Monthly Meeting for business, held Sunday 1 November 2020, via Zoom, was opened at 9:15 AM by clerk Sally Crane with a brief time of worship. There were nine members present. The minutes from the October Business Meeting were approved as posted on the WMM website.
Treasurer’s Report: Jack Mahon screen-shared a spreadsheet of accounts from the past 3 summer months. There are no figures yet from the Collector for October. Expenses included hand sanitizer and paper masks. Funds were added to the Benevolences account. A South Jersey Gas deposit was credited. We were also credited for propane gas remaining in the tank when it was removed. We paid our covenant to Salem Quarter. Although contributions to the Collector were healthy in July and August, September’s total was only about $400. This is not sustainable, especially if we wish to replenish our building fund this year and be able to increase our amount for benevolences. Jack will report on October and November in December.
Property and Finance: Jack said the Committee did not meet in October, but the heat is ready to go in the Meetinghouse. The hot water heater still needs installation. Charlie Haaf had repaired a window pane, and is assessing shingles on the peak of the roof. If there are leaks he will see what needs to be done and recommend repairs. He has reset the bricks on the corner of the driveway, which were out of place due to ants’ damage. There was a discussion of paint flaking in the interior of the Meetinghouse. The committee will consider painting the interior after the roof is checked for any leaks.
Worship, Ministry, & Education: Chris Mahon said she is finishing as the Committee Clerk at the moment. A new clerk will be appointed at year’s end. The Committee has not met. We are still averaging about 12 people per week for Meeting for Worship. There are no young people for First Day School. The next Adult First Day School will be 8 November. Chris will lead the session on Faith and Practice. There will be no First Day School on November 15 or 29, but Oversight is planning a program for Thanksgiving’s Meeting for Worship on 22 November.
Oversight: Thanksgiving Meeting plans include music from Kahlil Gunther and Jeff Gibson. There was a discussion about whether it should be Zoom or a hybrid meeting. Sally Sakewicz has been attending at the Meetinghouse and said that very few people attend. This year Thanksgiving Meeting for Worship will be on zoom since the pandemic is still extant.
Calendars will not be distributed this year; they are no longer being published. But for those farther afield who expect it, let’s send a holiday card with a note about calendars. We want to keep in touch with our Friends at a distance. The Scattergoods who publish it, still do good philanthropic work. If we are concerned about reaching out to people we can consider another way we can accomplish this. There was a discussion about creating our own calendar. It was suggested that Vistaprint is an inexpensive online printing service. Dan suggested doing the design. Nominating Committee: Jack screen-shared the Nominating Committee’s work. Re-appointments of “officers” were Colleen Prater will serve as Collector, Martha Battisti is recorder, and Terry Ragone will continue as Recording Clerk. Jack is transitioning out of being the Treasurer and working with Dan Battisti to take on that role. Angela Fisher will continue as Assistant Treasurer. The List of the committees and clerks was approved as proposed. This information can now go to the Bank as part of updating the Meeting’s account information.
Quarterly Meetings News: The 13 December Salem Quarterly Meeting will be virtual. The schedule will include 9:30AM Worship and a 10:30 Program where the Mullica Hill Friends School will report on pandemic impact, and on the work of their Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee. Everyone thought this was a good opportunity to connect more to the school. Let’s connect to this zoom via First Day School.
It was suggested to have George Lakey come to our March Quarterly Meeting. Martha Battisti said that she had attended a training session with him and found it really excellent.
A PYM leadership zoom call was also an excellent way to hear how other Meetings were coping with distancing. PYM will have a leadership zoom on 10 November. If anyone would like to be on that session, please contact Jack for the link.
Some Meetings are having “get-togethers” over coffee or meals. Perhaps for the Zoom 13 December Quarterly Meeting or the 13 March 2021 meeting, held virtually in Woodstown, we could encourage participants to share time together with a virtual bowl of soup. Might we send recipes to everyone? Diane Brooks’s potato soup is always a favorite.
Sally Crane mentioned an NPR link concerning response to upcoming Election. There has also been extensive sessions and work on a Quaker non-violent response.
Peace and Social Justice: Donna Gibson reported that though the application for a green card was applied for in New Jersey for members of the Thompson family, the Pennsylvania ICE office will now consider their applications. Recent publicity has really moved their name and situation to the top of the list. Former employers have invited both Oneita and her husband Clive to return to their jobs. Woodstown Friends helped her daughter to apply with an I-130 form. That support has helped the entire family. They are all very appreciative of the Meeting’s assistance. The Meeting expressed sincere thanks to Donna and Fred Nicolosi for their efforts on behalf of this family in sanctuary.
Music At Friends is live-streaming a concert on Sunday 8 November at 7PM. Bethlehem and Sad Patrick, who were to perform in the spring, will be featured. Other concerts will also take place via zoom: Joy Ike on 22 November and harpist Richmond Carlton on 6 December. More information about these events and artists has been posted on our website and on Facebook. The concerts will be recorded. There was a suggestion that they might be rebroadcast in January.
Plan for worship in coming weeks: The Meetinghouse will be open, but Meeting for Worship and First Day School will be on Zoom. Sally will send out a schedule to all members with an emphasis on letting people know that Meetinghouse is open. This will be an email reminder and posted on our website. Friends may not see any cars in the parking lot – but the Lamonts walk over to open the Meeting house, so even though it may appear that know one is there, it is open. It was suggested that Friends can also be in the Meetinghouse and at the same time follow the zoom meeting for worship on their smartphone.
Donna said that she has taken all the Equal Exchange products to her workplace to sell as they didn’t seem to be moving at the Meetinghouse. So if anyone wants some chocolate, tea or coffee, please contact her.