Bellingham Friends Meeting

Bellingham Quakers – The Religious Society of Friends

Metamorphosis – June 2014


Bellingham Friends worship at 10 a.m., Sundays at Explorations Academy
1701 Ellis Street (Creekside Building) Bellingham, WA 98225
P.O. Box 30144, Bellingham 98228
(bellinghamfriends.org)

Advices and Queries

Number 10 in the Little Red Book of Yearly Meeting of Britain: Do you come regularly to Meeting for worship even when you are angry, depressed, tired, or spiritually cold? In the silence, do you ask for and accept the prayerful support of others joined with you in worship? Try to find a spiritual wholeness which encompasses suffering as well as thankfulness and joy. Prayer, springing from a deep place in the heart, may bring healing and unity as nothing else can. Let Meeting for worship nourish your whole life.

Calendar

June 01: Potluck Sunday

June 08: Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business

June 10: Book group meets at 7 p.m. at Susan & Allan Richardson’s.

June 11: Mid-week worship at the home of Mary Ann Percy, 7 pm

June 15: Singing Sunday 15 minutes before worship. Second hour will be about theLopez Island Preparative Meeting Joint Oversight Committee.

June 19: Spirit group meets at the home of Sharon Trent at 7 pm.

June 22: Roena Oesting will present her one-woman show, playing Elizabeth Fry, to Bellingham Friends Meeting during 2nd hour (~ 11:15). The Outreach and Welcoming Group is offering this and inviting community members, especially those involved with prison reform, to attend. Guests are welcome.

June 25: Mid-week worship at the home of Mary Ann Percy, 7 p.m.

June 29: Our Personal Leadings, continued, presented by the Social & Environmental Committee

July 6: Potluck & welcome celebration for the memberships of Chip and Kris Gustavson

July 13: M4W4B (second hour) and Interfaith Coalition Our House Open House

Interfaith Coalition of Whatcom County is proud to include Bellingham Friends as one of our 44 members. Our mission is simple: we provide housing, healthcare and hope to our neighbors in need. With the completion this month of Our House, a triplex in Ferndale, up to ten more families each year will have a safe, warm home to help break the sad cycle of homelessness and despair.

Now it’s time to celebrate Our House! You’re invited to a drop-in open house on Sunday, July 13, from 1-3 pm. Please park by the balloons at Ferndale High School or United Church of Ferndale.

Laura DeRose Harker, Executive Director (734-3983)

July 20: ”Inequality for All” Documentary (90 minutes)

July 21: “Go Granny D!” will be presented by Bellingham Friends (Social and Environmental Concerns Committee) together with the League of Women Voters, Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship, Whatcom Peace and Justice Center, and Move to Amend. The presentation begins at 7 pm at the Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship (1207 Ellsworth St.) “You’re never too old to raise a little hell,” proclaimed 90-year-old crusader Granny D in her cross-country trek for election reform. The show recreates this adventure with a nationally touring Off-Broadway actress and her musical accompanist. Admission is free (donation appreciated, suggested $10) with the benefits going to the League of Women Voters and Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship’s Reclaim Democracy Ministry.

July 27: Peace Through Pieces presentation for Patty Federighi, talking about her quilting ministry in Burundi

August 3 – Potluck, Whatcom Falls Park, large shelter. In addition to food, Friends are encouraged to bring their own eating utensils, folding chairs, and tablecloths. We have the space rented from 9:30 to 1:30, to leave plenty of time for setup and cleanup. Meeting for worship will be from 10-11 a.m. We plan to invite Friends we have not seen for a while to join us in a “reunion.” We will likely need child care for this event.

Hospitality:Bringing snack? You may make this a contribution to Meeting or, if you would like to be reimbursed, please write your name and “please reimburse” on your receipt/s and put it in the Donations box. Thank you!
On Speaking — and not Speaking — in Worship   From “Four Doors to Meeting for Worship,” a Pendle Hill pamphlet by William Taber:

“How can … modern ministering Friends … be sure that we are not speaking too often, or too long, or from our own ideas? The most sure way is to make certain that we are speaking out of the special state of consciousness of the Door Within, that multiple meshing when we feel ourselves united both with fellow worshipers and with the Divine. As we become experienced with that state of consciousness, it gradually becomes easier to discern between the many subtle pressures to speak and an authentic Divine urging to be a channel for a message. The traditional signs which accompany a … leading to speak are rapid breathing, rapid beating of the heart and sometimes a trembling … but these physical manifestations are actually a response to the inward motion of the Spirit, which at first may seem very subtle and difficult to discern. In time [we] will come to recognize and rely more and more on the sure, clear knowing characteristic of the inward motion.

