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April 2010 Newsletter

Letter to Friends

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

 

Fourth Month 2010

 

Calendar of Events

 

Meeting for Worship at the Meetinghouse, 630 Canyon Road is held every Sunday at 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. First Day School is during the 11:00 a.m. Meeting. Singing is at 10:00 a.m. each Sunday.

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, 4/4 - 9:15 a.m. Ministry and Oversight; 12:30 p.m. Potluck and State of the Meeting discussion
Sunday, 4/11 - 10:10 a.m. Discussion in the Library
Sunday, 4/18 - 12.30 p.m. Meeting for Worship for Business
Sunday, 4/25

The Monthly Query for the 4th month, 2010

 

“How do we support and strengthen the Meeting community?”

 

Announcements


April 3 to 5th, 2010 Quaker Women’s Spring Retreat will be held at the Norbertine Retreat Center in southwest Albuquerque. The theme will be “What do we bring to our communities and what do we get? How do we create and maintain this community?” Contact Rebecca Henderson for more information.

April 6, An evening at the Spencers: Do you ever wish you could hear Martin Luther King, Jr., give one of his heart-stirring speeches about one of the most compelling issues of OUR day (in 2010)?  Actually, you can!  King's famous speech about the Vietnam War, given at the Riverside Church back in the 60's, is completely relevant to U.S. foreign policy today.  Join us at Steve and Joan's Spencer's for an evening of listening and discussion, on Tuesday, April 6 at 7:00 p.m.  EVERYONE is welcome.  Questions may be directed to Pamela Geyer (984 -0377) Marty Carroll (424-1220) or the Spencers (984 - 2217.)  Come, Friends, and be inspired, once again!

April 6, 3rd annual Miriam’s Song Women’s Seder offers an inter-faith opportunity to share a seder meal, dance, sing & enjoy a common spiritual event with the Temple Beth Shalom community. Please call 988-1470 or see letter posted in the library.

April 7, People for Peace meets the first Wednesday of each month at 7 pm. Meetings are held at the Commons Co-Housing, 2300 W. Alameda St.
 
 April 11, Second Sunday Discussion Group: The topic for April's second Sunday discussion group will be a continuation of our consideration of the tradition of Eldering as it guides both the Meeting as a whole and the individuals within the Meeting.  Copies of three pertinent articles, and of the Faith and Practice notes on Eldering, are available next to the bird house in the library for those wishing to attend.  We will begin promptly at 10:10 AM on April 11 in the Meeting House, just after the rise of 9 o'clock Meeting, and will conclude at 10:50 to allow the 11 o'clock Meeting to settle in.  Everyone interested in this most fertile topic is heartily invited to attend!  Questions may be addressed to (1) Pamela Geyer at 984 - 0377, or (2) Howard Shulman, at 984 - 9908. 

April 17-19th Regional Meeting at the Southside Quaker Meetinghouse will focus on worship and the appointment of positions for the Yearly Mountain Meeting. Queries to be considered are: How we can work more effectively within the communities that surround our Monthly Meetings? Are there things that get in the way of our participation in local service? What Friends among us are working within local community organizations? How can we strengthen and support that work? Contact Rebecca Henderson for more information.

April 22, Friends in Arts meets at the Meeting House on the 4th Thursday of each month at 6:00 pm. Creative people are welcome and encouraged to attend

Members are reminded to go to www.fcnl.org for current action information from the Friends Committee on National Legislation.

South Santa Fe Quaker Worship Group: Quaker House, 1730 Camino Carlos Rey #209 Santa Fe NM 87507 (505) 471-2288. Meeting is held in a rust-red building on the short end of Camino Carlos Rey, northwest of Cerrillos Road. Worship is every Sunday at 10:30 a.m. Welcome!

 

Send comments or suggestions to Marcy <marcypompei@comcast.net>.

Santa Fe Monthly Meeting of Friends, Meeting for Worship for Business, 21st day of Third Month 2010

Present: Bob Gaines (Clerk), Marguerite Kearns (Recording Clerk), John A. Kretzmann, Kathleen Burke, Irene Webb, David Giltrow, Jan-Willem Jansens, Frank Hirsch, Philip Balcombe, Bettina Raphael, Martha Davis, Peggy Giltrow, Rebecca Henderson, Elliott Skinner, Pamela Geyer, David Henkel.

