Advices and Queries for the Fifth Month*

Harmony with Creation

Advices

It would go a long way to caution and direct people in their use of the world, that they were better studied and knowing in the creation of it. For how could [they] find the confidence to abuse it, while they should see the Great Creator stare them in the face, in all and every part thereof?

Adapted from William Penn, Some Fruits of Solitude 1693, 12-13

God is revealed in all Creation. We humans belong to the whole interdependent community of life on earth. Rejoice in the beauty, complexity and mystery of creation, with gratitude to be part of its unfolding. Take time to learn how this community of life is organized and how it interacts. Live according to principles of right relationship and right action within this larger whole. Be aware of the influence humans have on the health and viability of life on earth. Call attention to what fosters or harms earth’s exquisite beauty, balances and interdependencies. Guided by Spirit, work to translate this understanding into ways of living that reflect our responsibility to one another, to the greater community of life, and to future generations.

Queries

  •  In what ways do I express gratitude for the wondrous expressions of life on Earth?
  • Do I consider the damage I might do to the Earth’s vulnerable systems in choices I make of what I do, what I buy, and how I spend my time?
  • In our witness for the global environment, are we careful to consider justice and the well-being of the world’s poorest people?
  • Does our way of life threaten the viability of life on Earth?

*from Pacific Yearly Meeting Faith and Practice (2001), 51

Traffic Alert–Sunday, May 5th

The Orange County Marathon will be running Sunday, May 5th, near the Meeting House.  In previous years this has been a headache for anyone driving to Meeting.

The best way to get to Meeting, for anyone coming by car, will be:

405 to Harbor South
Right (west) on Gisler, the first light south of the freeway, by the Arco and In’n’Out
Left on Gibraltar, the first stop sign
Round the bend on Gibraltar
Left on Labrador (Gibraltar ends)
Right on Baker, a four-way stop
Left on Mesa Verde Eats, a four-way stop
Then Meeting will be on the right.

There may be a lot of traffic this way, from people trying to get to the marathon’s route. Here are two links to the Marathon’s website:

Thelink on the right takes you to a page with links to lists of road closures.  If you prefer maps, scroll to the bottom and click on the rectangular thing on the right, in the black bar. That will give you a full-page interactive map.

*Photo by Miguel A Amutio on Unsplash

Advices and Queries for the Fourth Month

Stewardship and Vocation

Advices

John Woolman said, “As Christians all we possess are the gifts of God… To turn all the treasures we possess into the channel of Universal Love becomes the business of our lives.” The principle of stewardship applies to all we have and are. As individuals, we are called to use our time, our various abilities, our strength, our money, and our material possessions with care, managing them wisely and sharing them generously.”

From the indwelling Seed of God, we discover our particular gifts and discern the service to which we are called. In making choices about occupation or education, consider the way that offers the fullest opportunity to develop your individual abilities and contribute to the world community while providing for yourself and your family. In daily work, manifest a spirit of justice and understanding, and thus give a living witness to the truth.

Be ready to limit engagements, to withdraw for a time, or even to retire from an activity that inhibits your ability to follow a higher call. Try to discern the right moment to accept new responsibilities as well as to relinquish responsibility that can pass to others. Be open to your calling in different stages of life. Meetings need the strength and vigor of young people as well as the experience and wisdom of elders. Although they may not be able to contribute great financial support, their energy and insight invigorate the community. As people begin careers and families, they may need the spiritual and experienced help of the Meeting. Later, when families are growing up and careers are established, greater participation in the Meeting and greater financial support may become possible. Welcome the approach of old age, your own and others’, as an opportunity for wisdom and greater attachment to the Light. Meetings should be ready with material and spiritual support for those suffering from unemployment or facing difficult vocational decisions.

Queries

  • How have I been faithful to the leadings of the Spirit in choosing work or vocation?
  • What am I doing with my talents, time, money and possessions?
  • Is my conduct at the workplace consistent with my life as a Friend?
  • How does my daily work enhance my spiritual life?
  • How does the Meeting help and support members who are in job transitions?

