FMW Newsletter Issue 93-09/10 (September-October 2023

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Table of Contents

News: DC Council Honors Hayden Wetzel
Thinking about Race

September Meeting for Business Minutes & Attachments
Clerk’s Report
-Membership Committee
-Finance and Stewardship
-Nominating Committee
-Mary Jane Simpson Committee
-Friends Non-Profit Housing
-Report on BYM Annual Sessions
-Update on discussions with Friends Church of Baltimore
-Upcoming Committee Reports:
-F&S Annual Report
-Mary Jane Simpson Scholarship Program Annual Report
-Report on BYM Annual Sessions
-Friends Nonprofit Housing Annual Report


- Sundays:  9:00 - 10:00 am (online);  10:30-11:30 am (online & in-person);  6:00-7:00 pm
- Wednesdays:  6:00 - 7:00 pm

- Monthly Meeting for Business:  12:15 pm October 8  (2nd Sunday).

Meetings for worship are being held via Zoom.  Join 10:30 Meeting here.
For more information, email


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

News:  DC Council Honors FMW Member Hayden Wetzel

Hayden Wetzel was honored posthumously by DC Council for his “years of dedication to his community, family, and friends where he was a leader and pillar of the community.”  DC Council Resolution CER25-0108, introduced by Councilmembers Parker, Frumin, R. White, Lewis George, McDuffie, Gray, and Bonds, recognized Hayden’s important historical and preservation work in the District, as well as his membership in Friends Meeting of Washington.  Read the full resolution and view the meeting video here.


Quaker Spiritual Development Programs - Full schedule for October 2023

Wedding of Jenifer Morris and Chris White, FMW, October 7, 2:00 pm
FMW member Jenifer Morris and Christopher White will be married under the care of  our Meeting. 
All are invited to attend.  

Fall 2023, Quakerism 101:  Introductory class, October 3-31 - Register now! 
Friends Meeting of Washington’s (FMW) Fall 2023 Quakerism 101 class is an introductory class on Quaker faith and practice will be held from October 3rd through October 31st from 7:00pm - 8:30pm via zoom only.  The class consists of five sessions that provide a strong foundation of understanding as you begin your spiritual journey into the rich tradition of the Quakers - Religious Society of Friends. Details of class here.  Register here. Contact B. Vohryzek if you have questions. 

We’re back in the groove for our monthly piano-poetry salons We invite poets, pianists and other musicians including singers to perform at a neighborhood party also attended by music and poetry enthusiasts. We play for fun and all that is expected is that one performs to entertain, regardless of level of skill.  We serve salmon and orzo and welcome any refreshments you would also like to eat or drink. Join us Oct 8 and second Sundays at our home at 1740 Corcoran St NW.  Please RSVP if you’re coming by Thursday, Oct 5. Yours in having fun, Susan and Bob Meehan

Save the date!  BYM Women's Retreat, Saturday October 21 IRL & online.
This will be a one-day hybrid event, taking place at Friends Community School (5901 Westchester Park Dr, College Park, MD 20740) and online.  For more info, contact Heather Carter, email:

Thinking about RaceOctober 2023:
"Core spiritual work”

The Working Group on Racism (WGR) first met at Friends Meeting of Washington in the spring of 2002.  Initially, it was under the care of Baltimore Yearly Meeting’s Peace and Social Order committee.  Over time our thinking developed, and we realized racism was a spiritual issue that needed to be under Ministry & Pastoral Care.  The quote that follows came from WGR Friends advocating for this change. The change did take place, as Friends realized that anti-racism is at the core of Quaker faith and practice.

“The most basic belief of Friends is that there is that of the divine within each of us.  This holy essence is in every person on earth, regardless of individual strengths and weaknesses.  This is the basis of our testimony on equality.

“We live in cultures that value some people over others based on extrinsic qualities, of which skin color is one example.  This is contrary to our most basic belief in that of God within.  We must free ourselves of our cultural conditioning  This is difficult; it is core spiritual work; and not to do it is a sin against the Spirit.”

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 Social Justice Fund Deadline is October 13!

FMW’s Social Justice Fund provides small grants for social justice projects in which our members and attenders are involved.  Learn more and apply here.  For more info contact Peter Nye (, Jake Karaisz ( or PSC clerk Barbara Briggs (

Support Personal Aid with Gift Cards

FMW’s Person`l Aid Committee is looking for gift cards for grocery stores, Target, etc. These will be given to our vulnerable members and attenders as needed. Please contact Mary Melchior ( or committee member Kelli Moore (, who attends the 9 am Meeting

FMW Childcare - Help Wanted!

Friends Meeting of Washington is looking for a few people who can occasionally/semi-regularly help out with our infant-toddler childcare on Sunday mornings, 10 am - 12 pm. This is a paid position ($24/hr), open to anyone, high school age or older. Usually there are just a few children, and there are always two childcare staff members. The work mostly consists of playing with the young ones while their parents are in Meeting for Worship. The position requires a background check and an interview. If you or anyone you know might be interested, please contact and to learn more.

