2020 Yearbook Eleventh Month 2020 Interim Meeting Attachments
Thank you, Friends, for being here and participating in our practice of conducting the business that is necessary to our community in a faithful, Spirit-led way. It is a gift to have us all here today and I want to thank you for making this time to be truly present and in community together. I also want to express my gratitude for all the work that happens before we get here - the reports, the budgets, the creation of documents, and discernment of leadings. This is what it means to be living into our Light as Friends.
I’m going to spend a few minutes talking about myself for those of you who might not know me well. Every Presiding Clerk is different, of course, with unique experiences, talents, and room for growth. I came to Quakers as a young person, who was also a parent to a very young person at the time, because I was searching for a community that treated children with respect. As someone who did not have especially good role models growing up, I very much wanted to find that for myself and my child and appreciated the aspects of Friends that valued individuals for who they are, no matter how young, and also valued working together in community. My experiences at the Monthly Meeting expanded to include a Friends school, experiences at FGC, camps, other youth activities, Annual Session, and the Women’s retreat. As often happens, my engagement in those communities led to work on committees at the Monthly Meeting level, the Yearly Meeting, and even other Quaker organizations like Friends Couple Enrichment. Much of my work with Friends has focused on working with youth in one form or another - YPC, CPC, Program, a school board, teaching for First Day School. As a younger Presiding Clerk, I am also still raising a family and doing paid work while serving the Yearly Meeting. My professional life has centered around healing and education, with some focus on communication. My hope is that my gifts are just right for this time, but I am also pragmatic and understand that no one can be perfect for this role and I will certainly make mistakes. I trust that you will let me know when I do and hope that I can correct them gracefully. And if I missed responding to a call or email, please send it again!
I have spent the past couple of months trying to get a sense of what happens at a practical level in our Yearly Meeting as well as what our strengths and challenges are in the bigger picture. We are a long standing, deeply rooted spiritual community with many gifts and challenges. Among our many gifts are the dedicated and generous participants in the spiritual lives of each Monthly Meeting, all of the programs that we offer, and all of the committees and structures that make BYM run. So many share their time, energy, and resources to make this all work. We also have resources like our camps and other places and programs that allow us to grow and deepen and share our faith in community together. In addition, we have practices that help us to live into our testimonies.
Our challenges are a little trickier to name. Like a tree, we need roots that both go deep and also spread out wide to support us. We must tend our growth carefully, neither pushing too much in one direction, nor ignoring another branch. Nor can we neglect the soil in which we are rooted; we are a product of and interconnected with our surroundings. If we do try to grow a part of our tree, we must consider our support for that growth and whether we need to prune what no longer serves us or rebalance, ever moving towards our Divine purpose. We cannot reach beyond what our roots can support.
Moving away from metaphor, I see us as a spiritual community that has great gifts, but which is also struggling to know how those gifts apply to these times. We are also trying to understand ourselves better, to know where we have come from and what effect that has on where we are led to go from here. Change is inevitably part of that, but change can mean growth, rebirth, or death. None of those are necessarily comfortable conditions, but they are unavoidable parts of the human experience, individually and corporately.
Our community is also held in a tension between our understanding of ourselves as a Spiritual Community and the fact that we are also an organization that does work in the world of law, regulations, and other societal expectations such as paying the bills. We can certainly act from and keep turning toward our Spirit-led discernment, but we must also understand what we can realistically do.
If we are not supporting what we say we want with our resources - money, time, and energy, then we cannot commit to more. None of this is to say that those of us sitting here are not doing enough - you are here and engaged. This is not at all about guilt or making anyone feel they must do more. It is simply a statement that we must see more clearly what is within our abilities and what must be put aside until the time is right.
While we struggle with understanding what is needed from us right now and in the near and farther future, we must keep coming back to how we build and enrich our Beloved Community.
How do we make space for everyone to feel safe, to be heard, and to share their gifts? How can we better understand that some of us take up more than our share of space and might need to let go of that expectation in order to build a more equitable space for all? Can we also accept that we each have a natural pace at which we learn and grow and we are here to support each other in this process? Understanding where we have made mistakes or hurt each other is important, and it is also important for us to understand what needs to happen for healing, that we may all come through together, feeling seen and heard and held in God's Love.
Report of Stewardship and Finance Committee Proposed 2021 BYM Budget
Attached to this report are two documents
The 2021 Apportionments which were approved at October Interim Meeting
The proposed 2021 budget for Baltimore Yearly Meeting
Preparation of the 2021 budget has been especially difficult because of the twin challenges of the failure of contributions to BYM to meet expectations and the stresses of the pandemic, especially with the inability to operate the camping program this year. Stewardship and Finance committed to presenting a realistic and achievable plan for 2021. Limitation on resources has forced BYM to focus on our shared values and priorities as we endeavor to “let our lives speak.”
