North Pacific Yearly Meeting Coordinating Committee
October 30, 2010, 9:00am-9:00pm
Multnomah Meeting, Portland, OR
CC10/30.1 As we settled into worship, Clerk ELee Hadley read “When God Breathes Out, Quakers Breathe In.” The piece reminds us to seek inward and listen, but also speak our Light aloud. The Clerk welcomed us and invited announcements. Housekeeping details re: soup, valuables, restrooms, copy machine presented by Annis Bleeke. We introduced ourselves.
ELee Hadley, CC Clerk, Umpqua Valley
Keith Kohan, Salem
Margaret Coahran, Pullman/Moscow
Donal Sullivan, University
Tom Rawson, Salmon Bay
Chris Cradler, Bridge City
Debbie Townsend, Eastside/Committee on the Discipline
Don Goldstein, Bellingham/Standing in for Secretary Alice Robb
David Wright, University
Michael Williams, Eugene
Laura Arcidiacono, Multnomah, Treasurer
Beth Rodman, Olympia
Chris Willard, Tacoma, standing in with Kathryn Willard
Melody Ashworth, South Mountain/Associate CC Clerk
Bill Ashworth, South Mountain/Ministry & Oversight (M&O)
Janet Jump, Bridge City/Presiding Clerk of NPYM
Ted Etter, Missoula
Pam Melick, Bridge City/Nominating Committee
Clint Weimeister, Port Townsend, Info/Tech Committee
Jean Roberts, Eastside/Sky Valley
Lynn Travis, Bridge City/Youth Committee
Jonathan Brown, South Seattle
Jim Hauser, Vashon/Peace and Social Concerns Committee
Annis Bleeke, Multnomah
Norm Pasche, Spokane Friends Church/isolated/Exiting Treasurer
Rae Lawrence, Walla Walla
Ella Willard-Schmoe, Young Friends/Recording
Carl Abbott, visitor, clerk of ad hoc committee on affiliation with FGC
Marty Crouch, visitor, NPYM Webkeeper
Daniel Clark, visitor, clerk of ad hoc committee on affiliation with Quaker Earthcare Witness
Participants also shared what they do to foster leadership in their home Meetings, so as to learn from each other. Some of these activities included bringing up items in business meeting, putting items in bulletins/newsletters, stepping back from leadership to allow others to step up, andmaking announcements about CC business. Clerk ELee reminded us of the importance of keeping the evaluation rubric in mind, as well as the decision-making procedures and job descriptions. We discussed the tension between needing to see the reports sent out earlier and discomfort with using paper unnecessarily. It’s best if everyone reads the documents in advance. A Friend suggested that the Clerk indicate which documents will be useful to have in the meeting and which are purely informational. There is a draft of NPYM officers and Meeting contact information directory supplement in circulation for corrections for the YM Secretary.
CC10/30.2 Some corrections to CC minutes from 7/10/10. Slight wording corrections had been sent in by email. Minutes APPROVED with corrections.
CC10/30.3 Executive Committee report. ELee presented from 2 Exec Comm telephone meetings regarding copyright for registration software, Spring CC date of April 2, 2011, job descriptions for selecting Friend in Residence, Friends 5 th World Conference in Kenya April 2012 and process for applying to be one of NPYM’s 3 reps, approval of Donal Sullivan to clerk Fin&Legal Comm, ad hoc committees, Angelia Alexander, Tacoma MM, approved as new Nom Comm person, plans to meet with the new archivist, seasoning of concerns document, adding Rising Clerk to Exec Comm, Heartland Meeting MGOF business, difficulties filling the nominating slate, particularly the General Arrangements position.
Melody Ashworth presented regarding committee to select NPYM reps to the 5 th World Conference in Kenya in April 2012: Joe Snyder, Multnomah, Kate Jaramillo, Bridge City, Elinor Jordan, Olympia were selected. Ann Dusseau, Boise, is alternate. Concern that no Young Friends applied. Recommendations ACCEPTED.
CC10/30.4 Friends General Conference (FGC) affiliation ad hoc committee report. Carl Abbott presented. A committee has been appointed to address affiliation with FGC. Procedure is available on the website. Committee is in process, looking for comments and feedback to document sent out. Recommendation to affiliate or not will be based on: 1) the all-around compatibility of NPYM with FGC, and 2) NPYM’s capacity in terms of the energy and resources required to be affiliated. Hope to bring a recommendation or sense of the meeting by Annual Session (AS).
