Plenary Session

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					             North Pacific Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends
                          2005 Annual Session Plenary Minutes
                    Pacific Lutheran University (PLU), Tacoma, WA

                                                                                   page1

Plenary Session I
14th day of the seventh month, 2005
7:15 - 8:00 PM

In preparation for the session singing was led by Kathryn Willard; selections included
“Peace Call.”

05 – 01
The first plenary of the 33rd Annual Session opened with worship and remarks by the
Clerk, Dorsey Green. Our theme this year is “Using Our Light in Practical
Peacemaking.” The Clerk shared with Friends that one of the most exciting parts of
planning for Annual Session was sharing with young Friends who were members of the
Committee. The Clerk encouraged Friends to practice using language of Faith as we
address our theme and our business in plenary. The Clerk’s full comments are attached
to the minutes.

05 – 02
Warren Ostrom, Clerk of the Epistle Committee, shared excerpts from Epistles received
by the Yearly Meeting. He encouraged Friends to read the full Epistles in the binder in
the hall. He shared sections from the following Epistles:

Canadian Yearly Meeting (from the 171st Yearly Meeting of Friends in Canada, their
49th as a united Yearly Meeting):
        Once again through worship, study and play we experienced the joy of building
        the blessed community under the guidance of that Great Compassion, who is the
        deepest Life in our lives…..se endorsed the Earth Charter, “a declaration of
        fundamental principles for building a just, sustainable, and peaceful global
        society.”….Meeting the Challenge of Diversity was affirmed in our approval of
        continued membership in Kairos (Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives), in our
        support for the 2005 World Gathering of Young Friends, in our partnerships with
        African Quakers, and the enriching Special Interest Groups that expressed our
        faith in action. The Peace testimony was expressed in a minute concerning the
        abuse of Iraqi prisoners and all the victims of war.

Pacific Yearly Meeting, from the 58th session:
       We welcomed a group of young Friends coming from the Shalom Project, a
       weeklong sojourn at an inner-city meetinghouse, called to explore more deeply
       their faith and the realities of inner city streets. We welcomed numerous
       bicyclists to our mountaintop, including an intergenerational group on a 2 day ride
       from San Francisco Meetinghouse, as we began to look more deeply at our
       ecological footprint. We also celebrated the recent legal affirmation of the
       marriages of our members who have been in long-term same-sex relationships.



05 NPYM AS Plenary Minutes
             North Pacific Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends
                          2005 Annual Session Plenary Minutes
                    Pacific Lutheran University (PLU), Tacoma, WA

                                                                                      page2

         And we minuted our welcome of Fe y Practica, a Spanish language edition of our
         Faith and Practice brought to us by Friends in Mexico City Monthly Meeting….

         At this Yearly Meeting, our ears are opened to the cries of the Earth. In one
         Friend‟s words, “God gave us heaven and this heaven is called earth.” For the
         first time in the history of our Yearly Meting, we began to get a more concrete
         sense of how heavily we tread upon this heaven. Through our ecological footprint
         questionnaire, we discovered that bringing more than 400 of us together required
         an extra 42,000 miles of driving, 2,500 gallons of gasoline, and 40,000 sheets of
         paper. However, we shrank our food footprint, as the 60% of us who are meat
         eaters ate locally produced vegetarian meals.

         We were particularly opened to hear the voices of the young among us. A young
         Friend, sharing his experience of a week in the inner city, asked us, “Have you
         been there, just to be there?”

Intermountain Yearly Meeting:
      More than 300 Quakers, many of whom feel burdened by the weight of war and
      political turmoil, gathered for the 30th annual Intermountain Yearly Meeting at
      Ghost Ranch, N.M/ Friends were eager and pleased to explore this year‟s theme
      of “Healing and being Healed: Touching the Devine and Touching Each Other.”

         As Friends met in worship and community a wonderful sense of peaceableness,
         serenity and harmony pervaded all aspects of the Gathering. Opening ourselves
         to the Light began to heal our relationships with the Divine, each other, Creation,
         and ourselves. Reconciling this beneficent place with the worrisome events in the
         outside world reminded Friends of John Calvi‟s admonition to “sit next to the
         monster without being afraid.” Laughter and tears are twins that sleep in the same
         bed…….We need to maintain hope. There are many obstacles to effectively
         living out our Testimonies. But we should remember the patience and
         faithfulness to the Light John Woolman demonstrated as he worked to heal the
         evils of slavery Friend by Friend, Meeting by Meeting.

Ireland Yearly Meeting
       We send warm greeting from Ireland Yearly Meeting gathered in The High
       School Dublin from 31 March to 3rd April 2005.

         In 2004 we looked back over 350 years of recorded Quaker worship in Ireland.
         The celebrations throughout our country have given us a great opportunity for
         outreach and we have availed of the public interest in our faith and practice that
         has arisen….
         We have been reminded that, while we live in comfort and relative wealth and
         security, the majority of our fellow human beings do not share our privileges but


05 NPYM AS Plenary Minutes
             North Pacific Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends
                          2005 Annual Session Plenary Minutes
                    Pacific Lutheran University (PLU), Tacoma, WA

                                                                                      page3

         are faced at best with poverty, at worst with starvation. We heard that, even as we
         were meeting, a bomb had exploded near Friends School Brummana in the
         Lebanon. We were told of the many problems of African countries and of the
         difficulties endured by communities living a simple life in rural India.

Australia Yearly Meeting:
      Meeting as we have, only two weeks after the South East Asia Tsunami, we found
      many of our deliberations were influenced by this catastrophe – the work of
      Donald Groom Fellow in Indonesia and Quaker Service Australia in Tamil Nadu,
      India being the most directly affected. In our thinking about peace we were also
      led to consider the impact of such events on communities and the environment….

         At a time when Friends and their values are so relevant, we begin to reassess the
         way we present ourselves to the wider community, and wonder if it is time to
         make our presence better known…..recognizing that we have “something of
         importance” to say. The response to the 2003 ABC Compass program on
         Quakers demonstrated that there is indeed a longing for the things that the Society
         of Friends offers….

         Friends try to find balance between stillness and action….we search for
         truth…with the intention of not only finding clarity, but finding doubt.

Britain Yearly Meeting:
       Quakers in Britain are still responding to legislation on the protection of children
       and vulnerable adults, which involves looking closely at the management of our
       Children‟s Meetings….We hope to set an example of good practice by ensuring
       that the trust we place in others is not blind but informed. Quakers have always
       believed that the Light Within, That of God, can be encouraged to grow, fostered
       and strengthened, so we look for ways to be non-judgmental, welcoming, and
       sensitive to the needs of all those who come to our Meetings, whatever their age
       or past history. We are being asked to consider the law and its implications for us
       as a worshipping community, which challenges us deeply.

Cuba Yearly Meeting:
              Gathered in the feeling of oneness, and guided by the same spirit, under
      the text 2 Chronicles 7:14, we recognize that a humility deeper than that of our
      own condition is a necessity for a full understanding of God for us….
              During business sessions there prevailed an atmosphere of reflection, and
      also the concern to reach all our country with the Quaker work.
              We have seen the strengthening of some of our growth projects for
      training and renewal.
              Our seminary students are including a new vision in their pastoral work.



05 NPYM AS Plenary Minutes
             North Pacific Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends
                          2005 Annual Session Plenary Minutes
                    Pacific Lutheran University (PLU), Tacoma, WA

                                                                                    page4

                 We thank God because today we are adding a new Monthly Meeting to
         our organization: the second Friends Church in the city of Holguin, Vista Alegre.
                 Every night we have deepened ourselves in our Cuban reality and the
         various messages have exhorted us to be humble instruments in God‟s hands and
         to recognize the value of our neighbors, knowing that the Lord will hear the
         humble.

05 03
Jessmyn Hagger, Clerk of the Children’s Program introduced the teachers from the
children’s program. The children‟s staff members are particularly appreciated this year
because there was a shortage of volunteers. Because of this there are only three classes
below high school this year. Teachers and children were excused to go to their program.


05 04
The Clerk introduced Friends who carry responsibilities for Annual Session:
      o Planning Committee:
      o Kristina Sullivan, General Arrangements
      o Carolyn Laskowski, Physical Arrangements
      o Bonnie Tinker, recording Clerk
      o Margaret Coahran, Registrar
      o Ginger Boyle, Program Coordinator
      o Ella Willard-Schmoe, Co- Clerk Junior Friends
      o Felix Ostrom
      o Rosa Ostrom
      o Meghann Willard
      o Eric Young, Assistant General Arrangements Clerk
      o Doreen Cornwall, Interest Group Coordinator
      o Sharon Moon
      o Debbie Townsend
      o Chris Strodnor, Food,
      o Transportation

05 05
Plenary I was adjourned for a short break before the opening of session II.




05 NPYM AS Plenary Minutes
             North Pacific Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends
                          2005 Annual Session Plenary Minutes
                    Pacific Lutheran University (PLU), Tacoma, WA

                                                                                      page5


Plenary Session II
14th day of the seventh month, 2005
8:00 – 9:15 PM

05 – 06
Renee Stringham, member of the Epistle Committee shared concerns that resurface in
Epistles received this year. Peacemaking was a central concern, and discrimination based
on sexual orientation continues to be a concern for many meetings.

New York Yearly Meeting
     God is our refuge and strength. We gathered in the spirit of this conviction, in
     spite of the worldly shadows of competitive greed, imperial power, and military
     assertion. Pained by evils done in our name, our spirit remains one of
     faithfulness, hope and renewal. Friend Shirley Way, incarcerated at Danbury
     Federal Prison Camp for her peace witness, wrote reminding us of the thousands
     who wept publicly at the gates of Fort Benning lat November, mourning the
     hundreds of thousands victimized by those trained there by our government in
     torture and assignation. She calls on us to join in public weeping for the wasted
     lives and for other squandering of resources and opportunities.

