FMW Newsletter, 7.2017

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Minutes

FY2018 Budget

Balance Sheet

Harassment Policy

Library Ctte Report

Records & Handbook Report

Personal Aid Report

Personnel Ctte Report

School for Friends Report

Upcoming Events

Thinking About Race

Random Happenings

Comics

Friends Meeting of Washington

Meeting for Worship with Concern for Business

18 Sixth Month 2017

Minutes

 

The Meeting opened at 12:20 p.m. with a period of silent worship; approximately 32 Friends and attenders were present. Gene Throwe served as Clerk, Grant Phelps Thompson as Assistant Clerk, and Katie Breslin as Acting Recording Clerk. Friends thanked Katie for volunteering to be the Acting Recording Clerk. Friends welcomed first-time business meeting attenders Carla Higgins and Katie Breslin.

 

Worship Query: Friends were asked to reflect on the query:

 

How do we provide and protect our Meeting and our community and how are we provided for and protected by our Meeting?

 

Clerk’s Report:

 

  • Friends marched in the Capital Pride Parade last weekend and had a booth at the Festival. There were many visitors to our booth. We also had people participate in the counter-protest “No Justice, No Pride”.
  • The meeting assisted with welcoming an asylum seeker, Moreblessing Jose from Zimbabwe. The meeting wrote a letter of support that was submitted to the authorities. The asylum seeker is now out of detention and has a community that he will be connecting with.
  • One of the side benefits of using our space for event rentals is that many more people are coming to our meetinghouse for the first time. Last month, according to Google, 466 people searched for directions to FMW.
  • For the next two weeks, the entire campus will be occupied by a group from Hawaii teaching and practicing Qi Gong. The group will use the west garden for a number of their practice sessions, erecting a tent that will remain until July 2.
  • Matt Handley, Director of Litigation, Washington Lawyers Committee on Civil Rights and Urban Affairs has agreed to come to the Meeting on August 20 to speak about the legal issues surrounding hosting an undocumented immigrant on our campus.  This will be a presentation rather than a discussion. If you have particular questions you want to see answered, please let Jim Bell know so he can be sure they are included.
  •  The Decatur Place Room renovation is completed. We will be bringing additional furniture soon. Please stop by—it is gorgeous.
  • On Saturday, July 8, there will be a “Meeting for Worship on the Occasion of Jim” as we give Jim Clay a send-off. All current and former School for Friends families are very welcome. Times will be announced.
  • Personal Aid still has one scholarship available for anyone wanting to go to Baltimore Yearly Meeting’s Annual Sessions in August. Please contact Emilie Schmeidler as soon as possible. The deadline is June 26.
  • Susan Griffin provided an update from the Capital Campaign. Friends’ pledged monthly installments are arriving in good order. It would extremely helpful if each and every member and attender would make a pledge. A monthly installment arranged through a bank or with a credit card can be an almost painless way to contribute. Any size of contribution will assist with this very worthy cause.

 

Major Items:

 

Membership Committee -

The Membership Committee recommended Leonard Eoussa for membership. His letter was read by Marcia Reecer. Leonard Eoussa’s membership application will be held over until the next Meeting for Business, as is our custom.

 

Nominating Committee -

Gene Throwe, on behalf of the Nominating Committee, presented the nominations of Robert Meehan as Treasurer and Michael North as Assistant Treasurer. Both Bob and Michael have served 5 one-year terms. As an ordinary matter the Handbook limits terms to 5 consecutive years. Nominating Committee, with the approval of Finance and Property Committee, asked for an exception on their behalf. Friends approved an exception to allow them to continue to serve for an additional year.

 

Renovation, Loan Authorization– Dan Dozier, Clerk, Trustees

Friends approved the following language as required by the bank that is loaning us money for the renovation:

 

The Friends Meeting of Washington Meeting for Business agrees that Daniel P. Dozier, Clerk of Trustees, and/or Robin Appleberry, Alternative Clerk of Trustees, acting jointly or severally, are hereby authorized to execute any and all Loan Documents related a loan from Sandy Spring Bank made for the purpose of renovating the Meeting property. Dated: June 11, 2017

 

Harassment Policy

Zoe Plaugher presented a copy of the draft Harassment Policy; a copy of the draft is attached to these minutes. Friends are requested to use the next month to read the proposed policy and offer comments. Approval will lie over for a month. Changes should be directed towards Zoe Plaugher or Greg Robb. Friends shared concerned about the lack of or the potential for additional procedures in handling harassment in the Meeting, as well as the need for confidentiality.

 

Friends Meeting of Washington Budget for Fiscal Year 2018 -

Ed Hustead, the Meeting’s Financial Coordinator, presented the proposed budget for the coming fiscal year. The budget was first presented last month A Balance Sheet showing the Meeting’s assets and liabilities was also presented, as requested last month. A copy of the budget and balance sheet are attached to these minutes. Friends approved the proposed budget, with thanks to the Finance and Property Committee and to the Financial Coordinator for their work in preparing and overseeing the financial affairs of the Meeting. Friends expressed their appreciation for the work Ed Hustead and Laurie Wilner put into the budget every year. 

 

Task Force on Committee Re-Organization - Grant Thompson

Grant Thompson described the creation of a task force on committee structure reorganization. The task force will be meeting during coming months and hopes to bring suggestions for changes to Meeting for Business near the end of this calendar year. Friends will be asked for their views on as the task force formulates its recommendations. If approved, changes will be incorporated in the Handbook.

