Bridge City Preparative Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends
State of Society Report – April 2004
We are poised to become a Monthly Meeting. Last year at this time we sent a request to Willamette Quarterly Meeting for a Visiting Committee to meet with us to discern our readiness to become a full-fledged monthly meeting. Over the months our Visiting Committee has met with us twice for worship and business meetings, and conferred with us about the questions we faced before proceeding. We worked carefully, conscientiously, and tenderly to come to clarity on two defining issues that arose in our maturation as a Meeting: the loving separation from Multnomah Monthly Meeting (including a division of some funds and joint management of the Spiritual Life Fund) and a plan for memberships in the new Meeting. Our Visiting Committee expects to recommend to this May WQM that Bridge City be recognized as a Monthly Meeting. We are excited about our future!
Our close bond as a community and the trust it engenders enhances the quality of our worship and ministry. We are inspired by the varied spiritual paths of our attenders, and take sustenance from them in our meetings for worship. Our intergenerational gatherings for various holidays bring us together in sharing our religious roots. The annual summer camping trip is a highlight of our year. Singing together before worship on First Day is a joy to many in our Meeting community.
We are uplifted and delighted as we watch our children grow in the experience and understanding of the Light. Our children’s program now divides into elementary and middle school groups after beginning worship with the larger Meeting. The Children’s Program Committee provides the structure and lessons, and many adults in the community participate in bringing the activities to our young people.
We are strengthened in the Spirit through our adult First Day program, a new initiative for us this year. We have used this hour before worship to share spiritual journeys and spiritual practices, finding among our own attenders an eagerness to share areas of personal theological interest and expertise.
The Meeting community is drawn together to offer loving support for our members in times of need. Major health concerns affect several members this year. Life directions and work questions are significant for others. In both the giving and the taking of support we deepen our ties to one another and act as the hands of the Divine.
Our community is strongly represented at the Quarterly and Yearly Meeting level, and our connection with Friends throughout the region brings us joy. We are committed to continuing a collaborative and cooperative relationship with Multnomah Monthly Meeting, under whose care we have thrived as a Preparative Meeting.