Monthly Meeting for Business , held Sunday 1 May 2022, began with a moment of silent worship led by Clerk, Sally Crane. There were sixteen Friends present. Notes from the previous Meeting for Business were approved as posted on the WMM website.
Treasurer: Jack Mahon distributed accounting for April 2022. Expenses included, utilities, Easter flowers, property and grounds costs. The carpets were cleaned in the Meetinghouse.
Recorder Report: Martha Battisti inquired about reviving our Potlucks at the rise of Meeting for Worship. Previously they were planned for the 1st Sunday of the month when there is a quarterly meeting. Friends seemed to want to start this social in-person activity again and will do so in September.
Property & Finance: Meets this week.
Worship, Ministry, & Education: It was a wonderful Easter Program. Sally Crane expressed thanks to our contributors, including Kahlil Gunther for music.
On May 8 [9:30am] Jeff Gibson will lead First Day School.
On May 15 Donna Gibson will lead the First Day School session.
On May 22 Will be open for discussion on the supper.
There will be no class on Memorial Day weekend 29 May.
Sunday 19 June is the Closing Meeting for First Day School.
Pastoral Care: Jeff Gibson distributed a list of Benevolences for consideration for a total of $19,180.
Local and regional gifts recommended include the Wetlands Institute, Local Woodstown library and fire company, and New Beginnings, an ex–felon support organization, among others.
Quaker support included:
The SQM Education Fund which will expand our own scholarship fund.
“Thee Quaker” which Jon Watts, a former singer, is now developing. He had created “Quaker Speak“ an online marketing and content communication about Quakerism. Although it is his business and not Quaker sponsored (Jonwatts.com) the committee felt this seed money would be worthwhile. This investment is one time only – in an effort to expand people’s understanding and participation in Quakerism.
AFSC [the Middle Atlantic Region office is now located in Newark New Jersey] which is focused on immigration. Our Equal Exchange sales project is organized through the AFSC. There are concerns about the AFSC organization, which is undergoing some changes but Friends still want to support it.
UNICEF’s Ukrainian Relief and the Quaker UN office were recommended for benevolences. There was a discussion about the efficacy of giving to UNICEF. It was noted that Charity Navigator gives UNICEF a high rating of accountability. Would friends consider a change in this process, by distributing support for Ukraine relief more immediately? Friends agreed to move forward with support rather than week until next month.
FCNL needs more support. It was decided to increase their gift. It was felt that they set Quaker principles in action.
Friends Foundation aids Quaker residents at Friends Village with financial support and for services that are not provided by the Village or Medicare. Quakers remain a substantial number of residents at Friends Village.
Pastoral Care, continued:
What about a discretionary fund? Can we set aside 10% of the total benevolences to have a mechanism to respond to an emergency or unexpected need that we can agree to through a faster consensus process? Could the Pastoral Care Clerk and Treasurer be empowered to make those discretionary decisions? This is a trust in our Friends to take care of a request to this fund, responsibly.
It was decided that establishing this Fund will be taken up by the Committee.
FCNL Update: Dan Battisti distributed a summary update for May. The article by Bridget Moix can be read online:
Music At Friends: The local chorus the Oak Singers will perform Tuesday 3 May at 7PM.
An email was received from Evan Shea who performed at MAF on April 10 with Jeff Nowmos.
He expressed his sincere appreciation of participating in our program. He said,
“It is a special occasion to have people sit quietly and really listen, compared to playing restaurants, dance clubs etc. Talking with people afterwards made further connections, including some very touching conversations… We certainly felt artistic satisfaction, being able to express our musical selves in a most personal way….”
Strawberry Supper will be Saturday 21 May. All dinners will be takeout
Martha Battisti said we need to get the word out. There is a need to sell more tickets.
It was noted that the Salem Meeting did well on their supper. “The peas were delicious!”
Marie Haaf everything is ordered and will be picked up. Volunteers are needed to prepare/cut up the chicken. Sign up to volunteer online: tinyurl.com/friendssupper
John Sakewicz is home and doing very well. Hope Vasseur is also recovering.
Friends hold both in the Light
Sunday 15 May at 4:30PM There will be a Memorial Service for Betty Chestnut.
Submitted by Terry Fox Ragone, Recording Clerk