2019 Yearbook Sixth Month 2019 Interim Meeting Friends Meeting
I2019-19 Opening. Baltimore Yearly Meeting’s Interim Meeting gathered on 6/15/2019 at the Friends Meeting of Washington meeting house in Washington, D. C. We thanked those from Friends Meeting of Washington for their hospitality. Gene Throwe (Washington), Friends Meeting of Washington Clerk, welcomed and oriented us. Gene noted the hope that construction at the meeting house would have been finished last month; it is now expected to be completed two months from now. Gene mentioned that forty to fifty children are at Meeting on First Days.
Marcy Baker Seitel (Adelphi), Clerk of Interim Meeting, provided quick Yearly Meeting updates. Marcy mentioned that paper copies of our 1988 Faith and Practice are for sale, and writeups for the hundredth anniversary of the Nineteenth Amendment (granting voting rights to women federally, though those rights were not enjoyed by women of color in all states) on the work of Alice Paul are available. Marcy asked for suggestions of names of folks to serve on the Yearly Meeting’s Religious Education Committee. Marcy reported on letters from West Branch Monthly Meeting; the text of the short letter from the Meeting is attached. We worshipped, honoring the diversity of our Yearly Meeting. Marcy asked folks to consider being in touch with West Branch Friends.
I2019-20 Naming Committee. Dave French (Menallen) reported on behalf of Naming Committee. At the recommendation of the Committee, on this first and only reading, we APPROVED this: we named Rebecca Rawls (Langley Hill) to serve on Search Committee through 2022.
I2019-21 Search Committee. Rebecca Rawls (Langley Hill) reported on behalf of Search Committee. On this first and only reading, we APPROVED forwarding these Committee nominations to our upcoming annual session: Yearly Meeting Recording Clerk, Meg Boyd Meyer (Baltimore, Stony Run), through 8/2021; Treasurer, Jim Riley (Hopewell Centre), through 12/2021; Assistant Treasurer, Arthur Meyer Body (Baltimore, Stony Run), through 12/2021; Supervisory Committee, Josh Riley (Hopewell Centre) and Adrian Bishop (Baltimore, Stony Run), through 8/2021; Nominating Committee, Ollie Moles (Langley Hill), Deborah Haines (Alexandria), Karie Firoozmand (Baltimore, Stony Run), and Marilyn Rothstein (Gunpowder), through 8/2022.
I2019-22 Travel minute. Jolee Robinson (Adelphi), on behalf of the Intervisitation Working Group, requested renewal of a travel minute for Jade Eaton (Adelphi); a copy of the travel minute is attached. We APPROVED this: we renewed the travel minute for Jade Eaton.
I2019-23 Program Committee. Rebecca Rawls (Langley Hill), on behalf of Program Committee, reported; the written version of the Committee’s research on “pay as led” annual session financing is attached. Rebecca noted that new facilities at Hood College in Frederick, Maryland, will be used for upcoming Annual Session. Rebecca encouraged use of early registration, first-time attender certificates, and first-time attendance on 8/3/2019 (when fees are waived) as ways of keeping down the cost of attending Annual Session. Rebecca noted that the Carey Lecture will be on 8/3/2019. Rebecca highlighted a section of the Committee’s report on pay-as-led programs; other Yearly Meetings using pay-as-led have basically met their expenses while enjoying increased attendance. The Committee plans to further explore this option.
I2019-24 Peace and Social Concerns Committee. Phil Caroom (Annapolis), Peace and Social Concerns Committee Clerk, reported. Phil noted a happy and well-attended recent networking day at Sidwell Friends School, production of an electronic Peace and Social Concerns newsletter, and Working Groups under the care of the Committee. Phil asked for information on what local Meetings are doing for youth subject to Selective Service.
Phil presented a proposal for an End of Life Working Group; the written version of the proposal is attached. We heard of available Baltimore, Stony Run documents on the topic. We heard a desire for tenderness toward those with differing view on end-of-life matters. We CONCURRED with establishment of an End of Life Working Group.
