Minneapolis Friends Meeting Monthly

Minutes of Meeting for Business

July 12, 2015

10:00 Semi-Programmed Meeting for Worship

11:00 Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business

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

  1. Gathering Worship
  2. June Minutes were APPROVED
  3. Reports
    1. Director of Ministry ­ Pat Jones     Pat and David Woolley met with Phena Shimaka to learn about the current situation of International Friends Church. This evangelical Christian Friends group, which meets in Brooklyn Park, has been under the care of Iowa Yearly Meeting (Friends United Meeting). IYM has supported a Quaker pastor for them this past year, but as attendance has waned, IYM has discontinued that financial support and the pastor has left. Pat and David were able to offer some small help and ask us to keep IFC in our prayers and thoughts. Some practical ways our Meeting might provide assistance would be to help advertise their place of worship and to be a resource about Quaker education – both from knowledgeable Quaker practitioners and from printed materials.  Friend asked if Iowa Yearly Meeting would be providing any ongoing support, now that there is no longer a pastor assigned to the church. Answer:  It is assumed there would be some, but we do not really know.  Phena is involved with FUM and should have access to their resources.    The wedding of Robert Raymond and Gwen Williams took place at the meeting house on June 20, 2015. Their marriage is under the care of Meeting.    Friends General Conference concluded yesterday in North Carolina. John and Maddie K, from our Meeting, attended.  Next year, the week-long conference will be held in Minnesota at the College of St. Benedict.
    2. Ministry and Counsel (M&C) ­ Carolyn VandenDolder    Ministry and Counsel convened a clearness committee to consider the request for membership from Rae Beth Cornelius. Today, they seek approval for her membership; and Friends heartily APPROVED Rae Beth Cornelius for membership in Meeting.     M&C has been considering ways to support and educate attenders / members on spontaneous vocal ministry.  Believing it would be good to have more guidance, especially for new comers, they will be providing a variety of printed guides on discernment and vocal ministry.  The materials reflect a variety of perspectives and nuances – some a bit light-hearted – so we should anticipate a range of material over time.
    3. Peace & Social Concerns (P&SC) – Jeff Naylor    One of their assignments is to recommend areas that the entire Meeting can focus on for a year. Climate change continues to be a topic impacting societies and individuals, and their committee proposes we adopt the following statement to guide them and us this year. “This year we propose a focus on what we can do in response to the climate crisis with specific attention to how climate stress impacts peace, social justice, and racial justice. The P&SC committee will not be doing all the activities but will support ideas and activities that other people choose to develop and run.  People in the Meeting are warmly welcomed to come to our committee meetings for the third Wednesday of each month at 7 PM at the meetinghouse. We’re looking for wider participation from people who have ideas and energy to carry out the activities; the P&SC can provide support in a variety of ways.”  Discussion: Practically speaking, what does this focus mean? It means that P&SC will provide three programs dealing with the issue this year.  We struggle as a community with discerning what is most important to be doing, and this is a mechanism to build some momentum and to actually have some impact of social and racial justice.  Friend concurred, citing the example of the racially inspired shootings in South Carolina and how the actions of the grieving families to forgive the perpetrator set off some real changes  ….   Friend supports this focus and believes it is a positive way we can reach out and include the greater community in our Meeting’s life ….  P&SC is a committee without a clerk and relies on broad support and input from the Meeting to function.  The committee reflects the entire Meeting and everyone is encouraged to participate in their meetings   …  Friend suggested we might get more participation if the agenda of the monthly meetings of the P&SC committee was printed in the bulletin.   Friends APPROVED the statement
    4. Stewardship – quarterly financial report – Roland Barrett     1st Quarter (April 1-June 30th) Budget for the entire year is $114,838. First quarter collections are $14,648. (13% of the annual budget)  This is a little ahead of last year’s pace, but this year’s budget is a bit larger.  We are over budget in work comp by $300 due to a significant unanticipated increase from last year. Checking account balance is $33,345.  Friends are encouraged to continue their financial support of the Meeting.    Discussion: Friend questioned the accuracy of the nursery line item which is listed at $1,582. That is substantially more than they believe the nursery should be receiving since we do not have a regular paid staff position, now. That appears to be an error and the stewardship clerk will research it.  There was more discussion about the challenge of providing child care and the difficulty of relying on volunteers to meet the need. The presiding clerk said the nursery committee is addressing these concerns.
