Minneapolis Friends Meeting Monthly Meeting for Business
May 14, 2017
9:00 Unprogrammed Meeting for Worship
9:45 Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business-
Attendees: David Woolley- presiding clerk, Tom Ward – recording clerk, Pat Jones – director of ministry
- Gathering Worship
- April Minutes were APPROVED
- Director of Ministry Report Pat Jones Arne Anderson died this past Monday at the age of 99. He and his wife, Rusk, joined Meeting in 1954, where they raised their ten children. In the 1960’s he and Rusk re-instituted unprogrammed meeting for worship in addition to the semi-programmed worship. It is our intention to have a memorial minute written for Arne. Due to space restrictions of our meeting house, his memorial service will be held next Sunday, May 21, at 3PM at Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church, and it will follow traditional Quaker format for a memorial. Friends are encouraged to attend and to assist in the service. Full details will be decided tomorrow. Friends settled into a period of silent remembrance for Arne. Pat announced that loaves and fishes is cancelled this month due to the Memorial Day Holiday.
- Ministry and Counsel Report – John Kraft John reviewed the primary role of Ministry and Counsel (M&C) and noted that they are especially focused on the care of Meeting, right now, and its’ spiritual and emotional state during the transition period as Pat Jones prepares to retire. M&C has sponsored a couple grief / adaptive change sessions lead by Ted Bowman and will coordinate some worship sharing sessions. In addition, they are giving attention to the need for intergeneration activities within the Meeting to better integrate the younger people into the life of Meeting. They are exploring how the role of M&C may change with the retirement of the director of ministry. A reminder that the summer worship schedule begins on May 28 with only one meeting for worship, starting at 10 AM during the summer and alternating week to week between semi-programmed and unprogrammed worship formats. Unprogrammed will be 1st and 3rd Sundays. And semi-programmed will be on the 2nd and 4th Sunday. Friends are asked to approve a membership request for Dan Wilson, who has been attending Winona Preparative Meeting, which is under the care of Minneapolis Friends Meeting. Since Winona is a preparatory meeting under our care, membership requests go through our monthly meeting process. Those requesting membership technically become members of MFM, even while they are active with Winona Preparative Meeting. Two members from Minneapolis Friends Meeting, John K. and Terry K., along with two from Winona Preparative Meeting comprised the clearness committee which met with Dan. The clearness committee recommends Dan for membership. Friends APPROVED Dan Wilson’s request for membership. The welcoming event for Dan will take place here at MFM – date to be determined. Friend asked where the Winona Friends held their meeting. They meet on the Winona State University campus.
- State of Society Report – Barbara Ziegenhagen Sandy Olson worked with Barbara on writing the report. The report was read to monthly meeting. Meeting needs to approve the report before the report can be presented to Northern Yearly Meeting. Discussion: Friend noted the absence of any reference to the continuing U.S military activities in a number of foreign countries. Another suggestion was to modify the reference to friendly meals, reflecting that the meals, held informally in people’s homes, are not just for new comers but for everyone. Friends APPROVED the added suggestions and then APPROVED the entire State of Society Report. [See Attachments for the final modified Report]
- Nominating – Ed Souther Two additional appointments need approval: Ariane S. has agreed to join Welcoming and Outreach for 2020 and Carol B. has agreed to serve on Mid-morning program in the 2018 slot. Meeting APPROVED the nominations.
- Transition Committee Report – Tom Wells. Photocopier was not working, so paper copies of the proposal were unavailable and it had to be read. Tom clarified that the proposal covered a transition period for October 1, 2017 to January 1, 2018 and that no action on this proposal is expected today, but by next month or July, at the latest. Some of the options being considered: Presiding Clerk of Meeting would take on extra responsibilities. During the transition period we should consider adding an assistant clerk position to help with planning and development and to sit in committee meetings to be a communications bridge between the committees. Administration – the current role of the administrative assistant would continue plus taking on extra communications and being responsible for opening the meeting house. Liaison and Review would supervise administration. Building cleaning – A decision has to be made on who would supervise building cleaning since Carolyn does not want to add that to her administrative duties. Would this fall to the property committee? Or should it be supervised by paid meeting staff? Pastoral care – Ministry and Counsel would oversee this, but this would be an additional responsibility beyond what they already do. Is this what Meeting wants? Connecting to new attenders – Pat did a lot of this. Would this fall to Welcoming and Outreach Committee?
