Minneapolis Friends Meeting
Minutes: Monthly Meeting for Business December 13, 2015
9:00 Unprogrammed Meeting for Worship
9:45 Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business
Attendance: David Woolley – presiding clerk, Tom Ward – recording clerk, Pat Jones – director of ministry,
- November Minutes APPROVED with some corrections noted
- Director of Ministry Pat Jones Friends for a Non-violent World (FNVW) recently staged two large events here at the meeting house. On November there was a fundraiser for Syrian refugees that raised at least $10,000 …. Last weekend the FNVW Holiday Sale was held here at Minneapolis Friends Meeting (MFM). Many people from MFM volunteered to make it a success, even though our Meeting did not have a coordinator this year, and there was no overall coordinator for the event. Pat noted that there appeared to be a big increase in non-Quaker visitors at the sale this year. This may be because messaging is going out to the community in new ways. The sale is a kind of homecoming, attracting Friends who do not attend regularly …. Approximately 10 Friends are needing rides to attend Meeting. If you can help, contact Pat …. The annual winter migration is in process with some Friends moving away for the season, returning in the spring …. There have been two deaths of former members of MFM – Jane Bidinger (formerly Hagstrom and Kocourek) and Alice Woodbury. Their deaths have been recorded in our book of Released Friends …. Pat could use some help on various project around the meeting house over the next 6 months. See her if you can assist …. Christmas is rapidly approaching and Pat notes we are not all on the same page regarding how to celebrate the holiday – some stay away while others make a point of attending meeting. She wonders how we can embrace the ambiguity and paradox that the seasons holds for some of us. There was no discussion.
- Ministry and Counsel (M&C) – Carolyn VandenDolder Judith J., Terry H., John K. and Carolyn held a Quaker worship with a group at the Pride Institute for LGBT. Carolyn appreciated the opportunity to share Quaker worship with those previously unfamiliar with it and noted she felt a special tenderness for the other Minneapolis Meeting people who shared in that time of worship. That feeling of tenderness ties in to our continuing consideration of fostering a sense of beloved community here, at MFM. What is our corporate commitment to creating a cohesive community? Do we lose something when members are offered myriad choices to engage in MFM life? What are our assumptions about whole-meeting events like marriages under the care of Meeting, Loaves and Fishes, Fall Camp, the Holiday Fair? How do we, as a Meeting, set priorities for activities? The queries were offered as food for thought. There was no discussion.
- Stewardship (brief update) – Roland Barrett We are at week 36 of the fiscal year that began in April 2015. Current income is $52,542 (66% of the to-date budget which is $79,488). As of today we are under budget by $26,946. Checking account balance is $34,428. There are 2 weeks left in this calendar year and this is a good time to catch up on yearly tax-exempt contributions.
- Welcoming Committee – Keitha Herron and Sandy Olson They encourage Friends to participate in one of the Friendly Meals that will occur in our homes February to April. Signup sheets are on the table in the entry. This is a program designed to bring members and attenders together in conversation around a meal– with different people each time during the three months. Attendees frequently come as couples, although everyone is invited; and the meals can take place anytime, including in the middle of the day. The purpose is to help everyone get to know one another better. Sandy asked if someone could partner with her to put on a meal. Barb Mohr agreed to assist her.
- Library Committee – no report today, but according to Dave Bostrom and Susan Hoch, who care for the library, not much has changed.
- Northern Yearly Meeting Interim Session – Carolyn VandenDolder Pat and Carolyn attended the interim session in Madison a month ago. There was discussion on the NYM budget concerning travel expenses for representatives and liaisons to other Quaker organizations. We are encouraged to attend Friends General Conference this summer, which will be held in Minnesota. There will be a number of great speakers, including Rex Ambler. The next Interim Session will be March 11 and 12. The Interim Sessions address business that arises in between the annual meetings of NYM. We will be hosting the March Interim Session here at Minneapolis Friends Meeting.
- Holiday Fair – preliminary report provided by Bob Nechal There were many comments that this was the best sale ever. Volunteer turnout was high and there was steady attendance both days. Preliminary estimate of gross sales is $20,700 – which may be an all-time high. Net proceeds are estimated to be $12-13,000. FNVW wants to thank MFM for hosting the sale and is deeply grateful for our support. The quilt, which was part of the silent auction, has still not been sold. (Minimum bid being asked is $300) See Jim Bruener to bid on the quilt or to finalize your winning bid on other items offered in the silent auction.
- New Business
- Nominating: Unprogrammed Worship Committee – Sigurd Hoppe This will be presented next month.
- White Envelope Gift – Peace and Social Concerns has offered three recommendations for recipients of the White Envelope Gift. The local portion would go to Black Lives Matter, Minneapolis, with Jewish Community Action acting as the coordinating fiscal agent managing the donation. The international portion of the gift would be divided between two organizations: The Syrian American Medical Society, which supports doctors who have remained in Syria, Jordan and Lebanon. (More info at sams-usa.net/foundation) The second half of the international gift would go to the Watan School for refugee children in Reyhanli, Turkey. (More information at watanusa.org). There are 700,000 school-age Syrian refugee children in Turkey – two thirds of them are not in school. Friends APPROVED the three recommendations for the White Gift. There is a recommendation to change the name of the “White Envelope Gift” to the “Envelope Gift”. Discussion: It has been called the “White Envelope Gift” because white envelopes for a special holiday donation were available to place on a Christmas tree that stood in the meeting room during Christmas season. Friend spoke of her fond memories from 75 years ago of contributing to a White Gift in Sunday school – so this is not just a local MFM tradition. Friends APPROVED changing the name of the “White Envelope Gift” to the “Envelope Gift”. This coming Wednesday, at 7PM, Peace and Social Concerns will meet here at the meeting house to discuss banners for Black Lives Matter.
- Mary J. P. wanted to thank the Meeting in person, not with a card, for the support she received during her recent health crisis. The list of things people provided was long: prayers, get well cards, emails, personal visits, dishes of food, playing games, doing chores and washing dishes, following her medical progress, taking her out to eat, chapel visits in the hospital and gathering to support her during surgery, and many other forms of assistance given to her and to her husband. She felt every bit of the care given her. She is so appreciative and wants to extend her gratitude, love and warmth to everyone.
- General Announcements:
- There will be a benefit on Friday December 18 to honor the earth. This is sponsored by an American Indian organization and includes a meal prepared by a Sioux Chef – prepared in the traditional Indian manner of pre-contact with white society.
- There is a march at noon on Saturday at 4th Precinct (Plymouth and Morgan Ave N) in support of racial justice. The march will proceed downtown.
- There will be a Lectio Divina at the Snyder’s on Wednesday at noon in their apartment – followed by a lunch.
- Friend asked about the next steps the Meeting is going to take in the care of the Meeting proposal that was approved last month. Clerk replied that the next steps are not entirely clear. The committee is planning to meet again in January to consider the next steps. Pat believes the thinking is to have a 3 hour session to look at the vision statements and to explore what needs to be done to get there.
- Other comments: Friend remarked that this is a year of jubilee for the Catholics, with a focus on mercy. Friend asked for a ride to medical appointment. Friend asked us to hold her and her family the in the light as her extended family is experiencing major health issues
10:40 Meeting adjourned
[Some names and information have been edited or removed for publication on the web]