9:00 -9:45 Unprogrammed Meeting for Worship 9:45 – 11:15
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. Approve December Minutes –Minutes were approved.
a. Ministry and Counsel (M&C) report– John Kraft John reviewed the charge of the Committee and listed its members. The Death and Memorial Subcommittee of Ministry and Counsel coordinated and had oversight of the memorial service for Dick Magraw on January 6, 2018. About 150 people attended. The deep sharing revealed love and admiration for Dick and how he touched the lives of so many Friends and others. Appreciation was expressed for the efforts of the Subcommittee members and the 25 or more volunteers who helped organize and care for the service. The M&C continues to respond to pastoral care needs in the meeting and invites all Friends to share in this ministry. Friends with pastoral care needs are invited to contact the Clerk of Meeting, the Clerk of M&C, the office or any member of M&C. M&C will be offering a mid-morning program on February 4th based on a Pendle Hill Pamphlet by John Youngblut entitled “On Hallowing One’s Diminishments.” Copies of the pamphlet were distributed and Friends were invited to read it and pass it on to others in preparation for the discussion. M&C is also supporting Welcoming and Outreach as they plan the “Introduction to Friends (Quakers)” sessions planned for Tuesdays and Sundays in March 2018. These sessions are intended not just for new folks, but also for anyone wants to share and deepen their understanding of Friends’ faith and practice. Child care will be available.
b. Stewardship Committee – quarterly financial report-Roland Barrett At the end of the third quarter of the fiscal year income totaled $79,970– about 70% of the budgeted amount. This is consistent with experience in past years. Expenses totaled $57,032 which is about half of what was budgeted. There were some unexpected repairs and additional expenses for fire extinguisher checks which put these items over budget. Peace and Social Concerns also went over budget because Meeting approved a contribution to the Dar Al Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington which was damaged in an August explosion.
4. New Business
a. Quaker Voluntary Service (QVS) – Carolyn VandenDolder The QVS project recently hired a half-time local coordinator, Sonja Sponheim, of Laughing Waters Friends Preparative Meeting (IYMC). The next step is the formation of a local support committee composed of representatives of the three Friends meetings in the Twin Cities. QVS will open a house for QVS Fellows in the Twin Cities in September. Each Fellow (QVS volunteer) will be paired with a local nurturer to care for their spiritual life while in the Twin Cities. The new executive director of QVS, Mike Huber, will be in the Twin Cities February 9th-14th to meet with local Friends. Minneapolis Friends are encouraged to take advantage of opportunities to speak with Mike. On Saturday, February 10th, Mike will meet with Friends interested in the spiritual nurture of Fellows at 1:00 pm at Twin Cities Friends Meeting (TCFM). Then at 2:00 pm at TCFM, he will meet with those interested in coordinating the spiritual nurture of Fellows. On Sunday February 11th Mike will worship with MFM and will be available to talk about the QVS program and the opportunities for service it affords at a simple potluck following semi-programmed worship that day. Discussion: Friend noted noted that some of the current working group will not be continuing as nurturers so volunteers from Meeting are needed to serve as nurturers. Nurturers will probably be meeting with the QVS fellows at least once a month. An attempt will be made to find a good match between the personalities of nurturers and fellows.
b. Request from QVS coordinator to have an MFM directory– Dave Woolley The QVS local coordinator has requested a copy of the Minneapolis Friends Directory. The directory would be used to contact Friends involved with QVS and would not be used for fundraising. Meeting approved this request.
c. Possibility of sponsoring or hosting Quaker Earthcare Witness (QEW) gathering, spring 2019 — Carolyn VandenDolder Friends approved helping host Quaker Earth Care Witness as it holds its spring steering committee meeting at the Twin Cities Friends Meeting in April of 2019. About 30-40 attenders will need local hospitality. Many Minneapolis Friends have responded with offers of beds. Meeting also agrees to participate in the potluck planned at TCFM during the gathering. Carolyn and Ranae H. will act as MFM coordinators in support of the event.
5. Follow-up Decisions
a. Trustee’s Report on possibility of hosting a community choir – Linda Coffin The Trustees oversee building use policy. Two requests came to Trustees. Mayim Rabim would like to use the meetinghouse more. Trustees will set up a meeting with the Mayim Rabim congregation to explore this request and the increased rent it might entail. Leandra P., a former attender at Meeting, would like to start a community chorus in the Linden Hills area and use the meetinghouse for rehearsals on Thursday evenings for 12 weeks in the spring and another 12 weeks in the fall. Trustees gave careful consideration of the building use policy as it relates to this request. Quakers and Mayim Rabim take precedence in use of building. Other Friends groups can use the building when available. A member of meeting may request use of building for an outside group whose activities are compatible with Meeting practice. This member would then be responsible for the event and rent. A rental fee of $75 for up to 4 hours use for the upstairs meeting room would apply. Trustees are sympathetic to having a local community chorus use the meetinghouse but with these rental conditions. Discussion: The request generated a great deal of discussion. Several Friends expressed concern about expanding use of the building by outside groups. A growing number of groups within Meeting are using the meetinghouse during the week. Meeting does not want to create tension over scheduling or find itself in competition with outside groups for use of the building. Others noted someone in Meeting would need to be responsible for the use of the building by the chorus and the chorus might not be able to pay the rental fee. Several Friends supported the request and expressed a hope that Meeting would continue to be a welcoming community. Friend noted it would be a good means of outreach to the community. Perhaps Meeting could reduce the rent to an amount needed to tune the piano. Linda Coffin suggested trying this as a rent free experiment for spring semester to see if the chorus proposal is viable after which the group would be expected to pay rent. Meeting would still need someone to be responsible for the chorus’ use of the building. Sandy O. said Welcoming and Outreach could take on this responsibility and she would personally be responsible to see that this happened. Friend expressed deep appreciation for the Quaker process of doing business and the way it opens and deepens our understanding of decisions to be made. After further discernment Meeting approved the following minute: Meeting agrees to offer the proposed Linden Hills community chorus use of the upstairs meeting room for 12 weeks during the spring semester of 2018, waives the rental fee for this period, and asks the chorus to make a free will offering to help with expenses. At the end of the semester Meeting will revisit the question of the chorus’ continued use of the building with an expectation of a rental fee going forward. Welcoming and Outreach Committee will assume responsibility for the chorus’ use of the building with Sandy O. volunteering to arrange opening and closing of building.
b. Transition Committee—Jeannette Raymond Jeannette introduced the second of three reflections on how the Meeting’s worship, community and business are different or similar since the departure of the director of ministry. She suggested forming three groups, each focusing on a different vision statement. Friends then joined one of the groups to share reflections on how well Meeting is progressing toward this vision during the transition. First group: focus on social witness and integrating faith and action. Second group: focus on rootedness in Quaker Faith and Practice and developing leadership and ministry. Third group: focus on creating a welcoming place for sanctuary and spiritual renewal and providing stewardship of Meeting’s physical and financial resources to insure a long term presence in the community. Jeannette announced that there will also be a threshing session to discuss next steps in the transition process on Saturday morning, February 24th at the Meetinghouse.
6. Communications Clerk, David Woolley announced that the Assistant Clerk, Linda Coffin, will preside as clerk of the meeting for business in February.
7. Meeting transitioned to meeting for worship about 11:10 am.