Bellingham Friends Meeting

Bellingham Quakers – The Religious Society of Friends

Metamorphosis – March 2015


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 & Queries: #27 in The Little Red Book – “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?”

Calendar:                                                                                                                                                                                                March 01 – Potluck Sunday with baby welcoming for Akeeva Roe Manzo

March 08 – Children’s Programming with Jay Thatcher and Katherine Spinner

March 15 – Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business

March 22 – Quakerism, Experience It (Susan Richardson to lead discussion, The Testimonies

March 29 – Singing

Other Events:

The Interfaith Coalition Auction is on Saturday, March 28th at 5:30 at the Lakeway Inn and Conference Center. It is a fun event, even more if you attend with friends. The auctioneer is amazing. Some people buy tickets for friends to accompany them (a great gift for a birthday or anniversary.) Tickets are $45 per person. Contact Interfaith (734-3983) to get tickets.                                                                                                                                                      

This Coalition (of nearly all churches in the area) raises most of their money at this event. It supports the Interfaith Clinic, providing medical, dental and mental health care. The Interfaith Coalition has cold-weather shelters for the homeless, collects and distributes coats, and provides housing for homeless families. In other words, it is very deserving of our support.

Ways we can contribute might include:
-an item for auction (hand-made clothing art work are popular.)
-a basket with a theme (chocolate is a popular one)
-cooking a meal at your home, their home, on your yacht, etc.
-sharing your outdoor expertise on an organized hike
-a monthly pie, batch of cookies or homemade bread
-labor done by an an individual or group, doing yard work, washing windows, detailing a car, or ?
-sharing a talent. Don Reinke will donate organ/piano music for a wedding, but if someone wants to play for a party or whatever that would be nice too
-a lesson on knitting or crocheting
-Organizing a child’s birthday party
-Pysanky eggs. Our Meeting has donated one or more baskets/trees every year for many years. Sharon Trent will dye eggs, and invites interested people to call her (714-61410 to set up dates for egg-dying parties. Combined with a coupon for a lesson in how to make them increases their value.

Big items, such as a trip or cruise, are auctioned live and smaller items are put in a silent auction.

March 13th is the very last day for me to deliver items to the Interfaith Office, so please bring the item or a description of the service to me before that date.

“I have always felt led to respond to the needs that I see right around me, yet, ill-equipped to respond. When I found out about the Interfaith Coalition, (a group of 44 faith groups from the area) I wanted to add my drop to this ocean of aid and to facilitate Friends to do the same,” says Friend, Sharon Trent. “We are invited to contribute in many ways, large and small: money, coats, items to be auctioned, house construction, and assisting with cold weather housing. Because of the Interfaith Coalition, our small Meeting can make a significant contribution to those in need.”

Love and Light,                                                                                                                                    Sharon Trent (trent@comcast.com) 714-6141

(While putting last month’s Metamorphosis together, I requested from our recording secretary what ideas she could suggest for upcoming newsletters. I liked her suggestion to begin a series on members of our Meeting’s leadings. In an attempt to build community, I hope to share the interests of our meeting’s Friends. Please feel free to offer your special interest(s): Bettysmokey@hotmail.com.)

Announcements:                                                                                                                                    Spring 2015 Quarterly Meeting

Registration for the Spring 2015 session of Pacific Northwest Quarterly Meeting (PNQM) is now open. The dates are April 24-26, the location is Lazy F Camp and Retreat Center near Ellensburg, and the theme is, Lift Every Voice: Music and Spirituality. To register online, go to pnqm.org and click on the “Register On Line” link near the top of the page. You can download the registration information packet in PDF format, and also a separate document containing the registration forms, in either Word or PDF format, in case you choose to mail in (postally or electronically) your completed registration form.

 

PNQM has a “pay what you can” policy. The information packet includes a page listing suggested fees (the average amounts the Quarterly Meeting needs to receive in order to cover expenses). You can also receive a further discount by registering early, by March 23rd. The final registration deadline is April 12th, after which there is a late registration fee and neither accommodations on site (other than camping space) nor availability of the children’s program for your children can be guaranteed . (If for some reason you need a printed registration packet, there will be a few available at Meeting beginning March 15th.)

