Newsletter - February 2022

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Published monthly – Issue #92 – 02
February 2022


Schedule of Meetings for Worship
2nd Month Query: Meetings for Business

-Helping Keep Winter Cold
-A Message from BYM Camps: Registration is Open!
-Friendly Office Presences (FOPs) Needed
Events & Action Opportunities
Thinking About Race: Virtual Worship with FGC Friends

FMW Meeting for Business Minutes
Clerk’s Report, January 2022
Major Business

-Nominations Committee
-Search Committee
-Membership Committee
-Marriage & Family Relations
-Wording for Handbook re: Child Safety
Other Business
-BYM Indian Affairs Committee "Minute" (Peace & Social Concerns)
-Committee Report and other item due dates
-FMW Rental Report - December 2021
-Nominating Committee Annual Report, 2021
-BYM Indian Affairs Committee Minute in Support of a Truth and Healing Commission

Queries & Advices on Aging


Sundays:  9:00 - 10:00 am Join on Zoom;  10:30-11:30 am Join on Zoom;  
Tuesdays:  6:00 - 7:00 pm Join on Zoom

Monthly Meeting for Business:  12:15 pm February 13 (2nd Sunday) Join on Zoom

In-person worship and events are suspended in February.  
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?

(For more, see: Principles of Organization and Conduct of Business; Decision Making in Friends Meetings)  Source:  BYM Faith & Practice, Part II The Queries


Helping Keep Winter Cold & History Moving toward Social and Economic Justice

Is it Cold Enough for You?   Even if it is too cold for you, we know that Climate change is here and that 2021 was one of the warmest years on record world wide.  Lets Keep Winter Cold! 

Even if you are not going to jump in the Potomac or allow us to throw a bucket of water over you as one of our Quaking Quakers team, YOU can support us by donating to one of the team members (or to the team as a whole)!  Just go to our Quaking Quakers Page to donate.  Even $25 will help us reach our goal of $20,000.    Choose one of our wonderful Friends who have volunteered to get cold and wet!  What do the plungers do?  Checkout this video from last year’s plunge.

Where do the funds go?  Half of of the funds go to support the work of Chesapeake Climate Action Network, the acclaimed non-profit that is doing important work advocating for strong climate legislation in Maryland, Virginia and the District –and on the Hill.  The other half will help sustain FMW’s Social Justice fund, and the social justice, climate and peace initiatives the  members of our Friends Community are engaged with. 

A Message from BYM Camps Manager Brian Massey: Quaker Summer Camps-Registration is open! 

Dear BYM Camps families,

I write with a simple reminder: One week from today, registration for Summer 2022 at BYM Camps will officially open!

If you're excited about having a fun and glorious summer at Catoctin, Opequon, Shiloh, or Teen Adventure, please set your clocks now to go to the BYM Camps Registration Portal on Saturday, January 15th, right at 12pm EST. We can't wait to see the registrations start rolling in!

In the meantime, make sure to check out the new BYM Camps website, especially the Admissions page and the Family Resource Center. If you have any friends who you'd like to bring to camp with you, who you think would enjoy a summer of creative adventure in the Appalachian Mountains, please spread the word! We would love for as many campers and families as possible to be a part of our fabulous camp community. We've designed our website to get new families excited, and to answer all of their (and your) questions! Let me know if something's missing, or if it could be improved in any way.

If you have any questions for me -- either before, during, or after you've registered -- don't hesitate to reach out. Just reply to this email, or find all of my contact information below.

On this snowy January day here in Maryland, I'm already imagining summer. I very much hope to enjoy it with each and every one of you.

Brian Massey (he/him), Program Manager, BYM Camps    T: 336.301.5210

Friendly Office Presences (FOPs) Needed

FMW’s Friendly Office Presences (FOPs) play a crucial role in welcoming people on Sundays, encouraging sign-in, making sure that people know where they are doing and buttoning up the building afterward.  We are looking for someone to be FOP one Sunday a month (or maybe 2 friends would enjoy doing this together.)  For more info, contact Barbara Briggs,

PS:  We are also looking for weekday and weekend Event HostsThis is a paid position.

