Meeting for Business Minutes, November 14, 2010

MINUTES
Minneapolis Friends Meeting
Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business, November 14, 2010

Attending:  [Names redacted for online version]
1.    Approve October Minutes
October minutes were APPROVED, with comments that trustees approved money to buy an office copier and approved hiring of a Web site developer and designer.
2.    Monthly Reports
‘    Ministry & Counsel – David Woolley
A written report was submitted.  With respect to the issue of meeting practice as to conducting any marriages when Minnesota civil law does not recognize same-sex marriage, the clerk noted that Northern Yearly Meeting is asking for feedback from meetings about Twin Cities Friends Meeting’s actions in declaring a moratorium on conducting legal civil marriages.  With regard to the issue of whether M&C should split into two committees, a Friend on M&C said one question is whether the committee has authority to split its functions.  The clerk noted that the committee’s proposal would come to monthly meeting for approval.
3.    Annual Reports
‘    Nursery Committee – Sue Murray
Only one toddler is attending nursery, so the staff care giver will call for help if needed.  People will not be lined up in advance to provide assistance.
‘    Fall Camp – Ed Souther
A written report was submitted.  The clerk commented that last year due to low attendance there was discussion of discontinuing Fall Camp.  Alternative sites were considered.  A graph was displayed showing criteria and various sites considered.  Rent at Camp Courage, our longtime Fall Camp venue, was lowest, and it is the only site to accommodate toddlers.  Concern was with cost and some Friends noted the “shabbiness” factor.  A first time attender at camp said she had a great time.  A visiting Friend from Ukraine said he was impressed with the actual doing of community.  The clerk asked, “Should we continue?”   On average about a third of active MFM members attend.  A Friend who attended for the first time in 8 or 9 years attended with his grandson.  A teen child of a member was strongly affected by the experience of community.  Another first time attender at camp, a meeting member of 30 years, also spoke of the power of community at camp.  Another attender, after a several-years lapse, also spoke of the strength of community.  Several Friends had earlier attended when their children were younger, and had returned to find rich experiences of community, enjoying longer stretches of time together.  The clerk stated that meeting seems ready to move forward with Fall Camp.  Friends APPROVED conducting Fall Camp for next year.  Friends also APPROVED use of Camp Courage as the venue.
‘    Peace and Social Concerns – Mary Gardner
The committee’s primary objective until recently has been arranging for adult program presentations featuring such topics as Veterans for Peace, the White Envelope Gift, and FNVW.  Then Adult Program Committee asked P&SC to continue to bring ideas for adult forums but not count on a reserved slot each month.   P&SC has defined its charge as acting as a conduit for activities that arise out of the meeting.
‘    Quarterly Stewardship Committee – John Kraft
A written report was submitted.  A request has been made for a $500 gift to a prisoner in Washington state for a stereo system that would help the man prepare for a career in the radio industry.
4.    Seasoning
‘    Peace and Social Concerns Survey – Mary Jean Port
A survey was done of meeting members; 39 responses were received.  Mary Jean Port presented a summary of the survey (see attached).  The clerk asked Friends to spend about ten minutes on comments on what direction the committee should go.  A Friend stated that Mayim Rabim would like to cooperate in a presentation.  The committee was thanked for the significant work that was done in thinking through its charge.  The clerk observed that Friends’ comments reinforce the survey summary.  One Friend suggested choosing a significant goal for the Meeting that would be pursued until it got done.  Another Friend spoke of the broad environment of peace and social concerns, referring to Thomas Mann and his role during the emergence of national socialism in Germany.  He spoke of the fragility of reason and tolerance in the face of political crisis.  The clerk thanked the committee.  A member of the committee again asked Friends to fill out the survey.  The clerk observed that the meeting has gone through painful conflict, but a possibility for change has been discovered.
‘    White Envelope Gift – Jeannette Raymond
Clerk asked for suggestions for recipients for the White Envelope Gift.  Friends proposed help for veterans, perhaps for training of animals as companions.  Another suggested a local organization for this purpose.  Haiti was suggested, and relations with the Islamic community.  The Innocence Project needs money—it addresses unjustly convicted persons.  Quaker House in North Carolina is situated next to a military base.  Faith in Life is a campaign against torture.  The clerk suggested that we can create an ad hoc committee or pass the question to Peace and Social Concerns.  Clerk asked whether there are Friends who would be interested in assisting meeting in this decision.  Mary Sarto and Rachel Ellis Adams volunteered.  The clerk expressed a desire to involve someone from the teen group.  A Friend pointed out the tradition of supporting a local project.
5.    Consideration for Decision
‘    Winds of Change – Jeannette Raymond
The first workshop was held; about 45 people attended.  Money is in hand to pay for all three workshops.  Do Friends want to move forward with the next workshop?  Auxilliary events include a book group and a movie.  The intention is to incorporate new people as well as continuing with people who attended the first workshop.  A Friend noted that it is important that members of this community did a workshop together on racism.  Another Friend attended the workshop, but says the work feels unfinished.  Need for something approaching redemption.  Need to attend to spiritual dimensions.  Might Winds of Change consider spreading the workshop out so not such a big onetime event?  Friends expressed a desire to continue.  A Friend acknowledged that some Friends are reluctant to participate.  Friends APPROVED moving forward with next two workshops.
6.    Communications and Announcements
None were presented.

Attachments (Not included in online version)
Ministry and Counsel report
TCFM letter and minute on marriage equality
Fall Camp Committee report
Peace and Social Concerns Committee survey report
Quarterly Stewardship Committee report