Minneapolis Friends Meeting

Minutes: Monthly Meeting for Business May 8, 2016

 

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

9:00 Unprogrammed Meeting for Worship

9:45 Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business

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

  1. Gathering Worship
  2. April Minutes were Approved
  3. Monthly Reports    
    1. Director of Ministry ­ Pat Jones  Reminder that the memorial service for Adolph Burckhardt is at 2PM next Sunday at the meeting house. Everyone is invited.  Memorial services benefit from a strong showing of Friends to help anchor the worship experience for the non-Quakers who attend.  Also, Friends are encouraged to be mindful of promptly entering the meeting room and being in place for the start of semi-programmed worship. It seems that new members and new attenders – with their families – are often in place before the rest of us filter in. Discussion:  Friend reminded us of Adolph’s important role during the remodeling of the meeting house.  This underscores the importance of attending memorial services as a way to share our personal histories as well as a way to cement our relationships with one another and with the Meeting.
    2. Ministry and Counsel (M&C) – Carolyn VandenDolder   M&C is asking Meeting to approve their proposal for worship on the 5th Sunday of the month during the summer schedule in 2016 – May and July each have a 5th Sunday.  May 29, the 5th Sunday, would be unprogrammed, and July 31, the 5th Sunday, would be semi-programmed, with a reading but no music.  Friends APPROVED the proposal for the 5th Sunday during the summer months.  Carolyn reminded us that during the summer schedule, the first and third Sundays will be unprogrammed and the second and fourth Sundays will be semi-programmed.
      1. A clearness committee has met with Scott Chapman regarding his request for membership, and both the clearness committee and M&C wholeheartedly recommend his membership in Minneapolis Friends Meeting. Friends APPROVED Scott Chapman for membership. Ministry and Counsel also recommended that the Meeting write a letter of endorsement for Scott’s ongoing service as a chaplain. Friends APPROVED the recommendation for endorsement.  Scott will be welcomed into the Meeting in a welcoming reception this summer.  We no longer convene a welcoming committee.
      2. M&C is changing their meeting time in July due to Friends General Conference.  In July they will meet on the 2nd Wednesday of the month.
      3. M&C is requesting the creation of an ad hoc committee to investigate our Meeting’s participating in Quaker Voluntary Service (QVS).  This is a Quaker initiative that is being pursued by both Twin Cities Friends Meeting and Prospect Hill Meeting – an initiative that would require a significant commitment from us if we joined. Those meetings are actively exploring becoming a site for QVS and want to know if MFM is on board. This is a significant commitment of time and, potentially, of money. We would need at least three people to serve on the ad hoc committee. Discussion: Friends had a lot of questions. What is the purpose of QVS? What are the costs? What does the request from M&C entail? What are the services provided by QVS, and who can benefit from their volunteers? Response: In the beginning there are a lot of logistics to work out and lots of paperwork.  Housing needs to be located.  Funding has to be arranged, with up to $16,000 required from the nonprofits participating with QVS. The national QVS organization contributes additional financial support for the volunteers.  Pat and Judith J have participated in some of the local meetings exploring QVC, and some representatives spoke to our Meeting last Sunday.  Friends spoke in support of the benefits that can flow from getting involved with volunteer service. There was a question about what was being asked of Meeting, right now, and what was expected of the ad hoc committee. Today, we are not considering whether to participate in QVS, we are, instead, being asked to create an ad hoc committee to investigate the whole issue with Twin Cities Friends  Meeting and Prospect Hill Meeting. Friends APPROVED creating an ad hoc committee. Six people volunteered to serve on the ad hoc committee: Tom W, Judith J, Carolyn V, Barbara Z, Ed S and Sigurd H.
        1. [This description of QVS is on line at www.quakervoluntaryservice.org/spirit-led-service-witness/   “Quaker Voluntary Service is an 11-month experiment, living at the intersection of transformational spirituality and activism. Young adults work full-time in professional positions at community based organizations addressing a wide range of issues, while living in a cooperative house and worshiping with, and being mentored by, local Quakers. Fellows receive housing, transportation, food, support for health and wellness (including access to health insurance if needed), and a small stipend, while engaging in regular self-led workshops and retreats that allow for continuing education in social justice, faith, and community building topics.“       Recording clerk]
  4. Reports
    1. Stewardship (Annual Financial Report) – Roland Barrett  Members of the committee were identified and their duties were highlighted. There is the potential for five members to be leaving the committee at the end of the year.  Please let Nominating know if you would be interested in serving on an active, hard working committee that is central to the Meeting’s success.
