FMW Newsletter - December 2020

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Published monthly – Issue #90 – 12
December 2020

Schedule of FMW  Meetings for Worship
12th Month Query: The Environment
Events and Action Opportunities:
- Adult Spiritual Development Programs - December 2020
- Quaker Treasure Chest Bread!
- Blue Christmas Meeting for Worship, Wednesday, December 16
- Trauma & Empowerment: 4 Women's Stories, Sunday, December 20
- Support DC Neighbors in Need
- 1st Day School Visits Underground Railroad Trail
- Reclaim Our Vote Postcards Increase Voter Participation
American Chestnut Trees at FMW!
Thinking About Race
MINUTES:  FMW Monthly Meeting for Business, November 8, 2020
Clerk’s Report, November 2020
- In Memoriam: Denny Hartzell
-  Upcoming Events
FMW Community Highlights & Kudos
Major Business:
- Marriage & Family Relations
Finance & Stewardship
Membership Committee
Peace & Social Concerns
Fundraising Task Force 
Nominating Committee 
Other Business 
Updating Marriage Signer List 
BYM Interim Meeting report-back 
Events: seeking guidance re assembling 
ADDENDA - Committee Reports
FMW Committee on Peace & Social Concerns annual report
Report of the FMW Fundraising Task Force 
- Nominating Committee: Proposed Committee Restructuring


* 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:  12:15 p.m. December 13 (2nd Sunday)

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

12th Month Query:  The Environment 
Are you concerned for responsible use of natural resources and their nurture for future generations? Do you try to avoid wasteful consumption and pollution? Do you seek to preserve the beauty and balance of God's world?  (See: Humankind and the Environment; Civic Responsibility)  Source:  BYM Faith & Practice, Part II The Queries

Events & Action Opportunities

See Ministry & Worship’sAdult Spiritual Development Programs-December 2020

Quaker Treasure Chest Bread is here--order your loaf from the December 13-19 batches now!  Proceeds go to fund FMW’s Personal Aid Committee. These scrumptious 1.5 pound loaves are FMW classics, great as gifts or for your holiday table.  Price $15 for one loaf, $12 each for two or more.  Email, call or text Bob Meehan to order.  Pick up at his home, 1740 Corcoran St NW DC, or to arrange delivery. Contact:, phone: (202) 815-7321

BLUE CHRISTMAS Meeting for Worship, Wed, December 16, 7:00-8:00 pm via Zoom 
At this dark  time of the year, especially during a pandemic many people feel blue, whether it is from Seasonal Affective Disorder, mental health challenges or from any of a number of losses to their health, employment, financial security, physical separations from their social networks or loved ones and the deaths of friends and family members. The celebrations of Chanukkah, Christmas, Yule, Kwanzaa often impose expectations of joy and merriment, but those who are grieving losses of any kind often feel that they are abnormal or "wet blankets'' if they don’t want to join in on the holiday excitement.

We will gather as a worshipping community on the evening of Wednesday December 16th at 7 pm over Zoom (see link below). Everyone has full permission to define loss in whatever way they wish and join us as we cope with our personal losses and the holiday season and receive empathy and support from one another at this difficult time of the year. 
Join Zoom Meeting. By phone dial: (301) 715-8592.  Enter Meeting ID 843 871 20784# on prompt.FMW.  Please contact Jean Capps for any questions.

Trauma and Empowerment-Four Women’s Journeys, Sunday, December 20, 12:30 p.m.
Peace and Social Concerns Committee is sponsoring a rare opportunity to hear the stories of four women who have surmounted tremendous odds.  Community Family Life Services (CFLS) provides DC children, adults and families, including women returning home following incarceration, with the tools they need to move beyond poverty and homelessness. As part of its empowerment model, CFLS runs an extraordinary program, a Speakers Bureau that trains women directly impacted by trauma like incarceration, homelessness, domestic violence, addiction, or human trafficking, to speak publicly about their experiences in order to effect positive change in their communities. 

