Minneapolis Friends Meeting

Minutes of August 9, 2015 Monthly Meeting for Business 

10:00  Semi-Programmed Meeting for Worship

11:00  Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business

David Woolley – presiding clerk, Jeff Naylor – fill-in recording secretary, Pat Jones – director of ministry

  1. Gathering Worship
  2. July Minutes APPROVED with corrections
  3. Reports
    1. Director of Ministry – Pat Jones:    Ilsa Tone has requested to marry in the manner of Friends with Carolyn VandenDolder officiating. Carolyn is not a licensed minister, but a provision in the state law permits Quaker meetings to perform legal marriages without a licensed minister by having the marriage document signed by six witnesses from the meeting. Ilsa’s wedding will not be under the care of the meeting, but she would like to have Minneapolis Friends Meeting use our legal authority to witness and recognize the marriage. Ilsa’s request was APPROVED
    2. Ministry and Counsel (M&C) – Carolyn VandenDolder      Three membership requests in the past year, all approved. The committee was asked by a member to provide some care around vocal ministry during meeting for worship. After addressing the particular issue, M&C wanted to address vocal ministry in a broader context and decided to try a two-fold approach – educating about discernment and encouraging connection to the source. To educate about discernment for vocal ministry they provided two adult programs and have presented queries and provided a link to a QuakerSpeak video about vocal ministry. They continue to struggle with how to best create opportunities for people to seek out connection to the Divine outside of meeting for worship. It is important to keep in mind that although vocal ministry can be very good, there are always trade-offs – what does the community give up when the silence is broken? Vocal ministry of newcomers and deepening the flow of worship are special concerns. Also: M&C is working on a “getting to know you” booklet about meeting elders, and, for the third year, has recommended the joined meetings for worship during the summer months – alternating between unprogrammed and semi-programmed meetings for worship. Attendance at M&C committee meetings continues to be a challenge.
    3. Stewardship – Andy Showalter: $22,000 of the $39,000 budgeted to this point has been raised; averaging $1,200/week (actual) vs. $2,200/week (needed to meet budget).
    4. Care of the Future of the Meeting – Jeanette Raymond: 22 people attended the Aug. 1 discussion, which further boiled down the lists of conflicts and tensions that are posted on the website, categorization of items on the lists, and some tentatively reached conclusions. The group meets again soon and may prepare the material into a statement that would ultimately be reviewed by meeting for business. A concern was raised that the conclusions have a “depressing” feel to them, but others said the meeting itself had a positive tone with much brainstorming energy. The discussion may continue in some form at fall camp.
    5. Religious Education annual report – Bill Hendricks: Plenty of volunteers for first-day school, both for weekly sessions and special events. There was a Biblical focus to the curriculum last year and there will be a Quaker focus next year. Attendance averaged 8-9 children per week. Looking for more intergenerational activities. A challenge facing religious education in the Meeting is that a larger age range is expected next year with some middle school students and others much younger.
    6. Nursery annual report – Betsy Souther:   On June 15 Susie Kanemitsu left her role as the paid nursery staff. Meeting is grateful for all her good service during semi-programmed and adult forum. In the year ending March 2015, Susie provided care on 22 Sundays – mostly attending to child care for a short time before First Day School began. She cared for the youngest children on about 10 Sundays. Jeannette Raymond has volunteered to be available for child care, as needed, during unprogrammed worship hour, although there has been no need for her services during unprogrammed worship this past year. There have been no visitors to the nursery during the summer meetings for worship                  The current plan to summon staff to the nursery is posted on a sign in the nursery. Families with children are invited to press a pager which activates a second pager that is carried by the designated helper, who can then either recruit a second volunteer from the list approved by child welfare committee or can keep the curtain open between the first-day school classroom so that a second adult has the nursery in view. The committee asks all of us to watch for families, to assist in welcoming them and to assist with the pager plan.
    7. Shepherd Scholarship fund annual report – Allen Gibas:   On January 8, 2014 all securities were transferred from UBS to Stifel Nicolaus. Because of limited interest capable of being earned through investments in certificates of deposit, the Scholarship Committee has changed investment advisors and investment strategies to invest in higher yielding corporate bonds. Fluctuations in the value of the bonds themselves is dramatic and alarming at times. Disbursements are made from interest only. One grant for $500 has been distributed so far this year and in 2014 five grants were issued totaling $1,700. Since the inception of the Shepherd Scholarship fund, $203,414 has been paid out in grants. The fund is available to members (of at least five years) and their families for post-secondary education that is not sports-related. A concern was raised about the specific companies in which meeting funds are invested; it was agreed that more research into investment targets is needed.
  4. Communications: There have been two requests of a hosting nature. George Owen, clerk of Northern Yearly Meeting, asked if their spring planning session could be at the meetinghouse. This would require 6-8 hosts of various sorts. And Friends General Conference planning committee made a similar request for a smaller event that would require one or two hosts. No budget exists for providing accommodation or food. Previous discussion had concluded that committed hosts should be found before approval of such requests is granted. The dates of the events are as yet unknown. People are invited to express their willingness to help.
  5. Meeting adjourned

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

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