Minneapolis Friends Meeting

Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business, 2/9/2014

9:45 AM

[Some names and information have been edited or removed for publication on the web]

Attendance: Ranae Hanson (presiding clerk), Tom Ward (recording clerk)

  1. January Minutes – APPROVED
  2. Monthly Reports
    1. No Director of Ministry report. Pat is out of town.
    2.  Ministry and Counsel (M&C) – Joanne Esser   Reviewed the death of John Campbell, a long-time member of the Meeting and the support given his wife by many people from the Meeting. He died on February 5, 2014 and a memorial service will be held here on Sunday February 16 at 2:00 PM … Other Friends have experienced medical issues and could use ongoing assistance … Kyle Johnson is convening a membership clearness committee for an attender asking to join the Meeting.
      1. Proposal: M&C is recommending that we establish an Outreach and Welcoming Committee. This committee would be responsible for coordinating efforts to inform the general public and interested seekers about Minneapolis Friends Meeting, its’ Quaker worship and community, and Quakerism, in general.  They would coordinate efforts to make new attenders and new members feel welcome and included in our community. Suggested tasks for the committee might include: educational programs for newcomers, coordinating social gatherings especially for newcomers, promoting literature about the meeting, organizing greeters at the door, welcoming new members, and other initiatives as appropriate. The Outreach and Welcoming Committee would work hand-in-hand with other committees, including Adult Program and Social Committee. We also recommend that we no longer seek welcoming committees for new members by requesting volunteers at business meeting, since the new Outreach and Welcoming Committee will be charged with this task. Suggested committee size is 3-5 members.           Discussion:  Friend asked about who would be the target of the outreach. “General public” seems too broad a category and we might benefit from a more focused target group. Another asked about the definition of “community” in the committee’s mission. There was a recommendation that we draw upon the feedback given us during Quaker Quest. Clerk of Nominating asked if they should try to fill the committee by April. Yes, but with understanding this is a very short timeline.  Friends APPROVED establishing the Outreach and Welcoming Committee.
  3. Reports
    1. Nominating Committee, Preliminary Annual Report – John Kraft   The preliminary report was read. There were a number of suggested corrections to the report … Religious Education coordinator was left open and it was suggested this should be filled even though there are few children attending meeting right now. There was a suggestion to add a liaison on Nominating from the Outreach and Welcoming Committee and a request that we include members of the ad hoc long term planning committee. Another Friend asked if we still have Volunteer Coordinators – Yes. There were numerous thanks of appreciation for all the hard work Nominating Committee does. 
    2. Stewardship Committee, Quarterly Report and Preliminary Annual Report – Suzanne Ferguson    At the end of the 3rd Quarter we are at 61% of our annual budget which is $121,293. The budget report includes Quaker Quest funds which need to be separated out from the main budget. To meet budget we need to take in $46,805 in the last quarter. Question was asked about who controls the Matching Funds Account. Answer – The Trustees, but it is not their role to decide how to spend the money. Much of the matching funds received recently was from Nancy Peterson’s memorial and should go to fund future Quaker Quest programming. The final report for this year will be in a couple months. The Quarterly Report was accepted.          
      1. Preliminary Annual Budget Report for 2014-2015 ($111,298) – not all the numbers are in yet for the preliminary annual budget report – waiting for revised plant operations figures. Salaries are the same. Office operations have declined. The plan is to average committee and program expenses over 5 years and not just renew at the same amount each year. There is some question about the $1500 going to travel since it varies so much from year to year. We plan to use the same amount for Fall Camp in 2014 as was budgeted in 2013.      Discussion: Currently, we are not contributing to Northern Yearly Meeting the 5% of our budget that they request. Some money was spent for travel out of Trustee funds and questions about travel and educational funds for Director of Ministry are under the purview of Liaison and Review. Quaker Quest line item is zero for 2014-15, but there may be a need to allocate some funds to the new Outreach and Welcoming Committee. If we are coming up significantly short this year, there needs to be some long range planning to take this into account. Adjusted numbers for plant operations may alter the final totals when the final budget is presented next month.