CC10/30.5 Review of Evaluation Mandate. ELee read from CC member job description:
responsibilities of the members. List of things CC is responsible for. Evaluation plan vision and mission. These are great responsibilities! Feedback on AS evaluation forms. CC is doing self-evaluation and an annual report.
Evaluation process: how many people attended AS and CC, how are committees functioning? Are Meetings aware of what’s going on at the YM level? At fall 2010 meeting, CC will begin self-evaluation, report in 2011 AS.
Answer the following and more: How has CC provided a way for standing committees to coordinate and connect with Meetings?Has the structure made the YM more interconnected? How? Does CC have contact with Preparatory Meetings (PMs), Worship Groups (WGs), isolated Friends? Have meetings of CC and standing committees been well attended? Are all committees meeting? Are member of CC clear on their roles and responsibilities? Other, new questions?
- What improvements need to be made? How?
- Does the current structure of the WAY CC meets work? 2 meetings adequate? 1-2 days
- If not, why not? What are the challenges? Can we meet them?
- General improvement/deterioration in connection of Meetings from Steering Committee (SC) to CC structure?
- What have we accomplished already?
During 2011-2012, we will evaluate AS extra day, come up with recommendations from CC. All Friends will be invited to participate in evaluation of new structure in 2012. Fin&Legal Comm to estimate costs related to new structure. Questions will be adapted from the mission statement at this point. We must begin to try to answer the questions we just posed (initial plus new questions), putting aside the SC vs. CC question. We split up into groups to discuss one question each to save time.The responses will be transcribed, turned into an evaluation tool, and sent out to CC. Pam Melick,Lynn Travis, and Ella Willard-Schmoe agreed to help ELee with this. Some summaries:
- The structure is making people more interconnected though the work of M&O and Peace & Social Concerns, but many members can’t tell the difference between the old structure and new.
- Area to work on: matching needs with resources
- Need for improved communications on a number of levels. Resources and mentoring. Where to find things, institutional memory.
- Twelve hour meetings are barbaric. Time really is needed to consider things carefully.
- There’s a limit to our commitment.
- Better communication between meetings, cost of putting on more meetings? Have had a two-day meeting in the past - How do we figure out whether the committees are working well before things fall apart? Uniform process of meeting/taking minutes?
- Post minutes from committee meetings on website, a calendar of committee meeting dates. Archive of past documents.
- We don’t have good coordination between standing committees yet. Some structure for Clerks to communicate? Ongoing coordination about what’s about to happen. Will someone convene this meeting/communication?
- How do we involve people who don’t wish to use computers?
- Contact with PMs is pretty good, but CC has never been directly involved with WGs and
isolated Friends, as this is for Outreach & Visitation to do. We must help this committee to re-form and function. How? What about the representatives to Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL), Friends World Committee for Consultation(FWCC), American Friends Service Committee (AFSC),Friends Peace Teams, LGBTQC, Western Friend? They are supposed to communicate with CC too. We want to track their activities.
CC10/30.6 Letter from Pablo Stanfield. Basically, how do we best represent the entire YM when so few of us participate in decision-making processes? How are decisions made in the new format? Consult the “Where decisions will be made in the new structure” document. Two questions: 1) Should we make this advisory document an official document by seeking approval from the YM? 2) Does it require edits?
Correction: Exec Comm is not the Personnel Committee. Something like budget approval should happen in a body that represents the Meetings, but is there such a body? Not really. Meetings should be able to have input on things like the budget. Perhaps the group present at AS is the correct body to make decisions, as it is open to everyone. If it is up to Fin&Legal to make sure that Meetings have input in the budget, they may have to be more thorough in consulting them. The seasoning document outlines good process for multilevel involvement. The exciting business may not be reaching the floor because of things like the budget taking up time. The relationship built by doing the business together is binding; it doesn’t have to be exciting—it’s how we care for each other as we do business. Look more at progress (not “is it working yet”), and give ourselves time.
ELee read some of the decision-making process. The seasoning process requires those who wish to bring concerns to do their homework. CC is neither representative nor a decision-making body, except specific powers. Upon hearing a need for a decision, CC will ask, “To whom should this be referred?”
Comments on decision-making processes.
- Decisions by CC: when CC refers matters to Meetings and WGs, include that CC expects
feedback and by a certain date!.
- “seasoning” is not used usually to refer to budget etc, only peace and social action. Develop more appropriate/accessible terminology?
- Again, sending mailings to MM Clerks and CC members.
- Ideally, each MM’s Fin&Legal or analogous committee would establish its own
communication conduit with the YM Fin&Legal - Get MM M&O (or analogous) Clerks together at AS for a meal or something.
