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Bulletin 12.15.2017

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Bulletin 12.15.2017
Blessed

 
 
Year-End Giving
As the end of 2017 approaches, Sierra-Cascades Yearly Meeting of Friends is facing into a new year where we must establish ourselves as an independent non-profit and make difficult decisions about program and polity that will set a foundation for who God is calling us to be as a community of faith communities. We will have costs for gathering together. We will have costs for legal assistance. We will have basic operations costs. This is an exciting time!

Thank you for all the ways you have already invested in this emerging community, for all the ways you are already living for and serving God together. Thank you for your ideas and energy and enthusiasm. Thank you for your presence and work on committees, at annual sessions, at quarterly gatherings, and in your local meetings. If you are able to make a year-end financial gift to Sierra-Cascades Yearly Meeting of Friends, we would greatly appreciate it.

Because we have not filed articles of incorporation, contributions should be made to Northwest Yearly Meeting of Friends Church, 200 N Meridian St, Newberg OR 97132, and designated for Sierra-Cascades Yearly Meeting of Friends. Contribution receipts will be issued by NWYM.

 

Clerks Meeting
The clerks – Cherice Bock, Jon Kershner, Eric Muhr, and Matthew Staples – met on Monday, December 11. Their next meeting will be at 2 p.m. on Monday, January 8. Click here to read the agenda for business with some notes from the discussion:
  1. Friends Committee on National Legislation
  2. Twin Rocks Friends Camp
  3. End-of-Year Giving
  4. Discernment on Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws
  5. Monthly Meetings Discernment Process
  6. Committee Updates
  7. Transition Team Report
  8. Sharing Information Between Churches
  9. Child Safety, Abuse Prevention, Reporting, Training
 

Peace Month
Peace and reconciliation resources, including a reader and possible teaching topics, have been an annual focus in January, going back to 2010. All of those resources have been preserved on our website. There are no new materials this year, but interested churches or small groups could go back to the very first Peace Month and read that reader from 2010 again, and explore the topics together, or choose one that seems meaningful and pertinent for this moment in our history together.

When I was in the second grade at boarding school in Burundi, Africa, the children were given a small plot to plant vegetables or flowers. We began by digging out all the rocks we could. My brother Phil and I had gardens next to each other. I had the advantage because mine was what was left of an old manure pile. We both planted squash at one end of our plots.

What excitement to watch the plants grow! As the vines grew bigger, a little squash appeared on each of ours. To make sure my squash didn’t get eaten by bugs or worms, I propped it up with a stick and covered it with a plastic bag. As time went on, mine grew to be twice as big as Phil’s. In fact, it was as big as a baby in my arms! From mine alone our dorm mother made fourteen squash pies – and they tasted as good as pumpkin!

Are we Christians as fruitful? Are we getting small or large “squashes”? First, we need to dig out all the rocks in our hearts, those things that don’t enrich our lives, such as hate, envy, and strive. We need to be planted in the richness of God’s Word, thriving on it, and watered by his Holy Spirit. Now we’ll grow. We will produce love, peace, patience, and joy in the Lord.

Miriam Bock in this year’s Advent reader: Do Not Be Afraid
Announcements

Mark your calendars: The next quarterly gathering will be at Camas Friends from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, February 17, 2018. More information at our Events Page.

Annual Sessions will be at Canby Grove Christian Center, May 18-20, 2018. More information at our Events Page.


Eugene Friends Church (EFC) is seeking applications for the position of Pastor, to fill a retirement-created vacancy. EFC is a growing congregation of about 160 affiliated persons, currently part of Northwest Yearly Meeting, but in the process of becoming a founding member of Sierra-Cascades Yearly Meeting of Friends. We are a Christ-centered, affirming, high-involvement, outward-looking Quaker church seeking to be faithful to the call of Jesus in our community. To find out more about this opportunity, click here  for a position description with links to the full application package and the rest of our website. Preference will be given to applications received by today, December 15, 2017.

Are members of your local church receiving this newsletter? Use the email forward button below to share this issue, or encourage anyone interested in subscribing to do so by completing the form on our Contact page. You can also find our newsletter online.

If you have an announcement you’d like to have included in the next Bulletin, please send it to newsletter@scymf.org.
by Admin

Bulletin 12.08.2017

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Bulletin 12.08.2017
Faith

 
 
Recording Task Force
On November 25, the Recording Task Force met together for worship, listening, and threshing of ideas about recording and facilitating recorded ministry in Sierra-Cascades Yearly Meeting of Friends. The following is an outline of their discussion:
  • What SCYMF will be about
  • Unspoken assumptions regarding recording
  • Process for recording transfers
  • Principles that arose from worship sharing
  • Current Situation: We live in a day of heightened awareness to sexual abuse and power abuse
  • What does recording do and what does it not do?
  • What are the basic structures for recording?
Click here to read the minutes from their meeting.
 

Peace Month
Peace and reconciliation resources, including a reader and possible teaching topics, have been an annual focus in January, going back to 2010. All of those resources have been preserved on our website. There are no new materials this year, but interested churches or small groups could go back to the very first Peace Month and read that reader from 2010 again, and explore the topics together, or choose one that seems meaningful and pertinent for this moment in our history together.  

Way of the Spirit
Way of the Spirit is a convergent Friends ministry with involvement from both programmed and unprogrammed Friends. Application deadline for the next module is December 31, 2017.
 
February 8-11, 2018
Tilikum Retreat Center, Newberg, Oregon
 
A healing, engaged, experiential journey with God and supportive spiritual community. Relevant and profound. If you’re hungry to grow in faith and live fully into your giftedness, explore with Way of the Spirit. The 18-month  program offers retreats, prayer, learning, selected readings, spiritual exercises, and online reflection. You’ll find an encouraging circle for a hopeful vision of personal and societal transformation
 
It’s a unique curriculum from the wisdom of Quaker spirituality, re-envisioned and strengthened in our seventh year. We welcome sincere seekers from diverse faith communities in the Pacific Northwest—pastoral and unprogrammed Quakers, members of United Church of Christ, and others. Details and application online.
 
Program modules explore these topics and more: the inner journey, spiritual awareness, creative and holistic opportunities for prayer and spiritual practice, engaging scripture, God-between-us, forgiveness, spiritual giftedness, discernment, servant spirituality, Spirit-led action, everyday prophets, growing in trust and surrender, spiritual accompaniment or companioning, hope and holy imagination.

For questions and conversation: Christine Hall, christine@goodnewsassoc.org

 

The visit of the wise men is almost stranger than fiction. Their ancient knowledge is still a mystery, their route in doubt, the rising of the star an enigma. How did they know of the prophecies of the Hebrews, how many of them were there, what was their native land? Did they need to inquire of King Herod? Why did not God warn them even before going to Herod? How does a star “stand” above the place where Jesus lay? How old was the Christ child by the time they arrived? None of these questions has ever been answered finally and satisfactorily – but perhaps none needs to be.

But the story still lives today. One can almost hear the swish-swish of the camels’ feet methodically and faithfully carrying the kings of the east across the hundreds of miles of tortuous desert. The wise men literally put feet to their prayers. For theirs was truly a journey of faith put into practice.

During the Christmas season, the officers at the planetarium at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco put on the show of the “Star of Bethlehem,” in which they depict what could have happened, what stars could have been involved. But what intrigued me most was their statement at the conclusion that “perhaps there was no physical star – could it have been by the eye of faith of the wise men?” Faith sees where doubt and disbelief are blind.

But the greatest lesson for me has been the implication that upon seeing Jesus, your road is changed. You never walk the same road again. Truly, “They departed into their own country another way.”

Milo C. Ross in this year’s Advent reader: Do Not Be Afraid
Announcements

Mark your calendars: The next quarterly gathering will be at Camas Friends from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, February 17, 2018. More information at our Events Page.

Annual Sessions will be at Canby Grove Christian Center, May 18-20, 2018. More information at our Events Page.


Eugene Friends Church (EFC) is seeking applications for the position of Pastor, to fill a retirement-created vacancy. EFC is a growing congregation of about 160 affiliated persons, currently part of Northwest Yearly Meeting, but in the process of becoming a founding member of Sierra-Cascades Yearly Meeting of Friends. We are a Christ-centered, affirming, high-involvement, outward-looking Quaker church seeking to be faithful to the call of Jesus in our community. To find out more about this opportunity, click here  for a position description with links to the full application package and the rest of our website. Preference will be given to applications received by December 15, 2017.

Are members of your local church receiving this newsletter? Use the email forward button below to share this issue, or encourage anyone interested in subscribing to do so by completing the form on our Contact page. You can also find our newsletter online.

If you have an announcement you’d like to have included in the next Bulletin, please send it to newsletter@scymf.org.
by Admin

Bulletin 12.01.2017

Photo by Will Swann on Unsplash
Bulletin 11.24.2017
Worship
Eugene Friends Church and other Friends participating in the formation of Sierra-Cascades Yearly Meeting of Friends are considering some Big Questions. We were in Medford, Oregon, last Sunday, so we missed the Eugene Friends Church worship service in which people contributed their answers to the first question right during worship.

Here for easy reference are the two questions:
Why are we joining together instead of going our separate ways? What holds Sierra-Cascades Yearly Meeting together? (Examples: Common beliefs/theology? Relationships? Friends' testimonies? Other?)

How should we make decisions that affect the whole of SCYMF? (Examples: refer all decisions to the yearly meeting as a whole? Choose reps to make some or all decisions? Let a specified group make urgent decisions? Other?)
I love the idea of inviting responses to these questions during worship. It is a wonderful way of expressing the importance of covenant and community – and of transparent process. Has anyone else done something similar?

Exercises like this are also a good opportunity to reconsider the whole concept of a “yearly meeting” in an era where its usefulness is no longer taken for granted.
A couple of years ago, Micah Bales asked, “Is it Time to Get Rid of Yearly Meetings?” (My response: “Yearly meetings, myth and reality.”) Just last summer, I had another long discussion about these themes with some Friends with ties to both Northwest and North Pacific yearly meetings. One Friend pointed out two important trends:

First, yearly meetings may be evolving from a model based on geography and shared history, to a model based more on shared theology or ideology. This trend goes back nearly two centuries, if not longer.

Second, a crucial function of those wider bodies – mutual accountability and particularly the role and preparation of elders – is weakening in the old system and is being at least partially replaced by more informal processes and by new institutions such as the School of the Spirit.
I don’t want to pour cold water on any sorts of experimentation that might help renew Friends discipleship and provide love and accountability for local Quaker meetings and churches. But I still love the old concentric model that I described in the “myth and reality” post. Maybe one reason it seems less attractive is because we’ve just taken it for granted rather than deliberately investing our enthusiasm and commitment.

In some cases, maybe we’ve over-bureaucratized yearly meetings and routinized business rather than expecting our gatherings to serve as the forum where we ask each other whether Truth is prospering in each of our local settings, and how we need to coordinate with each other to meet the needs in places where our testimonies are being challenged. As we consider a world full of spiritual, social, and economic bondage, are we too busy maintaining our systems to consider these challenges creatively? Can we make room for new partnerships between the old yearly meeting-as-forum and new initiatives? Two generations ago, such partnerships included the New Call to Peacemaking and Right Sharing of World Resources. What are today’s experiments in partnership?

I have heard of a couple of yearly meetings that have experimented with a radically simplified agenda – if only for one annual session. How did it go? I was present for one such experiment, a carefully planned session of Iowa Yearly Meeting FUM at which most routine business was set aside to consider whether to remain in Friends United Meeting. This example was a response to a specific crisis, but maybe at another time and place, the sheer urgency of focusing on the needs of people who have never heard of us would be “crisis” enough.

The Iowa example brings up another huge problem: local Friends have come to associate “yearly meeting” (the annual gathering as well as the ongoing structure) with conflict and church politics. I’ve heard this complaint in many places. We might be too busy arguing instead of figuring out together how to build our prophetic and healing presence in the world. We desperately need to restore the ability to extract value from conflicts and diversity instead of hiding or suppressing them.

