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
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.
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?