 

Wendy Beach and Don Goldstein are pleased to invite you to share the celebration of their marriage on Saturday, April 11, 2015 beginning at 1:00 pm at the First Congregational Church of Bellingham. The church is located at 2401 Cornwall Avenue, Bellingham, WA. We are planning a Quaker wedding under the care of Bellingham Friends Meeting, followed by a reception including circle dancing, contra dancing, and a potluck buffet, for which we invite you to bring food to share if convenient. Cake and drinks will be provided. No gifts, please. The festivities will last until about 4:30 pm. Please R.S.V.P. to let us know how many will be in your party by phoning us at 360-671-1395, or emailing Don at dnx6309@gmail.com. We are looking forward to the pleasure of your company on this happy day.

 

 

Information:

Bellingham Friends Meeting State of Society Report for 2014

Bellingham Friends enjoyed a deepening sense of community in 2014, manifested as vocal ministry; social justice activism; greater participation in events such as second-hour programs and annual retreat; mutual support in times of loss; and, last but not least, increased attendance.

Social actions in 2014 included:                                                                                                             *Co-sponsorship of short plays on prison reform and electoral process reform, as well as the Human Rights Film Festival;

*Support for inspection of rental housing in Bellingham;

*Gathering funds for and maintaining awareness of the work of the Friends New Underground Railroad, a project of Olympia Friends Meeting; and

*Raising funds for a “Concern of the Month” to support organizations that share Friends’ values.

Bellingham Friends last year worked on empowering ourselves to recognize and honor leadings, both collective and individual. This is reflected in our new Social and Environmental Concerns Committee job description, and in the second-hour programs it sponsored on recognizing and following leadings. Simultaneously, we supported each other in such leadings and increased our awareness of opportunities that might speak to them. Friends appreciate this emphasis on social action arising from spiritual callings, and it appears that more Friends are making commitments to individual leadings. Donations to our “Concern of the Month” increased as well.

Two of our eldest active Friends, Tom Hall and Howard Harris, passed away in the latter half of 2014. These losses, combined with the death of Doris Ferm in 2013, left us feeling both a loss of spiritual wisdom and a renewed sense of mutual support and an awareness of the need to carry on their legacies of leadership. We were comforted by opportunities to support family members of these departed Friends and others whose close relatives who died or were gravely ill.

Despite – perhaps partly because of – our recent losses, we feel a renewed sense of energy toward the goal of finding our own meetinghouse. Several of us attended the meetinghouse-warming in Port Townsend during November and were inspired by the way their transition excited new life for that Meeting.

We celebrate an increase in our average attendance, with the mean number of adults attending weekly going from about 20 in 2013 to almost 24.5 in 2014. Several of our relatively new attenders stepped up to make significant contributions to the life of the Meeting. Our children’s program is still small but vital, and blessed by the addition of a newborn to our community last fall. To enrich our growing community, we began a series of adult education programs using the curriculum “Quakerism – Experience It!” developed by Elaine Craudereuff and adapted by Steven Smith.

Our connection with Quaker and other organizations that share our values enhances our sense of community. We continued oversight of Lopez Island Preparative Meeting and enjoyed visits with Lopez Friends. We also again sponsored a Friend to attend the Friends General Conference Gathering, and assisted others to attend NPYM last summer. We also made connections with other organizations and programs that share our values, including Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship, Restorative Community Coalition, League of Women Voters, Center for Spiritual Living, Bellingham Human Rights Film Festival, Death Café, Western Friend, Friends Committee on Washington Public Policy, and the Alternatives to Violence Project. We hope to continue and deepen these associations.

As our relationships with the wider community deepened, so did the vocal ministry offered during meetings for worship and business, coming from a deeply spiritual and centered place. The same tendency was also evident during our enriching annual Meeting Retreat in November, on the theme of “Building Connections.” Ministry and Counsel committee has sponsored second-hour programs and developed guidelines for vocal ministering, in order to nurture that aspect of our Meeting.

Bellingham Friends look to the future with renewed hope, enthusiasm and love for our Beloved Community, even as we continue to ponder the need for our own meeting space and the perennial challenge.

More information: Nine Ways to Connect our Meeting to the Work of American Friends Service Committee:

  1. Share a post from AFSC’s Acting in Faith blog with your meeting or church.
  2. Dial in to our monthly Calls for Spirited Action.
  3. Learn more about the small group justice ministries model and consider adopting it in your meeting/church.
  4. Bring the voices of Quaker youth into the national budget debate.
  5. Connect spirit to social witness in forum using our Introduction to the Quaker Testimonies.                                                                                                                                    
  6. Read Shared Security, a Quaker vision for foreign policy, for Adult Religious Education. Use our resources to spark a discussion about Quaker values in politics.
  7. Bring an AFSC staff member to present at your monthly, quarterly, or yearly meeting or church.                                                                                                                                                
  8. Participate in an AFSC workshop or other AFSC organized program at the FGC Gathering. .
  9. Host the traveling art installation 39 Questions for White People and engage Friends in conversations about undoing racism drawing from posts at Acting in Faith. (Please click on bold/blue words forf a more thorough report on this.)