The Committee wants to thank the Budget Subcommittee of Susan Griffin, Karen Cunnyngham, Catherine Tall and Jim Riley, as well as Wayne Finegar for their efforts in assembling this budget. The Committee also thanks the members of the Supervisory Committee that labored long to develop the staffing plan represented in the budget, the Camp Program Committee, and the Development Committee for their input, and also to the staff of Baltimore Yearly Meeting who have persevered in dedicated service despite restricted resources.
The presentation of the budget differs from previous years when it was presented as a spreadsheet. The current budget format reflects the form in which the budget appears in the Yearbook. It draws directly from our accounting software so that we will be able to provide updates on a regular basis. It is hoped that this consistent presentation, along with the Treasurer’s standardized reports, will allow Friends to more confidently assess the Meeting’s finances. It will also make it possible for the Yearly Meeting to monitor our financial condition and make adjustments if actual performance does not match projections. In response to anticipated shortfalls, the Yearly Meeting decided to forego the annual audit in 2020; in 2021 we have budgeted to complete the rigorous audit as part of our commitment to transparency with the membership
In formulating this budget, the Stewardship and Finance Committee began with an estimate of what our income will be in 2021. Most of the revenue for our operating budget comes from three sources: apportionment from monthly meetings, contributions from individuals coordinated by the development committee, and fee income from programs.
The 2021 apportionment allocation is based on Monthly Meeting’s 2019 reported revenue. The Stewardship and Finance Committee contacted each Monthly Meeting to determine the Meetings’ assessment of their ability to meet the proposed 2021 apportionment in the face of the pandemic, and we were gratified that Friends nearly unanimously agreed that they would be willing and able to meet their apportionment. Thus, the Committee is confident in the estimate that the Yearly Meeting will receive $500,000 in apportionment in 2021
Stewardship and Finance charged the Development Committee to generate a conservative contribution goal based on past performance. We hope that this relative modest goal of $150,000 will be exceeded by Friends generosity, but because we feel it is essential that we avoid a deficit in 2021, we have budgeted about half of what was budgeted in 2020.
Both the expenses and projected fee income from the camping program are based on being able to operate all three camps at capacity in 2021. If the camping program is able to run, it is anticipated that pent up demand and a decrease in competition from other camping programs that have had to go out of business will make it more likely that the camps will fill. If the pandemic is still affecting the ability for camps to go forward, it is expected that camps in whatever format will balance fees and expense so as not to adversely affect the budget
In formulating the budget, we concentrated on preserving our support for youth programs and encouraging diverse leadership because we believe that support is key to preserving the values of our Quaker testimonies and the future of BYM.
To balance the budget, much was sacrificed: contributions to other Quaker organizations, committee budgets, and most importantly a major reduction in staff from ten staff members to seven. For 2021 we will not staff the approved positions of Associate General Secretary, the Comptroller, and Administrative Assistant.
This means the staff for 2021 will include:
General Secretary Stride Coordinator
Bookkeeping Assistant Youth Programs Manager
Camping Program Manager Development Director
Camp Property Manager
We know that this means that the Yearly Meeting staff will provide less support to committees and local Meetings, it will be more difficult to keep up the level of service we’ve come to expect in maintaining the website or the directory, and our staff will be more stressed in accomplishing the essential functions of the Yearly Meeting. We will be more reliant on the work of volunteers to continue our internal programs and our witness to the wider world.
The budget document describes the operating plan for BYM; it does not describe the needs for capital improvements or expectations for restricted contributions to capital projects. These should be included in the 2020 Yearbook. For 2021, we anticipate than any necessary capital expenditures will be funded by contributions or previously restricted funds.
We hope that the 2021 budget is a transitional budget as we recover from our financial difficulties. It does not represent our understanding of all that BYM wants to do, but what we confidently can do in 2021. What we can plan for 2022 will depend on our performance in 2021.
Interim Meeting Report: 7 November 2020
It is apt that Development follows Ramona’s Supervisory Committee report as the work of staff comprises the Yearly Meetings largest expense and the work of staff is at the very heart of our mission at BYM. Our mission revolves around nurturing and connecting our greater Friends’ community. For many of us, the value of community became all the more powerfully clear during this pandemic.
