Meeting for Business Reports

This page contains all reports submitted for our Meetings for Business over the last 12 months. All reports of previous years are available by request. These are available online only in order to save on printing and mailing costs. If you would like a copy of our most recent newsletter, please use the Contact Us form on the CONNECT page.

Reports of previous years are available by request. Please use the Contact Us form on the CONNECT page.


April 2022


  1. Organization Report: Friends World Committee for Consultation
  2. Spirit and Witness Report
  3. Children’s Program Report
  4. Welcome Committee Report: Report on a Quaker Organization: FWCC
  5. Stewardship Committee Report
  6. Nominating Committee: SLATE
  7. Treasurer’s Report


Spirit and Witness Report

Welcome Committee:  Friends World Committee for Consultation:

The purpose of Friends World Committee for Consultation (FWCC) is to encourage fellowship and understanding among all the branches of Quakerism.

They bring all Quakers together in multiple ways to celebrate God, build networks, address issues of our time, and unite Friends within our diversity.

The FWCC is divided into four sections.  They are the Africa Section, Asia West-Pacific Section, Europe and Middle East Section, and The Section of the Americas.

FWCC was started in 1937. The second World Conference of Friends created FWCC to act in a consultative capacity to promote better understanding among Friends the world over. Conferences are held every six to eight years in different parts of the world.  The next on is in South Africa in 2023.

Children’s Program Report

The Children’s program went live  in March. We have joyfully welcomed back the Smith family, Emma and Kirk, as well as our newest young person, Olivia Cowen. We miss Lily and Grace on zoom, but are finding it exciting for youth and adults alike to be back at Sierra Friends Center with all the wonders of nature available to us. Class has taken place under the big oak near the garden, on walks to Mel’s pond and hikes to “places unknown”, when exploring like the early naturalist, Alexander von Humboldt.

We are also delighted to report that we have a full roster of teachers and adult helpers for every First Day. With a bit of shuffling and the wonderful addition of Reed Hamilton to our program we now have all the first days covered. The teachers are Don McCormick, Doug Hamm, Karen Olson and Gordon Bishop. The sidekicks are Dorothy Henderson, Reed Hamilton, Dean Olson and Judy Hamilton. And we are happy that Anita McCormick is with us as a support and consult when needed. As her health permits she may be back on campus with our program in the future.

This month we will notify all the families of our new status and also plant the seed for a potluck gathering at Doug and Dorothy’s home (newly named Rocky Knoll) for families and committee members. We are thinking May will be a good time for this.

We have been through a time of challenge and growth over the past two years. Now we are carefully and joyfully transitioning, not back to “normal”, but forward to a renewed commitment to building the beloved community with our children, families and friends one First day at a time.. 

We thank the meeting for giving us this opportunity,

Respectfully submitted,

Dorothy Hendersoon, 

Clerk, Children’s Program Committee

Welcome Committee

We had a welcome committee meeting on March 23rd.  We revised our add for The Union which I submitted last Tuesday.  

     We discussed greeter duties, welcome bags etc.  We are adding SFC waivers to greeting duties.  Don would like copies of Western Friends or Friends Journal to add to the welcome bags.  Our current Covid protocols will be added to the bags also. We discussed asking SFC about leaving Quaker Literature around Campus and inviting visitors to come worship with us on Sundays

   After meeting, fellowship is a little bit difficult with the hybrid setting.  We will try socializing separately.  I have done that the last couple of meetings and it seems to work.

   We noted the chairs need to be not so close to the computer so people on Zoom can see all. 

    This month we are reporting on Friends World Committee for Consultation.


Stewardship Committee

Report from meeting on April 7, 2022

Finance. Fosten Wilson reported  total donations in March were $366, well below our monthly outgoing expenses of $647. This, after February’s donation were also somewhat behind expenses, has prompted him to ask Meeting to consider additional donations. 

  He pointed out, however that overall, since Oct. 1, 2021, we are still in good financial shape. We talked about doing a pie chart in the newsletter to show graphically our income and various expenses.

Library. A question arose about which committee should pay for a book that was given to a prospective new member. Traditionally we have give a copy of Faith and Practice when someone applies for membership in Meeting. Recently this was done using one of several copies that are in the library. Dianne said she would work with Judy for Spirit and Witness to get additional copies.

Pat Phillips called attention to the need for the plants in front of the Meeting House to get. They are suffering a bit from having been run over by equipment during the roof repair. She is planning to work on the area soon.

We discussed the possibility of hanging the two posters the formally hung near the children’s corner in the two bays near the kitchen. This prompted the proposal that we could get out all the posters and wall hangings for Meeting to consider which might go up and where.

We were reminded about the work day at Sharon Davisson’s house this coming Saturday.

Our next meeting will be on May 5, 2022 at 3:00 PM on Zoom.

Recorded by Gordon Starr




Stewardship: Mary Starr (clerk), Pat Phillips, Reed Hamilton, Gordon Starr, Doug Hamm. Dianne Marshall (ex-officio, Newsletter editor), Fosten Wilson (ex-officio, Treasurer), Don McCormick (ex-officio, Librarian).

Welcoming: Kathy McCreery (clerk), Don McCormick, Pat Phillips, Karen Olson. Hailey Wilson (ex-officio, zoom coordinator), Amy Cooke (ex-officio, Website and Facebook coordinator), Judy Hamilton (ex-officio, email coordinator), 

Spirit/Witness: Gordon Bishop, Amy Cooke, Dorothy Henderson.  Dean & Karen Olson (ex-officio, co-clerks)

Children’s Program: Dorothy Henderson (clerk), Gordon Bishop, Doug Hamm, Judy Hamilton, Dean Olson, Karen Olson, Reed Hamilton, Don McCormick, Anita McCormick.

For the former category of representatives please see organizational restructuring at the bottom of this document.

Co-Clerks: Dean and Karen Olson

Recording  Clerk: Amy Cooke

Newsletter Editor: Dianne Marshall

Newsletter Distributor: Pat Phillips

Email Coordinator: Judy Hamilton

Treasurer: Fosten Wilson

Zoom Coordinator: Hailey Wilson

Website/Facebook Coordinator: Amy Cooke

Librarian: Don McCormick

Recorder: Stuart Smith 

Directory Clerk: Nancy Anderson

Mail Clerk: Dean Olson

Interfaith Nevada County: Dianne Marshall

Sierra Friends Center Rep: Pat Phillips

PYM rep: Don McCormick

CPQM rep: Doug Hamm

Please note: Most organizations no longer have representatives from GVFM. They are held in two committees, Welcome and Spirit and Witness.. To refresh everyone’s memory, here is a description of the system that has been in operation since July, 2021.

Welcome Committee holds the “connect with Quakers” organizations: Ben Lomond Quaker Center (BLQC), College Park Quarterly Meeting (CPQM), Friends General Conference (FGC), Friends World Committee on Consultation (FWCC), Pacific Yearly Meeting (Pac YM), and Sierra Friends Center (SFC). 

Spirit and Witness holds the “Faith and Practice” organizations:  American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), Friends Committee for Legislation (FCNL/FCL-CA), Interfaith of Nevada County, Quaker United Nations Organization (QUNO), and Right Sharing of World Resources (RSWR) The Nisenan have been added to Spirit and Witness.  

Each month, a member of one of the two committees prepares a report on one of their committee’s organizations based on the queries below.  The committees alternate months, with odd months going to one committee and even months the other one.  That gives many people the opportunity to “discover” Quaker organizations, and to hear from different people so that we all get to hear from each other.   The reports are structured around the following queries:

What is this organization’s mission statement?

What are their current activities or plans?

What is exciting?  

Are there any concerns? 

How can Friends get involved if they feel inspired? 

Is anyone in our meeting particularly involved?  How? 

Four organizations continue to have a representative (PYM, CPQM, SFC, and Interfaith) who will report to the meeting as needed. However, these organizations  will also be included in the once-a-year report to business meeting from either Welcome (PYM, CPQM, SFC) or Spirit and Witness (Interfaith).

The following organizations are officially omitted from the Nominating Slate of Representatives:

1. American Friends Service Committee – AFSC

2. Ben Lomond Quaker Center – BLQC 

3. Friends Committee for National Legislation – FCNL

4. Friends Committee for Legislation, California -FCL-CA

5. Friends General Conference – FGC

6. Friends World Committee for Consultation – FWCC

7. Quaker United Nations Organization – QUNO

8. Right Sharing of World Resources – RSWR

Treasurer’s Quarterly Report


summary  =  yikes !

In both February & March our spending exceeded the contributions received.  This is enough to cause your Treasurer to ask for –  help.  More income is needed.  The good news is that since  October 1st  the contributions received ($7,824) have slightly exceeded the spending from our General Fund ($7,487), thank you.

Our monthly costs have increased.   Our Meetings for Worship are now combined, both in-person and participation via Zoom.  We pay rent to Sierra Friends Center (SFC)  & we are paying for internet access.

The “Fund Balances” & the “Actual Spending vs Budget” reports are available in the Meeting House and by contacting me.   Our Restricted Funds are unchanged since December.

Thank you for your help.   All gifts, those in service to the Meeting & financial are deeply appreciated.

Fosten Wilson, Treasurer

Grass Valley Friends Meeting

new email = fwkm at protonmail dot com

February 2022

  1. Spirit and Witness Report
  2. Children’s Program Report
  3. Stewardship Committee Report
  5. Treasurer’s Quarterly Report 


Spirit and Witness Report

Our committee (Dorothy Henderson, Gordon Starr, Gordon Bishop, Amy Cooke and myself) met Saturday February 5th.

Sierra Friends Center:   We discussed the lease that still needs to be signed. Gordon and I reported on our meeting with Shannon Boling who is the SFC representative handling this.   We all agreed that since the work in the Meeting House was not completed in January, we would pay ½ months rent for that month.  One of the concerns in signing the lease is the requirement that all attenders must sign a waiver. This is something non-negotiable that is required by SFC’s insurer.  We strategized on different ways this could be done, i.e. approach newcomers after Meeting and /or have waivers on the welcome table at the front door.  It was also proposed that this be taken on by the Welcoming Committee.

The library is now fully installed including an area for children within the library. There are still decisions that need to be made such as what posters to keep and where, cleaning issues and use of Meeting’s Wi-fi equipment by others. There is a concern on who exactly is the point person working on this with SFC.

The meeting with Coleen Hedgelin, executive director of SFC and Shannon Boling, Retreats Manager and our committee clerks went very well. Coleen shared her passion for dialog and her vision of SFC’s future and the clerks present shared their past experience(s) at SFC.

We have 5 or 6 committees of care ongoing and they all seem to be meeting the needs of those involved.

We have begun the process of contacting our Quaker Buddies.  Many are finding this not an easy task.  Dorothy gave us some motivating tips and on the importance this can be for all involved.

Ad-hoc hybrid committee: We are pretty much doing a hybrid Meeting for Worship except for second Sundays when we have Meeting for Business. When Meeting for Business is on Zoom, there are challenges with seeing and hearing people in the Meeting House when they wish to speak. If the clerk

and M4B was centered in the Meeting House then the challenge is divided attention between the TV and the people in the room.  It is likely that the clerk will need an assistant to help with this issue.  We hope to obtain additional hand held microphones that may resolved the issue of hearing everyone.  We decided that this month we will meet on Zoom only for Meeting for Business.

Spiritual Life programs (4th Sundays) are as follows:

Feb. – Don on the process of discernment and vocal ministry

March – Amy and Chamba on Quakers in  France.

April – Gordon on Forgiveness

May –Dorothy and Judy on the Nisenan presence on the land. Walk to the grinding rock

Other – Dianne on the Doctrine of Discovery?

WUTR Dorothy reported the group was coming to the end of their current  (4th) book and are looking to see what might be next. They are examining living on Nisenan land and what implications that presents. She asked that we hold them in the light in this discernment.

Respectfully submitted,

Judy Hamilton, clerk, Spirit and Witness

Children’s Program Report

As previously reported, the Children’s program is expecting to go live as soon as the decision to fully launch  the hybrid meeting is made. Until that happens, there are several questions that remain unanswered for our program. As noted in the December 2021 report, at present we do not have teachers for First Sunday, Doug teaches second Sunday, Gordon, third Sunday and Karen, fourth Sunday as well as Fifth Sunday family meeting. If live, we will need an adult to accompany the teacher each Sunday. At present, Dorothy will cover the second Sunday with Doug and Judy will cover the fourth Sunday with Karen. And Dorothy and Judy will rotate covering the third Sunday with Gordon, until we find an adult who feels called to this service. 

In addition, we will be considering as a committee how to provide a program for the first Sunday.

The “children’s corner” in the Meetinghouse library area has been set up to provide a welcoming and cozy place for any children who want to be there for the first minutes of Meeting before leaving for the program or for parents who want to retreat there with a small child during or after meeting. 

We are looking forward to being live again and contacting all the parents to let them know we are eager to see the full children’s program back in operation! In the meantime we are deeply grateful for Hailey and until recently, Grace and Alice for their faithful participation. And we rejoiced in having Lily return to us even as we recognize sadly that we have not found a way to include her when we are no longer on zoom. 

We are, as always, inspired by the abundant gifts we receive by serving on the Children’s Program Committee of Grass Valley Friends Meeting. 

Respectfully submitted,

Dorothy Hendersoon, 

Clerk, Children’s Program Committee

Stewardship Committee

Notes from meeting on February 3, 2022

Present: Mary Starr, clerk, Gordon Starr, recorder, Dianne Marshall, Reed Hamilton, Dianne Marshall

Library. Dianne reported the Meeting library has been fully reinstalled in the new bookshelf arrangement and is ready to resume service. She will be sending out a notice to all folks who have a book checked out asking that it be returned. In case it can’t be found she will include the cost of replacement. Folks can either order it themselves or contribute the cost to the library. 

The Friends Journal and Western Friends archive has been trimmed to the last five years. All past issues are available on line.

Appreciation was expressed for Don McCormick who agreed to go through the many books that were removed from the library to see if they might be of use to others or for recycling. Also to Dorothy Henderson who went through the children’s books. There is some concern as it appears she has set up a children’s corner in the previous area, since this is now not included in our designated space. Appreciation was also expressed for Reed Hamilton, Gordon and Mary Starr, Judy Hamilton, and Lawren Giles.  

Hybrid Meeting Equipment. Most of the equipment we are now using for our hybrid meetings has been supplied by folks in the Meeting. Only the camera was supplied by Quietech. There are some questions about the two wireless mics: were they supplied by Quietech and can they be adapted to our equipment? All this bears on how much of the equipment cost Meeting is committed to share.

Finance. January contributions were  $2,068. Fosten is uncertain how much of this is due to the appeal letter sent out in December but there have been some very generous contributions and we are financially in very good shape. 

   As of now no payments have been made covering either the Wifi equipment or our share of the internet service. Currently our share of the internet service is approximately $45, more than was initially approved by Meeting for Business. It has become apparent we need a higher level of service than that initially proposed. There are also questions about what equipment supplied by Quietech we need for our hybrid meetings. We are in conversations with SFC about this.

REPORT ON QUAKER ORGANIZATION (from Welcome Committee; next month the Spirit and Witness will make a report on another Quaker organization)

Friends General Conference:

The Friends General Conference’s logo is a dandelion going to seed. The floating seeds represent the wishes, work, and faithfulness of Friends in their pursuit of Peace in the World.

         FGC Vision Statement:   “We envision a vital and growing Religious Society of Friends- a faith that deepens spiritually, welcomes newcomers, builds supportive and inclusive community, and provides loving service and witness in the world. Through Friends General Conference, we see Quakers led by the spirit joining together in ministry to offer services that help Friends, meetings and seekers explore, deepen, connect, serve and witness within the context of our living faith.”

       Friends General Conference (FGC) is an association of local and regional Quaker organizations. They hold conferences and consultations, provide religious education and opportunities, host programs and Initiatives for and on behalf of members.   It was started in 1900.  They have a number of services and resources,   some of them being the Quaker Cloud, Resources for adults and children, loans for Meeting Houses, among others.

        My experience with FGC is their bookstore and hearing about their yearly gathering. The FGC bookstore offers neat books, available online.  People from our Meeting have felt enriched by attending the annual gathering. Distance from our homes is an impediment for us to be really active with FGC gatherings.

       This year they are hosting and in person gathering and a virtual option as well.  It is at Radford University in Virginia July 3-9, 2022. It is a week of Quaker Worship, workshops, and community for all people.  For this year’s event early registration starts April 11th-April 21st.   Standard registration starts April 29th. Their website is

Treasurer’s Quarterly Report 


summary  =  better now.

This report covers four months, October thru January.   The contributions you provided in those months ($6,659) exceeded  spending from our General Fund ($5,956), thank you.

Our Meetings for Worship are now combined, both in-person and participation via Zoom.  We have paid rent to Sierra Friends Center (SFC) for January & February. And the internet access at the Meeting House is now functioning reasonably well. So we are paying for the internet also, starting with January.   

The “Fund Balances” & the “Actual Spending vs Budget” reports are available in the Meeting House and by contacting me.   Our annual dues to Pacific Yearly Meeting ($3,136) were paid in full last month.   That is a relief.    Our Sharing Fund & our Placer County Worship Group fund have each increased.   The other Restricted Funds are unchanged.

Thank you for your help.   All gifts, both in service to the Meeting & financial are deeply appreciated.

Fosten Wilson


(new email = fwkm at protonmail dot com)

January 2022

  1. Draft Minutes and Record from 12.2021
  2. Rental Agreement with SFC
  3. Treasurer’s Report
  4. Spirit & Witness Report



>>  Draft   <<   MINUTE & RECORD

Meeting for Worship on the Occasion of Business


We met in-person & virtually = hybrid Meeting for Worship 

Present:  Dean Olson, Co-Clerk;  Doug & Dorothy;  Judy & Reed;  Dianne;  Nancy;  Lo Hamm;  Don M;  Pat;  Gordon S;  Kathy & fosten, Acting Recording Clerk

The Meeting opened with silent worship.  

Clerk’s Query –     We call this time Meeting for Worship on the Occasion of Business.    What helps you think of this as business in the context of worship?

LAST MONTH’S ACTION ITEMS –    The proposed Rental Agreement will be considered after the reports from the Spirit & Witness and the Stewardship Committees.


SPIRIT/WITNESS:    Judy Hamilton:   

Bob Barns Memorial:  We have spoken to Bob Barns’ daughter, who agreed that we should wait until after the holidays for his memorial and is willing to have the memorial over Zoom.   Dorothy will contact Jackie Stillwell of RSWR to see if they would be interested in attending.  We will proceed with more plans after the holidays.

Sierra Friends Center:   Gordon S. reported that the container has been emptied and most of

the contents are now in the Meeting House. There remain many decisions on where things go

and what to get rid of (benches, children’s furniture, books and toys, posters etc.).

The new internet equipment is in and a trial hybrid meeting of the Stewardship Committee was held

on Dec. 2.  Those in the Meeting House had great quality of audio and video but those at home on Zoom report the video was frozen on their screens most of the time. This will need to be resolved.

Many questions were voiced about how all this reflects on the Meeting House being usable as referred to in the proposed rental agreement. The rental agreement is being examined by Spirit and Witness and the Stewardship committees and these concerns will be brought to Meeting for Business.

The Waking up to Race book group continues with their study of Kazu Haga’s Healing Resistance and visited the African Methodist Episcopalian Church in Marysville at the invitation of some of their members. It was a wonderful experience and they were warmly welcomed.

Spiritual Life programs: scheduled for December, Gordon Starr presenting Birthing the Christ Within and in January, Judy and Dorothy presenting a program on the Nisenan.   Programs proposed: Writing a spiritual biography, Quakerism in France, a one hour music sing-a -long.  

Dorothy delivered an impassioned report on the idea of Quaker buddies .   Spirit and Witness would like to include any in Meeting that would like to join us in having a group of folks to contact on a regularly basis.  This would be done on a trial basis for a few months..

CHILDREN:   Dorothy Henderson:     The Children’s Program will continue to be only on Zoom.   If/when to change that will be decided after the hybrid-meeting issues are resolved.   Also more adult volunteers will be needed for future in-person children’s programs.

STEWARDSHIP:   Gordon Starr:     The cargo container is empty & will be removed soon.   We need to reconstruct our library & work out specifics like what we can hang on the walls with Sierra Friends Center.   A better dust mop, sanitizing wipes, & other particular items are still needed.   Our electronic gear will need to be stored in the closet near our library.   Financially, we spent $364 for November with income of $1,421.   But our monthly costs are increasing now that we are using the Meeting House each Sunday.   

STEWARDSHIP continued:    Last month we agreed to pay for December the increased rent ($575) that Marty requested in the proposed rental agreement & we have done so.   Our understanding was that all construction would be completed & the Meeting House ready for use.   That is not the case, there are several problems.   So Marty has suggested that we pay half of that amount for January.

RENTAL AGREEMENT:    Gordon Starr et al:       Parts of the proposed rental agreement have been clarified.

<a>   The “rental increases” mentioned involve additional uses of the property such as may happen for weddings or memorials.  

<b>   “Visitors register at Office”   This involves first-time-visits at Sierra Friends Center.   We are not expected to stop at the Office each Sunday, nor for occasional work-days.

<c>   The “sexual predator” wording is to clarify that Sierra Friends Center does not do this screening & if we we desire this it is our responsibility.   The wording is required by Sierra Friends Center’s insurance carrier.

<d>   Paying 50% of the expanded internet capacity is because the Meeting House is getting its own wired connection.   Plus we are the primary user of the increased capacity.  So far, other users are expected to be occasional.

<e>   “Residence Agreements”   This section will need modification because we are tenants but not residents of Sierra Friends Center.

<f>    “Rent for Events”   Sierra Friends Center has a price list for use of various parts of the property.   It would be useful to know those costs.

<g>   Sierra Friends Center will have a new Executive Director, Coleen Hedglin, starting January 1st.   Marty will stay to help the transition.   Might this affect the proposed rental agreement?      

<Gordon Starr>   Thanks & appreciation were expressed for Gordon’s efforts.

The proposed Rental Agreement will be reevaluated in first month Business Meeting of 2022.   

CONCERN:   Dianne observed that the in-person audio “sounds like mush” & she doubts there can be consensus in  Business Meeting when so much is not understood.   There was agreement & the following Minute was approved.

MINUTE 2021.12.1:   On second Sundays Grass Valley Friends will meet via Zoom only – not in person – until technical issues are resolved.   This includes Silent Worship & Meeting for Business on second Sundays.   Grass Valley Friends will continue with hybrid Sunday Meetings for Worship, including both in-person & via Zoom except for second Sundays of each month.


  • Help Dianne Marshall re-establish our library.   She will schedule one or more work days between Christmas & New Year’s Day to install the book cases & begin re-shelving books.   Please let her know what days you can help.
  • New Executive Director hired for Sierra Friends Center, Coleen Hedglin, starting January 1st.   She will be living on campus & has a very impressive background. 
  • Malaika Bishop has the burned-over Woolman Farm back in food production.   It is expanded & much improved.
  • Tree Planting – 4,000 seedlings have been planted in a volunteer effort, mostly near Mel’s Pond.   Several people from Grass Valley Friends Meeting participated.
  • It’s easy to give to Grass Valley Friends Meeting!  Go to and click on the Give button.  This takes you to a secure site for donations. Please consider making your contribution monthly.  Your contribution covers Pacific Yearly Meeting dues and ensures that our activities as a Meeting are sustained.  Thank you

This draft RECORD AND MINUTE will be corrected before approval in January.

The Meeting closed with silent worship.  