Meeting for Business Minutes & Attachments

Friends Meeting of Washington
Monthly Meeting for Worship with a Concern for Business
September 10, 2023

In-Person Attenders: 25
Online Attenders: 6
New Attenders: Kristen Smith, Chip Yeakey, Dana Clark

Query for Worship Sharing: How can fall be a season of renewal and new beginnings for ourselves and our community?

Clerk’s Report, September 2023

In Memoriam

  • Paul Didisheim died peacefully in Washington, DC on August 19, 2023, surrounded by family and friends.  Donations can be made to FMW and The Cleveland and Woodley Park Village. Thoughts or memories of Paul will be welcomed at
  • Janet Dinsmore died on July 27, 2023  surrounded by family.  A memorial meeting will be held on Sunday, September 17.  (See below.)
  • Gertraude Heineken, mother of Barbara Briggs, mother-in-law of Steve Chase, died in her home with her family around her, on the morning of Wednesday, August 30. 

Upcoming Events

  • Meeting for Worship in Memory of Janet Dinsmore, Sunday, September 17, 1 pIn FMW’s Meeting Room and on Zoom.  (Help is needed with reception, set up and clean up.) For more info and to volunteer, contact Joe Izzo, email:   
  • Baby Welcome for Naomi Jane Higgins, Meeting Room, Sunday, September 24, 12 pm
    Naomi is daughter of Matt Higgins and Rachel Miller and little sister of Daniel. Refreshments will follow.
  • FMW's Fall Retreat in the woods September 29-October 1 at Catoctin Quaker Camp!  Come for two nights, two hours or anything in between, but please do join us! For more information,  Robin Appleberry, email:
  • FMW’s Fall 2023 Quakerism 101, Tuesdays, October 3 - 31, 7:00 - 8:30 pm on Zoom
    This basics class in Quakerism was developed by FMW’s Ministry & Worship Committee to provide an introduction for newcomers and a refresher for other members and attenders.  See class overview here. Register here.  For more info contact B. Vohryzek at 
  • Marriage of Jenifer Morris and Chris White at FMW, October 7, 2023 2 pm.
    This marriage  is being held under the care of our Meeting. For more information, contact Martha Solt, Marriage and Family Relations, email: 
  • FMW Anti-Racism Spiritual Friendship Group, Sunday, October 15, 12:15 pm
    For more information contact David Etheridge, email: 
  • BYM Women's Retreat, Saturday October 21 IRL & online.  
    This will be a one-day hybrid event, taking place at Friends Community School (5901 Westchester Park Dr, College Park, MD 20740) and online.  For more info, contact Heather Carter, email:
  • “Wait For It”- Envisioning FMW’s Future: Sunday November 5, 12:30-3:30. An interactive focus group facilitated by FMW member and Quaker leader Rashid Darden. This will be a space for Friends of Color and Friends under 40 to begin conversations about how we will shape FMW for the future. For more information contact: Betsy Bramon, email:, Registrar here.
  • Quaker Spiritual Development Programs Full schedule September 2023 

FMW Community Highlights & Kudos     

  • FMW kids college bound!: Abyssinia Hoover – Eastern Michigan University; Skye Thomas-Beer – Mount Holyoke; Andrej Coleman – Haverford;  Julian Greene
  • FMW childcare has begun to incorporate American Sign Language interpretation two Sundays a month under the care of Religious Education. 


Membership CommitteeChris Zubowicz  

  • 2nd reading – Anne Herzog.  Friends approved the membership.
  • 2nd reading – Matthew Higgins (associate membership for Daniel Russ Higgins and Naomi Jane Higgins.)  Friends approved the membership.
  • 1st reading – Marissa Yeakey
  • 1st reading – Chip Yeakey 
  • (associate membership for their children, Norman Yeakey and Milena Yeakey)

One friend applauded Marissa Yeakey’s work on the reproductive rights committee.
One friend requested clarity on the nature of associate membership.
The co-clerk stated that individuals are considered associate members until age 25 at which point they have the choice to become full members, and that this information can be reviewed in full in the handbook.

Marissa Yeakey noted that their children were motivated to become associate members.
One friend noted that associate membership was associated with the implementation of the military draft.
One friend added that this system was implemented in the 1980s.
The clerk of library, records, and handbook noted that associate members can become full members prior to age 25 if they so choose.

The potential memberships of Marissa Yeakey and Chip Yeakey and the potential associate memberships of Norman Yeakey and Milena Yeakey will lay over for one month.

1st reading – Michael Wood

One friend noted with love their objection to Michael’s impermanence in the DC area.
One friend applauded Michael’s service to the property committee.
One friend noted their excitement for Michael and noted that FMW should send a stipend to Quaker Colleges.

The potential membership will lay over for one month.