We also need to learn how to deal with those among us who actually (perhaps subconsciously) love conflict and are too fond of being partisan heroes.

I’m not ready to give up on the yearly meeting as an institution worth preserving and re-energizing. The simplicity of the concentric structure has a huge advantage, as long as its processes are prayer-driven and transparent. A yearly meeting serves as a clear and constant and public access point into the web of relationships that is the Quaker family beyond the local church.

Ideological and programmatic associations may come and go; they may focus on specific initiatives; often, they may be the long shadows of gifted individuals. In the meantime, the yearly meeting can keep plodding along, not seeking to out-dazzle its partners, but cherishing relationships, channeling resources, and providing mutual accountability for those initiatives, and always asking, does Truth prosper?
 

My responses to the “big questions” are based on my love for this traditional concentric organization of the Friends church. The church is nothing more or less than the people who have – now and throughout history – gathered around Jesus, learning what it means to live with him at the center, and helping each other to live that way, including its ethical consequences. This learning and mutual support, and our desire to make this kind of community accessible to others who would be blessed as we have been, are the elements that connect us. No matter how far beyond the local church we go on the organizational chart, God remains at the center.

When we make decisions that affect the individuals, and (in the next level of connection) our member churches and meetings, those decisions ought to be made by people we can trust and hold accountable, and to whom we’ve granted authority to hold us accountable for our commitments.  We choose these people based on the spiritual gifts we see in them, and on our experience of their trustworthiness, not on their social status. I like the way Eugene Friends are instructed concerning decision-making at meetings for business: everyone may attend and contribute, but the presiding clerk looks to members and active attenders in discerning when a decision has been reached.

Our leaders and representatives can make decisions on our behalf when necessary, but basic decisions on faith and practice should, sooner or later, be ratified by all committed participants in the meeting or yearly meeting. And the default question remains, “What does God want to say and do through us?”

This is the church I dream of becoming.

from Johan Maurer, Eugene Friends
Announcements

Mark your calendars: The next quarterly gathering will be at Camas Friends from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, February 17, 2018. More information at our Events Page.

Annual Sessions will be at Canby Grove Christian Center, May 18-20, 2018. More information at our Events Page.


Eugene Friends Church (EFC) is seeking applications for the position of Pastor, to fill a retirement-created vacancy. EFC is a growing congregation of about 160 affiliated persons, currently part of Northwest Yearly Meeting, but in the process of becoming a founding member of Sierra-Cascades Yearly Meeting of Friends. We are a Christ-centered, affirming, high-involvement, outward-looking Quaker church seeking to be faithful to the call of Jesus in our community. To find out more about this opportunity, check out https://www.eugenefriendschurch.org/job-opportunities/ for a position description, with links to the full application package and the rest of our website. Preference will be given to applications received by December 15, 2017.

Are members of your local church receiving this newsletter? Use the email forward button below to share this issue, or encourage anyone interested in subscribing to do so by completing the form on our Contact page. You can also find our newsletter online.

If you have an announcement you’d like to have included in the next Bulletin, please send it to newsletter@scymf.org.
by Admin

Bulletin 11.24.2017

Photo by Will Swann on Unsplash
Bulletin 11.24.2017
Grace

 
Clerks Meeting
The clerks – Cherice Bock, Jon Kershner, Eric Muhr, and Matthew Staples – met on Monday, November 13. Their next meeting will be at 2 p.m. on Monday, December 11. Click here to read the agenda for business with some notes from the discussion:
  1. By-laws
  2. Camp planning
  3. Visitation/intervisitation
  4. Recording/licensing of ministers
  5. Friends Committee on National Legislation
  6. Twin Rocks Friends Camp Association
  7. Next quarterly gathering
  8. Annual session
  9. Internships
  10. Next clerks meeting
Two Friends who attended the Twin Rocks Friends Camp Association meeting that happened at Reedwood Friends on September 19, 2017, submitted brief reflections:
 

About 150 Friends were in attendance. The entire Board of the TRFC Association sat at the front in order to be able to take questions, and the meeting was called to order by Matt Burg, Board Clerk. After a brief introduction and setting out the ground rules (This was to be, as much as possible, a meeting for worship.), the new proposal was read, then questions entertained for over an hour.

Click here to read the Corporate Resolution brought for consideration.

This document, and its accompanying "Frequently Asked Questions" addendum generated considerable discussion, some of which will probably not be fondly remembered by all in attendance. One point for many Friends was that it became clear that the programming for Surfside, Tween Camp, and other NWYM youth functions has been subsidized by the revenue generated by rental of the facilities by other entities. Thus, it was suggested that moving the "NWYM-leaving" churches/meetings into the Normal Renter category, even with the 15 percent discount, would not likely be detrimental to the camp's profit/loss book-keeping.

It did not take long for Friends to point out that the earlier proposal that ownership of Harbor Villa be transferred to the "NWYM-leaving" churches/meetings had been removed from this new proposal. The Clerk of the Board explained that the Board had received many objections to this proposal, and so decided to remove it.

At one point during the discussions, the Clerk acknowledged a move from questions to more general discussion. Some Friends wished for a time-limit on the ability of the "NWYM-leaving" churches/meetings' ability to use the facilities, while other Friends wondered about the possibility of more tangible payment for their meetings no longer being owners of the camp. One concept that arose was that we were not discussing fairness, but that we are reaching a place where grace may be needed. Many people returned to the idea that the camp, and its missions, are what were most important to the conversation. We were called to prayer. One of the Board members stood and called us to embrace inequity in making our decision.

After more than two hours, and although the Meeting was not in unanimity, the Clerk called the sense of the Meeting as being to approve the Corporate Resolution as it had been presented. This was then declared as being approved.
 

I attended and spoke at the TRFCA meeting last Sunday.  I was surprised to see that there were no familiar faces on the board except two from Clackamas Park Friends.

My impression was that the board felt that it had very limited options after the rejection of the last proposal.  Whether the individual members of the board considered that a happy circumstance or not, I have no way of knowing.

The composition of the members attending the meeting seemed to be about 50/50 between those leaving NWYM versus those staying. There was some sentiment expressed that meetings leaving NWYM should be given no consideration since they had made a choice to leave.  When I spoke I said we had made a choice to follow our leading from the Holy Spirit, and that NWYM decided that it couldn’t live with that, and that it was not a choice on our part to leave NWYM. Many people asked clarifying questions. Those leaving NWYM expressed sentiments that they did not expect equity or fairness, and anything offered would be more than they expected.

I don’t think unity was reached. The clerk declared that the sense of the meeting was to approve the present proposal.
Announcements

Mark your calendars: The next quarterly gathering will be at Camas Friends from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, February 17, 2018. More information at our Events Page.

Annual Sessions will be at Canby Grove Christian Center, May 18-20, 2018. More information at our Events Page.


Eugene Friends Church (EFC) is seeking applications for the position of Pastor, to fill a retirement-created vacancy. EFC is a growing congregation of about 160 affiliated persons, currently part of Northwest Yearly Meeting, but in the process of becoming a founding member of Sierra-Cascades Yearly Meeting of Friends. We are a Christ-centered, affirming, high-involvement, outward-looking Quaker church seeking to be faithful to the call of Jesus in our community. To find out more about this opportunity, check out https://www.eugenefriendschurch.org/job-opportunities/ for a position description, with links to the full application package and the rest of our website.

Are members of your local church receiving this newsletter? Use the email forward button below to share this issue, or encourage anyone interested in subscribing to do so by completing the form on our Contact page. You can also find our newsletter online.

If you have an announcement you’d like to have included in the next Bulletin, please send it to newsletter@scymf.org.
by Admin

Bulletin 11.17.2017

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Bulletin 11.17.2017
Stories

 
The Big Questions
From Cherice Bock: Approving our bylaws may sound like it would be a fairly straightforward process, just a hoop to jump through for legal purposes, but due to the nature of what is included in bylaws, they bring up big questions about who we are and who is part of “us.” These are questions that will be fairly difficult to work on together in a relatively brief meeting for worship with a concern for business. They are also questions that form the heart of who “we” are.

I personally think it’s fun to ask these kinds of questions, and to wrestle with their implications. Perhaps you will also enjoy the process of working on these topics.

We invite you to spend some time at your local meeting discerning around questions of membership and accountability structure before our meeting in February. Perhaps you could start with a threshing meeting, asking questions and finding the sticking points. Or, you could have a special meeting where you begin exploring these questions in small groups and bring your thoughts and ideas back to all those gathered for collective discernment. It would be great if you could also get together with another meeting to discuss and discern together.

If your meeting hasn’t yet decided whether or not you’re joining Sierra-Cascades, these might be questions that would help you gain clarity on which direction to go, too.

The Bylaws Subcommittee has asked us to discern around a few questions (at the end of this section) in preparation for our next quarterly gathering on February 17, 2018. Please gather with others in your meeting, and perhaps another meeting, sending thoughts and feedback to the Bylaws Subcommittee by mid-January so they can incorporate our collective thoughts and discernment into the document they will present at the quarterly gathering (Marie Matsen, clerk of the bylaws subcommittee, ratsenmice@gmail.com).

Please note that although we have to state our policies for membership and the relationship between meetings and the yearly meeting in our bylaws, we can amend them at any time. We do not have to feel pressure to create the end-all, be-all of policies now. That said, we will need to approve something so we can move forward in filing for our 501(c)(3) nonprofit status, so engaging in these questions with energy and care will aid us in moving forward as well as we are able.

The Big Questions:

#1. Why are we joining together instead of going our separate ways? What holds SCYMF together? (Examples: Common beliefs/theology? Relationships? Friends’ testimonies? Other?)

#2. How should we make decisions that affect the whole of SCYMF? (Examples: refer all decisions to the yearly meeting as a whole? Choose reps to make some or all decisions? Let a specified group make urgent decisions? Other?)
It was a light, airy home in the older part of Boise. Linoleum on the floor, a kitchen table rimmed with chrome and chairs with red glittery plastic seats, edged in matching chrome.  Lacy coverings over the winged chairs in the living room, and little porcelain figures of angels, birds, others on every surface, a hooked rug on the floor.  If someone was looking for a movie set for the 1960s, Laura’s home would be perfect.

Laura served me tea in a china cup. I was fascinated by her stories of being a teacher in Asia and Africa. As I remember, she was about 90 years old, single. She wore cotton blouses with lace or embroidery, buttoned up to the top, in an age when woven knit blouses showing all kinds of skin are the rage.

Then she talked about her recent work – helping women just out of drug rehab who were living in a halfway house sponsored by her church. She often invited them to her home.

“Then one of the women stole my prescription meds,” she said.

I steeled myself for her saying something like, “so that was that. It made it impossible for me to be doing that at my age. Really, I had no choice.”

Instead, she said in her high voice, cracking with age, “And I learned to hide my meds.”

“You kept on inviting them for tea?” I said.
 

Click here to read the rest of the story from Judy Maurer.
 
Johan and Judy Maurer are available for speaking to churches and groups this winter and spring.
Announcements

The Twin Rocks Friends Conference Association will meet from 3 to 5:30 p.m. this Sunday, November 19, 2017, at Reedwood Friends Church (2901 SE Steele Street in Portland) with the aim of reaching unity on a Corporate Resolution (either as originally presented or modified). Click here for the full letter. The corporate document referenced in the letter is available here.

Mark your calendars: The next quarterly gathering will be at Camas Friends from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, February 17, 2018. More information to come.

Annual Sessions will be at Canby Grove Christian Center, May 18-20, 2018.


