The Living Light - Whittier First Friends Church


The Living Light - Whittier First Friends Church
The Living Light
“...and Christ shall give thee light.” Ephesians 5:14
Volume 53, Number 5
First Friends Church of Whittier
Fifth Month, 2014
Proud To Be Humble Quakers!
FCNL Priorities Reviewed
Tim Root gathered a dozen Friends after Meeting for
Worship on March 22 to discuss the priorities of the
Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) for
lobbying during the next, 114th Congress (2015-2016). As
a representative to FCNL of the Western Association of
the Religious Society of Friends (WARSF), it is Tim’s job
to sound out opinions of the WARSF constituency on how
FCNL should advocate for Friends.
In preparation for the meeting, Tim handed out a list
of the FCNL priorities approved by its General
Committee in 2012, and the draft of a new policy
statement approved by the General Committee last
November. Titled “The World We Seek,” this 18-page
document addresses specific current issues in the context
of the on-going peace and justice commitment of the
Society of Friends and FCNL. The overall philosophy of
the document is apparent from the headings of its four
parts: “We Seek 1) … a world free of war and the threat
of war; 2) …a society with equity and justice for all; 3) …
a community where every person’s potential may be
fulfilled; and 4) …an earth restored.” Within each of these
sections are several issues currently before the Congress.
FCNL is singling out twelve of these issues for priority
during the 114th Congress.
Discussion at the March 22 meeting disclosed some
reservations about the adequacy of the 2012 FCNL
priorities document. Several statements in the document
were found not specific or coherent enough. It was not
always clear whether the issues raised were domestic or
international. Suggestions were made for amplification of
phrases in all twelve policy statements.
The suggested rewording of FCNL priorities for the
114th Congress was presented to and approved by the
Whittier Monthly Meeting, to be forwarded to FCNL by
April 15, their requested date.
— Bob Newton
From service to tradition to spirituality, First Friends
is again in the thick of community activities!
The annual Serve Weekend is May 31-June 1. It is a
time when all the churches of Whittier unite together to
serve others in need. Friends will be taking donations of
food and office supplies at Office Depot and area grocery
stores. Go to for information.
On Saturday, May 10, we will continue our tradition
of participating in Founders Day. Among the Friends
taking part will be Milton Wright and his classic cars.
California’s Best Kettle Corn, as prepared by Steven
Caringella, will be sold by Whittier Friends School and a
wealth of Quaker heritage will be offered by docents from
the Jonathan Bailey House. Founders Day will be held
from 10 a.m to 1 p.m. in Central Park
A Testament of Devotion, the classic book based on
the life and writings of Thomas Kelly, forms the basis of
the current seven week adult Sunday School class. Kelly’s
book is an inspirational work that gathers together five
compelling essays urging us to find quiet and stillness
within modern life. The nature of the Inner Light has
rarely been presented so accessibly.
The class meets in Sharpless Lounge at 9:30 a.m. on
Sundays before Meeting for Worship. If you want to own
a copy of A Testament of Devotion, talk with Darrell
— Elisabeth Elliot
Friendly Fare by Lea Wright
Dear Friends, Last month many of us were on earthquake
watch after experiencing a 5.1 in La Habra at the end of
March. Many little aftershocks kept our nerves on edge.
Now, a month later, we seem to be getting on with our
lives, and I don’t even find myself checking “QuakeFeed”
online anymore.
Friends About Town: The Whittier Friends School
inter mediate class
along with siblings
and parents traveled to
Washington DC for an
American Heritage
and Quaker learning
experience. (See the
story on page 4 for
mor e
Meanwhile back at
home Ashley Ryder
reported about her trip
to the Renaissance
Faire (with her parents but without her sister Kat who was
in DC with her class.) She went on a gnome scavenger
hunt, enjoyed eating fruit ice, corn, and a pork sandwich,
and she had fun playing the games.
School and Work News: Cedric Woirhaye has recently
been accepted to attend Don Bosco Technical Institute
(college prep) for his high school education. The family is
still in the process of making final decisions in that regard,
but they are very proud of his intellectual achievements
and progress in life. Emma McIntosh and four
classmates from Monrovia High School and their
rhinestone-encrusted robot qualified to advance to the
2014 First Tech Challenge Robotics World
Championships in St. Louis as a result of their strong
performance at the West Super-Regional Robotics
Tournament. The members of the “Kings And Queens”
team designed and built their 18 by 18 inch robot from
Tetrix parts, plexiglas, metal shapes and machined
aluminum to compete with alliances of robots on a 12 by
12 foot field. In competitions the robots are required to
perform a variety of tasks in 2-1/2 minutes including
picking up 2-inch plastic cubes and depositing them into
elevated goals, navigating a wooden ramp, raising a flag
up a pole, and gripping a cross bar and pulling themselves
up completely off the floor, all while coordinating with a
partner robot and while sharing the field with an opposing
team of robots intent on accomplishing the same tasks.
Chrysanthi Leon (daughter of Rob & Sue Settlage) is an
Associate Professor of Sociology and Criminal Justice at
the University of Delaware. Every year sociology and
criminology graduate students are asked to vote for a
faculty member to receive the Jan Burrows Award. This
award is designed to recognize faculty whose work with
graduate students has been exceptional, and has made a
significant impact on the students’ preparation for work in
the field of sociology or criminal justice. Recipients of the
Jan Burrows Award demonstrate excellence in classroom
teaching, outstanding contributions to the enrichment of
student education, guidance and development of students’
