FMW Newsletter, August 2019

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-In Memoriam-Kathy Brandt
-Meeting for Business Minutes-July 


 Query for 8th Month:  Caring for Others…Outreach:

Do you, as the way opens, share Friends' principles with non-Friends? Do you witness to your Quaker faith by letting your life speak? Do you make non-Friends welcome in your meetings for worship? Do you find ways to encourage their continued attendance?

Source:  BYM Faith & Practice, Part II The Queries


In Memoriam

It is with heavy heart that I announce that our dear Friend, Kathy Brandt, passes away early on the morning of Sunday, August 4. Please hold her in the Light along with her wife, Kim Acquaviva, and son, Greyson Acquaviva. She will be greatly missed but will always dwell in our hearts.
A memorial service will be held at FMW on Saturday, October 26 at 1:00 p.m.


AFSC Voting Rights and Statehood Round Table, August 13, 6:00 p.m. Join the American Friends Service Committee- DC Peace & Economic Justice and the United Nations Association- Capital Area for a discussion on voting, statehood, and human rights on Tuesday, August 13 at One Judiciary Square (441 4th St NW), Suite 1107 South from 6:00-8:00 p.m.

Spiritual Friendships Group will meet August 25 from 11:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. in Terrace Room.  New attenders are welcome.  Section 11.4 of the FMW Handbook explains that the Spiritual Friendships program “encourage[s] and support[s] individuals to meet together in small groups or pairs to consider the spiritual  Friendships program has been inspired by Friends Meeting of Washington former member Margery Larrabee."

Pendle Hill Workshop, The Challenge of Paul, August 16-18Francisco Burgos will facilitate a weekend workshop on the Apostle Paul, the first Christian theologian and often-controversial figure, using material developed by New Testament and early Christian historian John Dominic Crossan.  For more information call Pendle Hill Quaker Study Center: 610-566-4507, ext. 137

Pastoral Care Working Group will meet on September 1, 2019 from 9:15 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. in the Library at FMW. All are welcome. We will discuss Chapter 14, “Gleanings from a Quaker Chaplain’s Stories,” by Worth Hartman, then Chaplain of the Hendicks Community Hospital in Danville, Indiana, in the book edited by J. Bill Ratliff, Out of the Silence: Quaker Perspectives on Pastoral Care and Counseling (2001), available from Pendle Hill at
For more information, contact Sabrina McCarthy,,

Pendle Hill Retreat:  Journey Toward Wholeness, September 13-15.   First of 4 seasonal retreats with Valerie Brown and John Baird based on the work of Parker Palmer and the Center for Courage and Renewal.  Register online or, for more information call Pendle Hill: 610-566-4507, ext. 137

SAVE THIS DATE!  Sunday, September 15! 
PARTY to inaugurate FMW’s newly renovated space! 
Share your ideas on how we should celebrate with Meg Greene and Susan Griffin, Co-Clerks of the Capital Campaign Committee, or



FMW Meeting for Business - July 21, 2019



Monthly Meeting for Worship with a Concern for Business
21st day of the Seventh Month, 2019 (July 21, 2019)

Meeting began at 12:20 pm, with 28 present. Friends welcomed Danny Grees, Ben Rowles, Alayna Kennedy, Frank Garvey, and Dan Takash.


Query for Worship Sharing: 

What is love? What shall I say of it, or how shall I in words express its nature? It is the sweetness of life; it is the sweet, tender, melting nature of God, flowing up through her seed of life into the creature, and of all things making the creature most like unto herself, both in nature and operation. It fulfils the law, it fulfils the gospel; it wraps up all in one, and brings forth all in the oneness. It excludes all evil out of the heart, it perfects all good in the heart. 

A touch of love doth this in measure; perfect love doth this in fullness

 (Isaac Penington, 1663, *pronouns changed)

Friends spoke of the variety of ways in which this reflection spoke to them.


