Newsletter - May 2022

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Published monthly – Issue #92 – 05


5th Month Query: Personal Way of Life
-Ukraine: Stop the Carnage, Build the Peace!
-Emergency Aid to Asylum Seekers-Help needed!
Thinking about Race, May 2022 - The Souls of Black Folk

Meeting for Business Minutes & Attachments (April 2022)
Clerk’s Report, April 2022
-In Memoriam: Gerry Fitzgerald
Major Business
-Property Committee
-Membership Committee
-Marriage & Family Relations
-Nominating Committee
-Report back from Interim Meeting
-Report back from Interim Meeting
-Rental Report-March 2022
-Property Committee Annual Report


- 9:00 - 10:00 am (online)
- 10:30-11:30 am (online & in-person) 
 Join on Zoom here.
- 6:00-7:00 pm

Tuesdays:  6:00 - 7:00 pm

Monthly Meeting for Business:  12:15 pm May 8 (2nd Sunday) 

Masks required for all indoor meetings.
For more information, email

5th Month Query:  Personal Way of Life 

Do you live in accordance with your spiritual convictions? Do you seek employment consistent with your beliefs and in service to society? Do you practice simplicity in speech, dress and manner of living, avoiding wasteful consumption? Are you watchful that your possessions do not rule you? Do you strive to be truthful at all times, avoiding judicial oaths?

Do you strive to develop your physical, emotional and mental capacities toward reaching your Divinely given potential? Do you cultivate healthful and moderate habits, avoiding the hazards of drugs, intoxicants, and over-indulgence generally? Do you try to direct such emotions as anger and fear in creative ways?   (See: Early Quaker Testimonies; The Practice of the Life of the Spirit; Personal Life)  Source:  BYM Faith & Practice, Part II The Queries


Ukraine: Stop the Carnage, Build the Peace!

by Helena Cobban, FMW member and president of Just World Educational

In mid-April, the organization that I am honored to serve and to lead, Just World Educational, issued a 32-page report on the situation in Ukraine. It contained digests of eight extremely rich, hour-long webinars in which, during March, board member Richard Falk and I co-hosted conversations involving a total of 17 superbly thoughtful and well-informed guests, experts on different aspects of the current situation. 

Richard Falk is a distinguished international jurist who was a leading thinker in the Vietnam-era antiwar movement and has served on numerous UN and other international bodies over his decades-long career. My experience on issues of war and peace goes back to my work as a correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor in the Middle East in the late 1970s, a period in which I lived, parented, and ran a household with my Lebanese then-spouse amidst the risks of the ongoing civil war. After I left Beirut, I studied strategic affairs under a special fellowship at the University of Maryland, authored seven books on different international issues, and in 2000 became a convinced Quaker.

JWE's report, Ukraine: Stop the Carnage, Build the Peace!, included a list of eight policy recommendations that Richard, the other board members, and I felt emerged from what we had learned during the March webinars. We gave the highest priority to recommendation #1, a call for a Ukraine-wide ceasefire now.... 

You can read Helena's full essay and list of policy recommendations here or download Just World Educational’s full report on the Ukraine here.  You can access the March webinars plus audio transcript here.  (Read Helena Cobban’s full essay)

Action Opportunity 

Sanctuary DMV Providing Emergency Aid to Asylum Seekers–A Plea for Help

For the last several weeks, Sanctuary DMW has been working nonstop to provide aid and assistance to new immigrants arriving in DC, often with nothing but the clothes on their backs.  Sanctuary DMW activists write:  

The buses keep coming, the DMV community keeps showing up but we need your support. For the past two weeks, Greg Abbott has been busing people from Texas to DC as part of some sick and twisted publicity stunt. There have been 18 buses so far carrying hundreds of people, including children and infants. The DMV community has shown up to receive every single bus to support our new neighbors. It is a grassroots effort by community orgs, mutual aid groups and individuals. It is a huge undertaking and an expensive one. Honestly, we need money and supplies.

 Here’s how you can donate and get involved!

Donate: Paypal (preferred) or venmo @SanctuaryDMV with "Texas Solidarity" in the memo

Purchase: Order supplies from this wishlist.  It is updated daily. 

Drop off in-kind donations of clothing etc at The Outrage, 1811 14th St NW during business hours (12:00 - 7:00 pm), with a note "for Texas solidarity"


Adult clothing in all sizes for all genders:  underwear, socks, t-shirts, pants, skirts
Warm clothing: sweaters, hoodies, sweatpants, coats
Kids and infant clothing and shoes of all types
Diapers all sizes
Toys!!! Kids need comfort objects. These are essential. Please no glitter.

