Your NFC

Your NFC is a weekly newsletter featuring events and ministries as well as articles from our pastors and members. Your NFC is distributed via e-mail each Friday or can be read here.

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Your NFC – May 26, 2017

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Tabouli, Baba Ghanoush, Hummus and More…

by Irene Dunlop

The smell of frying eggplant fills the air as Hajar efficiently dips chicken legs in tomato sauce. Brandon Buerkle and I busy ourselves chopping piles of parsley, tomatoes, and cucumbers. Hala, age 5, entertains herself with toys on the floor.

In April 8 I joyfully offered my hands in service as Hajar Alodah worked to prepare a traditional Syrian meal for 35 lucky attendees. Last year we at NFC and North Valley joined together in the Welcome Home project, gathering the household items necessary to furnish a home for the Alodah family. Last August, they arrived in the U.S. from Syria via a refugee camp in Jordan. Ben and Emily Wynsma hosted the Alodahs in their home until the Alodahs’ housing in Salem became available. At Christmas, my children—Abram and Meika—and I colored and folded envelopes into airplanes, for the giving tree to raise funds to pay off the Alodah family’s travel debt. God provided through you, and their $ 7,000 debt was paid in full. God also afforded a wonderful connection for the Alodah family in the congregants of Evergreen Presbyterian, who took on the role of cultural mentors and navigators.

The ensuing months have been full of transition, learning, connection, and struggle. Hajar attends English classes; the kids are settling into school, and Ibrahim is looking for year-round, full-time work. Monetary support for the Alodah family through the U.S. resettlement agency and Catholic charities ended after six months. Ibrahim, a baker by trade, is currently working as a seasonal employee at a nursery up to 50 hours a week to provide for his family’s needs.

Hajar also uses her culinary skills to help provide for the family. Just after noon that Saturday we met her in the social hall kitchen to help prepare a delicious traditional meal for community members at Newberg Friends arriving at 5:30 p.m. to partake of delicious Syrian fare.

The first task was boiling chicken legs—with star anise, garlic, onion and chicken bullion, and Kebsa spice mix. After peeling and chopping the eggplant, we used Google translate to discover we needed more oil for frying. Hajar deep fried the eggplant for baba ghanoush. This technique was new to me, as my mom always roasted the eggplant for baba ghanoush. I  joyously discovered deep-fried eggplant makes a baba ghanoush better than any I have ever tasted (probably not nearly as healthy, but quite delicious). Once the chicken boiled, we removed it from the pot, then added rice to boil in the chicken water. Next we dipped the chicken legs in tomato sauce (mixed with a little Kebsa spice mix) and put them on trays under the broiler. All the while, we communicated with smiles, hand gestures, and the occasional translated sentence. Food is a universal language of friendship.

At 4 p.m. my husband, Aaron; Tamara Brand; and Erinn Hampton arrived to set and decorate the tables with flowers and candles. Hala, Meika, and Abram played joyously as we filled the buffet table with delicious food: hummus, pita, tabouli, baba ghanoush, leban (homemade yogurt), chicken, and rice. As the whole group gathered and ate together, I was reminded that we all have gifts to offer and receive within community. It was an evening to enjoy the culinary delights Hajar created, and in so doing we glimpsed the beauty of Syrian culture, helped provide for the Alodahs’ financial needs, and basked in each other’s loving, joyful presence.

Click HERE to read the entire May 26, 2017 issue.

Your NFC – May 19, 2017

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Have you heard of the “The cell rule of Optina”? It’s a reading structure that guides you through the New Testament in 89 days: three chapters per day, one from the Gospels and two from the other books starting in Acts. On Day 1 you read Matthew 1 and Acts 1 and 2, and 89 days later the last chapter of John’s Gospel is read on the very same day as Revelation 21 and 22.
Did you ever reread a book and discover details you’d missed the first time through. That’s what often happens when rereading scripture. Depending on where your focus lies at the time, different words and passages jump off the page. Maybe at the end of 89 days you’d choose to start again to see what other messages God places on your heart.
Why not start today or tomorrow? Use the guide below or CLICK HERE to find it online. Use your own Bible or choose a version here.

