FMW Newsletter - February 2021

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version

Published monthly – Issue #91 – 02
February 2021

Table of Contents
  Meetings for Worship
  2nd Month Query
- DC Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP) gains momentum
- FMW’s “White House Beam” goes home
- FMW Member & Poet Susan Meehan on WAMU Kojo Nnamdi Show
  FMW’s Quaker Spiritual Development Programs in February
Please support our DC neighbors in need!
Thinking about Race - February 2021
FMW Post Pandemic: What are YOU Looking Forward To?

Meeting for Business Minutes & Attachments
Clerk’s Report, January 2021
In Memoriam
Upcoming Events
- FMW Community Highlights & Kudos
Major Business
- Membership: Annual Committee Report
Nominating Committee Annual Report
- Search Committee
Library, Records & Handbook
Spiritual State of the Meeting process
- FMW Senior Center Funds
Committee Reports & Regular Agenda Item Due Dates 2021
2020 Membership Committee Report
FMW Nominating Committee 2020 Report
Nor’easter DC Style


  • 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. February 14 (2nd Sunday)

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

2nd Month Query:  Meetings for Business 

Are meetings for business held in a spirit of worship, understanding and forbearance? When direction seems lacking, is this seen as a challenge to a more prayerful search for truth? Do we humbly set aside our own preconceived notions as to proper action, seeking instead Divine guidance as to the right course? Is the Meeting aware that it speaks not only through its actions but also through its failure to act?

Do you participate regularly in meetings for business, discharge faithfully your committee responsibilities, and assume your share of financial support of the Meeting?

Source: Principles of Organization and Conduct of Business; Decision Making in Friends Meetings in Baltimore Yearly Meeting (BYM) Faith & Practice, Part II The Queries.


DC Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP) gains momentum

AVP-DC, the local chapter of an international movement for personal, community, and institutional creative conflict resolution, formed last year as an FMW taskforce.  The AVP-DC taskforce--currently at least nine active members from inside and outside of FMW--continues to recruit, get trained, and develop its plan for local action.  (AVP's usual focus of work inside prisons is precluded, as there are none in the District, therefore the taskforce plans to reach out to schools, community organizations, a youth detention center, and returning citizens programs.)

AVP-DC meets on the 2nd Wednesday of each month.  The taskforce, with support from AVP-MD, is planning for an upcoming “Basic Workshop” in March.  The next meeting will be February 10 at 7:00 pm.  For more information contact coordinator Zephyr Williams, or the taskforce at large,

FMW “White House Beam” goes home

Hayden Wetzel, January 17, 2021--
When our meetinghouse was built in 1930 members were able to secure a number of beams taken out of the White House during its 1927 attic renovation; they date from the 1816 rebuilding of the mansion following its burning during the War of 1812.  As part of our recent renovation and expansion one entire beam had to be removed and, to accommodate a new wall, the rest were shortened by about two feet.  The full beam and the pieces went into our storage room while we decided what to do with these historic materials.  About two weeks ago the office of the Curator of the White House sent a truck to pick up the full beam which will now become part of the White House's permanent collection; they are very grateful for the donation and appreciative of the Meeting's thoughtfulness in making the offer.  As for the remaining short cuts, our member Jim Bell has made mementos for our staff from part of one and the remainder are being purchased by a craftsman who specializes in creating objects from historic materials.  The history of these beams was pretty well pieced together from documents in the Meeting's and White House's archives.  (See letter below.)

Left: Letter from Nation Park Service’s liaison to the White House.  Right: Beams in FMW lobby were scavenged from White House, constructed in 1816 using the labor of enslaved Americans. 

FMW Member & Poet Susan Meehan on WAMU Kojo Nnamdi Show

On January 26, FMW member and poet Susan Meehan read a portion of her poem written for Mayor Marion Barry’s second inauguration on NPR/WAMU’s Kojo Nnamdi show.  Her reading is about 12 minutes into this segment.