Respectfully recorded by Fosten Wilson, acting recording clerk


Link to Rental Agreement:  Rental Agreement with Sierra Friends Center

Please use this link to review this agreement in preparation for our next Meeting for Business


Treasurer’s Quarterly Report


summary = chaotic, money may help:

The contributions received were light for October, then picked up moderately in November & December. One problem is, the US mail ! Donations are down for December, but one substantial check, postmarked 12-6-2021 arrived yesterday! ??? Another, written in late December, has yet to arrive. I simply do not have complete information about our first quarter income yet.

Expenses are also erratic. We paid rent to Sierra Friends Center (SFC) for November & December. However paying for January is being discussed with SFC.    Both I, and the Stewardship Committee, are not comfortable paying rent in full since (unexpectedly) the Meeting House is still in construction & the electronics to include our people on Zoom has yet to work well.

If you will permit, I will present a traditional Treasurer’s Report next month for our February Business Meeting. I do not yet have the normal “Fund Balances” nor the “Actual Spending vs Budget” reports. Between the extended power outage & my slow return to Treasurer business, the Meeting’s computer has not been updated.

Thank you all for your help and understanding.

Fosten Wilson


Grass Valley Friends Meeting

January 2022 Spirit and Witness Report

The ‘Quaker Buddy” program will start this month.  We will reevaluate this after a two month trial.

Spiritual Life programs:  January 23rd- Nisenan- Judy Hamilton and Dorothy Henderson

                                         February27th-Discernment in Meeting for Worship-Don McCormick

                                         March 27th- Quakerism in France- Amy and Chamba Cooke

                                         April 24th- Forgiveness (this may change)- Gordon Starr

Sierra Friends Center:  We are trying to connect with the new Executive Director at SFC both to introduce ourselves, get to know Coleen and to discuss the rental agreement concerns that GVFM has. It was suggested that we have an ad hoc committee to do this composed of a member from each of our committees—Children’s, Welcoming, Nominating, Stewardship and Spirit and Witness. Our first meeting with Coleen would be just to get to know each other.

Hybrid Meeting ad hoc committee report-  We have the donated computer from Dianne all ready to go. We will try it out during the upcoming week at the Meeting House and if this works well we will hold a trial hybrid Meeting for Worship next Sunday at the Meeting House.

The UU’s have requested we (as a faith-based community) write a letter to our supervisors opposing the reopening of the Idaho-Maryland Mine.  S and W wants to approach this in a non polarizing manner, seeking more  information and educating ourselves on the issue. There will be a community wide webinar on January 27th.  One can register for this as well as get more information regarding this issue at  While no one in Spirit and Witness felt a burning desire to get involved with this, we will offer support for any one that does want to work on this issue.

Grass Valley Friends Meeting has a Google voice phone account that is listed in the newsletter.  Since this has not been monitored recently ( and it is unclear if we have the ability to access it), it was decided to remove it from the newsletter.   Our newsletter does provide contact information with both email addresses and phone numbers of the Clerk and various other officers.  Our Facebook page and website contain our gvfriends email address to facilitate folks getting in touch with us.


November 2021

  1. Stewardship
  2. Spirit and Witness and the Hybrid Meeting Committee report


Stewardship Committee

Minutes from meeting on November 4, 2021

Present: Mary Starr, clerk, Gordon Starr, recorder, Fosten Wilson, Reed Hamilton, Dean Olson, Dianne Marshall.

  Treasurer’s report. Fosten reported there are a number of people who contribute regularly, one this month who did so generously. Income for the month was between $1,200 and $1,400, more than enough to cover expenses. In the coming months, as we begin to pay rent and internet commitments,  monthly expenses will increase.

    Approving Checking account signatories. The bank needs documentation from the Meeting that Dean and Karen, as new co-clerks, are approved to sign checks along with Mary Starr and Fosten and that Don and Anita be removed. This will go to Meeting  for Business.

   Annual Appeal Letter. Dianne, who wrote last year’s letter, has agreed to write this year’s as well. It will be brought to next month’s committee meeting.

   Liability Insurance. Reed reported we now have the liability insurance required by SFC. The cost $691 per year, a little more than the budgeted amount of $600. When questions arose about where the additional amount would come from, Fosten explained there are often budgeted funds not spent so there is room for flexibility. It was also questioned why Meeting should have to have their own insurance. Our insurance covers the Meeting’s own actions, accidents and incidents. If we were the cause of an incident and had no insurance, SFC would be next in line. SFC does require insurance for all their tenants.

   Hybrid Meeting Preparations.  Gordon and Reed talked about the progress of the Ad Hoc Hybrid committee and their meeting with Marty and Abby on October 21. We agreed in principle, subject to approval by M4B that we would pay half rent ($275.50) for November due to work still needing to be done on the Meeting House and full rent ($575) beginning in December. We discussed covid cleaning procedures based on current county health department, which change often. We briefly met a representative  from Quiet Tech, who was advising on our  and SFC’s technical needs for Zoom and internet. We later received a quote from them for the equipment necessary for our needs of$505.61 of which we have agreed to pay half. There may be considerable savings if we can use a donated computer.  Other comments: we will need a place (bench) to remove and put on shoes. There is concern that the footprint for our library is shrinking. We will likely need more chairs before too long.

November 2021 Spirit and Witness Report

We all met via Zoom on November 6th

  • We have various Committees of Care and Support on going. We checked in with these and all seemed to be doing well.
  • Some of us feel a need for a Memorial for Bob Barns. The family has not seemed able to come up with any plans. We decided we would approach them once more and let them know that we would like to proceed with a Memorial Meeting.
  • Our Buddy proposal is still under discernment and discussion. Each of us have been paired with six folks chosen randomly by using the list of members and attenders. Still to be decided is how often we contact these Friends and how we do it (email, phone call, tea, a walk?). This is still a work in progress.
  • The Waking Up to Race book group is moving out into the world. They attended a recent School Board meeting where a presentation on Critical Race Theory was presented to the Board. While no one from the group was able to speak, many of us wrote letters to the Board in supporting the teaching of diversity and the work that the anti-racist/inclusive task force (created by the Nevada Union Joint High School District) are doing. Members of the group that live locally will be attending a dinner and presentation at the Bethel AME Methodist Church in Marysville later this week.
  • Sierra Friends Center has asked someone from GVFM to attend their board and community meetings. Dean is our SFC representative and may be able to do this.
  • Ad-Hoc Hybrid Meeting Committee – Gordon S. reported the committee had met with Marty at SFC on October 21 and covered many topics including Meeting House rental, internet service, and Covid requirements.
  • Meeting House – Remodeling work is not completed as yet but did not present a problem with the trial hybrid meeting we did. We now have liability insurance as of Nov.1 at a cost of $690 per year. This was $90 over that approved and budgeted and will also need to be brought to M4B for approval. We discussed paying rent and when starting in-person meetings might begin. There are many parts and pieces pertinent to this decision. At the time, the committee felt we could likely be meeting by some time in November. Given that work was not complete and the uncertainty of when we would start in-person meetings, we proposed paying half rent in November and full rent starting December.
  • Internet service – Dedicated internet service is installed and working although they had to place the dish, with others, near the Office to get adequate reception. Connection fee was less than expected at $295, half of which ($147.50), the monthly charge ($44 for half) a little more. Meeting had previously agreed to pay for these costs but the changes will have to be brought back to M4B.
  • Equipment- QuietTech (a local computer/communication company) has come up with a list and price for the equipment we will need to provide a robust hybrid experience. This comes to about $500 which SFC is asking that we split with them. We are not sure that we need the most expensive item, the personal computer which is about $250. These expenses also need to be brought to M4B. We will be able to store the equipment in a locked closet within the Meetinghouse.
  • Covid requirements – Based on county requirements, we thought, when meeting, we should ask that all attending should be vaccinated, sit three feet apart, except for family groups, and that all should wear masks except when giving ministry. A central microphone seemed like the best solution so folks on Zoom could see and hear ministry being given. Singing presents a challenge but we saw no way except to wear masks. We do not feel that we can offer refreshments at this time.

Due to the technical difficulties of creating a second set of equipment for Zoom and that a hybrid type meeting would be challenging in engaging all the children, we thought the Children’s program would have to continue on Zoom as it is now.

We are also aware that we will need to train a small group of people to set up and take down the equipment.

  • The Meeting House is now shoe free and we will need an area with a bench to take off and put on shoes. In later discussion, it was agreed that SFC would provide booties for shoe coverings. Cleaning after the meeting would include wiping down all surfaces used including chair arms, door knobs, bathroom and kitchen. Sanitizing is not required. All this, again, will be based on County requirements.


October 2021

  1. Budget
  2. Spirit and Witness
  3. Treasurer’s Report
  4. Hybrid Meeting Committee report
  5. Children’s Committee


BUDGET 9.12.2021

Current  BudgetactualProposed    Change
fy 2021Oct ’20 -9-11-21fy 2022 Budget
400 · Contributions9,14711,12013,541
600 · Meeting Expenses
602 · Newsletter Expenses400339350-50
>>>603 · Rent & Cargo Container3,1501,2456,0002,850
>>604 · Meetinghouse Maintenance2500250
605 · Reps Travel Expenses50050
606 · Officers’ Expenses504050
609 · Misc Unbudgeted Expense100878200100
>>610 – Zoom fee150150150
>>611 · Internet & Meeting Webpage2516see note565540
613 fees5010613080
>>615 · Liability Insurance00600600
616 · Teen Helper – childcare00100100
620 · Meeting’s Memberships
621 · PYM Dues3,3323,1363,332
622 · CPQM Dues706464-6
Total 600 · Meeting Expenses7,6275,97311,8414,214
note: $25 webpage +$300 internet access + $240 installation = $565
640 · Committee Expenses
641- Spirit & Witness50020-30
642 · Nominating Comm20020
644 · Religious Ed – children program1500150
646 · Stewardship Comm (subscr = $133)1808019010
647 · Welcome Comm1000250150
Total 640 · Committee Expenses50080630
660 · Donation Expense  –>>(to be paid as current income allows)
661 · AFSC100100100
662 · FCNL100100100
666 · FCL – Calif.100100100
667 · Friends House404040
668 · Quaker Center100100100
669 · Sierra Friends Center300300250-50
673 · Nonviolent Peaceforce404040
675 · Laura Wilcox Memorial at FCNL100100100
676 · Hospitality House140140140
>>new  Nisenan Nation100100
Total 660 · Donation Expense1,0201,0201,070
Transfers to other Funds
Scholarship Fund   (PYM, CPQM, etc.)000
Scholarship Fund   (Quaker Center)000
Sharing Fund0
Total Expense & Transfers9,1477,073$13,5414,39413,541
Net Income04,046$0

Treasurer’s Report for all of fy 2020 – 2021


summary = Strange year, good enough financially. 

With our budget set much lower for the year, we did well. Inbound contributions were lower than when we met in-person, as expected. Yet those contributions were more than we needed, especially after we stopped paying rent in January while the Meeting House was renovated. And our outbound donations have been paid in full.  THANK YOU all for your contributions. 

So, our income ($11,454) exceeded our spending ($7,171). Altogether we ended the fiscal year with more in the bank than we had on October first of last year. Whew, a sigh of gratitude.

Now, as we restart meeting in-person we will also return to paying rent to Sierra Friends Center. Our costs will rise. The Stewardship Committee is meeting each month and watching the balance between our spending & income. 

All contributions to Grass Valley Friends Meeting — whether money, service, or prayer – are deeply appreciated.

Money contributions are either to my address below or online by using the “give” button at “”. 

Thank you, fosten

Fosten Wilson, Treasurer

15719 American Hill Rd

Nevada City, Calif. 95959

October 2021 Spirit and Witness Report

The committee: Judy Hamilton, Gordon Starr, Gordon  Bishop, Amy Cooke, Dorothy Henderson and our two presumptive clerks Karen and Dean Olson met yesterday.

We received a letter from Charity Bryson requesting her membership be withdrawn. This was apparently sent some months ago but had not yet been addressed. Dorothy will be meeting with Charity, apologizing to her for the delay and see if there is any way we can address her issues or serve her.

Spiritual Life schedule 

Oct. – Bible Study with Dorothy

November – Climate Change/Discernment with Amy

December – Birthing the Christ within with Gordon

January – Our relationship with the Nisenan with Dorothy

We have several Committees of Care meeting as needed with their respective people and all are doing well.

Waking up to Race-  Dorothy reported the WUTR book group is doing great. They continue reading Healing Resistance by Kazu Haga and met on September 29th after a summer hiatus. There was deep and vulnerable sharing.

Quaker Buddies: The Buddy (or liaison) idea, originally brought from Orange Grove Meeting, is that the Meeting contact list of people be divided among members of S & W.  The folks would then be contacted occasionally by any of several mediums ( phone, email, personal contact, etc) to see how

they are doing. It was noted this might have served some members of our Meeting who now feel estranged. Dorothy is struggling with how to divide up the people – let folks select those they are familiar with or do it randomly. With Dean and Karen included in our committee each member would have about eight people to contact. Several people expressed reservations about the added time and

responsibility to do this and keeping track of who to contact and when. Dorothy will continue to work on this.

Scheduling Committee Rep. Reports It was agreed that on odd months someone  from S and W will

do a report on one of the organizations that Meeting supports. Included would be getting a

notice in the newsletter and bringing the group to our attention during after Meeting announcements.

Schedule is as follows

November – QUNO, Amy

January – Nisenan, Dorothy

March – Interfaith, Dean and Karen

May – AFSC, Dorothy

July – FCNL/FCL-Ca, Gordon S.

S and W members will work with those who have in depth knowledge about an organization is preparing these reports.

Nisenan Acknowledgment:  Judy called attention to the unresolved issue of how to

acknowledge the original presence of the Nisenan people on this land. Judy will send out an article on this issue and we will take it up at a future meeting before bringing it to Meeting for Business.

Report from the ad-hoc committee on creating a hybrid Meeting

Committee members: Judy Hamilton, Reed Hamilton, Gordon Starr, Dianne Marshall

We have met twice at the Meeting House and, with a laptop, microphone and the television, held a mock hybrid meeting. Judy, on her tablet at the dining hall, gave us feedback on the camera and sound and with some adjustments we met with fairly good success.

We discussed what guidelines to recommend to those who attend Meeting in person and agreed that they should be fully vaccinated, wear masks and sit 3 feet apart.  Couples could sit together. Those who have messages to share will need to stand in front of the  microphone in front of the TV and may need to remove their masks to be heard. Those on Zoom will continue to un-mute to speak.

For the time being, since the Children’s program presents additional technical challenges, we don’t feel ready to have that be a part of the person to person Meeting. Later, because they might not yet be vaccinated, they could  meet at a designated spot still to be decided on..Dining Hall patio?, in front of the office?,  at Karen and Dean’s?.

When we actually begin in person worship, the email coordinator will send out the Zoom invite along with the requirements for in person Meeting.  We decided to do a trial meeting on Sunday, October 10 with Judy, Reed, Dianne and Lawen in the Meeting House attending Meeting by Zoom.

Gordon has loaned his microphone for use and Reed and Judy have loaned their speakers.  Reed and Judy will bring their laptop when they attend but someone else will need to bring theirs when they are not able to come.  The laptop will need to be compatible with various cords we have in the Meeting House. We have not yet figured out where the speakers and microphone will be stored or how we will decide who does the set up.

We  feel that for this experimental stage, we do not need to purchase any further equipment or hire someone to help with the technical logistics.

Children’s Program Committee Report

The Children’s Program Committee met to discern our response to several questions that have come up in the past year as we have adjusted to zoom, to the possibility that we could meet in person and then to the likelihood of the Meeting for Worship being a hybrid meeting. We acknowledged our current situation to be:

  1. Small number of attendees for Children’s Program. We most often have one child (one very faithful child) in the weekly Children’s Program. We now have a new child who has just joined our meeting as her family moved from San Francisco to Grass Valley. In addition, we have children that do not come because we are on zoom and that we believe will join us when we are in person.
  2. Second Sundays no longer has a regular teacher; we are able to offer our program every other second Sunday.
  3. We do not expect to offer the Children’s Program in a hybrid format as children want to run, play and move about in a way that does not lend itself to hybrid (especially in a children’s paradise like Sierra Friends Center.)

We met on zoom and listened carefully to the wishes of each teacher (sadly missing Anita who was not well). After a brief worship we summarized our current position regarding the above issues:

  1. We want to offer the Children’s Program each week no matter how many children we have. We want to come prepared to teach. We also anticipate other children returning when we are able to offer the program in-person.
  2. When we are able to teach in-person again, we will have a teacher for every second Sunday. We will then face the issue of needing two adults for each Sunday, something we have not needed with zoom and that we do not currently have.
  3. We continue to be clear that we do not want to offer a hybrid version of the Children’s Program. We also agreed that if a particular teacher was unable to meet in-person (because of concern about Covid variants, for example) they could decide to offer the program wholly on zoom and we would notify the families in advance.

In summary, we are eager to return to in-person First Day School and we are ready to offer our program each Sunday. However, we acknowledge a number of issues that need to be addressed before we go forward. These include: identifying and following covid precautions required by SFC policies; identifying a second adult willing to accompany the teacher each Sunday; discerning ways in which the program can go forward at times on zoom if the teacher is unable to be present in-person but wants to teach.

There are likely other issues that we have not considered and we expect to receive guidance from the Hybrid Subcommittee of Spirit and Witness as we go forward.

Respectfully submitted,

Dorothy Henderson


09.2021 Meeting reports


  1. Budget
  2. Spirit and Witness


September 2021 Spirit and Witness Report

Spirit and Witness welcomed Dean and Karen Olsen as our new presumptive Meeting clerks. We

welcome their expertise and the dedication they bring to this position. However, in honoring our Quaker

process, we decided that for the next two Meeting for Businesses, we would have a member of the Spirit

and Witness clerk the meeting until Dean and Karen are seasoned and approved.

Most of our meeting was spent discussing how best to proceed with meeting back in person (and

holding a hybrid meeting) at our Meeting House. The WiFi has been installed and used with some

success by Sierra Friends Center. We recognize that there is a group of folks that long for the personal

connection we get in meeting within the same physical space, yet many of us have health issues and

concerns about contracting or spreading COVID with an in person meeting. We did not come to

agreement about when to start the process of an in-person Meeting. However, we do have a few

proposals. In recognizing that most of us lack the technical skills and expertise to set up and run the

equipment for a Zoom hybrid meeting, we would like to hire a person with those skills to set things up

and to run the first few hybrid meetings. We would like to form an ad hoc committee with Stewardship,

comprising of 2 members from each committee. This committee would research who to hire, and

implement the start of actually holding a hybrid meeting and examine how we can meet together in the

safest possible manner. Again we have no time frame on when this would actually occur.

Our Spiritual Life programs will restart in September, being held at the rise of Meeting on the

fourth Sunday of each month. They are as follows:

September- Quaker Women- Anita McCormick

October- Bible Study- Dorothy Henderson

November- Report/worship sharing on Glasgow’s conference on climate change- Amy


December- Birthing the Christ Within- Gordon Starr

We briefly touched on the reports we will be giving to Meeting for Business under our new

restructured representative program. This month Spirit and Witness will report on Right Sharing of

World Resources. Next month, it will be the Welcoming Committee’s turn to report on one of the

organizations under their care.

Dorothy gave a brief report on the flux the Children’s Education program is undergoing. We hold

them in the Light.

We have not given up on the idea of ‘Quaker Buddies’ but there is still more work to do on this


BUDGET 9.12.2021

Current  BudgetactualProposed    Change
fy 2021Oct ’20 -9-11-21fy 2022 Budget
400 · Contributions9,14711,12013,541
600 · Meeting Expenses
602 · Newsletter Expenses400339350-50
>>>603 · Rent & Cargo Container3,1501,2456,0002,850
>>604 · Meetinghouse Maintenance2500250
605 · Reps Travel Expenses50050
606 · Officers’ Expenses504050
609 · Misc Unbudgeted Expense100878200100
>>610 – Zoom fee150150150
>>611 · Internet & Meeting Webpage2516see note565540
613 fees5010613080
>>615 · Liability Insurance00600600
616 · Teen Helper – childcare00100100
620 · Meeting’s Memberships
621 · PYM Dues3,3323,1363,332
622 · CPQM Dues706464-6
Total 600 · Meeting Expenses7,6275,97311,8414,214
note: $25 webpage +$300 internet access + $240 installation = $565
640 · Committee Expenses
641- Spirit & Witness50020-30
642 · Nominating Comm20020
644 · Religious Ed – children program1500150
646 · Stewardship Comm (subscr = $133)1808019010
647 · Welcome Comm1000250150
Total 640 · Committee Expenses50080630
660 · Donation Expense  –>>(to be paid as current income allows)
661 · AFSC100100100
662 · FCNL100100100
666 · FCL – Calif.100100100
667 · Friends House404040
668 · Quaker Center100100100
669 · Sierra Friends Center300300250-50
673 · Nonviolent Peaceforce404040
675 · Laura Wilcox Memorial at FCNL100100100
676 · Hospitality House140140140
>>new  Nisenan Nation100100
Total 660 · Donation Expense1,0201,0201,070
Transfers to other Funds
Scholarship Fund   (PYM, CPQM, etc.)000
Scholarship Fund   (Quaker Center)000
Sharing Fund0
Total Expense & Transfers9,1477,073$13,5414,39413,541
Net Income04,046$0

07.2021 Meeting Reports


  1. Letter from Anita McCormick
  2. Spirit and Witness report
  1. Sojourn Letter, Amy and Chamba Cooke
  2. Hybrid Meeting ad hoc Committee report
  3. Representative Committee 
  4. Memorial Minute for Peggy Baldwin
  5. Sierra Friends Center report
  6. Stewardship Committee



Anita McCormick, one of our co-clerks, wrote a letter to our Meeting, which was read and is appended. 

Dear Friends, 

Sixteen months ago, when we were beginning to lock down, I decided that if I was asked to continue as Co-Clerk, I would do so until lockdown was over and people in the Grass Valley and Nevada City area were beginning to be able to meet in person. That time has come. Recently my own health has begun to make me unwilling to leave lockdown entirely, and consequently I am not expecting to join with Friends in person for the time being. 

Clerking via Zoom will not be adequate once members and attenders are meeting face to face. In light of that and some personal concerns, I am asking to be released from my position as Co-Clerk of Grass Valley Meeting. I have been honored to serve in that position, and I thank you deeply for the trust you have placed in me.

With gratitude,

Anita McCormick


            We met July 3rd, 2021 without 2 of our members due to illness and travel.

            Judy Hamilton will continue on as clerk and Gordon Starr will continue as recording clerk of this committee.

            Peggy Baldwin’s Memorial minute has been written (enclosed as an attachment).  Judy will run it by her husband for any corrections or additions.  Don McCormick will send this and the Memorial Minute for Ted Smith to PYM for the annual Memorial Meeting.

            Committees of care are continuing although with summer scheduling most are not meeting regularly. A sojourn minute for Amy and Chamba Cooke is being completed. Judy Hamilton’s Membership Committee has met with her and has approved her request for membership. This will be brought to this month’s Meeting for Business.

             Dorothy reported the Waking up to Race group has added two new participants and have started reading a new book,  Healing Resistance  by Kazu Haga. In addition to an hour of worship sharing, they are holding a second anchoring hour where the work each is doing to deal with racism is discussed. .Dorothy commented she felt that, in some ways, our Meeting was in the forefront of  changes many Meetings are going through.

             Don brought a statement from Santa Monica Meeting, explaining the Quaker worship process, that they put in the chat at the beginning of their meeting and then half way through. Some thought things in the chat were disrupting. Better as a poster? No decision was made regarding this.