Events & Action Opportunities

Quaker Spiritual Development Programs - Full schedule for February 2022

FMW & BYM First Day School families and Friends, Friends Wilderness Center, Sunday, February 6, 11:00 - 1:00 pm  (305 Friends Way, Harpers Ferry, WV 25425)
This will be a great outdoor treat for FDS children, teachers, parents, and friends at the China Folk House Retreat and Friends Wilderness Center in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia.

Tour the China Folk House Retreat, a reconstruction of a traditional house and compound from the Yunnan region of China at the Friends Wilderness Center.  Learn about innovative building materials, as well as Chinese history,  architecture, and craftsmanship. 

The high school students who helped rebuild the China Folk House and their teachers, Drs. John Flower and Pam Leonard, will tell us about relocating the house from Yunnan and rebuilding it at the FWC.  Enjoy learning about this unique cultural center, and enjoy tea provided and picnic (byo) around the fire.  Curious? Watch footage of the China Folk House here

All are welcome and encouraged to enjoy the wilderness, the Folk House, and its compound!  Please sign up on this form. (Maximum 50 participants)

Our Life Is Love Study Group (8 weeks), starts, February 6, 7:00 pm

Looking for a deeper exploration of Quaker spirituality? Join Jennifer Hogue (Cambridge, MA, Friends Meeting) and Benjamin Warnke (Brooklyn, NY, Friends Meeting), reading and discussing Our Life Is Love by Marcelle Martin. In her book, Marcelle identifies ten elements of the Quaker spiritual journey and illustrates each of them with stories from both early Quakers and contemporary Friends. For those new to Quakerism, “Quaker-adjacent” folks, and even seasoned Friends, there is much to learn on these pages about what it is like to “cooperate more fully with the movement of the Spirit that wants to transform the human race now.” The group will meet Sunday evenings at 7 p.m. EST starting February 6. Learn more and register here.

Please Donate to Support Social Justice and Climate Work!

The Quaking Quakers of Washington Polar Plunge team will “plunge”--or more likely douse ourselves with icy water–on Saturday, February 12!   We will be raising funds for Chesapeake Climate Action Network, CCAN (one of the country’s most important regional climate organizations) and for FMW’s social justice programs. 
Please donate to help sustain this important work.  Donate or sign up here. For more info on how to join, fundraise or contribute, contact Elaine Wilson: or (734) 276-2191.

Social Justice Fund Small Grants - Application deadline Feb 21
FMW’s Social Justice Fund offers small grants (typically $1,000) to projects members and attenders are working on.  Priority is given to projects that support structural change.  If a small grant could make a big difference in a social justice project you are working on, learn more and apply here.

Teach-in on Neurodiversity, Jobs, Inclusion, Sunday, February 20, 12:15

Mentra is a startup that matches neurodiverse individuals to jobs. The founders of this innovative and highly successful effort will share their story--how and why they began Mentra, and its approach to supporting employment and inclusion for people on the autism spectrum.  Sponsored by FMW's Committee on Peace and Social Concerns and moderated by PSC member Peter Nye, who works with disability employment, this workshop is our next step toward understanding neuro-diversity and working for inclusion at FMW and the broader community.  This event will be held on Zoom (and possibly in-person).
For more information, contact Peter Nye, email:
Join on Zoom.  By phone dial: (301) 715-8592 and enter Meeting ID 979 505 413#

Black Quaker Project Film Festival, February 12 - April 9 (via Zoom)

This film festival focuses on Quakers of Color who for too long have remained within the margins of the Society of Friends and the wider world.  The five film sessions will take place at 1:00 pm every other Saturday, from February 12 to April 9 (Paul Robeson’s birthday).  Each session will include a film centered on a Quaker of Color with an introduction from a guest expert and a follow up discussion facilitated by Black Quaker Project Director Dr. Harold D. (Hal) Weaver. 