teaching skills, and maintain strong mentoring
relationships with students. Dr. Chrysanthi Leon is the
2014 Jan Burrows Award recipient.
Friends Travel: Elinore Petoletti boarded the train and
began a trip across the USA with the hope of seeing
cherry blossoms in Washington DC. It rained and the
cherry blossoms were still not opened, but she visited with
Megan Gilmore, a granddaughter who has just moved to
DC. She continued on by train to Georgia, seeing
Savannah, Jekyll Island, Plains
(Jimmy Carter and peanuts),
and Callaway Gardens, where
beautiful azaleas were inbloom. In New Orleans there
was more rain and a tornado
watch and then, back to LA on
the Sunset Limited. Southern
hospitality was in evidence
everywhere they went. In
March, Brendon & Deanna Woirhaye had a wonderful
opportunity to take a trip to Barcelona Spain, this time
without the children. They were treated by visits to
various architectural delights around town such as Gaudi’s
La Sagrada Família, Casa Milà, Casa Batlló, and Park
Güell. They also had a chance to be mesmerized by the art
of Salvador Dalí at a museum in Figueres, Spain. Last
month the Beede siblings
attended t heir aunt’s
memorial event in Santa Fe,
New Mexico. Here are Ben,
Lyn, Norm, & Jo Nita, with
The Living Light continuing
our tradition: “The Living
Light Travels.” (Remember,
your submissions are welcome and needed.)
Friends Celebrate: Peggy Anderson, who lives in Yucca
Valley, has recently celebrated her 90th birthday—
Congratulations, Peggy! Ami Troedsson was happy to
share that because of His grace she was able to walk the
CROP hunger walk again this year, being the oldest
walker at 85! God is good.
Friends Remember: Our dear friend Alice Newsom
passed away peacefully in April after recently celebrating
her 100th birthday. Please hold her daughters, Janine and
Nina as well as their families in your prayers. There will
be a memorial service on May 3 at 4:00 p.m..
Friends Sharing News: Help to keep the Friendly Fare
going. Email me a quick note and tell me your news. Send
to Lea at [email protected], or deliver to me at church
on Sunday. See you next month!
Bach Cantata Thrills
There have been many fine musical events at First
Friends Church. The Bach Cantata BWV 182, “King of
Heaven Be Most Welcome” offered on April 6 as a
worship service, was one of the most memorable. The
Worship Choir and seven guest musicians rendered the
profoundly moving
cantata, first performed
on Palm Sunday 1714.
conducted the cantata
and played the organ
The Sunday bulletin
carried Russ’s notes on
the history of the
cantata, which was
inspired by Scriptures
from Matthew 21 and Philippians 2, read during the
meeting by Vikki Kendrick. Russ’s introduction gave
technical details of the score, as it conveyed the symbolic
meaning of Christ’s welcome processional into Jerusalem
(and into our hearts).
Michael Urquidi, a music scholar from Whittier
College, played as a prelude to the service Bach’s Lute
Suite in E Minor BWV 996. Converting the work to his
guitar, Michael did a highly creditable rendering of this
long and demanding work.
The choir called the congregation to worship with
Hugo Distler’s “A Lamb Goes Uncomplaining Forth.” As
Russ explained in his notes, Distler was an important
German church music composer of the last century.
Guest instrumentalists played in all eight sections of
the cantata. They were Karen Black, bass; Carolyn
Litchfield, cello; Danilo Lozano, flute; Cynthia Ann
Pendergast, violin; Sue Reinecke, viola; and Lisa Santana,
viola. Carolyn and Lisa are respectively the principal cello
and viola of the Rio Hondo Symphony Orchestra and
Karen plays with that group as well.
The first section was instrumental, with flute and
violin leading the way. Next came the choir plus organ
and all instruments. The third and fourth sections were
vocal passages delivered very handsomely by choir
member Chris Jones. Allison Coop did a fine rendering of
the aria of part 5, the longest and most demanding of the
vocal solos, sung partly in German. Brian Padilla, guest
tenor, delivered the aria of Part 6 with authority and
feeling. All of the vocal solos had instrumental
accompaniment. The cantata ended with two choral parts,
the last bringing together choir, instruments, and organ.
During open worship, several Friends rose to thank
the choir, the visiting musicians, and Russ Litchfield, who
put together a wonderful introduction to the Easter season.
— Bob Newton
Breakfast, Lilies
And Handbells
Contribute To A Fine Easter
“He Is Risen Indeed!” responded the congregation,
loudly and joyously, to Elisabeth Elliot’s opening words,
“Christ Is Risen!” at Easter Sunday worship. The
meetinghouse, decorated with white lilies in memory of or
in tribute to beloved Friends and relatives, resounded to
the music of the choir, organ, handbell ringers, and
There was a good attendance for the events of the day.
First came the traditional Easter breakfast in Fellowship
Hall, which met the high standards set on previous
Easters. Glazed cinnamon rolls, grated potato patties,
fresh pineapple and strawberries were served as sides for
the baked cheese omelet, the highlight of countless Easter
breakfast menus. The Youth Fellowship group, some of
whom had returned only the evening before from a weeklong trip to Washington, Baltimore, and Philadelphia with
the Whittier Friends School Intermediate Class, cooked
and served the meal under the supervision of Todd and
Nancy Cramer, Vikki Kendrick, Nicholas Kontaratos,
Lynda Ladwig, Mel and Sharon Sturr, Mindy van Dorn,
and Philip Wright.
The handbell ringers, eight strong, began with an
Easter Welcoming, then joined with the choir for a call to
worship which Russ Litchfield directed while also
manipulating five bells! The bells returned twice during
the service, along with the Worship Choir. The
congregation chimed in enthusiastically with two familiar
Easter hymns, “Thine Is the Glory” and “Christ Is Alive!”
Lynda Ladwig’s sermon, “An Empty Tomb, Really?”
interpreted the scripture in Luke 24:1-2, as read by
Michael Elliot. Adding to the cheerfulness of the day was
the attire of the young folks who gathered for the
children’s message by Tish Purkiss.
from the inspiring
Elisabeth’s closing
prayer. As they
exited through the
foyer, they passed
Wr ight’s
exquisite sculpture
of the Empty Tomb,
wrought from wood
and pebbles and
covered with living
wooly thyme. It
was a perfect California spring day for courtyard
refreshments and conversation.