(This plan is in the public domain.)

Click HERE to read the entire May 19, 2017 issue.

Your NFC – May 12, 2017

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by Bethany Lee

I think I was two when I first discovered there were people in the world who cared for others for a living. My direction was instantly clear. I was going to become a nurse.

I spent hours as a child coloring in the anatomy coloring book I got for my eighth birthday. My dad took me on a fun field trip to the blood bank and, while my mom hid in the bedroom, dissected frogs with me at the kitchen counter. In high school, I took all the math and sciences I could and spent the summer after my junior year as an apprentice in the research department at Providence Portland Medical Center. As part of my apprenticeship requirements, I spent time with employees in many different departments: floor nurses and case managers and hospital administrators. I spent a day on the road with a home healthcare nurse and connected with nurses working in hospice care.

That summer was deeply inspiring but also clarifying. I headed off to my senior year of high school knowing my long-held expectations for my life were shifting. The pace and pressure of hospital nursing seemed beyond my ability to maintain, and my heart felt drawn to work in hospice. By that point in my life, I had also become a pianist and worship leader, and a full-time career in nursing would have crowded out those growing callings. I trusted God’s hand on my journey, believed that no part of my uniquely created makeup was a waste, and took the steps that seemed clear at the time.

I spent my college years taking a mix of classes in science, music, and religion; spent a few years as a chiropractic assistant and office manager; and then shifted to a life as a stay-at-home mom. I’ve been able to pursue part-time work as a musician and worship leader, but my caregiving skills have been focused primarily on my family as I’ve served as teacher/therapist/nurse/cook/guide to my daughters over our years of homeschooling and family life.

About 10 years ago, I became aware of the field of therapeutic music. This community includes specialists who use music to be present with the sick and suffering in different ways. Some work with the cognitively impaired to elicit memory and connection. Others work specifically with patients in hospice care for the purpose of end-of-life comfort. I had been following two separate threads of vocation—music and healthcare—and the possibility of weaving the two together was both exciting and empowering.

Following a sabbatical year of travel aboard our small sailboat, our girls began the transition from homeschooling to public high school. This year, for the first time, both my daughters are in school full time as a sophomore and junior at McMinnville High School. And this fall I went back to school as well, taking weekend classes every two months through the Music for Healing and Transition Program and learning to play the harp. I’m more than halfway through the coursework and then will have a couple of years to complete my practicum hours and other graduation requirements.

In addition to the many fascinating things I’m learning about neuroscience and the role of sound and music in humanity, I’m recognizing myself in so much of the training, finding my way of being in the world validated even as I continue to hone it. Our training deviates from much of traditional medicine in that we don’t seek to use music to cure or fix disease. That role is already held by many competent music therapists. Rather, we seek to use music and our own calming presence to create a space for healing, for wholeness. This feels like a natural extension of the movement of the Spirit in my life.

Both experiences in pastoral care and in my own personal life have called me to deeper intention of presence in the face of pain. It takes courage to be with pain that has no cure. To sit with a friend after shattering loss without trying to fix or explain the suffering. To confront the reality of trauma and its damaging effects on the human psyche. To face my own mortality and that of my loved ones.

Healing, a movement toward the shalom of God’s restorative power, can happen anytime, anywhere, even when a situation has no cure. For many, the gift of music can help prompt and nurture this healing. Music can be a balm to soothe the anxious or hurting; a buffer between the vulnerable and their own raw emotions; or a path of connection for the numb or grieving on which they can meet themselves at the deepest levels, open up, and let the work of the Spirit transform. But, just as nursing is not the only way to care for people, music is not the only way God brings healing. In the midst of impossible circumstances and wrenching loss, the creative presence of God’s power restores our relationships, connects us more firmly to God’s gift of grace, and offers us the hope of life abundant.

Click HERE to read the entire May 12, 2017 issue.

Your NFC – May 5, 2017

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by Michelle Akins
children and family ministries

This is my last “From Me to You.” Just typing that makes my heart hurt. Just a few weeks ago I wrote my resignation letter…my love letter to you all. Today I feel short on fresh words, so I’m sharing with you a post from my blog dated April 2013. As I look ahead to July 1, 2017, the first day of what I’ll start calling my sabbath, here are a few thoughts on defining strength that I believed four years ago and still hold true today.