            We are still working on the idea and implementation of ‘Quaker Buddies’.This is the proposal that each person on Spirit and Witness have a group of people from our contact list to call occasionally, keeping in touch so that all feel included and important to Meeting.

Questions that arose: How to divide the list? How to decide who calls? How often? Distant

Friends? Dorothy asked for some help on this and Amy said she would help her decide what was the best way to assign ‘buddies’.

            Gordon reported that Stewardship committee had begun moving book cases

back into the Meeting House. Final configuration is yet to be determined. Stewardship has

agreed they have responsibility to manage cleaning duties, and have agreed to meet with

Marty on July 8 to try to answer many questions from both sides.

            Marty has offered to split the cost of a dedicated internet line for the Meeting House, and Stewardship will bring their approval to M4B for discussion.. It will be installed the middle of August.

sub committee etc.

            There was a suggestion that an ad hoc committee be set up  that includes representatives from Spirit and Witness, Stewardship, Finance, Children’s Committees, our Meeting clerk(s) and our SFC representative.  This committee would discuss what concerns Meeting has and get together with Marty to discuss said concerns.


Richard Thompson, Secretaire

Groupe Languedoc

11, Avenue des Quakers

30111 Congenies, France

July 11, 2021

Dear Friends, 

We offer greetings from Friends at Grass Valley Friends Meeting in Pacific Yearly Meeting. We commend to your loving care Chamba and Amy Cooke, who are members of Grass Valley Friends Meeting and will be sojourning with Groupe Languedoc. They will be serving as amis-residents at the Maison Quaker while retaining their membership with Grass Valley Friends Meeting.

We hold Chamba and Amy in our prayers and trust that God will richly bless your time together. On behalf of Grass Valley Friends Meeting, 

Anita McCormick                                                 Don McCormick
Co-Clerks, Grass Valley Friends Meeting, Pacific Yearly Meeting                                                  

Hybrid Meeting Committee

Zoom Meeting on July 6, 2021

Present: Amy Cooke, Gordon Starr, Don McCormick, Pat Philips

  Amy noted there is lots of information out there since most Meetings are looking for solutions

Conditions that need to be met in order to meet person to person:

    Cleaning -Understanding what is included, tools and materials, and organizing crews. Stewardship comm. has acknowledged their responsibility to manage this.

    Vaccinations – do we require all present to be vaccinated or just recommend? It was noted that the current variant in California is highly contagious. 

   Guidelines for gathering – CDC guidelines? State? Other sources?

We came to consensus that we will use state guidelines, only those fully vaccinated meet in person, get tested if sick and agree to contact tracing.

We considered meeting outdoors but that makes the technical issues even more complicated.

   A trial Meeting for Worship on August 15 was proposed to test equipment and internet strength. Pat will call Stuart Smith to see if he can help. Gordon suggested doing a committee meeting to sort out issues before the Meeting for Worship; Stewardship on August 5 and/or S&W on August 7. 

   Some members were concerned or hesitant about attending out of concern for their or other’s health.

   It was noted that Zoom doesn’t work very well with kids.

   Technological issues – What equipment will be needed and who will supply it? Owl? Costs $1,200. computer? New TV? Gordon suggested that, since Marty wishes the equipment be available to other users, SFC should supply it. He will clarify this on July 8 when Stewardship meets with Marty at the Meeting House.

Amy will email S&W and bring our decisions to M4B.

Representative Restructuring Proposal:  Our subcommittee – Judy, Amy, and Dorothy – have developed this proposal to ensure that our meeting stays connected to the organizations we care about and maintains representation in those organizations that require it.

We will be maintaining the following positions that are to be filled by Nominating each year. The representatives for these organizations are tasked with providing timely information to GVFM about events and communications from the said organizations.

  1. Pacific Yearly Meeting
  2. College Park Quarterly Meeting
  3. Sierra Friends Center
  4. Interfaith of Nevada County

All organizations would be housed in either the Welcoming Committee or Spirit and Witness.

Welcoming would include all the organizations that connect us to other Quakers and nourish us spiritually. Those would include:

  • Ben Lomond Quaker Center
  • Friends General Conference (FGC)
  • Friends World Committee on Consultation (FWCC)
  • Pacific Yearly Meeting (PYM)
  • College Park Quarterly Meeting (CPQM)
  • Sierra Friends Center (SFC)

Spirit and Witness would hold the faith, practice and witness organizations (ones doing work out in the world).  These would include:

  • American Friends Service Committee (AFSC)
  • Interfaith of Nevada County
  • Nisenan
  • Quaker United Nation Organization (QUNO)
  • Right Sharing of World Resources (RSWR)

Each month, a member of the respective committee would prepare a report on the organization based on queries.  We would alternate months, with odd months going to one committee and even months the other one.  That would give many people the opportunity to “discover” Quaker organizations, and to hear from different people so that we all get to hear from each other.   

Folks who are passionate about these organizations could share from their point of view when the report comes up.  Monthly announcements would also be made by those persons who are involved or passionate about those organizations.  

The reports would be structured around the following queries:

What is this organization’s mission statement?

What are their current activities or plans?

What is exciting?  

Are there any concerns? 

How can Friends get involved if they feel inspired? 

Is anyone in our meeting particularly involved?  How? 

Memorial Minute for

Peggy Baldwin

December 10th,1936- January 26th, 2021 

            Peggy was born December 10th, 1936 to Howard and Roxie Lang in San Francisco, California.

She grew up in nearby Oakland.  She loved acting and performed in many student drama productions at Oakland High School.

            At age 19, she moved to New York City to pursue her love of acting and graduated from the American Theater Wing.  She performed in summer stock theater in New England and on television including the Patty Duke Show.

            In July of 1964, she married Don Baldwin, a newly graduated Methodist minister.  Their first pastoring experience involved a move to Yosemite Valley,serving first at the El Portal Community Church and later appointed as the Resident Minister in the Park. They lived in Yosemite for 4 years during which time both of their daughters, Eve and Joy, were born.  It was at an evening Chapel service on silence that Peggy began her Quaker journey.

            Peggy and Don moved to Lawrence, Kansas in 1969, where Peggy  attended an on-campus Quaker Meeting.  During their 7 years at Kansas University, Peggy took a year’s sabbatical at Pendle Hill and deepened her commitment to prayer and peace.

            In the following years, Don and Peggy served at Methodist churches in Kings Beach, Truckee, Sacramento and Aptos, California. Peggy added to Don’s ministry by singing in the choirs, teaching Sunday school, supporting Peace Builders and serving as host to many homeless guests. While in Sacramento, Peggy graduated cum laude from Cosumnes  River College with a degree in television communication and spent the next few years working at a Sacramento television station.

            In 1999, Don retired and the couple moved to Santa Rosa where Peggy became active in the Redwood Forest Quaker Meeting, engaging in many actions for peace and social justice.

            Don and Peggy moved to Nevada City in 2004.  Peggy worshiped with the Grass Valley Friends Meeting where she quickly became an active and beloved participant.  She served on almost every committee, being especially active in the Spiritual Life and Peace and Social Justice committees. Many a morning, Peggy would act as ‘greeter’, standing outside on our cold winter mornings in her handmade wool sweaters and down parka, welcoming folks to First Day Meeting.

            Peggy is survived and dearly missed by her husband, Don, daughters Eve and Joy (Troy), sister Linda Bishop (Floyd) and her nieces, nephew and cousins.

            The Grass Valley Friends Meeting also misses Peggy greatly.


submitted by:  Dean Olson

Here are words to our Meeting directly from Marty Coleman-Hunt, Interim Executive Director:

“We have really great news that we hired a Woolman Alumna to be our Programs

Director, Mollie Mowat.  She will manage all our camps, Woolman Outdoor School and

Jorgensen School for Nonviolence.  We are already booking into next year with many

interesting groups.  We just hosted the Color Me Human camp, for LGBTQ teens.  Our site

management staff has performed major fuel reduction along and across the creek.”

Karen and my response back to her was:  THAT IS EXCITING!  THAT’S GREAT!  We continually tell Cletus (grounds maintenance person) how great the place looks, like “driving onto campus, I 

imagine all this as an oasis.  All green and lush.’  And looking out our window at the soccer

field, I’ve had the thought, ‘That looks like a golf course green.”

That’s hard work he does.  Over at the Meeting House and down to Fern House, you can

see through the whole area, walk through it, and the tree branches look trimmed up to 8 ft

off the ground.

And the progress Maliaka is making in the campus garden.

So much hope and new life sprouting!

Stewardship Report

For Meeting for Business July 7, 2021

   At our meeting on July 1, to start the new term, we selected officers. Mary Starr agreed to continue as clerk and Gordon Starr agreed to continue as recorder. 

    For the Finance, Fosten submitted the following:

    Contributions were excellent in April but May & June were thin*. Overall, contributions have exceeded our budget expectations since October.   Income is down a lot since Covid-19 stopped our in-person Meetings.   But our costs dropped with our reduced budget & when we stopped paying Meetinghouse rent and started renting the cargo container in January. With more income than expenses, we have been able to pay PYM, CPQM, & all of our outbound donations for this fiscal year, by June 30th.    Costs will increase when we resume Meeting for Worship in person. 

    All Restricted Funds (Sharing Fund, Scholarship Funds, etc.) are unchanged in the last three months.   Our General Fund includes container rent, our donation to the Nisinan, and our costs for the Peggy Baldwin memorial along with the items mentioned above. 

    All contributions to Grass Valley Friends Meeting — whether money, service, or prayer – are deeply appreciated.

    Library. Dianne reported in the last 14 – 18 months she had received only two Pendle Hill pamphlets and no subscription publications. She would check with Dean as mail clerk.

   Newsletter. Due to left over editions Dianne will be cutting back published editions to 16.

Meeting House – Moving back in. On June 24 we began the process of moving back into the Meeting House by bringing in the book cases to see how best to utilize the new arrangement. We felt we needed input from Marty to make any final decisions and agreed to try to meet with her.

  We agreed to bring to Meeting for Business the proposal to split the cost of a dedicated internet connection for the MeetingHouse with SFC.. The installation total cost is expected to be $450 and monthly service would be $50. There is only one provider (Smarter Broadband) in the area. Reed will call them to get more information on the service. Some questioned the fairness of splitting the cost but finally agreed to start the process with the possibility of renegotiating later if needed. 

  At Marty’s invitation we have agreed to meet with her in person at the Meeting House at 2:00PM    July 8 to discuss all the above.

  We agreed that Stewardship committee has the responsibility of managing the new cleaning process, but not necessarily doing it all. Volunteers anyone?

06.2021 Meeting Reports

  1. Spirit and Witness report
    1. Representative Committee 
  2. Children’s Program report
  3. Welcome Committee
  4. Sierra Friends Center report


Spirit and Witness Report

We met June 5th and all members were present.  

Our first item was addressing the issue of confidentiality in documents placed on the Meetings Google Drive. We decided that Spirit and Witness’ monthly agenda and notes from our monthly meeting would be placed in a private Google Drive folder that could only be accessed by current Spirit and Witness members.  The monthly Spirit and Witness report is public and can be found both in the newsletter and the minutes of the monthly Meeting for Worship on the occasion of Business.

Dorothy reported that WUTR (Waking Up to Race) will be starting to read a new book, Healing  Resistance by Kazu Haga.  The group is open to any one from Meeting that would like to attend.  We meet Wednesday mornings from 9-11. Discussion on the new book starts June 30th.

We discussed the new committee representative structure and the Spirit and Witness members were in agreement that this should be brought to Meeting for Business.  

Our Committees of Care are going well except for one that hasn’t yet been convened but that will be remedied soon.

We formed an ad hoc committee consisting of Amy, Gordon Starr and Judy that will be meeting to discuss when we can start meeting in person and how best to offer a hybrid Meeting. We will be meeting next week.

We have received the new lease.  Both the Stewardship and Spirit and Witness will be addressing this and our concerns in the next months.

The Spiritual Life programs will be on hiatus during the summer months (June, July, and August).  They will return in September with Anita (?and friends) presenting Quaker Women.  In October, Amy will offer a program on the Nisenan.  November will be Dorothy on Walking and in December, Gordon will present Birthing the Christ Within.

Representative Restructuring Proposal:  Our subcommittee – Judy, Amy, and Dorothy – have developed this proposal to ensure that our meeting stays connected to the organizations we care about and maintains representation in those organizations that require it.

We will be maintaining the following positions that are to be filled by Nominating each year. The representatives for these organizations are tasked with providing timely information to GVFM about events and communications from the said organizations.

Pacific Yearly Meeting

College Park Quarterly Meeting

Sierra Friends Center

Interfaith of Nevada County

All organizations would be housed in either the Welcoming Committee or Spirit and Witness.

Welcoming would include all the organizations that connect us to other Quakers and nourish us spiritually. Those would include:

  • Ben Lomond Quaker Center
  • Friends General Conference (FGC)
  • Friends World Committee on Consultation (FWCC)
  • Pacific Yearly Meeting (PYM)
  • College Park Quarterly Meeting (CPQM)
  • Sierra Friends Center (SFC)

Spirit and Witness would hold the faith, practice and witness organizations (ones doing work out in the world).  These would include:

  • American Friends Service Committee (AFSC)
  • Interfaith of Nevada County
  • Nisenan
  • Quaker United Nation Organization (QUNO)
  • Right Sharing of World Resources (RSWR)

Each month, a member of the respective committee would prepare a report on the organization based on queries.  We would alternate months, with odd months going to one committee and even months the other one.  That would give many people the opportunity to “discover” Quaker organizations, and to hear from different people so that we all get to hear from each other.   

Folks who are passionate about these organizations could share from their point of view when the report comes up.  Monthly announcements would also be made by those persons who are involved or passionate about those organizations.  

The reports would be structured around the following queries:

What is this organization’s mission statement?

What are their current activities or plans?

What is exciting?  

Are there any concerns? 

How can Friends get involved if they feel inspired? 

Is anyone in our meeting particularly involved?  How? 

Children’s Program Committee Report

The Children’s Committee met in-person on June 8th, for  the first time in over a year. We met for a special occasion beyond our regular business as Karen Olsen is taking a sabbatical for an undetermined amount of time. Karen has been teaching in our Meeting’s First Day School for fifteen years. She is taking a break to refresh and to take part in some important  family activities over the summer. She will continue to offer the story on Family worship Fifth Sundays.

We discussed how to cover Karen’s class on second Sundays. Judy will take the first one in July and we will continue to work on how to cover beyond that. We are considering reaching out to other folks in the Meeting who might want to join us for a period or having the committee members rotate in, perhaps in different matching pairs. Continuing revelation.

 We then discussed how we want to offer First day school when we are able to return to the Meeting house and we came to an agreement that we will offer only an in-person program. The teachers agreed that trying to do hybrid is not satisfactory with children for several reasons, one of which is their desire to be outside and active. Letting go of zoom for the classroom does mean that we will not be able to offer our class to Grace in San Francisco, a sadness. We will miss Gracie and her mom, Alice when we are no longer with them.

We are not clear how many children will return after we are again in-person. We will be reaching out to our families when we are ready to return. We also recognize that we will need two persons for each First Day when we are again in-person. We briefly brainstormed possible scenarios if we did have enough children and enough age difference that it made sense to have two classes each Sunday. We might want to consider having the older children on zoom so we could possibly combine with another Meeting’s First Day class or with another church in our community, like the Unitarians. We have also explored the possibility of having older young people gather at Don and Anita’s for an event that was not on First day. These are possible plans for the future. Until we are able to return to the Meeting house, we will continue to offer our program on zoom. 

Dorothy requested that each teacher put  the content of their class in the Google doc. in order to keep a record of what we are teaching for future resources and so that we can share and learn from each other. There was agreement that one teacher from each Sunday will document what is being or was taught.

We closed our meeting with gratitude for Karen and with Strawberry shortcake!

Respectfully submitted,

Dorothy Henderson, Clerk

Welcome Committee

We have greeters scheduled for June and July.  Zoom coordinating and greeting are becoming more distinct as roles.  

We are proposing that the Zoom coordinator position be transitioned to a team model so that Hailey can participate fully in the Children’s Program and no one has to bear the weight of weekly coordinating.  Team members:  Hailey Wilson, Amy Cooke, Dorothy Henderson, possibly Gordon Bishop?  

We will be working with the Hybrid Meeting subcommittee to insure that visitors have both in-person and Zoom information to attend Meeting for Worship. 

We are maintaining publicity in The Union, on Facebook, and on Instagram.  

The committee will expand next month with the new year.  Members are Karen Olson, Kathy McCreery (clerk), ex officio Website/Facebook Coordinator (Amy Cooke), ex officio Zoom coordinator (Hailey Wilson and Stuart Smith), ex officio Email Coordinator (Judy Hamilton)

Respectfully submitted, Amy Cooke


Marty, the director of the Center, is sharing the updated information below on what is happening at Sierra Friends Center.

THE MEETING HOUSE:  The Meeting House is almost finished.  The remaining work is the wall and floor to the left when you enter the door.  All the rest of the floor now has vinyl plank flooring.  Some really nice new chairs are inside.  Last weekend, the Board met in the Meeting House.

THE CENTER’S OFFICE building has a new carpet and awhile back a full forced air furnace and air conditioner was installed.  She said “ heat and air conditioning are also in the classroom!”

THE CAMPUS GARDEN, which was destroyed in the fire (including the fencing and structures), is being brought back to a new life by Malaika Bishop, founder and former director of Sierra Harvest Program.  Malaika no longer works at Sierra Harvest and is now Woolman’s Farm Manager through the Farm Restoration. Please be aware of notices from her for volunteer help in the garden. Literally, it is rebuilding the garden from the ground up.

YOGA CLASS is being offered on campus by Abby Cerino.  For more information, contact her at

THE BIG HOLDING POND, to the right as you are coming onto campus on Woolman Lane, has been dredged, is significantly deeper and has vertical sides.  Signs are posted to stay out of it and location of the emergency exit ramp.

NEW NID IRRIGATION SYSTEM which will replace the old 3 inch diameter pipe with 6 inch pipe, and new addition of fire hydrants.  Marty shared that the grant received over a year ago is for the materials with the Center responsible for the labor, “which will be 2/3 of the total cost.”  

There are also plans to put in a campus lighting system to assist visitors and program participants safely move across campus at night.

FEMA IS HERE right now, cleaning all the burned building sites.  So far the big barn on the upper campus has been cleaned out and the old Red Barn remains that once stood as you entered campus.  Sites are left clean and the ground dirt is scraped, taken away and replaced.

A LOT is going on, the Center has a new life and a full board.  Very exciting time!  

You might have noticed in the report I keep referring to “the Center.” Here’s Marty’s comment:  “I understand the nostalgia of calling Woolman a “School” but our mission has changed.  I find it better to call it “the Center” or “the Camp.”


VISION  A future where engaged communities are stewarding a peaceful world, a more equitable society and a healthy planet.

MISSION  Woolman seeks to both inspire and to prepare individuals to work for peace, justice, and environmental sustainability, and to deepen their personal and spiritual growth.

Continuing its six-decade legacy, Woolman offers diverse educational and enrichment programs at the Sierra Friends Center campus, a hub of Quaker values.

  • WOOLMAN PROGRAMS:  Trans formative workshops, camps and retreats for people of all ages, in groups or as individuals.
  • SIERRA FRIENDS CENTER:  A special place where guests can study, practice, reflect and renew as they are immersed in nature, with simple accommodations, meeting spaces, and a working farm that provides fresh organic food.

VALUES  We are grounded in the Quaker belief that there is that of God in all creation reflected in a loving relationship with the land.  We are guided in our work by core values of silence, simplicity, nonviolence, truth speaking, service, and a belief in the human spirit.

Woolman at Sierra Friends Center is a place where everyone experiences radical acceptance for who they are, is treated with dignity and respect, and who is surrounded by the physical, mental and spiritual healing power of nature.

Submitted by:   Dean Olson

Reports from 4.11.2021:

  1. Nominating Committee

  2. Spirit and Witness committee

  3. Treasurer’s Report

  4. State of the Meeting Draft Report


Nominating Committee




Mary Starr, Gordon Starr, Reed Hamilton, Pat Phillips, Doug Hamm, Fosten Wilson (Treasurer,

Ex-officio) Dianne Marshall, Hailey Wilson 


Gordon Starr, Judy Hamilton, Gordon Bishop, Dorothy Henderson, Anita and Don McCormick (ex-officio Co Clerks), Amy Cooke, Judy Hamilton


Karen Olson, Kathy McCreery

Children’s Program:

Karen Olson, Judy Hamilton, Dorothy Henderson, Gordon Bishop, Anita McCormick, Doug Hamm, Don McCormick


Co-Clerks: Don and Anita McCormick

Communication Coordinator: Judy Hamilton

Directory Coordinator: Nancy Anderson

Librarian: Dianne Marshall

Mail Clerk: Dean Olson

Newsletter Editor: Dianne Marshall

Newsletter Distribution: Pat Phillips

Newsletter Reader: Karen Olson

Placer County Worship Group: Stuart Smith

Recorder: Nancy Anderson

Recording Clerk: Amy Cooke

Treasurer: Fosten Wilson

Website Maintenance: Amy Cooke

Zoom Coordinator: Hailey Wilson, Stuart Smith



College Park Quarterly:




FGC Liaison: 

PYM: Don McCormick

Quaker Center:


Right Sharing of World Resources: Judy Hamilton

Sierra Friends Center: Pat Phillips

Interfaith Nevada County: Dianne Marshall

Spirit and Witness Report

Our committee will be meeting on the 4th or 1stSaturday for the next few months. We also

changed up the way we schedule the closing of Meeting as many of our Sand W members are involved in teaching First Day School so cannot commit to any entire month of closing. Judy will close the first

Sunday, Anita or Don the second, Gordon Starr the third and Amy the fourth. We do have fifth Sunday occasionally and we are not sure yet who will do that.

We also will be bringing back the Monthly Queries, which have been absent for the last months.

These will be read the first Sunday.

We are still working on consolidating and discussing the committee reps. We anticipate this

work will be done by our next Spirit and Witness Meeting. If approved by Spirit and Witness, we will be bringing it to Meeting for Business in May

We are also still working on how best to acknowledge the Nisenan and the land upon which

Meeting worships. I hesitate to say we will bring a completed idea to Meeting for Business as I don’t

want to rush though this process and we all have different ideas and opinions. Gordon Starr is still

working with Sierra Friends Center and the Nisenan representatives on signage at the entrance of

Woolman Lane.

We continue to meet with members who have requested Committees of Care.

PYM has asked us about membership of some of our members who have not been at Meeting for

quite awhile. We are in the process of contacting these folks to see how they feel about their


Dorothy gave the WUTR (Waking Up To Race) report. WUTR would like to hold a listening

session in which we explore how living in a society in which both subtle and overt oppression and racism affects both us and the BIPOC people among us. This would be held on the fourth Sunday of this month. Don, Dorothy and Gordon Starr will be finalizing the State of the Meeting report. This is being

brought today to Meeting for Business

Spiritual Life programs are scheduled through May. As stated above, this month we will hold a

listening session exploring race in our society. In May, Dorothy will present a Bible Study.

Treasurer’s Quarterly Report


summary = pleasant surprise

THANK YOU for your contributions. The contributions received were good while our expenses are down.

More money than expected was received. We were able to pay our Pacific Yearly Meeting dues in full for the year ($3,136). We also paid College Park Quarterly Meeting for the year ($64). That is a big relief. And our expenses are reduced. With the renovation of our Meeting House by Sierra Friends Center, we are paying less for the temporary storage container than we expected to pay renting the Meeting House.

