Plenary Session #5
Friday July 25, 2014
8:30 - 10:15 AM
The Plenary gathered in song, chanting and waiting worship.
"What is the quality of the silence in our meetings for worship?
"There is a feeling of total acceptance by people in the group and under guidance of the spirit. Sometimes worship is profound, and other times it is light. It is for some of us the most unique experience we've had in a croup of people and something that gives us joy. When there is a profound silence in a meeting, that sense is most likely experienced by all those present. One person remarked that she felt honored to be in worship and to share the experience with other people."
Cynthia Black, Clerk of Youth Committee Clerk , discussed the Director's work since his hiring last fall. He as functioned well and allowed the rest of the Committee to get back to its own work.
Jay Thatcher, Director, talked about how things are different now because money has been allocated to coordinate
1. coordinate visits to local meetings to connect with the children's programs. see religious education activities and raise some awareness about AS among children, make an announcement to the meeting and scouting for CP staff for Annual Session.
2. of written records of forms, permission slips and the like that are necessary to use and work with to do the job and keeping track of materials that are normally stored in the basement at Multnomah Monthly Meeting
He said his hiring has also left the Youth committee, itself, free to do the work listed its job description instead of trying to do tasks like those listed above.
This is a youth administer position, organizing and supporting work of volunteers and staff to work with the children, rather than working with the children themselves.
He stated "In my work I see how NPYM is blessing our children, repeatedly. The commitment shown in every encounter I make with Friends in the course of doing this job is striking. I didn't realize that until I did this work. Whether volunteering or providing resources there is commitment and creativity."
Committee Membership consists of Carl Fisher and Laura Arcidiacano, co-clerks, Johnathan Brown, Tom Head and Lee Bennet
The presentation was framed by the Proposed Budget (5.1) for FY 2015, a Finance and Legal Committee Report (5.2) for 2013-14 and a financial statement (5.3) posted on the Plenary room wall and on npym.org.
Committee Co Clerk Carl Abbot posed and answered several questions.
How much money does the Yearly Meeting have?
As of the end of March roughly $68,000 in dedicated funds, and a reserve $22,2200
What do we spend operating budget on?
Internal operations, committee travel and work, secretary salary, insurance IT support, booking. Also spiritual events (e.g., Annual Session), Western Friend, and travel to Quaker organization meetings.
Does NPYM balance its income and spending?
In the past seven years there have been three "fat" and four "lean" years. Over that period of time there has been an average of $650 surplus per year in the black
He also talked about key changes in new budget.
Increase in Coordinating Committee travel, for Ad Hoc Committee operation and for a Youth Program Director. This salary has been paid to date, as approved by the Annual Session in 2013, from budget reserves.
Reduction of budgeted amount for travel for representatives to affiliated organizations (reflects level of actual use, expect to see increase in the future.)
The net effect of these increases and reductions is to increase the assessment on meetings from $48 to $60 per member.
This increase includes the new salary and rebuilding reserves to the level of one half of annual operating expenses.
Finance Committee will be meeting in 101 Walters Annex tonight and will be available to talk to friends and show expense and other financial records.
Questions, [Q 5.1] Comments and discussion
Committee membership consists of Lucretia Humphrey, Clerk, Clint Wiemeister, Laurie Chillers, Pablo Stanfield and Carol Uhte and Jane Ewert
Framing: The Report [5.4] of the Committee was posted in the Plenary room and at npym.org. Committee Clerk Lucretia Humphrey, summarized and presented the highlights of the report.
The Committee is a group with divers talents, gift and expertise who often worked together from afar.
We were not able to answer all of the questions suggested in our charge because of time.
We talked to as many people as we could in the Yearly about how they communicate with one another. It's not easy to summarize it all.. We had many queries that come out of this.
We have a list of possible ways to improve communication but we were unable to prioritize them or develop a plan to implement them. There for we do not have specific recommendations but believe that our report contains important information that should be drawn upon by a future committee to further the work.
The major conclusion to which we came is that Friends need to communicate in love and trust, building authentic relationships among ourselves and that will keep us connected and cenered in the Light that is the core of our spiritual community.
There will be an interest group this afternoon providing an opportunity for Friends to provide further input to the Committee and discuss implications of the report.
Questions, [Q5.2]. comments and concerns
Committee Members: Dorsey Green, Clerk, Laurie Childers, Pat Shields, Stephen Aldrich, Maurice Warner, Leslie Hickox.
The NPYM Representatives to FCNL Report (5.5) was posted in the Plenary room, at npym.. The report itself was not read or summarized on the floor. In lieu of such a presentation Dorsey Green, Clerk of the NPYM Representative Committee, introduced Executive Secretary of FCNL Diane Randall to address the Plenary. Ms. Green spoke of her involvement in the process of selecting Ms. Randall to her position, the touch she has used in supporting the work of the organization, especially engaging youth and young adults.
Quoting the query the Young Adult and Junior Friends brought to the meeting last night, What does the Spirit ask us to do?, Ms. Randall validated this as the most basic query have for Friends and that although seeking the guidance of God in lobbying Congress is not for everyone but it is our foundation as Friends.
She said that although she did not come to this position with expertise on the array of the issues with which FCNL is engaged there are those on staff who have that expertise and that she came with the Quaker grounding from which stem the presence and work of the organization.
She spoke of the FCNL staff being constantly engaged in travel, connecting with Friends, engaged in two way communication. We are sustained by both the financial and spiritual support that FCNL gets from Friends.
She spoke of the strategies FCNL uses in the slow and steady work of moving forward on working in Congress, and of meetings she has had with young Friends encouraging their engagement in the process as a testimony, taking the long view.
This encouragement is institutionalized in the intern program in which young adults one or two years out of college are engaged with Congress and constituents, as well as Friends, developing their capacities to answer a wide variety of callings as they move forward in the world.
She highlighted Marge Abbot's pamphlet about lobbying as a spiritual calling and ministry, as well as other pieces published by FCNL.
As a foundation for continuing the work of FCNL she closed quoting the book of Hebrews 11:1, "Now faith is assurance of things hoped for, a conviction of things not seen."
The Plenary closed in waiting worship.