2018 Yearbook Sixth Month 2018 Interim Meeting Frederick Friends Meeting
I2018-20 Opening. Baltimore Yearly Meeting’s Interim Meeting gathered on 6/9/2018 hosted by Frederick Friends Meeting in Frederick, Maryland. A list of affiliations of those present is attached.
Carlotta Joyner (Frederick), Clerk of Frederick Friends Meeting, welcomed and oriented us. Carlotta thanked those from Frederick for their help in today’s arrangements. Carlotta noted that the Meeting has united in adding a mini-split system to provide air conditioning and heating to a section of its building. An upcoming change in clerkship has led to fruitful discussions on Meeting leadership and structure; a clerking team is to be formed. Carlotta asked Friends with knowledge of Friends Committee on National Legislation advocacy teams to be in touch.
We thanked those from Frederick Friends Meeting for their hospitality.
Marcy Baker Seitel (Adelphi), Clerk of Interim Meeting, reviewed the agenda, recent business, and recent news. Marcy noted our focus on racism and anti-racism, budget format, and annual session scheduling. Marcy noted articles in a recent issue of Friends Journal written by Baltimore Yearly Meeting Friends; a book by a transgender Yearly Meeting author has also recently been published.
Karie Firoozmand (Baltimore, Stony Run) presented nominations for Yearly Meeting and Interim Meeting officers, Supervisory Committee, and Nominating Committee. The Committee’s slate as presented is attached. Karie drew Friends’ attention to two vacancies on Nominating Committee and asked Friends to consider whether they might be led to serve the Yearly Meeting in this way.
Friends accepted the slate as presented and APPROVED forwarding it to Annual Session for final approval.
Marcy Baker Seitel (Adelphi) resumed presiding; Arthur David Olson (Takoma Park) resumed recording.
I2018-22 Nominating Committee. Erik Hanson (Sandy Spring) and Deborah Haines (Alexandria), Nominating Committee Co-Clerks, reported. On this first and only reading, we APPROVED this: we named Bill Foskett (Washington) to the Friends House Retirement Community board through 2021.
Deborah noted two vacancies on Nominating Committee and asked those with an interest and questions about the Committee to contact Deborah or Erik.
I2018-23 Naming Committee. Dave French (Menallen) reported on behalf of Naming Committee. On this first and only reading, we APPROVED this: we named Richard Broadbent (Frederick) to Search Committee through 2021.
I2018-24 Networking Day. Annette Breiling (Frederick) read aloud a report from Phil Caroom (Annapolis), Peace and Social Concerns Committee Clerk, on workshops held at a recent Networking Day organized by the Committee.
I2018-25 Minute of support for Poor People’s Campaign. Annette Breiling (Frederick), on behalf of Peace and Social Concerns Committee, presented the Committee’s recommendation to endorse the revived Poor People’s Campaign; the written version of the recommendation is attached. We heard that a current, soon-ending six-week effort is the beginning of a multi-year campaign. We APPROVED this: we endorsed the Poor People’s Campaign and asked local Meetings to consider endorsing it.
I2018-26 Back from the Brink campaign. Jean Athey (Sandy Spring), on behalf of Peace and Social Concerns Committee, presented information on the Back from the Brink campaign; the written version of the information is attached. Jean noted that prompt action is required given a current nuclear posture review and current planning to replace the entire nuclear arsenal of the United States. Jean mentioned the availability of speakers to visit local Meetings. Local Meetings are invited to individually endorse the campaign.
We APPROVED this: we endorsed the Back from the Brink campaign and asked local Meetings to consider endorsing it.
We APPROVED this: we named Jean Athey our liaison to the Back from the Brink campaign through the end of our 2021 Annual Session.
We heard a sense that in addition to endorsing the campaign, there is work to be done to influence government decisions now being made.
I2018-27 Minute on the civil and human rights of transgender people. Diane McHale (Sandy Spring), on behalf of Peace and Social Concerns Committee, presented a proposed minute on the civil and human rights of transgender people; the written version of the report is attached. Diane noted that in more than half of the states of the United States it remains legal to discriminate based on gender identity.
