FMW Newsletter - October 2020

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Published monthly – Issue #90 – 10

Meetings for Worship schedule
10th Month Query: Peace Testimony
- Rev Grimke & his Quaker Sisters on Faith, Race & Rights, Oct 11
FMW Communitiy "Zinner", Thurs, Oct 15
Defending Fair Elections, October 17
Reading Early Quakers Together, October 18
- Fostering Community at FMW, October 25
- FCNL Public Policy Institute - focus on Anti-Racism, Nov 14-18 
Peace & Social Concerns Climate Webinar, Oct 25 
Action! - Help Reclaim Our Vote
Thinking About Race: Cash Bail

Minutes, Meeting for Business, September 2020

  FMW Anti-Racist Queries
  Query for Worship Sharing
Clerk’s Report, September 2020
  Upcoming Events
  FMW Community Highlights & Kudos
  In Memoriam
Young Adult Friends Handbook Addition
  Finance & Stewardship Committee Quarterly Report 
  Creation of Fundraising Taskforce 
  Membership Committee 
  Nominating Committee 
  Request to lay down Mary Walcott/Lucy Foster Scholarship Program 
  Peace & Social Concerns update: 
  Memorial Minutes for John Kent Scales and Alex Matthews
  FMW Event and Office Rental Report, July 2020 
  Creation of a One-Year FMW Fundraising Task Force 
  Friends Meeting of Washington Young Adult Friends Handbook Addition 
  Report of the Finance & Stewardship Committee


   - Sundays:  9:00 - 10:00 a.m. and 10:30 - 11:30 a.m.
   - Tuesdays:  6:00 - 7:00 p.m.
   - Fridays:  12:00 noon
   - Monthly Meeting for Business:  Sunday, October 11, 12:15 p.m. (2nd Sundays)

All meetings for worship are being held via Zoom due to the pandemic.
For more information go to or email

10th Query:  The Peace Testimony
Do you endeavor to live "in virtue of that life and power which takes away the occasion of all wars"? Do you work to make your peace testimony a reality in your life and in your world? Do you weigh your day-to-day activities for their effect on peace-keeping, conflict resolution and the elimination of violence? Are you working toward eliminating aggression at all levels, from the personal to the international?
(See: Peace and Non-violence)  Source:  BYM Faith & Practice, Part II The Queries


"Presbyterian Rev. Francis Grimké and his Quaker Half-Sisters Speak Out on Faith, Race and Civil Rights.”, Sunday, Oct. 11, 3 - 4:30 via Zoom.  Sarah and Angelina Grimke, from a southern, slave-owning family, became leading thinkers and Quaker voices in the movements to end slavery and for women's right to vote.  Go to or contact:  Blair Forlaw, email:

FMW Community Zinner, Thursday, October 15, 7:00 p.m. 
Join by Zoom here. By phone dial: (929) 436-2866. Enter Meeting ID 82579539796# on prompt.  For more information contact:

Upcoming Election & Defending Democracy: plans to resist an illegitimate power grab, Sat, Oct 17, 10 a.m.  For more information contact Debby Churchman,

Reading Early Quakers Together.  Oct. 18, 9:15 to 10:15 a.m.  You are welcome to join us in discussing epistles written by Anne Whitehead, Mary Elson and Katharine Whitton, pages 489-512 in Hidden in Plain Sight: Quaker Women’s Writings 1650-1700 (Pendle Hill). Join by Zoom HERE. By phone dial: (301) 715-8592.  On prompt enter meeting  ID: ,89473006099# contact:, cell: 240-778-5234.

Fostering Community at FMW.  Oct. 25, 9:15 to 10:15 a.m.  You are welcome to join us as we work on a visual image to describe the values, practices and manifestations of our mission.  Join by Zoom HERE. By phone dial: (301) 715-8592. Enter Meeting ID: 83583983737# on prompt.  Contact: Sabrina McCarthy,, cell 240-778-5234

FCNL Annual Meeting and Quaker Public Policy Institute to focus on Anti-Racism, Nov 14-17 (via Zoom) In concert with the upswell of protests and calls for justice across the country this year, antiracism will be a major focus of FCNL’s Annual Meeting and lobbying effort this November.  Quakers will gather (virtually) to conduct worshipful business and lobby for the Justice in Policing Act (H.R. 7120/S.3912).  Learn more and register here for FCNL’s Annual Meeting (Nov. 14-17) to act in faith and feel Spirit weave us together as Friends uniting for the world we seek.

Peace & Social Concerns Climate Webinar:  Speeding DC Transition Off Gas--Quakers & Faith Community have an important role to playSunday, Oct 25, 12:30 p.m.  
Via Zoom. Join by phone: (301) 715-8592. Enter meeting ID: 979505413#  on prompt.
Details to come.  For more information contact Barbara Briggs,

More Events Below in Meeting for Business Minutes


Help Get Out The Vote!

Last Call on Postcards / Can you make Phonecalls?

Through Reclaim Our Vote, we are calling and sending postcards to minority voters in eight states with long histories of voter suppression, to encourage voter registration and turnout--to fight systemic racism.  

* The Deadline for sending postcards has been extended to October 11.  We have sent out over 3,000, and have just gotten another 1,000 names--from the deep South--Cobb County, Georgia. 