 

Other Business

 

Request for Establishment of a Special Fund in Support of Friends of Hlekweni Jim Bell and Steve Brooks announced that Finance and Stewardship Committee approves that Friends Meeting of Washington accept contributions on behalf of a non-profit organization located in the United Kingdom known as Friends of Hlekweni. The organization supports various projects in Zimbabwe. By acting as the receiving organization, gifts made to Friends Meeting of Washington for Friends of Hlekweni may be eligible for tax deductibility by donors. Friends approved the arrangement.

 

Library Committee Annual Report

Faith Williams presented the annual report of the Library Committee. A copy is attached to these minutes. The Library Committee is working on ways to publicize books in the library. A Friend recommended that we reach out to local Friends schools that might be interested in borrowing books. Friends expressed their appreciation for the work of the Library Committee. Friends are encouraged to visit the Library and draw upon its resources.

 

Records and Handbook Committee Semi-Annual Report

Chris Wickham presented the annual report from the Committee. A copy of that report is attached to these minutes. On Monday, Chris will be speaking with Swarthmore College about films that depict the Meeting in its earlier years. Friends accepted the semi-annual report.

 

Personal Aid Committee

Emilie Schmeidler, clerk of the Personal Aid Committee, presented the annual report of the Committee. A copy of that report is attached to these minutes. Emilie shared the need to find solutions to long term needs for Meeting members. Friends shared appreciation for Emilie for preparing cards for Meeting members. Friends accepted the Personal Aid Committee report.

 

Personnel Committee

Bill Strein, clerk of the Personnel Committee, presented the annual report of the Committee. A copy of that report is attached to these minutes. The report transmits the recommendation from the Committee of Clerks to offer Debby Churchman a contract renewal to continue serving as Administrative Secretary for FY18. Also based on the clerks’ feedback, the committee proposed to the F & S Committee a salary increase for Debby, a proposal that F & S endorsed. Friends accepted the Personnel Committee report.

 

School for Friends Annual Report

Michael Cronin, who was not present, provided an annual report on the School. A copy of that report is attached to these minutes. Friends accepted the School for Friends Annual Report.

 

 

Close of Meeting

There being no further business, the minutes were read and approved.

The Clerk closed the Meeting for Worship with Concern for Business at 1:30 p.m. with a period of silent worship. There were approximately 25 Friends and attenders present. We will reconvene as way opens on 7.16.2017.

 

 

A

B

C

D

E

1

                    Friends Meeting of Washington Fiscal Year 2018 Budget

2

 

Projected FY 17

FY 17 Budget

FY 18 Draft Budget

FY 18 with Construction

3

 

 

 

 

 

4

Revenue

 

 

 

 

5

   Donations

 

 

 

 

6

               Contribution - Identified

188,000

                   190,000

             190,000

                   190,000

7

               Contributions - In Kind

4,500

                       1,700

                 1,500

                       1,500

8

               Contributions - Other

6,250

                       4,000

                 6,000

                       6,000

9

10

         Total Donations

198,750

                   195,700

             197,500

                   197,500

 

 

 

 

 

 

11

   Building Revenue

 

 

 

 

12

               Long Term Rental Income

111,460

                   120,000

             116,700

                     60,000

13

               Event Rental

130,000

                     70,000

             130,000

                     45,000

14

 

         Total Building Revenue

241,460

                   190,000

             246,700

                   105,000

16

   Restricted & Designated

 

 

 

 

17

               Committee & Program Support

38,500

                     18,200

               31,500

                     31,500

18

               Shoebox Revenue Released

22,231

                     22,000

               23,000

                     23,000

19

               Capital Campaign Funds Released

2,000

                     23,569

                        0

                     14,646

20

21

         Total Restricted & Designated

62,731

                     63,769

               54,500

                     69,146

 

 

 

 

 

 

22

   Other Income

 

 

 

 

23

               Investment Income

84,600

                     83,411

               79,500

                     79,500

24

               Literature Gifts

500

                          240

                    240

                          240

25

               Miscellaneous Income

5,000

                          500

                 2,000

                       2,000

26

         Total Other Income

90,100

                     84,151

               81,740

                     81,740

27

 

 

 

 

 

28

      Total Revenue

593,041

                   533,620

             580,440

                   453,386

30

Expense

 

 

 

 

31

   Personnel Costs

 

 

 

 

32

               Full Time Staff Wages

142,000

                   156,479

             162,230

                   165,380

33

               Office Coverage Cost

3,250

                       4,080

                 6,000

                       6,000

34

               RE & Other Part Time Staff

15,500

                     20,625

               21,325

                     21,325

Projected FY 17

FY 17 Budget

FY 18 Draft Budget

FY 18 with Construction

 

Projected FY 17

35

               Training & Staff Development

1,000

                       2,000

                 2,000

                       2,000

36

37

         Total Personnel Costs

161,750

                   183,184

             191,555

                   194,705

 

 

 

 

 

 

38

   Consultants

 

 

 

 

39

               Bookkeeping

36,000

                     32,500

               37,800

                     37,800

40

               Audit & Legal Costs

5,750

                       7,000

                 3,000

                       3,000

41

               Consultants - Other

2,125

                          500

                 1,450

                       1,450

42

43

         Total Consultants

43,875

                     40,000

               42,250

                     42,250

 