Finance and StewardshipJason Terry

The clerk of library, records, and handbook noted some concerns over the capital campaign fund regarding information in the handbook and asked about requirements for members of the proposed committee.

Jason Terry responded that handbook updates were forthcoming and that their intention for the committee was that it would be open to anyone willing and able to do the work.

One friend noted the ease of using the monthly contribution system, and raised the idea of annuity giving.
Jason Terry responded that the meeting currently holds one annuity account and that annuity accounts are overseen by Trustees rather than Finance and Stewardship.

One friend recommended setting up donations through a donor-advised fund.
Jason Terry noted that there was a group named Half-My-DAF that would match funds provided through a donor-advised fund.

One friend added that gifts of stock were highly difficult but a donor-advised fund was significantly easier and more financially economical.    

Friends accepted the report.

Nominating Committee – Michael Beer

  • Martha Solt has asked to resign from the Personnel Committee, and from Trustees. (Note Martha’s Trustees term runs out at the end of September).  Several friends expressed their gratitude to Martha Solt. Friends accepted.
  • Michael Beer expressed his and the meeting’s gratitude for all members of Trustees who were stepping down.
  • Personal Aid Committee - Bill Parker has agreed to serve as clerk through December 2023. Friends approved.
  • Library Committee - Savannah Richie through 2026. Friends approved.
  • School for Friends board - Virginia Avanesyan. Friends approved.
  • Finance & Stewardship recommends the following individuals for financial roles for the July 2023 - June 2024 fiscal year:  Merry Pearlstein, treasurer;  Grant Thompson, assistant treasurer; Anita Drever, financial coordinator.  Friends confirmed their prior approval for Merry Pearlstein, Grant Thompson, and Anita Drever.
  • Resignation of Bruce Kellogg from Trustees. Friends accepted and acknowledged his many contributions to the meeting.
  • Trustees–Matthew Higgins–term starting October 1st 2023 ending September 30, 2029
  • Trustees–JE McNeil–term starting October 1st 2023 ending September 30, 2029
  • Trustees–Meg Greene–term starting October 1st 2023 ending September 30, 2029
  • Trustees–Justin Connor–term starting October 1st 2023 ending September 30, 2029

One friend requested clarity on the end-month of the appointments.

The co-clerk noted that there was a request made from Trustees to re-align the appointment start and end dates and this was an intended transition away from starting and ending in September, such that in the future all appointments will begin and end in December.

The clerk of library, records, and handbook noted that this change needs approval for the handbook.

Michael Beer noted that it would be helpful for Trustees to attend MfB for the final approval of the change.

Friends provisionally approved the nominations of Matthew Higgins, JE McNeil, Meg Greene, and Justin Connor for Trustees pending approval of the change to the handbook.

  • Trustees–Jim Bell–renewal (term ending ?)  
    Michael Beer noted that Jim Bell would be open to the nomination if no one else could be found.
  • Friends Non-Profit Housing–Annelise Haskell.  Friends endorsed the nomination.

Mary Jane Simpson Committee – Anne Kendall

One friend requested information about the housing situation of one of the proposed scholars.
Anne responded that the scholar was expected to have ample support.

One friend with a relationship with American University asked for additional information about the scholar that is attending American University.

Several friends expressed their gratitude to Anne Kendall.  Friends accepted the report.

Friends Non-Profit Housing – report Annelise Haskell

One friend asked whether there were individuals within the community that were also on the board.
Annelise Haskell noted that there were not but that community members were regularly invited to attend and that if individuals in the community were interested in being on the board they were very open to it.  Friends accepted the report.

Report on BYM Annual Sessions – Gregg Robb

One friend who attended noted their appreciation for the sessions and encouraged others to attend, and noted that there were scholarships for those who were interested in attending and that there were recent renovations to the living areas.    Friends accepted the report.

Update on discussions with Friends Church of Baltimore – Gray Handley

Gray Handley noted that Friends Church of Baltimore was not seeking to use our space and that they had offered our community the opportunity to attend a programmed meeting.

One friend requested more information about what had happened.

Gray Handley noted that the Friends Church of Baltimore had been able to extend their use of one of the spaces available to them, and that the pastor of FCB was seemingly under the impression that FMW was primarily interested in attending their service rather than offering our space for them to use, and apologized for the collective misunderstanding.

The co-clerk of the property committee thanked Gray Handley for their work and their help with and understanding of the work that the property committee had undergone in approaching this issue.

Friends approved the minutes.
Meeting for Business entered silent worship and concluded at 1:45 pm.

Upcoming Committee Reports

October: Peace & Social Concerns; Ministry & Worship; YAF; Hunger & Homelessness TF; Reports of Reps to Certain Related Organizations (AFSC, Interfaith Council of Metro Washington, FCNL); MJS Scholarship; Semiannual Report on Handbook changes; Proposal to bring back Advancement & Outreach Committee; Semiannual Report on Handbook Changes.