         Daniel Snyder, our keynote speaker, introduced the theme of our sessions,
         “Transforming Hopelessness into Centered Peacemaking,” reminding us of the
         hidden springs of love that fill our lives with Grace. It is from deep within
         ourselves that we are called to respond to the world‟s challenges. He urged us to
         respond to the nagging cynic inside us with confidence that true nonviolence is
         the greatest power on earth. To that end we must learn to absorb pain. Citing
         Simone Weil‟s remark that false gods turn suffering into violence, while the true
         God turns violence into redemptive suffering, he reminded us that the real enemy
         of love I indifference, the refusal to suffer.

Illinois Yearly Meeting
        Amid these calls, “peace” becomes such a small word for a great tapestry of
        solutions. Peace begins with imagining a dream. A just peace is not passivity,
        but a dynamic form of life in which people flourish in community. Peace is
        recognizing the “life cycle of violence” and intervening early in the tension stage,
        such as in Kenya today. Peace is seeing that disagreements can provide a
        wellspring of creative energy if they are addressed with expertise, love,
        recognition of all gifts, and mutual respect. The foundation of a community of
        peace is the Love of God. Are we willing to accept god‟s love, to be directed by
        the living God, and to find our deepest fulfillment in growing toward God?




05 NPYM AS Plenary Minutes
             North Pacific Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends
                          2005 Annual Session Plenary Minutes
                    Pacific Lutheran University (PLU), Tacoma, WA

                                                                                       page6

         All around us, Friends and other peacemakers are developing wonderful ways of
         peace building that are easy to learn. Deep active listening from an open heart.
         Telling over and over our stories of peacemaking, conflict resolution, and
         community building, which are also the Story of God‟s work. Openness to
         alternatives. Remembering that the atrocities of our wars will perpetuate unless
         we engage in formal reconciliation programs: the United States civil war 140
         years ago lingers in the form of racism, and such scars will persist in today‟s war
         zones unless we bring Alternatives to Violence and Trauma Healing programs to
         those communities.

Philadelphia Yearly Meeting
       (Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, along with other contributors including Baltimore
       Yearly Meeting and North Carolina Yearly Meeting, contributed funds to the
       repairs at Ramallah Meeting House):
       It is hoped that the planned Friends International Center in Ramallah at this site
       will provide a safe space to strengthen the larger community in Ramallah and help
       those who are committed to working to reduce the suffering there by bringing
       about peace and justice.

         (From a called Session on Climate Change):
         The science of global warming is detailed, technical, and not without controversy.
         Nonetheless, we can see the evidence of the reality of climate change, we are
         aware of ways in which societies and individuals affect it, and w know options for
         political and personal decision making. This is not a matte to be left to scientists
         or to governments. In fact, it is a matter to which Friends are distinctly suited to
         speak……

         Friends at this session unite behind the desire that Philadelphia Yearly Meeting
         incorporate this concern about the rise of global climate temperatures and its
         dangerous implications for life on our earth into the body of its work in the world.
         We feel ready, with divine assistance, to assume the challenges of being prophetic
         witnesses to protect our earth


Wilmington Yearly Meeting:
      As we sang…we were reminded to be workers with God – preserving fields and
      forests, clean air and water, saving resources instead of rushing pell-mell to war.

Renee Stringham reported that two Yearly Meetings talked about their response to hiring
policy of Friends United Meeting (FUM) which refuses employment to any person who
is sexually active outside of an opposite sex marriage. She read mention of this concern
in the Baltimore Yearly Meeting Epistle:



05 NPYM AS Plenary Minutes
             North Pacific Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends
                          2005 Annual Session Plenary Minutes
                    Pacific Lutheran University (PLU), Tacoma, WA

                                                                                    page7

Baltimore Yearly Meeting:
      We felt the truth and power in the message we heard in Britain Yearly Meeting‟s
      Epistle (2004) that “prayer is love in action and therefore profoundly
      subversive….”

         ….FUM has a long standing policy requiring its staff and volunteers to affirm
         being celibate outside of marriage while also defining marriage as solely between
         one man and one woman. Yearly Meeting Friends feel the injustice that this
         policy has visited upon all of us.

05 07
The Clerk introduced Traveling Friends, including those from other Friends
organizations.
       o Lynn Phillips, Argenta BC, co-clerk of FGC
       o Kathryn Runyan, Chico NM
       o Karen Snare, Bullshead Oswego
       o Aimee Buchotz, N Seattle Friends Church, NWYM
       o Dorida Joy Burns Taylor, Kelso, WA, Rose Valley Friends Church, NWYM
       o Mary Lord, Adelphi Monthly Meeting, our Visiting Friend
       o Eric Moon, our Brittan Visitor
       o Liz Perch, Central Philadelphia Monthly Meeting and staff for the FGC
          Gathering
       o Anthony Manousos, the Editor of Friends Bulletin.

05 08
Anthony Manousos gave a report for Friends Bulletin. He brought Friends attention to a
shirt they are distributing from the Compassionate Listening Project which says, “Real
Men Listen.” He thanked Board Members Norm Pashe, and invited Friends to join the
many people from NPYM who have contributed articles or photos to Friends Bulletin.
The Board report is attached to the minutes. Anthony shared information on Friends
Bulletin publications which are also a source of income for Friends Bulletin. Friends
Bulletin enjoys support from many Friends; others are invited to join in providing
financial support for ongoing publishing projects. The Friends bulletin Annual Report is
attached to the file copy of the minutes.

05 09
Steering Committee report from Clerk Beth Hunt
Beth Hunt recognized Steering Committee Clerks, Janet Jump Assistant Clerk, Pablo
Stanfield, Recording Clerk, Helen Dart, Interim Staff Secretary, Turtle Rob, NPYM
Secretary, Chris Willard, Treasurer, Chris Cradler, Clerk Vision and Structure
Committee, and with Jane Ewert, Central Friends Advisors, Ella Willard Schmoe and
Owen Javins, Junior Friends Clerks, Vena Rainwater, Young Friends Clerk, Helen Dart,
Young Friends Advisor, Andy Cross Peace team representative. She also thanked our


05 NPYM AS Plenary Minutes
             North Pacific Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends
                          2005 Annual Session Plenary Minutes
                    Pacific Lutheran University (PLU), Tacoma, WA

                                                                                   page8

representatives to FCNL, FWCC, AFSC, and FGC, and thanked the Clerks of legal
finance Committee, site committee, and nominating committee.

Beth outlined changes in the major work of Steering Committee this year. Inter-
generational communications are going well and that committee has been laid down,
although Friends continue their concern with meeting the needs of our children and
youth. It has been difficult to find volunteers to do the work of NPYM and there is a
feeling that we are due for a revitalization process including outreach to Monthly
Meeting members, revising our Faith and Practice, and considering our vision of what we
want from the Yearly Meeting.

Our budget is also due for review in terms of how we allocate funds and the amounts we
contribute to Friends organizations.

A full copy of the Steering Committee Report is attached to the minutes.


05 10
Reports from Discipline Committee and the Vision and Structure Committee:
Jay Thatcher reported that the committee met for the first time this morning. He read a
job description of the Discipline Committee from Faith and Practice. Friends were
amused at the discrepancy between our Discipline and our practice. He observed that his
first insight was that perhaps we do need some revisions- our practice has changed since
1993. Our Discipline encourages all Friends to participate in an ongoing revision process
which is led by the Spirit.

Debbie Townsend announced the committee has scheduled an interest group tomorrow.
How do you individually use Faith and Practice? How does our meeting use Faith and
Practice? What parts do you ignore? Are there issues and topics that ought to be covered
that aren‟t? The committee especially encourages written comments

Janet Jump, reporting for Vision and Structure Committee, which has not yet met. There
have been changes over the past few years in Steering Committee. This year we had
great difficulty finding volunteers for the Annual Session children‟s program. NPYM has
grown from 7 monthly meetings to 29 meetings and worship groups. There is a concern
for outreach committee and a possible Yearly Meeting Ministry and Oversight
committee. There was great interest in the Clerking workshop held last year and interest
in other similar possibilities. Legal and finance committee notes that our budget has been
based on what we have done in past and ask if we want to base it instead on what we
want to do in the future. There are four area of focus: our Youth (children, central,
junior and young); Structure and Fellowship; Affiliation. Shift in technology saves
money - printings with national Quaker organizations. Financial contributions have
remained static. Is Annual Session meaningful? What we want to do, how do we get


05 NPYM AS Plenary Minutes
             North Pacific Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends
                          2005 Annual Session Plenary Minutes
                    Pacific Lutheran University (PLU), Tacoma, WA

                                                                                   page9

there? Want to regain sense of excitement in wanting to be a part of NPYM and the wider
Society of Friends A full copy of the report is attached to the minutes.

05 11
The Clerk invited questions to the Committee from Friends:

How do we know that Annual Session is not meaningful for some Friends? Census,
questionnaire? Janet Jump responded that the information comes from evaluation,
personal conversations, feedback through Steering Committee representatives and their
frustration with lack of interest in the Yearly Meeting from Monthly Meeting Friends.

What would be a tentative plan for isolated Friends for affiliation with NPYM? Issues of
Isolated Friends are definitely on the list- pastoral care, interaction. 50 years ago
Willamette Monthly meeting in Salem once a month with Friends from Salem, Portland,
and Eugene. Heartland MM in Montana based on this model.

At quarterly meeting several years ago there was excitement about retirement
communities (Friend from Eugene) - lets create momentum.

Clerk of legal and Finance said that steering committee reps are requested to conduct
values workshops with Monthly Meetings. Ideas are out their, enthusiasm for broadening
range of activities. The challenge is distilling ideas down to a few we can work on.