* People are also needed to make phone calls, now and right up to election day.  Some Friends are dedicating an hour each day to making calls… Every single hour is needed! 

Reclaim Our Vote is a non-partisan, 501(c)(3) organization supported by NAACP.  

Learn more here.  Watch Suppressed: The Fight To Vote.  To join, contact, or register directly here. You can pick up all needed materials at FMW.

Cash Bail
Thinking About Race (October 2020) 

From “Criminal Conditions,” by Jan A. Fernandez, ACLU Magazine, Summer 2020, pp. 24-29. 

“The United States has many distinguishing traits, but its most damaging distinction is that it imprisons the most people on Earth:  2.3 million, or nearly 35 percent of the world’s incarcerated population. Environmental, judicial, and institutional factors feed this unconscionable bloat, filling jails and prisons with people who can’t afford fines or bail while disproportionately punishing Black and Brown communities. ….

“Driving this national tragedy is an exploitative cash bail system that funnels hundreds of thousands of people into local jails.  More than 70 percent of those incarcerated—about half a million people—are pretrial detainees who have not been convicted of any crime, and many are only there because they could not afford bail.  It’s a profitable, prejudiced machine that targets poor people and people of color, who are jailed at higher rates and charged higher bail amounts.

“… Black and Latino men are on average assigned substantively higher amounts than white men for similar crimes—and those who cannot afford either land in jail.  Trapped there, they are subject to a system that perpetuates negative outcomes:  Defendants are four times more likely to be sentenced to prison if they spend their pretrial time in jail; they are more likely to take guilty plea deals for lesser charges to obtain release, even if they are innocent; they suffer the psychological trauma of being cut off from family and friends for weeks, months, or even years; they are exposed to violence, abuse, and poor health conditions; and they risk losing homes, jobs, and custody of their children.” [emphasis added]

“To support your state’s efforts toward rapid decarceration and an end to cash bail practices… visit”

This column is prepared by the BYM Working Group on Racism (WGR) and sent to the designated liaison at each local Meeting.  The BYM WGR meets most months on the first Saturday from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm, currently via Zoom.  If you would like to attend, contact clerk David Etheridge,

Meeting for Business Minutes & Attachments 

Friends Meeting of Washington
Meeting Minutes - 
September 13, 2020
Monthly Meeting for Worship with a Concern for Business

FMW Anti-Racist Queries

1. How will we provide opportunities for those most likely to be directly affected by the choices we are contemplating to influence the decision making process?   

2. How could the choices we are contemplating affect those who have been harmed by systemic, institutional, interpersonal and/or internal racism?

3. To what degree have privilege, class, stereotypes, assumptions, and our ability to include other perspectives affected this decision making process?

4. How will the choices we are contemplating promote equity, diversity, and inclusiveness? Will they enable us to be more friendly and whole, engaging across racial divisions?

5. How do the choices we are contemplating support the declaration of our Yearly Meeting that we aspire to be an anti-racist faith community?

Query for Worship Sharing: 

What role is faith playing for you, going into this new life?
A Friend shared that the new normal is not normal, it is just new. 

Clerk’s Report, September 2020

Upcoming Events

  • FMW Zinner, by Zoom, September 14, 7:00 to 8:00 pm.
  • “Grace-filled to the End” Workshop by BYM’s End of Life Working Group, September 19, 10:00 a.m.  The first in a series of online workshops sponsored by Baltimore Yearly Meeting’s End of Life Working Group,  “Grace-filled to the End” will be held on Saturday, September 19, 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.  Subsequent programs on issues of living and dying well as Friends will be held approximately every 2 months.  Topics will include advanced planning, advanced medical directives and what happens if there is no planning; the special challenges of dementia care; burial practices, funerals and memorial services; support committees in our Meetings; the role of caregivers; grief work; spiritual journeys in illness and decline; and special considerations in the time of the pandemic.  If you are interested in the Working Group and/or wish to participate in these programs, please email the End of Life Working Group at:  (The End of Life Working Group is under the care of BYM’s Peace and Social Concerns Committee )
  • FMW Social Justice Fund Deadline is September 19!  FMW’s Social Justice Fund provides small grants for social justice projects in which our members and attenders are involved.  Learn more and apply here, or contact  Elaine Wilson, or Barbara Briggs,
  • BYM Spiritual Formation Retreat,  September 18-19 via Zoom  Join with Friends across Baltimore Yearly Meeting for a weekend retreat that offers time for reflection and renewal, quiet and spiritual friendship, chanting and celebration. We'll gather via Zoom for times of whole group listening, small group sharing, and encountering wisdom in and with one another.  Click here for more information and to register.
  • Reading Early Quakers Together.  September 20, 9:15 to 10:15 a.m.  Please join us discussing epistles written by Anne Whitehead, Mary Elson and Katharine Whitton, pages 489-512 in Hidden in Plain Sight: Quaker Women’s Writings 1650-1700 (Pendle Hill). Contact:, cell 240.778.5234
  • Friendly Bible Study, 12:00 p.m., September 20 & every 2 weeks. Join by Zoom.  By phone:  (646) 876-9923.  On prompt enter meeting ID: 2025778431#  Password: 254224
  • For more information, contact David Etheridge,
  • George Lakey, Choose Democracy/Defend the Elections trainings, September 23 and 30, 7:30 ET  Long-time Friend and activist George Lakey of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting and Training for Change is helping to lead “Choose Democracy”--organizing and training to defend democratic elections, including preparation for nonviolent resistance if that is necessary in November.  Click Here to learn more, sign the Choose Democracy Pledge and register for the trainings.
  • Fostering Community at FMW.  September 27, 9:15 to 10:15 a.m.  Please join us as we refine our mission and vision statements and begin work on a visual image to describe the values, practices and manifestations of our mission.  Contact: Sabrina McCarthy,, cell 240.778.5234
  • Spiritual Friendships.  September 27, 12:00 to 1:00 p.m.  Please join us for check-in on how we are all doing.  Contact: Sabrina McCarthy,, cell 240.778.5234
  • FCNL Annual Meeting and Quaker Public Policy Institute to focus on Anti-Racism, Nov 14-17 (via Zoom)  In concert with the upswell of protests and calls for justice across the country this year, antiracism will be a major focus of FCNL’s Annual Meeting and lobbying effort this November.  Quakers will gather (virtually) to conduct worshipful business and lobby for the Justice in Policing Act (H.R. 7120/S.3912).  Learn more and register here for FCNL’s Annual Meeting (Nov. 14-17) to act in faith and feel Spirit weave us together as Friends uniting for the world we seek.