November: Trustees (including Audit report); Search; 

Annual Schedule of Committee Reports


Friends Meeting of Washington Finance & Stewardship Committee
2023 Annual Report – September 10, 2023

This report covers the period September 1, 2022, through August 31, 2023. As we noted last year, the Finance & Stewardship Committee has been actively engaged in addressing two concurrent and significant challenges: 

  1. Systems Improvements Needs: The growth in scope of FMW’s operation has outpaced the evolution of our accounting and financial systems. We now operate an extensive rental enterprise, maintain a beautifully refreshed building and grounds, and handle financial accounting for a few committees that have their own distinct funds to support their work.
  2. Fundraising Revitalization Needs: Our renovation, financed by a substantial mortgage, requires more significant attention to increasing our revenues and reversing our practice of spending more than we receive in earned income and donations. Had the COVID-19 pandemic not temporarily blown a hole in our rental revenue projections, we would be in a stronger position. But we cannot blame the pandemic for our sustained inability to support our own Meeting and the work we do as a community. Put simply, we must have more substantial contributions from Friends both to curtail our deficits and to prepare us for the lump sum mortgage payment due in 2032. We need to begin planning contingencies for how we will manage our affairs without either a significant increase in revenues or a substantial cut in spending, but the current pattern remains unsustainable.

We also continue to undertake our routine functions as laid out in the Handbook.

Systems Improvements

The expansion of our operations created a need for more ongoing, high-level oversight of our accounting and bookkeeping. Our former financial coordinator, Neil Froemming, dutifully did much of this work for many years. We are grateful for his diligence, attention, and the genuine love he showed in his efforts. That said, a 10-15 hour per week undertaking is too large an ask for any volunteer. As Anita Drever settled into her role as financial coordinator, it became clear that we needed controller-level support to both check the work of our bookkeeper and to ensure that we have the systems in place to easily provide timely and accurate reports on our finances to the committee and the Meeting for Business. To that end, in May we contracted with Your Part-Time Controller (YPTC), a well-respected firm with extensive experience working with a range of nonprofits, to provide the controller-level function. YPTC is revising our chart of accounts, recasting our budget to align with the new chart, preparing an internal accounting manual, and guiding our bookkeeper from Access Accounting. Given our ongoing revenue challenges, YPTC is also building out an analysis and forecast for our cash flows so that we can get a more accurate sense of when we will need to work with Trustees to draw down from our investments. YPTC and our bookkeeping consultants regularly meet with and report to Anita. 

Fundraising Revitalization

Over the last year we have focused on bringing greater transparency about our financial position to the FMW community. We conducted a “Financial State of the Meeting” workshop in December, and now provide regular quarterly financial updates to Meeting for Business. Our fundraising efforts this past year have focused on expanding gifts to our general operating fund, both through recurring donations and one-time gifts. To that end, we are making more frequent donation requests via email and postal mail, have created QR code flyers that are now posted in the Meeting House to ease donations from mobile phones, and are regularly encouraging expansion of monthly or quarterly direct deposit donations. We are also diligent about sending out handwritten thank you notes whenever possible. Though final numbers are still pending due to our systems transition, it tentatively appears that increased giving helped eliminate our deficit for FY23. Impressive though this has been – and deeply appreciated – Friends must understand that a sustained broader and deeper level of commitment is required from each of us. 

Unfortunately, we have not had success in engaging volunteers willing to work on revitalizing our capital fundraising, targeted towards paying off our mortgage and paying for other major building expenses that crop up in the meantime. While we need Friends with deep connections and insights into the Meeting to help us meet with those considering making gifts, we also need support in managing our data and keeping our volunteers engaged, informed, and effective. We are hoping to reconstitute a capital campaign subcommittee in the fall of 2023.

Finally, we recognize that we need a more active planned giving program to encourage more members and attenders to remember FMW in their wills, as well as to better document expected gifts. We are working with other committees on a series of end-of-life planning workshops in early 2024 that will attend to the financial, legal, familial, and spiritual aspects of that phase of life. 

Routine Activities

Routine committee activities have included:

  • developing the Meeting’s operating budget in consultation with committees and staff; 
  • coordinating with the Property Committee for unexpected building expenses;
  • drafting the giving budget for the Meeting; 
  • reviewing monthly financial reports; including banking and investment balances; 
  • reviewing and recommending changes in the balancing of investment funds as appropriate in anticipation of market conditions; 
  • reviewing and recommending disposition of various dormant funds; 
  • reviewing and approving proposed staff pay increases; 
  • providing tax receipts for donations; and
  • corresponding with Baltimore Yearly Meeting on apportionment. 

We have a few suggested Handbook modifications, which we will communicate with the Library, Records & Handbook Committee. 