A Friend expressed desire for Peace and Social Concerns Committee – is that idea before
committee? Answer, yes, the request has come from several Friends.

A Friend observed that our Faith and Practice offers good advice and queries around
marriage but there is a lack of discussion and process for divorce and separation.

One Friend remembered that there used to be an inter-visitation committee; perhaps we
should do that again. Committee thanked the Friend for the suggestion.

A Friend suggested that we need consideration for continuing care for marriages and for
children.

A Friend reminded us that 31 year ago in founding NPYM there was consideration that
Yearly Meeting should not be a burden on Monthly Meetings. The Friend asked if we
want to continue to add to structure in Yearly Meeting at this time.

The Clerk of Committee on Discipline said they have discussed taking the discussion on
the road to get input from quarterly meetings. He reminds Friends that there is an
expense associated with this process, and asks that meetings be generous with support for
this process.


05 NPYM AS Plenary Minutes
             North Pacific Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends
                          2005 Annual Session Plenary Minutes
                    Pacific Lutheran University (PLU), Tacoma, WA

                                                                                 page10


A Friend expressed concern with what NPYM might do to foster spiritual formation
through Monthly Meetings and Quarterly Meetings. This Friend suggested there should
be communication between individuals in spiritual formation-; this might be the work of
Vision committee and a potential Ministry and Oversight committee.

05 12 Announcements:
Lost meal card,
community night: it is happening! As you consider your talent seek Alan Lovejoy.

Interest group during free time on war in Iraq.

Box for bulletin announcements.

05 13
Jim Casin FCNL was introduced; he will give a presentation and lead interest groups.

05 14
The session closed with silent worship.




05 NPYM AS Plenary Minutes
             North Pacific Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends
                          2005 Annual Session Plenary Minutes
                    Pacific Lutheran University (PLU), Tacoma, WA

                                                                                          page11

Plenary Session III
15th day of the seventh month, 2004
7:15 - 8:00 PM

In preparation for the session singing was led by Kathryn Willard; selections
included “Last Night I had the Strangest Dream.”

05 15
Friends listened to a reading of letters exchanged between Marge Abbott (read by Ella
Willard-Schmoe ) and Junior Friends (read by Owen Javins). The Clerk introduced
Junior Friends who served on the planning committee.

This is the text of the letters:

July 27, 2003

Dear Friends,

At Yearly Meeting it was asked what adults want for/from Jr. Friends.

I want to know how god is active in your lives and how god is leading you.

I want you to know the practices Friends have evolved to discern the Way of God – to find
clearness and to reach the sense of the meeting. Our understanding of the Way of god grows out
of a deep knowledge of, and love of the Bible – so while we should never place it above the
guidance of the spirit, neither should we be afraid of it nor hostile to it.

I want to know that you have a language to speak of the spirit – words that you might express
your uncertainties and searching, your fears and your delights, your encounters with the Divine.
Quakers over the centuries have a rich vocabulary and wisdom to share about the nature of the
Seed that dwells in each heart: how to recognize it and nurture it; how to recognize the seed of
anger, hatred and greed so that they don‟t control us. Our faith has much to teach us about the
rhythm of the spirit – the joy it can infuse through our soul, the times it shows us painful things
about ourselves so that we might be transformed, the courage it can give us to stand up for what is
right, the moments when we feel lost and abandoned but are never truly deserted, the strength it
gives to continue through the dark of night. No matter what your path in life, I hope we might
offer you resources to be open to the Source of your true strength and delight.

I want you to be part of a community where you will beloved, and where you will be safe from
physical harm and from abuse. In this community, you will still encounter pain and hurt. No one
I know is capable of living with others and never hurting them, no matter how much each of us
tries.
Thus, I want you to learn forgiveness.
Ultimately, these may only come as gifts from God, but there are ways we can help one another
be open to the possibilities so that emotional and spiritual wounds might not fester and cause
permanent damage. The community I envision for you knows that wounds are a part of life and


05 NPYM AS Plenary Minutes
             North Pacific Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends
                          2005 Annual Session Plenary Minutes
                    Pacific Lutheran University (PLU), Tacoma, WA

                                                                                              page12

knows ways to express love despite the wounds and has the courage to move into the world
treating all people with respect, challenging them to act with integrity and know peace in their
own lives.

I want you to know Hope when all seems without it.

Most of all, I want you to experience the reality of the unconditional love and grace of
God/Christ/Spirit that is available to each and every one of us. The love that takes away fear.
The grace that gives us the wisdom and courage to live in that life and power which takes away
the occasion for all war.

With love,
Marge Abbott
Multnomah Meeting


February 20, 2005

Dear Friends,

          Injury, 2003 the Junior Friends received a letter from Marge Abbott which posed some
queries attempting to discern a sense of how God is active in the Junior Friends community and
in our lives. The letter was first presented to the Junior Friends group in February 2004 at Ski
Trip, and reintroduced in the July 2004 at Camp, when the majority of discussion took place. We
would like to thank Marge for the wonderful letter and offer the varied responses from our group
at that time regarding the Spirit and our community.

         During one of our Business Meetings we held a small Meeting for Worship with focus on
the query, “How is God active in your lives and how is God leading you?” It became apparent
that the feelings of the members of the group were not at all uniform. One Friend testified that he
did not believe in God in the biblical sense, but did not deny that he is moved by some sense of
spirituality. Another Friend pointed out that the discomfort many in the group feel about the
word “God” is only a language barrier; just because some people follow a moralistic and
judgmental God does not mean that many people who speak of god do not refer to the same
comforting Spirit we have all felt at gatherings. Our different backgrounds cause a diversity in
the language we use to convey what we feel. One Friend considered himself agnostic, but he
feels better after a dose of Quaker community. He was sure that there is “something” there.
Another chose to interpret spirituality as each person‟s inner Light and reminded us that there are
many ways to experience the Light. How we experience it defines our beliefs. One Friend said
that in Junior Friends we have no name for God; our communion with whatever it is that moves
us is nonverbal. Another Friend expressed the changeability her feelings about God at this time
in her life; they were not solid. She suggested that the Spirit is not always found in process, as we
are led to expect. Another articulated his view that to speak from personal experience is to speak
with the Spirit – it isn't so mysterious as all that. One Friend contributed that the Sprit is elusive;
when she feels moved to speak in Meeting, god does not tell her what to say. But part of her
belief is that a way will present itself, and she has faith. One thing that rang true for many of
those in the Meeting was that the connotations of “God” make them uncomfortable. There is too


05 NPYM AS Plenary Minutes
             North Pacific Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends
                          2005 Annual Session Plenary Minutes
                    Pacific Lutheran University (PLU), Tacoma, WA

                                                                                            page13

much harm done in the name of Christianity for them to accept this oft-abused term as a
definition of their relationship with the Divine.

          A second query was posed for Worship sharing that was meant to address the community
aspect of the letter: “How do you describe the community that is Junior Friends and what makes
it special to you?” The groups were asked to write down their responses.
          On Friend: “Junior Friends is a place where I feel like I don‟t have to pretend to feel
certain things, think certain things. I am more myself here. I can recognize my spirituality and
know that others understand and share my beliefs. I can lay aside the barrier that stands between
me and others in everyday life because it is taken for granted that we love each other by virtue of
being junior Friends. It is a safe place for my heart to reside. The foundation of Quaker beliefs
reminds me to open my eyes to the light in each of us, and frankly it allows me to trust these
people, and to be inclined to forgive easily, and laugh easily, to speak my heart easily. This
community is special to me because it is rare that a place reliably provides all these things I value
so much.
          Another Friend: “coming here is like breathing fresh emotional air. The lack of change
in my everyday life is numbing and Junior Friends is refreshing and enlivening to me.
          Worship Group I: “We are connected, united, sharing our thoughts together, and having
a good time in the process. Everyone loves and cares about each other. You can feel
comfortable. Junior Friends energizes spirits. It is a safe and open community with a distinct lack
of judgments. Differences here are positive, not negative. It is a place where you can fell free to
open up about yourself and your feelings. We form honest and real relationships. It is
meaningful. Issues and concerns discussed here stimulate the search for answers about one‟s
spirituality. There is a rush a high, when we all come together. It will be painful to leave the
group behind. We bond with one another, make friends from far away places, ad find ourselves
in each other. Our closing circle creates a very powerful sense of community and love. We grow
here.”
          Worship Group 2: “Junior Friends are different. They are true to themselves. Though
we come from different places we have a common background and history. We have huge inside
jokes. We just sit and talk – we don‟t have to go out and look for interesting things; we are it.
We can hang out and have fun and express ourselves. Some of us feel carefree, or just free. It is
easy to relate to people back home about all the fun, but there have been painful things, top; the
wonderful thing is that we know what we have been through together and we come out at the end
still friends.”
          Worship Group 3: “We are a group of people all searching for clarity in spirituality but
we aren‟t sure about it. We definitely feel there is something special here. Everyone is so
welcoming. You can be honest among Junior Friends. It is easier; there is less of a whiplash.
You can speak your mind. You feel like people really want to listen – you start talking about
something and feel like you could go on for hours. That‟s uncommon in our age group. Junior
Friends is a small group within the larger community of Friends where we do feel safe. Junior
Friends fulfills this part of you that needs it – you go home so much more whole inside. Some of
us grew up without much exposure to spirituality of any kind, so this is really nice and important.
You don‟t have to worry about looking or acting a certain way. When we‟re all together the
Junior Friends have this demeanor of „This is who we are; take it or leave it.‟ When you leave
you feel inspired to make your other life more like it is here, it it‟s hard.”




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This is how we feel. We believe that we receive all the things that Marge wishes for us through
our friendships with each other and our unique and subtle relationships with the Spirit. Ours is a
rare and precious community where we are loved and accepted for the people we choose to be,
and for many of us it is a beacon in the dark.

