Care of the Future of the Meeting Planning Process

Draft, shared with Monthly Meeting January 11, 2015

Process to date:

The Care of the Future of Minneapolis Friends Meeting began with a June, 13, 2014, meeting attended by Ranae Hanson, Patricia Jones, Terry Kayser and Gayle McJunkin. At this meeting a list of assumptions and values that provide the foundation for our Meeting was proposed.
The second and third meetings (December 13, 2014 and January 3, 2015) included Jeannette Raymond, Ranae Hanson, Patricia Jones and Gayle McJunkin. The purpose of these meetings was to develop a planning process and timeline to share with the Meeting. The work of these three preliminary meetings is shared below for discussion by the Monthly Meeting as next steps are affirmed.

Assumptions – We will continue to:

  • Worship after the manner of Friends at 44th and York
  • Maintain our affiliation with Northern Yearly Meeting and Friends General Conference
  • Do business after the manner of Friends
  • Maintain staff support that enhances our worship, programs and committee work
  • Make Quaker worship and Quaker Faith and Practice available to the community
  • Maintain our outreach ministry and ministering community
  • Maintain an appropriate committee structure with vibrant member participation.

Values – We strive to:

  • Be an inclusive community
  • Support the spiritual, emotional and physical needs of our regular community and members and attenders
  • Be a public presence for peace and justice
  • Maintain member ownership of meeting for worship
  • Use Quaker Faith and Practice
  • Base leadings on individual and corporate relationships with God and the Divine Light
  • Be a participatory worship community instead of primarily a consumer community
  • Balance our budgets and operate the Meeting within our financial means
  • Encourage people to participate in ways that use their gifts and contribute to the Meeting’s needs and leadings
  • Nurture leaders who bring Quaker-like witness and leadership into the wider world.

What can the meeting expect as the outcomes of the care of the future process?

We will carry this process forward as long as it is helpful and is building toward shared vision and goals. Each step is designed to develop something that will be useful whether we complete the entire process as outlined below or not. The usefulness of each step will be enhanced by discussions that increase shared understanding and commitment among active members and attenders. The products of this process could include:

  • Assessment of the current conditions and opportunities facing the meeting
  • A set of conclusions drawn from these conditions
  • A set of vision statements to frame our hopes for the meeting in the next 15 years
  • The adoption of a few major goals that the meeting can work on over the next 5 years that will move us towards our vision

These sets of shared understandings and commitments will provide a frame for meeting operations and action:

  • We will develop an action plan to implement the few major goals.
  • We will develop a revised committee structure that will support meeting efforts to implement the action plan and can function within the limits of the meetings capacity.
  • Nominating committee will propose committee membership to ensure that committees with direct responsibility for the major goals have the needed people power, commitment, skills and abilities.
  • All committees will consider how their work can help move the meeting towards the set of vision statements and report on committee activities related to the care of the future of the meeting in annual reports.
  • Liaison and Review will develop a new position description for the director of ministry to support the implementation of the action plan.

While this process has the potential to increase shared understanding and commitment, it undoubtedly will surface tensions regarding differing expectations about the priorities of the meeting. Adopting a few major goals will demand making choices among many good possibilities.
Long range processes like this are not static but need to be revisited annually to assess progress and make changes based on conditions, opportunities, and capacity of the meeting. Monthly Meeting will need to ensure that a regular review of progress is completed.

Decision making

A small group made up of Ranae Hanson, Jeannette Raymond, Gayle McJunkin and Pat Joes will shepherd the care of the future of the meeting process. The incoming clerk will also serve on this group.
While the entire meeting community will be invited to participate in the development of the plan, the final decision on the major goals and the plan for reaching them will occur in Monthly Meeting and be made by involved members of the meeting. While it is anticipated that the long range plan will energize and motivate many active members and attenders, this plan needs to be grounded in the discernment of those who have made the commitment of meeting membership and are most likely to be present to implement the plan.

Proposed Process

April 19, 2015 – Step 1: Active members and attenders of the meeting will be invited to brainstorm the current strengths, challenges, risks and opportunities Minneapolis Friends Meeting faces. This will be conducted during adult forum; however, Friends will have an opportunity to add ideas through an on-line survey and in phone calls to member of the Ad Hoc Care of the Future of the Meeting committee from April 19th to May 5th.

May 17, 2015 – During a second adult form, the strengths, challenges, risks and opportunities lists that were generated will be reviewed, and those in attendance will be asked to draw conclusions from this assessment. These conclusions and the brainstorm lists will inform the rest of the planning process.

June/July, 2015: During a two- or three-hour special session, active members and attenders of the meeting will be invited to initiate the creation of a set of vision statements that will articulate our hopes for Minneapolis Meeting in 2030. These vision statements will be revised for clarity and then presented at the July monthly meeting session. Discussion may be carried over to the August monthly meeting if necessary.

August/September/October, 2015: Given the vision statements, active members and attenders of the meeting will develop and prioritize a few major goals to move the meeting toward the vision. These strategies will be considered and prioritized by monthly meeting.

November/December, 2015: We will develop action plans for the major goals. Because the meeting has strength and experience in creating action plans and meeting goals, current committees will likely do much of this work although ad hoc groups may need to be established..

January, 2015 – April, 2016: New staffing position descriptions will be developed, a revised committee structure created, and new committee members appointed.

April 2016: Action plans will be implemented and all committees will shape their work towards realizing the set of vision statements and the major goals.