9:00 -9:40 am Unprogrammed Meeting for Worship
9:45 – 11:15 am Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business
Attendance: David Woolley– Presiding Clerk, Stephen Snyder– Recording Clerk [some names and content have been edited or removed for publication to the web]
1. Gathering Worship
2. October Meeting for Business Minutes– Approved.
a. Ministry and Counsel (M&C) report–John Kraft In the absence of a director of ministry, the M&C Committee has focused on coordinating the several requests for pastoral care this past month. All requests are considered by M&C with one member of M&C being responsible for coordinating a response to each request with help from other folks in the Meeting. Anyone who has a need for pastoral care can contact the Clerk or other members of Committee. M&C has coordinated with the Death and Memorials Sub-Committee to be sure there is a working process in place to provide support in cases of death in Meeting. The Committee is also considering having one or more sessions with the Meeting as a whole around the topic of how friends become a pastoral care community where all members share in this service according to their gifts. Given the positive response from many Friends about the combined meeting for worship during the summer months, M&C is considering how Meeting might encourage more opportunities for interaction between the unprogrammed and semi-programmed meetings for worship throughout the year. One concern of the Committee is the tendency to take on projects as a Meeting but then not turn out to support them later on. When Meeting takes on marriages, teen retreats, Quaker Voluntary Service and other projects it needs to have members present to support these activities. Friends need to learn to say no when there is too much on our community plate. Finally M&C is considering coordinating a Quakerism 101course early next year to explore the fundamentals of Quakerism with members and new attenders.
b. Stewardship Committee update –Roland Barrett At 32 weeks into the fiscal year actual contributions to Meeting total $63, 297. Contributions were budgeted at $69,911 so contributions are falling short by about $207 per week. The current bank account balance is $51,104.
c. Camp Committee annual report–Allen Gibas The charge of the Committee is to plan, promote and implement Fall Camp– a Friendly retreat for the entire community. This year the retreat was held at the Fish Lake pavilion which is part of the Three Rivers Park District. The retreat was renamed Fall Together to reflect the change to a one-day retreat from the usual two day camp. The all-day Saturday retreat was followed by singing and fellowship during the mid-morning program on Sunday. The choice of a one day retreat turned out to be much less costly than the usual Fall Camp. Sixty Friends, ranging in age from an infant to 85 years, participated in the Fall Together at some time during the day and evening. Friends brought their own lunches and the Committee provided pizza and veggies for the evening meal. It was helpful for meal planning that most attenders registered early. The Committee program sought a balance between collective experiences and giving attenders freedom to make other choices. Attenders enjoyed conversation, walks, games, a scavenger hunt, biking, “campfire” singing, and the variety show. There was a warm and loving sense of community throughout the day. Challenges included trying to fit a Fall Camp program into 12 hours, finding space for different activities, rainy weather that required juggling activities, educating friends on the technology of paperless registration and coordinating with a clerk out of state. In planning for the future, the Committee would like to know if Friends actually prefer the shorter one day experience of Fall Together, or if the Committee should seek out a location for a two day camp. Discussion: Friend thanked the Committee for a wonderful job in finding the beautiful site at Fish Lake and planning the activities. Several Friends indicated they really enjoyed the Fish Lake site, and noted that its proximity to the metro area and the one day retreat made it possible or easier for them to attend. There were some concerns about the limited space at the Fish Lake site. It was noted that there are many park facilities available in the metro area if the Committee books in advance for next year. One Friend wondered if Meeting would like to have a one day “winter huddle” in addition to the Fall Camp, but others encouraged the Committee to consider whether Meeting has the energy to plan and participate in a second retreat.
