North Pacific Yearly Meeting

of the Religious Society of Friends (QUAKERS)

Coordinating Committee Minutes of March 18, 2017

North Pacific Yearly Meeting Coordinating Committee

Olympia Meetinghouse, Olympia, WA

March 18, 2017

 

Present: Kenny, Otis, Coordinating Committee Clerk, Boise; Stever, Ann, Recording Clerk, University; Arcidiacono, Laura, Bridge City; Ashworth, Melody, Worship & Ministry, South Mountain; Bennett, Lee, Finance & Legal Clerk, University; Brown, Jonathan, Treasurer, South Seattle; Coahran, Margaret, Pullman-Moscow; Eck, Dave, General Arrangements Clerk, Multnomah; Foster, Georgia, MGOF; Garnett, Lucy, Salmon Bay; Hadley, ELee, Outreach & Visitation Clerk, Umpqua Valley Worship Group; Humphrey, Lucretia, Rising Clerk, NPYM, Faith & Practice Committee, Great Falls WG; joy, eric maya, Olympia; Kenworthy, Betsey, Worship & Ministry, Tacoma; McLauchlan, Nancy, Ministry & Oversight Committee Clerk, Bridge City; Ostrom, Warren, NPYM Presiding Clerk, University; Percival, Nora J., NPYM Secretary, University; Petzing*, Kepper, Multnomah Ad Hoc Committee for Gender Concerns; Rawson, Tom, Lopez Island; Robb, Alice, Bellingham; Snyder, Jane, Associate Clerk Coordinating Committee, Multnomah; Spinner, Katherine, Youth Committee, University; Townsend, Debbie, Faith & Practice Committee Co-Clerk, Eastside; Weimeister, Clint, Port Townsend; Willard, Kathryn, Nominating Committee Clerk, Tacoma

* Present for part of meeting

 

Meetings unrepresented: Agate Passage, Billings, Corvallis, Missoula, Salem, Sandpoint, Whidbey Island.

 

CC 03.17.1 The Meeting opened with worship.

 

CC 03.17.2 Reports from Meetings and Committees

 

Agate Passage Meeting: We heard that attendance increased after the election. Their rent was increased by 40% so they are looking for a new venue with space for children, as they now have some attending.

 

Bellingham Meeting: The Meeting has given up the idea of buying a building and are now feeling comfortable and settled.

 

Boise Meeting: The Meeting has been growing with a long-time attender applying for membership, a young man transferring from Rochester, NY and an active young couple, one of whom will become their member of Coordinating Committee in October.

 

Bridge City Meeting: They are growing. They laid down their Peace & Social Concerns Committee a few years ago and while they are taking action now, they have not been called to set up the committee again. Worship is deep. They still have no children. They remain active in Convergent Friends and Quaker Voluntary Service.

 

Eastside Meeting: Eastside held an emergency mid-week meeting for healing after the election. Every 6 weeks or so, they have a 2nd hour on Sundays with a “mystery Friend” speaking for about 40 minutes on their spiritual journey, followed by questions and answers. This idea was commended to others.

 

Eugene Meeting: A letter from Eugene was read, because no one from there could attend the meeting. They had a threshing session in Dec., discussed the gender inclusivity minute in Jan. and are in the process of editing a minute.

 

Great Falls WG: The Worship Group meets in a church, which feels more inviting than private homes. They have 12 – 14 at worship. They are starting an FCNL Advocacy Committee with 4 Quakers, a Mormon and a non-church person, the latter two are a retired military couple. Six people went to Standing Rock around Thanksgiving and the WG has written a minute on that, which has been sent to their legislators.

 

Lopez Island Meeting: They are experiencing the joys and challenge of being a new monthly meeting. The Spiritual Life Committee is exploring how to do membership. They will celebrate becoming a Meeting on Saturday, May 20 and invite Friends. They meet at Sunnyfield Farm and have 15 – 20 at worship.

 

MGOF: Winter MGOF took place at Camp Make-a-Dream with the theme: From Contemplation to Action. Ruth Flower, recently retired from FCNL, was their Friend in Residence and an inspiring speaker. She still works with FCNL on Native American issues and was a resource on those issues. The Business Meeting was deeply worshipful and the agenda was changed to allow time to follow their leading to develop a minute. MGOF looks forward to hosting the Hendrixes as part of the Outreach and Visitation Committee’s “Knitting Us Together” program of visitation. MGOF will meet again in April to attend to the business that had been deferred. Summer MGOF will take place July 18 – 20 just before the eclipse with a theme of “Living our Faith Courageously”.

