Minneapolis Friends Meeting
Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business, March 10, 2013
Attenders: Ranae Hanson (clerk), Terry Hokenson (recording clerk) [Further names redacted for online version]
1. Approve February Minutes
February minutes were APPROVED.
Dick Magraw recited a poem by William Johnson Cory:
They told me, Heraclitus, they told me you were dead;
They brought me bitter news to hear and bitter tears to shed;
I wept, as I remembered, how often you and I
Had tired the sun with talking, and sent him down the sky.
And now that thou art lying, my dear old Carian guest,
A handful of grey ashes, long, long ago at rest,
Still are thy pleasant voices, thy nightingales, awake;
For Death, he taketh all away, but them he cannot take.
2. Monthly Reports
Director of Ministry – by Pat Jones.
+ The pew at the middle of the east wall of the meeting room is coming apart.
+ Pat referred to the letter from Betsy Lane-Getaz on behalf of Northfield Friends Meeting concerning construction of a meetinghouse. Pat recommended Friends look at the description of their meetinghouse project on their web site. The Matney family that was active here became part of Northfield meeting; Betsy, Sharon and Audrey Lane-Getaz attend there now. Friends’ meetings for worship are being held regularly on both campuses (St. Olaf and Carleton). Pat proposed that this meeting offer its experience in raising money.
The end of this month is the end of our business year and the cycle of our committees. This meeting is very blessed in so many ways. Part of the blessing is in what people bring in care, work and ministry, sometimes through committees, sometimes ad hoc. For example, Jim Bruener has collected pamphlets, including An Interpretation of Quakerism by Rufus Jones.
+ Dan Jensen is extending his stay at Pendle Hill for another ten weeks.
Ministry & Counsel Committee – by Tom Wells. Ministry and Counsel will be deciding how to carry out the tasks that were designated as its responsibilities as a result of the retreat in January.
3. Annual Reports
Liaison and Review Committee Report ― Gayle McJunkin. Gayle reported that Pat will have surgery for a hip replacement in April. She has a four week medical leave from meeting and may take two additional weeks for recovery. The meeting is busy; Liaison and Review recommends that during Pat’s absence we have a coordinator of ministry and the committee has asked David Woolley to serve while Pat is recovering. He will work ten hours per week, with further details to be worked out. Liaison & Review members are Tom Wells, Barbara Ziegenhagen and Gayle McJunkin. Clerk observed that Pat does work more than ten hours per week.
Stewardship Committee Report ― Suzanne Ferguson. A written report was submitted; please see attached. Liaison and Review asked for another week of vacation for Pat, increasing from 5 to 6 weeks. They also asked for money to hire David. Suzanne pointed to other specific changes. (The box in the corner of the sheet refers to the budget for last year.) Friend asked about our status in terms of expenditures at this time. The precise numbers are not available yet. Suzanne suggested that we have a pattern of underspending our budget and that an analysis of the areas in which underspending occurs would be helpful for next year’s budget. Pat spoke of people who respond to special appeals who are not regular attenders but feel part of the meeting and will send a check. A Friend suggested updates on contributions to the end of March. Friends APPROVED the proposed budget. A final report will be given in May.
Nominating Committee Final Report ― Tom Ward. A written report of the proposed structure was submitted; please see attached. The energy level has been different; people have been stepping forward and Tom feels good about where we stand now. Some matters are still to be resolved. Changes since the preliminary report of last month: the new recording clerk will be Tom Ward; our Northern Yearly Meeting representative will be Carolyn VandenDolder. The Peace & Social Concerns convener post is unfilled at present. Last year the structure of Peace & Social Concerns was changed to a more open one. Terry Hokenson and Mary Gochnauer have joined the Adult Program Committee. (See the written report for other changes.) Property Committee could still use additional members. Joseph Flores will be clerk. Friends APPROVED the report.