In our General Fund, over the last six months, we spent $4,877 while we received $8,096 in contributions. All our other funds, our Restricted Funds, are unchanged.since December 31st

Thank you for your help. All gifts, both in service to the Meeting & financial are deeply appreciated.

Fosten Wilson


Grass Valley Friends Meeting

2021 Grass Valley Friends Meeting State of the Meeting Report  DRAFT

The year 2020-2021 will certainly go down as one of the most challenging years in recent memory, affecting us all in so many ways. Long-standing social habits and traditions were upended with the need to physically distance from each other in the face of a worldwide pandemic. Through the technology of Zoom we found we could indeed experience virtually some of the spiritual connection we so desperately needed. We met with each other in our homes, with our kids, our pets and partners. And it allowed new people living at a distance to join us regularly. Also, it has made finding workable times for committee meetings much easier.

New Committee Structure

We reduced the number of our committees to five: Spirit &amp; Witness (combining M&amp;O, Adult Education, and Peace &amp; Justice), Stewardship (Buildings & Grounds, Finance, Newsletter), Welcome (Hospitality, Fellowship, Outreach), Nominating, and Children’s Education. It’s brought energy to the Meeting, people enjoy the work, and it’s streamlined our Meeting for Business. At the listening session for this report, one person said, “I’ve attended this meeting for 20 years and this is the first State of the Meeting session I’ve attended where no one has said anything about there being too much work for too few people.”

Shrinking and Growing

Over the past several years, Meeting attendance has declined—in part because of the passing of elders and the loss of some of our most valued members who moved away. We’ve lost more than a third of our members since 2012 (from 48 to 28), and 12% (from 32 to 28) in the last year alone.

Unfortunately, discomfort or unfamiliarity with Zoom led some long-term members to dropped away—disinclined to attend virtually. However, during the time of our virtual meetings, attendance has remained fairly steady at 15 – 20 people. We continue to lose members as they age. We have very few young families. However, the ones we have are very faithful about coming to Meeting. We welcome new people in part by contacting them right after they visit.—sending them a personalized greeting and info about Quakerism by email and postal mail. We changed our website to make it more dynamic and aesthetically pleasing. Three new adults have started attending; two of them live far away. all the new people who joined us found us through the internet. One new attender who lives at a distance chose our meeting because she was looking for a meeting with a children’s program.

Our Sense of Community and Zoom

As are many other meetings at this time, we are exploring the possibility of a hybrid meeting when we are able to gather again in person. We have meeting attenders who do not live in the area, or who live at a distance, for whom zoom has been a way to attend our meeting. At the same time, some long-time members and attenders have not been here for the past year because of discomfort with the virtual meeting. We hope to find a way to continue on zoom and meeting in person.

While missing our worship in person, many find our current meetings for worship to be sustaining. The ministry comes from a deep well and nourishes our spiritual life. In addition, our ministry of music, every Sunday before meeting is greatly appreciated and each week attracts members of other meetings that join us just for singing.

Our meeting house, located at Sierra Friends Center, is being renovated as part of the general renewal of the Center after the fire last summer. We are welcome to return there when it is done, and there is conversation among us about the possibility of meeting in a different location during the renovation and perhaps after. At this time we are continuing to meet on zoom.

We endeavored to have two faithfulness groups and one provided a way for the participants to connect with each other on a deep, spiritual level. The other one got started but for some reason did not take hold leading us to conclude that it wasn’t the right time. Some members of our meeting are active in Interfaith Nevada County, and recently the co-clerks led a session on Clearness Committees that was well-received.


We have continued our antiracist book group, Waking Up to Race. Many people in our meeting have taken part in it, with a consistent core group of eight. Following the recommendations of PacYM, the group began with Robin DiAngelo’s White Fragility, followed by Resmaa Menakem’s My Grandmother’s Hands, and is now working through Ibram X. Kendi’s How to be an Antiracist. Each week the group responds in worship sharing to queries based on the reading. Recently we have begun using a discussion technique called barnraising, that is based on an article by a meeting member and that allows a robust and thoughtful exchange of views to further our exploration of the issues. Overall this has been a deeply sobering experience of self and community discovery about the grave inequities in our society, and the historical roots to those inequities in our body politic as well as in our Quaker religion. And our participation in those inequities.

As a community we are also examining our relations with the Nisenan, and discussing acknowledging their land which is currently occupied by Sierra Friends Center, and thus our meeting house as well as much of the area surrounding it. We continuing to labor with how to best to do this. 

Our meeting has also been involved in action to address systemic racism in our community—action that goes beyond individual work and work at the level of our meeting. We worked with the county Black, Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC) Council and other groups to sponsor and help organize a march against racism that made specific demands of local government. It drew hundreds of participants, and increased awareness in our tiny, rural community in one of the whitest counties in California.

Children’s Program

We have maintained a steady children’s program with a consistent group of teachers, each one (or two) taking a regular week of the month. The curriculum is diverse and the teachers have managed to adapt to Zoom with some difficulty but with determination to go forward. Unfortunately, many of the children (and parents) have not adapted to Zoom for Sundays after a week of Zoom with school and work during the week. We have made efforts to reach out including sending the bilingual children’s book Quaker Meeting and Me as well as cards to children in meeting. We have also made phone contacts with parents. Currently, however, we have two children and one parent who attend faithfully, with an increase of two or three on occasion. We hope to see a return of more families when we are able to meet with a hybrid meeting or in person.

Caring for People in Need

The requirement to meeting on zoom with the pandemic has also made it difficult to stay connected to some of our members who are housebound, or in retirement and assisted living facilities. We were no longer able to visit and hold meeting for worship with them and that has been a loss. Another loss came about when a meeting member and an attender were unable to continue living at Sierra Friends Center and did not feel supported by the meeting as they found other places to reside. This has been a painful experience not only for these two individuals but for others in the meeting and for the meeting community as a whole. Individual members reached out in various ways and that has helped on a personal level, but they remain distant from the meeting at this time.

In looking for ways we can more fully care for those in our meeting, we are considering instituting a buddy system where all of the members and attenders of the meeting community would be accounted for and each member of the Spirit and Witness Committee would have a certain number to stay in touch with. We are grateful to Orange Grove Meeting for the inspiration.


The pandemic probably had a greater effect on our Meeting than anything else. Our gatherings are now virtual (which has its pluses and minuses), but we continue to hold meeting for worship, First Day School, spiritual life (adult ed) sessions, and meeting for business. There have been many changes this year. Even so, our Meeting community has found ways to persevere, to support each other, and to stay connected.

Reports from 

    • Spirit and Witness committee
    • Stewardship Committee 
    • Welcome Committee
    • InterFaith March for Peace and Justice


Spirit and Witness Report

We are still in the process of discerning how to consolidate the Committee Representatives.  One thought is to have an introductory meeting at the beginning of the year letting the representatives know what is expected of them and how to contact or interface with the organization they will represent. We are also discussing combining some of the positions to fall under a Quaker Resources representative position.

WUTR has been asked if they feel moved to write a statement condemning and acknowledging our part in continuing racism as various other Meetings have done.  We also are talking about actions we can take.

Don is writing a draft State of the Meeting Report, with Gordon Starr and Anita editing the document. This will be brought to Meeting for Business in more or less its final form next month. We discussed holding the listening session earlier in the year (like January) to not have the time crunch we seem to have this year with the report.

Acknowledgment of Nisenan land and people. We propose to read this statement (see attachment) once a month at the end of Meeting as well as have it on our website and in the newsletter. If there are visitors or folks from other areas at Meeting, we will invite them to acknowledge the people and land at their location. Gordon S. is working on a sign to be placed at the beginning of Woolman Lane acknowledging the past presence of the Nisenan on the SFC campus.

Meeting Buddies. Dorothy brought the proposal of pastoral care for people in the Meeting.

Each member of S &W would have a set group of people to contact, engage with and nurture as

needed. There was a question of how to divide up the list, random or pick individuals. We will have further discussion on this.

We also started to discuss meeting in person with a hybrid type set-up.  Since at least 2 of our members are going to be attending a workshop on this later in the month, this was tabled until next month when we hope to have more information about the feasibility of this.

Stewardship Committee

Minutes from meeting on March 4, 2021

Present: Mary Starr, clerk, Gordon Starr, recorder, Pat Phillip, Doug Hamm, Dianne Marshall, Fosten Wilson

Job Description. The job description needs to include the former committees of Finance, Library, Building and Grounds and Newsletter. Part of the challenge is the Librarian, Newsletter and Treasurer positions are offices, not committees. Gordon will put together a first draft. Doug noted that the Nominating committee needs these job descriptions to clarify to folks who are considering joining the committee what responsibilities are involved.

Status of moving into the container. All library boxes, folding chairs, tables and some furniture have been loaded into the container. Still to load are benches, book cases, children’s area furniture and misc. racks and shelves. Gordon will try to set up a work crew to finish the move.

Finance. Fosten reported the reduced budget was working well; Dec. and Jan. were great, Feb. donations were near $600. No rent was paid Feb. or March. Fosten proposed the idea of “contributing” $100 rent to SFC.  Feelings were mixed but we will take it to M4B for approval. SFC has been reimbursed for the cost ($15) of the domain registry. This is the cost of maintaining our GVFM web site.

Meeting House status. Work on the Meeting House will start soon so we need to move quickly to remove the rest of our things. The Fire Department is insisting the secondary access be completed all the way out to Rt. 49 before they will sign off on ANY permits. This is a work in progress.

Next meeting : April 1, 2021

Action Items: Gordon will work on draft committee job description and organize  work/moving party for the Meeting House.

Welcome Committee

The Welcome Committee continues to ensure that is a Greeter/Opener for Meeting for Worship on Sunday.  This person welcomes everyone to Meeting, confirms the participants and teachers for the Children’s Program, opens the Children’s Program breakout room, and then settles everyone into worship.  We are also helping to facilitate after-Meeting fellowship.

We are also focused on increasing the visibility of Grass Valley Friends Meeting through various publicity and outreach activities.  We are in the local newspaper every month in the Religious section, we post regularly on Facebook and Instagram, and create Facebook events as needed. Lay Down Your Sword and Shield, the March Spiritual Life event, will be posted on Facebook and also will be sent to Western Friend.  

We have also had a goal to have a logo that reflects our commitment to inclusion and diversity.  Hayley Wilson has created a logo and we are working on refining it in order to bring it to Meeting for Business this month.  Thank you, Hailey! 

We have also been working to transfer Meeting files to the Grass Valley Friends Meeting google drive.  Amy will be reaching out the clerks of committees to make sure everyone has access and training.

Don and Amy are doing a refresh of the website

Respectfully submitted

Amy Cooke, clerk

Interfaith March for Peace and Justice

Sunday, April 11, 2021 2:00–4:00 pm

This event will take place as a Zoom webinar. 

The link will be sent to registrants in advance of the event.

We invite you on a journey of healing, peace, and unity among people of every faith, philosophy, and creed.

  • We are united in rejecting hatred and oppression in the name of religion and in supporting freedom of worship or belief.
  • We are united to stamp out bigotry and violence of every sort, and in support of the right to live peacefully.
  • We are united in affirming the role that the interfaith community must play in safeguarding the health and safety of all people.

We will march in solidarity with dozens of partner marches around the world. Let us join together to heal the nation and our world.

Featured Presenters:

  • Congressmember Karen Bass, 37th Congressional District of California
  • Dr. Arik Greenberg, Founder & President, Institute for Religious Tolerance, Peace and Justice
  • The Rev. Dr. Bradley S. Hauff, Missioner for Indigenous Ministries, The Episcopal Church
  • Rabbi Michael Lerner, Beyt Tikkun; Editor, Tikkun Magazine
  • Dr. Bob Roberts, Founder of GlocalNet; Co-Founder of Multi-Faith Neighbors Network
  • Suhag Shukla, Esq., Executive Director & Co-Founder, Hindu American Foundation
  • Shirin Taber, Founder & Director, Empower Women Media
  • Deputy Chief Emada Tingirides, Community Partnership Safety Bureau, Los Angeles Police Department

Special Performances by:

  • Mark Kopman
  • Sangam
  • Santana Sankofa

Special Appearances: 

  • Interfaith in Action Showcase
  • Faith Leaders Answer Our Questions

Coordinated and produced by the Institute for Religious Tolerance, Peace and Justice. Interfaith Solidarity March LA is a flagship partner of the Interfaith March for Peace & Justice, the world’s largest coalition of interfaith marches.

Register today!

Follow our event page on Facebook

Find out more at


(323) 454-0557

Reports from 02/14/2021

    • Spirit and Witness committee
    • Stewardship Committee 
    • Welcome Committee
    • Children’s Program


Spirit & Witness Report

We (Gordon B., Gordon S., Amy, Dorothy, Anita and Don McCormick and myself) met on February 7th, 2021. We finalized our closing session for the remainder of the year and checked in regarding the progress of the committee of support (it’s progressing).  Dorothy gave the WUTR report. The group has lost one member (due to other  commitments) but everyone else continues to meet regularly with vibrancy. We are still working on Ibram’s Kendii’s book, How to be an Anti-racist.

Gordon Starr gave an update of SFC. We will be continuing to work with the SFC administration and board within our committee and with the entire Meeting around how we will be able to use the Meeting House within the new changes occurring at SFC.

We finalized Spiritual Life programs for the coming months and they are as follows:

February—Children’s program Dorothy and the Children’s Education Committee

March—Nonviolent Communication- Amy

April– Bible Study- Dorothy

We also discussed the possibility of an online retreat. Amy and Don will be sending out a survey to ascertain how much interest there is in this.  One possible format would be, a Meeting for Worship on Friday evening followed by 1 or 2 sessions the following day (topics undecided as of now).

Dorothy and myself are in the process of reviewing the committee representative positions, deciding what the duties of the committee reps should be and whether or not it makes sense to keep all of the representative positions.  We will have a proposal by next month’s Spirit/Witness meeting and plan to bring this to the Business Meeting in March.

We did not have time to discuss how we honor the Nisenan and their land upon which SFC is located.

Gordon B. proposed placing a sign that would be prominently displayed as you enter campus, letting people know they are now on Nisenan land and  verbiage (yet to be decided) on the history of the village that once was here. This will be one of the first items on our agenda next month.

Stewardship Committee

Noted from meeting on February 4, 2021

The container for storing the Meeting’s library books and other possessions was delivered to Friends center and the delivery and first month’s rent were paid for. Fosten also reported that January’s donations as a result of the appeal letter were $2,300. 

In preparation for storing in the container, the library, the children’s books and other items were   boxed up and ready to be moved. This is to clear the Meeting House for upcoming renovations. There were questions about extending the new flooring into the Quaker closet. Should we offer to pay for the additional cost? Would tempered masonite work? What might be the future use of the children’s area? Gordon Said he would be meeting with Marty the following Friday and would discuss our questions.

Next meeting: March 4, 2021 at 3:00PM.

Welcome Committee Report

Our current ongoing activities on the Welcome Committee include greeting at the start of Meeting, managing the Zoom for Meeting, welcoming visitors, publishing the Meeting times in the Union each month, and managing the Meeting’s social media accounts (Facebook and Instagram).  

We are holding concerns for inclusion and diversity  in our meeting and we continue to seek ways to express our commitment to these values.  Hailey Wilson has developed a logo for the Meeting  that reflects greater diversity and we are in the process of refining that to bring to Meeting in the future.  We are also holding a desire to strengthen our spiritual community.  

Children’s Program Committee Report

The Children’s Program Committee continues to provide a First Day school program each Sunday, and participate in family worship on Fifth Sunday. We have very few children, usually two or three, but they are remarkably faithful so we have reached a somewhat steady program over the past year as was reported in our December report. Our teaching continues to be based on the same themes that were reported and the teachers expect to continue with the same in the coming year.

 In our January meeting we focused on how the program is going for the committee members and teachers. There were many descriptions of the gifts the children’s program provides: joy at  being able to be a kid, being able to connect with young people, and learning the things that the children are learning, such as the Bible stories.

There were also challenges expressed:  teaching on zoom; wishing to be better prepared; feeling a bit lost when the children do not seem to respond to the questions or what is being taught. 

A particular concern was raised about the teaching of Bible stories and whether it is important to acknowledge the truth of a given story in terms of Bible scholarship and if so how. The questions of integrity and truth were discussed as well as the value of storytelling. No clear agreement or decision was reached on these questions, but will continue to be considered as we go forward.    


The children’s area has been packed up in preparation for the renovation of the Meeting house. 

We offer a profound thank you to Susan Hopkins for her generosity and enthusiasm in sharing her library of children’s books and her wisdom of how to be with young people from her years of experience.

We are using the Google folder to enter our weekly program so that we now have a record of what is being taught.

We have been asked to send the titles of the books we use in First Day school so Dianne can put them in the newsletter and Dorothy will endeavor to see that gets done. 

Packing up the children’s area has been done.  It is unclear at this time if the boxes have been placed in the storage container.  Also it is unclear what we will be keeping as we will not have the same space when the Meeting house is renovated.

 Our relationship to the integrity testimony and the presenting of stories to the children that are not ‘true’. Comments are listed below:

         If one feels qualms about the truthfulness of a story (especially from the Bible), one could say this is a story from the bible that shows a lesson. It might not be true but we can learn from it.

         Stories are incredibly powerful, true or not.

         It could be confusing to the children if we preface the story by saying it is not true.

         Myths allow people to make sense of our world, frame our existence.

         We get what we need  from a story.  Being hung up on truth misses the point.

         Some feel awkward about claiming a story to be true when you know it is not.

         Teaching the Bible can include how the Bible came to be written and how certain stories teach us valuable lessons.

         Maybe this is the committee where we bring our concerns about integrity.

         Some would like to approached if other felt their teachings were lacking in integrity.



Treasurer’s Quarterly Report
summary  =  pretty good . . . (with downs & ups)
THANK YOU for your contributions.    The contributions received were light for October, worse in November.   Then the Stewardship Committee’s  Appeal Letter helped build a  wonderful December.
Wonderful because yes, substantial money was received.   But even better was the variety of people donating.   Twenty-four households contributed financially in December, a pleasant surprise.   Thanks go to Dianne & Mary for the appeal letter as well as to those who were able to respond.
 In our General Fund, in the last three months, we spent $959 for rent & newsletter costs while we received $3,583 in contributions.     This means that we may have enough money to pay half of our PYM Dues (which total $3,332) in January.   Our Sharing fund & our Placer County Worship Group fund have changed a bit in the first quarter.   The other Restricted Funds are unchanged.
Thank you for your help.   All gifts, both in service to the Meeting & financial are deeply appreciated.
Fosten Wilson
Grass Valley Friends Meeting
January 2021 Spirit and Witness Report
         In supporting our Meeting, we formed a committee of support for one of and members and continue to reach out to those in need or others we don’t see much on Zoom.
         Our Waking Up To Race is going strong.  We have changed the format somewhat and now in addition to worship sharing, we are experimenting with engaging in discussion using a technique known as barn raising (thanks to Don Mc.).  We are continuing to read How to Be an Anti-Racist.
         Our committee description is complete and enclosed. Apparently other Meetings are interested in how we consolidated our committees. Gordon Bishop, who was involved in this from start to finish, will write up this process for a possible article in Western Friend.
         We are aware that our Meeting House will be impacted in SFC’s renovation plans. Within our Meeting this is primarily being addressed in the Stewardship Committee, but we are being kept informed as it progresses.
         We also continue to discern on how best to acknowledge the Nisenan and their land upon where we worship.
         We are also continuing to discern the responsibilities of and need for the GVFM various representatives to other organizations.
         Spiritual Life programs are as follows:
                           January 24th-Faithfulness Groups-Don
                           February 28th-Children’s Program-Dorothy
                           March 28th – Possible bible study-Dorothy
                           April 25th-? Easter program???
Finally we propose the 3rd Sunday in February, (February 21st) as a listening session in preparation for the State of the Meeting report.
Stewardship Committee
Minutes from meeting on January 7, 2021
Present: Mary Starr, clerk, Gordon Starr, recorder, Dianne Marshall, Reed Hamilton
                Fosten Wilson, Hailey (?)
SFC Meeting House status. Extensive interior remodeling will begin fairly soon and have a major effect on Meeting’s library, furniture, closet materials and kitchen supplies.
We think it best to move out of the building during construction. Question is when, where to and what to move. Dianne has made a packing list for packing up the library. The closet and kitchen are easier. The benches present a problem: “Methodist” benches are ours. Others are big, heavy and ownership unclear, they may not have to be moved.
Storage possibilities: Storage container. Reed will research cost and availability. Use the Fern House? Doug will research.
 Ideas for work teams: two person (couple) for each area, masked and physically distanced.
   This might work best on multiple days.
The idea of moving Meeting into town was discussed. When the Meeting House is finished it may be rented to other groups more often. Option ideas include Jewish Community Center, and either Banner or South Auburn Grange. This needs to be brought to Meeting for Business. Marty has expressed the strong hope that we stay. She says SFC is a Quaker institution and having Meeting there provides a needed Quaker presence.
Finance report. Fosten reported that after a very sparse November, donations for December were wonderful! Over $2,000 came in with an increased use of the donate button on the Meeting web site.
Dianne has written and printed the annual Appeal Letter and had questions about the three different lists of names and which one to use to send out the letter. There is the Google email group with 155 contacts, the Newsletter email list, and the directory list with 35 names. Gordon will contact Amy for clarity.
Check signers. Currently, the approved check signers are Fosten, Chamba and Don Kewman. Clearly we need to find other people. We will ask Meeting for Business to approve co-clerks Don and Anita, Stewardship clerk Mary, as well as Fosten to be the current approved check signers.
Dianne will give the committee report at meeting for Business.
Next Meeting: February 4, 2021
Action Items:
Reed will research container costs and availability
Doug will check with Marty on the status of Fern House for Meeting storage.
Gordon will clarify the use of various email lists.
Dianne will give the committee report at Meeting for Business.
Last minute addendum: Reed has reported he found a container company who would deliver and pick up a container for $178. and $60 a month rent. We will need approval from Meeting for Business for these funds.
Doug contacted Marty about using the Fern House for storage and she said that wouldn’t work because they had plans to rent it when Covid restrictions were lifted. She said while there was not a start date for the renovations yet, the first thing to do would be to empty the Meeting House.

Welcome Committee

Grass Valley Friends Meeting
January 2021
The Welcome Committee continues to ensure that is a Greeter/Opener for Meeting for Worship on Sunday.  This person welcomes everyone to Meeting, confirms the participants and teachers for the Children’s Program, opens the Children’s Program breakout room, and then settles everyone into worship.  We are also helping to facilitate after-Meeting fellowship.
We are also focused on increasing the visibility of Grass Valley Friends Meeting through various publicity and outreach activities.  We are in the local newspaper every month in the Religious section, we post regularly on Facebook, and create Facebook events as needed.  Birthing the Christ Within, the December Spiritual Life event, was posted on Facebook and also was sent to Western Friend.  Don McCormick will be doing a presentation on Clearness Committees to the Interfaith community this month, and we will also report that on Facebook and in the newsletter.
We have discussed reviewing our songbook for inclusion.  Amy will be reaching out to Woolman camp staff for their revisions of Quaker songs to reflect more gender and racial inclusivity.
We have also had a goal to have a logo that reflects our commitment to inclusion and diversity.  Hayley Wilson has created a logo and we are working on refining it in order to bring it to Meeting for Business in February.
We have also been working to transfer Meeting files to the Grass Valley Friends Meeting google drive.  Amy will be reaching out the clerks of committees to make sure everyone has access.
Respectfully submitted,
Amy Cooke, clerk


  • Spirit and Witness committee
  • Stewardship Committee 
  • Welcome Committee
  • Children’s Program
  • Ted Smith: Memorial Minute


Spirit and Witness report for December 2020

We have decided on a date for the Memorial Meeting for Ted Smith.  It will occur over Zoom on January 23rd at 2 pm.  Shera would like to have a slide show about his life during the Meeting but lacks the skills to do this.  If you know anyone that can help her, please let her know.