FMW Community Highlights & Kudos

  • Report on our new combo On-site and On-Zoom meetings on Sundays
    The Clerks thanked Gene Throwe for connecting the Zoom Meeting for Worship and in-person Garden Meeting for Worship. Gene shared that garden Meeting attendees appreciated the combination. Gene suggested adding or updating the sandwich board outdoors to show where the correct entrance is. 

  • S.O.M.E. - Tim Schleicher is retiring from leading the effort at So Others Might Eat. Who would like to step up to take his place? Every first Saturday of the month we need four or five volunteers to prepare a pancake and sausage breakfast for about 300 homeless people. We’re in the kitchen of S.O.M.E. at 71 O Street NW from 6AM to usually around 9AM.  It’s a lot of fun. Responsibilities include ordering the food and recruiting volunteers. We have not been active during the pandemic. 

  • Tom Libbert and Joe Izzo would like to record their gratitude for Justin Kwong and Jason Terry, who brought them groceries and ran errands for them when Joe had Covid-19.

Major Business

In Memoriam

  • Memorial Minute, John Scales - Dan DozieR
  • Memorial Minute, Alex Mathews - Mary Campbell

The Memorial Minutes were read aloud, and Friends shared memories of John and Alex. 
Friends approved the memorial minutes. 

Young Adult Friends Handbook Addition - Joe D’Antonio

The changes to the Handbook were suggested in order to create additional information for co-conveners and YAFs, and also to create a structure for resolving issues. Co-conveners will now serve for two years in staggered terms. The changes also include a number of statements of affirmations on gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, and culture. YAFs worked together on these revisions over the course of a few months. 

A Friend thanked YAFs for the thoughtful process to update the handbook. Another Friend asked if items 11.6.3 - 11.6.8 would be best kept in an appendix to the handbook. A Friend shared gratitude for the strong Young Adult Community in our Meeting. A Friend shared the concern to spell out LGBTQ+ as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans*, and Queer+ to increase visibility. Another Friend shared that spelling out LGBTQ+ may feel limiting and referenced an older minute only mentioning welcoming Lesbian and Gay Friends.

Friends approved this handbook addition to be sent to the Library and Handbook Committee, with the notes above.

Quarterly Report, F&S - Dan Dozier 

The Finance and Stewardship Committee shared that the Meeting’s savings may cover expenses during the pandemic, and they are hesitant to ask for mortgage relief options from the bank at this time. Donations have increased from $200,000/year to $250,000/year. With the donation increase and the possibility of mildly increased event revenues, we may be able to make it through the pandemic in reasonable financial shape. F&S will be able to give a more complete report after the first quarter is completely closed.

Over the past few years, there have been issues with bookkeeping. The issues are being addressed by engaging a small minority-owned CPA firm. Financial record keeping has switched to Quickbooks online, and bills are being paid through to approve and track payments. 

A Friend asked if it was appropriate for the Meeting to affirmatively decide whether to use savings to cover deficits. The decision had been delegated by the Meeting as a whole to the Finance & Stewardship Committee. A Friend shared that this was our rainy day fund, and it's raining. The Meeting has no investments in gold. A Friend asked about refinancing the mortgage, and Finance & Stewardship said this option has a cost. They will examine if the savings to refinance justifies the cost. There is also a financial penalty for refinancing the mortgage. A Friend shared that increased donations may be caused by Friends donating their future planned donations early. It is possible that donations may decrease in the future. 

Friends accepted the report. 

Creation of Fundraising Taskforce - Meg Greene

A taskforce is being created to fundraise both for the Capital Campaign Fund/ mortgage and General Fund/other meeting expenses. Strategy will be determined in September and October. This will be a one year effort, with a possibility of renewal. 