- Current pipeline for concerns that arise at AS to plenary floor? What about urgency?
o AS is very time-constricted. Too structured for spontaneity.
o You can’t write a social action minute at plenary
o This question is not a product of the current structure
- Who is responsible for getting info to and from WGs and isolated Friends?
o WGs are the responsibility of their parent Meetings
o Isolated Friends are under the care of Outreach and Visitation.
- AS is the business meeting for the Yearly Meeting. It is up to MMs to participate in this
- More formal approval of what standing committees spend their budget on?
- There may come a time when we realize the way we do AS is not adequate, but that will fall out of a seasoning process.- Better communication to newcomers about the decisions that happen at plenaries? The revised decision-making document will be sent out to MMs to inform them of our process. It may be adopted later through more formal channels, but for now it is descriptive.
Mailings/Outreach and communication. There are a variety of groups and types of people we should be able to target with certain communications. Email lists can be an enormous piece of administrative work. Does this work make sense to contract out to the Secretary or someone else? Create listserves? Keeping these lists up-to-date is the big job. We set this issue aside for later consideration. Exec Comm will see if Secretary’s job description should be revised to include time for her to do this work.
Marty Crouch was introduced as our new Webkeeper —Committee clerks should contact him if they want something to happen with the website.
CC10/30.7,8 MMs submitted lists of emerging and converging issues with their State of Society reports. The question is: how to take all this information and do something constructive to connect Meetings and lubricate channels of communication and clarify these processes? We broke into groups to identify the common salient issues before meetings:
- Aging members/attenders and depletion of attendance
- Money/budget and members in financial difficulties
- Outreach and visibility
- Unity around social issues
- Conflict resolution
- Energy/personnel to sustain structure we’ve created
- Integrating new attenders into the community. Welcoming.
We should perhaps pinpoint one issue to focus on for the year. Which one? Also, existing
structures are meant to address some of these already—it might be helpful to support MMs with resources instead of top-down organizational changes. Many of these might be the effects of low participation. Providing resources for outreach is the responsibility of Outreach & Visitation. Let Meetings know they are not alone—many MMs are dealing with the same issues. These boil down to survival of the Society of Friends in the region.
Do we need to find greater unity and peace within our MMs before reaching out? We need to examine what we’re attracting by how we’re acting. The Clerk put this agenda item aside for continuing discussion.
CC10/30.9 End-of-Year Financial Report. Summary – Norm Pasche:
- Revenues exceeded expenditures in 09-10 fiscal year
- Most committees underspent
- Secretary did not use all allocated hours
- Pacific YM reimbursed NPYM $800 for Brinton Visitor Program, which did not get used.-
- Many AS transactions were done through PayPal, which worked well. Norm proposed taking the surplus from this year and put it into the AS reserve, and perhaps part into the financial aid reserve. Refer this question to Fin&Legal.
CC10/30.10 Review of Annual Session. Ted Etter, past AS General Arrangements Clerk and a key figure of the Annual Sessions Planning Committee (ASPC) made some recommendations:
- Children’s Program (CP) coordinator needs help recruiting teachers and leaders. This requires resources beyond the individual, perhaps. Youth Comm issue?
- Formalize the family cap. This influences the program fee, and is essential to making AS
family-friendly. How well can NPYM absorb cost overruns? Refer to Youth Comm and
- Hardware (CP materials, registration materials, mics and first aid). Currently unreliable means of getting the same hardware back again.
- How much should we charge for registration down-payment? We need some amount to cover up-front costs at the site. What about the Meetings that cover their children’s fees?
These questions might be the responsibility of ASPC, but an ad hoc committee might be more appropriate considering how it affects the whole Yearly Meeting. The Clerk asked for
approximately 4: Michael Williams, Chris Willard, Beth Rodman, Margaret Coahran volunteered. The current ASPC needs suggestions by mid-January. ELee and Ted will
formulate a charge for the committee, and Chris Willard will convene. CC APPROVED the
formation and composition of the ad hoc committee.
Margaret Coahran, Registrar, commented on registration for AS 2010 with new online process:
- Only 26 paper registrations this year—the rest online (86%).
- Most were in favor of the online registration (two had a bad time of it)
- Reports on numbers were available to committee clerks, which was useful to them.
Janet Jump, AS Presiding Clerk, commented on her experience of AS 2010
- People didn’t miss the free time too much, but did like long passing times
- Service projects and open mic were popular
- To include all of these activities, we will have to make choices between activities.