FMW’s Quaker Spiritual Development Programs in February:  See full schedule of programs sponsored by FMW’s Ministry & Worship Committee HERE, and on FMW’s website,

FCNL workshop “Learn to Lobby in 30 Minutes,” Tuesday, Feb 2, 6:30-7:00 pm. Friends Committee on National Legislation is the oldest faith-based lobbying organization in the U.S. Register here for this online workshop.  For more information contact

FCNL “Thursdays with Friends” Episode 21 “Current Events,” Feb 4, 4:00-4:30 pm.
Friends Committee on National Legislation’s Thursdays with Friends series.  Join on Zoom.  For more information on Thursdays with Friends and other FCNL programs, go to

lternatives to Violence + Nonviolent Communication workshop, Saturday, Feb 6, 10am-12:30 pm  This 2-for-one Zoom event led by AVP-MD and NVC is a sample workshop on peacebuilding, conflict resolution, and communication. It’s free.  Registration is required. Sign up here!  For more information contact AVP-DC coordinator Zephyr Williams,

Chesapeake Climate Action Network 16th Annual Polar Plunge Fundraiser, Saturday, February 13. Funds raised support CCAN’s important regional climate work and the work of FMW’s Peace & Social Concerns Committee--our biggest fundraiser of the year!  Please make a donation to Quaking Quakers Plunge Team!  (Or, join us!)  For more info, contact team Captain Elaine Wilson, (734) 276-2191 or

FMW’s Monthly Meeting for Business, Sunday, February 14, 12:15pm.  All are invited to our FMW community’s once-a-month opportunity for discussion and decision making.  Join Zoom Meeting (Same link at 10:30 Meeting for Worship.  For more information contact FMW co-clerks Debby Churchmanan ( and Rebecca Nelson, (

Book Discussion with Isabel Wilkerson, author of “Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents” February 17, 6:00 pm:  Isabel Wilkerson, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and storyteller, author of Warmth of Other Suns and now Caste:  The Origins of Our Discontents, winner of many book awards in 2020.  Please spread the word.  If you wish to attend contact: Beth Cogswell,, (571) 344-8055 or Lucy Steinitz,,  (443) 410-2008.

Background on “Caste”:  Early on, Ms. Wilkerson likens our examination of this American nation to a new owner’s inspection of an inherited old house.  As she tours the property she is increasingly overwhelmed by the years of neglect amplified in every creaking step she takes.   Shining a light on cracked and peeling paint, descending steps to a dark, mildewed basement, listening in the attic to fluttering roof shingles, the owner asks herself,  “Why wasn’t this house taken care of over the years?  Why is it my problem now?  Do I really want to spend all my money and time to save this decrepit, old house?  Is there a sound skeleton worth saving?”

The same questions could be asked in inspecting our country.  None of us lay the foundation for this old nation.  None of us exploited human beings in its construction.  None of us neglected its upkeep during the 244 years since it was birthed.  But here we are living and working on this homestead that in 2020 seems to be crumbling around us.   In order to save our house we must shine a light into all the nooks and crannies and uncover the skeleton of these United States.  Then we might be able to decide if it is worth saving, if it can be mended.

Please support our DC neighbors in need!

As the pandemic winds on, the number of DC residents who can’t feed themselves and their families is on the rise.  Your donations of funds, shelf-stable foods--and volunteer time--can provide meals for families who would otherwise go hungry.  Here are 3 DC organizations that need our support:

Thinking about Race - February 2021

From Zadie Smith’s Intimations
Published in 2020, Intimations contains reflections “on what has happened—and what should come next.”

"6. Darren

“That prejudice is most dangerous not when it resides in individual hearts and minds but when it is preserved in systems.  For example:  an educational system that proves unable to see a boy as a child, seeing him only as a potential threat.  That any child who enters such a prejudiced system will be in grave danger.  Be he ever so beautiful and talented, inspired and inspirational, loving and love—he can still be broken.”

The end page of the book states:  All the author’s royalties will go to charity.  This edition benefits:

  • The Equal Justice Initiative
  • The COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund for New York

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,

FMW Post Pandemic: What are YOU Looking Forward To? 

