Saturday, May 18, 2013

Missoula Friends Meeting




A new Facebook page for Missoula Friends Meeting: Search for 'Missoula Friends Meeting - Quakers'

Please send Missoula Friends Meeting announcements to sandie.mfmail@gmail.com. Sandie will include them in the newsletter mailings and other periodic mailings to Friends.



Quaker writings - the selection for March, 2013: Provided by Suzanne for our further contemplation and discussion of the Friends Peace Testimony: Quaker Writings and Reflections The following is part of the presentation given in February during Quaker Ed. In her article, the writer, Chel Avery, also included a summary of the responses to inquiries she sent to numerous Friends about their relationship with the Peace Testimony. The entire article can be found at http://www.kimopress.com/chelavery-01.htm. In 1995, Chel Avery, a Friend with a background in conflict resolution, was invited to speak at a Quaker Peace Roundtable (sponsored by the Pendle Hill Issues Program) about the Friends peace testimony. Her presentation was published as “The Friends Peace Testimony as ‘Questing Beast.’” Her recounting of the “questing beast” story from the legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Roundtable provides an unusual and rather amusing framework for considering Friends peace testimony. Chel describes a central concern of hers: “I wondered if the peace testimony has not become a brittle part of our faith—something that looms over us and that we desperately fear we cannot live up to, rather than something strong and resilient within us that we trust to go with us into times of disagreement and contention.”
Here is Chel’s recounting of the legend: The Questing Beast is a minor character from the legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round table. Think about the peace testimony as I describe her to you. She had the head of a serpent, the body of a lizard, the haunches of a lion, and the feet of a deer. And wherever she went, she made a noise in her belly like ‘thirty couple of hounds questing.’ In other words, she was a mish-mash of many animals, but she was treated and talked about—quite affectionately by the way—as if she were a single being.
She hardly ever did any harm to anyone, except a little bit occasionally by accident when she got too excited. She lived to be hunted, and when she was not being pursued, she lost vitality and wasted away.
Her hunter was King Pellinore. He considered pursuit of the Questing Beast, whom he loved, as his special, hereditary mission handed down from a long line of noble ancestors. In additional ways, Pellinore shares some of the less glorious but perhaps more endearing characteristics of Friends. He was always well meaning, if sometimes a bit bumbling and confused. He was unmethodical in the extreme. He had mixed feelings about his mission. He was often distracted by other interests, or was torn between the noble quest and his longing for a good meal and a warm bed.
And at least once, when Pellinore got carried away to another country, the Questing Beast came to find him.
This is our peace testimony. It is a variety of animals, all smooshed together, so that we think of it as a single thing. Like Pellinore, we prize our relationship with it. It is ours to follow, even if we are not always sure how to follow it, or whether we might not prefer to do something easier and more pleasant instead. It is a thing to be sought but never captured.
It wastes away without that pursuit. And only rarely, in very blessed moments, does it come to find us.
What doth this beast require of us? What do Friends assume that the testimony prescribes for them to do or not do?
"Questing Beast"-01 www.kimopress.com Quaker writings - the selection for February, 2013:
The following excerpt is from Spiritual Energies in Daily Life by Rufus M. Jones (1863–1948), who was one of the most influential Quakers of the 20th century. He was a professor at Haverford College and a Friend who traveled far from the small Maine community in which he was raised. He met Mohandas Gandhi, traveled to the birthplace of the Buddha, and participated in a mission to Germany to meet with Nazi leaders in an effort to find a peaceful way of dealing with them. After World War II he was a founder of the American Friends Service Committee.
In saying that religion is energy I am only seizing one aspect of this great experience of the human heart. It is, however, I believe, an essential aspect. A religion that makes no difference to a person’s life, a religion that does nothing, a religion that is utterly devoid of power, may for all practical purposes be treated as though it did not exist. The great experts—those who know from the inside what religion is—always make much of its dynamic power, its energizing and propulsive power.
Power is a word often on the lips of Jesus; never used, it should be said, in the sense of extrinsic authority or the right to command and govern, but always in reference to an intrinsic and interior moral and spiritual energy of life. The kingdom of God comes with power, not because the Messiah is supplied with ten legions of angels and can sweep the Roman eagles back to the frontiers of the Holy Land, but it “comes with power” because it is a divine and life-transforming energy, working in the moral and spiritual nature of man, as the expanding yeast works in the flour or as the forces of life push the seed into germination and on into the successive stages toward the maturity of the full-grown plant and grain.
[On St. Paul’s references to “dynamos,” or energies]: It is to be noticed, further, that St. Paul does not confine his list of energies to those mighty spiritual forces which come down from above and work upon us from the outside. Much more often our attention is directed to energies which are potential within ourselves—even in the most ordinary of us—energies which work as silently as molecular forces or as “the capillary oozing of water,” but which nevertheless are as reconstructive as the forces of springtime, following the winter’s havoc. If the grace of God—the unlimited sacrificing love of God revealed in Christ—is for St. Paul the supreme spiritual energy of the universe, hardly less important is the simple human energy which meets that centrifugal energy and makes it operate within the sphere of the moral will. That dynamic energy, by which man responds to God’s upward pull and which makes all the difference, St. Paul calls faith.
Quaker writings - the selection for January, 2013: Quaker Reflections for January Quaker Writings and Reflections (John Woolman and Native Americans) An article in the Missoulian (January 12, 2013) describes the “Idle No More” march by members of Native American tribes from Montana and other areas. Although the march across the Higgins Bridge is specifically significant to Salish history, since the Salish were forced to march north across it in 1891 on their way to exile on their present-day reservation, the march more broadly is about abuses of indigenous treaty rights in the US and Canada.
