September 22, 2013
Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business
Philadelphia Quarter of the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends
September 22, 2013
Green Street Monthly Meeting
Present: Greg Barnes, Yoko Barnes (Central Philadelphia Monthly Meeting), Robert Hernblad, Sita Rosado, Meyers, Pamela Moore ( Monthly Meeting of Friends of Philadelphia), Edward Rhoads, Ed Nakawatase, Pat Libbey, Howard Cell, (Germantown Friends Meeting), Phil Anthony (Chestnut Hill Monthly Meeting), Margaret Wood (Towanda Monthly Meeting), Hollister Knowlton, (Evergreen Worship Group).
The Meeting opened with silent worship.
The Clerk reviewed the agenda and materials.
The Clerk presented the draft form for the State of the Meeting Reports with two additional questions. The Clerk explained there is an expectation that each Meeting will present an annual report to the Quarter, and the Quarter will present a report to the Yearly Meeting in advance of annual sessions. In addition to the draft report form, she presented a checklist from the PYM Faith and Practice Working Group that meetings may use as a self assessment. She asked for a subgroup to work on a guideline that might incorporate the two forms, while using the current form for this year. Hollister Knowlton, Phil Anthony and Sita Rosado will review the two forms for possible merger. A Friend stated that the Yearly Meeting no longer receives reports and also suggested that, while there is no longer a process to submit an annual report to PYM, there is nothing stopping the Quarter from submitting an epistle to the Yearly Meeting.
The Coordinator announced and distributed the schedule of PYM Thread Gatherings.
The Clerk asked for volunteer members for a Communications Advisory Committee. Heath Meyers and Margaret Wood will serve on it.
Howard Cell reported on the AFSC Listening Projects. Last spring, the AFSC held two Listening Project sessions with Philadelphia Quarter. Local projects presented their work to the AFSC,as the AFSC considers what work it might take on in the Philadelphia region.
The Clerk asked for an update on the group serving as ad hoc business meeting at Unity Meeting. A small, self appointed, ad hoc group had signaled its intention to begin by holding regular Meetings for Business at Unity. The group is comprised of Joe Hoenstine, Carol Clark and Robert Hernblad Joe was to talk to Robert Hernblad about serving but has not yet done so. Robert was present at this Meeting and recalled his years of attending Meeting for Business at Unity in the past. He reported his knowledge of the unofficial collaboration between Unity and Frankford Meetings that has been very positive. He is willing to serve on this ad hoc committee. He sees the two meetings sharing resources so that both Meetings benefit.
Approval of Minutes
The Minutes of the May 5, 2013 Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business were approved.
Edward Rhoads presented the Quarter Financial Report. The concern is the 2013 actual revenues compared to 2013 budget. Contributions from individuals were less than anticipated. The Quarter hopes to raise $4000 next year from individuals. There is currently a deficit of about $600.00.
The Clerk asked if the group would approve of the Quarter using the PYM database once or twice per year for an appeal. Friends approved. The Minute was approved. The PYM General Secretary has offered PQM the opportunity to pay what we wish for our cubicle at Friends Center for the coming year. The question of whether to pay for the space at PYM;, if so, how much;, and if not, where to apply the money ($1200) was considered. A Friend suggested a split of the amount between rent and youth work, with the expectation of increased contributions. The next fundraising appeal would ask for funds for more youth work. A Friend suggested that if the Quarter had a youth program, it would be in a good position to ask for more money from the Monthly Meetings. The Clerk asked whether we leave the budget as is for now and talk with PYM children’s program staff and Monthly meeting First Day Schools about future youth programs. The Meeting approved paying PYM the $100 as budgeted for now. The treasurer noted there is $750 for other concerns. The Meeting expressed appreciation for Edward Rhoad’s long and faithful service.
Greg Barnes reported for the Nominating Committee: He brought forward the name of Ellen Deacon, Chestnut Hill Meeting, for the PYM Nominating Committee. Friends approved. He also brought forward the name of Sara Palmer, Central Philadelphia Monthly Meeting, for alternate recording clerk. Friends approved. The Nominating Committee also commented that if it can identify Friends with interest in the larger Quaker Community, those people can serve both PYM and the Quarter. The PYM Nominating Committee can have up to 6 members and could use one from Arch Street and Green Street.
