2017 Yearbook Tenth Month 2016 Interim Meeting Sandy Spring Friends Meeting
I2016-44 Opening. Baltimore Yearly Meeting’s Interim Meeting gathered on 10/15/2016 at Friends House in Sandy Spring, Maryland. A list of the Meetings of attenders is attached. We thanked those from Sandy Spring Meeting, Sandy Spring Friends School, and Friends House for their hospitality. Linda Garretson (Sandy Spring) welcomed and oriented us, recalling Esther Scott’s gift of land that makes the Sandy Spring Quaker empire possible.
I2016-45 Unity With Nature. Eli Fishpaw (Maury River) reported on behalf of Unity With Nature Committee. Eli reported on responses to a call for people to calculate their carbon footprints. Not too many people have responded yet; how-to learning is taking place as Eli and others do the calculation. Information on carbon footprint calculation is available in the Committee’s section of the Yearly Meeting web site. The Committee plans to send a message to local Meetings. We were asked whether we are doing enough.
I2016-46 Working Group on Racism. David Etheridge (Washington), Working Group on Racism Clerk, reported; the written version of the report is attached.
I2016-47 Nominating Committee. Bette Hoover (Sandy Spring), Nominating Committee Co-Clerk, reported. We ACCEPTED the resignation of Katherine Smith (Maury River) from Faith and Practice Revision Committee. On this first and only reading, we APPROVED this: we named Barbara Thomas (Annapolis) to serve on Program Committee through 2019 and Paul Jacob (Alexandria) to serve on Stewardship and Finance through 2017.
I2016-48 Search Committee. Rebecca Rawls (Langley Hill) reported on behalf of Search Committee. On this first and only reading, we APPROVED this: we named Deborah Haines (Alexandria) to serve on Nominating Committee through 2019.
I2016-49 Representatives to Interim Meeting. Marcy Baker Seitel (Adelphi), Clerk of Interim Meeting, noted that only half of our Meetings have named Representatives to Interim Meeting; Marcy is seeking ways to get more Representatives.
I2016-50 Travel minute. Jolee Robinson (Adelphi) returned a travel minute with endorsements; the original is being returned to Adelphi Friends Meeting; a copy of the endorsed minute is attached.
I2016-51 Friends United Meeting General Board report. Georgia Fuller (Langley Hill), Friends United Meeting General Board member, reported; the written version of the report and a handout are attached.
I2016-52 Minute in solidarity with Standing Rock Sioux. Sue Marcus (Alexandria), Indian Affairs Committee Clerk, shared the Committee’s “Minute in Solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Regarding the Dakota Access Pipeline;” the written version of the minute as well as background information, action items, and contact information are attached. Sue noted a York Meeting on the matter, supported by Charlottesville Meeting’s Peace and Social Concerns Committee.
With the deletion of the phrase “unlike many political leaders,” and substituting “Baltimore Yearly Meeting” for “the BYM IAC,” we APPROVED the minute section of Indian Affairs Committee’s “Minute in Solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe” document. Sue undertook to ensure that the minute is sent to those listed in the action item section.
I2016-53 Yearly Meeting Presiding Clerk’s report. Ken Stockbridge (Patapsco), Yearly Meeting Presiding Clerk, reported; the written version of the report is attached. We ACCEPTED the report.
I2016-54 Manual of Procedure. Susan Kaul (Bethesda), Manual of Procedure Committee Clerk, presented a substantive addition regarding beginnings of terms of service on Search Committee and Supervisory Committee; the written version of the Committee’s report is attached.
We APPROVED the manual addition for forwarding to our next annual session, divided into two paragraphs of two sentences each, and placed in manual sections describing Search Committee and Supervisory Committee. We heard a suggestion that the manual include an explanation of why two readings of nominations are advisable. We directed Manual Procedure committee to review the manual’s material on Committees of Interim Meeting.
I2016-55 Faith and Practice Revision. Ken Stockbridge (Patapsco), Yearly Meeting Presiding Clerk, presented a “Faith and Practice Process Clarification Proposal;” the written version of the proposal is attached. We APPROVED the “Faith and Practice Process Clarification” document’s “Proposed Charge for an ad hoc Committee to Clarify Our Faith and Practice Revision Process,” adding that “The Yearly Meeting Presiding Clerk and Clerk of Interim Meeting will ensure that the Committee is diverse.”