 

Multnomah Meeting: Worship is deepening as they work to deal with the new reality in our country and the world, working to be gentle with one another. They have a “listener” in worship and are using the new Faith & Practice on speaking and silence and are working on how to spiritually nurture and elder one another. One of their young adult Friends will lead an eldering workshop at annual session. They are experimenting for a year with membership in Ben Lomond.

 

Olympia Meeting: They have recently sold their old meetinghouse. They are still active, supporting Clean Water for the World as well as the project getting LGBT people out of Uganda. Olympia has a vibrant Adult Education Program on 3rd Wednesdays around a topic or spiritual journey.

 

Port Townsend Meeting: The Meeting is doing well. Ministry and Council keeps their spiritual life going. They have a number of members who have participated in or are participating in Way of the Spirit. They have an active Peace & Social Concerns Committee. They have 20 – 25 at worship and are doing well in their new meetinghouse. They enjoy visitors!

 

Pullman-Moscow Meeting: They have a new regular couple and 2 more semi-regular attenders, all of whom are under retirement age! They cannot offer hospitality but there are good motels in the area. They plan a Saturday workshop on gender issues with 4 Friends coming from Multnomah Meeting.

 

Salmon Bay Meeting: They have 2 new members and more people are coming and staying. They have 2 committees: Worship & Ministry and Care & Counsel. They have 13 children attending regularly and the Meeting is wondering how to keep them involved as teens. Members are active in Aurora Commons (“a welcoming space for our unhoused neighbors to rest, prepare a meal, connect to resources and collectively create a healthy and vibrant community”). They sponsored a young person to attend the FCNL Young Adult Spring Lobby weekend. They also supported Standing Rock.

 

South Mountain Meeting: They have had more transfers and new attenders bringing new life. They are seeking what they are called to do, while holding onto some organization. They are going through a generational transition with Friends under 50 or even 45 becoming active. They do not have children. The Grants Pass Worship Group, 45 minutes away, is under their care and meets weekly. South Mountain is challenged to provide active support.

 

South Seattle Meeting: Spiritual Gifts is their theme for the year and for their retreat. There is much individual and group activism. They now have “table talks”. At the close of worship anyone can announce a topic they would like to discuss and people can gather around a table. Their children’s program is shifting as the kids grow older. They are working with University Meeting on a “Coming of Age” process. They are interested in hearing the experience of other meetings.

 

Tacoma Meeting: Attendance grew after the election and many have stayed and new people are engaging with the Meeting. They have 15 – 20 at worship now. A Friend who came from Salmon Bay is now their Recording Clerk.

 

Umpqua Valley Worship Group: The Worship Group is in its 41st year, but is shrinking due to the death of older members. There are 5 or 6 when all are present. They wish they were bigger. They go out for brunch on 5th Sundays and are experimenting with meeting 2nd and 4th Sunday afternoons at a local church. They are using the new Faith & Practice.

 

University Meeting: The Meeting had a retreat in January, hearing about actions taken in the past in difficult times (e.g. the Vietnam War and time of Sanctuary for Central American refugees) and current resources, e.g. FCNL. Small groups considered queries. The children presented a play about the Reading Meeting children who held worship when all adult Quakers were in prison in 1662. It was a day of building community and hope. UFM is working on educating the community about gender issues in preparation for seasoning the proposed YM minute.

 

Nora J. Percival, NPYM Secretary finds pleasure in her job. She is keeping the directory up to date and urges Friends to send changes to her anytime. She needs meeting census information by May 3.

 

ELee Hadley reported that the Junior Friends winter gathering was outside Eugene with Jr. Friends mostly from University, Multnomah and Eugene Meetings. She suggested that other meetings to urge their Jr. Friends to attend such events. Jr. Friends are looking for advisors. Jane Snyder added that she and Joe took some Jr. Friends to Guatemala last summer and they a were great group.

 

CC 03.17.3 Minutes

Minutes of the October 31, 2016 meeting were approved as corrected, adding a J. between Nora and Percival and removing the “W” when referring to PNQM.