 

 

 

 

 

44

   Outreach & Program Costs

 

 

 

 

45

               Committee & Project Expense

10,200

                     10,850

               12,290

                     12,290

46

               Donations & Grants

20,025

                     18,825

               20,025

                     20,025

47

               Scholarship Awards

27,500

                     18,700

               32,750

                     32,750

48

               Shoebox Expense

22,231

                     22,000

               23,000

                     23,000

49

50

         Total Program Costs

79,956

                     70,375

               88,065

                     88,065

 

 

 

 

 

 

51

52

    BYM Support (Apportionment)

63,900

                     64,200

               63,841

                     63,841

 

 

1

                    Friends Meeting of Washington Fiscal Year 2018 Budget

2

 

Projected FY 17

FY 17 Budget

FY 18 Draft Budget

FY 18 with Construction

53

   Site Costs

 

 

 

 

54

      Utilities

23,000

                     22,750

               24,980

                     22,980

55

      Building Maintenance & Repairs

36,000

                     35,000

               30,000

                     30,000

56

      Ground Maintenance

11,250

                     10,000

               12,000

                     12,000

57

      Cleaning & Trash Removal

43,400

                     43,400

               44,670

                     44,670

58

      Trash & Recycle

4,100

                       4,100

                 2,930

                       2,930

59

      Insurance

18,000

                     17,500

               19,000

                     22,000

60

      Furnishings

3,600

                       8,500

                    500

                       2,500

61

      Other Site Costs

22

                              0

                        0

                              0

62

63

            Total Site Costs

139,372

                   141,250

             134,080

                   137,080

 

 

 

 

 

 

64

   Property Rental Costs

 

 

 

 

65

      Event Staff

13,000

                       6,500

               17,004

                       6,504

66

      Marketing & Advertising

200

                              0

                 1,600

                       5,000

67

      Commissions & Consultants

800

                              0

                    400

                       1,900

68

      Furnishings

0

                              0

               10,000

                     25,000

69

      Credit Card Processing Cost

0

                              0

                 3,600

                       1,800

70

      Real Property Tax

8,182

                     11,500

               11,500

                     11,500

71

72

            Total Property Rental Costs

22,182

                     18,000

               44,104

                     51,704

 

 

 

 

 

 

73

   Office Expenses

 

 

 

 

74

      Postage & Printing & Supplies

3,150

                       4,450

                 2,600

                       2,600

75

      Computer Expenses

2,000

                       4,000

                 2,000

                       2,000

76

      Other Equipment

1,625

                              0

                 2,000

                       2,000

77

      Books, Dues & Subscriptions

500

                       1,150

                    350

                          350

78

79

         Total Office Expenses

7,275

                       9,600

                 6,950

                       6,950

 

 

 

 

 

 

80

      Other Expenses

 

 

 

 

81

               Credit Card Processing Costs

6,550

                       4,110

                 1,770

                       1,770

82

               Payroll Processing Cost

2,100

                       2,502

                 1,850

                       1,850

83

               Miscellaneous Expense

200

                          300

                    200

                          200

84

85

         Total Other Expenses

8,850

                       6,912

                 3,820

                       3,820

 

 

 

 

 

 

86

   Financing (Loan Interest) Costs

0

                              0

                        0

                     67,000

87

      Total Expense

527,160

                   533,521

             574,665

                   655,415

88

 

 

 

 

 

89

Net Operating Income Less Expense

65,881

                            99

                 5,775

                (202,029)

 

Balance Sheet as of 5/31/2017

 

A

B

C

1

 

FY16 Ending

Balance

Current Balance

2

 

 

 

3

Asset

 

 

4

   Cash

361,429

349,266

5

   Investments

1,948,415

2,111,677

6

   Other Current Assets

31,999

27,550

7

   Antiques

12,000

12,000

8

Total Asset

2,353,843

2,500,494

9

 

 

 

10

Fixed Assets (Net of Depreciation)*

 

 

11

   Land

236,659

                    236,659

12

   Building

654,325

                    770,182

13

   Furniture, Fixtures & Equipment

0

0

14

Total Fixed Assets (Net of Depreciation)

890,984

1,006,841

15

 

 

 

16

Total Assets

3,244,826

3,507,335

17

 

 

 

18

Liabilities

 

 

19

   Accounts Payable

7,129

                        3,414

20

   Wages Payable

8,961

                        8,874

21

   Deferred Income

13,384

12,556

22

   Deposits on Space Use, etc.

6,598

13,971

23

Total Liabilities

36,072

38,815

24

 

 

 

25

Fund Balances

 

 

26

   Unrestricted Net Operating Fund

1,130,458

1,227,255

27

   Designated Funds

1,616,886

1,790,713

28

   Temporarily Restricted

159,488

148,629

29

   Endowment

301,922

301,922

30

Total Fund Balances

3,208,754

3,468,520

31

 

 

 

32

Total Liabilities & Fund Balances

3,244,826

3,507,335

34

*Accounting rules require that the Land & Building show on the FMW books at the original purchase price. The current assessed value is $8,400,000.

 

Harassment Policy

 

The purpose of this policy is to ensure that Friends Meeting of Washington is a safe space for all members and attenders. We strive as a community, to support the targets of harassment; to shed a light on and prevent or stop harassing behavior; and to protect the spiritual safety and integrity of our Meeting.