We have invited four women from the most recent cohort of the Speakers Bureau training program to share their stories with the FMW community.  This will be the final step in their training before they become full members of the Speakers Bureau. FMW member, and CFLS Speakers Bureau Coach, Joe D'Antonio, will act as a moderator for this very special event. Join by Zoom here (same link as 10:30 Meeting for Worship.  By phone, dial: (301) 715-8592.  Enter Meeting ID 979 505 413# on prompt.
For more information, contact Joe D’Antonio, 

Food & Support to DC Neighbors in Need

Winter is always especially tough.  But following long months of pandemic and economic shutdown, food insecurity is already at alarming levels in the DC.  If you wish to help our neighbors in need here are three great organizations that will make good use of your gift:

FMW tenant AsylumWorks is seeking contributions from the community.  Their clients are in need of gift cards (grocery stores, Visa gift cards, Amazon), dry and non-perishable foods, and new/unused hats, scarves, and other cold weather gear. You may send your donations to AsylumWorks office at FMW via mail (2121 Decatur Place NW #4, Washington, DC 20008) or drop it off in-person. AsylumWorks also welcomes monetary donations which are tax deductible and can be made via its website:  For more info, contact: 

Martha's Table: (click the Food tab at the top)

Capital Area Food Bank:


1st Day School Visits Underground Railroad Trail on November 15 

First Day School kids, parents and teachers, including our new teacher Donna Williams learned about the underground railroad and hiked the trail.

Reclaim Our Vote Postcards increase Voter Participation!

Over the summer and fall months, several dozen FMW members and attenders took part in an effort to encourage registration and voting in eight states (TX, AL, NC, FL, GA, MS, AZ, SC) with high levels of voter suppression.   ROV volunteers in the DMV area sent over 1.25 million handwritten postcards (of 6.4 million sent nationally) and made tens of thousands of phone calls, providing critical information on how to register to vote, early voting dates and location, and how to get help to get to the polls. FMW joined hundreds of houses of worship in this entirely nonpartisan effort, aimed strictly at offering encouragement and information to folks in communities historically discouraged from voting.  And it worked!  While final numbers are not yet tallied, it is clear that voter participation was way up in the counties where Reclaim Our Vote sent postcards and made calls!

American Chestnut Trees at FMW!

On Saturday, November  14, American Chestnut Foundation representatives helped us plant two blight-resistant baby chestnut trees at the corner of FMW’s upper garden, in memory of FMW member Joe Johnson. The American  chestnut was the cornerstone tree of North America’s eastern forests which sustained abundant wildlife  and humans alike for millennia, until a chestnut blight imported to the U.S. in 1904 all but wiped out the species.  For over 40 years, scientists have been working to develop a blight-hardy true American chestnut, and they believe they have finally succeeded.  Perhaps, if all goes well, our children and their children will see the progeny of FMW’s chestnuts taking their rightful place in Rock Creek’s forest.

Thinking About Race (December 2020)
Black Homeowners

“Black homeowners face discrimination in appraisals” that can make it dramatically harder for them to buy, sell, or refinance a home, said Debra Kamin in The New York Times.  The bias is so pervasive that some have turned to hiding their race from appraisers.  Abena and Alex Horton in Jacksonville, Fla., were looking to refinance their four-bedroom, four-bathroom house in a mostly white neighborhood and expected it to appraise at about $450,000.  It came in at just $330,000.  When they asked to have it reappraised, Abena took down all the photos of her family; instead, the Hortons “hung up a series of oil paintings of Alex, who is white, and his grandparents that had been in storage.”  The couple edited holiday postcards so “only those showing white families were left on display.”  Then Abena left the house on the day of the appraisal.  The new appraisal, for exactly the same house, was $465,000.  

See Kamin’s full NY Times article here.  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,

# # # # # 

Friends Meeting of Washington

Monthly Meeting for Worship with a Concern for Business
November 8, 2020

Query for Worship Sharing:   How do we love our neighbors and find that of God in everyone?

Clerk’s Report, November 2020

In Memoriam

  • Memorial meeting for former member Denny Hartzell was this morning.