d. Report on Quaker Voluntary Service (QVS) board meeting—Carolyn VandenDolder Last year, Meeting made a commitment to bring the QVS program to the Twin Cities and provide financial and people support for the project. Meeting held a welcoming potluck here for the QVS National Board in October and there was a street fair fund raiser held in St. Paul the following day. In spite of advance publicity, the turnout of Minneapolis Friends was disappointing and only the working group and one spouse attended the street fair in St. Paul. Members of the QVS planning group hope more friends will catch the fire around this worthy project. Discussion: Friends asked when the QVS volunteers (fellows) are coming, what help is needed and what should be budgeted for this project next year. The first fellows will arrive in September 2018. The planning group needs help identifying non-profits that might want to sponsor fellows and contribute $16,000 in compensation for their work. The three local Meetings in the Twin Cities each agreed to provide financial support for the project
4. New Business
a. Transition Committee proposal—Jeannette Raymond The Transition Committee met earlier this month and decided that several more months of experience with the transition are needed before making any recommendations regarding the leadership structure of Meeting. As a plan for moving forward, the Committee proposed that it listen to the Meeting community’s reflections over the next 5 months and consider to what extent the Meeting is able to provide a meaningful worship experience, effectively conduct the business of the Meeting through its committees, meet the pastoral needs of its members and maintain the community life of the Meeting. The Transition Committee proposes to collect information in a number of ways. 1) Committee members will reflect on their experiences with the Meeting and their other committee assignments. 2) A bulletin announcement will invite people to contact individual Committee members to discuss their observations. This announcement will be included twice a month. 3) A dedicated time on the monthly meeting agenda in December, January and February will ask those present to reflect on what is the same and what is different around worship, committee work and community functioning (one topic each month) and 4) An organized threshing session will be held at the end of February. At the March meeting for business, the Transition Committee will present its report which will complete the work of the Committee. The Meeting will then decide whether to continue with the interim leadership structure or work to develop a different leadership structure. If needed, a new committee could be established to assist the Meeting with taking its next steps. Discussion: Friend recommended that there be dialogue between the Transition Committee and Ministry and Counsel where much of burden is falling. It was noted that the assistant clerk and the clerk of Meeting talk on a regular basis and will also consult on how the transition is going. In addition the assistant clerk will be meeting with committees in Meeting to see how the work of the Meeting is proceeding. Friends raised concerns about who, if not the Transition Committee, will prepare a recommendation on the leadership structure for meeting for business in March. The Committee does not see its way clear at this time on what might be proposed. At the end of 5 months it may want to write a proposal, but the Committee is proposing that the meeting for business decide how to go forward. Friend noted that we are walking in the wilderness during this transition, so let’s walk together. Friend wondered what we tell others about going forward without the leadership of a pastor. More than other religious organizations, Quakers have a tradition that all members can step up and provide leadership. Another friend noted that our leaders are still here; we are not just trying but we are doing. Friend supported the process of giving ourselves time to experience what it is like to move forward without a director of ministry, to assess our strengths and limitations and to discover how we do and what our needs may be going forward. Meeting Approved the proposal presented by the Transition Committee. Going forward the Stewardship and Finance Committee will need direction about how to prepare the budget given uncertainty about next year’s leadership structure.
b. Membership transfer request: The Clerk read a letter from Chuck Adelsman, a member of Minneapolis Friends Meeting, requesting the transfer of his membership to the Flagstaff Friends Meeting in Arizona. The Clerk will send a letter of transfer to Flagstaff Friends Meeting.
c. Nominating Committee Report—Ed Souther The Nominating Committee recommended and Meeting approved the nomination of Lolly Lijewski to serve on the Liaison and Review Committee.
5. Communication Introducing the Maupin Family The Clerk read a letter from the Clerk of Langley Hill Friends Meeting, part of Baltimore Yearly Meeting in Maryland, introducing the Maupin family—Lara, Bennett, Owen and Janelle– and commending them to the care of Minneapolis Friends Meeting. The Maupin’s were cherished members of the Langley Hill Meeting for two decades and much involved with the First Day school program. The letter ended with the hope that their spiritual journeys can meld with the life of the Minneapolis Friends Meeting community.
6. Transition to semi-programmed meeting for worship at 11:10 am