We invested money and time in the reconstruction of our Meeting House.  Now we are investing in the future in a different way:  by staying away, doing all that is possible to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe.  But now there’s a vaccine.  It will be months--but we can begin to make out the light at the end of this long, long tunnel.  Let’s take some time to dream and plan for how we will make community and use our Meeting House well.  What are you looking forward to, when we can finally come back together again in-person?

Gene Throwe: Work Days!
“We used to get together every couple of months on a Saturday:  The Library Committee would work in the Library.  The Garden Committee in the Garden….Property Committee and others….all doing their work.  Together.  And it was fun.  I look forward to being able to do that again!”

So….What are YOU looking forward to?  (Responses to this question will be printed in this Newsletter each month from now until re-opening of the Meeting House.)  

Meeting for Business Minutes & Attachments

Friends Meeting of Washington
Monthly Meeting for Worship with a Concern for Business

Query for Worship Sharing: How do we maintain hope in dark days? 

Clerk’s Report, January 2021

In Memoriam

  • Herbert Finley Rudd II, attender, passed away on December 28 following a bout of COVID-19
  • Holding everyone in our community who has suffered a loss recently in the Light 

Upcoming Events

  • FMW Community “Zinner”, Wednesday, January 13, 7:00 p.m.  Join Zoom Meeting  By phone, dial  (301)715-8592, enter mtg ID: 889 452 05226#. 
  • FCNL's "Thursdays with Friends" Jan 21, 4-4:30 pm  The Administration’s First 100 Days.  FCNL's "Thursdays With Friends" series is held every 2nd Thursday.  Learn more and register HERE.
  • Toward Right Relationship with Native Peoples, January 31, 12:30 pm
    Workshop with Quaker scholar Paula Palmer, sponsored by FMW Peace & Social Concerns.  Register for the Jan 31 TRR workshop here.  For more info contact Steve Chase,  [This workshop has been rescheduled for 3/21 -editor]

  • Ignatian Prayer, Part 1 of Workshop Series on Prayer. Jan. 31, 3 - 4:30 p.m.
    Please pre-register here for the Zoom workshop.  Materials will be e-mailed to you before the event. The workshop will give you an experience of Ignatian prayer.
    Presenter: Sabrina McCarthy,, cell 240.778.5234 

FMW Community Highlights & Kudos

  • Responding to a last minute Christmas request to Peace & Social Concerns from Metropolitan AME, FMW helped purchase gifts for 200 low income elderly residents + 6 children at Judiciary House using an inactive FMW “Senior Center fund.” The kids received six knapsack gifts leftover from Shoebox project.  
  • Thanks to Joe D’Antonio and Community Family Life Services (CFLS) Speakers Bureau for their powerful presentation “Trauma and Empowerment: Four Women’s Journeys.”
  • Bob Meehan’s annual sale of Quaker Treasure Chest Bread raised $1,241 for Personal Aid Committee!  
  • First Day School is hosting a Friends Meeting of Washington Movie Club meeting to discuss the new movie Soul
  • Young Adult Friends held a PowerPoint Party to celebrate Quakemas in December.
  • Debby Churchman and Peace & Social Concerns co-clerks’ letter, We Declare: Black Lives Matter  was published in the Washington Post on December 21.
  • FMW Friends joined the congregation of Luther Place Memorial Church in a socially distanced prayer witness outside on Wednesday January 6, at the invitation of Pastor Karen Brau.  Luther Place was one of four DC churches whose BLM banners were vandalized during the last “Proud Boy” protests in DC. 

Tenant Updates- Activities at our Meeting House

  • FMW’s office spaces are now fully rented 

Major Business

Membership: Annual Committee Report - Rob Farr 

Rob Farr presented the annual membership report.  Membership had an eventful year.  The following were welcomed into the meeting as members:  Jessica Wolfley and Earl Eutsler and their children Noah and Kaelyn as associate members; Bill Parker; José Santos Woss; Chris Kearns McCoy; Gerri Fitzgerald; Allison Rasko; and Bill Strein. Tom Yonker’s second presentation to Meeting for Business will occur today on Jan. 10, 2021.