With Love,
The Junior Friends of North Pacific Yearly Meeting

05 16
The Clerk introduced Jonis Davis and Susan Segal of the American Friends Service
Committee, and Mary Lord, our Friend in Residence

05 17
Friend in Residence Mary Lord was introduced by Ann Stever. Mary is the Director of;
previously worked for FCNL where she started the program on Conflict Resolution.
Started Quaker Voluntary Service Network. She was the founding co-clerk of Friends
Peace Teams with Elise Boulding, and previously the deputy director of Physicians for
Social Responsibility. Mary Lord is a member of Ann referred to Mary as a “utility
Friend,” giving the example of how she connected AFSC, FCNL and FWCC while living
at Pendle Hill. Her talk “Can Love really overcome violence and hate” led to Friends
Peace Witness in a Time of Crisis at Gilford College 2003 bringing together all types of
Friends.

(This is a summary of Mary Lord‟s remarks; her prepared text is attached to the minutes)

Mary Lord spoke out of the silence. She opened by telling Friends that behind the
speakers table in the orchestra pit is an Organ with a sign: reserved for The Supreme –
Mary‟s Mother was a church organist, and she is sure that her mother is listening today!

Mary Lord grew up Methodist and is a scripture based Quaker Universalist- but she
promised to mention the Buddha, too.

She asked: “What is a tension between Speaking Truth to Power and how do we speak
our truth and still Walk Cheerfully over the earth answering that of God in everyone.”

What is the scripture that is the base of this message? In the Old Testament people do
terrible things and God loves the anyway. Eliza aggravated Ahab and Jezebel. In the
story in the vineyard King Ahab went to see his neighbor‟s vineyard. He wanted the
vineyard for a vegetable garden and offered an exchange. Nameth answered, “This is my
ancestral land. I cannot sell it or give it to you; it has been in our family.” Jezebel said
“You are King; I‟ll get you the vineyard.” She created a plot to have him stoned to death.
This old story is not so old- talk to native peoples. King Ahab went to vineyard and
Elijah was there. He said: You have taken this vineyard by blood and blood will be
demanded of you. This is a story about being called to speak God‟s truth to the Powers.”


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In 1955 AFSC pulled together a statement “Speak Truth to Power.” addressing the myth
that military might would provide protection for growth of democracy. The pamphlet
said the military is by its nature corrosive of democracy.

The cold war ended miraculously; it was miraculous that the nightmare ended without a
nuclear war. The colonial empires did end in that version. Jim Crow did end and South
Africa‟s apartheid ended by non violence. We are struggling with new forms of
colonialism- debt cancellation, not forgiveness because the sin was with the loan givers.
Racism still flourishes, including within the Society of Friends. We have victories and
challenges.

“So many things call for our attention that I know of many peace committees that are
paralyzed or exhausted.” We live in very dangerous times and it pushes us to act. What
Truth? God‟s truth. What Truth are we called to speak?. A lesson from Peace Pilgrim:
when you are doing the things that you are called to do, your life is full but not overfull.
When your life is overfull and burdened you are dong more than your job. What are we
called to do? What of God‟s truth are we called to speak?

We have some tools. The fundamentals are the testimonies. Let our lives speak.
Equality of all persons because we are all children of God. Friends who didn‟t take their
hats off to the aristocracy wound up in jail. Today…. Let your lives speak the truth of
Equality.

Integrity, because God is Truth. If we want to be close to God we must live in Truth.
We are inheritors of the reputation for Truth. This inheritance can be lost through
carelessness. Sometimes it is so inconvenient. We live in a time when sin and corruption
are everywhere. Telling the truth can be seen as just naïve. The foundation of truth is
God. If you would draw nearer to God, speak truth.

Simplicity. Earlier Friends lived amidst conspicuous consumption- we do not?! AFSC
Committee structure, for example -- nominating committee was looking at 900 names.
Sometimes we use committee and process to cover conflicts we don‟t want to deal with.
Sometimes Friends are very good at avoiding conflict – must be careful that committees
are not formed to avoid conflict. Simplicity is important because we live in an era of
empty, mindless consumption. Your value as a person is in what you own. This is a
false God. This is a cycle of death. The seeds of suffering and war are in these our
possessions.

Peace. To find peace and keep it we need the other testimonies. Inequality is enforced
by violence. There is no real peace without simple living. We cannot resolve conflicts
without integrity.



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Preventing the next war- the time to deal with it is now. If we succeed in getting the US
out of Iraq they will be available for something else. Lower troop levels leads to more
use of weapons.

The Life Cycle of Conflict. On a bell curve if you do nothing it gets worse. When you
cross the threshold the deaths go up steeply and it is difficult to do anything but request a
ceasefire. Too often peace people come in when the bombers have already left the pad.
Three concepts:
      If you do nothing about a conflict it will get worse, more costly and harder to deal
         with.
      There are many tools in the peace tool box. Mediation. We should have peace
         skills for everyday life. We should learn practical skills
      Act early and stay late to break the cycle of violence.
 It is one thing to support peace and another to be peaceful. Be Peace.

Live the motto and then be cheerful
Speak your message and then you can be cheerful
The capacity to walk cheerfully…comes from the release of doing what we are called to
do.

We have to be willing to be living our testimony to be in the place to truly answer that of
God to engage the world in a place of freedom; this is not done in our arrogance or pride.
Being Quaker is our community; it is not our license to make pronouncements. We have
to learn the skills and do the work in our own lives. It is about compassion, seeing the
humanity of the other. Seeing ourselves and others as God would see us. It is about
reconciliation and forgiveness. We have to be able to ask and accept forgiveness.

We are called differently
If to pray, pray
To forgive, forgive,
To speak or write, do it
We are all called to Love

We are all called and sustained in God‟s endless Love.

God said to Jeremiah- If you run with humans and are weary, how will you run with the
horses? We are called to do the extraordinary.

It is times when the truths are uncomfortable that we look for the balm in our life. From
the Junior Friend, in their community they sought and found and recognized credible
trusting love. Our challenge is t remember that there is credible trusting love in people
from all walks of life. In the larger community much of this work needs to be done. The



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challenge is to recognize the balm of friendship beyond the community of Friends so that
we can do what we are called to do.

We don‟t have to be clever to speak truth to power; we need to act to power. I‟d rather
see a good sermon that hear one any day.




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Plenary Session IV
15th day of the seventh month, 2005
7:45 – 7:30 PM

In preparation for the session singing was led by Kathryn Willard; selections included
singing Happy Birthday to Margaret Yarrow who is celebrating her 93rd birthday today.

05 18
Eileen Long, University Meeting and Richard Poudrier Salem Meeting read
selections from Epistles we have received:

Australia Young Friends
We find ourselves seeking closeness in many ways. We wrap ourselves up in the games
and activities which have become our own Young Friends‟ traditions: mafia, 500, guitars
and songs, secret friends, check-I circles and swimming at the beach. These familiar
practices are valuable to us, and an integral par to of our Young Friends community.
Closeness, however, does not come by formula, and we still sometimes find ourselves
somewhat scattered, seeking other ways to get close.
We continue to explore what it means to come together as Quakers, as Friends, and in the
Quaker process as our camp continues to expand and evolve. Our connection to AYM
felt strong as we discussed issues relevant not only to Young Friends, but also to
Australia Yearly Meeting as a whole. We value the depth and intimacy of our
friendships, but we are also challenged by thinking about how this closeness is seen by
ourselves and others in terms of risk management and sexual abuse and misconduct.

There is always a lot of laughter at YF camp, whether in late night playful sleeplessness
or at the beginning f our meetings for worship and for business. We find, however, in
spite of this sense of not being quite so serious Quakers, there is a surprising depth that is
felt in our connections and our gatherings. This was realized on the final night of our
camp, at a starlit Meeting for Worship at the Pinnacles, with a depth of silence there that
was present both within the place and within ourselves.

New Zealand
(copy of the selection not provided)

Upper Elementary School Upper Lake Erie Yearly Meeting
(copy of the selection not provided)


05 19
Linda Ellsworth, Eastside Friends Meeting, Clerk of M&O Committee, Asia Bennett and
Jane Kimball, Florence Worship Group shared the State of Society reports during a roll



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call of meetings and worship groups. A copy of the roll call and State of the Meetings
report is attached to the file copy of the minutes.

05 20
Plenary IV was adjourned for a short break before the opening of session V.

Plenary Session V
15th day of the seventh month, 2005
7:45 – 9:00 PM

The session opened with silent worship.

05 21
The Recording Clerk gave a brief summary of the Minutes. Minutes that are a recording
of reports and introductions do not require approval and were not read in detail. When
possible, the full reports will be attached to the file copy of the minutes. Any minutes of
decisions will be read and approved with their exact wording.

05 22
A report on the 2006 FGC Gathering was given by Margaret Sorrel University Meeting
and Lynne Phillips Argenta Monthly Meeting, Canadian Yearly Meeting, Co-Clerks of
the 2006 FGC Gathering. The full report is attached to the file copy of the minutes,

Lynn expressed excitement and delight to share the news of the 2006 Gathering; the
theme is Swimming in Living Waters. Members of the planning committee were on the
platform and others are working at AS. FGC Gathering depends almost entirely on
volunteers. FGC Central Committee has been on a long migration- 6 years- from East to
West. The 06 Gathering is collaboration between 5 western Yearly Meetings, two of
which are affiliated and three are unaffiliated. A small number of eastern friends are also
helping with planning. Ten of the clerks are from Pacific Yearly Meeting, NPYM and
Canadian YM. The 2006 Gathering has been described as historic because of location on
pacific coast, the first gathering to meet west of the Rockies- the theme reflects moving
into uncharted waters and staying afloat financially. They choose PLU, a small campus
because they are not sure of attendance by eastern Friends and new friends from west.
They believe they will achieve the target registration of 1200. The pamphlets are
available, but the logo is not yet available.

