PORT TOWNSEND FRIENDS MEETING: STATE OF THE SOCIETY REPORT 2002

This is our first State of the Society report as a Monthly Meeting of the
Religious Society of Friends. The year has been a transition to a
keen awareness of our identity as Friends grounded in our corporate
worship and historical Quaker testimonies.

Because this has also been a year of national preparation for war, our Quaker
witness for peace has been called forth. We have united as a Meeting
to be a visible Quaker presence in our Port Townsend community,
keeping faith with the historical authenticity of the Quaker
experience and with our new responsibilities as a Monthly Meeting.
For example, we joined the AFSC Board of Directors in civil
disobedience by sending water chlorinators to Iraq; we initiated an
ecumenical forum on "Iraq: Is War the Answer?"; we had
made and distributed locally and regionally a WAR IS NOT THE ANSWER
bumper sticker; we lifted up the principles of nonviolent direct
action in a public presentation; we gave material assistance and
moral support to a member of a Voices in the Wilderness delegation to
Iraq. Through our Peace and Social Concerns Committee we worked for
peace through the many activities of the Port Townsend Peace
Movement: a community peace portrait, peace education events,
legislative lobbying, weekly vigiling (including an all-night vigil
and fast on New Year’s Eve), nonviolent training workshops, and
alternatives to military recruitment at the high school.

We remained engaged in the wider Quaker community through individual
participation and representation in Quarterly Meeting, Yearly
Meeting, Friends Committee on National Legislation, Friends Committee
on Washington State Public Policy, and the new Quaker Outreach
Committee of the American Friends Service Committee.


Together
we studied the literature and practices of Friends by programming
adult education around the FGC Quakerism 101 curriculum. The study
culminated with a joint potluck and forum with Whidbey Island
Worship Group and Agate Passage Preparative Meeting.


We
took under our care Whidbey Island Worship Group and have felt
privileged to do so.

Our Junior Friends developed their own First Day program by choosing from
the resources and experience of the Meeting, from appreciating poetry
to understanding civil liberties and conscientious objection. One
Junior Friend coordinates the care of the young children, by
providing a First Day activities box and scheduling First Day
volunteers.

As a worshipping community our Meeting has been enriched by the pastoral
care given to two members who experienced health crises.

In October 2002, fifteen Friends transferred from other Monthly Meetings
to become the initial membership of Port Townsend Friends Meeting.
In February 2003, we celebrated the acceptance of our first new
member. On that occasion we experienced the significant meaning of
being a Monthly Meeting.


We mourned the death of Lu Chawla, who was a member of Port Townsend
Friends Meeting.

In preparing this report, Ministry and Counsel asked for the personal
reflections of individual members and as a conclusion shares the
following:

"That our little fledgling Meeting is so well organized, so attentive to
the needs of its members and that we love each other so well fills me
with awe, wonder, and tears of gratitude. Through the Meeting’s love
and constant help I have experienced God’s presence in a powerful
way."


"We are a vibrant, loving, growing, inclusive, and active Quaker
community now…and every week, nearly, I see more and more new
people (or former Friends) drawn to this joyful Meeting. For this, I
am deeply grateful, as I think all of us are!"

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