Eugene Friends Church (EFC) is seeking applications for the position of Pastor, to fill a retirement-created vacancy. EFC is a growing congregation of about 160 affiliated persons, currently part of Northwest Yearly Meeting, but in the process of becoming a founding member of Sierra-Cascades Yearly Meeting of Friends. We are a Christ-centered, affirming, high-involvement, outward-looking Quaker church seeking to be faithful to the call of Jesus in our community. To find out more about this opportunity, check out https://www.eugenefriendschurch.org/job-opportunities/ for a position description, with links to the full application package and the rest of our website.

Are members of your local church receiving this newsletter? Use the email forward button below to share this issue, or encourage anyone interested in subscribing to do so by completing the form on our Contact page. You can also find our newsletter online.

If you have an announcement you’d like to have included in the next Bulletin, please send it to newsletter@scymf.org.
by Admin

Bulletin 11.10.2017

Photo by Matt Antonioli on Unsplash
Bulletin 11.10.2017
Sympathy

 
Bylaws Committee
Members of the Bylaws Committee have decided on two  Big Questions for discernment. Marie Matsen wrote that the committee considers these questions to be foundational: Our plan is to have a draft Bylaws ready for the February meeting with options to drop in depending on decisions made at the meeting.

We suggested on October 7 that churches/meetings and individuals join together for discernment before the February meeting at Camas. As an example, Eugene Friends and Klamath Falls Friends have committed to meeting together in Klamath Falls to discern together around these questions. We would like to invite unaffiliated individuals to join us. We also suggest that everyone hold lightly what they have discerned in smaller groups until all of Sierra-Cascades Yearly Meeting of Friends (SCYMF) gets together in February.

The Big Questions:

#1. Why are we joining together instead of going our separate ways? What holds SCYMF together? (Examples: Common beliefs/theology? Relationships? Friends’ testimonies? Other?)

#2. How should we make decisions that affect the whole of SCYMF? (Examples: refer all decisions to the yearly meeting as a whole? Choose reps to make some or all decisions? Let a specified group make urgent decisions? Other?)


Friends Committee on National Legislation
Riley Robinson with the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) shared the following regarding FCNL’s work: 
  • We will soon announce the hiring of the new Native American Congressional Advocate.
  • Laurie McPherson, coordinator of activities in the new Quaker Welcome Center next door, has recently started at work. Click here to view a brand-new video.
  • This summer we expanded our Advocacy Corps to 20 young adults, this year all working on environmental issues around the country.
  • It was recently announced that there are now 60 members of the bipartisan House Climate Solutions Caucus.
  • A group of Senators recently introduced a bipartisan criminal justice reform package.
  • Company’s coming! More than 450 people are coming to our Quaker Public Policy institute to lobby and to attend our annual meeting, beginning tomorrow.  
Riley will be in the Pacific Northwest this next week if individuals or churches are interested in meeting him or hearing more about the work of FCNL. Cell: 240-688-1157 Email: Riley@fcnl.org

Spiritual Care Committee
This committee has been gathering resources that might inform and support care for individuals and groups. Committee members have recommended the book, A Hidden Wholeness, in which Parker Palmer speaks to our yearning to live undivided lives – lives that are congruent with our inner truth. Mapping an inner journey that we take in solitude and in the company of others, Palmer describes a form of community that fits the limits of our active lives. Defining a “circle of trust” as “a space between us that honors the soul,” he shows how people in settings ranging from friendship to organizational life can support each other on the journey toward living “divided no more.”
Jeremiah was “the weeping prophet” in the sense of his deep sympathy which sometimes overcame him. He was no apostle of gloom and doom but a gentle spirit with a heart overflowing with an all-inclusive love. What wonder is it that his passionate concern for his people sometimes overwhelmed him?

Other spiritual pioneers have expressed it in other ways. Moses prayed to be blotted out, if necessary, for the sins of the Israelites. Paul was willing to be a castaway in order to save people. Jesus had compassion on the multitude and went to the cross for the world. John Knox cried, “Give me Scotland or I die.” John Wesley exclaimed, “The world is my parish.” 

When the “I” and the “you” are joined in the “we” of Christian community, the floodtides of God’s love help us to sing with every human heart and weep with every human tear.

How can we help to bear the burden of the world’s suffering?
 
O. Hershel Folger in this year’s Advent reader: Do Not Be Afraid
Announcements

The Twin Rocks Friends Conference Association will meet from 3 to 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, November 19, 2017, at Reedwood Friends Church (2901 SE Steele Street in Portland) with the aim of reaching unity on a Corporate Resolution (either as originally presented or modified). Click here for the full letter. The corporate document referenced in the letter is available here.

Mark your calendars: The next quarterly gathering will be at Camas Friends from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, February 17, 2018. More information to come.

Eugene Friends Church (EFC) is seeking applications for the position of Pastor, to fill a retirement-created vacancy. EFC is a growing congregation of about 160 affiliated persons, currently part of Northwest Yearly Meeting, but in the process of becoming a founding member of Sierra-Cascades Yearly Meeting of Friends. We are a Christ-centered, affirming, high-involvement, outward-looking Quaker church seeking to be faithful to the call of Jesus in our community. To find out more about this opportunity, check out https://www.eugenefriendschurch.org/job-opportunities/ for a position description, with links to the full application package and the rest of our website.


Are members of your local church receiving this newsletter? Use the email forward button below to share this issue, or encourage anyone interested in subscribing to do so by completing the form on our Contact page. You can also find our newsletter online.

If you have an announcement you’d like to have included in the next Bulletin, please send it to newsletter@scymf.org.
by Admin

Bulletin 11.03.2017

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Bulletin 11.03.2017
Journey

 
Prayer Committee
Individuals and groups are invited to send prayer requests to the Prayer Committee by emailing Carol Whorton, who will share requests with the rest of the committee: cwhorton47@gmail.com

Spiritual Care Committee
This committee has been gathering resources that might inform and support care for individuals and groups. An excerpt from a School of the Spirit handbook illustrates the importance and function of care committees: 

Meetings and churches are always under a call to care for individuals within the corporate body. The work of a clearness committee is usually short term and specific, such as to help clarify an intent to marry, seek membership, or make personal decisions. The care committee generally functions over a longer period of time as determined by the complexity of the situation and the needs of the focus
person(s). The goal of a care committee is to provide sustained support, guidance, and accountability throughout the duration of the need.


Click here to access the full document (pdf).
These days I am appreciating, perhaps more than ever, that Friends are my faith community. Friends are my people. Many years ago, in my teens, I walked into a Friends church in Hillsboro, Oregon, and I found Christ. My soul was nourished among a simple, genuine, and gentle people. Being a Friend fit me profoundly, even though I doubt I was thinking of such things at the time. In the ensuing years my journey with Christ has been in the company of Friends. Recently I was asked why my wife and I have continued in the same church for nearly forty years. Before I could think, I heard myself say, “Because these are our people.” 
 
Being “a people” sounds good, but it isn’t easy. Those in my congregation and yearly meeting are hardly of the same mind of what it means to be a Friend or if it is important to be a Friend. I assume that circumstance is common among Friends these days. That brings me to my point. I am appreciating that it does matter to be a Friend. It does matter to share an understanding of what it means to be a Friend. And my point is one of community – of sharing the journey. The journey is shared because of what we share. So “what we share” merits some close attention.
 
I feel the value of preserving Friends, as a people, among whom one can find an oasis of faith and life. I am wondering if there is value in an ongoing conversation among those who share that value. The conversation would center on what it means to be a Friend today. It is not hard to find Friends who have a sense that something important is slipping away. Maybe we can identify that and share a life-giving way of preserving it. That is an attribute of a faith community that I seek. A few of us are beginning to shape a local conversation to this end. I also wonder if a geographically broader conversation would be feasible and good.
 
I need to add another thought because I am wary of the danger of such a pursuit that results in the emptiness of division rather than the satisfaction of a shared life. An observation attributed to Augustine points in the direction I am headed. He said we cannot really know someone by asking, “What do you believe?” It is only when you ask, “What do you love?” that we begin to know another. I think my yearning for a conversation is more about addressing what we love. It is about knowing each other in the company of the committed. It is about being a people.
 
Shared with permission from Chuck Orwiler
Announcements

The Twin Rocks Friends Conference Association will meet from 3 to 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, November 19, 2017 at Reedwood Friends Church (2901 SE Steele Street in Portland) with the aim of reaching unity on a Corporate Resolution (either as originally presented or modified). Click here for the full letter. The corporate document referenced in the letter is available here.

Mark your calendars: The next quarterly gathering will be at Camas Friends from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, February 17, 2018. More information to come.

Eugene Friends Church (EFC) is seeking applications for the position of Pastor, to fill a retirement-created vacancy. EFC is a growing congregation of about 160 affiliated persons, currently part of Northwest Yearly Meeting, but in the process of becoming a founding member of Sierra-Cascades Yearly Meeting of Friends. We are a Christ-centered, affirming, high-involvement, outward-looking Quaker church seeking to be faithful to the call of Jesus in our community. To find out more about this opportunity, check out https://www.eugenefriendschurch.org/job-opportunities/ for a position description, with links to the full application package and the rest of our website.


Are members of your local church receiving this newsletter? Use the email forward button below to share this issue, or encourage anyone interested in subscribing to do so by completing the form on our Contact page. You can also find our newsletter online.

If you have an announcement you’d like to have included in the next Bulletin, please send it to newsletter@scymf.org.
by Admin

Bulletin 10.27.2017

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Bulletin 10.27.2017
Hope

 
Clerks Meeting
Clerks met on Monday to work through an agenda that included some of the following:
  • Approved a recommendation that we use David Hansen for legal work for Sierra-Cascades Yearly Meeting of Friends with articles of incorporation, bylaws, and 501(c)3 application. This avoids potential conflicts of interest as Transition Team works with NWYM and SCYMF.
  • Is there something deeper that we need to be about? What is our particular calling in this time? What does it mean to be Quaker? What is it that’s really important to us?
  • We discussed how communication should work for meetings that choose to join SCYMF.
  • Starting up the task force on recording/licensing.
Click here to view minutes from the meeting. The next clerks meeting is at 2 p.m. on Monday, November 13.
Announcements

Enjoy music, poetry and an opportunity to learn more about the work of Quaker Voluntary Service tonight at Reedwood Friends (2901 SE Steele, Portland). Bring cash or a checkbook to purchase delicious treats before the show and during intermission. This event features the music of Nate Macy, Erin Newman and Joel Bock. The concert starts at 7:00; doors open at 6:30.

The Twin Rocks Friends Conference Association will meet from 3 to 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, November 19, 2017 at Reedwood Friends Church (2901 SE Steele Street in Portland) with the aim of reaching unity on a Corporate Resolution (either as originally presented or modified). Click here for the full letter. The corporate document referenced in the letter is available here.

Mark your calendars: The next quarterly gathering will be at Camas Friends from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, February 17, 2018. More information to come.

Eugene Friends Church (EFC) is seeking applications for the position of Pastor, to fill a retirement-created vacancy. EFC is a growing congregation of about 160 affiliated persons, currently part of Northwest Yearly Meeting, but in the process of becoming a founding member of Sierra-Cascades Yearly Meeting of Friends. We are a Christ-centered, affirming, high-involvement, outward-looking Quaker church seeking to be faithful to the call of Jesus in our community. To find out more about this opportunity, check out https://www.eugenefriendschurch.org/job-opportunities/ for a position description, with links to the full application package and the rest of our website.


Are members of your local church receiving this newsletter? Use the email forward button below to share this issue, or encourage anyone interested in subscribing to do so by completing the form on our Contact page. You can also find our newsletter online.

