North Pacific Yearly Meeting

of the Religious Society of Friends (QUAKERS)

March 2021 Coordinating Committee Minutes








North Pacific Yearly Meeting

Coordinating Committee (CC) Notes

March 20, 2021

9:00-12:00 (PDT)

 

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89278247368?pwd=RkpGQXpkazdyaW8wRWF6L0FZL1dXUT09

 

ACTION STEPS IN PURPLE FONT

 

Present: Steven Aldrich, PNQM M&C Co-clerk, Olympia Friends; Uprooting Systemic Racism Committee Clerk; Jonathan Betz-Zall, University Friends Meeting, Visitor to speak on Earth Care Witness; Celia Castle, rising CC associate Clerk, South Seattle Friends; Margaret Coahran, Outreach & Visitation Clerk, Pullman-Moscow; Mim Coleman, Youth Program Coordinator, Salmon Bay MM; Susan Cozzens, Peace and Social Concerns Clerk, Eastside; Dorothy Day, rising CC Secretary; Dave Ek, Visitor from Multnomah; Linda Ellsworth, Clerk of Nominating Committee; Ted Etter, Missoula; Rocky Garrison, CC Clerk, Bridge City Friends Meeting; John Gotts, Webkeeper, Pullman-Moscow MM; Nancy Irving, Olympia; eric maya joy (visitor; Earth Care Witness, Olympia MM ); Janet Jump, Finance and Legal, Bridge City; Barbara Luetke, RC; Johanna MacNee, Pullman Moscow Monthly Meeting; Jana Ostrom, Rising YM Clerk; University Friends Meeting; Leni Skarin, Agate Passage; Celia Castle, South; Debbie Townsend, Clerk of NPYM Faith & Practice Committee and Youth Committee, Eastside Friends Meeting; Sylvia Weaver, South Mountain Friends Meeting (Ashland); LuAnn Wangsnees (South Seattle, PNAM co-clerk; visitor; Caroline Wildflower, Port Townsend Friends Meeting; David Zeiss, Clerk of NPYM, Eugene MM.

 

  1. Opening Worship.

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  3. NPYM Secretary’s Remarks (Dorothy Day). Dorothy reported that she is still settling in to some aspects of the job. She asked for about three days to respond to email and typically works on Mondays (so items might be sent to her on Sundays). She described a book she has received. Rocky offered to review it and report to the Yearly Meeting (YM).

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  5. Review notes from October, 2020 CC Meeting. Minutes were made available on the website. There were no comments or questions. Minutes were accepted.

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  7. Committee Reports.

    1. Executive Committee (Rocky Garrison). Rocky summarized the relevant work of the Executive (EC) from two meetings (12.15.20 and 1.23.21). Positions put forwarded from the Nominating Committee were approved. It was decided that AS 2021 would be virtual. Other years and locations are” 2022--University of MT.; 2023--Western Oregon University (in conjunction with Friends General Conference); 2024-- tentatively planned to be held at the University of Montana. Those who can sign the fiduciary account were approved. Contracts were offered to the YM employees and they were asked to keep track of their hours.

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    3. Finance and Legal Committee (Janet Jump). Janet reported that the committee meets every 6-8 weeks as needed to support the treasurer and consider issues raised by monthly meetings (MMs).

They have reviewed the financial procedures manual and will post it on the website.

They agreed to moved our investments from PAX World to Friends Fiduciary which has performed fairly well during the pandemic [because their “green Fund” where most YM resources were invested recently closed so money had to be moved into the general fund (which also practices green investment practices)].

Next steps are to work on the NPYM annual budget for 10/21-9/22. If committees have budget requests Janet asked that they be submitted by mid- April so that a draft budget can be ready by mid-June to go out with pre-AS. The AS budget is completely separate as developed by the AS Planning Committee. There has been good communication between the two groups.

The committee is currently working on is the question of 501C3 non-profit status with the federal government. NPYM has had this status since our inception (1973). A recent survey sent out from our committee shows that approximately half of the MM reported back have their own 501C3 status. This allows for donations from individuals for tax purposes. The IRS does allow for group exemption letters, which could cover smaller groups (i.e. MM) under NPYM but there are some challenges (see the Finance report on the website). The committee concluded that it is not in the best interest of NPYM to write group exemption letters for 501C3 status use. MM are encouraged to apply and obtain their own 501C3 status.

The assessment letters have been sent to MMs.

    1. Nominating Committee (Linda Ellsworth). Rocky read the nominations for Claire Leonard: Outreach & Visitation and Laura Arcidiacono: FWCC Representative. Linda read and explained the vacancies from the Nominating Committee Grid (available on the website) and asked Friends for suggestions. Job descriptions are on the website (under Structure). Nominating Committee has been searching for someone to fill the role of CC Recording Clerk. Please check with your Meetings and contact Linda Ellsworth if you know of any possibilities. Epistle Committee needs two other members, hopefully one from MGOF and one from PNQM.