— Bob Newton
WFS Intermediate Students
Visit Historic Sites
Whittier Friends School’s Intermediate Class recently
returned from their “American Heritage” trip, where they
visited Washington DC, Baltimore, and Philadelphia.
They had worked with their teacher, Cassie Caringella, in
planning the trip, choosing places that were important to
them, the development of the nation, and of particular
interest to Quakers. Our travelers included students
Hunter Collins, Avon Dhawal, Katerina Ryder, Anathea
Woirhaye and Cedric Woirhaye, along with parents Jody
Collins, Brendon and Deanna Woirhaye and Justine
Whitehead, school personnel Cassie Caringella and Lea
Wright, and child “visitors,” Avalon Caringella, Shreeya
Dhawal and Elyse Woirhaye. With help from WFS
teacher Alicia Atkinson’s family in Baltimore and new
Quaker friend Lou Philips of Arch Street Meeting in
Philadelphia, our travelers were able to stay at homes
rather than paying for hotel stays. Here are some
highlights, in the students’ words:
Avon: Fort McHenry (in Baltimore) is the fort where
a battle in the War of 1812 was fought. My experience at
Fort McHenry was “alright.” My group and I watched a
short film discussing the history of Fort McHenry, and
then we were allowed to go outside. There were many
hills with bright green grass growing on them. There were
many cannons on the hills. Unfortunately all of the
cannon hole things were locked and I couldn’t find any
cannonballs. Half of my group and I took a walk around
the fort. We saw closed entrances to the lower levels of
the fort. We got lost and a nice security guard helped us
find our way back into the main building to look around a
bit more. We read about the war, and how in the morning,
Francis Scott Key saw through a lot of smoke, the
American flag raised up on a pole. This indicated that we
had won that battle, and inspired him to write our national
anthem, “The Star Spangled Banner.”
Anathea: The Smithsonian Institute is a collection of
nineteen museums that line the National Mall in
Washington D.C. In WFS’s visit, we went to a total of
five. We first visited the Air and Space Museum to learn
about space flight and to eat at the food court. It had
rained earlier that morning but had stopped. Now we
could see it falling in sheets and some of the courtyards
were filled with pools. My family, along with Hunter and
Katerina, ran through the rain down towards the Native
American Museum, a very interestingly curved building
based on belief of spirits not liking corners. When we
entered, the security guards equipped with a very alert
(sleeping) K-9 unit, got a surprise guest — in other words,
Truman the Horse Head Mask. Our group went to the
kids’ level to practice basket weaving, the making of quilt
patterns, and how to balance on a kayak with Elyse
singing “Do you want to build a snowman?” and Hunter
screaming, “Oh look, a shark!” After leaving the museum,
the rain was hard enough for a duck to float on the patio.
We walked through gallons of rain and about a mile of
National Mall to reach the American History Museum.
There we saw the 15-star American flag flown at Fort
McHenry, which we also visited. We also saw the First
Lady collection. We met up with Justine, and Shreeya,
Katerina, Avon and I mimicked statues. Truman also
wanted to try. We went to the Natural History Museum
and at last, after being kicked out at closing time two
years ago, my family saw the Hope Diamond. We also
observed elephants, gift shops, restaurants and moai
(statues from Easter Island). We had a wet and cold but
very educational time at the Smithsonian Museums.
Hunter: Arlington Cemetery is hallowed ground
located on a hill outside of Washington DC. There are
thousands and thousands of graves, most of them service
men and women. The gravestones are made of white
marble with names and dates. They show their rank and
family. On top of the hill there is a memorial to John F.
Kennedy and his family.
Cedric: What I really liked when I visited
Philadelphia was the city being the first American city to
abolish slavery. I liked the nice downtown that is called
Center City which looks beautiful at night. I liked the
people that say that Philadelphia is a friendly
neighborhood. I also liked that the city is known as the
birthplace of the country. I really think that Philadelphia is
a good place to live because I think that this city holds
relics about our nation during its development such as the
Liberty Bell which was originally the state house bell that
later became a symbol of freedom, and Independence Hall
which was originally known as the State House where the
Declaration of Independence was signed. I like the
deciduous trees because they display beautiful leaves
throughout the seasons. I also like the beautiful cherry
blossoms that drop pink petals around the base of the tree.
I enjoyed seeing originals of artifacts that were important
to our nation, like inventions at the Smithsonian.
Katerina: On Friday the Intermediate Class, on their
way back from Philadelphia went to Pennsbury Manor. It
was quite enjoyable. William Penn’s house was glorious
in ways, like the rurual setting, the size of the house, the
dining hall for the servants, and the many bedrooms. It
even has a dock on the Delaware River. Having your
house by a river when you have no roads makes it another
way to travel to and from places (William Penn would
travel by boat for 4 hours to get to Philadelphia). For a
personal like, I loved the pasture for the horse. We then
left the historic land of one of our fellow Quakers and
headed out to Denny’s for dinner.
Visit the Whittier Friends School’s blog to see many
pictures of our trip! The address is:
— Cassie Caringella
May 2014
Tuesday Wednesday Thursday
Schedule for
7:00p Choir
6:30p Friday
Family Flicks
(Movie Night)
First Day
Classes—9:30 a
Meeting for
12:15p Monthly
1:30p Writing
7:00a Spiritual
Growth &
Quaker Men
9:15a Trustees
7:00p Handbell
Choir Rehearsal
7:00p Quaker
Men’s Evening
7:00p Choir
Founders Day
Celebration in
Central Park
12:15p Monthly
1:30p Writing
Friendly Fare
7:00a Spiritual
Growth &
Quaker Men
7:00p Handbell
Choir Rehearsal
6:00p AFFN
Living Light
7:00p Choir
5:00p WFS
3:00p New
Century Singers
1:30p Writing
6:00p Monthly
Mission Monday
7:00a Spiritual
Growth &
Quaker Men
7:00p Handbell
Choir Rehearsal
7:00p Choir
7:00a Spiritual
Growth &
Quaker Men
7:00p Handbell
Choir Rehearsal
Living Light
7:00p Quaker
Men’s Evening
7:00p Choir
Serve Weekend
12:15p Outreach 10:00a
1:30p Writing
Living Light
7:00p Quaker
Men’s Evening
Ami Troedsson
Amy Wright
Anathea Woirhaye
Anthony Manousos
Brett Haynes
Chris Quarnstrom
David Ellis
Elizabeth Ellis
Ellen Wright
Gina Natoli
Jean Sponsler
John Marshburn
Maggie Leon
Melissa Jones
Tammy Van Dorn
Timothy Root
Xenia Arriola
If we've missed your
birthday, we apologize
(and happy birthday)!