 

The Meeting for Worship for Business started at 12:45 p.m. with silence in the meeting room at 630 Canyon Road, Santa Fe, New Mexico.

 

Bob Gaines read the following query from Faith and Practice for business meetings: “How effectively do members of the meeting temper and strengthen individuals’ leadings?” Page 120, Faith and Practice (IMYM, 2009).

 

(1.) Minutes: The minutes for the Second Month were approved with one correction. Friends approved the following clarification to the Minutes for the Second Month: "Any member of the Corporation, including those whose membership is a result of their membership in the Monthly Meeting, may resign membership in the Corporation by so notifying the Secretary."

 

The Clerk acknowledged the importance of having the Recording Clerk read the final wording of a minute to ensure that it captures accurately the exact intent of the business meeting's agreement before requesting its approval.

 

(2.) The Trustees of the Olive Rush Bequest: After considering the report presented by the trustees at the February business meeting, Friends approved the recommendation of the trustees of the Olive Rush bequest that the trustees be laid down and a Watching Committee be established. The Watching Committee’s structure will be decided at a future business meeting.

 

Peggy Giltrow suggested that minutes which set policy should be collected in a form which can be easily consulted. The recommendation was noted for future consideration.

 

(3.) Treasurer’s Report: Friends accepted the Treasurer’s Report, which is posted at http://sf.imym.org.

 

(4.) Ministry and Oversight: The query for the Third Month is: “How do we support and strengthen the Meeting community?” Friends discussed the use of juniper greens in the winter holiday decorations for the Meeting room, which some Friends have pointed out can provoke allergic reactions in some people. Mary Ray Cate sent word that juniper will not be used next Christmas. Friends accepted the M & O report which is included in the Appendix to these Minutes.

 

(5.) Nominating Committee: There was a second reading of the nomination of two new members of Ministry & Oversight. Alan Rogers and John Kretzmann. Both agreed to start serving on M&O immediately. Friends approved the appointment of these two new members of M&O.

 

(6.) Future Committee: Bettina Raphael submitted an extensive report on the Camino Lejo property which is included in the Appendix of these Minutes and at http://sf.imym.org. Members and attenders are asked to read and digest the contents before the next business meeting when it will be discussed. Bettina highlighted the five-year plan, which provides several options for consideration. Friends agreed to postpone discussion of the report until the April business meeting.

 

(7.) Minute from Gila Friends regarding immigration issues: Gila Friends sent a Minute to IMYM and invited other monthly meetings to unite with it. Friends considered and approved the following minute: “Gila Friends, recognizing the importance of border and immigration issues, request that IMYM reinstate the $1,000 budget line item for FCNL to support work on border issues and include a similar line in the 2011 budget.”

 

(8.) IMYM Support for Service: Several individuals were of the opinion that these should be called “Quaker Enrichment/Service Opportunities” and cover the types of activities which bring young people into the fold of Friends through service. Members and attenders with proposals for service are encouraged to bring their ideas to the Yearly Meeting in June.

 

(9.) The Homeless Initiative: Clerk Bob Gaines represents Santa Fe Monthly Meeting at the Interfaith Leadership Alliance, a coalition of church and community groups dealing with social justice issues in Santa Fe, especially homelessness. The ILA has endorsed the Community Forum organized by the Social Justice Council of Temple Beth Shalom for May 3 and 4, 2010, which will bring together all those interested in addressing homelessness in Santa Fe. The ILA is encouraging faith groups to participate.

 

(10.) Resident’s Report: The SFMM guest apartment was occupied 13 out of 28 days with a total of $580 income. The Meeting House will be rented out to Amnesty International for a training, and there will be a pruning workshop on the 26th of March, to which garden committee members will be invited. Friends accepted the Resident’s Report.

 

(11.) Announcements:

 

The topic for April's second Sunday discussion group will be a continuation of the consideration of the tradition of Eldering as it guides both the Meeting as a whole and the individuals within the Meeting.  Copies of three pertinent articles, and of the Faith and Practice notes on Eldering, are available next to the bird house in the library for those wishing to attend. The session begins promptly at 10 a.m. on April 11 in the Meeting House, just after the rise of 9 o'clock Meeting, and will conclude at 10:50 to allow the 11 o'clock Meeting to settle in.  Everyone interested in this topic is heartily invited to attend. Questions may be addressed to Pamela Geyer at 984 - 0377, or (2) Howard Shulman, at 984 - 9908. 

