September 2011 Newsletter

Upcoming Author Series At Multnomah Monthly Meeting

September 13, Tuesday evening 7-9PM, at the Meetinghouse.  Tom Head will talk about his 2010 Pendle Hill Pamphlet #405 titled:  Envisioning a Moral Economy.  Tom is Professor of Economics at George Fox University in Newberg and member of Bridge City Friends Meeting.  The pamphlet addresses “. . .how we might think about our economy – and its purposes – in new ways by including religious sources of wisdom and morality in our vision of a just and humane economic future.”

Child Care available by request – contact Annis Bleeke (503-224-9121;

Coffee & tea provided.

October 4, Tuesday evening, 7-9PM at the Meetinghouse;  Carol Urner will discuss both of her Pendle Hill Pamphlets.  These are # 275: The Needle’s Eye: A Phillipine Experience and #317: The Kingdom and the Way: Meditations on the Kingdom of God.  Carol and her late husband, Jack, with their children Kirby and Julie, lived abroad, mostly in second and third world countries, for a number of years as Jack worked with various government development projects.  In each place Carol found work as a volunteer.  These pamphlets grew out of that work.  Carol sees the two as a sequence that fit nicely into the theme of recent the 2011 NPYM Annual Session: “Being Practically Spiritual”.  She hopes that in this discussion we can continue to explore that theme together.

Child Care available by request – contact Annis Bleeke (503-224-9121;

Coffee & tea provided

November 13, Sunday, noon – 2PM at the Meetinghouse.  Kirsten Backstrom will discuss her 2001 Pendle Hill Pamphlet #355 titled: In Beauty: A Quaker Approach to End-of-Life Care.  Kirsten is a member of Multnomah Meeting and wrote this pamphlet at a time ten years ago when she was working as a hospice volunteer at Hopewell House in Portland.  Now a graduate of Marylhurst University with an MA degree in Applied Theology, she works as a Pastoral Associate at Mary’s Woods, a continuing care retirement community in Lake Oswergo. For her “. . writing this pamphlet was a way of walking, seeking for the beauty and wholeness – on many paths, on one path.”

Child care provided.

Bring a brown bag lunch.

Would You Like to Lead A Class?

Are you interested in leading a class or a small group?

Would you like to lead a class during our “Soup and Bread” series?

Do you have any other ideas for a small group?

If you have any ideas for a small group, or if you are interested in leading a session during the “Soup and Bread” series, please contact Wess or Helen in the office!

Vancouver Peace And Justice Fair

The 8th annual Vancouver Peace and Justice Fair will showcase the hard work and creative spirit of individuals, social justice groups, peace organizations, faith communities, performers, artists, businesses, and environmental activists who are making the world a better place.

The fair gives participants the opportunity to:

  • Network with other groups
  • Show off what you do
  • Publicize events
  • Celebrate with like-minded folks
  • Recruit supporters
  • Solicit donations
  • Educate the community

Admission is free! Bring the family! During the day, there will be many activities going on at the same time. At the stage, there will be a series of events including music, poetry, skits, and games. Around the park, groups will have exhibit spaces for tables. Children’s activities will be happening all throughout the day.

Hello, From Wess

I can hardly believe that it is already September. “Summer” or whatever it was we just experienced is turning now towards fall. Fall is my personal favorite season of the year. I love the colors, the smell in the air (no, not the paper-mill), the coolness of the breeze. September is a kind of transition month (this isn’t an official statement here). It’s the time when our children head back to school, summer vacations come to a close, and we begin thinking about the last couple months of the year (Christmas anyone?). I’m starting to think about the church retreat and sermons for December!

Like last September, this year’s ninth-month promises to be packed full. Emily, the girls and I are all excited to have my Dad and step-mom come out for a week starting the 19th. Next week, I’ll be in Hood River with other Northwest Yearly Meeting pastors for a conference on preaching. And this past week we spent Labor Day out at Westport Beach with some friends who own a beach house! Before I know it, I’ll be writing a little note to all of you saying how I can’t believe it’s already October.

Life sometimes seems to move at this rapid, I-can-barely-keep-up, pace of life. I find it difficult to enjoy life when it’s like I’m watching a movie in fast forward. Maybe it’s because I’m getting older, or maybe it’s just my personality, but I often have a sense of regret with so many things going on. I have the dual problem of feeling like I’m missing out on things, and feeling like I wish I could be doing more. Do you ever have the sense that you should be constantly apologizing for having your plate too full and at the same time not being able to do all you want?

Recently a friend pointed out to me that I actually like it that way. I often feel the most full of life when I have a lot going on. I like being active. When one project is done, I’m already considering a new one to take on. My mom always told me growing up that I enjoy having many irons in the fire. It’s easy to feel like life is passing us by, but when we stop and think about it, we often realize the things we’re doing are things of our own choosing, things we actually like to do. So what’s the difference for you? What helps you decide whether you’re just too busy and truly are filled to the brim or whether you’re filled up with things you love doing, things you’ve actually, for one reason or another, decided to do? And where does God come into play for you in all this? Is God present in those activities, do those activities draw you towards God or detract from these deeper connections? Is God the cause, the effect, or the after thought, mundane or heroic as these activities may be? What holds us together in these chaotic times may be as much about paying attention as it is about our own perspectives changing concerning what is taking place. Consider standing in the middle of the Red Sea, split open like a lip, and imagine yourself an Egyptian and then a Hebrew. How you feel in that moment is very much about what you perceive to be happening. I invite you this month to consider the ways in which the fullness of life can be for you a jumping off point into growth and transformation, rather than something that simply wears you out or makes you feel guilty. What is your perception of what is going on around you? Ask God to help you have eyes to see into a deeper reality.


Streaming Sermon Audio

Did you know that you can stream, download or subscribe to our weekly podcast from our website?  Just go to our home page at and click on “Sermons”.  This will take you to a link to stream audio on the web and also instructions on how to use iTunes if you prefer.

This is a great way for us to continue learning together.  It allows you to hear a sermon from a Sunday you may have missed, or listen again to something you wanted to go back to.  You can also leave feedback on a particular sermon or start a discussion around it using the “leave a comment” feature!

Adult Sunday School Series

Our Adult Sunday School class is starting a new series that will take them through the entire Bible over the course of the next five years.  They are starting this month with The Inescapable God.  This is an Adult Friend publication that will discover the nature of God as the first person of the Trinity, by looking at Old Testament texts from the Exodus narrative and from the poetry of Psalms.  Upcoming issues in this series include: Assuring Hope, We Worship God, and Relationships with God in Community.  Please try to make time in your Sunday morning schedule to join this group.  They begin their study at 9:30 am on Sunday mornings in the classroom between the office and the sanctuary.