The life of the spirit gains depth and vigor through devotional practices, prayer, study and meditation. Take time regularly for individual and family worship, discussions. Readings from sacred texts and other spiritual refreshment in order to live a more centered life and to bring a deeper presence to the Meeting for Worship. Friends believe that the spiritual path is best found in community. Create opportunities in your Meetings for people of all ages to explore and express their evolving relationship with the Divine, their spiritual highs and their doubts. If different metaphors and language interfere with communication, listen more deeply, honoring the Spirit in which the thought and words have their beginnings.
Do I live in thankful awareness of God’s constant presence in my life?
Am I sensitive and obedient to the leadings of the Holy Spirit?
When do I take time for contemplation and spiritual refreshment?
What steps am I taking to center my life and to stay open to continuing revelation?
Do we share our spiritual lives with others in the Meeting, seeking to know one another in that which is eternal?
Does the Meeting provide religious education including study of the Bible and Friends’ history and practices?
Where: Prince of Peace Abbey, Oceanside, CA WHEN: Friday March 15-Sunday March 17, 2024 Optional Extended Retreat, Monday March 18, 2024
Embracing Life AS IT IS
As we gathered to plan the silent retreat, we checked in with each other. All of us had experienced unwelcome health news, the death of a dear friend, or job loss or uncertainties. All of us had someone close who was facing the breakup of a relationship, financial fraud fallout, or emotional or psychological trauma. We also reported blessings, silver linings, hope, and important moments of gratitude. In other words, we were all experiencing LIFE.
What does it mean to embrace life fully, to celebrate the good things, to manage the bad things, and to navigate the events between? We don’t want to dwell on our diminishments and challenges, but we also don’t want to trivialize them. We want to celebrate our accomplishments and successes, but we also don’t want them to distract us from smelling the roses or experiencing the joy of meandering conversations with friends.
What makes us human may be opposing thumbs or a sense of humor. What makes us humane are the relationships that define us. We gather together to practice mutual care in our relationships with family, self, community and Spirit/God/Ancestors/Universe. Come contemplate and explore among Friends what it means to embrace all of your life. As it is, now. With grace, with courage, with hope, with acceptance, with grief, and with celebration.
Early Registration by February 23rd
$275 per person
Financial aid is available
Late Registration by March 1st
$300 per person
Financial aid is available
For Registration Information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
We are reminded that Friends have diverse identities, life experiences, and faith traditions. Some Friends come from generations of Quaker ancestors, other convinced Friends have Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, mono or polytheistic, or non-theist backgrounds.
As an inclusive religion and community of seekers, we strive each day to live with integrity and to listen for and see that of God, the Divine, the Light in all.
The centering theme for this fall’s quarterly gathering is “Back to Basics – The Roots and Fruits of Quaker Testimonies Then and Now.”
Paul Buckley, a traveling Quaker minister and author will share with us his perspectives on the Quaker Testimonies in two presentations based on his recently published Pendle Hill pamphlet, Quaker Testimony: What We Witness to the World. Paul’s presentations will look at early Quaker testimonies, what he considers the 5 essential characteristics of a testimony, how early Friends testified.
Contemporary Quakers have come to “package” our testimonies as the SPICES: Simplicity, Peace, Integrity, Community, Equality, Stewardship or Sustainability. Yet we can ask, are these our only testimonies? Are there others?
Fall Fellowship is a wonderful opportunity to worship and share together, participate in interest and affinity groups, a meeting for healing, hiking, plenaries, community night, and lots of fellowship.
Families especially are encouraged to attend onsite (the cost for all those 18 and younger are covered by SCQM) as the children’s and teen program committees are planning a wonderful weekend of activities on the beautiful grounds of Temescal Gateway Park in the Pacific Palisades, just north of Santa Monica. See below for a brief schedule outline and see the scqm.org website for full details.
In peace, Jane Blount SCQM Clerk
A Few Notes on Registration
There is a registration fee of $25/person for onsite attendance and $5/person for online participation.
Additional costs to attend either onsite or online is “pay-as-led”; suggested contribution amounts are on the registration form.
