Order of Worship, Meeting for Business, 1.14.2018

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version

Friends Meeting of Washington

Order of Worship

Monthly Meeting for Worship with a Concern for Business

January 14, 2018


Query for Worship Sharing: Do I take the time to reflect on my spiritual journey, both where I’ve been and where I’m going?


Welcome of Visitors


Clerk’s Report

Long-time member Joe Johnson died earlier this month. The family expects to hold the memorial service in the Spring.


The fall/winter appeal letter brought in 43 responses with contributions totaling an additional $19,510 for the general fund.


Friends are asked to be mindful when they push chairs against the walls in the Decatur Place Room. The room seems to be developing a bathtub ring of wall bruises from such encounters.


Our Black Lives Matter banner was deliberately cut—all 8 plastic ties. It has since been replaced.


Quakers are largely featured in Washington theater this month. Ford’s Theatre is running Jefferson’s Garden, about an encounter between a runaway enslaved woman from Monticello and a Quaker who has left his Meeting to serve in the American Revolution. And the Arena Stage is doing a show called  Hold These Truths, which tells the true story of Gordon Hirabayashi, the American son of Japanese immigrants and a lifelong member of the Religious Society of Friends, who defied an unjust court order to uphold the values on which America was founded.


And speaking of creative events, Friends are encouraged to attend an upcoming concert in the Meeting Room on Jan. 18 by the Vermont singing group Windborne singing songs on themes of Peace and Social Justice. Friends are also encouraged to attend an event marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day on Jan. 27 in the Meeting House.


Next Sunday is the Barbara Nnoka lunch to support the Mary Jane Simpson Scholarship Committee. Come with an empty stomach and a full wallet, and leave with the opposite.


Several events coming up in February are worth noting:

  • Feb. 4:  A visit to Lugulu Friends Mission Hospital Please join Kevin Quinn, husband of beloved member Candida Quinn, to hear about his work in this hospital in western Kenya.


  • Feb. 4: The Friends Meeting of Washington Pastoral Care Working Group will begin discussing one chapter a month from the book, Out of the Silence: Quaker Perspectives on Pastoral Care and Counseling, edited by J. Bill Ratliff.  All are welcome.  We will begin by discussing chapter 1 at FMW on Sunday, February 4 at 9:15 a.m.  The book may be purchased from Pendle Hill or Amazon.  


  • Feb. 16-18: Annual Washington Friends Conference on Religion and Psychology, Wellspring Conference Center, Germantown, MD. Topic: Hauntings: Dispelling the Ghosts Who Run Our Lives   Speaker: James Hollis Ph.D., Jungian analyst and author. Various Interest Groups ranging from Tai Chi to Poetry to Dreams. For details and to register go to http://fcrp.quaker.org


  • Feb. 23-25: "Playing in the Light: Godly Play / Faith & Play training for Quakers at Sandy Spring Meeting.  Enjoy a weekend of training and contemplation with Friends who share a concern for religious education of the children in our Meetings. Cost will be assisted by FMW to the extent that our budget allows. Registration:  https://goo.gl/forms/pLpW9oKm3v9GR9GS2"  For further information, contact Shannon Hughes or Michael Beer.


Major Business


Membership Committee

  • Associate Membership for the children of Monique Russell—Luka Romero Russell and Mason Jade Engel
  • Associate Membership for the child of Jesse Finkel—Jacob Benjamin Finkel


Nominating Committee-Todd Harvey
     Edwin Husted (M), Financial Coordinator, 1 year term
     Karin Slenczka (A), Records & Handbook, 3 year term
     Megan Telfair (A), Nominating, 3 year term


Harassment Policy Revision Task Force Report-Greg Robb



Other Business


AFSC Annual Report-Jean Capps and Rachel Bergsieker


Trustees Report – Dan Dozier


Records and Handbook Annual Report – Beth Cogswell


Recorder Report-Debby Churchman








Friends Meeting of Washington 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 expeditiously support the targets of harassment; to shed a light on and prevent or stop harassing behavior; 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 and expression, 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 or 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 quickly and carefully to discern all aspects of the situation and move to address the needs of the involved individuals.


At the end of each calendar year, the Committee of Clerks will name three clerks  or members of the meeting who are independent from any of the incidents to review all reports of harassment.


Report on the Status of the Construction Project as of 1/6/2018


We met with Monarc on Thursday, January 4, 2018 and established a target start date of March 1st.

We've still got a lot to do between now and then, but it seems doable. Plans and permits are mostly ready.

Based on a rough preliminary schedule from Monarc, construction will involve:

March — Sea of mud. Mobilization, demolition, excavation (everything in back garden).

April — Site utilities (drainage lines) storage room walls, pilings and retaining wall foundations.