On Saturday, February 12, 1:00 pm, the Black Quaker Project will sponsor a screening of “I Am A Woman - Leap of Faith: Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge” (2012) to honor No zizwe Madlala-Routledge (b. 1952), the Quaker United Nations Office (QUNO)-Geneva Director, former South African Deputy Minister of Health, and former South African Deputy Minister of Defense. The film will be followed by a discussion between the honoree and AFSC General Secretary Joyce Ajlouny.  Click here for details and to register 
February 26: “Backs Against the Wall: The Howard Thurman Story” (2019)
March 12: “Alaska on Line: Red Boucher Interviews Mahala Ashley Dickerson”
March 26:  “Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin” (2003) 
April 9, “Paul Robeson and His Quaker Ancestors” (1989) 

Thinking about Race - February 2022:  
Virtual Worship with FGC Friends

“White Friends Confronting Racism meet every Friday at noon and is an important part of my week,” writes Bette Hoover from Sandy Spring Friends Meeting/BYM. “We worship together and support and inspire each other in our work among Friends on becoming an antiracist faith community.  It is so important to do this work in a brave space with others.  Join us via zoom by contacting Linnea at for the link.” 

Here are Details from FGC:  

The Ministry on Racism Program at FGC offers assistance and support to meetings and yearly meetings that want to develop their racial and ethnic awareness, increase their diversity, and strive to address the impact of the institution of racism on our Society.

1. Virtual Worship for White Friends Confronting Racism

The Ministry on Racism is hosting a weekly virtual Meeting for Worship for white Friends/Friends of European descent confronting racism and white supremacy. This worship seeks to nourish white Friends’ communal anti-racism commitment and provide a space for the work we have to do together. It will be held every Friday at 12 PM ET / 11 AM CT / 10 AM MT / 9 AM PT / 6 AM HT. It is in the care of a rotating team of volunteers. 

To view past and recent queries from Virtual Worship for White Friends Confronting Racism click here

If you are white/of European descent and would like to join our worship, please complete the form below:  Register here

2. Virtual Worship Sharing for Friends of Color

In addition to offering weekly unprogrammed worship during this time of the global COVID-19 pandemic, FGC's Ministry on Racism has agreed to hold spaces for worship sharing among Friends of Color. These weekly Worship Sharing spaces will be held on Tuesdays at 5 PM ET / 4 PM CT / 3 PM MT / 2 PM PT / 11 AM HT for 90 minute sessions. The space is in the care of a rotating team of volunteers. 

To view past and recent queries from Virtual Worship for Friends of Color click here.

If you identify as a Person of Color and would like to join us for our weekly worship sharing, please complete this form: Register 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, 10:00 am to 1:00 pm, currently via Zoom.  If you would like to attend, contact the clerk at

FMW Meeting for Business Minutes

Friends Meeting of Washington
Monthly Meeting for Worship with a Concern for Business
Minutes - January 9, 2022

Meeting began at 12:15 pm, by Zoom, and included 21 F/friends.

Query for Worship Sharing: As we enter the third year of this pandemic, and life seems in constant flux, how does our faith anchor us?

Clerk’s Report, January 2022

Upcoming Events

  • Friendly Quaker Film Club kick off, January 26, 6:00 - 8:00 pm, Online
    Join us for a query-led virtual discussion of “The Wizard of Oz.” Watch on your own and come prepared to go deep.  Join on Zoom.  By phone dial: (301) 715-8592 and enter Meeting ID: 8518 6585 765# on prompt. For details, contact Bill Parker,, cell: (301) 221-4539 

  • WIN Ward 3 Affordable Housing Rally, Sunday, January 23, 3:00 pm (on Zoom) and FMW post-meeting.  Work with Washington Interfaith Network has proved an extraordinary opportunity to collaborate with faith groups across DC and to put FMW’s commitment to be an anti-racist community into practice.  Many FMW members/attenders are Ward 3 residents, so this is an opportunity to work for justice in our own backyard.  Our goal is to bring 20+ FMW folks to this important meeting. (WIN is working for overall turnout of at least 300.)  We will meet briefly afterward to debrief and discuss in more detail how our FMW team can best contribute to the Ward 3 campaign. For more info, contact Elaine Wilson ( or Beth Cogswell (, WIN Core Group.  InfoGraphicRegister here.