A Friend shared that the Capital Campaign Fund covers the Meeting’s renovation expenses. Another Friend expressed that the Capital Campaign Fund and General Fund should co-exist. Frank Garvey shared that this taskforce will follow up the work of the Capital Campaign Fund, which still has some outstanding pledges. A Friend asked about restricted and unrestricted contributions, and to carefully review the status of outstanding pledges.

Friends asked that the taskforce last for longer than one year. In the taskforce proposal, there is an option to continue at the end of one year. Taskforce members have committed to a one year term. A Friend also shared that this taskforce would help with the unique needs of fundraising during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

A Friend asked if this taskforce was under Finance & Stewardship, and if not, shared opposition. Finance & Stewardship was very involved in the creation of this task force. Bill Strein, a member of F&S, shared that this work would be important to the Finance and Stewardship Committee, which has limited fundraising efforts. A Friend shared that they hope the taskforce looks at new and creative ways to fundraise. A Friend thanked Meg, Frank and Susan for taking on this work. 

Friends approved this taskforce.

Membership - Gray Handley

  • Second presentation of Allison Rasko

Gray Handley made the second presentation for Allison Rasko. Friends approved her membership.

Nominating Committee - Martha Solt

  • Bill Parker to AFSC  --Friends approved this nomination.
  • Jim Bell to FCNL  --Friends approved this nomination.
  • Sabrina McCarthy to Friends United Meeting  --Friends approved this nomination.
  • Sabrina McCarthy as Co-Clerk for Ministry & Worship Committee  --This will lay over for one month, as is our custom.

Martha Solt expressed her gratitude for Friends’ willingness to help in these roles.

Request to lay down Mary Walcott/Lucy Foster Scholarship Program
and donate the remaining funds to a member of the Meeting whose child is in a Quaker school and has requested these funds.

The current balance in the W-F scholarship fund is $135.33. The last award was done 12/1/2013. Since then (in 2013 and 2014) there were some sales of holly boughs that went into the fund - for a total of $54 over the two years. Nothing has happened in the fund since 12/16/2014 when the last $25 was deposited into it.

According to our Handbook, the fund was begun in 1955 in memory of the two people most instrumental in founding the Friends Meeting of Washington (see p. 5-8), this Committee makes awards to children of members and active attenders of four Washington area Friends Meetings (Adelphi, Bethesda, Langley Hill, and Washington) for study at Quaker elementary and secondary schools. The Committee has prepared guidelines for the operation of the fund.

According to Bruce Kellogg, the last clerk of this committee, none of the other Meetings is currently involved with this fund and haven’t been for some time.

A Friend shared appreciation for the information provided and was in favor of moving forward with the steps above. Friends approved laying down this fund.    

Other Business

Peace & Social Concerns update: 
Work with Reclaim Our Vote on voter registration and turnout in 8 states with high levels of voter suppression.  So far, FMW folk have sent hand-written postcards to over 2,000 people of color,  providing encouragement and vital information about how to get registered, how and where to vote.

Meeting for Worship with Concern for Business closed at 1:55pm, to reopen as way leads on 10/11/2020.


John Kent Scales
October 19, 1937 – April 14, 2020

John Kent Scales was born in Swarthmore, PA to Constance (Kent) and Richard D. Scales on October 19, 1937. As the oldest of three children living in Park Ridge, Illinois, his early life was dramatically shaped as a young boy by the untimely death of his father and grandmother in a car accident.

After graduating from Williams College and Cornell Law School and being admitted to the Washington D.C. and Massachusetts Bars, John began his career as an associate in Sullivan & Worcester Esqs. corporate practice in Boston, Massachusetts. 

John then moved to Washington D.C. to work as Counsel to Republican members of the U.S. Senate Labor Subcommittees on Employment, Poverty, Children and Youth. In that role, he worked closely with Senator Jacob Javits of New York. John was instrumental in gaining enactment of laws that provided comprehensive employment, training, early childhood education, volunteer, and anti-poverty programs. He was particularly proud to be a staff member in President Lyndon Johnson's National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders—known as the Kerner Commission.

After his work for the U.S. Congress, John served for seven years as General Counsel for the Peace Corps, where he managed legal matters for its operations in the U.S. and 86 countries. He managed all litigation and complex issues related to legal, compliance, diplomatic, operational, Congressional and media activities. At times he served as Acting Director of the Peace Corps. 

Subsequently, John worked for seven years at USAID, initially as legal advisor to the regional bureaus for Asia, Latin America, Africa, Europe and Eurasia and later in Central Asia. A great joy of his life was working as Regional Legal Advisor and Director of Democratic Transition for Central Asia, based in Almaty, Kazakhstan. In that role, he supervised democratic and level development in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Tajikistan. His final role with the agency was as attorney in its Office of General Counsel in Washington D.C.

John became a member of the Friends Meeting of Washington on June 19, 1977 and was welcomed into membership by Rodney Pelton and Allen Kellum. Since that date John was an active and loving member of FMW for the rest of his life, having served on numerous committees including Religious Education where, for instance, he led RE Study Groups that focused on various Pendle Hill Pamphlets.

