2020 Yearbook Eleventh Month 2020 Interim Meeting Virtual Event
Friends of Baltimore Yearly Meeting gathered for Meeting for Worship with a Concern for Business beginning with a period of silent worship followed by a Welcome from Clerk of Interim Meeting, Margaret (Meg) Boyd Meyer (Baltimore, Stony Run).
I2020-37 Naming Committee. A volunteer is needed to serve a one-year term on the Naming Committee which nominates individuals to serve on the Search Committee. Donna Hamilton (Sandy Spring) volunteered, and this service for the Naming Committee was APPROVED.
- The Camping program published an anti-racist statement
- The Working Group on Racism updated Change Group reports of Monthly Meeting activities on anti-racism work
- Sandy Spring Meeting Change Group has responded to the YAF open letter to BYM
All of these are recommended to Friends. Clerks reminds us that BYM must urgently examine structure that impede progress in becoming an anti-racist faith community.
I2020-39 Comments from the Presiding Clerk. Stephanie Bean (Adelphi) addressed BYM in their new role. Stephanie welcomed all to the meeting and spoke of their experience coming to and living into their Quaker convincement with a conscious choice to raise their child with Quaker values and finding many joyful experiences in Friend’s School and camps. Stephanie named many of the gifts and challenges of BYM using the metaphor of how a tree must be both nurtured and pruned if the roots which sustain it are to be strong. The written report is ATTACHED.
The following four items comprised a “Consent Agenda,” dealt with serially.
I2020-41 Style Manual. Request that Faith and Practice Committee maintain a Style Manual for BYM and that this function be noted in the Manual of Procedure. The Style Manual will be made available to Friends through the web-site. This was APPROVED.
I2020-42 Monthly Meeting Affiliation and Dis-affiliation. To add a procedure to Faith and Practice for affiliation and dis-affiliation from BYM (prepared by Advancement and Outreach). This was APPROVED.
I2020-44 Stewardship and Finance Budget Report. Terrence McCormally (Herndon) presented the proposed budget for 2021. This report includes previously approved apportionments for 2021. Budget planning held particular challenges this year given pressures on BYM programs, including camps, created by the Covid-19 pandemic. Given current stresses an annual audit was by-passed, but a full audit has been planned and budgeted for 2021. This budget is seen as a “transitional budget” as we continue to recover from these challenges. Friends raised concerns about the reduction to staff retirement accounts and the desire, as possible to make these staff accounts whole. Following a discussion of some questions raised and with an adjustment to the YAF budget (reduced to $1700), the 2021 Budget was Approved. The written report is ATTACHED and the 2021 Budget is included in the Finance Section of the 2020 Yearbook.
I2020-45 Development Director’s Report. Mary Braun (Patuxent) reported on the work of staff during this year’s crisis. There is still much uncertainty ahead and much work is being continued to increase the contributions which sustain us. Her written report is ATTACHED.
I2020-46 Supervisory Committee. Ramona Buck (Patapsco) presented the committee’s recommendation that Wayne Finegar’s time as Acting General Secretary be extended through March of 2021 and that the Search Committee’s work would begin now and continue through the winter months in hopes of having a newly hired General Secretary begin in April of 2021. The written report is ATTACHED.
Several Friends spoke to the need to change the extended term for the Acting General Secretary for an additional year in order to support a more consistent path through this time of transitioning from the multiple crises of the past year. Also, Friends expressed concerns that holding a truly open national search process would be difficult during the coming months of expected deepening pandemic restrictions. Indeed, such an open search is necessary for us to honor our commitment to becoming an anti-racist faith community. Various other strategies were suggested and all of these concerns will be taken under care of the Supervisory Committee.
The job description for the position of General Secretary was presented for approval. Friends offered improvements to the job description which was subsequently held over for further seasoning along with the timing of the search process and recommendations for staffing of a Search Committee.
The Yearly Meeting has declared its commitment to the work of becoming an anti-racist faith community. While this declaration presents challenges and makes some of our work more difficult, such as the filling of leadership positions, we are committed to the work. Friends expressed appreciation for those among us who continue to hold us accountable.
I2020-47 Treasurer’s Report. James (Jim) Riley (Hopewell Centre) presented BYM’s financial statements through September 30, 2020. These statements appear in a different form from previous reports as the committee transitions to new processes and software. Somewhat surprisingly, given the fiscal strains presented this last year, the YM is in pretty good shape, with a small ($10K) excess of revenue over expenses. Additionally, the balance owed on “Friendly Loans” has been reduced. The written report is ATTACHED.
I2020-48 Minute of Appreciation for Arthur David Olsen. Martha B. (Marcy) Seitel (Adelphi) read this minute of appreciation. Friends enthusiastically joined Marcy in endorsing this minute with deep appreciation for Arthur David Olsen’s Light and Spirit in his six years of work as the Recording Clerk of Interim Meeting. The written Minute is ATTACHED and was APPROVED.
I2020-49 Nominating Committee. Deborah Haines (Alexandria) does not bring any nominations at this time but wanted to let the YM know that they are operating under the settled commitment to be an anti-racist faith community. To that end, they propose an outreach to the wider community to encourage participation of those beyond their usual circles of connection and particularly among communities of color. Friends expressed appreciation for this effort. A written copy of the report is ATTACHED.
The minutes were APPROVED as we moved through the Meeting. Our gathering closed with a period of worship.
Margaret (Meg) Boyd Meyer, presiding
Rebecca Richards, recording