Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business,
11:00 AM 6/8/2014
Ranae Hanson (presiding clerk), Tom Ward (recording clerk), Pat Jones (director of ministry)
I May Minutes approved
II Monthly Reports
- Director of Ministry – Pat Jones Two groups are convening within the Meeting. One is considering the scope of our long term planning initiative and will make recommendations on how much the Meeting should take on. The other group is comprised of individuals with First Day School experience, who will review our religious education practices and consider how best we should proceed – given the recent drop in attendance of young people.
- Ministry and Counsel – Judith James Two members of M&C will be present in the conference room this summer after the 3rd and 4th Sundays (including any 5th Sunday) to provide a place to continue exploring their experience during worship, receive support and deepen their spiritual life.
- Gib Pellet has been recommended for membership in Minneapolis Friends Meeting by M&C and his clearness committee. Friends APPROVED membership of Gib Pellet. The Welcoming Committee will make arrangements for a formal welcome.
- One of the functions of M&C is to address the quality of worship. A concern has been raised about the introductions that come at the conclusion of worship. There is a feeling that visitors are not given the proper attention because others are speaking about themselves or their personal experiences when the introductions are being made. Friends are reminded of our desire that visitors be a priority and that every effort be made to welcome them at the rise of meeting.
- Also, Friends are encouraged to be disciplined when making announcements at the rise of meeting since a prolonged series of announcements is not respectful of everyone’s time. Notify the closer in advance of any announcements or send them to the office to be included in the bulletin. Discussion: Friend asked if the concern about the introductions applied to just the summer schedule or all year round, since the process is different. Clerk stated that this was a concern that had been raised and it did not appear to be specific for a certain part of the schedule. … Another spoke of concern that we not be too quick to cut off the flow between meetings and they especially appreciate the sharing of our joys and concerns and would not want to see that cut short … Another Friend shared that viewpoint and added that there needs to be a balance between the needs of an individual and the needs of the community, and they recognize there is not enough concern for our visitors yet it is not clear what the balance should be … When we share about ourselves we do, sometimes, seem to exclude others and need to be tender to those coming to visit for the first time – to make them feel included. It is about celebrating all of our experiences … A couple recently were visitors to a church on the north side, a place that was known for their welcoming spirit, but they still experienced feeling like outsiders. Their take-away from that experience is that we need to be intentional about being inclusive in both what we share and how we share it to make everyone feel more included … One Friend said we need to be respectful of those who want to leave during announcements – there needs to be a balance … Another Friend said they thought a newcomer would appreciate hearing old comers sharing, that it helps to get to know us better and that it does not feel like it excludes newer people. The Meeting can handle a couple minutes added to the end of meeting for worship … Another supports the previous speaker and suggests it might help for the closer to give a brief summary of the closing process so everyone would know what to expect … Presiding Clerk: encourages us to continue this discussion with others in the Meeting.
- Northern Yearly Meeting (NYM) (annual) – Carolyn VandenDolder Eleven people from MFM attended Northern Yearly Meeting and some helped with teaching in the children’s program, creating films, and hosting film viewings. There was reconnecting with old acquaintances and lots of time for walking, boating, singing, playing, dancing, worshipping and doing business. There were workshops and interest groups on topics ranging from “What Canst Thou Say” to ageism; from personal testimony of walking with God to Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment from companies profiting from illegal Israeli settlements. Attendance was the highest ever. It was announced that Friends General Conference is coming to Minnesota in 2016 over the 4th of July weekend at the College of St Benedict. Twin Cities Friends Meeting will host the next interim session October 24-25, 2014. Area Friends will be asked to host visitors and provide snacks and lunches. NYM’s Faith and Practice has another chapter that has been approved – the chapter on Community. That chapter along with the other 14 approved chapters can be found on the Northern Yearly Meeting website. Only one chapter remains to be written and approved. Many meetings are sponsoring Faith and Practice study groups – we may want to consider doing this. Friends are encouraged to get the NYM newsletter via email rather than through the mail. If interested contact Stan White at stanw(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)uwalumni.com and ask to be placed on the email list. Camp Woodbrooke, a Quaker camp in southwestern Wisconsin, is having a family camp weekend Labor Day weekend. Milwaukee Monthly Meeting has started using a new first day school curriculum – ProgressiveChristianity.org. Quaker Volunteer Service – This is a program our meeting may want to explore. It offers support and nurture for young people doing important peace and social justice work in our community. According to Judith J, Twin Cities Friends are active with Quaker Volunteer Service and are interested in partnering with us. Part of sponsoring is the prerequisite to have a non-profit contribute $10-15,000 for rent and food for the volunteers. Friends agreed that Carolyn should continue to investigate this.