    3. Friends for a Non-violent World (FNVW) Holiday Fair – Rae Cornelius  Happy report – thanks to the Meeting for all the support. This year over $11,000 net was raised (gross about $19,000). There were a lot more crafts and food and this helps the profit margin, greatly. We made more this year than in 2012. Most nonprofits have taken 30% drop in contributions, but FNVW has stayed even. The Holiday Fair has been a major contributor to this success. There have been more people coming from the neighborhood to the Holiday Fair largely due to the banner and publicity. Parking is a problem – considering valet parking for elderly – maybe we can use St Thomas for parking. Next year the goal is to increase the profit to $12,000. We have cut in half the time it takes to get ready for the event and have benefitted by pursuing individuals for certain tasks who possess special talents, i.e. decorating, cashiering. Next year we are considering having a Quaker Kitchen? Preparations and cleanup really went well this year. There are excellent leaders for each division. Rae wants to get more commitment from Twin Cities Meeting to help with coordination, next year. Rae will do another year if she can get this commitment from TC Meeting. We did not have as many people coming to lunches this year and last year- not sure why. Please get your thoughts and ideas for improvements to Rae.
  4. Follow-up Decisions
    1. Rusk Anderson Memorial Minute – Terry Hokenson (see attachments) Arnie and Lucinda Anderson may still want to make some changes. Barb Coffin and Dick Magraw were very helpful in crafting the minute. And thanks to all the others who assisted. Terry read the minute.  Memorial Minute was accepted with caveat that Arnie and Lucinda can review it and make changes as they desire.
  5. New Business
    1. White Privilege Conference Information – Liz Oppenheimer  Liz was asked to speak to Monthly Meeting about the conference. She has compiled a list of frequently asked questions. There are discounts for conference attendees if you sign up via the Friends General Conference (FGC) webpage. The conference has been going on for 15 years and has grown to 1500-2000 people. Last time it was held ~approximately 70 Quakers attended.  White Privilege Conference by the numbers:
      1. 42 – Friends signed up so far. The goal is 60-100
      2. 11- different Meetings are represented by Friends signing up through FGC and Canada YM
      3. 21 – Friends from Northern Yearly Meeting (NYM) signed up through FGC ( they have been sending a contingent for past 4 yrs)
      4. 7 – Meetings and worship groups from NYM with someone signed up.
      5. Feb 20 – the final date to sign up using the FGC website to get help with housing
      6. Conference is in Madison, Wisconsin this year. March 26 – 29
      7. Rates go up after Feb 24
      8. 50% FGC discount off the full fee. Early bird with FGC is ~ $180
      9. 1 – from Minneapolis Friends Meeting has signed up so far with FGC                                                     Racism does not happen in isolation. We all benefit from exploring how our “whiteness” keeps perpetuating oppressive systems. Try flipping our “anti-racist” approach to white privilege and shift from talking the talk to walking the walk. This change in approach has changed her life. She no longer is putting herself in a “white” box and putting everyone else in their own boxes. FGC Gathering will be dealing with this issue, as well. Liz will be back to talk at potluck. Info about the conference is at: www.fgcquaker.org/WPC15-Interest. One Friend commented that they had attended the White Privilege Conference and that it challenges the reality of being white and that this is the only effective way to address racism.
    2. Northern Yearly Meeting (NYM) relationship with MFM (a brief history) – Carolyn VandenDolder   Carolyn is the Meeting’s representative to NYM. Quaker Yearly Meetings started with guidance from Britain Yearly Meeting. Yearly meetings were established to nurture the monthly meetings. Minneapolis Friends Meeting (MFM) used to be part of Iowa YM which is associated with Friends United Meeting; but same sex issues became a divisive issue and MFM left Iowa YM and FUM in the 70’s   We drifted for a while as an unaffiliated meeting. We explored affiliation with Friends General Conference (FGC) but without a yearly membership. This was not possible. We also looked at Canadian YM and Iowa Conservative Meeting. It made the most sense to be with our Twin Cities Friends and Friends in the Midwest by affiliating with Northern Yearly Meeting and FGC. This is our spiritual home now. As individuals and as a meeting there is much we can benefit from this relationship. An adult program about NYM is in the future. Carolyn would like testimonials before Feb 23rd when the program will take place.
    3. Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) policy discussion sessions – Doug Herron- At the next meeting for business Doug  plans to reveal the results of input from members and attenders for FCNL’s top five priorities for the 2015-16 legislative sessions. He will give people several opportunities to share their thoughts on FCNL priorities, March 2 and March 6. People can also email their priority choices to Doug. Our feedback to FCNL headquarters is due April 15. FCNL is a Quaker lobbying organization located in Washington DC that lobbies for all Quakers on national issues. They are asking each meeting to prioritize key issues representing our national concerns.
  6. Communications
    1. From a youth group that visited Meeting two weeks ago.
    2. Acknowledgment of membership transfer of Jon and Angelika Shafer to Eau Clair Monthly Meeting
    3. Iowa Yearly Meeting (Conservative) has invited us to Iowa YM (this is not FUM) on April 12-13 at Bear Creek Meeting House
    4. Northern Yearly Meeting acknowledged MFM’s contribution of $2,700. They also repeat their request to all affiliated meetings to increase their yearly contribution by 5%.