Nominating is working on a slate of those positions that are expiring so that changes can be approved at AS. Linda explained the process of how the committee finds those to serve. A Friend made a plea for Junior Friend Advisors which will be especially needed when Friends are able to again meet in person. Friends were asked to take this request to their MM.

 

    1. Peace and Social Concerns (PSE; Susan Cozzens). PSE is operating again, after a period of quiet. The committee is organizing "sharing sessions" by theme, to allow individuals and meetings who are engaged with the issue to share what they are doing. The themes are the ones that the largest number of MMs indicated they were working on in the committee's fall survey. The first sharing session, in January, was on Earthcare Actions. Notes for that session are available and are linked in the PSE committee page at npym.org. The next session is on Immigrant Concerns, 7 pm April 20. The registration link for that session also appears on the committee page, which also can be found at npym.org. Summaries of past topic meetings are posted on the website. Susan also sends information to a specialized list of people who have expressed interest.

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    3. Youth Committee (Debbie Townsend). Debbie reported that the cover letter was distributed to the CC form the Youth Committee.

Youth Safety Policy. Debbie reviewed the process of the committee’s past work. She expressed gratitude for the responses received from MMs, considered in a spirit of worship but not all of which could be incorporated into the policy. The people who have expressed in the past that their children didn’t feel safe at AS have been held in the Light. Debbie and Mim reviewed the clarifications and changes to the policy, made since the last meeting. Mim emphasized the committee’s awareness that background checks can be used to discriminate against people of color and are not a guarantee of safety. She explained the discussion that occurred about the supervision of children during non-program hours. AS will comply with each university’s requirements and the information shared with parents. Mimi reiterated that AS does not have a good reputation with the colleges in our region. A Friend spoke to “grooming behavior” and that all YM participants need to be vigilante of suspicious behavior. Rocky reminded Friends that the policy has been about two years in the making. Gratitude was expressed to the Youth Committee. The CC was in unity with approving the policy which will be posted in the Policy section of the website. The Youth Safety Policy will now be forwarded to Yearly Meeting with the recommendation that it be approved by that body.

 

Youth Opportunity Fund. The committee has also revised the guidelines for the Youth Opportunity Fund. The spring 2021 funding cycle is now open for Friends who are 35 years of age or younger. Applications are due 4/15. Major changes to the YOF: groups as well as individuals may apply; the grant award limits are higher (an individual applicant may request up to $750, a group may request up to $1500). Examples of use are provided. Information and application are available on npym.org. The changes were approved. The applications for the first funding are due April 15. Information is on the website under Resources. Friends were asked to inform their MMs.

Storage of Children's Program supplies. Tacoma Friends Meeting has asked that the supplies be moved. The committee is asking Friends to help them find a different space for 7 or 8 plastic tubs for 51 weeks of the year. Please inform Debbie of any availability.

 

    1. Uprooting Racism (Steven Aldrich). The eight core members have been meeting bi-monthly and offered a workshop at AS 2020.

The team of Friends who outreach to MM, Quarterly Meetings, meetings, and worship groups assesses what assistance is wanted in uprooting racism, offer resources and/or provide experiential workshops that “allow for deep listening and work toward removing barriers" (NPYM Uprooting Racism minute). Committee members have conducted many such workshops and have requests for more. Reports evidence that a lot of activity is occurring to MMs.

 

Steven reviewed the work that has been done on the website to define the group and make their work more visible. Steven shared a concern of a friend about the disproportionality of representation in many social arenas, to address systematic issues. The work that Quaker Voice, Friends Peace Teams, AFSC, and FGC are doing was applauded.

 

Much CC discussion occurred as to how the Uprooting Racism "team" can be integrated into the structure of NPYM. Topics that arose include whether the team is organizationally under the PSE, the difficulty Nominating Committee has had in filling YM positions in general and in the PSE Committee specifically; how a sub-committee is organized; whether structure was governing passion; topics seeming to need prayer; the importance of the YM working visibly to non-Friends on this important issue (a sign of White privilege in itself); South Seattle MM committee on racism; the importance of the work of this active group; and that a group as well as an individual can be “released” as led.

 

John Gotts clarified that material from this team has been put on the website as if it were functioning in an ad hoc matter.

 

Rocky reminded Friends that the CC does not make decisions. A recommendation would need to be made to the YM as to whether the uprooting racism team should continue to function as a sub-group of PSC or be a free-standing group that reports to either to EC or CC. Stephen provided team history.

 

A Friend said 43 worship and sharing groups and 11 represented at the CC meeting.

 

A Friend overviewed the work of the PSC, stating that there are 3-4 key focus issues under the umbrella of PSC and those should not be pushed aside.

 

PSC under the leadership of Susan Cozzens is very active and appreciated.

 

A Friend suggested that the idea of creating a new category of committee should be seasoned with PSC before it returns to this CC.

 

Susan and Stephan are going to work together to come up with a proposal for AS.

