Minneapolis Friends Meeting
Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business, December 11, 2011
Attending: [Names redacted for online version]
1. Approve November Minutes
November minutes were APPROVED.
2. Monthly Reports
Director of Ministry – Pat Jones reported. +Pat introduced Rick Bachman and Ron Bryan of Iowa Yearly Meeting. They are two of a number of visitors from Iowa. Two other visitors from Iowa who are originally from Kenya were George and Rose Kamwesa, and John Muhanji was visiting from Kenya. +The Quaker Quest event had a large turnout, +Thanksgiving dinner was held again, a tradition for 33 years; +the FNVW Holiday Fair occurred, and +a meeting was held to discuss the formation of a meeting for worship in the style of Kenyan Friends. +Judy Sausen reported on her work in Burundi last summer, +a memorial service was held for the husband of Patti Furnas Greenagle; +several Friends met for worship with Don Johnson and Pamela Lipe at their residence in St. Paul.
A lot has been going on. Pat observed there is an incredible amount of passion and energy in the meeting evidenced by these events. Many people entering early retirement have helped make a lot of this happen. +Pat met with Don Hawkinson of St. John’s Episcopal Church, whose priest has become bishop in Washington D.C. +George Watson appears to be in process of dying. Refusing food, taking water. He is looking toward his death, turning inward. Friends took several minutes to hold George in the Light. Friends later commented further on George’s condition, responses to visitors, etc., in response to a Friend’s inquiry regarding proper response of Friends. Rae Cornelius thanked Friends who helped make the Holiday Fair peaceful and enjoyable. There will be a report in January. Pat Jones thanked Rae for her delightful service.
Ministry & Counsel – David Woolley reported. A written report was submitted. Please see attached. Two clearness committees were initiated in the past month. Financial hardships of members was discussed. New meeting directories are available.
3. Other Reports
Youth – Chester McCoy. Report postponed until next month.
Library – Dave Bostrom. A written report was submitted; please see attached. A Friend asked on behalf of Death and Memorial Committee if Nancy Helfrich had spoken to Dave; materials have been consolidated and updated concerning death, grief, loss, advance care planning, etc. These materials are kept in a box in the library and are available for borrowing. A Friend asked that meeting get a subscription to Pendle Hill pamphlets. A Friend thanked Dave for his wonderful service as clerk of Library Committee. Meeting clerk wondered how many copies of Faith and Practice would be good to have on the shelf. Copies of NYM Faith and Practice may be accessed through the meeting’s web site. Resources from Death & Memorial Committee have been assembled into a kit.
Director of Ministry Sabbatical Funds – Emily Knight. Emily reported on the funds for the Director of Ministry sabbatical. A written report was submitted; please see attached. The general fund puts money into this fund on an annual basis. The whole amount that was set aside was not spent. Liaison and Review Committee and Stewardship Committee will further consider the timing of forthcoming sabbatical time.
4. White Envelope Gift Decision
Two recipients were proposed. They encompass two themes, children and racial justice. Kate Coon, Ed Souther, and the clerk met. They proposed 1) Bright Waters Montessori School in North Minneapolis (attender Ann Luce is principal there), and 2) The Organizing Apprenticeship Project. Friends APPROVED these.
5. Quaker Quest Report
Sandy Olson reported and submitted a detailed written summary. Please see attached. People who helped organize the event on November 12 were named. 65 attended. Three facilitators were present from Friends General Conference. A Friend who attended commented that he was delighted with the process and dialog. The energy level was very high all day. Another Friend agreed and noted the inner/outer circle process; role playing was very effective. Another Friend noted she talked with a “remarkable” attender over lunch whom she had worshiped with for some time but had never met. January 18 there will be an open meeting to prepare a detailed proposal for the February meeting for business on the next step of Quaker Quest—including whether there will be one.
6. Request from Peace and Social Concerns Committee
On behalf of P&SC, John Stuart asked Minneapolis Friends Meeting to sign on to a letter that will be sent to members of the Minnesota Congressional delegation, asking them to support the Uniting American Families Act in Congress. This has been endorsed by church/religious groups and many labor unions. The purpose of the bill is to include gay/lesbian couples in the process of petitioning the government for permission to bring a spouse or partner into the country. It essentially extends the rights enjoyed by straight people to include gay and lesbian partners. John offered to share the email inviting MFM to join in. A copy of the email request was submitted; please see attached. Friends APPROVED meeting signing on.
7. What are the core functions of the meeting?
Clerk stated that over one year ago we told Nominating Committee that we would review our committee structure. Nominating Committee is having a challenge filling slots. Ad hoc groups have popped up and are energetically working. Clerk asked Friends for guidance on how to move the process forward for developing a new meeting structure to meet the needs of the meeting. What are the core functions of the meeting? What sort of structure do we need to further these functions? A Friend noted that Ministry and Counsel and Trustees are two bodies that could compare notes and reflect on recommendations. Another Friend proposed a threshing session to address the question. Another Friend suggested using the model the meeting used to undertake the large scale remodeling of the building. Tom Ward, clerk of Nominating Committee, noted that at many committee meetings they talked at great length about this topic. The committee has tried to balance many factors in getting people to serve on committees. Clerk invited representatives from Trustees and M&C to meet with her to discuss how to move forward.
8. Communications and Announcements
A request for meeting endorsement of the Uniting American Families Act was received; please see attached. Kathy White of Northern Yearly Meeting sent the most recently approved chapter of NYM Faith and Practice and asked that it be added to our looseleaf binder. This chapter is on the spiritual nurture of children in the meeting; see attached. Northern Yearly Meeting chapters of Faith and Practice completed to date may be accessed through the meeting’s web site.
Friends closed meeting for worship with attention to business with a brief period of silent worship.
ATTACHMENTS (Not included in online version)
Ministry and Counsel report
Library Committee report
NYM chapter on spiritual nurture of children in meeting
White Envelope Gift recommendations
MFM Director of Ministry sabbatical fund report
Endorsement request for Uniting American Families Act
Quaker Quest report on November 12 event