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 [some names and content have been edited or removed for publication to the web]
1. Gathering Worship
2. Approve November Minutes—approved
3. Reports a. Ministry and Counsel (M&C) report –John Kraft reviewed the charge of the committee to oversee care of worship, the spiritual and community life and the membership of the meeting. M&C supports and guides ministry/ministers, pastoral care and attends to requests for membership and marriage under the care of the meeting. John called Friends attention to the recent death of Dick Magraw, a valued member of the Meeting. The Death and Memorial Committee is planning his memorial service which will be held at the meetinghouse at 1:00 pm on January 6, 2018. Jim H. volunteered to lead the writing of the memorial minute. M&C continues to be attentive to pastoral care needs with a primary organizer identified for each request to coordinate responses. Friends in need of care are encouraged to contact the Clerk of M&C, the Meeting Clerk, the office or any member of M&C. John reminded Friends that we all care for each other in our community and can raise our empathy and notice when folks are unsettled. The Committee is considering organizing one or more sessions on becoming a pastoral community in the coming year. It is also supporting the Welcoming and Outreach Committee in planning “Quakerism 101” sessions for Tuesdays and Sundays in March 2018. A mid-morning program “On Hallowing One’s Diminishments” is also planned for early in the coming year. It will be based on a Pendle Hill Pamphlet of the same title written by John Yungblut.
b. Stewardship Committee update—Roland Barrett Contributions through December 3rd were $68,530. Budgeted contributions were $78,650 leaving a shortfall of $10,120 or about $281 weekly. The current balance in the bank account is $48,759.
c. Annual Report from Library Committee—Dave Bostrom The Library Committee is charged with developing and maintaining the library collection in support of the spiritual life of the Meeting. Dave and Susan H. serve as Meeting librarians. Together they selected and purchased new materials with the available budget of $125 per year, evaluated donated books and other materials for possible addition to the collection and cataloged and prepared these materials for distribution. To make the library more user friendly, they added file boxes for keeping back issues of Friends Journal, Quaker Life and Pendle Hill Pamphlets in better order. Recent acquisitions and other items of interest are displayed on the library table and the library web page is updated regularly. The Google Group may prove to be another means for informing Friends of new acquisitions. Challenges include the limited physical space, the need for ongoing inventory and weeding of the collection and tracking down items which have not been returned. It may also be helpful to rethink the categories and perhaps add a separate, prominently displayed section of books for those new to Friends. Discussion: Friends wondered if we had a supply of Faith and Practices and links to other Friends resources on the web. The library has a collection of Faith and Practices from a number of Friends meetings, and there are links on the Minneapolis Meeting web page to the Northern Yearly Meeting Faith and Practice and other resources. Questions were raised about the deteriorating condition and value of old books and audio cassettes giving changing media technologies. There are ways to preserve these resources, but they are costly in time and effort. It is also difficult to place value on these materials. The audio materials are still in the collection but not actively managed. Friends expressed appreciation for the excellent collection of resources in the library and gratitude for the work of the librarians.
d. Annual Report of Social Committee—Dave Bostrom The Social Committee’s main charge is to organize the Meeting’s monthly potlucks and to help facilitate the social hour after summer meetings for worship. Organizing the kitchen, purchasing kitchen supplies and undertaking the annual kitchen clean-up are also responsibilities of the Social Committee. In addition to its regular responsibilities, the Committee coordinated the kitchen for Pat Jones’ retirement celebration, organized the refreshments for Nancy Litchenstein’s going away tea, set up a composting bin for food scraps and purchased matching table cloths for the serving tables. The Committee now has sufficient members to divide up its many tasks and other Friends are volunteering more frequently to help with cleanup. There has been a great deal of good humor and comraderie while performing these tasks which makes lighter work. In looking forward, Friends are reminded to prepare a list of ingredients for dishes they bring to potluck and not to linger too long at the tables when volunteers are trying to wash up and put tables away. While Committee members are the Marthas of the Meeting, they also try to serve in a spirit of love.