 

CC 03.17.4 Faith & Practice Committee: Debbie Townsend, Co-Clerk of the Committee, reported that the committee had received a note from a Friend who felt the Yearly Meeting was not ready to approve the new Faith & Practice because there had not been enough seasoning. She asked for comments from Coordinating Committee. Coordinating committee did not agree with that concern. She noted that updating will be easy because it the book will be printed on demand. The committee had heard last year that there were questions about the balance of quotations, and the committee has responded. They have had two people read the book – one Quaker and one from outside. Questions were raised about the change from “isolated” to “remote” Friends. Friends thought “isolated” was the traditional term, and some preferred that. A number of Meetings were using the new F&P and were very pleased. The section on Silence was especially appreciated.

 

CC 03.17.5 Ministry and Oversight Committee: Nancy McLauchlan, Clerk provided a written report (attached to file copy of minutes). They will host another consultation May 7, no topic chosen yet. They will continue the program of exchanging visitors with Northwest Yearly Meeting (NWYM). NWYM is struggling and a seasoned visitor from NPYM is needed. She reminded us that this year the end of NWYM and beginning of NPYM overlap. State of Society reports are needed and will be posted on the website. CC members are asked to let their Meetings know.

 

 

CC 03.17.6 Financing Annual Session: Lucretia Humphrey, Rising Clerk of NPYM had shared the way New England Yearly Meeting funds their annual sessions. Friends had been asked to read an article on this at https://friendsjournal.org/an-experiment-with-abundance. The article talks about how NEYM changed from scholarships to pay what feel is right for you and relying on gifts. Pacific Northwest Quarter has been doing this successfully for a number of year, with 165 – 185 attenders. Friends who had read the article felt inspired. It was noted that NPYM currently has reserves and could experiment. The seasoning process for this idea needs to be spiritual and grounded in the details! A hope was expressed that we not study this for a number of years before acting. A Friend articulated the change from “needy scholarship to generous gift”. Can we be “courageously faithful”? Friends felt it was good that NEYM included what it costs to run their Annual Session; some attenders could pay more than that, some pay their share, and some pay what they can. It takes a leap of faith. The title of the article: “Experiment with Abundance” was particularly appreciated. While committee members recognized we could not work out details in time for this year’s annual session, the committee was excited about recognizing abundance, making ALL feel welcome and being spiritually led.

 

Coordinating Committee recommends to the Annual Session Planning Committee and Finance Committee that a funding process similar to that of New England Yearly Meeting be instituted for Annual Session 2018. CC approved an Ad Hoc Committee of Laura Arcidiacano, Margaret Coahran, Lucretia Humphrey, Clint Weimeister and Dave Ek (General Arrangements Clerk), ex officio. Lucretia Humphrey will convene. The committee is charged with formulating how such a plan would work and report to the Annual Session Planning Committee about how to advertise our faith-based experimental plans for Annual Session 2018.

 

Coordinating Committee members are asked to take back the excitement felt in this meeting, sharing the call to be bold.

 

CC 03.17.7 Youth Committee: Katherine Spinner, Clerk of the committee reported that Mim Lilly Coleman has been hired as the Youth Program Coordinator. There are 3 new members of the Youth Committee. A grant was made from the Youth Opportunities to help Gabriel Burns, co-clerk of Jr. Friends, to attend the FCNL Spring Lobby weekend.

 

CC 03.17.8: Information Technology: Concern was expressed about the importance of accessibility for those who have vision challenges.

 

Coordinating Committee approved the job description (attached to file copy of minutes) for the web keeper, with the addition of “accessibility for persons with physical limitations”.

 

CC 03.17.9: Update on Gender Inclusivity Minute: Kepper Petzing from Multnomah Meeting identified they/them/their as their preferred pronouns. (These preferred pronouns have been used in the rest of this section when referring to Kepper.) They had provided an extensive report in advance. Multnomah Meeting is in the process of seasoning responses. MGOF and Missoula had not understood the process, thinking the minute would just come as is to Annual Session, rather than be seasoned in each Meeting, which would then respond to Multnomah, which will discern possible changes. Of the remaining 20 NPYM Monthly Meetings, only 3 have not responded at all. Kepper emphasized Multnomah wants to hear about the process used for consideration of the minute, as well as decisions. They especially want to hear concerns. They provided the list of concerns they have already heard (attached to file copy of minutes). We were reminded about the difference between gender (who you are) and sexuality (who sexually excites you). Consideration of this minute about transgender people is not easy and should be a deep spiritual process in which we are tender with one another. This is about more than words. We were reminded we need to decide on actions. We heard a report from a Meeting that had easily approved the Multnomah minute for themselves last year with little discussion. They are now finding serious challenges as they discuss the use of preferred pronouns. Pronouns and bathrooms are both difficult issues. We were reminded to avoid asking gender non-conforming people to speak for all. Jed Walsh will be asked for permission to post on the NPYM website the Zine he created with personal stories of being gender non-conforming.