Defining Strength

When God wants you to think about something, he allows multiple opportunities and perspectives to fill your head. I’m beginning to get a headache. It’s heavy in there.

On our recent mini-vacation, I woke up, made breakfast, and sat down with a warm mug of coffee. I want a life defined by the health of my closest relationships. My strength lies not in what I can or cannot achieve, but in my dependence on God to order my days and embrace sabbath.

Except for engaging in a few conversations with my family and friends, a walk on the beach, and packing up to head home, I was about as unproductive as this mama can get. Strength? Maybe this is stretching it a bit, but I honestly believe the days set aside to relax, renew, and just enjoy life build strength. In our culture, being successful (strong) often means working hard, being irreplaceable, and multi-tasking. I’ve bought into those lies more times than I’d like to admit. The truth is, giving time and attention to my family and friends matters. This year I’ve struggled to create space in my life to be with and actually have friends.

After the Boston Marathon bombing and the terrible explosion in West, Texas, the good ole USA was in shock. Our sense of safety was rocked as the unspoken vow we have with one another was literally blow apart—again. For all the fear we have in this country, we’re also a nation that tries to trust one another. We value life. When the bombs go off or the factory erupts, where’s the strength? As Di Murphy pointed out to us at Women’s Bible Fellowship, strength was found in the actions of the first responders on the scene, running toward the explosion. We continue to build those muscles when we help our neighbor. Our cities are full of people who feel vulnerable, afraid, and angry. Prayer matters. We are strong when we decide to accept our brokenness but won’t be overcome by evil. We are strong when we love. We are strong when we choose trust again.

During the week I met individually with four women who epitomize what it means to be physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually strong, even if they don’t always see it that way. These women face a vast array of daily challenges. They are living proof of how reliance on God turns ashes into beauty.

Friday morning, April 19, I sat glued to the TV. SWAT teams, police cars, and a frenzy of media activity displayed another kind of strength: money, technology, information, and deadly force. We live in a country where if you want to “call in the big dogs,” our dogs are huge. By Friday night the manhunt was over, thanks to the work of hundreds of people in dozens of law enforcement agencies and the general public working together. This kind of strength makes some of us cheer and some of us cry. I feel stuck in the middle, grateful that we have the power to capture “bad guys” and sometimes conflicted by the priorities and processes in which we do so.

At the end of the week our family joined thousands of believers at the Chris Tomlin concert. The Rose Garden Arena was transformed into a sanctuary, and we worshiped together for three hours. I stood, hands held high and dancing with as much enthusiasm as possible in the twelve inches of space in front of my chair. The strength of the Holy Spirit filled me with gratitude. Tears streamed down my face as I joined the congregation singing about God’s faithfulness. Yes, God is so completely and totally faithful! (You can’t be “kinda faithful.”) The tears continued as I stood behind my two daughters and my loving husband and I was reminded of my own failings. God’s conviction and mercy overwhelmed me. My voice became a mere whisper as I stood in the embrace of Christ. Wrapped in love, secure in forgiveness. We celebrated. I lifted my arms above my head, they felt weightless.

No amount of writing and editing will capture completely what I noticed last week. But I’m going to give it one last try and fumble through my definition of strength.

Church inspires me. Sitting in the pew, listening to the sermon, scribbling down my thoughts, asking questions, taking notes, making to-do lists. This is how I worship; this is how I work. Last Sunday I came home with this on my worship sheet:
“Changing what it means to be strong” with a little arrow pointing to “Eternal Life.” I came home with a desire to use many of the examples Gregg gave about “power coming through sacrifice and surrender” to redefine strength. The world tells me that being strong means being stoic in the midst of pain, using muscle and power to get my way and to strive for independence and self-sufficiency. If a woman holds back her tears, she is strong. If a teenager uses his karate skills to cut down a bully, he is strong. If a family doesn’t need to borrow or beg from the community, they are strong. Perhaps these examples hold a measure of truth, but I believe Jesus turns these definitions upside-down in the kingdom.
When we come undone, let it all hang out, bawl like a baby, and expose our most tender self to others—to God, we are strong. It takes strength to be vulnerable, open to attack, comparison, or ridicule. It also opens the doors to healing, help, and the power of the Holy Spirit. So I say let the cleansing, messy tears flow. Allow pain to be present, knowing it is temporary. Eternal life starts now and there is nothing stronger than resurrection power.

