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October 2008 Newsletter

Letter to Friends
Newsletter of the Santa Fe Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends

Tenth Month 2008

“Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just [person] is also in prison.” Henry David Thoreau


Calendar of Events
All events take place at the Meetinghouse, 630 Canyon Road, unless otherwise noted. Meeting for Worship is held every Sunday at 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. Childcare and First Day School are provided during the 11:00 a.m. Meeting. The South Santa Fe Worship Group holds Meeting for Worship every Sunday at 10:30 a.m. on the top floor of 1730 Camino Carlos Rey.

Sunday 10/5/08 10:00 a.m. Singing, First Day School room
12:30 p.m. Potluck
Sunday 10/12/08 9:15 a.m. Ministry and Oversight Committee
10:00 a.m. Singing, First Day School room
Sunday 10/19/08 10:00 a.m. Singing, First Day School room
12.30 p.m. Meeting for Worship for Business
Sunday 10/26/08 10:00 a.m. Singing, First Day School room


If you wish to have an item included in the calendar, please contact the Clerk of Meeting. Thank you.
Minutes of the Meeting for Worship for Business
Santa Fe Monthly Meeting of Friends, 21st Day, Ninth Month


Present: Jennifer Wellington, Dave Giltrow, Joan Spencer, Alison P. Martinez, Steve Spencer, Ford Robbins, Philip Balcombe, John A. Kretzmann, Beverly Busching, Marguerite Kearns, Bob Gaines.

The Meeting for Worship for Business began with silence at 12:35 p.m. in the meeting room at 630 Canyon Road. The minutes for the Eighth Month were approved.

Treasurer’s Report: An accounting of Meeting’s finances, as outlined in the Treasurer’s Report, raised concerns as to the implications of such reporting, a discussion brought into focus as a result of last month’s allocation of $1500 to pay for anticipated legal expenses associated with the transfer of land for a Meeting House and additional funds of $250 requested for the Garden Committee this month. Friends were in agreement to establish a line item in the budget called “New Meetinghouse Fund” and the treasurer, Bob Gaines, was authorized to have the financial records reflect this.

The importance of establishing a detailed breakdown of donations by intent (or designated for specific purposes) became a focus of concerns expressed and it was considered at length. The discussion of funding the Garden Committee received the same attention and thoughtful consideration as the financial income and expenditures associated with the process of building a Meeting House. The necessity of replenishing gravel and help in spreading it (a total of $150), neighbor Alice Parrott’s donation of a new tree, the recommendation of two more work days before winter, and accolades about a consultant’s report with recommendations for the garden led to prompt agreement by Friends that an additional $250 for the Garden Committee is necessary and justified.

There are clear boundaries associated with the garden, similar to the Turkle or Library line item. But the donation guidelines have not always been clearly drawn and some donations have been diverted to other uses, even in some instances with the donor’s consent.

Thoughtful discussion of how to carefully keep tabs on donations and expenditures, for present and future treasurers, and reassure potential donors could be considered as premature by some, considering the fact that the transfer of land for this purpose is still underway. However, the urgent necessity of clarity was acknowledged, as to its importance, and agreement by Friends of ongoing close attention to this matter. One donation to the new Meeting House has been received and other Friends are considering making donations in the not-so-distant future.

Treasurer Bob Gaines explained that the $2,000 set aside for legal expenses of the Future Planning Committee has a line item in the current budget. He described his vigilance in tracking donations to ensure they will be spent on their intended use and not swallowed up in the General Fund. “From my point of view, these things can be tracked. It’s easier if we have additional pockets so we can report more easily,” he said. In response to a suggestion that Meeting’s financial situation in 2008 be compared to 2007, Gaines reported donations being ahead, while expenditures, compared to last year, are approximately the same. Cash in hand is $20,600 compared to $14,700 at the same time last year.

This discussion is expected to be ongoing as the Future Planning Committee works out the details of the land transfer, as well as attend to the range of decision-making relative to the preservation and use of the 630 Canyon Road property. Friends accepted the Treasurer’s Report as submitted.