The committee adjusted to Zoom meetings and Zoom clearness committees.  Little was lost in the translation, though there was something lost with face-to-face meetings in clearness committees.

The committee has discussed areas of potential overlap with the Personal Aid Committee.  The priority moving forward is following up with new FMW members, truly newcomers.  Outreach actions include sending them a Pendle Hill pamphlet and membership letter (attached below).  Other outreach includes making note of newcomers who introduce themselves at the end of meeting for worship, following up with those newcomers and seeing if they would like to be placed on an email distribution lists.

The committee also suggested reinstituting the Quaker in the Corner, using a Zoom chat room.  The committee has bonded over the year.  A Friend commented that Membership should communicate with Ministry & Worship about guidelines on reaching out to newcomers and obtaining their contact information.  A friend strongly supported reinstituting the Quaker in the Corner.

Another friend commented that there are three active members in the Personal Aid Committee.  Another friend noted that they are actively seeking feedback and comments on the format of the 10:30 meeting.  

Another Friend noted that to launch Quaker in the Corner over Zoom may require additional technical steps, and may present technical difficulties.

Friends accepted the report.

Second presentation of Tom Yonker for full membership

    Friends approve this nomination.  

Membership transfer - Viticia Thames and Abyssinia Hoover 

Rob presented this transfer.  One friend noted that Abyssinia will become an associate member.  Friends approved these nominations.. 

Tom thanked the meeting.  A friend said that she appreciated Tom’s positivity at early mornings serving pancake breakfast.  Another Friend noted Tom’s leadership in Black Lives Matter meeting for worship organizing.  Another friend attested to the wonderful qualities Tom displays outside of meeting.

Another friend expressed gratitude that Tish has transferred her membership to FMW from Bethesda FM.  Other friends expressed gratitude about how Tish has been a source of light for them and about how Tish fits so well with FMW’s culture. 

Tish thanked the meeting for the warm welcome to Tish and Abyssinia, and for all the love and support.

Nominating Committee - Martha Solt   

Martha presented a draft of the nominating committee report, and notes that the draft has not been approved by the committee.  This Draft Committee Report will be postponed until next month.

  • Joe D’Antonio as co-clerk of Ministry and Worship. Friends approve this nomination. 
  • Bobby Trice as Member of Library, Records and Handbook.  Friends approve this nomination.  

Gene Throwe and other Friends thanked Martha for her incredible job as clerk of the nominating committee over the last year.  The job is always a difficult one, and even more so this year with the challenges presented by the pandemic.

Search Committee 

  • Virginia Avanesyan to clerk Nominating Committee.  Debby presented Virginia’s nomination.  Friends approve this nomination.

Gene Throwe for Library, Records & Handbook 

Gene stated that there are no updates to the handbook to propose today and that the handbook has been updated with changes made in the preceding year.  Last month, Gene read through the handbook and noted that much needed to be updated.  He will contact clerks of specific committees for updates.  For example, there is no description for employees of the Meeting, e.g., events rental manager.  The handbook’s information on marriages under the care of the meeting must also be finessed and updated, as another example.  Gene will make changes himself, where possible.  Gene would like the handbook to reflect the way that the meeting is today.  

One friend thanked Gene and asked whether it was wise to take the handbook as it currently is, and post that version.  The latest, still-in-progress version of the handbook will be posted today and also distributed through the FMW e-mail listserv.  The current version is 54 pages.    

Spiritual State of the Meeting process - Jean Capps, Ministry & Worship Committee

Jean notes that Ministry & Worship undergoes an annual process to assess the spiritual state of the Meeting.  Each year, FMW writes a summary of its own spiritual state, which it sends to Baltimore Yearly Meeting.  Historical written, annual spiritual states of the meeting get read at Yearly Meeting and serve as important documents.

The meeting will send out queries and survey questions to members.  Members will be invited to fill out the survey, in a Google Doc form.  Friends are also encouraged to send e-mails expressing their views on the spiritual state of the meeting to Sabrina McCarthy.  One friend noted that additional thoughts can be sent to  Jean concludes by noting that this is only the beginning of the discernment process.