(Note: April Charlo, the great-granddaughter of Chief Charlo, is also the granddaughter of Joan Christopherson, a founding member of Missoula Friends Meeting.) The Quaker readings below are written by and about the 18th-century Quaker, John Woolman, who described the loving relationship he envisioned between European settlers and the original inhabitants of North America. (In the tradition of Friendly relations with Native Americans, Friends Committee on National Legislation’s “Native American Legislative Update (NALU)” email list provides the latest information about happenings in Native American issues in Washington.)
From a talk by David Zarembka, presented at the 59th John Woolman Memorial Lecture, October 22, 2006. “In 1763 during the French and Indian War John Woolman visited the Delaware, or Lenni Lenape, Indians. How did he view his visit?
‘Love was the first motion, and then a concern arose to spend some time with the Indians, that I might feel and understand their life and the spirit they live in, if haply I might receive some instruction from them, or they be in any degree helped forward by my following the leadings of Truth amongst them.’
“Because of his more long-term involvement with slavery, Woolman’s journey to visit the Indians is frequently overlooked, but it was a most important peacemaking activity. Remember that fighting between the Indians and whites was ongoing. Many influential Quakers advised Woolman not to go—including a late night meeting the day before he was to set out. The journey took three weeks, was two hundred miles each way during rainy weather over trails, and was solely to be present with those afflicted by the war.”
And from Woolman’s Plea for the Poor (Chapter 12 in the Moulton edition): “If we count back one hundred and fifty years and compare the inhabitants of Great Britain with the natives of North America on the like compass of ground, the natives I suppose would bear a small proportion to the others. On the discovery of this fertile continent, many of those thick-settled inhabitants coming over, the natives generally treated them kindly at the first, and as those brought iron tools and a variety of things convenient for man’s use, these gladly embraced the opportunity of traffic and encouraged these foreigners to settle. I speak only of improvements made peaceably.
“Thus our gracious Father, who at the same time beholds the situation of all his creatures, hath opened a way from a thick-settled land and given us some room on this. Now if we attentively consider the turning of God’s hand in thus far giving us room on this continent, and that the offspring of those ancient possessors of the country (in whose eyes we appear as newcomers) are yet owners and inhabiters of the land adjoining to us; and that their way of life, requiring much room, hath been transmitted to them from their predecessors and probably settled by the custom of a great many ages; under these considerations we may see the necessity of cultivating the lands already obtained of them and applying the increase consistent with true wisdom, so as to accommodate the greatest number of people it is capable of, before we have any right to plead, as members of the one great family, the equity of their assigning to us more of their possessions and living in a way requiring less room.
“Did we all walk as became the followers of our blessed Saviour, were all those fruits of our country retained in it which are sent abroad in return for such strong drink, such costly array, and other luxuries which we should then have no use for, and the labour and expense of importing and exporting applied to husbandry and useful trades, a much greater number of people than now reside here might with the divine blessing live comfortably on the lands already granted us by these ancient possessors of the country.”
Quaker writings - the selection for September, 2012: Recent statements about the Quaker Peace Testimony, opposing all war
During our September Meeting for Worship with a Concern for Business, Friends discussed the value of having an excerpt from Quaker writings included in our monthly newsletters. The first of these is from American Friend Rufus Jones (1863-1948), who writes about his experience of silence as a Quaker child in Maine. (Excerpted from A Small-Town Boy in The Quaker Reader, edited by Jessamyn West and available in the MFM library.)
“. . . It might be supposed that a little boy, keyed to action and charged with animal spirits, on a hard bench, with feet unsupported, would have hated this silence and would have longed for a chance to hit the boy in the next seat over the head. But that was not the case. Sooner or later the boy would get hit no doubt when the proper time came for it. But the silence came over us as a kind of spell. It had a life of its own.
There was something ‘numinous’ about it, which means, in simpler non-Latin words, a sense of divine presence, which even a boy could feel. It was almost never explained to us. There was very little said about it. No theories were expounded. No arguments were promulgated. We “found” ourselves in the midst of a unique laboratory experiment which worked.
A boy responds to reality the moment he feels it, almost quicker than an adult does. He has not yet travelled so far inland from ‘the immortal sea that brought him hither,’ and he hasn’t yet been ‘debauched’ by commonplace words and phrases and the full mechanics of life. Anyway that experiment with silence in the far-off period of my youth, sitting in the hush with the moveless group, concentrated on the expectation of divine presence, did something to me and for me which has remained an unlost possession.”
> Quaker Reflections for November From The Amazing Fact of Quaker Worship by George H. Gorman On corporate silence: In a good meeting, and not all meetings achieve their ideal, the individuals present become growingly quietened in their bodies and minds as they sit in the stillness. People who have entered the room as individuals sooner or later become aware that they are encountering others present at a level deeper than normal conscious communication. While they remain fully themselves they also become, in a real sense, one group; a communion of people bonded together in spirit.
A pointer to this state can be seen when, for example, a small group of people drawn together by some common interest are struggling to resolve a particular problem. For some time the solution evades them; suddenly a break through is made, unity is reached, and a sense of oneness pervades the group. One of the amazing things is that, in a Quaker meeting, a far deeper awareness of unity can be reached without a word necessarily being spoken.
No one can say at what precise moment this happens, but that it can, and does happen, has been known by Quakers throughout their history. The only outward sign of it is a greater depth of silence, the intensity of which may literally be felt, for all restlessness has been stilled. When this point has been reached the group has become a ‘gathered meeting,’ and a new dimension of colours its corporate life. There is a stronger sense that the experience everyone has been sharing transcends ordinary life, while still firmly locked into it. . . .