We're working hard to
keep our birthday
calendar up-to-date so
please let us know if
we're forgetting
Thank you!
Balloons, Eggs, and Myths
Show Scientific Principles
WFS Parents and Staff
Pitch In for Yard Sale
Balloons were a major learning tool for the
Intermediate students at the Whittier Friends School’s
April 7 Science Fair. Avon Dhawal’s poster exhibit
showed photos of him modeling expansion of the universe
by blowing up a balloon decorated with stars. Hunter
Collins explained his experiments on balloon-powered
rocket propulsion. His cleverly-designed device, when
tested in Parnell Park, showed that he needs to improve
his guidance system—the rocket took off sidewise along
the ground like a cruise missile. The most spectacular
balloon simulation was Cedric Woirhaye’s death-of-thesun experiment. Cedric’s researches on stellar evolution
revealed that our sun is destined to blow up into a ‘red
giant’ star in another five billion years, engulfing our
planetary system.
Fourth-grader Ashley Ryder participates in some of
the Intermediate activities. Her demonstration at the
Science Fair asked
the question “Is
There Life on Mars?”
She explained that
the Mars rover
established that there
have been chemical
environments on the
surface of Mars that
left deposits of
chloride and sodium
indicate the former existence of bodies of water like the
oceans where life got started on our own earth.
Katerina Ryder demonstrated the origin of cratering
on the surface of the moon. She explained that the moon
is covered with a sediment of fine-grained rock particles
called the regolith. She modeled the regolith with a broad
basin filled with slightly moist sand, and the cratering
effects of dropping into it rounded objects of varying size
and weight, simulating meteorites. Her largest crater was
produced by dropping her signature round object, a soccer
ball. (Kat is an accomplished youth soccer player.)
Anathea Woirhaye’s exhibit on the “weather” on
Jupiter was impressive. She modeled motions in the dense
atmosphere by injecting red-dyed vegetable oil into a piepan filled with milk, and gently swirling it. The resulting
streaks and plumes were quite reminiscent of the turbulent
varicolored patterns observed on Jupiter.
After the Intermediate exhibits came courtyard game
time. There was the traditional egg-survival test with
drops from the second-floor balcony. All three eggs tested
survived. The Intermediate students lined up for a Frisbee
On the fourth Saturday of March every year, Whittier
Friends School participates in the Whittier Historic
Neighborhood Association’s annual community yard sale.
Our benefit sale was again hosted by WFS parent Justine
Whitehead on her Washington Ave. front lawn.
By mid morning, when this reporter got there, the
“big-ticket items” had mostly gone. This was somewhat
disappointing—the larger resale items are often the most
Still looking for a new owner were a junior-dunk
adjustable-height basketball hoop and a “Gro-Lab”
fluorescent-lamp herbarium frame from the Intermediate
School. WFS Teacher Cassie Caringella explained that
good old California sunshine grew experimental plants
better than Gro-Lab after the students built a shelter-frame
to protect against marauding animals, insects and wind.
Two beautiful items had to be explained. A collection
of exquisite ceramic ornaments proved to be patternstamps for cookies. A shiny metal object shaped like an
overgrown pocket watch in a red-velvet-lined box was
said to be a pocket liquor flask.
A sidewalk concession stand offered chocolate-chip
cookies at 50¢ each, made by Justine’s adjunct 3rd-grade
daughter, Shreeya Dhawal, and small bags of cotton
candy at 25¢ per bag sold by pre-schooler Landon
Caringella. Both young merchants were doing a good
business to benefit their school.
Most of the resale items were children’s clothing,
books and video movies donated by parents, teachers and
members of First Friends Church. Our education
enterprise is truly a team effort!
— Bob Newton
toss-for-distance competition. Predictably, athletic Kat
launched the winning toss, which soared onto the roof of
the carport.
Science Fairgoers then migrated to the Elementary
School classroom to see the younger students’ exhibits.
Each student had prepared two exhibits. One was a poster
with star maps illustrating prominent constellations (Canis
Major, Orion, etc.) including a list of their most prominent
stars and an explanation of the ancient Greek myths
associated with each. The other exhibit was a model
medieval castle, complete with ramparts, draw-bridge and
dungeons. These very impressive cardboard models were
made as family projects involving the parents.
Whittier Friends School teachers Alicia Atkinson,
Marielle Askew and Cassie Caringella discreetly stayed in
the background, letting their students preside over their
own exhibits without coaching. However, the skill and
patience of these teachers in enabling their students to
achieve are apparent.
— Bob Newton
Peace-Minded Artists Gather
For Tenth Peace Café
Ballads, essays, poems, and a Cherokee prayer-chant
came on-stage at the 10th Peace Café held Saturday
evening, March 22, in Fellowship Hall. This occasional
gathering has become an important tradition at First
Friends since it was first conceived years ago by Carrin
Bouchard and JoNita Beede. Peace-oriented artists and
speakers of all sorts come together to share creativity and
fellowship with like-minded people from the Whittier
community. As always, Carrin catered a fine snack bar
and soft-drink counter for the cabaret-style event.