Faith, Trust will undoubtedly be heard when Marcus Borg, professor of religion at OSU,
shares wisdom. The theme of Swimming in Living Waters, relates to his latest book. Faith
as Trust is like floating in a deep ocean, 70000 leagues of deep water. If you struggle you
will sink, but if you relax you will float. Faith is trusting in the buoyancy of God,
trusting in the sea of being. This is faith as trusting in God as our rock and fortress. (The
Heart of Christianity) We have faith that all will be well with this Gathering. In recent


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survey 75 % answered yes to the question, “have you had a transformative experience at
Gathering?” Lynne Phillips is confident the Gathering will work its usual number of
miracles: Let us swim in living waters, let us open our hearts as we seek the blessed
community

Margaret Sorrell told Friends that she is holding hope that the 06 Gathering will fulfill the
dream of equal number of Friends from across the continent. What is this gathering?
Workshops meet daily and create a mini community with topics such as Clerking, Ending
Racism, Dilemmas from Quaker past, Economics, Mystics, power of early Quakers, and
Spirit led Eldering, Junior Gathering groups foster Quaker identity for youth. Evening
plenaries feature authors, entertainers. Marcus Borg will present an evening plenary talk
and will be available for discussion following his talk. In the afternoons and evenings
there are a variety of interest groups and affinity groups including Friends for Lesbian,
Gay Bi and Trans Concerns, Friends of Color, women, men and singles. Quaker
organizations such as FCNL, Pendle Hill, and AFSC, will present information ant there
are daily opportunities for music, dance, films, and field rips. High school friends have
their own full program including meetings for worship and business, workshops, and a
trip. The Gathering store will likely to be the largest collection of Quaker books most
participants have ever seen.

It would be remiss to only account what attender will receive. What we have to offer is
more than just being the host. It is our home to which these Friends are coming. Our job
is to welcome and offer our gifts. This is a time to break down barriers among Friends.
We can show the vibrancy of west coast Friends and show our unique gifts, such as our
care of isolated friends and care of the environment. We hope 20-25% will be new
people. Scholarships are available for first time attenders. The cost is about the same as
yearly meting on a day by day basis (lasts 6 days rather than 3). Costs are being
contained by shortening gathering from 7 to 6 days. Scholarships are available as
matching funds from Monthly Meetings or the Yearly Meeting. FGC will match these
scholarships. In the past there has been preference for affiliated meetings, but this year
scholarships are available without distinction. The cost for single adults is $575-$625.
There will be camping options and limited meal plans. NPYM session will precede the
FGC gathering. FGC begins on Saturday, July 1 and NPYM‟s Annual session will be
Thursday, June 30- Saturday morning, July 1.

Questions: Are there work options? Yes.

Margaret Sorrel thanked Friends for their attention and said she was looking forward to
seeing many of us at next year‟s FGC Gathering.

05 23
Minute on Iraq



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This minute, presented by Marge Abbot Multnomah Meeting and Bob Schultz, Port
Townsend Meeting, was brought forth as a concern from an interest group. Several
meetings have adopted related minutes, Port Townsend and others have drawn on an
FCNL statement, others, including Eugene have drawn on as AFSC statement. The
interest group brought together the two approaches. This joins a very global statement
(AFSC) with a statement addressed to a narrow audience, the US Congress. This
includes vision and practical political process.

DRAFT Proposed NPYM Annual Session Minute on Iraq:

The North Pacific Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers),
standing in the 350 year tradition of Friends‟ opposition to war, calls for the termination
of the military occupation by the United States of the sovereign nation of Iraq, and for the
implementation of urgent international efforts to rebuild the material and human
infrastructure essential to ensure decent conditions of living for the Iraqi people.

Our government must speak plainly to the Iraqi people, to the insurgents, to a
disillusioned and cynical American public, and to a skeptical world community to declare
that the US respects Iraqi sovereignty and does not have imperial intentions in Iraq. As a
step toward recognizing Iraqi self-determination, we join the Friends committee on
National Legislation in calling for the adoption of the following Congressional
resolution: “It is the policy of the United States to withdraw all U.S. military troops and
bases fro Iraq.”

President Bush has stated that America “does not support an indefinite occupation.”
Secretary Rumsfeld has said “we have no intention, at the present time, of putting
permanent bases in Iraq.” However, reports of up to 14 “enduring bases” under
construction or planned, support the perception that the U.S. des intend a long-term
occupation of Iraq. This perception aids insurgent groups in recruiting supporters and
fuels violent activity in Iraq and elsewhere around the globe. We agree with former
Secretary of State Bake and other leading diplomats and analysts who have declared that
it is critical that the U.S. government announce immediately its intention to fully
withdraw from Iraq.

We agree that an immediate end to hostilities is essential to stem the carnage. We are
anguished by the damage and lasting scars we are causing to another generation of
American soldiers who have been asked to serve in another war in a distant place for
questionable ends. We hold in our prayers the people of Iraq, the leaders of Iraq and of
the United States, and all others affected by this war.

We believe that we are all the children of a loving God, who does not intend that we live
our lives in fear. We believe, too, that we cannot alleviate fear in our own country by
making war in other lands. We are called to live in that love and power that takes away


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the occasion of all war. And we are resolved to continue to labor toward reconciliation
and peaceful prevention of future deadly conflicts even as we work to end current
hostilities.

We urge our fellow citizens of other faith communities and of diverse persuasions to
endorse this call for terminating the U.S. occupation of Iraq, and to endorse this
congressional resolution as a first step toward ending this conflict.

We encourage Friends and monthly meetings in the states represented in this annual
gathering - - Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington - - to consider the adoption of
similar statements in their monthly meetings, and we urge tem to convey this message to
our fellow citizens through the news media, and to our Senators and Representatives in
the congress.

The Clerk invited Friends to ask questions of clarification:

A Friend said his understanding was that at one point FCNL had people prepared to
request this resolution. Is there a HR number? Bob Shultz and Jim Casin say that this
resolution has not yet been introduced although several others have been introduced.
Marge Abbot said that FCNL has been meeting with congressional leaders and staff.
This has created the occasion for congress people to reconsider their thinking.

The first paragraph seems fuzzy to one Friend.

A Friend wonders if Wyoming should be listed. The decision was not to list it because it
is not technically part of NPYM

A Friend asked if those who drafted the proposed minute considered and decide not to
talk about privatization- that we oppose privatization. Bob Schultz said they did not talk
about it; they don‟t want to get into implementation details.

There was a question about the first sentence of the fourth paragraph. The response was
that this language comes from the original AFSC document as a part of larger global call
to end involvement in this war. It was not a part of the specific resolution addressed to
congress.

A Friend recommended that the “we” in paragraph five should be replaced with “all
people.”

A Friend said they felt that in general this is a very good minute. They would be content
for it to go as it is, but if committee wants to make a few adjustments he would be easy
with that, too.



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Another Friend added, “This Friends speaks my mind.”

A Friend suggested that paragraph five should be moved to the top of the minute.

A Friend asked if we really believe that removal of troops will end hostilities and stem
the carnage.

A Friend suggested that the next to the last paragraph needs to be clear that this statement
is from NPYM. Other Friends have already approved an Iraq minute, but need to be clear
who we are.

A Friend expressed that they have mixed feelings about statements against war by
Friends. This Friend won‟t stand in the way, but does want to stand aside. “The truth is,
Friends, we do need all of the oil reserves if we‟re going to continue living like we do- oil
to come to conferences like this and drive to the store. Are we willing to make sacrifices
to carry this off? If we withdraw from Iraq oil shortages will start within 3-5 years
instead of ten years. If we‟re not ready to say that, let‟s not move forward.”

One Friend said that it is not clear to whom this is addressed. It seems like several
documents weaving back-and-forth. It is too long, too work-a-day, too indirect. It fails
to address the difficulties of having gotten into this and the complexities as mentioned by
previous Friend. It is long and despite length is not very clarifying,

A Friend from Eugene raised an issue with paragraph four. The Friend suggested we add
something to the effect that we agree that an immediate end to our part in the hostilities is
necessary. The question of our own willingness to reduce own oil consumption might
well be placed in this minute.

A Friend feels the need to amend the resolution to ask for a statement that it is the policy
of the United States to withdraw all troops and further that the U.S. has no interest in
creating U.S. corporate control of Iraqi resources.

A Friend is bothered when we call the resistance in Iraq an insurgency. It‟s kind of like
saying we own the whole world and anyone who rebels against established authority, the
U.S., is an insurgency. The Friend wants us to be aware we are using a word that has
meaning.

A Friend is disturbed by the line “we are all children of a loving God” because it gives
God human attributes. We could say” it is not intended that we live in fear” (leave out
“children of God, etc.).

A Friend said, “I think I understand the essence of the minute. It is long, but I‟m happy it
is complete”. The Friend is still uncomfortable that there is “a lot of fuzzy language and


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unclear thinking”, for example, referring to “America” instead of “United States. The
Friend also has a problem with the phrase in paragraph four, “lasting scars we” are
causing.” This Friend does not want to be a part of that “we”- they are opposing the war.
The Friend expressed frustration with a lot of little bits of wording and would like to
work on that wording. The Friend also joins with previous Friend who wonders why we
pass minutes like this. It will matter whether we intend to publish it, send it to Rumsfeld,
or direct it to the press. They do feel it is important we go on record, but ask, “What is
the Light Friends have on this.” If we take out the word “God” the statement could be
from a Democratic caucus in neighborhood. They are willing to be called trite by
Republicans and willing to cut back on trips in car, and willing to live with the
consequences. Referencing this willingness is good. We can‟t necessarily limit the
carnage because it also comes from suicide bombers in an internal Iraqi conflict. The
Friend asked, “Are we going to talk about that?”

