2021 Yearbook Third Month 2021 Interim Meeting Virtual Gathering in Time of 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).
- A workshop will be presented on Saturday 13 Third Month 2021 on the subject of working with members who are aging and experiencing changes in cognition and capacity.
- The Working Group on Racism has compiled a report from local Meeting Change Groups. That report is available on the Yearly Meeting Announcement page.
- The Faith and Practice Committee has posted a revised “Marriage Section” on the Yearly Meeting website. Friends are asked to send comment by 15 Fifth Month. A new draft will be presented at Sixth Month 2021 Interim Meeting.
- Ted Heck (Richmond) has been appointed to the General Secretary Search Committee.
- The ad hoc 350th/100th Anniversary Committee has posted a report on the website.
- Workshop proposals for this year’s Annual Session are due by 15 Third Month and more are welcome.
I2021-02 Naming Committee. The Spring Interim Meeting appoints two individuals to serve as a Naming Committee to make nominations for the Search Committee. Laura Goren (Richmond) and Phil Caroom (Annapolis) are proposed to this role. These names were APPROVED.
I2021-03 Supervisory Committee. Adrian Bishop (Baltimore, Stony Run) submitted the Supervisory Committee’s Annual Report and from that drew attention to the request to increase, by two, the number of at-large members of the Supervisory Committee. This request was considered and APPROVED. The written report is included in the Committee Reports section of the Yearbook.
I2021-04 Report of the General Secretary. Acting General Secretary, Wayne Finegar (Sandy Spring), shared highlights from his written report including several recent hires: Jared Wood (Catoctin) as the Director of Opequon Quaekr Camp, and Dylan Phillips (Baltimore, Stony Run) as the caretaker at Catoctin. Wayne also discussed the issues raised by the letter of resignation sent to the Yearly Meeting by Jesse Miller as Opequon Quaker Camp Director. Wayne expressed sorrow at this loss but also excitement about the changes that are already under consideration and the challenges embraced in response to this letter which highlighted the ongoing concerns around addressing racism in the YM. A written report is attached.
I2021-05 Camping Program Manager Report. Brian Massey (Shiloh) says that he feels very gratified by the early stages of stepping into this work, and by the people who have taken on the changes and challenges ahead. He gave some background on the new Director for Opequon, Jared Wood, and shared that there has been a great deal of excitement about this appointment.
Brian reports that a planning retreat is scheduled for camping program leadership with a great deal of effort concentrated on establishing core policies and protocols in order to create the basis for safe and successful camping experience for all, to increase diversity and free our camps of racism in any form.
Friends asked about concerns previously raised about the Shiloh Camp Caretaker. These have been addressed by Yearly Meeting and Camp staff as a personnel matter. A plan of correction is in place.
Friends expressed appreciation for and concern about the ongoing work to address racism and racial diversity within the Yearly Meeting and wondered about a previously discussed diversity assessment. Clerk reported that a proposal for such an assessment will come to the Sixth Month 2021 Interim Meeting. She also asked Yearly Meeting committees to consider what part they may play in this effort.
I2021-06 Camp Program Committee Minute of Appreciation for Jesse Miller. A letter of appreciation for Jesse Miller, former director of Opeqoun Quaker Camp, was read by Julie Taylor (Sandy Spring). The proposed minute is attached.
After considerable discernment, extended worship seeking guidance on this matter, and the surfacing of many insights and helpful suggestions, Friends were unable to unite around a way forward. Friends expressed unity in deep appreciation for Jesse’s years of service to the community and his deep devotion to it. Friends expressed appreciation for Jesse’s letter of resignation and the courage he demonstrated in identifying persistent racism in a spirit of love for Baltimore Yearly Meeting and its camping program. The concern is commended to Friends across the Yearly Meeting for continued labor as to how we will express, as a community, our commitment to deal with both our failings around racism and our intentions to address these concerns as they continue to wound members of our community. The minute brought forward by Camp Program Committee is sent back to them for further review.
I2021-07 Youth Safety Policy Working Group Report. Carlotta Joyner (Frederick) presented proposed changes to the policy to cover on-line gatherings. The proposed change is attached. The change was APPROVED.
I2021-08 Treasurer’s Report. Jim Riley (Hopewell Center) presented the unaudited financial report for 2020. Jim highlighted the extraordinary circumstances of the year, the significant rewriting of the budget mid-year, and the fact that we actually ended the year in a strong position. The full report is attached.
Jim reviewed the balance sheet and the statement of activities. He reassured Friends that there will be a full audit of the 2020 financial statements. In response to a question, it was reported that Stewardship and Finance and Supervisory committees approved restoration of contributions to staff retirement accounts which had been withheld in the midst of crisis last year. These accounts were repaid in 2020. Furthermore, there is consideration being given to bringing back some staff positions cut last year.
I2021-09 Development Report. Mary Braun (Patuxent) expressed deep gratitude for this past year and the outpouring of an awe-inspiring generosity by Friends, both individuals and Meetings, demonstrated by an increase in contributions and other forms of support. The report is attached.
Mary also said that planning is unfolding for two concurrent celebrations in the coming year: Baltimore Yearly Meeting’s 350th Anniversary and the 100th Anniversary of our camping program.
Bette Hoover (Sandy Spring) read part of “A Quaker Statement on Migration” developed by AFSC, endorsed by FCNL and others. The statement is attached. After an overview, Friends APPROVED endorsing this statement and recommends it to local Meetings and individual Friends for further education and endorsement.
Bob Rhudy (Patapsco) reviewed a Minute supporting the United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. The statement is attached. Bob offered an overview of the treaty and the cost of building and maintaining our nuclear arsenal. Friends APPROVED the minute of support and encouraged local Meetings to consider their support.
Jim Fussell (Washington) read a minute adopted in November 1945 in response to our country’s use of the atomic bomb in Japan. It states in part, “We have a keen consciousness of sorrow and guilt over our failure to alter our nation’s reliance upon force…” But it also speaks to the belief “that God’s love is an infinite source of spiritual power through which [God] has promised to redeem and transform the world.”
We heard appreciation for Dyresha Harris and Dyresha’s work as a volunteer and as Outreach and Inclusion Coordinator, the foundation on which the STRIDE groups have built.
Margaret “Meg” Boyd Meyer, presiding Rebecca Richards, recording