We encourage Friends to ask their Monthly Meeting or Worship Group for financial assistance if needed to cover the actual costs of attending.
Registration closes at midnight on October 22, 2023.
Brief Schedule Outline
Friday evening – Zoom only: Interest Group – Radical Hospitality
Saturday afternoon: Lunch, Interest groups/workshops, FCNL and our Quaker Advocacy Community – Onsite and Online, The Seekers – Onsite only, “How Long Can I Wear my Sword” – Onsite and Online, affinity groups, free time.
Saturday evening: Dinner, community night, informal gathering
Radical Hospitality: Join Lloyd Lee Wilson in a discussion on “Radical Hospitality…a way of being in the world that helps to bring the Kingdom of God into full realization …through inclusiveness toward all people, through letting go of personal cravings for possessions and power, and through noncoercion.” See more about the pamphlet and where to purchase it at Radical Hospitality – Pendle Hill Quaker Books & Pamphlets.
This is an online program (those coming Friday afternoon to help set-up are welcome to join us in Stewart Hall).
Lloyd Lee Wilson is a recorded minister of the gospel in West Grove Monthly Meeting, North Carolina Yearly Meeting (Conservative). His publications include Essays on the Quaker Vision of Gospel Order, Wrestling with Our Faith Tradition, Holy Surrender, Change and Preservation in the Same Current, and numerous contributions to Friends Journal, Quaker Life, Quaker Theology, and The Journal of North Carolina Yearly Meeting(Conservative). His message is that “Christ has come to teach his people himself.”
Being Violent While Being Quaker – How long can I wear my sword? – Onsite and Online
Dan Strickland will share his perspective as a karate student of 50+ years’ standing, how that squares or conflicts with being a Quaker, and what violence is in our lives. Will have a rich discussion around questions like, Does our aversion to violence affect our honesty? Where is the balance between fear and hospitality?
FCNL and our Quaker Advocacy Community – Onsite and Online
Come learn first-hand from advocates who have led successful issue FCNL campaigns through building people power and taking action. In this workshop we’ll focus on different ways you can work with FCNL and our Quaker advocacy community to advance our shared vision and values. These ideas can help our meetings and worship groups prepare for deeper work towards the world we seek.
We will hear from young friends about their experience in the FCNL “Ambassadors” program; our regional FCNL Advocacy Coordinator, Jessica Bahena; and the FCNL Quaker Engagement Program Manager, Bobby Trice. Online and onsite attenders are welcome (onsite participants will meet in Stewart Hall).
Many Friends expressed how nourished they felt by attending, either in person or by Zoom, Pacific Yearly Meeting’s annual session this past July. I encourage you to read the epistle that came from the 77th annual session, which Centered the Voices of the Next Generation. I hope Friends from Southern CA will feel nourished when we gather this November for our Quarter’s Fall Fellowship.
We are reminded that Friends have diverse identities, life experiences, and faith traditions. Some Friends come from generations of Quaker ancestors, other convinced Friends have Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, mono or polytheistic, or non-theist backgrounds. As an inclusive religion and community of seekers, we strive each day to live with integrity and to listen for and see that of God, the Divine, the Light in all.
Foundational to our experiential faith community are the Quaker Testimonies which we contemporary Quakers have come to “package” as the SPICES: Simplicity, Peace, Integrity, Community, Equality, Stewardship or Sustainability. Yet we can ask, are these our only testimonies? Are there others? What is a testimony?
The centering theme for this fall’s quarterly gathering is “Back to Basics – The Roots and Fruits of Quaker Testimonies Then and Now.” Paul Buckley, a traveling Quaker minister and author will share with us his perspectives on the Quaker Testimonies in two presentations based on his recently published Pendle Hill pamphlet, Quaker Testimony: What We Witness to the World. Paul’s presentations will look at early Quaker testimonies, what he considers the 5 essential characteristics of a testimony, how early Friends testified, and the more contemporary evolution of the Quaker “SPICES”.
