2021 Yearbook Sixth Month 2021 Interim Meeting Attachments Attachment I2021-14: Ministry and Pastoral Care Committee Statement and Query on Use of Preferred Pronouns
Some Baltimore Yearly Meeting Friends have recently approached the Ministry and Pastoral Care Committee about the use of preferred pronouns among Friends. They have a concern about Friends adding preferred pronouns to their Zoom name during Interim Meetings and Annual Sessions as well as on other occasions.
Preferred pronouns refer to the set of pronouns that an individual prefers that others use to reflect that person’s gender identity. In English, when declaring one’s preferred pronouns, a person will often state “she, her, hers”, “he, him, his”, or “they, them, theirs”. Preferred pronouns have come into use as one way of promoting equity and inclusion for people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer.
Ministry and Pastoral Care Committee reminds Friends about the Baltimore Yearly Meeting statement on diversity:
We Aspire to Recognize and Affirm Diversity as a Means to Truth
“We Friends are of many skin colors, ethnicities, socio-economic backgrounds, gender identities, sexual orientations, abilities, stages of life, and socially constructed racial identities. We are all seeking the Spirit’s presence in our lives, and in our life together. We recognize that some of us have experienced oppression and marginalization in ways that others have not. We aspire to live as members of the blessed community, which is one of liberation, equity, and great diversity across all differences”.
Ministry and Pastoral Care Committee knows this is a tender concern for some Friends. While some Friends value sharing pronouns, others have concerns that this practice can inadvertently cause harm.
In this statement, we hope to bring our light to this concern: Ministry and Pastoral Care Committee has heard the request for Friends to identify their preferred pronouns in meetings. In light of this, we encourage Friends to respect those who share preferred pronouns and respect those who do not share preferred pronouns.
We also want to share a query: “How can Friends move into the truth and the light to support Friends of differing gender identities?”
Search Committee of Baltimore Yearly Meeting
Report to Interim Meeting on 2021 Nominations
June 12, 2021
Resignation: Oliver Moles, Langley Hill, from Nominating Committee (effective at the end of Annual Session 2021)
Names in Bold type are being nominated or re-nominated at this time. All other names are for information only.
Yearly Meeting Officers: (all serve 2-year terms)
Presiding Clerk: Stephanie “Steph” Bean, Adelphi (20)
Recording Clerk: Anna McCormally, Herndon (20)
Treasurer: Jim Riley, Hopewell Centre (1/20)
Assistant Treasurer: Arthur Meyer Boyd, Baltimore, Stony Run, until 12/21, then to be filled
Interim Meeting Officers: (all serve 2-year terms)
Clerk: Margaret “Meg” Boyd Meyer, Baltimore, Stony Run (20)
Recording Clerk: Rebecca Richards, Gunpowder (20)
(This committee has 2-year terms)
Ramona Buck, Patapsco (18)
Rosemary Davis, Patapsco (20)
Susan Griffin, Friends Mtg of Washington (21)
Alexandra “Alex” Bean, Adelphi (21)
Adrian Bishop, Baltimore, Stony Run (17)
Ex-officio committee members:
Jim Riley, Treasurer
Meg Boyd Meyer, Clerk of Interim Meeting
Steph Bean, Presiding Clerk
(This committee has 3-year terms)
Deborah Haines, Alexandria (16)
Karie Firoozmand, Stony Run (19)
Marilyn Rothstein, Gunpowder (19)
Jolee Robinson, Adelphi (18)
Janet Eaby, Nottingham (20)
Melissa Meredith, Bethesda (20)
Deborah “Debbi” Sudduth, Goose Creek (20)
Herbert “Chip” Tucker, Charlottesville (17)
Kevin Caughlan, Sandy Spring (18)
Roxanne Jarrett, Sandy Spring (21)
Jose Woss, Friends Mtg. of Washington (21)
Dates above each group of names indicate year when the present term of service will end. Numbers in parentheses after the Monthly Meeting indicate the year the person’s service began.
