Meeting for Business Minutes, October 9, 2016

MFM Monthly Meeting for Business Minutes:  October 9, 2016 

9:00 am           Unprogrammed Meeting for Worship 

9:45 am           Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business– David Woolley—presiding clerk, Stephen Snyder—recording clerk, Pat Jones—Director of Ministry  [Some names and information have been edited or removed for publication on the web—recording clerk]

1.         Gathering Worship

2.         Minutes of the September meeting for business were approved

3.         Reports 

a.  Director of Ministry: –No Report. 

b.  Ministry and Counsel Committee:   M&C began its October meeting with a period of silent worship around a quote from Margaret Fell.  As members reflected on the experience of meeting for worship over the last month several observed that Friends are often slow to gather at the beginning of semi-programmed worship.  M&C would like to encourage Friends to be faithful and punctual in attendance and to also fill in the seats in the front rows so worshipers can feel physically as well as spiritually gathered at meeting.  Two members of the committee raised the possibility of holding periodic meetings for healing.  They will hold this idea and possibly bring a proposal to M&C later in the year. Friends living in the western suburbs have a need for transportation in order to attend meetings for worship.  Anyone who can offer periodic transportation is asked to contact the Director of Ministry.  M&C is continuing conversation around how to create opportunities for more spiritual and social interaction between Friends attending the unprogrammed and semi-programmed meetings for worship. Suggestions are welcome.     

c.  Liaison and Review Committee: The L&R Committee is the connection between the Director of Ministry and the Meeting.  The Committee’s part in the visioning process centers around sharing and developing leadership and ministry.    With the retirement of the Director of Ministry now on the horizon, Friends are challenged to imagine various forms of leadership in addition to our unique form with a Director of Ministry and both unprogrammed and semi-programmed worship.  L&R will sponsor a Forum at 10:15 am on November 6th at which the panel members will talk about their experience with ways other meetings have organized and provided leadership in the absence of a director of ministry.  Then on November 20th a second Forum will explore how the organization of leadership has changed over the history of Minneapolis Friends Meeting.  Finally L&R will hold a threshing session on Saturday morning January 7th, 2017 to explore together what kind of leadership the Meeting will need in the coming years.  All Friends are encouraged to attend these important meetings and dream together about the future of Meeting. 

d.  Stewardship Committee Quarterly Financial Report:  The report is for the second quarter of the fiscal year.  Donations plus fall camp revenue through the 2nd quarter totaled $46,988 or about 40% of total budget.  Expenses to date are mostly in line with expectations except for carpet cleaning, fire extinguisher service and copier repairs.  

e.  Quaker Voluntary Service Update:  Members of Minneapolis meeting have been meeting with representatives from Twin Cities and Prospect Hill Meetings to consider being a Quaker Volunteer Service site.  An application has been submitted and enthusiastically received by the QVS leadership.  Three QVS leaders will be visiting the Twin Cities October 28th-30th to explore the suitability of the Twin Cities as a QVS site.  They will be visiting Meetings, Friends School of Minnesota, Friends for a Non-Violent World and other non-profits where QVS volunteers or fellows might be employed.  The QVS leadership team will be speaking at the Adult Forum at 10:15 on Sunday, October 30th with a potluck following meeting for worship on that day.  Everyone is encouraged to come. 

f.  Welcoming and Outreach Committee Annual Report The mission of the Committee is to help create an open and welcoming community with a particular focus on visitors, new attenders and new members.  During the past year the Committee has sponsored friendly home meals, recruited welcomers to be at the door before worship, contacted visitors by e-mail or phone, hosted welcoming receptions for new members, reached out to the neighborhood with an open house/ice cream social and a booth at the Linden Hills Festival, presented a Forum on “Greeting versus Welcoming,” and hosted three coffee and conversation sessions following summer worship.  Committee members are aware that the focus has been more on welcoming than outreach, and outreach related to diversity remains a challenge.  In the coming year the Committee hopes to form a Google Group to connect members of the Meeting, make greater use of social media to raise the profile of Meeting, and sponsor additional Friendly meals in February, March and April of 2017.  Discussion:  One Friend suggested Meeting could organize a gathering of graduates of Friends schools living in Minneapolis as way of outreach.  Another noted that Welcoming and Outreach needs help from other committees in welcoming and integrating newcomers into meeting. 

g.  Google Group Proposal from Welcoming and Outreach The Committee is proposing to establish a Google group for members and attenders to facilitate communication regarding Meeting events and business, joys and sorrows and other matters of interest to Friends.  A Google group is a means for posting messages to a group of people either on the internet or by e-mail.   Its advantage over using e-mail is that one can post to the whole group without entering e-mail addresses for each individual one wants to contact.  Any member of the group could post and receive messages.  The administrators would have the ability to remove messages or members that might be inappropriate or disruptive if this was brought to their attention.  Participation would be voluntary.  If approved by Meeting the Committee would need to develop guidelines for its use and identify two persons to administer the site.  Discussion:  A member of Ministry and Counsel noted that such a group would be a useful tool in pastoral care as it would be a way to let others know if one is in need of help, care, in distress, struggling or simply has joys to share.  A Google group might also appeal to younger people.  Three Friends volunteered to develop guidelines for the Google group and get it set up.  Meeting approved creation of a Google group.

h.  Social Committee Annual Report  The Committee’s main responsibilities include organizing Meeting’s monthly potlucks and other social events, purchasing supplies and maintaining a clean kitchen environment.  The Social Committee tries to follow the leading of the Spirit by providing hospitality in the spirit of love, service and generosity of heart to those who gather for our monthly potluck luncheons and other events.  The intent is to provide a warm and nourishing gathering place, where loving connection through the movement of the Spirit can be experienced by all.  This past year Committee members organized 12 potlucks, assisted with social hours and accomplished the annual kitchen cleaning (the highlight of the year) with both good humor and camaraderie.  Challenges experienced this year include:

  • Sometimes being short-staffed.  It would help to have a couple of additional members on the committee. 
  • Cleanup after potluck can be difficult.  Committee members appreciate help from others attending potluck. 
  • Ingredient labels on potluck dishes are supportive of Friends who have food sensitivities but sometimes dishes arrive with no labels.
  • Sometimes there are committee meetings during potlucks where members do not take dishes to the kitchen during the dishwashing process.  Please do not be offended if a host interrupts a committee meeting to collect dishes and remind folks to wash up items not ready to hand over.

Recycling has been somewhat inconsistent and the Committee is still working on effective recycling strategy. 

The Social Committee thanks everyone who attends the potlucks, brings such yummy food offerings and helps with cleanup for contributing to the “Life of the Meeting” on these First Sundays.  Come join members for fun and camaraderie during the annual kitchen cleaning in March.

4.         Communications 

a.   Experiment with Light Groups.   The first general meeting for Friends interested in being part of the “Experiment with Light” groups will held be Saturday, October15th at 1:30 pm at the meetinghouse.  Decisions will be made on how to go forward with meeting times—perhaps one on the weekend and one during week.  The question of whether groups will be open for a period of time and when they might be closed will also be discussed. 

b.       Thanksgiving Dinner:  One Friend asked for help in organizing the Thanksgiving dinner at the meetinghouse. 

c.          FCNL:  The Representative to the Friends Committee for National Legislation (FCNL) reported that he will be lobbying on behalf of the Friends in Washington, D.C.  He encouraged other Friends to become informed and involved in FCNL activities. 

5.  Meeting Adjourned at 10:55 am.