  • Polar Plunge Fundraiser Register now!
    The Quaking Quakers Polar Plunge team is forming!  Join us raising funds for Chesapeake Climate Action Network (CCAN) and FMW’s social justice programs. 
    Last year we raised nearly $16,000!  Can we raise more in 2022?  Hot chocolate, fun, and swag are perks of being part of the team!  ∾  This year on Saturday, February 12 we plan/hope is to plunge into the Potomac River at Washington Harbor.  But we are flexible with how our team might plunge for the safety of all participants.   Sign up here and join the team.  For more info on how to join, fundraise or contribute, contact Elaine Wilson: or (734) 276-2191.
  • Committee of Clerks, January 30, 9:00 am via zoom
    All clerks of FMW committees are urged to attend this important quarterly meeting.
  • On Jan. 18-20, Friends can join others in BYM to visit the embassies in DC of countries that have ratified the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. We will deliver a Certificate of Appreciation and yellow roses as a symbol of friendship (following COVID precautions). For more information, contact Andrea Norouzi (Frederick Friends) at

FMW Community Highlights & Kudos

  • Thanks to Meredith MacNab and Ann Herzog for organizing the silent meditation on January 1st to bring in the new year in a reflective way!

  • Suspension of FMW in-person meetings in January:  Due to the huge presence of Omicron in the DC area, the Committee of Clerks agreed to cancel all in-person meetings for worship in the Meetinghouse through First Month. We will re-evaluate at the end of this month. While we all long for the day when we can safely reunite as a community, we are grateful both for the technology of Zoom which allows us to continue to come together as a community, and for our tech gurus who make this as smooth as possible. 

  • Update on Baldwin House:  A Giant Step, in part thanks to FMW support
    From Chris Kearns-McCoy: “As of Christmas Eve, Baldwin House Community Cooperative has entered into an agreement with the tenants of 2572 Sherman Ave NW to redevelop the building into cooperative housing by the name of Baldwin House--they voted unanimously last Monday and the agreement was executed later that week.  Now we get to move on to the immense work of raising a lot more money in donations and grants, finding the most favorable mortgage available, renovating the building, establishing the cooperative structure and so much more.  In gratitude and friendship, Chris”  This project, discussed at December’s Meeting for Business, is supported by FMW’s Committee on Peace and Social Concerns and a number of individual members and attenders.

Tenant Updates- Activities at our Meeting House

  • See Rental Manager’s summary report, below
  • Event Hosts and FOPs needed.  How can we recruit new folks to deepen our bench? Reach out to Brian Luttenegger if you know anyone interested in serving as an Event Host or FOP.

Major Business

Nominations Committee - Virginia Avanesyan

  • Recording Clerk:  Tristan Kirkman has agreed to be recording clerk until March, with the option to continue at that point.  -Friends approve this nomination.
  • Trustees: Chad Dobson will be nominated as a Trustee. -Friends approve this nomination.  
  • Ministry and Worship:  Jean Capps will be nominated as clerk.  -Friends approve this nomination.
  • Peace & Social Concerns: Barbara Briggs has agreed to serve a second term as clerk.  We hope to identify a co-clerk to work with her. -Friends approve this nomination.
  • Marriage & Family Relations: Martha Solt. -Friends approve this nomination.


  • Arlene Lutenegger is resigning from the Personal Aid Committee. -Friends accept this resignation.
  • Virginia Avanesyan is resigning as clerk of Nominating Committee, but will remain on the committee. -Friends accept this resignation.
  • Chad Dobson resigns from Library, Records and Handbook Committee.  -Friends accept this resignation. 

    Annual Report - see attached (Virginia Avanesyan)

The Clerk presented the Nominations Committee’s 2021 Annual Report.  Our members continued to serve on committees in strong numbers, despite the ongoing pandemic.  The Committee benefitted in part from being able to meet over Zoom.  As detailed in the attached report, various committees have been combined to form new committees.  

One Friend asked if the Meeting is aware of what percentage of Members is currently serving on committees.  The Friend suggested that the Nominating Committee track the number of current resident members who are currently serving and not serving on committees.

Another Friend suggested that it may make sense for Membership and Nominating to collaborate on what the expectations are for Members and Attenders to serve on Committees. 

