Minneapolis Friends Meeting
Minutes: Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business
8/10/2014 11:00 AM
Ranae Hanson (presiding clerk), Tom Ward (recording clerk), Pat Jones (director of ministry) [Some names and information have been redacted for publication on the web]
I July Minutes – Approved with concern about comment included from discussion of education report.
II Monthly Reports
- Director of Ministry – Pat Jones: Reminder that there is a Religious Education meeting on Wednesday night. Let us know about any children who may be coming this fall that we might not know about. Expressed appreciation for support she received during her recent absence.
- Ministry and Counsel – Judith James: Reviewed responsibilities of the committee: quality of meeting for worship, pastoral care, general care of the Meeting. M&C is recommending the Meeting update its picture directory. Asking for four volunteers to work with this project. Anticipated tasks include: to call people to schedule appointments, to open and close meeting house, to confirm phone and address information. Plan is to contact a professional photography service, like LifeTouch. No service has been selected, yet. Usually the directory is free, but individuals may be given a pitch to purchase photos. So far Gib P and Terry K have volunteered. Susan H is considering.
- Nursery Committee (annual) – Betsy Souther: Susie Kanemitsu is our hired nursery coordinator and has done this for over ten years. From April 2013 to April 2014 there were 94 visits recorded, involving 26 different children. (Adult program had 67 visits and semi-programmed meeting had 51 visits, with some children staying both hours) This past year there have been no children in the nursery during the unprogrammed meeting for worship. As a result the committee is recommending that Meeting not hire someone during unprogrammed meeting, but continue to provide paid coverage during adult forum and semi-programmed meeting. Susie has agreed to continue as a paid child care worker under the proposed reduced hours. Question: What provisions are there to provide care if children are present during unprogrammed meeting? There still is a backup plan to cover children who come – there would just not be paid staff during unprogrammed meeting. Another Friend wanted to know if there are enough people on the nursery committee? Answer – There are not enough if the committee members are the only ones assisting Susie in nursery. Meeting APPROVED reducing the hours of paid childcare to cover only adult forum and semi-programmed worship and to not pay for coverage during unprogrammed worship.
- Stewardship (quarterly) – Roland Barrett: Responsibilities of Stewardship include: overseeing the Meeting’s financial health and record keeping; gathering facts, information, and requests to prepare and to present the annual budget; monitoring Meeting contributions and spending while managing both the receiving and dispersing of funds. First Quarter Financials: This is an item of concern. 1st Quarter total income is $13,300 – about 12% of the yearly budget of $112,875. The trend has been downward – last year 1st Qtr. income was 14%. In some previous years it has been as high as 22%. Regular items are in good shape and are on budget, but with expenses of $19,000 in the 1st Qtr., we are actually running a deficit, so far. Discussion: What is the process for automatic withdrawals? John K, previous committee clerk, reported that this is usually up to the giver and their bank. Most banks can set up an automatic bill pay to the Meeting … What is the fiscal year? April 1 through March 31 … A donation of shredded money was left in the donation box.
- Shepherd Scholarship (annual) – Allen Gibas: The Shepherd Scholarship is a trust established to manage the scholarship fund with a minimum principal to be maintained at $187,600. Disbursements are only made from the interest that is earned. This has been a difficult transition year. Last year the trust was earning less than ½% per year, greatly limiting any disbursements. The decision was made to transfer the trust funds from CD’s to municipal bonds. Unfortunately, this led to some premium expenses that had not been anticipated, resulting in a temporary drop in principal below the minimum balance. We are looking into changing investment companies since our current investor seems inexperienced with municipal bonds. The interest and principal are back in positive territory, growing to $189,926 as of 6/30/2014. This is not where we had hoped to be. To date, no scholarships have been paid out in 2014; but we have received applications for 2014 and plan to make some disbursements out of the available accrued interest. In 2013, we disbursed $2,000 in 6 grants. Since its inception, the Shepherd Scholarship has paid out $201,714 in grants. Discussion: Friend asked about the recent charges to the fund. Response: Every asset has market value and that value goes up and down – fluctuating monthly. The lowest value the fund dropped to was $169,000. It was noted that the scholarship committee receives detailed stories from the applicants and, from them, it is clear that the Shepherd Scholarship has offered a great connection between the Meeting and its children and has made an important contribution to the life of the Meeting.
