North Pacific Yearly Meeting

of the Religious Society of Friends (QUAKERS)

Coordinating Committee Minutes of April 2, 2016

North Pacific Yearly Meeting Coordinating Committee

Eastside Meetinghouse, Bellevue, Washington

April 2, 2016

Minutes, approved July 13, 2016

 

Present: Kenny, Otis, Coordinating Committee Clerk, Boise; Stever, Ann, Recording Clerk, University; Bennett, Lee, Finance & Legal Committee Clerk, University Meeting; Brown, Jonathan, Treasurer, South Seattle; Coahran, Margaret, Annual Session Planning Committee Co-Clerk, Pullman-Moscow; Foster, Georgia, MGOF; Garnett, Lucy, Salmon Bay; Hadley, ELee, Outreach & Visitation Clerk, Umpqua Valley Worship Group; joy, eric maya, Quaker Earthcare Witness Rep, Olympia; Kocourek, Linda, NPYM Secretary; McLauchlan, Nancy, Ministry & Oversight Committee Clerk, Bridge City; Ostrom, Warren, NPYM Presiding Clerk, University; Townsend, Debbie, Faith & Practice Committee, Eastside; Urner, Kirby, Technology Committee Clerk, Multnomah; Willard, Chris, Associate Coordinating Committee Clerk, Tacoma; Willard, Kathryn, Nominating Committee Clerk, Site Committee Co-Clerk, Tacoma;

 

Regrets: Gabriel, Sea, South Seattle; Eugene, Multnomah and Salem Meetings.

 

Groups unrepresented (by a named member): Agate Passage Meeting, Billings Meeting, Corvallis Meeting, Eugene Meeting, Lopez Preparative Meeting, Missoula Meeting, Multnomah Meeting*, Port Townsend Meeting, Pullman-Moscow Meeting, Salem Meeting, Sandpoint Meeting, South Mountain Meeting, South Seattle Meeting*, Whidbey Island Meeting.

* indicates Meetings which had a person from their Meeting attending CC in another capacity.

 

CC4/16.1The Meeting opened with worship.

 

CC 4/16.2 Reports from Meetings and Groups

Boise Valley Meeting: The Meeting is small, 8 – 12 on First Day. Their rented facility is in downtown Boise on the Boise green belt. Friends continue to be willing to serve.

Bridge City Meeting: It is a small, aging Meeting without children, usually less than 20 adults at worship. Their rented facility works well. They have been pleased with an experimental quarterly potluck.

Eastside: They are still mourning the loss of their last founding member. Their numbers are smaller; they are working on fitting committees to the strength of their people, rather than asking people to serve on multiple committees. Caring for the property is a challenge. They have a few young families. After considering if they had the energy, they have taken the Mid-Columbia Worship Group (Tri-Cities area) under their care and have met and corresponded with that group.

Lopez Island Preparative Meeting: The Meeting has been engaged in the process of becoming a Monthly Meeting. The recommendation will be acted upon at the April Pacific Northwest Quarterly Meeting. Friends will be glad to have completed the process. They continue to have some children attending on First Day.

Montana Gathering of Friends (MGOF): MGOF operates as both a Quarterly and Monthly Meeting. It is not always clear how that works! Some responsibilities are those carried by a monthly meeting: weddings, memorials and membership. Conference calls are beneficial. Some challenges exist around language for spiritual matters and money. They shifted from “stick” to “carrot” in registration for their winter gathering, offering benefits for registering early. They moved their winter site to a more family friendly facility. The average age dropped and they had a larger attendance. Three Young Adult Friends attended Annual Session last summer and were enthusiastic. Missoula Meeting is shrinking.

Multnomah Meeting: The Meeting has had a number of deaths, 4 in the last few months including one suicide. It is a large, active Meeting with many Young Adults and children.

Olympia Meeting: The Meeting is large and active with 40 – 60 (sometimes maybe even 70 – 80) at worship. They have started a 1st Day Adult Education program, are adding building improvements, e.g. accessible bathroom. They hosted Lobby Day for Friends Committee on Washington Public Policy. They have young families and support concerns, such as Clean Water for the World and Friends Ugandan Safe Transport Support Fund. The Meeting is enjoying planning the Spring 2016 Pacific Northwest Quarterly Meeting with Agate Passage Meeting.

Pullman-Moscow Meeting: The Meeting is very small, aging and introspective. They recently moved to a handicapped accessible location. Work on FNCL priorities brought them together.

