March 23, 2016   Bellingham Quaker E-News
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Sunday, March 27, 2016
Silent Worship: 10 AM Worship, Egg hunt for children
Second Hour: Easter!  -  finger food potluck + celebration of Mary Ann Percy's membership

Explorations Academy 1701 Ellis St Click here for a  Map
Please bring finger foods for potluck
Colored eggs for children's Easter egg hunt if you are so inclined.

We will have egg salad afterwards!

Friendly Tasks for Meeting 

Care of Meeting:  Mary Ann P
Key / setup: Don G        
Setup Helper: Wendy G
Greeter: Nan M
Snack: Everyone! -Finger-food Potluck
Kitchen setup: Sharon T   
kitchen setup Help:
Kitchen cleanup: Larry T 
Kitchen cleanup Help: 
Children's teacher: (Egg hunt planned)

Upcoming Second Hours:

April 3 – Potluck
 and extended second hour + Meeting for Sharing with Iris Graville and Jerry Evergreen
April 10 – MfWfB

April 17 – Welcoming/getting-acquainted activity
April 24 – Extended Social Hour 

May 1 –   MfWfB 

May 8 – Potluck (Mother's Day)
May 15 – Spirit-filled choices about food (Lynn Lohr)
May 22 –  TBA 
Calendar for Bellingham Friends

Wed., March 23th, 7– 9 PM  (Tonight!)
Midweek Worship
Mary Ann P.'s home
Silent worship and worship sharing - 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of the month

Thurs,. March 31st - 7 - 9 PM
Spirit Group
(Discussing Eastern Light: Awakening to Presence in Zen, Quakerism and Christianity by Steve Smith)

Wed, April 6th
Silence and Singing

Sharon T and Don R's home
45 min of Silent worship at 7, break and then 1 hr or so of hymn singing
Come for either or both. 

David Swanson presentation
War is a Lie: What your taxes buy

Thursday, April 14, 7 pm  
We are co-sponsoring this at
Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship - 1207 Ellsworth St.
(scroll down for more information)

Monday, April 18 - 5:30 - 6:00
Prayer Vigil for Peace in the Middle East
We are hosting this at
Explorations Academy

Announcements From Bellingham Friends

____________________From Judy Hopkinson_______________________

Friends are invited to join me for a visit to the Whatcom County Drug Court Graduation Ceremony
Thursday, March 31st, 2 pm
3rd floor of the Whatcom County Courthouse, 311 Grand Ave
This program gives me hope

____________________From Mary Ann Percy ________________________

June 3-5, 2016 
Ben Lomond Quaker Center in California
Let's Go! Growing the Quaker Movement the World Needs Now  
with Nia Thomas and Hilary Burgin
Friends of all ages, but especially
young adult Friends (ages 18-35ish) are invited to a weekend of conspiring for change, connecting with wisdom from our Quaker spiritual ancestors, experiencing worship, and building relationships to hold each other accountable as we go forward. 

_________________Also from Mary Ann Percy____________________

Mary Ann is setting up a Quaker 8 discussion/action group and invites Friends' participation.  The tentative plan is to meet monthly for approximately 6 months (and then reassess), & at each meeting discerning how Earth is calling us to act on her behalf at that time, & committing to making one change for that month--could be writing weekly letters to elected officials, using a solar/wind/convection clothes dryer, turning heat down, whatever!

Please email her ( if you want to know more or you're interested in participating.  The first meeting is planned for the last week of March or first week of April, depending upon Doodle Poll results

Amazing Opportunity for Celebrating Nature 
With the Washington Native Plant Society
(These fill quickly!)