John served FMW in numerous ways, having served on the board of directors of the Friends Non-Profit Housing Corporation, Meeting Liaison to the Friends Committee on National Legislation, and as Meeting Trustee, among other services for the Meeting. John lived his life according to his understanding of and beliefs in Quaker principles including service to others and working for social justice. 

John passed away peacefully at home on Tuesday, April 14, 2020 after a valiant, two-year battle with pancreatic cancer. Even during his treatments, he maintained a strong joy of life and enjoyed spending time with his many Friends and family. He had a love of international travel, adventure, and public service, spending most of his career in key positions in the U.S. Congress, Peace Corps and USAID.

John will always be remembered as a storyteller and lover of a good joke. He never outgrew his enjoyment of magic tricks and practical jokes. He was fond of his many summer trips to his home on Martha's Vineyard where he enjoyed sailing and swimming, and skiing in Aspen in the winter. He was always a warm and lively attendee at social events and with friends at Nationals baseball games while at home in Alexandria Virginia and with family and friends in New England. He grew up with a love of art and musical theatre and continued to enjoy both. Near the end of his life he often visited the Phillips Collection where he met friends for lunch and tours of museum exhibits as often as his strength and treatment schedule allowed.

John was pre-deceased by the love of his life, his wife Mada McGill, who also served in senior positions at the Peace Corps. He is survived by his two sisters: Constance Jean (Scales) Lind and her husband Eric, and Carol Ann (Scales) Teel and her husband Chip. He was fond of his nephews and nieces, who always looked forward to reconnecting at holiday events. He asked that the Meeting hold a memorial service to remember him when the pandemic allowed for in-person gatherings.


Alex Mathews was born June 24, 1941 in Manhattan, New York to Santos and Carmela Mathews. His father was Puerto Rican and his mother Italian. Alex dropped out of high school and earned his GED after enlisting in the Air Force in 1964. He served two tours in Turkey separated by a tour in Germany. While in Turkey he met a Turkish woman—Tulin—who married him in 1966 on the condition that he make use of his fine mind by attending college. Alex took courses through the military’s program with University of Maryland University College. When he was discharged from the Air Force in 1968, he and Tulin moved to College Park, Maryland where Alex entered the Honors Program at the University of Maryland. He and Tulin realized that marriage was not the right relationship for them, as Alex was gay. They separated in 1971, but their relationship continued for the rest of Alex’s life. He remained part of her family and was a loving and beloved uncle to Tulin’s children from her subsequent marriage to Stephen Levitas--with whom Alex shared a passion for opera.

Alex graduated from the University of Maryland in 1974 with an Honors Degree in history. He worked for the Library of Congress in the personnel office for almost two decades and then worked for Catholic University in the School of Library and Information Science.

Alex bought a house on Monroe Street in Brookland and cultivated a large garden and many friendships. He partnered with Arnold Belfontaine in 1972 for several years, and the two remained close even after Arnie moved to California. Alex’s subsequent long-term partner, Teddy Knecht, died of AIDS in the early 1990s.

Alex, who had been raised Pentecostal, began attending Friends Meeting of Washington in the 1990s. He was a faithful attender and became a member in May of 2004. He served for many years on the board of School for Friends and brought many friends to their fund-raising auctions. Alex also clerked the Hospitality Committee for six years and instigated interesting conversations in the kitchen most Sundays. He brought his wondrous French bread to many  meeting events.

In 2001, a friend from meeting told Alex about her work as a DC tour guide. He thought it sounded like a fascinating job, and he turned out to be a fascinating tour guide. Alex especially loved boarding a bus full of high school students and introducing them to his historic city. He got certification as a New York City tour guide so he could stay with groups that were touring both cities.

Alex was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2013. He survived extensive surgery and got back to guiding tours. Throughout his life he shared his many gifts—enlivening history, gardening, and baking French bread—with his many friends. Friendship was the largest of his gifts. Alex died October 30, 2019. 

FMW Event and Office Rental Report, July 2020

Prepared by Brian Lutenegger, Event and Rental Manager or 202-483-3310 / 734-255-6829 while FMW is closed

Financials –FY21 Bookings

Here is a breakdown of where we are in terms of bookings for recent past and future fiscal years as of July 31, 2020.


FMW Event Space Bookings



Fiscal Year








Before FY Start








































































































YTD Total








Year End Total









Not reflected above is the cancellation (during the first week of August) of all events organized by one of our major conference clients throughout all of FY21, so actual booked events are significantly lower. Deposits for those conferences will be retained by FMW and applied in full to future dates.

Our fiscal year runs from July 1 to the following June 30th.
We are in the same boat as the rest of the events industry all around the world.

Financials – FY21 Earned - No data to share yet for FY21.

Nonprofit versus market rates

Of the $22,146 booked so far this fiscal year, $3,885 worth of rentals has been at our full market rates (approximately 17.5 percent). The remainder of the booked events have received some type of discount:

  1. A discounted nonprofit or tenant rate

  2. A lower rate due to construction

  3. Memorial service and weddings under the care of the meeting where we do not charge for space for the service itself – only for the cost of the event host

  4. Some other factor

Our standard nonprofit discount is 20 percent off our market rates.