BYM staff serve as the linkage between our intent and our collective actions (those of you serving on committees and working groups know this well!) Staff help to make possible the many forms of communication shared among Friends; staff help to coordinate our multiple activities across 4 states, the District – and beyond. By employing staff, BYM is investing in the care of its wider community.
The proposed transitional budget for 2021 is the conservative platform for pursuing our mission amid the economic vicissitudes ahead. We hope that as we approach the year 2022 – with all its anniversary exuberance—that the Yearly Meeting will be poised to know more fully what transformations await us and what fuller vision we will embrace for the future.
Ending this fiscal year as strongly as possible prepares us for an uncertain year ahead. Before the year’s end, we hope to raise $87,000 in camp capital gifts to conduct critical repairs and improvements before the anticipated camp season ahead. In addition, we also hope to raise at least $32,000 to meet the challenge match posed by a generous pool of donors. (To see the details of that challenge, please consult this slide.) When we end the year in stronger financial stead, we will be poised to embark on a new year ahead – with all of its uncertainties!
One thing we CAN be certain of is the benevolence of Friends. Our community has united behind our Yearly Meeting. At a time when all too many businesses are closing, we are humbled and gratified by your support. Please see the Development report for Interim Meeting through September 30, 2020.
For most nonprofits, end-of-year gifts comprise about 40% of their total charitable receipts. Support from donor-advised funds, employer matching gifts, appreciated assets, and personal savings all impact BYM’s ability to fulfill its mission. Please consider both the Yearly Meeting’s present sustainably and future stability in your charitable giving plans. Thank you.
Report to Interim Meeting – November 2020
From Supervisory Committee
Ramona Buck and Adrian Bishop, Co-Clerks
The committee has revised the job description for General Secretary in order to take into account, to some extent, the fact that there will be fewer other staff at BYM this year to do some of the duties in question. The proposed job description is below this report.
Supervisory has extended Wayne Finegar’s time as Acting General Secretary to the end of March, 2021.
We are proposing that the Search Committee for General Secretary be designated at the November Interim Meeting, that they meet to set up their overall process, that the position be advertised through November and December with responses being welcomed into early January. The Search Committee could then review the candidates and interview the finalists, choosing the General Secretary to start the job at the beginning of April.
We are giving a lot of thought as to how the Yearly Meeting should respond in the future to incidents of racism and prejudice throughout the Yearly Meeting programs, in whatever way it is manifested.
Because of the reduction in staff and staff time at BYM, volunteers are helpful. As you know, we are seeking a volunteer to act as a Volunteer Coordinator and could use volunteer help in several areas. If you are interested in this, please contact Ramona Buck email@example.com, 443-418-0392.
PROPOSED POSITION DESCRIPTION
Title: General Secretary, Baltimore Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends
FLSA Status: Exempt
Reports to: Clerk, Supervisory Committee of the Baltimore Yearly Meeting
As a participant in the Religious Society of Friends, the General Secretary provides Spirit-led, strategic leadership to Baltimore Yearly Meeting. The charge includes planning, supervising staff, raising funds, and monitoring programs, finances, and property.
The General Secretary works to strengthen a culture of consultation, accountability, outreach, and inclusion.
FUNCTIONS AND RESPONSIBILITIES
RESPONSIBILITIES FOR THE STAFF
- Hires and evaluates employees consistent with the policies and procedures of the Personnel Handbook, while supporting their professional growth.
- Supervises the staff, with 6 direct reports, including working towards achieving the goals of the Yearly Meeting
- Builds relationships among the staff and volunteers that facilitate communication, consultation and cooperation, and that nurture love and unity within the Yearly Meeting community.
- Represents the staff’s interests to the Yearly Meeting.
WORKING WITH THE COMPONENTS OF BALTIMORE YEARLY MEETING
- Demonstrates, through example, being rooted in Faith and Practice and in the practices of the Religious Society of Friends
- Cultivates inclusiveness across the Yearly Meeting with particular attention to young adults, people of color, people of diverse socioeconomic backgrounds, and people of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities.
- Initiates the development of policy changes or new policies as needed.
- Ensures that Yearly Meeting policies and decisions accord with applicable laws and regulations.
- Shares relevant information about BYM and its activities within the Yearly Meeting and to the public.
- Supports the Presiding Clerk and the Clerk of Interim Meeting in planning and carrying out meeting activities and events.
- Supports the Program Committee in the planning and implementation of Annual Session.
- Enhances opportunities to collaborate with Friends’ organizations, institutions, etc. that will expand the reach of the Yearly Meeting and the Religious Society of Friends.