If we use physical strength to solve problems, have we really solved them? As I read the Old Testament I’m confronted with issues that are ongoing today. Fights for territory, power, control. People want to be right, to stand up for what they believe, and to subdue “the other.” For thousands of years humans have used muscles and might to dominate. Jesus shows us another way. A stronger way, submission, sacrifice. With Christ we suffer, in Christ we live.

If I don’t need you and you don’t need me, how do we love? Created to live in community, we deny the core of who we are when we choose separation and independence. (cheesy metaphor alert) If we compare humanity to a machine, that machine runs best when all of its parts are properly maintained and filled with fuel. God is the master mechanic, and love is the fuel. You know…the power of love. Cue Huey Lewis. In perhaps the greatest mystery of all, love brings life. Jesus conquered the grave through love. To truly love is to serve and be served. I remember seeing this popular license plate in the 90s: He who dies with the most toys wins. How different life is in the kingdom! If we dare to enter into eternity now, we choose life in community in which what is mine is yours, because it’s not really mine in the first place. In the body of Christ we’ll let each other know when we need help. We’ll share our “toys.” We will see love at work in one other and we’ll use that power to define strength.

Click HERE to read the entire May 5, 2017 issue.

Your NFC – April 21, 2017

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by Olivia Wilson

These past few months of working with Michelle in my role as intern for Children and Family Ministries at NFC have flown by! I taught a wonderful bunch of kindergarteners in Sunday school and watched them grow and develop their relationship with Jesus and with one another. I also got to be part of game nights for the older kids. Planning intergenerational game nights allowed me to also see other members of the church.

My internship has been filled with many different opportunities and projects. A main project was developing the safety plan I hope many of you have heard about or seen if you teach Sunday school. It was a large, time-consuming project that we hope will give you peace in knowing outlines and procedures to be followed if an emergency were to happen. All the plans are laid out, so all you have to do is grab the handbook to know what to you need to do for each specific circumstance.

I am so glad I got to work with Michelle in Children and Family Ministries. It has taught me a lot about myself and has let me grow as an individual and as part of a team. Thank you to all who came to a game night or let me teach your children in Sunday school. It has been a blessing to do all of the activities I have done this year. I will not be the intern here next school year because I will be assigned a new placement. Have a wonderful summer break with your kiddos. Maybe I will see some of you around town. Hope so!

Click HERE to read the entire April 21, 2017 issue.

Your NFC – April 14, 2017

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by Zach Maurer

During the summer of 2016, I interned at the NWYM office with Rachelle Staley in the youth/young adult department. She told my coworker Jess Ice and me that we were going to Quaker Cove to run a training program on child abuse prevention in order to better equip the caretakers, Liz and Karl Seume.

On the drive, Rachelle described the condition of the camp before Liz and Karl arrived. Stories of random strangers walking along the campgrounds, the burial site of a Native American being discovered on the property. Then her stories changed into how God had provided—sending mostly new mattresses the morning before a camp started, ways the community came together to patch up and work on the camp. As we arrived, I was astonished by how normal the camp looked, and the area was gloriously beautiful.

We stayed only two days but long enough to hear stories of camp transformation, and I was even able to help out. Many things ran through my head, but I had one constant thought: …they have done all this in a year. And with four kids under the age of five! That’s amazing, but they need more help.

I finished my internship and looked for new work. My heart was burdened with a desire to serve, and after a disappointing rejection I decided to connect with the Seumes about Quaker Cove.

I came up here out of love, to work as hard as I could to help my fellow Quakers in their task. And I admit I would have left by the third month if God had not strengthened my desire to help the Seumes for no pay except the cabin roof above my head.