Vendovi Island
April 30, Saturday8:30 AM to 6:00 PM

Vendovi is a 217 acre island south of Lummi Island being maintained in its natural state by the San Juan Preservation Trust. There are no permanent human inhabitants and no deer or other grazing mammals, so the flora is especially healthy.  We will visit near the peak of bloom for camas and other wildflowers in south facing meadows, and also explore forest, wetland and shoreline habitats.  Bring water, lunch, sturdy shoes and rain gear.  We will take a 22 passenger boat from Anacortes to Vendovi Island.  The cost will be $45 per person, round trip, payable on the day of the trip.  Contact John Bremer at 360-527-3503 to reserve a space.
Announcements From Committees
Ministry and Counsel
Save the Date: April 3, noon to 2 p.m., we will have a second Meeting for Sharing about Meetinghouse Discernment facilitated by Iris Graville and Jerry Evergreen.  M&C members were heartened by Friends' willingness at the first session Jan. 31 to share deeply and honestly about their experiences around the Bell Tower Studios discernment. However, not everyone was able to speak in the time available, and there are still more avenues to explore. We are hopeful that Iris and Jerry's loving and steady facilitation will help us take the next step in this shared journey of learning and growing together.

Some queries to consider, in the context of our Meetinghouse discernment:
  • What is it within me, that makes it difficult for me to hear?
  • What would it look like, if I felt heard?
Honor our shared worship. Please remember to honor our shared worship by arriving a few minutes before 10:00 each Sunday morning. If you arrive after 10 a.m., you may choose to wait and enter with the greeter at 10:15. Before entering the worship room, please silence cell phones, remove coats, and organize belongings so that noise is minimized as we settle into worship.
~M&C Friends
"And so, dear friends, live in love and unity, and be kind, and courteous, and tender hearted one towards another."
~George Fox
Outreach and Welcoming Group
OWG will sponsor another welcome/getting-acquainted activity, with a special invitation to new attenders, on Sunday, April 17th  This time we invite Friends to bring finger-food snacks for an extended social hour following the activity, which we expect will be a fun and spirited way for us to become better acquainted.  Wendy Goldstein will facilitate.

OWG meets next on Saturday, April 16, 2016.  Contact OWG Clerk Don Goldstein,, for details.
Nominating Committee
Friends, the Meeting has approved the our nominating slate for seasoning. It can be accessed by clicking here. There are still unfilled positions (co-clerk of Meeting and M&C).  Please contact Lorina Hall if you would like to talk about how your talents could strengthen our shared experience. 

Western Friend on-line Meetings and Resources

Monthly online conversations about topics important to Quaker Meetings

  • April 13, 2016 – Re-Organizing the Meeting to Help It Do Its Work (Committees, etc.)
  • May 11, 2016 – Benefits and Dangers of Electronic Communications
  • 6:30 - 8:00 PM Pacific  -  Please arrive on time.  
  • Western Friend Connect   - go to Workshop Room 
  • Allow 3-10 min for set up if this is your first time
Lunch-hour Worship in the Family Room
  • 60 minutes of worship every Thursday
  • 11:30 AM Pacific / 12:30 PM Mountain
  • Come when you can, leave when you must. 
Deep Listening for Unity in Business Meeting

April 14 Program
Co-sponsored by Bellingham Friends Meeting:

War Is A Lie: What Your Taxes Buy

David Swanson

April 14, 2016 7-9 pm
Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship
1207 Ellsworth St, Bellingham

David Swanson is an author, activist, journalist, and radio host. His books include When the World Outlawed War and War No More: The Case for Abolition. Swanson serves as director of World Beyond War and host of Talk Nation Radio. He was a 2015 Nobel Peace Prize nominee. Swanson was instrumental in exposing the Downing Street Minutes and other evidence of Iraq war lies.

David will be signing copies of the newly-released second edition of his book War Is A Lie, published by Just World Books.

