FMW Newsletter - December 2018

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Notes--November Meeting for Business

1.) Clerk's Report

2.) Major Business

3.) Addenda


Friends Meeting of Washington
Minutes--Monthly Meeting for Worship with a Concern for Business
11 Eleventh Month 2018

Twenty Friends gathered at 12:20 pm on 11/11/2018.

Query for Worship Sharing:  What am I grateful for?

Substitute Recording Clerk: Friends approved Debby Churchman as Recording Clerk for this month.

Welcome Newcomers – Friends welcomed Dove Boyce.

Clerk’s Report, November 2018

Upcoming Events

  • Meehan Fundraiser for Personal Aid - Quaker Treasure Bread orders due today!!!  It’s time to replenish the coffers of the Personal Aid Committee, especially given their expanded scholarship fund for members/attenders to participate in Quaker religious activities.  Your purchases have been raising over $1,000 a year with the purchases of 100 loaves of Treasure Chest with all proceeds going to Personal Aid.  For Thanksgiving, Bob will bake for pick up at FMW primarily on Sunday, November 18. (There will be another round of orders in December, in time for Christmas.)  Contact: Bob Meehan, baker (
  • Spiritual Formation - Do you seek an opening to the Spirit? Do you sit in meeting in anticipation of the "still small voice", yet it rarely or never comes? Or are you ready to deepen your connection to the Inner Light? The Spiritual Formation Program under BYM at FMW was formed to nurture and strengthen your connection to the Inner Light on personal, meeting, and community levels and may be of interest to you. For more information, please contact John Bluedorn at
  • Shoebox Project, Saturday-Sunday, December 8-9:  All hands on deck!  FMW’s longtime holiday tradition of preparing holiday gift boxes for homeless children and adults.   Volunteers are needed to help wrap and assemble gift boxes—and to learn the process of organizing this project in coming years. Also needed:  Christmas cards--new or used, and cookies and juice to keep us fortified.  (Pizza will be served.)   For more information contact CJ Lewis,, cell:  202-704-4430.

Community Highlights:

  • On Sunday, October 21, FMW members provided a Quaker presence at a Dupont Circle vigil following the attack at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life Synagogue.
  • On Monday, October 30, FMW member Barbara Briggs testified before DC Council on behalf of FMW’s Peace and Social Concerns Committee in support of clean energy legislation for the District.  (See attached.) People were receptive. The legislation is in play in two committees; hoping the legislation will pass this year. Need DC residents to call their member on the DC council

Major Business

Young Adult Friends Annual Report - Rebecca Nelson submitted the attached report. YAFs are a strong and growing presence at FMW. Friends expressed appreciation for this group. One Friend notes that the divide between YAFs and the rest of the Meeting has been bridged, mostly by the Young Adult Friends who have stepped up to take an active role in the Meeting. Friends accepted the report.

Nominating Committee- Todd Harvey

David Miller (M), Assistant Treasurer, 1 year ending June 30, 2019. This Friend lives nearby. Meeting approved this nomination.

Dan Dozier (M), Information Technology committee, no term specified. Friends approved.

Bill Foskett (M), Information Technology committee, no term specified. Friends approved.

Betsy Bramon (A), Recording Clerk. This lies over for a month, because she is not a Member, yet.

Committee Reorganization Task Force – Todd Harvey

Approve reappointing the convener of Young Adult Friends as an ex-officio member to Nominating Committee, from here on out. It’s ex-officio to make this a policy rather than a specific person. This will be sent to Records & Handbook to incorporate this change into the Handbook. Friends accept this suggestion.

SignUp Genius - Todd Harvey

Todd Harvey told Friends that the Task Force is experimenting with using an app called SignUp Genius as a volunteer coordinating platform. This is a way to ease volunteerism in the Meeting. The app is widely used by schools and other organizations to make participants aware of volunteer opportunities and facilitate their signing up to serve. Todd will road-test this with the Hospitality Committee over the next month and report back as to how it worked. Friends accepted this test.

Marriage and Family Relations Committee - Gray Handley

The committee reviewed its description in the December 2017 Handbook, and recommends a few changes, listed below in red:

7.6   Marriage and Family Relations Committee

This Committee consults with those who request a Meeting for Worship during which a union of marriage or commitment under the care of the Meeting takes place, makes certain that no obstacle exists which would make the union inadvisable and makes a recommendation to the Meeting accordingly. This Committee advises the couple on relevant local jurisdiction legal provisions, expresses the continuing concern of the Meeting for the well-being of the union and family relationships within it, and supports families in all their forms. Books and pamphlets on these and related topics are provided and members of the Committee endeavor to give help in thinking through difficult marital, commitment, family or personal problems to any who seek such assistance. It may form clearness committees, if requested, with respect to marriage or commitment, separation or divorce, or adoption or birth. Changes in marital, commitment, or family status of a member (separation, divorce, adoption or birth) are recorded in the membership files. It may also schedule Meetings for Grieving.

