Minneapolis Friends Meeting

Minutes: Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business

March 8, 2015

David Woolley (presiding clerk), Tom Ward (recording clerk), Pat Jones (director of ministry

  1. Gathering Worship
  2. February Minutes APPROVED
    1. Director of Ministry ­ Pat Jones  Welcome to David Woolley who is starting his term as presiding clerk of meeting, today ….. Of Meeting members and attenders, many are out of town at any given time. There has been a lot of coming and going. This has an effect on the continuity of worship and work of the Meeting. Pat notes that this is a change from 5 years ago.  Chuck Fager, Quaker activist and writer, will be visiting the area in April and is speaking at Minneapolis Friends Meeting on Saturday April 11th at 2:30 PM.  He will tell the story of his time in jail with Martin Luther King and take questions and answers related to the mid 60’s civil rights work. He is in town to participate in a panel at the Voting Rights Conference at the Humphrey Institute on Friday April 10, 1:30PM discussing “Reflections on the Struggle in Selma”.  The event is free.
    2. Ministry and Counsel (M&C) ­ Stephen Snyder for Judith James This month the committee considered the question – “what does it mean to me to have been a member of M&C”? Some responses: greater connectedness to the community, greater responsibility for care of individuals and the corporate life of the Meeting,  greater spiritual connection to the meeting and individuals on M&C,  their most favorite committee on which to serve!  ….  Regarding their care of unprogrammed meeting for worship, they are still evaluating the best way to meet the practical needs of the service – whether to have a committee, informal group or committee liaison – to plan matters such as summer schedule, greeters / closers and social hour ….  M&C invites new members and attenders to talk with them or other committees about their gifts and how our Meeting might work with them to deepen their connection to the spiritual life of the Meeting  ….  They are working with three membership requests and are supporting a number of people on personal matters  ….  Special gratitude and appreciation go to Barbara M. and Connie A., who are completing their terms on M&C.   Discussion:  Some questions were raised –  How does M&C work on succession planning?  With new people coming into our Meeting, how do we incorporate their gifts and spiritual leadings into our community while retaining a center core reflecting our spiritual life?  Are there some intentional things we are doing or should be doing to accomplish this?  Could a portion of M&C’s meeting be “open” so others could address issues around topics like the summer schedule?   Presiding clerk suggested M&C could consider that query at their next meeting.
    3. Stewardship (annual) ­ Roland Barrett    Last month there was a question about how the director of ministry’s salary was calculated. The correct calculation, based on all four line items, shows there should have been a $1,900 increase from last year. The total general fund budget for 2015-2016 is $114,838, which is just about what it was two years ago. Discussion: Friend had a question about subscriptions and if we were eliminating that category, noting that expenses had exceeded the budgeted amount.  Clerk did not have enough information to speak specifically to the question. FRIENDS APPROVED THE 2015-2016 BUDGET.
    4. Nominating (annual) ­ John Kraft    Since the preliminary draft was presented last month there have been changes. Adult Program – add Elizabeth S., Camp Committee – add Victoria F.,  Ministry and Counsel – Carolyn V. will be clerk,   Welcoming and Outreach – add Andy S., Religious Education – add Sue T. and Bill H..  Sandy O. will serve on Adult Program for one year and that committee still could use more members.  There are still no clerks for Semi-Programmed Worship Planning or for Child Welfare, although they may be filled in coming months.  Ranae H. is willing to act as clerk of Peace and Social Concerns, if they decide to have a clerk. Discussion:  Three Friends requested to be removed from committee assignments. There will be co-clerks of Liaison and Review – Suzanne F. and Barbara Z.  A Friend raised a question about how we manage those who are still assigned to committees but are not active in Meeting. There was a reminder to all committee members that it would be most helpful to Nominations Committee if when a member decides to withdraw from a committee they would put it in writing and submit it to Nominations. FRIENDS APPROVED THE 2015-2016 STRUCTURE OF SERVICE AND MINISTRY REPORT
    5. Holiday Fair (annual) ­ Rae Cornelius The Holiday Fair is a fund raiser for Friends for a Nonviolent World (FNVW). Rae described three objectives she had set for the Holiday Fair: Make Money, Have Fun, and Do Less Work. This year FNVW netted $13,382 ($2,000 more than any previous year) Contributing factors to the success this year were the addition of the Rosalie Wahl & Dorothy Ackerman collections and a strong increase in neighborhood attenders.  The chairs of the different activities are hardworking, competent and seasoned – which makes a huge difference. Clean up this year went very smoothly and fast even though there has been an overall reduction in volunteers from 200 a couple years ago to 145 this year.  There was a strong turnout from Twin Cities Friends Meeting.  Areas that still need work:  parking congestion, people are not signing up to volunteer online – but waiting for a phone call, we need more crafts that generate 100% profit, and we need a new chair for the 2015 Holiday Fair, since Rae is stepping down.   Dates for the 2015 Holiday Fair are Friday, December 4, 1:00 – 9:00 and Saturday, December 5, 10:00 – 4:00.   Discussion: Could we ask St Thomas church if we could use their parking lot?  Answer: we thought they were having a fair at the same time as us this year, so didn’t check.  We can check for next fall.   Friends expressed their thanks and appreciation for Rae’s service and hard work coordinating the Holiday Fair the past few years.
