North Pacific Yearly Meeting

of the Religious Society of Friends (QUAKERS)

Coordinating Committee Minutes of April 11, 2015

Body: 

North Pacific Yearly Meeting (NPYM) Coordinating Committee

Saturday, April 11, 2015 9:00 am – 4:40 pm

Tacoma Friends Meeting House, Tacoma, WA

CC 4/11/15-0 Introduction and Worship

North Pacific Yearly Meeting (NPYM) Coordinating Committee (CC) gathered in worship at the 4/11/15 meeting for worship for business at Tacoma Friends Meetinghouse. Clerk Chris Willard offered queries regarding the state of the Meetings and Friends responded from the silence.

Attendance: Chris Willard, Coordinating Committee (CC) Presiding Clerk, Tacoma Friends Meeting (FM); Jeannie Graves, CC Recording Clerk, South Seattle FM; Laura Arcidiacono, Representative, Bridge City FM; Asia Bennett, Nominating, University FM; Lee Bennett, Finance Committee, University FM; Jonathan Brown, Treasurer, South Seattle FM; Margaret Coahran, General Arrangements, Pullman-Moscow FM; Georgia Foster, Ministry and Oversight (M&O) Clerk, Wyoming FM; Lucy Garnett, Salmon Bay FM; ELee Hadley, Outreach & Visitation Clerk, Umpqua Valley Worship Group; Eric Maya Joy, Representative, Olympia FM; Otis Kenny, CC Associate Clerk, Boise Valley FM; Linda Kocourek, Secretary, University FM; Rose Lewis, Peace & Social Concerns; Salem; Ron Metcalf, Representative, Lopez Preparatory Meeting; Warren Ostrom, NPYM Rising Clerk, University FM; Tom Rawson, NPYM Presiding Clerk, Salmon Bay FM; Katherine Spinner, Youth Committee Co-Clerk, University FM; Ann Stever, Member, University FM; Allen Stockbridge, Representative, Bellingham FM; Jaffer Syed, Representative, Corvallis Friends Meeting; Carol Uhte, Member, Multnomah FM; Kirby Urner, Technology Clerk, Multnomah & Bridge City FM’s; Clint Weimeister, Web Keeper, Port Townsend FM; Kathryn Willard, Site Committee Co-Clerk, Tacoma FM.

Regrets from Sea Gabriel, Kim Williams, Kate Hunter, Cynthia Black & Debbie Townsend.

CC 4/11/15 - 1 Minutes

Coordinating Committee approved the November 8, 2014 Coordinating Committee minutes as corrected.

CC4/11/15 - 2 Executive Committee

Chris Willard reported on Executive Committee actions:

a) Nominations approved :

  • Erin Eichenberger as a new FWCC Representative

  • Eric Maya Joy as continuing Quaker Earthcare Witness Representative

  • Sand Point Friends Meeting to handle the Physical Arrangements of Annual Session

  • David Coahran as Volunteer Coordinator for Annual Session.

b) Outreach and Visitation should form an ad hoc committee to develop the Brinton Visitor type program.

c) Jonathan Brown will revise the travel policy and the Annual Session scholarship policy and bring them to Finance & Legal Committee. Margaret Coahran requested that we call it financial aid rather than scholarship, which had different connotations. This concern was referred to Jonathan, Treasurer, and Lee Bennett, from Finance & Legal Committee.

d) At the request of Nominating Committee, Executive Committee acted as the Committee to Nominating the Nominating Committee (see CC4/11/15 - 4).

CC4/11/15 - 3 Peace & Social Concerns

Rose Lewis reported for the committee. Friends are asked to hold Kate Hunter in the light as she goes through treatment to heal cancer. The committee contacted 41 Meetings and Worship Groups in NPYM. Their summary document is posted on the NPYM website. This information facilitates networking among NPYM groups that share concerns. The committee keeps in touch with Friends Committee on Washington (State) Public Policy and the new Oregon Public Policy Committee and is open to ways to support those groups. The committee asked for guidance on acting on concerns that may arise. The committee is offering 3 interest groups at Annual Session. The committee shared its wish to expand its membership, asking if it could find and add 2 members by itself. They also suggested that there be 3-year instead of 2-year terms, because it takes time for people to become familiar with the committee and its work. Finally, they asked to change their charge to expand from just networking to initiating action. In discussion, it was clear that many committees might identify people to contribute to their work, but if those friends were to become members, there needed to be an overall process including Nominating Committee. In discussion about terms, CC thought it a good idea to at least experiment with longer terms. Coordinating Committee was clear that the committee could not speak for the whole Yearly Meeting. However, it could certainly send information and urge action by all groups within the Yearly Meeting. Some considered it might be more effective to have voices from the 41 groups with which the P&SC Committee had contact, rather than just 1 from the Yearly Meeting. It would also be appropriate for the Committee to craft a minute for Annual Session and to shepherd the seasoning process, sharing it among the groups in NPYM. The committee could also assist such a process if a minute or concern arose from one of the meetings.

