Woodstown Monthly Meeting’s January meeting, held Sunday 1 January 2021 was opened at 9:23am by Clerk Sally Crane with a moment of silent worship. Fifteen members attended, via Zoom. Minutes from December’s meeting were approved as posted on the meeting’s web page.
Treasurer's Report: Jack Mahon cited some expenses including holiday gift plants, and calendars for the Oversight Committee. Collections at year end were over $3,000 which was very good. The balance YTD is approximately $4,800. Jack mentioned the correspondence received. There were Thank You’s for benevolences, including Friends School Mullica Hill for tuition, Friends Village who has been able to refurbish their covid wing, and the Disciples Pantry. Many Thank You’s were received for the holiday flowers and cards we sent as well as and many thanks for calendars.
We have now paid off our “debt” for the building renovations in the Building Fund of the Friends Fiduciary Corporation. We still owe some to the Morgan Stanley Fund, but all is anticipated to be “debt free” by June 2021. This will enable us to have more funds available for Benevolences this year.
We have been able to purchase ten de-mining instruments, thanks to donors, coffee sales and benevolences. Gratitude was sincerely expressed to Jack for his wise stewardship of our finances.
Property and Finance: A Christmas Eve storm blew shingles off the roof of the Meetinghouse. It will take several days until we have funds from the insurance company. Martha Battisti mentioned that there is also an accumulation of moss on the roof. We will seek a treatment, as it may be the cause of shingles’ deterioration. A front door shutter was also blown off. Charlie Haaf is working on getting that fixed. Thanks for Dan and Martha Battisti for keeping a watchful eye on the Meetinghouse, since we are not actively using it now.
Worship. Ministry and Education: We had a lovely Christmas meeting for worship. Appreciation was expressed to Kahlil Gunther and family, Sophie Ragone, Terry Ragone, Donna and Jeff Gibson, Jack, Mike Ayars and the Prater family. Christmas Eve we were able to meet on Zoom, thanks to Jack and Dan. We had a printed program and it was very enjoyable.
First Day School: Two programs are being planned in January for zoom beginning at 9:15AM.
17 January - Chris Mahon will lead the session.
31 January - Dan Battisti and Donna Gibson will lead the sessions.
The Friends Committee On National Legislation, Quakerism, and other topics may be covered in the future. We will continue to zoom and when possible open the Meetinghouse. Dave and Priscilla Lamont have been opening the Meetinghouse for worship. A small number of Friends attend averaging about five members.
Tom Bowen gave the talk at the Friends Village Philosophical Society on Rachel DuBois. Her biography book is apparently rare and now for sale at $800. He did some research by looking at our own collection of books at our Meetinghouse. She was from Woodstown Meeting, an “intercultural” teacher and worked for US State Department. She worked with Martin Luther King, Jr., in the 60’s as a vanguard organizer ahead of King’s visits. Late in life she returned to Woodstown. Perhaps her story could serve as a First Day School session.
Thanks again to Chris for her clerking Worship and Ministry providing special and interesting topics all these years. The next “special” Meeting for Worship will be at Easter. Sally Crane will organize that.
Oversight: Jeff Gibson is new clerk of the Oversight Committee. Scholarships are now available, so members with students can apply. Thanks to Dan and Martha for sending all the lovely greeting cards and calendars. Thanks to Mike Wilson for delivering poinsettias. So many people were pleased to receive them.
Peace & Justice: Donna Gibson noted that the Thompson family release has gotten a lot of news coverage. Their Cedarville house is currently being renovated, due to mold that has accumulated while it was empty. They are still waiting for green cards so they are unable to work. They are free but in name only. Donna said Jeff’s family is donating furniture from Jeff’s parents home. Fred Nicolosi is soliciting support, as the green card cost $10,000. Our Meeting will be able to provide one more tuition payment.
The Osborns gave $10 gift cards to 20 residents of Haus Rosario in Pittsgrove Township.
PYM statement concerning the 6 January US Capitol Insurrection can be found at https://www.pym.org/pym-statement-concerning-jan6-insurrection/
The website also provides Queries, which could be taken up at a First Day Schools session. George Lakey has been involved in a national movement “Choose Democracy” which is giving training sessions. Information about this can also be found on the web.
Outeach: Martha Battisti reported that Calendars were mailed. We will continue to send birthday cards, though the committee does not have all the birthday dates of members. Knowing the month would be sufficient.
What about a Friends get together on zoom? It was decided that if we met before Meeting For Worship it would not elongate the time on zoom. We will gather for morning coffee and chat before Meeting for worship days when we don’t have First Day school. Join us Sunday January 24 at 9:30AM
Music At Friends: Some Fall performances have been edited and posted on Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/MusicAtFriends/
The final report for the 2020 SCCHC Grant was submitted. The meeting has received a grant for 2021. The MAF Committee met to discuss possible artists to be presented in late winter or into the spring and summer.
Salem Quarter: Mike Ayars said that the Steering Committee for the Salem Quarter reviewed By-Laws and will make recommendations for amendments. George Lakey will be at the 14 March Quarterly Meeting [on Zoom]. Soup recipes will be sent to all including Deb Frazier’s potato soup, Chris’ broccoli soup, Mike Ayer’s Navy bean soup and Priscilla Lamont’s “great” vegetarian chili. Note that that day is the start of daylight savings time.
Sally Crane mentioned that the priorities for PYM this year are: climate change, race relations and each Meeting’s practices. On PYM’s website there is a Collaborative link. Sally found the Glossary of terms of interest and suggested that be a topic for First Day School. She had discussion with PYM about the leadings and activities of our own Meeting.
Our website has Quaker speak videos. Check out the most recent on Quaker Weddings.
Jim Tyson said that Mert and Pauline Coles have moved to the Veterans Home in Vineland. They are being well taken care of, though they are not totally happy about the situation. Jim talks with Mert everyday, keeping them up to date on the local farm community. The Meeting sent them a poinsettia, card and calendar at Christmas.
The meeting closed with a moment of silent worship.
Next Meeting for Business is 7 February at 9:15AM on Zoom.
Submitted by Terry Fox Ragone, Recording Clerk