Minneapolis Friends Meeting
Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business, November 13, 2011
Attending: Jeannette Raymond (clerk), Terry Hokenson (recording clerk) [Further names redacted for online version]
1. Approve October 2011 Minutes
October minutes were APPROVED with minor corrections.
2. Monthly Reports
Director of Ministry – Pat Jones reported. +Pat stated that the last month was a full time in the meeting, much was going on, many visits made. +A memorial service for Shirley Magraw was held Oct. 9. +Paul and Cynthis Furnas’ ashes were buried on October 29, 2011, in a grave at Lakewood Cemetery in the Quaker section. +David Woolley has been contracted to produce a new meeting web site. He will do interviews of attenders and members. One interview has been put on the current web site.
Ministry & Counsel – David Woolley reported. A written report was submitted. Please see attached. A specially designated fund for up to $500 in travel expenses of Kenyan visitors was APPROVED. John Kraft stated the meeting’s budget could handle this expenditure. Phena Shimaka stated to Jeannette that her vision is to establish in the Twin Cities a meeting programmed in the manner of Kenyan Quakers.
Religious Education Report – Jane Furnas. A written report was submitted; please see attached. A Friend observed a concern that number of children in Firstday School has dwindled to point that the program is difficult to sustain. The high school group doesn’t exist anymore. Another Friend asked how we pay attention to that. Third Friend observed that this goes in cycles. Another Friend agreed there is ebb and flow, but he doesn’t see a new flow coming in the foreseeable future. To encourage youth to attend meeting, a Friend asked whether a time other than Sunday morning is possible; her daughter considers any time before noon as early on a Sunday. Pat Jones observed that we may not have a lot of kids here, but there are a lot of kids in the world whom we could pay attention to. A Friend noted that in the 1930’s her father and his brother were the only teenagers in the meeting. Concern was demonstrated by numerous comments.
Worship Planning Annual Report – Joanne Esser, acting clerk. A written report was submitted; please see attached. The committee initiated use of a microphone for attender comments. It reviewed use of chairs and provisions for seating. It worked on the transition from business meeting to meeting for worship. They initiated use of a “singing bowl” to signal the beginning of worship. The response has been positive. Mary Leikvold was added to the list of committee members. A Friend stated that she appreciated use of foot stools. She also commented on how people being spread out in the meeting room during meeting for business. A Friend suggested using a computer program to experiment with seating arrangements. A short Friend commented on the size and bulk of the podium; she sometimes uses a music stand instead. Another Friend suggests we just need to get into a different habit of sitting closer to the front when few attend, because sometimes so many attend that we barely have enough chairs. A Friend commented that people sit where they’re comfortable, and that is a good. Friend suggested a step stool be made for the podium when short people are speaking. Another Friend pointed out that clustering together is better for those who are hard of hearing.
History Project Report – Linda Coffin. A written report was submitted. Please see attached. About 2003 we started to plan for this meeting’s sesquicentennial. A research project on history of the meeting was born. Linda did the lead work. A grant was made available. Linda feels she initially did too much research in relation to the writing, but now she has a manuscript nearing completion, covering up to about 1950. She has submitted the manuscript for editing to Dee Marks, a freelance writer who once attended meeting. Dee has been through the manuscript twice and they feel it is near completion. The committee expects costs of $1500 to obtain copyright permissions for use of photos from the Minnesota Historical Society. This would also include the cost for a cover designer. They are thinking that pre-publication sales may cover the cost of printing. A Friend asked if we will distribute the book beyond our meeting. Linda said she hopes it will be handled through FGC Books. Metro area county historical societies and possibly public libraries may take copies. A Friend suggested looking to Quaker foundations, or Friends General Conference. Linda has looked into these possibilities and found nothing. She also looked at FUM press. Friend asked about electronic publication.
4. Stewardship Report
John Kraft reported. He submitted a written report; please see attached. John summarized: Targets should be 20% or more. We are significantly behind as to income at this point. We risk ending this FY with a deficit. Stewardship Committee is going to send a letter out to meeting members. John also stated that ad hoc funding, such as the $500 above, put pressure on operating funds. Clerk asked members to consider the Seed funds for the Kenyan meeting project. A Friend suggested noting in the bulletin the possibility having funds automatically withdrawn from bank accounts to contribute to meeting.
5. White Envelope Gift
Clerk asked for volunteers to serve on a one-meeting ad hoc committee to identify possible recipients. No one volunteered, but suggestions of recipients were made. A Friend suggested a school, Bright Waters Montessori, on the North Side. Another Friend mentioned the Heifer International Project. Friend noted their project rescuing children from the sex trade. North Point Clinic was mentioned. The Apprenticeship Project evaluates proposed legislation and school board proposals for their impact on people of color. Clerk noted two themes: 1) children and 2) racial justice. Clerk will compose an ad hoc committee to evaluate and recommend recipients to meeting.
6. DISCUSSION: What are the core functions of the meeting?
Clerk asked attenders to think about this question. It will be taken up as soon as possible.
7. Communications and Announcements
Jeannette Raymond received from Liz Oppenheimer two emails on Liz’s leading to engage Friends to oppose the proposed marriage amendment to the Minnesota constitution. In one she asks for information before Thanksgiving as to whether our meeting has recorded itself formally as being open and affirming with respect to equal rights of LGBT persons. Friend noted that we have done so mainly through actions rather than statements. Clerk stated that the Stonewall riots occurred in 1969. Six years later this meeting welcomed the All God’s Children community to worship in our building. Hate speech was sprayed on the meetinghouse walls. A quotation at All God’s Children church subsequently stated, “And the Friends Meeting stood with us.” This meeting split from Iowa Yearly Meeting in part around this issue. Friend said there is a web site, “findagaychurch.org,” that lists Minneapolis Friends Meeting. Liz’s second email links to a survey questionnaire to help plan Quaker and interfaith work on defeating the proposed marriage amendment to the Minnesota constitution. Please see attached.
Friends closed meeting with a brief period of silent worship.
ATTACHMENTS (Not included in online version)
Ministry and Counsel report for November
Religious Education Annual Report
Worship Planning Annual Report
History Project report
Questionnaire on marriage amendment work