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Bulletin 11.17.2017

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Bulletin 11.17.2017

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,

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.

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 for a position description, with links to the full application package and the rest of our website.

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by Admin