- AS 2011 is expected to be more filled with substantive business than AS 2010
- Friend in Residence 2011 Michael Birkel from Earlham, theme regarding mysticism
- Friend in Residence 2012 Benino Sanchez Eppler, from a strong Christian faith
Suggestion: having a Friend in Residence focus on one of the emerging issues in our Meetings would be illuminating.
CC10/30.11 Ad hoc committee reports.
Daniel Clark, Walla Walla, has been asked to be Clerk of ad hoc committee for Quaker Earthcare Witness affiliation. APPROVED. Daniel has energy for the project, will help it get rolling again.
Diane Hollister presented for theYouth Safety Policy ad hoc committee by -hopefully in final draft form by April, take to AS 2011. Committee is looking for comments. Much appreciation was expressed for this precise and Quakerly document. Diane Hollister (email@example.com) and Chris Cradler (firstname.lastname@example.org) will take comments by email.
FLGTBQC ad hoc committee was set aside after Bonnie Tinker’s passing. Do we need to appoint new correspondents? Are the two gatherings and associated expenses ($900 budgeted) justified if we’re not considering formal relationship? Use the affiliation documents as a framework for considering “relationship”, but “affiliation” is not the correct language. Providing legitimacy and support for these Friends and these concerns is essential and separate from the question of a relationship with any particular organization. FGC, which hosts the annual gathering of FLGTBQC, may not be in a structure to deal with outside bodies—they may primarily be concerned with their own program. An ad hoc committee should be formed to consider the relationship with FLGTBQC—whether to send delegates, etc. No change to the current budget allocation at this time, but if there is only one he/she should be given only half the $900. Bill Ashworth and Beth Rodman volunteered to be on the committee. Beth will convene, and Caroline Wildflower will also serve (APPROVED). We are looking for a 4 th member.
CC10/30.12 Nominating Committee report.
The following nominations were considered and APPROVED:
- Joe Snyder and Tim Visscher for Junior Friends advisors
- Uhte-Stroehbehn team (Carol, Jon, Katie) for Childrens Program coordinators
- Beth Rodman for Volunteer Coordinator
- Tina Visscher for Youth Comm
- Alan Mountjoy-Venning for Epistle Comm
- Sakre Edson for Outreach & Visitation
Positions to be filled (current vacancies plus 2011-2012 vacancies) amount to 50 slots. Several people whom we have relied upon in the past are encountering health issues that make them ineligible, and the YM is aging. Vacancies will be posted on the website, with a link to the job description. Pam Melick urged Friends to come forward with names. A General Arrangements Clerk is desperately needed. Suggestion that one person is the site liaison if the general arrangements job is taken on by a team. Rosa Ostrom will be asking for another Young Friend to replace her on Nom Comm. We need to ask ourselves: “If there is no one to do the work, should we be doing the work?” This is a problem with volunteer organizations, and maybe we need to lay down committees or even not have an AS.
CC10/30.13 Seasoning of Concerns process
Presiding Clerk Janet Jump reminded us that there is a document detailing the seasoning of concerns, which will soon be distributed to Meeting clerks. She requests that if we are aware of minutes of concerns, to get them to her ASAP. There are good questions in Faith and Practice to help season concerns. Presiding Clerk needs to know what’s coming by February 1, and have final written minutes by June 15 for consideration at Annual Session.
CC10/30.14 Secretary Alice Robb’s resignation will be effective August 1, 2012 —we have about 9 months to do a search to fill this job. It is 625 hours per year. A detailed job description is available on the website. We may modify this to include listserv moderation if we move in that direction. Interested parties contact Melody Ashworth, South Mountain MM, who is clerk of the Personnel Committee. Three years previous evaluations of Secretary’s position varied hoursdepending on whether she’s doing the directory. Concerned Friends should look at the job description and contact someone on the Personnel Committee with suggestions before the search begins. With Don Goldstein leaving CC, there will not be a Lopez Island PM liaison. Tom Rawson volunteered to be Lopez Island PM’s link to CC.
Prenominating Committee. We were reminded of this issue and that it will require action soon. 7/10.4 CC minutes, read by Annis Bleeke had 4 suggestions for filling Nom Comm.
- Quarterly Meeting Clerks
- Volunteers from the floor of first plenary
- Name Prenom Comm from spring CC
- Nom Comm fills itself.
It is easier for Prenom Comm to work when already at AS. Having Nom Comm fill itself might balance it. It would take strong discernment to look for the right people rather than people we know. Nom Comm clerk is uncomfortable with how last-minute AS nominations to Nom Comm are. Those who are going off Nom Comm to form Prenom Comm? Those leaving the committee are sometimes entering larger positions, or sometimes leaving the committee in times of hardship. Shall we experiment to see if Nom Comm can fill itself? We DECIDED to let Nom Comm season this idea until April. Pam Melick will present this idea to the rest of Nom Comm.