- Ensures the smooth running of the many programs of the Yearly Meeting, including the camping programs, programs for youth throughout the year, and various retreats.
FUNDRAISING AND MANAGING RESOURCES
- Manages fiscal resources in keeping with the articulated vision of the Yearly Meeting.
- Works with the staff and the committees to meet budgetary objectives.
- Supports Development staff and Development Committee members in seeking funding from potential donors.
- Monitors applications for grants and their administration and evaluation.
- Ensures that record management procedures are clear and consistently implemented.
- Approves and monitors contracts.
- Manages the maintenance of the BYM office building and grounds, and the camp properties.
- Bachelor’s degree, or:
- Some college education and exceptional management experience in lieu of a formal degree
- Demonstrated commitment to the Quaker beliefs and practices that underlie the work of Baltimore Yearly Meeting.
- Experience and knowledge about the Religious Society of Friends
- An understanding of the formal framework of Quaker decision-making.
- Completion of several years of staff supervision, fiscal oversight, and program administration.
- Demonstrated success working within an organizational structure that includes committee decision-making and consultative processes.
- Experienced in effectively working in a multi-cultural environment.
- Experienced in making presentations to internal and external audiences.
- Experience in working with all age groups, including youth camp programs, is an asset.
OTHER REQUIRED SKILLS AND ABILITIES
- Excellent interpersonal skills
- Willingness to travel frequently and, at times, to work unconventional hours.
SALARY AND BENEFITS
Salary is commensurate with qualifications and experience. Benefits include: health plan coverage; long-term disability insurance; term-life insurance; eleven paid holidays; annual, personal medical, maternity/paternity, adoption and sabbatical leaves; retirement contributions.
Baltimore Yearly Meeting, a spiritual community, welcomes all to its programs. The Yearly Meeting is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate in hiring based on race, gender, sexual orientation, disability, marital status, age, or national origin.
PHYSICAL DEMANDS CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECK
The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations will be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform these functions.
CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECK
A criminal background check is required for any new staff person.
BALTIMORE YEARLY MEETING
INTERIM MEETING NOVEMBER 7, 2020
Today I am reporting on the BYM financial statements through September 30, 2020. As you look at these statements, you will notice that they are in a difference format than BYM financial statements presented at previous Interim Meetings or at Annual Session. This is because we are making a transition in the format of the statements presented. The statements that you see today are produced directly from our accounting software. Previously, we had to take these statements and put the information into a spreadsheet which was a more time-consuming process. Now, without a Comptroller, we have decided to present the statements in this format. Also, today, there is not a comparison of actual revenues and expenses with our current year budget. That report will be included in the future, but we did not have enough time to set that up in the accounting software for today’s meeting. So, stay tuned for that one.
Before we look at some of the more important information in these reports, I will say that the Yearly Meeting’s finances continue to be in reasonably good shape in this most unusual year. The Statement of Activities through September 30 shows an excess of revenues over expenditures of just over $10,000.
Statement of Financial Position (Balance Sheet)
This statement shows the balances in our financial accounts as of September 30, 2020. It shows our asset, liability, and net asset accounts. And, although we are not presenting a comparison to our financials from a year ago, I will point out some balances from that time.
Under the listing of assets, the first group of accounts are the cash accounts. On September 30, we had cash of just over $394,000. A year ago, our cash balance was just over $125,000. However, this year we received a Federal PPP loan (Paycheck Protection Program) of $178,000 which substantially improved our cash position. Right under the cash accounts, we show Apportionment Receivable of $126,497. This is lower than a year ago because many meetings sent in their apportionment early. Further down, our property and equipment accounts are listed, and the total is $2,683,665. Finally, we see a listing of our investment accounts which total $1,512,800. A year ago, our investment total was $1,506,907. So, the total of our investments on September 30 has actually increased over the past year, in spite of a lot of ups and downs in the stock market.
Under liabilities, I will point out two items. On the second page, Other Deferred Revenue is $178,241. This is the PPP loan of $178,000 plus some other small amount. The PPP loan will continue to be shown as a liability until we complete the loan forgiveness process. If we qualify for loan forgiveness, then this amount will be shown as revenue. The other item I would draw your attention to is the Friendly Loans balance. This is $214,182. A year ago, this amount was just under $242,000.
The net asset amount is $4,207,694. This is the difference between total assets and total liabilities. It is made up of restricted, unrestricted, and designated funds which are not show on this report.