 

Article:                                 Friendly Water for the World                                                                                  

While in rural south India, I co-facilitated a three-day seminar on Gandhian “Sarvodaya” (welfare of all). Co-facilitated is not quite right; my role was as student “animator,” launching university students in participatory forms, discussions groups, etc. and leading them in cheers of “Turikumwe!” (a Kirundi word I imported from Burundi meaning, We are All Together!)

One of the seminar themes was Land, Water, and People’s Movements. The highlight for me was an uexpected visit from K.V. Biju. Biju helped lead a movement in the Indian state of Kerala among tribal peoples (Plachimada, Kerala) to get rid of a Coca-Cola plant that was poisoning their water. The plant became operational in 2000. The movement was successful in shutting down the plant by 2004, but the damage was already done. The people used to get water from shallow boreholes, no more than 10-15 feet deep, but in their operations, Coca-Cola shot the wastewater (three gallons for every gallon they bottled) back down through the wells, poisoning 64 of them with microbiological contaminants, cadmium, arsenic, and nickel. Additionally, the water was dumped on agricultural fields. Now, the government sends them tanker trucks of heavily chlorinated water (which they hate and occasionally makes them sick). All the water in the entire area is contaminated; no other potable water source has been found, and the agricultural economy is shattered.

An independent commission accessed the damages at more than $40 million, and the state government passed a law to compensate the victims. But the central government, concerned about the “investment climate,” refuses to sanction the payment. So Biju has undertaken a series of indefinite fasts to prod the government into action (he is usually arrested to prevent his death), which would be virtually unique if it was to happen.

Coca-Cola has 16 such plants in India, Pepsico 18, almost all of them much larger than this one. To be fair, there a similar plants owned by Indian companies as well. Biju also wants to explore the use of BioSand Filters (once I explained how they can be modified to take out arsenic, research undertaken by Friendly Water for the World last year. Testing undertaken by our new Program Associate Drissia Ras (Lacey, Washington) for her Master’s Degree in Environmental Sciences proved that we can remove up to 99.6% of arsenic even at levels hundreds of times that found in nature. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T6sPTbM0TzQ (Write us if you would like a copy of the academic paper.)

But more testing would be needed to see if BioSand Filters could adequately address the problem. Meanwhile, five groups in the Madurai, Tamil Nadu area have asked for BioSand Filter training, and we have the space to do it. We could be very, very busy (as if we aren’t already)!

While in south India, I had the opportunity to visit the BioSand Filter fabrication site of the Dhan Foundation (www.dhan.org) in Madurai. Dhan has fabricated and installed some 5,000 BioSand Filters over the past 10 years, with a model that calls for recipients to pay 25% of the cost and outside agencies to subsidize the rest. In followup research, Dhan has found that 80% of families continue to use the Filters two years after installation, and 70% after five years. With continuing education, use can be brought up to 90%. With ongoing outbreaks of cholera (often unreported by physicians to public health officials, who do not “appreciate” such reports), typhoid, and bacterial dysentery, and one of the world’s highest rates of child malnutrition driven by parasitic stress, expansion of BioSand programs is urgently needed in rural India.

Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that we have had four Kenyans (all from areas of western Kenya where Friendly Water for the World has projects) staying in our guesthouse in Gandhigram, three of whom are studying for degrees. Milk from their cow supplies my morning coffee. They speak better Tamil than I do; Swahili too! The fourth, born there, and now seven months old and an Indian citizen, is named “Mahatma Gandhi.” So now I can truly say I’ve held Mahatma Gandhi in my arms.

Mabadiliko ya dunia! (“Change the world!” in Swahili, I think…),

David Albert – Your Friendly Board Chair                                                                                          1717 18th Court NE                                                                                                                               Olympia, WA 98506 U.S.A.                                                                                                                                        360 918-3642 www.friendlywater.net

 

 

“A Brief of the Defense,” by Jack Gilbert.

Sorrow everywhere, slaughter everywhere,                                                                                                                       If babies are not starving someplace, they are starving somewhere else with                                                                   flies in their nostrils.