      1. The Meeting came in short $6,000 at the end of our fiscal year, yet our expenses came in under budget by $9,000, so there will be a net positive balance of ~ $2,900.  We should be able to make all our commitments. There was a large overage in what we paid to Loaves and Fishes, but we should be getting some of that back; and we had no furnace maintenance costs, since we recently installed a new heating and cooling system. The current check book balance is $58,545; but this should drop to ~ $41,000 after paying the remaining end-of-year expenses.  This amount is about normal for our checking balance. Discussion: Friends expressed thanks for the hard work Stewardship has done. Question was asked about whether someone could serve on Stewardship if they were gone for a few months each year. That would most likely not be a problem. Is keeping $41,000 in checking where we want to be with our checking account balance? It is adequate, but it is always good to have more.  $30,000 is about as low as we would want to go.
    2. Trustees and Designated Funds – Jim Haefemeyer   [see attachments for full report]  Part of the responsibilities of the Trustees is to manage a set of funds that are separate from the Annual Budget for operations.  Trustees funds come from allocations from the Annual Budget, from donations and memorials, and from Mayim Rabim’s rent payments. The Building Fund is managed by the trustees and, while it is a large fund, it is hard to know how much we need. The Trustees have embarked on an asset replacement schedule to plan for meeting house upkeep and repairs over the long term.  There is a punch list that is over two pages long with many major projects – from replacing carpeting to redoing the kitchen. Most worrisome is the elevator, which is 25 years old (life expectancy is 40). It will be extremely expensive to repair or replace the elevator when it fails (could cost up to $100,000). For now, we are fiscally solvent, but much of that solvency rests on deferred maintenance.  Looking out 25 years, the estimated costs of maintaining and operating the building and property is estimated to be $225,000. There is not much in our reserve funds and we find it is harder to raise money to build up our reserves than to secure funds for a specific project. Discussion: When will Meeting have a more specific process for designating funds to support the Meeting? In the past Stewardship has sent out letters regarding designating funds to Meeting; and while it is not well known, we have $61,000 in bequests assigned to go to the Meeting, but they will not be available until sometime in the future, and they are not designated to specific building needs. Anyone interested in bequeathing to the Meeting is asked to contact Roland Barrett. Friend suggested we could follow a modest, disciplined form of giving to build up our reserve funds by contributing a small amount each week and designating it to a specific fund. It adds up over time. Others stressed the importance of the elevator to the life of the Meeting and emphasized our need to have a plan B if it fails – a ramp or alternative.
    3. Liaison and Review (L&R) – Annual Report   Barbara Ziegenhagen      L&R completed their annual performance review of the director of ministry.  In preparing for the review the committee did a telephone survey of committee clerks, visited with the Presiding Clerk and clerk of M&C, and met with Pat to review her goals and accomplishments.  A major focus this year was to explore the role of the director of ministry in the “Care of the Future of the Meeting” – both her role in the current planning process and in the future needs of the Meeting.  She was asked to put together a draft report on the tasks that would need to be done in the absence of the director of ministry.  This is not so much about Pat and her current job description, but more about the major functions the director of ministry fills. Key tasks that were identified are pastoral care, coordination, resource person/teacher, and administrator.  L&R has requested a 2.5% raise for the director of ministry position. Discussion: Friend expanded on the important role of the director of ministry as a resource and teacher, and believes a strong grounding in Quaker history is an important consideration when selecting a resource person.     Is L&R working with Pat to consider what her role might be when she is no longer director of ministry?  Yes, that has been part of our discussions.   Are the dates set for Pat’s sabbatical? Not yet. This is still part of the ongoing discussion regarding the care of the future of the Meeting.   Pat shared that she has been documenting all the tasks she performs on Sunday mornings, but more still needs to be done.  She would appreciate guidance and assistance in creating a record that would be helpful to the Meeting.  L&R would appreciate help in this process.
  5. Follow up  
    1. Memorial Minute for Adolph Burckhardt.  Sandy Olson is working on the minute and will have it ready by June.  Dick M shared a story about Adolph from the time the meeting house was being remodeled.  Adolph was working to save some of the wood pews, disassembling and reconstructing them so they were half the original size and could be placed around the perimeter of the meeting room.  Refitting the heavy wooden pieces was a physically challenging and risky procedure, resulting is some of Adolph’s fingers being severely injured. Dick thought Adolph might be lost to the Meeting after that, but he persevered and his relationship with Meeting only got stronger.
  6. New Business  
    1. Pat commented that Friends have been in the news, recently.  Locally, there was large photo in today’s StarTribune highlighting the Friends School plant sale.   And the New York Times had an article on Americans who will appear on paper currency in the future – three or four were identified as Quakers.
  7.  Meeting Adjourned at 11:05 AM