Friends noted their great appreciation for Virginia’s work as head of the Nominating Committee for the year.  It has been a Herculean task, and Virginia has done a splendid job.
Friends accept this report.

Search Committee - Debby Churchman

The Search Committee was established to locate potential members of the Nominating Committee.  Proposed new members for Nominating Committee:  Jim Bell & Allen Fawcett.  -Friends approve these nominations

Proposed new clerk of Nominating Committee: Michael Beer.  Friends approve this nomination.

Membership Committee - Bobby Trice

Jason Terry, first presentation

Bobby Trice and Beth Cogswell met with Jason and convened a clearness committee to discern his membership application.  Both enthusiastically recommend him for membership.  Jason has attended FMW for ten years.

Friends thanked Jason for his early leadership in shifting FMW to Zoom.  Friends expressed enthusiasm about Jason’s membership and deep gladness that he is part of FMW’s community.

This nomination will be held over for one month, as is our custom.

Marriage & Family Relations - Martha Solt

2nd presentation, marriage of Annelise Haskell and Eli Greenspan.  Oversight Committee: Martha Solt, Dan Dozier, Debby Churchman, Rabbi Deborah Reichmann

The Meeting approves the proposed marriage of Annelise Haskell and Eli Greenspan, which will be held under the Care of the Meeting, as well as the Oversight Committee.  The wedding is scheduled for April 2.  

Wording for Handbook re: Child Safety - Virginia Avanesyan

The Clerk noted a proposed change in FMW’s handbook, which is linked directly on FMW’s webpage.  The handbook refers specifically to the Child Safety Committee, which no longer exists as previously constituted.  The below changes to FMW’s handbook are proposed:  

7.1 Child Safety Committee

The Child Safety Committee of Friends Meeting of Washington is composed of five or six members, two of which, the Coordinator of Youth Programs and a representative from the Religious Education Committee, are ex-officio members.As a Standing Committee of Friends Meeting of Washington, the Child Safety Committee would:

  • Serve as the primary Committee at Friends Meeting of Washington to address actual or possible child safety concerns
  • In addition to the annual report, review, write, and edit the child safety policies and guidelines, which are submitted for approval to Meeting for Worship with a Concern for Business.
  • Provide support and training to all persons at Friends Meeting of Washington involved in children’s activities requiring the implementation of the Child Safety Policy
  • Provide educational programs about child safety for all ages
  • Consult with the Property Committee regarding policies for the use of Meeting property by outside groups
  • Maintain contact with Baltimore Yearly Meeting regarding matters related to child safety

This is suggested language: 

7.1 Child Safety

Child safety is ensured at Friends Meeting of Washington by implementing the recommendations of our partnering insurance company through three FMW committees: Religious Education, Trustees, and Personnel. Designated representatives of these three committees serve as the primary responders to address actual or possible child safety concerns.  

  • The Religious Education representatives provide support and training to all persons at Friends Meeting of Washington involved in children’s activities requiring the implementation of the Child Safety Policy and provide educational programs about child safety for all ages. 
  • The Religious Education Committee will maintain contact with Baltimore Yearly Meeting regarding matters related to child safety. 
  • The Trustees representatives review, write, and edit the child safety policies and guidelines, subject to approval of the Trustees Committee. The resulting revisions are submitted by Trustees for approval by Meeting for Worship.
  • The Personnel representatives will conduct criminal background checks and verify the suitability of FMW employees who will work with children in the course of their duties in coordination with the Religious Education Committee. 

One Friend supported these changes, though expressed concern over the first sentence regarding recommendations from our insurance company.  We, as a community, make decisions based upon how we are led, not based on what insurance companies tell us to do.  The Friend suggested that moving forward, language in our handbook should reflect that.  Several other Friends said that this Friend speaks their mind. 

Virginia  responded that the insurance company’s recommendations comes from actuarial data and the reality that horrible instances of child abuse have tragically been prevelant in religious organizations.  The insurers exist to provide us with guidelines intended to keep our Meeting and Community safe.  She noted that these guidelines are widely followed by other religious and non-religious organizations and asked whether there is any data that recommendations from our insurers are somehow flawed or not in keeping with Quaker values. 

