Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business January 27, 2014-Minutes
Philadelphia Quarter of the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends
Meeting for Worship for Attention to Business
January 27, 2014
Held at Stapeley Hall, Wesley Enhanced Living
Members and Attenders present: Edward Rhodes, Paula Cell, Howard Cell, Tom Grabe (Germantown Monthly Meeting); Carol Clark ( Unity Monthly Meeting); Andrew Anderson, Sita Rosado, Jimmy Rosado, Pamela Moore, Ruth Kirk, Monthly Meeting of Friends of Philadelphia; Evan Draper, Elizabeth Piersol Schmidt (West Philadelphia Worship Group); Ahavia Lavana, Nan Thompson, Amy Kietzman, Carolyn McCoy, Aleksander Miszezuh (Central Philadelphia Monthly Meeting); Jean Warrington, Phil Anthony, Lynne Shivers, Kathy Miller, Ellen Deacon, Carolyn Schodt, Laura Melly, Ernie Cuff (Chestnut Hill Monthly Meeting); Hollister Knowlton (Evergreen Worship Group); Margaret Wood (Towanda Monthly Meeting); Don Weightman, Joann Seaver (Green Street Monthly Meeting).
The Meeting was opened with silent worship.
1. Clerk’s Announcements
The Clerk welcomed members and attenders of the Quarter and West Philadelphia Worship Group and facilitated introductions of the Clerk’s table.
The Clerk presented additions to her document ‘Clerk’s Musings’
A Friend announced that this coming Saturday, February 1, Chestnut Hill Meeting will host readings from the play Bayard Rustin: the March at 8:00PM.
2. Approval of Minutes
The minutes of the September 22 Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business were approved as written.
3. Treasurer’s Report
Edward Rhoads presented the balance sheet. The Quarter has $46,980 in cash assets. $4000 is set aside for a brochure. The Quarter’s unrestricted funds are $12,981. The Snave Fund Grant is a line item of $30,000, which is a grant from the Snave Foundation to the Quarter to pay the coordinator of the Quaker Voluntary Service (QVS) project. [QVS was unable to apply for the grant because it is a national organization based in Atlanta, and recipients of a Snave grant must be local to the Philadelphia area; it was previously agreed that the Quarter apply for and administer the grant fund in accordance with terms of an agreement with QVS]
Edward Rhoads presented the financial statement. He asked Friends to go back to their Meetings and let them know that individual contributions would be appreciated. The $400 line item for Outreach was allocated to Historic Fair Hill to help with the summer festival, which was co- sponsored by the Quarter. Other expenses were office space, office supplies and travel reimbursement. Expenses outpace revenue by $2,778.00. Edward reported that last year was the first year the Quarter used reserves to pay expenses.
Edward presented an analysis of contributions.
Margaret Wood reported she sent a fundraising letter to all Monthly Meetings, reps, Clerks and others in October. A Friend suggested the letter also go to treasurers. Another Friend suggested asking for a response and follow up if there is none. A Friend suggested the next fundraising letter be brief and updated. The Meeting expressed appreciation to Edward Rhoads for his service as Treasurer of the Quarter.
4. Historic Fair Hill Annual Report
Jean Warrington reported for Historic Fair Hill. It is now a history and nature education center. There are 6 gardens and a youth group for ages 10-14, who came twice a week to work in the garden and run a farm stand during the summer. Tours of the grounds are second Saturdays from May through October. Historic Fair Hill is working with partners such as Tree Tenders, Philly Orchard Project, Franklin Institute’s Astronomy night, and schools. Reading buddies go to the schools weekly and listen to children read or read to them. There are several public events each year.
Jean Warrington requested approval of the following board nominations for Historic Fair Hill
Jim Glackin, returning board member, from Green Street Meeting
New board members Philip Jones, Chestnut Hill Meeting, Jean Hurd, a volunteer reading buddy in the schools, and Darlene Lomax Garrett, former principal of Fairhill Elementary.
Friends approved all nominations.