Volunteers are also needed to…  

House people - biggest need
Greet people as they arrive and help with intake
Provide transportation
Provide interpretation
Sort donations

Find out more about how to volunteer here.   

 You can follow @FreeThemAllVA and/or @SanctuaryDMV on twitter or instagram to stay updated on needs. We Keep Us Safe.    –In solidarity, Sanctuary DMV


Annapolis Friends Meeting Quaker Spring Market, Saturday, May 7, 9:00 am - 2:00 pm 
AFM’s annual Quaker Spring Market features garden plants, baked goods, olive oil from Bethlehem, notecards, bottled sauces, handmade Afghan jewelry and rugs and more!  Proceeds will benefit the Afghan Women’s Fund, Chesapeake PC Users Group (refurbishes phones & laptops for Afghan refugees, UNICEF and We Act for Environmental Justice.  Masks required.  Flyer   Location:  351 DuBois Rd, Annapolis, MD. For more info:  email: 

Simple Women’s Gathering for FMW Moms, Lincoln Park, Saturday, May 14, 10:00-11:00 am
If you're a mom of an infant through high schooler, join us for a small women's gathering for connection, rest, and fun.  We want to keep this easy, short and refreshing.  We’ll meet at Lincoln Park on Capitol Hill for a simple picnic brunch.  We'll bring: Breakfast sliders, pretzel goodies from the Pretzel Bakery and fresh fruit

You bring: Your own drink (coffee shop nearby) and a picnic blanket (or share one of ours)

Meet at:  northwest corner of the park on East Capitol St and 11 St SE.
Please sign up here so we'll know to expect you.  Looking forward to connecting!
For more info, contact: Julie Johnson ( or Letty Coffin (

War in Ukraine and the Quaker Peace Testimony, Quaker House, Sunday, May 15 at 12:30 pm
The Quaker Peace Testimony seeks justice and healing for all people; taking away the causes of war in the way we live.Are you being challenged by the Peace Testimony as it relates to the ongoing violence and war crimes devastating Ukraine?  For over three centuries, Friends have struggled to maintain non-violence in the face of many wars and other violence. Please join us for a Worship Sharing session on Sunday, May 15th to reflect on and speak about your own thoughts concerning what actions might help end this horrific war and suffering.   Please join us.  Jim Bell,, Joe Izzo,

Friendly Quaker Film Club, at FMW, Wednesday, May 25, 6 pm
We will be watching Invasion of the Body Snatchers PG (1978) to be followed by a discussion centered around Quaker ethics and values. You can read about it here and watch the trailer here 
For more information, email or call Bill Parker,, cell: 301-221-4539.  

Thinking about Race, May 2022
The Souls of Black Folk

“Your country? How came it yours? Before the Pilgrims landed we were here. Here we have brought our three gifts and mingled them with yours: a gift of story and song—soft, stirring melody in an ill-harmonized and unmelodious land; the gift of sweat and brawn to beat back the wilderness, conquer the soil, and lay the foundations of this vast economic empire two hundred years earlier than your weak hands could have done it; the third, a gift of the Spirit. Around us the history of the land has centred for thrice a hundred years; out of the nation's heart we have called all that was best to throttle and subdue all that was worst; fire and blood, prayer and sacrifice, have billowed over this people, and they have found peace only in the altars of the God of Right. Nor has our gift of the Spirit been merely passive. Actively we have woven ourselves with the very warp and woof of this nation,—we fought their battles, shared their sorrow, mingled our blood with theirs, and generation after generation have pleaded with a headstrong, careless people to despise not Justice, Mercy, and Truth, lest the nation be smitten with a curse. Our song, our toil, our cheer, and warning have been given to this nation in blood-brotherhood. Are not these gifts worth the giving? Is not this work and striving? Would America have been America without her Negro people?”    ― W.E.B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk, 1903

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

Meeting for Business Minutes & Attachments (April 2022)

Friends Meeting of Washington
Monthly Meeting for Worship with a Concern for Business
Minutes - April 10, 2022, 12:15 pm

Query for Worship Sharing: How does the space of worship (in person or online) affect your worship? 

