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Minutes of 3rd and 4th Meetings Called by the Future Planning Committee

Combined Minutes from Two Discussions
About Future Housing of the Santa Fe Friends Meeting
July, 2008


In these two discussions, Friends listened respectfully to each other’s thoughts. No attempt to come to a unified decision was made at this time.


Summary of current information: The gently sloping 1½ acres at this corner is zoned
R-1, for residential including religious assemblies, and is in the historic district. The donor’s intent is to give the Meeting as a charitable donation of a fraction each year for about 7 years. The donor’s intention if for its use as for a Meetinghouse, but wants to provide the Meeting flexibility for the future, and is working with the Future Planning Committee to write in contingencies for situations such as the Meeting not being able to build on it. See end of these minutes for notes about insurance and taxes. A description and draft agreement will be available in writing soon.
At present, we have a goal of coming to unity on a decision about accepting this generous gift in September or early October.

Statements about Potential Opportunities

• We should provide for accommodation of like-minded groups so as to strengthen our ties to these groups.
• Don’t think small when envisioning the building! We will grow when it is occupied.
• The important question is: In what way can the divine spirit be served?
• Before we build, or if we don’t build, the land could be a peace park, or an outdoor sculpture garden.
• It seems to be the kind of spirit that crafts the future – what kind of Friend’s Meeting would I want my granddaughter to attend? Its more spirit than physical.
• In Afghanistan each generation builds its contribution onto a family’s house. What is going to be the contribution of our generation of Santa Fe Quakers?
email comment: I'm happy to hear that Friends are also continuing to study the gift of land. This gift offers a beautiful opportunity to pass our blessings forward to the next generation of Friends in Santa Fe. How powerfully Spirit is calling us at this time and in this place!

Questions and Concerns

• What related decisions do we have to make? If we make the decision to accept the land now, we may have to address questions of what we can do or cannot do with the property. For example, neighbor permissions or historic board permissions.
• Keep in mind accessibility from all parts of Santa Fe.
• The tax situation seems still uncertain. (See notes below).
• What are the negatives in accepting this land? Combining several responses:
Can’t think of any. Extensive fund-raising - what debt will we accrue? Does the Meeting have strong enough energy to continue its spiritual direction while devoting energy to raising funding? Many changes unsettling our community and taking attention away from other matters.
• Lets keep it simple. Lets solve the questions we need to solve now.
• What allegiance do we have to Canyon Road? Combining several people’s statements: We have a strong responsibility to preserve the spirit of Olive Rush, and we can honor her by moving into the future in a more suitable place. Olive did not live in the past; she made changes in her life. Olive responded with changes to needs she saw around her, especially in the Depression. Olive Rush wanted to enable a Meetinghouse for Santa Fe Friends – and it this one is not adequate, she would be happy to have us sell in order to have an adequate one. We need to have a special meeting to discuss how/whether we honor Olive Rush’s bequest.
• We need legal clarity on the building that we have now; we might have two buildings to take care of. Can we find the optimum owner for our Canyon Rd building-arts office, etc? The linked Foundation might solve this problem.

Additional information about insurance and taxes

Insurance: From Bob Gaines. Until we actually build a building on the donated property, there shouldn't be any additional cost for insurance beyond what we already pay for property coverage (for 630 Canyon Rd) and liability (which covers everyone in the meeting whenever we are involved in meeting activities, for example a camping trip at Bandelier or falling and breaking a leg while inspecting the donated property). Church Mutual Ins Co will only care about the donated property when we have something on it that they would have to replace. Even then, the actual ownership is not at issue, only what we as an organization are actually insuring (i. e., it could be property -- such as a temporary building -- that we are renting rather than owning).
Taxes: Conversations are being held with the County Assessors Office, along with review of legal documents. The donor may have to pay taxes until the transfer is complete. The Meeting, of course, will need to provide documentation to establish its religious status when it assumes the title.


Summary of information at this time:
Alison Martinez, for the Steering Committee of the incorporated entity of the South SF Worship Group, reports the following. A property is being considered that is one-half of a simple commercial building between Cerrillos Rd and residential housing, after St Michaels going south. It provides 2600 sq ft with a large room for Meeting for Worship, as well as 3 bathrooms, a simple small kitchen and additional meeting rooms. Several Friends went to inspect the property, and were pleased at the large rectangular room for worship. One side has pleasant planting and a walkway with parking spaces. A homeowner’s association takes care of repairs and grounds. Alison reports that negotiations with the owner are uncertain at this time. She wants Friends to have a lease for one year, and that money be applied to purchase if Friends agree at that time. We could continue to lease for a longer time. Another property in the same neighborhood is being considered also.
All expenses, including) and other costs, will be covered by the funds already raised by the SSF Worship Group (about $260, 000). Additional pledges have been made that will cover purchase if that occurs. Thus, a new location could be used in addition to our present Canyon Rd property with no additional financial contributions needed. Although the SSF Worship Group was a separate group when the leading for a more permanent space began, they are inviting all Friends to worship and/or use a new property for committee meetings, events, worship, etc. as desired. Because it seemed impossible for SF Friends to make an either/or decision about this property versus Canyon Rd without experiencing it, there is now the opportunity to experiment for a year, and use that experience to help us determine where/how we wish to locate ourselves.

No decision is asked of Friends at this time about leasing or not leasing; rather, consideration of how to use this property.

Statements about Potential Opportunities

• The location is more in line with my beliefs about where Quakers should be than our current beloved but exclusive location.
• I can envision events and meetings that could happen there, which are not possible on Canyon Rd.
• The purpose of any building of a religious group is to serve spiritual concerns; we must have the space serve us, not serve the space, but must preserve our community intact.
• It is not a problem to have two separated meeting locations, (but I will stay at Canyon Rd.)
• Can we embrace this opportunity to create a new spiritual ambiance?
• It seems that the Spirit is telling us that it is time to leave Canyon Rd.

Questions and Concerns
• Separate space is not a problem as long as we are ‘united in heart’ but it will be harder to keep a sense of community with two locations.
• I’m not sure yet about several locations.
• Who will make decisions about using the space? Combining several statements: A small group created the ‘corporation’ and will make the decisions to lease/buy the property, but the larger Meeting will make decisions about how to use it. The South SF worship group might no longer be a separate group. Will we ‘vote by our feet, or come together to discuss it, seeking the light? We should definitely have a special meeting to discuss how we will use two spaces, perhaps in September. Can Ministry and Oversight organize this?


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