Friends General Conference

Nurturing faith and Quaker practice
A Quaker community in Frederick, Maryland

Meeting for Business April 2018

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Minutes Details: 

Frederick Friends Meeting

723 N. Market St. | Frederick, Maryland 21701

Minutes from Fourth Month 2018

Meeting for Worship with a Concern for Business

Frederick Friends Meeting met in worship with a concern for business on April 08, 2018 at 9:00AM. Present were: Carol Ahlum, Kathy Funkhouser, Nick Funkhouser, Eleanor Milligan, Julie Odland and Greg Tobin. Carlotta Joyner served as Clerk of Meeting and Michele Hartley served as Recording Clerk.

The Meeting began with a brief period of silent worship, out of which the Clerk read the following queries on equality:

  • How do we respond, as individuals and as a community, to prejudice and injustice?
  • How do we show through our way of living that love of God includes affirming the equality of all people, treating them with dignity and respect?

04/18—1: Second Reading of the Spiritual State of the Meeting, Ministry and Counsel, Julie Odland

Julie Odland presented the second reading of the Spiritual State of the Meeting Report (see Appendix I). No changes to the report have been made since the first reading. Friends discussed two points. 

  • The “doers” and “mullers” may sometimes misunderstand one another. The “doers” feel led by the spirit in their social actions. While these social action practices may differ from those of the “mullers,” they are nonetheless spiritual in nature.
  • The meaning of the two questions posed in paragraph 7 was also discussed: “Can we ensure that committees are serving Meeting rather than Meeting serving committees? Can we better discern priorities and leadings to help us bring action out of the Center rather than as a reaction to external demands?" Some Friends feel that they may be led by a sense of duty rather than by the spirit that guides this duty.

It was observed that Meeting used to be less complicated and now is trying to do and be all things for all people. In earlier years, Friends met in each other’s homes. They “prayed, ate and watched the kids grow.” As they grew in numbers they had to make a decision to remain exclusive and small or inclusive and welcome others. With inclusivity came complexity—owning a building and committee work. Some Friends feel that Meeting’s current Guidance document is too stringent, while others feel that it is can be a helpful point of reference and should be viewed as fluid.  

Nominating Committee will be leading a discussion of leadership and leadings within FFM during 3rd Sunday in April after Meeting for Worship at which these or similar points may be raised.

Friends approved the Report with gratitude. Ministry and Counsel will send the report to Baltimore Yearly Meeting.

04/18—2: Report on BYM Interim Meeting, Carlotta Joyner

Carlotta Joyner presented the report on BYM Interim Meeting (see Appendix II).

Five Friends from Frederick Friends Meeting attended. Of note are an upcoming clerking workshop; an invitation to be a part of a Change Group within local Meetings to break down barriers for Meeting attendance by people of color; a request for feedback via a survey on Annual Session; and, the next Interim Meeting to be held at Frederick Friends Meeting on June 9, 2018.

Friends discussed the logistics for hosting Interim Meeting. A concern about Frederick’s Meeting House hosting between 70 - 80 people was raised. The expectation, however, is for 50 - 60 people to gather. Friends agreed that the Meeting can host this number of people.

A second concern was raised about the Meeting house being too warm. Friends ask Property Committee to install one-to-two window units within the Meeting room during Spring work day on May 19th if no other equivalent cooling alternative is available. Nick Funkhouser will bring this request to Property Committee for consideration.

Friends accepted this report.

04/18—3: Request for transfer of member for Steven F (Steve) White, Carlotta Joyner

Carlotta Joyner presented Steven (Steve) F. White’s request to transfer his membership from Gettysburg Meeting to Frederick Friends Meeting.

Friends approved this transfer of membership and ask Ministry and Counsel to welcome him.

Announcements and closing

Carlotta received a letter from the Friends Council on Education, which reminds us that funds are available for Quaker children attending Quaker schools.

Minutes were read back and approved during the course of the meeting.

The next Meeting for Business will be at 9:00AM on May 20th. Draft agenda: Peace and Social Concerns Committee annual report, Quarterly Financial Report, 1st reading of the annual calendar for 2017 – 2018, report from Nominating Committee about the  Roster of Service for 2018 – 2019, report from Property Committee about the mini-split system for air conditioning and heating.

Meeting closed with a brief period of worship.

 

Respectfully submitted, 

Michele Hartley, Recording Clerk ___________________________

 

Carlotta Joyner, Clerk of Meeting ___________________________ 

Appendices:

  1. Second Reading of the Spiritual State of the Meeting Report
  2. Baltimore Yearly Meeting Interim Meeting Report

Appendix l

Frederick Friends Meeting   ◊   Spiritual State of the Meeting   ◊   Report for 2017

Presented at Third Month 2018 Meeting for Business

The lifecycle of the Meeting moves as the sea—a constancy of waves, shifting sands, and shorelines. As some areas erode, others are built up.

