Stoking the Fire : Hope and Light

May 21–23, 2021

Registration ends Wednesday, May 12.

This annual retreat is for those afire with the Holy Spirit, who seek deeper faith and bolder witness. Through worship, learning, and fellowship, we will open ourselves to Christ’s presence, and allow the Spirit to work within us as we seek God’s power. We hope you'll consider joining us as we seek to stir up the embers of our faith—both as individuals and as Friends. This year, like so many other things in our pandemic-plagued world, our Stoking the Fire gathering will be VIRTUAL.

"But the blazing discovery which Quakers made, long ago, is rediscovered again and again by individuals, and sometimes by groups. The embers flare up, the light becomes glorious. There is no reason why it cannot break out again, today, with blazing power. The world needs it desperately. It is in the hope that you and I, today, may rediscover this flaming center of religion that those words are written—not in an historical interest in a charming past."
—Thomas Kelly, The Eternal Promise


Bill Jolliff

Bill Jolliff is a poet, literary critic, songwriter, song-leader, and preacher whose work has appeared in hundreds of publications. Originally from Magnetic Springs, Ohio, he now serves as professor of English at George Fox University in Oregon and worships at North Valley Friends. He’s passionate about singing old gospel songs.

Katie Ubry–Terrell

Katie Ubry-Terrell finds it impossible to condense the beautiful life the Creator has given her into three to five sentences, so instead she’ll steal a line from Henri Nouwen: “For most of my life I have struggled to find God, to know God, to love God. I have tried hard to follow the guidelines of the spiritual life—pray always, work for others, read the Scriptures—and to avoid the many temptations to dissipate myself. I have failed many times but always tried again...” Katie is currently praying and failing and trying again in New Vienna, Ohio, where she is a member of Fairview Friends Meeting in Wilmington Yearly Meeting.

Bryce Coefield

Bryce Coefield is an activist-scholar who applies intersectional lenses to address multiple interlocking systems of oppression. He received his B.A. in Africana Studies with an emphasis in Sociology and History from Pitzer College. He holds an M.A. in College Counseling and Student Development from Azusa Pacific University, where he is currently a Ph.D. candidate. Bryce currently serves as the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Steward at the Oregon Department of Education and has extensive administrative experience in higher education.

Paul Bock

Paul Bock lives in Newberg, Oregon, where he and his wife, Miriam, enjoy gardening, grandkids, and rom-coms. Paul is a recorded minister under North Valley Friends Church and is retired from many years of pastoral ministry.

Janine Saxton

Janine Saxton lives in Newberg, Oregon, with her husband, Colin. Janine has been a worship leader in Friends gatherings for thirty years. Her goal is to create a safe and sacred space, using music and voice, where people can experience the transforming power of God.

Colin Saxton

Colin Saxton, along with his wife Janine, lives in Newberg, Oregon. Together, they are parents to four grown children and a grandson. He currently serves FUM as their North American Ministries Director and Advancement Officer. He also works as Stewardship Consultant for Everence.

Scatter for Service Saturday

On Saturday, a time for service is built into the retreat schedule. The natural rhythm of a spiritual community is to gather in order to scatter. Through worship, fellowship, and study, we find the strength, sustenance, and mutual support we need to grow in faith and readiness to serve. As individuals, we return to our homes, neighborhoods, and workplaces as ministers of reconciliation and agents of God’s hope and light.

During Saturday’s Scattering time, we are encouraged to set aside some or all of these five hours to make ourselves available to Christ through service. You will receive a list of possible service/ministry ideas ahead of time. Until then, reserve that time on Saturday. Begin praying about how Christ might seek to use you as a source of hope and light to others in your community.

As we regather on Saturday evening, there will be an opportunity to share how God may have used our ordinary lives in extraordinary ways.

Post-Retreat Ember Groups

Following this year’s STF event, we will continue gathering interested Friends for a monthly online meeting, and breakout groups focused on shared reading and reflection.

The breakout Ember Groups will serve as an ongoing source of inspiration and encouragement for those eager to kindle new life and vitality for ourselves and within our home communities. Participants will be part of a book discussion and support one another in exploring spiritual intimacy with God and greater faithfulness in service to others.

Initial options for book discussions include:
Who Will Be a Witness? Igniting Activism for God’s Justice, Love and Deliverance, by Drew G. I. Hart (Herald Press)
Invitation to a Journey: A Roadmap for Spiritual Formation, by Robert Mulholland (IVP Books)
The Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical, by Shane Claiborne
A Testament of Devotion, by Thomas R. Kelly (Harper SanFrancisco)

Schedule—All Times Are US/EDT


6:00 pm Join the virtual gathering for Unprogrammed Worship 

Please enter into gathering ready to enter the silence and to center on the Presence of Christ among us. If you are led to share a message with the group, please unmute yourself.

6:30 pm Welcome and Gather

There will be a brief overview of our time together and opportunity to address any technology questions.

6:45 pm Evening Worship (“Light”)

Bill Jolliff (music) and Katie Ubry-Terrell (message) will serve as ministers among us.

7:45 pm Ember Groups (each of us will be assigned to a consistent small group in a “break-out” room). 

9:00 pm Regather and Blessing — A brief return for a final song and blessing as we conclude the day.


10:30 am Morning Unprogrammed Worship


11:00 am Morning Worship (“Hope”)

Bill Jolliff (music) and Bryce Coefield (message) will serve as ministers among us.

12:00 pm Ember Groups

1:00 pm Regather to be Sent in Service

Brief reconnect before using the open time to engage in service in our home communities/neighborhoods.


6:00 pm Stories of Service

Reconnect as a community to share stories on our service adventures/experiments.

6:45 pm Ember Groups

7:45 pm Taize Worship

Paul Bock will minister in music and others will help with queries for further reflection.


10:30 am Morning Unprogrammed Worship


11:00 am Morning Worship

Janine Saxton (music) and Colin Saxton (message) will serve as ministers among us.

12:00 pm Ember Groups

1:00 pm Regather and Sending

Plan for new, monthly Ember Group gatherings.


Since we are meeting online, we have no travel or lodging costs. We do, however, wish to support those who will be ministering among us over the weekend and cover FUM’s expense in hosting the event. Even more, we would love to create a fund for future STF gatherings when we are meeting in person! Rather than establishing a registration fee for everyone, we offer this year’s STF using a “pay as led” model. We encourage you to prayerfully consider what you are called to contribute and do so freely! If you cannot afford anything — welcome! If you can afford to be wildly generous — welcome! All contributions will be used for this or upcoming Stoking the Fire gatherings.


For more information about Stoking the Fire, email Colin Saxton.

"Our FUM mission statement says, in part, that we have committed ourselves to energize and equip Friends through the power of the Holy Spirit. I appreciate this yearly gathering of Friends so much because it reminds us that we are first and foremost a faith-based community—not just an organization with legacy projects and global activities—but a spiritual movement of Friends. To gather on Pentecost Sunday is to be reminded of who we really are in Christ, together."