One person expressed that their feeling as a young Friend that when we come together for
these processes there must be movement that produces moral clarity. “This has no clarity
for me. What might or might not happen? Why and wherefore are Quakers moved?
What moves and motivates us? Start with a statement of why we are opposed and then
go to what we want to happen next. The wherefore is not for us to decide. What we want
to happen and what morally motivates us to say that?”

The Clerk asked Friends three questions:
Are we opposed to our troops being in Iraq?
Do we want to ask for them to be withdrawn?
Is there a moral center from which we pare this statement down and bring it back?

There was general agreement to making a statement but one Friend qualified their
agreement by saying they were in n agreement with troop withdrawal if it will not lead to
a second Somalia. They don‟t think we should ask for withdrawal without clarity it
won‟t lead to greater carnage. Another Friend added “This Friend speaks my mind.”

A Friend brought a query from a monthly meeting: “will withdrawing troops increase
security?” They urge Friends to seek other opinions. This Friend is uncertain that
removing military force will lessen violence in Iraq. They have been convinced by others
with experiences that if you are convinced that uniformed unilateral military presence is
making Iraq safer, please examine that assumption. They are no longer convinced that
uniformed US military presence improving security, but are convinced it is escalating
violence. They are not sure about path to ensure less violence but that what is happening
is not working. This Friend would like to lean on the experience on Friends who are
immersed in this issue. They would like our statement to be something cogent that
congressmen can take back to constituents. We need a vision to move towards essential
change. The statement could be cut down to a third of what it is, and sharpened to bring



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out the faith based grounding that is the center to all of our statements. The statement
should focus on our desire to see withdrawal of US troops.

A Friend said this could be a white paper, but that‟s not the role for this minute.

A Friend said they are troubled. They agreed at first reading, but on rereading it they
disagree. There is a shadow side to “speaking Truth to Power”. We are not truly
speaking the truth to power,” we are speaking the truth of powerlessness. The Friend
who raised the question about what are we prepared to do identified the crux of the
matter. This Friend agrees that troops should be withdrawn, but that isn‟t enough. A
statement with moral teeth must say this is what we are willing to do. If we can‟t come
with clarity then the most we can say is remove the troops. This Friend senses a desire to
say more than that. This Friend says they “want to see us do the hard work. If there is no
minute then we have work to do in our monthly meetings.”

The Clerk proposed that the minute be sent back to the interest group, and then
brought back to the Plenary. If there is no agreement at that time we will take it
back to our monthly meetings and steering committee.

Friends approved.

The interest group to consider the Iraq minute will meet during free time tomorrow. Any
new proposal will come to Sunday morning plenary, starting a 9:30.

05 24
The session closed with silent worship.




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Plenary Session VI
16th day of the seventh month, 2004
8:30 10:00 AM

In preparation for the session singing was led by Kathryn Willard; selections
included the FCNL song Friendly Persuaders.

05 25
Friends Journal Report from Lynn Waddington and Petra Perkins
The Journal is turning 50 this year; it is actually older than that because it was birthed
from previous journals from two branches of Quakerism. Lynn remembers opening it as
a child even though it had no pictures. There she discovered personal ideas and
experiences that she thought were only hers. Her family did not talk about Quakerism,
they simply lived it. The Journal explained what was going on; it was a bit of a lifeline
for her theologically. As a young adult it became one of the first magazines she
subscribed to. It now had photos, illustrations, poems. She remembers the new thoughts
and opening of her mind that came from reading an article. Lynn said, “These things
happen, sometimes to the heart and to the mind, but it is a true ministry and service that
lets us talk to each other”. She was delighted to be asked to be on the Journal Board and
was happy to nominate Petra to join her.

Petra told Friends that she comes from blunt, intense, Episcopalian. She said that
pacifism does not come naturally to her - - her family does not understand. All of her
male relatives served in the military as a survival tactic- that is the mode for many Black
families. She felt she came home when she found Quakerism ten years ago- When she
encountered them she thought, “Now this is a foreign culture.” The Journal represents
these two aspects, the comforting intellectual and spiritual food she needs to survive.
When asked to be on the Board she thought the Friends Journal did not speak to her
culturally. Now sees that it is beyond a quaint little journal. It offers a whole perspective
on culture and Quaker culture and how she might see herself as a part of that culture.
Quaker culture was foreign. Being asked to step into something she would not have done
on her own she has come to see Journal as a way she contributes to Quakerism a voice
that has not been there. When she reads experience of Friends in Africa, that is a foreign
experience; and it is foreign to most Friends on this side of the ocean and Europe. These
are important stories to read. She delights in being frustrated sometimes with the cultural
assumptions. “If I truly believe in God it is my responsibility to stretch beyond my
comfort zone to see that of God in the person who stands before me and embrace it in all
of the otherness.” The Journal is the embodiment of this experience. Although she is
struck by the foreignness she says that she always find a line that says “you are also
represented.”

There are special offers on subscriptions, Board member specials- pick up a form at the
Friends Journal table.


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05 26
FCNL report by Marge Abbot, Bob Schultz and Jim Casen

Marge Abbot is on the Executive Committee of FCNL, is currently assistant Clerk and
will be Clerk of FCNL. She got drawn into politics in her 20‟s on civil rights in Virginia.
She got a strong dose of how important it is to know what is happening and to speak up.

When Carl, her husband, worked in Washington she visited the FCNL office to volunteer.
It was wonderful to get to know the staff, interns and learn how the organization worked
in the two townhouse buildings. The message they brought to the hill was a real lesson.
Ten years ago she was drafted onto Board and development committee. Going to the
annual meetings is an energizing experience. After the elections last year people
expressed dismay, but then there was a sense of hope; it is still so important to be moving
forward. There is a whole culture, more a faith that permeates the staff and Board of
FCNL ringing of perseverance and dedication. They come together to work out of our
deepest spiritual ground to know that we are lifted up even in doing the most practical
work.

Jim and Bob presented an interest group yesterday and will do another today. There is
letter writing material on the display table. Please check the list to see who your
representative is and give Marge any updates.

Jim Casen was welcomed to NPYM by Bob Schultz who and presented a gift Jim will
take back to FCNL. Saying that we are gathered here in the name of practical
peacemaking, Bob said that one way to peace is through the creative arts. There is a
peace Dove in the lobby created by Phoebe with 96 tiles with the word peace in a
different language. Peace sometimes becomes an ethereal abstraction. Several weeks
after the peace dove was made for the Earthday Celebration she came to meeting with a
ball with words from the FCL website. These words give concrete reality to what it takes
to make peace, human rights, sustainability, justice, United Nations.

Today we sang Dona nobis pacem, and then we sang the Friendly Persuaders. On the
one hand we pray for peace to be given to us, but on the other hand we recognize that
peace is in our hand. Bob will pass the ball while Jim speaks. The message is “peace is
in your hands.”

As the Gospel of Matthew tells the story, Jesus sat down one day on the side of a
mountain and told his disciples, “Blessed are the peacemakers.” He went on to say to
those gathered there; you are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid.
Nor do we light a lamp and put it under a bushel, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in
the house.”



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There is a light – of peace, justice and truth – that shines brightly among the staff at the
Friends committee on National Legislation. That Light also shines among Friends across
the nations whose grassroots work is guided and supported by FCNL. We are the
Friendly Persuaders of FCNL. But in our political life, in our media, that light is often
obscured. We wonder sometimes whether we have allowed our light to be as it were
“under a bushel.” Jim Casen joined FCNL‟s staff in January as Secretary of Information
Services to lead a concerted and determined effort to “unbushel” our light.

Jim comes to FCNL by way of and East Texas heritage, a childhood lived partly in
Liberia with Methodist Missionary parents, Earlham College, the Africa Fund, all Africa
com, the MacArthur Foundation, and the Washington bureau of La Jornada, Mexico‟s
second largest daily newspaper. His reporting duties have taken him to many parts of this
country. His activist work helped to change U.S. policy toward apartheid in South
Africa. A core belief motivating his efforts is that most people in this country would
make good moral political choices IF the were provided with truthful information.

Jim Casen: Thank you for welcoming FCNL and me to NPYM. The theme practical
peacemaking gives me hope, gives all who work in your office in Washington. Hope.
Hope is very precious to those who live in Washington today. The strongest message is
that FCNL believes that our ability to work in Washington comes from the strength of
communities such as this one at NPYM. The practical peacemaking here makes it
possible to engage in practical peacemaking in Washington. Some of what‟s happening
around the country is posted on the web site. There is a lot of Practical peacemaking that
we don‟t hear about, Florida, Michigan marching in 4th of July parade expecting
disapproval after half an hour there were 200 marching with them. Something is
happening that we don‟t hear about in the media that is a different vision for the country.

We also believe there is hope in Washington- tempered by reality of Washington, but we
do have hope. We see the strength of our community in the new building that is almost
finished. The moving boxes are in the office, the building will be occupied by August 1.
Come enjoy your building- planning events in October. It is a powerful witness in itself.
The delay has created a sense of anticipation- the first question from senate staffers is
“when‟s the building going to done?” It provides an opportunity to bring the message
“War is not the answer.” Come see our nationwide community‟s visible strength in
Washington.

We are shaped by what is happening in the world today- the changes in global economy,
doubling of world work force in10 or 15 years, we are passing the moment of peak oil
production, immigration. This is the context in which we work. Radical groups forming
agenda of coercion and military control, and agenda some say is linked to the Bible and
are threatened by “War is not the Answer” Doug Fife, pentagon analyst had article in
New Yorker. We still believe “War is not the answer.”



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Today there is the beginning of a discussion about the end of the war, about withdraw.
We don‟t believe the majority is there yet, but there is room for a conversation. We can
now talk about the war- staffers are now calling FCNL for discussion. Discussions
around the country carry the message that there is hope in talking to congress. There‟s
work that can be done, that needs to be done.