 

Friends Meeting of Washington recognizes that while one of our tasks as Friends is to care for and radically honor the Light of God in all people, this does not exempt us from being a community where harassment can and does occur. Harassment based on gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, skin color, cognitive or physical disability, mental illness, physical appearance, body size, or religion is contrary to the faith and practice of the Religious Society of Friends.

 

Harassment is hurtful, unwanted behavior imposed on a person that is destructive to one’s spirit. It often involves the exercise of formal or informal power by the perpetrator over the target. The key words are unwanted behavior by the perpetrator toward the target.

 

Harassment may take the form of, but is not limited to: verbal comments, intimidation, stalking, email, text, physical contact or sexual attention. It may occur in public and private contexts, including online communications. At FMW this may include Meeting for Worship, coffee hour and other social events, committee meetings, religious education/spiritual formation groups, Young Adult Friend events, and private and group communication between members and attenders of the Meeting. 

 

We recognize the specific physical or psychological impact harassment may have on the target. It also damages the safety and spiritual integrity of our community as a whole. As such, every member and attender of the FMW community has an equal responsibility for preventing, calling out, and stopping harassing behavior.

 

What to do if you experience or witness harassment

If you witness or experience harassment at FMW, please tell someone, anyone. All members and attenders are responsible for caring for each other.

Clerks of Meeting, Ministry and Worship Committee, Healing and Reconciliation Committee, in consultation with each other, are responsible for handling complaints of harassment. If someone tells you about harassment, please contact the clerk of one of these committees.

 

Library Committee Annual Report, June 2017

I.               Introduction

The library continues to face challenges in 2017.  Some of the shelves will be removed during the construction, and we will need to move some books into other parts to the building.

The internet has not always been working, and the library is often in use by a renter.  We have set up a temporary new system for checkout, using a sign out notebook. 

 

II.             Finding Books in the Collection and Checking Them Out

First, find the library website, by going to the Quick Links at http://quakersdc.org/  

Or by going directly to http://quakersdc.org/Library

                The books in the Library have been cataloged on http://www.LibraryThing.com.  The FMW Library catalog is viewable at http://www.librarything.com/catalog/FMWLibrary or on mobile devices at http://www.librarything.com/m/ by entering the collection name FMWLibrary.  The Library Committee has also printed out lists of the books in the collection with call numbers arranged alphabetically by author and by title and made these available in the Library.  The books also have tags, which work like subject entries.  You can click on “tags,” right under “your books,” to see all of them.  The card catalog, now out of date, is no longer in the library.

 

Library Thing is a wonderful application through which people can find other libraries with similar books, read reviews of books and can even review them themselves.

 

 Information on checking out and returning books is posted in the library and will be on the library website. Try to return books within three weeks so that others may use them too. We hope  

 

            III.              Size, Growth, and Scope of the Collection

         In May 2017,  the Library held 2,183 books in the collection, about 30 more than last year at this time.  Additions to the collection came partly from donations this year. We will continue to seek suggestions from the community and look for new titles relating to Quakerism to add to the collection.           

  

 Before donating books, please talk to committee members. The Library’s scope for collecting includes Quaker history and biography, spirituality, LGBTQ spirituality, mysticism, social justice, and non-violence.  We do hold occasional book sales, and would like permission to sell duplicate or inappropriate books.

 

IV.              Kindles and E-Books

The library owns 5 Kindle paperwhites  which are available to be used by reading groups in the meeting and have already been. Ask the librarians about this if you are interested.

The Library has also added more links to electronic versions of classic Quaker titles to the Library’s homepage, including John Woolman’s Journal, Robert Barclay’s Apology, and Journal of the Life and Religious Labours of Elias Hicks. We have included a basic introduction to Quakerism website, and a link to another Quaker library which has even more material. If people need assistance downloading these to their own Kindles or other e-book readers, please contact Library Committee members

 

V.             Membership

  We could always use assistance and actively welcome new members. If you have an interest, please approach one of the committee members.

 Members of the Library Committee:

Faith Williams (Clerk), faithmw@gmail.com

Michael North  (Meeting Librarian) belgrade18@yahoo.com

Judy Hubbard     hubbard.judy@gmail.com

Frank Weiss     frankgreyhound@hotmail.com

Abby Thomsen (emeritus)

Patrick Lynam (emeritus)

Gene Throwe  (ex officio ) gthrowe@gmail.com 

 

Records & Handbook, 6.2017

Personnel Committee submitted a request to Meeting for Business to update the job description of the Administrative Secretary in the Handbook.  These changes reflect the actual duties assigned to and performed by our Administrative Secretary.  Any mention of an Assistant to the Administrative Secretary was removed as that position does not exist at this time. The updated job description was approved by Meeting for Business.  These changes were passed on to Records and Handbook. for review.

 

Many thanks to Jim Steen and the Personnel Committee and Debby Churchman, the Administrative Secretary, for submitting and editing these changes.  The updated job description was approved by Meeting for Business and incorporated into the Handbook in April, 2017.

