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Background and Mission

Statements on Background and Mission

Prepared by the Future Planning Committee for a

Called Meeting March 23, 2014

Presented 3/2014

Section 1 -- Background

In the years prior to the establishment of the Santa Fe Monthly Meeting of Friends in 1948 and for almost two decades following, Quakers in Santa Fe often met in each other’s homes. After Olive Rush deeded her home at 630 Canyon Road to the Meeting in 1966, Meeting members and attenders continued to gather there, as some of us still do, treasuring the old house, its peaceful atmosphere and garden. By the 1970s our Meeting had grown, and, for several decades since has cycled through periods when the limitations of the Canyon Road property have been perceived as inadequate and newer and larger alternative facilities for worship have been sought. This has resulted in some members and attenders leaving the Meeting or establishing other times and places for worship.

These issues were still of concern in 2005 when two Threshing sessions were held to gather in-put from the Meeting on the stewardship of the historic Canyon Road property and ways of addressing space and facility needs. This was followed by a Visioning Session in 2006 and the establishment, in 2007, of a Stewardship/Long-term Planning Committee charged with addressing and reconciling two critical issues: a) our physical needs of the Meeting for an adequate and appropriate gathering space for worship and other activities; and b) responsibility for the care, management and preservation of Olive Rush’s bequest of the historic buildings, gardens, furnishings and artwork. That entity soon evolved into the current Future Planning Committee which was charged with gathering information and creative in-put on alternative options to facility needs.

Over the years, various solutions have been explored. A proposal to build a meeting space in the back garden at Canyon Road in 1994 did not achieve consensus and was dropped. A donation of money for a facility in 2008 resulted in the establishment of a separate worship group in Santa Fe. And a gift of land in 2009 proved impossible as the building site for a meeting house due to covenant restrictions. The Committee has continued to evaluate alternatives and gather information and at this stage has developed criteria, stated in the attached Guidelines, by which to evaluate concrete options.

From the notes from the Threshing Sessions, Visioning Session and two recent Worship Sharing Sessions in 2012, the Future Planning Committee has compiled the following Wishlist of qualities or resources members and attenders have expressed as desirable in a meeting house.


The Space

  • large enough to accommodate (75) people

  • configured to allow us to meet in a circle so all may see and hear

  • sufficient heating and cooling

  • use of non-toxic materials/products

  • energy efficiency

  • sufficient parking on site or nearby

  • handicapped accessible

  • at least two bathrooms

  • kitchen facilities

  • 2-3 rooms for First Day School, and a library

  • outdoor facilities (garden)

  • well located; easy to get to by car or public transportation

The Atmosphere

  • a peaceful, pleasant feeling of sanctuary and spiritual creativity

  • a sense of equality and community, welcoming and home-like

  • an ambience of intimacy for self-reflection and communal feelings

Concerns that have been expressed about inadequacies of our present facilities

  • overcrowding in the Meeting room

  • overcrowding/combined ages in First Day School room

  • inadequate parking

  • inadequate access and space for handicap mobility throughout the building and grounds

  • poor acoustics, especially for those of us who are hearing impaired

  • inadequate provision for safe access at night or in poor weather conditions

  • high maintenance costs diverting energy and funds from our spiritual life and support for Good Works

  • too gloomy a space to host the Light

  • inadequate heating and cooling

Section 2 –Current Mission of the Future Planning Committee

  1. Determine the needs and desires of Santa Fe Friends for a future Meeting House.

  2. Create guidelines and parameters for evaluating prospective properties and/or improvements to our existing Meeting House.

  3. Promote the use of the Guidelines among members looking into options for our Meeting house. .

  4. Determine the feasibility of properties or improvements to our current facility consistent with the parameters in the Guidelines and present them to the Meeting.

  5. Provide informative facts on various facility options including building codes, required purchase, renovation or construction procedures, time estimates, realistic costs, and funding sources.

  6. Through presentations and dialogue with the members, help the Meeting move toward consensus and ACTION in a timely way.


Prepared March 2014

The following proposed processes and criteria for evaluating facility options are still evolving and will be modified as needed in the future. There are three steps in the process: Description of the Option; Requirements to Realize the Option; and Analysis and Evaluation of the Option. Within each step the criteria are prioritized roughly in order of likely importance to the Meeting. The Planning Committee recommends that Santa Fe Monthly Meeting utilize these criteria to guide them in identifying viable options for improving the space where we worship and meet.


What is the option being proposed and what does it entail?

Where does the option appear on the Decision Tree?

Population and Time Projections

  • How many people will the option accommodated?

  • Is the option a short-term or long-term solutions?

  • Can this option be accomplished in stages?

How long will it take to implement or complete the option?

Will the Meeting have to act quickly to take advantage of this option?

Concrete Considerations

Will the option meet the Meeting’s physical requirements?

  • a main Meeting room seating about 75+ persons and two or three rooms for First Day School (one might double as a library)

  • a peaceful, quiet location and facility acoustically adequate for the needs of hearing-impaired persons

  • sufficient space for wheelchair maneuverability to meet ADA requirements

  • parking on-site for at least 10 vehicles including some ADA handicapped accessible spots.