CC10/30.15 Change the job description of the AS Rising Clerk to include participation on the Exec Comm? It is moot at this point because John Allcott is M&O clerk. It would change two job descriptions (Rising Clerk and Exec Comm). The size of the committee would fluctuate, as there is not always a rising clerk. APPROVAL was found for this change.
CC10/30.16 Presentation from committee clerks
Youth Comm Lynn Travis – Youth Comm has reps from Young Friends and Junior Friends.
Projects they’ve been working on:
- Increase outreach to families and youth
- Provide support and training ground for people who want to work with youth at AS and MMs and Quarterly Meeting.
- Collected email addresses for families and youth associated with NPYM, sorted into age
groups. We should have the capacity to send communications to families correctly targeting age groups.
- Revamping youth web page, hoping to make it kid-friendly.
- Children’s summit for April 2, 2011 in Seattle
o For adults interested in learning more about doing youth activities with camps and AS
o Activity for middle schoolers to get them excited about AS
o Venue? Don’t forget North Seattle Friends Church.
Role of Youth Comm at AS? It was very helpful to have adult eyes and ears thinking about
how children connect with AS. Have folks really thinking about how adult attenders can be
supportive of the youth program. Email address on the website if you have ideas/concerns.
Committee on the Discipline rep Debbie Townsend handed out two items: a report and a first shot at a revised chapter “The Yearly Meeting”.
- Structures are updated to about Sept. 2010, info from website and Steering Committee minutes.
- The sequence of material still needs work.
- Asked CC members to look at interesting parts (or the whole thing) and tell Debbie Townsendof your edits by Nov. 25.
- Committee descriptions are well condensed, and reference documents available on the web.
- Concern: full committee descriptions in faith and practice might be preferable—Friends use this as a reference over online resources.
- Concern: site committee is a standing committee unto itself. Reports to CC.
- Requested that Comm on the Discipline sends this document in electronic form to all CC
- Concern: Webkeeper not mentioned, put under “archivist”
CC10/30.17 Time for standing committees to communicate within CC.
Multnomah is involved in immigration and food issues.
To M&O: Multnomah had a workshop with >50 on support, care and clearness committees with Marge Abbott. Encouraging other Meetings to take advantage of the resources offered by NPYM committees. Willamette Quarterly has struggled with attendance. Effort to reconfigure QM. Political implications, panel discussions about food, urban meetings. Contact Joyce Zerwick if you want to know more. For M&O: it’s been a while since there was a clerking workshop (except at AS). It might be time for another.
Info/Tech committee will discuss and report about how the directory should be used and
distributed, with mindfulness about privacy.
CC10/30.18 April 2, 2011 Spring CC Meeting at Eastside Meeting. Tell Debbie Townsend what is needed. Do we want to continue with a 12 hour meeting? History: mandate from old Structure & Implementation Comm was to meet at certain times. Friday evening, all day Saturday; complaints about working Fridays, traveling. This is the third twelve-hour meeting we’ve had. What are the possibilities? Comments:
- Twelve hours is extremely exhausting.
- Call it a retreat? This could alter our expectations about the weekend.
- Is meeting only twice sufficient between Annual Sessions? It is difficult to worshipfully
consider ideas in this time-condensed format.
- Steering Comm at 3 meetings to CC at 2 meetings was largely about cost management.
- Business may just take up the time we allot it.
- Part of the purpose of CC was networking, and for YM presence to be felt by local Meetings. Being Friendly with your guests or hosts is difficult after twelve hours
- CC meeting time is consumed by self-definition and evaluation at the moment, but with time that should change as we become more practiced.
- The intention is to conduct these meetings in worship, but the time has been too short to give proper prayerful weight to important concerns. Having a packed agenda is counterproductive.
- More frequent reports would keep issues in the front of our minds. Perhaps more business would get done without CC overseeing it.
- It would be nice to incorporate shorter worship into our Sunday if we split the meeting into two days. But being in community with the Meeting we’re visiting would also be valuable.
- Let’s try a 9-hour meeting in April. 9am-6pm with an hour lunch. AGREED
Those arranging hospitality shouldn’t be shy about having deadlines for notification of needs. University, Salmon Bay, Eastside and South Seattle will work together to coordinate hospitality.
Kathryn Willard shared a song about long, exhausting meetings.
Meeting closed with silent prayer and thankfulness for our rich time together.