 

Personal Aid Committee’s Annual Report for 2016

We must be concerned about the welfare of every member of the Meeting community. While Friends need to guard against prying or invasion of privacy, it is nevertheless essential that Meetings be aware of the spiritual and material needs of members of the community and express caring concern in appropriate ways. – Faith and Practice, BYM

 

The Personal Aid Committee (PAC) is asked by the Meeting to provide “caring concern” through practical assistance to meet short-term needs of members and attenders, e.g. transportation, shopping, or meals for those who are injured or ill; compassionate support; limited financial assistance; and contact with community members we have not seen for a while. In the process, we listen, identify  resources, visit, make telephone calls, track down absent friends and family, and serve on support groups. 

 

PAC meets monthly to review new or ongoing needs of FMW community members who have sought the Committee’s help or been referred by others, plan special assistance and public education projects, and address other concerns brought to our attention. Its deliberations are confidential, and we strive to maintain the privacy of Friends while responding to their needs. 

 

Last year we picked up an earlier custom of having cards to sign or to write a little note to FMW community members who are celebrating a life event, or who are ill or suffering a loss. In 2016, we sent out over 50 fifty cards. We also are offering to hold in the Light anyone who requests it for whatever reason.   

         

PAC works with the Hunger and Homelessness Taskforce to try to address needs of people, connected to the Meeting who are homeless (or in danger of becoming homeless). We also developed links with people in Meeting who have extensive experience with social service agencies that may be able to help with financial, mental health, or other needs. This year we were especially concerned about the welfare of three people. One is settled, at least for the time being, and continues his loose relationship to the Meeting. Another has drifted away from the Meeting despite our efforts to provide support or at least keep in contact. The third, who has come to us repeatedly over the years requesting money, is working with a county agency that provides case management, and with another that provides financial planning assistance.

Beyond providing short-term personal assistance to individuals, the Committee has organized or sponsored several events.

 

  • PAC arranged for CPR and first aid training; The training was publicized widely; about twenty people expressed interest; 10 people attended the training.
  • PAC and Ministry and Worship sponsored the interfaith “Silence and Solidarity” gathering for those who have lost a child. A PAC member served on the steering committee of the well-attended gathering.
  • PAC, along with Ministry and Worship and  Healing and Reconciliation, is sponsoring a series of workshops on Pastoral Counseling and Community Building. Three workshops have been held; more are being planned.
  • In addition, PAC oversaw two special events: the memorial meeting for a long-time attender and a birthday celebration for a long-time member who now resides in a facility in Virginia.

 

PAC administers two scholarships to enrich the spiritual life of individuals and contribute to the Meeting’s corporate life.

 

  • FMW scholarships – Several years ago the Meeting for Worship with a Concern for Business approved the Finance and Stewardship Committee’s proposal to establish a small scholarship fund, and assigned responsibility to the Personal Aid Committee. This year PAC awarded three scholarships: one for a young adult to attend the national Alternatives to Violence conference, and one each to adults to attend the Friends Conference on Religion and Psychology and  to attend “Recharge, Renew and Rejoice” (a conference organized by the Fellowship of Friends of African Descent).
  • BYM certificates – BYM provides each monthly meeting with certificates to encourage those who have not attended the Annual Session to go by providing two days free. Four BYM certificates were issued in 2016 so that members of a family could attend.

 

Traditionally, PAC responsibilities been defined in terms of short-term needs. This year, the committee has continued to struggle to find ways to respond to longer-term needs. In the course of keeping in touch with long-term and aging community members we have not seen for a while, sometimes they tell us that they want to stay in contact with FMW but find that increasingly difficult or impossible. PAC is not in a position to respond to these long-term needs. To the extent we can, we try to build a support group of concerned friends by alerting those who already have connections to the person—through membership in spiritual formation or spiritual friendship groups, committees, friendly eights, etc. and people who live relatively near by who may be able to visit.

 

But much of this need in FMW remains unmet because our meeting is large, diverse, and spread throughout the metropolitan area; also, many members have demanding responsibilities that limit their availability. The Committee has initiated a discussion with the Committee of Clerks on FMW's need to respond to this issue. We feel that the Meeting as a whole needs to consider its relationship with these long-term members of the community. 

 

PAC relies on members of the Meeting community beyond its formal membership. We rely on the invaluable informal assistance of past members, especially past clerks. Debby Churchman, as Administrative Secretary, helps us in a multitude of ways, especially alerting us to FMW members and attenders in need. For years, sale from Bob Meehan’s Treasure Bread has provided the funds for the Personal Aid budget. The Committee is tremendously grateful to Bob for this longstanding and significant contributions to the welfare of our community!

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

Emilie Schmeidler, Clerk

 

Annual Report of the Personnel Committee

June 18, 2017

 

The 2017 Personnel Committee currently has four members: Marsha Holliday, Jim Steen, Bill Strein (clerk), and Gene Throwe (ex officio). Bill Foskett’s (clerk for 2016) term expired in December. Marsha joined the Committee in January 2017. Bill and Jim are both in their second years. The Committee holds scheduled in-person meetings bi-monthly and engages frequently via e-mail correspondence. The Committee dedicates a portion of its in-person meetings to meet with Debby Churchman, FMW Administrative Secretary and Event Manager, for whom the Committee provides supervision. We have also instituted the very pleasant tradition of having a “take-in” lunch with Committee members and Debby at FMW after each in-person meeting.