We miss long-time members who have left us and welcome new attenders who return Sunday after Sunday and are slowing becoming involved in the life of the Meeting. We have been purposeful in welcoming visitors and returning new attenders. We recognize that we can always do more in getting to know each returning new attender to help them become part of the spiritual life of the Meeting; perhaps be more deliberate in our invitations to participate. We can continue to engage new attenders in conversations about how they find Meeting for Worship and where they find joy.

We see that Friends have diverse expectations of worship and community. Our personal leadings often pull us in different directions. Because of these varying priorities, we notice a tension within what we bring to Meeting for Worship, what we experience during worship, and what needs we hope get met. Perhaps the most tangible aspect of this tension is between Friends whose priority is social action and Friends whose main focus is the worship experience. (In previous years, we have called these groups the “doers” and the “mullers.”) Some feel FFM has no central or Meeting-wide focused leading as a Meeting. Can we be more ardent about our joy and work on a Meeting structure that grows out of the spirit? Can we pull back to our core and rethink and restructure Meeting in an intentional way? Can we promote living worshipful, spiritual lives that will help us arrive prepared for Meeting for Worship?

Many express frustration at distractions in worship, especially the absence of a centered feeling or feeling of depth during worship, a perceived lack of discernment before vocal ministry, and the presence of cell phones. Many say they find Meeting to be a joyful and loving experience, with a strong and shared sense of responsibility to one another and to the community at large. Coming together in worshipful silence is a very nurturing and joyful time to many at FFM. Can we build on this dedication to challenge ourselves to deepen the sense of worship?

Frederick friends have availed themselves of many FFM community-building options: potlucks (3rd and 5th Sundays as well as Friendly 8s), monthly book discussion group, property work days, service auction, fall festival, spring retreat, Martin Luther King, Jr. beloved community dinner, FCNL advocacy, and end-of-life discussions. In recent months, our email discussion list (which is separate from our email announcements list) has been a noticeably lively venue to share ideas and foster discussions. Some have said the listserv discussions about a number of topics that affect our Meeting are also worshipful. 

Youth who come to FFM have said they feel loved, valued, and respected as part of the Meeting family. First Day School at FFM is usually a very small group—and those involved say they wish more kids would attend—but they find it enriching. Several youth have been active in larger BYM community activities (camps, conferences, and yearly meeting) and have taken initiative in asking their parents to come to FFM. We want to continue to cultivate ministry to (and from) our youth, from birth through young adulthood.

We continue to encourage commitments to FFM: more consistent attendance at Meeting for Worship and Meeting for Worship with a Concern for Business, offerings of gifts and talents in committee work, financial support, and membership. Many yearn for more centeredness and leadings that focus on joy in service to the spirit rather than duty. Can we ensure that committees are serving Meeting rather than Meeting serving committees? Can we better discern priorities and leadings to help us bring action out of the Center rather than as a reaction to external demands?

May we bathe ourselves in the loving waters of the Spirit, channel energy from waves of Worship, and joyfully be moved by the currents of the Div

Appendix ll

Report on BYM Third Month Interim Meeting 2018

Presented by Carlotta Joyner

Third Month BYM Interim Meeting was held at Charlottesville Friends Meeting on March 17, 2018. Frederick Friends who attended were Lynn Diviak, Carlotta Joyner, Betsy Tobin, Greg Tobin, and Steve White. Several committees met in the morning, and business of the Yearly Meeting was conducted in the afternoon. The minutes can be found at http://www.bym-rsf.org/events/interim/third18.html once they are available. The agenda and advance reports for the meeting are currently available there.

In addition to receiving information and making decisions about various matters, we were asked to inform our Meetings about several opportunities.

  • A Clerking Workshop, hosted by the BYM Nominating Committee, will be held on Saturday, April 21. For information, contact Deborah Haines ([email protected]) or Bette Hoover ([email protected]).
  • Friends are invited to form and be part of a Change Group within their individual Meeting, with a goal of lowering barriers to Meeting participation by people of color. More information can be found at http://www.bym-rsf.org/what_we_do/gdli/changegroups.html.
  • The Program Committee would like feedback about last year’s Annual Session to help them explore possible changes to the schedule that would make it better for you. In particular, they are puzzled by the notable decline in weekend attendance, with many Friends leaving on Saturday even though Annual Session continues through lunch on Sunday. The questions are available in an online survey at  https://goo.gl/3tAHyJ .

Sixth Month Interim Meeting will be here, at Frederick Friends Meeting, on Saturday, June 9. Please plan to attend.

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