Clerk’s Report, Seventh Month (July) 2019

In Memoriam

  • Sat, July 27: Susan Lepper’s memorial will be at 2:00 pm in the Meeting Room at FMW. Contact Sabrina McCarthy for more details or to volunteer at 
  • Sun. July 28: Hilda Findley-Knier’s memorial will be at 1:00 pm in Quaker House Living Room at FMW. Contact Martha Solt for more details or to volunteer at

Kudos & FMW Community Highlights

  • Quakers were well-represented at Capital Pride June 8/9! Thanks to all Friends (and Gene Throwe, our wrangler!) who supported the parade contingent and information booth at the festival. 
  • Quakers joined a counter-protest organized by Black Lives Matter and Sanctuary DMV to the protest to the Alt Right gathering on July 6th in Washington, DC.  About 15 Quakers joined to conserve a space for peace there with a meeting for worship. Beforehand, we also had a short peacekeeping training on how to handle any potential conflicts. Thankfully, there were no conflicts, and Friends were even quoted in a news piece on the protest in the New York Times. 
  • Quakers joined a protest with the Sudanese at the US Capitol, to support the people’s revolution against the military dictatorship.
  • Quakers joined a protest at Lafayette Square on the issue of immigrant detention

Renovation Update

  • We expect the Renovation to reach "Substantial Completion" by the end of July.
  • That means the construction is complete enough that we can occupy the new spaces — walk the corridors, ride the elevator, etc.
  • But there will still be a number of loose ends.  The Lobby will not be beautiful enough to make Snow White jealous until mid-August, and the garden will be a work in progress.

Major Business

Membership Committee request – Joe Izzo

  • Second presentation of Joseph D’Antonio. The Clerk fanned with gusto. Friends approved this membership

Nominating Committee - Rebecca Nelson

Nominations – Friends approved these nominations

  • Tom Yonker (A), Child Safety committee, two year term ending 12/20.
  • Julie Johnson (A), Religious Education, two year term ending 12/20 
  • Mary Lou Schram (M), Records & Handbook, three year term ending 12/21


  • Brian Lutenegger (M), from Property Committee. Friends accepted this, with thanks for his stellar work on that committee. Brian is currently filling in as Events Manager, and thus needs to resign from this committee.

Personnel Committee request - Bill Strein

  • Seeking approval to update policies related to FMW staff, hiring, etc. (see attachment). It would be good to have these policies in place when we hire a new Events Manager, probably in September. The current personnel policies apply only to the Administrative Secretary; this expands the policy to cover all of our employees. A preliminary draft of this updated policy has been reviewed by the Committee of Clerks, and their suggested changes have been incorporated.

A friend would prefer us to turn relationships of potential economic coercion into more mutualistic relationships. Another friend would like the policy to call out firing for wrong-doing (such as embezzling). Friends discussed the provisions for a probationary period, and performance improvement plans. Many friends wanted more time to review these proposed changes.

Bill Strein asked: Is our aim to have standard employment policies, or to have a document which reflects Quaker practice? Friends agree that we can and should do both. 

Meeting decided to lay this over until September, to give more time for review and response. Friends are encouraged to send comments by email to

Peace and Social Concerns Committee - Elaine Wilson

  • No Fossil Fuel Pledge – This pledge is being brought by many organizations, including 350 DC and the Sierra Club. (see attached). The groups want members and candidates for the DC Council and DC Mayor to sign onto this pledge, saying they will reject contributions from Pepco, Washington Gas & other fossil fuel companies. Quakers throughout the country are involved in holding their local energy companies accountable.

Friends are broadly in favor of this kind of pledge, and would prefer to see the final language before granting approval. However, if this is time sensitive, we are willing to join.

  • Crews Bequest form – In June, we announced that we have the application for a new FMW Social Justice Fund (initially funded by the Crews bequest). See attached. P&SC has edited this form based on feedback from the Committee of Clerks. The committee will approve qualified applications of up to $1000. Friends approved this updated application form.

Other Business

Committee of Clerks – Gene Throwe

  • Friends accepted June Meeting Minutes

Report on BYM Interim Meeting in June 2019 It went well, and FMW received many compliments on our renovation.

A Friend asked about how the listserv can or cannot be used to make announcements of a commercial nature. Friends discussed. The Friend will put it on the FMW Forum and the YAF listserv.

A Friend mentioned that BYM’s Annual Session is coming up in 8 days, and encouraged Friends to attend.

