It is with great joy and a deep sense of renewal that Port Townsend Friends Meeting shares this 2014 State of Society report. In August the Meeting purchased a small church at 1841Sheridan, a prominent corner in Port Townsend, and began creating a Quaker Meetinghouse. The decision to purchase was made swiftly in less than six weeks as pledges and a loan came forth to add to the Meetinghouse fund, which had been gradually building for ten years. The dedication meeting for worship was on August 17. The Meetinghouse energized the Meeting, which held work parties in September, October, and November to do necessary renovations, to install new windows and lighting, and to maintain the landscape. Plans are now underway to add a kitchen. Working together on each Meetinghouse project has deepened personal relationships and strengthened our commitment to our Meeting community.
On November 16, the Meeting held a successful open house, welcoming not only local Port Townsend residents but also Friends from the surrounding Monthly Meetings. In April, the Outreach Committee organized a greater Quaker potluck and party to reach out to those in Port Townsend who had had any connection in their lives with Quakers. It was attended by almost fifty people. Outreach momentum gathered from the visibility and use of the Meetinghouse: a folk concert, regular rentals, a poetry afternoon, and a collection point for the annual WAVE food drive. New attenders were drawn into meeting for worship.
The Meeting supported a member in her sojourn at Pendle Hill for the spring term where she wrote a Pendle Hill Pamphlet to be published March 2015. The Meeting also supported three members who participated in the Friends for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Concerns Midwinter Gathering in Oregon. Several members embarked on the discipline of The Way of the Spirit. Three spiritual nurture groups met regularly throughout the year. A small mid-week meeting for worship met in a local nursing home because residents there cannot easily leave. These experiences enriched the life of the Meeting.
In January, as in past years, the Meeting shared responsibility for providing meals and night monitors for the Winter Homeless Shelter. Meeting members were active with Friends Committee on Washington Public Policy and attended the annual lobbying day in Olympia. A Meeting member contributed to the design and maintenance of the FCWPP web site. Over the year the Meeting broadened its own electronic communications.
2014 was a year of experiment and discovery for Port Townsend Friends. New ways to organize the life of the Meeting in a new Meetinghouse were tested and new strengths were discovered. We matured and grew together.