Quaker Reflections for December The following excerpt on giving is from Quaker Parker Palmer’s Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation
It took me a long time to understand that although everyone needs to be loved, I cannot be the source of that gift to everyone who asks me for it. There are some relations in which I am capable of love and others in which I am not. To pretend otherwise, to put out promissory notes I am unable to honor, is to damage my own integrity and that of the person in need—all in the name of love.
Here is another example of violating one’s nature in the name of nobility, an example that shows the larger dangers of false love. Years ago, I heard Dorothy Day speak. Founder of the Catholic Worker movement, her long-term commitment to living among the poor on New York’s Lower East Side—not just serving them but sharing their condition—had made her one of my heroes. So it came as a great shock when in the middle of her talk, I heard her start to ruminate about the “ungrateful poor.”
I did not understand how such a dismissive phrase could come from the lips of a saint—until it hit me with the force of a Zen koan. Dorothy Day was saying, “Do not give to the poor expecting to get their gratitude so that you can feel good about yourself. If you do, your giving will be thin and short-lived, and that is not what the poor need; it will only impoverish them further. Give only if you have something you must give; give only if you are someone for whom giving is its own reward.
. . . May Sarton, in her poem, “Now I Become Myself,” uses images from the natural world to describe a different kind of giving, grounded in a different way of being, a way that results not in burnout but in fecundity and abundance:
As slowly as the ripening fruit Fertile, detached, and always spent, Falls but does not exhaust the root . . .
Then the gift I give to the other is integral to my own nature, when it comes from a place of organic reality within me, it will renew itself—and me—even as I give it away. Only when I give something that does not grow within me do I deplete myself and harm the other as well, for only harm can come from a gift that is forced, inorganic, unreal.

