offered to host a midweek worship at 7 p.m. every second and fourth Wednesday, beginning March 26 at her home.  Please contact Mary Ann for details.

April 27: There will be no second hour due to Quarterly Meeting.

*May 4:  May’s first Sunday potluck will be switched with May’s second Sunday Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business due to Mother’s Day:  Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business

*May 11:  Potluck

May 18:  Personal Leadings and Forms of Witness:  Social and Environmental Concerns

May 25:  Ski to Sea Parade / Memorial Day, therefore, no second hour.

*We have switched these two second hours this month due to Mother’s Day.


Other Events:

Save the date (Friday, May 9th at 5:30 pm) for our potluck dinner celebrating incoming and outgoing clerks.  All are welcome, and please rsvp to the Richardsons’ at 733-5477.

Our recent gatherings of Friendly Lunches were successful and enjoyed by all who attended.  It is a great way to get to know newcomers and also learn new things about people you already know.  Our next Friendly Lunch(es) will be on the fifth Sunday in  August, in place of second hour.  In June, we will collect names of those who would like to host.  The host decides whether the gathering will be a potluck or not and how many may attend.  In July, we will have sign ups for the next event(s).

Snack at rise of Meeting:  We encourage people who sign up to bring snack to keep it simple, especially on Sundays when there is no second hour scheduled.  Feel free to contribute even if you have not signed up.  Planning on 20 attenders is a good guide.

A series of talks given by several speakers from Gaza (who are on tour in the US right now) have been scheduled.  Two events set up on April 16th in Bellingham are:

4:00pm – an open presentation hosted by Shirley Osterhaus on the WWU campus at Academic West 304

6:30pm – a community presentation at the Majestic Ballroom, in Bellingham, 1027 N Forest Street

This tour involves three writers who contributed to the book “Gaza Writes Back” which was published by Just World Books, a publishing company run by Helen Cobban, a member of Baltimore Yearly Meeting.  The book is a collection of short, fictional stories written by young writers in Gaza. The individuals on the tour are Refaat Alareer (the books editor), Yousef Aljamal, and Rawan Yaghi.  More information on the book is available here: and an interview conducted with the authors on the tour and one of their colleagues is here: .


Bellingham Friends Meeting Finance Committee

Statement regarding donations, April 2014

The following is our response to the question raised at the last Meeting for Worship for Business regarding recommended donations:  First, our assessment for North Pacific Yearly Meeting for 2014 is based on 39 persons active in the Meeting. Within this group 28 “paying units,” households or individuals, made donations by check in 2013.  Of these, 20 “units” contributed over $200 in 2013, and were sent the IRS-required donation report by our Treasurer.  Our best response to the question is to divide our budgeted amount for contributions by the number of contributors, thus $14,366 / 28 = $513 per year.  Actual donations vary widely for many reasons, but Bellingham Friends Meeting will cover its budgeted expenses if 28 contributors donate an average of $513 each for the year. This is just over $40 per month.


2014 May News from Ben Lomond Quaker Center:

There are some surprises to be found that could make Friends “radicals” in their meeting.  Join us from May 30th – June 1st for Quakers:  Getting Beyond the What to the Why, with Robert Griswold. Friends can get under the “feel good” level of “Quakerism” if they take a peek into the history, theology and psychology of our faith. What is present or absent in our meetings that keeps us from being a covenant community? Be prepared to look at and question ideas and ideals you have absorbed and to learn about the process by which beliefs are formed and how they are overcome.  Find out more and register online at

Quaker Center Summer Youth Camps will once again be directed by Stephen Myers, with help from Anna Lisa Chacon for Quaker and Service Camps and from Mary Klein and Jim Summers for Peace Action Camp.  For more information visit or call Bob or Kathy Runyan at Quaker Center at 831-336-8333 with questions.

* June 22nd – 29th:  Quaker Camp for rising 4th, 5th, or 6th graders to explore Quaker testimonies experientially.  Activities include:  community building games, swimming, hiking around Quaker Center, campfires, music, community service, and a field trip to the beach.

* June 22nd – 29th:  Service Camp for teens entering 7th, 8th, or 9th grade to serve others while building community.  We will be of service in Santa Cruz County and go on hikes in the area.  We’ll also take field trips to a local Friend’s pool and to the beach.

* July 27th – August 2nd:  Peace Action Camp in Carson City, Nevada at the McCleary Ranch for rising 10th – 12th grade teens.  They will explore Gandhian constructive program and sustainable, low-impact living as they relate to Friends’ testimonies around peace, justice and environmental stewardship with inward and outward nonviolence, community service, and outdoor adventure.

Do you feel like you’re missing out on all the fun of summer camp?  All ages are welcome to our annual Family Work Camp from August 3rd-8th.  Join us for a week of putting our hands and hearts to work on improvements to Quaker Center facilities while building community among us.  Please register early for all Quaker Center programs online,


A Short History of Ben Lomond Quaker Center by John deValcourt from Western Friend, March/April 2014

     Quakers have been accounting for our lives and thoughts since George Fox and Margaret Fell wrote their Journals and Letters in the 1600s.  We are famous for our journals, letters, minutes, pamphlets, articles, books, and all manner of other records.  We are our History:  What we have written permits our witness to stand in the Light.

John deValcourt’s new book, A Short History of the Early Years of Ben Lomond Quaker Center, is a compelling contribution to the library of Quaker publications.  It is an accurate rendering of how Quaker Center evolved in Ben Lomond, California.  The story is a dramatic one, marked by mystery, suspense, bold actions, and painful compromises.  The history of Quaker Center follows a crooked line.

DeValcourt presents the specifics of Quaker Center’s history accurately.  He also offers insights into Quaker life on the West Coast of North America.  Most imporantly, perhaps, he provides a critical examination of what faithful institution-building requires – through this critical examination of one example.

First, there was a gift of a substantial piece of property.  Time went by; buildings and activities were layered onto the property.  As it happened, practically none of these were built at the initiative of the gift recipient, but by a lessee.  More time went by, and the gift-recipient actually gave second thought to the correctness of having accepted the gift in the first place.  More time went by, and the representative of the original property owner began to show an interest in initiating their own activities, even in building their own buildings.  Still more time, and naturally enough, certain stresses arose among the various interested parties; some festered.  Meanwhile, the value of the property increased, and interest in what was going on at Quaker Center widened considerable.

At the culmination of this formative phase, a whole range of parties had an active interest in Quaker Center:  the original owner (the Markley Family), the national regional offices of American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), the Ben Lomond Committee of AFSC, Sequoia Seminar, Palo Alto Friends Meeting, College Park Quarterly Meeting, various ad hoc Quaker groups, AFSC’s Finance, Personnel and Nominating Committees, and Santa Cruz Friends Meeting.  These groups weren’t all on the same page – not even at the same table.

Through time, and at critical intervals, astute individual Quakers stepped in to calm the waters, to enlarge the conversation, to untangle knots, to name the facts that needed to be faced, to lend practical support, and to help build a sound foundation – both legal and ethical – for Ben Lomond Quaker Center.  In short, these individuals were heroes.  They ensured that there would be an affirming and lasting resolution to all the concerns, confusions, and even animosities that had characterized so much of Quaker Center’s history to that point.

Is this book exciting?  You bet!  I have my own long history with Ben Lomond Quaker Center and could hardly find the book anything but exciting.  (I knew many of the people involved in this history, including the author, and have conduted many workshops and other events at Quaker Center).  I am sure that other Friends will likewise find this book satisfying to read.  Its author was the Center’s first director.  He knows Quaker Center’s history well.  He tells that history with the authority – and the affection – of one who has “been there.”


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