Port Townsend Friend Meeting: State of the Meeting Report Year 2011

In the past year there is an increasing sense among us that the
richness and fullness we experience in Meeting for Worship and in our
lives together are signs of a growing maturity in the life of our
Meeting. We have found a deeper connection with Spirit in our
worship. In the last 18 months we have mourned together the loss of
four members of our Meeting and two members of our wider Meeting
community, both of whom were spouses of Meeting Members. Despite
these losses we have striven to maintain a balance between our Quaker
witness and the care we have offered one another in our grieving.


Nurturing the Life of the Meeting


The Meeting has come forward for mutual support at difficult times
– in particular maintaining a large number of Care Committees and
planning and carrying out of Memorial Meetings. The manner in which
Meeting rose to meet these challenges has been inspirational for
members, attenders, and the larger circle of families affected by
these milestones. Meeting was nurtured as a whole by the sensitivity
and delicacy with which Memorial Meetings for Worship were conducted
in 2011 for our beloved Friends, Bill Woolf and David Walker, and by
the care taken with Memorial Minutes. Members feel grateful for the
support offered to families needing care through life’s difficult
passages.


Meeting joyfully welcomed four new members- Peter Guerrero, Carla
Main, Michael Buettner and Toni Grove. Midweek Meetings for Worship
continued this year at the home of a beloved member no longer able to
attend Sunday’s worship time and offered Friends a rich opportunity
for spiritual deepening.


Our educational program was re-organized and formalized with
invigorating twice-a -month educational forums that have enriched
members’ understanding of Quaker testimonies and Quaker life in the
spirit. A number of these programs have been recorded for posterity
and many have been publicized and open to the wider community.


Quaker Witness and Outreach


The Meeting continues to bear witness to our Quaker Testimonies.
Our members and attenders took leadership roles in diverse projects.
A large effort was given to the Winter Homeless Shelter (working
alongside other faith groups and volunteers), and the welcome for the
Tribal Canoe Journey. Our work for peace included resistance to
Trident Nuclear Weapons, member participation in weekly Women In
Black silent vigil, a Minute regarding Bangor Trident Base expansion,
and events marking the Iraq Invasion anniversary and Hiroshima Day.
Another Friend continues to take the leadership role in establishing
a Restorative Justice program in our county. Other Friends have
raised funds for Right Sharing of World Resources for micro-lending
programs in Third World countries by collecting stamps. Many Friends
participated in active lobbying with our state and national
legislators.


Nurturing Connections with the Wider Community of
Friends


Members of the Meeting visited regularly with Whidbey Island
Worship Group (which has been under our care) as they sought
clearness and applied to become a Monthly Meeting. We have also
provided support and nurturance to a Whidbey Island Friend as she
works to develop Way of the Spirit on the west coast. Many of our
members attended and assisted with Quarterly and North Pacific Yearly
Meetings where we continue to strengthen close ties. The Meeting has
supported Friends in their leadings to serve as representatives to
Friends Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Concerns,
Friends Committee on National Legislation and Friends Committee on
Washington Public Policy and we continue to develop strong reciprocal
relationships with these organizations. We also maintain a close
connection with pastoral Friends through Quaker Women’s Theological
Conference.


Toward the Future


Because we believe strongly that Quakers have much to offer the
world, our hopes center around the further strengthening of our
Meeting and the resolution of two principal concerns: our decreased
numbers and in particular the absence of young families among us, and
the lack of a permanent Meetinghouse. Nonetheless, we journey forward
with hope and trust in the mutuality of our care and concern for one
another in the coming year, and an abiding faith in the Light which
guides us on.

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