2021 Yearbook Sixth Month 2021 Interim Meeting Virtual Event Due to Pandemic
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).
As our Business proceeded, Clerk read various Queries from the YM’s Statement on Becoming an Anti-racist Faith Community in order to inform our discernment.
I2021-14 Ministry and Pastoral Care Statement Concerning Use of Pronouns. The Clerk read a statement prepared by the M&PC Committee on using pronouns in YM settings, including this query: “How can Friends move into the truth and the Light to support Friends of differing gender identities?” The full statement from Ministry and Pastoral Care, including the query, is attached.
I2021-15 Travel Minutes for Jolee Robinson and Jade Eaton. Ken Stockbridge (Patapsco) read travel minutes endorsed by Adelphi Meeting and forwarded to YM for endorsement. Friends ENDORSED these minutes. The travel minutes for Jolee Robinson and Jade Eaton are attached.
I2021-16 Search Committee Nominations for Supervisory and Nominating Committees. Rebecca Rawls (Langley Hill) read nominations to serve on these two committees. The full report is attached. These nominations will be FORWARDED to Annual Sessions.
I2021-17 Naming Committee Appointments to Search Committee. Laura Goren (Richmond) read the names of Richard Broadbent (Frederick) and Nate Dorr (Sandy Spring) to serve an additional term each on the Search Committee. These appointments are APPROVED.
I2021-18 Nominating Committee. Deborah Haines (Alexandria) read nominations to serve as representatives (and alternates) from BYM to the Friends United Meeting Triennial. With the exception of Walter (Walt) Fry (West Branch), who asked to be removed from nomination, these resignations are APPROVED. The list of representatives to Friends United Meeting is attached.
Additionally, Deborah read the names of those who have resigned positions on various committees.
from Camping Program: Brooke Davis (Richmond)
from Development: Marion Ballard (Bethesda)
from Growing Diverse Leadership: Rashid Darden (FMW)
from Manual of Procedure: Munro Meyersburg (Sandy Spring)
from Peace and Social Concerns: Ann Benner (Charlottesville)
from Program Committee: Devin Gillespie (Homewood)
from Unity with Nature: Sue Hunter (Deer Creek)
from FGC Central Committee: Kelli Moore (Alexandria)
from Sandy Spring Friends School Board: Sara Dean (Adelphi)
These resignations are ACCEPTED.
I2021-19 Concerning Disaffiliation of West Branch Meeting from Baltimore Yearly Meeting. A question arose concerning the letter received from West Branch Monthly Meeting stating their discernment to disaffiliate from BYM. Friends took a great deal of time and care to process this issue, expressing deep sorrow at this severing of ties and hopes that West Branch would find another home within the wider Quaker connection. It was determined that the business of taking action on disaffiliation should be discerned at Annual Session (as does receiving a Meeting into affiliation), therefore this matter will be FORWARDED to Annual Session. Two Friends, Thomas (Tom) Hill (Charlottesville) and Robert (Bob) Fetter (Gunpowder) asked to stand aside from this decision.
The letter drafted by the Ministry and Pastoral Care Committee was read during the discussion and will be adapted to note that formal action from BYM will be taken up at Annual Session. A copy of the letter is attached. This letter, to be sent from Ministry and Pastoral Care Committee and signed by the Clerk of Interim Meeting and the Presiding Clerk, will be sent now. Friends APPROVED this action.
Several suggestions to be considered for future action: that we might endorse a letter of appreciation to Walt Fry (West Branch) for the many ways he has faithfully served the Yearly Meeting community; that we develop and document in either Faith and Practice or the Manual of Procedure as to how disaffiliation should be handled; that a small group of Friends travel to West Branch to share worship.
I2021-20 Presiding Clerk Report. Stephanie (Steph) Bean (Adelphi) shared the substance of the written report which is attached. Steph reports being joyfully engaged in learning about the people and processes of BYM and celebrates the many gifts of Friends across the Yearly Meeting who make the rich life of our Yearly Meeting possible. The report also speaks of sadness in the decision of West Branch Friends to disaffiliate and in the laying down of the Worship Group at Norfolk by Williamsburg Meeting.
Steph reports that Wayne Finegar, the Acting General Secretary, has agreed to overlap his employment with the incoming General Secretary, Sarah Gillooly. Sarah begins on 19 Seventh Month and Wayne will continue into Eighth Month. A severance package for Wayne has been arranged by Supervisory Committee working with Stewardship and Finance Committee and Trustees. Steph encouraged Friends from across the YM to attend a farewell and celebration for Wayne at Sandy Spring Friends Meeting on 14 Seventh Month at 7 pm, either in person or by video link.
Steph encourages Friends to explore the many offerings of the upcoming Annual Session, 2-8 Eighth Month (some workshops will occur the previous week) and “find those which speak to you.”