Future Planning Committee: The creation of a legal document relative to the land gift is still in underway, with a more streamlined process and different tax considerations under discussion which will impact the transfer agreement. December 31, 2008 is considered the deadline for this matter. Ample time has been allocated to adjust to new concerns and considerations by the donor and Meeting’s response in drawing up an agreement agreeable to both parties.

Ministry and Oversight: The long M and O report reflected thoughtful consideration and discussion prompted by input from members and attenders about the “Sense of the Meeting,” understandable, considering the “state of flux” defined in the decision making underway relative to future plans for the Meeting. The strong need for a “time of quiet” was recommended. The query for the Tenth Month is: “How does each of us take our right share of responsibility in work and service for the Meeting?” In response to spiritual concerns, Roxanne Seagraves and Dimitri Mihalas will guide a Quakerism 101 course starting in October. In late winter 2009, a gathering will be scheduled to discuss a “Sense of the Meeting,” as well as a meeting-wide discussion of the ethical discussions of entering into a Trust Agreement relative to 630 Canyon Road.

Marti Carroll is teaching First Day School until November when she will leave for two months to live in residence at Findhorn in Scotland. The implications of her absence will be revisited. The passing of Frances B. McAllister of Flagstaff Meeting, as well as longtime attender of SFMM Maury Nahmeas, were noted with sadness.

Friends accepted the M and O Report.

Building Committee: Two drains were installed outside the Ramada’s doorway. There was minor stucco work and the outside bonco was re-mudded. A bill of $600 was acknowledged and the report of the Building Committee accepted.

Earth Care Committee: “Eleventh Hour” is under consideration for showing at Meeting.

Peace and Social Concerns: Letter writing in support of Robin Long, recently sentenced to 15 months for refusing to go to Iraq, will be available in the future following the close of Meeting. The support was prompted by Long’s report of how 300 letters of encouragement buoyed his spirit and determination. There are no updates relative to the speaker expected to visit New Mexico and speak about the death penalty in December.

The Interfaith Alliance has been encouraging faith communities to attend to organization within their churches when attending to the projected needs of attenders and members in the event of an emergency. M and O will be making recommendations in this regard, starting with a phone tree.

The Ramada is rented and will be occupied until the arrival of the new resident, Kathleen Burke, in November. Marti Carroll and Guthrie Miller are co-convening the resident’s committee and addressing the preparation and needs of the incoming resident.

The Santa Fe Rape Crisis and Trauma Treatment Center in a letter thanked the Santa Fe Meeting for its donation of $100.

The Meeting for Worship for Business ended at 2:25 p.m. with silence.

Respectfully submitted,
Marguerite Kearns, Recorder


Finance Committee Report

September 18, 2008

The August business meeting agreed to allocate an additional $1,500 for use by the Future Planning Committee to cover legal and other expenses associated with accepting the gift of land for a new meetinghouse, adding to the existing allocation of $500 which was approved at the May business meeting. The business meeting left it to the Finance Committee to determine from which fund to draw the additional $1,500.

After the business meeting a donation of $800 was made to support acceptance of the gift of land. Earlier in the summer $100 was donated to support the transition to a new meetinghouse. The Finance Committee anticipates that there will be similar donations and recommends that the business meeting create a Building Fund to hold these donations.

The Finance Committee recommends that the business meeting approve the Garden Committee's request for an additional $250 from the General Fund.

The Finance Committee will present the draft budget for 2009 to Meeting for Business in November and has asked all committee conveners to submit their 2009 budget request by October 7.

Submitted by Bob Gaines for Peggy Giltrow, Convener


A Note from the Treasurer

At the September business meeting the Finance Committee proposed creating a "Building Fund" to hold donations for a new meetinghouse. During the discussion a concern was raised about whether the Meeting is able to ensure that donations for a specific purpose––such as for a kitchen in the new meetinghouse––are tracked in such a way that the donation could not be spent inadvertently for another purpose.