Another Friend stated that he believes that criminal background checks are inherently biased and may not be appropriate for FMW, or generally in keeping with Quaker values. 

One Friend noted that she does not object to the insurance language and responded to stated concerns regarding criminal background checks.  The Friend stated that criminal background checks for those who work with children should continue.  FMW should be mindful that some people with criminal records should be permitted to work with children, but the Meeting should have all available information about the criminal records of those who are responsible over children at FMW.

Another Friend asked others to be respectful of the immense amount of thought, work, and experience that has gone into ensuring that FMW’s children remain safe and noted that criminal background checks are a critical part of that process.  This Friend noted in the past, that families have left the Meeting when they felt that the safety of their children was not the Meeting’s primary concern. 

Another Friend noted that at BYM there were serious concerns about volunteers endangering the safety of children.  The Friend also noted that some members of the FMW community have a had a history of criminal sexual relations with minors and that these safety concerns should be taken seriously.  The Friend asked whether there is a process in place for Members or Attenders to report suspicious activity.

The other Friend noted that child safety is a broad term and perhaps the handbook’s guidance could be broadened.

Virginia noted that there is a broader child safety policy; the language above relates to the FMW handbook, which is not as broad as the overarching child safety policy.

Friends approved the following language, in lieu of the above: (first sentence): “Child safety is ensured at Friends Meeting of Washington by implementing the Child Safety Policy through three FMW committees:”

Friends approved the following language, in lieu of the above (final bullet point): “The Personnel representatives will verify the suitability of FMW employees who will work with children in the course of their duties in coordination with the Religious Education Committee, including conducting criminal background checks.”

Friends noted that the term “employees” as used in this section of the FMW handbook includes volunteers.  Friends approve that the words “employees, contractors, and volunteers” will replace the word “employees” in the fourth bullet point, above.

Friends approve this FMW handbook language, conditioned on the above edits. One Friend stood aside with respect to the decision regarding criminal background checks.  The following language was approved:

7.1 Child Safety

Child safety is ensured at Friends Meeting of Washington by implementing the Child Safety Policy through three FMW committees: Religious Education, Trustees, and Personnel. Designated representatives of these three committees serve as the primary responders to address actual or possible child safety concerns.  

  • The Religious Education representatives provide support and training to all persons at Friends Meeting of Washington involved in children’s activities requiring the implementation of the Child Safety Policy and provide educational programs about child safety for all ages. 
  • The Religious Education Committee will maintain contact with Baltimore Yearly Meeting regarding matters related to child safety. 
  • The Trustees representatives review, write, and edit the child safety policies and guidelines, subject to approval of the Trustees Committee. The resulting revisions are submitted by Trustees for approval by Meeting for Worship.
  • The Personnel representatives will verify the suitability of FMW employees, contractors, and volunteers who will work with children in the course of their duties in coordination with the Religious Education Committee, including conducting criminal background checks.

Other Business

BYM "Minute" on Indian Boarding Schools, Support for formation of a Truth and Healing Commission for Native Peoples - Peace & Social Concerns - Helena Cobban

Peace and Social Concerns recommends full adoption of the attached Minute brought by BYM’s Indian Affairs Committee and support for a process of discernment and acknowledgement of Quaker involvement in suppression of indigenous peoples and culture.

The attached minute comes from the National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition.  The attached link provides the organization’s petition:

Congress is currently considering the establishment of a commission to study and make recommendations regarding Native American boarding schools.  Another Friend noted that we as a faith community should acknowledge the role that Quakers played in Native American boarding schools.

P&SC asks that FMW formally endorse this minute for BYM.  Friends approve this Minute, and approve the acknowledgement that we as a community share responsibility for the harm that came from these boarding schools.

Committee of Clerks Meeting, Jan 30

Agenda:  Planning for 2022.  Re-opening.  What other items should clerks discuss?

Committee Report and other item due dates:  

- January: Membership, Library Records & Handbook. Semi-annual report on Handbook changes.

A Friend has distributed drafts of various portions of the Handbook to Members responsible to update them, and requested updates by March 1.