a) Coordinating Committee approved encouraging all committees to reach out to interested Friends to work on specific committee related projects. If a committee wishes those Friends to be members of the committee, the names should be sent to Nominating Committee for discernment and resulting recommendation for action by Executive Committee or CC.

b) Coordinating Committee approved expanding the term of office for members of the Peace & Social Concerns committee from two years to three years with overlapping terms.

c) Coordinating Committee approved charging the Peace & Social Concerns committee not only with networking but also with taking initiative to share issues for possible action by the Meetings and/or by NPYM at Annual Session.

The Peace and Social Concerns report is on the web page and is an attachment to these minutes.

CC4/11/15 - 4 Additions to Nominating Committee

Coordinating Committee approved two additional people to serve on the Nominating committee:

Lucretia Humphrey, of Montana Gathering of Friends (MGOF) and

Lynn Travis, of Bridge City FM

Service will begin immediately but the term for each person will depend on communication with the nominees. It is expected that each term will be either 1 ½ or 2 ½ years, in order to return to the cycle of terms starting October 1 of any year. It was noted that Paul Christianson, Cliff Moutjoy Venning and Asia Bennett will be completing their terms on Nominating Committee this year. Sarita Leif and Joyce Zerwick have one year left in their terms.

CC 4/11/14 - 5 Nominating Committee

a) Coordinating Committee approved Chinda Roach as Coordinator for Central Friends Camp.

b) Nominating Committee Report

Asia Bennett reported for the committee. There are more than 100 positions on the roster. The Nominating Committee has worked hard to recruit Friends to fill vacancies but it is difficult to find Friends to serve. The committee looks for ways to make the recruiting process less time consuming and more effective. Questions raised in the report included:

Is the Nominating structure overly ambitious?

Is NPYM overusing a limited number of Friends?

Is the hope of involving younger Friends realistic? Instead expecting them to serve on a committee, might it be a better idea to ask them to be reps to organizations or to serve on short-term groups?

Are there ways to make committee service more rewarding and engaging?

Can we make the process more effective? For example, the P&SC Committee will, in effect do some initial research and screening and suggest names.

Coordinating committee went into worship, out of which Friends responded. There is a systemic problem in NPYM, but we are unclear exactly what it is. Nominating Committee members need to have time to make personal contacts. We keep recycling people and need to engage younger people. It was suggested that short assignments (2-year terms) do not give enough time to get engaged. There have been problems of communication, and some suggestions to Nom Com have not been pursued. Are we trying to do too much? Should we lay down some work? This problem is not just in the YM, but also in monthly meetings. It is harder for the experience to be rewarding with most work being done electronically rather than face-to-face. A “job fair” at Annual Session was suggested, where committees could say what they do and try to interest people. We need to find out why people say no. Is the problem that many people really do not care? It is our responsibility to reach out to newer people and encourage them to go to Annual Session and become engaged in Yearly Meeting. Several Friends responded to the question: what IS the point of Yearly Meeting? We need to be able to articulate the answer. We will watch how Nominating Committee is able to function with two additional members.

Coordinating Committee accepted the Nominating committee’s report, which is on the web page and attached to these minutes.

CC 4/11/15 - 6 Pre-Nominating Committee:

The Pre-Nominating Committee will need to propose three names at Annual Session, since 3 members will be completing their terms. Executive Committee and the current Nominating Committee may have suggestions. Coordinating approved the following to serve as the Pre-Nominating Committee:

Ann Stever, University FM (Convener)

Laura Arcidiacono, Bridge City FM and

Jeannie Graves, South Seattle FM

CC4/11/15 – 7 Outreach and Visitation Committee

ELee Hadley reported for the committee. Two Friends from the Pastoral Tradition will be visiting Meetings throughout the geographical area covered by NPYM. Their travel is sponsored both by Multomah Meeting and Camas Friends Church. Outreach and Visitation has updated a list of Isolated Friends and the Visitors & Visited booklet, which is now on the web page. However, ELee reported that she has been unable to rejuvenate the committee. There has been no response to the idea for a renewed Brinton Visitor program. Friends spoke of visitation that is going on. Kathryn Spinner and Jay Thatcher traveled for the youth program together to Missoula, Bellingham and Port Townsend. FWCC is starting a Traveling in the Ministry program. Eugene has been in touch with Sandpoint in relation to having 3 clerks. ELee wondered if the committee should be laid down for a while.

CC4/11/15 – 8 - Information Technology (IT) Committee

Kirby Urner & Clint Weimeister reported that the committee initiated a list-serve discussion group for a case review process (how do we handle our data?). The Committee has three projects in hand:

  • Annual Session Registration: Online registration for Annual Session has been well used.