 

ATTACHMENTS

MFM Trustees Report 5/2016

Current trustees are Linda Coffin, Jane Furnas, and Jim Haefemeyer. The Trustees provide for certain matters such as making legal contracts and ensuring that appropriate insurance is in place.  Trustees also manage a set of funds separate from the Annual Budget for operations. Trustees’ funds come from allocations from the Annual Budget, from donations and memorials, and from Mayim Rabim’s rent payments.

Harv Busta reported on the audit of the Trustee funds last month. He also helped to set up a system of automated notifications for the Trustees about bank account activities.

Below is a summary of MFM Trustee Account Status as of 5/4/2016 in round numbers.

Community Service (listed in the annual budget as Mission, Service and Fellowship): $13,600 (without 2015-16 budget contribution).  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. Use in past has been youth projects (Cuba, Indian reservation work, etc.)

Conference Travel: $4250   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 drawing down ($850 so far this year.) 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.

Nancy Peterson Memorial Fund: $2900 (funds still rest in the general operations checking account.)

Funding: One time memorials.

Purpose: To fund Quaker Quest, or other similar community building for MFM.

Outlay: Future projects to be determined.  FGC no longer conducts Quaker Quest.

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.  (Does not include funds from 2015-16 if any).

Outlay:  To be determined.

Building Fund: $33,700 (including anticipated payout from general budget for 2015-16)

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:    Anticipated building needs in the next two years could exhaust this fund. Property committee completed an extensive “punch list” but has not scheduled the work.  I have sketched out a continuation of our asset replacement schedule based on estimated needs and inflation adjustment. I will work further on the asset replacement schedule with Stewardship, Property, and the Auditor.   Among items needing attention are:  carpets (est. $11,500),  exterior maintenance ($8000),  and resealing the meeting room floor ($2200), and repairing rotting timbers and patio steps.  Other projects mentioned include new signage and new kitchen arrangements.  The lift failed several years ago, and if it fails again could result in large expenses to be determined.

 

A task for all committees this year is to address their areas for the vision of the future of the meeting. That vision process started with the assumption that we will remain in this building. The current allocations to the building fund appear inadequate to maintain the building in the long haul.  Raising the rent for Mayim Rabim should be considered, but will contribute only a small amount of what is needed.  We may need to seek special contributions to replenish our reserves. We need to grow in numbers of donors, or to increase individual giving.  These calculations are important for determining the future staffing of the meeting.  Salaries account for 66% of our current budget, while building repair and utilities account for 17.5 %. 

 —Jim Haefemeyer for the Trustees

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