“… Some other kinds of ministry … may be more important than spoken ministry. Whereas the spoken ministry must always be limited to a very few people in any meeting for worship … silent ministry is open to everyone in the meeting. I discovered during my renewed apprenticeship in this silent ministry that the inconspicuous, invisible ministry of people who may never speak in meeting is often more important than the spoken ministry! This “invisible ministry” helps the meeting reach that state of consciousness in which minds and hearts and wills are opened and united so that the work of God may go on among us. The faithfulness of such … secret ministry not only feeds and inspires gifted vocal ministry, but it also helps prepare the meeting to be receptive to life-changing ministry when it comes.

“So, those of us who take a vacation from spoken ministry may find that we are drawn into far more secret prayer for others during the meeting than had been true before. Or we may find that we become a silent channel through which unexpected prayer wells up for individuals, for the meeting, for the community, for causes, for nations and world leaders. Or if we have a message for the meeting but lack the inward motion to speak it aloud, then we can spend many minutes silently “praying the message” on behalf of the meeting. … Or we discover how to silently, wordlessly hold the entire meeting up before God, into the healing light of Christ, for many minutes at a time. As we do this, we sometimes forget who is holding whom, and we just rest wordlessly in the amazing Presence. As I worked through this apprenticeship of deeper levels of silent ministry, I came to know what I had merely believed before — that my ministry belonged to the meeting, not to me. I discovered that while the effectiveness of my ministry did depend somewhat on my faithfulness, it depended far more than I had realized on the invisible, hidden faithfulness of people who seldom if ever spoke in meeting.”

 

Did you know?   There is a television dvd about a famous Quaker family, the Cadburys, who built the Cadbury Company – famous for its chocolate? It was produced in 2001 as an hour-long television program for the Biography channel of A&E Network.

In the 1700s, Quakers were excluded from the professions and from any office that fell directly under the Crown. As a result, many Quakers went into business as hard-working exemplars of the Protestant work ethic. One of these was John Cadbury who went into the chocolate business in England. His Quaker values influeced much of his approach to business. For example, he believed chocolate promoted health, and he made sure that his business’ products were of high quality, not the eighteenth century equivalent of junk food. His Quaker values also led him to help the poor. He was particularly concerned with the plight of boys who worked as chimney sweeps, and he worked hard to end this abhorrent child labor practice.

His sons, Richard and George, continued the firm after John’s death. They borrowed a new manufacturing process from Holland that allowed them to make chocolate that was smooth and mild, unlike the bitter product that was common in England then. Another aspect of Cadbury chocolate that distinguished it in the marketplace was its high quality, much better than it’s competitors, one of whom used brick dust as filler in their chocolate.

The Cadburys also produced an innovative new chocolate drink that was a big success. They followed that success by developing milk chocolate bars made with fresh milk. These chocolate bars tasted much better than the competition. (You can sample the modern day descendent of these in Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate bars.) These two innovative products sold like hotcakes.

Quaker values influenced the second generation of Cadbury chocolatiers just as they had their father. Quaker thrift made the Cadburys cautious investors of their profits. The Quaker concern for the poor and belief in the value of learning led George Cadbury to teach reading and writing to the poor on weekends, using his Bible.

Quaker values also led the Cadburys to build a factory and town that were intended to uplift the lives of their workers. Factory workers in the 1800s generally led miserable lives and had to put up with sweatshop working conditions; the Cadburys had a vision for something different. It was a factory with decent working conditions and a town where the workers owned their own houses, each with a garden in the back. They built this factory and town four miles outside the sooty industrial town of Birmingham. They called the town Bourneville, and it was a Quaker utopia for workers. It had health clinics and a swimming pool. The Cadburys encouraged workers to go to night shool, forbade drinking, and sponsored sports teams. Their efforts to provide workers with a better opportunity for a good life resulted in a fiercely loyal workforce. The Cadburys continued these Quaker-inspired, socially responsible business practices; the brothers refused to use their factory to make armaments during World War II.

The unique quality of this chocolate changed when it became a publicly owned company in 1962. Soon after that, it merged with the Schweppes Corporation, and most of its Quaker character disappeared.

This documentary about the Cadbury Company makes it clear that something important, something at one time unique to Quakerism, has been lost. Up until the middle of the twentieth contury, one of the most prominent features of the faith was the Quaker businessperson. Quakers stood apart from other businesspeople because of their simplicity, concern for workers, idealism, disdain for ostentation, and modesty. They were leaders in what would eventually be called socially responsible business; they were scrupulously honest, refused to haggle over the price of goods, opposed oppressive business practices (such as slavery), and refused to work in the arms industry. These Quakers had a huge impact on the way business was conducted throughout the world.