The meeting ended at 1:36 pm with 26 Friends present, to reconvene as way opens on September 8, 2019.



Proposed Changes in Personnel Policy (July 2019)


(Revisions to FMW’s Statement of Employment Policies and Procedures; referred to below as “the Statement”)

Current (Oct. 2018 Statement)

Proposed or Comment

Employment Status

Meeting Staff

Meeting staff, other than the Administrative Secretary, are hired, supervised and dismissed, if necessary, by the applicable committee, providing that such actions by said committee are consistent with the policies and procedures in this Statement, as determined by the Personnel Committee.

Meeting Staff

Although the work of Meeting staff members may be directed and supervised by an FMW committee, all persons employed by the Meeting are employees of FMW as an organization. All actions regarding individual employees, including hiring, evaluation and, where necessary, termination are considered to be actions taken by FMW and are not solely the province of the supervising committee, except as where specified in this Statement.

The Administrative Secretary is hired on an annual contract with hiring, evaluation and contract renewal decisions made by the Committee of Clerks, facilitated by the Personnel Committee. [Summarized – see full-text in the Addendum]

No proposed changes.


All other persons employed half-time or more hired after 9/24/18 and all persons employed less than half-time, irrespective of the date of their first employment, are hired on an at-will employment basis.

Continue to employ all other employees on an at-will basis, but with new procedures for those employed half-time or more for evaluation of employees’ performance, remediation when indicated, and termination if remediation fails (see below).




Hiring Processes and Decisions

Equal Opportunity/Diversity Statement – not currently included.

Equal Opportunity/Diversity Statement – Equal opportunity and having a diverse staff are fundamental principles of Friends Meeting of Washington and consistent with Quaker values. Employment and promotional opportunities are based upon individual capabilities and qualifications without regard to race, color, gender or gender identity, pregnancy, sexual orientation, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, veteran status or any other protected characteristic as applicable to FMW under law.

Administrative Secretary – requires a Review Committee that includes more than Personnel Committee members and appointment by the Committee of Clerks.

No proposed changes.

Other Employees Employed Half-Time or More – “hired…by the applicable committee”

Other Employees Employed Half-Time or More -

Hiring of such employees requires a Review Committee that includes at minimum member(s) of the committee that supervises the work of the position in question, and a member of the Personnel Committee. Review committees follow procedural guidelines developed by Personnel. Hiring decisions are made jointly by the committee supervising the employee’s work and the Personnel Committee

Hourly Employees (e.g., office support, event hosts, childcare workers) - may be hired … by the Administrative Secretary, the Property Manager or the Event and Rental Manager.

Hourly Employees  - May be hired by the committee supervising their work or by the Administrative Secretary, Property Manager or Event and Rental Manager following procedures specified herein.

All Employees: Written Offer of Employment – no current policy.

All employees are hired with a written offer of employment signed or co-signed by the clerk of Personnel or her/his designee.

Evaluation of Employees

Administrative Secretary – [Summarized – see full-text in the Addendum]:

·         On initial hiring – 3-month probationary period, after which evaluation by Personnel

o   If satisfactory, employment continues

o   If unsatisfactory, employment may be terminated or probation may be continued for up to three additional months.

·         After probationary period

o   Annual review by Committee of Clerks for contract renewal

o   If work becomes unacceptable [as determined by Personnel]

§  Warning period of up to one month established

§  If not improved, may be terminated “for cause”

Administrative Secretary


Evaluation after probationary period and evaluation after warning period by “Personnel in conjunction with the Committee of Clerks”.

Other Employees Employed Half-Time or More – no current policy


Other Employees Employed Half-Time or More

·         Probationary Period. All such employees are first-hired with a one-year probationary period and receive written evaluations quarterly prepared jointly by the Personnel Committee and the committee supervising the employee’s work, where applicable. If the evaluation is satisfactory, employment continues through the next quarterly evaluation. If the evaluation is unsatisfactory, the employee may be terminated with two weeks’ salary. After the fourth quarterly evaluation, the probationary status is removed and employment continues subject to provisions in the employee’s written offer of employment and stipulations in this Statement.