Upcoming Events    

  • FMW Community “Zinner,” Monday, November 9 at 7:00 p.m.  All are welcome.For info, contact Debby Churchman,   Join by Zoom here. To join by phone dial (929) 436-2866.  Enter Meeting ID 89807798182#  on prompt.
  • Committee of Clerks, Sunday, November 15, 9:00 a.m. via Zoom
    Quarterly meeting of FMW committee clerks.  For more information contact co-clerks Debby Churchman or Rebecca Nelson,, 
  • FCNL Annual Meeting and Quaker Public Policy Institute to focus on Anti-Racism, Nov 14-17 (via Zoom)  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 & register for FCNL’s Annual Meeting (Nov. 14-17).

FMW Community Highlights & Kudos

  • FMW member Malachy Kilbride is recipient of Pax Christi-Metro DC-Baltimore’s 13th Annual Peacemaker of the Year award for his years of work as a peace activist and executive director of National Campaign for a Peace Tax Fund.  He was honored in a virtual event last night (11/7/20).
  • Associated Builders & Contractors ABC has presented its 2020 Award to Excellence for the renovation of Friends Meeting of Washington!
  • As the weather cools, clerks are considering how to serve Friends who have been attending outdoor in-person worship, including opening the Meeting Room to Sunday worship for a (very) limited number of Friends. Stay tuned as we develop guidelines.
  • Election Protection group has sent letters to the chief of police of both DC and Arlington, VA regarding peaceful protests (see below). In the face of a deeply polarized election, we are considering the question, How do we deepen our ability to love our neighbor?

Major Business

Marriage & Family Relations (No marriages or baptisms in 2020)

Finance & Stewardship (Dan Dozier) - brief update on budget

The fiscal year began on July 1, and as of the close of the first quarter, the expenditures over receipts was $319,000. The major items were a $44,000 increase in rent from tenants, but a $37,000 decrease in contributions from the Capital Campaign. We currently have approximately $600,000 in assets that were recently rebalanced to a more stable fund. We have improved our resilience in the accounting system by hiring a small accounting company and switching to QuickBooks as our software package. QuickBooks is easier to use and will produce reports that we are more confident in as compared to previous accounting. 

A Friend asked if it is possible to share figures. Dan responded that an income and expenditure report will be released to the listserv in the future. The report will be appended to these minutes when released. A Friend echoed Dan’s message on the accessibility and ease of use of QuickBooks over the previous accounting system. 

Membership Committee (Rob Farr): 

Rob Farr gave Bill Strein’s second presentation for membership. His membership was approved. 

Membership also recommended DJ Foster’s transfer from Bethesda Friends Meeting to Friends Meeting of Washington. Rob shared a portion of the letter from Bethesda Friends Meeting to FMW. Her transfer was approved. 

Peace & Social Concerns (Barbara Briggs, Elaine Wilson)

The Annual Report is attached below. The Peace & Social Concerns Committee has had an active year working for peace and social justice with FMW members and attenders. They are moving towards a model which facilitates work in multiple areas, including racial justice, climate change, and participating in the Washington Interfaith Network. Notably, Friends Meeting of Washington’s Polar Bear Plunge team raised over $16,000 for climate work. P&SC also created and shared a webinar on the climate effects of natural gas.

This year, members of the committee worked to create an Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP) chapter in DC. The AVP chapter has members both from FMW and the greater community. Peace & Social Concerns also created and sold signs for the Black Lives Matter Movement and banners for the Meetinghouse gates. In addition to the AVP task force, P&SC also leads the Sanctuary Task Force and the Hunger & Homelessness Task Force. This year, the Sanctuary Task Force decided to lay itself down. The Hunger & Homelessness Task Force is looking for additional volunteers, especially a coordinator for the SOME breakfasts. 

 Peace & Social Concerns also took on the administration of the Crews Social Justice Fund, developing guidelines to apply for small grants for social justice work. In three cycles of applications, eleven recipients have received $10,675 in total. P&SC was very involved with Reclaim Our Vote, sending out over 7000 postcards to voters in states with voter suppression. 

The Meeting also expressed their gratitude for Elaine Wilson’s work as clerk of Peace & Social Concerns. 

Friends accepted this report.