Salmon Bay Meeting: A Young Adult Friend who was excited by last year’s Annual Session has just been welcomed into membership. Membership is about 15 with about 19 regular attenders. The First Day School has blossomed with 5 families attending regularly. The Adult Education program has been effective and they also appreciated the FCNL priorities process. It is still an issue to fill positions and find the right people for some roles.

Sheridan, WY Worship Group: They have been made tender by 3 deaths in the past 4 months. This has made all more ready to connect at a deeper level. They meet twice a month.

Tacoma Meeting: Although small, they find simple joys with one another. They struggle to find leadership and care for the building.

Umpqua Valley Worship Group: The Worship Group is celebrating its 40th years of existence. Of the 10 regular attenders, 5 are from one family and 3 of those are in their 90’s. Working on the FCNL priorities was a powerful experience.

University Meeting: The Meeting has trouble filling positions. After a lack of spiritual nurture was identified, there was a very positive response by the Adult Religious Education sessions in which Friends shared deeply. Homelessness has been a major issue addressed by the Meeting for many years. The Meeting is a community of different communities which may or may not engage with one another.

Vashon Worship Group: They meet in homes and have 20 – 25 at worship. They want to remain a Worship Group.

 

CC 4/16.3 Minutes

Minutes of the October 31, 2015 meeting were approved with the addition of ”consultations by conference call” in 10.15.8.

 

CC 4.16.4 Report of Executive Committee actions

Clerk Otis Kenny reported that the Executive Committee had approved support for eric maya joy to attend the World Plenary Meeting of Friends World Committee for Consultation (FWCC) in Peru. Executive Committee also approved the following nominations with Friends to start immediately: Timothy Holdaway as temporary Web Keeper, Jasmine Krotkof as Assistant Registrar (term ending 9/17) and Alan Mountjoy-Venning as Jr. Friends Advisor (term ending 9/18).

 

CC 4.16.5 Discipline Committee Report (attached to file copy of minutes)

Co-Clerk Debbie Townsend reported housekeeping changes: selection of the Pre-Nominating Committee (which nominates the Nominating Committee!) and a process for on-going revision of the NPYM Book of Faith & Practice. In response to a question, it was clarified that the committee hopes to bring the completed revision to the 2017 Annual Meeting for acceptance. The committee has been working for 11 years! A Friend expressed concern about the appendix on electronic communications and was pleased there will be an interest group at Annual Session.

 

Debbie reported that they are now working on Chapter 4 (Testimonies). They have received many comments on Chapter 3 (Spiritual Disciplines) and are working on a revision. They expect all drafts to be done by winter 2016 and hope to present the full Book of Faith & Practice to the 2017 Annual Session. The plan will be for Western Friend to publish on demand and distribute the Books of Faith & Practice for the 3 unprogrammed Western Yearly Meetings (Intermountain, Pacific and North Pacific). This will take a load off the NPYM Secretary.

 

a) Friends approved changes in the chapter on The Yearly Meeting (see attachment): Selecting the Pre-Nominating Committee and Revising NPYM’s book of Faith and Practice.

 

b) Friends are asked to look for the draft of Chapter 4 (Testimonies) in mid-April and encourage review and feedback to the Discipline Committee from their Meeting.

 

CC 4.16.6 Outreach and Visitation Committee Report (attached to file copy of minutes)

ELee Hadley, Clerk of Outreach and Visitation (O&V)reported that the 4 members of the committee, herself, Candida Quinn from MGOF, Pablo Stanfield from University Meeting and John Alcott from Eugene Meeting have been working well. She presented their program, Knitting Us Together as well as a set of quotations: On Why We Need Traveling Elders. As a trial run, they will send Pablo Stanfield, as a visitor, accompanied by ELee, John Alcott and Sakre Edson as elders, to groups in central and southwest Oregon this spring. After review of that experience and possible revisions, the committee expects to recruit their first visitor and elder(s) in the fall of 2016 with visitation happening in the spring of 2017. They have developed an application form for visitors. Visitors are expected to have the support of their Monthly Meeting. There was a suggestion that a visitor have a traveling minute from his or her Monthly Meeting as well as from the Outreach and Visitation Committee. We were reminded of tension around “named ministers”. These visitors are not named ministers. Visitors and those visited need to be clear that the visitor speaks only for himself or herself, not for the Yearly Meeting. There was some lack of clarity about terms and it was suggested that Meetings might minute their support or a letter of introduction. It was suggested that there be applications not only for visitors but also for Meetings that request a visitor. Meetings are asked let O&V know who is already doing traveling. At Annual Session this plan will be presented as a gift for acceptance. It was noted that visitation will include large as well as small Meetings.

