Agate Passage Friends Meeting 
B
ainbridge Island & Kitsap County
W
ashington

STATE OF THE MEETING REPORT, SUMMER 2002

AGATE PASSAGE PREPARATIVE MEETING
OF
THE RELIGIOUS SOCIETY OF FRIENDS

P. O. Box 1821
Poulsbo, WA 98370
(360) 697- 4675

  Agate Passage Preparative Meeting is an active gathering of about fifty+ adult members and attenders in the Kitsap Peninsula region of Washington State, under the care of University Friends Meeting in Seattle.

We meet at Seabold Community Hall on Bainbridge Island the first three Firstdays of the month and in individual homes on the 4th (and possibly) 5th Firstdays of each month.  This allows us to enjoy common space at Seabold Hall, while treasuring the times we meet in each others homes.  On the occasional 5th Firstday of the month, we meet in N. Kitsap homes to allow for easier accessibility for those who live in this area.  Several members also attend University Friends Meeting.  Meetings for Worship for Business are held at Seabold Hall every other (odd numbered) month on the 3rd Firstday.

Ed Sheridan is our clerk, Barbara Morrison our treasurer, Millie Royce our recording clerk, Bob Royce our newsletter editor and web clerk.  Our Ministry and Oversight committee is composed of Judy Brown, Bob Major, Diana Sheridan and Lisa Down.  They attend to the quality of worship, questions of clearness and life transitions.  Craig Jacobrown is our clerk for Peace and Social Concerns.  Our meeting website is http://www.agatepassagefriends.org

During this past year we have transitioned from our long held status as a Worship Group to that of Preparative Meeting status.   In the summer and fall of 2001 we decided, using a process of consensus building, that we would like to apply for Monthly Meeting status within North Pacific Yearly Meeting.  We began this process by calling a threshing session in which each person present had a chance to express himself or herself about the issue.  Bill Matchett from UFM came to that meeting to help us with our thinking.  We did not, of course, make a decision at that threshing session, but at the next business meeting we talked again about our long history as a worship group, and how we felt we had already gone through the process of becoming a Preparative Meeting.  At that meeting we achieved consensus and then wrote the letter to UFMs Worship Group Oversight Committee asking for Monthly Meeting status.

During the early part of 2002 we met with the UFMs Worship Group Oversight Committee, discussed our history, our readiness and our commitment to go forward with this transition to Monthly Meeting status.  The Oversight Committee found our decision to be worthy of their positive recommendation, and our request was brought forward at two successive UFM Business meeting.  The Meeting found our request to be timely and well founded, and they positively recommended us to the Pacific Northwest Quarterly Meeting.  On April 27, 2002 the Quarterly Meeting accepted the recommendation of University Friends Meeting and accepted our request for becoming the Agate Passage Preparative Meeting. 

A Visitation Committee, clerked by Ann Stever, was formed and we have been meeting with them during the summer, informally and formally as they get to know our Preparative Meeting.  Other members include Della Walker of the Port Townsend Meeting, George Kenny of the Tacoma Meeting, Leni Skarin of the Yakima Valley Worship Group and Alan Mountjoy-Venning of the Olympia Friends Meeting.  As they proceed with their consultation to our Preparative Meeting, the Visitation Committee attended our Business Meeting on July 21, 2002. 

Our hour of worship continues to feel deep and meaningful, with vocal ministry sometimes bountiful, sometimes just a word or two.  Youth join our worship for the first fifteen minutes and then participate in activities in another area.  They return to join the circle at the rise of meeting.  New attenders are adding to the richness of our worship, and our spirit is strong.  Our growth as a Preparative Meeting group is continuing to broaden and deepen.

The meanings we find in worship are being expressed individually and collectively in various ways:

      Adult Study and Spiritual Enrichment

The adult study group meets the hour before worship.  During the fall and winter of 2001-02 they studied and discussed Quaker Faith & Practice: The Book of Christian Discipline of the Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in Britain. Gayle Henry introduced this book to the study group and co-facilitated the discussion, along with other participants.

A group of women in our Worship Group began the Vein of Gold group several years ago.  On a regular basis they meet to achieve clearness on personal and spiritual development, and to provide for mutual support.

      Peace and Social Concerns

Several members, including Craig Jacobrown, Alexis Karageorge, and Jerry Rice, have organized and facilitated a Council of All Beings.  The Council serves as a way for members and others in the Kitsap community to get involved in creatively engaging in social issues.  Millie and Bob Royce continue to keep us informed and linked to the Si La Vida Center for Homeless Boys in Nicaragua, while Bob Royce continues as our representative to Friends Committee for Washington Public Policy.  Both these projects have also had our financial support.  People from out group are also foster-parenting, working with troubled or at risk children, addressing environmental problems locally and nationally, talking with state legislators about prison reform, taking active roles in local community groups, participating in peace vigils, and the list continues.

All this activity remains grounded in our worship and in our growing sense of community.  As we worship, study and work together, enjoy Christmas and Easter celebrations together, gather for conversation and coffee after worship or bump into each other unexpectedly, and even as we carry on our private and separate lives, the bond of fellowship and spirit connecting us is a tangible presence.

Ed Sheridan, Clerk, Agate Passage Preparative Meeting

7/24/02