Number of people in attendance: 20
Newcomers: 0

Clerk’s Report, April 2022

In Memoriam:  Gerry Fitzgerald, died 4/8/2022

Upcoming Events

  • Lewis Smith Memorial Meeting, at FMW & on Zoom, Saturday, April 16, 12:00 pm
    Join on Zoom.  For more information contact Joe Izzo, email:
  • Steve Chase/Barbara Briggs Wedding, Saturday, April 23, 3:00 pm
    This wedding is under the care of our Meeting.  All are invited.
    In-person in FMW’s Meeting Room followed by reception.  Join on Zoom
    For more information contact:  Elaine Wilson
  • Committee of Clerks meeting, May 29, 9:00 am
    All FMW clerks and co-clerks should attend this important quarterly meeting to discuss and make plans to build the health, well-functioning and strength of our Meeting.  For more info, contact FMW clerks Debby Churchman, or Rebecca Nelson,

FMW Community Highlights & Kudos

  • Opportunity: Personal Aid supports our community members. Want to help? 
    The Personal Aid Committee provides practical and emotional support and assistance to FMW Members and Attenders who are experiencing medical/health issues; bereavement; financial; social isolation; transportation or other personal needs.
    The Committee is seeking FMW members/attenders who would like to help them provide services to those in need. If you are interested in providing practical acts of kindness such as phone calls, car rides, hospital or home visits, etc., for other members of the FMW Community or are willing to offer your help on an "as needed" basis please contact either Michael Beer, Clerk of the Nominating Committee, ( or Mary Melchior, Clerk of Personal Aid, ( to volunteer your time and services.

Tenant Updates- Activities at our Meeting House

  • Event rentals continue to be robust with inquiries picking up and several large events this spring. Dupont Circle Village is moving into the office space formerly occupied by AsylumWorks so we will have another new tenant soon.

Major Business

Property Committee - Ken Forsberg

Annual report (see below).  The Clerk reviewed the information in the annual report.

One friend noted that our honey could be sold at the Dupont Circle farmers market. Another friend noted this was in progress.

One friend hoped that we could encourage more work days on the property and gardens as a community building idea.

One friend expressed gratitude for the property committee. Other friends noted that this friend spoke their mind.

One friend noted that the meeting had donated $5,000 to reduce alcohol related harm.

One friend noted that FMW shares many of the traits of a business, and hoped to encourage cooperation across the committee structure.

One friend raised the possibility of striking the recommendation to lay down the IT committee.

The Clerk requested additional aid and members for the property committee.

Friends accepted the report with gratitude.

Membership Committee  - Rob Farr

  • Malachy Kilbride, transfer to Homewood Friends Meeting.  Friends accept the transfer of Malachy Kilbride to Homewood Friends Meeting.
  • Dan O’Sullivan, first presentation. The membership committee joyously presented Dan O’Sullivan’s application for membership.  Dan O’Sullivan will be returning from Rwanda on the 21st of May. This request will hold over for a month, as is our custom.

Marriage & Family Relations - Martha Solt

  • Wedding of Annelise Haskell and Eli Greenspan held in good order on 4/2/2022
  • 2nd presentation, marriage of Chris Zubowicz and Heather Weaver

Names for an oversight committee for the marriage of Chris Zubowicz and Heather Weaver have not yet been approved, but Marriage and Family recommends approval of their marriage under the care of the meeting. Names should be brought to the next meeting for business.  -Friends approve this marriage under the care of the meeting.

Nominating Committee - Michael Beer

Michael Beer noted lesser attendance than is preferable for the most recent nominating committee.

Nominating would like to put forward David Miller as Treasurer and Grant Thompson as Assistant Treasurer for serving an additional term (July 1 2022 to June 30 2023. -Friends approve these nominations.

Nominating recommends Michael Wood for the Property Committee. -Friends approve this nomination.

Nominating recommends Quinn Bacon for Peace and Social Concerns for four months. -Friends approve this nomination.

Bobby Trice seeks to resign from the Library, Records, and Handbook Committee. -Friends accept this resignation with regrets.

Nominating considered the possibility of a larger “super committee” composed of members of Personal Aid, Membership, and Hospitality. This idea was laid down.

Nominating requested additional volunteers for Personal Aid.

Nominating is considering the possibility of larger community events.

One friend echoed the possibility of work days as a community building event. Another friend expressed support for this idea.

Report back from Interim Meeting - David Etheridge

Spring 2022 Interim Meeting was a hybrid session held at Stony Run Friends Meeting on March 19th.

The BYM Treasurer reported that calendar year 2021 ended with an excess of revenues over expenses of $597 thousand. This was in part owing to the forgiveness of a federal government Payroll Protection Program loan of about $178 thousand and unrealized gain on investments of about $184 thousand. The Treasurer noted that the stock market has now dropped about 9% since the end of the 2012.

The Development Director reported that total gifts received in 2021 were about $579 thousand. The total number of donors was down slightly in 2021 compared to the unusually high number of donors in 2020.