The Committee also may provide advice, and on a case-by-case basis, facilitate Marriages and Unions of Commitment that are undertaken at the Friends Meeting of Washington in the manner of Friends.  In addition, the Committee may support other activities that foster harmonious, caring and Friendly family life among FMW Members and Attenders, including Meetings for Worship with a Concern for Welcoming Children into FMW’s Loving Community.

The committee is trying to improve its record-keeping and compile a list of couples married under the care of the Meeting.

Friends approved proposed language to go to Records & Handbook committee.

Report from Interim Meeting, 10.2018 – Greg Robb reported on the Interim Meeting, held in Sandy Spring Friends Meeting. He is on Pastoral Care Committee. Jim Bell, who also attended, told us that BYM has approved becoming part of the Sanctuary Network (a network of Sanctuary congregations).  Gene Throwe reports that he is now serving on BYM Nominating Committee.

Friends expressed gratitude to FMW Friends who stood in solidarity against anti-Semitism after the shooting at the synagogue in Pittsburgh.

Meehan fundraiser--Thanksgiving bread orders for personal aid cttee

It’s time to replenish the coffers of the Personal Aid Committee, especially given their expanded scholarship fund for members/attenders to participate in Quaker religious activities.  Your purchases have been raising over $1,000 a year with the purchases of 100 loaves of Treasure Chest with all proceeds going to Personal Aid.  Unfortunately, costs have risen substantially over the past 10-15 years. So it is time to adjust the sales price. The new schedule is $15 per loaf or $12.50 each for two or more loaves.  The good news is Personal Aid will get a big boost to its coffers and the better news is that the bread will taste even better for your generosity. 

For Thanksgiving, I will bake for pick up at FMW primarily on Sunday, November 18, the Sunday before Thanksgiving. For those who will be out of town and need to pick up earlier, I can bake for pick up Sunday, November 11. Of course, there could be pick up between November 11 and Thanksgiving Day.

So please email me your orders, giving me your name, contact info, number of loaves, and pick up instructions.  Yours in sweet aromas, Bob Meehan, baker.

Marriage and Family Relations Committee is compiling a list of the marriages or unions of commitment that have been accomplished “under the care of the Meeting”.  If you and your spouse/partner were married or united under the care of FMW, please send a brief note to that effect and with the date of your union, to Gray Handley, Clerk of Marriage and Family Relations; or give him a call on: 703 254-4127.  Thank you for your help.

Grate Patrol has two new coordinators!  Louise Terrell and Alan Field will be taking the reins and, as always are looking for others to help with the work of preparing food for the homeless.  Please contact:  Louise Terrell or Alan Field

Meeting ended at 1:05 pm with twenty people in attendance.


Young Adult Friends Annual Report for 2017-2018
Leadership and Communication

Erin Murphy and Rebecca Nelson have been the co-conveners of the YAF group since the beginning of the year.

The YAF listserv has continued to provide a forum for YAFs to convene outside of the meeting. The listserv has been used to disseminate information and coordinate in-person gatherings. The YAF listserv has grown by over 6% from the previous year to 278 members.

The primary platforms for communication with group members have been a monthly email digest with the month’s YAF-related activities, distributed to the listserv, a shared Google Calendar to help coordinate between co-conveners and FMW YAFs, and the YAF Facebook group.

Young Adult Friends and the wider meeting

Many YAFs have been active in Meeting wide events and serving on committees. Of Young Adult Friends that identify with the YAF group (rather than people that do not attend Young Adult Friends events even if they are in the typical age group) these have included: Brian Lutenegger & Justin Kwong, (Property) and Chris Wickham (Records & Handbook).

The YAF group contributed a significant percentage of participants in FMW-wide activities such as the Spiritual State of the Meeting worship-sharing and the FCNL consultations on current issues. YAFs have also been drawn to FMW-wide opportunities for activism, such as the non-violent response to the “Unite the Right” white supremacist rally August 12.

Nominating Committee consulted with the co-conveners of Young Adult Friends regarding how to bring more young people and new attenders/members into committees. As a result, an ad-hoc position on Nominating Committee was created through December 2018, occupied by Rebecca Nelson. The plan is to formally convert this into an ex-officio position for a YAF convener.

The Hospitality Committee also reached out to YAF to request our assistance with clean-up after Meeting for Worship and we’ve been coordinating directly with them.