But we enjoy our lives because that’s what God wants.
Otherwise, the mornings before summer dawn would not be made so fine.                                                               The Bengal tiger would not be fashioned so miraculously well.

The poor women at the fountain are laughing together between                                                                                   the suffering they have known and the awfulness in their future.                                                                                              Smiling and laughing while somebody in the village is very sick,                                                                                           there is laughter everyday in the terrible streets of Calcutta,
and the women laugh in the cages of Bombay.

If we deny our happiness, resist our satisfaction,                                                                                                                 we lessen the importance of their deprivation. We must risk delight.
We can do without pleasure, but not delight, not enjoyment.                                                                                                                                We must have the stubbornness to accept our gladness in the ruthless                                                                                  furnace of this world.

To make injustice the only measure of our attention is to praise the Devil.                                                                                        If the locomotive of the Lord runs us down, we should give thanks that the                                                             end had magnitude.

We must admit there will be music despite everything.
We stand at the prow again of a small ship, anchored late at night,                                                                                                                                         in the tiny port.
Looking over to the sleeping island, the waterfront is three shuttered cafés                                                  and one naked light burning.
To hear the faint sound of oars in the silence, as a rowboat comes slowly out                                                               and then goes back, is truly worth all the years of sorrow that are to come.

This poem was read by Anna Row at last month’s Meeting for Worship.

 

Two Memorial Minutes

Howard Leroy Harris                                                                                                                                               Lifelong Friend and peacemaker Howard Leroy Harris passed away at home in Bellingham, with loving family members around him, on November 6, 2014. He was 97. An ecumenical memorial service on December 13 was hosted by the family and the Bellingham Friends Meeting, of which Howard had been an active attender for more than 40 years, and a member since June 2006. The memorial service was held at the First Congregational Church in Bellingham.

Howard was born October 9, 1917, to Leroy and Leona (Miller) Harris in Hereford, Texas, where his Quaker parents and grandparents were pioneering wheat farmers in the Texas panhandle. When he was two years old they moved back to Iowa. There he grew up on the farm that had been bought by his grandparents in 1887.

In addition to the Center Friends Church his family attended near Newton, Iowa, throughout his childhood, Howard was a member or attender at numerous Friends Meetings, including: Springdale Meeting at Scattergood Friends School in Iowa; Hartford Friends Meeting in Connecticut; University Friends Meeting in Wichita, KS; Xenia Friends Church in Xenia, OH; South Glens Falls Adirondack Friends Meeting in Glens Falls, NY; Detroit and Ann Arbor Friends Meetings in Michigan; and San Fernando Friends Meeting in Sylmar, CA.

An able student, Howard acquired degrees from the University of Iowa, the University of Missouri, and Hartford Theological Seminary. As a lifelong Quaker, he was a conscientious objector in World War II.

Howard met Rosemary Crist in 1943 when they were both working at the American Friends Service Committee work camp at Flanner House in Indianapolis, Indiana. They were married there in May of that year. During the summer of 1943 they took a 600-mile honeymoon bicycle trip through Vermont, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts.

Peacemaking and war resistance informed and activated Howard’s entire life. Childrearing without punishment and education that enhances natural creativity and curiosity also became major concerns, growing out of both anthropological research and the Quaker experience of spiritual growth.

Howard taught botany at Friends University in Wichita, Kansas, for three years, spent five years in the pastoral ministry in Congregational and Friends churches, and six years counseling at Whitman Junior High school in Livonia, Michigan. He taught anthropology for three years at San Fernando Valley State College (now California State University at Northridge), and in 1966 became Associate Professor of Anthropology at Western Washington State College (now Western Washington University). He continued in this position until his gradual retirement 1986-1992. He continued to teach correspondence courses in anthropology until the summer of 2014. Teaching anthropology gave him great satisfaction. He often said that he was fortunate to get paid for doing what he

loved to do anyway. During his long quasi-retirement, Howard penned several self-published books about his philosophy, life experiences, and cross-cultural research on childrearing practices.

In December of 1966, he and Rosemary, along with a friend, started the weekly peace vigil in downtown Bellingham, which still continues today. In 2005 he was the first recipient of the Whatcom Peace and Justice Center’s Howard Harris Lifetime Peacemaker Award, named in his honor.