Nowadays, most Quaker businesspeople are practically indistinguishable from any other businesspeople. The Quaker approach to business and the way we integrate our Quakerism into our work lives are topics that are rarely discussed in Meeting. In the humble opinion of this article’s author (Donald W. McCormick, a member of Santa Monica Friends Meeting), every Quaker meeting should obtain a copy of The Cadbury Family: The Sweet Smell of Success, watch it together, and discuss it. Perhaps that will inspire some of us to discuss how we integrate our work lives with our Quakerism and inspire those of us in business to reclaim some of Quakerism’s lost leadership in the world of socially responsible business.

 

What’s happening at other meetings? Welcome, to the Friends New Underground Railroad.

In February, the Ugandan Parliament approved a new law criminalizing homosexuality with sentences up to and including life imprisonment. The law also makes aiding and abetting homosexuality a criminal offense, carrying a sentence of up to seven years in prison.

Since the law was passed, attacks on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people have increased with large numbers of beatings and several murders. There have been many arrests, with few emerging from the jails; lawyers are afraid to take their cases as they might be seen as aiding and abetting homosexuality. This targeted group of people are being evicted summarily from their homes as landlords don’t want to be known as harboring them. University and high school students are being expelled, seminarians dismissed from theological colleges, and people fired from their jobs.

Hospitals and clinics are denying treatment to LGBT, and treatment for those with HIV has been discontinued. Church leaders are calling on parents to turn their own children into the police. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, have gone into hiding as best they can, or are trying to escape the country. A 24-hour Christian radio station, supported with funds from American evangelicals, has been reading the names of known or suspected homosexuals and calling for their castration or sterilization. Most recently, a new law has been introduced in the Uganda Parliament that would make it illegal for any non-governmental organization (such as Amnesty International) to offer aid to LGBT individuals.

Several individuals in Uganda – both gay and straight – independently contacted members of Olympia Friends Meeting, asking for our assistance to help them make it possible for LGBT people under threat to leave Uganda. Some of these individuals are literally running for their lives. Since then, a new underground railroad, in the manner of Quaker practice in the United States prior to the Civil War, has sprung up in Uganda with conductors, unknown to each other, providing avenues by which those at risk can escape to freedom. Several western countries have policies to accept LGBT refugees, provided the necessary paperwork can be completed.

In April 2014, Olympia Friends Meeting adopted the following minute (a minute is a statement to guide policy): Olympia Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends has noted with deep concern the Ugandan Government’s passage of a law targeting the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender population. This law has created a climate where the life, health, and freedom of all LGTB Ugandans and those who help them are at immediate risk. We are appalled at hearing about those who have already been kicked out of their homes, denied basic rights, abandoned, beaten, imprisoned, killed, or who live in constant fear.

Olympia Monthly Meeting has been called to create a New Underground Railroad project to aid these Ugandans who are fleeing their homeland for their lives and safety. We have been given an opportunity to provide direct assistance that will save lives.

In the first few weeks of this effort, we have helped 17 individuals get to safety and freedom. Many others remain at risk and are trying to escape. We call on all Friends, both individually and in their Meetings, Friends’ organizations, and all people of good will to help us in in this effort.

For more information, contact Gabi Clayton, Co-Clerk, Peace and Social Justice Committee, Olympia Monthly Meeting: 360 888-5291; gabi@gabiclayton.com

Send checks to:

Olympia Friends Meeting

3201 Boston Harbor Road NE

Olympia, WA 98506

In less than a month, the Friends New Underground Railroad has assisted 34 individuals leave Uganda and get to a place where they can apply for permanent resettlement. An additional 31 are currently awaiting funds to make their escape. We expect the need will only grow over time, and we require the support of all caring individuals, families, churches, meetings, organizations, and communities. Please help us spread the word!

 

And finally…It is not entirely a bad thing to buy products from factories and fields around the world.”     “Simplicity means knowing something about the companies where I spend the most money.” Read about Simplicity and our Complex Economy in the May/June edition of Western Friend.

Virtually all Friends oppose nuclear bombs. This is, of course, because we have a Peace Testimony. However, not all Friends realize that the world’s great religions are now being challenged to help oppose humanity’s ignorance about nuclear waste. “Nuclear Guardianship requires transmission to future generations of the knowleadge neessary for their self-protection.” Read about Nuclear Waste, One Million Years from Now in the same issue.

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