We heard a desire for a minute of support for not only transgender civil and human rights but also transgender people. We heard a desire for a minute that commits us to enlarging our understanding of the experience of transgender people. We heard a sense of the need for concrete steps to accompany the minute.
We APPROVED Peace and Social Concerns Committee’s proposed minute on the civil and human rights of transgender people; we directed Peace and Social Concerns Committee to bring a strengthened minute to Annual Session reflecting the concerns expressed today.
I2018-28 Minute on end-of-life options legislation. Victor Thuronyi (Adelphi), on behalf of Peace and Social Concerns Committee, presented a minute and background information on end-of-life options legislation; the written version is attached. Current and contemplated legislation affects a small number of people. Consideration of end-of-life options legislation by the Maryland state legislature is expected in 2019. End-of-life matters are of particular concern to religious communities given the moral dimensions of end-of-life decisions.
We heard a desire to take the time to do the substantial work needed to come to clarity on end-of-life matters. We heard of how end-of-life decisions can interact with disability rights, and a desire to keep disability rights in mind. We heard a sense that we might reframe our consideration in terms of pain and pain management.
We directed our Peace and Social Concerns Committee to continue its work in the issue of end-of-life options.
I2018-29 Youth Programs Manager’s annual report. Jossie Dowling, Youth Programs Manager, presented the Manager’s annual report; the written version of the report is attached. Jossie noted the end of another year with a total of twelve youth conferences. Jossie mentioned the love and tears brought forth when individuals graduate from the program after years of being in it.
I2018-30 Working Group on Right Relationship with Animals annual report. Margaret Fisher (Herndon), Working Group on Right Relationships with Animals Clerk, presented the Working Group’s annual report; the written version of the report is attached. Since 2014, the Working Group has led 32 discussions, willing to undergo a little bit of discomfort to have them; giving people the facts seems to work better than trying to avoid people’s reactions or underestimating their capacity to respond.
We heard a concern about the tone and scope of the name of the Working Group.
I2018-31 Pastoral Care Working Group. Amy Schmaljohn (Gunpowder) and Melanie Gifford (Adelphi), Ministry and Pastoral Care Co-Clerks, presented a proposal for a new Pastoral Care Working Group under the care of Ministry and Pastoral Care Committee; the written version of the proposal is attached. Development of the proposal has been the focus of Ministry and Pastoral Care Committee’s work this year.
We heard a concern about the staffability of a Working Group; we heard of people who have already expressed an interest in taking up the work. We heard a desire for a written charge for the Working Group; we heard a sense that the third paragraph of the Committee’s proposal might serve as a beginning charge.
We APPROVED formation of a Pastoral Care Working Group as proposed by Ministry and Pastoral Care Committee, with the Working Group under the Committee’s care.
I2018-32 Presiding Clerk’s report. Ken Stockbridge (Patapsco), Yearly Meeting Presiding Clerk, reported; the written version of the report is attached. Ken noted that, whether we know it or not, those who are led to do the work of the Yearly Meeting will be the ones who get to make that work possible financially.
We heard a sense that discussions of issues can help make our meetings for business engaging.
I2018-33 General Secretary’s report. Ned Stowe (Sandy Spring), Yearly Meeting General Secretary, reported; the written version of the report is attached. A planning group is developing a proposal to continue equity, diversity, and inclusion work in 2019 and beyond, after a Shoemaker Foundation grant for the work ends; a proposal is to be brought to us for consideration as soon as possible this year.
I2018-34 Minute of appreciation for Dyresha Harris. Peirce Hammond (Bethesda) read aloud a minute of appreciation for a telephonically present Dyresha Harris; the written version of the minute is attached. There was noisy appreciation for Dyresha (for Dyresha’s benefit); we APPROVED the minute of appreciation for Dyresha Harris.
