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January 2009 Minutes

Minutes of Meeting for Worship for Business
Santa Fe Monthly Meeting of Friends, 16th Day, First Month 2009

Present: Pam Gilchrist, Beverly Busching, Peggy Giltrow, David Giltrow, Ford Robbins, Greg Cliburn, John A, Kretzmann, Philip Balcombe, Alison P. Martinez, Kathleen Burke, Bob Gaines, Jennifer Wellington White, Marguerite Kearns

The meeting began with silence at 12:40 p.m.

December Minutes: The minutes for December 2008’s Meeting for Worship for Business were approved with grateful appreciation to Stephanie Kirchhoffer and Guthrie Miller who stepped in for the Recording Clerk. This prompted a rich and full discussion about the process of preparing and disseminating complete and thorough Meeting minutes reflecting the thoughts and concerns of participants. Friends agreed that it is important for the minutes to be comprehensive --not so condensed as to miss the essence of the gathering, and not so long as to make the reading tedious to others who may not have been there.

The value of additional attention devoted to pausing in the moment at Business Meeting was addressed, of drafting a Minute and reflecting more on the sharing was noted, in addition to ways in which the Meeting can accommodate the need for adequate time for the preparation and distribution of the record. Many members and attendees rely on this monthly report to stay in touch with new developments of SFMM, reflect on the Queries, and participate in the life of the Meeting. If the minutes are not complete in the week following business meeting, they will be sent out separately by email and by hard copy to the limited list requesting this format.

Finance Committee and Treasurer’s Report: Treasurer Bob Gaines submitted the 2008 End of the Year Report (see attachment). He noted that SFMM received $4,000 less in contributions than was necessary to cover expenses in 2008. Because Meeting spent $6,000 less than what was budgeted for the year, the impact was less than might otherwise have been expected. This remains a significant concern, however, for the Finance Committee which will draft a letter to members and attenders about the need for additional contributions. Meeting’s commitment to expanded Good Works assistance to the community in 2009 reflects the urgency of international, national, state and local pressures.

This past year includes a fair number of restricted use donations, such as for First Day School coverage and Good Works. The cost of First Day School instruction will be more in 2009 than 2008. And there’s a level of unanticipated expenses of the Future Planning Committee relative to legal expenses associated with the donation of the land. Rental income from the Ramada and guest apartment were up in 2008. Only one outside group using the Meeting House is presently making a financial contribution.

Good Works donations for the first quarter of 2009 have already been sent to six organizations. When a new Good Works Committee begins work in July, requests can be funneled through its members. Until then, the Clerk and Finance Committee will consider any other requests and their urgency. Requests will also be announced at the rise of Meeting and published in the Meeting Digest.

The reports of the Finance Committee and Treasurer were accepted “with gratitude.”

Future Committee: Future Committee brought forward the concern that the expenses associated with the land gift were four times more than originally expected. A lengthy discussion ensued about the payment of legal expenses for the Meeting and the Donor.

While the gift of land has been officially received by SFMM and the deed filed, the process has not been as seamless as originally anticipated. The attorney fees in 2008 for SFMM totaled $3,531.50 before a one-third discount was applied by legal counsel, bringing the total to $2,261.56. Concerned individuals within SFMM have offered to contribute toward the legal expenses for the Meeting and the land Donor. This topic prompted lengthy and detailed discussion about the implications of such donations and to ascertain if there is a proper, as well as a legal way, to handle the matter appropriately.

Under consideration was whether or not concerned individuals should contribute directly to the land Donor and bypass SFMM. Or if it is better for such donations to flow through SFMM. Underlying these considerations were questions about tax deductions for donors interested in contributing to legal expenses in light of the IRS status of SFMM. Reservations were also brought forth by one person (who stood aside to permit the issue to move forward), about the symbolic and spiritual nature of gifts. Another Friend expressed concerns about tax deductions and the larger issue of war taxes.

The following Minute was approved: “Santa Fe Monthly Meeting of Friends received several offers of help to cover the expenses of the donation. We propose that Meeting for Worship for Business authorize the Treasurer to receive these earmarked gifts and to use the donations to pay whatever part of the legal fees they might cover. The determination of the tax deduction is the donor’s responsibility.”

