Monthly meeting for business, held Sunday 1 June 2020, opened at approximately 10:15 with online warm-up period. Fifteen Members were present via Zoom. Clerk Sally Crane began the meeting with silent worship.
Notes/Minutes from May Meeting for Business were approved as posted on the WMM website.
Treasurer’s Report: Jack Mahon reported that $2,650 had been sent to the Collector in May. There were costs for mowing the cemetery and the grounds around the Meetinghouse. Because of the mild weather this winter and Friends not gathering, there were reduced costs in operations for the Meetinghouse. He gave an update on the boiler installation, which is nearing completion. He noted that in the report $100 for the Peace & Justice committee was a “place holder” to show we support the work, but are not limited to that amount.
The Meeting received a Thank You from Disciples Pantry. Our gift was smaller than usual since we have not been gathering in the Meetinghouse.
Property & Finance: We received a letter from a 7th grader in an Upper Pittsgrove school. The student has a project where he is measuring old trees in Woodstown. After measuring a very big tree on our grounds, he recommended that we apply to the NJ State Registry of “Champion Trees.” People could then gather seedlings or acorns from it.
Worship & Ministry has not met recently. But Chris Mahon said she was very pleased to see faces at our Sunday Meeting for Worship on Zoom.
Oversight: The committee has submitted a list of Benevolences for approval. We had $6,000 to distribute, reduced this year since there was no Strawberry Supper. $1950 will go to local and regional organizations; $2000 to Quaker organizations; $1800 will go to support tuition for Thompson’s (the immigrant family in sanctuary) son. $250 will serve as match to the Music At Friends donations to purchase another mine detector.
Peace & Social Justice: Friends discussed Black Lives Matter and the Defund the Police movements, which are currently gaining more traction and the subject of many recent protests, sparked by the murder of George Floyd by several Minneapolis police. There was a discussion about the meaning of Defund the Police. We all could agree that allocating more monies that make communities safe and better for everyone was best, but maybe not include de-funding the police. The AFSC has put out a statement:
It was noted that the Swedesboro protest was faith-based and that participants were escorted by the local police. This was an example of good police practice. It was also noted that not all communities are the same.
It was suggested that we table this to a different forum. It was thought that this would be a good topic for First Day School to learn more about what’s going on. Many said they were missing the fellowship, discussion and education of learning from each other.
MINUTE: In light of current events which have been focused on racial justice and police community reform, we reaffirm our Quaker beliefs in non-violence
and equality for all. There is that of God in everyone. We continue to advocate for peace rather than confrontation.”
Music At Friends: It was suggested that perhaps MAF can move online. We could pay the artists. If on Zoom it could be recorded and placed on YouTube or posted on our site. The committee needs to discuss future plans.
Donna Gibson reported on the Thompson family. Tuition support will go to Timmy who is in 9th grade at the Christian International School. Donna and Jack are figuring out how to make payments directly to the school. The Thompsons sent a sincere Thank You to our Meeting. At present the family also has several Go-Fund-Me campaigns on the web, and a scholarship application pending. They are hoping that with the possibility of a new federal administration policies will change and the Thompsons can go back to work, particularly Oneita who works as a caregiver assistant at nursing homes.
Jack had an outreach idea. Just as we try to follow up with newcomers who sign our guest book in the Meetinghouse, can we follow-up with those who “like” us in Facebook. Perhaps Kahlil Gunther can help with how to do this. He said there often are many “likes.”
Jim Tyson mentioned that Harlan Buzby has been posting very interesting photos of Woodstown past and present on Facebook, including the Meetinghouse and cemetery.
There was a concern about whether Free Trade chocolate would melt over the summer. Maybe if we have closing Meeting we could sell it. Jack said he would retrieve it in any case. Also someone suggested having ice cream that was in Kitchen’s freezer. Meeting ended in Friendly waving to all…
Submitted by Terry Fox Ragone, Recording Clerk