The Committee is also seeking input specifically on improvements that could be made to the Sunday morning 10:30 meeting.  There may be a called Meeting on Zoom on the 10:30 meeting for worship.      

FMW Senior Center Funds: - Jim Bell 

  • Suggested donation to Friends House to assist in support and inclusion of low-income residents

Jim notes that he is not a member of the Finance & Stewardship Committee.  The Meeting has a Senior Fund that could potentially finance low-income activities at Friends House.  Jim and other Friends serve on the board of Friends House, which has a strong appeal to low-income individuals and has opened an 80-person housing unit for low-income individuals and couples.  The program provides these individuals money towards meals, medicine, and rental assistance.  Friends House emphasizes the needs of low-income residents.

Another friend notes that the Meeting has a number of restricted funds.  These funds are segregated and are established by donors that express specific instructions for how their donations should be used.  One such fund currently exists for the benefit of senior citizens.   

There are a number of these funds that have not recently made distributions.  A friend stated that the question of what to do with these funds should be raised by the Finance & Stewardship Committee.

Jim notes that Friends House was started in the 1960’s and serves as a continuous care retirement community.  It was founded in part by FMW Members.  It has over 200 units, 80 of which are designated as low-income.  It is located next to Sandy Spring Friends School.  Several current FMW members live there, and a considerable number of Quakers retire there.  It is one of the few retirement communities with a low-income component.  Jim notes that he is unsure of the process of distributing Senior Center funds to Friends House, but accepts that it may need to first go through Finance & Stewardship.

Another friend notes that there is approximately $4400 in the current Senior Center Fund.  Another friend notes that Finance & Stewardship has previously compiled a list of organizations that FMW would want to financially contribute to.  This Friend recommends F&S sends out an invitation to the listserve inviting suggestions for additional organizations that FMW could consider contributing to.

A member of F&S states that the Meeting has a “giving budget,” and makes a number of annual contributions to various philanthropic organizations.  The F&S committee will have to consider how to direct these contributions in the coming year.  The question of what to do with the separate, segregated funds is distinct, but also must be decided by the Meeting.

Another Friend emphasizes that this is a restricted fund, and the question here is whether donating to Friends House is in line with the specific donors’ original intent.  

Another Friend asks for clarification.  What is the proposal before this current Meeting for Business?  Is the question of whether to approve $4400 to Friends House from this fund?  Jim clarifies that he is requesting $2,000 from the Senior Center Funds to support the Residence Assistance Fund at Friends House.  The donation would be to help low-income individuals at Friends House.

Another friend clarifies that F&S should make recommendations for whether to donate to the Friends House, in accordance with the normal budgeting process.  This Friend states that everyone could give numerous recommendations of worthy organizations and asks for selection criteria to narrow the universe.

A Friend responds that F&S identifies the segregated funds and determines if they are active.  The Friend requests that F&S come up with criteria for how to use the funds and requests that inactive funds be shut down.

Another Friend notes that the Meeting is in difficult financial straits and considers whether the Meeting should take care itself first before donating to other organizations.

Friends refer Jim Bell’s proposal to F&S committee and request that questions surrounding whether to donate to Senior House be considered with larger budgeting and donation questions in the normal course.

Another Friend notes that Friends House is soliciting donations from several Friends meetings and Friends organizations in the area.

Another Friend notes that there may be a conflict with contributing to Friends House (or soliciting donations) given that FMW members serve on the Friends House board.  Friends agree that F&S will first consider donations matters, and such issues will be considered by the Full Meeting--effectively resolving any potential conflict of interest.

Jim asks what the process was for giving $2,000 to the AME church out of this fund this last December.  There was not a full meeting process for distributing those funds.  There is a process for distributing charitable funds that should be followed moving forward.

Neil Froemming states that F&S considered the $2,000 request to the AME church.  The decision was rushed given time constraints, and F&S reported that donation to the Full Meeting, taking place today.  The F&S Committee acted on behalf of the Meeting.  Ordinarily, donations like that are brought to Meeting for Business.  For the AME donation in particular, there was not sufficient time. 