Quaker Reflections for January
An article in the Missoulian (January 12, 2013) describes the “Idle No More” march by members of Native American tribes from Montana and other areas. Although the march across the Higgins Bridge is specifically significant to Salish history, since the Salish were forced to march north across it in 1891 on their way to exile on their present-day reservation, the march more broadly is about abuses of indigenous treaty rights in the US and Canada. (Note: April Charlo, the great-granddaughter of Chief Charlo, is also the granddaughter of Joan Christopherson, a founding member of Missoula Friends Meeting.)
The Quaker readings below are written by and about the 18th-century Quaker, John Woolman, who described the loving relationship he envisioned between European settlers and the original inhabitants of North America. (In the tradition of Friendly relations with Native Americans, Friends Committee on National Legislation’s “Native American Legislative Update (NALU)” email list provides the latest information about happenings in Native American issues in Washington.)
From a talk by David Zarembka, presented at the 59th John Woolman Memorial Lecture, October 22, 2006.
“In 1763 during the French and Indian War John Woolman visited the Delaware, or Lenni Lenape, Indians. How did he view his visit?
‘Love was the first motion, and then a concern arose to spend some time with the Indians, that I might feel and understand their life and the spirit they live in, if haply I might receive some instruction from them, or they be in any degree helped forward by my following the leadings of Truth amongst them.’
“Because of his more long-term involvement with slavery, Woolman’s journey to visit the Indians is frequently overlooked, but it was a most important peacemaking activity. Remember that fighting between the Indians and whites was ongoing. Many influential Quakers advised Woolman not to go—including a late night meeting the day before he was to set out. The journey took three weeks, was two hundred miles each way during rainy weather over trails, and was solely to be present with those afflicted by the war.”
And from Woolman’s Plea for the Poor (Chapter 12 in the Moulton edition): “If we count back one hundred and fifty years and compare the inhabitants of Great Britain with the natives of North America on the like compass of ground, the natives I suppose would bear a small proportion to the others. On the discovery of this fertile continent, many of those thick-settled inhabitants coming over, the natives generally treated them kindly at the first, and as those brought iron tools and a variety of things convenient for man’s use, these gladly embraced the opportunity of traffic and encouraged these foreigners to settle. I speak only of improvements made peaceably.
“Thus our gracious Father, who at the same time beholds the situation of all his creatures, hath opened a way from a thick-settled land and given us some room on this. Now if we attentively consider the turning of God’s hand in thus far giving us room on this continent, and that the offspring of those ancient possessors of the country (in whose eyes we appear as newcomers) are yet owners and inhabiters of the land adjoining to us; and that their way of life, requiring much room, hath been transmitted to them from their predecessors and probably settled by the custom of a great many ages; under these considerations we may see the necessity of cultivating the lands already obtained of them and applying the increase consistent with true wisdom, so as to accommodate the greatest number of people it is capable of, before we have any right to plead, as members of the one great family, the equity of their assigning to us more of their possessions and living in a way requiring less room.
“Did we all walk as became the followers of our blessed Saviour, were all those fruits of our country retained in it which are sent abroad in return for such strong drink, such costly array, and other luxuries which we should then have no use for, and the labour and expense of importing and exporting applied to husbandry and useful trades, a much greater number of people than now reside here might with the divine blessing live comfortably on the lands already granted us by these ancient possessors of the country.”