1) The Quarter collects contact information and have begun to collect data on skills and interests. We do not collect info on health, politics, etc. We collect annual reports and newsletters from Monthly Meetings. The Quarter uses that information only to communicate with our own members and organizations under our care.
2) The Quarter publishes newsletter articles, minutes, annual reports from Monthly Meetings and organizations under its care, and some financial reports on its website, noting that whatever is on the web, at the moment, is public. At some point, the Quarter will be able to have password protected levels of information.
3) Photos are taken at Quarterly Meeting events. A Friend pointed out ambiguities in the policy, asking the definition of a Quarterly Meeting event. Meeting for Worship is not an event. What about Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business? What about program events that may come to a quarter that lead to a minuted decision? What about children? No photos of children are taken without permission of parents and no photos of children with identifying information are published. Friends approved the policy as written with the addition that no photos are taken at Meeting for Worship and Meeting for Worship for Business.
Quaker Voluntary Service House Report
Howard Cell reported that the Quaker Voluntary Service house is functioning well, volunteers moved in and have started their jobs while learning how to live in intentional Quaker community. The Quarter has partnered in submitting a grant proposal to the Snave Foundation, and if it is approved, the Quarter will assume financial responsibility for the salary of the coordinator for three years. The reason for this is that the Snave foundation limits its grantmaking to local nonprofits and QVS registered its 501c3 status in Atlanta, Georgia.
First Sunday Stapeley in Germantown pot lucks/worship
Hollister Knowlton and Edward Rhoads reported that the monthly First Sunday potlucks and worship are going very well and much appreciated by the residents. Chestnut Hill is hosting October and Central Philadelphia in November.
The Clerk asked the group to consider how the current structure is working with separate business and program meetings (7 total/yr). Should program meeting content be set by the host Meeting? In light of few coordinator hours and tradition in other Quarters of initiatives coming up rather than down through meeting structures, should PQM do the same? Three Friends stated they liked the current formatting. The possibility of holding business meetings in the evening was briefly discussed but not decided upon. Some meetings have conflicts no matter which First Day is chosen. Chestnut Hill Meeting has Worship and Ministry Meetings on first Sundays; Arch Street Meeting has Adult Religious Ed on 4th Sundays; 2nd and 3rd Sundays are Meeting for Worship with Attention for Business at Green St, Arch St., Germantown, Chestnut Hill, and CPMM. Acknowledging this dilemma, Friends united to keep to the program we have for the time being. The Clerk invited suggestions for the new schedule for 2015.
Procedure for considering Minutes from Monthly Meetings and Other Quarters
The Clerk revisited the procedure approved at the May Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business on what to do with Minutes from Meetings and other Quarters. She shared a minute tracking form developed by Margaret, which shows each minute presented, its status and next steps. She asked Ed Nakawatase to share whether the Racial Justice Committee of Germantown and the Indian Committee of PYM have taken any steps toward presenting a forum on the UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous People. He suggested that a Quarter Program could be devoted to this topic. There is a program meeting at Central Philadelphia in February. Hollister and Ed will explore with Central Philadelphia. Monthly Meeting the possibility of offering a program on the UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous People in February. The Clerk asked Ed Nakawatase to clarify what the Quarter should to with the minute on moratorium on the death penalty. Ed and Hollister will work together to answer this question. A Friend suggested that if a Meeting hosts an Adult Education on a minute, all Meetings in the Quarter be invited to attend.
Minute of Marriage Equality
Howard Cell presented a minute from Germantown Meeting on seeking legal status for same gender marriage equality. He asked that it be endorsed and forwarded to meetings for consideration with a recommendation that they adopt equivalent minutes. He read the minute. He also asked that it be forwarded to Interim Meeting. Friends present were not easy with the Quarter endorsing the minutes without member Monthly Meetings having an opportunity to read and consider it. The Clerk will send the minute to monthly meetings with request to approve in time for the next Interim Meeting if possible.
Patricia Libbey of Germantown Meeting announced that on November 18, the film Gasland 2 is showing at Friends Center. She also distributed literature on fracking to be taken back to Monthly meetings.
Friends expressed appreciation to Hollister Knowlton for her work for the Quarter.