Baltimore Yearly Meeting Representatives to the 2021 FUM Triennial
(Approved by BYM Nominating Committee, 4-17-21; to be brought to BYM Interim Meeting for final approval 6-12-21)
Adrian N. Bishop
13 York Court
Baltimore, MD 21218
Baltimore Monthly Meeting, Stony Run
Jade A. Eaton
19-E Ridge Road
Greenbelt, MD 20770
Adelphi Friends Meeting
Walter “Walt” T. Fry
1024 Linden Street
Clearfield, PA 16830
West Branch Monthly Meeting
Georgia E. Fuller
3440 South Jefferson Street, #927
Falls Church, VA 22041
Langley Hill Friends Meeting
James “Jim” T. Fussell
3643 Calmes Neck Lane
Boyce, VA 22620
Friends Meeting of Washington
Paul L. Isayi
7419 Wood Meadow Way
Lanham, MD 20706
Baltimore Monthly Meeting, Stony Run
7105 Rutherford Green Circle
Windsor Mill, MD 21244
Baltimore Monthly Meeting, Stony Run
Kenneth “Ken” Stockbridge
5772 Sweetwind Place
Columbia, MD 21045
Patapsco Friends Meeting
Ann K. Riggs
PO Box 402
Gambrills, MD 21054
Annapolis Friends Meting
Rosalie A. Dance
13 York Court
Baltimore, MD 21218
Baltimore Monthly Meeting, Stony Run
Mackenzie R. Morgan
4002 Sampson Road
Silver Spring, MD 20906
Adelphi Friends Meeting
Attachment I2021-19B: Ministry and Pastoral Care Committee Response to Letter from West Branch Monthly Meeting
West Branch Friends Meeting
c/o William Thorp
178 Nellie’s Road
Grampian, PA 16838
Dear West Branch Friends,
We are profoundly saddened to receive your letter stating your meeting’s intention to disaffiliate from Baltimore Yearly Meeting. We know you have gone into deep discernment over this matter and respect that your body of Friends have united in the understanding that the direction where God leads you as a body and where God leads BYM as a body differs greatly at this time.
Still, when Friends bodies separate for any reason, this is cause for all of us to grieve. And we do and will mourn your absence in our Yearly Meeting. We pray as we all proceed in our Spirit-led work that Way might open for us to work together again in time, perhaps if not through the same affiliated bodies, then under the wider umbrella that covers the myriad souls who make up the Society of Friends around the world.
May Divine love continue to lead you in your community and in the wider world.
Yours in the Light,
(Steph Bean, Interim Meeting Clerk)
(Meg Meyer, Yearly Meeting Clerk)
(Ministry and Pastoral Care Committee)
Manual of Procedure
Baltimore Yearly Meeting
The Manual of Procedure Committee submits the revisions below for consideration by the Interim Meeting of the Baltimore Yearly Meeting.
Service on more than one committee. The BYM Search Committee in consultation with the BYM Nominating Committee submitted a recommendation to include a statement in the Naming Committee, Nominating Committee, and the Search Committee sections of the Manual of Procedure to indicate that Friends will serve on no more than one Baltimore Yearly Meeting standing committee at a time.
Background information. It was observed during the last nominating cycle that some confusion existed regarding whether Friends serving on a Yearly Meeting standing committee were eligible for appointment to an Interim Meeting Committee. At present, the information provided in the Manual of Procedure does not have internal consistency for each committee nor consistency across the three committees (i.e., Naming, Nominating, and Search). Consequently, sometimes committees nominate Friends, already serving on a Yearly Meeting standing committee, to serve on another committee.
Nominating Committee. Add a sentence to the fourth paragraph of the description of the Nominating Committee in Section V of the Manual of Procedure [as indicated in bold letters below].
In general, committees charged with a nominating function do not nominate any of their own members; Friends serve the Yearly Meeting on no more than one standing committee at a time. Similarly, Friends serving on a committee of Interim Meeting should not serve concurrently on a Yearly Meeting standing committee. However, the nomination of a particularly qualified Friend as a representative to an outside body or as a member of an ad hoc committee, after the Nominating Committee has given due consideration to other qualified Friends, is permitted. Nothing in this Manual is to be interpreted as barring any Friend from serving in a specific capacity when special circumstances warrant. [See Pages 377-378 of the 2020 Yearbook.]
Naming Committee. Add a sentence to the paragraph at the tail end of section III. Interim Meeting, which addresses the responsibilities of the Naming Committee [as indicated in bold letters below].
The Naming Committee is appointed on Spring Yearly Meeting Day and serves for one year or until a new committee is appointed. The Naming Committee usually presents its recommendations to Interim Meeting on Summer Yearly Meeting Day. At any time, the Naming Committee may present to Interim Meeting nominations to fill vacancies on the Search Committee that occur during the year. The Naming Committee will only nominate Friends to the Search Committee who will not concurrently serve on another standing committee of the Yearly Meeting or Interim Meeting. [See Page 366-367 of the 2020 Yearbook.]