This gives me an opportunity to describe how I (and any future treasurer) do in fact keep track of donations for specific purposes and who made them.

I use a software program called Custom Church Software Accounting (CCS) which is designed specifically for churches. In addition to handling all the functions of general purpose bookkeeping or accounting programs, CCS does two additional things churches must do: track donations and special funds.

Unrestricted donations can be used by the Meeting for any purpose. Restricted donations MUST be used for the purpose for which they were given.

Most of the donations the Meeting receives are unrestricted (which go into the General Fund or the Maintenance fund, depending on the source of the donation). But we also get two types of restricted donations: those to a specific existing fund, such as the Sufferings Fund or the Adult Education Fund, and donations earmarked for a specific purpose for which we haven't established a fund, such as those for the honorarium for Beverly Weiler.

All of these are easily tracked by the CCS program, and next month I'll describe for you exactly how I and the Finance Committee do it.

Oh, yes––the business meeting did create a fund to hold donations for a new building, but we decided to call it the "New Meetinghouse Fund" to clearly distinguish it from the Maintenance Fund, which is used solely for the Canyon Road meetinghouse.


Hail and Farewell to Resident Friends

This month Peg Martin concludes her work as Resident Friend of Santa Fe Meeting, but fortunately for us, Peg will remain in the area. We thank her for her diligent and caring work in providing hospitality for the Meeting, and we wish her much happiness as she settles into her new home in Santa Fe.

In early November, Kathleen Burke will join us as Resident Friend for the coming year. A member of the Atlanta, Georgia, Friends Meeting, a former clerk of her Yearly Meeting’s Ministry and Worship Committee, as well as a Meeting representative to FWCC, Kathleen has spent the past four years living and working at the Findhorn Foundation in northern Scotland. Before moving to Findhorn, Kathleen was director of community relations for The Salvation Army in Atlanta.

Kathleen writes to us from Findhorn, “After four wonderful and rewarding years here I am now feeling called to return to the States much richer for the experience. I have one daughter, Nina, age 33, who has settled in Austin, Texas. I, too, have decided to migrate to the southwest, hence my interest in the Santa Fe area. Quaker meeting and community are an essential part of my life and spiritual practice and I intend to continue for that to be so. It is quite significant to leave such a close knit and spiritual community and re-enter life in the United States. I look forward to being a part of the Santa Fe Meeting community as I make this transition and to contributing the skills I have developed at Findhorn. My work here has taught me a lot about gardening and co-creating with nature, shamanic practices, living lightly on the earth, voluntary simplicity and, as it happens, providing homecare for guests!”

Friends will be able to meet and welcome Kathleen at First Day Meeting in early November.


Interfaith Community Shelter

The Interfaith Community Shelter Group (IC Shelter Group) is entering its second year of providing shelter during winter. The mission of the group is to provide shelter for individuals, including children, who are without housing and would otherwise find themselves living on the street.

Last year we coordinated the activity through St. Elizabeth’s Shelter and they are still very much involved in our planning. We have received a grant from the City of $60,000 to be used for rental, expenses, and hiring of staff (as trained staff must accompany the guests overnight.) We are currently trying to rent a building, large enough to accommodate women and children as well as men. If we cannot locate an appropriate space, we will repeat last year's round robin use of the space of the participating faith groups. We will begin the program on Nov 2nd.

Volunteers are needed to accompany the clients to the participating churches/temples, provide meals, and stay with the group until the night staff arrives. We also hope to be able to provide bag lunches this year so assistance with purchase and preparation is needed.

Training for the next group of volunteers will be on Oct 27, at 5:30 p.m. at Holy Faith Church. The Volunteer Coordinator is Carolyn Vail and her telephone numbers are: 505-473-1338 (home) and 505-660-2939 (office).

So far, there are seven members of the Santa Fe Community coordinating this effort and about fifteen faith groups committed to participate.