5. Report from Delaware Valley Friends School.
Hollister Knowlton reported for Delaware Valley Friends School. She reminded Friends that she is serving on their board, ex officio, and is serving on the school’s Quaker Life Committee. She spoke of how impressed she is with the school and the students.
6. QVS report
Howard Cell reported for Quaker Voluntary Service. He reported things are going well. The volunteers are approaching the halfway mark of their service. They are holding an auction this coming Sunday at Germantown Meeting from 12:30-2:30 to meet their volunteer expense obligation of $2000 each. The auction is also a vehicle for the volunteers to learn fundraising skills. Services and homemade items, baked goods are part of the auction.
The QVS volunteers use two days per month to engage in learning. March is devoted to vocational discernment. QVS asks the Quarter to provide names of individuals to serve as members of clearness committees . They are especially interested in people who have graduated from college in the last 5-7 years. A Friend invited QVS to the West Philadelphia Worship Group where there are a number of Friends who fit the desired criteria. Another Friend suggested that the QVS volunteers might serve on each other’s clearness committees as well. It was also suggested that Friends might offer to cook lunch for them on a Friday in March, April, May and June.
The QVS volunteers have attended Germantown Monthly Meeting and are attending other meetings as well. Paula Cell then read a minute from the QVS Working Group, which encourages the volunteers to find their own spiritual home.
A Friend made a proposal to use some of the Quarter Coordinator’s time for networking between young and older Friends and also to have a periodic gathering of QVS and older Friends. There is already a group under the care of the QVS Working group that is a mentoring group.
7. West Philadelphia Worship Group
Evan Draper reported there has been a worship group meeting in West Philadelphia for several years, and after a period of winnowing, a proposal to reform as a Friends Meeting. In November, the group minuted an intent to become a preparative meeting under a Quaker body. It would helpful to have some members of the Quarter serve in a pastoral care role to help them become clear about the process. The Clerk asked the group to minute the request, and the Quarter will lift it up among the monthly meetings. Evan invited Friends to worship with the West Philadelphia Worship Group. They meet at 1018 S. 48th St at 1:30PM on Sundays. The website is www.westphillyquakers.org.
8. Update on PYM Long Range Planning
Jean Warrington and Laura Mely reported the efforts of the PYM Long Range Planning Committee over the past two years. They have held listening sessions throughout the yearly meeting and heard from many Friends. They are discerning from what they’ve heard and what other similar religious bodies have done in response to dwindling numbers of volunteers. The strategy is to develop and present models for simplifying the organization. Ideas include making staff and programs more responsive to local meetings and doing more with technology. The committee welcomes feedback. They asked how might Monthly Meeting and Quarterly Meeting voices be represented in this process.
9. Should the Quarter move funds out of PNC Bank?
The Quarter banks at PNC, and it is convenient for the treasurer. A number of Friends have moved their money out of PNC Bank because of the bank’s investments in mountaintop removal. Mountaintop removal is the most profitable of the coal mining methods, and it the one the industry least wants to give up, it also results in contamination of local groundwater and streams. The Clerk asked whether the Quarter felt called to move its funds out of PNC Bank. A Friend reported that Chestnut Hill Meeting moved its funds to Valley Green Bank, which invests in the community. Another friend spoke about the people in Appalachia who have been drastically affected by the mountaintop removal, and lifted up that it is encouraging to them to see that others are taking up this cause. Other Friends also spoke in favor of moving the money to Valley Green Bank or a credit union. The Clerk asked whether the Quarter approved moving the account from PNC to Valley Green Bank. Friends approved this action, as well as notifying the bank and the public of the reason. Friends expressed appreciation to Edward for his willingness to move the accounts .
10. Update on Marriage Equality Minute
Margaret has gathered minutes from 21 meetings. A report will be made to Interim Meeting in the future. Eventually there will be a drafting committee for a quarter minute dealing with legal recognition of marriage equality, and that will be presented to Interim Meeting.
The Meeting closed with silent worship.
Pamela Moore, Recorder