After a jam-packed college curriculum, it feels nice to be able to set work aside at the end of the day. In the mornings when I check in with the Seumes for my assignment, I get myself ready for the joy and laughter that comes from James, Amelie, and Benny. I’m told the kids have a calm side when I’m not around, but I don’t believe that for a second. Life here at the camp is simple and from it I find peace.

Living in this section of Washington, where I know no one and communication technology regularly fails, causes isolation. I miss all my friends, family, and community in Oregon. But God has provided with some friends and bible groups where I get my weekly dose of socialization.

I struggle too. Some jobs are tedious, cleaning the cabins for the umpteenth time, knowing I will do this same job in a couple weeks. Some jobs are frightening as I climb steep rooftops to kill moss, and some are just work—cutting boards for this or that project and digging or painting for another. But I’m here to work, and in some strange way, that is love.

I recently heard that love toward a significant other has a few stages that begin with a fiery passionate love. You just want to hold your partner forever because you are intoxicated by their presence. Then stage two arrives and the adorable qualities become mundane, and you wonder whether you are with the right person. I feel I am in stage two. I’m no longer a superhero rushing off to save this camp. My desire to make a difference has evolved into living out each day and doing my normal routine. I no longer feel called to this work. I continue to work but I know that this is not where my journey is meant to end. Still, I can see transformation! Whether I leave tomorrow or at the end of September, a part of my heart and soul will always reside here, for I have bonded with the Seumes and their care and compassion for this camp. The glory belongs to God, who has used my work here to spread love these past seven months.

Love is tricky. Everyone has the power to make a difference in someone else’s world. It doesn’t have to be working at a camp for free. It could be going off to teach English at a university in China; it could be working as a busser, cleaning dishes for barely minimum wage. When we remember we are always living out love, we begin to change the world. And what a world it will be.

Click HERE to read the entire April 14, 2017 issue.

Your NFC – April 7, 2017

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by Gregg Koskela
lead pastor

Around 25 years ago, I first started hearing Steve Fawver and Shawn McConaughey talk about trips to San Luis, Mexico, to build houses for those in need. Back then, youth from Newberg Friends and North Valley Friends would join Getaway/Giveaway, an organization started by Clyde Parker, pastor at Eugene Friends Church. The joy of serving, eating tacos (or great food at “the chicken place”), and building community by working alongside people from our churches was compelling, and I wanted to have the opportunity to join.

About 12, maybe 15 years ago, NFC and North Valley Friends formed a new organization of our own, called Equipo. Jim Fisher and Leslie Murray and many others wanted to change the model a bit. Rather than just go build houses and then leave, the goal was to establish a relationship with one church in San Luis, so that over years, relationships could be built. I loved hearing that…and I wanted to have the opportunity to join.

Over the last five or six years, I’ve listened to Eric Muhr talk about further exciting changes Equipo was making. Nueva Esperanza, the church in San Luis, was taking more and more ownership: choosing the families who would have houses built, continuing relationships with those people, working with DIF (the Mexican equivalent of our DHS)…and I wanted to have the opportunity to join.

In past years, family situations or work responsibilities kept me from going. But two years ago, I decided that I was going on this Equipo trip no matter what. Our youngest daughter, Aubrey, and I joined 56 others from 2nd Street, West Chehalem, North Valley, and NFC. And all the things I’ve been excited about over the years as I’ve listened to the stories proved to be better than I imagined when I saw them for myself!

On the long van ride on the way down, I listened to Erinn Baker from North Valley. She’s a junior at George Fox, and she has been coming to San Luis since she was a freshman in high school. She’s now on the leadership team for Equipo and has gone to San Luis on advance teams, become close enough to consider Pastor Rafael and Vene her family, and spent enough time working with DIF that they are telling her she can come work and intern for them when she graduates. Her love and respect for people there was compelling.

We arrived Saturday night. Sunday night, Nueva Esperanza hosted a dinner and worship meeting. They invited all the people from the church and those for whom homes had been built in the past to come join us and meet us. I saw with my own eyes how amazing it is to stay relationally connected, as hugs and laughter and tears were exchanged
between some from our team and those they had built homes for 2, 4, 6, and 8 years ago.

