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Peninsula Evangelical Friends Church
Jonathan Fodge stands in front of Peninsula Evangelical Friends Church where he’s been pastor since 1986. He also serves as a chaplain for Clallam County Fire District 3, coaches track and soccer for Sequim High School and the Sequim Youth Soccer League and teaches physical education classes for Christian Homeschool Organization of Sequim. Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash
Sequim Gazette staff
Members of the Peninsula Evangelical Friends Church believe the term “Friends” is not to be used lightly.
“It means a lot to us,” Pastor Jonathan Fodge said.
“It is taken from a Bible description of Christians. ‘You are my friends if you do what I command you (John 15:14).’”
Peninsula Evangelical Friends Church began as a ministry of the American Sunday School Union in 1935 at the Agnew Helpful Neighbors Community Hall. Property was purchased next door and on March 15, 1947, Agnew Friends Church was created. The church’s name later was changed to Peninsula Evangelical Friends Church at Agnew.
The church is Quaker in association and a member of the Northwest Yearly Meeting of Friends Church while serving as a community church in Agnew.
Fodge said most members come from backgrounds outside of the “Friends.” He started as pastor in 1986 and is supported by elders Jim Beam, Glenn Born, Rex Berneking, Milt Lynch and Craig Heath.
Church and fellowship opportunities
• Sunday School for all ages, 9:30 a.m.
• Sunday Worship, 10:45 a.m.
• Ladies’ Bible study, 2 p.m. Tuesdays
• Men’s Bible study, 7 p.m. Fridays
• Monthly Bring & Share luncheon, time and date to be determined
“You are welcome to attend and become a part of this group of ordinary people who are committing themselves to God as he is made known in Jesus Christ and who try to live their lives in terms of that faith,” Fodge said.
Fodge said the church’s beliefs are summarized as follows:
• To worship God in all his fullness, mercy and grace
• To proclaim to others the gospel of salvation through Jesus Christ
• To train and equip the believer in the word of God
• Being equipped to carry out the individual and corporate ministries God has given to this church body.
Fodge said yielding to Jesus as lord, accepting his sacrifice on the cross as payment for the penalty of one’s sins and turning away from one’s sins is the most important decision a person can make.
• Friends believe in accepting that Jesus Christ paid the penalty for all your sins with his own blood (Ephesians 2:8-9; 1 Peter 1: 18-19).
• Friends believe the Bible to be inspired by God without error (in its original manuscripts) and it is their standard and final authority for truth (Matthew 5:18, 2 Timothy 3:16).
• They believe in one God, eternally existing in three persons: the Father, the Son (or word of God) and the Holy Spirit (Deuteronomy 6:4, Luke 3:21-22).
• They believe God the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, died for their sins, was buried, was physically raised to life on the third day, appeared to many, and visibly ascended to God the Father in Heaven. (Matthew 1:22-25, I Corinthians 15:3-5, Hebrews 4:14-15).
• They believe that God created man in his own image to glorify and enjoy God forever; Adam, the first man, sinned, passing on a sinful nature and death to all men (Genesis 1:27, Romans 5:12, Ephesians 3:20-21).
• They believe that God the Father placed upon Jesus Christ all of man’s sin and its punishment, thereby offering forgiveness of sin and eternal life as a free gift to everyone who believes and receives it (Ephesians 2:8, I Peter 2:24).
• They believe that the Holy Spirit dwells in every such believer and baptizes (joins) them into one body — the universal church. (Romans 8:9-11).
• They believe that Jesus Christ will visibly return to earth to judge every man, alive or dead, and to be united with the universal church (Acts 1:9-11, Revelations 1:7).
• They believe that God has appointed each man to die once, then to be physically resurrected to face God’s judgment and the righteous will receive eternal life, and the unrighteous will receive eternal conscious punishment (Matthew 13:40-43, John 5:28-29, Hebrews 9:27, Revelations 20:7-15).
Evangelical Friends history
The Friends Church began with the conversion of George Fox in 1647, which sparked a revival in England.
“Those early Friends made great contributions in the areas of social reform, spiritual renewal, religious liberty, prison reform, education, care for the suffering and integrity of life and word,” Fodge said.
Early in its history, Friends, also called Quakers, came to America. Pennsylvania was founded by William Penn under a charter from the King of England, in settlement of a debt that was owed to Penn’s father. Penn, a Friend, pushed for people’s freedom to practice Christianity.
Fodge said Pennsylvania was the only colony with no need of a standing militia since they treated the local Indian tribes as equals, honoring their verbal agreements.
As Americans moved west, so did the Friends; establishing yearly meetings all the way to the Northwest. Oregon Yearly Meeting was established in 1893 and in 1971 the name was changed to Northwest Yearly Meeting to reflect the inclusion of meetings, or churches, in Washington and Idaho. The worldwide Friends is called Evangelical Friends International-North America.