Specifics: admin effort to renew research on nuclear weapons that “can be used.” We
see ways to address this debate. David Cult works on this issue. He could identify 35 or
40 people who he could work on, having constituents write letters. Persuade two
committees to vote to eliminate funding for bunker busting.

Hope in revived debate on torture. At the beginning of this year thought there could be
no debate on who will be Attorney General. FCNL pushed debate on role in torture.
People who said no debate turned round and started a U.S. debate on what should be the
U.S. policy. We see hope in being able to shape that discussion even though we wound
up with Gonzales- that‟s how we measure hop.

Hope that Native Americans may get a settlement on use of natural resources. Congress
is about to put forth legislation to address this.

We see a need to bring the message of hope to other people around the country – to bring
our light out from under a bushel. We need to engage faith communities in a discussion
about Washington. Something dangerous is happening- people have given up on
Washington and democracy. You understand that there is hope that some progress can be
made. We need to bring that message to other people. The general public is abandoning
the dialog with officials in Washington that is leaving space for a small community to fill
that space. We want to begin a dialog to expand the network of people to engage
Washington. Need to engage discussion of the importance of lobbying. The way we‟re
going we‟ll have a congress that does what it wants without any citizen input. Joe this is
something that will take a long time, but Quakers are god at that. This is a message we
are particularly suited to bring.

We want to learn more from you what you want from FCNL office in Washington.

05 27

Traveling minute for Aimee Bucholz was read from North Seattle Friends Church. She is
serving as a member of the planning committee and treasurer for the World Gathering of
Young Friends.

05 28
Meghan Willard introduced others who have attended previous world Gatherings of
Young Friends.


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                    Pacific Lutheran University (PLU), Tacoma, WA

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Jay Thatcher attended in 1985. He was appointed by NPYM to attend in Greensboro NC.
It was a life changing experience. When he spike to Kathryn Spinner she asked to talk
about cultural shock and delight they found. Jay remembers gospel choirs from East
Africa, inspired by the love they shared with Christ. He remembers a request after
announcement for translations – the request was for translation from North Carolina
twang to British English. He was not just experiencing shock, but also delight in richness
of different strands of Quakerism. He had heard of the power of faith form Friends from
other traditions. As those of us who no longer qualify as young friends support the
gathering, we invite Adrienne Pasta, Max Gravelle and Meghan Willard and Kathy Hyze
to speak.

The investments you make now will be paid back in many ways- engagement in the
wider Society of Friends as clerks; it will be repaid in future generation.

Lucy Fullerton attended as a representative of Baltimore Yearly Meeting.. It was a
transforming time. She knew about Society of Friends, divisions, coming together across
divisions, but knowing about it and experiencing it are very different things. She
experienced worshiping with Latin American Friends, the call to take Jesus into our
heart, evangelical language and learning to hear the spirit that unites us all. It was apart
of a whole practice; there was study before, and afterwards going to speak. It provides
for development of young leadership. They are a part of a whole stream of the history of
Friends. Invite these young Friends to speak at your meetings when they come back- that
is an important part of the experience.

Susanne Kronberg went to Belgium conference, on planning committee. Friends from all
traditions are a part of one body. This became the living experience for us. Couldn‟t
understand Quakerism without hearing from Friends who have developed in a different
direction. It is as if one of the senses is missing without all parts. Consider inviting not
only NPYM young friends, but also the young Friend from NWYM.

Meghann Willard introduced Aimee Bucholz to give a brief description of the gathering:
16-24th of August “I am the vine you are the branches” (from John 15)

There was worship and Bible study; they visited different locations in England, including
Swarthmore Hall, Lancaster jail, Pendle Hill...There were representative from 71 Yearly
Meetings, 9 Monthly Meetings, 6 worship groups. They were from, 40 countries, and
spoke 20 languages with the major ones being English, Spanish, French, Russian, and
Swahili

Delonna Halliday from Tacoma said it was a challenge that revives her as a Friend. In
high school she went to youth quake. When someone asked what she believed she
couldn‟t just say “I‟m a Quaker,” but had to say something about youth quake I‟m


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                    Pacific Lutheran University (PLU), Tacoma, WA

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challenged at a much deeper level- what do YOU mean by that. You have to put more
thought into your words. She looks forward to going and to coming back and talking to
meetings. This is a time to show hope and strength as group. There will be many
challenges including the languages. She asks Friends to think of them as they travel..

Fundraising update- there are some things for sale in lobby. Proceeds will go to the
World Gathering to be shared. Friends can contact Meghan, Kathy or Chris, about
fundraising. They have raised $4,600 in NPYM; their goal is $6,500- most has come
from Monthly Meetings.

Kathy Hyze said that Friends have received a letter, a request for funds, and an invitation
to consider themselves as part of what they are dong. Their intent is to share the
experience. She asks Friends to “eek us out on individual basis.”

05 29
Reading of first draft of Epistle, Warren Ostrom

Comments:

Ending about FGC is brilliant

Beginning part about Junior Friends important but too long- out of proportion.

Junior friends- word God may be a problem, but deep universal experience of “God”-
want Epistle to reflect this, another Friend added, this Friend speaks my mind.

Clerk encouraged Friends to seek out the epistle committee, Bill and Eileen Long,
Richard Poudrier, Warren Ostrom.




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Plenary Session VII
17th day of the seventh month, 2005
8:30 10:00 AM
(Minutes for this session recorded by Lee Bennett)

05 30

A revised proposal for a Minute about the Iraq War was presented by Marge Abbott and
Bob Shultz, members of an interest group which wrote the minute.

Marge spoke to idea of Minute as a tool for action, not something to be filed away. This
minute includes resources for action. As the Iraq conflict continues most death of
civilians are due to US military actions.

Bob read the draft minute in its entirety, including recommendation for Implementation
Actions
The following comments were offered:

One Friend said it is beautiful and should be approved by NPYM.

Another recommended approval with hopes for promulgation.

One Friend offered general approval with two small changes: added to line two the word
“orderly” to “immediate withdrawal.” The suggested change was made.

Another suggested we should “ask” rather than “instruct” Presiding Clerk to send the
minute out. The suggested change was made.

Another Friend suggested that in Part 4, it should read “Approved by NPYM Friends”
rather than just “Friends” The suggested change was made.

It was suggested we should urge “Friends and our fellow citizens” not just “our fellow
citizens” The suggested change was made.

A Friend asked if “military” includes the National Guard. There was general agreement
that it does.

A Friend said that faith communities can draw on their own traditions .and resources.
Another suggested that we “offer our resources” rather than “urge” other faith
communities to use our organizations.

A friend recommended that NPYM be signer rather than the Presiding Clerk. The clerk
will research this.


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                          2005 Annual Session Plenary Minutes
                    Pacific Lutheran University (PLU), Tacoma, WA

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It was suggested that we should encourage Monthly Meetings to endorse and implement
this Minute.

A Friend asked that the minute include something addressing costs, human and economic
of Iraq war. (This consideration was laid aside as the Minute was approved. During later
worship it was suggested and approved to add this concern to the list of specifics to be
considering in meetings work to approve and implement this minute.)

The following Minute was approved by Friends of North Pacific Yearly Meeting on this
17th day of the 7th month, 2005, in annual session gathered, at Pacific Lutheran University
in Tacoma, Washington.

The North Pacific Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers),
standing in the 350 year tradition of Friends‟ opposition to war, calls for the immediate,
orderly termination of the military occupation of Iraq by the United States. We believe
we are called to live in that love and power that takes away the occasion of all war. We
are anguished by the deaths of over 100,000 Iraqis and by the deaths and lasting scars
inflicted on another generation of soldiers and their families. We accept the moral and
legal obligations of our country to help reconstruct Iraq, in concert with the international
community and the people of Iraq. We acknowledge our own obligations to remove the
seeds of war that are embedded in the ways we live our daily lives. We call for renewed
efforts to prevent our nation from engaging in similar conflicts in the future. We hold in
our prayers the people of Iraq, the troops of the United States as well as those from other
nations, the humanitarian workers in Iraq, the families of all in harm‟s way, the leaders of
Iraq and of the United States, and all others affected by this war.

Implementing Actions

(1) As a practical step toward ending this war and recognizing Iraqi self-determination,
we join the Friends Committee on National Legislation in calling for the adoption of a
Congressional resolution stating: “It is the policy of the United States to withdraw all
U.S. military troops and bases from Iraq.”

(2) We encourage Friends of the North Pacific Yearly Meeting in Idaho, Montana,
Oregon, and Washington to consider the adoption of similar minutes in their meetings,
and we urge them to convey these statements to our fellow citizens through the news
media, and to our Senators and Representatives in the Congress.

(3) We encourage Friends and our fellow citizens of other faith communities and of
diverse persuasions to utilize the educational resources of the American Friends Service
Committee (AFSC), the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL), and the
Quaker United Nations Office (QUNO); to add their voices to this call for terminating the


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                          2005 Annual Session Plenary Minutes
                    Pacific Lutheran University (PLU), Tacoma, WA

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U.S. occupation of Iraq; and to endorse the FCNL resolution and similar Congressional
legislation as steps toward ending the present conflict.


Approved by Friends of North Pacific Yearly Meeting on this 17th day of the 7th month,
2005, in annual session gathered, at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington.


Dorsey Green, Presiding Clerk
North Pacific Yearly Meeting
The Presiding Clerk is asked (a) to send this minute to all meetings and worship groups in
North Pacific Yearly Meeting along with educational materials from AFSC and FCNL on
potential actions, (b) to ask Friends Bulletin to publish this minute and its “implementing
actions,” and (c) to encourage Friends to take the “implementing actions” here indicated.