If you have an announcement you’d like to have included in the next Bulletin, please send it to newsletter@scymf.org.
by Admin

Bulletin 10.20.2017

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Bulletin 10.20.2017
Community

 
Faith & Practice, Bylaws, Articles of Incorporation
During its meeting in Eugene on Saturday, October 7, the F&P/Bylaws Committee
  • suggested a change of attorney,
  • discussed who would be named as incorporators in the Articles,
  • considered defining membership in such a way as to maintain a local meeting’s autonomy,
  • clarified that financial gifts for SCYMF can still be sent to NWYM, who will put the funds in a separate account. January 1st will be the day the great commission church contributions will switch to SCYMF,
  • asked members of the Faith & Practice subcommittee to read other Faith & Practices and Quaker historical documents to prepare for discernment process,
  • and determined that each church will need their own Articles of Incorporation & Bylaws and that we intend to provide support on getting churches what they need at the local level.
The committee also identified the following questions for their continuing work:
  • Models of autonomy – where will decisions lie?  
  • What is the purpose of SCYMF?  
  • What is the glue that holds us together?
  • What does membership mean?

Coordinating Committee
During its meeting in Eugene on Saturday, October 7, the Coordinating Committee
  • discussed the principles of a membership process for meetings and individuals,
  • selected project management software,
  • received a follow-up report from the Equity and Inclusion Group,
  • and prioritized upcoming tasks.
Click here to read their notes.

Spiritual Care Committee
Members of the committee developed a list of queries to help them determine what their gifts are, what their work is, and how they might best continue – a list that could prove helpful for all of us to consider:
  • Who are we, as a committee, as individuals, as a yearly meeting?
  • How did you get here?
  • What do you hope will happen?
  • What can you contribute?
  • How did you become a Quaker?
  • How do we foster vulnerability?
  • How do we communicate our own willingness to communicate, to respond, to help, to just talk?
  • How do we include story telling?
  • How might we help at future quarterly and yearly meetings?
  • Might we gather small groups around themes?
Click here to read their notes.
This past Sunday we at North Seattle Friends Church gathered in Meeting for Worship to conduct business, and we want to share two important decisions with you:

We approved the following welcome statement, which has been added to our website:
---
WE ARE A QUAKER CHURCH LOCATED IN NORTH SEATTLE. We are a community of people gathered to Listen to God and follow God’s Leadings. We love Jesus! We are all ministers and seek to support each other in our ministries. We welcome all who desire to join us in this God adventure as we Listen to God and liberate each other to live into our place in the world!

WE SEEK TO BE A WELCOMING AND INCLUSIVE COMMUNITY that encourages people to better love God, love others, and love ourselves. To love ourselves is to embrace our unique, God-given identity and gifts, given to us for our own sake and as a potential blessing to others. We strive to be a safe space that gathers all people of diverse backgrounds and perspectives to worship and minister together in unity and in the Quaker tradition. We are led by the Spirit to recognize full participation of LGBTQ+ persons in all aspects of the life of North Seattle Friends Church.

WE HONOR THE DIVERSE SPIRITUAL JOURNEYS PEOPLE ARE ON, including their own deeply personal understandings of faithfulness. We advocate for healthy relationships and will support them. Membership in our meeting is open to all people who want to join us in our Christ-centered Quaker journey and practice of group discernment.

WE BELIEVE THAT DIVERSITY ENRICHES OUR COMMUNITY. We encourage our members to speak their voice with confidence but listen to others with humility. We support each person’s faith journey and walk together as we seek the Light of Christ in our lives.
---
After hearing excellent reports about the Quarterly Meeting, North Seattle Friends Church minuted joining Sierra-Cascades Yearly Meeting of Friends at the time of our restructuring. We are excited to join SCYMF and look forward to it becoming a reality.
 
In response to national events and the Values Voter Summit, we wrote the following statement. We would love to have SCYMF join us in signing on to this statement. We feel strongly that we must speak out publicly that we hold to the values and teachings of Jesus! Here is a link to the statement on our website: http://northseattlefriends.org/statement-on-values-voter-summit-platform/.
---
Statement on Values Voter Summit Platform
 
We reject the use of Jesus for a nationalist agenda. We affirm the separation of church and state. Christ’s Presence in our world is evidenced by love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. To these values we are committed.
 
North Seattle Friends Church, October 2017
Announcements

The Twin Rocks Friends Conference Association will meet from 3 to 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, November 19, 2017 at Reedwood Friends Church (2901 SE Steele Street in Portland) with the aim of reaching unity on a Corporate Resolution (either as originally presented or modified). Click here for the full letter. The corporate document referenced in the letter is available here.

Mark your calendars: The next quarterly gathering will be at Camas Friends from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, February 17, 2018. More information to come.

Eugene Friends Church (EFC) is seeking applications for the position of Pastor, to fill a retirement-created vacancy. EFC is a growing congregation of about 160 affiliated persons, currently part of Northwest Yearly Meeting, but in the process of becoming a founding member of Sierra-Cascades Yearly Meeting of Friends. We are a Christ-centered, affirming, high-involvement, outward-looking Quaker church seeking to be faithful to the call of Jesus in our community. To find out more about this opportunity, check out https://www.eugenefriendschurch.org/job-opportunities/ for a position description, with links to the full application package and the rest of our website.


Are members of your local church receiving this newsletter? Use the email forward button below to share this issue, or encourage anyone interested in subscribing to do so by completing the form on our Contact page. You can also find our newsletter online.

If you have an announcement you’d like to have included in the next Bulletin, please send it to newsletter@scymf.org.
by Admin

Bulletin 10.13.2017

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Bulletin 10.13.2017
Create

 
  1. The following minute regarding the transfer of recording and licensing of ministers was approved: Friends who want their recording/licensing transferred can bring it to their monthly meeting elders, or a group they trust if they are not part of a monthly meeting, and that group will bring it to Sierra-Cascades Yearly Meeting of Friends (SCYMF) as a recording or licensing transfer. SCYMF will receive the recording, while continuing to work on developing our recording process and philosophy.
  2. The following recommendation was approved: that the clerks and members of the Bylaws/Faith and Practice Committee meet with David Hansen, attorney, for legal consultation and representation of SCYMF as we draft bylaws and articles of incorporation.
  3. The following recommendation was approved: that the clerks be given the authority to make decisions regarding some logistical items that will need to appear in SCYMF Articles of Incorporation.
  4. The following recommendation was approved: that the statement drafted by the People Work Group be distributed among Friends as a statement of the values of this group
  5. The Youth Board was approved as an official committee.
Click here to read the full minutes from the quarterly gathering hosted by Eugene Friends last Saturday, October 7, 2017.

Queries about Annual Sessions
During meeting for worship for business at Eugene Friends last Saturday, small groups took time responding to two questions regarding annual sessions:
  1. What good things would you love to see happen at the annual sessions of SCYMF?
  2. What pitfalls should we try to avoid at annual sessions?
Click here to read the collected responses.
“Our life is love, and peace, and tenderness; and bearing one with another, and forgiving one another, and not laying accusations one against another; but praying one for another, and helping one another up with a tender hand.” ~ Isaac Penington

From the People Workgroup of Sierra-Cascades Yearly Meeting of Friends

An Open Letter to people who are isolated and hurting,

Friends,

There has been so much pain associated with the discussions, forums, meetings and decisions in Northwest Yearly Meeting these past few years—for some people, much longer. Many of us have tried to listen to each other, to understand, and to move beyond the different understandings we hold of Scripture, of how God speaks to us, of the nature of the church, and about how we experience our humanity. We seek new ways of relating to God and to each other, clearer hearts to love each other as God loves us. We need healing. We need to hear voices of reconciliation. We need safe places to heal, recover, and belong. 

We are reaching out broadly in hopes of connecting to people who are wondering if there will be a place for them somewhere in this new Sierra-Cascades Yearly Meeting of Friends. We want to hear from you. What are your needs? Your dreams for being a part of a faith community? How can we come along beside you and support you? We want you to know you are welcome to join with us as we make SCYMF what it is to become--inclusive, welcoming, faithful, loving, a voice for the marginalized, a safer haven. We are an evolving community, a community involved in the joyful mess of discerning who we are called to be.

Please share this letter with anyone you know who is feeling isolated, marginalized, without a spiritual home/community. Please step out in faith and respond. Reach out to us so we can lend a helping hand. We can put you in touch with people if we aren’t the right people to directly help. There are people gifted in prayer, in spiritual support, in listening. 

SCYMF People Workgroup:
Zachary Maurer, Newberg Emerging Friends Church
Diane Beebe, West Hills Friends Church
Susan Scott, Eugene Friends Church
Norma Silliman, Camas Friends Church
Mary Mahoney, Camas Friends Church

More information can be found at our website, https://www.scymfriends.org
Announcements

Eugene Friends Church (EFC) is seeking applications for the position of Pastor, to fill a retirement-created vacancy. EFC is a growing congregation of about 160 affiliated persons, currently part of Northwest Yearly Meeting, but in the process of becoming a founding member of Sierra-Cascades Yearly Meeting of Friends. We are a Christ-centered, affirming, high-involvement, outward-looking Quaker church seeking to be faithful to the call of Jesus in our community. To find out more about this opportunity, check out https://www.eugenefriendschurch.org/job-opportunities/ for a position description, with links to the full application package and the rest of our website.


The Portland Area Gathering of Friends churches and meetings will take place tonight, Friday, October 13, 2017, from 6-9 pm at Clackamas Park Friends Church (8120 SE Thiessen Rd, Milwaukie, OR) in Harmon Hall. The evening will primarily be an opportunity for fellowship with one another. Participants are asked to bring finger foods to share as well as favorite table games, musical instruments, etc. We’ll see where the Spirit leads. Friends of all ages are welcome as are Friends from other areas. Any questions can be directed to Tonya Comfort (tonyacomfort@msn.com or 503-476-4289).

Are members of your local church receiving this newsletter? Use the email forward button below to share this issue, or encourage anyone interested in subscribing to do so by completing the form on our Contact page. You can also find our newsletter online.

If you have an announcement you’d like to have included in the next Bulletin, please send it to newsletter@scymf.org.
by Admin

10.06.2017

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Bulletin 10.06.2017
Gather

 
World Quaker Day
Friends World Committee for Consultation invited every Quaker meeting and church from around the world to celebrate WORLD QUAKER DAY (WQD) on October 1, 2017. The theme, Gathering in Worship Around the Globe, focused on uniting Friends in different parts of the world and from different traditions in one big virtual worshiping community. 

See how Friends around the world celebrated in 2017

From FWCC: As the sun rises in each area of the world, we remember that Quakers are worshiping through every time zone, celebrating our deep connections across cultures and Quaker traditions. We are united in love and accompany each other on this special day that draws us together. As we worship, we hold each other in prayer and thanksgiving, and let our hymns of praise resound across the world.


Twin Rocks Association
At the September 24 meeting, the Twin Rocks Association was not able to come to unity to approve the recommendation brought forward by the Twin Rocks Board. A lot of good and heart-felt discussion occurred.

A second meeting of the Twin Rocks Association will occur at 3 p.m. on Sunday, November 19, at Reedwood Friends.

In the meantime, the Twin Rocks Board is soliciting input from members of the Association, which can be shared with Matt Burg, clerk of the board, by email - mwburg@gmail.com.

Gathering in Eugene
Friends: Tomorrow is the Oct. 7th Quarterly Gathering. Here is the schedule we have in place and additional program information.

   10:00 a.m. - Meeting for worship
   11:00 a.m. - Committee meetings/affinity groups for youth and adults not on committees
   12:00 p.m. - Meal provided by Eugene Friends by donation
   1:00 p.m. - Fun
   1:30 p.m. - Meeting for worship for business
   5:00 p.m. - Meal provided by Eugene Friends by donation

We have childcare for nursery, preschool and grade-school ages.

Two meals will be provided by Eugene Friends – a soup lunch and a sandwich dinner. Friends will be able to make their sandwiches to take on the road with them if desired. We can accommodate all of the dietary needs of those who have pre-registered.

Derek Lamson and Ruba Byrd will lead the singing.


