Bridge City Preparative Meeting
of the Religious Society of Friends

2002-2003 State of The Society Report

To Friends everywhere, Bridge City Preparative Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends is pleased to share this report of our corporate spiritual experience this past year. We feel our Preparative Meeting is growing in some positive directions, the most significant of which is our progress towards becoming an independent Monthly Meeting.

When Bridge City originally formed six years ago, we hoped that one day we would become a Monthly Meeting. Two years ago, some members of the meeting felt led to start the transition from being a Preparative Meeting into becoming a Monthly Meeting. Others were not certain and so this process seasoned for over a year. At that time there was a great deal more unity around the process with a sense of cohesion that grows deeper as we move through this process.

Both children and adults feel they are growing stronger in their understanding and pursuit of Friendís practices. We are seeking and finding more ways to manifest our Friendly beliefs in our daily lives. Our children have been quilting squares, which will be assembled for the AFSC Afghans for Afghanistan project. Some of our adult attenders have been active in organizing peace rallies opposing the coming war with Iraq.

We gather regularly outside of First Day Meeting for Worship for activities such as celebration of religious holidays, inter-generational worship-sharing potlucks, family campouts, and the Family Retreat we organize with Multnomah Meeting. We have strong participation with our Quarterly and Yearly Meetings.

We increasingly exhibit a strong vocal ministry from a variety of our attenders. Our sense of community grows. Our joint sponsorship of events with Multnomah Monthly Meeting is increasing. One example of this is the Wednesday night religious education events that we share.

The size of our meeting seems to be holding almost constant, with about 25 adults and from 4 to 6 children in regular attendance. There is some concern that as some of our children reach adolescence our small meeting may no longer be able to meet their needs. Although at least one of our middle school aged children occasionally attends Multnomah in order to participate with that larger Central Friends youth group, we hope to be able to structure a program that will help maintain their ties to our meeting.

One area of concern is our meeting house, which does not have wheelchair access. Although there is much about our current meeting space that we enjoy, there have also been some significant problems. Our relations with our landlords have improved significantly in the last few months, but that does not negate the fact that we need to find a hospitable site that is accessible to all.

Bridge City Preparative Meeting continues to grow in the Light and looks forward to the coming year. We realize there are challenges before us and we prayerfully hope that we will meet them with joy and understanding.