 

As detailed in the Meeting Handbook, the Personnel Committee’s primary responsibilities are three-fold: (1) review and revision of employment policies and procedures as necessary; (2) oversight of, and the provision of advisory assistance to, FMW’s Administrative Secretary and Event Manager; and (3) conducting the annual review of the Administrative Secretary and Event Manager, that includes making a recommendation to the Committee of Clerks regarding extending her contract for the next year and a salary recommendation in collaboration with the F & S Committee. During the past year the Committee has been involved actively on all of these functions.

 

Regarding personnel policies, beginning in January we reviewed various sections of the Meeting Handbook to identify out-dated material related to both the Committee’s and the Administrative Secretary’s functions. Acting in concert with the Records and Handbook Committee we proposed a set of revisions that were accepted by Meeting for Business in April of 2017. We also made a few revisions to the Statement of Employment Policies and Procedures to accommodate changes in staff health benefits, and revised the policy on accrual of employee’s annual leave time to allow the Committee to grant a temporary, short-term lifting of the cap on accrued days in unusual situations. The Committee plans over the next year to continue to review all relevant documents regarding personnel policies to determine if other revisions are necessary. In addition to reviewing relevant FMW policies, we were able to contribute to personnel policy discussion in the wider local Quaker community when Jim Steen represented our Committee at a meeting held by Sandy Springs Friends Meeting to help that Meeting in its discernment around employing and supervising a proposed new Administrative Clerk position.

 

The Committee has increased its efforts to provide advisory assistance to Debby Churchman in her role as Administrative Secretary and Event Manager, including, but not limited to, the bi-monthly meetings referenced above. In keeping with long-standing FMW tradition we hold all discussions between the Committee and FMW employees to be confidential, personnel matters. We report here, however, that we hope and believe that our efforts have been supportive of Debby’s high quality work.

 

In early March, 2017, we contacted the clerks of FMW’s standing and special committees as a part of our annual review of the Administrative Secretary and Event Manager, offering the clerks an opportunity to respond via e-mail or by phone to Committee members. We received feedback from 15 of the 21 people that we contacted. Based on the clerks’ comments, as well as our own observations, we drafted a report and presented it formally to the Committee of Clerks on April 30th for discussion. Following that discussion and a few follow-up conversations we finalized our report which included the unanimous recommendation from the Committee of Clerks of offering Debby a contract renewal for FY18. Also based on the clerks’ feedback we proposed to the F & S Committee a salary increase for Debby, a proposal that F & S endorsed.

 

School for Friends Highlights for 2016 – 2017


 

school for friends [SfF] sustains its excellence as a nationally accredited preschool offering full and half day educational programs for 75 two-to-four-year-olds, Monday - Friday from 8 am to 6 pm year-round.

 

SfF is a Quaker school and is a member of the Friends Council on Education. “The School for Friends educational curriculum reflects the Quaker values of cooperation, equality, and nonviolence.” [See  http://schoolforfriends.org/]

 

expansion

 

The School has completed a visionary and ambitious four-year expansion project that added two classrooms, an atelier, much-needed storage space, and improved facilities for teachers. Director Jim Clay led the effort to plan and implement a bold and successful capital campaign to fund the expansion. Jim also negotiated a twenty-year lease with the Church of the Pilgrims’ minister and governing body, its Session. He managed the schedules of several contractors engaged in the rebuilding and repurposing of much space of the church, including installation of sprinkler systems and an elevator, and tended to the complex process of permitting and certification requirements of the DC government. Jim Clay carried these enormous burdens while running the school.

 

staff and teacher development 

Jim Clay has served on committees of the Friends Council on Education [FCE] and the National Association for the Education of Young Children [NAEYC]. NAEYC has 67,000 members worldwide. Jim and SfF teachers have participated in NAEYC’s national conference and both attended and led workshops there.

 

strategic planning initiative

The SfF board’s three-year strategic plan for 2016-2019 has emphasized strengthening its governance functions. Some changes in its governance occurred during our expansion.

 

board governance

The Board has worked diligently to expand from twelve to sixteen members as well as to change the composition of the Board. Changes made it necessary to modify by-laws to allow both more Board members and requirements for Board officers.

 

new director

After building and sustaining a magnificent legacy at SfF, Jim Clay will retire in July 2017. The SfF board has approved its search committee’s recommendation and has selected Berna Artis to be the next Director of the School.

History, operations, philosophy, and affiliations of School for Friends


The School for Friends was co-founded in 1981 by members of FMW who sought to provide day-care for Quaker children in the neighborhood while supporting Quaker teaching and education.

 

SfF has six classrooms for up to seventy-five 18-month to 4 year-olds, located at the Church of the Pilgrims, 2201 P St NW. The SfF rents approximately 5500 ft2 of space for classrooms, offices, indoor activities, meeting rooms, and storage.

 

Approximately 50% of the families with children in the School identify themselves as people of color (African American, Latino, Asian American, American Indian). Approximately 15% of students receive financial aid.  The School enjoys strong parental involvement and close teacher-parent relationships.

 

All children have a moment of silence at circle time, and the pre-kindergarten classroom does so in the FMW Meeting room twice a month.  The SfF curriculum includes the Quaker pillar of “service” by having children in all classes complete a community service project.

 

School for Friends Director Jim Clay is a strong national and regional advocate for early childhood education.

 

school for friends accreditation and affiliation      

 

SfF is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children, and has met the naeyc Academy’s criteria for high quality early childhood programs. In the spring of 2017, School for Friends was awarded accreditation through 2022.