Eugene Friends Church is located at 3495 W 18th Ave, Eugene, OR 97402

Meeting for Worship for Business
We continue to work on a draft agenda for our time together in Eugene tomorrow. During that business meeting in the afternoon, there will be a couple minutes for each group/committee to share updates about what they’ve been working on and what they’ll be doing in the coming months.
George Fox recorded in his Journal this phrase that had come to him as a revelation: “There is one, even Christ Jesus, that can speak to thy condition.” It marked a turning point for Fox, and his response was to proclaim to everyone he met that “Christ has come to teach his people Himself.”

As we enter into worship and business in worship tomorrow, let us remember with expectancy that Jesus is with us. Because our identity as Quakers is based on the particular experience of the continuing presence of Christ, we know that Jesus has come. Jesus can speak to our condition. Jesus has come to teach us.

I grew up at Hillsboro Friends, a worshipping community in which I was consistently reminded that the coming of Christ brings about the potential for a new relationship between God and me. What I didn’t understand but now know is that there is also a new relationship between God and us.

We are gathered by God. We are guided by God. And God joins us in our waiting for God’s guidance. Or as George Fox puts it, “I saw also that there was an ocean of darkness and death; but an infinite ocean of light and love, which flowed over the ocean of darkness.” Or as the angel of the Lord puts it, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.”
Announcements

Eugene Friends Church (EFC) is seeking applications for the position of Pastor, to fill a retirement-created vacancy. EFC is a growing congregation of about 160 affiliated persons, currently part of Northwest Yearly Meeting, but in the process of becoming a founding member of Sierra-Cascades Yearly Meeting of Friends. We are a Christ-centered, affirming, high-involvement, outward-looking Quaker church seeking to be faithful to the call of Jesus in our community. To find out more about this opportunity, check out https://www.eugenefriendschurch.org/job-opportunities/ for a position description, with links to the full application package and the rest of our website.


The Portland Area Gathering of Friends churches and meetings will take place on Friday, October 13, 2017, from 6-9 pm at Clackamas Park Friends Church (8120 SE Thiessen Rd, Milwaukie, OR) in Harmon Hall. The evening will primarily be an opportunity for fellowship with one another. Participants are asked to bring finger foods to share as well as favorite table games, musical instruments, etc. We’ll see where the Spirit leads. Friends of all ages are welcome as are Friends from other areas. Any questions can be directed to Tonya Comfort (tonyacomfort@msn.com or 503-476-4289).

Are members of your local church receiving this newsletter? Use the email forward button below to share this issue, or encourage anyone interested in subscribing to do so by completing the form on our Contact page. You can also find our newsletter online.

If you have an announcement you’d like to have included in the next Bulletin, please send it to newsletter@scymf.org.
by Admin

09.29.2017

Photo by Casey Horner on Unsplash
Bulletin 09.29.2017
Discern

 
A Letter from Winthrop Center Friends
At our Meeting for Business yesterday we decided to write and let you know of our love and support for you as you start your journey as a new yearly meeting.... We know how painful it is when Friends’ perception of Truth differs, especially within a yearly meeting, and especially as it closely affects dear and valued members. We can only “live up to the Light” we have, trusting that “more will be given.”

Click here to view the full letter.

Gathering in Eugene
Friends: It’s getting closer to the Oct. 7th Quarterly Gathering. Here is the schedule we have in place and additional program information.

   10:00 a.m. - Meeting for worship
   11:00 a.m. - Committee meetings/affinity groups for youth and adults not on committees
   12:00 p.m. - Meal provided by Eugene Friends by donation
   1:00 p.m. - Fun
   1:30 p.m. - Meeting for worship for business
   5:00 p.m. - Meal provided by Eugene Friends by donation

We have childcare for nursery, preschool and grade-school ages.

Two meals will be provided by Eugene Friends – a soup lunch and a sandwich dinner. Friends will be able to make their sandwiches to take on the road with them if desired. We can accommodate all of the dietary needs of those who have pre-registered.

Derek Lamson and Ruba Byrd will lead the singing.

If you have any questions, please contact Rachel Hampton at hamptonrachel2002@outlook.com. If you need housing either before or after the event please contact Vicki Stave at vstave@hotmail.com. 


Eugene Friends Church is located at 3495 W 18th Ave, Eugene, OR 97402

Meeting for Worship for Business
We continue to work on a draft agenda for our time together in Eugene on Saturday, October 7:
  • Action Item: Articles of incorporation
  • Update on bylaws
  • Email etiquette
  • Committee and working group reports
  • Action Item: Recording and licensing
  • Task force to work on recommendations for a recording process going forward 
  • Membership for individuals
  • Membership for monthly meetings
One of our tasks, as we continue the process of forming Sierra-Cascades Yearly Meeting of Friends, is to decide where we fit in the Quaker family. We have chosen to be a yearly meeting; will we be affiliated with a larger body? The three larger bodies are: EFCI (Evangelical Friends Church International, with whom we were associated as Northwest Yearly Meeting of Friends Church), FUM (Friends United Meeting, a global fellowship of Christ-centered yearly meetings, associations, and worship groups), and FGC (Friends General Conference, a group of yearly meetings in the U.S. and Canada). Of these three, we probably fit best with FUM, with some important caveats and considerations. Together, we can weigh the pros and cons of affiliating with a larger body, and the ways in which we feel led to express our sense of who we are in Christ in relation to those with whom we disagree. In light of that, I will begin with a brief introduction to the organization of FUM, followed by concerns surrounding FUM’s personnel policy, and important considerations for us to think about as we move forward in our mutual discernment regarding possible affiliation.

(Friends World Committee for Consultation [FWCC] is an international Friends organization that brings together Friends for relationship building and community, but which does not require decisions to be made together. Friends from all the umbrella organizations, or no umbrella organization, can be part of FWCC.)
 

FUM

Friends United Meeting (FUM) is an umbrella organization currently comprised of 34 Yearly Meetings and Associations (the New Association and WARSF). Of these, four of the North American YMs are dually-affiliated with Friends General Conference (Baltimore, New York, New England, and Canadian). The vast numeric majority of FUM (and Quakers in general) is non-North American. 20 FUM yearly meetings are from East Africa, and two are in the Caribbean (Cuba and Jamaica). There are also member worship groups in Belize, Palestine and Mexico. FUM is a global fellowship made up of mutually-supportive, equal members, rather than being a North American mission.

NWYM (called Oregon Yearly Meeting at the time) left FUM (Five Years Meeting at the time) in 1926, desiring a stronger focus on evangelism over social causes.
 

FUM’s Personnel Policy

FUM has a personnel policy that contradicts the minute on inclusion of LGBTQ+ ministers we approved at annual sessions in July 2017. The policy includes the following:
 
FUM Policy on Personal Ethics
FUM’s purpose is to extend the Body of Christ and to energize and equip the Religious Society of Friends to gather people into Christian fellowships. It is therefore imperative, both for the integrity of our programs and for the sake of our relationships with our constituency, that Friends United Meeting’s employees evidence a Christian motivation and that they are members of the Society of Friends or have a sympathetic acquaintance with Friends.

Friends United Meeting holds to the traditional Friends testimonies of peace (nonviolence), simplicity, truth speaking, community, gender and racial equality, chastity, and fidelity in marriage. It is expected that the lifestyle of all staff and volunteer appointees of Friends United Meeting will be in accordance with these testimonies.

Friends United Meeting affirms the civil rights of all people. Staff and volunteer appointments and promotions are made without regard to sex, race, national origin, age, physical disability, or sexual orientation. It is expected however that intimate sexual behavior should be confined to traditional marriage, understood to be between one man and one woman.

(The Policy on Personal Ethics was approved by the General Board of Friends United Meeting, Minute 88-GB-52)


An additional minute, attached to this section in October 2012, reads: 
 
The General Board did not find unity regarding the section on Personal Ethics in section 4, but acknowledged that the policy had been approved by the General Board in 1988 with minute 88-GB-52 and remained in effect.

While this policy directly contradicts our own position on LGBTQ+ people in ministry, there are a number of welcoming and affirming yearly meetings who remain affiliated with FUM, desiring to connect with the global community of Friends, and to continue to speak to other Friends on this topic. Some individual LGBTQ+ Friends in meetings such as Baltimore and New England have expressed their wish to stay with FUM for these reasons, laboring with FUM toward changing their policy.
 

For Our Discernment

The process of discerning our affiliation with the larger Friends community will likely be long, and we don’t need to make a decision anytime soon. Here are some items to be aware of as we work through this process, as well as some queries for us to ponder as we think and pray around this topic.
  • The Friends from the Western Association of the Religious Society of Friends (WARSF) who are thinking about joining SCYMF are affiliated with FUM.
  • We don’t know who is part of SCYMF yet, so we have a choice of making a decision about affiliating with a broader organization such as FUM and then seeing who wants to join “us,” or waiting to see who wants to be part of “us” and then making a decision together about affiliation with other Friends groups.
  • The personnel policy brings up competing justice considerations: LGBTQ+ ministry, and colonialism. The Western Church is just waking up to the destructive ways we’ve forced our culture and ideology on other cultures in the name of Jesus. As SCYMF, we presumably do not want to participate in coercive and controlling forms of Christianity. At the same time, we do not want to allow the imperialistic ideologies taught to other cultures by previous generations of our forbears to limit the ways that the Spirit can be at work in our denomination today.
Queries:
  • What is important to me about being part of something larger among Friends, and what concerns me about this idea?
  • What is the line between humility and integrity?
  • As Friends in the majority world, what is our role in worldwide Friends conversations, and in the worldwide church?
  • What is the role of the yearly meeting and any umbrella organizations we associate with in holding us accountable and providing authority? How do we hold ourselves accountable to the Spirit’s leading while remaining open to the Spirit leading us in seemingly different directions?
  • How do we trust one another and value one another’s truths while also speaking prophetically from our own experience and discernment?
  • If we don’t feel clear to join with any of the existing Friends umbrella organizations, what might our responsibility be to facilitate something new among Friends more broadly?
Announcements

Eugene Friends Church (EFC) is seeking applications for the position of Pastor, to fill a retirement-created vacancy. EFC is a growing congregation of about 160 affiliated persons, currently part of Northwest Yearly Meeting, but in the process of becoming a founding member of Sierra-Cascades Yearly Meeting of Friends. We are a Christ-centered, affirming, high-involvement, outward-looking Quaker church seeking to be faithful to the call of Jesus in our community. To find out more about this opportunity, check out https://www.eugenefriendschurch.org/job-opportunities/ for a position description, with links to the full application package and the rest of our website.


The Portland Area Gathering of Friends churches and meetings will take place on Friday, October 13, 2017, from 6-9 pm at Clackamas Park Friends Church (8120 SE Thiessen Rd, Milwaukie, OR) in Harmon Hall. The evening will primarily be an opportunity for fellowship with one another. Participants are asked to bring finger foods to share as well as favorite table games, musical instruments, etc. We’ll see where the Spirit leads. Friends of all ages are welcome as are Friends from other areas. Any questions can be directed to Tonya Comfort (tonyacomfort@msn.com or 503-476-4289).

Are members of your local church receiving this newsletter? Use the email forward button below to share this issue, or encourage anyone interested in subscribing to do so by completing the form on our Contact page. You can also find our newsletter online.

If you have an announcement you’d like to have included in the next Bulletin, please send it to newsletter@scymf.org.
by Admin

09.22.2017

Photo by Zac Sturgeon on Unsplash
Bulletin 09.22.2017
Journey

 
Twin Rocks Friends Camp Association Meeting
From Ken Beebe: Twin Rocks Friends Camp is attempting to ascertain implications to the camp of a restructure currently underway in Northwest Yearly Meeting. The camp’s board of directors has met many times in recent months and developed a recommendation.
 
A meeting of the Twin Rocks Friends Conference Association will take place the afternoon of Sunday, September 24, 2017, at 3pm at Reedwood Friends Church (2901 SE Steele Street in Portland). The purpose of the meeting is to review the attached document and seek the Association’s approval of it.