Phil noted two Interest Groups now under the care of Peace and Social Concerns Committee: one considering the possibility of forming a Maryland state-level analog of the Friends Committee on National Legislation (tentatively named Quaker Voice for Maryland), and one focused on the topic of reparations.
I2019-25 Growing Diverse Leadership Committee. Peirce Hammond (Bethesda), Growing Diverse Leadership Committee Clerk, and Jossie Dowling (Catoctin), on behalf of the Strengthening Transformative Relationships in Diverse Environments (STRIDE) Working Group, reported. Phil noted the energy of those involved in the STRIDE program. Jossie reported on the STRIDE groups’ efforts to increase diversity and inclusion at Yearly Meeting camps, including work before camps to equip campers, let them know about camp culture, and arrange transportation. Jossie encouraged folks to volunteer to help with transportation. Jossie noted the generosity of the Miles White Beneficial Society in helping campers meet camp expenses.
Peirce noted a group of about 25 people focused on reparations, one subgroup focuses on education, a second focuses on logistics, and a third focuses on communications. Peirce invited folks to participate in the group.
I2019-26 Manual of Procedure. Donna Kolaetis (Menallen), on behalf of Manual of Procedure Committee, reported; the written version of the report is attached. We APPROVED Manual of Procedure Committee’s recommended changes to the manual for forwarding to our upcoming Annual Session, with these changes: retaining a reference to “matters which are entrusted...by the constituent Monthly or Quarterly Meetings or by individual Friends;” retaining a paragraph on Supervisory Committee regarding youth safety policy; and correcting a reference to the 2013 Resource for Faith and Practice.
I2019-27 Development Director. Ned Stowe (Sandy Spring), General Secretary, introduced Mary Braun (Patuxent), the Yearly Meeting’s new Development Director. Mary (briefly, in consideration of an upcoming break) thanked the Yearly Meeting staff and our Development Committee for help in learning about Yearly Meeting procedures and culture. Mary stressed the need for investing energy in the corporate body to strengthen it.
I2019-28 Youth Program Manager’s annual report. Jossie Dowling (Catoctin), Youth Programs Manager, gave an annual report; the written version of the report is attached. Jossie noted that, title notwithstanding, the report covers 2018-2019 activity. Jossie noted that working with the best group of youth ever means “I basically just get paid to have fun.” Jossie shared a video of a Junior Young Friends event at Shiloh Quaker Camp, part of Unity with Nature’s Ten Steps to Nature program.
I2019-29 Job description. Adrian Bishop (Baltimore, Stony Run), Supervisory Committee Co-Clerk, presented a job description for a Junior Young Friends Program Assistant; the proposed job description is attached. We APPROVED Supervisory Committee’s job description for a Junior Young Friends Program Assistant.
I2019-30 General Secretary’s report. Ned Stowe (Sandy Spring), General Secretary, reported; the written version of the report is attached. Ned noted a busy week since preparing the written report, including a meeting with Supervisory Committee on diversity (informed by a report prepared by Clinton Pettus (Baltimore, Stony Run)); Supervisory Committee also considered matters of long-range planning and budgeting. Ned also attended Chesapeake Quarterly Meeting, then focused on the budget, preparing a report on the Yearly Meeting’s diversity fund, and considering the time over which to repay bathhouse loans. Ned mentioned preparation work for the upcoming camp season, noting that there are still openings at all camps both for campers and for volunteers.
I2019-31 Trustees report. Greg Tobin (Frederick) and Natalie Finegar (Sandy Spring), Trustees Co-Clerks, reported; the written version of the report is attached. We heard a concern: when we refuse to talk about something, can we still say we’re telling the whole truth? We heard a sense that maintaining confidentiality can be compassionate and loving in situations such as this. Marcy reported that considerable time and care have been used in dealing with the matter; there is ongoing work for our Ministry and Pastoral Care Committee and for all of us to do.