Committee Reports & Regular Agenda Item Due Dates 2021:
(For discussion.  Some of these are legacy.  Updates & adjustment needed.)

- February:  Healing & Reconciliation.  Spiritual State of the Meeting Report
- March: Personal Aid. Spiritual State of the Meeting Report-2nd hearing
- April: Property.  Minutes of Committee of Clerks, Report on BYM Interim Meeting.
- May: Clerks Summary of Reports of Reps of Certain Related Organizations.  Budget
- June:  Personnel, Religious Education.  Budget, Reporters for BYM.
- July: Clerks Summary of Reports of Reps of Certain Related Organizations, Child Safety
- August:  (No Mtg for Business)
- September:  Finance & Stewardship, Hospitality, Hunger & Homelessness
- October: Peace & Social Concerns, Ministry & Worship, Young Adult Friends
- November:  Trustees (incl Audit Report), Marriage & Family Relations, Search Committee
- December:  Nominiating Cttee, Annual reports of Liaisons w/AFSC and FCNL



This year, the Membership Committee welcomed 11 new members and two transfers from other Meetings. New members welcomed: 

  • Jessica Wolfley and Earl Eutsler and their children Noah and Kaelyn as associate members
  • Bill Parker
  • José Santos Woss
  • Chris Kearns McCoy
  • Gerri Fitzgerald
  • Allison Rasko
  • Bill Strein
  • Tom Yonker (second presentation to Meeting for Business on Jan. 10, 2021)

Transfers processed:

  • Tom Goodhue to Des Moines Valley Friends Meeting
  • D.J. Foster from Bethesda Friends Meeting
  • Viticia Thames and her daughter Abyssinia Hoover from Bethesda Friends Meeting (presented to Meeting for Business on Jan. 10, 2021)

A Sojourning Letter was sent for:

  • Katie Breslin, who is now attending Earlham College School of Religion

Beginning this year, new members were sent Four Doors to Meeting for Worship, by William Taber, Pendle Hill Pamphlet #306. As with all committees, Membership wrestled with fulfilling our mission after FMW closed due to COVID-19. But we found we were able to meet and conduct clearness committees via Zoom without any difficulty.

This year we were presented with a request to merge with the Personal Aid Committee. The reasons for this proposal were laid out in the Meeting for Business minutes so I won’t repeat them here. We met with the two active PA committee members, Mary Melchior and Greg Robb, and discussed areas of potential overlap. While we did not think it wise to formalize a merger of the missions immediately, we agreed to meet together for a year so we can make a recommendation to the full Meeting in about twelve months.

From our discussions, it became clear that more than one committee felt unable to fully accomplish their missions due to lack of active committee membership. Even if Membership and PA merged our missions, this does not solve the larger problem. It is our hope that the Meeting at large will address this problem, which pre-dates the COVID era, but has only been exacerbated in recent months.

Another topic that Membership addressed this year was follow-up with new members to help them more fully integrate into the life of the Meeting. This most often takes the form of calling and emailing in the weeks and months after their formal membership has been approved by the Meeting for Business. 

At our last committee meeting, Friend Elaine Wilson suggested that we make an effort to follow-up with visitors who introduce themselves on Zoom at rise of Meeting. Furthermore, the tradition of “Quaker in the Corner” can be maintained in the Zoom-era by having a volunteer serve in that role in one of the chat rooms, then making that room available for new attenders with questions. The Membership Committee concurred that these are very good ideas that should be adopted by the Meeting.

We have built a strong committee and forged new friendships through our work, one of the purposes of committee work
In the Light,
Beth Cogswell, Rob Farr, Clerk, Gray Handley, Judy Hubbard, Recording Clerk, Kathy Lipp-Farr, Zoe Plaugher

Welcome Letter to new members

Dear Friend,

We are so pleased that you have joined our spiritual community, the Friends Meeting of Washington (FMW).  As we have gotten to know you during the membership discernment process, we have been reminded that our faith and our Meeting is renewed and nourished when way opens for seekers like you to join the Society of Friends.  We pray that your spiritual journey will continue with us for any years to come.  