In addition to our keynote presentations and worship sharing on Saturday and Sunday mornings we will have interest and affinity groups, wonderful children’s and teen’s programs, a meeting for healing, time for fellowship, hiking, possibly singing, plenaries, community night, and worship.
Please mark your calendars and SAVE THE DATE for SCQM’s Fall Fellowship to attend either in person on the beautiful grounds of Temescal Gateway Park in the Pacific Palisades, just north of Santa Monica, or via Zoom. Full schedule and details to come soon.
Family Work Camp will be held at the Ben Lomond Quaker Center on August 1 to 6, 2023.
First time at FWC? Family Work Camp is a joyous celebration of community, collective labor, Spirit and fun. After gathering for dinner on Tuesday, August 1st, we’ll spend the next four days divided into work crews. We’ll work on various projects for three-hour shifts between breakfast and lunch, and then spend the afternoons and evenings doing other things together, such as hiking, singing, resting, visiting the San Lorenzo River or a nearby Friends’ pool, or doing nothing at all.
What kind of work will we do? There will be a number of options to choose from, which will include both heavy and light work, and outdoor and indoor projects. Experience is welcome but absolutely not necessary to attend and participate. There will be a trail maintenance crew, a wood-splitting crew, a letter-writing crew and a playground improvement crew, and as always there will be a few surprises.
“Do I have to be in a family to attend?” As with all Quaker Center programs, all are welcome at Family Work Camp. Parents come with their children and their parents, grandparents with their grandchildren, and those who come without family members.
I’m a teen and I want to come but my parents can’t bring me this year. Can I come without my parents? Family Work Camp is a beloved annual gathering for teens and young adults. If you want to come and your parent(s) or guardian aren’t able to bring you, you may be able to come with a responsible adult sponsor over 25 years old. If you’re a teen that fits this description, or an adult who might be willing to sponsor a young person, get in touch with us at (831) 336-8333.
How much does Family Work Camp cost? We don’t want finances to prevent anyone from attending, and like all our programs, FWC will use a Pay-As-Led fee structure. We ask you to consider how much you can comfortably contribute towards this week of service and fun. Housing with be in Quaker Center’s Orchard and Redwood Lodges, and campsites will be available. Meals will be prepared by Tod Nysether.
Questions? Send an email to email@example.com or give us a call at (831) 336-8333.
Our Meeting no longer requires that all attenders be vaccinated or that masks be worn. However, we ask that you use your best judgement. If you are feeling at all unwell, or have recently been exposed to COVID, please attend the Meeting via Zoom.
Pacific Yearly Meeting’s Annual Session will be held in person July 21-26, 2023 at Mount Madonna Center (near Watsonville, CA). It will also be possible to attend remotely via Zoom. This year’s theme will be Beloved Community Part II: Centering the Voices of the Next Generation.
Click here for more information, including the Clerk’s Call, bios of the keynote panel members, the schedule, and a link to registration.
When: July 2-8, 2023 Where: Monmouth Oregon Registration begins: April 23, 2023
Gather: One small word with many meanings.
Gather can mean to collect, especially from far-flung locations: They visited gardens, libraries, Meetings, and websites to gather materials to share in this workshop. Or it can mean to come together: Friends of all ages are gathering in Oregon in 2023 for an annual event. It can also mean to increase speed: Quaker witness is gathering momentum around criminal justice. Gather can mean gaining understanding: From the looks on the children’s faces, the performers gathered that their art was what the audience needed that night.
We expect that the 2023 FGC Gathering will be special, in part due to the location. It will be in the Pacific Northwest for the first time in a generation. It will be in Oregon for the first time ever. Some offerings will be online, but mostly, it will be an all-generations in-person experience for the first time since 2019.
