Ranae Hanson (clerk), Tom Ward (recording clerk) [Attendee names redacted]
1. March minutes were APPROVED
Note of appreciation was read highlighting the many years Dick Magraw has regularly participated in Meetings with Attention to Business.
2. Monthly Reports
Director of Ministry – Pat Jones
* The marriage of Kyle Johnson and Heather Kerestes took place at the Meeting House on March 23, 2013, under the care of Minneapolis Friends Meeting.
* George and Elizabeth Watson Memorial Discussion Group is reading Letters to a Fellow Seeker by Steve Chasegetting. Copies are available for borrowing or purchasing in the library. It is an excellent and thorough introduction to Quakerism that is well written and reads at a very accessible level for everyone. Group is reading chapter 3 for this week. Cost is $12.95.
* Healing Justice Conversation with American Friends Service Committee takes place on April 23. Updates are in the bulletin.
* Director of Ministry medical leave: Pat’s leave begins on April 24. While the exact recuperation time-line is unknown, it is estimated to take at least 4-6 weeks. At this time she asks only for our prayers and for us to hold her in the light. If she has any specific needs she will let us know at the time, but, for now, she does not anticipate any. During her absence David Woolley will be filling in for some of her duties. Also, Carolyn VandenDolder, the Administrative Assistant, will be on vacation during part of the time Pat is absent.
Ministry & Counsel – Joanne Esser (full report in Meeting file)
Membership of Ministry and Counsel for the 2013-2014 year. Returning members: John Stuart, Barbara Mohr, Doris Tyldesley, Connie Archbald, Judith James, Steve Snyder, Joanne Esser (clerk).
New members: Kyle Johnson and Heidi Flores. Thanks to Connie Jacobs and Tom Wells for their service as they go off the committee.
Summer Schedule – Additional information was presented on the plan, approved in March, to have one meeting for worship during the summer, combining the unprogrammed and semi-programmed services – alternating between unprogrammed and semi-programmed formats. Some of the goals of the single summer meeting include: building our sense of community through worshipping together; helping people who typically attend unprogrammed worship and those who typically attend semi-programmed worship get to know one another better; and creating an atmosphere that spiritually nourishes all attenders.
• All summer meetings begin at 10:00 AM.
• First and third Sundays are unprogrammed.
• Second and fourth Sundays are semi-programmed.
• The fifth Sunday, which falls in June, is an intergenerational meeting.
• Unprogrammed worship on the first Sundays will be followed by the potluck gathering.
• On second Sundays, semi-programmed worship will lead into meeting for business, starting at 11:15 AM.
Other actions to support the summer schedule:
– Use the microphone during unprogrammed and semi-programmed meetings for worship.
– Offer a fellowship time after meeting on 3rd and 4th Sundays
– Childcare will be offered downstairs during the summer schedule
– Revive the practice of the friendly greeter for the summer starting ~9:45AM. Sandy Olson will cover June.
– M&C will continue to evaluate and reconsider the schedule changes throughout the summer.
A Friend suggested that introductions and announcements at the rise of meeting could be omitted on business meeting Sundays to speed up the transition, and Friends should be reminded to be on time for the start of business meeting.
In other business, M&C is pursuing its commitment to welcome newcomers and to follow up with them. A clipboard will be maintained at entry to gather info on newcomers. John Stuart will follow up with short note to their home address; Judith James will follow up with email if they leave an email address.
M&C is convening a sub-group to give attention to the needs of unprogrammed worship during the school year. John Stuart and Connie Archbald will participate in this.