Interim Meeting adopted a minute supporting Federal legislation “To Establish the Truth and Healing Commission on Indian Boarding School Policies” and acknowledging that BYM Friends “were part of a system of continued colonization as teachers and Indian agents” and had a role in promoting, participating, and benefitting from the US federal policy to force assimilation of Indigenous children by creating and supporting Indian Boarding Schools.

A Co-clerk of the Supervisory Committee reported that it had worked with the BYM Working Group on Racism to explore changing the Yearly Meeting’s practices to make job searches more open and equitable. Suggestions from the Working Group has been applied to two recent job searches—one for an Administrative Assistant and the other for a full-time Camp Director.

A special site search committee has been established to explore the possibility of holding the BYM Annual Session in 2023 at a Historically Black College or University.

Interim Meeting supported the effort of the BYM Working Group on Racism to conduct a One-Book Project encourage BTM Friend to read and discuss Caste by Isabel Wilkerson. The Working Group itself will conduct Zoom book discussions, but also encourage local Meetings to establish their own book discussion groups.

The BYM Ministry and Pastoral Care Committee presented a charge for a new Working Group under its care that to support all entities within BYM to address conflicts in Spirit-led, productive, and peaceful ways. 

The next Interim Meeting will be on June 11th.

Friends approve these minutes at 1:25 pm on 4/10/2022.

Other Business

Announcement: Brian could use 1-2 volunteers to help him move chairs for an afternoon rental following Meeting for Business. 


FMW Rental Report, March 2022
Prepared by Brian Lutenegger, Event and Rental Manager

Financials – FY22 Bookings

Here is a breakdown of where we are in terms of bookings for recent past and future fiscal years as of March 31, 2022.

The chart above shows $12,773.50 booked in March 2022 and $231,521 booked so far this fiscal year.

We have already booked more than $44,000 in events for FY23 that will begin on July 1st. Our fiscal year runs from July 1 to the following June 30th.

Financials – FY22 Earned

In March, we earned $15,243.12 for events successfully completed. We have already earned $168,199.98 in the first nine months of FY22. We have already exceeded the income from event rentals that we had budgeted for in FY22 ($100,000).


The following activities occurred at FMW during March:

  • DC Minyan continuing to hold regular services
  • Several staff retreats / conferences / workshops on education, international affairs, and other issues
  • AsylumWorks’ dinner for LGBTQ asylum seekers
  • Weekly Al-Anon meetings
  • A Ghanaian business event
  • Four film crews

Office Space Rentals

Income from office rentals has changed in recent months due to turnover in tenants.  This fiscal year to date, with most rents paid for April, we have collected $131,455 in office tenant rent – more than 86 percent of our fiscal year budget of $151,172.

At present, we have ten nonprofit and small business tenants. Dupont Circle Village is moving into the suite formerly occupied by AsylumWorks, so we will have a new tenant soon in their current space.

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. Of course, at least for now, these events would need to be kept small and happen safely.  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.


Finally, if you know of any potential new office tenants, please connect them to me.

Friends Meeting of Washington Property Committee
Annual Report: May 2021 - April 2022

Committee Members:

  • Ken Forsberg, Clerk
  • Ken Orvis, Property Manager (ex officio)
  • Brian Lutenegger, Events and Rentals Manager (ex officio)
  • Merry Pearlstein (liaison to Finance and Stewardship Committee)
  • Jay Harris
  • Elise Storck
  • Judy Hubbard

Committee charge: Maintain the safety, security, comfort and attractiveness of the buildings and grounds for Meeting functions and activities and also for those of its tenants (remaining respectful to our neighbors).


FMW is blessed to have two dedicated and talented staff members who do the bulk of the work the committee has responsibility for: managing the physical plant and managing space/office rentals. On behalf of the committee and the Meeting, they in turn hire staff to assist them with maintenance, cleaning, snow removal, gardening, and event hosting.

Space rentals

Some office tenant turnover is happening this spring. Our long-term rental tenants as of March 2022 are the following:

Event rentals

As pandemic fears and restrictions decrease, event rentals are increasing, keeping our staff and our spaces busy. As a sample, event rentals in February 2022 included:

  • DC Minyan and another Jewish community continuing to hold regular services (we are regularly hosting bar mitzvahs and bat mitzvahs which come with some unique challenges we are working out)
  • FCNL’s executive committee meetings
  • An oboist recording music in the Assembly Room
  • AsylumWorks’ dinner for LGBTQ asylum seekers
  • Weekly Al-Anon meetings
  • Four film crews

The following chart compares our booked revenue from event rentals for the past five fiscal years, the current fiscal year, and the coming one (FY 2023, starting July 2022). For each line, the labeled fiscal year begins in July at the center of the chart, so months to the left of July are the prior fiscal year.