We discussed started each Meeting for Worship with acknowledgment to the indigenous people who occupied this land before us.  We did not come to a consensus.  Questions were raised such as is this just a perfunctory statement? Is it empty or non helpful to those who were here before us?  Do we really feel the need to this?  We are continuing to examine and discern regarding this issue.

Waking up to Race is starting a new book,  How to be an Anti-racist by Ibram Kendi.  The group is very committed to working together.

Sierra Friends Center plans to upgrade the Meeting House so it can be rented to other groups more easily.  This involves putting in a new floor, taking down the barrier to the children’s corner, putting up a barrier around the kitchen and perhaps moving the library and removing the benches.  This brought up many questions: Is it time to move to a new building closer to town? Should we survey people on options? Should we have a called Meeting?  This issue will be brought to Business Meeting.

Friends in Need: We continue to reach out to those we don’t see on Zoom and meet their needs if possible.  Sylvia Osman, in particular, cannot operate the Zoom platform.  We are asking that folks send her cards, letters, make phone calls and perhaps visit if you are healthy and able.

The job description of our committee is not quite completed but should be by next month.

Friends in other Meetings and other groups are interested in attending our Spiritual Life programs.  It was decided that it would be up to the presenter to decide if they wanted other Meetings to attend. Upcoming programs:

  • December-Gordon Starr- Birthing the Christ Within (Open)
  • January-Don McCormick-Report on how the faithfulness groups went (GVFM only)
  • February- the Children’s Program

Stewardship Committee Report

Notes from meeting on Dec. 3, 2020

Present: Mary Starr, clerk, Gordon Starr, Dianne Marshall, Fosten Wilson,

                Reed Hamilton, Doug Hamm.

Library. Dianne reported that Pendle Hill pamphlet subscriptions dates start when opened. She noted there were 12 Pendle Hill pamphlets check out but not returned, likely due to Covid isolation. She will email these folks to remind them to please keep track of them.

Lynne Henderson Memorial. Questions on how to report it in the newsletter: in the past tense.

Ted Smith’s obituary.  Does Dianne put in in the newsletter? (It is 4 pages long.)Don’t print the whole thing, but offer a link to it.

Appeal Letter. Diane has agreed to write, print and send out the appeal letter. She needs the address file and wondered about sending to people joining us on Zoom. Yes, contact Amy for their addresses. There were questions about including a return envelope.  Possibly include one with a thank you note for donations received.

Treasurer’s Report. Sadly, November’s donations ($280 total) were the lowest he could recall. The previous low was last May at $300. Only four people are using the web site to donate. Promote this in Meeting.

Building and Grounds. There are some major changes to the Meeting House on the horizon. The SFC board has decided to spend the first increment of insurance money to upgrade existing building. Plans at this point are to replace the carpet with wood flooring, remove wall separating the children’s area, install a similar wall by the kitchen, some changes to the bathroom to comply with ADA. Also considered is an entry “mud room” at the entrance. A concern is what to do with the benches. They are bulky and interfere with other uses of the space.  And there are questions about the library. We will likely need to remove it during construction. This is several months away.

There was concern expressed for Amy leaving while being responsible for important positions.

Gordon Starr

Welcome Committee Report

The Welcome Committee continues to ensure that there are greeters at the beginning of Meeting, that all visitors are welcomed and receive follow-up emails and calls, and that the fellowship time after Meeting provides opportunities for personal connection.  We have also worked to ensure that the Meeting has a presence in our local newspaper and on social media.  

We discussed the possibilities of inviting people to our Spiritual Life events, both from our local community and from the wider Quaker world through Western Friend, Facebook, and email invitations.  We will ask each facilitator for permission prior to making these events public.

We are holding some concern about making sure that our Meeting embodies inclusion through our Facebook page, our logo, and our songbook.  Where can we help smooth the way to greater inclusion and diversity? In this spirit, Hayley Wilson is helping us to work on a new logo, and after consideration we will bring a draft to Meeting for approval.  

Finally, inspired by the memory of Harry Bailey, we would like to start to announce the month’s birthdays in announcements on the first Sunday of the month.  We want to celebrate the presence of each of us in our beloved community.  

Please let any of us know if you have ideas for how we can provide a welcoming presence to others in our community and beyond.

Amy Cooke, clerk

Don McCormick, Anita McCormick, Kathy McCreery 

Children’s Program Committee

The Children’s Committee met in early November and we expect to be back on our bimonthly schedule now. We have reached stability with our teachers and the children that most likely attend. The children are Hailey, Grace and Lily, except on Third Sunday when Oriah and Amari also join. On occasion, Gretchen and Camden also join us, and we have had sightings of Kirk and Emma. And Grace and Luke showed up for last Family worship. 

We have begun to have some stability in other ways as well. Our curriculum now has some predictable elements.

First Sunday, Doug and Dorothy offer a story from the Bible, with an accompanying song and some way of bringing the story alive. This can involve a craft project (building an origami Noah’s ark) or reading a separate story with actions involved (creating a Forgiveness Garden when reading about Abraham’s two sons, Ishmael  and Isaac, and a children’s book about the Forgiveness Garden in Lebanon). Songs have included  “Jacob’s Ladder”, “Little Moses” by the Carter family, and “Jerusalem” by Steve Earle.

Second Sunday, Karen most often has a bit of conversation and connection with the children, followed by a game or activity and a story. Recently, the story was “Of Thee I Sing”, a book Barack Obama wrote for his daughters that was about American’s who made a difference. One of the people in the story was Quaker Jane Addams, and Karen did research and brought Jane Addams to life in our next Family worship, which always takes place on Fifth Sundays and has 20 minutes of storytelling, 20 minutes of singing and 20 minutes of worship. The children are present with their parents for the entire hour. Karen is our faithful storyteller for those Sundays, and Gordon and Mary Starr lead the singing.

Third Sunday, Gordon Bishop, with Amari and Oriah, bring a focus on the inner light and worship. The children have been experimenting with being in worship and have had increasing minutes of that experience each third Sunday. In addition, Gordon provides stories and discussions about what is happening in their lives and sometimes a game as well. Whatever the offering, third Sunday lessons are grounded  in the inner presence.

Fourth Sunday is the time for Donald the Bear (Don)  and Benjy the polar bear (Anita), who engage the children and offer teachings that bring  testimonies to light. DTB and Benjy use  discussion and stories (such as Peaceful Pig Meditates, and When Sophie Gets Angry–Really, Really Angry) to talk about anger one week, kindness another. The stuffies have become a favorite among some of the children who now bring their own to First Day school on occasion. 

In addition to the individual efforts of the teachers, we are making some effort to tie our weekly lessons together, as when the Forgiveness lesson on 1st Sunday followed the Anger lesson on 4th Sunday the month before. We hope to continue making those connections.

Finally, we now have a Children’s Program Committee Folder in Google docs, with (very) brief descriptions of our weekly lesson plans and we plan to continue and expand that effort. 

Although we have a very small student body, we are blessed with a very stable and generally enthusiastic student body.  And for now, we also are blessed with very stable and generally enthusiastic teacher bodies. 

Respectfully submitted,

Dorothy Henderson, clerk

E.H. “Ted” Smith

June 5, 1934 – November 18, 2020

Edward Harlan Smith was born June 5, 1934, in Long Beach, the middle child of Irene Bettina Smith and Harlan Yager Smith, and died Nov. 18, 2020, in Grass Valley, California.

Ted grew up with sisters Betty and Carolyn in Southern California; Berkeley/Oakland; Dayton/Yellow Springs, Ohio; and Minneapolis. Their father, Harlan, was an engineer, a colonel in the Army Air Corps during WWII, and a Shell Oil divisional manager whose work and military service entailed frequent moves. His sensitive and loving mother, Irene, made each new place feel like home for the family.

Ted studied at St. Olaf College and graduated from the University of Minnesota with an engineering degree. He married college sweetheart Sonya Albrightson in 1957, becoming a father to Sarah Elizabeth in September 1958 after the young couple relocated to Oakland for his job at Shell Oil.

Ted’s daughter likes to say with a smile that he went off to the 1960s and never really came back! The civil rights and social movements that were in full swing in the Bay Area had a profound impact on the trajectory of his life. The era’s values aligned with Ted’s interest in non-violence and social equity, and his lifelong search for God.

In 1968, the year of his divorce, he earned a master’s degree from Cal in sociology and went to work for five years with inner-city youth at the YMCA in Oakland, where he eventually became director. Articles in the Oakland Tribune show him leading new programs that introduced boys to camping, judo, fencing, and yoga, as well as working with high school students at the Model Legislature in Sacramento.

In the 1970s, he was briefly married to Molly Steele. He worked as an instructor at Laney College and Dominican College, and as a counselor at group homes for teens facing challenges. He also worked as a professional fundraiser for the Berkeley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, led by his close friend, the iconic activist (and Ken Kesey-Merry Prankster associate) the Rev. Paul Sawyer.

During this era, Sarah had many adventures (“anthropological experiences,” her mother would say) with her father, such as a memorable trip to Disneyland with 40 Oakland YMCA kids playing cards for 15 hours on the bus; an off-road exploration in the Sierras featuring an unscheduled hike back to the highway after Ted’s 1964 Jaguar sedan became high-centered on a manzanita bush; a ski trip to Heavenly Valley that landed them in the South Tahoe emergency room with frostbite after the chairlift malfunctioned at 4 p.m. and stranded them for three hours high above the snow in the dark; interesting visits to his mother’s Berkeley best friend, Margo Wonder, with whom Ted lived for several years, and her year-round-blooming camellia garden; and most of all, happy vacations with his sister Betty Murphy’s large, vibrant family in Fullerton.

(His daughter was not invited along, however, when Ted and his friend Gary Ireland hopped trains up and down the West Coast, filming a quintessential 1970s male-bonding odyssey.)

When Ted moved to the Sierra foothills in the late 1970s, he had the good fortune to join the communal Grass Valley household of retired Methodist minister and Quaker activist George Burcham on La Barr Meadows Road. Ted adopted the social causes George had long championed and joined progressive groups George had founded in the area (while also learning a lot about gardening).

After assisting George with the chapter newsletter, Ted became active in the United Nations Association in 1985. He served as Golden Empire Chapter president for 20 years and was selected as U.N. Northern California division president in 1999. He became a fundraiser for John Woolman School and a volunteer for KVMR. He earned a certification in conflict resolution, provided elder care and operated a gardening business.

A Mayflower descendent and son of a genealogist, Ted came by his interest in history naturally (he recalled seeing Orville Wright “in his big coat” watching him and the other children play in the schoolyard across from Wright’s home in Dayton, Ohio), but he was equally interested in new ideas and spiritual growth. In Grass Valley, he had longstanding commitments to everything from a Robert Bly-inflected men’s drum circle to the Course in Miracles study group he hosted for 35 years.

His other signal quality was his ability to connect with family and friends, from Country Joe’s father, “Mac” McDonald, in his Bay Area days, to his beloved late nephew Peter Murphy and all Peter’s siblings, to his circle of Grass Valley cross-country skiing and hiking friends, to those from the Grass Valley Friends Meeting and Sierra Center for Spiritual Living.

After becoming blind in 2012 due to corporeal arteritis, a type of vasculitis, Ted was deeply grateful to the many faithful friends who supported him with companionship and meals, enabling him to remain in his home until 2019. Shera Banbury (who sang with him and accompanied him to his array of activities), Catie Edwards (who brought dinner every Saturday night), Steve Frazier (who helped with tech issues when Ted became blind), Joe Spang (who shared a weekly Course in Miracles reading right up until Ted’s final days), Nancy Buey (his personal assistant who handled health and schedule matters), and so many others.

Ted was also thankful for the love from his sisters, Betty and Carolyn, his daughter, Sarah, and his nephew John Murphy, who gracefully shouldered responsibilities for his finances and medical needs. He is survived by his daughter, Sarah Smith, of Corvallis, Oregon; and his sisters Betty Murphy, of Fullerton; and Carolyn (John) Sanders of Carmel; as well as numerous nieces and nephews and their families.

“Thou art in me and I in thee, Lord.”

Remembrances in Ted’s memory may be made to Quaker Friends.

11/08/2020 (Scroll down for previous months in 2020.  Reports from 2019 and earlier can be accessed with a request submitted on the contact form.)


  • Spirit and Witness committee
  • Welcome Committee
  • Stewardship Committee 
  • Children’s Program



Spirit and Witness report for November 2020


  • We discussed (at length) the GVFM t-shirt. Don has had experience in making/designing t-shirts. He will be obtaining a printer for this. To reduce the landfill and glut of unused t-shirts, we are encouraged to bring him a t-shirt. He will have several designs to choose from.
  • The Memorial Meeting for Bob Barns is on hold until we hear from the family as to when and what they want.
  • Meeting in person was discussed and it decided that is is not possible or advisable to do this currently. We will revisit this in a few months. There will not be a threshing session next week about this.
  • We continue to offer support to friends that are having difficulties.
  • Spiritual Life programs are planned through February. Coming up on November 22nd will be Eldering with Dorothy and Gordon Bishop. On December 27th, Gordon Starr will present Birthing the Christ Within.
  • We called a Meeting for Worship on election day and at one point during the 3 hour drop in, we had 12-13 people attending.
  • The clerks’ Meeting was held last week and the new committee structure seems to be working well. There is a lot of energy and excitement with in the committees.
  • We are still in the process of writing our committee’s job description.
  • The Waking up to Race book group presented a request on approaching the BIPOC coalition of Nevada County, asking if there was anyway or need for us to assist them with their program, Chamba was given the okay to send an email to them, “signing” it with the names of the WUTR group. The group has almost finished My Grandmother’s Hands by Resma Menakem and are in the process of deciding where to go next.
  • Next month we may take up the restructuring of the reps to outside organizations.


Stewardship Committee Report

Minutes from meeting on November 5, 2020

Present: Mary Starr, clerk, Gordon Starr, Dianne Marshall, Reed Hamilton

Regrets: Fosten Wilson, Pat Phillips

We began with worship.

Library.  Dianne reported she had visited the library recently and found poster sized pictures of Afghanistan stored there. Gordon will check with Marty about them. She also was concerned that no new Pendle Hill pamphlets had arrived as far as she knew. Lost mail? Misplace? Dropped subscription? A later check with Fosten revealed he had not sent a check for the subscription until late in September but thought they would send any missing pamphlets.

Finance Mary reported Fosten had told her October donations were down from preceding months to $422. October is historically a slow month. Currently we need average $762/month to keep to the budget.

Appeal Letter The annual appeal letter is usually sent out the first week in December. Dianne offered to write a first draft and send it to the committee for editing. Gordon will send her some past letters as examples.

Next meeting On Zoom, December 3, 2020 at 3:00PM


Welcome Committee Report

November 2020


The Welcome Committee is coordinating the greeters for the beginning of Meeting as well as a coordinator every Sunday for the Fellowship time after meeting.  We are following up with newcomers and visitors via phone calls, emails, and an electronic or mailed packet.  We have standardized the communications we give for consistency.  


Don has redone the poster on the Meetinghouse door with our email address – – so that people visiting Sierra Friends Center can get the Zoom link.


We are working on publicity and outreach as well.  Kathy is ensuring that notice of Grass Valley Friends Meeting comes out in The Union each month, and Amy is posting regularly on our Facebook page.  If you are a Facebook user, please go “like” the page!  You can also sign up for our Facebook group.  Don is working on a tshirt design and will begin printing on tshirts that we send him. 

Finally, Hailey has created a design for a new logo and will bring a digital version to our December meeting for review.

Amy Cooke, clerk 


Children’s Program Committee

Report to Monthly Meeting for Business

November 2020


The Children’s Program Committee has not met for several months due mainly to the lack of availability of the clerk of the committee. We are planning to meet the Tuesday following this Business Meeting so we will hopefully have a fuller report for next month.


Despite the lack of a committee meeting, the Children’s Program has continued steadily, with consistent teachers each First Day. The children population has varied, but always with Hailey and most often with Grace. At times we have had several of our other children join us. It is always rewarding and we look forward to continuing.


Respectfully submitted,


Dorothy Henderson, clerk


  • Welcome Committee
  • Spirit and Witness committee
  • Stewardship Committee 
  • Treasurer’s Report


Welcome Committee Report

Grass Valley Friends Meeting

October 2020

Greeting and Visitors:  Our committee has appointed one person each month to greet visitors.  Our plan has been to invite all visitors to a break-out room on Zoom to give a brief orientation to Quaker worship.  Don is creating a one-page guide for the Greeter to use for this purpose.  We will then be following through with a mailed package of materials and invitations to connect.   We will ensure that they get on the Email Tree and Newsletter lists as well.  Now, we just need visitors!  

Fellowship:  One member of our committee is also staying for a half-hour after Meeting to host the Fellowship time.  We will be asking connecting questions to keep the ball rolling.  In addition, we would like to start announcing birthdays in the announcements after Meeting.  

Memorials and Special Events:  We will be coordinating the Zoom and the logistics for Bob Barns’ memorial when that has been scheduled.  

Publicity:  We are working on increasing our visibility in The Union, with a section appearing in the Religious Briefs on a regular basis.  We are posting regularly on Facebook as well.  We are also seeking a new image for our Facebook banner.  

Spirit and Witness report for October 2020

The memorial meeting for Bob Barns is on hold until we talk with his daughter about what she wants to do (virtual vs waiting post Covid for in person meeting). We will be working closely with the Welcoming Committee on this.

We discussed resuming meeting in person.  Some possible ideas are to have a hybrid meeting (both in person and virtual) and or continue the virtual meetings on Sunday but have an in person Meeting some time during the week.

With sadness we approved the transfer of membership for Don and Sandy Kewman.  This now goes to Meeting for Business.  The process seems very cumbersome and Don McCormick is going to bring this to PacYM for possible change.

We are still working on our committee description.

Don brought up the idea of GVFM t-shirts and will work on a design.

The presentation on Faithfulness groups was well received and Amy will be putting those groups together.

The next spiritual life programs are as follows:

October 25th- Death, Dying and Grief with Amy and Gordon B.

November 22nd  Faithfulness groups check-in, Don will facilitate

December 27th Birthing the Christ Within- Gordon S.

We happily co-sponsored the recent March in Nevada City to promote racial justice.  The Waking Up to Race group would like to support the BIPOC coalition in their work.

Grass Valley Friends Meeting

Treasurer’s Report for all of fy 2019 – 2020


summary = Good, first six months; financial problems thru spring; then much better July thru Sept.

Please remember that our Meeting has a Sharing Fund to help with money problems.  Contact one of our Co-Clerks or any other member of our Spirit & Witness committee for more information.

April, May, & June were scary, financially.  Then for July thru September, contributions to Meeting were just wonderful.  My thanks go to all of you.  We have paid our rent in full. Also our Pacific Yearly Meeting (PYM) dues were paid.   And our outbound donations have been paid.  THANK YOU all for your contributions. 

Financially, it was like the tide came in this summer.   Many people gave extra money.  And three large donations were received.  Altogether we ended the fiscal year with $300 more in the bank than we had on October first of last year.  Whew, a sigh of gratitude.

There are several people missing from our Zoom Meetings for Worship.   Some people have less money to share with Meeting.   Altogether, since Covid-19 arrived our income is unstable.  I support the large reductions in the budget for our next fiscal year.   The Stewardship Committee is meeting each month and watching the balance between our spending & income.

All contributions to Grass Valley Friends Meeting — whether money, service, or prayer – are deeply appreciated.

Thank you, fosten

Stewardship Committee Report

From meeting on October 1, 2020

The treasurer reported Meeting ended the fiscal year with a surge of donations that enabled us to pay all of our annual outbound contributions and our PYM dues. If donations continue at this rate we may be able to pay our full rent, but that remains to be seen. However, overall, we did not meet our budget for the 2019-2020 fiscal year and the committee recommends that we continue with the 2020-2021 budget as approved.

Building and grounds: At the time of our meeting potable water on campus was still being tested and had not been approved for drinking. Until there is clear approval it is best not to drink the tap water. Other uses are fine. If you need to go on campus, please let Marty know.

There is no library report.

9/13/2020 (Scroll down for previous months in 2020.  Reports from 2019 and earlier can be accessed with a request submitted on the contact form.)


  • Woolman Invitation to Gather to Grieve: Jones Fire
  • Stewardship Committee Report
  • Spirit and Witness Committee Report
  • Faithfulness Groups:  Spiritual Life 9/27/20


 Gather to Grieve: Jones Fire

Woolman at Sierra Friends Center, 13075 Woolman Lane, Nevada City, CA 95959

Sunday Morning, September 20th, 2020, 0am-12pm


Please join us at Woolman at Sierra Friends Center to grieve together the loss of our homes and damage to the land related to the Jones Fire and express gratitude. This 2-hour event will be held on the soccer field on the Woolman campus.

  • Nisenan songs
  • Silence and space for grieving
  • Gratitude to community leaders and fire fighters
  • News of how Woolman will rebuild
  • Refreshments with a chance to socialize in a Covid-safe way
  • Guided tours of campus fire impacts

RSVP Required:  There is a 60-person limit. You must RSVP to reserve a space by  Sept. 17 to You will be given a number and when we hit 60 no more RSVPs will be accepted. There will be future opportunities to come to Woolman.

COVID Safety:  When you arrive, you’ll register on site with contact info, have your temperature recorded, and verify you have been Covid symptom- free for the last 2 weeks. Also, you must wear a mask and maintain social distancing.

Please Bring… A chair or blanket, sun protection, water, proper footwear, and anything else that will contribute to your comfort during this event.

Blessings for the Land:  Letters, poems, and other Blessings for the Land will be gathered and buried at a Nisenan village site at our spring which is in the burn area. Please bring them with you if you would like to participate.  If you can’t attend you can send your Blessings to by Sept. 17 to be included in the burial.

Can’t Attend but Want to Help?  If you want to volunteer for clean-up and recovery, we are setting up

Work Weekends. If you are interested, send an email to and we will share the details. You may also donate for our Woolman Rises Again! campaign at


Stewardship Committee

Report from meeting on Sept. 3, 2020

Present: Mary Starr clerk. Gordon Starr, Pat Phillips, Reed Hamilton

Regrets: Diane Marshall, Doug Hamm, Fosten Wilson

Building and Grounds. We heard a report on the fire conditions at SFC. About a third of the property was burned over with 15 structures lost including Madrone Hall, Cedar House, the cow barn, all but two of the West side cabins and bath house and garden structures. The board is meeting weekly with many decisions to consider. The Center has very good fire insurance that will significantly improve their financial condition. The campus will be very different with much more open space. A discussion was started on what role the committee and Meeting might play in the rebuilding. A Grieving ceremony is planned for September 20.

Finance .  Fosten sent a report. GVFM received $587in donations in August. The September rent has been paid ($525). The only expected bill to pay in September is printing paper copies of the Newsletter. Depending on September contributions we may have $2,000 +/- to pay our outbound donations ($1,500) and the unpaid $1,000 that we still owe PYM. The committee affirmed  that the much reduced proposed budget is still important and necessary.

   There was a question raised about Meeting’s liability insurance which is carried by Church Mutual, the same company that insures Woolman. Will the fire have any effect on it?

Next meeting.  We agreed to meet regularly on the first Thursday of the month. Our next meeting will be  October 1, 2020 at 3:30.