 

We were that reminded the Yearly Meeting is a service and resource to it Meetings. We do not say “you have to . . .” We have previously ignored gender non-conforming people and now want to be welcoming. However, this is not something we can guarantee. We are asked to discuss and educate ourselves.

 

03.17.10 Nominating Committee: Kathryn Willard, Clerk of the committee reported that their top priorities were finding members for the Information Technology Committee. Other needs: 2 more for the Outreach Committee, 2 for the Epistle Committee, Central Friends Camp Coordinator (probably best if 2 or 3 people working together). Alan Stockbridge informed Katherine that he is not on the IT Committee, nor is he still the CC member from Bellingham. Peter Husby is proposed for AFSC, not FCNL. We await a response from AFSC about whether members of the AFSC Corporation appointed by Yearly Meetings must be members of the Religious Society of Friends, since Peter is not currently a member. (Slate attached to file copy of minutes.)

 

CC members are asked to take these needs to their Meetings.

 

03.17.11 Finance Committee: Jonathan Brown, Treasurer, presented the draft Financial Report. The General Fund currently has a surplus of over $8K. The general operating reserves are 46% of the FY17 budgeted expenses. In the current year, we have debit cards for the NPYM Secretary and for Jr. Friends. These separate accounts make it easier to track expenses. The annual informal audit was performed this year by Donal Sullivan and Louis Webster. They were able to answer Jonathan’s questions. In the draft budget (FY18) the YM Secretary is a contractor, not an employee. We have not used the Extraordinary Opportunities Fund for a number of years and it has therefore been moved to “Board Designated Funds” on the balance sheet. Money is there to be spent. Jonathan works with committee clerks to estimate expenses and to use their money. The annual assessment is $60 per member to cover staff. We have more than required in our operating reserves. Jonathan is recommending reducing the annual assessment. (Documents attached to file copy of minutes.)

 

03.17.12 Outreach and Visitation Committee: ELee Hadley, Clerk of the committee reported that the Travel Program is underway. Sherry and Al Hendrix will be traveling to MGOF, Sheridan, Pullman-Moscow and Walla Walla. Candida Quinn and Georgia Foster will travel with them as elders. The committee wants to send many travelers and hear about Meetings interested in being visited. It was suggested that topics visitors might address be limited to maybe 5. Sherry and Al were described as passionate convergent Friends.

 

03.17.13 Executive Committee actions: Otis Kenny, Clerk, reported that Executive Committee had approved a slate proposed by Nominating Committee, but acknowledged he had not informed those who had been approved.

 

03.17.14 Annual Session Planning: Dave Ek, General Arrangements Clerk, presented a slide show on the University of Puget Sound, where we will be for Annual Sessions in 2017 and 2018. There are 2 places where you can eat and have a meeting. Remodeling of the patio may be noisy – or may be finished. There will be some construction. Rooms are in suites with 4 rooms around a bathroom and kitchenette.

 

03.17.15 Personnel Committee: Jane Snyder, Clerk of Personnel, reported the following appointments: John Gotts of Pullman-Moscow Meeting as Web Keeper; Mim Lilly Coleman as Youth Program Coordinator. Nora J. Percival’s status has been changed to contract employee.

 

03.17.16 MGOF Minute: Lucretia Humphrey reported that MGOF wanted all Meetings to see their minute (attached to file copy of minutes). Their winter gathering had a wonderful sense of being Spirit-led. They will have a spring meeting to see where they are led to go. She urged Friends to take the minute to their Meeting and act as led.

 

03.17.17 Addition to Coordinating Committee Clerk’s job description:

 

Coordinating Committee approved the following addition to the Coordinating Clerk’s job description:

 

When Executive Committee approves a nomination, the Coordinating Committee clerk is responsible for notifying the person approved and the clerk of the committee to which the person is appointed.”

 

03.17.18 Pre-Nominating Committee: Jerry Graville, Kathryn Willard and Kathy Hyzy are completing their terms on Nominating Committee (and are eligible to serve another 2-year term).

 

Coordinating Committee appointed Betsey Kenworthy and Tom Rawson to serve on Pre-Nominating Committee and bring recommendations for Nominating Committee to Annual Session.

 

The meeting closed with a period of worship.

 

Otis Kenny, Clerk

Ann Stever, Recording Clerk