Music by Sharon Abreu & Michael Hurwicz

Sponsored by:
Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship, Veterans For Peace Bellingham Chapter 111, Whatcom Peace & Justice Center, Pax Christi, and
Bellingham Friends Meeting

Bellingham Friends Meeting State of Society  Report 2015
(Second Draft, 3/13/2016)

(This document was accepted for seasoning on March 13 and will be considered for final approval at the April Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business)

    Amidst growth, deepening community, and spiritual seeking, Bellingham Friends experienced profound blessings and challenges in 2015. We explored our Quaker roots, tested our commitment to and understanding of Quaker process, added new members and attenders, and explored the complexities of purchasing a Meetinghouse. While the gift of finding a possible physical home for our worshiping community brought valuable lessons, it also tried our ability to fully live our commitment to simplicity, unity and community. The year's end found us still on the road to better understanding of the need to consistently and faithfully “mind the Light.” 
    In the first part of 2015, we concluded a team-taught series of workshops begun the year before, based on the Quakerism: Experience It! curriculum created by Elaine Crauderueff and adapted by Steve Smith. Several Bellingham Friends took turns as facilitators, many enriched the sessions by researching famous Friends and giving brief presentations, and the programs inspired rich discussion. 
    The Social and Environmental Concerns Committee supported Friends' leadings to work for peace and justice, which included: supporting the local Racial Justice Coalition; marching with our banner in the annual Pride Parade; hosting the AFSC exhibit, “39 Questions for White People,” participating in Alternatives to Violence Project trainings; lobbying with FCNL's Advocacy Team here.
    In July, we were blessed and challenged by the possibility of purchasing a former church, now known as the Bell Tower Studios building. Our Meeting agreed to make an offer with a four-month contingency contract that stipulated reaching unity on the purchase, as well as determining financial feasibility. Our ad hoc exploratory committee, with outstanding dedication and skill, researched many complex questions around practical considerations. Their many hours of work included initiating an ambitious capital campaign for the Meetinghouse, to which many pledged generously. Friends also continued regular giving which supports our general fund.
    The Meeting as a whole labored together regarding the Bell Tower Studios building, with concerns including whether we were Spirit-led to undertake Meetinghouse ownership, whether this was the right time and the right building, and if so, were we ready for the necessary landlord and other responsibilities. Throughout this sometimes tumultuous process, Friends reiterated confidence in our community to grow from the experience, and in our love and commitment to one another. However, the scope of the endeavor combined with the four-month time constraint (which ended in November) proved very trying, and some misunderstandings, hurt feelings, and frustration resulted. Nonetheless, by year's end, Ministry and Counsel had begun creating opportunities for us to continue corporate learning and healing through worship, with the help of trusted facilitators from other Meetings in the Quarter. Despite the difficulty of the process, many Friends remain hopeful that we will emerge stronger and more ready to address whatever opportunities unfold in the future.
    Friends also came together in many wonderful ways this year.  Our Outreach and Welcoming Group sponsored after-worship programs that fostered connection and participation, including poetry sharing and get-acquainted games. There has been increased fellowship at weekly and midweek worship. The Meeting has been enriched by two new members and a transfer of membership. Average weekly attendance increased by about one person, to 27.5. Our largest Meeting brought 46 Friends to worship in June. This increased participation sometimes stressed our Hospitality Committee, and we are seeking ways to share that work more equitably. Our first overnight retreat in several years explored lessons for adults in deepening our spirituality, and included a lively children's program.
    Also this year, Friends agreed to invest in our regular Children's Program by hiring a dedicated childcare provider. This creative, loving individual supports our families with children and is a welcome part of our community. We hope as we build the program, more children and teens will come.
    Bellingham Friends also celebrated the fruition of six wonderful years since the Lopez Island  Worship Group become a preparatory meeting under our care. We are delighted that our beloved Lopez Friends are now seeking Quarterly Meeting approval to become a monthly Meeting!
Announcements of Events in the Wider Community


Love in a Time of Fear: Muslims, Christians, and All Faiths as
Good Neighbors      

Free Forum - everyone welcome!

Monday, April 11th from 7 - 8:30pm,

Bellingham High School Auditorium, 2020 Cornwall Avenue 

In late November two people sat down to tea. One was a Muslim and the other a Christian. In addition to sadness about the terrorist attacks in Paris, Lebanon, and Mali they shared their feelings about the response of political leaders and community members in the US  in response to these horrific events. They decided to see if others wanted to join them in encouraging all people to remember that love of neighbor is the core teachings of Islam, Christianity, and all great faith traditions. And that to love your neighbor as yourself means to work for their well-being.  The Interfaith Coalition invites you to join us and our special guest speakers where, as people of many faiths, respecting our differences and celebrating our commonalities, we encourage:
1. All people to seek out neighborly relationships with Muslims.