DISCUSSION: Pastoral Care – seems that Ministry and Counsel could take that on. Pat suggested that there are a number of ways that can be managed through the current structure of the meeting. She referenced an article by Bill Taber on “Pastoral Care in the Unprogrammed Meeting” that pastoral care can occur not just through formal structures but through individual leadings and relationships between individuals. … Will the Transition Committee Report be sent out electronically? Yes, but it may be modified from what was read today. … Would the assistant clerk position be paid or volunteer? It would be volunteer and go through the normal nominating process with Meeting approval. It is not anticipated this person would attend all committee meetings, but they would function as a coordinator and communicator. Some questioned the need for this position and don’t remember the presiding clerk attending their committee meetings, while others spoke in support of continuing the coordination that Pat provided between the committee clerks, committees and the Meeting. Tom reminded us that we are talking about a temporary transition period that is not permanent and will be a work in progress … Would a six month transition period be more practical? Possibly. Extending it past 3 months is one of the things to consider in the process, but there is a desire to keep the feedback loop open and dynamic and 3 months still seems the best way to accomplish that. … Is the Administrative Assistant on board with the suggested changes and would there be an increase in pay? Yes. … Could the custodian take on more responsibilities and be paid more? That is the type of discussion the committee is engaged in and they will try to meet every two weeks. Get your ideas to them. A suggestion raised from the property committee would be to have the cleaning position come under the property committee; but services for mowing, plowing, maintaining the elevator, etc. – that property committee manages – might be better overseen by a paid staff position. There was interest in having property committee connect with the transition committee about this … Friends related our situation to those faced by their condominium associations where there is a paid position to coordinate between their committees and a formal way to communicate news and activities via an organization-wide notebook. Tom indicated that the transition committee has a folder in the committee box that is available for all to view. …. Is there anywhere in the transition process to consider hiring a director of ministry? Yes. We are not ruling that out … Friends thought that the details in today’s report were helpful, that there was general consensus with the thinking so far, and that questions they had raised were not meant to be in opposition to the process. … Presiding Clerk: no decision is to be made now. This will be re-visited next month.
F. Proposal for Pat Jones retirement celebration – Rae Cornelius Sept 10 is our last joint meeting of the summer. The proposal is to have Pat’s celebration at 10 AM on September 10th. That would mean moving business meeting to the 3rd Sunday, September 17, which is the beginning of First Day School. Discussion: There was some concern that this might be problematic and that September 1st might be more suitable. Friends APPROVED hosting Pat’s retirement celebration on September 10th at 10AM.
G. Annual Financial Report – Stewardship Committee Roland Barrett: Total income for fiscal year 2016-17 was $101,010. That represents 85% of what we had budgeted – $118,347. This is the lowest amount collected in the past 11 years. While there has been an increase in the number of contributors this year (98), there has been turnover in the top contributor list, with a few giving significantly less than in the past. Some of our newer, younger contributors are giving more, although some are not. Bottom line is we have missed meeting our budget by a lot this year and we need to decide how to manage this difference. Overall, plant operations are met – over in some categories and under in others. The $5,000 annual request for the Trustee Building Fund has not been paid; and with the meeting house aging and in need of serious improvements, the Trustees anticipate asking for a larger allotment in the near future. We have agreed in the past that certain budgeted expenses would not be funded if we were short – these include sabbatical savings and mission-service-fellowship (combined total of $3,300). If we pay all our other unpaid expenses, we are left with a deficit of $6,190. Stewardship recommends that Meeting pay this deficit out of our operating cash (approximately $51,000) and appeal to contributors to increase their donations to make up the difference. This appeal can be through the bulletin, via the Google group and, possibly, by a group mailing. Discussion: What is the range of giving in the top 10 givers? It is roughly $4K to $8K. Does the Meeting have a fund or nest egg? Yes. In our operating bank account we have about $51K in operating cash and approximately $100K in Trustee funds. Friend asked if there was a difference between paying on an on-going monthly basis versus once a year. Yes. It is helpful to receive contributions monthly. Friends APPROVED covering the deficit of $6,190 out of operating cash and to appeal to membership to increase donations.