For three days on our work site, I hammered nails and carried and cut plywood boards with Javier. Equipo built his home in 2013, and this was the third time that he was coming back to join us in helping build someone else’s home. He brought a lot of joy to our work crew, not to mention saving us by his skilled work.

And on the last day, I saw 20 or 30 people from Nueva Esperanza travel around with us to visit all the homes we had built. This church had spent the previous 18 months volunteering to build the first story of two of the homes we built, which meant they already knew these families. They were the hands and feet of Jesus long before we arrived, and will be long after we have returned home. My respect for that church could not be higher.

I am so grateful for the chance to see for myself what an amazing ministry partnership Equipo has become! This is something to celebrate.

Click HERE to read the entire April 7, 2017 issue.

Your NFC – March 31, 2017

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by Elizabeth Todd (center)

Recently I talked to several Friends who wondered about making a 2-year + commitment in the Middle East. I want for them what I have had: a home church that loves them and stands ready to discern, prepare, pray, give, teach, encourage, and listen. Friends in a gathered community who say “yes” to extending local ministry on the other side of the sea – not as something exotic but as something genuinely personal, sustained over time.

The love and efforts of Friends in a gathered community make ministry possible – there and here. God gives us this love for the “world” and asks us to embody it in particular places, to particular people.

For three years I’ve been in Ramallah. And as I learn, love, live, and serve, I see my communities coming closer together. Perhaps reading this will help, but probably the best I can do is to share pictures of some of the Middle Eastern Muslims and Christians I love. They help tell about being a Friend of Jesus there and, I hope, invite us to be steadfast in the face of distraction, struggle, and disappointment.

Since October, visa requirements meant I needed to return to Oregon for six months.

Among other things, I learned to knit. As I think about people I know and love in Ramallah, I knit and pray—18 “shoulder cozies” (something between a scarf and a cowl) to give on my return. Isn’t it amazing that two knitting needles, yarn, steady effort, and knitting mentors can bring something new into being? Nate Macy wrote a prayer song about God’s work in knitting. It speaks to my condition, asking God for tender-hearted resilience.

Knitting is quiet, and I thought a lot about how we “landed” in Ramallah four years ago to explore, discern, and seek the road to long-term ministry and the blessings that have already come: laughter, learning, community building, faith, hope, and love. Along with the practical parts of my job, I’ve been learning what it means to be a Friend of Jesus in the Middle East, in a context of distress, trauma, grief, hopelessness, bitterness, rage, and anger.

I don’t want to minimize the challenge of what we have done and are attempting. And it is clear we need God’s help and the beloved community to find our way forward.

This work requires divine intervention to open doors and the muster of people who want to see God’s kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven. Here are some things I pray.

1. When I return April 11, I will face into a transition to long-term presence with decisions about visa, assignment, and team to emerge over time. I believe God calls us to the place where the world’s need and our deep gladness meet. I need to find that in a context that also allows me legal residence.
2. The change in the U.S. envoy to Israel may change the access we have and the level of violence in the area. I pray for our leaders to have wisdom and act with justice, mercy, and humility.
3. While there, I usually feel safe and welcomed as a guest. Yet I also drive through flashpoints of contention that are sometimes violent and/or roads close, so I’m not able to get where I want to be. It isn’t safety and security alone I need, but God’s help with peace, courage, and wisdom.
4. With the challenges of Northwest Friends these days and ones in my own church, it is easy to feel disoriented and wonder what will come. I need to release this to Friends at home and trust my community to find their way forward.

Overall, despite the trouble in the world, I want to keep my balance or at least, like a weeble-wobble, return upright with some buoyancy. And it encourages me to have Friends who, in a world of uncertainties, join me in setting a rock of Ebenezer: thus far has the Lord helped us. Then we go forward with all the gumption and grit God gives us.

Click HERE to read the entire March 31, 2017 issue.

Your NFC – March 24, 2017

Click HERE to read the entire March 24, 2017 issue.

by Janelle Nordyke
president, Margaret Fell Friends Women

You may ask what in the world is Margaret Fell Friends Women? Good question! It’s a women’s group made up mostly of women who attend Newberg Friends Church. You may also wonder why you haven’t heard much about this group? I’m glad you asked!