 

Coordinating Committee accepted the report of Outreach and Visitation with appreciation and offered congratulations.

 

CC 4.16.7 Ministry and Oversight Committee Report (attached to file copy of minutes)

Nancy McLauchlan, Clerk of Ministry and Oversight (M&O) Committee read her report, noting that the “open topic” consultation was not successful. Specific topics have worked much better. She asked Friends to suggest topics to her. She noted the committee will select an official NPYM visitor to Northwest Yearly Meeting. This is a sensitive year after the release of West Hills Friends Church last year and resulting appeals. There has been supportive communications between NPYM Jr. Friends and West Hills. Nancy reminded Friends that M&O needs states of society reports and memorial minutes. (State of Society reports are sent to Quarterly Meetings which forward them to O&V.) Nancy reminded Friends that Memorial Minutes will be posted at Annual Session and will not be read at the Meeting for Worship for Memorials.

 

CC 4.16.8 Personnel Committee Report

It was announced that the committee will meet April 9 to interview the 2 well-qualified candidates for the NPYM Secretary job.

 

CC 4.16.9 Annual Session Planning

Margaret Coahran, Co-Clerk of the Annual Session Planning Committee, (ASPC) they hope to open registration soon. She distributed brochures for advertising and asked Meetings to display them prominently. She hopes committee members will especially encourage those who have not attended an Annual Session to come. She reminded us that the theme is “From Despair to Strength and Joy” and Diane Randall, Executive Secretary of Friends Committee on Legislation (FCNL) will be the Friend in Residence.

 

Margaret shared a concern. The registration process and ASPC are very closely related. One of the registration developer has been on the ASPC ever since registration went on line, so changes were identified and could be made easily. This will not be true next year. It was suggested that one of the developers should be an ex-officio member of the ASPC or that, if there were a specific need, that the ASPC include someone who can be a go-between. Another suggestion was that there might be a mentorship and the person with the necessary skills might be available for trouble-shooting but not attend every meeting. Margaret noted that some changes can be foreseen and thus dealt with easily. The problem will come when there are unforeseen changes.

Margaret asked Friends to think about this and send to the appropriate committee – possibly Information Technology, Nominating and maybe Finance.

Warren reminded those on Standing Committees if they have issues to share at Annual Session. He also requested suggestions for the Friend in Residence in 2018, including contact information and why the person would be good. Peterson Toscano will be the 2017 Friend in Residence.

Margaret reminded Friends that there is space for Standing Committees to meet on Wednesday afternoon of Annual Session.

 

The Committee broke for lunch, with appreciation for Sea Gabriel who had provided lunch, even though she was ill and could not attend the meeting. ELee Hadley had picked up the lunch at Sea’s house.

 

CC4.16.10 Information Technology Committee

Kirby Urner, Clerk of the IT Committee, reported that their committee has 4 areas of work: the website and communications, the directory, Annual Session registration, and availability for consultation and tech support to Meetings. Mary Klein, editor of Western Friend is very interested IT issues and use.

 

Kirby reported the committee will offer an interest group at Annual Session, checking in with Meetings and asking how they are doing in the IT world. The IT Committee works by e-mails, so there is a track record. They do not meet in person or by conference call.

 

There have been conversations about role-based e-mails, meaning something like clerk@npym.org would go to the clerk of NPYM rather than a particular person. Therefore, we would not have to replace a name each time a new person took the position. Kirby believes this is not working. Nuts and bolts fall through the cracks. Documentation is needed. There was considerable discussion about list-serves and role-based e-mails. It is possible to have both and they are a little different. Role-based e-mails go to one person, who can then distribute, share or respond. List-serves go to all who are on it. List-serves are monitored by owners, or possibly multiple owners and might be limited, e.g. to members of a committee. Kirby would like stories about experiences with IT. It is clear that the IT Committee needs to be in touch with the NPYM Secretary and Web Keeper. There is a need to move from discussions about IT to some action. NPYM can help Monthly Meetings by showing the way to use IT. It was clear that we need a variety of ways to use IT. It is a great way to share information, but not for decision-making.

 

CC members were clear that there are times when we need face-to-face meetings, times when conference calls work well, times when other IT forms work well, e.g. for information sharing. We need to consider when and how we best do Spirit-led processes.

