North Pacific Yearly Meeting

of the Religious Society of Friends (QUAKERS)

Coordinating Committee Minutes of Oct 22, 2011

Body: 

North Pacific Yearly Meeting Coordinating Committee

Saturday, October 22, 2011, 9:00 am – 6:00 pm

Multnomah Meeting, Portland, OR

CC10/11.1 Clerk Melody Ashworth opened the meeting with silence worship and a quote from Grounded in God, published by FGC's Quaker Press,

I have found that prayerful seeking of the Light, either as a group or individually, is the most powerful way to gain insight, to speak to 'that of God' in others and to be in God led deliberations. Under the guidance of the Light, I have come to see how the group and the individual can grow in awareness and in the ability to resolve problems according the Divine will. Under the guidance of the Light, I have seen our meeting become increasingly able to pool and weigh the diverse aspirations and judgments of our members. We have been able to gain courage, to make decisions and to move forward while being freed from the bonds of narrowness, self-interest and prejudice.

Announcements: Thai food is being brought in for dinner, wifi questions. Brief introductions.

Present were:

Melody Ashworth, CC Clerk, South Mountain

Elee Hadley, CC Associate Clerk, Umpqua Valley

Carrie Black, CC Recording Clerk, Young Friends Co Clerk, Eugene

Linda Kocourek, Staff Secretary

Debbie Townsend, Committee on the Discipline Clerk, Eastside

Pam Melick, Nominating Committee Clerk, Bridge City

John Allcott, Annual Session Presiding Clerk, Eugene

Chris Cradler, Bridge City

Jack Rowan, Missoula

Beth Rodman, Olympia

Margaret Coahran, Pullman-Moscow

Keith Kohan, Salem

Tom Rawson, Salmon Bay

Bill Ashworth, South Mountain

Chris Willard, Tacoma

Kathryn Sharp, South Seattle

Marty Crouch, Webmaster

Lynn Travis, Youth Committee Clerk, Bridge City

Clint Weimeister, Information Technology Committee Clerk, Port Townsend

Michael Williams, Peace & Social Concerns, Eugene

Rae Lawrence, Walla Walla

Joe Snyder, Junior Friends Advisor, Multnomah

Susan Richardson, M & O, Bellingham

Janet Jump, AS Past Clerk, Multnomah

Clara Ewert, Junior Friends Co-Clerk, Lopez Island

Tara Urner, Junior Friends Recording Clerk, Multnomah

CC10/11.2 Bank Account Signatures

The signers of NPYM bank accounts in the 2011 Fiscal Year are ELee Hadley, Laura Arcidiacono, and Donal Sullivan.

It is assumed that reports have already been accepted as we read them.

CC10/11.3 Nominating Committee Update

The following names were brought forward:

Peace & Social Concerns:

Clerk: Michael Williams (Eugene), 10/2011 – 9/2013, Tom Ewell (Whidbey), 10/2011 – 9/2013

Ministry & Oversight:

Susan Richardson (Bellingham), 10/2011 – 9/2012 (extension of current term)

Physical Arrangements Team:

Kehrnan Shaw (Bridge City), 10/2011 – 9/2012, Carolyn Laskowski (Tacoma), 10/2011 – 9/2012

Archivist:

Marian Rhys (Multnomah), 10/2011 – 9/2012

Pam Melick noted that Nominating Committee will continue to nominate its own members and that previously CC had offered to help with finding discerners. The committee needs help in Seattle, Idaho, and Montana. Discernment was clarified as helping come up with names. NomCom would like to have 6-7 names to start calling. Some had comments that the society is aging, and we need to bring more energy by drawing deep in the meetings. CC will approve the nominations in late afternoon.

CC10/11.4 Minutes from the July 13, 2011 meeting were approved, with corrections to CC7/13.8 (Nominating Committee report). The original passage read:

A Friend expressed concern about the difficulty of finding willing nominees; as a spirit-led community, perhaps we should acknowledge the possibility that when God has a task for us, we will find the energy for it.

The correction is:

A Friend expressed regret about the concerns being expressed for the difficulty of finding willing nominees; as a spirit-led community, perhaps we should acknowledge the possibility that when God has a task for us, we will find the people with energy for it.

CC10/11.5 Agenda Review

The Clerk reviewed the questions we will be addressing throughout today's meeting.

Youth Com has been collecting youth contacts in each meeting—please check the list of meetings to supply a name for Children's Program contact.

CC10/11.6 Junior Friends report

JF representatives reported their discussion involving the driving policy (and logistics of such a policy), the idea of a potential service trip and potential JF gatherings throughout the year. Jack Rowan commented that Montana JFs have not shown interest in MM, but seem very excited about YM events. A gathering of all YM JF's could potentially be held during PNQM at Lazy F Ranch in Ellensburg.