May — Pour concrete (retaining walls, foundations).

June — Finish rear garden, start front garden stormwater pond, more foundation work, elevator pit.

July — Pour slab, elevator shaft, start digging into existing buildings, building framework.

August — Rough in plumbing, electrical, roofing.

September — Rood framing, install elevator.

October — Windows and doors, drywall.

November — Millwork, painting and finishes.

December — Plumbing/electrical/HVAC trim and startup. Flooring.  Cleanup.

January — Punchlist and completion.


Forrester having withdrawn from the bidding, we are moving forward with negotiations based on the bid proposal we received from Monarc on Friday, 1/5/2018.

The good news is that the latest contract price is survivable and lower than the estimate we had in July.

In July, Monarc gave us an estimate of $3,662K. Adding the rough $139K estimate for the Assembly Room gives us a contract cost of $3.8 million (much higher than previously anticipated).

We properly panicked and raised our borrowing limit to $3.5 million.

Now, the estimate is $3,317K. Adding the new Assembly Room estimate of $228 gives us a contract cost of $3.54 million which is comfortably lower than the July estimate.

The reduction is partly due to some additional work by Monarc on subcontractor bids, but mostly due to the decision to switch the Stormwater Management Plan from rainwater storage in the West Garden to a bioretention planter in the East Garden. For once, a cost reduction change did reduce the cost. The new bid gave us a higher cost for the Assembly Room renovation and a few other items than our earlier estimates, but we came out ahead.

We hope to realize further savings by redesigning the retaining wall foundation, but the present rough budget looks like this:

Depending on what we actually spend on contingencies, borrowing may be lower or higher.

Planning and Contract

We continue to work on some aspects of the plans, particularly the retaining wall foundation and the Assembly Room renovation. With the help of our consulting project manager, Dick Witters, we will be looking for additional economies and working to clean up the plans and eliminate as much uncertainty from the contract as possible.

We engaged 1200AE, structural engineers to refine the retaining wall design in the expectation that this will result in lower bids for that part of the job. They in turn, requested drilling of test holes to insure the suitability of the soil for "cantilevered permanent soldiers" (which doesn't sound very Quakerly). Then, everything froze. We are hoping that next week's warmer weather will allow this to proceed. We have also been busy trying to fit all the HVAC ductwork into the ceiling design proposed by Deborah Buelow, our Assembly Room concept design architect. We think we have a way forward on that issue.

The decision to engage Dick seems to have been a good one. The cost of his assistance and counsel for the last three months has been $10,275.

Monarc will propose, among other things, a draft contract, a schedule of values, a more timeline, and a project team.

We are somewhat concerned about the number of caveats that accompany the Monarc proposal. The concern is not about Monarc, but about the completeness of the construction plans. We (particularly Dick) will work with the architects to reduce that list as much as possible.

We are inconvenienced at the moment by the fact that Richard Wieboldt, the lead project architect, went down for a month with an unscheduled Christmas hip replacement, and his main assistant lives in Pennsylvania and telecommutes.

We are pleased finally to be able to notify the Costa Rican Ambassador that we will soon be installing the proposed drain that he agreed to pay for. The cost of the drain in the Monarc proposal is within the allowance we agreed to with the embassy.

Trustees Annual Report to the Meeting for Fiscal Year 2016

January 2018


Trustees hereby transmit to Meeting for Business Financial Statements for FY15 and FY16, including specifically the FY2016 Audit Report. These Reports were prepared by Hertzbach, the Meeting’s Independent Accountant. Hertzbach audited the accompanying financial statements of Friends Meeting of Washington statement of financial position as of June 30, 2016, and the related statements of activities, changes in net assets, and cash flows and the related notes to the financial statements.


In the professional opinion of Hertzbach, as stated in the audit, the Meeting’s “financial statement for FY16 presents fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of Friends Meeting of Washington as of June 30, 2016, and the results of its activities and its cash flows for the year then ended in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America.”


Trustees will be submitting an Annual Report to the Meeting regarding the FY17 financial position next month; this Report will provide much more information about the Meeting’s reasonably healthy financial status.




Recorder’s Report 2017


By year to year count these are the figures for the Meeting’s membership as of December 31, 2017.


The figures: According to our database, there are 282 members and 56 associate members, for a total of 338 members. There are 191 members listed as residents, and 91 listed as nonresidents.


Changes in 2017:

On the plus side, we gained 7 new adult members and 5 associate members. Total gains equals 12.


On the minus side, 3 members died, and 13 Associate Members were removed by the Membership Committee after the “over 25 years old” rule was applied and none came forth to ask for full membership.


Our database continues to tell us that we have 8 Sojourners, a number which hasn’t changed for many years.