About Meeting Announcements: Please send Missoula Friends Meeting announcements to sandie.bolles@gmail.com.

May 2013 notices: April 2013 notices: March 2013 notice: An invitation from Nancy to all: Friends are invited to participate in a half hour Meeting for Worship at the Springs this Sunday, March 24, from 1-1:30PM. Bob and Grace Lucas and Betty Husted live there and we thought it would be nice to occasionally take Meeting to them.
We will leave after soup on Sunday (about a 10 min drive to American Way off N Reserve). Once there, we will meet in the Chapel on the third floor. Ask directions at the front desk. March 2013 notice:
Betty, Bob and Grace are looking forward to this.
The Meeting's financial contributions, local, state, national and international As a Meeting we get to decide where our charitable contributions will go this year. We have line items for FCNL, AFSC, and I think FWCC. In addition we contributed from our yard sale in the Fall to Right Sharing for World Resources and to Family Promise. Come and bring your ideas and inclinations to this meeting. Let's educate one another about the other good organizations (local, national and international) we would like to give to this year. Our recommendations will then go to Meeting for Business in Feb.
Notes from Ministry and Oversight Committee - Judy Visscher) Judith Bledsoe and Nancy Cochran will serve as new members on the committee. M&O will provide a worship sharing topic for Quaker Ed each month. M&O requested feedback on recent changes for “joys and concerns” after Meeting for Worship. Feedback: Friends expressed appreciation for the recently introduced custom of having the Meeting closer mention that attenders should feel comfortable leaving before “joys and concerns” begin, since some have expressed a need or desire to leave right after Meeting for Worship but have felt uncomfortable doing so. A Friend mentioned a custom from another Friends Meeting in which an “afterthoughts” model is followed, in which Friends are invited to offer worshipful reflections. Friends also note that it is important for the Meeting closer to remind those present to check the white board in the foyer for Meeting and community announcements. Suggestions for letting newcomers and others know about opportunities to serve on committees and get more involved in MFM: When individuals introduce themselves after Meeting for Worship, those who serve on committees might mention the name of their committee and invite people to speak to them if they are interested in joining the committee. Describe standing committees and name a contact person in the newsletter.

Meeting for Worship on Christmas Day will begin at 10 AM. All who wish to attend are welcome, of course.

On January 13, Quaker Ed will focus on the following, as described by Nancy Cochran, who was a faithful member of Peace & Social Concerns for many years: "This session will be an all-Meeting discussion about the causes and organizations we want to support this year through our Peace and Social Concerns budget giving. Please bring info about a cause you would like to see us contribute to and convince others! Let's make it a lively and educational exchange! We meet downstairs for a comfortable for-all-those-interested meeting."

January 20: Ted presents on the new developments with our yearly meeting: North Pacific Yearly Meeting. Open Q&A about the new NPYM structure.

January 27: A threshing session on the most appropriate location for MGOF's Winter meetings.

Family Promise: Volunteers from MFM will serve February 10 through February 17 at the UCC.