Respectfully submitted,

Jason Terry, co-Clerk, Grant Thompson, co-Clerk and Assistant Treasurer, John Bluedorn;  Michael Cronin, liaison from Property Committee;  Dan Dozier;  Meg Greene;  Justin Potisit;  David Smith;  Anita Drever, Financial Coordinator;  Merry Pearlstein, Treasurer


Mary Jane Simpson Scholarship Program

Friends Meeting of Washington, Bethesda Friends Meeting, and Langley Hill Meeting
2023 Annual Report

(July 1, 2022 – June 30, 2023)

The Mary Jane Simpson (MJS) program is a four-year college scholarship program run by three Quaker Meetings: Bethesda Friends Meeting (BFM), Friends Meeting of Washington (FMW), and Langley Hill Friends Meeting (LHFM).  (Committee members and their associated Meetings are listed in Appendix 3.) Since beginning in 1981, Mary Jane Simpson Scholarships have been given to 169 students, including 6 new scholars this year.  

All scholars are graduates of DC public schools, have major financial need–in our application review process we select students whose families earn $50,000 or less annually– exhibit values broadly consistent with Quaker values, and have proven strong academic records. They have all shown an ability to overcome obstacles and a commitment to getting a college education, often as the first family member to do so. (See  Appendix 2 regarding applications per high school).

This year again witnessed remarkable progress for the MJS Scholarship Program.  Our three Meetings raised just over $94,000 due to generous donations from individuals, from a foundation, and contributions from our three Meetings.  This amount exceeds the total new donations of any previous Scholarship year.  

Our Meetings and Individuals Have Been Generous 

Bethesda Friends Meeting contributed $18,334 to the Mary Jane Simpson Scholarship Fund during the year covered by this Report: $4,000 from the regular BFM budget (through the Peace and Social Justice Committee) and $14,334 from contributions through the Social Concerns Box and from individuals and families of that Meeting. 

Friends Meeting of Washington contributed a total of $65,562, which included $5,000 from the Meeting general budget, $20, 562 from individuals in the Meeting, and $40,000  from a family foundation through fund-raising by an FMW member.

Langley Hill Meeting contributed $10,115 including $800 from the Meeting and $9,315 from individuals in that Meeting.  

(See Appendix 1 for more information about financial resources and commitments.)

We have 6  New Scholars this year, and we are awarding them $4000 per year for four years.   They will be attending the following colleges: American University, Catholic University, Morgan State University, Morehouse College, Princeton University  and Stevenson University.

We decided to award fewer scholarships with larger dollar amounts per award, in consideration of the increased cost of a college education.  

Scholar #1  wants to study political science.  His goal is to become mayor of DC or a council member that represents lower income citizens. He points out that “wealth inequality, corrupt politicians, poverty, government, ethics, and education” are issues that are important to him. He lives with his mother, with virtually no family income. 

He graduated with Honors from Calvin Coolidge High School with a 4.19 GPA and also an Associates Degree and Dean’s List from Trinity University.  To get into this dual program offered by Calvin Coolidge, he advocated strongly for himself, to be able to switch from an unfavorable high school assignment and instead enter Calvin Coolidge, with its Early College Academy of  two years of college courses at Trinity. 

He said, this is where “I learned one of the most important lessons, to keep persevering even when things do not go 100% as planned the first time…I took the chance on Coolidge High School;” so when he was 16 years old, he was taking college level courses while still being a high-school student. 

“Proud could not even describe the word I had for myself taking a seat on that campus. Often I think to myself, would I even dream of the opportunity if I weren’t flexible to change and looked at other options.”

His School Counselor describes him as dynamic, proactive with completing assignments, and an ideal student because of his desire to learn. His Trinity English professor says he distinguished himself by his passionate engagement in class discussions, his exemplary work habits, and his astute critical thinking and incisive writing skills. She was awed by his ability to persuasively argue any side of an issue with a moment’s notice, and she often asked him to develop an oral argument on the spot for a position he disagreed with. 

For his research project, he chose to focus on the “War on Drugs,” boldly claiming that “it should end because it was racially motivated and has been racist in impact.” He marched for the homeless, and created a video demonstrating his activism. He served at a homeless shelter and a food pantry, and was selected as one of two Early College Academy Ambassadors. Andrew has been active in community service, extracurriculars, and employment to help support the family.  This is a person with personal gifts and true grit.  

Scholar #2  comes from a very low income family who immigrated from Peru when she was a young child. She plans to study Neuroscience and International Studies. She wants to become a neurosurgeon and journalist, and return to Peru to effect systemic change to bring better health care to the many poor and underserved communities there. 

She said, “My mission in my career path is to become an advocate for the Global South, bringing light to underrepresented minority communities in my country, Peru, and be of service to the communities that are underserved at a global scale.” 

She graduated from Jackson-Reed High School with a 4.29 GPA and high marks in her AP and Honors classes.

Her AP Biology Teacher said “She has an outstanding work ethic, as well as keen critical thinking and problem-solving skills….AP Biology is a highly collaborative course, and she has demonstrated exceptional organizational, leadership, and communication skills throughout. (Her) welcoming and quiet leadership make her an incredible asset in the classroom, as she provides valuable scientific insights, empathy, and magnificent time-management skills to every team of students she has worked with during our laboratory activities.” 

