Order of Worship, Meeting for Business, 10.8.2017

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Friends Meeting of Washington

Order of Worship

Monthly Meeting for Worship with a Concern for Business

Oct. 8, 2017


Query for Worship Sharing: How can I be an instrument for justice in a divided community?


Welcome of Visitors


Clerk’s Report


  • Members of the Sanctuary Taskforce are feeling a strong leading to provide housing to undocumented individuals at risk of deportation. They are holding a threshing session next Sunday to discuss this. All are welcome.


  • Many thanks to Friends Committee on National Legislation for providing training and support to us regarding the struggle for immigrant rights. Four people from FMW used this training to lobby seven Senators, asking them to support a clean version of the Dream Act.


  • Last week, the kids from First Day School made cookies for us to donate to the Grate Patrol, with the help of Steve Brooks and CJ Lewis from the Hunger & Homelessness Taskforce.


  • On Saturday, Oct. 21 from 1 to 4, we will hold the second workshop on Living with Grief and Loss, facilitated by Mary Ann Cook. A $20 donation is suggested. All are welcome. RSVP to the office.


  • On Saturday, Oct. 28 from 9 am to 1 pm, we will receive a training given by the Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal church on listening to immigrants and aslyees. FMW is partnering with this historic church, along with AFSC-DC, to reach out to local communities from Africa to offer listening and responsive support. All are welcome.


  • On November 2 – 5, there will be a Retreat for Friends of Color, Stony Point Center (Stony Point, NY.)  FGC’s Ministry on Racism Program is sponsoring a Fall Gathering for Friends of Color and their immediate family members. This fall, FGC’s Ministry on Racism Program is sponsoring an opportunity for Friends of Color and their families to come together to build multigenerational community. Friends of European descent are welcome provided they are attending with a family member (e.g. spouse, child) who is a Person of Color. For more information or to register, go to www.fgcquaker.org/2017-retreat-friends-color.


  • The Shoebox Project will be held on the second weekend in December—Dec. 8 & 9. Meeting for Business will be moved to the 3rd First Day.



Major Business


Proposal for Ad Hoc Workgroup, Personnel Committee – Marsha Holliday, Jim Steen


Discussion of proposed changes to the storm water management plan – Merry Pearlstein


Hunger & Homelessness Taskforce Annual Report


Naming of Search Committee: Arne Paulsen and Michael Beer - Clerk





Ad Hoc Workgroup to Review FMW Staffing Structure and Related Personnel Policies and Procedures

(Short Title: Staffing Workgroup)



For decades prior to 2012 FMW had a staffing structure comprised of a full-time Administrative Secretary, a full-time or half-time Assistant Administrative Secretary, a part-time Bookkeeper, and a variety of very part-time employees, such as the child care workers or the Friendly Office Presences for weddings or other events. Under that structure the Administrative secretary was responsible for nearly everything not done directly by committees themselves, including all aspects of property management, and all employees[1] reported to the Administrative Secretary.

Beginning in 2012 with the hiring of Debby Churchman as the Administrative Secretary and Event Manager, and Ken Orvis as the Property Manager, and a bit later, Windy Cooler as Religious Education Coordinator, the staff structure changed in number of very significant ways. This includes at least the following changes: (1) creation of a dedicated Property Manager position .5 FTE or greater, thereby removing most of the property issues from the Administrative Secretary; (2) creation of a formal Event Manager function, combined presently in the same position as the Administrative Secretary[2]; (3) creation of a part-time, paid Religious Education Coordinator; (4) designated the Property Committee and the Religious Education Committee as the supervisors, respectively, of (a) the Property Manager, and (b) the Religious Education Coordinator and the child care workers[3]; and (5) as the result of designating committees as supervisors, conceptually redefined the Administrative Secretary position such that that individual is no longer the chief administrator of the Meeting, although retaining responsibility for supervising various part-time office staff workers.

Reasons for Proposing Staffing Workgroup

  • Although the performance of individuals holding the various positions have been evaluated a variety of ways, the staffing structure, itself, has not been reviewed since its inception five years ago.
  • The recently approved plan to finance the renovations calls for substantially increased event rental income, particularly with regard to an increase in wedding bookings. All concerned recognize that this will require additional event management and promotion of our facilities as venues for weddings or other large events. This raises the question as to whether, post-construction, FMW will need more staff resources dedicated to event management.
  • Our current personnel policies as documented in FMW’s Statement of Employment Policies and Procedures have not kept pace in numerous ways with the changes in the staffing patterns described above. Any changes in the current staffing pattern post-construction might require additional revisions.  In any case, FMW, i.e. paid and unpaid staff and all Meeting members and attenders need to have a clear written understanding of the current staffing pattern.


The Personnel Committee proposes that the Meeting form an Ad Hoc Workgroup to Review FMW Staffing Structure and Related Personnel Policies and Procedures (Short Title: Staffing Workgroup) to review, and make any resulting recommendations to,: (1) the current staffing structure, and (2) current personnel policies and procedures, and present any such recommendations for changes, where required, to Meeting for Business no later than its April 2018 meeting. Major staffing changes, if any, would be recommended beginning with the FY19 year (July 1, 2018).

Workgroup Structure. The Staffing Workgroup would be composed of one representative from each of the following committees: Finance and Stewardship, Personnel, Property, Religious Education, and Trustees. The Workgroup would be clerked by the representative from Personnel, given that committee’s current function of overseeing personnel policies and procedures.



Hunger & Homelessness Taskforce Annual Report

October 2017


The HHTF has four ongoing monthly service projects as well as the annual Shoebox Project.  The four monthly projects are:


               Preparing breakfast at So Others Might Eat on the first Saturday of each month


               Preparing and delivering an evening meal consisting of a bag lunch and soup through the Salvation Army's Grate Patrol on the first Wednesday evening of each month


               Preparing and serving lunch at Church of the Pilgrims on the first Sunday of each month


               Preparing and serving dinner at Christ House on the fourth Sunday of each month


All these activities are well supported by volunteers and provide an opportunity to socialize and meet new people while helping vulnerable people in DC.  The First Day School has begun preparing homemade cookies for Grate Patrol.  We look forward to this ongoing collaboration


The Shoebox Project continues, thanks to the generosity of the employees of the World Bank.  The Community Connections Program at the World Bank is our primary source of funding although due to a switch to electronic solicitation, the amount of funding is significantly less than peak.  However, we're on track to produce the same number of boxes as last year.  Shoebox Project weekend is scheduled for December 9 & 10, 2017.  If renovation has started, we're prepared to make creative on-the-fly adjustments.


The HHTF would like to thank the volunteers, First Day School participants, well wishers and the meeting as a whole for their support.


[1] In principle, but often not in practice, even the Bookkeeper was jointly supervised by the Administrative Secretary and the Finance and Stewardship Committee.

[2] There is some uncertainty, and unclear documentation, as to whether the Meeting intended to create a combined position titled “Administrative Secretary and Event Manager” or intended to create two positions, but gave them combined to the same individual.

[3] In 2017 FMW’s Employment Policies manual was revised to indicate that the Bookkeeper is supervised solely by the Finance and Stewardship Committee, but this revision was mostly simply documenting the practice that had been in place across several previous Administrative Secretaries.