- Social Committee (annual) – Diane Barrett: The committee organizes potlucks and Birthday celebrations, participates in welcoming new members, has assisted the Death and Memorial Committee with the reception and helps with refreshments when we have special speakers.
- Nominating (update) – John Kraft: Nominating has some additions and changes to the committee assignments. Mary G. will be on Adult Program. Marilyn J. will become receiving clerk on Stewardship Committee, and Mike F. will move from receiving to dispersing clerk, where he is expected to take on reconciling the bank statement; and, if he does not, Roland B. says he will do it. Meeting APPROVED these recommendations.
IV Follow-up Decisions
- Discussion: Will the AC make it noisier in the meeting room? No. It should not add any noise and may reduce noise levels from outside the building. Friend asked the Trustees to reconsider our policy of not renting the meeting house to outside groups, adding that other Meetings make their buildings available for rent and, if we add AC, our meeting house would be more marketable. Also, rental income would be a way to increase our building reserves for future repairs. Would adding AC impact our rental agreement with Maim Rabin? Possibly, but with Mayim Rabim the immediate focus is on improving the signage in front of the building.
- Trustees – Jim Haefemeyer: Update on furnace. One of our five furnaces has burned out and the three that have not been replaced need replacing. So far, estimates for just designing the system exceed the cost of a furnace. One solid bid has been received and there is a meeting with another contractor tomorrow. Trustees are considering adding AC to the main meeting room at a cost of about $8,700. This would involve adding AC to the furnaces serving both sides of the meeting room. Trustees are inclined toward adding the AC.
V New business –
- Northern Yearly Meeting (NYM) Interim Session – Carolyn VandenDolder: Northern Yearly Meeting’s fall Interim Session will be at Twin Cities Friends Meeting in St Paul the weekend of October 24-25th. We have been asked to open our homes in fellowship to help host people traveling for this meeting. We are invited to attend the interim sessions, as well. Visitors would need accommodations Friday evening, October 24 and may stay until Sunday. Contact Carolyn if you can provide hospitality.
- Long-Range Planning Preparation – Gayle McJunkin: On June 3, 2014 the long-range planning group had its first meeting. Attendees: Pat J., Terry K., Ranae H. and Gayle M. Objective: To have the Meeting be a place that operates within reasonable limits and can adjust to the energy of the people who are in the Meeting, a Meeting that would be prepared to respond to needs of the Meeting members and the community of which we are a part.
Nine Topics that emerged in early conversation:
Scope: To look at the scope of the process, report to Monthly Meeting and then convene a group to design for the long-range process needed to move forward. Jeannette Raymond has offered to guide the process, she is experienced in doing this.
- A long-range financial plan for facilities planning and maintenance;
- Nurture and develop participation and membership;
- Determine an appropriate director of ministry position description – contemporary with needs of Meeting and ready to respond to changes;
- Determine a flexible committee structure that is appropriate to the needs of the Meeting and is based on the energies available in the community;
- Plan for response to environmental, financial and physical crises – planning for transition to a more sustainable, resilient care for the natural and human worlds;
- Review and update job descriptions of paid employees – planning for future needs;
- Provide for transition of institutional knowledge;
- Articulate our leadership role as a Quaker Meeting and as Quaker individuals in a changing society and for predictable events and crises;
- Consider transportation options for members and attenders.
Consider setting up four working groups
- Committee structure and leadership
- Finances and facilities
- Transition to resilient, sustainable life in the natural world
- Transition of knowledge and personnel, as leadership transitions to the next generation
- Invite Jeannette (and others) to help structure a process and timeline
- Invite community comment on the initial working group themes and suggest additional topics
- Convene working groups
Discussion: What is the scope of the 4 working groups – i.e. would it integrate other issues such as the role of the director of ministry? Yes. That will be done in the planning process. Would this include membership and outreach? Yes. What is the timeline? That is part of the development process and it may take a while before we return to monthly meeting with the process and a timeline.
VI Communications – Letters of thanks from
- Friends for a Non-violent World for our contribution of $2,580
- Earlham School of Religion for our contribution to their annual fund
- Friends Committee on National Legislation for our faithful support in 2013-14
- Quaker House for out contribution of $190
VII Announcements and Adjourn 12:10 PM