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Watching Committee for Meeting House and Grounds of Santa Fé Monthly Meeting



Watching Committee for Meeting House and Grounds


Santa Fé Monthly Meeting

The Santa Fé Monthly Meeting approved in March 2010 the laying down of the trustee function that previously oversaw the alignment between the use of the meeting house, its contents and grounds and the intentions conveyed by Olive Rush in placing them under our care. To fill that role, we borrowed an application from the practices of our Yearly Meeting and approved the appointment of a Watching Committee, but did not specify its role.

Role of the Committee
A Watching Committee directed to the care of the meeting house, its contents and grounds of Santa Fé monthly Meeting might best serve four functions:
  1. Pay special attention to the uses of the Meeting House, its contents and grounds so that they are consistent with the intent expressed by Olive Rush in placing the facilities under our care; and help interpret what Olive Rushs wishes might be as they relate to the Meeting today. Where inconsistencies seem to appear, the Watching Committee shall bring them before the Monthly Meeting for consideration.

  2. Respond to requests for clarity about whether a proposed use, modification or transfer of title of the facilities is consistent with the spirit in which the meeting has received them from Olive Rush.

  3. Take an active role in contributing to the Meeting’s awareness of the historical documents and circumstances related to the transfer of the inheritance.

  4. Ensure that an archive is kept of all relevant documents, records and discussions in relation to Olive Rush’s intentions and the Meeting’s considerations regarding the property as well as all subsequent legal documents and opinions. These documents will form a reference collection to be kept in an accessible form by the Meeting’s Archivist.

It would be helpful to the monthly meeting if the Watching Committee were to report annually on its sense of our adherence to the spirit in which we have received care of the facilities. This might be, but need not be, provided prior to the annual meeting of the Corporation.

Expectations of Committee Members by the Monthly Meeting

  • The Watching Committee should consist of three people who agree to be appointed for a three-year term. The term may be staggered to ensure continuity, but this need not be the case.

  • Each of the committee members should be familiar (or become familiar) with the documents and conditions under which Olive Rush conveyed the care of the Meeting House, its contents and grounds to the Santa Fé Monthly Meeting of Friends and with the wishes that she expressed for its continued use.

  • It is desirable that among the collective knowledge and skills of the members of this committee there be familiarity with (a) the physical conditions of the property, (b) the uses to which it has been put in the past and, if possible (c) a range of examples from other monthly meetings that might be helpful as a guide to us in our determinations for its use.

  • The Committee can communicate on an ad hoc basis in response to considerations for new or modified use of the Meeting House, its contents and grounds, but it is recommended that the members meet annually to reaffirm their purpose and to discuss how changing times may help the Meeting to evolve its sense of what constitutes desirable uses of the property.

The primary documents are:

The Agreement between Olive Rush and Santa Fe Monthly Meeting of Friends (April 29, 1962)
Last Will and Testament of Olive Rush (June 7, 1962)

At the annual gathering of Intermountain Yearly Meeting we appoint a committee to "watch during the yearly meeting for the growth of a message expressing the spirit and concern of IMYM that might be sent as its epistle to Friends everywhere." Guide for the Operations of Intermountain Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends, approved by the 1990s section of IMYM. Page 12

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