Her teachers point to her willingness to consider others’ perspectives as valuable as her own.  She has been active as a Student Mentor, and in the Green-House Club, Student Newspaper, and First-Generation Club.  She serves the community of her church and volunteers at the Feed The Family Food Pantry in Washington DC.

Scholar #3  comes from a financially disadvantaged but learning-rich background.  She graduated from Banneker High School with a 4.49 GPA and received both a diploma and the International Baccalaureate, with a Seal of Biliteracy in French, and accomplishment in Mandarin.   She received top scores on all 6 IB exams, took 2 AP courses and 5 honors courses, and has received numerous awards including the Princeton University Book Award. Her extracurriculars include the Banneker Mentorship Program; French Language and Culture Study Abroad, Harvard Undergraduate International Relations Scholars Program, the Debate Club, Drama Club, the Gay Straight Alliance, and Asian American LEAD. She was the Student Government Association Class Representative; and took boxing, track and field, and cross-country.  

She  is also active in community service, including the Bring the Lessons Home Program, and assisting at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum.  She has a zest for living and community-building. She is of Asian and African American descent. She said that after feeling “reduced to an incomplete interpretation of [her]self,” by racism, she realized that “irrespective of others’ praise or acknowledgement, I must achieve for myself and myself alone.” 

Her teachers describe an extraordinary applicant, one who joyfully combines scholarship with a global world view and social justice perspectives.  They say, “[...] (she) is not one of those over-achieving, rigidly pressured students! She is [...] a great friend and sister to her two brothers….(She) is a young woman to watch.”  We want to ensure she has the opportunity to let her remarkable potential speak for the common good. We also think she has the makings of an impactful mentor who might be a tremendous asset to future MJS scholars. She will approach her studies at college with purpose and dedication.

Scholar #4  comes from a single parent household of four, with two in college this fall.  

She is a twin and was not recognized for her individuality at school. She said, “college is the first chance that we get to become individuals and be on our own.”

Her career goals are to major in computer science and “find a job at a tech company, creating programs targeted towards stopping human trafficking and kidnapping to ensure women get to exercise their freedoms, become individuals and make a difference and they too have an opportunity to create their own standards of excellence prescribed by them.” Currently she wants to create an app that women can use to call for help and track their locations. 

She graduated from McKinley Technology High School with a 3.66 GPA.  Her math teacher “says she was always motivated to learn the material, but she also put forth additional effort to meet outside of class to ensure her own understanding of the content”. She demonstrated great determination and urgency, and has always been a great communicator, and “a pleasure to work with.” 

She has been active in a mentorship program called We The Girls “...where the focus is on sisterhood and guiding each of its members”. She focuses beyond her academics and wants to improve social justice for women.

Scholar #5  comes from an immigrant family from Ethiopia, and her immigration status is “eligible non-citizen.” She comes from a two-parent family of six. Her family income is low, and she says her parents struggle financially and have worked long hours leaving the four children with relatives, including a mentally ill aunt.  

Since coming to the US in 2020 her grades have skyrocketed to A’s, and she has taken 4 AP courses at Calvin Coolidge High School. Her math scores are high and appropriate for her career choice.  She wants to major in computer science, focusing on cybersecurity. 

She was abused by her grandmother and aunt and became interested in raising awareness of mental illness in her own community where mental illness is not often recognized and treated. These experiences gave her determination to make a life for herself and help others. She learnt sign language for the deaf in Amharic and works with the deaf in her church to enable them to participate. This has given her purpose and self-confidence. She also interprets for Sunday School and church services. Her teacher references are excellent, pointing out her personal motivation to succeed, her kindness and sincerity, and her respect for others.

Scholar #6 is destitute and is considered homeless. He moved 8 times before he was 15, and another time since then.  His mother has been incarcerated for much of his life.  He has been a devoted helper to his father, a disabled Iraq war veteran, until his father’s death this spring. Despite living a very challenging life, with his safety and security at risk, he remains an upbeat, hardworking young man with an indomitable spirit. 

He says he works hard in school “because [his] father always inspired [him] to do [his] best.” He will graduate [from …High School] with a 3.58 GPA, with high marks in AP and honors courses.  His goal is to become a math teacher, a career inspired by his volunteer work teaching reading to elementary school children. He is very tech savvy and skilled at coding. His teachers describe him as creative, outgoing, tenacious, and passionate. They say he is a “great academic” who “pushes himself each day to do his very best,” he “takes on responsibility and succeeds,” and has lovingly created clubs and led his classmates in pursuing their interests. He created a magic club and a drama club, co-president of the juggling club, and has been active in the skateboard club, tennis club and tennis team. 

