Newsletter, 2.2018

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Harassment Policy



Trustees Report

Records & Handbook

Recorder's Report

Upcoming Events

Thinking About Race



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

The Meeting for Worship with a Concern for Business opened at 12:24 with 22 Friends present.  There was one visitor, Rachel Bergsieker, who is a representative from American Friends Service Committee (AFSC).


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 down—all 8 plastic ties. It has since been replaced.

Upcoming January events:

  • 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.
  • Next Sunday 1/21 is the Barbara Nnoka lunch to support the Mary Jane Simpson Scholarship Committee, which provides mentorship and pays school fees for DC teens entering college. Come with an empty stomach and a full wallet, and leave with the opposite.


Upcoming February Events:


  • 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
  • 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: For further information, contact Shannon Hughes or Michael Beer.


Major Business


Membership Committee- Gene Throwe

The Meeting approved associate membership for the children of new members, below:

  • Associate Membership for the child of Monique Russell—Luka Romero Russell
  • Associate Membership for the child of Jesse Finkel—Jacob Benjamin Finkel

Nominating Committee- Todd Harvey

The Meeting approved the following:

  • Edwin Husted (M), Financial Coordinator, 1 year term
  • Karin Slenczka (A), Records & Handbook, 3 year term
  • Megan Telfair (A), Nominating, 3 year term
  • Meg Greene (M), co-clerk of Capital Campaign Committee, 1 year term
  • Susan Griffin (M), co-clerk of Capital Campaign Committee, 1 year term


The Meeting accepted the following, with regrets:

  • Meg Greene from Finance and Stewardship and Personnel Committees


Harassment Policy Revision Task Force Report- Greg Robb

The Meeting approved the the policy and welcomes the forthcoming framework for implementation to encourage community support. The framework will address the “how” of the policy, such as to whom to report, and other concrete steps for moving forward.  Additionally, there will be opportunities for educating our community on these topics in order to prevent and respond to harassment. Currently the policy states that reports should be made to the Clerks  of the Meeting, Ministry and Worship, and Healing and Reconciliation.


A friend rises in support, with the concern that the term harassment is broad, and can contain a whole range of actions. There was discussion about issues of single incidents versus repeated of unwanted attention. A friend notes that our policy on harassment should be understood within the concept of eldering-- which provides a space for mutual community accountability, and learning.


Other Business


American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) Annual Report- Friends accepted the report from ASFC-DC, in which Jean Capps provided a summary of the meeting’s involvement with the DC Chapter.  Jean noted that our FMW representatives to the local AFSC-DC chapter are rotating off and new folks will be needed to join.  Additionally, Rachel Bergsieker of AFSC-DC,  provided an in-person update on AFSC-DC.  She is the human rights learning associate who officially joined December 2017 after spending a few years consulting for AFSC.


AFSC-DC Update:

  • AFSC was recently put on a blacklist by the Israeli Government due to partial support of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) in Israel. AFSC has a long legacy of this kind of work in other countries. For more information, see the official statement on the website, here:  Friends considered ways FMW and Baltimore Yearly Meeting (BYM) could potentially support AFSC with actions to advocate to the Israeli government on the blacklisting, and we referred the question to the Peace and Social Concerns Committee, clerked by Elaine Wilson.  We will also engage the Young Adult Friends.
  • DC Human Rights City: DC was designated as a Human Rights City in 2008, and she has worked on AFSC-DC’s annual Human Rights City Report over the past few years.  The new report can be found here: and a hard copy is in the FMW library.
  • Partnership with DC Public Schools (DCPS) on Human Rights curriculum: AFSC-DC has been working in three schools, Wheatley, Brightwood, and Anacostia, on Human Rights curriculum. With the support of the DCPS chancellor and the social studies director, AFSC-DC expects the curriculum to be adopted as an official elective for 2018-2019 school year.  With this change, AFSC-DC expects to pass primary ownership of the course to DCPS, with them playing a supportive training role.  This means that AFSC-DC has an opportunity to start new programming and consider new priorities.
    • In February, AFSC is planning a “listening project” to get community feedback on new priorities for the DC community moving forward.
    • Please feel free to join their Program Committee meetings which meets on the third Wed of the Month for updates on the programs of AFSC (conf call, every 4th meeting in person- April, August, December 2018).
    • A friend rose to recognize the leadership of David Etheridge with AFSC--DC.


Trustees Report– Dan Dozier

The meeting accepted the annual Trustees report.  Dan provided a summary, noting that the FY2017 report will provide a summary of contributions to both the capital campaign and for general operations for the Meeting, which have been very healthy.  Many thanks to the Administrative Secretary and Property Committee for their work to manage our robust community rentals.