·         Annual Evaluations. After the final probationary period all employees will be evaluated at least annually. For employees who are supervised by another FMW committee, the Personnel Committee may delegate those evaluations to the supervising committee, but shall approve, in advance, procedures for such evaluations, and review the results of those evaluations.

·         All evaluations will be in written form.

Hourly Employees (e.g., office support, event hosts, childcare workers) – No current policy

Hourly Employees – Continuing hourly employees, those who are a part of a pool to be called as-needed, shall be evaluated annually by the individual or committee that supervises their work. A decision to drop the individual from the pool shall be made in conjunction with the Personnel Committee.

Termination of Employment (after initial probationary period)

Administrative Secretary – [Summarized – see full-text in the Addendum]:

·         Termination for cause

o   [Administrative Secretary] has a right to a written statement from the Personnel Committee, embodying the reasons for such action, and the further right to present to the Personnel Committee a written or oral statement, or both.  The Committee of Clerks will make a final decision.

o   [If terminated] shall receive severance pay of two weeks’ salary.

Administrative Secretary

Revision: Termination for cause after Year 1 or Year 2 – two weeks severance pay; Years 3 – 8, one week per year of employment; Years > 8 – 8 weeks’ severance.

Other Employees Employed Half-Time or More – no current policy

Other Employees Employed Half-Time or More

After the initial probationary periods in Year 1 have been lifted, if the committee supervising the employee believes his/her work to be unsatisfactory, the clerk of the supervising committee, or her/his designee, and a member of the Personnel committee shall meet with the employee to discuss the concerns. A written summary of that meeting shall be provided to the employee and a period of at least one month shall be specified to allow the employee, working with his/her supervisor, to correct those concerns. At the end of the designated period for improvement, the original parties will again meet to discuss and evaluate the employee’s progress. A written summary of that meeting shall also be provided to the employee. If the supervising committee and the Personnel Committee jointly agree that the employee’s performance remains unsatisfactory, employment may be terminated with a minimum of two weeks’ severance pay for employees in Year 1 or Year 2, Years 3 – 8, one week per year of employment; Years > 8 – 8 weeks’ severance.

Employee Records

No current written policy (although there are employee records)

All individuals employed by FMW shall have a personnel file, paper and/or digital, that includes at minimum a copy of their current contract or offer of employment, written evaluations and any other written, formal communication related to their employment status. Personnel files are considered to be confidential and are not accessible by members of the Meeting, except as follows: (1) the Administrative Secretary; (2) members of the Personnel Committee; (3) members of the committee that supervises the employee’s work, where applicable; (4) the Meeting’s presiding clerk or co-clerks and recording clerk; and (5) in the rare event of potential legal actions, the clerk or co-clerks of Trustees and FMW legal counsel.

Full-text Sections of Policies for Appointment, Review and Dismissal of the Administrative Secretary

  1. The Administrative Secretary

The Administrative Secretary is employed by the Meeting to provide assistance and office support for the Meeting’s committees; assist the activities of weekly Meeting for Worship and monthly Meeting for Business; work cooperatively with the Event and Rental Manager to arrange for the use of the buildings and facilities; manage the Meeting’s office collaboratively with the Event and Rental Manager; supervise part-time office staff, as needed; support the Meeting’s communications and publications; and provide assistance to visitors and the wider community regarding FMW and Quakerism.

[Detailed job description included in the original]


The Administrative Secretary reports to, and is supported by, the Personnel Committee which, in part, serves to supervise her/his work on behalf of, and in collaboration with, the Meeting’s Committee of Clerks. As such the Personnel Committee maintains a standing agenda item on the Committee of Clerks’ periodic meetings to facilitate its supervision of the Administrative Secretary’s work. 

Initial and Reappointment

The Administrative Secretary is appointed by the Committee of Clerks, upon the Personnel Committee's recommendation

An annual written evaluation of the Administrative Secretary's job performance will be prepared each April by the Personnel Committee. The evaluation will be based in substantial part on comments solicited from the Meeting’s Committees and Friends who interact with the Administrative Secretary. The Personnel Committee brings to the Committee of Clerks a recommendation to approve or not continuing the Administrative Secretary in the Meeting's employment and, as appropriate, prepares an annual contract to be signed by the Clerk of the Personnel Committee and the Administrative Secretary for a term ending June 30 of the subsequent year.  Appointment or reappointment of the Administrative Secretary will be reported to the Monthly Meeting by the Clerk of the Meeting.