He has had summer jobs and contributed more than 270 hours of community service while in high school, much of it tutoring children how to read. He received honors in the Howard U. Middle School of Mathematics and Science, merited summer scholarships in technology, and attended American U. classes. His mentor, who has known him for 8 years, notes that “[h]is journey is one of courage and determination.” We feel he has the strength and determination to handle college challenges successfully,  and the grace to give back whenever and wherever he can. 

July 9  Meet and Greet

We held our annual event (formerly known as a “tea”) to greet new and returning scholars on Sunday July 9,  Almost all the new scholars attended with a healthy number of returning scholars who shared their experiences with the rising Freshmen.  It was wonderful to meet these young people and talk with them.  


All of our scholars are matched up with mentors from the committee that stay with them for the four years they are in college.   We have created a handbook for mentoring that helps new committee members take on this role, and helps us all share with each other what has worked for us over the years.

Some Final Thoughts

Financial contributions allow us to provide meaningful assistance to these remarkable students in meeting tuition requirements and other academic expenses.  We have learned that most of these students would fall short by thousands of dollars needed for college expenses if they relied exclusively on the grants and loans provided by their schools.  The MJS funds help bridge that gap.  Over the past several years, the students have expressed profound gratitude for the difference the scholarship makes both in terms of the mentoring and the MJS grant in their ability to get through college and move forward to transform their lives.

The MJS committee thanks all the donors who have helped these students afford college.  Our MJS scholars proceed after college to attain graduate degrees and become nurses, entrepreneurs, Peace Corps participants, engineers, and productive members of society in many areas.  They are clearly helping make the world a better place, and our scholarship is helping them as they make their way.

Appendix 1:  Resources and Commitments

Table 1. Resources Mobilized in 2022-23 (FY23): Sources


(in whole numbers)

Bethesda Friends Meeting


Meeting Allocation (Peace & Social Justice Committee)


Social Concerns Box + Contributions from Individuals in Meeting


BFM Total


Friends Meeting of Washington


Meeting Allocation


Contributions by Individuals


Contributions from Family Foundation


FMW Total


Langley Hill Friends Meeting


Meeting Allocation      


Contributions By Individuals


Langley Hill Total


Total Contributions3


Other Additions


Scholarship refund (one scholar)


Total Additions



Table 2. Resources, Commitments, and Net Reserve



Closing Balance 6/30/2022


Additions in 2022-23 (FY23)


Total Expenditures 2022-232 (FY23)


    Disbursements to Scholars


    Program Costs (Application website vendor)


Opening Balance 7/1/2023






7 Seniors @ 2,500 ($1,500 annual + $1,000 senior bonus)


5 Juniors @ 2000/year for 2 years; 2 juniors @ 1,500 for 2 years


7 Sophomores @ 2,500/year for 3 years

2 sophomores @ 2,500/year for 2 years


6 Freshmen @ 4,000/year for 4 years; 1 freshman with $8,750 remaining commitment


Commitments temporarily retained for scholars from earlier entry cohorts


FY24 Program Costs ( web application)


Total Commitments



Net Reserve


Appendix 2: Applications by School 






2023 Scholars

Benjamin Banneker




McKinley Technology




Duke Ellington




Calvin Coolidge




KIPP DC College Prep







DC International



Cesar Chavez Parkside






Eastern Senior High School



Friendship Tech Prep










Thurgood Marshall PCS



Capital City






E. L. Haynes



Paul Laurence Dunbar High School



Paul Public Charter School



Phelps ACE



Ron Brown College Prep



Washington Latin PCS







Appendix 3: 2023 Committee Members and Their Meetings

Committee Member        Meeting

Tia Duer                 BFM
Anne Hunt              LHFM
Lee Ingram             BFM
Anne Kendall, Clerk         FMW
C.J. Lewis                  FMW
Indira Martell          BFM
J.E.McNeil               FMW
Rebecca Nelson           FMW
Peter Nye               FMW
Lauren Stockbower           LHFM
Bill Strein                 FMW
Michael Wallace        BFM
Babs Williams           LHFM 
Elaine WIlson             FMW


Report on BYM Annual Sessions for FMW’s  Meeting for Worship for the Concern of Business on Sept. 10. 2023–Greg Robb

This year’s annual session was really rich and FMW Friends played a big part in its success. No one from FMW played a bigger role than John Meyer, who was a registrar. Roughly 200 Friends attended annual session.

The theme this year was “Building our Communities with Love and Tenderness” 

The opening retreat was entitled: “What binds us in Quaker Community (especially whenever we might want to walk away)”

Key takeaways - Building a religious community is risky - we take risks every first day.  We are all connected. We need each other to be whole.

Jared Wood’s Opening Plenary - Community, Survival and Liberation, set a tone of exploration in a safe environment that lasted for the week. Jared is an arts teacher at Germantown Friends School. 

The theme of his remarks was how we have to navigate in community, perhaps hiding our true selves to survive.  “We can create spaces where people from disparate backgrounds can engage in dialogue, reflection and making that moves us past the destructive ideas we’ve inherited to the collective low, brilliance, and liberation we all deserve.”