- Experiment with light groups – Diane Barrett Meeting is going strong with three groups – engaging over twenty people. Feedback indicates the experience has been very rewarding and has deepened people’s sense of spirituality. The groups are not open to newcomers but more groups are planned to begin in the fall. In the meantime, if people want to experiment on their own, many Friends are available for guidance and support. They anticipate that this movement might be influential in a number of ways in the life of the Meeting.
- Clean-up day announcement – Ed Souther Next Sunday, May 21, was supposed to be a cleaning day at the meeting house. This is being postponed due to Arne Anderson’ memorial service. A new date will be announced for some time in June
- New Business
Social time after summer meetings. Rae Cornelius and Sandy Olson There are only 5 Sundays during the summer that we need people to sign up to bring treats for social time after the 10 AM worship. There is a sign-up sheet. Please help out.
Business Meeting Adjourned
11:15 Meeting for Worship
Minneapolis Friends Meeting State of Society Report April 1, 2016 – March 31, 2017
During this past year Minneapolis Friends have been troubled by issues such as the results of the 2016 election, racism, climate change, ongoing warfare around the world, and the exploitation of natural resources in our country. Within our meeting we are facing the retirement of Patricia Jones, our Director of Ministry, on September 30, 2017. We have also sensed the healing power of the Light, and we are energized by many signs of new life.
We have been fortunate to have Patricia Jones as our Director of Ministry. She has served as pastoral counselor, teacher, organizer, role model, and friend for 38 years. We will dearly miss her leadership. Rather than immediately filling the position of Director of Ministry, we will allow ourselves a time of transition to explore our options for organization and leadership. Plans are underway to worship together and celebrate Pat near her retirement date.
Wrestling with external challenges and a major transition in our meeting, we have been nurtured and guided through our worship together. Several individuals from MFM attended the 2016 Friends General Conference in St. Joseph, Minnesota. Some who participated in Experiment with Light presentations at FGC facilitated the formation of three Experiment with Light meditation groups within our meeting. They meet monthly.
We have had an influx of visitors at both un-programmed and semi-programmed worship. We are very glad that many new attenders are becoming active within the meeting. We value their good energy and desire to learn more about Quakerism. We have continued Friendly Meals as a means for new attenders and long-time attenders to get to know one another. We have also formed a meeting-wide Google Group, enabling us to easily communicate among ourselves online about meeting-related issues, as well as individual joys, sorrows, and requests for support.
We are delighted that our First Day School has grown to the point of adding a middler class. This class hosted other middlers from Northern Yearly Meeting (NYM). They are excited about plans to attend NYM Memorial Day week-end.
Our Peace and Social Concerns Committee sponsored a memorial service related to loss due to climate change, facilitated installation of a new bike rack, sponsored showings of documentary films, nudged us to claim our respective callings about peace and social concern issues and nominated environmentally-friendly organizations for our self-imposed voluntary carbon tax.
We joined Twin Cities Friends Meeting and Prospect Hill Friends Meeting in proposing the establishment of a Quaker Voluntary Service house in the Twin Cities. Our proposal was accepted, and Quaker House Minneapolis is scheduled to open in the autumn of 2018.
We ask that you hold us in the Light as we cope with change: the fear as well as the joy and growth attendant to change; the need for patience and tenderness as we learn to work differently together; the intentional connectedness we will need to practice to make sure each treasured person continues to feel that they belong.