Minutes: Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business
9/14/2014 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 Approved August Minutes
II Monthly Reports
- Director of Ministry – Pat Jones: Asked that we re-open July Minutes to make a correction. Friends Approved the change to July Minutes. Next week marks the transition back to the regular schedule of worship – 9:00 AM for unprogrammed and 11:15 for semi-programmed. Unprogrammed meeting needs to have a mechanism to provide child care when children accompany adults to unprogrammed meeting, since paid nursery care will not be available until the Adult Program hour. Ed S. is co-leading a Quaker Quest workshop for a Meeting in western New York. There was a Health and Wellness Fair at North Point Clinic where Paul E. and Heidi F. work. The Health Fair encouraged exercise, eating a healthy diet and practicing good health habits. Arne Anderson helped co-found the clinic and, currently, Paul is the Medical Director. It was a very positive experience and it would be great if we could show our support by attending next year! This past Friday evening there was an off-site meeting for worship open to everyone, organized by Bill H., at the Walker Art Center. It was great and those who attended seemed very appreciative. It was held in the art created space created by a Quaker artist, James Terrell. It is not inside the museum, but is outside on the grounds of the Walker in a unique semi-underground environment.
- Ministry and Counsel – Judith James: Reported that the Semi-Programmed Worship Committee felt the second year of the summer schedule went smoothly. There is some concern about a sense of loss as we transition back to two separate meetings for worship instead of one combined worship experience. It has been suggested that the combined worship might be extended for the entire year. This possibility would be referred to long-range planning for consideration. Regarding religious education, Judith reported that Rae C. will be in charge of special events with the children – the first event is a bike ride on September 28. Sue K. is assembling photos of the more senior members of the Meeting (80+ years) as part of an initiative for celebrating the elders in our community. The initiative may expand to include those 75+ years of age. M&C is recommending that the Meeting move forward with the creation of a meeting picture directory. There was some concern about maintaining and updating the directory once it is printed. The photo board would most likely be used for this purpose – one suggestion is to designate an area of the photo board for newcomers.
- Friends APPROVED making a new directory. There was a request to include a list of those who have recently passed away in the directory.
- Peace and Social Concerns (P&SC) (annual) – Nancy Helfrich Part of their mission is to be a clearing-house for peace and social concerns, to provide clearness for those seeking guidance pursuing issues, and to provide guidance to the Stewardship Committee on the organizations and the dollar amounts to which the Meeting should contribute. P&SC will select topics for the Meeting to focus on each year and will facilitate one event on each topic. At this time the committee is unable to maintain a calendar of all peace and social concern events. P&SC is, once again, a full committee. Some of their challenges: having difficulty recommending annual contribution amounts and coordinating all the many social issues that are presented to the Meeting and to their committee. They are committed to supporting the focus areas identified for each year and their committee meetings are always open to anyone who wants to attend. Discussion: Friend inquired when the priorities are set for the year – in December and January. If Friends have suggestions / ideas, they are encouraged to place them in the P&SC file. Concern was raised that there is a lack of a peace focus on the list at a time when our country is focused on war; and another added that during Quaker Quest many attenders mentioned the peace testimonies as influencing their interest in Quakers.
- Ministry and Counsel (M&C) (annual) – Judith James – the duties of M&C include attention to the quality of meeting for worship, encouraging and guiding those who give vocal ministry, promoting spiritual life, and preparing each worshiper for the corporate nature of worship. M&C supports pastoral care in various ways and uses clearness committees or other special committees to provide guidance or support. Two other areas of focus are membership and outreach, such as Quaker Quest. Accomplishments: supported Quaker Quest; formed three clearness committees for membership; supported summer worship schedule and staffed an after worship support/discussion session; worked with Outreach on the social hour after summer worship; began the Elder’s Project and started two CareCalendars. Challenges: keeping the meeting grounded when there are so many issues competing for our attention and energy; seeking a coherent approach to prioritizing the concerns and issues of so many people when we are limited in our resources and feel disjointed; nurturing and supporting new leadership as the older generation moves on; and addressing the increasing numbers of those who need physical care and nurturing that places a heavy burden on a few. Upcoming points of attention: becoming more focused in the spiritual/social justice work of the meeting, working on the meeting picture directory, celebrating our elders.
- Outreach and Welcoming Committee (annual) – Sandy Olson Tasks suggested by the Meeting for the committee: coordinate the general public and interested seekers about Quakers and our meeting; coordinate the welcoming of new members and attenders; provide educational opportunities and coordinate social gatherings, especially for newcomers; organize greeters at the door and welcome new members; work closely with other committees like Adult Program and Social. Their committee is doing follow-up to Quaker Quest and following-up on guest book entries. Questions that have not been resolved include: Exactly what should the committee’s purpose and mission be? Do they report to Ministry and Counsel? How will they know when they have accomplished what they are supposed to accomplish?
IV New Business
- There was no new business, but the Clerk led a brief discussion on the challenge we have to hold our many attentions in the Light, to keep them present in our awareness and to provide support. The list is long and we need to address them in more detail: racial justice; the environment – many are involved and have made life changes; peace – a central component of our identity; economic justice – especially on the north side of Minneapolis; Alternatives to Violence; immigration. This is just a start. We are asked to hold these concerns and ourselves in the Light.
- Announcements and Adjourn 12:10 PM