I will be happy to answer questions.   Barbara Belding, 505-424-016


Soldier Imprisoned
Joe Volk, FCNL Executive Director, was the keynote speaker at the 2006 IMYM Annual Gathering. Joe told how he had first encountered Quakers during the Vietnam War when he was placed in the Fort Carson, CO, stockade for trying to get conscientious objector status. The AFSC, which was supporting Joe, alerted Quakers in the Denver Meeting who began checking regularly on Joe's treatment in the stockade. Joe would now surely encourage us to do the same for a new conscientious objector in prison.

Robin Long, who fled to Canada in 2005 after receiving orders to deploy to the Iraq War, was sentenced in August by a Fort Carson, CO, court martial to a dishonorable discharge and 15 months of confinement, to be served at the Miramar Naval Brig, San Diego, CA.

Robin joined the Army in 2003. Upon meeting soldiers returning from Iraq, he was horrified by their stories of violence and brutality. Soldiers bragged about their "first kills" and showed pictures of people they shot or ran over with tanks. "I had a really sick feeling to my stomach when I heard about these things that went on," he said.

Robin gave an impassioned testimony at his court martial, which was packed with his supporters, including members of Iraq Veterans Against the War, Veterans for Peace, and the Pikes Peak Justice and Peace Commission. He declared that he was still convinced that he had done the right thing morally, even if he did not make the most prudent legal and tactical decisions. He said that he was glad that he did not go to Iraq but wished that there were another option available to him other than facing court martial and confinement.

Courage to Resist, which supports troops refusing to fight, has called for letters of support and encouragement for Robin. Letters must be sent initially to Robin c/o Courage to Resist as he can get mail only from approved correspondents. Courage to Resist taped an interview with Robin from jail following his sentencing, which you can listen to on their website (www.couragetoresist.org). He was in good spirits and looking forward to serving his time as a means of preparing himself for peace work after release.

The Peace and Social Concerns Committee will have material for writing letters and more information on Robin available after rise of meeting on Sunday, October 12.



Getting to Know Each Other
In this space we print the “bio-sketches” of Meeting members and Attenders. Contributors are free to select whatever biographical information they would like to share about themselves, in their chosen style of presentation. The Getting to Know Each Other section has provided readers with some of the most worthwhile and enjoyable pieces in our newsletter, and it is anticipated that they will eventually be collected in a small anthology. All readers are urged to consider sending us their own bio-sketches.

Steve Spencer:

I grew up in the Philadelphia area. My dad was a medical science writer, and my parents had three sons, all of whom became physicians. I went to Swarthmore College, where I met Joan Price. We were married the week I got my MD degree from the University of Pennsylvania. My work since then has included internship at the University of Michigan, internal medicine residency at the Mayo Clinic, private practice in Flagstaff, a total of nine years on the Navajo Reservation, and nine years on medical faculties at the University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and the University of Arizona. In 1985 we came to Santa Fe, where I took the job of Medical Director of the New Mexico Corrections Department. Since retiring from that job I have done a lot of consulting to jail and prison health care programs all over the U.S. and even in Cambodia. [Continued next page]

An important formative experience was a six-month interruption of my residency to take part in an epidemiologic study of cardiovascular disease, on a National Heart Institute grant, at Albert Schweitzer’s hospital in Gabon. Albert Schweitzer had been one of my inspirations in going into medicine, and now he was one of my mentors. Fortunately Joan was able to join me for one of those months.

While at the University of Arizona, Joan and I founded the CUP Program (Commitment to Underserved People), a four-year curricular and extracurricular program that places students in clinical sites for the underserved in an effort to keep alive the altruism with which they come to medical school. It began as an elective offering, but is now required for all students.

My hobbies are choral singing, downhill skiing and fly-fishing.

In our 53 years of marriage Joan and I have been blessed with four loving daughters, who married four good men, and we now have seven perfect grandchildren. We both were Presbyterians, but joined the Religious Society of Friends about 45 years ago. We have fond memories of Ghost Ranch because that is where we went with our girls from Flagstaff, to Friends Family Camp, before there was an IMYM.