Fundraising Task Force - Meg Greene

The report is included below. The task force is focused on bringing together our mission and our meaning to better identify fundraising opportunities. Their three areas of focus are:

  • Focusing on who is already giving
  • Communicating about fundraising more effectively as a Meeting, and developing a sense of our mission as a community.
  • Identifying and engaging new contributors. 

The Fundraising Task Force is examining the following queries in this process:

  • Who are we called to be?
  • What are we called to do in our culture/context today/in our community?
  • What barriers/resistance confront us?
  • What changes in self- perception would free us to be faithful, fruitful and to flourish?
  • Do we give thanks and celebrate all that we have and all that we are able to do in the world?

Friends expressed interest in worship sharing and/or online feedback to help discern answers to these queries. Worship sharing on these queries could also help with the Spiritual State of the Meeting Report.

Nominating Committee - Martha Solt

Proposed changes to committee structure

  • Membership Committee to be renamed Membership & Community to absorb the functions of Personal Aid Committee

    • This is being considered. Membership Committee is willing to enter a discerning process. Language for the handbook may be presented at the next Meeting for Business. Personal Aid has segregated funds for members with personal emergencies. These funds will still exist, but will be under the care of the Membership & Community Committee. 

  • Child Safety to become a subcommittee under Religious Education with RE assigning members for that function

    • A Friend asked about the views of the current members of the Child Safety Committee. Martha responded that the current members of Religious Education are strongly for this, but still needs to check in with the Child Safety Committee. This will hold over until the next Meeting for Business. 

  • Healing & Reconciliation to be laid down

    • A Friend shared that work intended for this Committee was often taken on by the Clerks or Ministry & Worship. The Friend recommends this committee remain unstaffed as a standing ad hoc committee for when the need arises. Another Friend shared that the Healing and Reconciliation committee is no longer needed. A Friend asked for the usefulness of this committee and stated that it is tied to a historical moment. At this moment, we are facing the problem of staffing committees and should not be afraid to lay down a committee as needed. Friends expressed agreement to lay down the committee. Martha Solt also emphasized the ability to ask for Clearness Committees as needed. 

    • Laying down the Healing & Reconciliation Committee was approved. 

  • Ad Hoc Committee on Harassment to be laid down

    • This committee has not met in over a year.

    • Laying down the Ad Hoc Committee on Harassment was approved. 

Currently, there are 154 positions on committees, with approximately half of those filled, many by those on multiple committees. A Friend asked about other task forces and committees not mentioned above, and those are a lower priority for change for the Nominating Committee.

  • Temporary Committee suspension until we are back in the Meetinghouse - Hospitality Committee and Marriage and Family Relations. These committees will not have new members assigned until COVID-19 precautions have changed

Nominations for 2021:

  • Meeting Officers for next year: Debby Churchman and Rebecca Nelson Co-clerks

    • Friends approved this nomination. 

  Committee clerks agreeing to serve again for next year:

  • Library and Records – Gene Throwe

    • Friends approved this nomination. 

  • Finance and Stewardship – Dan Dozier

    • Friends approved this nomination. 

  • Peace and Social Concerns – Barbara Briggs

    • Friends approved this nomination. 

    • Barbara would very much welcome a co-clerk to this committee.

  • Personnel – Bill Strein

    • Friends approved this nomination. 

  • Seeking clerks for other committees, especially Property, and a Recording Clerk! These are the top priority roles to fill. 

  • Seeking New coordinator for SOME (So Others May Eat:  SOME is an interfaith community-based service organization that helps our most vulnerable neighbors through a variety of services including immediate food aid. It’s located at 71 O St NW.  We’ve worked with SOME for a number of years serving pancake breakfasts once a month. Each month, the coordinator 1) puts in the food order and 2) recruits 3-4 volunteers and works with them to 3) serve breakfast once a month to folks who need it. It is a very hands-on way to serve. SOME is not currently serving in-person due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A portion of this role could possibly be reframing our volunteer work with SOME.

Other Business

  • Updating Marriage Signer List: The list of legal signers for marriage licenses should be updated.