  • Directory Services: The committee’s vision for 2020 is that a Meeting will be able to upload their own directory in the cloud and maintain their own records. There is no direct connection between the Directory and Annual Session Registration.

  • Webpage: The webpage has been up for several years and may be eligible for an update soon. Port Townsend has set up a ride share section of their website, ‘Ptquaker.org/travel.’ Clint is considering a similar location on the NPYM website.

CC4/11/15 – 9 - Ministry and Oversight Committee

Georgia Foster presented the committee’s report.

  • The committee is offering a conference call consultation on ‘Quaker Values and Communication in the Electronic Age’ on May 7, 2015 from 7 to 8pm Pacific Time. The conference call is mainly for M&O clerks who may discern who else from their meeting should be included. The phone number is (866) 316-1519; the access code is 762-695-42#.

  • At Annual Session, M&O will host an interest group, ”Safety in Meetings: Healthy Boundaries”.

  • The committee is looking for a Friend to visit North West Yearly Meeting (NWYM), Pastoral Friends’ Annual Session, from July 18-23, 2015. The Call for a Visitor to NWYM 2015’ is on the website and is an attachment to these minutes. Nancy McLauchlan can provide additional information. Her email address is ‘nancymaemc-at-gmail-dot-com’.

  • M&O has established a presence on the NPYM website. Information about past consultations, including queries, is available there. At this time, it is found under “Friends Experiences” as well as under file attachments for the April 11,2015 Coordinating Committee meeting, under Coordinating Committee, under Structure.

CC4/11/15 - 10 - Finance and Legal Committee

Jonathan Brown, Treasurer and Lee Bennett of F&L Committee reported. The committee is considering the question of how long to keep records. The budget is a planning document for what we want to do and what resources we expect to spend. It is not a cap but a “best guess” of what we expect. Although the budget appears to anticipate a $15k shortfall, we actually expect to be within a few thousand dollars. Western Friend is asking for an increased donation from NPYM to $8,000. That amount would stay the same for three years. We expect to maintain our current assessment, which was recently increased. They reported that Donal Sullivan and Alan Rabinowitz will audit our books. Jonathan also pointed out that the Financial Statement has a new category called ‘In Kind Donations’.

a) Coordinating Committee accepted the proposed budget, which will be forwarded to Annual Session. The Proposed Budget is on the web page and is an attachment to these minutes.

b) Coordinating Committee accepted the Financial Statement. The Financial Statement is on the web page and is an attachment to these minutes.

CC4/11/15 – 11 Annual Session Planning Committee

Tom Rawson & Margaret Coahran reported. Robin Moore, Executive Secretary of FWCC Section of the Americas, will be our Friend in Residence. A new flyer advertising Annual Session has been sent to local Meetings. There are still a few openings for interest groups; applications to offer interest groups must be in this week. Registration begins May 1. Early Registration ends May 15 so Friends are encouraged to complete the materials immediately. Expenses for attenders are higher this year, though prices for children are lower. There have been unexpected expenses, e.g. for linens, or adding sales tax. If standing committees wish to have a table at the Quaker Fair in order to promote their committee, they need to notify Judith Clarke from Sandpoint FM by June 1.

CC4/11/15 - 12 - Youth Committee

Katherine Spinner, Co-Clerk of the Committee, reported on her travels with Jay Thatcher, the Annual Session Children’s Program Coordinator, to Missoula, Bellingham and Port Townsend. They talked about education issues and about Annual Session. They utilized the “Godly Play” and “Faith 7 Play” materials and format with good results.

CC 4/11/15 - 13 - Treasurer’s Concern

Jonathan Brown, Treasurer, shared that the workload for Treasurer takes four to eight hours a week. This is untenable for him, with a full-time job and full-time family. The current need is an additional person to be approved by May 1, when Annual Session registration will begin. The person should have a solid familiarity with QuickBooks. Because of the current urgent need, we consider this an emergency for which we need a ‘quick fix’. We also require long term discernment for our continuing need in this area.

Coordinating Committee approved having the Treasurer, the Finance & Legal Committee and the Annual Session Registrar find a person to help the Treasurer by May 1. They will then consider the long-term issues. They will report their progress to the Executive Committee and will bring results to the next Coordinating Committee meeting in July at Annual Session.

CC4/11/15 - 14 - Additional items

  • Port Townsend FM is in a new meetinghouse, which lacks a kitchen. They distributed a flyer requesting funds to help them build a kitchen.

  • A Friend is concerned about the use of the term ‘Pastoral Care’ and the use of the masculine pronoun in some parts of the proposed revision of Faith & Practice. We are reminded that we are invited to give feedback to the Discipline Committee. Chapter III is now out for review.

We closed with worship.