Onstage entertainment never lapsed. It was largely
spontaneous and unstructured. Singer-guitarist-composer
Jo Nita opened with a medley of her ballads, well known
and well-loved by
F ir st
Fr iends ,
i nc lu d i n g
h er
original “Winter
Fires.” Peace Café
O ver in,
St eve
McCarville and
came onstage as
the spirit moved, with their guitars and peace-motivated
ballads some original. A newcomer to Peace Café was
Johnny Hendricks, singing his original compositions
“Love” and “The Eternal Promise.”
Young Evan McCarville, son of Dan, made his second
appearance at Peace Café. He and co-guitarist Don
Hamilton performed electrifying hard-rock original songs
“Hey Lady” and “Push Too Hard.”
Poets and essayists were interspersed with singers in
walk-on performances. Bernice Jimenez read her moving
poem “Kelly Was Once My Friend,” about a tragic streetshooting incident that occurred in Whittier. Deanna
Woirhaye chanted “Om-net tad a wy-up da way-ya”
without accompaniment in remembrance of her late
mother and brother. The rhythmic Cherokee prayer for
strength had its intended soothing effect on listeners.
Lynne Blankenship read several lovely original poems,
including “Yosemite” which was inspired by a crosscountry ski trip after a snowfall in the National Park.
Nick Donovan, a Whittier businessman and citizen
advocate who has run twice for City Council, spoke
briefly. His message as an environmentalist and peace
activist is well known to many Peace Café goers.
Fellowship Hall was lined with exhibits of peaceoriented groups. As usual, the Whittier Area Peace and
Justice Coalition brought a display of pictures and
literature. Carrin Bouchard filled a table with literature
Let The Living Water Flow!
California was one of four locations selected for
Consultations on the Friends World Committee for
Consultation’s 2014 theme of “Living Water.” Around
100 attended this and each of the other three gatherings,
held in North Carolina, Bolivia, and El Salvador.
The California Consultation was held on March 14-16
at Friends Community Church in Sacramento. Following
the FWCC theme, the opening plenary was titled
“Exploring the River: Friends Past and Present.” Nancy
Thomas of Northwest Yearly Meeting led the session,
which noted the organizational and spiritual roots of
Friends and many of the persons devoted to and inspired
for that work. This was followed by small group
interaction in “Home Groups,” a spiritual sharing and
discussion of conference theme events.
On Saturday, Friends participated in a number of
workshops. “Cross Cultural Communication: Whoever
Has Ears Let Them Hear” was about not just learning the
language but how to enter into a new country and the
cultural understanding that underlies individual
It was suggested that we, as Quakers, have tended to
deny adopting compromising tolerance to give the
appearance of change. The workshop on conflict
transformation addressed this concern through the
exchange of experiences by participants.
The “Quaker Leadership for the 21st Century”
presentation explored the Quaker heritage with an
emphasis on spiritual lives and leadings of individuals
representing Friends’ points of reference. Participants
were challenged to offer fresh ways of approach by
developing queries.
The final workshop developed the theme of “Friends
Serving God’s Purposes: Servant-Leadership toward
Peace and Eco-Justice.” After interactive sharing, the
experience moved to a project of Sacramento Friends that
uses foot washing among the homeless as an example of
servant-leadership. Participants then shared in the
experience of foot-washing.
The Consultation concluded with a programmed
Meeting for Worship led by Kelly Kellum, pastor of High
Point Friends Meeting in North Carolina along with Home
Group gatherings and reflections on the inspiring shared
— Bill Wright
she has collected from peace and environmental groups.
Pat Ormsby returned with a poster exhibit advocating wild
animal protection. Deanna Woirhaye showed hand-made
note cards that featured her highly regarded nature
photography. Laure Falter brought her bazaar of handcrafted jewelry. And, as always, several of the famous
landscape paintings by our late member Janet Church
graced the Peace Café ambience.
— Bob Newton
A Friendly Face
Elisabeth Graham Elliot was born in Whittier and
grew up in La Habra where she graduated from La Habra
High School. Her maternal grandparents, Elisha Roberts
and Dorothy Richie, were members of our Meeting as is
her mother Beth. Beth is a retired RN who also served as a
City Councilwoman and Mayor of La Habra. Elisabeth’s
father John and his brother owned Graham’s Chevron and
Towing in La Habra for many years.
Elisabeth received her BA from Whittier College with
a double-major in theater and English. She began her
work life as an entertainment writer for the Los Angeles
Times as well as doing public relations and production
work with area theatre companies. She was first
introduced to her future at Disneyland in a conversation
with a fellow guest at the Anne and Bedford MacIntosh
wedding. A few months later, Elisabeth started work as a
stage manager and coordinator for Disney Performing
Arts, a program that offers workshop and performance
opportunities to young people around the world. She
celebrated her 20-year Disney anniversary this year.
While at La Habra High, Elisabeth was involved in
music and theater productions including Scotscapades, a
large-scale Broadway revue that each year featured a cast
and crew of over 400 students! It was during Scotscapades
that she first met Michael Elliot, a recent LHHS graduate
who often volunteered at the school as a technical
director. Although they knew each other slightly at
Disneyland, it was at the annual LHHS performing arts
department reunion that they really reacquainted. Still, it
took a few years for the spark between the two longtime
singles to develop into a flame! In 2010, Michael and
Elisabeth were married in the Old Quaker Meeting House
in North Adams, Massachusetts because of that state’s
marriage equality laws. They renewed their vows during
Meeting for Worship at First Friends the following year.
Michael has worked at Disneyland for 34 years as a
technical designer and master electrician. During that
time, he has also worked as a show lighting technician for
Walt Disney Imagineering in Tokyo and Hong Kong.
Both Elisabeth and Michael are history and theater
enthusiasts. In 2009, they spent five weeks touring their
ancestral Scotland and England with Michael’s three
brothers and their wives. They took part in the
Homecoming Scotland Gathering of the Clans amid much
pageantry! They plan to continue their travel to historic
sites around the United States in the future.