Nominating Committee (update) – Tom Ward (off-going clerk)
Friends APPROVED the following additions to the Structure of Service and Ministry Report for 2013-2014:
– Adolph Burchardt – Clerk of Marriage Preparation Subcommittee
– John Kraft – Clerk of Nominating Committee
– Doug Herron- meeting representative to FCNL
Stewardship 2013-14 Budget Update – report was submitted for Suzanne Ferguson who was not present. After a quick look, net income calculates to:
– Offering box income (not counting designated contributions) $107,748
– Expenses (counting last year’s contributions as if they were this year’s) $ 97,875
Net $ 9,873
The “tentative” budget items for last year include:
– Sabbatical savings: $3,879 (was mistakenly budgeted at $2,300)
– Building fund: $5,000
– Mission / Service / Fellow: $1,000
Leaves a difference of $6
4. Follow-up Decisions
Quaker Quest- Request was made by Sandy Olson to establish Sept 8, 2013, for the Quaker Quest Preliminary Session, from 9AM-2:30PM. The purpose of the session is to have the entire meeting gather to prepare for the series of Quaker Quest programs that are scheduled for October and November. As part of this decision, we need to consider options for meeting for business, which is scheduled during the same time period on the 8th. Friends APPROVED the request, designating Aug 25 for meeting for business, if it is needed. Since Aug 25 worship will follow the summer schedule of 10-11AM, monthly meeting for business would begin at 11AM, if it is deemed necessary.
Preliminary Session on Sept 8 would begin and end with worship and would focus on the concept of spiritual hospitality. A double circle would be used to encourage discussion on the purpose of Quaker Quest. The topics will be: Quakers and the divine, Quakers and equality and justice, and Quakers and integrity. The Quaker Quest core group will take the lead during this session. The core group consists of: Lin Butler, Nancy Helfrich, Jim Lovestar, David Woolley, Ed Souther, Sandy Olson, Roland Barrett, Nancy Peterson, and Barbara Mohr.
The public sessions will require everyone’s help. While the sessions will run 2 hours, it is anticipated that there will be 3 hours of activities to manage. The public sessions will be an “all hand on deck” commitment for the meeting.
A friend asked about attendance levels. It is hard to predict how many will attend the public sessions, but there will be a total of 6 sessions with three separate topics repeated once, so attendance should be spread out some. The long term impact on the meeting can be significant. Eau Clair Meeting doubled their attendance following Quaker Quest. But the main purpose of Quaker Quest is to revitalize the life of a meeting – not to boost attendance – so that when people first come to experience worship with us, they will want to stay.
Will all this information be published on-line? Yes. But we need to do more to advertise this.
Schedule of the all the sessions of Quaker Quest:
* Sunday September 8, 9A-230P Preliminary Session to prepare our meeting
* Tuesday October 15, 7-9P and Sunday November 3, 3-5P – Quakers and the divine
* Tuesday October 22, 7-9P and Sunday November 10, 3-5P – Quakers and equality and justice
* Tuesday October 29, 7-9P and Sunday November 17, 3-5P – Quakers and integrity
Clarification was made – There may or may not be a monthly meeting for business on August 25. Sunday September 1 will follow the new summer schedule.
Peace and Social Concerns (P&SC) – continued discussion on how to move forward with the organizational plan for the committee with the suggestion to have a work group session on May 12th during monthly meeting or at noon. There would be an inner circle of people representing the various interests broadly grouped under peace and social concerns issues that would lead us in the discussion. The rest of us would sit on the outside and listen to the discussion. Some names suggested to lead the discussion included: David Wooley, Doug Herron (FCNL), Connie Archbald (Right Sharing?), Mary Jean Port (climate stability), Director of Ministry, and representatives for Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP), Winds of Change, and Joint Religious Legislative Committee (JRLC)
Friends APPROVED the plan to have a decision-making process that involves a discussion group of representatives from many groups. It was noted that May 12th is Mother’s Day, and concern was raised that it would be problematic to extend beyond the regular meeting time. There was additional clarification of the process to call it a threshing session and to consider having it on a later date if it would not work on the 12th.