 

Coordinating Committee accepted the report of the Information Technology Committee with appreciation for a useful discussion.

 

CC 4.16.11 Pre-Nominating Committee

There were no volunteers or suggestions for this committee. The Clerk will work on this.

 

CC 4.16.12 Nominating Committee

Kathryn Willard, Clerk of Nominating Committee reported that since December 2015 the committee had contacted 55 people and received 2 yeses! The committee is trying a new approach. Rather than asking “will you serves as . . .”, they will ask “where would you like to serve?” Some of the major positions the committee has been unable to find a person to serve include Rising Presiding Clerk and Coordinating Committee Associate Clerk (a 4-year commitment). The committee is unwilling to just insert someone into a position, even thought it is aware of the urgency to fill positions. People need to have the time and a desire to serve. She noted that Friends had often responded that they did not feel qualified. It is challenging to find appropriate places where younger people without experience can serve happily. Kathryn hopes to travel to Meetings to share her experience of how NPYM service was life changing for her.

 

Kathryn asked CC members for help finding people who might be led to fill some of the listed vacancies, besides Rising Presiding Clerk and Coordinating Committee Associate Clerk: Assistant Treasurer, another Archivist, Web Keeper, members of the Annual Session Planning Committee, members for the Outreach and Visitation Committee.

 

Nominating Committee is clear that the message to NPYM and Coordinating Committee is that the Monthly Meeting is the heart of our community. How do we serve and nurture Monthly Meetings? She asked that CC members take back that question to our Meetings, share what we have gained in our service to the Yearly Meeting and report vacancies. Coordinating spent time in deep worship around the issues raised.

 

Coordinating Committee approved Virginia Herrick to serve on the Epistle Committee.

 

CC 4.16.13 Finance Committee (reports attached to file copy of minutes)

Jonathan Brown and Lee Bennett presented the report. The fiscal year starts October 1, so we are half way through the year. Assessments are invoiced twice a year, so we have received only half. The travel funds for the FWCC World Plenary Meeting is accumulated over a period of years and therefore does not show under Representatives Travel. The Jr. Friends Fund is topped up to $3,000 each year and there is considerable variation in what Jr. Friends spend. While we have adequate funds, we do not have the people to use them.

 

We noted that it is good practice for the Treasurer to talk with Jr. Friends clerks and advisors, doing some teaching and letting them know what is needed in relation to finances, including basic lessons on accountability. They need to have a copy of the budget, for example! It was noted that the deficit showing in this report does not represent poor planning. We have a pattern of under-spending, which has usually balanced the budget by the end of the year. It was noted that there should be a one-time expense next year for the new Faith & Practice. Outreach and Visitation expenses were up because of the increased travel. Friends will follow up with the Meeting Secretary about expenses for the Directory.

 

Coordinating Committee accepted the Financial reports with appreciation.

 

CC 4.16.14 Closing items

a) Job Description for Youth Committee: Nominating Committee noted that the description for the Youth Committee needs revision because the staff person does much of what is described.

 

Nominating Committee is asked to contact Katherine Spinner, Clerk of Youth Committee for this revision.

 

b) Committee job descriptions in general

 

The Coordinating Committee Clerk is asked to contact the clerk of each committee and ask that: they review their committee’s job description and then send to the Nominating Committee Clerk either changes OR confirmation that the current description is accurate. These reviews are to be done as soon as possible and no later than by Annual Session. The Meeting Secretary is asked to send all CC members the list of committee clerks and contact information.

 

c) Contact with Meetings unrepresented

 

When Friends contact a Meeting, include a request to send regrets to the CC Clerk if no one can attend a CC meeting, with the exception of Meetings that have already indicated they cannot send anyone (South Mountain, Sandpoint, and Billings. Missoula?).

 

Brown, Jonathan: South Seattle

Coahran, Margaret: Pullman-Moscow, Sandpoint

Foster, Georgia: Missoula

Garnett, Lucy: Port Townsend

Hadley, ELee: Billings

Kenny, Otis: Salem

McLauchlan, Nancy: Eugene, Multnomah

Stever, Ann: Agate Passage, Lopez, Whidbey Island

Townsend, Debbie: Bellingham

Willard, Chris: South Mountain

Willard, Kathryn: Corvallis

 

The meeting closed with a period of expectant worship.

 

Otis Kenny, Clerk

Ann Stever, Recording Clerk