Thus far, we have been able to accommodate all requests for Meeting- and Quaker-related activities at FMW around outside space rentals. We are making every effort to accommodate Sunday afternoon and evening rentals, while ensuring that all of our internal activities on Sunday mornings are unimpeded by outside events.

What I am Working On

My position has always been a combination of sales, marketing, and customer service with a healthy dose of web design and other miscellaneous tasks thrown in. The slowdown in future bookings and events taking place has reduced the sales and customer services components of my work – and allowed me to focus more on the marketing aspects of this work that I was struggling to get to on a daily basis.

In July, I:

  • Fielded several inquiries for weddings to be scheduled later in 2020, 2021, or beyond. During July, event inquiries significantly increased over previous months since COVID-19 began in March.

  • Continued to tweak the design of our website to keep the content and layout fresh and useful. Not everything I have done will be apparent by simply looking at the site. In July, we had 455 visitors to the event rental site, including 437 new visitors.

  • Worked with our wedding planner to refine elopement / micro wedding packages for couples that will take place at FMW, including plans for a micro wedding day on October 4th where we hope at least two couples will rent our spaces for their wedding

  • Continued networking with other event and wedding professionals in the DC area to let them know about our venue. Brought several wedding planners and photographers through our spaces.

  • Published to our social media accounts multiple times per week on a variety of topics. This includes a post automatically scheduled for Sunday mornings that generally includes a quote related to Quakerism or individuals currently in the news (i.e. two John Lewis quotes after his death). This has also included at least one post about happenings within our community that might be of wider interest.

    • We’ve increased our followers on Instagram to 105 and Facebook to 53. The social media posts incorporate hashtags that circulate our posts well beyond the existing followers.

    • We’re also running limited advertising on Facebook

  • Watched lots of online webinars on handling COVID-19 as an event venue and attended virtual happy hours with industry professionals

  • Marketed our office spaces (more below)

  • Secured coverage for us in online media:

  • Marketed FMW to a wedding planner as the venue for her Christmas themed style shoot in late October. We are one of two final venues she is considering. This would be an opportunity for us to get some more marketable photography and to continue showing off our spaces to new wedding professionals

  • With other wedding partners, began planning for FMW’s next wedding open house, likely in September by appointment only and following all applicable COVID guidelines

  • Attended an introductory Zoom call with Henok Tedla, FMW’s new bookkeeper starting in August

  • Began exploring the listing of our spaces on Peerspace, an Airbnb like website for meeting and event space

  • Worked on COVID liability language for event space users and office tenants

Office Space Rentals

At present, we have the following tenants:

There have been two office spaces available for rent, as we experienced turn over as the COVID-19 pandemic was arriving in DC. These include the Carriage Room, which may potentially become office space again plus suite 163 (formerly occupied by psychotherapist Elizabeth Handy).

We have a new tenant identified for Suite 163 in Quaker House (formerly psychotherapist Elizabeth Handy’s office) – another psychotherapist. He will sign a license agreement in August and move in later in the month. I’ll provide more information on him in a future report once he moves in.

This leaves the Carriage Room as the last remaining office space to rent. We are fortunate that, despite COVID-19, we are able to find new tenants relatively easily, even if event space rentals are more of a challenge for us.

Office Tenant Profile
I also would like to briefly highlight one of our office tenants each month in this report, particularly the nonprofits. This will allow Friends a sense of who occupies our spaces throughout the week.

Per their website, the National Campaign for a Peace Tax Fund “advocates for U.S. federal legislation that would enable conscientious objectors to war to have their federal income taxes directed to a separate fund which would be used for non-military purposes alone. This fund would be called the Religious Freedom Peace Tax Fund, and the bill we seek to pass is called the Religious Freedom Peace Tax Fund Act, called H.R. 4169 in the current Congressional term.”

For many years, this organization had a larger footprint on our campus, but now only rents a closet for storage.

 How you can help me and FMW’s budget
If you know of (or work for) an organization that may need office space in the coming months – perhaps a larger organization or a smaller one interested in sharing with someone else – feel free to connect me so that we can fill the last remaining space. Or if you know of places where we might market our available office spaces, please let me know that as well.

The same is true of our event spaces. Please think about whether your employer, an organization whose board you sit on – or even yourself for a special event – might be able to make use of our spaces.

If you have ideas for content that we can post on Facebook and Instagram that might be of interest to a wide (not necessarily Quaker) audience, I am happy to consider. I have posted photos of most of the banners we have had on our fence over the past few months. And, as noted above, I generally post a Quaker quote on Sunday mornings with wide appeal – or that directly relates to the current political climate. These have been well received.

Creation of a One-Year FMW Fundraising Task Force

Like many institutions, Friends Meeting of Washington has been hard hit by COVID-19, with its impact on gathering, hosting in-person events that build our community, and rental of our spaces for meetings, weddings and other events.

FMW leadership, including the Finance & Stewardship Committee, the clerks of the Capital Campaign Committee and Finance & Stewardship have agreed on the wisdom of getting behind a single fundraising effort for the Meeting. This requires coordination between members of the two committees involved in fundraising (F&S and Capital Campaign Committee) and other individuals who could bring skills to this effort, whether their contributions last for the duration of the TaskForce or are ad hoc.