My main takeaway came from the questions and answer session when Friends shared deeply personal stories of how they were forced to conform by their families and had struggled to become free. 

Another highlight was a workshop given by Sabrina McCarthy of FMW and Ellen Cronin on Anti-racism being a core Spiritual Practice. They focused on self awareness. How to grapple with White fear and anxiety. “Our bodies tell the truth,” Sabrina said. They introduced the practice of Mindful Pauses to work through discomfort. 

The closing lecture by Diego Navarro, an educator who has helped marginalized students succeed in college, and also former clerk of Pacific Yearly Meeting. 

Here is the summary by David Etheridge of FMW.

Diego Navarro of Pacific Yearly Meeting gave a talk entitled “Healing Harm Using Sacred Space and the Genius of Quakerism” as the Carey Memorial Lecture at the Baltimore Yearly Meeting Annual Session last month. The harm he was addressing was both historical and present-day harm to African Americans and Native Americans. “Sacred space” is what Pacific Yearly Meeting calls the process it is developing for recognizing and addressing racial harm when it happens among Friends. The “genius of Quakerism” is our practice of listening for Divine guidance and discerning the truth and the way forward with the assistance of clerks, elders, and clearness committees. He attributed the historical harm we have caused to marginalized people, in part, to their absence from our discernment efforts. He also attributed the minimal presence of marginalized people in our communities today to the racial harm that they continue to encounter in our communities. To break that cycle within the Baltimore Yearly Meeting, he asked us to adopt a process for recognizing and stopping harm. He also urged us to continue studying our history to fully understand our complicity in harming marginalized people and how those past experiences have brought us to where we are today. The video of his presentation is available at this link:

On the fun side, there was square dancing and a very good band played one night. 

One interesting note: The Administrative Secretary’s report suggested that the camps might be spun off. Right now they are under the BYM Care

The overall theme was building community and welcoming strangers. Making sure that our meetings are places of refuge and sanctuary and that we have a willingness to let attenders and members be their most authentic selves. – also a sense of not being strangers to ourselves. 

In 2024, annual Session is the first week of August. It is a great place for families. 


Friends Nonprofit Housing, Inc. Update to Friends Meeting of Washington, September 10, 2023 

Friends Nonprofit Housing (FNPH) operates Friendly Gardens apartments, located in the historical Lyttonsville neighborhood of Silver Spring. The apartments are opposite the Gwendolyn Coffield Community Center and the Rosemary Hills-Lyttonsville Park. Notably, they are less than a quarter mile from the planned Lyttonsville Station on the Purple Line, now expected to open in mid-2027. The apartments, built in 1971, are located in three-story buildings on about 4.5 acres. 

The apartments serve three levels of low-income renters. Half are earmarked for households defined under Montgomery County guidelines as “extremely low income.” For a family of four, this would be about $42,690 per year or less. Thirty percent are earmarked for “very low-income” households earning about $56,920 per year and twenty percent are available for “low-income” households earning about $71,150 per year. Apartments in each of these three categories include a mix of 2-, 3-, and 4-bedroom units. Resident households with incomes above about $85,380 pay a version of “market rate” rents intended to encourage moving to market rate housing. Eventually, all of the units will fit into this three tiered arrangement. 

On March 3, 2022, a maintenance worker mistakenly cut into a gas line causing an explosion and fire in two of the apartment buildings. Investigation by the Montgomery County Fire & Rescue Service ruled the incident accidental. Remarkably, no one was killed. Within a few days, the management company distributed approximately $350,000 to affected residents. This represented a return of security deposits, a prorated return of March rents (if already paid), and an amount approximately three times the HUD determined fair market rent of their apartment. A fund set up by Montgomery Housing Partnership also provided about $500,000. Eventually, all residents found new housing. Of the 85 apartments, 29 were destroyed or made uninhabitable. Friendly Gardens currently operates with 56 units. Our Mutual Insurance Group, Harford, continues to negotiate and resolve claims and Friendly Gardens has received partial payment to date for property damage and lost rents. 

The property’s financial condition, along with ownership of 2.3 acres of undeveloped land contiguous to Friendly Gardens, has allowed the Board to consider new development. As noted before, the Board has talked with a Bethesda-based developer, EYA, about a possible joint development project. With Covid 19 and uncertainty about the Purple Line, these discussions had been on hold. Recently, though, discussions have resumed and the Board hopes that steps toward a new project might be taken during 2023 with EYA or another development partner. 

Current officers are: Interim President, Robin McGrew; Secretary, Steve Sawyer; Treasurer, Della Stolsworth. The Board currently has seven members with backgrounds in architecture, finance, property management, and law. 

FNPH summary submitted to Friends Meeting of Washington, September 10th 2023, by Annelise Haskell, Friends Nonprofit Housing Board Member. Anyone interested in working with us could contact me for more information at