*from Faith and Practice of the Pacific Yearly Meeting (2001), 48-49

Online Workshop, Saturday April 20th, 2024 

HEALING PRACTICES and QUAKER SPIRITUALITY 
led by Shannon Frediani

We do not store trauma in the mind;
we store trauma in the bod
y.

Living in our world today involves trauma exposure.
Whether healing from personal trauma or
avoiding being traumatized by working with others who suffer from trauma,
we can learn in this workshop a new form of healing
Bringing attention to our bodies can help us bring our nervous systems
back into balance and to come back to one’s own center of peace.
Balancing and returning to one’s center,
where we encounter Spirit, is building our own resilience.
This 2-session series is an introduction to practices that support the resilience needed to meet today’s challenges.

This program will be conducted online and will consist of two 1½ -hour sessions.  Participants will have the opportunity to do the following:

10:30 – noon: Recognize and reflect on their own responses to trauma exposure.
Learn to interrupt the trauma response.

1:00 -2:30:    Build resilience and new strategies for centering, and
Connect with Spirit and deepen their Quaker faith.

Shannon Frediani is a Quaker teacher, writer, and activist.  She is a member of Santa Cruz Monthly Meeting.  


Invitation to Spring Gathering

2024 Spring Gathering of the Southern California Quarterly Meeting
at Orange Grove Friends Meeting
April 26-27th, 2024

Please join Friends from throughout SCQM, in person and via zoom, to hear about the Spiritual State of the Monthly Meetings and Worship Groups in our Quarter.

We will gather at Orange Grove Friends Meeting, 520 E. Orange Grove Blvd in Pasadena. Please see the OGMM website for maps and maps and detailed directions if needed.

Snacks, coffee/tea, and lunch will be provided for a donation, and there will be activities for children.

We will provide a zoom link for all sessions.

Please register below by midnight, Tuesday April 23rd, 2023.

2024 Spring Gathering Schedule

Friday, April 26 at 6:30 PM Pacific (via Zoom)
Interest Group: Healing from Abuse in Quaker Communities.
Speaker: Windy Cooler

Recognizing and healing from abuse is paramount for a healthy mindset, relationships and community, but within the Society of Friends, where acknowledging this may disrupt our idealized Quaker ‘comfort zone’ because of our peace testimony and our public commitments to pacifism, working on remedying these circumstances, not only applies to interpersonal relationships but also to our other blind spots such as classism and racism. (For more information on Quaker discernment on abuse, see this website).

Saturday, April 27:

9:30 – 11:45 am Worship, Plenary 1, State of Society Reports Part 1

11:45 – 1:00 Lunch Break – optional fellowship 

1:00 – 2:45 pm Plenary 2, State of Society Reports Part 2, 

2:45 – 3:15 Closing Worship

TWENTY-SEVENTH ANNUAL FRIENDS’ SILENT RETREAT

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.

Fees

Early Registration
by February 23rd

double room$275 per person
private room$300
Financial aid is available

Late Registration
by March 1st

double room$300 per person
private room$325
Financial aid is available

For Registration Information, contact judyleshefka@gmail.com

Fall Fellowship Registration is Now Open

Fall Fellowship

Back to Basics – The Roots and Fruits of Quakerism

at Temescal Canyon and on Zoom
November 3-5, 2023

Please Join Us


Dear Friends,

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 morning:
         Worship, brief plenary, Keynote presentation, worship sharing 

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

Sunday morning
         Breakfast, 2nd Keynote presentation, worship sharing

Sunday afternoon:
Lunch, brief plenary, closing worship


Interest Group Details

Friday Nov 3rd 6:30 – 8:30 PDT 

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).

*Please see information about the Pendle Hill Radical Hospitality reading group on October 18:  https://pendlehill.org/events/pendle-hills-reading-group-october-2023/ 

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 SurrenderChange 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).

Call to Fall Fellowship

Fall Fellowship

Nov 3-5, 2023

The Roots and Fruits of Quaker Testimonies

In Person at Temescal Canyon & via Zoom

Dear Friends,

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.

In peace,

Jane Blount
SCQM Clerk