 

SfF is a member of the Friends Council on Education [FCE], founded in 1931. The Council celebrates four centuries of Friends education and promotes its theory and practice. FCE’s 78 member schools, in 22 states, include 14 early childhood schools.

 

“The Council has 81 member schools in 21 states with 20,600 students, 4,560 faculty and staff and 1,190 trustees/board members. It includes 14 nursery schools, 37 elementary schools, 19 preschools, 10 secondary schools [7-12 and 9-12] and eight boarding schools. Five new schools have applied for membership. ” [http://www.friendscouncil.org/]  

 

School for Friends is also a founding member of Washington, DC-area Friends Schools located in Washington, DC, Maryland, and Virginia.

 

UPCOMING EVENTS

June 30 – July 2 – Dayspring Silent Retreat for Baltimore Yearly Meeting Friends
Dayspring Retreat Center (Germantown, MD), Take this opportunity to hear the Still Small Voice while walking in the meadow or warming at the hearth. Annapolis Friends will be joined by other Baltimore Yearly Meeting Friends, space allowing. In the past there has been ample room! The warmth of spiritual community in the heart of winter, amid nature’s beauty--what a blessing! Love and Light to you as you consider joining in this adventure. The purpose of silent retreat is the deepening of communion with God, with other persons and with oneself. ... (W)e make space for...a time of waiting in silence, in solitude, to hear the voice of the One “Who speaks in everything that is, and who, most of all, speaks in the depths of our own being.” (Thomas Merton). Cost is $220. Registration deadline is June 23 or when full. For more information or to register, contact Jean Christianson. (jschristianson@gmail.com or 410-544-1912)

July 1:  Help make breakfast for our vulnerable neighbors. Convene at 6:15 am at So Others Might Eat. For more information, contact Tim Schleicher at timothy.c.schleicher@gmail.com

 

July 2-8: FGC Gathering, Niagara, NY  As water collects from the vast North American Great Lakes watershed to flow down the mighty Niagara River, we invite you to join the energy of a thousand Quakers converging from far and wide at Niagara University for a week of worship, socializing, learning, deepening, fun and more.  Our proximity to Niagara Falls (4 miles | 6 km ) offers numerous sightseeing options as well as the opportunity to reflect on whether your spiritual journey has you in the rapids above the falls, in the midst of great change, downriver from a significant transition or somewhere else on the river.  Our theme, Ripples Start Where Spirit Moves, invites you contemplate where spirit is moving in your life and those around you and what ripples you notice as a result. For more information: http://www.fgcquaker.org/connect/gathering

July 5: Help make sandwiches for the Grate Patrol to take to our vulnerable neighbors, starting at 5:30 pm. For more information, contact Steve Brooks at sbrooks@uab.edu

July 9:  South American Folk Harp Concert, McLean, VA, 3:00 pm. Featuring Hildo Aguirre Daza, internationally acclaimed performer of evocative and lyrical arpa llanera (harp of the plains), and director of a traditional music and dance school in Bogotá, Colombia. Langley Hill Friends Meeting House, 6410 Georgetown Pike, McLean, VA 22101 (five minutes from the Beltway or George Washington Parkway). Donations benefit Friends Wilderness Center, a Quaker retreat center near Harpers Ferry, WV. (www.friendswilderness.org)  Info: Sheila Bach, 304-728-4820 or snbach@earthlink.net

July 31 - August 6 – Annual Session 2017, Hood College (Frederick, MD)  Some of us come to feel at home with Friends through worship first, some through social activism, and some through community. As we continue on our path with Friends, we inevitably encounter the other two and perhaps integrate all three into our Quaker experience. What has your experience been? Have you discovered how all three of these interact with each other as essential elements of the Quaker way? Join us at Annual Session this year to share in our exploration of this question. This year, the theme of our Annual Session is Growing Towards Justice – Acting on Faith. Through a truly exciting variety of plenaries, workshops, interest groups, Junior Yearly Meeting, through fellowship at meals, worship sharing, and other times, and also through our business sessions, we will have an opportunity to live out all three of these core elements of our faith. Registration is now open. Go to http://www.bym-rsf.org/events/annualsession/ for all of the information and online registration.

Aug. 2Refugee Crisis in Europe and the Quaker Response  Michael Luick-Thrams, a German Friend, w

August 18 - 20 - Quaker Religious Education Collaborative Gathering, Quaker Hill (Richmond, IN)  Join the Quaker Religious Education Collaborative for their 4th Annual Gathering. There will be a panel discussion on What is the Role of the Bible in Quaker Religious Education?, workshops, interest groups, and 2 nights of singing and music with Annie Patterson. For more information, including registration, go to www.quakers4re.org. The Quaker Religious Education Collaborative is a grassroots network of Friends holding a sense of stewardship for life-long Quaker Faith formation.

Aug. 20:  Matt Handley, Director of Litigation, Washington Lawyers Committee on Civil Rights and Urban Affairs (WLC), has agreed to come to FMW on Aug. 20 to speak about the legal issues surrounding hosting an undocumented immigrant on our campus.  This will be a presentation rather than a discussion. If you have particular questions you want to see answered, please let Jim Bell know so he can be sure they are included.