Click here to read the full document.

Members of the following churches make up the Association and are owners of the camp: 
Camas Friends Church
Cherry Grove Friends Church
City’s Edge Community Church
Clackamas Park Friends Church
Crossroads Friends Church
Eugene Friends Church
Hillsboro Friends Church
Iglesia de Los Amigos
Lynwood Friends Church
Marion Friends Church
Metolius Friends Church
Netarts Friends Church
Newberg Friends Church
Newberg Emerging Friends Church
North Valley Friends Church
Reedwood Friends Church
Rosedale Friends Church
Rose Valley Friends Church
Second Street Community Church
Sherwood Friends Church
Silverton Friends Church
South Salem Friends Church
Tigard Friends Church
Vancouver First Friends Church
West Chehalem Friends Church
West Hills Friends Church

Gathering in Eugene
Friends: It’s getting closer to the Oct. 7th Quarterly Gathering. Here is the schedule we have in place and additional program information.

   10:00 a.m. - Meeting for worship
   11:00 a.m. - Committee meetings/break-out sessions for youth and adults not on committees
   12:00 p.m. - Meal provided by Eugene Friends by donation
   1:00 p.m. - Fun
   1:30 p.m. - Meeting for worship for business
   5:00 p.m. - Meal provided by Eugene Friends by donation

We have childcare for nursery, preschool and grade-school ages. Middle and high school youth are with the adults except for a breakout session during the committee meeting time. We will also have a breakout session for adults not on committees.

Two meals will be provided by Eugene Friends – a soup lunch and a sandwich dinner. Friends will be able to make their sandwiches to take on the road with them if desired. We can accommodate all of the dietary needs of those who have pre-registered.

Derek Lamson and Ruba Byrd will lead the singing.

If you have any questions, please contact Rachel Hampton at hamptonrachel2002@outlook.com. If you need housing either before or after the event please contact Vicki Stave at vstave@hotmail.com. 


Eugene Friends Church is located at 3495 W 18th Ave, Eugene, OR 97402
I live in Camas, Washington, and attend Camas Friends Church, but I’ve lived all over the Pacific Northwest, plus a few years in Berkeley, California. I’m a double George Fox University graduate with a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies (choose your own adventure!) with an emphasis in Theatre, Music and Writing/Literature and an M.A.T with endorsements for Middle and Secondary English and Theatre. I spent a couple of blissful years teaching and directing theatre at Tumwater High School before my first child was born. I’m married to Matt Boswell, pastor at Camas Friends, and we have three children: Clara (5), Renee (3) and Teddy (10 months). I have a small photography business and spend most of my time happily at home with the kids, but I dream of returning to theatre when they are older. 

I grew up Foursquare, and until I went to college, I didn’t realize that Quakers were still a thing. As a student I resonated with some Quaker values, such as pacifism, but it was a long and complicated journey to now where I consider myself Quaker. In many ways I feel like I’ve always been Quaker; I just didn’t know it. If you want to have your ear talked off, you could ask me more about my journey sometime.

I am so excited to be part of what we are creating with Sierra-Cascades Yearly Meeting of Friends (SCYMF). I am clerking the Coordinating Committee and thoroughly enjoying helping wade through all of the details involved in the creation of SCYMF. I am hopeful that we are creating something beautiful. Something sincerely honest and deeply kind. I am hopeful that we will learn and grow together. That we will listen well to the marginalized and continually seek justice. That we won’t be afraid of different ways of thought, but will be enriched by those differences. I am truly loving being a part of this community and I’m eager to get to know more and more people as we gather online and in person. 

Joann Boswell is clerk of the Coordinating Committee. She attends Camas Friends.
Announcements

Cherice Bock is speaking on “Peace and the Environment: Theology” at 7 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 25, in Hoover 105 at George Fox University. Feel free to join what promises to be a good conversation centered on the topic of living out a vibrant faith as a part of an environmentally challenged world. The hope is to be able think deeply together about how our vocation and daily practices can integrate an awareness of current environmental problems and work toward solutions with the love of neighbor and nature in mind. The main goal is to inspire creative thinking through emphasizing the beauty and wonder of God’s creation within a biblical framework of hope and neighborly love.


The Portland Area Gathering of Friends churches and meetings will take place on Friday, October 13, 2017, from 6-9 pm at Clackamas Park Friends Church (8120 SE Thiessen Rd, Milwaukie, OR) in Harmon Hall. The evening will primarily be an opportunity for fellowship with one another. Participants are asked to bring finger foods to share as well as favorite table games, musical instruments, etc. We’ll see where the Spirit leads. Friends of all ages are welcome as are Friends from other areas. Any questions can be directed to Tonya Comfort (tonyacomfort@msn.com or 503-476-4289).

Are members of your local church receiving this newsletter? Use the email forward button below to share this issue, or encourage anyone interested in subscribing to do so by completing the form on our Contact page. You can also find our newsletter online.

If you have an announcement you’d like to have included in the next Bulletin, please send it to newsletter@scymf.org.
by Admin

09.15.2017

Photo by luke flynt on Unsplash
Bulletin 09.15.2017
Convinced

 
Clerks Meeting
Cherice Bock, Eric Muhr, and Matthew Staples met with Jon Kershner by Skype on Monday. We’ll gather again on Monday, September 25. In the meantime, here’s a rundown of what we’re working on:
  • Organizing an agenda for business at our gathering in Eugene on Saturday, October 7
  • Thinking through the tension between a need for external structure (stability) and the need for flexibility and change (responsiveness, health)
  • Details on visiting Friends
  • Much of our business is being done collaboratively online. This increases our flexibility and agility, but it comes with extra communications burdens
  • Continued work on what recording is for, what it does, and what that means for us

People Work
The People Work group met in Newberg this last Saturday to begin defining the parameters of their work. Click here for an outline overview of their discussion.

A Brief History of the Quaker Practice of Recording
From Jon Kershner: Of course, this is not an exhaustive history of ministers among Friends. Instead, this description attempts to focus on the meaning of ministers as it changed and evolved into the pastoral system with particular importance for the recording of ministers in Sierra-Cascades Yearly Meeting. At its best, this document provides a historical context, pointing out tensions within Quaker views of ministry, and does not attempt to make prescriptions for solutions. That will be the work we accomplish in discernment together. Click here to read the full report.

Gathering in Eugene
Our next, large-group gathering – anyone can come – is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on October 7, at Eugene Friends. There will be a shared meal. Childcare is provided. If you are planning to attend, please send the following information to Rachel Hampton hamptonrachel2002@outlook.com: Your name and the names of those coming with you, the age of anyone under 18, and an email address for contact.

As much as possible, we’d like to accommodate food sensitivities, but we may not be able to meet your needs. If you have severe dietary restrictions, please plan ahead. We can accommodate vegetarian/vegan, gluten and dairy and nut allergies. We will have programs for all ages as well as nursery for preschoolers, so youth and children are encouraged to come.


Finally, if you need housing during the weekend, please let Rachel know at the email address above.
Hello  Friends,

I am Sue Scott from Eugene Friends Church (EFC), convinced Friend. Convinced as a lonely young mom, who decided to check out Jesus for myself. Convinced by the bible, devoured from John to Revelation and backward through the rest of the gospels. Convinced, despite stubbornness and pride, by Jesus’ witness, love, and example of action. Further convinced by the good folks at Silverton Friends Church who welcomed the new little hippie family to worship. Fast forward to 2017 when I find myself still convinced by the power of Jesus to enlighten, change, convict, teach, and yes, to save.

At EFC, I have been an elder, on the outreach committee, and taught kindergarten Sunday School for 20 years (the best!) I developed and led a parenting class designed for the community. I am currently on our new Communication Committee, and I lead a women’s bible study called Fearfully and Wonderfully Made. I just joined the Spiritual Care and People Work committees for Sierra-Cascades Yearly Meeting of Friends (SCYMF). I am very hopeful about fostering strong connections. I am excited by our focus on welcome because I have been welcomed, and I know how that feels. I look forward to working with our Quaker distinctives.

People, especially little ones, are my thing. Therefore, La Leche League, a support and education organization for breastfeeding mothers, is my other extensive  volunteer space. There I have enjoyed teaching and learning about group dynamics, parenting, communication skills, meetings, how people learn and work together, and organizational change. Which is where we are right now in SCYMF.

I make jewelry and do crossfit with my daughter, Anna. We both love weightlifting. I draw sometimes and read a lot. I especially look forward to our SCYMF meetings where I can learn from you all. I expect Jesus’ witness, love, and action to abound. 

One of my favorite verses now is Micah 6:8
   He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
   And what does the Lord require of you?
   To act justly and to love mercy
   and to walk humbly with your God.

Sue Scott is part of the People Work group and the Spiritual Care Committee. She attends Eugene Friends.
Announcements

Folks from West Hills and Klamath Falls are joining together on Saturday, September 16, and other Friends are welcome to come. Schedule below: 
  • 2 p.m. - Welcome and community building at West Hills Friends, 7425 SW 52nd Ave, Portland, OR 97219, (503) 246-7654
  • 3 p.m. - SoulCollage® Workshop: SoulCollage® is a fun, intuitive collage process that facilitates self-discovery, meditation, and prayer of the heart. Through a simple guided process, you will create individual cards that express your unique connection to God's Spirit.
  • 5 p.m. - Community dinner: We’re anchoring the potluck with a taco bar (beans, rice, cheese, lettuce, tortillas, etc.).  If you can join us for dinner, please bring some food to share.
  • 6:30 p.m. - Coffee House: Seven WHF musicians have agreed to perform! Bring a dessert to share and join us for a fun evening.

If you have prayer requests for the Prayer Team, please share them by email with Carol Whorton - cwhorton47@gmail.com

Are members of your local church receiving this newsletter? Use the email forward button below to share this issue, or encourage anyone interested in subscribing to do so by completing the form on our Contact page. You can also find our newsletter online.

If you have an announcement you’d like to have included in the next Bulletin, please send it to newsletter@scymf.org.
by Admin

09.08.2017

Photo by Levi Bare on Unsplash
Bulletin 09.08.2017
Freedom

 
Synopsis from Visiting Friend
The sessions that I witnessed in 2017 were relatively amicable, with only brief flares of rancor on the floor of Yearly Meeting. The ejected group was granted space to hold separate sessions (which I attended) on the campus of GFU. Assurances had been issued that property and pastoral retirements funds will not be forfeited by departing congregations, provided that a separation is completed by June 30, 2018. [Note that until the separation is complete, both factions are technically members of NWYM.]

About 80 people in the ejected group met to consider their options.  
-
Keith Barton, traveling from the Western Association of the Religious Society of Friends, offered a synopsis of his experience at annual sessions in July. Click here to read his full report.

Gathering in Eugene
Our next, large-group gathering – anyone can come – is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on October 7, at Eugene Friends. There will be a shared meal. Childcare is provided. If you are planning to attend, please send the following information to Rachel Hampton hamptonrachel2002@outlook.com: Your name and the names of those coming with you, the age of anyone under 18, and an email address for contact.

As much as possible, we’d like to accommodate food sensitivities, but we may not be able to meet your needs. If you have severe dietary restrictions, please plan ahead. We can accommodate vegetarian/vegan, gluten and dairy and nut allergies. We will have programs for all ages as well as nursery for preschoolers, so youth and children are encouraged to come.

 

Christian Faith and White Supremacy

A statement from clergy (including three Quakers, two with Pacific Northwest connections) that connects well with the minute produced by our Equity and Inclusion Committee: As a diverse group of theologians, activists and ministers of our respective parishes, congregations, networks, churches, faith communities and educational institutions, we here declare that we are bound together by the confession that Jesus Christ is the Lord of the Church.