  • BYM Interim Meeting report-back (Susan Griffin)

    • The BYM 2021 budget was passed, including reducing staff from 10 to 7. There will no longer be an Associate General Secretary, Controller, and Administrative Assistant. There is soon to be a search for a new General Secretary. There was discernment over following anti-racist guidelines, especially in this hiring process. If anyone has thoughts on ensuring a search process to fulfill our anti-racist mission, please contact Susan Griffin.

  • Events: seeking guidance re assembling in a time of Covid (Brian Lutenegger)

    • Rental report is shown below. Friends shared the difficulty in balancing the need for event rental revenue and concern for the community and COVID-19 risks. A Friend suggested publishing the event rental report on the website, and not continue to be included in the Meeting for Business notes. Brian is asking for discernment on the following queries: 

      • Given the above details and our continued need to generate income, what are your thoughts about hosting different types of events moving forward? What are we comfortable with?

      • How can we safely help people celebrate life's milestones, even during COVID-19?

      • How can we support community organizers and groups working on issues that we care about -- as well as allied spiritual groups -- who find that limited in person meetings and trainings are the best way to organize / gather in these challenging times?

      • What would Quakerism say are our moral and ethical obligations to slow the spread of COVID-19 and how does that inform how we might approach event rentals? And how is this approach different from if we were a profit making establishment such as a bar or restaurant -- or even a competing event venue?


FMW Committee on Peace & Social Concerns
Annual Report, October 2020
(October 2019 - September 2020)

Our committee has had a very active year supporting the social justice work of our Meeting, its members and attenders.  While our eight members work together supporting agreed upon projects and priorities, we have been moving toward a model in which committee members have their own “portfolios” or areas of focus. These include work on racial and economic justice (including engagement with the Washington Interfaith Network), climate, human rights in Palestine, gun violence.  

In the last year (October 2019 to September 2020) PSC projects have included:

  • Polar Bear Plunge fundraiser, January 25, 2020:  Peace & Social Concerns  fundsharing team included 20 “plungers who jumped into the icy Potomac River on January 25, 2020 as part of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network’s 15th annual polar bear plunge.  We raised a total of $15,922 for CCAN and FMW’s social justice efforts.  Our share of the proceeds provided a generous additional donation of $2500 to CCAN’s important regional climate work, paid for FMW’s annual dues ($2500) to Washington Interfaith Network and added $984 to the FMW Crews Social Justice Fund.

  • Gun Violence Workshop, February 2, 2020:  Rise-of-meeting presentation on roots of gun violence and efforts to reduce it with Friends Committee on National Legislation staffer Andre Gobbo.This was well attended and very informative.

  • Formation of Alternatives to Violence (AVP) Taskforce, spring 2020:  Under the leadership of our members Gerri Fitzgerald and Beth Cogswell, PSC supported the formation of a DC chapter of Alternatives to Violence, which offers training, prison visits, job readiness and youth programs to help at-risk youth (especially low income young men of color) escape the revolving door of violence and criminal justice system.  This group has been very active this fall and we look forward to hearing about their continuing efforts.  The group includes members and attenders of FMW as well as others from the community.

  • Black Lives Matter:  Along with many FMW members and attenders, PSC supported and attended this summer’s Black Lives Matter protests.  PSC printed and distributed nearly 50 Black Lives Matter/End White Silence yard signs--with all donations received divided between Black Lives Matter and Standing Up for Racial Justice. (A few signs are still available.)  PSC members also drafted and sent a statement to DC Council, and participated in budget hearings regarding police funding and reform. 

  • New Banners:  We created a new LGBTQI welcoming banner, refreshed our aging Black Lives Matter banner, created a “calming banner” to inspire and refresh during Covid-19,  and created a new Peace statement banner to replace one retired 4 years ago.  