Elisabeth has acted in and directed many theatre
productions that have received “Best of the Year”
recognition by the Los Angeles Times and the Orange
County Register. She loves working with young people
and has directed youth group productions at First Friends.
Currently, she is writing a light-hearted play about Quaker
history and tradition. Michael and Elisabeth have begun to
slowly restore their Mid-Century Modern style house in
Anaheim. They have presented two interesting programs
for All Friends Fellowship Night on the “large, large
world” of Disney and we are looking forward to another
program this coming June.
Elisabeth is Clerk of our Communications Committee.
She is a member of Ministry and Counsel and the Pastoral
Search Committee. She has brought the message during
Meeting for Worship and feels our Meeting offers a place
where we can develop a deeper personal relationship with
God. The stillness in open worship and centering down
offers a great relief from her constant activity in the
outside world. The Quaker testimonies have shaped her
life in deeply personal ways. “Our Meeting offers so
much to all ages and backgrounds, she says. “There is a
real detachment in America right now from mainline
churches and I am so eager to help those folks who
consider themselves ‘spiritual-but-not-religious’ find their
way to our meetinghouse. We are living proof that socalled organized religion can have a vibrant relevance to
anyone who seeks.”
Where can you find her? Seated on the front row, left
side on Sunday mornings, often with Michael beside her.
Say ‘Hello’ to them!
— Ted Marshburn
FUM Travel Plans Need Funding
The FUM Triennial is just a month away and we have
six young people interested in attending the youth
sessions. While we do have some travel funds set aside,
we could use your help in making this trip possible and
cost effective for their parents. If you can help please send
your check payable to First Friends Church with the
notation “FUM Youth Travel.” Thank you in advance for
your generosity.
“Carl Nelson’s” Writing Group
Reads At Fellowship Night
Twenty-two years ago our late member Carl Nelson
led a twelve-week creative writing class, structured
around participants’ personal recollections. The class was
so popular that Carl was asked to keep it going, and it still
carries on. The Memoirs Writing Group’s presentation at
All Friends Fellowship Night (AFFN) on April 9
delighted an audience of about 30.
Bill Wright, a member of the group at its inception,
convened the reading program in Fellowship Hall after a
fine potluck supper, coordinated by Ted and Mary
Marshburn. Gwen Woirhaye and Bill, the group’s current
co-leaders, prepared a program leaflet listing the
evening’s eleven readers.
Barbara Noller’s story, “I Used to Think Baseball
Was a Boring Game,” told of her father’s avid interest in
team sports, which was passed down to Barbara’s brother
Mike McCormick. Mike became a star major league
baseball pitcher, and winner of the prestigious Cy Young
Award. Naturally, Barbara had to attend many games and
honors events, and though she is proud of her brother’s
achievements, she still thinks baseball is boring!
As in Barbara Noller’s story, subsequent readings told
of youthful experiences. Mahlon Woirhaye’s delightful
story, “Slap,” told of his moments of childish pride when
a worn-out shoe sole created an attention-getting whack as
he walked. Monte Wicker recounted his first airplane ride
at the age of 12. He was watching wistfully at a local
airport near Whittier when the pilot of a small aircraft
asked him if he would like to take a plane ride! Naturally,
Monte’s mother was aghast when Monte confessed his
Owen Henninger told the dramatic story of his narrow
escape from being incinerated in a smelter furnace in
Utah. Owen suffered a short indisposition while reading
and had to sit down, but quick-acting moderator Bill
Wright read the remainder of Owen’s gripping account.
Beverly Harris read a charming story about the
poodles that she and her sisters raised for several years.
Beverly decorated the covers of several bound collections
of Memoirs Group writings with beautiful sketches, one
of which, from a 2009 collection called “Memories and
Musings,” was reproduced on the program leaflet cover.
Gene Romig read about his unauthorized jaunt at age
four into the desert around the hamlet of Deming New
Mexico to satisfy his curiosity. He managed to get back
home safely without anyone knowing he had left! Carolyn
Sarrail read a humorous story about an improvised Santa
Claus suit that became a Christmas tradition in her family.
Salvatore DeVita’s youthful acquaintances in Brooklyn
New York called themselves “The Little Rat Pack.” They
loved to laugh in places where laughing was forbidden
(like church), which got them into trouble. Norm Stevens
reminisced about the ice-box cookies his mother used to
make, their fragrance still “a poignant memory.” Gwen
Woirhaye told amusing anecdotes about the many
generations of Persian kittens she raised over 25 years.
The last story of the evening, titled “You Moved Your
Lips,” was written by Carl Nelson himself, and read by
Bill Wright. Carl greatly admired Gus White, an author,
Whittier College professor, and long time member of First
Friends Church. Gus was an accomplished speaker and a
founding member of the local Toastmasters club which
Carl was invited to join. Carl’s first attempt at
toastmastering was critiqued by his demanding mentor
Gus who said “That’s the first time I ever saw a person
talk five minutes without moving his lips!” Duly
admonished, Carl improved. Many times afterward when
he read or said something at church, Gus’s wife, Helen,
would whisper “Carl, you moved your lips.”
Carl Nelson is remembered for his wonderful humor,
always loving and supportive. Carl’s unique legacy
endures in the writing group which carries on and in the
many stories by him in the bound collections of the
group’s writings. The volumes on display at the AFFN
event served as a tribute to the founder of the Memoirs
Writing Group.
— Bob Newton
Keep the Wagon Filled
During the weekly trip to the grocery store, Friends
are asked to pick up some extra non-perishable items to
donate to the Interfaith Food Center.
Bring your groceries to Meeting for Worship and
place them in the Red Wagon in the foyer.
Founders Day Coming!