Search Committee. Add a sentence to the last paragraph of the description of the Search Committee [as indicated in bold letters below].
As with other nominating bodies, the Search Committee normally does not nominate any of its members for other responsibilities. The Search Committee will only nominate Friends to Supervisory or Nominating Committee who will not concurrently serve on another Yearly Meeting standing committee. [See Page 366 of the 2020 Yearbook.]
Baltimore Yearly Meeting Style Manual. For several years, no committee of the Yearly Meeting has been assigned responsibility for maintaining the Style Manual.
Background information. The Faith and Practice Committee submitted a request to Interim Meeting to be charged with maintaining the Style Manual of the Yearly Meeting.
Recommendation. Add a paragraph at the end of the description of the Faith and Practice Committee [as indicated in bold letters below].
The Faith and Practice Committee is charged with maintaining the Style Manual of the Yearly Meeting and is empowered to make changes as the Committee is led. The Style Manual will be made available to Friends through the Yearly Meeting Web site. [See Pages 375-376 of the 2020 Yearbook.]
Camping Program Committee. The responsibilities of the Camping Program Committee have evolved and should be updated in the Manual of Procedure.
Background Information. The Camping Program Committee reviewed the Manual of Procedure and has requested an update to the entry regarding the responsibilities of the Committee.
Recommendation. Add information to the last paragraph of the section, Camping Program Committee [as indicated in bold letters below] as follows:
The Clerk or another member of the Camping Program Committee serves as a member of the Camp Property Management Committee, the Development Committee, the Growing Diverse Leadership Committee, the Strengthening Transformative Relationships in Diverse Environments Working Group (STRIDE), and the Youth Safety Policy Working Group. [See Paragraph 5, Page 373 of the 2020 Yearbook.]
PROPOSED INTERIM MEETING MINUTE I2021-XX
The Baltimore Yearly Meeting Trustees continue their attempts to secure the titles to the properties that the Yearly Meeting has either purchased or accepted into its care over the last 350 years. While clarifying the title to the Bellefonte [Orthodox] Friends Burial Ground (“FBG”) in Centre County, Pennsylvania, descendants of those Friends interred in the separate Bald Eagle [Hicksite] FBG in Centre County raised questions about the state of disrepair of that FBG and asked if BYM intended to help in its cleanup and maintenance. The Trustees’ investigation disclosed that Bald Eagle, later “Unionville”, Preparative Meeting of Centre Monthly Meeting had worship established in 1803, was granted Preparative-Meeting status in 1826, was renamed in 1906, and was discontinued in 1936. The Bald Eagle FBG is now commonly referred to as the “Fisher” or “Alexander” Cemetery.
Bald Eagle/Unionville P.M.’s parent Centre Monthly Meeting (Hicksite) continued to meet in Halfmoon Township, Centre County for a few years, and then in 1945 and 1946 it transferred to other parties the title to its Halfmoon Township meetinghouse and FBG. Centre Monthly Meeting (Hicksite) was laid down by Centre Quarterly Meeting in 1975 with the notation that it had disposed of its remaining properties. Trustees believe that Centre Q.M. did not then know about the Bald Eagle FBG, but the 1975 minutes of Centre Q.M. are not in the folder held by the Centre Q.M. Clerk.
Under the BYM Stony Run book of discipline in effect at the 1968 Consolidation, property of a discontinued meeting passed to its superior meeting, in this case Centre Q.M., and that body was authorized to transfer title after the closing in the event any discontinued meeting failed to take the necessary steps before closing. Under the 1988 Faith and Practice of BYM (Consolidated) as now in effect, the property of any discontinued meeting is transferred to the Yearly Meeting. It appears that Centre Q.M. has not met for ten years or more, and the Interim Meeting directs the Trustees to arrange to record the transfer to the Yearly Meeting of title to the Bald Eagle Friends Burial Ground.
