Port Townsend Friends Meeting continues to gather each First Day at the
Community Center in Port Townsend. The attendance varies from 20 to
35. Occasionally young people or children join us, at which time
members provide a children’s program. Before Meeting for Worship we
sing from the Friends hymnal, Worship in Song.
Monthly Meetings for Worship for Business are held on the first First Day
each month. We have monthly potlucks during which time we are often
blessed by a member or attender recounting his or her spiritual
journey. There are special programs planned by our various
committees: Peace and Social Concerns, Adult Education, Ministry and
Counsel, and the Meetinghouse Committee. Attenders and members also
appreciate the Friendly Eights potluck groups as an opportunity to
deepen their connection to the meeting community.
We had one new member join the Society this year, and three members of
other Meetings transferred their membership to us. We have continued
to participate in the wider Quaker community by having
representatives to Friends Committee on National Legislation, Friends
Committee on Washington State Public Policy, Pacific Northwest
Quarterly Meeting, and North Pacific Yearly Meeting. For spring and
fall Quarterly Meetings we ride-share to the Lazy F Ranch near
Ellensburg, Washington and also to the annual Silent Retreat in
January at Gold Bar, Washington.
Whidbey Island Worship Group is under our care and two of our members are
active in a Care Circle there. We have sporadic interaction with the
Sequim Worship Group, although they politely declined our offer to
hold them under our care.
This past year has been one of loss for our Meeting: the death of one
active attender, several have lost loved ones, and some have moved
We continue to move forward with leadings we have as individuals and as
a meeting. As a Spirit-led community, we are active in our local
community of Port Townsend, participating in the WAVE food drive, the
COAST Winter Homeless Shelter, Earth Day activities, the Native
American Canoe Journey, the Port Townsend Peace Movement, Women in
Black and Sister City projects.
During the first week of December, we were pleased to host two Vermont
Quakers – Ruah Swennerfelt and Louis Cox – on their Peace for Earth
Walk from Vancouver, British Columbia to San Diego, California.
Their visit and message were inspiring and energizing to our meeting
and helped strengthen our connection to others in the area who share
our concern for our precious Planet Earth. We provided hospitality,
sponsored several presentations, and sold books about Quakerism and
Earth Care. We were honored to walk with them as they "walked
Freda, our Peace Dove, sculpted by Phoebe Huffman and tiled with words of
Peace in more than 40 languages, has been traveling in the Pacific
Northwest since last April. She was presented at the Fall Quarter,
ready to visit other Meetings. A traveling Minute accompanies her,
along with a booklet explaining Freda’s creation. Our peace work
includes promoting and providing the FCNL signs and posters: "WAR
IS NOT THE ANSWER."
Our Meeting seems to be maturing in many ways. Having come from
scattered, disparate connections and memberships, we are becoming a
cohesive whole. Meetings for Worship for Business flow smoothly,
with the active participation of members and attenders. We look
forward to a follow-up on our retreat of April 2007. In preparation
for this, Ministry and Counsel Members, aided by the Retreat
Committee, have interviewed members and attenders, taking into
account that some people are more comfortable sharing one-on-one than
in an open meeting. The Meetinghouse Committee has presented us with
queries to help process feelings and thoughts about a Meetinghouse of
our own. The Nominating Committee has also interviewed each member
and attender in order to present us with a slate of officers and
committee members for the coming year. And we now have an official
roll book for the Records Clerk to maintain.
Our corporate worship is central to the life of our Meeting. It sustains
us spiritually and when we experience a truly gathered meeting, we
are immeasurably strengthened. We feel deeply how much love we have
for one another; how our beloved community has made us a real
instrument of the Spirit.