We heard a concern that a volunteer Committee might lack continuity in its participants.
The Clerk of Interim Meeting accepted names of volunteers for the Committee.
I2016-56 Camp Property Manager’s annual report. David Hunter (Frederick), Camp Property Manager, presented an annual report; the written version of the report is attached. David noted that many of last year’s camp activities clustered around teaching and promoting sustainability. David noted the role of camp plantings in removing carbon from the atmosphere and moving us toward net zero carbon. David highlighted that dates for family camp weekends are available on the Yearly Meeting’s web site.
We ACCEPTED David’s report.
I2016-57 Camp Program Manager‘s annual report. Jane Megginson (Frederick), Camp Program Manager, presented an annual report; the written version of the report is attached. Jane noted jumps this year in both the number of camper weeks and the number of campers, served by about 125 staff members and about 125 volunteers. Jane held up completion (after many years) of a staff manual as a cause for hope in revision of Faith and Practice.
We ACCEPTED Jane’s report.
I2016-58 Development Director’s report. Ann Venable, Development Director, reported. Ann mentioned that a large part of the Director’s job is stewarding the donors to the Yearly Meeting, that these donors are a very large community, not all of whom are Friends, and that they deserve our consideration in our discernment.
We ACCEPTED Ann’s report.
I2016-59 Treasurer’s report. Tom Hill (Charlottesville), Treasurer, reported; the written version of the report is attached. Tom noted an excess of about $59,000 of revenue over expenses through 9/30/2016. Tom noted that much of our increase in asset represents gifts for not-yet-completed projects; these assets will change from cash to buildings and equipment with time.
We ACCEPTED Tom’s report.
We heard, improved, and APPROVED the minutes to this point.
I2016-60 Catoctin bath house. Ned Stowe (Sandy Spring), General Secretary, placed before us the question of increasing our capital budget to build a replacement Catoctin bath house as designed. Ned made available a “Stewardship and Finance Committee Report to Interim Meeting Tenth Month 5, 2016;” the written version of the report is attached. The report includes a revised construction budget, revisions to our 2016 and 2017 capital budgets, and revisions to our 2017 operating budget. Bids were sought from five firms and received from three firms; the revised construction budget reflects an increase from an estimated cost of $297,000 to a budgeted cost of $827,367 (including contingencies), a difference of $530,367. Ned provided background information on the project; the written version of the information is attached.
Jim Lynn (Sandy Spring), Stewardship and Finance Committee Co-Clerk, focused on the capital budget for 2016 and 2017. The only proposed changes to the capital budget are those to deal with the Catoctin bath house cost increase and Catoctin temporary facilities. Jim also presented proposed changes to the 2017 operating budget, with increased expenses for insurance and interest on loans offset by increased revenue from camper fees and a reduction in out transfer to reserves.
Jim stated that loans of $80,000 have been offered by individuals to finance construction of the bath house.
We heard a suggestion to model the economic consequences of closing Catoctin in 2017; we heard of the possibility of closing Catoctin. We heard a desire for more data about this project and alternatives to it before gong forward. We were asked whether the state's response to temporary facilities would be influenced by the presence or absence of plans for permanent facilities. We heard a suggestion to hire a project manager. We heard a sense that if we do not move now, the price will change—and usually up. We heard a sense that it makes sense to go ahead given that the camps pay for themselves. We heard discomfort at the prospect of closing Catoctin in 2017, which might be a consequence of not acting. We heard that sometimes, when your kids do something that costs you a lot of money, you say “oops” and pay it anyway. We heard of wanting to show trust and respect for those who have brought the project this far. We heard a sense that elements of the bath house project reflect our values, and a desire not to abandon those elements because it costs too much; we heard a desire to live our values. We heard a concern that we have reached our current situation by acting quickly and incautiously, and that we run the risk of doing so again now. We were reminded that past Yearly Meeting construction projects have been carried out by volunteers, and invited to consider what more we ourselves can do now.
While we are uncomfortable with its uncertainties, desire exploration of cost savings (including through volunteer work), and desire quick elimination of uncertainties, we APPROVED moving forward on the Catoctin bath house and APPROVED the changes to budgets in Stewardship and Finance Committee's report.
Marcy Baker Seitel, presiding
Arthur David Olson, recording