  •  When the Meeting decided to allow alcohol to be served at private events renting FMW space, it was agreed that a portion of the fees we earned from such events would be donated to organizations working to address the effects of alcohol misuse. Between July 2020 and December 2021 (all of our fiscal year 2021 and the first half of our fiscal year 2022), this amounted to $4,992, which we split evenly among the Dupont Circle Club (the local space where Alcoholics Anonymous and similar groups meet), Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation (which does substance abuse research and policy advocacy), and House of Ruth (which serves families suffering the effects of substance abuse, trauma, homelessness, domestic violence and mental illness).

  • Requirements related to the COVID-19 pandemic complicated things as requirements for masking and vaccinations came and went. Our Event and Rental manager Brian kept abreast of and implemented all these requirements with commendable attention and care.

  • The Peerspace website has been a valuable tool to keep event rentals going during COVID. We expect to decrease our reliance on this marketing tool due to the high booking fees and challenges with a few events.

  • FMW spaces have been featured in major national and international media outlets and documentaries, occasionally bringing VIPs onsite. Film crews have found our spaces, particularly the library, to be highly suitable for their needs with several returning to us every time they film in DC.

 Physical plant

Buildings: Care of our buildings this year has involved the usual and constant need for upkeep and updating, as well as finishing some odds and ends of work leftover from the renovation. Projects have included:

  • North Room closet construction and improvements
  • New dishwasher acquisition and installation
  • Electrical upgrades for dishwasher, stove, refrigerator, etc.
  • Re-sodding lawn in west garden
  • Reconfiguring and adjusting lobby doors
  • Gutter and downspout upgrades
  • Information Technology

§  The committee recommended that the Meeting lay down the IT Committee, with immense gratitude for hours and years of volunteer service from Neil Froemming and others he rallied to that work.

§  After interviewing and getting proposals from a number of vendors, staff recommended and the Committee approved working with Community IT to meet our IT needs. Community IT is a company that specializes in providing services to nonprofits.

Solar panels

§  We earn ~$10,000 in solar renewable energy credits each year from the power produced by our solar panels.

Green Roof

§  Our green roof continues to flourish – see attached photo. For two years we contracted with a company called Furbish to maintain the green roof but have now transitioned to having our gardener Maraea Harris manage it. We are required to submit regular reports to DC on the status of the roof garden, to ensure that it continues to be capable of absorbing rainwater as planned.


Maraea Harris, our gardener, and the Garden Committee work together to keep our gardens looking beautiful. Thanks to Mark Haskell for his long-time rallying of folks for Garden Committee workdays. Maraea Harris continues to plant out the designs of Melissa Gildea, former FMW member. 


Property Manager Ken Orvis reports as follows: “My nighttime cameras, when placed outdoors, reveal a fox that visits the campus regularly, plus a (feral?) cat that hunts on the campus. We also host Cooper’s hawks (indeed, one nested in the hemlock tree last year). Until things get out of control, I am backing off on poisoning rats (poisoned rats poison predators) to support these more natural helpers (two of them natives).”


Friends may be aware that a number of thefts have occurred on the FMW campus over the past year. On a number of occasions, a repeat burglar has gained entry and stolen from purses and closets. The Committee and staff continue to work together and with tenants to improve safety for people and property on campus. Friends are again reminded that each of us is responsible for making sure doors lock properly when we leave the premises when no lobby attendant is present and monitoring the door.

Committee priorities for the coming year: 

  • Beginning to think about finding a new Property Manager as Ken Orvis contemplates retirement in the next year or two. Ken serves as our resident electrician, carpenter, gardener, general contractor, architect, structural engineer, fire marshal, city inspection manager, and more, so he will leave big shoes to fill.
  • Finishing the North Room work
  • Acquiring and installing new stove, fridges, ice maker, and washer/dryer set
  • Managing a busy event rental schedule—as pent-up demand from the pandemic surges—without overtaxing our buildings, our grounds, and our staff. For example, the grass in the lower west garden (our most in-demand event space) has not held up well to repeated large events. Ken has taken steps to improve its durability, but we need to keep an eye on it.

Quite a few projects have been on hold during the pandemic, with a thought to our revenue situation. If the pandemic continues to recede and revenues pick up, we will consider these:

  • Repair/refinish new stairs (badly done with wrong material);
  • Top-coat the Meeting Room floor (it’s time);
  • Refinish the Library and MH2 Hall floor and stairs (skipped as a final Renovation to-do item);
  • Address the Parlor and other tile floors upstairs.
  • Remodel the multi-user restrooms

#####End of Meeting for Business Minutes