Forming a Task Force
To respond to this challenge, Friends suggest creating a Fundraising Task Force to exist for one year, or the duration of the pandemic, when it can be re-evaluated. The group will be permeable, with the major task of developing a fundraising plan. It will work to raise funds for the Capital Campaign and the General Fund.

The Task Force will bring people in for specific activities as they are led, but would emphasize a number of specific ongoing tasks:

  • Consider a variety of fundraising methods, including email, mail, texting and personal phone calls

  • Curate the FMW directory on Breeze and identify individuals who should be contacted using these different methods

  • Develop language for a fundraising outreach to each group

  • Organize opportunities around which to issue requests for support.  (E.g., dedications of items in the Meeting, like toilets, when you are “feeling flush”)

  • Identify individuals who can implement each form of outreach

  • Oversee outreach

  • Monitor the resulting donations, and ensure that each donor's information is properly recorded and they are thanked

Meg Greene and Frank Garvey will serve as co-clerks and Susan Griffin will work as Taskforce Coordinator. We will be reaching out to as many people as we can in our community. This will be a community-wide effort. 

Friends Meeting of Washington Young Adult Friends Handbook Addition

Old FMW Handbook YAF Section:

11.6 Young Adult Friends (Friends Meeting of Washington Handbook, Page 41)

This group is for Friends and attenders aged 18 to approximately 40. The Young Adult Friends group sponsors worship sharing gatherings, speakers and discussions on issues of interest to young adults, as well as social activities, such as hiking and dancing, and volunteer opportunities. It maintains communication through a listserv.

Proposed addition to the FMW Handbook

11.6 Young Adult Friends

11.6.1    Overview: This group is for Friends and attenders aged 18 to approximately 40. The Young Adult Friends (YAF) group sponsors worship sharing gatherings, speakers and discussions on issues of interest to young adults, as well as social activities, such as hiking and dancing, and volunteer opportunities. It maintains communication through a listserv.

11.6.2    Co-conveners: This group is overseen by two co-conveners for staggered terms of two years beginning on January 1. Co-coordinators are able to serve as many terms as they wish either consecutively or with breaks between terms. Co-coordinators are responsible for the planning and execution of YAF events and programs as they see fit. The co-coordinators are also responsible for keeping and maintaining the YAF listserv and using it to promote events. It is also encouraged for the co-coordinators to find other methods of communications with YAF participants.

11.6.3    Age guidelines: The age requirements to participate in the activities of YAF are suggested and not firmly enforced, particularly around the topic of YAF participants “aging out” of YAF activities. If you feel young, you are young. Alcohol is not served at events where those younger than 21 will be present. 

11.6.4    Statement of LGBTQ+ Affirmation: YAF affirms the gender and sexual identities of all and stands with our LGBTQ+ friends and neighbors as they work for equality. Those who participate in YAF functions are expected to refer to other participants by their name and pronouns and are expected to work tirelessly to create a welcoming space for all members of the LGBTQ+ community.

11.6.5    Statement of Racial Affirmation: YAF affirms the racial and ethnic identities of all. The planning of all YAF functions takes into mind Baltimore Yearly Meeting’s Anti-Racism Queries. Those who participate in YAF events are expected to create a welcoming space for people regardless of their racial or ethnic background. YAF commits itself to working tirelessly to be an anti-racist community.

11.6.6    Statement on Sexual Misconduct: The YAF community does not tolerate  sexual misconduct of any kind. This includes, but is not limited to, sexual assault, sexual harassment, lewd comments, or any action that makes YAF participants feel unsafe or unwelcome in the YAF space. This policy extends to behavior of participants outside of YAF events. Should a community member’s pattern of behavior lead to an unwelcoming space within the YAF community, YAF affirms the need to elder them and when necessary, for the safety of the community, exclude them from YAF events and spaces.

11.6.7    Statement on Culture: The YAF community acknowledges and affirms that no single document can create a culture of acceptance and safety. These statements must be backed by the actions of the YAF co-coordinators and participants. The work of creating a YAF culture of acceptance, equality, community, and safety is constant and is the responsibility of all who participate in YAF. Any action or inaction on the part of YAF participants or co-coordinators that does harm to the YAF community should be brought up and addressed, even if not explicitly outlined in the YAF section of the Handbook.

11.6.8    Reporting of Issues: If an issue should arise involving misconduct of a YAF participant the following steps will be taken:

1.      A YAF participant should bring their concern to one or both of the YAF co-conveners if the participant feels comfortable. Though it is preferred that any concerns be raised in writing, YAF fully understands that this is not always possible or would be burdensome to a harmed participant and so does not require written complaints. When a concern is raised, the YAF co-coordinators should clarify with the harmed participant what actions they feel comfortable with YAF taking and with which members of the community they feel comfortable having their concern shared.

2.      The notified YAF co-coordinator will confidentially inform the Clerk(s) of Friends Meeting of Washington about the raised concern and seek guidance on how best to address the raised concern.

3.      Remedies should always focus on restoring a sense of safety and shared community to YAF spaces. Possible remedies include, but are not limited to, Eldering from the YAF co-coordinator to the offending participant, Eldering from a member of Ministry and Worship to the offending participant, Eldering from the Clerk of the Meeting to the offending participant, a suspension from YAF events for a period of time, and/or a permanent banning of an offending participant from all YAF events.