We understand that it is a heavy lift for most people to come to the Gathering. It’s a big expense for ever-tightening budgets and those of us who don’t have much disposable income. It’s a large amount of time away from work for shrinking vacation benefits if we are so fortunate to even have a job with benefits. We may be apprehensive about the location. It costs a large carbon footprint to travel no matter what the offsets. Plus, there are all those roommates who snore and long cafeteria lines. Ah, the travails of travel. 🙂
We are convinced, however, that to gather, in and of itself, with all that word’s meanings, is deeply important. We cannot truly be a society, let alone a religious society, without gathering. Societies must have gathering spaces and places to exchange ideas, to share common experiences and to coalesce as a community. We must gather corporately and corporally to worship. Otherwise, we just dissipate into an unholy mess.
There is nothing like living together for a week. An event like the FGC Gathering creates life-changing opportunities – both scheduled and spontaneous – to worship, eat, sing, play, pray, explore, and learn together. The Gathering Committee is working diligently to welcome you just as you are and however you are, and we will do our best to make it work for you. We are preparing a unique opportunity to experience “gather” in all its meanings and for all to do a lot of learning, healing, sharing, inspiring, and creating together across our Religious Society of Friends..
The theme this year is “Listen, so that we may live.” We ask you to listen to this invitation prayerfully and see if there is life in it for you and your family. Come to The Gathering, enjoy Oregon’s Willamette Valley, gather for a while.
With Love and In the Light,
Jessica & Kate
Jessica Bucciarelli and Kate Jaramillo
2023 Friends General Conference Gathering Co-Clerks
When: Saturday, May 6, 2023, 10AM-Noon, Pacific Time Where: online (via Zoom)
Join us online for the FWCC Southwest Regional Gathering, a fully bilingual gathering of Friends from Intermountain Yearly Meeting, Pacific Yearly Meeting, and the Western Association of the Religious Society of Friends.
Travelling Quaker minister Emily Proance will help us explore the challenges of meeting via computer. Can we sense the “presence of the Room” when the room has no walls? How do we maintain unity? The meeting will be conducted in both English and Spanish. All Friends are welcome.
We no longer require that all in-person attenders be vaccinated. However, we strongly urge anyone who is unvaccinated or in a high-risk group to wear a mask. If you have recently been exposed to an infected person, have symptoms, or are not feeling well, please join us online rather than attending in person.
Are you curious about how other Friends Meetings and Worship Groups are navigating life as a spiritual community in these shifting times now that the pandemic is not so intense? We’ll hear excerpts from Meetings’ Spiritual State of the Society Reports and have worship sharing opportunities together.
The Children’s Committee is planning lots of fun activities including candle-making. In addition, children will have an opportunity to fold-form a copper bowl with metalsmith Marne Ryan.
Get to know other Teens in Southern California! Junior Friends aged 12-20 are invited to attend Spring Gathering on Saturday for fun, fellowship, and community building led by Linus Hartigan (co-clerk of PacYM’s Jr. Yearly Meeting).
The Peace & Social Concerns Committee is hosting an online interest group Friday evening at 7 PM, exploring where we are and what is next for us as individuals, within our meetings, and our Quarter, on the journey towards “radical transformation” and a fully welcoming and inclusive, beloved community.
Saturday’s schedule is from 9:00 – 3:15 (Pacific time). All program activities will be available for those joining us in person and via Zoom, except the children’s program, which will be in-person only.
Orange County Friends Meeting in Costa Mesa will be hosting the in-person gathering at their campus 2845 Mesa Verde Drive East, Costa Mesa, CA in the larger space where the Orange Coast Unitarian Universalist neighbors have their sanctuary (Daniels Hall). There will be ample space for everyone who would like to attend in person,
Covid-19 Safety Policy: Everyone is expected to wear high-quality masks when inside and maintain social distancing between members of different households. If you are sick please stay home. All are welcome regardless of vaccination status.
Lunch: OCFM will be providing a simple lunch and refreshments during the day on Saturday and will be asking for donations to cover the cost of hospitality.
There is an outside courtyard area where we can enjoy refreshments and lunch together.
Friends joining us online will be able to join in our shared virtual space with everyone gathered in Costa Mesa as well as online (except for when we are in smaller breakout groups and at lunch).
May we gather with openness, humility, and a spirit of loving-kindness and gratitude. May we come together to listen, share, and learn from each other and look towards the future of the Quarter.