Baltimore Yearly Meeting
Today I am reporting on BYM finances as of April 30, 2021. We are early in the year, and it is difficult to draw any conclusions about how the year will end up. I will point out a few items which I think are of particular interest. One thing I am being careful about is too many comparisons to our financial situation as of April 30 2020. Because of the pandemic, we had an unusual year. At this time last year, we were holding camp registration fees knowing that we might have to return them if camp was cancelled. We had asked meetings to accelerate apportionment payments and put out the call for contributions. Our investments had lost a considerable amount of market value. And we were amending our budget to reduce expenses in view of the very uncertain financial picture. Thankfully, all that is behind us.
The Balance Sheet gives us a snapshot of our assets, liabilities and net assets as of April 30, 2021. Total cash is just over $1.1 million. Cash is usually high this time of year due to camp registration fees received and not many camp expenses paid yet. We have also received two government Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans/grants. Our investments had a total market value of $1,368,749 on April 30.
The only item I will point out regarding liabilities is the deferred income amount of $356,482. Of this amount, $356,000 is the total received from the PPP loans/grants. These funds are initially considered a loan and, if all conditions are met, then the loans are forgiven. We are well into the process of applying for forgiveness and expect that the loans will be forgiven.
The Statement of Activities shows the revenues and expenditures for the first four months of the year. Program revenue is just over $445,000. This is mostly from camp registration fees-+. Unrestricted contributions total $97,000. It’s interesting to note that, at this time a year ago, this total was about $56,000. We hope this trend continues. The unrealized gain on our investments for the first four months of the year is about $44,000. Also, interesting to note is that, at this time last year, we were showing a $111,000 unrealized loss. Total revenue so far this year is $776,500.
The expenditures are all in the unrestricted column and total a little over $699,000. So net revenue over expenditures totals $77,310. Of this amount, $65,745 is unrestricted. An excess of revenue over expenditures is always good to see but, as I noted before, it is early in the year. Stay tuned for more.
Our audit for 2020 is well under way and we are looking forward to completing it soon. We did not have an audit of the 2019 books so the 2020 audit will get us back on schedule.
Hopewell Centre Meeting
Development Report to Interim Meeting
We are witnessing a verdant display of resilience in the world around us. Every spring, nature teaches us the cyclical beauty of resurgent life. Now with families venturing forth in the wake of the pandemic here, we see another face of resilience. Thanks to our supportive community, Baltimore Yearly Meeting, too, is revitalizing its work. Unlike this time one year ago, our financial foundation is stronger, our ability to stay connected has grown, our sensitivity and response to social issues has deepened, and our camps are re-opening! Thank you Friends for your resilience and for your stalwart sharing.
Development activities throughout the first half of the year have included an array of customary exchanges along with some new initiatives. At the start of the year, we launched a camp appeal early to ensure the success of the new sliding scale fee payment system. Many donors stepped up generously to endorse this experiment to make the camp experience accessible to every family, no matter their financial situation. Then in the spring, special preparations for camp re-opening amid precautions to safeguard campers against the spread of COVID-19 necessitated unlooked for expenses in the forms of outdoor picnic tables, ventilations fans, health staff and PPE supplies, among other items. BYM offerings like Spiritual Formation and Youth Programs have seen modest donation levels. (You should have recently received a video message from Sunshine Klein about the year’s ongoing creative youth activities!) STRIDE hosted several phonathon sessions, film and trivia nights to raise funds and has been successful with the receipt of five grants to enroll STRIDE campers this summer.
Gifts to the General Fund continue to be numerous. These contributions together with our monthly and quarterly revenue from our Sustaining Quakers help to foster stability for the YM while promoting our capacity to provide for assorted communications, programs and networking. In a letter this month to our Sustaining Quakers, the extent of change at the Yearly Meeting was shared. Some of the highlights of that letter include acknowledgements of:
- An increasingly urgent commitment to anti-racist action and education that has been championed by Growing Diverse Leadership, the Working Group on Racism and our tireless STRIDE volunteers.
- Reductions in BYM staff and administrative expenses activated even greater austerity as we welcome a new General Secretary, Sarah Gillooly, this summer, and thank Wayne Finegar for his tremendous skill and dedication as Actiging General Secretary.
- The new Yearly Meeting clerk, Stephanie Bean, and interim clerk, Meg Meyer, are finishing their first year of service along with many new committee and working group members.
In preparation for 2022, a 350th BYM anniversary committee has formed that will also mark the 100th anniversary of the camp program. Already at Annual Session this year, several workshops and an interest group will usher in anniversary activities along with a special session on Thursday evening, August. 5. As we prepare to commemorate three and a half centuries of Quaker faith and practice here in the Mid-Atlantic, we will strive to learn from our past to better anticipate our future. Our story as Friends is still unfolding, thanks to each of you.