Stocking MFM's Children's Bookshelves The children's program would like to update the toy and book collection. Please consider bringing lightly used toys and books to help refresh our inventory. Toys without small parts are most appropriate for our 1-3 year olds. Any questions, contact Nick Salmon, buddyrocky@bresnan.net.

Montana Gathering of Friends (MGOF) (Nick Salmon) Winter MGOF will take place February 8-10, 2013 at the Ursuline Center in Great Falls. George Fox University professor Tom Head will be the Friend in Residence.

North Pacific Yearly Meeting (Ted Etter) Ted attended NPYM committee meetings this fall. He serves on the Nominating Committee and the New Structure Evaluation Committee. The Committee on Discipline is revising the 1993 version of Faith & Practice and requests input from Monthly Meetings and Worship Groups. Interested Friends are invited to sign up for Western Friend subscriptions before Christmas (signup sheet downstairs). The Treasurer will send a check to Western Friend for a group order, and individual subscribers are asked to reimburse Meeting.

Franklin School Fund Nancy tells us that envelopes for contributions to the Franklin School Health Fund will be available on the branches of Noel, the Norfolk Pine next week. Friends wishing to contribute to this fund, which is presented annually to Franklin School, are invited to place contributions in envelopes attached to the branches of Noel. [Ed. Note: Betty Husted began this fund many years ago in order to provide for the medical needs of low-income children at the school. Since then the fund has been used to cover students' other health expenses as well.]

Joanna Macy's new book "Active Hope" has stimulated the formation of a new study and reflection group with members of Transition Missoula. Nancy notes that the 'Heart to Heart' group can accept new members throughout this season.

Judy V. expects to coordinate Meetings for Worship at the Springs community soon. Several of our members are now living at the Springs.

NPYM will be hosted at Forest Grove, OR for the next two yearly meetings.

Bob and Grace are now in their new apartment at The Springs. Call the office to arrange a time for a visit with them.

The new Nominating Committee consists of Nick, Ben and Suzanne. They will be polling Friends on their preferences about committee service.

Nick reports that starting Dec.8, childcare will be provided during our Meeting on the 2nd and 4th Sundays of the month.

Nick and Judy V. are our contacts for Montana Gathering of Friends (MGOF)

Please hold these people, in particular, in the Light: Frank, Charlotte K., Bob and Grace, John A. and Pom.



Other Announcements:

Sandy alerts us to the Five Valleys Memorial Society. This group facilitates low-cost funerals and cremations for interested community members.

Nancy reported that several new churches have committed to participate in Family Promise. The Board already has twelve members from our community. The local website is at http://familypromisemissoula.org/
Friends may learn about the national Family Promise project on their website: www.familypromise.org
Nancy announces that Family Promise has hired Dean Thompson as Director of the program for homeless families in Missoula. The program began operating on May 13. They currently have a full Board of Directors signed on.

Friends are reminded to sign up for bringing soup for the fellowship time after Meeting. The signup sheet is posted downstairs near the kitchen.

Carol reminds us of how we pick up the downstairs room after Soup and Fellowship on Sundays: brushing off the tablecloths and sweeping the floor, washing dishes and clearing the dish drainer, etc. (This is especially important when a group is scheduled to use the Meeting House during the week.)

Committee members: If you have items for the newsletter, Suzanne Aboulfadl is now the newsletter editor, so please get your reports to her. Ted Etter is our clerk for the coming year.

Sandy reminds Friends that you can assist in the nursery during worship hours.