e. Update on History Project –Linda Coffin Linda has been working on a manuscript of the history of Minneapolis Meeting for over a decade. Balancing her writing with the need to make a living has slowed the project. The issue of what to keep and include is an ongoing one. There are lots of photos from the past. She feels like she has the basics of what needs to be included in the manuscript and also has a friend who will help as editor. The next step will be getting permissions to use photos and resources from the Minnesota Historical Society, the Hennepin County Library and other sources, some of which have fees for these permissions. She also asked Meeting to clarify whether Meeting should be the official publisher rather than herself. If meeting handles the copyright and publishing it will live longer than if it is tied to one person. Discussion: Friend wondered about the financial implications of Meeting taking on the publishing of the manuscript. Linda indicated there would be a fee for getting the ISBN and her grant would probably not cover the cost of printing. It might be possible to create a Kindle edition or have individuals order the book from Amazon which would then print it. Friends suggested Meeting get an estimate of the cost of printing, then raise the funds for printing and act as the publisher. Meeting approved the proposal that Meeting be the publisher.
a. Pat’s retirement party funds—Judith James. Because of the generosity of Friends, funds for the celebration of Pat’s retirement were more than adequate and the extra funds were used to extend a gift subscription to the New York Times to a full year.
5. New Business
a. Envelope Gift nominations – Peace & Social Concerns Committee—Elizabeth Showalter The Envelope Gift is a Meeting tradition at Christmas of having a special offering for volunteer organizations that reflect the values of the Meeting. The special offering usually brings in between 2,000 and 4,000 dollars. In keeping with this year’s focus on embracing diversity, Peace and Social Concerns Committee is recommending that this year’s offering be divided equally among the following three organizations: The Tucson Samaritans which provide water, food, and medical aid to migrants crossing the Sonoran Desert in southern Arizona. The Fondo de Resiliencia (Puerto Rico Resilience Fund) which is a grassroots organization empowering local and regional food systems based on sustainable farming practices. Since the hurricane, they are redirecting their efforts to providing food and relief for farmers affected by the devastation. Line 3 Resistance (Camp Makwa) which is an Anishinaabeg led group of water protectors dedicated to stopping the construction of the Line 3 tar sands pipeline using non-violent direct action. The Line 3 camp has received less support and publicity than the Standing Rock camp did last year. Hopefully Meeting’s donation can be especially meaningful given the lack of media attention. Peace and Social Concerns also proposed changing the name of the Envelope Gift to the Winter Envelope Gift. Friends thanked the Committee for its thoughtful work. Meeting approved the recommendation to divide the money evenly among of the three organizations and to change the name to the Winter Envelope Gift.
b. Possibility of hosting Quaker Earthcare Witness’s spring 2019 gathering – Carolyn VandenDolder Meeting has received an inquiry from Quaker Earthcare Witness seeking a location for its spring gathering in 2019. They expect there will be 30-40 out of town visitors needing hospitality, a potluck and help with other arrangements. Carolyn suggested Meeting take a month and see how many Friends come forward to offer hospitality and then make a decision about this inquiry in January. If Friends can offer hospitality or other help, please let Carolyn know. Discussion: Friend said this was a great idea but cautioned that Meeting would need at least 3 dedicated and enthusiastic Friends to make this happen. Quaker Earthcare Witness will need a meetinghouse in which to meet for this gathering to be held on a Thursday through Saturday in April, 2019. The site — either Twin Cities Friends Meeting or Minneapolis Meeting– has not yet been selected. Meeting approved the proposal to survey friends about support for this inquiry.
c. Possibility of hosting a community choir – Carolyn VandenDolder. Carolyn reported that a local community choir is looking for a place to meet free of charge on Thursday evenings and wondered if Meeting would like to offer them use of the meetinghouse for 12 weeks in the fall and 12 weeks in the spring. Discussion: Several Friends saw this as a good opportunity for outreach in the community. A question was raised about how this fits with our building use policy. Outside groups usually pay a rental fee unless the group has some connection to members of the Meeting. One Friend cautioned that outside groups are hard on facilities. Taking this on will involve additional responsibilities such as checking the calendar, opening/closing the meetinghouse, snow shoveling in winter and cleaning up. Friend suggested sending this request to the Trustees who have scheduled a meeting to talk about the Mayim Rabim request to expand their use of the building and could consider the choir request at this meeting as well. The Presiding Clerk suggested that Meeting let Trustees consider this request and report back in January. Approved.
d. Ad Hoc Transition Committee—Jeannette Raymond As a part of the Committee’s evaluation of the transition process, Jeannette asked Friends to reflect on what changes, if any, there have been in their experience of Meeting since the departure of the director of ministry. She placed posters on the wall and invited Friends to share how their experiences may have changed on these posters. This process will be continued in January. Friend encouraged the Transition Committee to be responsive to factual versus emotional responses coming from this process.
6. Meeting transitioned to meeting for worship at about 11:10 am.