I2019-32 Treasurer’s report. Tom Hill (Charlottesville), Treasurer, reported; the written version of the report is attached. Tom noted receipt of a draft audit for 2018; there was a roughly $12,000 net positive for the year which Tom characterized as “basically breaking even.” Tom noted that the end-of-three-month surplus for this year about $105,000 less than for last year; this says little about what to expect for the entire year. Three-month income this year is about $100,000 greater than last year. Tom noted the use of accrual accounting to provide the best idea of what the organization is actually worth financially.
I2019-33 Stewardship and Finance Committee. Karen Cunnyngham (Annapolis), Stewardship and Finance Committee Clerk, reported. Karen thanked the Yearly Meeting staff for help provided to the Committee. Karen reminded us of our decision to continue the STRIDE program after grant funding ends. The Committee is considering how to more fully fund and budget for replacing equipment and buildings. The Committee is also considering how best to repay Friendly bathhouse loans, use of restricted funds, and the character of apportionment (with the hope of learning how local Meetings feel about apportionment).
I2019-34 Development Committee. Mary Braun (Patuxent), Development Director, reported on behalf of Development Committee. Mary noted unrestricted gifts of about $21,000 in the first three months of this year; to meet our goal for the year, “We have some work to do.” Mary reported: receipt of about $18,00 in grants for campers; and that a Friendly loan has been forgiving, reducing that debt by about $20,000. Mary noted a three-legged fundraising structure: funds for our general fund; funds for capital projects; and planned giving.
I2019-35 Right Relationship with Animals. Margaret Fisher (Herndon), Working Group on Right Relationship with Animals Clerk, reported; the written version of the report is attached. Members of the Working Group are happy to visit and revisit local Meetings for book discussions, presentations, or worship sharing.
I2019-36 Friends United Meeting. Georgia Fuller (Langley Hill), Friends United Meeting (FUM) General Board member, reported; the written version of the report is attached. Georgia plans to have an interest group at our upcoming Annual Session and is prepared to visit local Meetings to talk about FUM maters. Georgia encouraged work the the United Society of Friends Women International.
I2019-37 Growing Our Meetings Working Group. Mackenzie Morgan (Adelphi), on behalf of Advancement and Outreach Committee, presented a proposal for a Growing Our Meetings Working Group. The Working Group would consider growing attendance, increasing the number of local Meetings, and how to achieve these ends. Mackenzie read aloud the proposed charge for the Working Group; the written version of the document including the charge is attached. We CONCURRED with establishment of a Growing Our Meetings Working Group.
I2019-38 Friends General Conference planning. Patsy Arnold Martin (Roanoke) and Tony Martin (Roanoke), Co-Clerks of the 2020 Friends General Conference (FGC) Gathering, reported. The 2020 Gathering is set for Radford, Virginia (just outside Blacksburg). The Gathering’s theme is “Way Will Open;” the hope is for a Gathering that’s welcoming to all, where transformation can occur. One goal is to transform the Gathering into an active anti-racist community; one step to help is to suggest folks to serve on the Gathering Committee with diversity in mind. Suggestions for a person to lead the Bible study at the Gathering are welcome, as are volunteers to serve on Gathering subcommittees, and attendance. Flyers on involvement in the 2020 Gathering are available; a copy of the flyer is attached. We heard an observation that the flyer describes the Gathering as “under the care of Baltimore Yearly Meeting;” we heard the sense that the term “hosted” might be used. There has been no decision for Baltimore Yearly Meeting to sponsor the 2020 Gathering; Yearly Meeting Friends are Gathering Co-Clerks and serve on the Gathering Committee. We heard that the Friends United Meeting Triennial will be held in Kenya in 2020; we can also prepare for that gathering.
Marcy Baker Seitel, presiding Arthur David Olson, recording