Minneapolis Friends Meeting
Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business, 8 January 2012
Attending: [Names redacted for online version]
1. An updated version of the December 2011 Minutes needs to be circulated.
2. Monthly Reports
a. Meeting Committee Reorganization—Jeannette Raymond
a.i. The clerk read the attached report. Additional comments included the recognition of how many special activities we have had (Winds of Change, Quaker Quest) and the need for a way to involve new attenders other than asking them to sign up for a three-year commitment to a committee.
a.ii. The clerk read the trends report, attached. A friend added that it makes some sense to follow the energy, as it shows up in Winds of Change and others. A friend mentioned that the on-call volunteer committee membership makes sense to her as a rather new attender. One new attender asked how one transitions to being a member, noting that no one has asked him or told him the process; David Woolley was volunteered to coach this person and all were reminded of the orange pamphlet that explains the Meeting and its structure and that established members of the meeting should remember to greet visitors. Members noted that the one-day events may phase out but that they get very good attendance so, perhaps, should be continued, may be becoming a core element of the Meeting. One member said that committees could be asked to invite new people to specific events. Nominating committee was urged to come up with ways that new people could get involved quickly; however, another pointed out that nominating committee’s charge is to do the bare bones to keep the meeting alive, going, legal, sound in its building, and surviving. Brainstorm ways new members could be engaged: help with potlucks, join Peace and Social Concerns on specific events, join Circle 8s, build up a Google group that anyone can join (another Meeting does this and it works well) and inviting people to events and do other community-building events, gather and record information about members’ talents, advance care planning all-day workshop. The clerk pointed out that this conversation will need to continue; Nominating Committee will return with a report next month.
b. Director of Ministry Report.
b.i. George Watson died on December 22, 2011. The memorial service will be Saturday, March 10th, at 2 PM. Last month we held George in the Light, knowing that he had made a change and had turned himself toward this transition. His daughter Carol was with him when he died and his other two children had visited him during that week. Many, both from here and from areas afar, connected with George during the last weeks. Friends spoke with gratitude about the honor and privilege of being with George and for the chance to be with and say good-bye to him. Some of George’s last messages were awareness of all he still wanted to do, gratitude for the people who came to see him, and the word “Shalom.” David Woolley spoke of Ministry and Counsel’s plan to have a gathering for the people who felt close to George before the memorial in March and that this will include the memories of Elizabeth.
b.ii. There is a practice of writing memorial minutes. We need volunteers to write a memorial minute. One friend said that Linda Coffin should be included in the process. Pat will be one person in this process. Any who has a leading to do this is urged to call Jeannette.
b.iii. There is a large need for care for people (make phone calls, bring food, meet with people in homes). Any who can do any of these activities, should tell Pat.
b.iv. Pat will be starting a Facebook page; any who want to be involved or who knows of others who would have desire to work on this should tell Pat. Pat said that Linda has started a Google group in the Meeting.
b.v. Pat shared three resources that she used on her sabbatical (the more academic resources will come later): The Journey, daily meditations; “A Road Less Travelled,” a keynote by a Friends’ pastor about how she does ministry and fits it in her family; and a Pendle Hill pamphlet on Friends and alcohol. The last is one that Pat would like everyone in the Meeting to read.
c. Ministry & Counsel – report by David Woolley, attached. Highlights are the Kenyan Friends working to start their own Meeting affiliated with Iowa Yearly Meeting, a reminder not to be smug Quakers who speak negatively of other faith groups, of many members who are facing financial problems and our consideration of ways to minister to these needs, and the next storytelling gathering on January 11th at the Meetinghouse.
3. Annual Report on Youth – report by Chester McCoy. Chester reported on youth (children 12+) in Minneapolis Friends Meeting. Chester pointed out that we do not have many youth in Meeting. Chester asked where we get youth and how we get them to stay with us.
a. The clerk added that the Northern Yearly Meeting Youth Group has asked us to host a retreat Feb. 24-26. We’d need one member of the Meeting to shepherd the building over the weekend. There may be an expectation for staffing. Chester, Sigurd, John, and Ranae volunteered to provide support.
b. Chester suggested that Facebook and other social media may help attract. We already do have a junior youth Facebook page.
4. Stewardship – John Kraft presented an update on the finances of the Meeting for the third quarter. We had raised the awareness that we were running short in November; things are much better today, though we are not at 80% as we had hoped. We are at 72%. In December we received over $28,000. For the rest of the year we need to bring in $31,000, about $10,500 a month. So far the average monthly income, without December, is $7,100. John gave the Meeting’s thanks to all for the large and small gifts this year.
a. The clerk read a letter from Clerk of Northern Yearly Meeting, saying that she would write a letter to the editor of the Minneapolis Star and Tribune (requested by Twin Cities Yearly Meeting), if approved by all the meetings in Northern Yearly Meeting (both Minneapolis and Twin Cities). Friends asked why she does not ask the other NYM Meetings; Jeannette will ask. Friends pointed out that timing is important. Friends are meeting at Barb Mohr’s house; Jeannette will communicate with Barb Mohr. Friends affirmed that we give our positive response to the NYM clerk writing this letter.
b. Jeannette read a letter from Michael Smith, who is in prison in Fallsburg, N.Y. Sigurd will respond to him.
c. A Friend thanked people for their contributions for St. Stephen’s Homeless Shelter.
The Meeting ended with a few minutes of silent worship.
Attachments: (Not included in online version)
Report of Ad Hoc Meeting regarding Reorganization of Minneapolis Friends Meeting Committees, with Trend Report
Ministry & Counsel report
Letter from clerk of Northern Yearly Meeting
Letter from Michael Smith