New books in the Friends Library are featured online at groups.google.com/group/missoula-friends-library Also, a Shelfari shelf of recently-acquired titles is open for your perusal. Shelfari allows readers to read and submit brief reviews of titles they have appreciated. Our Shelfari shelf is at: http://www.shelfari.com/o1515178052/shelf#firstBook=0&list=0&sort=author

Submissions to MGOF Newsletter and MFM Newsletter:
If you have items of interest to share with our larger community -- a birth, a death, interesting or weighty events happening in your life or in your worship group/ meeting/family, or quotations or poems--please send such information to Sandie. Please send MF Meeting announcements to sandie.bolles@gmail.com. Please specify if the item is for the MGOF Newsletter or the MFM Newsletter (or both). And many thanks to those of you that have been submitting items for the newsletter.
MGOF Newsletter editor

Meeting House Reservations: To find out if the meeting house is available for rental, please call Charlotte at 273-6080 or email charlotteskasl@yahoo.com. You may consult with Charlotte about the schedule desired for your meetings or events and any rental costs for your group.


How to Find Missoula Friends Meeting


The meeting house is at 1861 S. 12th St. W.
Our building is ADA-accessible, thanks to substantial renovations carried out in 2007.

GoogleMaps map:

View Larger Map

Or call these numbers for directions:
549-6276 or 829-9666.



Getting to Know Missoula Friends Meeting


Meeting times --


Our fall schedule begins again Sunday, September 9, 2012:
9am: Meeting for Worship with a Concern for Business.
11am: Meeting for Worship
Noon: Soup

Regular Meeting for Worship hours will resume at 11am on Sundays. Quaker education hours will be scheduled for 10am and soup at noon.

Summer schedule: June - September
Meeting for Worship -- 10:00 a.m.

Fall and Winter schedule:
Quaker Education -- 10:00 a.m.
Meeting for Worship -- 11:00 a.m., followed by fellowship and a shared simple meal of soup and bread.

What happens in Meeting for Worship?

     Our Meeting for Worship is an unprogrammed service. We enter the meeting room silently. Our first task when worship begins is to center down, to still the clamor of the world, to turn our attention to the inner voice. This process may take 20 minutes or even longer.


    You will find that there is no program, no prepared prayers, sermons, or readings, and no one "in charge" to tell us what to do next. Instead, we listen as attentively as we can for leadings of the Spirit. I a leading comes, we speak the message into the silence.


    One way we know that we have felt a leading of the Spirit is to query any message we feel an urge to deliver. Is it meant for ourselves alone? Would it be better as an announcement at the close of meeting? Should it be seasoned just a little longer? But if it passes those tests, then we share our message. Sometimes the leading of the Spirit is very clear and we feel a real push to speak. You may feel such a leading as well.


    After each message, we return to the silence. It is essential to allow a space of at least a few minutes to open up between messages. Re-centering after each message maintains the spirit of worship and allows each message an unhurried, thoughtful hearing.


    Meeting ends when the closer signals that the hour is accomplished. Then we share handshakes, names, and announcements. The rise of meeting is a time for brief socializing before we head home to face another week. On most Sundays, we have Fellowship over Soup and Bread following the meeting for worship and announcements; visitors are encouraged to join in and get better acquainted.

    Worship is a special time in the midst of our worldly concerns to seek together, often in unbroken silence, for God's will and guidance. Each meeting is an adventure. We hope you will find with us a deeper awareness  of what Friends for three hundred years have called the Inner Light, the Light of Christ, the Seed, and that of God in everyone.


Do you get together to talk?


    Yes, we hold regular meetings where we talk quite a bit:  Meetings for Business and Meetings for Learning.

    Meeting for Worship with a Concern for Business is held monthly for most of the year except during summer; the meetings are usually scheduled before Meeting for Worship, or after Fellowship over Soup.  Everyone is encouraged to attend because this is a committee of the whole. Participants both speak their minds on the business at hand and listen attentively as others do the same. A decision is reached when the Clerk states the sense of the meeting to the satisfaction of everyone present.

Meetings for Learning, or Quaker Education, is held most Sundays at 10 a. m. Topics vary. Sometimes one of us leads a discussion on Quaker beliefs and practices, sometimes we discuss a topic of current interest, or we may host a guest speaker. Look for this month's schedule in the newsletter.

