2020 Yearbook Ninth 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.
Opening Remarks from Clerk of Interim Meeting
Clerk Meg Boyd Meyer (Baltimore, Stony Run) reminded Friends that as we have pledged to becoming an “Anti-Racist Faith Community,” we will include this understanding in our discernment.
I2020-24 Yearly Meeting Epistle Committee. The Epistle Committee, comprised of Meg Regal (Sandy Spring), Patti Nesbitt (Sandy Spring), Mackenzie Morgan (Adelphi), and Melanie Gifford (Adelphi) shared in reading the Epistle from our 2020 Annual Session. Friends ACCEPTED this Epistle. (The Epistle as approved is in the Epistle section of the Yearbook)
I2020-25 Epistle of the Young Adult Friends (YAF). YAF Co-Clerks, Becca Bacon (YAF) and Tom Webb (Bethesda), read the 2020 Epistle of Young Adult Friends, including an addendum from Young Adult Friends of Friends Meeting of Washington. These Epistles were ACCEPTED. (The Young Adult Friends Epistle as accepted is in the Epistle section of the Yearbook)
I2020-26 Additional Epistles. In addition to the Epistles heard today, Epistles from the Woman’s Retreat and Young Friends received since Annual Session will be attached to these minutes. (The Young Friends and Women’s Retreat Epistles are in the Epistle section of the Yearbook)
I2020-27 Search Committee Report. Clerk Rebecca Rawls (Langley Hill) reported that two positions were not filled at the time of Annual Session and today they bring forward two names for Friends to consider each for two-year terms. These are:
For Supervisory Committee: Rosemary Davis (Patapsco)
For Yearly Meeting Recording Clerk: Anna McCormally (Herndon)
These nominations were APROVED.
I2020-28 STRIDE Staff Report. Khalila Lomax, STRIDE Coordinator, shared some details of the written report. The STRIDE community continues to support the STRIDE campers and their families in a number of ways through virtual gatherings. The written report is ATTACHED.
Deep appreciation was expressed for the resourcefulness and value Khalila brings to the STRIDE program specifically, BYM staff and the Yearly Meeting in general. Friends also expressed appreciation for the 21-day Anti-racism Challenge.
I2020-29 Camp Property Manager Report. David Hunter (Frederick) submitted a long report with accompanying photography which Friends are encouraged to view. He also reported that the many changes necessitated by the closing of camps due to the pandemic brought new challenges and the need to look comprehensively to future camp uses. New models of using the properties and new ways of making outdoor time and education available for our young people and all Friends will need to be explored. The written report is ATTACHED.
Friends expressed appreciation for David’s continuing stewardship of our beautiful camp properties maintained for our enrichment and in support of the YM’s camping program.
I2020-30 Camp Program Manager’s Report. Jane Megginson (Frederick) reported that the decision to close camps created many challenges this year impacting hundreds of children and their families. Many of the 400+ campers had already registered and fees paid before the decision to close was made. All of these families needed to be personally contacted and many donated their fees, with over $85,000 converted to contributions to the maintenance of camps. Some traditional “camp activities” and worship opportunities were replicated in a virtual environment. The written report is ATTACHED.
Over the summer, Jane discerned that after 18 years of service to BYM (in the office and in the camping program) the time has come for her to move on to other work. A Minute of Appreciation for Jane Megginson was read by Brooke Davis (Richmond) and is ATTACHED.
Friends shared many heartfelt appreciations for both personal and organizational gifts Jane gave to the camping program across the years. These gifts have value both at the time given and lasting into and sustaining the program for the future. Friends noted that it is not only the camping program which was strengthened by Jane’s service, but the future of Quakerism itself which is nourished by those who grow and come to Quaker life through it.
I2020-31 BYM Unity with Nature Committee. A report was shared in the form of a meditation using images from the natural world and raising the query: “Are we in unity with nature?” And if so, what is ours to do to pass a healthy world to future generations? Friends are asked to share responses to this meditation directly with the Committee. The meditation is available at https://youtu.be/f8nZsQShsRQ.
I2020-32 Acting General Secretary’s Report. Wayne Finegar (Sandy Spring) spoke about this being a time of transformation and of the vast changes that have occurred over a very brief 9-12 month period. Therefore, we are at a point where we need to discern deeply over the question of how we will transform our community into a new future. The written report is ATTACHED.
Wayne also shared elements of the Development Director’s report which also speaks to the challenges and changes ahead. Mary Braun (Patuxent) is absent due to a death in her family. The written report is ATTACHED.
Many Friends offered deep gratitude for the able service Wayne gives to the YM. Wayne also highlighted the gifts of volunteers and staff who do so much of the work behind the scenes.
I2020-33 Stewardship and Finance Committee. Howard Zuses (Sandy Spring) shared that the attached report comprises the proposed apportionments for the Monthly Meetings for the coming year and the process by which they are derived. Howard noted that some Meetings have not yet responded to the questions sent out in January which may impact the assigned apportionments. He invited any questions or concerns to be communicated to him at email@example.com. The apportionments were APPROVED and are listed in the Apportionment section of the 2020 Yearbook.
From Advancement and Outreach, Tom Wheeler (Adelphi)
From Camping Program Committee, Brian Massey (Shiloh)
From Peace and Social Concerns, Ann Brenner (Charlottesville)
Inadvertent omission from Roster
Debbie Sudduth (Goose Creek) as representative to Friends Wilderness Center, class of 2021
New Nominations, all to Class of 2023
To Religious Education Committee, Mike Hansen (State College)
To Camp Program Committee, Becca Bacon (YAF)
Nicole “Nikki” Richards (YAF)
Justin Sykes (Shiloh)
Four additional representatives to the Friends General Conference Central Committee
Jimi Ayodele (Patapsco)
Sarah Bur (Homewood)
Gary Gillespie (Homewood)
Kelli Moore (Alexandria)
These Nominations were approved, waiving a Second Reading. The written report is ATTACHED.
I2020-35 YAF Question of Affiliation. Secondary to the nominations report questions arose about the movement of the YAF community toward a clearer identification as a spiritual community with the affiliations and status meeting membership confers. This is an area which is evolving in a way that works for all concerned and Friends are encouraged to allow time to for it to grow organically. For now, Friends received the names of YAFs given in nomination to be listed with their preferred affiliation. This work and conversation will continue. Comments and questions can be shared with YAF Co-Clerks and/or the Clerks of IM and YM.
I2020-36 An Open Letter to the YM from the YAF Community. The YAF Co-Clerks read an open letter to the YM concerning BYM’s commitment to become an Anti-Racist Faith Community. After hearing the letter, Friends were asked to close our Meeting for Business in worship as they consider the queries with which the letter closes. A copy of the letter is ATTACHED.
- Are we currently operating in line with our anti-racist values when it comes to hiring staffing, Supervisory Committee, and other leadership roles in BYM?
- Are there enough opportunities for equitable leadership in our community?
- How are we supporting the leadership of Friends of Color in Baltimore Yearly Meeting?
An extended period of worship was held.
A number of Friends spoke of their personal hurts with BYM’s particular responses or lack of responses to racist behavior. One Friend spoke of how alienating to BYM’s behavior has become to some Young Adult Friends.
One Friend said, “This was a powerful and valuable session...We need to envision an ocean of Light over the ocean of Darkness.” Another said, “I’m filled with sadness, but also with hope...It will be a little bit better than it is today.”
These Minutes were approved as we went along. We closed with a period of Silent Worship. Interim Meeting will gather next on 7th Eleventh Month, again in virtual space, or by call of the Clerk.
Meg Boyd Meyer, presiding
Rebecca Richards, recording