- February: Spiritual State of the Meeting report

A Friend noted that this Report was discussed at the recent M&W Committee Meeting.  The Report will not be ready in February.  A draft of the report will be presented in March, and the final report will be presented for approval in April.

- March: Personal Aid, Spiritual State of the Meeting report

- April: Property Committee, Minutes of Committee of Clerks, Report on BYM Interim Meeting

- May: Budget

- June: Personnel;  Religious Education; Budget, Reporters for Baltimore Yearly Meeting

- July: Presiding Clerks’ summary of reports of Reps to Related Organizations;  MJ Simpson Scholarship;  Report on BYM Interim Meeting; Semiannual Report on Handbook changes

- August: (No scheduled Meeting for Business)

- September:  Finance & Stewardship, Hospitality, (formerly, Child Safety report was due in September.) MJS Scholarship, Report on BYM Annual Sessions, (formerly, Fundraising Taskforce report was given in October)

- October: Peace & Social Concerns, Ministry & Worship, Young Adult Friends, Hunger & Homelessness Taskforce;  Appointment of Search Committee

- November: Trustees (including Audit report); Search Committee;   Report on BYM Interim Meeting; State of the Staff report

- December:  Report on BYM Interim Meeting; State of the Staff report

Meeting ended at 1:45 pm, with 21 F/friends in attendance.  


FMW Rental Report - December 2021
Prepared by Brian Lutenegger, Event and Rental Manager

Booked Events - FY22:  $22,822 booked in December 2021 and $198,224 booked so far this fiscal year.

Earned from Events - FY22:  In December, we earned $17,232 for events successfully completed. We have already earned $138,603 in just the first six months of FY22 (our budget was $100,000).

Booked Events - FY23: More than $28,000 so far

Peerspace: Since we started using Peerspace, over 48% of our booking income has come from that site, although it is becoming less important (only about 34 percent in December)

Social and other events in December 2021 included:

  • Two Jewish communities holding regular services in our gardens
  • Multiple baby and bridal showers as well as other parties
  • Business and nonprofit office retreats, workshops and staff meetings
  • Memorial services / repasts
  • Eight film shoots

Office Tenants:  Our office tenants and associated income (about $14,000 per month) are stable although some changes are coming in the late winter / early spring.

The Impacts of Omicron: We have seen several events cancel or reschedule for a later date. In addition, the DC government’s new vaccination requirement caused several events to cancel for a full refund because their organizer was not willing to meet this requirement. At this point, all events through January 9th are off the calendar. It is unclear if the rest of January will also cancel.

We will be enforcing a vaccination requirement for all events on or after Sat 1/15/22 and requesting proof of vaccination from everyone attending.

Opportunities for the FMW community to help with rentals: 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 event rental 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.


Nominating Committee Annual Report, 2021
Friends Meeting of Washington

In 2021, the community members of Friends Meeting of Washington served through committees in strong numbers despite the closure of the Meeting house due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Nominating Committee assisted the Meeting in channeling the community’s energy to support our collective work. We used virtual Meeting features to help identify individuals for committee service, we improved our own record keeping with technical upgrades, and we pursued a simpler design by merging and combining committees, all to support the  engagement of members and attenders in the work of the Meeting community.

The year of Nominating began while Friends Meeting of Washington was closed for occupancy during the pre-vaccine phase of the Covid-19 pandemic, so our primary contact with the Meeting community was through video conference.  One feature of zoom video conferences is that names are printed on an individual’s video quadrangle, a good way to note visitors and frequent attendees. One of our committee members had started a list of frequent attenders to deepen our understanding of who is worshipping among us, and to capture how they might serve within the community.  This ‘Jacob’s Ladder’ of engagement became an important way to identify individuals for committee service, as well as a tool for welcoming. 

Throughout 2021, we simplified FMW’s committee structure by combining or blending committee tasks with similar work on other committees. We first worked with the clerks of the Records and Handbook Committee and the Library Committee to combine their functions. Then, we labored to broaden the set of stakeholders for the safety of our children by folding the tasks of the Child Safety Committee into the work of three other committees – Religious Education, Trustees, and Personnel. Throughout the year, we have worked with the Hospitality and Personal Aid committees to season the idea of merging their roles with the Membership Committee into a Community committee. By merging and combining tasks of committees, our intent has been to allow each nominee to have a greater impact through their committee service, as more work could be done by fewer people, and larger committee size would allow people to meet and collaborate more.   