The annual Founders Day celebration will be held on
Saturday May 10 and the event will run from 10 a.m. to 1
p.m. again. Plan to come to Central Park at the corner of
Washington Avenue and Bailey Street. Volunteers are
needed to set up exhibits, work at the booth, and, at the
end, assist in taking down the booth and cleaning up the
area. Contact the church office for information on
Answering That Of God
In her worship message on March 30, Carol Urner
introduced herself as an unprogrammed Friend doing the
unusual task of bringing a pre-programmed message. She
had thought of speaking about the Women’s Theological
Conferences which she has attended in the Pacific
Northwest, where Quaker women from the evangelical
and unprogrammed traditions have been meeting together
for 20 years to their mutual edification. But she decided to
speak instead from her experience of living in several
countries where the people have never heard of Quakers.
Bangladesh was formed out of Bengal after the
independence and partition of India, and became a
Muslim nation. It took in thousands of people who came
with nothing as refugees from other parts of India. Many
had been Hindu untouchables who had become Muslims
to obtain a better status in life and greater dignity. The
area is one which suffers from terrible annual floods in
which thousands die.
When Carol and Jack moved there for Jack’s
development work, they found among the “ex-pat”
women (mostly from Europe, but some from the
Americas) one from the Netherlands who was wealthy
enough to have founded a clinic. She had taken pity on a
small beggar girl at her gate who was covered with sores.
Her Muslim pharmacist told her the girl had scabies,
caused by a very small mite, a contagious disease very
common among those too poor to have a way to bathe
regularly. He showed her a neighborhood where the
condition was prevalent and then went with her into the
area with medicines twice a week. This had grown into a
clinic and the clinic had expanded. Carol volunteered to
work there with the Dutch lady and her women friends,
foreign and local.
When summer came, most of the ex-pats left for home
or other cooler climates, leaving Carol more or less in
charge of their clinic. The local helpers then began to tell
her what they would like to see done for the illiterate
mothers so desperate to get help for their children.
Various projects were started, including a sewing industry
to raise a little money.
This did not suit the founding women when they
returned, and they asked Carol and her new projects to
leave the clinic. So Carol, with Jack’s permission, moved
the projects to her house, which was in a community
reserved for diplomats and foreign consultants. They did
sewing in the house, and held classes on the driveway and
lawn. Carol learned enough Bengali to teach reading and
arithmetic. Eventually the clinic sponsors came by to see
how they were faring, and were impressed enough to
arrange for a skilled sewing teacher to come and help the
women make a more marketable product. The women
were offered use of the Urners’ shower. Jack and Carol
also started a fund from which small no-interest loans
could be made. Although the sponsoring women were
divided over whether these women should be sewing for a
foreign or a local market, when they moved their clinic to
a larger compound, they offered the new projects space.
Carol’s message stressed that seeds were planted and
the seeds grew. George Fox told his followers to be
patterns and examples and to walk cheerfully over the
earth, answering that of God in everyone. Are we reaching
out to everyone, learning to love and accept even those
who are different from ourselves?
Carol wrote an article for the May 1986 Quaker Life
which gave an expanded account of her Bangladesh
experience. Julie Urner, who visited her parents in
Bangladesh, helped her remember many details for this
— Sabron Newton
Walsh Challenges and Illuminates
The circles of our Meeting continue to grow. At the
University of Redlands, Jasmine Sturr has had many
exciting experiences but cites the classes of University
Chaplain John Walsh as among the most inspiring. “But
as much as Jasmine talks about Redlands,” said John, “she
talks about this Meeting too.” So when the invitation was
offered to him to bring the message at Meeting for
Worship on April 13, John was happy to accept.
John spoke on the topic of “moral imagination”—the
ability to discern and envision the help we can extend to
those in need. As Jesus says in Luke 14, “when you give a
banquet, invite the poor, the lame and the blind.” It was
this challenge that John presented in real and immediate
terms as we live our lives today. “Moral imagination
liberates us from the captivity of contentment.”
It is this imagination that is illuminated by scripture,
whether one views the Bible as a text that remains
unchanged and fixed forever or one that offers continuing
revelation. John offered the possibility that many of the
ideas in the Old Testament can be exchanged for those of
the New Testament and, as Paul shares in Romans, the
renewing of what is good and acceptable. Citing one of
his mentors, the late Peter Gomes of Harvard University,
the climate around the lens through which we see has
changed, and we have changed.
Some may be familiar with a sculpture on the grounds
of St. Albans Episcopal Church in the affluent community
of Davidson, North Carolina. Entitled “Homeless Jesus,”
it depicts a man lying on a bench covered with a blanket.
The sculpture has created controversy, even extending to
one parishioner who thought it was a real homeless
person—and called the police.
“You will never see what you do not look at, and
when we don’t see, we judge people without hearing their
story” concluded John. Just as Christ did, we must invite
people to the banquet.
— Elisabeth Elliot
Estelle Bushaw
Estelle Bushaw was born in Gary, Indiana in March
1924 to John and Anna Niesciur, whose families had
come separately to the U.S. from Poland, meeting here
through a match-maker.
They became naturalized
citizens in 1927, when
Estelle was 3 and her
sisters 5 and 4. The Polish
population in and around
the steel mills of Gary
was then so large that she
did not need to speak
English until she started
kindergarten. Because she
was shy and reserved, the nuns who taught in her local
school used to ask if she felt called to become one of
them, but she had other ambitions.
Upon finishing school her sewing skills enabled her to
enroll in the Vogue Institute of Fashion Design in
Chicago, after which she began a series of apprenticeships
which would lead to a dressmaking career. With the
outbreak of World War II, there were new opportunities.
She began creating wedding dresses for friends who were
marrying on short notice as their boyfriends were drafted
and shipped out. For her own wedding in Gary in 1945,
she made her entire wedding ensemble, and over the years
continued creating clothing and costumes for the special
events in her family.
Estelle met Loren Albert Bushaw, who had grown up
in Southern California and Egypt, at a Chicago USO
dance when he was a Machinists Mate in the Navy. He
was in San Francisco being discharged when their first
child was born. After coming back to Gary to get them, he
drove Estelle and the baby to California in a second-hand
car which he feared might break down at any moment.