CC10/11.7 Youth Committee report

The YC brought forward the need for paid or volunteer staffing for CP at AS. How do we tell MMs what is available for their youth at AS? It is time to start supporting more JF events, CF camp every year, and make sure that CP first serves children, then parents and families, then the greater annual session. What do youth need to stay connected to YM year round? The YC would hope for mostly volunteer labor, but understand it makes sense to have paid staff at AS level.

Which positions need to be always staffed, reliable and year-round? For example, someone needs to manage a master calendar, support CP staff with materials, and communicate with the families.

How can we reach the children? Would it be possible to maintain a database of children in the YM (with concern for information security), that would be accessible to the CP Clerk, AS Clerk, Secretary, and JF Advisors? How can we provide targeted information for interested families? This is a larger project than YC can handle. Should such a database be the responsibility of the Secretary?

CC10/11.8 FLGBTQC relationship

What is the purpose of not funding travel for FLGBTQC Correspondent? Without the answer of “why”, we are not in unity to approve. The ad hoc committee did not feel it necessary to provide reimbursement, because the organization of FLGBTQC events is not designed such that we need to send specific representatives—it is more of a spiritual retreat. This recommendation came from within the Lavender & Grey gathering, and had a long seasoning process and discernment. FLGTBQC Friends feel the need to be formally supported by the meeting in order to stay connected with this community. We are reminded of the job description.

Some concerns included: both the difficulty in filling this position. Friends had a sense that if we put the travel to the gatherings in the job descriptions, we are responsible to fund those visits.

Some suggestions: What if we delete the last 2 items in the job description, or change the wording? With the support of our YM, “attend these sessions as led” instead of “as possible”. The correspondent does not need to be the one attending these gatherings, but the connection is the important part.

The ad hoc committee will meet at lunch and we will address this report later in the day.

Discussion began on the topic of evaluating the longer AS, which has begun Wednesday afternoon instead of Thursday afternoon for the past three annual sessions. It will be discussed more fully in the afternoon.

After lunch, we gathered to continue responding to reports.

CC10/11.9 Executive Committee

The Clerk reported that Executive Com. had appointed Timothy Travis to the ad hoc committee for the YM seasoning of FGC affiliation, with a fifth addition to come.

CC11/10.10 The FLGBTQC ad hoc committee suggested a change of name for the position, from FLGBTQC correspondent to FLGBTQC coordinator, as well as these changes to the job description:

(previously)

-If possible, attend FLGBTQC’s summer meeting at Friends General Conference Annual Gathering of Friends, and FLGBTQC’s Midwinter Gathering in February of each year.

-If possible, attend regional meetings of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer Friends.

(approved change)

-The coordinator shall encourage members of the NPYM community to attend the winter and summer gatherings of FLGTBQC.

Friends discussed the number of coordinators needed. Currently there are two positions, so it should stay two for the purposes of nominating. Friends approved the changes, and laid down the ad hoc committee with thanks.

CC10/11.11 The ad hoc committee on archives policy:

The table on storage locations, from page 5 of the Proposed Archives Policy, should be clarified with Carl Abbott to be less confusing. The recommendation from the report was to extend the archives position to 2 or 3 years. 3 years suggests a longer commitment. Suggested change to the heading of the task list for the archivist: “In accordance with the archives policy:” followed by the task list. Friends approved the proposed procedure and job description in the report by the ad hoc committee on archives, with the change to the job description listed above, and the extension of term to 3 years.

CC10/11.12 Storage of YM Materials and Archives

Concern was expressed for central storage space for other YM materials, as well as archives, that Friends need to have access to from year to year (for ex. signage). This might be a MM to physically host the materials, or a trailer that can be moved to the YM site. Also of concern was the matter of who is responsible for managing storage. Should there be an ad hoc committee dedicated to deciding who stores NPYM materials?

What materials should be archived? Such a committee might also manage the storage of digital items.

Digitization and management of materials falls under the responsibility of 4 NPYM positions: the archivist, the Webmaster, the clerk of the IT Committee, and the associate clerk of the Coordinating Committee. Site Committee might also be a contact. These committees would need to have contact with such an ad hoc committee.

Margaret Coahran, and Marty Crouch volunteered to be on the ad hoc committee, and we are asked to inquire at the MM level for more interest. Melody will write up the charge and bring it to executive Committee. Friends approved the appointment of an ad hoc committee for the purpose of determining responsibility for YM materials and archives storage.

CC10/11.13 Information Technology: The registrar is ex officio, not a member of IT committee, as stated in their report. The new conference call system is working, and helpful, but Friends must be reminded to use the system responsibly (sign up!). CC secured-site: needs feedback and participation for fine-tuning the site. Contact Clint for access. How do people know there is new information? CC members are encouraged to try the site and see how it works.

CC10/11.14 Approval of nominations

The following names were approved:

Peace & Social Concerns: Clerk: Michael Williams (Eugene), 10/2011 – 9/2013, Tom Ewell (Whidbey), 10/2011 – 9/2013

Ministry & Oversight: Susan Richardson (Bellingham), 10/2011 – 9/2012 (extension of current term)

Physical Arrangements Team: Kehrnan Shaw (Bridge City), 10/2011 – 9/2012, Carolyn Laskowski (Tacoma), 10/2011 – 9/2012.