Adjourned

11:15 Meeting for Worship

Attachment:

[includes some family revisions added after Monthly Meeting approval]

 Minneapolis Friends Meeting

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Memorial Minute for Ruth Rusk Dalton Anderson

Ruth Rusk Dalton Anderson was born May 13, 1919, and died at age 94 on September 2, 2013, surrounded by her children and her husband of 73 years, Arne Anderson.

Rusk and Arne were married August 31, 1940. They began attending Minneapolis Friends Meeting in 1952.  At that time they had four children, the beginning of what was to become the Meeting’s largest family.

Along with serving as the mother of a large and growing family, Rusk headed Arne’s support team while he was founding Park Nicollet Medical Center and again when he organized Minneapolis Children’s Hospital. She edited medical articles, speeches, and book manuscripts over many years while raising ten children. Her remarkable intellectual abilities served the Meeting well, for example, as clerk in capturing in words the sense of the Meeting and in formulating committee reports.  Rusk’s organizational ability was demonstrated not only in the running of her busy household, but in her work on meeting and community committees. She was a logistical marvel.

Probably more than anyone else, Rusk was responsible for starting the unprogrammed meeting for worship at MFM. The large Anderson home on Browndale Avenue became a rendezvous for extra-meeting meetings, because it wasn’t far from the meetinghouse.  When something distressing or controversial had happened and needed more discussion, Rusk often hosted small groups to continue the conversation.  The first check she wrote every month was to the Meeting.

The group of young post WW-II couples, of which the Andersons were such a significant part, was vitally important to the growth and spirit of the Minneapolis Friends Meeting. As Barbara Coffin put it, “We had an esprit de corps.  We all believed in Quakerism and had a sense of identity separate from the general population.  We brought up our kids together.  We cared for each other’s welfare and for each other’s children.  We had a lot of fun together and became life-long friends.”

In the 1960s, Rusk was a draft counselor, a lobbyist to the U.S. Senate for the AFSC, and a member of a small group of consultants asked by the U.S. State Department to represent Minnesota public opinion on U.S. State Department activities. In her seventies and eighties Rusk traveled with Arne to Southeast Asia, South America and Africa, developing medical facilities and starting childhood education programs in communities facing financial challenges. At home she hosted traveling missionaries, exchange students, immigrant families, foreign medical providers and friends from across the country and around the world.

In 1995 Rusk was invited by the League of Women Voters to represent Minnesota with the Citizen Ambassador Program of People to People International at the U.S./China Joint Conference on Women. Rusk loved traveling–especially along rivers–and camping, as well as being surrounded by her family. On camping trips she brought a library on the places they visited as well as field books on trees, wildflowers, geology and birds.  In her late eighties and nineties, she especially enjoyed traveling with Arne, children and grandchildren on fishing trips to Lake of the Woods in Canada.

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