* * * *

Shall we let Africa’s children die of curable or preventable disease, prevent them from going to school, destroy their opportunities for meaningful work­­… to pay off odious loans made to their forefathers?” 
Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Every day more than 800 million people go to bed hungry and 24,000 die of starvation. 
HIV/AIDS kills more than 2 million people every year and adds to the league of millions of orphans in developing countries. Since the G8 began discussing proposals for up to 100% debt cancellation in June 2004, more than 4 million children under five have died. How many more will die before the G8 begins to implement the 2005 debt cancellation deal for 14 of the world's heavily indebted and poor countries?

Visit the American Friends Service Committee web pages to learn more about this important issue and where Quakers are making a stand on it: http://www.afsc.org/AfricaLifeOverDebt

Messages and Announcements
­­­­­­
Friends are reminded that M & O maintains a Meeting Calendar. Please contact Ford Robbins (505-466-7665) to schedule use of the Meetinghouse for your event. This will help avoid conflicts and will allow Meeting to maintain security of the premises.
Friends who know someone who would like to reserve a stay in the guest apartment are asked to have the potential guest(s) contact the resident (505-983-7241) directly to make the booking, so that she can know exact dates as early as possible and coordinate reservations. If there is a change in plans, this also should be communicated directly to the resident by the guests.
Junk no more!  Your excess calendars, greeting cards, and old magazines can help women prisoners to maintain connections with friends, families and the outside world.  Just call Audrey Miller at 424-1208.  She'll pick up your donations and get them to the women.  Thank you!
Friends and attenders are reminded that Michele Chrabot collects brown paper grocery bags for recycling at the Santa Fe Food Bank. They may be given to her after 11 o'clock Meeting for Worship or placed in the designated bag in the Meetinghouse kitchen.


Some Key Meeting Contacts
Santa Fe Meeting Websites: http://sf.imym.org http://santa-fe.quaker.org/index.html
Ministry and Oversight Committee: (for personal or meeting-wide concerns, and needs for pastoral counseling) Ford Robbins, convener, 466-7665 fordrobbins@earthlink.net; Joan Spencer, 984-2217 ssspencer@pol.net; Dimitri Mihalas, 474-0870; Philip Balcombe, 466-2982 pjbalcombe@cybermesa.com; Jennifer Wellington, 438-9399 jfloresta@gmail.com; Michael Simon, 989-3817 msimo@lycos.com; Roxanne Seagraves, 438-3714 rstories@aol.com
Meeting Clerk: Jennifer Wellington, 438-9399 jfloresta@gmail.com
Meeting Resident: (for guest apartment, or to report building problems, etc.) currently Peg Martin, 983-7241, handing over in November to Kathleen Burke.
To schedule use of building: Contact Ford Robbins, 466-7665,
fordrobbins@earthlink.net
Recorder: Marguerite Kearns, 505-753-9760 mkearns@cybermesa.com
Treasurer: Bob Gaines, 466-1746 gaines@comcast.net Please mail financial contributions to Treasurer, Santa Fe Monthly Meeting of Friends, 630 Canyon Rd, Santa Fe NM 87501, or put in “birdhouse” box. Thank you!
Young Friends (18–40ish) get together often. For information please contact Sarah Cutler, 216-5219 smcutler@mtholyoke.edu.
The Peace and Social Concerns Committee welcomes new members. Anne McLaughlin, 995-9655 caunteton@msn.com. Meetings as and when announced.

The Committee on Conscientious Objection meets as needed. For information please call Howard Shulman, 984-9908.
South Santa Fe Worship Group contact person is Alison Martinez, 438-0729 alison1@cybermesa.com
For a complete list of committees, see the Meeting Directory. Friends and attenders can request a copy at any time, either 'printed on demand' and mailed to you or sent to you electronically, i.e. as an email attachment. For hard copy please contact Molly Vaux (mvaux@desertgate.com, 505-454-9352) or to receive by email contact Bob Gaines (gaines@comcast.net, 466-1746). In either case please specify whether you want the local Santa Fe directory or the outside Santa Fe directory, or both.















 

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