In late December of 2008, the Donor, the Clerk, the Recording Clerk and Treasurer met with legal counsel on two occasions to complete and sign the paperwork associated with the land gift. The added complexity of the transaction is due, in part, to covenants on the property that will necessitate more work by Future Planning Committee in meeting with adjacent landowners to gain their approval for a building that could be a Meeting House, not a single family residence.

Ministry and Oversight: New query for February: How do we create a sense of spiritual kinship among those who participate in our Meeting? This query comes from Faith and Practice for IMYM which now has been finalized. Now at the printer, it will be distributed in June.

The Corneli family has set February 14, 2009 for the memorial gathering for Kip Corneli at 1:30 p.m. at the former Church of Religious Science, 505 Camino de los Marquez.

April 18, 2009 is the date for New Mexico Regional Meeting which will be held at the Santa Fe Southside Quaker House. Details will be announced later.

The class, Quakerism 101, begins on Wednesday, January 28, 2009 with soup and supper at 5:30 p.m. at Quaker House, with the class starting at 6:15 p.m. The course lasts for six weeks.

Concerns raised by parents of children who fuss during worship were responded to with assurances that the spiritual messages of infants and children are welcome. If parents deem “noise” to be disruptive or inappropriate, they are welcome to find respite in the First Day School room or another suitable place.

Several members and attendees have announced their engagements. There has been one marriage outside of Meeting, and interest by some longtime married couples to rededicate their relationship. Determining the Meeting’s response calls for thoughtful discussion at another time to be announced.

Naming Committee: SFMM has expressed gratitude and appreciation that Jennifer Wellington White, David Henkel and Michelle Charbot have stepped forward to serve as members of the Nominating Committee. Ann Anthony may also join. Additional responsibilities for Nominating Committee will be necessary. It was noted that halfway into the Clerk’s term, a prospective clerk due to serve in July of 2009 should be observing the process and the duties and responsibilities of the Clerk. This will be discussed in February. The names of the new Nominating Committee were accepted with thanks.

Resident’s Report: The guest apartment for February and March are booked. An ad will be placed in the British Friends publication. The key formerly in the garage will be relocated. The report of the resident Kathleen Burke was accepted with thanks.

Intermountain Yearly Meeting: The Continuing Committee for IMYM met in Tempe last weekend to discuss, among other matters, the significantly increased fees being requested by Ghost Ranch. The theme for the summer gathering is “Telling Our Stories.” More volunteers are needed for organization and interest groups. The query on alcohol and drugs was addressed, with the executive committee appointing a committee to outline a statement for IMYM about the issue. The future of service projects involved considerable discussion. The name has been changed to Western Quaker Workshops and the AFSC is not involved at this time. Since IMYM may not be able to continue the service projects, other options are being considered. Bob Gaines will prepare a summary for the Meeting Digest.

Garden Committee: The walkway to the Ramada needs a few loads of gravel. And Allison Martinez has twenty to thirty hours of a worker for the Meeting if someone wants to supervise.

Worship Groups: Los Alamos continues meeting twice a month. Worship groups are in touch with Meeting contacts. The Southside Quaker House has different activities scheduled, including some outside groups.

First Day School: Marti Carroll is back in charge of First Day School.

The Report of the Recording Clerk: The Recorder announced that she is trying to bring the Meeting membership records up to date.  There should be an information form for each person who joins Santa Fe Monthly Meeting of Friends or transfers membership in from another Meeting.  She will put an example of the current blank form online and invite comments.  She will make a concentrated effort to have an information sheet for each member of Meeting, and invites Friends to fill out the form when asked to do so.

Peace and Social Concerns: Tempe Meeting's Minute on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict in Gaza was read, considered and endorsed. SFMM will join Tempe in sending our endorsement to all other Meetings in IMYM and a copy of the Minute to our representatives in Washington.  Pam Gilchrist will organize this effort, which will include an attempt to hand-deliver the Minute to local offices of our Congressional representatives.  A copy of the Minute can be found attached to this newsletter.

Meeting ended with worshipful silence at about 3:30.  The Clerk expressed her thanks for the presence of all gathered and for our thoughtful participation.

Respectfully submitted,

Marguerite Kearns
Recording Clerk

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