This year was a wild time for sure. As a new Youth Programs Manager (YPM), I started in September and within 2 weeks I was hosting a virtual Nuts and Bolts Committee (NBC) Conference over Zoom. And at that time NBC of Young Friends (YFs) made a lot of decisions about what the year would look like and what the year could look like. As we’re all aware, for YF and Junior Young Friends (JYFs) we did virtual cons over zoom for almost all of this year due to the pandemic. This allowed for a lot of creativity on how to maintain and nourish our community in this totally new way. Though Friends acknowledged that of course it wasn’t the same, they also were grateful for the time and connection these Zooms allowed. It also meant we could have participants who have moved away join us once again. We had YFs from as far as California join us as well as a Friendly Adult Presence who lives in Sweden. This also prompted a revamping of the Youth Programs section of the BYM website and making an online store for Youth Programs merchandise. This year also brought new energy to social media outreach. YFs began using their Instagram account (@ErikBrokeMyHeart) to advertise conferences and to share announcements. They also continued the use of their website (http://yf.bym-rsf.net/) to keep the community up-to-date on all things YF. As YPM, I began using Twitter (@BYMYouthProgram) to reach a greater audience and connect with other Quaker communities. Young Friends also approved the shift of their Facebook page to be converted to an alumni page. You can find us on Facebook by searching BYM Youth Programs Alumni.
This year we had an average of almost 13 JYFs attending each con. The numbers this year were of course going to be smaller than years past but we had a very consistent crew of JYFs. They brought joy and laughter to the screen and held very efficient Meetings for Worship with a Concern for Business. Those started with the collective discerning of the year’s theme which was creativity through food. Our lovely and dedicated JYF Subcommittee of the Youth Programs Committee (YPC) decided that with the virtual con situation it would be perfect to have cooking ingredients dropped off at everyone’s homes and that our workshops would be creating space for the JYFs to discover or hone their abilities to cook from scratch. The JYFs also spent quality time with each other playing online games together including but not limited to Among Us, Sporcle, A Fake Artist Goes to New York, and Code Names. With the Covid vaccine out, the JYF Subcommittee made the call to have an in-person portion of the final con of the year which was deeply enjoyed by all. Along with the adjustments around being virtual, the JYF Subcommittee approved having a suggested registration fee for cons while also giving the space for families to pay less if they needed to. This payment structure worked well for us this year.
YFs and NBC also participated in virtual conferences for most of the year. They made Friday night a game night and time to check in with each other. Saturdays included workshops, games, show and tells, and plenty of breaks in between so that folks wouldn’t get too burnt out on screen time. There was also usually a movie option that night. On Sundays, we did our best to worship virtually with the Meeting we would have been with had we been in person. This year we had an average of 21 YFs at each con. Young Friends put together a Grad con subcommittee to share a proposal with YPC about holding an in-person con. YPC accepted this proposal and supported YFs in their planning. Grad con was a glorious one night conference, in-person, held at the BYM office, where YFs and Friendly Adult Presences slept in their own tents, masked up, and social distanced. This allowed us to have our yearly celebration of our seniors, Senior Circle, in person with an option for those who could not make it join over FaceTime. The joy displayed by sharing space was palpable. This year YF made the decision to have each virtual con have no registration fee, but to ask for donations. The generosity of our immediate community was comforting. As Annual Sessions are being held virtually, YFs decided not to plan additional activities or to meet with a concern for business this year.
YPC needs more active members. JYF Subcommittee met regularly after each JYF con to talk over how it went and find improvements as we planned the next. The Friendly Adult Presence (FAP) Subcommittee met multiple times in the fall to plan a virtual FAP training. We had 2 folks interested and trained one of them. In the coming fall, the FAP Subcommittee will be working toward ways to increase the number of trained FAPs we have. If you are interested in volunteering or curious as to what is involved in that, please visit https://www.bym-rsf.org/what_we_do/yutes/jyfs/friendly-adult-presence-application.html.
I want to thank the entire BYM community for their continued support of our Youth Programs. We look forward to the coming school year and the opportunities it will bring for all of us.
Stewardship and Finance Committee
Report to Interim Meeting 6/12/2021
The Stewardship and Finance Committee presents today two documents regarding financial planning for the Yearly Meeting.