Ann Stever compiled and submitted the following considerations to be sent to Monthly
Meetings:
 General:
1 Start with why – a moral basis and our motivation.
2 Be clear we speak for NPYM Friends, not “Friends is WA, OR, MT, etc). Check this
  out every time we say “Friends...” so we are sensitive to NWYM (North West Yearly
  Meeting, programmed Friends)
3 Watch to say U.S., not America, to be sensitive to the rest of the Americas.
4 To whom is a statement addressed? Be clear on what we want done.
5 Take particular car when addressing difficult, complex issues to avoid jargon or over-
  generalizations.

  Specific on Iraq Minute:
1 Consider concern re oil.
2 Consider issues of US corporate control of Iraqi resources.
3 Consider examining consequences and if we are willing to make sacrifices (oil,
  lifestyle.)
4 Can we articulate a concrete, cogent alternative and have a vision to move toward?
5 If statement has value/moral teeth, say what we are willing to do.
6 Try to envision consequences: e.g., would withdrawal of US troops result in less
  violence?




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05 31 Registrar Report                                                             35
Registrar Report, from Margaret Coahran, Registrar
Thanks to Jan Kierne (Multnomah MM) for hand-lettering the nametags. Please return
for re-use.
In attendance at this Annual Session we had 320 total. By age: 1 infant under 3 months,
10 children ages 4-6, 12 children ages 7-10, 14 Central Friends, 35 Junior Friends, 14
Young Friends, and 238 “the rest of us.”

05 32
Announcement: Funds donated for brochures at the FCNL table have come up missing.
We are not sure if money is missing from other tables. Also the Peace Ball from FCNL
table is not there. Please return it if possible. Also a collection will be taken at the close
of this plenary to commission a replacement by the artist.

05 33
The clerk read a letter accompanying Lynn Phillips, visitor from FGC Traveling Visitor
Program.

NPYM Annual Session Epistles
05 34
A hand made Epistle from the 7-10 year old friends is attached to the file copy of the
AS minutes.

05 35
Young Friends epistle read by Paul Christensen, Eastside MM.
Submitted in handwritten form; what follows is typed copy:

Dear Friends,
This annual session for the Young Friends has been one of growth. With around 20
Friends aged eighteen to thirty and including many new faces, we conducted business
smoothly and made plans for the future. We approved a new liaison between the Young
Friends and the broader Yearly Meeting and also selected two representatives to the
NPYM Steering committee. Looking ahead we began to make plans for a Young Friends
gathering in December. Our worship discussion focused on our place in the larger Quaker
society as well as the effect that Quakers have on the world. Through all of our activities
we have felt that the group is evolving well and gathering energy. It has been a very
constructive session and we have faith that we will continue down our present path.
Yours in the Light,
NPYM Young Friends




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05 36
Adult Friends epistle read by Bill Long.

                             NORTH PACIFIC YEARLY MEETING
                                     2005 EPISTLE

To Friends Everywhere:

North Pacific Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends gathered in annual
session July 14-17th, 2005 on the campus of Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma,
Washington, U.S.A. Even as aircraft roared overhead from a military base, we focused
on the theme “Using Our Light in Practical Peacemaking”. A letter was read from
Margery Post Abbot to Friends of high school age inquiring about the spiritual health of
the Jr. Friends Program. They responded with a very thoughtful, inspiring epistle. They
told us that their experience of The Spirit included their search for the meaning of God,
and that:
1 Spiritual Growth is a process,
2 Each Jr. Friend's Spiritual Experience is uniquely individual,
3 We experience trust and love,
4 We experience Honest and real relationships and
5 We go home [after gatherings of Junior Friends] feeling so much more whole inside

Our Friend in Residence, Mary Lord of the American Friends Service Committee talked
about the life cycle of conflict, how attention is only drawn to conflicts after a certain
threshold of violence has been reached. Her premise is that we begin our peacemaking
too late, when the opportunities are few. Once a cease-fire is negotiated in a war zone,
the work of peacemakers is diverted to the next “hot spot”, leaving the core issues
unresolved. She recommends, “Getting in early and staying late” In that vein she
suggests “we need to work to prevent the next war now.

Mary spoke about the meaning of each of our testimonies in our lives today. She talked
about our culture of materialism in relation to the Quaker testimony of simplicity. She
described the process of mining minerals from the Earth to make needless “stuff” which
then ends up as polluted waste in a land-fill. She calls this a “cycle of death sowing the
seeds of war”. Mary called us to consider how we are each, in our own lives, called to
speak our Truth.

We struggled in trying to create a Minute regarding the U.S. military withdrawal from
Iraq. It reads as follows:
The North Pacific Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers),
standing in the 350 year tradition of Friends' opposition to war, calls for the immediate,
orderly termination of the military occupation of Iraq by the United States. We believe
we are called to live in that love and power that takes away the occasion of all war. We


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             North Pacific Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends
                          2005 Annual Session Plenary Minutes
                    Pacific Lutheran University (PLU), Tacoma, WA

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are anguished by the deaths of over 100,000 Iraqis and by the deaths and lasting scars
inflicted on another generation of soldiers and their families. We accept the moral and
legal obligations of our country to help reconstruct Iraq, in concert with the international
community and the people of Iraq. We acknowledge our own obligations to remove the
seeds of war that are embedded in the ways we live our daily lives. We call for renewed
efforts to prevent our troops of the United States as well as those from other nations, the
humanitarian workers in Iraq, the families of all in harm's way, the leaders of Iraq and of
the United States and all others affected by this war

A kaleidoscope of worship through movement, words, song and silence united us with
the Divine Spirit and each other.

A committee on the Discipline met for the first time to update our book of Faith and
Practice. We also named a Vision and Structure Committee to gather a sense of how this
Yearly Meeting is called to work in the future, and what structures would best serve that
work.
North Pacific Yearly Meeting along with our historic siblings, Pacific and Inter Mountain
Yearly Meetings is independent and unaffiliated. These three Meetings of Western North
America, however, are working with Canadian Yearly Meeting and Alaska Friends
Conference to host the 2006 Gathering of Friends General Conference, which will meet
at Pacific Lutheran University, where we are this week. To those in Friends General
Conference we extend a warm welcome and to Friends of all persuasions we send
heartfelt greetings, as we all seek to follow The Guide.

For North Pacific Yearly Meeting,
Dorsey Green

05 37
Clerk's Report and closing minute:
I'd like to end this year's Annual Session by thanking some people who have made this
session so good.
I invite all 1st time attenders at NPYM Annual Session to stand. Thank you for joining us,
you have enriched our time together. I hope you will return and help us welcome other
newcomers.
Would everyone who has volunteered to help out, lead an Interest Group or Worship
Group, please stand. Thank you for your gifts of time and energy. You are invaluable and
without you, we would not be able to do what we do.
Thank you, Mary Lord. You have shared your heart, expertise and sense of humor with
us. Your words and ideas have already shown up in our conversations, thoughts, and even
the Community Night skit.
Even though they are not in this room, I want to express my deep appreciation to those
women and men who have been our children's teachers and advisers. We trust you with
the most precious parts of ourselves.


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Finally, I want to thank some of the key people who planned and ran this AS. Meghann
Willard, Rosa Ostrom, Ella Willard-Schmoe and Felix Ostrom for bringing a youthful
perspective to our Planning. Dorene Cornwall and Sharon Moon for Interest Groups.
Derik Young, Assistant General Arrangements, Jeanne Bougret and Debbie Townsend
for Worship Groups. Ginger Boyle for Program, Margaret Coahran Registrar, Jessamyn
Hagen Children's Program, and Carolyn Lawsesko Physical Arrangements. And Kristin
Sullivan who oversaw the General Arrangements and reminded me that it is all about
relationships. Thanks to all of you.
This weekend we, both old and new Friends, have been a microcosm of the community
that is NPYM. As the most visible member of the Planning Committee, I have been
blessed by people's expressions of support and love. But the rest of the committee, while
less visible, nevertheless, in the words of Kristina Sullivan, has “held the space” for all of
us so that we may worship and replenish in community.
There are, however, tensions we have had to manage as we have planned and run this
Annual Session. I believe we have been a bit like the canary in the mine, the early
warning system that says something is wrong. With all the talent we have, with roughly
about 900 members, we were never able to fill all of the AS planning positions. And after
months of recruiting, we couldn't find enough teachers to run a full children's program,
although we had many wonderful volunteers who signed up to support the teacher during
AS. And we had difficulty finding enough Worship Group leaders.
I think there are many reasons people aren't volunteering for these positions. Some who
have carried the load for years are bringing their grandchildren or taking a deserved rest
from responsibility. Some folks have children and paid work and don't have time to read a
book, let alone volunteer for AS planning. We don't always do a good job of inviting
newcomers to join us. I think also that many people do not find the Yearly Meeting or
Annual Session to be relevant to them.
However, I see a ripple effect after every AS, clerking workshop Quarterly Meeting, or
wherever NPYM folks gather for worship, learning or community. We take open hearts,
memories of new or renewed friendship or exciting challenges back home to share with
others or to store for the lean times when Quaker community is hard to come by.
I hope you will be loud with your splashing ripples, let other share some of the wealth
from this weekend.
I also hope you will think about what would make the YM more relevant, more exciting
and more helpful to you and tell us. Get others to do the same. Look for ways you could
again or for the first time support the Yearly Meeting, especially Annual Session
planning.
It is a gift to be among Friends and it is an extraordinary gift to be among those “who
hold the space.” Thank you for the privilege of doing so.
The 33rd AS of NPYM is officially closed as we end in worship. We will gather again at
Pacific Lutheran University, June 29 to July 1, 2006. Godspeed to you all.
Dorsey Green, Presiding Clerk

Minutes submitted by Bonnie Tinker, Recording Clerk


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