- Adult Program Committee (annual) – Jim Lovestar Programs in 2013 covered race, working in Russia, working in the north side community of Minneapolis, Syria, welcoming new comers, etc. In 2014 there have been presentations by community members who are artists. These programs were well attended and much appreciated. On third Sundays and continuing into the fall, young adults, who have been affiliated with the Meeting, have shared about their lives and personal journeys. And this fall there are plans for programs on spirit-led art and finding strength and hope as we transition to a more just and sustainable world. A question was raised about the status of M G on the committee – she has remained active on the committee even though her term expired. When asked if the Adult Program Committee is open to all comers, the clerk was not sure.
- Peace and Social Concerns (P&SC)(update) – Jeff Naylor The committee seeks input as it studies the agencies and the dollar amounts to which the Meeting contributes in the annual budget. There has been much discussion and some uncertainty about how best to proceed. Some tentative ideas: Northern Yearly Meeting should receive an increase and be moved to a special category. Same with metro friends. These should not be part of general contributions budget. The Meeting is part of these groups and they need assurance of their donations from us. Past contributions have been grouped in categories – Quaker organizations, educational organizations, and direct charitable donations. How do we best weigh and evaluate our financial commitments to racial justice, climate justice, economic justice and our support for peace? Presiding clerk asks everyone in the meeting to consider these issues and to bring their ideas to the next meeting of P&SC – or speak to one of the committee members. A renewed request for financial support has come to us from Cannon Valley Friends. They still need to raise $24,000. P&SC notes that we appear to have a surplus at the end of the budget year and wonders if we should consider using it in this way. Pat answered that there may be some role confusion, here, since she understands that such a recommendation would go first to Stewardship Committee and then they would bring it to monthly meeting. Other P&SC business: “Years of Living Dangerously” will be shown later this month; we still need a meeting liaison with AFSC since no one has responded to postings in the bulletin; Terry H. is involved with the organization Interfaith Power and Light and has agreed to be our meetings representative.
- Outreach and Welcoming Committee – Sandy Olson On June 29th there will be a celebration welcoming three new members: Anne Lawton, Gib Pellet, Jarod Nichols; 2) Outreach and Welcoming Committee will be working with Ministry and Counsel on the social hour following worship during the summer 3) Friends need to be mindful of our tendency to use abbreviations and acronyms when we speak. This is a practice that excludes outsiders every time we speak.
IV Follow-up Decisions
- Memorial Minute for Nancy Peterson – Nettie Smith and Judith James – draft minute was read. The draft version had a deep impact on attenders. Jeannette R suggested including more about Nancy’s spiritual calling and nurturing presence. Some additions would be her commitment to eliminating racism and addressing white privilege as well as her love of journaling. Others thought mention should be made of Nancy’s role in bringing Quaker Quest to our meeting and her role in the International Friends Church.
- A letter of transfer of membership for Keitha and Doug Herron from Downingtown Friends Meeting, Pennsylvania to Minneapolis Friends Meeting.
- A request has been made for our meeting to record the transfer of membership for Joseph Kieltyka from Winona Preparative Meeting to Twin Cities Friends Meeting. He has been active in both Winona and TCFM.
- Acknowledgement of $500 contribution to Horizon’s Unlimited, the food shelf program of the Division of Indian Work.
VI Announcements and Adjourn (12:20 PM)