Bridge City Friends Meeting
State of Society Report
Bridge City Friends Meeting, Portland, Oregon, presently has 30 members. In 2021, we gained one member and lost one member who died. We have seven members who are not associated with the life of the meeting any longer, but have not resigned their membership. We have five regular attenders who participate in the life of the meeting and others who participate from time to time.
In this Year Two of the COVID-19 Pandemic, we are maintaining. We continue to grapple with new ways of worship. Our Meetings for Worship are solely on Zoom and are consistently attended by about 20 Friends. Our occasional in-person afternoon “Worship in the Garden” at Friends’ homes have flourished in the warm months. We continue to have worshipful hymn singing prior to meeting for worship on Zoom.
Our 2nd Hour programs in Adult Education and Peace and Justice have been vibrant, with guest speakers from around the country being able to attend on Zoom.
Some Friends do not participate in Zoom meetings for worship and our social connections with each other have suffered somewhat in this virtual format. We have some members who find the virtual Meetings to be unfulfilling as a place of worship, and others who find virtual Meetings a more convenient and safe way to attend meeting for Worship. Our occasional in-person afternoon “Worship in the Garden” at Friends’ homes have flourished in the warm months.
This past holiday season, we had our Christmas Eve Lessons and Carols program and a Christmas carol singalong on Zoom. We continue discerning about hybrid worship, as we continue to adjust individually and corporately to the COVID-19 variants. Zoom has enabled committee members to meet more easily. Our Nominating Committee has been concerned that it has been difficult to fill positions.
This past year, a major development for our Meeting was to distribute a sizable estate to Portland area nonprofit organizations. We have struggled with decisions about our corporate financial donations, our Quaker decision-making and our desire to do some good. Individual Friends and their families continue to be assisted by our Meeting as they recuperate from health issues and life transitions.
Our Meeting continues to support Quaker Voluntary Service and many Friends in our community are active in the wider Quaker community nationally and internationally.
We are hopeful that our understanding of the Coronavirus will continue to expand so that we can better understand the risk and precautions needed to safely meet together as a spiritual community.