To begin with a little history, the Friends Women organization was started by a couple of sisters who attended Newberg Friends Church back in the early 1940s. Their names were Julia Pearson and Marie Haines. They had a concern for women missionaries who had left their home churches and families to share the Good News of Jesus Christ to the people of Bolivia and Peru. Back in those days, traveling to a foreign country meant taking a boat or a plane and spending either a couple of weeks on the boat or a few days going by plane. The missionaries often lived in places without adequate plumbing and running water, making it necessary to always boil their water and schedule cooking and washing clothes when electricity and running water were available. Snail mail and telegram were the only ways for missionaries to communicate with those in the States—and vice versa. Mail could take up to several weeks and telegrams were expensive, so telegrams were limited to emergency contact, unless it was celebrating the birth of a child!

Concern for the safety, well-being, and loneliness of the women missionaries was of great concern to these sisters. So they organized a group of women to specifically pray for these missionary women, raise funds for special projects, and send cards and letters of encouragement. These groups sprouted up all around the yearly meeting and were officially united as NWYM of Friends Women in 1945.

When these missionary women came back to the States to raise funds (called deputation or home assignment) many would share of their experiences with these Friends Women groups and thank them for their spiritual, financial, and emotional support. It was also a way for the missionaries to put faces to the women who had been praying for them while they were sharing Jesus Christ with the people of Bolivia and Peru, and around the world. Hearing missionary stories and seeing how God worked in the lives of people they served benefitted both missionaries and supporters.

Newberg Friends Church started with a Friends Women group that met once a month during the day. Margaret Fell Friends Women formed in 1963 as an offshoot of this group, meeting once a month in the evening. Carolyn Staples was the first president, bringing her infant son, Don, with her. The purpose of Margaret Fell Friends Women is still the same: to pray for women missionaries, raise funds for special projects, and send cards and letters of encouragement.

Margaret Fell Friends Women meets the 4th Monday from August through May from 7 to 8:30 p.m., usually at Spaulding Oaks Community Center. Most of our meetings begin with refreshments, followed by a short devotional and a few minutes spent taking care of current business. We then take an offering that helps cover membership in Friends Women, followed by a missions-related speaker (often one of the women missionaries we pray for). We end with a time of prayer for our women missionaries around the world, specifically women missionaries from NFC, NWYM, and from EFM (Evangelical Friends Mission).

The projects NWYM of Friends Women groups support vary each year but range from: providing funds to purchase bibles in China and Russia; providing retreat funds for Teaching Abroad teachers; providing hospitality funds for Friends Serving Abroad in Russia; providing funds for Discipling for Development (Rwanda); and even providing funds for projectors and toilets! Each year Margaret Fell Friends Women signs up to support a dollar amount toward these projects. Funds for our support of the projects comes from serving the coffee break and lunch on Saturday during Yearly Meeting Mid-Year Boards, usually the end of January. NFC members who participate in these Mid-Year Boards help provide our support for these projects, so thank you! And our missionaries (Friends Serving Abroad) thank you as well!

If you would like to be part of Friends Women, two groups that meet are:

• Margaret Fell Friends Women meets the 4th Monday from August through May at 7 p.m., usually at Spaulding Oaks Community Center. (See below for a schedule of the next three meetings.)
• Julia Pearson Friends Women meets the 3rd Wednesday from September through April at 1:30 p.m. at Friendsview Retirement Community, Hess Creek Classroom.

If you aren’t able to attend during these times and want to start a new group, please contact me. Or if you want to help support some of these Friends Women projects, also contact me. I’m in the directory!

Margaret Fell Friends Women Monthly Meeting Dates:

• March 27, 2017, 7-9 pm—speaker: Retha McCutchen, interim superintendent for NWYM; location: Spaulding Oaks Community Center, 1100 N Meridian St.
• April 24, 2017, 7-9 pm—speaker, Cindy Johnson; location: Spaulding Oaks Community Center, 1100 N Meridian St.
• May 22, 2017, NEW! 6-8 pm—speaker, Stuart Willcuts. Potluck at NFC social hall. Watch for more details.

Click HERE to read the entire March 24, 2017 issue.