4.      If a concern is with a YAF co-coordinator or arises in some way that a YAF participant would not feel comfortable raising a concern with the YAF co-coordinators, the YAF participant is advised to raise their concern directly with the Clerk(s) of the Meeting.


Report of the Finance & Stewardship Committee 
to FMW Meeting for Business, September 13, 2020

Accompanying this Report is a spreadsheet showing the Meeting’s P&L (not including depreciation) for Budget and Actual FY20 plus columns showing different scenarios of potential Meeting losses for FY21 based on three separate scenarios:

  1. Assuming approximately the same revenue and expenses as in FY20

  2. Assumed Best Case scenario; and

  3. Assumed Worst Case scenario.

Also, this Report is accompanied by a copy of the FY21 Budget as approved by Meeting for Business in June.

The Actual P&L for FY20 (including depreciation) the Meeting loss was approximately -$153,000. The FY20 budget had assumed a net loss from operations of about $143,000. So we came reasonably close to the budgeted loss. This gives us some confidence that our budgets are realistic, as budgets are all based on reasonable assumptions.

The first scenario is based on the same revenue and expenses as in FY20. This would result in Meeting losses of about-$360,000. This is because FY20 losses were spread over 12 months, as if the COVID situation was in effect for the whole of FY21 and FY20 revenues and expenses were significantly impacted for about half of the fiscal year.

The Worst-Case scenario is also based on arbitrary assumptions about Meeting revenue and expenses and would result in Meeting losses of $486,000.

The Best-Case scenario is based on arbitrary assumptions for increases in revenue and would result in Meeting losses of approximately $72,000.

These spreadsheet scenarios for FY21 are based on guesses and assumptions. The Budget agreed to by the Meeting in June for FY21 assumes a deficit of about $331,000. This number is still, based on careful F&S analysis, the most likely result for FY21.

Another way to look at our financial status is to look at our cash and investments available to spend. During FY 2020, our total cash and investment balances declined by $313,177.










Money Market

















We were spending significantly on the last stage of the renovation and then on our new mortgage payments during this period, and our anticipated rental revenue was much reduced, first by the renovation and then by the COVID pandemic.

In the current fiscal year so far (10 weeks) we have further reduced cash and investments by $37,924.

Of the remaining $1,682,656, almost half in restricted in some way, so that only between $800 thousand and $900 thousand is available to finance this ongoing deficit.  That should be more than sufficient to see us through several years, even if the COVID pandemic lasts that long.

We have recently converted $610,000 of our investments to more stable fixed-income shares to guard against the possibility of a sudden market decline during the next year or two.

In the meantime, we continue to pay the bills and the mortgage, keep the lights on, issue paychecks to staff, and worry about the grass.

Event space inquiries and bookings are showing some signs of life. COVID vaccine, medicines, and improved tests appear to be in the works. Our long-term financial prospects continue to be good.

In other F&S news, the Committee has accomplished a great deal since our last report to Meeting for Business in June. While we still are very concerned with the budget, as described above, we now at least, have confidence in the overall accuracy of the information in our accounting system. 

As many of you know, the Committee had been seeking a new accounting contractor in June. We accomplished this task and as of August 1, 2020, the Committee engaged a small firm, Access Accounting Services (Access), with Managing Partner Henok Tedla, CPA initially as our bookkeeper. As of September 1, once the Committee and our consultant Ms. Laurie Wilner were confident that Mr. Tedla understood our system, we revised the contract with Access so that as of September 1, 2020 Mr. Tedla began serving as our comptroller and his associate, Tigist Seifu is serving as our bookkeeper. The time and materials contract will cost the Meeting about $2,250.00 per month, much less than the $3,400/month cost of our contract with the previous accounting firm.  

The Committee carefully reviewed the background and experience and draft contracts before engaging Mr. Tedla and his firm.  We asked Laurie Wilner to review Mr. Tedla’s performance. She reported to us that Mr. Tedla very quickly understood our bookkeeping system and was performing his bookkeeper role very well. Mr. Tedla has been engaged for four (4) hours weekly in the “controller” function, billed at $50 per hour, while Ms. Seifu is providing us with ten (10) hours weekly at $32 per hour. 

The Committee also approved moving immediately to QuickBooks as our accounting software and integrate with for paying invoices. The Committee also approved moving to an online storage system for our records. Mr. Tedla and Laurie Wilner both advised the Committee to transition to QuickBooks Online. 

The Committee is still considering our anticipated deficit for FY21. Options under consideration include: 

  • seeking forbearance on our mortgage payments

  • increasing donations to the Meeting; and 

  • cuts in staff working days or hours.

Based on a joint decision by Trustees and F&S, the Meeting has rebalanced our holdings in Friends Fiduciary by moving $610,000 from riskier market-based investments such as equities to safer fixed rate investments. 



FY 18




FY 20




FY 19



Based on FY20

FY 21

Best Case


Worst Case














Building Revenue










Restr & Designated Support










Other Income










Total Revenue












Personnel Costs




















Outreach & Program Expenses










Site Costs










Property Rental costs










Office & General










Financing Costs










Other Expenses










Total Expense










Net from Operations