First is the proposed apportionment recommendation for 2022.
This is the third year we are using a simplified formula for advising Monthly Meetings of their fair share of support for Baltimore Yearly Meeting: we are asking Meetings to contribute to BYM 25% of their unrestricted income, with provisions for exempting some income from the apportionment calculation
At the beginning of the year when most Meetings have had a chance to finish their accounting for the prior year, we ask each Meeting to complete an Apportionment Questionnaire. There are five questions. 1) How many contributing households? 2) The amount of unrestricted contributions? 3) The amount of investment income? 4) The amount of the investment income that has a restricted purpose. 5) If there is anything happening that might require an adjustment to the amount of apportionment that the formula suggests?
We try to collect information from forty-two Meetings. So far this year we’ve received responses from thirty-nine. Because the budget is prepared in advance to allow the necessary time for discernment, we base our apportionment amounts for the 2022 Budget on the information on the financial results of the Meetings in 2020. 2020 was a challenging year for many Meetings. The proposed amount requested for apportionment, $503,960, is $5,000 less than in 2021. Twenty-one Meetings reported a decrease in income subject to apportionment in 2020 compared to 2019, so the amount requested of those meetings has decreased for 2022 from what was expected in 2021.
So how should we respond to our desire to add new initiatives and continue to support ongoing programs when our revenues from the Meetings are not growing?
One thing that we are led to do is to ask Meetings to consider whether they have other sources of income that might allow them to provide additional support. Several Meetings have already made commitments to provide additional support to the programs of BYM. Members of Stewardship and Finance would be pleased to answer questions and serve as a resource as you explore what might be possible at your Meeting. Our contact information is in the directory
The second document is the draft budget for 2022.
1. The budget is based on conservative estimates of the income we expect in 2022 from apportionment, individual contributions, investment income, and program revenue from the camping program, Annual Session and other programs. Total proposed expenditures are 2.1 million, about $30,000 more than 2021
2. The budget balances. In addition, the format of the budget now aligns closely with our accounting software and the treasurer’s report which will simplify the process of tracking adherence to our budget goals throughout the year.
3. Although it is still a very lean budget, it does fulfill our goal of this being a “rebuilding year” for BYM. Through the generosity of Friends, the discipline of our Supervisory Committee, and the ingenuity and hard work of our staff we are able to plan to hire a half time assistant for the general secretary, and to restore funding to FGC, FUM, and FWCC. We still have sharply limited committee expenses and we do not currently have funding for the positions of Assistant General Secretary or Comptroller.
Budgeting is a process of balancing priorities, and Stewardship and Finance is open to input from all Friends regarding the priorities of the Yearly Meeting. As you review these documents if you find discrepancies, numbers that don’t add up, or have questions please share your concerns with me or Susan Griffin, my co clerk. We will continue to work with the budget in anticipation of having a budget ready for review and approval at annual session.
Some Thoughts on BYM Apportionment
We are hard at work in developing the 2022 budget. An important part of determining what we can do together in 2022 is to determine the level of financial support that Monthly Meetings can be expected to provide. Today we share our 2022 BYM Budget Apportionment Worksheet.
We have recently been using a simple formula. At the beginning of the year when most Meetings have had a chance to finish their accounting for the prior year, we ask each Meeting to complete an Apportionment Questionnaire. There are five questions. 1) How many contributing households? 2) The amount of unrestricted contributions? 3) The amount of investment income? 4) The amount of the investment income that has a restricted purpose? 5) If there is anything happening that might require an adjustment to the amount of apportionment that the formula suggests?
We try to collect information from forty-two Meetings. This year we received responses from thirty-nine. An improvement over previous years. Because the budget is prepared in advance to allow the necessary time for discernment, we base our apportionment amounts for the 2022 Budget on the information on the financial results of the Meetings in 2020. 2020 was a challenging year for many Meetings. The proposed amount requested for apportionment, $503,960, is $5,000 less than in 2021. The amount requested of twenty-one Meetings has decreased in 2022 from what they are expected to pay in 2021.
So how should we respond to our desire to add new initiatives and continue to support ongoing programs when our revenues from the Meetings are not growing?
One thing that we are led to do is to ask Meetings to consider whether they have other sources of income that might allow them to provide additional support. Several Meetings have already made commitments to provide additional support to the programs of BYM. Members of Stewardship and Finance would be pleased to answer questions and serve as a resource as you explore what might be possible at your Meeting. Please be in touch.