September Spirit and Witness Report

We continue to offer prayers to those affected by the Jones Fires. Gordon S. gave us a report on the status of Sierra Friends Center, the damage done, the repairs needed and what the future might be. We learned that the SFC Board is in need of board members and ask those in the GVFM community to see if they feel a calling to serve.

Dave Barnett’s Memorial was finalized. We will be checking in with the family of Bob Barns to see if they want to wait until Covid restrictions are lifted before having an in person service or have the Memorial over Zoom in the near future.

Don McCormick will be leading a program on Faithfulness groups on September 27th after rise of Meeting. Other possible Spiritual Life programs include: the Children’s program and a presentation on Eldering.

We are in the process of contacting those Friends that we have not seen in awhile, to reach out, asking how they are doing and if they are needing anything. There seems to be a lot of energy around racial justice in Meeting, especially in the Waking Up To Race book group. We offer support to this group in helping them discern what actions or campaigns they want to undertake.

Faithfulness Groups  Spiritual Life Session, September 27, 2020

What are Faithfulness Groups?  

People in Faithfulness Groups accompany each other on their respective spiritual journeys–supporting each other’s efforts to discern divine guidance and to be faithful.

  • The people in Faithfulness Groups are attempting to be faithful in service, witness, daily life, following a leading, or carrying out a ministry, and the purpose of the groups is to help them to pay attention to God’s presence and activity as they do this work.
  • During a typical session, people take turns having the focus of the group. Each focus person presents something about their experience in their efforts to be receptive to the Spirit and faithfully respond to its leadings.
  • The role of the group is to prayerfully listen and, as moved by the Spirit, to ask questions after each presentation that can help presenters explore more deeply their relationship to, awareness of, and response to God/Spirit in carrying out service, ministry, or witness.

What Will Happen in the Spiritual Life Session?

In the Spiritual Life (Adult Education) session on Sunday September 20th, we will start with a short introduction to Faithfulness Groups and then we will break into groups of three so everyone can experience a short version of one. 

Each person will have the focus of the group for 14 minutes.

First, the focus person briefly describes a call or leading they may be experiencing, or

tells about an area in their life in which they are seeking to be faithful. The others

listen attentively—openly and in silence.

Next, the others in the trio ask brief evoking questions to help the focus person

explore their deeper knowing. The focus person remains silent.

Then focus person answers one of the questions.

Finally, the group takes time to hold the focus person in the light. This may be entirely silent, or it may include verbal prayer, or words of encouragement and loving support. 

Then, someone else becomes the focus of the group.

The role of the listeners is to provide a safe, nonjudgmental, supportive presence in which no interpretations or stories are offered—ust simple, open, evoking questions.

The invitation to the focus person is to speak openly and honestly, from the heart, staying

focused on the issue of their relationship to the Spirit/God and their desire to be attentive and faithful. Avoid giving unnecessary details or telling long stories. Speak about your inner impressions, the longings of your heart, the intuitions or guidance you have received, and the way that your outer experience relates to these aspects of your inner life, giving a specific example, if possible. During the time when questions are being offered, receive them silently, as gifts.

After each person gets a chance to be the focus person in their trio, we will return to the larger group to share our experiences.

Discernment Trios

We should note that Faithfulness Groups typically are made up of six people, meet once a month, take two hours and only two people are the focus persons. Technically, the shorter, smaller version of this that we are doing in this session is a parallel model called Discernment Trios. It is also what we are proposing for the ongoing groups.


Reports from Meeting for Business  8/9/2020  


  • Treasurer’s Report
  • Welcome Committee
  • Stewardship Report
  • Spirit and Witness
  • Lease with Sierra Friends Center
  • Children’s Program Committee Report
  • Memorial Minute Dave Barnett
  • Memorial Minute Bob Barns
  • 2020-21 GVFM Budget
  • Western Friend Article on Woolman from Marty Coleman-Hunt



Grass Valley Friends Meeting

Treasurer’s Report      8-8-2020

summary = Gak! – then better in July.

Our community & the world seem to be embedded in a medical & financial avalanche. We are moving downward without knowing either the distance nor the duration of this decline.

Things may be financially hurting you. Please remember that our Meeting has a Sharing Fund to help with money problems. Contact one of our Co-Clerks or any other member of our Spirit & Witness committee for more information.

April, May, & June were scary, financially. Then July contributions to Meeting were just wonderful and my thanks go to all of you. We have <1> stayed current paying our rent (barely). We have <2> paid over 75% of our Pacific Yearly Meeting (PYM) dues this year, but it looks unlikely that we will be able to pay the $1,000 balance still owed to PYM. None of our <3> outbound donations have been paid yet, for this year, but that may still change. It depends on our income. THANK YOU all for your contributions.

If possible, we need to find the money to pay our budgeted donations to support the work of others, such as A.F.S.C. & F.C.L. as well as P.Y.M. I continue to request additional contributions if you reasonably can. Contributions are either by mail to my address below or online by using the “give” button at “”.

Fosten Wilson, Treasurer

15719 American Hill Rd

Nevada City, Calif. 95959

I support the large reductions in the proposed budget for our next fiscal year. Some people have less money to share with Meeting. Others find silent worship via Zoom unattractive or not functional where they live. Altogether, since Covid-19 arrived our income is down and we need to reduce spending likewise.

All contributions to Grass Valley Friends Meeting — whether money, service, or prayer – are deeply appreciated.

Thank you, fosten

Grass Valley Friends Meeting

Children’s Program Committee Report

August Meeting for Business, 2020


The Children’s Program Committee has offered First Day School each Sunday since our last report and the curriculum has remained steady for the past two months.We continued to have just Hailey and Grace as our regular attenders until a few weeks ago, when Lily started coming all the way from Palm Springs! Crystal, her mother and Lily have become regular attenders and have added much to our First Day School and Meeting.

Dorothy attempted to contact all of the families but only spoke to a few. Again they are facing returning to school with children still at home. 

The major change from our report two months ago is the likelihood that we are losing one of our regular and very steadfast teachers, Chamba. He has let us know that he wants to step down from the committee; he has been a regular teacher for at least two years. Our committee will be meeting this coming week to process this with Chamba and to look at our options if he does decide to move on.

On a positive note, our committee is making contact with some other Children’s Progams and with resources for parents in a variety of ways. We are also being seen as a resource because we have been offering First Day classes with zoom since the beginning of the pandemic restrictions. We hope to increase these connections as we move into the fall with zoom still our primary mode for offering our program.


Respectfully submitted,

Dorothy Henderson, clerk

Stewardship Committee Report

August 9,2020

The Stewardship Committee has met twice, July 9 and August 6 and the Finance subcommittee met once on July 27.

There was a concern raised about the use of the library during our absence. It was agreed we would put up caution tape indicating the library was closed.

We discussed the inclusion of the newsletter as a part of our committee and wondered, since it is an office and not a committee, if that is correct.

Noting that finance was not necessarily everyone’s interest, we created a finance subcommittee consisting of Reed, Fosten, Gordon and Mary. We met in late July to work on a budget, which we will be presenting today. It reflects the considerable drop in donations that we have experienced since the pandemic began. Part of the proposed budget deals with the current rent we are paying for the Meeting House. This has been an on-going subject of discussion and we bring a proposal with the budget.

Welcome Committee

Eighth Month 2020 Report

Our newly formed Welcome Committee has jumped into their work with enthusiasm!  Please share any ideas you might have with the committee members – Don Mccormick, Anita McCormick, Amy Cooke, Kathy McCreery, and Karen Olson.

Greeting and Visitors:  Our committee is appointing a person each month to greet visitors.  We will be inviting all visitors to a break-out room on Zoom to give a brief orientation to Quaker worship.  We will then be following through with a mailed package of materials and invitations to connect.   We will ensure that they get on the Email Tree and Newsletter lists as well.

Fellowship:  One member of our committee will be staying for a half-hour after Meeting to host the Fellowship time.  We will be asking connecting questions to keep the ball rolling.   In addition, we would like to present the idea of having a physically distanced Meeting for Worship and Fellowship on Sunday, September 6 at Sierra Friends Center. If approved, we would ask participants to sit 6 feet apart, wear masks, bring their own food and utensils, and park their cars six feet apart at the parking lot.  

Memorials and Special Events:  Our usual tasks – organizing food and the physical space – have evaporated in our new reality, so we are available to Spirit and Witness as they request support.  

Publicity:  We are exploring how to increase our visibility in The Union.   And, our committee is feeling very energized by Facebook!  We will be following a schedule for posts:

  • Query Mondays:  We will share the monthly queries on Mondays
  • Video Tuesdays:  QuakerSpeak videos
  • Sharing Wednesdays:  Stories, children’s art, pictures, history – send us your material!
  • Nonviolence Thursdays: We will share principles and practices of nonviolence
  • Seeker Fridays: Spiritual writings, queries, quotes, etc.  

Please send Amy your ideas and any content you think would be valuable!  

Our webpage is also now linked to Facebook and is updated monthly. 

Faithfulness Groups:  We are partnering with Spirit and Witness on launching and hosting Faithfulness Groups.  We will give a Spiritual Life presentation on 8/23, and the groups will launch in mid-September.  

Submitted by Amy Cooke, clerk

Spirit and Witness August 2020

We have met twice.  In July, we met with the outgoing members of the old M and O committee and decided on myself (Judy Hamilton) to serve as clerk, Gordon Starr to be recording clerk.  Dorothy Henderson will elder Judy in the clerking role. We discussed scheduling our meeting, the closing schedule and what the Spiritual Life meeting held in July would be.

Our vision of our new committee is combining the duties of three previous separate committees into one, meshing the Inner light (spirit) and the Outer light (action) and healing the rift between contemplation and action.

We feel great sorrow at the possible loss of the Sierra Fiends Center, loss of our Meeting House and especially sadness for friends who are struggling to find new homes.

The other committees seem to be doing well. There is a lot of energy in the Welcoming  Committee and they have already proposed  and implemented some of their new ideas.

Dave Barnett’s Memorial will be held on Zoom.  The tentative date is Saturday, September 12th.  Dean will act as the Clerk.

We are in the process of arranging the Memorial for Bob Barns.  We are not sure his family will want to do this over Zoom or hold an in person event.   Since it likely to be large with people all over the world attending, we are going to ask for technical help from PYM if we do a Zoom gathering.

Our next Spiritual Life program will be on August 23rd after the rise of Meeting. The topic will be Faithfulness groups-explaining and launching them.  Amy and Don will lead.  Next month we will come up with more ideas and possibly even a schedule for the coming months.

Our Peace and Social Justice work is confined to race relations and healing right now.

We host a weekly worship sharing time on race hosted by Amy.  The book group Waking up to Race continues to meet each week .  This has become an important activity for all attending.

—-   Working DRAFT   —-

Sierra Friends Center

13075 Woolman Lane 8-9-2020

Nevada City, Calif. 95959

ref:   Thirty Day Notice altering the Rental Agreement between Grass Valley Friends Meeting & Sierra Friends Center


Due to the changes wrought by the corona virus, Covid-19, Grass Valley Friends Meeting (GVFM) has been and is unable to gather at Sierra Friends Center for our weekly Meeting for Worship.   And, our income from those involved with our Meeting has declined substantially.   We are unable to continue paying $525 each month as rent because we no longer have sufficient income.

We do appreciate that we continue to use the Meetinghouse at Sierra Friends Center for our Meeting Library and to store our archieves, tables, chairs, and other items.   Thus we propose the following two amendments to the existing Rental Agreement:

<1>   GVFM will continue to pay the current rent of $525. for the months of August & September 2020.    Given our income, since the stay-at-home order in March, paying these months in full is only possible because we are paying Pacific Yearly Meeting $1,000 less than we owe for the current fiscal year.

<2>   Begining October 1st, 2020 GVFM will pay half as much, $262.50, each month for our continued uses of the Meeting House.    We believe that we will be able pay rent at this level for the coming months.    When the situation changes and GVFM’s income improves substantially,  GVFM will notify Sierra Friends Center of that change and propose increasing our rent payments.

We write this notification with sorrow.   We are reducing all our categories of spending.    Our income has fallen so much, since Covid-19 changed our society.

      a McCormick

      Co-Clerk,  Grass Valley Friends Meeting

    GRASS VALLEY FRIENDS MEETING   BUDGET 2020-21 Current Budget Oct ’19 – Aug 7, 2020   Proposed  
        FY 2020   spent   FY 2021 Budget  
  400 · Contributions $16,175   $12,111   $9,147  
  600 · Meeting Expenses           Changes
    613 fees 50.00   59   50  
    601 · Advertising 105.00   105   0 -105
    602 · Newsletter Expenses 450.00   358   400 -50
>   603 · Rent 6,300.00   5,775   3,150 -3,150
    604 · Meetinghouse Maintenance 1,000.00   100   250 -750
    605 · Reps Travel Expenses 100.00   0   50 -50
    606 · Officers’ Expenses 75.00   0   50 -25
    608 · Hospitality House Food 450.00   166   0 -450
    609 · Misc Unbudgeted Expense 125.00   195   100 -25
    611 · Meeting Webpage 25.00   16   25  
    Zoom         150 150
    615 · Religious Ed – children program (see 644) 200.00   0   0 See 644
    616 · Teen Helper – childcare 500.00   225   0 -500
    620 · Meeting’s Memberships            
      623 – FGC Dues 100.00   0   0 -100
>     621 · PYM Dues 4,300.00   3,148   3,332 -968
      622 · CPQM Dues 70.00   68   70  
Total 600 · Meeting Expenses 13,850   10,215   7,627  
  640 · Committee Expenses            
    641 · Ministry & Oversight Comm 25.00   0 Spirit & Witness 50  
    643 · Peace & Social Justice Comm 25.00   0 Spirit & Witness    
    642 · Nominating Comm 20.00   0 Nominating 20  
    644 · Religious Ed – children program 0.00   0 Relig Ed-children 150 See 615
    646 · Library Comm (subscr = $123) 220.00   48 Stewardship 180 -40
    647 · Hospitality & Outreach Comm 0.00   0 Welcome 100 -35
    648 · Hospitality Comm 75.00   0      
    649 · Outreach Comm 60.00   0      
  Total 640 · Committee Expenses 425.00   48   500  
  660 · Donation Expense –>>(to be paid as current income allows)
    661 · AFSC 150.00   0   100 -50
    662 · FCNL 150.00   0   100 -50
    666 · FCL – Calif. 150.00   0   100 -50
    667 · Friends House 50.00   0   40 -10
    668 · Quaker Center 150.00   0   100 -50
    669 · Sierra Friends Center 450.00   0   300 -150
    673 · Nonviolent Peaceforce 50.00   0   40 -10
    675 · Laura Wilcox Memorial at FCNL 150.00   0   100 -50
    676 · Hospitality House 200.00   0   140 -60
> Total 660 · Donation Expense 1,500.00   0   1,020  
Transfers to other Funds
Scholarship Fund (PYM, CPQM, etc.) 250.00   250   0 -250
Scholarship Fund (Quaker Center) 150.00   150   0 -150
Sharing Fund         0  
Total Expense & Transfers $16,175   $10,663   $9,147  
Net Income $0   $1,448   $0  

Dave Barnett Memorial Minute

Dave was born October 9th, 1947 in Rockville Centre, New York.  Dave was the oldest of three children, four years older than his brother, Bruce, who still lives in the state of New York and  eleven years older than his sister, Lisa, who retired from her county position in San Diego, had moved to South Carolina and just recently passed away.  Dave died

December 23, 2019.

He and Pam came into the Quaker Meeting as new members and both were active.  They planned their marriage under the Care of the

Meeting.   Several years after they were married Pam passed away.  They had been married together when much younger and now in their senior years had come back together.

He spent 40 years as a computer engineer specializing in health services.  And as a new member of Meeting, he used his skills as publisher of our monthly newsletter for awhile.  He helped some members with computer issues.  Both he and Pam helped in preparing meals that were brought to our local homeless shelter, Utah’s Place.  

They were very involved in the community, and avid gardeners at their home.  They introduced us to Hugelkultjur, which is creating a large mound with buried trunk section of a tree and wood debris. 

Her passing deeply grieved Dave and his health and living situations

rapidly diminished after this.  For a while, he had a private apartment

near town, then went into Hilltop Independent Living, but he actually needed help.  For a period of time he was in a nursing home, after which he moved into an Assisted Living Home.  That did not work out for him, and he moved to The Atrium in Carmichael, California, were he passed away.

The one thing he brought with him from the Bay Area, where he had

been living in Half Moon Bay, was his older Corvette (the only one in our parking lot on those Sundays).   His father got him to move out to California when he told him as a young man he’d buy him a motorcycle.  One of the pictures we packed up and sent to his brother was Dave and his sister, Lisa, on that motorcycle.  When he was younger, he entered several horse contests with the family horse, a golden palomino.  One of the people who came to visit him when he was in the nursing home was Mike Culum who shared that when he was a teen, he and his mom lived with Dave and “Dave was the smartest person I’ve ever met in my life.”  

One of his items mailed to his brother was a set of specialized harmonicas.  He had a love of music, especially the Blues.

Dave was cremated,and his and Pam’s ashes were scattered in San Francisco Bay by the Nautilus Society.  Like with Pam, we will be hosting a Memorial Service for Dave.  One of the maps taken down from his room was a nautical map of the San Francisco Bay.  When he lived there, he loved to go sailing.  

Memorial Minute Bob Barns

Besides a variety of occupations, Bob Barns, or Bodacious Bob as many came to know and love him, was a father, an activist, a teacher, a writer, and an inspiration. He was a social activist especially for issues regarding violence, peace, and environmental concerns. He was a man who tried hard to live his ideals. Many within the Alternatives to Violence Project circles praise his effervescence, his clarity, and his loving, joyful spirit.

Robert Edward Barns was born in New York, New York, on May 21, 1926 to parents, Frederick Balston Barns and Virginia Elizabeth Kift Barns. Bob moved with the family to Philadelphia where his mother worked for the Ladies Home Journal. His next move was to California with his father. He lived in Morgan Hill with his grandparents who operated a prune orchard. Later he moved to the Burlingame area to live with his father and his second wife. 

Finishing high school at 17 he joined the Army and was in Germany when the atomic bomb fell and the war soon ended. The military attempt to teach him how to use a bayonet led him to decide war was futile and to become a lifelong pacifist. Bob studied at University of California at Berkeley, where he also came into contact with Quakers. He spent wonderful summers hiking and camping with a friend. They hiked from Lake Tahoe to Yosemite—taking on a section each year for three years. After completing his studies he taught in Davis, California and continued in his relationship with Friends in the Davis Friends Meeting. 

Bob married Dorene Mercer in 1953. In 1954, Bob and Dorene, before they had children, participated in an AFSC work project. The project was to build a school in the Seri Indian fishing village of Desemboque, Mexico. During his career, his various jobs included being a draftsman at a pump manufacturing company, running his own company, and working with volunteer organizations. During the Korean War he saw that his employer was doing more work on war equipment then he could deal with, so he quit and went back to Mexico to work with Quakers on the water supply for a small village. Later he worked with them ??? on similar projects in northern Mexico. The work was very hard—laying pipes and blasting rocks. There was no electricity in the area and water had to be carried about two miles, but Bob loved the people and several called him God with a beard. Bob and Dorene separated in 1979.

One of Bob’s publications was Nica Notes: A Collection of Newsletters from a Peace Activist’s Stay in Nicaragua. It documented many of his experiences while living in war-torn Nicaragua in 1986. He used his life to accompany those who were in danger of being killed, as the presence of a foreigner abated some risk. In later years, during Meeting for Worship in Grass Valley Friends Meeting, Bob’s Australian girlfriend, Giri, detailed an experience he had in an AVP workshop in Folsom Prison. Bob  was confronted by a wretched, tearful, and mournful man who had been assigned the task of killing Bob when he was in Nicaragua. He even had Bob’s face in his rifle’s scope, but could not bring himself to do it. He said there was something in Bob’s face that would not allow him to carry out the assassination.  

Perhaps Bob’s two most impactful ministries were his dedication to the good within all people and his concern for the environment. Bob was a disciple of the Alternative to Violence Project (AVP). Bob led AVP workshops in prisons and out of prisons around the world, possibly on 6 continents. Bodacious Bob, as he was better known approached all people he met with civility, love, respect, and good humor. This same caring for all people led to the advice he gave Amanda and Nick Wilcox. Amanda said, 

My personal memory is that Bob was a steadfast supporter of our efforts to prevent gun violence and our most loyal Brady Chapter member. Our first early action was to stop gun shows in Nevada County. Bob was worried about the strong feelings and possible acrimony that the issue could cause and early on, advised Nick and me to always seek to understand the needs of those who disagreed with us.  It was the best advice we ever received.  In the years since, we have had strong policy disagreements but have never had a negative or disrespectful interaction with our opponents.  I attribute this to Bob’s advice.

Bob’s sense of right use of the world’s resources led to a lifelong involvement, including spending time on the national board of Right Sharing of World Resources (RSWR). When Bob moved to Nevada City, he built his own home largely from recycled materials and lived for many years as a neighbor of the John Woolman School without a personal vehicle.

As an attender and then a member of Grass Valley Friends Meeting, Bob served in a number of capacities and continuously championed many important causes. He volunteered with organizations including Witness for Peace, Alternatives to Violence, and Right Sharing of World Resources. At one point he served as Treasurer of the Meeting, but stepped down because of all the travel he engaged in, mostly due to his work for AVP and Right Sharing of World Resources. He also was instrumental in the success of the Stamp Project, collecting used and new stamps from around the world to raise money for RSWR. Many times our Business Meeting heard Bob ask, “Is this (spending) the best way for us to use the world’s resources?”   

Bob lived the last few years of his life in Beaverton, Oregon, near his son Chris and his wife Caroline.  During that time he was able to visit with most of his family. Bob passed away peacefully at home on July 16, 2019

Western Friend Sept/Oct Newsletter

Saving Sierra Friends Center Land

By Marty Coleman-Hunt, Interim Director of Woolman and Sierra Friends Center

I have a dear friend who always likes to call attention to the “problem with a gift in its pocket.”  These times have certainly challenged all of us to look for that gift.  In early March, I came on staff as Director of Operations for Woolman at Sierra Friends Center, and before I filled out my onboarding paperwork, I was forced to quarantine at home as Woolman shut down.  We cancelled all youth programs, camps, and retreats.  We closed the campus.  Our income dwindled to next-to-nothing.  We cut costs by more than 50%.  Thanks to the generosity of donors, federal relief programs, and a few residential renters we have enough resources to maintain the property and consider how to proceed committed to our mission of stewarding learning communities, with Quaker values – which is so necessary in these trying times.  We are anticipating a prolonged shut-down of all residential youth programs.  However, we have options that we are sharing with our community of alumni, Friends and supporters.

Woolman is closing on its 60th anniversary.  Three generations of alumni lived on this Sierra watershed land in a community dedicated to peace, justice and environmental sustainability.  For many years, Woolman has struggled financially.  The costs of running a residential, secondary school has become very expensive.  We could never charge what the true costs are.  For this reason, Woolman ran into debt and could not invest in the upkeep of 44 buildings, on a 30-acre working farm campus, within 200 acres of forested open space.  When something broke, a generous donor or a helpful lender was always there to finance the repair.  But today, we can no longer sustain the debt combined with the cost of supporting an aging campus.  Then came Covid-19.

Working with an ad hoc group of financial experts from the Ministry and Oversite Committee of College Park Quarterly Meeting, we identified that real estate was our strongest asset and it was worth three times more than the debt.  If only there was a way to leverage that equity to pay off the debt, finance camp upgrades, establish financial reserves, and continue with our mission.  Early on, our board set three goals:  continue to deliver mission-centric program; protect the land from subdivision or development; and make sure everyone who loaned us money is repaid.  

