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September 2008 Newsletter

Letter to Friends


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




Ninth Month 2008




“Our country! In her intercourse with foreign nations, may she always be in the right; but our country, right or wrong!”
Steven Decatur




“Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel.”


Samuel Johnson (1709­–1784), commonly misattributed to Oscar Wilde




“Let the discussion continue!”
A.N. Other




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 9/7/08 10:00 a.m. Singing, First Day School room


12:30 p.m. Potluck, including celebration of their work in the Meeting, of Beverley Weiler and Helen Bertram


Sunday 9/14/08 9:15 a.m. Ministry and Oversight Committee


10:00 a.m. Singing, First Day School room


Sunday 9/21/08 10:00 a.m. Singing, First Day School room


12.30 p.m. Meeting for Worship for Business


Sunday 9/28/08 10:00 a.m. Singing, First Day School room


Santa Fe Friends invited to join Las Vegas Friends Worship


Group. For information about the location, contact Shelley


Cohen, Roxanne Seagraves or Phillip Balcombe.




If you wish to have an item included in the calendar, please contact the Clerk of Meeting. Thank you.




Meeting for Worship for Business, Santa Fe Monthly Meeting of Friends, 17th Day, Eighth Month




Present: Guthrie Miller, Betsy Bartels, Mary Ray Cate, Steve Spencer, Frank Hirsch, Philip Balcombe, Bettina Raphael, Helen M. Corneli, Kip Corneli, Peggy Giltrow, David Giltrow, David Henkel, Bob Gaines, Michael Simon, Beverly Busching, Martha Davis, Jennifer Wellington (Clerk), Wyn Lewis, Jessi Cross, Hilary Miller, Adam Harvey, Marguerite Kearns, Marty Carroll, and Jan Wilhem-Jansens.




The meeting began with silence at 12:30 p.m. The minutes of the Meeting for Worship for Business for the Seventh Month 2008 were approved.




Peace and Social Concerns: The invitation by Ann McLaughlin to work with individual Friends on Peace and Social Concerns was noted and the response reflected by various Friends who volunteered to work on a banner against torture to be displayed by SFMM, which is part of a National Religious Campaign Against Torture, to which many Monthly Meetings, Yearly Meetings and AFSC have signed up. A message reflected in a "Declaration of Principles for a Presidential Executive Order on Prisoner Treatment, Torture and Cruelty" was affirmed by those present.




Friends were in "strong agreement" for SFMM to participate, as well as join with an effort to advertise Meeting's support in, a SF New Mexican advertisement with other interested parties in the near future. Several other Santa Fe congregations are involved in displaying banners, including the Presbyterian Church, also in a historic district, which presumably has some of the same concerns about size and presentation.




Important considerations involve: (1) making a statement about torture, choosing the size of banner to display and how to accomplish the purpose (2x6 or 3x9), and/or (2) initiating a broader community discussion about the topic by reaching out. The advisability of mixing both purposes simultaneously was raised and the sense of the Meeting was to proceed in incremental stages: First, to put up a sign as soon as possible which meets the requirements of a sign in a historical district, a maximum of 8 sq ft–– 2'x 4' or similar combination, and costing $100; second, explore asking the City Council to pass a resolution with the message as stated in the Declaration circulated by the national campaign; third, at a later time, Meeting may address the possibility of a larger banner and the associated concerns if the campaign is long term, as is anticipated.




Individual Friends were encouraged to visit the web site of the national campaign and express their personal support and, if led, to write a letter to the editor. Kip Corneli volunteered to be in touch with those planning an ad in the New Mexican. Bob Gaines and Ann McLaughlin will continue their interest and involvement in moving this forward. More information will be circulated by email as it is available.






Jessi Cross indicated an interest in attending a conference of the national religious campaign opposing torture in Atlanta, September 11–13, 2008. She requested assistance and support so she can attend. A Traveling Minute will be drafted on her behalf. The Clerk will contact Atlanta Meeting to arrange overnight accommodations. Although SFMM's scholarship fund has been exhausted for 2008, individuals may support Jessi's trip by individual donations earmarked for this purpose.




Finance Committee: Peggy Giltrow noted that donations are low, seemingly a normal trend for this time of year, usually remedied by a reminder in October. However, this year was cited as "extraordinary" because of the economic climate and higher gas prices which could impact the usual pattern of donations, justifying caution and continued monitoring. The Finance Committee will prepare a draft of the 2009 budget by the end of September and all committee conveners should have their budget line items to the Finance Committee by October 1.




Treasurer's Report: See report attached to this document.




Appreciation was expressed to Bob Gaines and Peggy Giltrow for their thorough and careful monitoring of Meeting's resources and financial obligations.