    5. Trustees & Designated Funds report – Jim Haefemeyer     The report was read (see attachment for the full report) It is clear to the committee that the $9,200 that goes into the capital asset fund is insufficient.  More is needed to meet the long term needs of the meeting house.   Discussion: Has Mayim Rabim rent been stable and is their rent set at a fair level?  Answer:  this is something to be considered by a sub group   …..   Has there been a recent appraisal of the meeting house?  What is the value of the building asset?   No. We have not had a formal appraisal done    …..   A question about the “seed fund”.  Is that fund being connected to the Quaker Quest fund or are they two separate funds?    Answer: there is no specific Quaker Quest fund managed by the trustees. There is $2,936 that has been carried over from Quaker Quest that came from various sources, including memorials to Nancy Peterson, and that amount remains in the Meeting operating budget, but is not part of the Seed Fund or any other fund.  The Trustees suggest that this $2936 go into a newly created trustee account called the Nancy Peterson Memorial fund, to be in reserve for similar outreach projects considered under the Seed Fund but, unlike the Seed Fund, there need not be the requirement for matching funds.  Clerk: There are two proposals for our consideration. Would Friends consider creating a trustee fund called the Nancy Peterson Memorial fund to be used for outreach?   Discussion:  Great idea.  Would this new fund be open? Can anyone donate to it?   Yes. Any fund is open and you can designate a donation to it.  Undesignated donations go into the general fund.   Other Friends spoke in favor of the fund and in support of Nancy Peterson who gave so much to the Meeting and to Quaker Quest, even when she was so ill.   Friends APPROVED establishing the Nancy Peterson Memorial Fund.    The second proposal: to set up an ad hoc committee to work with the Trustees, to consider the adequacy of the Trustee Building Fund to meet anticipated and unanticipated expenses, and to assist with updating the asset replacement spreadsheet.   Discussion:  Trustees would organize it, but who will select the members of the ad hoc committee?  There was agreement that this is not Nominating Committee’s responsibility.   Friend indicated the ad hoc committee should consider what a realistic annual donation to the building fund should be.  Clerk asked for guidance on how to proceed.  Suggestions were made to have someone from property committee and stewardship committee on the ad hoc committee. Some names were suggested. Request was made for people with construction expertise or other relevant expertise to contact the trustees. Friends APPROVED creation of the ad hoc committee to work with the Trustees.
    6. Religious Education annual report – no report this month
    7. Adult Program Committee annual report – Jim Lovestar / Elizabeth Showalter    The committee’s challenge is to spiritually nourish the Meeting, to encourage people to connect outside worship time and to knit together in common interest those attending both the semi-programmed and unprogrammed services. Accomplishments this past year include continuation of the very popular artist and spirituality series, strong attendance for most programs, attendees found common ground even when it was unrelated to the subject, and the 9AM summer discussions continue to attract a variety of attenders – newer and older. They are asking for the Meeting’s approval to continue the 9AM discussion until the end of the summer schedule in September. Friends APPROVED extending the 9AM discussions.  One of the upcoming points of attention for the committee is exploring options for programs outside the Sunday morning format – such as mid-week. They have a vibrant committee and plan to have a representative at every Sunday morning program.   There was a brief discussion over the committee’s title and the use of the word “adult” and “program” vs. “education”. Removing the word “adult” might make the program more welcoming.
  4. Follow up Decisions
    1.  Care of Meeting Process – Jeannette Raymond.  Information has been posted on the website from the earlier sessions.  They are coming out with an online survey and on Aug 1, 9A-12P, there will be a follow-up session to wrap up this stage of the process.
  5. Communications  Nettie Smith announced that she and some other women are opening a low key, safe hang-out space for north side girls 12-18 years. Their opening is the first week in August and they are looking for volunteers, ideas and encouragement.