Talking with a real estate broker we learned the land is worth $3m and appreciating.  We are looking for a F/friendly buyer or group of buyers to acquire this beautiful Sierra foothills land and give us a long-term leaseback to manage the property and continue with our mission.  In effect, we are severing the ownership of Sierra Friend Center – the land, from Woolman – the programs.  Woolman would move forward with a “Sierra Friends Center, LLC” as a partner and rent-paying tenant.  Our business plan demonstrates if we reduce operating cost we will be able to proceed with broader mission of educational and enrichment programs for youth, adults, families and communities.  

If no F/friendly buyer emerges, we will sell the property with a conservation easement that permanently protects it from development.  We will then reform Woolman in another location with the proceeds from the sale.  Woolman will not go bankrupt or lay down.  Our alumni and community of supporters will not let this happen.  We feel this with a deep sense of obligation and gratitude. The feedback we have gotten from alumni and supporters makes my heart sing.  People who consider Woolman a place that changed their lives are helping with ideas, connections and offers of support.  

We will move into a new future – as so many organizations will, after the Covid crisis has run its course.  I am confident that we will be stronger with a new beginning, and that is the gift in the pocket of these difficult, problematic times.  

If you are interested in learning more or helping, please contact me at

6/14/2020 (Scroll down for previous months in 2020.  Reports from 2019 and earlier can be acccessed with a request submitted on the contact form.)


  • Children’s Program Committee Report
  • Death and Dying section of Faith and Practice


 M&O Report to Meeting for Business – June 2020

  1. There will be a meeting next week after Meeting for Worship for current committee clerks and incoming conveners to help the transition be as smooth as possible. 
  2. Racial Justice – during this time of committee transition, we are looking for a Friend willing to host a weekly Racial Justice open meeting for hearing Friends’ concerns and creative collaborative responses. There are many ways to participate and support racial justice, and one can still help rallies/protests happen without being there, for those in high risk groups. There is an interfaith group that is in the process of planning a march or demonstration.
  3. Calling Friends – Anita McCormick has started the effort to be in touch with potentially isolated Friends (due to Covid-19), to check in, and check on current needs. Other Friends are encouraged to assist in this effort as moved. Contact Anita.
  4. Don McCormick will be keeping Friends abreast of events related to PYM Annual Session. There are opportunities to be involved, and in a strange way, these will be more accessible as no travel is necessary. Stay tuned…

Children’s Program Committee Report

June Meeting for Business, 2020

The Children’s Program Committee has offered First Day School each Sunday since our last report. There is a bit more comfort with zoom and using a breakout room for children’s program each week is now going quite smoothly. Thank you to Chamba and Amy for that.

During this past month, Dorothy contacted each of the parents by phone and heard similar stories of lots of zoom for the children during the week and lots of parental challenges combining work at home as well as monitoring children’s schoolwork. Families are in general doing well, but when the weekend comes they are ready for a break from the internet. This has meant that we have very small attendance. We are grateful for Hailey and for Grace Elliot-Sowaal (of San Francisco Meeting) who are our regular attenders. We, and they,  are always happy when they are joined by others which happens a few times a month.

Our curriculum continues to evolve as we progress with zoom and with the events of our world and nation. At this point we have a Bible story and accompanying song on first First Day, a story and a craft or activity on second First Day, usually a story plus a time of silent worship that has gradually increased over the months for third First Day and a creative and not necessarily predictable curriculum on fourth First Day. We provide the stories for Family worship on fifth First Day. We continue to invite all of our families and to email them mid-week to let them know what supplies and snacks are needed.Our teachers, Doug, Karen, Gordon and Chamba are truly a creative and faithful group and we have had others, Judy, Anita and Dorothy helping out to good effect.

The contact with our families was meaningful to let them know that we miss them and to really hear about their lives during this time. We will continue to keep in touch with them to help keep our community whole.

Respectfully submitted,

Dorothy Henderson, cler


Notes on Spiritual Life Session on Revision to Faith and Practice on Dying and Grieving

We should mention the kind of support that Terry received. At age 80 he found he had a thoracic aneurism. He told his doctor that he would not undergo a repair. It expanded, and for two years he prepared his wife for his plan that eventually he would stop eating and drinking. During this time he hosted Friday meeting for worship. followed by potluck. Many people attended. That continued. Sometimes he would participate but other times he couldn’t because he was in bed. In the end, people came and sang to him. They stood around his bed. It was a peaceful passing. Support from the meeting was helpful for others coming to the end. We do this especially for members who are well known. Dean and Karen provided solid support for Dave Barnett. 

There were many rich experiences. Especially with Gloria. She was afraid of dying. A lot of stuff was done. It was a big group that helped. At one time, a deer came up and looked in the room where she was. I was a Lutheran for a lot of my life, but nothing struck me as much as Quaker memorials. They are times of joy, celebration, honoring, and presence, These are all things that have to do with the human touch, not having to do with having a priest or pastor, or reading from the literature. 

Don talked. Will send things.

There should also be a discussion of slow decline from dementia as that is also part of the dying process. When Harry was descended into dementia, it took a long time. It was difficult to visit him. Sometimes he wouldn’t know who you are. It’s a kind of awkwardness and we need advice to help us cope with it. We left Jeannie alone with his care for too long a time. 

I have a friend who had a neighbor with dementia, and he would come over all upset and say, “The horses are out! The horses are out!” My friend go out and walk around for 15 minutes. He’d come back and say, “The horses are back in. It’s OK.” He dealt with the man in a creative way. He stepped into the place the person was experiencing. I know people who, instead of relating to where the person was coming from, would get frustrated and say things like, “You aren’t making sense mom!”

We know each other well in this meeting. And that’s probably one reason that we do more with people ahead of time. We regularly go to people’s houses ahead of time. This is helpful when we come closer to the time we say goodbye. 

A good example of this is the monthly singing and meeting for workshop that was held at (I forget their names)’s house before he died.

Susan and Tom Hopkins. Tom was in a senior living place and he is safe. Susan can have her freedom back. There are resources. We can call into the meeting.

When there is dementia, it’s hard on the spouse. There’s a lot of stress on their partner and relatives. 

When we get together and help relatives with the possessions of someone who passed, like Harry. Or help someone in decline to move their stuff, like Dave, the Spirit is strong. I even found it strong when I did things like use a carpet cleaner to clean up diarrhea that was on the carpet of the place that one person had to leave. 

It would be good if in the revision there are queries/questions for the Meeting, for the person who is dying, and for the relatives. Asking an open ended question and giving the person the space for the Spirit to respond is Quakerly.

You can’t create recommendations for every situation, but questions can open a space for answers to emerge.

How does a meeting proceeds when deal with these situations—someone dying, someone suffering from dementia, someone who dies suddenly. How do we handle that? A committee? A point person who has training and resources? 

This revision is the beginning of a longer process. They are asking for what comes up for us. 

I want this section to be inspiring.

Both my parents consciously took their lives. Being with my dad was one of the richest times of their lives. The revision says that assisted suicide is legal in some places, but voluntary ceasing eating and drinking is legal everywhere. It allows you take control of your own dying has the potential to make the process of dying far richer for all concerned. It gives people have the opportunity to say and hear things. So many of the things that can be done are so deeply spiritual and can offer appreciation for the person dying. This is a huge opportunity. This is a huge invitation to these possibilities.

It was profound to be with Terry who stopped eating and drinking. It changed my attitude towards death because it made me realize that this is also a choice for me when the time comes. And that made a real difference to me. 

There was a lack in terms of specifics in the revision. But I love some of the quotes in it.

I want to read what Don is writing. and reread the revision with a new perspective. 

In lines 81-85 the language is not clear. When it says ‘it is sometimes important…. known.’ Doug thought it meant one thing. Theoretically we want to be there by request, but what about when the request is not forthcoming but there is still a need. 

People often beat themselves up if they feel like they aren’t dying the right way. The revision talks about ideals like “profound insights” that come from the dying process, but they don’t say how to go about getting them. This may be true, but it would be better if the way to this was clearer. People can feel bad because they aren’t doing it right. 

The revision could be wordy if it gets into too much detail. Perhaps it should present categories and there could be different sections that people could read where it describes what different people have done. 

The first time I heard about someone saying they stopped eating and drinking, I thought, “This is not suicide.” In one case it allowed Mary to pass while her daughter held her in her arms. It was beautiful.

This needs to be better organized—organized into sections. Faith and Practice is generally organized this way. Maybe organize it by the beginning of the process through to the end. 

I’ve also been with people who didn’t want to die, were angry, bitter. We can’t leave out that kind of experience. We want to support people and their families who face that. 

The revision says, “Some learn that they can feel angry at God, even deserted, and often through struggling with God have their faith strengthened.” Could the revision use more inclusive language? Or are we just using the word “God,” now. What about “with God or the Spirit” or talk about it in the inclusive way they do in twelve step groups. Quakers have been good about how we name the nameless.

It’s more correct to say “angry with” than “angry at.” I’d like to see that fixed.

What’s unique in my experience of this meeting is that with people who have passed, each person made their own choices, and their choices were respected. We worked to meet them where they’re at. Jesus met the people where they’re at. 

It is important to respect friend’s wishes.

In a society that denies death, it can be s struggle for friends to know what the possibilities are. And get the support they need.

Societally we are coming into a whole different awareness of death, and how to carry it. This is a challenging assignment. Especially since society is in such a state of flux.

My father was caretaker of Britton house of Quaker meeting in San Jose. When he decided to stop eating and drinking. He had esophageal cancer. The meeting said that if anyone wanted to visit him they should call first. When you stop eating and drinking, you get so clear. You get clear and still. Sometimes people would call and he’d stop and say, “That’s OK.” Or other times he’d say, “Maybe not today.” Gordon could see the richness of his father’s relationships. “I got to know him more through his friends. It was like an ongoing memorial service. He was very present and clear until the final couple of day. His meeting supported and protected him, so he had a clear space to go in his own day.” It’s a great example of meeting friends where they are. So often people aren’t consulted. My mom got a call from a friend of my Dad and just said, “Oh yeah, he’s right here,” without trying to find out if Dad wanted to take the call. Dad looked like he really didn’t want to talk to this person, but he took the call anyway.

When one person’s husband died, they kept the body for a bit. Tony and children went to the crematorium and watched the box go in. 

The wife of a good friend of mine was dying of Lou Gehrig’s disease. She didn’t want any visitors. She was ashamed of her condition. Meeting people where they are is important to know. It should be included in the language. 

This is such a large topic. There should be an addendum. Something more like a Pendle hill pamphlet. Give room for this to be explored in more depth.

It could be done since the new version will be online. I find the things that are most inspiring are stories. They couldn’t go in the main text but could go in an addendum.

What’s key here is the human element. The connection with what’s real is what brings the sacredness to it.

It’s possible there are more resources. 

“83 It is sometimes important to step in with supportive help, without offending the family, when those most closely involved are unable to make their needs known.” This is an important part and should be considered more. People have different levels of comfort with reaching out for help. Often the person who most needs it is most uncomfortable with it. I’d like to see this dealt with more fully.


Next steps: we could do this again. It would be good to bring to business meeting but that would be tough.

If we don’t have enough time to do this, we can say to the revision committee, ‘we are deeply engaged with this’ and it will take a while. 

Let’s look at it and send don our feedback. It’s within the workings of spiritual life.        

Don’s Comments

I think that what our fellow Quakers need in Faith and Practice is to realize that a Quaker approach to preparing for death can be a deep spiritual experience.  

In the section on preparing for death, there little in the revision that even hints that such an experience can happen. Friends need to know that this is possible. Instead, the pages on preparing for death are overwhelmingly about non-spiritual aspects of the dying process—financial, legal, funeral. These are important, but this information is widely available elsewhere. Faith and Practice not about  It is about Quaker spirituality. The finance, the law, and funeral arrangements stuff could be put on a web page and a link provided in Faith and Practice. Instead of 4/5 of the section being about financial, legal, and funereal topics and 1/5 being about the spiritual aspects of preparing for death, the ratio should be reversed. 4/5 should be about the spiritual and 1/5 about the rest.


Here are some suggested additions to the revision.

A Quaker approach to preparing for death can be a deeply spiritual experience both for the person who is dying and the people tending to their needs. 

Many people become anxious when they know someone is grieving or dying, and they don’t know what to say. So they avoid them. Imagine you are that person, and friends in your beloved community avoid you. On top of the pain of grieving or dying you feel lonely and abandoned. Don’t let this happen. It is important to reach out to F/friends and others at times like this. 

Stephen Levine says, “If possible, no one should die alone. A hand that is held can be more pain relieving than a strong analgesic.” When someone is grieving or dying, it is often important to just be present. This could take many forms: just being physically present; sitting with someone in silent worship; being present in the moment; or being present for the person who is grieving or dying—your attention empathically focused on them. 

Helping the dying can be informal. You don’t need to be a trained hospice volunteer. Just being caring, loving, empathic friends who are present in the Spirit with the person who is dying and their family can do so much. You can do this on your own, but doing this with other Quakers can be uniquely fulfilling. This often just happens informally. You don’t need an approved care committee to do this, (although this can be helpful). 

Spiritual accompaniment of someone who is dying takes many forms. You might sing songs from the Quaker hymnbook at the f/Friend’s bedside—singing with them or to them. You may pray with them, or pray aloud. Say goodbye to them. Contact relatives, including estranged ones. Care for the family. All this can be healing

Spiritual accompaniment can also be practical. You may take person to treatment, shop for them, arrange for hospice or other medical care. Or care for the family of the person who is dying.

Many (maybe most) people don’t know or want to know that they are dying. Pay close attention to the person who is dying and their wishes. Respect them, even if they are in acting in ways that you don’t approve. They may be in denial, but that is their right. It is their death, not yours. 

There is no one right way to grieve. There are a thousand different ways, and many of these include thoughts and feelings that the grieving feel guilty about. It’s common for someone who is grieving to say something like, “Sometimes I’m glad and relieved that my father is dying. Am I a bad person?” Their grief is suffering enough and doesn’t need guilt piled on top of it. If someone says something like that to you, reassure them that all sorts of thoughts and feelings come up during grief and they don’t need to beat themselves up about them.

Preparing for death can be a spiritual crucible that is ideal for cultivating compassion and wisdom. Stephen Levine says, “Death is a perfect mirror for life. It clarifies priorities. It will point out the way to the heart. From there the best sort of changes arise naturally: compassion and loving kindness, generosity and courage.” 

This is not to be added to the revision, but maybe a version of it could be in an addendum. It comes from talking with a Quaker friend, Stan Searl, who has a very real leading when it comes to working with the dying. I find his Quaker approach inspiring. This has the spirit of the kind of thing I would like to see in Faith and Practice.

This is his story of a woman I’ll call her Sofia. She was a long-time member of meeting and who always went to business meeting, worship and quarterly meeting. She was a very faithful friend that way. Chit chatting with people after meeting, I learned that she had cancer. Now she was very self contained, and not an easy person to chit chat with. So I made an effort and I went visited her. I discovered that she was so alone and she couldn’t get herself back and forth to the hospital to get treatments. Compassion and love in action meant that I took her to the treatments at the hospital. 

We sat in a large room with a bunch of other people who were dying. You’d sit there for three or four hours. And after all of her chemo treatments, I went with her to her oncologist, who had an office next to the chemo room. He told her that even after all the chemo, her other tumors had decreased less than 10%. It was in her stomach and in her lungs and everywhere. I cried and we cried coming back to her condo. We were just beside ourselves. It was devastating because she had gone through all this effort, and treatments and it was difficult—going to a place where there’s all the people like you are at different stages of their dying from cancer and with the chemo treatments. Anyway, I talked to people in the meeting, and by the end we had about 15 people helping her. This was all informal, although it was essentially a care committee. We realized that she really isn’t well, and she needed help. So, we did the shopping. We were there to help her, day to day, with dressing, bathing, food and stuff. We got hospice in. Now hospice made sure the medication was okay, so she wasn’t in pain, but they weren’t doing 24 hour care. Cause they don’t. But we were doing that.

So I started bringing a keyboard over when I visited, which was almost every other day. I brought my Quaker hymnbook and would play these hymns and we would sing along. And as she got worse she fell in and out of consciousness. I talked to her brother who was going to help with the estate because there was nobody else. And I talked to her mother, and I urged both of them to come and visit. She and her mother were estranged. Her mother lived in Sedona and was wonderful. She was also the complete representative of Sedona in terms of energy and fields and stuff like that.

Because she was dying, her brother and mother really needed to come. Her mother came and spent a few days. Often Sofia would sit in a chair in the living room and the light would pour in and it was so beautiful especially in the late afternoon. Her mother talked to her and one day, they held hands. She sat back in the chair, and her mother said a presence appeared right there in the room, and a Holy light surrounding her that came out of the top of her head in the midst of a bowl of light. And I thought, “Oh my gosh, this is so wonderful” because they had been estranged for years. Sofia and her mother had a kind of epiphany, and it was wonderful. 

And it was very healing and it felt very deep. And you know, it was a way that the Spirit found a way into their lives, to connect them and to heal them. And I’m not saying that Sofia was healed, she was dying and she still died, but it was very healing. Toward the end, when I was there visiting, there were other people, fussing with food and things. She was in and out of consciousness and I was at the keyboard. I played through the whole Quaker hymnbook, and there are like 400 hymns.

Now they’re just a chorus in one hymn. It’s called great faithfulness. And it’s from lamentations in the Old Testament. Somebody like Job, is lamenting about how God took away all his health and possessions. Complaining and complaining. And then toward the end, the person says that it feels like he’s forsaken me, yet “great is thy faithfulness.” This is the one I sang toward the end, which was a way to connect with her. So that was part that was part of the ministry as well. And then looking back, I think doing this really was a calling and very practical, but Spirit-led. There are other people in meeting we’ve helped in the same way, but maybe not as dramatically because she was all alone. Her brother was in Utah and her mother in Sedona, you know that at first there was nobody, but then we were, and we became her family. 

I think Quakers do this intuitively–pastoral care.

I just want to give you another example. I don’t know whether you knew. Ann (not her real name) Three of us from meeting were there with her daughter when she actually died. We were sending love to her, we were praying with her. We were being with her, we were telling her how much we loved her. And it was funny because the three of us were just were visiting with each other and one of us said, “Oh, well, let’s go visit Ann. I mean, she’s really sick and, we’ll find her home.” Her daughter happened to be there. And so we found her. Her breathing was intermittent. She had the nurse there, but she was dying. We didn’t know that when we were there.

So, so it was kind of like ‘Here we are,’ just being ourselves, just being present. And my way of being present in this was to sing and pray and we were all singing and praying and being with her during her last couple hours, with her last breath. So, that’s simply visiting people, right? I mean, we’re not trained as hospice volunteers or anything like that. We’re being friends—caring, friends who love her. We can be present in the Spirit with her and help her. And help her daughter, her daughter was so upset. Dying is hard. It was wonderful and it was serendipitous. Yeah. I feel we could be much more intentional about it. Now we have a pastoral care committee and it is more intentional, but I think people who have that kind of sense of intuitive openness to accompanying people and to being with them can do so much. And for myself, I’m a musician and was a choir director and I know all these hymns. I go there, and that’s my source of connection and my source of prayer and my source of spiritual compliment.

I think it does help to, to be able to pray aloud and to be able to be with people and not, and not be afraid, you know? Yes, we’ll all die, but to accompany people in this last journey is very special, 

And there was Dee (not her real name) I was very close to her. She was about to be taken off a ventilator and her family invited to be there. We had a real spiritual friendship for a long time. When they took her off the ventilator, it only lasted about two minutes, but, we were there with her surrounding her in her bed. Now they say that the last sense to go is hearing. So I sang and we sang and we prayed and we said goodbye. And then we left the room. And somebody came in and removed her from the ventilator. Her son was there and, and then she died right there. And we came back in and said goodbye. I think it was very helpful to her son and his wife.

So there were Quaker friends surrounding the family—being there and supporting them in their terrible decision to bring her off the ventilator. We were with her and the family to offer emotional and spiritual sustenance there.



COMMITTEES: (conveners in bold)

STEWARDSHIP:  Mary Starr, Gordon Starr, Reed Hamilton, Pat Phillips, Doug Hamm, Fosten Wilson (Treasurer, Ex-officio), Dianne Marshal (Librarian), Shera Banbury, Hailey Wilson

SPIRIT/WITNESS: Gordon Starr, Judy Hamilton, Gordon Bishop, Don McCormick, Anita McCormick, Amy Cooke 

WELCOME:   Hilary Elllis-Lavigne, Karen Olson, Kathy McCreary, Amy Cooke.

CHILDREN’S PROGRAM:   Karen Olson, Judy Hamilton, Dorothy Henderson, Gordon Bishop, Chamba Cooke, Anita McCormick, Doug Hamm

NOMINATING:  Pat Phillips, Doug Hamm, Karen Olson

OFFICERS                                                                        REPS:

Co-Clerks: Don and Anita McCormick AFSC:   Dean Olson

Communications Co-ord.:  Pat Phillips College Park Quarterly: Gordon Starr

Directory Coordinator:  Nancy Anderson FASE:   Anita McCormick

Librarian:  Dianne Marshall FCL:CA:   Amanda Wilcox

Mail Clerk:  Dean Olson FCNL: Vacant

Newsletter Editor:   Dianne Marshall FGC Liaison: Vacant

Newsletter Distribution:   Pat Phillips PYM Observer: Vacant

Newsletter Reader:  Vacant

Placer County Worship Group:   Stuart Smith PYM:   Don McCormick

Recorder: Nancy Anderson Quaker Center:  Hilary Ellis-Lavigne

Recording Clerk:   Amy Cooke QUNP:  Shera Banbury

Treasurer:   Fosten Wilson Right Sharing of World Res.: Dianne Marshall

Website Maintenance/Zoom:   Amy Cooke Woolman/Sierra Friends Center:  Dean Olson

Interfaith Nevada County:  Dianne Marshall

5/10/2020 APPENDICES:

  • Outreach Committee Report
  • Children’s Program Committee Report


Outreach Committee Report, Fifth Month, 2020

Current members of the Outreach Committee were invited to respond to assuring that obituaries are sent to the Friends Journal and Western Friend on behalf of the Grass Valley Friends Meeting and that information re: Spiritual Life offerings are submitted to The Union.

Based on input received from one Committee member, the obituaries question would seem to bear on two things, the first being who has responsibility for writing the obituary in the first place and, secondly, is notification of these publications now part of a new job description for the Outreach committee?

The Outreach Committee requests clarification about our Meeting’s history for writing and submitting obituaries.  Has it been past practice that the writing of the obituary fell to the Clerk and M&O who would either handle it or nominate/ find someone to do it? 

The Recorder responsibility was/is, as part of keeping track of members(ship), to notify PYM of any deaths in their yearly report on membership, and the Hospitality and Outreach committee was responsible for Memorial arrangements which had more to do with the memorial service itself. In that roll, it may seem logical that they would be responsible for notifying all parties including media. 

With the new committee structure, new job descriptions are needed that answer these questions.  Assuring clarity of the purpose of the Welcome Committee is also needed. 

The Outreach Committee recognizes and thanks the Spiritual Life Committee for their efforts to get information into The Union about offerings provided by the Grass Valley Friends Meeting.  This is a function that seems appropriate for Outreach/Welcome to assist with.  