Additional discussion on P&SC threshing session-
– Should it be scheduled during monthly meeting or afterwards? One Friend thought it would be best to have it at a separate time from monthly meeting so it does not compete for attention during monthly meeting; but they liked the idea of an inner and outer circle and suggested the notion of keeping one chair unoccupied, as an Elijah chair- same day ok, just not at same time of monthly meeting.
– There was a question on the purpose of the threshing session. Presiding Clerk responded that the goal is to bring to monthly meeting some clarity on how to name and to facilitate the functioning of P&SC so that it becomes a committee of the Meeting that better reflects our corporate leading, and, as such, would prefer to have it as part of monthly meeting.
– Director of Ministry recommended that JRLC be part of the discussion. There is confusion in how we have the P&SC committee and then there are all these other activities that are outside the functioning of P&SC. There is not a consistent process for all these other groups to report to Meeting and it makes no sense to have a P&SC committee that is not connected to all these groups.
– Presiding Clerk supported idea of P&SC becoming more a coordinating group
– Other suggestions – Explore what administrative support these groups need from Meeting. This could direct our deliberations. – Another suggested having monthly meeting and then cutting it off to have the threshing session. – Have each group, ahead of time, come up with a description of what they do and their impact on the meeting. Clerk expressed concern that there is not enough time to do that and that this is part of the rationale for the threshing session.
5. New Business
• State of Society Report. Pat has an initial draft as starting point. For May monthly meeting – need more to assist. Annual review of state of our society. Need to compile and bring to MM next month. In the absence of volunteers, Presiding Clerk said she would figure it out.
* There was time at the end of monthly meeting for additional discussion. To gather information pertaining to the State of Minneapolis Friends Meeting a query was asked. Query: How are we connected to Meeting and how has that connection changed in the past year?
Discussion – In California Quakers have declined by 25%. We need to let people know who we are and what we are doing. – Meeting is always changing. We are tied together by thoughtfulness and reflection, not by creed. – The Meeting is fermenting, bubbling up in passion. Friends are working to organize and to reach out.
• Clerks’ Meeting, June 2 at rise of meeting
6. Communications and Announcements
• Thanks from FNVW using meeting house for annual meeting
• Thanks from Lisa First and Link Vostok- support from White Envelope gift international art festival funding
• Thanks from Messiah Lutheran Church, Rev Lee Cunningham – support from White Envelope gift ($1005) used to help purchase a new van
• Thanks from Minnesota Peace Team – staged training
– As a thank you they will give a scholarship to a member of our Meeting to attend one of their trainings. See Jim Lovestar if you are interested.
• Kickapoo Valley Monthly Meeting’s marriage equality letter was received and Ellen Brooks writes that KVM approved attached letter. She is asking us to write and send something similar to local media and legislators
The letter from Kickapoo Valley Monthly Meeting was read.
– Friend wants a revision. Marriage excludes single people. Language in the letter should be sensitive to gay bias while not focusing on coupled vrs uncoupled people. We do not want to disenfranchise single people.
– Friend asks us to table discussion. Not enough time to discuss. Need more time to season. Where should the letter be considered in the Meeting?
– Suggestion that Ralph Henn is very involved in this issue and that maybe he should be part of the circle to discuss P&SC on May 12
– Anther Friend is unsure how we would use the letter. They are comfortable with amending the letter to not disenfranchise singles. It might be surprising to combine two concepts.
– Friend wants more time to process, but agrees with sentiment of letter
– Suggestion to leave language of letter alone, but add a part about single people
– Friend suggests waiting. They agree that there is discrimination against singles but also against families. There is a need to go beyond just gay marriage and address equality for all families and groups.
– Director of Ministry asked if there is a Quaker theological error using the word sanctity when all of life is sanctified
– Ranae Hanson is considering rewriting the letter to bring to Monthly Meeting for further discussion. Judith James agreed to assist.
– Request made to have the letter available – either printed copy or online
May: Annual Report, Liaison and Review – Gayle McJunkin; Annual report, Stewardship – Suzanne Ferguson