The meeting approved two special events, one internal to FMW to celebrate the beginning of this project, and an additional public outreach event, which will educate our community and neighbors about the upcoming disruptions and other happy chaos construction will cause.


Records and Handbook Annual Report– Beth Cogswell

The Meeting accepted the annual report.  Beth offered gratitude to Hayden Wetzel and Chris Wickham, FMW historians, for getting our records organized and submitted to Swarthmore. The task force to reorganize our committees has made great progress in understanding the handbook to inform changes that will be presented to the meeting in the near future. This will help with the ongoing concerns re: adequate staffing of our many committees and the structure of committee work.


Recorder Report- Debby Churchman

The Meeting accepted the annual report which reflects FMW’s official numbers on membership. The report does not reflect the number of visitors and attenders to FMW. (if someone has a logistical idea of how to do this practically, it is welcomed!)  In sum, about two thirds of our members are active in committees.  There was a discussion about status of visitors, attenders and regular attenders, and how to capture those whom are very active in our  meeting.  


Friends APPROVED the minutes as improved.


The Meeting closed at 1:42 PM with approximately 24 persons in attendance to reconvene as Way opens on the third Sunday of the Month, February 11th.




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.






The work of AFSC as well as the local AFSC-DC office and the Washington Office have been reported on in previous years.

AFSC celebrated its 100th Birthday 1917 last year. While it will technically not take place in 2017, I am hoping (as Way opens) that we can organize a memorial lecture at FMW with a lecture from the Librarian of the National Holocaust Museum. AFSC donated all of their records of their efforts to rescue Jews from Europe during WWII. I was one of a few FMW members that heard. Mr. Coleman’s (the Librarian) moving presentation on the experiences (along with some case studies) of the FMW office in Europe while they were trying to get as many Jews out of Europe as possible.

In June, FMW member Sally Cooper hosted an event at her apartment in Crystal City where the AFSC-DC office presented on their Human Rights work with DC public schools and with the DC government. At the event, some attendees said they would like to hear more about AFSC’s international work.

Longtime FMW member Geri Williams, now residing in Duluth, Minnesota reports that she has rotated off of the AFSC Nobel Prize nomination committee. AFSC submits names for consideration for the Nobel Prize each year because AFSC was a previous recipient of the prize.

AFSC DC primarily interacts with FMW through the Peace and Social Concerns committee and appointed representative volunteers that work directly with the office in many of their project. David Etheridge has served in that capacity for many years.

Jean-Louis Peta Ikambana has left his position with the AFSC-DC office. I would like to introduce Rachel Bergseiker and invite her to say a few words to MfB about AFSC’s current work in the DC office. Rachel can provide her contact information for those who would like previous details.


Jean Meyer Capps

January 13, 2018



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


  • Schedule: 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* — Roof 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.


  • Renovation Budget: 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). As such, we raised our borrowing limit accordingly 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.


  • Renovation 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.





JANUARY 14, 2018



Since July the committee has met or handled through e-mail the following items:

  • We completed the Racial Diversity and Justice Questionnaire as requested by the Race Task Force;
  • We reduced our budget request from $200 to $50 per annum;
  • Chris Wickham and Beth Cogswell participated in the Committee Task Force, organized by Nominating Committee clerk, Todd Harvey, to consider changing the committee structure.  Two very productive community meetings were held. The results of the meeting are to be shared with Meeting for Business by Nominating Committee;
  • Neil Froemming brought to our attention that the online description of Hospitality Committee ended mid sentence.  Debby Churchman, Administrative Clerk, was able to fix this immediately;
  • Chris Wickham and Hayden Wetzel, Meeting Historian, have been working on putting into new binders primary documents for Friends Meeting of Washington, including Meeting for Business minutes, newsletters, Trustees minutes and any others documents that must be kept for our own records.  A duplicate set of each is already at Swarthmore, thanks to Hayden;
  • Longtime member Barbara Monohan retired from the committee and new attender Karin Slenczka will be welcomed in January, pending her approval for committee membership.



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.