Temporarily they lived with his mother in South Whittier,
but soon bought a home in West Whittier, where they
lived until 1978, often making improvements, even
additions, themselves . She did creative landscaping there.
A neighbor, Rachel Darrow, invited their son Loren to
her Sunday School class at First Friends, and soon the
other children, Paul and Kristine, were coming, too.
Liking the friendliness of the church, the whole family
joined in 1954, just in time for their youngest child,
Claudia, to be born a “birthright Friend.” Estelle and
Loren both taught Sunday School but are especially well
remembered for serving punch and coffee after church for
Estelle and Loren were also volunteers at their
children’s schools. When her last child was a student at
West Whittier Elementary, she was instrumental in
starting its library and would donate her National
Geographics to it as she finished them. She was a
voracious reader of books and regularly supplied relatives
and friends with clippings from the three newspapers to
which she subscribed. She took tender care of family pets
and twice adopted and raised orphaned birds. She was a
great cook.
Loren, who had learned printing in the 1930s, pursued
a career in the graphic arts, establishing his own business
in 1969, later making their son Paul his partner. Estelle
helped with the bookkeeping. They celebrated their 50th
anniversary in 1995. When he died at 79 in 2001, they
were living in La Habra Heights. Estelle was a resident of
La Habra and just short of 90 when she died in February
2014, having suffered a fall in January followed by a
stroke. Surviving them were grandchildren, greatgrandchildren, and 3 of their four children. Lynda Ladwig
officiated at Estelle’s memorial service at First Friends on
March 8, speaking about Martha and Mary. Russ
Litchfield played the prelude and postlude on the organ,
and Mark Juaton sang Ave Maria, which had been sung at
Estelle’s wedding. The service was followed by a
reception in Fellowship Hall.
Monthly Mission Mondays
Lends a Helping Hand
Fourteen Friends lent some help to Shelter’s Right
Hand at Monthly Mission Mondays’ April gathering by
packing goodie bags for participants in the 18th annual 5K
walk of Shelter’s Right Hand. Shelter’s Right Hand is the
non-profit group that raises money to support the Women
and Children’s Crisis Center in Whittier, which offers
support and temporary housing to victims of domestic
violence. The 5K walk, scheduled for Saturday, April 26,
is their annual fundraiser. Local merchants and
community members donate products to be included in
the bags, which are given to the first 500 participants in
the race.
Marilyn Fant of the Shelter’s Right Hand board, who
is the walk’s organizer, recruited the attenders of Monthly
Mission Mondays for the second year in a row to help
pack goodie bags, and also brought refreshments.
Gathering in Fellowship Hall, Friends took bags and filled
them with energy bars, trail mix, lip gloss, toothpaste, and
discount coupons for facials and massages, among other
Monthly Mission Mondays is an outreach of the
Christian Education Committee. Friends of all ages gather
on the third Monday of each month from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m.
to complete a task or activity which benefits some group
in our community. Supplies for the activity are usually
provided. There is always good conversation. Join us on
May 19 to do a good turn for others.
— Vikki Kendrick
12 Return Service Requested
Postmaster: send address changes to:
The Living Light
First Friends Church
13205 Philadelphia St
Whittier, CA 90601–4303
Postage Paid at
Whittier California
The Living Light
USPS 316-320
Volume 53 Number 5
Issue Date: May 1, 2014
The Living Light is published monthly by First
Friends Church, 13205 Philadelphia Street, Whittier,
California, 90601-4303. Periodical postage paid at
Whittier, California.
Bob Newton...................................Editor
Elisabeth Elliot...............Associate Editor
Sabron Newton .................... Copy Editor
Lynda Ladwig.....Acting Associate Pastor
..........& Christian Education Coordinator
Russell Litchfield ....................................
......... Dir of Music Ministries & Organist
Mary Boltz.............. Office Administrator
Lorenzo Mora ..........................Custodian
Telephone 562-698-9805
FAX 562-698-1127
Whittier Friends School Staff
Marie Kaneko ... School Committee Clerk
Dan And Lea To Bring “The World’s
Happiest Music” To AFFN
In 1996 John Smith of Flitwick in Bedfordshire, central England, advertised a
set of revolutionary organ plans in the magazine of the British Organ Grinders
Association. The plans detailed the construction of a small 20-note busker organ
that could be built by anyone with modest skills from locally available materials.
Since then, hundreds of John Smith organs have been constructed by enthusiasts all
over the world.
Dan Wright built his first John Smith organ in 2003, and is now working on his
fourth. The current one will have 70 pipes with four melody ranks!… And a
glockenspiel!! In 2009 Dan and Lea traveled to England and met John. They will
bring pictures of that meeting to the May All Friends Fellowship Night (AFFN).
They will bring some of the organs Dan has built and let everyone have “a turn at
the crank.” They will talk a little about street organ history, and for the technically
minded, give a quick look at the inner workings of the organs. Many people refer to
the tunes of street organs, fair organs, and carrousel organs as “The Happiest Music
on Earth.” Sorry, no live monkeys will be in attendance.
All Friends Fellowship Night will meet in Fellowship Hall on Wednesday, May
14 for dinner at 6 p.m. with the program to follow from 7 to 8 p.m. Please sign up in
the church patio to bring a main dish, salad or dessert. Drinks and bread will be
provided. Please bring $1 per person if you bring food, or $3 per person if you do
not bring food but will be joining us for dinner. There is no charge for children 12
or younger who come with their parents. All are welcome.
— Ted Marshburn
remember in
those Friends
unable to
worship with
us regularly.
Peggy Anderson
Judith Austin
Arden Bode
Audrey & Carlos Bailey
Helen & Jack Carlisle
Jack Phinney
Maureen Russell
Vi Smith
Ami Troedsson
Gerry Wolfe