Adding collaborative tools through digital applications, nominating work can be both more efficient and multiply errors, so we also worked to streamline our record keeping. The many lists and notes that we make to share with the Meeting’s clerks and Office Administrator need to be in accord with one another, so we worked to reduce their number and make records shared in common. We kept our notes on a running agenda, and used those notes for nominations to go to Meeting for Business, with the Jacob’s Ladder of engagement linked to the running agenda. After Meeting for Business, we worked with the Office Administrator to update the FMW Committee web page with new information. We culled and updated the list of nominees to Quaker affiliates on the web page.  We updated the google groups committee email lists periodically, so that clerks could email committee members and reach all current committee members. We tried to reduce and refine our shared communications tools while keeping them current. 

We are grateful to the Meeting participants’ patience and generosity as committee activities resumed from the pandemic slowdowns, and as we clarified which individuals were present to carry on the work of Friends Meeting of Washington. 

FMW’s Committee on Peace & Social Concerns supports the following Minute and recommends that Meeting for Business approve full FMW sign-on:

Baltimore Yearly Meeting Indian Affairs Committee
Minute in Support of a Truth and Healing Commission for Native Peoples

The Baltimore Yearly Meeting wholeheartedly supports the establishment of a national commission to seek truth and a measure of justice for those still suffering the residual effects of public policies that created and maintained hundreds of boarding schools for Indigenous children in the United States from 1869 through the 1960s. We support legislation to fund such a commission. Once established we will hold the people who come before it and the commission members in the Light, in expectation that airing of harms and traumas will lead to some healing of long-suffered wounds. We want a commission that yields real results and changes, not a report that gathers dust on a shelf.

We applaud the fact that one intention of the commission is to prevent continued removal of Indigenous (American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian) children from their families, communities, and cultural connections by adoption and foster care agencies.

We urge research by faith groups that ran residential schools, especially the Religious Society of Friends, to provide explicit data requested by the federal government as part of the commission’s documentation of all boarding schools and students. We believe accountability requires robust cooperation.

BACKGROUND - Including information on proposed Federal Legislation; Quaker responsibility for abuses;  BYM Indian Affairs Committee discernment  
SUPPORTING STATEMENTS - Minutes, Statements and Letters on Boarding Schools

###END January Meeting for Business Minutes###

Queries & Advices on Aging

From Baltimore Yearly Meeting’s “2013 Resource for Faith & Practice


Do we welcome the approach of old age, both for ourselves and for others, as an opportunity for wisdom, for detachment from turmoil and for greater attachment to the Light?

How might I attend to what love requires of me in each new stage of my life?  Have I arranged the practical matters regarding possessions, location of documents, burial, etc., that will arise when I die or am unable to communicate so my family is not unduly burdened?

Am I comfortable with the relationships I will leave behind?

How can we support that of God in one another in the face of cognitive, emotional, and behavioral challenges?

How do we support caregivers who may be overwhelmed by the chronic needs of the one receiving care?


Aging begins the moment we are born, and cells within us keep growing until we die. We need to approach old age with courage and hope, with receiving and giving, and with forgiving and being forgiven. Aging is a natural part of human life. At no time should people be on the periphery of society because of their age. Older persons, who represent an increasingly large portion of the population, have varied talents, interests, and concerns.

Friends have a long tradition of appreciating the gifts of older members, and our Meetings should continue to encourage participation of all ages in Meeting activities.

As much as possible, make arrangements for your end of life care in good time, so that an undue burden does not fall on others. Although growing older may bring increasing disability and loneliness, it can also bring serenity, detachment, and wisdom. Pray that in your final years you may be enabled to find new ways of receiving and reflecting God’s love.

A Meeting will be rewarded by a mutual relationship in which younger Friends are able to appreciate the presence and worth of the older Friends in their midst. We should help older Friends know that they are needed, cared for, loved, and will be remembered.