2. All people to stand against extreme and exclusive forms of religious or political ideologies that  lead to dehumanization of and violence toward others.

3. All people in this time of anxiety to  resist the urge to stereotype and scapegoat minorities, including Muslims.

4. All people, corporations and governmental agencies to respect the human and civil rights of all people, including Muslims.

Sponsored by the Interfaith Coalition, Lutheran Campus Ministry at Western Washington University, the Catacomb  Churches, and American Muslims of Puget Sound

"White Supremacy Isn't Going To End Itself"
A three part workshop series 
aimed at anti-racist whites who are interested in:
  • Building relationships with other anti-racist whites
  • Fostering a community and culture around active participation in decolonization, resistance, and revolutionary work
  • Acting in solidarity with the struggles led by people of color locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally 
Part 2: "Why Protest? A Whites Guide to Direct Action" (March) (date TBA)
Goal: Using the framework from Part 1, teach whites how to strategize & carry out tactics against white supremacy in the spaces they already occupy and participate in POC-led direct action without co-optation. "Don't take up more space in anti-racist movements, take the space you are given in society and make it anti-racist."

Part 3: "White Supremacy In Your Backyard" (April) (date TBA)
Goal:  Bringing together what has been learned in parts 1 & 2, the final installment of this series will focus on the specific institutions in our community and how their leaders, policies, and interests are vehicles of white supremacy, and will bring in those in our community who are already doing the work of taking on these institutions.

On-line Quaker Meetings for Worship

Ben Lomond - Morning Worship
Every Morning
7:30 - 8:00 AM
Click here

Western Friend Lunch-hour Worship

11:30 AM -12:30 PM
Click here and enter "Family Room"


Looking Ahead to Wider Quaker Gatherings

Spring 2016 session- Pacific Northwest Quarterly Meeting
Theme: Deepening our Relationship with All Creation
Dates: April 22-24, 2016
Where: Lazy F Camp and Retreat Center near Ellensburg WA
Hosted by: Olympia Friends Meeting and Agate Passage Friends Meeting
For more information and/or to register, click here (online registration opened as of 2/26/16) 

New Item:
June 3-5, 2016
Ben Lomond Quaker Center in California
Let's Go! Growing the Quaker Movement the World Needs Now 
with Nia Thomas and Hilary Burgin 

Pacific Northwest Quaker Women's Theology Conference
June 15-19, 2016 (date is June and not July as previously posted)
Canby Grove Christian Center
Canby Grove, Oregon
Theme: Naming the Gifts of the Living Presence
For more information, click here

Friends General Conference Annual Gathering of Friends for 2016
July 3 - 9

College of St. Benedict
St. Joseph, Minnesota
Evening speakers will include Rex Ambler from Woodbrooke Quaker Study Center in England.
Details are available at and online registration begins on April 1st

North Pacific Annual Session
July 13 - 17

Whitworth University
Spokane, WA
Friend in Residence will be Diane Randall, FCNL

Pine Ridge Workcamp
July 20 - August 3: 
This Workcamp carries on the long-standing William Penn commitment to fair and just relations with native people, as well as the personal ministry of the amazing Mike Gray. For two weeks we live in community and service with people on this Lakota reservation, exploring the history - including Wounded Knee - while honoring sacred traditions and building to the future.

Mary Ann Percy is happy to answer any questions you may have about the experience.

Friday Peace Vigil
When:  Every Fri, 3:45pm – 4:45pm
Where:  104 W Magnolia St, Bellingham, WA 98225, USA (map)
Description:  The Nation's oldest weekly Peace Vigil. Paricipants gather weekly at 4:00 pm with signs in front of the Federal Building on the Corner of Magnolia and Cornwall Streets.
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