North Pacific Yearly Meeting

of the Religious Society of Friends (QUAKERS)

Coordinating Committee Minutes of April 5, 2014

Body: 

North Pacific Yearly Meeting Coordinating Committee

Saturday, April 5, 2014, 9:00 am – 4:15 pm

University Friends Meetinghouse, Seattle, WA

CC 4/5.0 Clerk Chris Willard opened the meeting with brief introductions. Present were:

Chris Willard, Coordinating Committee Clerk, Tacoma

Jeannie Graves, Coordinating Committee Recording Clerk, South Seattle

Laura Arcidiacono, Treasurer, Bridge City

Melody Ashworth, Coordinating Committee Associate Clerk, South Mountain

Jonathan Brown, Rising Treasurer, South Seattle

Margaret Coahran, Ad-hoc Family Affordable Annual Session, Pullman-Moscow

Paul Christiansen, North Pacific Yearly Meeting Young Adult Friends, Eastside

Chris Cradler, Ad-hoc Structure Evaluation Committee Co-clerk, Bridge City

John Etter, Annual Session General Arrangements Clerk and Affordability Committee, Eugene

Georgia Foster, Ministry and Oversight Clerk, Montana Gathering of Friends

Lucy Fullerton, University

Elee Hadley, Outreach and Visitation, Clerk, Umpquah Valley

Kate Hunter, Peace and Social Concerns, Vashon/University

Janet Jump, Nominating Committee Clerk, Bridge City

Otis Kenny, Boise Valley

Betsy Kenworthy, Multomah

Jo Ann Kidder, Missoula

Linda Kocourek, Staff Secretary, Multnomah

Rose Lewis, Peace and Social Concerns, Salem

Ron Metcalf, Spiritual Life Committee, Lopez Island Preparatory

Hallie Oines, Montana Gathering of Friends

Tom Rawson, Presiding Clerk of Annual Session, Salmon Bay

Mark Sharp, Youth Committee, South Seattle Friends

Alan Stockbridge, Bellingham

Debbie Townsend, Committee on the Discipline Co-Clerk, Eastside

Clint Weimeister, Web Keeper, Port Townsend

Kathryn Willard, Site Committee Clerk, Tacoma

Steve Willey, Peace and Social Concerns, Sand Point

 

Esther Schiedel from Corvallis sent regrets.

 

CC 4/5.1 Worship

We gathered into worship. From the silence, Friends responded to the following queries:

  • In what way is the Annual Session (AS) of North Pacific Yearly Meeting brought forward in the group you worship with?

  • Does your meeting have particular ways to introduce the AS to newcomers?

  • Does your meeting offer incentives or assistance to families and/or newcomers to attend AS.

 

Many meetings offer financial assistance to Friends who wish to attend. It can be hard for Friends to spend the time to come to AS as well as it being hard to find the funds. There are other individual reasons why Friends do not come to AS. Meetings are concerned with how we can encourage Friends to attend.

 

 

 

CC 4/5.2 Consideration of October Minutes

 

Friends Approved Minutes from the October 19, 2013 Coordinating Committee (CC) meeting.

 

CC 4/5.3 Executive Committee activity—Chris Willard

The committee took the following actions:

  • Altered the date for sending and collecting statistical information from June to April/May.

  • Approved the Annual Session Planning Committee (ASPC) draft job description belatedly with the thought that it had not been approved when presented at the prior CC meeting.

  • Approved an altered timeline for directory information collection.

  • Approved Betsy Kenworthy’s Nomination to Ministry and oversight as of 3/1/14.

 

Work on the proposed Young Friends internship produced no volunteers to help with discovery on how college internships actually work. Further work is delayed until there is a chance to consult more widely among Young Friends regarding their enthusiasm for the proposal. Perhaps NPYM college students could collect information from their own colleges regarding internship policy and procedures.

 

CC 4/5.4 Ministry and Oversight Committee—Georgia Foster

The written report will be kept with these minutes.

 

CC 4/5.5 Treasurer—Laura Arcidiacono

NPYM had a $9,000 loss last year which will be covered by reserves. Because of additional expenses, such as hiring the Children’s Program Coordinator, we will have less in reserves available this year. We are proposing an increase to the assessment from $48 per person to $60 per person. Meetings decide who will be assessed; Meetings are encouraged to assess the active participants in their meeting. The treasurer will create a cover letter that will be communicated to Meetings encouraging them to consider AS needs (such as the possible increase in the assessment) when they create their budgets. The financial statements and proposed budget offered will be kept with these minutes.

 

CC 4/5.6 Ad Hoc Communications Committee (Lucretia Humphrey – Clerk, Pablo Stanfield, Laurie Childers, Clint Weimeister, Jane Ewert and Carol Uhte) – Chris Willard (on behalf of the committee). The committee would like Friends to consider the “communication challenges” sections of the executive summary – has the committee captured the major concerns. The full report was not presented at this meeting but will come to AS.