Aug. 25-27:  Gathering of Friends of African Descent, Chestnut Hill Meeting House (Philadelphia, PA) The theme this year is “The Spirit of the Lord is Upon Us” and is taken from…Isaiah 61.1 and Luke 4:18. Come testify to the movement of the Spirit in our midst and the work of the Spirit in our communities. A number of us are offering home hospitality for those who want to visit in homes. Registration will open soon, and you can find an overview of the program and other details on the website.

Sept. 8 – 10:  Spiritual Formation Program Fall Retreat, Priestfield Pastoral Center (Kearneysville, WV) Save the date! The BYM Spiritual Formation Program's Fall Retreat will happen on September 8-10 at the Priestfield Pastoral Retreat Center. Open to all regardless of prior or planned participation in an existing Spiritual Formation program, the retreat is a time to explore and deepen our practice of living and worshipping in spiritual community. Registration for the retreat will open in mid-July. For full information, go to https://bym-rsf1-org.presencehost.net/events/spiritform/

Sept. 16:  Retreat for Clerks of BYM Committees and Working Groups,  Langley Hill Friends Meeting (McLean, VA)  The clerks of BYM Committees and Working Groups– past, present, and future – are invited to gather for a day of worship and preparation for the new committee year. We will have time to worship, share information about the role and tasks of a clerk, and especially to share our knowledge and wisdom with each other. Please bring questions you’d like to explore, and insights about committee life and clerking to share. We will look at some of the nuts and bolts of clerking a BYM committee, including such different things as recognizing and nurturing gifts of committee members, as well as using internet and computer technology to connect with one another, and working with BYM staff. We will discuss and discern how to nurture our committees to keep them spiritually centered and vital as we serve our Yearly Meeting and local Meetings. The retreat will begin with hospitality at 9:45am and run until 4pm.

 

THINKING ABOUT RACE

Black and Proud. Even if Strangers Can’t Tell, by Rebecca Carroll, New York Times, April 3, 2017

“Being black in America has historically been determined by whether or not you look black to nonblack people. This keeps racism operational. Brown and black skin in this country can invite a broad and freewheeling range of bad behavior — from job discrimination to a child being shot dead in the street. For my son, though, being black in America is about more than his skin color. It’s about power, confidence, culture and belonging.

“When my son first started to black identify at about 5 or 6 years old, an acquaintance of ours asked my husband, in my presence, if he felt like we were ‘depriving’ our son of his ‘white side.’ My husband, a sociology professor and the author of two books on the failure of housing and school desegregation in the United States, said: ‘If my parents had instilled any Italian culture in me, I might want to share that with my son. But if you’re talking about general whiteness, there’s nothing there to pass down.’

“This acquaintance, it seemed, was suggesting that by encouraging our son to embrace his blackness, we were depriving him of something bigger and greater than the already big and great benefit of white privilege. That my son sees more power in centering his blackness over exploiting whatever white privilege he may ultimately be afforded is a thing of glory.”

This column is prepared by the BYM Working Group on Racism (WGR) and sent to the designated liaison at each Monthly and Preparative Meeting.  The BYM WGR meets most months on the third Saturday from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm.  Locations vary to allow access to more Friends.  If you would like to attend, on a regular or a drop-in basis, contact clerk David Etheridge, david.etheridge@verizon.net.

 

RANDOM HAPPENINGS

 

Something old and something new seems to be happening at Friends Meeting of Washington. The something old is that we’re moving forward, as always, with the not-easy struggle of living our values, as far as we are able to discern them. The new is how that happens to be manifesting itself right now, which seems to be centering around the needs of immigrants and asylum seekers.

Our newly formed Sanctuary Taskforce has been meeting for a few short months, learning about the issues and working with a Metro-wide, congregation-centered group responding to the needs of such folks. That taskforce is carefully considering whether it would be appropriate (and possible) for our Meeting to host someone needing sanctuary. To that end, we have arranged for an immigration lawyer to speak with us on August __ about the legal implications of such a hosting, to better inform us as we work to discern if we are so led to follow this path. (We have Jim Bell to thank for finding this speaker.)

But, as so often happens when you open the door, real cases are coming in for our attention. A long-standing attender from Australia, worried about how the current Administration is treating immigrants, decided to apply for her citizenship. One sticking point for her is the militarism—new citizens are required to agree to serve in the military, if drafted. As a committed pacifist, she felt she simply could not go along with that requirement. She asked for support from us, and our Clerk wrote a splendid letter detailing our faith and practice, which she brought to her interview with the authorities. Good news—her request was granted, and she will be given a waiver to that requirement.

Then, an LGBT activist from Zimbabwe traveled to Dulles Airport with a valid travel visa. His visa was refused by the immigration authorities, and he made a decision right then to ask for asylum. They took note of his request, and immediately put him into a detention center—in San Antonio.

Steve Brooks had been in touch with this man, and worked diligently to secure him the services of a lawyer. He asked the Meeting for a letter of support, which was enthusiastically given by the Clerk (working with the Sanctuary Taskforce). The good news is that all this effort paid off, and Moreblessing has been released from the Texan detention center, put on a bus, and brought to DC. Here’s a picture of him being picked up at 3 am by fellow asylum seekers here. He’s the one on the right with the folder, which contains all of his possessions.

 

 

We continue as a people to seek that balance between inward spiritual grounding and outward activism, mindful that each needs the other to keep us from falling into either a form of spiritual hedonism or an activism based on the fear and anger that so besets our current society. Hopefully, along the way, we can find a way to bring peace.

 

  • Debby