  1. Termination of Employment (of Administrative Secretary)

Voluntary Resignation.  As a condition of employment, employees agree to give at least four weeks’ notice prior to resignation.

Probation Period.  New employees are in probationary status for three months following hiring.  At the end of that period, the Administrative Secretary is evaluated by the Personnel Committee. If the evaluation is satisfactory, the probationary status is removed and employment continues.  If the evaluation is unsatisfactory, the employee may be terminated with two weeks’ salary, or the probationary period may be extended for a period up to three additional months.  While an employee is in probationary status, sick and vacation leave will accrue.

Warning Status.  If the Administrative Secretary's work or deportment becomes unacceptable, the Personnel Committee shall discuss the problem with the Administrative Secretary and a warning status period of up to one month shall be established for improvement.  If the performance continues to be unsatisfactory at the conclusion of this period, employment may be terminated for cause.

Termination for Cause. An Administrative Secretary who is to be terminated for cause has a right to a written statement from the Personnel Committee, embodying the reasons for such action, and the further right to present to the Personnel Committee a written or oral statement, or both.  The Committee of Clerks will make a final decision.  Employees who are terminated for cause shall receive severance pay of two weeks’ salary.


FMW’s New Social Justice Fund:
What It Is For and How to Apply


In 2017, Friends Meeting of Washington learned that a Mr. Thomas Crews had bequeathed a portion of his estate totaling just under $28,000  to “The Religious Society of Friends, Friends House, Washington, D.C for assistance in promoting their political endeavors." Consultations among Friends led to the conclusions that (1) the Friends Meeting of Washington should be the beneficiary body, and (2), since FMW does not and cannot engage in endeavors that are directly “political”, the funds should be used for transformational social-justice or peace work by Friends, under the supervision of FMW’s Peace and Social Concerns Committee.

P&SC Committee in consultation with Trustees and others has made the following plan to make funds available for small scale, strategic support for social justice work in which FMW members and attenders are involved:  

  1. Funds will be spent on projects in which FMW members/attenders are directly engaged, so that these funds will increase the impact of our work. 
  2.  Priority will be given to projects that support structural change--to make the world a more just, equitable and sustainable place (not just use it for educational or charitable purposes.)
  3. The focus will be on grants of up to $1,000 that help make work happen.
  4. We plan to spend the funds over approximately four years, awarding 10 to 12 grants a year. BUT we are open to altering this plan should an opportunity for extraordinary impact arise.
  5. Sharing the experience & lessons:  P&SC may share some details of successful proposals with the FMW community.  (Please communicate any confidentiality considerations clearly.)  Grant recipients are also asked to share progress and outcomes of their project.
  6. In one year we will invite members of the FMW community to participate in discussion of the process and impact of these grants so far, and future plans.

The P&SC Committee invites members of the FMW community to apply for Crews Grants to assist, expand, or improve the social-justice work in which they are involved. 

Applications should be submitted electronically via email or this form to the clerk of the P&SC Committee. The first deadline for applications for these grants will be Sept 15, 2019 and applicants will be informed of the decision on their applications by October 31, 2019.  We plan the next grant application deadline for March 15, 2020.

For more information about the Crews Grants, please contact Elaine Wilson

Friend Meeting of Washington

FMW Social Justice Fund Grant Application

1.    Name of the Friend applying: _____________________________

     How do you prefer that we contact you?

2. Name of the project for which you request funding: _________________________

3. Amount of funding you’re requesting: ________________________

4. Timeline of the work you’ll be doing under this project: _________________

5. Will the monies granted be paid to a non-profit 501(c)3 organization? YES / NO

If YES: Please provide the organization’s name, mailing address, website, and TIN; the name and contact details for a responsible officer of the organization.

If NO - It will be necessary for you to write up project expenses and submit receipts, are you prepared to do this?