The current Outreach Committee supports the Meeting in adding a smartphone to the Meeting’s budget that would generate a phone number for the Grass Valley Friends Meeting. We also support establishing a g-mail account for the Meeting to be able to receive email.  Stewardship of both the phone and the email account would lie with the Clerk/Co-Clerk of the Meeting, our recommendation.  Access to the g-mail account would be determined by the will of the Meeting

In conclusion, Dianne Marshall, convener of the Welcome Committee under which Outreach will fall beginning in July, 2020, will ask members to define the purpose of the Welcome Committee and what we recommend to the Meeting that outreach will endeavor to accomplish for presentation at  Meeting for Business as soon as possible.

Submitted by Dianne Marshall, 5-9-2020



Grass Valley Friends Meeting

Children’s Program Committee Report

May Meeting for Business, 2020


The Children’s Program Committee has offered First Day School each Sunday since our last report. This has entailed a challenging and ultimately rewarding adjustment to using zoom for the past two months. Our four primary teachers, Doug Hamm, Karen Olsen, Gordon Bishop and Chamba Cooke have stepped up to the challenge and created a First Day program each week that has been attended by at least one and on occasion, up to five children. 


This has been an ever changing process of working with parents and with zoom to create a robust First Day school program for our children. Below are the details of how it has evolved and is now working.


Each teacher prepares a plan for the program. About mid-week or by Saturday, the parents are emailed with an invitation for their child(ren) and a description of what they should have on hand for the activity of that day. The curriculum has been loosely based on themes: Black History month in February, Women’s History in March, and Earth Day in April. Activities have included a story each time, as well as possible crafts, songs and meeting for worship with the children. We have also ventured to have the children do something mid-week, such as a garden project that they then shared with the group on Sunday.


On First Day we were using two computers in order to have one zoom account for First Day class and one for Meeting for Worship. Last week our increasing zoom skill meant that we now have one zoom account online and we use a breakout room for First Day class. This means the children and families are together at the beginning of Meeting and then the children and teacher are in a separate zoom room for the hour. The host then returns them to the larger Meeting after the hour. So far this seems to work well. 


In addition to First Day activities, we have been in contact with some of our families that are not attending Meeting or First Day school just to check in and see how they are doing. That has proved valuable in keeping our sense of our larger community spirit. We miss those that have not been able to join us and do look forward to in-person First Day School again!


Respectfully submitted,


Dorothy Henderson, clerk





STEWARDSHIP:  Mary Starr, Gordon Starr, Reed Hamilton, Pat Phillips, Doug Hamm, Fosten Wilson (Treasurer, Ex-officio), Dianne Marshal (Librarian), Shera Banbury, Hailey Wilson, Judy Hamilton 

SPIRIT/WITNESS: Gordon Starr, Judy Hamilton, Gordon Bishop, Don McCormick (ADD: Anita McCormick) 

WELCOME:  Dianne Marshall, Hilary Elllis-Lavigne, Karen Olson, Kathy McCreary (ADD: Amy Cooke) 

CHILDREN’S PROGRAM:   Karen Olson, Judy Hamilton, Dorothy Henderson, Gordon Bishop, Chamba Cooke, Anita McCormick, Doug Hamm

OFFICERS                                                                        REPS:

Clerk: Don and Anita McCormick AFSC:   Dean Olson

Communications Co-ord.:  Pat Phillips College Park Quarterly: (ADD: Gordon Starr)

Directory Coordinator:  Nancy Anderson FASE:   Anita McCormick

Librarian:  Dianne Marshall FCL:CA:   Amanda Wilcox

Mail Clerk:  Dean Olson FCNL: Vacant

Newsletter Editor:   Dianne Marshall FGC Liaison: Vacant

Newsletter Distribution:   Pat Phillips PYM Observer: Vacant

Newsletter Reader:  Vacant

Placer County Worship Group:   Stuart Smith PYM:   (ADD: Don McCormick)

Recorder: Nancy Anderson Quaker Center:  Hilary Ellis-Lavigne

Recording Clerk:   Amy Cooke QUNP:  Shera Banbury

Treasurer:   Fosten Wilson Right Sharing of World Res.: Shera Banbury

Website Maintenance:   Amy Cooke Sierra Friends Center:  Dean Olson

Interfaith Nevada County:  Dianne Marshall

NOTE:  The 03.2020 Meeting for Business was canceled.


  • Treasurer’s Report
  • 2020 Report on the State of Grass Valley Friends Meeting
  • Quaker and Beyond Mutual Aid Network | Young Adult Friends/Elder Assistance Project


Grass Valley Friends Meeting

Treasurer’s Report


summary = Medium, a little short

The “stay-at home” order that is caused by the new coronavirus may be financially hurting your family. Please remember that our Meeting has a Sharing Fund to help with money problems. Contact a member of our M&O committee for more information.

“Meeting may still need to pay its bills . . .” Yes we do. We continue to pay monthly rent to Sierra Friends Center, help fund Pacific Yearly Meeting, etc. From January thru March we received $3,259 in contributions, about $900 less than last year. The contributions received have allowed us to stay current with our rent. We have paid over $3,000 of our annual dues to P.Y.M. ($1,000 more still to pay). Our donation to College Park Quarterly Meeting is paid. THANK YOU all for your contributions.

Still, we need to find the money to pay our budgeted donations to support the work of others, such as A.F.S.C. & F.C.L. of California. I am requesting additional contributions if you reasonably can. My shirt pocket is staying at home, so either by mail to my address below or online by using the “give” button at “”.

The Finance Committee has approved spending some money on the Zoom program to insure we can have a seperate Zoom gathering for our children. Costs are expected to be modest & Business Meeting will be consulted when our costs are known.

All contributions to the Grass Valley Friends Meeting — whether money, service, or prayer – are deeply appreciated.

Fosten Wilson, Treasurer

2020 Report on the State of Grass Valley Friends Meeting

Grass Valley Friends Meeting does important work. We help each other to know the Spirit and we also help others. Doing this inspires us to live simply and with integrity, and to build a world of peace, justice, and care for the earth. 

We’re Smaller. While as a Meeting we experience considerable unity, we continue to lose members and attenders. Two families moved away in part because of fire insurance problems. We also mourn the loss of some of our elders this year; among them were a founding member of our Meeting. We will miss their presence, institutional memory, and wisdom. Many of us helped the family of one of them with their house and property after they died. Other elders moved to a retirement home. To keep in touch with them we meet monthly for an hour of music and Meeting for Worship at their retirement home. It starts with singing and this draws in other residents. The Spirit is strong here. 

Outreach. We can learn from other meetings and churches. One idea came from the local Methodist church—welcome bags that we offer to new attenders. They contain information about our Meeting and Quakerism (and some chocolate). We plan to use flyers to help families attending the Woolman Summer Camp to see that our Meeting is a place that they can come to year round. 

In an effort to be more welcoming, we offer the Quaker Minute during announcements. It’s a short explanation of a key Quaker concept. The library now has a newcomers’ section with free books, magazines, and pamphlets for visitors. (We are also considering developing a reading list for newcomers.) To encourage social connection between us we have offered potlucks at various members’ homes. One couple hosted our Christmas party at their new home. Forty-two people attended and the children acted out the Psalm XXIII. And we hope to develop other places for people to connect, like seekers’ meetings. 

Children. Because it was difficult to get adults to staff the children’s program, it was almost laid down. But after a large meeting of all those concerned, enough people volunteered so that we have two adults each week teaching the children. The committee is now our largest and is very dynamic. We have also hired a teen to help each Sunday with the program. All of this says to the children, ‘You are important to us.’ We are blessed to have parents who regularly bring their children to Meeting, especially since consistent attendance by young people can be rare in Quaker meetings. The children’s program is now offered online. We find it is important to listen to our kids to better understand their needs, what they want, and what would be fun for them. 

Getting Things Done. Our shrinking membership has led some of us to take on more responsibilities. It may be that if no one volunteers to be on a committee, we need to lay it aside for a time. We want outreach, peace, and social justice activities to happen, but we haven’t actually done much. Our Meeting has 46 slots for representatives and committee members but only 34 members, so we have decided to reduce the number of committees to five areas of concern: Children, Stewardship, Welcoming, Ministry & Oversight, and Spirit/Witness.

Environmental, Peace, and Social Action. With regret, we ended our years-long practice of helping to feed the people at our local homeless shelter every month. Many of us are upset about this and unhappy that we aren’t involved in more ongoing social action; it is such a central part of Quakerism. On the other hand, we participated in an annual interfaith march for peace and justice, and one of our members is active in organizing it. Also, we co-sponsored, publicized, and organized a workshop for the community led by Quaker activist George Lakey on organizing nonviolent direct action campaigns for climate justice. Sixty people attended. Because it helped other environmental, justice and peace activists learn to be more effective, it could have a big impact. A display and brochures about our Meeting helped get the word out about us. A fourth Sunday Spiritual Life (Adult Ed) session on white privilege, in concert with PYM, inspired ten of us to start a new book group that is reading White Fragility. It was successful and is continuing to meet online—reading another book recommended by PYM, My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies. In a meeting where we gathered input for this report, a friend spoke movingly about raising his mixed race children here years ago. He got involved in our children’s program, and soon, up to eight mixed race kids began participating. They went camping, visited an amusement park, did a road trip, and had discussions (about things like sex and consent). Looking back on this, he said that he could see where he had originally been in denial about the need for it. “Now what I can’t see is my own denial in the present. I can’t imagine there isn’t a need in this community that we can’t touch. If we can open our eyes, we can meet that need. In the 80’s it was a need for mixed race kids to meet.” Can we open our eyes today to community needs that we can meet?

Woolman at Sierra Friends Center. There were potential difficulties with Sierra Friends Center’s new lease for the Meeting House, but these were handled amicably among Friends. At the center’s annual family work camp only 20% of the people were Quaker, but all participated in family Meeting for Worship, and many also participated in early morning Bible study and worship sharing. Also there are people who stay short-term in rental cabins. It seems we should have something that invites them to join us for Meeting for Worship. We have such beautiful grounds, that we wonder who in our community can we host and invite here? We could have big potlucks, or we could have a soccer game with the Unitarians.

The Meeting House & Signs. We moved or removed various posters and clutter from the walls and from outside the Meeting House. We put up more relevant educational posters about vocal ministry, welcoming newcomers, and Quakerism in general in places that didn’t detract from the Quaker aesthetic of simplicity. Our Building and Grounds committee recently patched holes, painted walls, and performed other repairs to the Meeting House. A roof leak resulted in black mold inside, but we met this threat with caulk and remediation. Much-needed directional signs were put up at Jones Bar Road and on campus that we hope will help newcomers find us.

Community. Each week we have group singing beginning at 9:00 AM before Meeting for Worship. Appreciation for it has been expressed and participation has increased. We began meeting online in order to practice social distancing. We have been pleasantly surprised at the high quality of Meeting for Worship, our book group, and committee meetings. We have seen people in our online Meetings for Worship and children’s program that we haven’t seen for quite a while. A lot of work that supports the community is invisible because it is confidential. Perhaps our greatest strength is the many people in the Meeting who have a strong Quaker practice. In our Meeting community, the Spirit is strong and noted by many. As one member said, “On Sunday mornings, I feel like, I’m going to my dear Meeting. I feel so accepted.”

Quaker and Beyond Mutual Aid Network | Young Adult Friends/Elder Assistance Project

From: YouthProgramsCoordinator PacificYM <>

Greetings from Young Adult Friends to all Clerks and Representatives to Pacific Yearly Meeting,

This is a time of great change and great stress for both Meetings and individuals. We are a group of Young Friends who would like to be of help to your Meeting community in these difficult times. Are you struggling to remain connected to members and attenders because you cannot meet face to face? Do older Friends have trouble getting connected to Meeting for Worship or Business by Zoom? Have Friends lost jobs, become isolated, unable to get out to buy groceries or are being otherwise stressed by age, isolation, or the unaccustomed demands placed on them by school closures? Do you have within your community any young adult Friends who have lost their jobs and would like to join us in this work?

We have written a grant that seeks to empower all community members and provide various forms of assistance to those in need. Young Adult Friends (YAFs) in PacYM circles have lost jobs as a result of the Covid-19 quarantine; this grant offers them a small stipend to tide them over temporarily, while releasing them to provide assistance to Friends. This might include helping elders or others access Zoom meetings, making grocery or pharmacy runs, planting gardens or doing yard maintenance, outreach and emergency response to parents of young children, or essential workers working long hours in response to this pandemic as well as elders and others at high risk. 

Those of us doing this work will be happy to work with your Clerks, Ministry and Oversight Committees, and will be responsible to our own Oversight Committee.  We will begin with training on social distancing, safety, and infection control.

We hope this project will be able to operate during the duration of the shelter in place order from the State of California. We have received $5,000 seed money from the Youth Programs Fund, but will need more to continue long term. Donations from Meetings and individuals to augment the grant would be welcome. 

If you invite us in, we would ask you to:

1)  Review your MM’s current support of your members and attenders.

2) Pinpoint individuals in your community with specific needs, so that we can match them with friends who can be of assistance to them.

3) Identify young adult friends with financial need and interest in perhaps joining us.

4) Establish a contact from your MM, Worship Group or Quaker organization to stay in touch  with us throughout the duration of this project. This might be someone from M&O.

5) Consider a Meeting contribution to this effort, a request to members, or a fundraiser of some kind.

Though we must at this time be physically apart, there are still many ways to engage in community and maintain our social connections. We hope that the connections between young Friends doing this work, and the connections between the generations will help us build a stronger community in the long run, even after the pandemic is over.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. Please forward this application to any YAF who is out of work, or anyone else who might be interested in serving in a volunteer-capacity. Please respond with your interest or questions to: 

Rebekah Percy | Interim Youth Programs Coordinator

Pacific Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)

Pronouns: She/Her

Main: (530) 563-6369 | Email:

Be safe.  We all need each other.

The Steering Committee:

Evan Nelson, Bertha Peña, Kylin Navarro, Laura Adair, Marc Lichterman, Nate Secrest,

Kiernan Colby, Cris Haggins, Jim Summers and Rebekah Percy (Acting Youth Programs Coordinator) 



  • Ministry and Oversight
  • Children’s Program report


Ministry and Oversight 

Report to GVFM Meeting for Business 

February 2020

  1. New Committee Structure proposal. Seeking approval of the minute recorded in January 2020 regarding the new proposal which follows:
Stewardship Spirit/Witness Welcome Children’s Program Nominating
Buildings and Grounds




Ministry & Oversight

Spiritual Life

Peace and Social Justice



Intergenerational Ed Nominating


Extra thoughts on the proposal

As Nominating discerns and prepares a slate of Friends for various committees and roles, we highly suggest strong potential clerks for each new committee.


As we make this proposal we are clear that we are not clear about:

  • Committee Sunday or not? – would all committees meet on first Sunday of each month in preparation for business meeting
  • Representatives might be paired with certain committees (accountability and support)
  • Nominating composition – will stay the same this year (nominated by Naming Committee)


  • Memorials
      1. Bob Barns – set for Saturday May 2nd (1pm ish). We are looking for volunteers to make lemonade and oatmeal raising cookies (specifically – Bob’s favorite). We will also look for volunteers to set-up and clean-up and bring other finger food potluck items.
      2. Dave Barnett – Dean has been working with Dave’s brother to set a date. Dave’s brother (Bruce?) cannot travel the distance but would like hear the service and what people say. We are investigating a live transmission, if not then a recording. The date is one of the first two weekends in April. We will ask for the Meeting’s help when we are more clear on the details.
  • State of the Meeting Report
      1. Listening session on February 16th (3rd Sunday), 2020.
  • Clerks Meeting
      1. Clerks Meeting – Gordon B will be contacting clerks of the meeting’s committees to gather. This functions as a check in on the Meeting, but also as the Naming Committee (the group that helps create the nominating committee (the group that …)).
      2. 3rd Sunday of March 3/15
  • Regional Meeting
    1. M&O proposes that we host a Regional Meeting on one of the 1st two Saturdays in April (available at SFC). This is an invitation to nearby (1.5 hours) meetings to gather at enjoy fellowship, worship, and possible interest group/worship sharing. We have been asked by Friends at Chico Meeting to consider hosting. We are delighted with the idea.

Children’s Program Committee Report

Meeting for Worship for Business

February 9, 2020


We continue to have dedicated group of teachers and helpers serving our children for First Day School each Sunday. We have had some challenges with people traveling over the holidays and the seasonal illnesses but have managed to be present each First Day. The theme for the month of January was Peace and the children made collages, videos, heard stories, learned songs, all with Peace as the theme. In addition, the children are engaging in increasing minutes of their own silent worship in some of the First Day classes.


Roster of First Day School Teachers and accompaniment


We now have complete coverage of the Children’s Program within the committee, except for Kathy McCreery who is willing to participate in First Days but does not want to be on the committee. Our regular roster is as follows:


First First Day: Doug Hamm, teacher, and Judy Hamilton, accompaniment.


Second First Day: Karen Olsen, teacher, and Dorothy Henderson, accompaniment


Third First Day: Gordon Bishop, teacher, and Anita McCormick, accompaniment


Fourth First Day: Chamba Cooke, teacher, and Kathy McCreery, accompaniment


Fifth First Day: Karen Olsen, story teller.




We recognize the need for substitutes for times when the second adult is not available. Teachers expect to cover for each other, but we will be asking for volunteers for those who accompany the teacher. To be clear, we are asking for volunteers for just the accompanying adult, not for the teacher. Dorothy will send a clipboard around to get a list of volunteers.


Gavin’s role and status


It is our understanding that Gavin now has another job and will no longer be working for the Children’s Program. We will verify this and consider if we think it is necessary to have a paid staff person now that we have two adults each week.




The committee members have agreed that having a theme (Peace for the month of January) has worked well, allowing the teachers some guidance and enough freedom to create their own program for the day. We will continue, with Equality for this month (it is Black History month) and perhaps Quaker Women for March (Women’s history month). We now have a list of the monthly Advices and Queries from M & O and will look into incorporating some of those themes in the future.


In discussing how the current First Days have gone, it was suggested that we have a “teacher bag” with some small items that children could play with quietly while the group is gathering to share reflections or hear a story. Some of the younger children have a harder time sitting for even ten minutes and this may help them.


April, Fifth Sunday


We are bringing a proposal to the Meeting that we do a repeat of a previous Fifth Day when we invited parents and children to attend in order to increase connection with the parents regarding their experience of our Meeting and of the Children’s Program. We are suggesting that this take place on the Fifth Sunday in April (the 26th) with the expectation that the children will be with us for a story for about a half hour and then will leave the Meeting with some of the First Day School committee, while the parents remain in Meeting for an open exchange with the Meeting for the remainder of the time. 

Our outreach to the parents and children before Christmas was moderately successful and we would like to continue in our efforts at outreach to bring our families to Meeting in ways that work for them.


Meeting times


We will continue to meet every other month. Our next Meeting is March 15th third First Day, at the rise of Meeting at Woolmanhouse. We changed our meeting date back to Third First Day as it is difficult for our committee members who are on both M & O as well as CPC to do both committee meetings in one day. We regret that this means that Susan Hopkins will not be able to join us, but we hope to continue contact with her in other ways.


MINUTES WE ARE SEASONING  (These are items that have been presented to this Meeting for Business and are being held over for future discernment before approval.  They will appear on the next month’s agenda under Seasoned Minutes.)

Minute 2020.02.__:  Grass Valley Friends Meeting approves the new committee structure of five committees – The Stewardship Committee, the Welcome Committee, the Children’s Program Committee, the Spirit/Witness Committee, and Nominating Committee –  to take effect for the 2020-21 slate with the awareness that this decision is provisional upon future discernment over the 2020-21 year.


  • Proposed Changes to the 2020 Rental Agreement
  • Children’s Program report


Proposed Changes to the 2020 Rental Agreement

Between Grass Valley Friends Meeting and Sierra Friends Center

Proposed changes are italicized 

  1. Premises.  The premise leased is THE MEETING HOUSE located at 13075 Woolman Lane, Nevada City, Ca. 95959. Additional spaces and terms:
  2. The Meeting house is leased for Sundays from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM unless otherwise agreed.
  3. Additional Leased Spaces.
  4. Southeast corner closet for the sole use of the tenant
  5. Southeast alcove for the GVFM Library
  6. The classroom in the Administration building
  7. Northeast alcove coffee and tea bar 

    Tenant’s signature conveys understanding that this is a multi-use space and that care of tenant’s possessions cannot be guaranteed. Landlord agrees to apprise other renters of this building of agreements with Tenant.

  1.   Term. This agreement will be for a term beginning January 1, 2020 and continuing month-to-month until either Landlord or Tenant alters or terminates this Agreement by providing the other party with proper written notice to be delivered 30 days in advance of the alteration or termination.
  2. Use of Premises. The Premises will be occupied only by tenant and Tenant’s immediate family and use only for residential purposes.( this sentence should be struck, it is not applicable) 
  3.   Condition of Premises. Tenant has examined the Premises, including the appliances, fixtures and furnishings, and acknowledges that they are in good condition with repair, normal wear and tear excepted, and accepts them in its current condition, unless otherwise noted.

 The following items of furniture are owned by the Landlord:

  • Meeting House benches
  • Conference table and chairs
  • Upright piano, black
  • Bookshelves
  • Kitchen cabinets
  • Lectern

The following items of furniture are owned by the tenant:

  • Two 6” folding tables
  • Table, chair, books and periodicals, and magazine rack in GVFM library
  • Children’s table and chairs
  • 8 padded folding chairs
  • Upright Piano donated by the family of Lois Bailey
  1.   Maintenance and Repairs.  Tenant will maintain premises, including the grounds and all appliances, fixtures and furnishings, in clean, sanitary and good condition and repair. Tenant will not remove Landlord’s appliances, fixtures or furnishings for any purpose. Landlord is responsible for ensuring that all appliances, fixtures and furnishings are available to tenant after any shared use in clean, sanitary and good condition. If repairs other than general maintenance are required, Tenant will notify Landlord for such repairs. In the event of default by tenant, Tenant will reimburse Landlord for cost of any repairs or replacement.

Children’s Program Report:

The Children’s Program Committee has offered First Day School each Sunday since our last report. We have been able to coordinate coverage of a teacher and one adult accompaniment for each class, with committee members serving as substitutes when needed. The following items constitute our report for January:

  1. Our job description was approved at the December Meeting for Business. We are grateful.
  2. We are very happy to report that we now believe we have enough adults to cover all four Sundays within our committee. One of our members has stepped forth to be the lead teacher every fourth Sunday. This means that we now have full coverage for first, third and fourth Sundays with a lead teacher and accompaniment. On second Sunday we have a lead teacher and we are expecting to be able to cover the position of accompanying adult by having all of the regular committee members rotate through. This would mean that each member would be the accompanying adult once every five months. All but one of our regular members has agreed to this and we expect agreement from our final member soon. 
  3. The Christmas play of the 23rd Psalm during the Grass Valley Friends Meeting Christmas party, was a success in that we had several children participate and gracious teachers who were willing to adjust the script each First Day to keep everyone going. The parents were kindly willing to do their part as well. The length of the play, approximately 90 seconds was somewhat of a surprise, but for a first attempt, we were pleased. We are even making the generous interpretation that some of the message of Psalm 23 has reached our children.
  4. We will have a full discussion of how we want to go forward with curriculum for the coming months when we meet in February. There is not complete agreement about how to approach this subject so we are looking forward to seeking a truth among us. 
  5. In the meantime, we are using the Peace Testimony as a theme for the month of January to be consistent with what the Meeting is doing as a whole.
  6. We are agreed to meet every two months at the rise of Meeting on First Sundays. Our next meeting will be February 2nd at Doug and Dorothy’s.

Respectfully submitted,

Dorothy Henderson, clerk 



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