Updates, Peace & Social Concerns actions and groups – FCNL priorities, Minneapolis Friends for Climate Stability, Day on the Hill, Quaker Quest, and other items: Friends further discussed the scope and purpose of Peace & Social Concerns. This year we experimented with having the whole meeting involved with P&SC and everyone in meeting was invited to its meetings. John Stuart, who has been long involved with the group, is happy with amount of peace and justice work that has been going on. He said it is an administrative committee, gets requests, sets up speakers, etc. It’s a contact point between the meeting and the world. John feels it’s a mistake to eliminate it, whether as a committee or as an open group. Pat agrees that as a committee it has a clear relationship to monthly meeting. A Friend suggested we follow through with the process set up for this year and evaluate the experience we’ve had with a convener structure.
FCNL Priorities meeting: Doug Herron reported that twenty people gathered for an hour to comment on FCNL’s Policy Statement. There was no attempt in the short time to get agreement on the queries presented by FCNL. Nevertheless, Doug made the following salient comments: + Concern was expressed about the storage of nuclear waste on Native American reservations. + We are against drone warfare. + Congress, not the President, should have sole authority to declare war. + We need to strengthen diplomacy effort across the world. Increase the diplomacy budget. + The true costs of war are much too high. FCNL should continue lobbying for a smaller military budget but fulfill our obligations to service personnel and their families. + We want more “sunshine” on the U.S. budget, particularly where private contractors to the military are involved.
Day on the Hill: Mary Jean Port reported that four Meeting members participated in Joint Religious Legislative Coalition’s “Day on the Hill.” 850 people participated from all over the state. It is one of the biggest groups that come to the legislature every year. Participants learned a lot, including how to lobby.
Minneapolis Friends for Climate Stability report by Mary Jean. Mary Jean feels this group is exploring how to let the spirit work, how to do political work from a spiritual place. Something is happening here, she said; a spiritual shift is occurring. Terry Hokenson volunteered to go to Washington, D.C. to attend the Presidents Day rally to stop the Keystone XL pipeline and to ask the President for a serious response to climate change, and funds were raised to send him. As a group Minneapolis Friends for Climate Stability is endeavoring to organize. We are embracing how to do work that is momentous. Climate disruption is a problem on a global scale. We are challenged and encouraged as we are called to deal more honestly with each other, especially on the feeling level, as we grapple with this potentially overwhelming issue. “It is the most community-building thing I’ve done in the Meeting,” said Mary Jean. Eight Meeting Friends turned out at Gandhi Mahal on very snowy day for the group’s first meeting. A Google Group has also been formed; anybody can join. This is a very live issue right now. The community-building aspect is very alive.
Meeting Publicity: Sandy Olson asked, “How do we want meeting to be advertised?” David Woolley will talk about the Meeting web site and social media two weeks from today at 10:15 am.
American Friends Service Committee: Jeannette Raymond reported that she is going on the Midwest Region executive committee of AFSC. A new AFSC program in the Twin Cities focuses on Healing Justice. It is in the process of defining itself. Jeannette reported about the new Friends Meeting Liaison Program that she has helped develop over the last several years.
4. Follow-up Issues
Summer Schedule ― Clerk read the proposal that was attached to the February minutes. A Friend expressed excitement about this experiment. Another Friend expressed hope for an informal program for children during the summer as well. A Friend proposed reversing which Sundays are semi-programmed and which are unprogrammed (1 and 3 vs 2 and 4). This Friend said unprogrammed worship before meeting for business is more nurturing. No comments on having a joint or unified meeting were heard. Friends APPROVED having a single joint meeting on Sundays over the summer. The Clerk requested Ministry and Counsel to discuss the matter of how the unprogrammed and semiprogrammed meetings are scheduled. A Friend suggested that this might be an opportunity for Meeting to consider the nature of vocal ministry.
Quaker Quest Preliminary Time ― Sandy Olson. See attached image of poster. The proposed date is September 8. Friends observed that this is a meeting for business date and this Quaker Quest meeting would replace meeting for business. Further discussion will be held next month.
5. Communications and Announcements
None were reported due to shortage of time.
Friends closed meeting for worship with attention to business and turned to semi-programmed worship.
ATTACHMENTS (Not included in online version)
Ministry and Counsel report
Stewardship 2013/2014 Budget
Nominating: Meeting Structure 2013-14
Quaker Quest poster