We publicly declare that what we hold in common in this confession is threatened by the festering infection of Eurocentric white nationalism and white supremacy. Fueled by flawed interpretations of Old Testament purity laws and conquest, churches and denominations in the United States have been deeply shaped by and at times created to sustain European purity and colonization of land, people, and culture.

-
Original signers of the statement released earlier this week include Grace Ji-Sun Kim at Earlham School of Religion, MaryKate Morse at Portland Seminary, and Randy S. Woodley at Eloheh Village, Farm and Community in Newberg. Click here to read the full statement.
I grew up in a loving family of seven in California, steeped in Southern Baptist doctrine. As a young woman in the ’60s I began to question a lot about the inconsistencies I saw between the love I witnessed in my family and even in some of the folks in the church, and what I was learning about Jesus and God. I was married, had two daughters, and divorced by the time I was 20. My situation put me at odds with the Baptists’ theology about women, sin, divorce, and how God relates to humans. I left the Baptist church, and in my searching found Friends, moving to Newberg in 1974-75, when Richard Foster and Ron Woodward were pastoring at Newberg Friends Church. Christ used the teaching and people of NFC to teach me a new way of reading and understanding scripture, bringing a huge inner freedom.
 
I was soon exposed to the broader Quaker world, meeting Friends from North Pacific Yearly Meeting and beyond. I’ve had amazing opportunities to meet and worship with many fine, deeply committed Friends, to hear the stories of early Friends, and to spend two years among Kenyan Friends telling the story of Margaret Fell, the founding mother of Friends. I’ve worshipped with Convergent Friends, attended many Pacific Northwest Quaker Women’s Theology Conferences, and done a year in the Way of the Spirit program. These relationships and experiences have given me a strong sense of identity as a Quaker but not a strong identity as an Evangelical Quaker. I find so much life and light among Friends across the spectrum, and I am challenged, encouraged, and my spirit fed by my convergent involvement.
 
I am very excited about Sierra-Cascades Yearly Meeting of Friends (SCYMF) and this opportunity to participate in a new thing that Christ is doing among Friends. I see my role as being a supporter, lending my experience with Quaker process, my connections, my commitment to follow my Inner Guide, my ability to listen, and my time (I am a semi-retired nurse). My hope for our new yearly meeting is that it will be a place where people learn that God loves them unconditionally, as they are, with all their mistakes, humanness, giftedness, and desires to be in community. I want people to experience the freedom from misinterpretation of scripture and the acceptance of being loved by the people in the meeting. I want SCYMF to be steeped in worship, attending to Spirit’s movement in and among us and empowering us to be humble, truthful, and loving. I look forward to becoming a strong, healthy community as we work together to create a more just society, standing with the poor, homeless, immigrants, disabled, mentally ill, etc.—the people Jesus brings to our hearts to love as he loved them.

Norma Silliman is part of the People Work group. She attends Camas Friends.
Announcements

If you have prayer requests for the Prayer Team, please share them by email with Carol Whorton - cwhorton47@gmail.com

The Clergy Letter Project challenges the assumption that religion is opposed to science (and evolution in particular). Since 2008, West Hills Friends has participated in Evolution Weekend, an annual celebration of science within places of worship. That event is scheduled for February 2018.

Are members of your local church receiving this newsletter? Use the email forward button below to share this issue, or encourage anyone interested in subscribing to do so by completing the form on our Contact page. You can also find our newsletter online.

If you have an announcement you’d like to have included in the next Bulletin, please send it to newsletter@scymf.org.
by Admin

09.01.2017

Photo by Adam Chang on Unsplash
Bulletin 09.01.2017
Together


Clerks Meeting
Eric Muhr and Cherice Bock met with Jon Kershner by Skype on Wednesday. We’ll gather again on Monday, September 11. In the meantime, here’s a rundown of what we’re working on:
  • Regathering and formalizing the team of people who volunteered to work on communications in March.
  • Cherice is continuing the conversation with the Western Association of the Religious Society of Friends about joining together.
  • Eric will be helping to continue the discussion started last spring regarding the possibility of a camp this coming summer.
  • Jon is researching historical details of licensing and recording of ministers and formulating a report that can be widely shared.

A Letter from the Coordinating Committee
Dear Friends,
 
The Sierra-Cascades Yearly Meeting of Friends (SCYMF) Coordinating Committee strongly recommends that churches planning to leave – voluntarily or no – Northwest Yearly Meeting (NWYM) begin to formally consider as soon as possible whether to join SCYMF or become independent churches without a yearly meeting affiliation. June of 2018 seems a long way off, but it is the blink of an eye in Quaker time, and the question at hand is important.
 
Churches choosing to be independent will need their own 501(c)(3) designation, articles of incorporation, bylaws, etc. It takes time to set up and get approved. Various committees of SCYMF are working on such documentation for the new yearly meeting.
 
To that end, the Coordinating Committee recommends that local churches that have yet to decide what course of action they will take schedule threshing meetings as needed for discernment. The sooner local churches can commit to a course of action, the sooner they can begin to get the necessary paperwork together. Knowing how many churches and people are going to be members will also help SCYMF plan for its future.
 
These are exciting times. Good Quaker process takes time. The sooner we all get started on that process the better. May the Holy Spirit guide our steps.
 
John Price
Eugene



On Natural Disasters
At least 1,200 people have been killed and millions have been left homeless following devastating floods that have hit India, Bangladesh and Nepal, in one of the worst flooding disasters to have affected the region in years.

Here in the U.S., Hurricane Harvey has dumped 10 or more inches of rain on an area of land that’s about the size of the state of Kentucky – more than 39,000 square miles. At least 30 people have died, and more than 17,000 people are in shelters.

Jason Evans lives in Houston and works for the Episcopal Diocese of Texas: “Most facilities have more than enough of most things right now. Though, no one seems to ever have enough beds, bedding, feminine hygiene products and diapers, for kids and adults. There are also a lot of special medical needs that general first aid donations
don’t meet. Since deliveries can get to most areas now, donating money and allowing the experts to purchase what is needed may be smarter than shipping donations.

“As of Wednesday night, people were still being rescued.
It’s not over. But the recovery has begun at the same time. Now is a good time to organize work teams. If you want to help, call your friends and organizations you know of that are connected on the ground and start planning trips to the area. It will be needed for a long time. We, as a nation, have been through enough storms in recent history that many organizations know exactly what kind of materials are needed for this kind of work.”

In addition, if you’d like to donate money here in the U.S. or in India, Bangladesh and Nepal, take the time to read up on the group you intend to support – this can be as simple as a few Google searches and checking out information compiled by various charity watchdogs like disasteraccountability.org | www.givewell.org | and charitynavigator.org. Also remember that local groups or those that have deep local ties are often the best option. Experts also suggest thinking beyond the current disaster to the next one. How does the money I give today help change the conditions that magnified the effects of this disaster?
I live in Portland, Oregon, and am a member of West Hills Friends Church. I have been a Quaker my entire life. My family’s Quaker heritage goes back to the time of George Fox and Margaret Fell. Along with being a member of several committees at West Hills, I am also the librarian for Reedwood Friends Church in southeast Portland. I am a graduate of George Fox University and Western Evangelical Seminary (now Portland Seminary). 

One of my current interests is working for justice for immigrants. West Hills Friends has just become a Sanctuary Church, and we are looking for ways to support immigrants in the Portland area, including being involved in the Interfaith Movement for Immigrant Justice. 

I am clerk of the Nominating Committee for SCYMF and on the Quarterly Gathering Committee which is planning our upcoming quarterly meeting in Eugene on Saturday, October 7. I’m also on the Communications Committee. 

Although in the past I really wanted Northwest Yearly Meeting to stay together, now that it is no longer possible, I’m excited about the new beginnings of Sierra-Cascades Yearly Meeting of Friends and hope we can build a strong, vibrant, Christ-centered yearly meeting. My dream is that we will be able to accomplish many things together that our churches can’t do individually. One thing I’d like to see eventually is a yearly meeting committee, working for peace and justice. I enjoy gathering with Friends from other churches and am looking forward to what we can do together. 

Rachel Hampton
West Hills
Announcements

Our next, large-group gathering – anyone can come – is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on October 7, at Eugene Friends. There will be a shared meal. Childcare is provided. If you are planning to attend, please send the following information to Rachel Hampton hamptonrachel2002@outlook.com: Your name and the names of those coming with you, the age of anyone under 18, and an email address for contact. As much as possible, we’d like to accommodate food sensitivities, but we may not be able to meet your needs. If you have severe dietary restrictions, please plan ahead. We can accommodate vegetarian/vegan, gluten and dairy and nut allergies. We will have programs for all ages as well as nursery for preschoolers, so youth and children are encouraged to come.

Are members of your local church receiving this newsletter? Use the email forward button below to share this issue, or encourage anyone interested in subscribing to do so by completing the form on our Contact page. You can also find our newsletter online.

Eric Muhr is teaching a series of eight classes this fall for Reedwood’s Center for Christian Studies. Everything’s Accessible: How the Information Age Is Changing Our Religion (And Why This Might Be a Good Thing). Sessions are from 6:30 to 7:45 p.m. on Wednesdays from September 27 to November 15.

If you have an announcement you’d like to have included in the next Bulletin, please send it to newsletter@scymf.org.
by Admin

08.25.2017

Photo by Jan Wood
Bulletin 08.25.2017
Listen


Accounting System
At our annual session last month we named Roger Watson as treasurer for Sierra-Cascades Yearly Meeting of Friends (SCYMF). Roger also serves as the director of finance and development for Northwest Yearly Meeting (NWYM), so his service for SCYMF is on an interim basis.

Cherice Bock and Eric Muhr met with Roger earlier this month to clarify how finances will work for us as a yearly meeting, especially since we exist in name only at this point. (We’re building an organization while we’re also moving forward as an organization.)

Roger has set up a checking account for SCYMF. Roger asked us to name a second check signer. We agreed to have Cherice serve as a second check signer with the understanding that we would run it by members of both the Coordinating and Finance committees. In addition, the clerks plan to bring this action for business on October 7. We might consider formalizing Cherice as a second check signer, naming a different check signer, or naming an additional check signer. 

Roger will seek approval for expenditures from the co-clerks. Although we have roughly $2,000 in gifts, we have no budget and have approved no expenditures. Roger will provide financial reports to the Finance Committee and to others as interested. SCYMF funds have been and will continue to be segregated and used only for SCYMF purposes. Because SCYMF has not filed articles of incorporation, contributions will be made to NWYM and designated for SCYMF. Contribution receipts will be issued by NWYM.

Nondiscrimination Policy
Does your church have a nondiscrimination policy? If not, you might consider talking to a lawyer about creating one. This is one of the easiest ways to formally communicate your community’s commitment to safety. It should be published on your website and in your bulletin where it can be easily found. Most such policies explicitly list protected classes (gender, ethnicity, race, skin color). If you have one, check to see if it also includes people with disabilities, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, HIV status, immigration status. Nondiscrimination policies are one of the ways potential visitors check to see if you care about them. Sample policies linked below:
I was born and raised in Newberg, Oregon, and am currently studying computer science at George Fox. I attended Newberg Friends Church all my life up until a few months ago, and currently attend Newberg Emerging Friends Church and the meetings of the Community of In-Betweeners. I participated heavily in Northwest Yearly Meeting youth programs and camps, including Twin Rocks camps, Bible Quzzing, Youth Yearly Meeting, and the volleyball tournament (my underperformance in which haunts me to this day).

Growing up, I would joke that Quakerism was “Christianity minus BS.” I had a genuine earnestness to believe that Friends, being convinced that the Light of Christ dwells in everyone, could really be people that honor God with integrity in the way we treat each other, even and especially those that face injustice in our world today. Then the last few years happened. I do still have that respect for the ideals of Quakerism. I just understand that it’s hard, and we can lose our way. 

It has been refreshing and energizing to see the way that this group has been faithful to respond to the Spirit’s leading toward something new. I am excited to see the ways in which we continue to listen.

