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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  • asked members of the Faith & Practice subcommittee to read other Faith & Practices and Quaker historical documents to prepare for discernment process,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:
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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

Photo by Nanda Green on Unsplash
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

Photo by JOHN TOWNER on Unsplash
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