I2021-21 Manual of Procedure Committee. Revisions to the Manual of Procedure were reviewed and FORWARDED to Annual Session. The Clerk made note that the Manual of Procedure is descriptive of our processes rather than dictate them, so if Friends do not believe it properly reflects our practice concerns should be brought to the committee. The revisions to the Manual are attached.
I2021-22 Trustees Minute to Clear Title of Bald Eagle Friends Burial Ground. Thomas (Tom) Hill (Charlottesville) presented the minute to seek a clear title to the burial ground so that the YM can take responsibility for it and provide maintenance. Following a question, Tom clarified that, while the property is an asset, it has no financial value and that the only burden to the Yearly Meeting is maintenance. Friends APPROVED this minute. A copy of the Minute is attached.
I2021-23 Treasurer’s Report. James (Jim) Riley (Hopewell Center) reported on the Yearly Meeting finances. A copy of his report is attached. Jim reminded us that the circumstances are very different from this time last year when we were in the middle of pandemic related shut downs and major revenue loss. He celebrates that our camps will open fully this summer and reports that our financial picture appears to be normal for this point the calendar. An audit of the 2020 financial records is underway.
The year 1672 is credited as the founding year of what is now Baltimore Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends. Our yearly meeting has a long and storied history over the last 350 years. Monthly Meetings have come and gone. Splits and reunification have taken place. The physical boundaries of the Yearly Meeting have changed over time. Members of our Religious Society have struggled over many of the same social issues over this history. And this searching for Truth continues today in BYM.
The Ad Hoc 350th Anniversary Committee was established to organize anniversary event/s. Our small but enthusiastic committee has been working on a number of projects to mark this 2022 anniversary year, beginning with this year’s Annual Session. To get us started, Jim Fussell is working on two workshops to talk about Quakers and our Testimonies, during the first 300 years and then over the last 50 years. Sharon Stout is organizing an interest group to talk about a “Stone Soup” project that collects resources for BYM Friends about the various Quaker Witness projects in which we are involved. And, finally, we are putting together an anniversary kick-off event for Thursday evening, August 5th at 7 PM with music, first person interpretation of historic Friends, interviews with long-time BYM members, and ending with a stupendous virtual fireworks display!
Our committee is also working on curricula for First Day Schools, plans for intervisitation, activities for monthly meetings, and activities that encourage outreach beyond our Religious Society. Meetings have already been asked to start working on timelines of their Monthly Meeting’s history. Sample timelines will be available for viewing during Annual session this summer.
To add to the significance of 2022, it also marks 100 years since the founding of our camping program. Stories and photos are being collected, and plans are being made for the camps next summer.
So, plan to join us at Annual Session this August to kick off BYM’s 350th anniversary, and the 100th anniversary of our camps, and then to participate in announced activities throughout the year.
I2021-25 Development Director’s Report. Mary Braun (Patuxent) spoke of the resilience of the YM community over the past many months of turbulence as well as the generosity with which Friends have met our many challenges. This year has begun ahead of schedule in fundraising and with some promising new initiatives. The written report is attached.
I2021-26 Youth Programs Manager Annual Report. Alexis (Sunshine/Lexi) Klein (Shiloh Quaker Camp) produced a video to highlight the activities of Junior Young Friends (JYFs) and Young Friends (YFs) over the past year. This video was informational and joyful!! Among other things, YFs held an in-person celebration (overnight grad-con) of the momentous life transition of High School graduation. Lexi encourages more Friends to support the youth programs by becoming FAPs and joining in the fun. The written version of the report is attached. The video version is archived and available through the Yearly Meeting website.
I2021-27 Stewardship and Finance Proposed Budget and Apportionment for 2022. Terence McCormally (Herndon), Co-Clerk of Stewardship and Finance, shared a draft budget and a proposed apportionment spreadsheet for review. Terence presented a brief report and responded to questions. Friends noted some discrepancies in the spreadsheet which Terence says will be addressed in the final documents to be presented for approval at Annual session. The written report is attached. The draft budget and apportionments are not included.
I2021-28 Acting General Secretary Report. Wayne Finegar (Sandy Spring) summarized the report highlighting the hard work Sunshine (Lexi) Klein has put into mastering the online tools used by BYM. These much needed skills will be a great gift in the coming year. Camps will be opening on 26th Sixth month and are more fully enrolled than they have ever been. Wayne thanked the YM staff and committee members for their extraordinary work in making this transition to in-person camping possible. The written report is attached.
The Minutes were APPROVED as we moved through the Meeting. Following several announcements we closed our gathering closed with a period of silent worship.
Margaret (Meg) Boyd Meyer (Baltimore, Stony Run), Clerk
Rebecca Richards (Gunpowder), Recording Clerk
Deborah Haines (Alexandria) Recording Clerk