Matthew Staples
Recording Clerk
Announcements

Committees, working groups, and informal gathered groups: We’re saving space in this newsletter each week for you to communicate who you are, what you’re doing, where you need help, and how our future together is coming into focus for you. Share that information with the clerks@scymf.org or by email to newsletter@scymf.org.

If you have an announcement you’d like to have included in the next Bulletin, please send it to newsletter@scymf.org.

Our next, large-group gathering – anyone can come – is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on October 7, at Eugene Friends. There will be a shared meal. Childcare is provided.
by Admin

08.18.2017

Photo by adrian on Unsplash
Bulletin 08.18.2017
Vision


Equity and Inclusion Minute
We encourage Friends across Sierra-Cascades Yearly Meeting to prayerfully reflect on the following queries:
  1. Are our meetings places of safety and welcome for people of color?
  2. How are the structures within our monthly meetings, quarterly meetings, and yearly meeting addressing systemic racism?
  3. What are ways your meeting can actively promote racial justice in your local community? Are there other local organizations or activists already doing the work with whom your meeting could partner and support?
  4. Am I living a life that testifies to the evil of white supremacy? Am I willing to learn from past mistakes, omissions, and ways I’ve noticed racism within myself?

Clerks Meeting 
Cherice Bock, Eric Muhr, and Matthew Staples met at North Valley Friends on Tuesday. We’ll gather again on Wednesday, August 30. In the meantime, here’s a rundown of what we’re working on:
  • Cherice will visit Freedom Friends on a Sunday in September.
  • Cherice and Eric met with Roger Watson in order to get a basic understanding of how finances will work until we have standing as a nonprofit.
  • Eric met with the Coordinating Committee and will be meeting with the GFU archivist.
  • Jon researched and reported on issues of membership and recording. We hope to make his report available soon.
  • We talked through possible items of business for our gathering in Eugene on October 7.
Coordinating Committee
The Coordinating Committee met at Camas Friends on Thursday and will gather again from 9 to 10 a.m. at Eugene Friends on Saturday, October 7. What they’re working on:
  • identifying free, project management software that will help committees to stay connected and to work together more effectively;
  • assigned a point person for each committee or working group and will ask those groups to define the parameters of their work, their goals, and potential budget needs;
  • considered what work monthly meetings need to do in order to decide whether to join Sierra-Cascades;
  • will look into how to better connect with geographically distant meetings;
  • started to work on new possibilities for the structure and schedule for annual sessions.
I live in Renton, Washington, with my wife, Jessica, and daughter, Lucy. I am a member of North Seattle Friends Church, and part-time minister at McKinley Hill Friends Church. My introduction to Friends was at George Fox University, where I was a Christian Ministries Major. As a student, I was taken by the vision of a community of Christ-followers who took seriously the Sermon on the Mount, and who believed the Gospel compelled disciples to practical embodiment of their spiritual experiences. 

Besides my current church involvement, I have ministered at Reedwood Friends Church and Olympic View Friends Church. I earned an M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary in 2005. In 2013, I earned a Ph.D. in Theology from the University of Birmingham (UK). My main academic and devotional interest is the eighteenth century Quaker, John Woolman. I admire his life of submission to the leadings of the Spirit, his courage to testify to the Kingdom realizing in his heart, and his commitment to loving those who disagreed with him.

I am excited to be a part of Sierra-Cascades Yearly Meeting of Friends as it seeks Christ’s leading in obedience and courage. I am hopeful that our corporate witness can be one of peacemaking amidst divisions, kindness amidst conflict, and faithfulness to the Spirit of Christ.
Announcements

Committees, working groups, and informal gathered groups: We’re saving space in this newsletter each week for you to communicate who you are, what you’re doing, where you need help, and how our future together is coming into focus for you. Share that information with the clerks@scymf.org or by email to newsletter@scymf.org.

If you have an announcement you’d like to have included in the next Bulletin, please send it to newsletter@scymf.org.

Our next, large-group gathering – anyone can come – is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on October 7, at Eugene Friends. There will be a shared meal. Childcare is provided. More information to come!
by Admin

08.11.2017

Photo by Caleb Jones on Unsplash
Bulletin 08.11.2017
Connect

[Draft 2017 Minutes] A final version of these minutes should be available next week: At the conclusion of considerable discussion, the following minute was approved: We are led by the Spirit to commit ourselves to recognizing the full participation of LGBTQ+ people in all aspects of the life of “Our New Thing” organization we develop ...

[North Pacific Yearly Meeting] We, as much as you, are challenged to be open to the new ways where the Holy Eternal is leading us and to finding new ways to work together for the Kingdom of Heaven in these times. We welcome future dialog with you in walking faithfully and humbly with our God. We ask for New Light to discern the best way to maintain ties of friendly interchange in the coming years and imagination to follow leadings in the Light ...

[People Work] The people work group outlined draft goals at a recent meeting:
  1. To coordinate and gather people who are unaffiliated or in churches that are splitting;
  2. Focus both outward and inward work – Outward to people who are not part of one of the six meetings – Inward to people who may feel alienated or unconnected;
  3. To learn how people need support, and connect them to the right resources ...
[Spiritual Care] The spiritual care committee drafted the parameters of their work:
  • WHOM do we serve? We expect that this group is about healing for individuals and churches. We’d like to provide resources for individuals and churches on Facebook and/or connected to new YM website.
  • WHY are we needed? LGBTQ+ people have been hurt by individuals and by churches. Some people are suffering because of splitting with NWYM. Some churches are in turmoil.
  • WHAT do we expect to do? We expect to do a lot of listening and some teaching. We want to foster healthy connections between individuals and meetings. We'd like to help people process the events and emotions. We'd like to encourage storytelling ...

[Clerks Meeting] Our next meeting is Tuesday, August 15. Items on our agenda include connections with the Western Association of the Religious Society of Friends and Freedom Friends; how to help committees and working groups increase the transparency of their work, especially regarding their understandings of the parameters of their work; financial and legal next steps; youth programming and camping/conferences; communications; membership for individuals and for faith communities; recording and transfer of recording; archives; support and/or sponsorship of Friends serving abroad; working toward safety in our gatherings.

What do you think we should be working on? Reply to this email with your suggestions, questions, and ideas.
I grew up in Northwest Yearly Meeting (NWYM), attended and then provided leadership in many areas of the youth program (including clerking Friends Youth Executive Council in college), served as Peace Education Coordinator, and ministered in a variety of youth ministry and pastoral internships. Meetings I have regularly attended include Newberg Friends, Netarts, and North Valley. In 2009, I received a Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary. While there, I sojourned with Princeton Monthly Meeting (Philadelphia Yearly Meeting). Since 2011, I have worked as adjunct faculty at George Fox University and its seminary, and I am currently finishing up a PhD in environmental studies with a focus on ecotheology.

The community of NWYM has shaped me in many ways, and it is with sadness that I leave that group, but it also feels freeing. I worked internally in NWYM to attempt to get our language and practice on LGBTQ+ relationships changed, and to speak for unity when the elders decided to “release” West Hills. Now that unity is no longer an option, I feel free and joyous about the opportunity to dream and grow, to be stretched and challenged together, and to open ourselves fully to the leading of the Holy Spirit in and through one another. I hope that we can do the deep work of reconciliation regarding treatment of LGBTQ+ people, and in discerning what we are “for.” My personal vision is that we will begin working on reconciliation between people groups, God, and creation, attending to the intersection of injustices we face, and our own participation in the causes of these injustices. In what ways are we being invited to love God and our neighbors? 

The church is in an important period of reformation, I believe. We are just one small part of it, and there are many feeling the pull to a radically inclusive, loving, justice-filled, Spirit-led, creative, joyful and hopeful community, solidly grounded in Christ. I feel we are in line with the work of the the Present Teacher in the world right now. May we be faithful. I am excited to begin this new venture with all of you.

Cherice Bock
Co-clerk, Sierra-Cascades Yearly Meeting of Friends
Announcements

An epistle articulates a collective sense of experience and how God has moved among Friends during a gathering. It is approved by that group during a meeting for business. It was historically, and continues to be, an important way for Friends to learn about each other. Find our 2017 epistle on our website. Friends World Committee for Consultation (FWCC) makes Friends epistles from around the world available online.

Committees, working groups, and informal gathered groups: We’re saving space in this newsletter each week for you to communicate who you are, what you’re doing, where you need help, and how our future together is coming into focus for you. Share that information with the clerks@scymf.org or by email to newsletter@scymf.org.

If you have an announcement you’d like to have included in the next Bulletin, please send it to newsletter@scymf.org.

The Coordinating Committee is meeting in Camas on August 17, from 10 a.m. to noon. Our next large-group gathering – anyone can come – is scheduled for October 7, at Eugene Friends. 
by Admin

08.04.2017

Photo by adrian on Unsplash
Bulletin 08.04.2017
Welcome

[2017 Epistle] We used small worship sharing groups to get to know one another. We listened deeply to a panel of four LGBTQ+ Friends who spoke movingly of their experiences in faith communities through their lives. We began to form committees ...

[Clerks Meeting] Cherice, Eric, and Matthew met at North Valley Friends on Tuesday. We sent a short agenda to Jon ahead of our meeting, and he responded with written input since he was unable to meet with us. We’ll gather again on Tuesday, August 15. In the meantime, here’s a rundown of what we’re working on:
  • Eric followed up with the Western Association of the Religious Society of Friends
  • Cherice contacted Colin Saxton to begin a conversation with Friends United Meeting
  • Cherice and Eric both connected with Freedom Friends
  • Eric and Cherice signed a traveling minute
  • We talked through beginning implications of membership and recording
[Traveling Minute] It is with joy that we send to you our greetings, along with our very first traveling Friend from Sierra-Cascades Yearly Meeting of Friends (SCYMF). Julie Peyton is traveling with Friends World Committee for Consultation (FWCC) Traveling Ministry Corps. She is a member at West Hills ...
Just over a week ago, we settled on a name, named committees and working groups, approved nominations, agreed on a day and a place for our next large-group gathering. We made a lot of mistakes. We missed important details. We didn’t always listen to each other. Or listen well. We don’t know exactly what needs to be done. We don’t know what we’re missing. None of us have ever done this before.

And we’re doing it!

Chaos is creative. It’s also disruptive. And it can be dangerous, more so for some than for others. Here’s my hope for us in the days to come. I hope we are willing to take risks. I hope we can embrace the challenges along the way. I hope we are confident in who God is calling us together to be. I hope we are humble enough to say we’re sorry every single time someone gets stepped on or left out or unnecessarily endangered. I hope we fix it when we can. I hope we learn a lot. I hope we have fun just being together.
Announcements

Committees, working groups, and informal gathered groups: We’re saving space in this newsletter each week for you to communicate who you are, what you’re doing, where you need help, and how our future together is coming into focus for you. Share that information with the clerks@scymf.org or by email to newsletter@scymf.org.

We have a Facebook page - www.facebook.com/scymfriends - feel free to send feedback, suggestions, and requests to facebookadmin@scymf.org

We have a Facebook group - www.facebook.com/groups/scymfriends - set up by Sarah Katreen Hoggatt. Because of the way Facebook works, this is not necessarily an official group or even the only group. If you’d like to set up a group, please do. Also, if you do, invite us to join!

We have a website - www.scymfriends.org - feel free to send feedback, suggestions, and requests to webadmin@scymf.org

We have a phone number that goes directly to voicemail (as we don't have an office). You can text us at that number or leave a message, and we’ll make sure the right person (or the next best person) gets back to you: (971) 264-0689.

If you have an announcement you’d like to have included in the next Bulletin, please send it to newsletter@scymf.org.

The Coordinating Committee is meeting in Camas on August 17, from 10 a.m. to noon. Our next large-group gathering – anyone can come – is scheduled for October 7, at Eugene Friends. 
by Admin