Also a lifelong conservationist, Howard took joy in hiking and backpacking, especially in mountainous terrain. In a pamphlet on the meaning of love in Quaker thought, Howard wrote: “The love of a neighbor and the love of the natural world are not separable. To seek the good life is to love mountain vistas, the rich soil and vegetation of the gardens and fields that feed us, and the women and men … who are not just our neighbors but our sisters and brothers.”

Howard was preceded in death by Rosemary, on January 1, 2009. Their granddaughter, Anna Rosemary Harris, died April 2, 2013. Howard is survived by his sister, Fern Glass of Tallassee, Alabama; his six children: David; Heather (Andrew) Ezrre; Holly; Timothy (Ellen), and Stanley (Karen) all of Bellingham; and Stephen (Margaret) of Newton, Iowa; grandchildren Sophia and Emily Harris; Geoffrey (Jennifer), Nicholas, Althea, Thomas, Alexander and Violet Harris, all of Bellingham; and Elizabeth, Katharine, Benjamin (Roslyn) and Mary (David) of Iowa; and eight great-grandchildren; as well as numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Memorial gifts may be sent to the Whatcom Peace and Justice Center, P.O. Box 2444, Bellingham, WA 98227; The American Friends Service Committee 1501 Cherry St., Philadelphia, PA 19102; or The Friends Committee on National Legislation, 245 Second St. NE, Washington, DC 20002.

Thomas S. Hall                                                                                                                                                         Longtime Friend and passionate peace advocate Tom Hall, 93, passed away in August 2014 in Bellingham, Washington, with family and friends around him, loving and supporting him. He was an active member of Bellingham Friends Meeting for more than twenty years and previously had been a member of Summit Monthly Meeting in New Jersey and Honolulu Friends Meeting in Hawaii.

Tom habitually wore an FCNL button that said, “War Is Not the Answer.” He generally also had a few in his pocket, and he would give one to anyone who promised to wear it. He was an active member of the Peace and Social Concerns committee in Bellingham for many years, and was often found at the Saturday public market, staffing the Bellingham Friends Meeting table with petitions supporting peace and social justice issues available for signing. Tom also was a active supporter of AFSC, FCNL, and Friends Committee on Washington Public Policy.

Tom was born in New York City, and grew up during the Depression. Despite the loss of his mother to diptheria when he was quite young, and having to change schools many times before graduation, he excelled academically (as did his brother Bill, with whom he shared a close relationship). Shortly after high school, Tom attended college and medical school at Harvard, graduating with an M.D. magna cum laude in 1949.

One of the founders of American Medical Oncology, Tom’s long career included medical research, teaching positions at many institutions (including fifteen years at Harvard Medical School), guest lectures, oncological practice and the founding/directing of cancer care centers around the country and in Vancouver, B.C. In his lifetime, he wrote over two hundred scientific articles, forty-three chapters in medical books, and eight medical textbooks and monographs.

A Quaker, Tom was a passionate lifelong advocate of peace and justice. In this he learned early on from a Methodist family who walked their talk, or, as Tom would say, “demonstrated the behavioral equivalent of consciousness.” In WWII, he was a conscientious objector and served an 18-month prison sentence in a federal prison. There he was punished with solitary confinement for refusing racial segregation in the food line.

After having lived on the East Coast, the West Coast, and in Hawaii, Tom enjoyed life in Bellingham starting in 1992. There, he initiated the local Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial, was medical director for several years at Whatcom Hospice, and was a dedicated member of the Bellingham

Friends Meeting.

He and his wife Lorina traveled regularly all over the US and Canada visiting family and friends, as well as abroad. One recent awe-inspiring trips was to Kenya and Tanzania. There they visited with a Canadian friend working in Kenya, and came to love the animals, birds, vastness and colors of the Serengeti.

Tom loved classical music concerts and the opera, and on his weekly calendar for many years was a lecture/discussion with the Bellingham ROMEOS (Retired Old Men Eating Out).

Tom is survived by his wife Lorina; children Chrissy, Tam, Seth, Amity (Chris), Bronwen, Nate, Jinny and Nicholas; grandchildren Jacob (Maya), Monty, Jerusha, April (Steve), Ian, Khepri (Bobbie), Jake (Heather), and Nate Jr. (Michelle); and great-grandchildren Adam, Thane, Theia, Aksil, Elijah, Mary Sophia, Greyson, and Penny.

In his memory, donations are welcome at Hospice House Foundation, 2901 Squalicum Pkwy, Bellingham, WA 98225; and the American Friends Service Committee.

 

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