Statement of Activities
The Statement of Activities shows the revenues and expenses of BYM from January 1 to September 30, 2020. This report shows five columns. These columns report the amounts for the various funds which we have to track. The first column shows the unrestricted activity. The second column shows designated, the third column shows temporarily restricted and the fourth column shows permanently restricted. The last column shows the total. BYM must track its finances this way to ensure that contributions are used according to the wishes of the donors and that other restrictions are met.
On the first page, you can see that our apportionment income through September 30 is $437,437. This is higher than a year ago because some meetings sent in their apportionment early as noted before. Right under that amount is the Program Revenue of just over $104,000. A year ago, this amount was $954,673, with the large difference due to the fact that we could not open the camps this year. Total unrestricted contributions to date are just over $340,000. If you look in the third column, you see that temporarily restricted contributions total just over $69,000. This would primarily be for camp property.
Just under contributions is the Released Funds amount of $115,169. This line shows the amounts of previously collected contributions which were spent in the current period for expenditures in accord with the original donor’s wishes. The way it shows up in this statement is that there is a positive amount in the unrestricted column (because the restrictions have been met) and there are negative amounts in other columns, primarily in the temporarily restricted column because most of these are camp property contributions. This is the way that the balances in these various funds are adjusted during the year. This may be more information than some Friends want but I feel I should give some explanation here since this is a new format.
Other small revenue amounts are shown. The total of our unrestricted revenues was just over $1,042,000.
Expenditures are shown on the second and third pages of this report. The first listing is for
Administrative expenditures. This totals $350,367 and includes the compensation of our administrative employees as well as other general administrative expenses. A year ago, on September 30, this amount was just over $434,000. The big reduction is due to the reduced administrative staff which we have reported on previously. Other program and committee expenditures are listed.
On the third page, we show total expenditures of $986,725 and net revenues over expenditures in the fifth column of $10,573. The rest of the lines show the overall adjustments to the various net asset accounts.
I hope that Friends will get more familiar and comfortable with this new reporting format over time.
James Riley, BYM Treasurer
Hopewell Centre Meeting
Minute of Appreciation for Arthur David Olson
For six years, Arthur David Olson blessed our Yearly Meeting with his gifts of listening deeply and choosing words well as he served as BYM’s Recording Clerk of Interim Meeting. With grace and humor, Arthur David captured long discussions in the briefest of accurate and empathic words. Arthur David recorded the concerns shared during the discernment process in sentences beginning “We heard,” a practice that helped us to see the diversity of the views within our community even as we were reaching unity on the way forward together. The decisions themselves were faithfully recorded with not one extra word. For me, Arthur David’s deep knowledge and wisdom about Friends business processes always felt supportive while I prepared for and clerked Interim Meetings. Because we don’t have a lot of fixed rules as Friends, a Clerk especially appreciates finding a good friend to think and discern with in the Recording Clerk. Interim Meetings are a marathon of clerking and recording, and I am grateful that our work together was grounded in the Spirit and had a lightness of wonder, and even fun. Thank you, Arthur David, for your faithful work.
- - Marcy Baker Seitel, Clerk of IM 2016 - 2020
Perspective Means A Lot! We on Nominating Committee Would Like to Hear Yours
Baltimore Yearly Meeting has declared our settled intention to become an anti-racist faith community. The queries below appear in our written declaration, and are being widely and energetically used in committees and meetings around the Yearly Meeting.
Nominating Committee believes that the declaration and these queries touch on our work directly. The committees for which we nominate make many decisions that affect the Yearly Meeting, our camping programs, our other programs, and our representation in other Quaker organizations.
Perspective means a lot. We on Nominating Committee would like to hear yours no matter who you are, but especially if you identify as a Person of Color.
Are you a camper or former camper? Someone who attends a local meeting, Annual Session or Interim Meeting? Someone who is curious about how our committees support the Yearly Meeting? Maybe you are wondering where your gifts, interests and skills fit in. Should we talk?
Nominating Committee wants to explore those questions with you. We need your help. Replying to this message won’t create an obligation for you to join a committee, but it will provide a way to share information and start a dialogue.
Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and one of our members will be in touch.
Kevin Caughlan (Sandy Spring), Janet Eaby (Nottingham), Karie Firoozmand (Stony Run), Becca Gardner Rhudy (Deer Creek/Patapsco), Deborah Haines (Co-Clerk; Alexandria), Melissa Merideth (Bethesda), Ollie Moles (Langley Hill), Jolee Robinson (Co-Clerk; Adelphi), Marilyn Rothstein (Gunpowder), Debbi Sudduth (Goose Creek), Gene Throwe (Friends Meeting of Washington), Chip Tucker (Charlottesville)