    We also hold occasional potlucks, many during the summer, and some held in association with Meetings for Worship at special locations, such as parks. Summer potlucks are usually held at the homes of meeting attenders and start at 6:30 on selected Wednesdays.


Do you take up a collection?

No, Quakers never do. But like all churches, we run and money as well as love and hard work. I you feel moved to make a donation, please leave it in the wooden donation box or mail it to the meeting in care of the treasurer. Checks can be made out to the Missoula Friends Meeting.


Do you have a children's program?

    Child care for young children is provided the year around. A First Day School program is offered some years according to the interest and participation of families and attenders with an interest in the program.

    We do not expect our young Friends to sit still for more than ten minutes. Child care  and First Day School end about ten minutes before the hour so that the children can experience silent worship with the adults and may also be introduced after worship ends.

    Children are an important part of our Meeting. Adults make a point of including even our very youngest Friends. At the close of meeting, when introductions are made, young Friends are given the opportunity to speak their names too. It is always a celebrated occasion when one of the children first volunteers to say his or her own name. Don't be surprised if some of the littlest ones wander around our circle at the close of Meeting, joining adults in the fun of shaking hands.


Is there something you'd like me to do?

    Well, yes, actually, there is. Please consider:

--  Signing our guest book on the table in the foyer.
--  Taking a copy of the current newsletter with you. Look for it by the guest book.
--  Lingering a bit after meeting so that we can say hello.


How long have Quakers been in Missoula?

   Friends started gathering in private homes for Meeting for Worship in the 1960's. Some Quakers came to Missoula as smoke jumpers in the 1950's, and some stayed in the area. The current Meeting House was purchased in 1993, and it was substantially remodeled in 2007.

   Missoula Friends Meeting is part of Montana's quarterly meeting, the Montana Gathering of Friends (MGOF). MGOF, along with quarterly meetings in Oregon and Washington (Idaho meetings are part of the Washington quarterly meeting), is a part of North Pacific Yearly Meeting (NPYM). NPYM organizes annual gatherings that take place in mid-summer and rotate between locations in Oregon, Washington, and Montana.


Where can I find additional information?

You are welcome to take a copy of the newsletter. You can also find more information about Quakers and our regional organization at www.npym.org.

If you have further questions, you may call Jack Rowen at 880-9844 or Ted Etter at 829-9666.

Missoula Friends Meeting
1861 S. 12th St. W.
Missoula, MT 59801
(406) 549-6276


Introducing Quakers


Is the Quaker way right for you?"


Western Friend (formerly Friends Bulletin)


Friends Journal


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Montana Gathering of Friends - our Quarterly Meeting


North Pacific Yearly Meeting


American Friends Service Committee (AFSC)


Friends Committee on National Legislation: a Quaker lobby in the Public Interest


Friends General Conference


Explore Quaker faith and practice through history


The Quaker Peace Testimony


The Authenticity of Liberal Quakerism - by Chuck Fager


Western Montana Spiritual Development Council: Energizing a Faith That Does Justice


Friends Peace Teams


Help for Haiti communications from the AFSC team


Jeannette Rankin Peace Center


Quaker Earthcare Witness


Right Sharing of World Resources


Family Promise: a week at IHN


The Quaker Initiative to End Torture – QUIT! and John Calvi's healing ministry


Quaker.org - a directory of local and national Meetings


Historical Quaker Resources


Quaker Electronic Archive


Missoula Friends Meeting Library database listing


and note the Shelfari shelf with some of our Missoula Friends Library books noted - with reviews


QuakerBooks of Friends General Conference


AFSC LA Bookstore


Pendle Hill Pamphlets Index - sorted by author's name


Pendle Hill Pamphlets Index - sorted by the pamphlet's number


Digital Quaker Collection at Earlham


Haverford College Library -- Quaker and Special Collections


Peace and Justice Film Series - University of Montana - Fall 2012


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