Acting General Secretary’s Report
Sixth Month 2021 Interim Meeting
The months since we virtually gathered in March have been busy for all of the Yearly Meeting staff, but also exciting. There has been hard work by all of the staff any many of our volunteers in those months. We are about to all begin reaping the rewards of their efforts!
BYM Camps: Khalila Lomax, Brian Massey, and David Hunter have done amazing work all year in preparing for the 2021 BYM Camp season. This winter, when the Yearly Meeting committed to opening the camps this summer we were still in the worst of the pandemic. The vaccines were still in trials and case numbers were rising. We all chose to have true faith that we would find a way to have safe and successful camps despite all of the unknowns we faced. Then we added a commitment to the new pricing structure that lets us live into our commitment of equality and diversity in our programs. Khalila, Brian, and David have had to navigate the ever-changing landscape of COVID-19 precautions while trying to identify what needed to be done to restart our camps after last year’s closure. For Khalila and Brian this is also their first camp season. All three of them have benefited from the work of the STRIDE community, the Camping Program Committee, the Camp Property Management Committee, and many others. With everyone’s efforts our faith has been rewarded. We now can feel confident that the camp season will be everything that we hoped for, including being safe for everyone there. Nearly every session at all of three residential camps is full and many have waiting lists!
Youth Programs: Sunshine Klein is presenting her annual report for the first time today. I hope everyone will recognize the amazing work that she has done this year. Because of the staffing reductions forced on us last summer, Sunshine didn’t start her job until September, two months after Josie Dowling left as the Youth Programs Manager. Which meant that Sunshine has just days to start to learn her job before the first virtual conference of the year was going to happen. Despite all of the challenges that Sunshine and all of our middle-school and high-school students have faced, the program has been a success this year. They found a way to build community with each other without being the same room (or even the same coast). And this fall, after Sunshine works at Shiloh Quaker Camp this summer, she has agreed to add the work of the Administration Manager to her plate. This will give the staff and our volunteers desperately additional support in the office.
Development: According to the agenda, Mary Braun just told you about how the development program is doing this year. To have raised 40% of our 2021 goal in the first 5 months of the year is spectacular! The support that our community has given to the Yearly Meeting in 2020 and already in 2021 is amazing. Mary, the Development Committee, and all of the people from STRIDE, Camping Program, and other committees who have worked to build that support are doing important work. Continuing that support into the future will give our community the opportunity to take on new projects and opportunities. In addition to all of her “normal” work, Mary has also been leading the volunteers who are planning our celebrations of the Yearly Meeting’s 350th year and with the camp’s 100th year. There will be a special kick-off event to these anniversary celebrations during Annual Session 2021 and I am looking forward to all of the special events that are being planned.
Administration: Harriet Dugan continues to do the work of multiple people. Like Brian and Khalila, she is entering the camp season for the first time and has worked to get all of the various accounts, debit cards, credit cards, and materials together so that our camp staff can run our programs. At the same time, she has continued to navigate the audit process and the development of the 2022 budget.
General Secretary Transition: At the Fifth Month 2021 Called Interim Meeting, Sarah Gillooly was approved as the next permanent General Secretary of Baltimore Yearly Meeting. The two of us have been working to start the process of transitioning to their leadership of the Yearly Meeting staff and we are all looking forward to when they begin on July 19. I have agreed to continue as the Acting General Secretary until that date and will stay in the office for a few weeks beyond to help Sarah take up their service. I am certain that many of you will see them participating in Annual Session 2021’s virtual sessions.
A Personal Note: All of you who know me well know that I am uncomfortable being the focus of attention. I have always viewed my service to the Yearly Meeting as exactly that, service to the community. I have worked for nearly 12 years to find ways to support everyone in our community, to make the Yearly Meeting stronger, and to bring it to every Friend in all of our worshiping communities. Even in the last year when I have been honored to have the title of Acting General Secretary my highest priority has been to do what needed to be done to help lead our community through the challenges we have faced. I say this because it is important to give you a context to how much I have appreciated the calls, cards, emails, and personal visits I have received in recent weeks. I have heard from many Friends that they have valued the work that I have done and that they feel that the Yearly Meeting has benefited from my work. Those words and thoughts do and will always mean a great deal to me and I cannot thank the Yearly Meeting enough for everything that I have gained from having the opportunity to serve you.