Gift of Land: Three issues were under consideration relative to the Agreement between Donor and Meeting, dated August 17, 2008: (1) Acceptance of the gift of land, (2) Empowering the appropriate legal procedures, (3) Payment for fees relative to this process, such as legal, filing and unanticipated expenses for the transfer of a plot of vacant land (lot 115-WB), northeast corner of Old Pecos Trail and Camino Lejo. The agreement clarifies the process of transferring and developing the land, beginning with a six-year term of joint ownership, after which time the SFMM becomes the sole owner of this site of a future Meeting House, taking into consideration the preservation of neighborhood characteristics, a legal structure, agreement about contingencies, assessed value and other pertinent information as presented by the Future Planning Sub-Committee consisting of Beverly Busching, David Giltrow, Jan-Willem Jansens, John Kretzmann and Martha Davis.




Friends approved the transfer of land for a new Meeting House "joyfully and gratefully with appreciation and thanks." A formal Minute of Appreciation to the Donor was approved. The process of decision-making relative to this transfer was described as "a beautiful experience carried forward respectfully, with hopes and dreams and responsibilities held in the Light."




The Meeting officers will handle the signing of the legal documents with the law firm of Anthony Sawtell and making certain all paperwork is in place. Currently, those officers are Jennifer Wellington – Clerk, Bob Gaines – Treasurer, and Marguerite Kearns – Recording Clerk. In the future, new officers to Meeting positions should be advised of additional duties of this type. Friends approved the expenditure of up to $1500 to handle the legal fees, estimated to be about $800, and certain filing fees.




Those present expressed gratitude and appreciation for the orderly, coherent and helpful process which was described as inclusive, with an emphasis on reaching out, as well as thanks to a larger community "with us in spirit" for this momentous event constituting a new adventure.




Building Committee: David Giltrow brought Meeting up to date on minor repairs such as preventative maintenance on the kitchen drain, a bathroom pipe, motion sensor lamp on the Ramada, drainage in front of the Ramada, as well as the need to discuss future consideration of an electrical system in the Ramada and radiant heat in the Meeting room.




Resident's Committee: In anticipation of the new resident, Kathleen Burke, starting in November, Peg Martin will handle the Ramada rental between now and then. Hilary Miller and Adam Harvey will look in on the building on Wednesday evenings and Guthrie Miller on Monday evenings. Discussion of existing guidelines and building use will be held over to the Ninth Month. Currently, Ford Robbins keeps the meetinghouse calendar.




Gardens and Grounds: Trimming and weeding is ongoing and continuing, due to rain. New timbers are arriving for a new play structure in the back.




First Day School: The need continues for leadership which must be addressed as soon as possible and which necessitates a broader call for applications. Discussion centered on the need for formal advertising, outreach to other faith communities, and increasing the stipend from $40 to $60. Friends approved this stipend increase. The responsibility involves two hours, plus planning and coordination duties. David Henkel will check out leads. Alison Martinez will be contacted to ask her assistance in media outreach. Plans are underway to honor Beverly Weiler and Heather Bertram for their ongoing and valuable contributions to First Day School for many years. And a solution for leadership will be held in the Light "with special care" for a speedy resolution.




Worship Groups: Contacts include Las Vegas (Shelley Cohen), Clearlight (Ford Robbins, Peg Martin), Los Alamos (John Kretzmann), and South Santa Fe (Alison Martinez). Friends have been invited to participate in worship and support of the Las Vegas Worship Group on September 28. For information about the location, contact Shelly Cohen, Roxanne Seagraves or Phillip Balcombe. Please take note of the address of the South Santa Fe building at 1730 Camino Carlos Rey, #209. This address is the rust-red building on the short extension of Camino Carlos Rey to the northwest of Cerrillos Road, behind Premier Autos. One may also approach it from Agua Fria Road via La Cieneguita.




Ministry and Oversight: The query for the Ninth Month was read, with a request for a restatement so queries, now and in the future, don't require a single "yes" or "no" answer. The query is: "In what ways do we clear our minds so that the Spirit has a place to enter?"




A question about a bench to memorialize Friends was raised, with the sense of M&O that memorials are appropriate in minutes in order that Friends' ideas and work speak for themselves. Memorials have also been in the form of monetary donations to scholarship and other specific funds.




Bess Klassen-Landes, a member of Hanover Friends Meeting, has been released for a year to speak against the death penalty following the murder of a family member. She is traveling around the U.S., expects to visit New Mexico in December, and seeks accommodations. Her visit is being coordinated with the Coalition to Repeal the Death Penalty. The Meeting supports hospitality in either the guest apartment or members' homes as soon as her schedule is firm.




M&O will continue to consider the possibility of a called meeting to consider future cooperation between the South Santa Fe Worship Group and the SFMM of Friends in reference to their respective properties.




The Meeting for Worship for Business for the Eighth Month ended with silence at 3 p.m.