I2018-35 Development Director’s report. Ann Venable, Development Director, reported; the written version of the report is attached. In response to requests at our most recent Interim Meeting, Ann has provided detailed numbers in the written report; in the oral report, Ann showed posters of Yearly Meeting programs being supported by donations, literally putting information behind the numbers. To date about $115,000 of our 2018 goal of about $710,000 has been raised; we have a way to go.
I2018-36 Stewardship and Finance Committee. Jim Lynn (Sandy Spring), Stewardship and Finance Committee Co-Clerk, reported on the Committee’s new format for our budget presentation; the written version of the report is attached.
I2018-37 Treasurer’s report. Tom Hill (Charlottesville), Treasurer, reported. Tom loves accrual accounting. Tom noted that a draft audit for 2017 has been completed and circulate to our Trustees, our Stewardship and Finance Committee, and officers of the Miles White Beneficial Society; with the inclusion of information about the Beneficial Society, we now have an unqualified audit. With the inclusion of the Beneficial Society’s assets, the consolidated assets are now shown as being about $2.5 million greater than in last year’s audit. Tom noted that we have an operating surplus of about $30,000; this amount is smaller than the increase in the value of our investments in 2017.
Tom expects that the 2017 audit and Internal-Revenue-Service-required From 990 will be completed soon.
Tom cautioned us that a financial report as of 3/31/2017 reflects camp fees received and not yet spent on camp costs, limiting any conclusions that can be drawn from the report.
I2018-38 Work on racism and plans for change groups. David Etheridge (Washington), Working Group on Racism Clerk, reported on work on racism in our Yearly Meeting and plans for change groups. David told the history of a person of color’s involvement with the Religious Society of Friends, and how experiences with them helped motivate David’s work on racism. David noted the availability of a workshop and six books on racism at our upcoming Annual Session and its book store.
I2018-39 Travel minutes. Patti Nesbitt (Sandy Spring), on behalf of the Intervisitation Working Group, presented a returned travel minute for Georgia Fuller (Langley Hill); a copy of the returned minute is attached. We ACCEPTED the returned minute.
Patti presented a travel minute approved by Baltimore Monthly Meeting, Stony Run for Adrian Bishop (Baltimore, Stony Run) and Rosalie Dance (Baltimore, Stony Run), as well as a travel minute approved by Adelphi Monthly Meeting for Jolee Robinson (Adelphi); the written versions of the travel minutes are attached. We APPROVED this: we renewed our endorsement of the travel minute for Georgia Fuller, endorsed Baltimore Monthly Meeting Stony Run’s travel minute for Adrian Bishop and Rosalie Dance, and endorsed Adelphi Friends Meeting’s travel minute for Jolee Robinson.
I2018-40 Report of Friends United Meeting general board members. Walt Fry (West Branch) and Georgia Fuller (Langley Hill), named by the Yearly Meeting to the general board of Friends United Meeting (FUM) reported; the written version of their report is attached. Walt report that a new FUM General Secretary will begin serving on 7/1/2018; Georgia noted that their first days of service will be spent at a gathering in Africa. Georgia noted that Baltimore Yearly Meeting is the largest FUM-affiliated Meeting in North America. What global responsibilities go with that? What can we learn from global Friends? Georgia encouraged our presence and openness at the 7/2020 FUM Triennial in Kenya.
I2018-41 Schedule of events at Annual Session. Barb Platt (Sandy Spring), on behalf of Program Committee, presented a report on the schedule of events at Annual Session; the written version of the report is attached. Some changes have been made to the 2018 schedule. While the Committee has the authority to shorten the Annual Session, the Committee does not want to do so without Yearly Meeting consultation. The Committee envisions discussion this summer on shortening our Annual Session.
We heard a sense that defining the purpose of our Annual Session would be useful in shaping its form. We heard a sense that consulting with other Yearly Meetings with shorter Annual Sessions would be useful; the Committee hopes to do so.
We adjourned, to gather next as Interim Meeting on 10/20/2018 hosted by Sandy Spring Friends Meeting, or at the call of the Clerk of Interim Meeting.
Marcy Baker Seitel, presiding Arthur David Olson, recording
Meg Meyer, presiding Becka Haines Rosenberg, recording