  • FMW (Crews) Social Justice Fund:  In 2019, Peace and Social Concerns took on the administration of the FMW Social Justice Fund (originally a $28,000 bequest to FMW from a member, Thomas Crews designated for “political” work).  The Committee developed guidelines for reviewing and offering small grants for social justice projects in which FMW’s members and attenders are involved, with spring and fall application deadlines (and the ability to consider and offer funding between cycles for time-sensitive projects).  To date, PSC has provided 11 grants totaling $10,675 in 3 cycles (September 2019, March 2020 and September 2020).  The Committee has also raised $984 (through the Polar Bear Plunge) , in addition to a handful of smaller donations to the fund.  The next deadline for submitting proposals will be March 2021, although urgent needs can be considered out of cycle.

  • Reclaim our Vote (ROV) Postcards:  In alignment with our Meeting’s anti-racist commitment and in response to evidence of intimidation and suppression of the votes of communities of color, we have joined Quaker meetings, faith congregations and individuals in providing encouragement and critical county-specific registration and voter information to communities of color in eight states with a history of voter suppression.  FMW became the DC pick-up point for postcards.  Peace & Social Concerns also took on recruitment of postcard writers, printing and purchase of stamps to make writing and sending cards quick and safe.  Together the FMW community and friends have sent out over 7,000 postcards!  Members/attenders also made hundreds (or perhaps thousands) of Get Out The Vote phone calls with ROV.

  • Climate work:  PSC continues to support our Meeting to engage in action on climate to protect our planet, ecosystems and human communities.  On October 25 we presented  a webinar and organizing discussion on important efforts to speed DC’s transition to renewable energy including natural gas.  We are also helping to bring this issue to the broader faith community.  

Looking ahead:

  • Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples:  We will soon sponsor a (virtual) program, Toward Right Relationship with Native Peoples with Quaker scholar and advocate Paul Palmer on Quaker collusion in the violation of the rights of native peoples and ongoing efforts to support struggles to support native culture.

  • Fundraising:  Polar Bear Plunge, February 13, 2021
    We invite every intrepid (or at least wanna-be) FMW member and attender to join our FMW/Peace & Social Concerns Polar Bear Plunge team--to raise money for FMW’s climate and social justice work.  It will be fun, creative and pandemic safe We are thinking about a socially distanced event in the Meetinghouse garden or individual “plunges” in your own space.  

  • Support for Taskforces under PSC’s care:

In addition to the new Alternatives to Violence Taskforce, two others--Sanctuary Taskforce and Hunger and Homeless Taskforce are technically “under the care” of Peace and Social Concerns, although--in fact--the taskforces have functioned independently based on the extraordinary dedication of their clerks and members.  This year, Sanctuary Taskforce decided to lay itself down as a separate entity and to incorporate its immigrant advocacy work into Peace & Social Concerns proper.  We are aware that friends who take the lead on FMW’s Hunger and Homelessness work (including Grate Patrol, Shoebox Project and So Others May Eat) need more active support, and while the new AVP Taskforce is robust and energetic, it too deserves active care.  Our plan is to be more intentional about supporting these taskforces and supporting their ties with the broader FMW community.

  • PSC has eight members, six of whom participate regularly.  Several of these are technically at the end of their present terms, so, while the Committee is in a very solid place work-wise, we will have some re-building to do in the coming year.

# # # # # #

Report of the FMW Fundraising Task Force to Meeting for Business November 2020 

The Fundraising Task Force, composed of Meg Greene, Frank Garvey and Susan Griffin, was created in September to give a boost to FMW’s finances over the next year. The idea is to integrate efforts to raise funds for the capital campaign into fundraising for general support - which will include the cost of our mortgage going forward. 

Susan, Meg and Sabrina McCarthy have been taking the course “Cultivating Generous Congregations” and we have been learning about how to be more intentional about our approach to fundraising. Our efforts have focused on three areas: 

1.Gaining a better understanding of who gives already

As volunteers and amateurs, there is much for us to learn with regard to our system for tracking contributions. We have been working hard to understand how to make the most of it all. One of the exercises for our course was to create a giving pyramid that describes the Meeting’s contributions. Here is ours.