Meeting for Business adjourned at 12:15 PM

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

ATTACHMENT:

MFM Trustees Report 7/2015

Current trustees are Linda Coffin, Jane Furnas, and Jim Haefemeyer.

The Trustees manage a set of funds separate from the Annual Budget for operations. Trustee’s funds come from allocations from the Annual Budget, from donations and memorials, and from Mayim Rabim’s rent payments.

Harv Busta completed an audit this year, and made several recommendations, including better logging of Mayim Rabim payments, and using on line banking features to allow transfer of funds from savings to checking by all trustees in event of emergency, and updating the asset replacement schedule.

Below is a summary of MFM Trustee Account Status as of 7/2015 (round numbers, including recent transfer of funds paid out from the 2014-2015 Annual Budget):

Community Service (listed in the annual budget as Mission, Service and Fellowship): $13,600.

Purpose: Designated fund to be used by the Meeting to assist meeting groups working on service projects outside the Meeting.

Funding:  Meeting annual discretionary contribution if funds available at end of fiscal year, plus individual gifts. For 2014-15, no funds were added.

Outlay:  None in several years.  Main use in past has been youth projects (Cuba, Indian reservation work, etc.)  Meeting declined to authorize its use for individual meeting members in need.

Conference Travel: $5100

Purpose: Used by individual members or frequent attenders to help facilitate their attending Quaker related conferences, gatherings, or workshops which will benefit the Meeting.

Funding: Meeting (not a regular allocation of the annual budget) or individual gifts.

Outlay: Up to $1000 yearly.  Fund is very slowly drawing down.  Individuals are allowed up to $250 per trip.

History Project: $9500

Purpose: To publish a history of the Meeting and Minnesota Quakers.

Funding:  One time gift.

Outlay:  Linda Coffin will use these funds for publication of the history when it is completed.  She is not drawing funds until then.

Seed Fund: $4000

Purpose: To aid in the development of and enhance the life, ministry and outreach of the Meeting.

Funding:  One time gift. Operates as a matching grant, so that equal amounts must come from other sources.

Outlay:   Fund was drawn down for Winds of Change, Quaker Quest, and redevelopment of the Meeting web site.  Future outlay to be determined to continue meeting outreach.

Note about Quaker Quest funds: $2936 remains in the Meeting operating budget (not a Trustees fund) after Quaker Quest.  Funds for Quaker Quest came from various sources, including memorials to Nancy Peterson. Trustees suggest that this $2936 go into a trustee account called the Nancy Peterson Memorial fund, to be in reserve for similar outreach projects.

Sabbatical Fund: $27,800

Purpose:  Used when the Director of Ministries is on Sabbatical, to provide salaries for those hired to fill in for the DofM, and to provide for DofM expenses.

Funding:   Designated annual allocation from the meeting, if funds available at end of fiscal year.  Recent allocation from last fiscal year was $2023, just short of $2300 originally budgeted. Because $1000 budgeted last year for covering DofM leave was not spent, it was transferred to allow the allocation of $2023 to the fund from 2014-2015 income.

Outlay:  May be needed again within one to two years, as to be defined by Liaison and Review.

Building Fund: $20,000

Purpose: Trustees general funds for capital expenditures, including major contracted maintenance projects and building improvements.

Funding:  Budgeted annual allocation from the meeting of $5000, undesignated memorials and contributions. Mayim Rabim rent $4200 per year.

Outlay: Large outlay in past fiscal year for 3 new furnaces, two additional air conditioner units, and control system for ventilation: $22,500. The project finished furnace replacements.  Terry Hokenson was paid $2000 for contracting and supervision.

This is the lowest the fund has been in many years. We are due for large expenditures for  replacing carpets and resealing the meeting room floor. We need to consider adequacy of the fund for other expenses, both unanticipated and anticipated, such as lift repair,  painting, office equipment replacement, and signage. A rough estimate is that the $5000 per year will cover only roof and HVAC system replacement, if they last 20 years.   Our asset replacement spreadsheet needs updating, a project that should involve Stewardship and Property committees as well as Trustees. Trustees request an ad hoc committee to work on this now as part of our visioning.

 

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