Friends’ shared thoughts included the following:

  • Plenary sessions could be more concerned with the ‘business of the spirit’ such as global issues and how we live out our testimonies.

  • Friends had thoughts about encouraging

    • Coordinating Committee commented that the Executive Summary lacked specificity and wanted to see details

    • who will be deciding what is important ( re: questions 1a and 3‘b’) and

    • how we can motivate people to access information already available such as “Western Friend” and the website.

The Communications Committee’s executive summary will be kept with these minutes.

 

CC 4/5.7 Ad Hoc Committee to draft new Information Technology Committee Job Description – Chris Willard

The group created a draft designed to encourage more Friends to work with the committee. Changes include

  • Membership was reduced by one member.

  • Some tasks might need to be sent out to a paid consultant.

  • There will be provision for oversight of outside consultants.

  • The clerk’s duties were split between two Co-Clerks, a facilitation clerk and a technology clerk.

Friends offered suggestions for clarity: The committee also works closely with the AS Registrar.

 

Friends Approved the new Information Technology Committee Job Description

 

The new job description will kept with these minutes.

 

CC 4/5.8 Nominating Committee Report—Janet Jump

The committee is looking for Friends to serve in various other jobs for NPYM. The committee brings forward Alberta Hill to serve as Facilitative Co-Clerk on the Information Technology Committee.

 

Friends Approve Alberta Hill to serve as Facilitation Co-Clerk on the Information Technology Committee.

 

CC 4/5.9 Annual Session Matters:

Annual Session Planning Committee, Arrangements—John Etter

We have made some changes based on feedback from Friends after the last AS.

 

Presiding Clerk—Tom Rawson

The theme is “The Transformative Power of Spirit in Community: Finding Light in the Yearly Meeting”. The Friends in Residence, Ken and Katharine Jacobsen, have been active in the planning of the meeting. We will have one of the plenary sessions planned by Young Friends. There will be 3 ½ plenary sessions for business.

 

Site Committee—Kathryn Willard

The committee is now considering sites for 2017/18. The AS will be in Whitworth in the Spokane area in 2015/16.

 

CC 4/5.10 Family Friendly Annual Session Ad Hoc Committee—Margaret Coahran

The committee’s survey revealed that money is not the only consideration among families considering attendance. The Children’s Program is seen as one of the highlights of AS. Friends shared thoughts and suggestions which will be considered by the committee. The committee survey overview will be kept with these minutes.

 

Youth Committee, AS Planning Committee and perhaps Communication Committee will coordinate to create some general content on the AS Children’s Program to be given to Clint Weimeister, Web Keeper, to edit and post to the website.

 

Friends also considered Interest Groups:

  • Can we offer more opportunities for small interest groups to form? It might be helpful to have a room dedicated to Interest Groups to be formed spontaneously in response to the Spirit.

  • The April deadline is just for getting the information about interest groups to be included into the registration packet.

  • We will have 18 groups mentioned in the registration packet this year.

  • Planning is eased when Friends let the planners know their needs (such as Interest Groups) well in advance.

 

CC 4/5.11 Youth Committee—Mark Sharp

The committee is happily working with the new Children’s Program Coordinator, Jay Thatcher. He has already started visiting meetings as part of his outreach concern. He has also taken over much of the ‘nuts and bolts’ planning of the program for the AS Children’s Program such as recruiting leaders, arranging for supplies and for sites for each group. This has released the committee to address other important issues relating to the Children’s Program. Youth Committee’s report will be kept with these minutes

 

 

CC 4/5.12 Discipline Committee—Debbie Townsend

The “Practice” chapters of the new Faith and Practice will be ready for Annual Session. The committee can distribute this in paper form or as an E-Book (which could be read on a Kindle) or on the Website. The mock-ups of a paper version cost $12 each. The committee hopes Friends will use these chapters on ‘Practice’ and provide feedback to the Committee on needed changes. Discipline Committee will consider the suggestions Friends offered and will make decisions on publication. The committee report will be kept with these minutes.

 

CC 4/5.13 Structure Evaluation Committee—Chris Cradler

The committee members phoned people (mostly Clerks) from those Meetings which have not sent representatives to Coordinating Committee. The process reminded the Committee that personal contact by phone is a crucial form of communication. Meetings felt that having visitors from NPYM fostered feelings of connection to the Yearly Meeting. Based on feedback from unrepresented meetings, the Structural Evaluation Committee presents suggested changes in its report. The report will be kept with these minutes.

 

Friends broke into small groups to consider the suggestions. The fruits of their discussion were brought back to the group at large and will be considered by the committee. The following feedback was shared:

  • Coordinating Committee is working well enough to continue as is. Give it more time, involvement seems to be increasing. Grassroots value of having all meetings here, percolation of ideas, cross-fertilization. Improve communications to make sure news/ideas get to MMs, PMs, WGs consistently.