  • parking for at least 20 to 30 vehicles within reasonable and safe walking distance of the Meetinghouse or shuttle service

  • kitchen facilities adequate for the largest number of people expected onsite

  • adequately lighted access for safety and personal security

  • outdoor/garden space(s)accommodating children’s needs

  • possible considerations: guest accommodation and Meeting resident accommodation (to help with physical maintenance and financial support), and space for temporary structures/special events

Considerations of Location

What demographic area will the option serve and how will people be able to get there?

  • Is the site fairly centrally located for attenders?

  • Is the site served by public transportation?

  • Is there safe access by foot and by bicycle?

  • Will it be accessible to all in wintry weather conditions?

Environmental and Ecological Considerations

In what way is the option currently “green”? What steps can be taken to improve its “green” status?

Does the building already exist? Existing buildings start with an advantage as they avoid resources and energy consumption.

LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) attributes desirable in a remodel or new construction:

  • Universal Design (inherently accessible)

  • Permeable Paths and Trails

  • Near Public Transportation

  • Open Space

  • Water Saving Fixtures

  • Gray-water Irrigation

  • Rain Harvesting

  • Native Trees and Plants – xeric landscaping

  • Passive Solar Orientation

  • In Floor Radiant Heat

  • Air Exchange for Healthy Indoor Air

  • Energy Star Ceiling Fans

  • Energy Efficient Light Fixtures

  • Energy Star Certified Exhaust Fans & Appliances

  • Low e Windows

  • Blown In Cellulose Insulation

  • Photo Voltaics

  • Light-colored roofing

Architectural Considerations

Is the option adapted to the geography through the use of regional typology, use of local materials, and is the option energy efficient and does it use low-tech energy solutions?

Is the option adapted to human beings by reinforcing historical
traditions connected with local culture and human physiology? Does the option adapt to human psychology, to children, and give emotional pleasure to all people? (“Architectural theory: Form Language, Complexity” by Nikos Salingaros)

Aesthetic Considerations

Does the option feature a generally pleasing combination of functionality and simplicity?

  • Light

  • Simple design

  • Natural materials and finishes

Community Considerations

What impact will the option have on the wider community?

What is the relationship in location, access and facility offerings of this option to other Meetings or Worship Groups in the area?


What must happen to realize the Option?

Spiritual Unity

How can the group reach consensus?

How can the Meeting act in a timely way if this is needed to take advantage of an agreed upon option?

Consideration of Fatal Flaws

Are there aspects of the option, obvious at first viewing or based on experience from exploring other options, which would indicate that further consideration would be fruitless?

Financial Considerations

What will the option cost to implement and maintain and where will the money come from?


Architectural Costs $

Contractor and Material Costs of renovation $

Transitioning Costs $

Rental Property

Monthly Rent $

Condo or Association Fees $

Transitioning Costs $

Renovation Costs $

Acquisition of Property (Land and/or Building)

Pre-Purchase Costs

  • Option money - refundable deposit contingent on acceptable inspection $

  • Earnest money - security deposit $

  • Inspections $

Purchase Costs

  • Acquisition price $

  • Escrows

  • Closing $

  • Renovation and/or building $

  • Transitioning costs $

Sources of Funding

  • Existing funds $

  • Gifts $

  • Grants $

  • Fundraising $

  • Proceeds from sale of existing properties $

  • Loans from individuals $

  • Loans from Quaker sources $

  • Loans from conventional lenders $

Maintenance Costs

  • Debt service $

  • Reserves $

  • Insurance $

  • Utilities $

  • Communications $

  • Advertising $

  • Cleaning & Gardening $

Sources of Funding

  • Donations $

  • User fees $

  • Lease income $

Permitting and Legal Considerations

What requirements might impact the option?

  • Zoning

  • Permitting (special use permit for religious assembly, covenants, historic district)

  • Deed restrictions

  • Clear title

  • Commercial code

  • ADA/HC requirements

  • City or County plans that might impact the option


Have all inspections been carried out which might reveal the presence of defects or harmful substances in a property or facility that would compromise good health and safety?

  • Structural

  • Mechanical

  • Lead

  • Urea Formaldehyde Foam Insulation (UFFI)

  • Asbestos

  • Mold

  • Radioactivity

  • Radon

  • Soil contamination

  • Groundwater contamination

  • Off-gassing

Insurance Considerations

Is there anything about the option that would make it impossible or questionably expensive to insure?

  • Flood zone designation

  • Fire Hazards

  • Unorthodox construction and materials

  • Shared space with other organization or function

Other Hurdles

Are there unmet concerns or steps in the process that if not successfully resolved would rule out the option? What are they?

Transitioning Procedures

What do we need to provide for the transitioning process and what steps must be taken as we plan the move from our present facility to the option?


How do you feel about the option?

Do you like it? Are you comfortable with the option?

How is the option to be compared with other options and our present situation?

Quaker Values and Spiritual Considerations

Is the option under consideration conducive to Silent Worship in the Light and our spoken ministry? Is it reflective of the Quaker values?

  • Simplicity?

  • Peace?

  • Integrity?

  • Community?

  • Equality?

  • Stewardship?

Pros and Cons

What are the negatives or problems of the option?

Which concerns expressed about our present facility are not met by this option?

What are the risks involved with the option? (For example, what if the Meeting were unable to implement or complete the option?)

Does the evaluation of the option suggest or warrant presentation to the Meeting?

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