 

The following minute was approved: "The NPYM Coordinating Committee minutes its appreciation and support of the NPYM Uprooting Racism Committee/Team's work, both past and continuing, and encourages plans for increased engagement shared through the committee's report today, including using the NPYM website to support this effort."

 

    1. Earth Care Witness (ECW; eric maya Joy). Eric shared his work as a released Friend. With regard to the query, How has your meeting reviewed and considered the Earth Care Witness Minute? the committee has have heard from two MM (See website for the minute). Some good suggestions have been made. Objectives have to do with how poetic the query is and isn’t clear on what actions will be taken. Jonathan thanked the Uprooting Racism group for initiating the discussion on structure and role because ECW is in the same position. He asked

MM to follow through on the action agreed to at last annual session: to season the proposed minute and send ideas generated to me as coordinator. Leni reported that Agate Passage MM meeting has discussed the minute twice and will soon have a report for NPYM consideration.

A Friend spoke to how the minute allowed earth care concerns to be focused and were delighted to see the minute come forward. Friends were encouraged to take the minute back to their MM and send into to Jonathan and Eric so that it can be presented well-seasoned at AS.

 

  1. Event Planner Remarks (Lew  Scholl). Lew reported that all of the critical roles have been filled. Some roles are being combined. It would be helpful to start thinking about recruiting people for next year because Annual Session 2022 will likely be in-person and several positions, especially Program Coordinator (PC), will be more complex. Mark Kille will serve this 2021 as PC. He’s new to NPYM but has been connected previously to a different Yearly Meeting and FGC. Lew will share some of the PC responsibilities. There is a good list from 2020 of people willing to serve as Zoom Hosts. These will also be recruit as a part of the registration process. There might be two levels of AS participation: 1) as individuals using Zoom ; 2) as a group of people gathering to watch the Zoom plenaries. Lew might be needed for technological assistance if time permits.

Budget and Pay-as-Led. He has made a AS budget which has been reviewed by the Finance Committee. The Finance Committee recommended that the base amount of registration for “Pay As Led” be increased. Judy Lackey is the registrar and is working on a new platform to be used for the purpose.

 

Lew, David, and Janet have been attending four YM meetings as a way to get advice. It is now coordinated by Mary Klein of Western Friend. These are useful and filled with interesting ideas. Documents that need to be reviewed at AS might go out to members ahead of time so they could be reviewed before AS Business Meeting. It has been a struggle to get a response from Junior Friends for their input in the planning process. Feedback on the 2020 schedule is requested.

 

Annual Session Planning Progress. Due to 2020 experience, AS is expected to run more

smoothly than last year.

 

Virtual Meeting Advice from other Yearly Meetings. Lew, David, and Jana have participated in Zoom meetings coordinated by Mary Klein, editor of Western Friend, that connect people from the Western 4-Yearly Meetings. The purpose of these meetings is to share ideas for how to plan and set up Virtual Annual Sessions. It is suggested that a month in advance of AS Business Meeting links are provided to those who have registered so documents can be reviewed. There has been difficulty in contacting Junior Friends to have them involved. Full report is on the website.

 

A Friend asked that a decision be made fairly soon about 2022 as a hybrid. She clarified some of the issues. Another Friend listed some of the financial problems with the hybrid model. David Zeiss clarified that the committee has been in communication with the University of MT in Missoula and they have had a full staff since January, 2021. Worship groups will be scheduled to meet prior to AS beginning May 10, 2021. Registration will be sent out in mid-April.

 

  1. Web-keeper Remarks (John Gotts). John asked that if website content is out of date, please inform him. Also please contact him about spam issues. He announced that PYQM.org is the way to register for PYQM Quarterly Meeting. Interest Groups are still open.

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  3. NPYM Clerk’s Remarks (David Zeiss). David expressed gratitude to the key people who are assisting with AS. He recommended Google Workspace (for those who have “npym.org” after their name) for future use as files as they can be preserved. Zoom has a very nice built in transcription for speech to text—this can make Zoom sessions more accessible to people who have trouble hearing.

 

Announcements: Johanna Pullman-Moscow has been visiting other YM MMs on Zoom and welcomes anyone who wants to visit them. John Gotts can assist as needed.

 

John Gotts: QM is looking into archiving YM documents. If someone knows how NPYM does this, please contact him.

 

The FGC Gathering includes several workshops to address racism. An advanced program can be obtained at FGCquaker.org.

 

New blog post about the NPYM Earthcare minute and potential follow up activity: https://www.friendssocialconcerns.org/2021/03/20/65/. The web link for the Philadelphia  Yearly  Meeting group: https://www.pym.org/anti-racism-collaborative/

NEXT MEETING: The EC will make a decision about the next meeting. A month notice was requested.

 

Rocky expressed his appreciation for those who are serving on the CC. He is concerned that there is under-represented from MM and worship groups at the CC meetings as the meetings are one of the primary vehicles of communication among Friends.

 

Closing Worship.

 

 

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