  • CC Clerk could send an invitation every year to MM, PM, WG, JFs, YAFs with description of CC and what happens here, with the expectation that MMs send a member. Not so much guilt for small Mtngs. If no member sent, ask Mtng how it will get info, with whom to communicate.

  • NPYM “Committee Weekend” idea to simplify participation for people wearing two hats of CC and Standing Comm.

  • Smaller CC could be workable with better communications from Standing Committees with MMs. Cost less, more possible locations, perhaps meet more often, deeper conversations. Cons: lose the sharing between Mtngs that happens at CC, hearing from individual MMs, leaves decisions to be made at AS. Business vs. Fellowship at AS are continuing concerns.

  • We like the size of CC now, as it is representative of MMs. CC participants should be more concerned about process than representing MM – could call them Liaisons. Need the seasoning at CC level, with communication back to MM level, so that AS decisions can be clear.

  • Business done at AS should be Significant only, not nuts and bolts. Info on business should appear way ahead of time for seasoning to occur, then proceed to AS. AS as a hybrid of Business and Spiritual Retreat.

  • Leave CC “as is.” Make participation by MMs and WGs more by invitation and voluntary; invite them to come with some kind of buddy system to report back to MMs not in attendance. More opportunity for involvement, less danger of potential “insider group”. People wearing 2 hats not a problem. Adding another meeting time would be a burden, perhaps if needed it could be by conference call. Likely additional cost associated with moving meetings out of Seattle or Portland areas.

  • Dual system – Several meetings per year with Standing Committee clerks and officers, one per year adding in the MM members. Or the “Committee Day” model for a weekend. Find the type of communication that is useful to WGs, small MMs.

 

CC 4/5.14 Peace and Social Concerns—Kate Hunter

The committee is moving toward being more proactive on issues. Friends offered thoughts to be considered by the committee. The revised, approved job description will be kept with these minutes

 

Friends Approve the revised mission statement for NPYM’s Peace and Social Concerns Committee to replace the Committee Charge in the job description. “The role of this committee is to provide a network among Peace and Social Concern committees of Monthly Meetings, Worship Groups and individual Friends in the Yearly Meeting to inspire and encourage coordinated action for justice and peace.”

 

CC 4/5.15 Outreach and Visitation Committee—Elee Hadley

Friends shared thoughts on whether we should create a program for NPYM which would be like the old Brinton Visitor program. If so, should there be an ad hoc committee administered by the Outreach and Visitation Committee to organize that project? Friends offered input which will be considered by the Committee. The committee report and their proposal will be kept with these minutes.

 

CC 4/5.16 Web Keeper—Clint Weimeister

Friends value the ability to upload content, with the Web Keeper’s editing and approval.

 

CC 4/5.17 Junior Friends Message—from Pearl Thompson (who sent regrets)

The dates for the Junior Friends service trip to Guatemala are nearly finalized. It will be from August 8th to approximately August 21st. Service trip co-coordinators are Hannah Billen (South Seattle) and Lily Webster (Eastside).

 

The Committee asks that Meetings with Junior Friends do their best to support them in their efforts to go on this once-in-a-lifetime trip.

 

The Clerk of Coordinating Committee would also commend the idea of supporting our youth in their endeavors even if your Meeting doesn’t have Junior Friends. We all, as a Yearly Meeting, benefit from the growth and maturity that these activities instill in the young people among us. The NPY treasurer can accept donations earmarked for the Junior Friends service trip. The committee report and their proposal will be kept with these minutes.

 

CC 4/5.18 The Clerk offered the following observation regarding converging concerns coming from ad hoc and standing committees:

Overlapping themes, needs, opportunities:

Business

From Ad Hoc Communications Committee
“More involvement of more people in the decisions that affect us all”

From Ad Hoc Family Friendly Annual Session Committee
“There is an emphatic feeling among nearly all the Meetings that there is too much business at Annual Session, and that families are not inclined to attend as long as that’s the case.”

From Ad Hoc Structure Evaluation Committee
“Monthly Meetings are very tired of being consulted on internal NPYM matters and/or having a plethora of consultations come at once in the late Spring.”


 

Communications

From Ad Hoc Communications Committee
“Expanding use of the website with forums, bulletin boards, forms, etc.”

“How do we share our personal leadings, our shared insights and experiences, and successes so that all of us can learn and be guided?”

From Standing Outreach and Visitation Committee
“With the Internet and the NPYM.org website, information is available to anyone who wants it, anywhere.”

“Monthly Meetings can learn to reach out to their neighbor Meetings.”

From Ad Hoc Structure Evaluation Committee
“The website NPYM.org can be a useful tool to connect Meetings with one another and to resources in the YM. For example, there could be a digest of Meeting newsletters on the web. There could be material from Standing Committees.”

 

CC 4/5.19 Meeting closed with silence at 4:45 p.m.