Friends General Conference

Together we nurture the spiritual vitality of Friends
A Monthly Meeting that is part of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)

2016 Seventh Month

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Minutes Details: 

Fox Valley Friends Meeting for Business, July 17, 2016


Present:  Jeanne B, Lindsay D, Ned D, Dan E, Hayden G, Bob K, Tina M, Francesca P, Mary K - Clerk

Approval of Minutes:  Minutes from May 15 meeting were approved for posting if all last names are replaced with last initials.  Some members would like to maintain their privacy on the Web, and we respect those intentions.  All minutes on the Web will contain only first names and last initials from now on.

Treasurer's Report:  All is well. 

New Business.

Bi-Monthly Meeting for Business??  The Clerk would like to begin a process to discern if we could change our Meetings for Business to every other month instead of every month.  Members and attenders are encouraged to consider and discuss the feasibility of this change over the next several weeks so thoughts can be shared at Meeting for Business in September.

Reports from Coordinators of Work Projects.

First Day School:  The First Day School Committee welcomes children to our meetings.  However, they would like to have one day notice when children are coming so they can be sure they have a teacher and materials ready.  Notice can be sent to Carol C or Mary K via e-mail or phone.

Care of Meeting:  For August and September we will sing songs that were sung by the Nightingales at FGC during the Welcoming Meeting for Worship.  Mary Klos will make copies of the song sheet that was used.  This is one way to share the FGC experience with those who were unable to attend.

Our practice of holding hands to indicate that Meeting for Worship is over is not working well when we have few attendees and we can’t easily reach each other without standing up.  Our intent was to change our end-of-meeting practices so we only stand once after our sharing circle.  Instead of holding hands to break silent worship, we agreed that the end of silence will be signaled by the Meeting caretaker speaking something out loud, or by using a gentle noise like a gong.  Jeanne will loan a pair of Tibetan hand cymbals to our library that can be used whenever needed.

Adult Education:  Dan E. reported that he may be able to get us an invitation to a Mennonite service.  He has found that there are several different Mennonite groups in his community.  He also shared an invitation to participate in a Community Meeting at the Divine Temple Church on July 28 at 5:30.  This is a meeting between the police force and the community, particularly people of color, to open up channels of communication.

FGC provided curriculum for European-Americans to use to work on their own issues related to racial equity.  We would like to learn more about this, and possibly use it as the basis of our Meeting Retreat this year, and possibly open it up to the Community.  Margaret A from Mindfulness Sangha has lived many places and is interested in Green Bay getting on board with this topic.  Mary will ask Lissa and Carol if they are interested in developing this opportunity for our Meeting Retreat this winter.

FCNL:  Bob shared a sample letter for July stating FCNL’s concern about a request coming to Congress to increase spending for new nuclear weapons.  Due to low attendance, we will not have letter-writing before Meeting on the third Sunday any more.  However, Bob will continue to provide sample letters from FCNL for those who are interested in writing on their own.

WISDOM: Hayden reported that the hunger strikes at Waupun are continuing, even with force feeding, to protest the over-use of solitary confinement within our Wisconsin Prison System.  JOSHUA and RUTH are continuing to support the hunger strikes and everyone is encouraged to contact their state legislators to express their opposition to prolonged solitary confinement.  Bob encouraged people to make phone calls to their state legislators and he provided a sample script for the conversation.  Calls from several people within a short period of time can get their attention.  Bob reported that RUTH is continuing their efforts to help immigrants get alternative driver cards since they can’t get driver’s licenses.

Prison Visitation:  Tina reported receiving a letter from Shane K expressing his concern over false information reported by Channel 26.  They said there was a limit of 60 days for solitary confinement in Wisconsin, but the regulations actually allow for a much longer time.  Shane was concerned that the public was not being given a true picture of conditions within the prisons. Tina shared Shane’s information with the Channel 26 reporter.  Tina told us about Shane’s great love of music and suggested we consider sending him a Quaker song book for Christmas or his birthday.

FGC:  Jim, Carol, Lissa, Mary and Bob attended FGC in July at St. Benedict’s College in Minnesota.  Mary brought back some information on AFSC Divestment, the Ending Torture Campaign and many other things she learned at FGC.  It was suggested that we devote one future potluck discussion to sharing information about FGC.

Quaker Cloud:  Francesca has taken the Quaker Cloud training and now has the password so she can edit our Web site.  She will replace last names with last initials on anything posted on our site.

Lindsay offered to start a Facebook page for our Meeting to help with outreach.  We are grateful for her offer!  We are anxious to try new ways to help people find us.

Mary will work on revising the contact list and sending it out.

Potlucks:  The last summer social potluck will be on August 19.  Potluck dates and topics for Fall will be discussed at the August 19 potluck.  Potential Fall topics were suggested.  Hayden offered to lead a discussion of simplicity and what it means related to new technologies and making changes in our lives.  Dan suggested a discussion of how to discern when to speak in Meeting and recalled an old flowchart that was helpful for discernment.  Mary will get more information on the Spiritual Deepening curriculum that FGC will be offering this Fall 

Respectfully submitted,

Mary Klos, Clerk