Meeting for Business Minutes, April 11, 2010

Minneapolis Friends Meeting
Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business, April 11, 2010

Attending:  [Names redacted for online version]


Director of Ministry.  Pat Jones gave the report.  An attender, Tony Mulhern, procured a laptop for the Meeting for the use of the recording clerk.  Pat indicated much need for pastoral care and friendly visits at this time.  Offers to drive, prepare meals, or visit are welcome.   Margaret Fraser, Executive Secretary of FWCC Section of the Americas will be visiting September 25-26.

Pat stated that a couple years ago a man gave the Meeting a check for $14,000 and said he wanted it to be used for seed money.  He has not come back to talk further about it.  We have not yet decided how to use it.

The Meeting approved the following minute:
1) The appointment of an ad hoc committee to consider what does “seed money” mean, and what criteria should be applied to determine how the money is to be used; 2) that the members of the committee be Tom Ward, Hannah Powers, Ranae Hanson and Joseph Flores, and an additional member to be appointed by the clerk; 3) that there be an open discussion to inform the committee at May’s monthly meeting and 3) that the committee report back to Monthly Meeting in June.   APPROVED.

Ministry & Counsel.  David Woolley submitted a written report (attached).

State of Society.  The clerk requested volunteers to help with writing.   Betsy Lane-Getaz volunteered to write a draft report for consideration at the May Monthly Meeting for Business.

The clerk requested that those gathered take a couple of minutes to reflect on what is to be included.  Suggestions included: changes in committees, covering the period from April 1 to April 1 generally; changes in minute taking, note some demographics, for example, race, age;  note discussion groups, e.g., Fit for Freedom; travel of members, work of clearness committees helping members with major life changes, new effort at welcoming, economic crisis response by Meeting as to its  needs and as to individual needs; Death & Memorial committee and its seven tasks, Peace & Social Concerns, the new adult program, the change in structure of Religious Education.  The clerk requested attention to changes, challenges, the question of how do we heal and how do we  listen to one another.


Quaker Quest.  Sandy Olson and Nancy Peterson reported for the committee.  Sandy referred to two documents, one titled “Welcoming Potential Newcomers: One Step at a Time,” and the other titled, “Quaker Quest: A Spiritual Path for Our Time.”  They are attached.

The planning the first workshop of Quaker Quest was proposed.  The committee would like to have 35-50 members participate.  They see the “quest” not as proselytizing but as providing “spiritual hospitality.”   The initial workshop would take place next spring.

Quaker Quest is a framework for doing adult outreach and education.  We would publicly advertise for people to attend, and we must be prepared to provide introductory sessions followed by worship.  Clerk stated the question is whether to do this, attempt to engage the community.  The first step is to organize the first workshop, estimated to cost $600 which is already allocated.  FGC would lead the Meeting in a six-hour workshop to introduce more of us to a process for Quaker education and introduction to Quaker worship.

Update from Cuba Committee.  Report by Fred Harding.  See attached notes regarding the license and comments by past participants.  Our Meeting has had an ongoing relationship with the Meeting in Cuba.  The process of planning and undertaking the trips has been arduous.  Fred is acting as an advisor for the current planning process.  The youth  are interested in a trip to go to Cuba.  The current license expires in Fall 2011.  Eight to twelve people seem prepared to go.  Lynn Patricia wants to lead an adult trip.  Later there would be a youth trip.

Questions and concerns:
 If our license expires Sept. 2011, how likely is it we can get another?  Fred answered that it gets more complicated.  It is a challenge.  Sometimes quirky factors are involved.
 Is planning two trips at once is wise?
 A friend reflected that the past trips have developed youth in the Quaker tradition.  The Cuba trip experience has brought about huge changes for individuals and for the Meeting.
 The option of organizing another trip to El Salvador was raised.  A Friend who has gone to El Salvador felt that probably going to El Salvador is harder, that the youth of El Salvador need us to visit, but that it is not as cool a place (from youth perspective).  “Cuba is kind of jazzy,” she said.  A license is not needed to go to El Salvador.
 Another Friend stated that there is a specific interest among our youth in Cuba, and that El Salvador would require more of a sales job to the youth.
 Other Friends observed that in the past there has been a group process to facilitate clearness for both youth and adults; perhaps it is time now for a threshing session on this issue.
 A Friend expressed some tentativeness around the enthusiasm.  Is there a clear meeting-wide leading to send a group to Cuba?
 The Clerk suggested that next month we spend some time in worship over this issue.

An addendum regarding the Cuba license and previous participants’ comments is attached.

Winds of Change.  Report by Sandy Olson and Jeannette Raymond.
The Clerk reviewed the current proposal and the activity that has happened since the March Monthly Meeting.

Last month there was generally a positive feeling about moving forward with at least the first part of this process, but a group from the meeting needed to be established to plan the sessions with Wind of Change and options for funding this process needed to be developed.