As you begin your time as a Member of FMW, we want you to know that your meeting will continue to care for you and that together we hope to nurture your spiritual wellbeing as you, in turn, will care for and nurture the wellbeing of your fellow Members and others who constitute our Meeting.      

Enclosed is a small welcoming gift which we trust will provide some thoughtful interludes as you contemplate your participation in future Meetings for Worship and in living a Light-centered life.  No Quaker guide will have all the answers to your questions but there is great comfort in knowing that no question cannot be answered when we turn with an open heart to the Spirit for enlightenment.  We hope that this short pamphlet will speak to your condition as it provides a perspective on the ways in which worship enriches our lives and our attentiveness enables worship.  

We are so thankful that you are now among us with your many gifts.  We encourage you to continue to support your Meeting in word and deed – even by challenging us when you feel led to help move us toward greater fidelity with Friends’ values and beliefs.  We trust you as a conduit of the Light and we honor you for joining us.

Please do not hesitate to let any of us on the Membership Committee know if you have questions or concerns about your life as a Friend or about our Meeting.  We will do all we can to answer your queries and to guide you toward resources that can help with discernment or spiritual growth.  Rest assured that you are joining a loving community united in faith and in the daily practice of our beliefs.  We trust you will be an active member of our community and our committees – enriching its spiritual value for us as individuals, for others in the FMW community and for the Society of Friends within the world at large.    

With sincerity and love, we are holding you in the Light as you enter this new phase of your spiritual journey.  We are so pleased that you have decided to make the Friends Meeting of Washington your vessel for that journey.  

Your Friends, 

Rob Farr, Clerk, and the members of the FMW Membership Committee 

FMW Nominating Committee 2020 Report - DRAFT

The FMW Handbook charges Nominating Committee with the care and well-being of the committee system insomuch as it brings to Meeting for Business nominations for individuals to serve in certain roles.  Many members and attenders find service on FMW committees rewarding.  

Staffing Committees in 2020

During the majority of 2020, FMW’s physical facilities have been closed and meetings have been conducted by Zoom.  Some committees have functioned very well remotely, and others have functioned without all members.  Some committees, such as Marriage and Family Relations and Hospitality, have not met at all because the pandemic has reduced the need for the services they provide.  Nominating Committee has faced challenges recruiting people to serve on committees in part due to lack of in-person contact.  

FMW will have a full slate of officers approved for the Meeting in 2021.  Almost all committees will have clerks approved for 2021, but many committees are not and have not for many years been functioning with the number of members recommended in the FMW Handbook. Special (non-standing) committees have not received attention from Nominating Committee.   Reiterating a quote from Nominating Committee’s 2018 report:  “… most special committees [are] in a kind of limbo. Past practice has Nominating bringing forward members of IT and Capital Campaign, but, for example, not Young Adult Friends. It is our hope that Meeting for Business will clarify this responsibility for each special committee in the coming year, taking action toward: 1) placing special committees under the care of standing committees; 2) laying down special committees; 3) converting special committees into standing committees.”

2017 Committee Structure Task Force

Nominating Committee has worked to implement recommendations made by the 2017 Committee Structure Task Force.  These recommendations are:

  1. offering 1, 2 and 3 year terms of service; 

  2. creating an ex-officio position on Nominating Committee for the Young Adult Friends convener (approved by November 2018 Meeting for Business); 

  3. creating a single-service volunteer app that will augment applicable committees; 

  4. right-sizing committee numbers. 

  5. aggregating committees with adjacent or overlapping responsibilities. 

Nominating Committee has been well served by the participation of Joe D’Antonio the YAF convener as an ex-officio member (the second recommendation).  With respect to the last recommendation, at Nominating Committee’s suggestion, the Meeting has laid down one inactive committee, eliminated a committee whose functions overlap with another, and merged two committees on a trial basis.  This work needs to continue.

The participation of Michael Beer, Todd Harvey, Megan Telfair, and Gene Throwe is appreciated.



Nor’easter DC Style, February 1, 2021