Respectfully submitted,


Marguerite Kearns, Recording Clerk






Treasurer's Report




For January 1 to July 31, 2008 Prepared August 13, 2008




General Fund donations to date: $9,836




Percentage of budgeted donations received: 40%




General Fund expenses to date: $15,803




Percentage of budgeted expenses paid: 64%








Maintenance Fund donations to date: $5,464




Percentage of projected donations received:   55%




Maintenance Fund expenses to date: $1,760




Percentage of projected expenses: 25%








Total cash in bank on July 31: $16,681




Checking: $2,406




Money market: $4,945




CDs (3 and 6 month): $9,229




Share: $100








General Fund: $6,772




Maintenance Fund: $7,047




Turkle Fund: $778




Olmstead Fund: $162




Sufferings Fund: $1,300




Adult Education Fund: $502




Young Fund: $120







Southside’s New Meeting Space




Sixteen Friends attended the preview reception at Southside's new "Quaker House" on Saturday evening, August 23rd. All seemed to agree that the high ceilings, open floor plan, and plentiful natural light make for a good, Friendly space.


Friends shared "wine" and cheese while they explored the worship room,


balcony, kitchenette, and the two rooms for First Day School, study groups, or committee meetings. They talked about colors for paint and the arrangement of furniture. Then they formed a circle in the worship room and sang, "We're standing on holy ground."


"Quaker House" occupies a suite on the top floor of 1730 Camino Carlos Rey. This is a "green" building (painted rust-reddish brown) on the short end of Camino Carlos Rey, northwest of Cerrillos Road, behind the Performance Autos used car lot.


"This location met all our criteria," Alison Martinez explains. "It's near the city's population center, there are 40 parking places, it's on a bus line, it's wheelchair accessible, and there is a park nearby. The green architectural features, like roof-water harvesting, are a bonus." 


The South Santa Fe worship group has already moved to Quaker House, and all are welcome to worship there on Sunday mornings at 10:30 a.m. As soon as the space is painted and furnished, Friends will be invited to the house warming.




A Meeting for Trust




Friends from Oklahoma, Wyoming, New Mexico, and Colorado met for worship on August 16th at Camp I-ra-ha-je in the mountains near Denver. Alison Martinez conveyed greetings from the Southside Worship Group. The theme was trusting God––not for this or to do that: simply trusting and obeying Him.




Santa Fe Meeting Endorses the Declaration of Principles for a Presidential Executive Order to Ban Torture




The August business meeting joined many other religious groups in endorsing the “Declaration of Principles” developed by the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. The Declaration calls on the next president to sign an executive order telling the world that “the use of torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment against prisoners is immoral, unwise, and un-American.”


The Declaration advocates the Golden Rule: “We will not authorize or use any methods of interrogation that we would not find acceptable if used against Americans, be they civilians or soldiers.” It asks that “all US officials who authorize, implement, or fail in their duty to prevent the use of torture and ill treatment of prisoners will be held accountable, regardless of rank or position.”


The business meeting encourages individuals to read and sign the Declaration at NRCAT also asks individuals to sign a statement of conscience called "Torture is a Moral Issue."


The business meeting agreed to hang a NRCAT banner saying “Torture Is Wrong” on the meetinghouse. Over 330 churches and meetings nationwide have hung similar banners, including the Santa Fe Unitarian and First Presbyterian churches. The Clerk of the Hartford CT Friends Meeting is the coordinator for the NRCAT banner project.


The business meeting approved a traveling minute for Jessi Cross to attend the NRCAT conference “Religious Faith, Torture, and Our National Soul,” September 11-12, 2008, at Mercer University in Atlanta. Contributions to support her travel may be made to Santa Fe Friends Meeting.




Messages and Announcements




  • Special Celebration at potluck on First Sunday, September 7th:


Join us at the 12.30 p.m. potluck in honoring Beverley Weiler and Heather Bertram as we celebrate all their years of loving, inspired care of the Meeting's children. They are moving on to other commitments, leaving us with a stable vision for what First Day School can achieve (and an offer to help train the new child care supervisor!) We will also celebrate their dedicated care for Jeanette Young, as they helped Meeting and her family meet the needs of our oldest member until her death at 101 last December. For more information call Peggy Giltrow, 988-4751, or email


  • 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, Peg Martin (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 Peg 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:


Ministry and Oversight Committee: (for personal or meeting-wide concerns, and needs for pastoral counseling) Ford Robbins, convener, 466-7665; Joan Spencer, 984-2217; Dimitri Mihalas, 661-7414; Philip Balcombe, 466-2982; Jennifer Wellington, 438-9399; Michael Simon, 989-3817; Roxanne Seagraves, 438-3714


Meeting Clerk: Jennifer Wellington, 438-9399


Meeting Resident: (for guest apartment, or to report building problems, etc.) Peg Martin, 983-7241.


To schedule use of building: Contact Ford Robbins, 466-7665,


Recorder: Beverly Busching, 984-8742


Treasurer: Bob Gaines, 466-1746 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


The Peace and Social Concerns Committee welcomes new members. Anne McLaughlin, 995-9655 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


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 (, 505-454-9352) or to receive by email contact Bob Gaines (, 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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