6. What is the work you want to fund?  How does it align with Friends social justice testimonies?  How will this contribution make a difference in helping the project achieve its mission?  (300 words or less)

7. What are the tangible goals of the project (such as how many members of the public will be reached). Also, how will you be measuring the effectiveness of the project? 

8. Please give a brief budget breakdown of how this grant would be used. (The budget may include some funding to cover applicant expenses--(eg transit, gas, meals, forgone income)-- to participate in the project.)

9. How are you involved in this project?  Who are your primary partners or colleagues in this work?  (100 words or less)

10. How will you share the outcome of your work under this grant or any reflections you have on the effectiveness of this work with the rest of the FMW community?


Committee of Clerks

6/30/2019 Notes

Present:  Merry Pearlstein, Gene Throwe, Debby Churchman, Ken Orvis, Gray Hadley, Bill Foskett, Betsy Bramon, Elaine Wilson, Greg Robb, Jacob Ritting, Bill Strein, Dan Dozier, Beth Cogswell, Brian Lutenegger


  • Personnel Update (1 handouts in person; the other attached)
  • DRAFT Crews Grant info form and application

I.Major Items

Personnel Committee Update (Bill Strein) Personnel Committee Clerk described the situation with our former Events Manager, her dismissal, and the package offered to her. She has accepted this package. She has agreed to forego any subsequent litigation or challenges. Clerks affirmed the Property Committee and Personnel Committee for their work in this difficult situation.

As a result of this situation, it has become apparent that oversight of the Meeting’s employees is split among several committees, and in need of an overhaul of policy for hiring and firings. Currently, those policies largely apply only to the Administrative Secretary, and need to be expanded to include all non-hourly individuals hired by FMW. Personnel is working on developing such a policy, with input from the supervisory committees. Some preliminary thoughts about such a policy may be found in the attachments. Personnel warmly welcomes Clerks’ input on these thoughts, and received many during the meeting.

Meanwhile, Merry Pearlstein is volunteering as Events Manager. Brian will fill in after mid-July until a new person can be hired. Brian will resign from Property Committee during this period.

II. Peace and Social Concerns: Draft Crewes Bequest Application (Elaine Wilson)

The committee has created this application for Friends to apply for funds from the $28,000 Crewes Bequest for use in projects which work for social justice. This has been published on the listserv and announced at Meeting for Business. The Committee welcomed input on the questions.

III. Affirmations

  • Welcoming our new Religious Education clerks, Jacob Ritting and Alan Fawcett!
  • On June 3, FMW Change group hosted a racial justice workshop with Baltimore-based theater company, Theater in Action.
  • Eight FM Wers went to Southeast DC in early June to knock on doors in a low-income      set of apartments and speak with the occupants about issues in their community. They are staying engaged with Washington Interfaith Network on this.
  • On June 26, several Friends attended an interesting talk and tour of our tenants, the Asylum Seekers Assistance Project.
  • Gratitude to Neil Froemming for all his work getting our renovation almost to the finish line! Also grateful for Ken Orvis and many others who have been working so hard for so long. An example of Spirit working among us.
  • Marriage & Family Relations has held several baby welcomings, and they’ve been really lovely.

VI. Announcements & Follow Up

  • Baltimore Yearly Meeting Annual Session is coming up, 7/29 to 8/4.
  • July Meeting for Worship with a Concern for Business will be 7/21.
  • Records and Handbook Committee announcement – Hayden has been binding our Minutes and historical documents to Swarthmore Historical Friends Library. Committees have been very lax in turning in monthly and annual minutes. Will develop online space for such reports. There will be a way to keep these confidential, as needed.
  • Hospitality volunteers needed! Contact Greg Robb/Barbara Briggs (thank you!)
  • Ongoing: 

·         Committee list updates: Please send ongoing updates to Nominating, Website, & Administrative Secretary.

·         Committee outreach & institutionalization: Please continue your inventory (or creation!) of outreach documents, note taking & tracking of committee work. Try to do basic outreach to share with folks about the work of your committee! Peace and Social Concerns has a great example of a “millennial” note taking process and google drive use to share.