Submitted by Lopez Island Friends Meeting
Every Sunday for over 25 years a group of Lopez residents has gathered together, often in one another’s homes, to worship from a place of silence. At those meetings, there was no set agenda, program, creed or even the need for anyone to speak, although messages of hope, resilience, compassion and faith were often shared.
This “worship in the manner of Friends” is a centuries-old tradition and a practice of the Quaker faith community, one of the historic peace churches in the western tradition, and a community at the heart of the abolition movement, the women’s rights movement, civil rights, and gender equality.
Quakers as well created the concept of conscientious objection and have long renounced violence as a solution to conflicts. More visibly around Lopez, the Quaker national peace lobby in Washington D.C., FCNL, has brought us the bumper stickers proclaiming “War Is Not the Answer.”
Now this group of Lopez friends has officially joined the world-wide Quaker movement, also known as the Religious Society of Friends. This past year the Lopez Island Friends Meeting applied for and was officially accepted as a standing congregation within the regional body of Quakers, North Pacific Yearly Meeting.
To celebrate their new status, this Saturday, May 20, at 2 pm Lopez Island Friends Meeting is holding a public meeting for worship and potluck at its home, Sunnyfield Farm, 6363 Fisherman Bay Road. This hour or so long meeting, held in the manner of Friends, will be followed by the planting of newly created peace pole, a potluck, and by singing around the fire into the early evening.
All are welcomed to this public outdoor meeting. Lopez locals coming to the potluck afterward are invited to bring a salad or dessert to add to the table. Joining will be Quakers from meetings across the Pacific Northwest as well as representatives of other Lopez faith congregations.
“Our meeting was started in response to a need in our community and began with a few steady and committed folks,” shared Nancy Ewert, one of the co-founders of the group. “Little did we imagine that 28 years later, we would grow into the thriving worship community we are today. It is a strong testament to the harmony of our values as members of the Lopez community and the foundation provided by the Quaker faith.”
The public Quaker meeting will begin Saturday at 2 pm, Sunnyfield Farm. Lopez friends and neighbors are invited to join in this celebration of faith and community. All ages are welcomed and a children’s program will be provided.