The general proposal is to work with Winds of Change to develop a workshop around racial healing.   The workshop (and any succeeding workshops) need to be planned with Winds of Change to adapt their format to fit our meetings needs.  Tom Wells, Kate Coon, Jim Lovestar, Connie Jacobs, and possibly Phil Simard have agreed to be on the liaison committee with Winds of Change to do planning.

Moving step by step, we might commit to planning the first workshop.  How would we fund it?  This was not in our budget for the coming year.  Possible funding sources are:  1) the seed money ($14,000 mentioned in the Director of Ministry report), 2) donations by participants, 3)request funds from Stewardship Committee (unlikely), 4) the member travel and conference fund, and 5) possible grants from the larger yearly meetings.   Clerk stated that the cost is $1,000 per workshop.  This is the Winds of Change fee for all development and implementation a workshop.  A Friend stated that these workshops would be tailored for our meeting, and that the maximum number of workshops would be three.  There are currently four proposed workshop facilitators:  Sharon Lane-Getaz, Annette Smith, Nancy Peterson, and Benjie McHie.

The Winds of Change workshops would be consistent with Quaker Quest, said one Friend.   No minimum number of people is required for the Winds of Change process.  Success would consist of an environment that is more welcoming to people of diverse cultures.  A Friend told a story that illustrated that good-hearted, well-meaning people who haven’t done the necessary internal work are capable of hurtful statements and actions, showing that we need to deliberately identify and confront our cultural insensitivities and work to transform them.

The Meeting entered into Silence and then considered the proposal:

Shall we commit to undertake the winds of change process under the following conditions:  The Clerk will draw up a contract with Winds of Change to plan and facilitate at least one workshop.  The clerk will identify a way to fund at least the first workshop.  The proposed committee will work with Winds of Change to plan the content of the first workshop.  The first workshop will happen in the fall, and then we will decide if and how to move forward.

After a brief period of silent worship, friends shared their thoughts.   A Friend stated that this is a tremendous opportunity for the Meeting and for us as individuals, and that we can come up with $1,000, or $3,000.   Another Friend stated that we should do it and several others agreed.   Some Friends expressed a concern that we should bring in people of diverse cultures first, partner with another church with culturally diverse members; that holding workshops with only ourselves is too safe; that we need to “shake things up.”  Other Friends responded that we cannot simply import diversity, that we must prepare ourselves.  Clerk stated that she felt we are ready to move forward.

The meeting APPROVED the following minute:
A committee consisting of Tom Wells, Kate Coon, Jim Lovestar, Connie Jacobs, and possibly Phil Simard shall work with winds of change to design a first workshop, and clerk of monthly meeting will work on securing a source of funding and a contract with winds of change.   The date of the first workshop will be determined.


Liaison and Review.  Report by Gayle McJunkin.

Peace and Social Concerns.  Report by Rachel Ellis Adams.  Rachel brought a concern on behalf of the committee to ask for emotional and spiritual support.  Over the past several years the committee has spent most of its time going through requests for attention to issues around peace and social justice, searching to determine which concerns to bring forward to monthly meeting and to organize programs and speakers for its Adult Program slot.  This year the meeting decided to use all the Adult Program slots for other meeting concerns such as spiritual development.  As a result, Peace and Social Concerns Committee has a need to find clarity on what to do with its time, now that it is not planning any Adult Program sessions.  What role does Monthly Meeting see for Peace and Social Concerns Committee?

Rachel stated that the committee will be developing a survey that it hopes to bring to Monthly Meeting in May.  The committee would like everyone’s participation.   Second, the committee is considering proposing a threshing session.  The committee asks Meeting to hold it in the Light.

Fall Camp Report and Update.  Mark Powers and Ed Souther.
The committee has been considering the question of what is the value of Fall Camp to Meeting.  How many people attend; how much does it cost?  The committee believes Fall Camp strengthens the Meeting by enabling members to get to know each other better.  Normal camp attendance is about 60, out of about 200 people who belong to Meeting.  In recent years the Fall Camp budget has been around $4800 and around 60 people have attended.  The rental cost of the Camp Courage site has been rising considerably.

The committee was encouraged to research alternative sites and consider the suggestions for improvement that came up from survey responses.  Consideration of the future of Fall Camp needs to happen over the next 6 months as the deposit for Camp Courage is due about the time the we compete this year’s camp.


Twin Cities Friends Meeting Epistle.   The epistle, containing a minute for marriage equality and declaring a two-year moratorium on conducting legal civil marriages, was read by Clerk.  See attached.

Friends for a Non-Violent World request for use of building and grounds  Clerk referenced this request but time for consideration was lacking.  This can be considered under our building use policy. If office staff feels they cannot make a determination, this item can be considered by trustees.

ATTACHED:  (Not included in online version)
Ministry and Counsel report
Quaker Quest: “Welcoming Potential Newcomers: One Step at a Time” and
“Quaker Quest: A Spiritual Path for Our Time.”
Cuba trip addendum
TCFM epistle