Young Adult Friends have also been a driving presence on the FMW Sanctuary Taskforce, including Rebecca Harris, co-clerk of the taskforce, Erin Murphy, Brian Lutenegger, Anastacia Ebi, and Rebecca Nelson. Kate Oberg is on the Scholarship committee for Langley Hill Friends Meeting.

Social and Spiritual Activities

The Young Adult Friends continue to try to meet at least monthly for a shared meal. Rebecca Nelson hosted several gatherings at her home. The potluck dinners at the Meeting House were discontinued due to low attendance. The YAFs also sometimes go to brunch after Meeting on Sundays. 

Other social events have included an excursion to Friends Wilderness Center and to The People’s Choir Sing-Along.

Starting in September, Gene Throwe has hosted a weekly Bible study with the FMW YAFs and multi-denominational Queer for Christ group on Wednesdays.

Each YAF event attracts 4-10 Friends although it is very varied who shows up. Many young Friends attend Meeting for Worship on a regular basis and in that, YAF has a very strong representation especially when including the different times and locations.

Budget Use

The Young Adult Friends did not spend nearly as much of their budget as was possible this past year, resulting in a reduced request for budget this year.

Challenges and the future

The challenges that face YAFS are much the same as those affecting the general Quaker community.  We are disheartened and challenged by the political strife and decisions taking place on the national and international stages.  Many of us have been drawn to work on these particular challenges – in particular the challenges of immigrants and the undocumented in the United States.  This has led many of us to be drawn to social activism.  Many YAFS participated together in various protests.

In the future, we hope to maintain a schedule of 2-3 activities per month, with a mix of spiritual and social focuses.  Respectfully submitted,  Rebecca Nelson and Erin Murphy

Barbara Briggs, Committee on Peace and Social Concerns of Friends Meeting of Washington
Testimony before DC Council Committee on Business and Economic Development
October 29, 2018

My name is Barbara Briggs.  I am speaking today representing Friends Meeting of Washington’s Peace and Social Concerns Committee.

I am also hear to submit to you the written testimony of the director of the Mid-Atlantic Center for Children’s Health and the Environment at Georgetown University’s School of Nursing, Dr. Laura Anderko, since she is traveling and unable to be present herself at this hearing.

My Quaker faith has a long history of taking principled stands for social and economic justice, opposing oppression, corporate greed, institutionalized racism and poverty.  Many among us count ourselves as environmentalists, who believe that creation—earth and its ecosystems—deserve protection for their own inherent value.

But we also recognize that healthy ecosystems sustain human communities, and when those ecosystems are attacked and degraded—as is happening today due to climate change and continued burning of fossil fuels--it is often the poor, children and communities of color who are most vulnerable.

We stand in solidarity with those communities and we stand in support of the CleanEnergy DC Omnibus Amendment Act.  Please pass it quickly and intact.

The testimony of Dr. Anderko of the Mid-Atlantic Center for Children’s Health and the Environment—in support of the DC CleanEnergy Act—details one aspect of why we should support this bill and speed our transition away from the burning of fossil fuels.  She writes:

The American Lung Association reports in their State of the Air Report 2018 the District is one of the metropolitan areas worst affected by ozone pollution (17th of 227).  Our air is also far worse than average...when it comes to pollution from particulates.  Both ozone and particulate pollution are related to the burning of fossil fuels.  Both are major factors contributing a number of health issues, including pulmonary problems like asthma in children and adults.  The same Lung Association report finds that that a total of 55,738 0f adults and 10,415 of children in the District of Columbia are affected by asthma (which is higher than the national average). Asthma leads to sick days and hospital admissions, with a loss of work and school days.

My own background is in economics and when I read Dr. Anderko’s testimony, I started to think... What must this be costing DC’s families?  Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America researchers found that asthma sufferers had to pay an average of $3,259 a year in direct costs—medication and hospital bills.  That was in 2009, it is likely more than that today, but let’s use that figure.  Between adults and children we have 66,153 residents who suffer from asthma. Multiply that by $3,259 and the expense that our residents, our community has to bear, just in medical costs of asthma is over $215 million a year—not counting human suffering, lost education, lost work time and livelihoods.   This is $215 million that could be better spent.

I ask that you move the CleanEnergy DC bill through the Committee on Business and Economic Development quickly and intact.


American Thoracic Society, January 12, 2018, “Asthma Costs the U.S. More than $80 Billion per Year.

Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, “Costs of Asthma,” “In 2009, researchers found that the direct cost of asthma is about $3,259 per person each year."

##### End November 2018 Meeting for Business Notes