Plenary # 7
July 18, 2015
8:30 – 10:00 am
Friends gathered for this session with singing followed by waiting worship.
Clerk Rawson read a passage which included references to these suggestions for process: proceed with Spirit, visualize it…trust in the process…bathe speakers in prayer…wait for the deep inward motion, deeper than the surface emotion or idea…when there is disagreement wait for God to reveal the answer…look in the Light…be satisfied if your only ministry is invisible and silent…
2015-7-1 Review of Minutes from Plenary Session 5
Comment following the reading of the minutes: Sandpoint Monthly Meeting would like to fill some of the planning committee positions—would like to do the same jobs again, except for the bookstore (this year was an emergency assignment). For next year, their team will take care of physical arrangements and the program.
Approved pending several suggested corrections
2015-7-2 Approval of Slate of Nominees
Progress in nominations since plenary #5. Given the lack of publication of new nominees, Paul asked if we wanted to delay approval.
New nominees include:
Outreach and Visitation, John Alcott, Candida Quinn (instead of FCNL)
Youth Committee, Katherine Spinner (including clerkship)
Representative to AFSC, Jonathan Betz-Zall
Representative to FCNL, Leslie Hickox
Correspondent to FLGBTQC, Camille Day
Annual Session Program and Physical Arrangements: Sandpoint Meeting, as a team
We need nominees for the following positions: Coordinating Committee Recording Clerk, Assistant Registrar for Annual Session, Central Friends Camp Coordinator, representatives to Friends Peace Teams, and more members for the Youth Committee, and the Information Technology Committee,.
Referring to the position of Assistant Registrar for Annual Session, Registrar Kim Williams needs help with document creation for preparing the registration information booklet, forms for registration, and the annual session printed schedule. Although it is part of the job description for the Assistant Registrar, the Nominating Committee believes that it is not absolutely necessary to expect the assistant registrar to become the next registrar.
Regarding FCNL representatives, since our corporate memory is not good, the Nominating Committee itself should determine the appropriate terms and not leave that up to the FCNL group.
For good order, we do not volunteer for positions, we let our interests be known to the Nominating Committee who then consider whether to nominate us. We should not be volunteering from the floor during plenary sessions.
A Friend was led to make an offer to discern with Nominating Committee to determine which open position he might best fill.
Further comments about the FCNL term questions are being considered by the Nominating Committee in consultation with the group of representatives. One Friend suggested that the term of service be three years; many people seemed to be in favor of approving this suggestion. Clerk Rawson would like to consult with others prior to our making this decision.
Since we are following process, it seems inappropriate to approve the nominees reported today. We are asked to season these nominations until plenary session 8.
We were asked to approve the previously published slate of nominees, omitting Candida Quinn’s nomination to FCNL, from which she had withdrawn. These nominees were approved with thanks to Friends and to those who are willing to serve.
2015-7-3 Presentation of the Budget for Next Fiscal Year (Jonathan Brown, Treasurer)
Treasurer Jonathan Brown reminded us that Jill Hoyenga (Eugene Meeting), Lee Bennett (University Meeting, Tom Head (Bridge City Meeting) are the members of the Finance and Legal Committee. He thanked Laura Arcidiacono, our previous Treasurer, and Registrar Kim Williams for help with the charting the finances for annual session.
Our business today is the draft of budget for next fiscal year, October 1, 2015 through September 30, 2016. We were asked to remind ourselves: What business are we in? Why do we need a budget? To quote Robin Mohr, our business is formation in the vocation of being the Quakers the world needs. We are asked if the budget under consideration serves this business. A printed copy of the budget has been posted and is available on-line. The treasurer reviewed the types of information it contains.
Treasurer Brown reported that we have enough money available to fulfill our ministry. Any changes are intended to adjust budget figures to reflect what we have been experiencing in recent years. If we see a need to change the amounts in any categories during the year, the Finance and Legal Committee members work out how to support our work appropriately. The budgeted amounts are a best guess about what we will probably have to spend.
In the Contributions section, we have one substantive change—the level of support for Western Friend in response to a request from the Western Friend Board to increase our contribution by $1000 for the year. Supporting information from the Western Friend Board is attached. If they have questions concerning this increase, Friends are invited to talk with board members who are present.
Looking at the totals line, we can see that we have budgeted for a substantial loss in the next fiscal year. Over several years, the losses and surpluses balance. We have reserve funds to take care of losses that persist. This year there is no increase proposed for assessments for monthly meetings; these remain at $60 per member.
Questions and Responses:
We were reminded that those who travel to represent us to organizations need to be clear that there is money available to support travel by those who cannot pay their own way. As we consider this budget, we are asked to be mindful that there is money to go beyond the amount budgeted.
Another speaker asked if the budget is a plan or an authorization that puts caps on expenses? Do the numbers have checkpoints beyond which additional action to authorize is required?
Treasurer’s reply to the questions: Some expense items simply are paid (e. g. insurance premiums); other expense items that are over budget may raise questions. The Finance and Legal Committee is available for consultation when any expenses might exceed a budgeted amount substantially. In short, the treasurer pays expenses that seem to make sense to him and consults Finance and Legal otherwise.
Finally, a Friend reminded us that Youth Committee recommended a wage increase for the Children’s Program Coordinator; this change was confirmed by the treasurer.
We will consider the budget for approval during plenary session 8.
2015-7-4 Inclusivity and Safety
The purpose of this item is to make issues about gender more visible. Because of their experiences, Friends from Multnomah Meeting were invited to make a presentation to us. These members were: Betsey Kenworthy, Erin Eichenberger, Anna Fritz, Camille Day, and Gail Sanford.
After a year of study, Multnomah Meeting approved a minute concerning inclusivity and safety for people of all genders.
The last paragraph of the minute states:
Multnomah Monthly Meeting minutes our commitment to becoming an affirming, safe, and nurturing place for everyone to live fully that which the Spirit is leading them to be. We extend our loving care to people of all genders, including transgender, genderqueer, cisgender, gender non-conforming and intersex persons, their families and friends.
Their minute was accompanied by a list of supporting action items that are in progress. Some of these are for the Multnomah community, some are for yearly meeting, and some are for the community beyond Friends.
The members of the group spoke to their experiences as they did this work.
Informed and nurtured growth as a Quaker
Knew so little; learned so much
Great inspiration to see older meeting members become vulnerable and open to the challenge, become advocates and allies
Opportunity to sense the Spirit’s involvement and motion
They hope to be a resource for the rest of us in some way. We can contact them through the meeting at hearthkeeper-at multnomah-dot-org. We were encouraged to listen when people open up to us.
They thanked us for prayerfully holding them.
2015-7-5 First Reading of the Epistle
Jana Ostrom presented the first reading of the Epistle. The other two committee members are Susan Campbell (Olympia), Jim Humphrey (Montana). The first draft presented at this time was considered premature; input was requested.
The Epistle included mention of Robin Mohr’s presentation, the issues raised by Nominating Committee, the report by Junior Friends on their trip to Guatemala, the concert by Anna Fritz, and our work in considering sensitivity to gender issues.
The meeting ended with the reading of the draft of the epistle.