Meanwhile, we are working on:

● Mastering Breeze and figuring out a system for reviewing contributions on a monthly basis and tracking thank yous there

● Following up on the existing pledges to the Capital Campaign and asking people to fulfill

● Developing a pledge letter to contribute to a unified fund to support the Meeting

● Coordinating with Admin Secretary so Task Force is alerted to discontinuations of ACH payments

● Developed new language for EFT reply to online donations and Brian Lutenegger has conveyed to company that manages that

2. Communicating about fundraising more effectively as a Meeting

The main goal is to formulate our requests for support in a way that connects to our mission as a community. In pursuit of this goal we are working toward:  

● In the longer term, developing a mission statement - but for now, sending out some “missional queries”* that gather people’s thoughts on who we are as a community. The ideas that come out of this effort will be used to seed some threshing meetings via Zoom

● Improving our website to reflect more of the mission of the Meeting and focusing less on “keeping the lights on” or “paying for our building” as separate from that mission

 - Working on expanded text that highlights what we DO
 - Identifying pictures that convey a more dynamic sense of who we ARE
 - Making the donate links more prominent

● Developing a pledge request that encourages people to contribute to all costs of the Meeting rather than just the capital campaign

● Working with Finance and Stewardship to develop a narrative budget (example below) that aligns with our mission and values and is more accessible to the lay reader.

● Updating the end-of-Meeting for Worship request read by the Committee sitting Head of Meeting, and trying to come up with innovative ways to make that request from the Task Force as well

3. Identifying and engaging new contributors

This is especially challenging at a moment when we are connecting remotely and not in person. We are orienting ourselves and taking initial steps by:

● Looking at demographic information we have and are lacking, especially on younger community members

● Drafting request letters and emails for Giving Tuesday and an end-of-year request for support

● Informing ourselves of the needs and interests of the various age and stage-of-life cohorts

●Thinking about how our letters and communications can be adapted to reflect these divergent needs and interests 

* Missional queries - suggested by Cultivating Generous Congregations course

● Who are we called to be?
● What are we called to do in our culture/context today/in our community?
● What barriers/resistance confront us?
● What changes in self- perception would free us to be faithful, fruitful and to flourish?
● Do we give thanks and celebrate all that we have and all that we are able to do in the world?

# # # # #

Healing and Reconciliation Committee

The Healing and Reconciliation Committee consists of members of the FMW community asked to respond immediately, or after an event or situation, to limit any hurtful behavior in Meeting-related settings and to initiate processes of healing and reconciliation. Through its interactions with individuals, the Committee complements efforts of the Ministry and Worship Committee, which gives special attention to the overall spiritual state of the Meeting and its Meetings for Worship. The Healing and Reconciliation Committee undertakes activities such as the interruption of hurtful exchanges, active listening to help find ways toward spirit-led harmony in situations of conflict, and taking actions to foster healing and reconciliation, in addition to addressing specific incidents and situations that arise, the Committee may work more generally to nurture the spiritual state of the Meeting as it relates to the way we address and resolve conflicts, and to help make our peace testimony a reality in the life of the Meeting community. The Committee may recommend long term actions to the Meeting for Worship with a Concern for Business and other Meeting communities, but it does not itself undertake any action other than those directed toward healing and reconciliation.

Membership Committee

The functions of the Membership Committee (formerly the Committee of Overseers) are addressed in Faith and Practice and are largely concerned with the membership matters discussed above in the section of this Handbook on Membership. Although the Ministry and Worship Committee has primary responsibility in time of death, the Membership Committee may assist if called upon. The Meeting uses its own procedures and forms for membership matters (see the Resource Notebook). Members of the Committee do not serve as welcomers of new members; the Committee arranges for other Meeting members to perform this role.

Personal Aid Committee

The Committee gives spiritual, personal and practical assistance to members and attenders in need. It may call on others in the Meeting for help, bearing in mind that “All Meeting members are called to care for one another and for the Meeting” (Faith and Practice, III, B, 3, b, 1). It may form clearness committees when appropriate. It may also make referrals to appropriate social agencies. It maintains contact with members and attenders who are ill, hospitalized, or in other special circumstances. In all cases, interaction with this Committee is strictly confidential. In addition to this assistance in specific instances, the Committee maintains a list of professional mental health providers and other resources in the metropolitan Washington community for anyone who would like confidential referrals.