CC10/11.15 Evaluation of AS length

We discussed how to implement a full NPYM evaluation of longer AS, as charged by the Structure & Implementation Committee.

ELee will post a copy of the S & I Committee evaluation plan on the CC website. Margaret Coahran (registrar) will post the registration data from the past 5 years, and the ad hoc committee will find access to the evaluations.

Friends agreed an ad hoc committee should be formed to plan the evaluation of the longer Annual Session, to figure out how to implement the original charge set forth by the Structure & Implementation Committee, and evaluate and provide additional information about the extra day. Bill Ashworth, Lynn Travis, Chris Willard, Linda Kocourek, and John Allcott volunteered for this committee, and John agrees to convene the first meeting, with the understanding that the committee will discuss their leadings towards clerkship at this first meeting. Friends approved the formation of this committee and its members.

CC10/11.16 Information Handling Issues

Is there unity regarding security and privacy of names regarding activities such as posting NomCom, minutes on the internet, and compiling a children’s database?

Two issues emerge: changes to the directory, and the management of a new database with the purpose of facilitating sending out emails from standing committees to specific groups of Friends. A third goal is to reach unity of the whole YM regarding access to personal information.

It became clear that the data to compile the NPYM Directory was not transferred to the new Secretary in a practical form for NPYM's new (Mac) computer. Friends ELee Hadley, Margaret Coahran, Clint Weimeister, and Marty Crouch volunteered to support the Secretary managing the NPYM Directory, and to investigate expanded uses of the Directory.

Difficulties of maintaining data for Youth Committee: ages changing, when to bring a new child into the database, when to remove them, and when do we collect the information (right after AS?), etc.

The issues of who would handle the database and how it would be accessed will become more clear when the software is in place. It is more important to provide security for a database that would track information about children. Youth Committee will need to coordinate with IT to find out what will work, and bring recommendations back to CC.

Finance and Legal Com. may have advice about acceptable practice for information going straight to children (ex. Facebook, without the parent being involved).

CC affirms that ways for YC to electronically contact families with children is a high priority. Approved.

CC10/11.17 Setting Goals for Coordinating Committee

Friends need to change the attitude we have around volunteering for committees. We need more communication, connection to meetings not represented at CC, and more connection with each other.

CC10/11.18 Revising job descriptions

Because most CC members have not accessed the website to view these updated job description, the revisions were not approved.

We discussed other ways to look at and revise job descriptions. CC has a responsibility to review the job descriptions, and discern any changes, while it is still important for committees to look at their own. One solution would be for committees to revise their own job descriptions, on a rotating schedule, and then an ephemeral ad hoc committee would look at these revisions to discern their readiness for CC approval.

CC Clerk will send out emails to those whose job descriptions need to be revised. The Clerk asked CC members review the changes that have already been posted on the CC website before the spring meeting and agreed to provide a reminder in the spring. Those CC members who do not review the job descriptions before a meeting will be asked to remove themselves from the discernment process.

Due to the need for screening for uniformity, and for unintended gaps or duplication of duties, Coordinating Committee approved an “ephemeral” ad hoc committee to put revisions up on the website, with Janet Jump, Debbie Townsend, and Clint Weimeister volunteering for this job. The ad hoc committee will be able to limit the number of job descriptions they are able to take on once they see the amount of response from committees.

Friends requested clear instruction about when they need to access the secure
CC website, and for senders to be consistent with subject headers on emails. We understand that preparing for CC meetings is an ongoing process to “do what we can do”.

CC10/11.19 Next Coordinating Committee Meeting

The Clerk requested advice on when and where to set up the future meetings. Weather issues, distance from AS, and holidays are considerations. In the future, fall meetings may be pushed no further than into early Nov., with concern for weather and the Multnomah calendar. The original date for the Spring 2012 meeting was discovered to be on Easter weekend, so the next CC meeting is suggested for April 14 (in either Olympia or Tacoma).

CC10/11.20 Youth Support Staff

Should there be a paid CF/CP coordinator position? This request needs to be clearer, especially on scope of the potential position, but we will address this issue later.

CC10/11.21 Yearly Meeting Decision Making

We need a sense of what is left to be discerned, by a clerk requesting that queries go on a MM agenda. Clerk will try this out. CC reps may pass on these questions to MMs, but this also limits the population who will get reports from CC. including queries about FGC affiliation. Can we get advance information from MM about AS discernments, without excluding anyone?

Friends commented on meeting rhythm, and the scheduling of breaks to allow efficient business.

The meeting closed in expectant silence to reconvene in the new Olympia Meetinghouse on April 14, 2012, if the date and time are confirmed.

Respectfully submitted

Carrie Black, Recording Clerk

Melody Ashworth, Clerk