(this ends the Minutes & Reports from the January Meeting for Business)




Feb. 1: Sign Up for Quaker Camp! Enrollment for the Baltimore Yearly Meeting camping programs begin on January 15 for returning campers and on Feb. 1 at 10 a.m. for new campers. The camps are residential for children ages 9 to 17. To register, go to


Feb. 4:  A visit to Lugulu Friends Mission Hospital will be the discussion topic after the rise of the 10:30 meeting on Sunday, February 4.  Candida and Kevin Quinn spent two weeks at this 100-year-old, 100-bed hospital in western Kenya in 2016.  (Some Friends may remember Candida as an FMW member in the 1990s.)  Kevin will return this fall to do trainings for the staff, bringing with him a donation of two cardiac monitor/defibrillator/pacer machines. Please join us for informal discussion of how the hospital serves its community and how U.S. Friends can provide valuable help, through a donation to Friends United Meeting or as a "Living Letter" visitor.


Feb. 3: Help make sandwiches for the Grate Patrol to take to our vulnerable neighbors, starting at 5:00 pm. For more information, contact Steve Brooks at


Feb. 7:  Help make breakfast for our vulnerable neighbors. Convene at 6:15 am at So Others Might Eat. For more information, contact Tim Schleicher at


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. 10: How Sweet It Is! Concert. Well-known and loved Quaker musician and songleader Annie Patterson is coming to the area! She will be holding a singalong concert at Adelphi Friends Meeting (2303 Metzerott Rd) on Sat., Feb 10th at 7pm. Those present will have the chance to join her in singing songs of the heart from a wide variety of genres from folk to jazz standards, and from Beatles to Broadway. Annie is the co-creator (with her husband Peter Blood) of the songbooks Rise Up Singing and their 2015 sequel Rise Again. This is a great opportunity to celebrate what’s important to us during challenging times.

More information and advance tickets are available at: / events or contact Debby Churchman at Friends Meeting of Washington (202) 483-3310 (ext 1#) or Annie & Peter do their music work under the care of Mt Toby Monthly Meeting in NEYM.


February 9 to 11:  Dayspring Silent Retreat   The purpose of silent retreat is the deepening of communion with God, with other persons, and with oneself. The point is to “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). The retreat is at Dayspring in Germantown MD, and sharing the warmth of spiritual community in the heart of winter, amid nature’s beauty, is a great blessing! It is a wonderful opportunity for spiritual refreshment. For more info: Jean Christianson at


February 10 – Forum on Fostering Diversity at Quaker Camps, Baltimore Monthly Meeting, Stony Run (Baltimore, MD)  Friends from Baltimore area meetings will be gathering on February 10th for an in-depth discussion of how the BYM Camping Program is working to make racial and economic diversity a lasting reality at our Quaker camps. The main presenter is Dyresha Harris, a Quaker of color and current co-director of Catoctin Quaker Camp. Dyresha can speak from her own experience as a young camper. She will also give us a solid understanding of progress made and needs still to be met in accomplishing greater diversity through the STRIDE program. Others with camping program experience over the years are invited to join in sharing what has worked and what needs further work to ensure that our camps expand their mission with effective work towards growing diverse leadership and inclusivity. The evening will start with a 6pm potluck, followed by an open discussion of this arm of BYM that has for many decades been an incubator for young friends’ faith and vibrant commitment to Quakerism. Come with your questions. Please bring something to share at the potluck, if convenient. We will provide the basics. Childcare will be provided, if Martha Barss is notified in advance by Wednesday, February 7th. (


Feb. 11:  Workshop on Implicit Bias  An opportunity to learn how we are imbued with assumptions which skew our actions in ways we may no longer even be aware of. We can become more aware of them by taking time to pause and look at them anew. Please join us at 9 am in the Music Room, which is in the basement of the SAM building of Sidwell Friends Lower School. For details, contact Jane Meleney Coe (, 301.320-5083).


February 16 – 18 – Young Friends Conference, Sandy Spring Friends Meeting (Sandy Spring, MD) Young Friends should plan to begin arriving at 7:00 pm on Friday. For information, check the Young Friends website ( or contact Jocelyn Dowling. (301-774-7663) Remember that the deadline to register at the discounted rate and be guaranteed a slot is two weeks before the conference (February 2). Any one registering after that date may be placed on a waiting list.


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


Feb. 18: Open House for Neighbors, afternoon (time to be decided). In anticipation of our upcoming renovation, we invite neighbors to stop in, view the video and hear what we’re doing and how it’s likely to affect them. For more information, contact Merry Pearlstein at


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:"  For further information, contact Shannon Hughes or Michael Beer.



Thinking About Race (February 2018) – Service to the cause of racial equality


“It does no service to the cause of racial equality for white people to content themselves with judging themselves to be nonracist. Few people outside the Klan or skinhead movements own up to all-out racism these days.  White people must take the extra step – they must become anti-racist.” 

-- Clarence Page, 1996


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,