    1. Pat Jones – Regarding the online directory from LifeTouch. We know we can edit the information but we are not sure exactly what that means. Pat forwarded questions to LifeTouch but has not heard back yet.
    2. Presiding Clerk asked if we want to establish a standing committee for unprogrammed worship that would be similar to Semi-programmed Worship Planning – lining up closers, mike carriers, setting up hearing assistance aids, closing worship in a timely fashion to limit encroachment into adult program. Friend asked about the functions of this committee, since the logistical needs of unprogrammed worship are much less than for semi-programmed.   Another Friend spoke to her desire to ask people to sit closer together during worship, but she felt she lacked the authority to do so. Another spoke to not needing a committee to provide the needed oversight, but to rely, instead, on representatives from Ministry and Counsel or from the director of ministry to monitor any issues with unprogrammed worship and to forward those concerns to M&C. Friend encouraged us to take the matter of authority seriously for we do recognize authority in the processes of Meeting life. Clerk referred this matter back to M&C for their further considerations.
    1. State of Society Report for Northern Yearly Meeting, which is due in May 2015. Clerk asked for volunteers to write the report. No one stepped forward at this time. Friend acknowledged he doesn’t know the past practice regarding the writing of the report, but asked if this would be expected of M&C, since they are well positioned to answer for the Meeting. Clerk indicated it is customary to brainstorm for the State of Society Report during Monthly Meeting.  Another Friend asked if this could be done during adult program, but clerk suggested we have the time to do it right now.   State of Society Brainstorm: blessing of many visitors and new attenders …. blessing of more children, development of welcoming committee … blessing of number of adults in meeting spending time and love with children ……   the social events – fall camp and dinners ……    vocal ministry in unprogrammed worship has been strong – there has been a move for more intentionality over last couple years – and work on social and racial justice that members have been engaged with ….  adult program series on artists in our community ….  appreciation for how unprogrammed worship ends with a time to share what didn’t rise to vocal ministry …. leadings and callings of individuals in community to climate protection work …. work done over last year or so related to care of the future of the meeting planning process …  ask NYM and other meetings to hold us in the Light, so we might discern the Spirit in our midst.
    2. Marriage under the care of Meeting – We have received a marriage request from Robert Raymond and Gwen Williams and their marriage committee recommends that we take their marriage under the continuing care of Meeting.  FRIENDS APPROVED THEIR MARRIAGE under our care.   We will need a marriage arrangements committee. If interested, see Pat or Adolph.  Planning will be mostly for the worship service.
    3. Peace and Social Concerns (P&SC) – Nancy Helfrich
      1. Diane Barrett has requested a travelling letter of introduction from Minneapolis Friends Meeting as she prepared to travel as part of a study tour to Belgium involving the Quaker Council for European Affairs – a group similar to the Friends Committee on National Legislation in the US. FRIENDS APPROVED HAVING THE CLERK WRITE A LETTER OF INTRODUCTION.
      2. Voluntary Carbon Tax Statement – P&SC is asking Meeting to consider and to formally approve a statement regarding the voluntary carbon tax and the goals of peace, racial justice and economic justice. The statement was recently discussed during adult program where Friends urged that it be brought to monthly meeting. This statement is currently on the website of Minnesota Interfaith Power and Light and Quaker Earthcare Witness, endorsed by P&SC. The statement was read. Corrections and changes to the wording were recommended and after considerable discussion the statement was referred back to P&SC to be reconsidered in light of the discussion before being brought back to Monthly Meeting. Points raised in the discussion included: discomfort with reference to climate change being caused by affluent life-styles; question was raised about the references to the poor and people of color; language (semantics) feels like it is separating us from others – us and them – we are overblowing our role; important to acknowledge we are a part and that we have a role in affluent society; we need to join the effort not lead it; we need to withhold statements that seem to express opinions – there is a lot of factual scientific basis – focus on that – on the truth that is known; saying it is a “cause of war” is a little too strong; some thought the statement was well written and others suggested that Quakers, when making statements, usually start with “we” or “what we are called to do” acknowledging our ownership; recommendation was made to view the statement from Quaker Earthcare Witness which is online at
  6.  Meeting adjourned

11:15 Semi­programmed Worship

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

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