  

On Tuesday, April 6, 2010 at 7 p.m., everyone is invited to another evening of listening and discussion at the Spencers. Listen to a magnificent recording (about 20 minutes) of Martin Luther King delivering his famous "Riverside Church" address (regarding the US involvement in Viet Nam) and then discuss its pertinence to today. Questions may be directed to the Spencer's (984 - 2217), Pamela Geyer (984- 0377) or Marty Carroll (424 -1220).

 

NM Regional Meeting will be held at Quaker House on April 17th, 2010. 

Schedule:

Friday evening (16th)     Simple Soup Supper and visiting

Saturday morning

9:30   Arrival/Tea/Coffee/Munchies

10:00   Meeting for Worship

11:00   Lunch Prep and Lunch and visiting

1:00   NM Regional Meeting for Business

2:30   Discussion of Quaker Service

The discussion format will be in both large and small groups, centering on what Quaker Service means.  Queries such as the following will be considered: What is Quaker Service?  How can we work more effectively within the communities that surround us? Are things getting in the way of our participation in local service? How can we support Friends among us who are doing service work? What historical patterns are we part of and what is our future pattern to be? Please RSVP to Rebecca Henderson, rebeccahenderson4@hotmail.com or 505-470-7306 especially if you are coming from a distance and would like hospitality Friday or Saturday nights. 

 

Location: 1730 Camino Carlos Rey, Suite 209.  Camino Carlos Rey crosses Cerrillos Road, about half way between downtown Santa Fe and the Cerrillos exit of I-25.  Quaker House is in a large, red office building about two blocks north of Cerrillos Road.

 

New Mexico Quaker Women’s Retreat

April 2 (Friday evening) April 3 (Saturday) and April 4 (Sunday morning) 2010.

At the Norbertine Retreat Center, Albuquerque.  For all women from New Mexico meetings and worship groups.  Theme: “What do we bring to our communities and what do we get?  How do we create community and maintain it?”  Contact us for more information or refer complete details in the Santa Fe Meeting Digest. If you have questions, email us or call.  Beverly Busching. at 505-984-8742, and bbusching@mindspring.com.  Rebecca Henderson at 505-470-7306 (cell) and rebeccahenderson4@hotmail.com. Or call Karen Reagan at 505-255-3340.   Please RSVP.

 

 Alternatives to Violence Project Basic Workshop, a 17-hour community workshop, will be held Friday-Sunday, May 28-30, beginning at 6:00 on May 28th.  Purposes: for community building, conflict resolution, violence reduction and communication skills.
At Quaker House, 1730 Camino Carlos Rey, Suite 209.  Cost $50; register by May 15th.
            What is AVP?  Alternatives to Violence Project is an international nonprofit association of volunteer groups dedicated to offering workshops that empower people to lead nonviolent lives.  Workshops have been developed for prisons, community groups, and youth in many languages and many cultures.  Three levels of workshops are offered, Basic, Advanced and Facilitator Training.
            What happens at an AVP workshop?  Using interactive exercises and role-playing, facilitators help participants get in touch with their own abilities and life experiences that can help transform potentially violent situations into a nonviolent outcome.  Working together, participants explore their feelings and reactions and find creative ways to resolve conflicts peacefully.
            Who should attend?  Anyone who wants to improve personal interactions, and who wants to deepen their understanding of how to move toward more productive resolution of conflict.
            For more information e-mail margaretmwillen@gmail.com or phone (505) 466-6615.  The workshop is sponsored by Santa Fe Monthly Meeting and South Santa Fe Quakers.  Scholarships are available.

 

The Meeting for Worship for Business ended at 2:20 p.m. with silence.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Marguerite Kearns

 

* * *

 

APPENDIX TO THE MINUTES: Contents

 

(1.) Treasurer's Report (posted at http://sf.imym.org/)

(2.) Ministry and Oversight

(3.) Future Planning Committee Report

 

M & O COMMITTEE MEETING, 3rd MONTH, 2010 REPORT TO BUSINESS MEETING

 

M&O met in the first day schoolroom on the first first day, third month, 2010, at 9.15 am. Present were Martha Davis, Michael Simon, Joan Spencer, Bob Gaines, ex officio and Philip Balcombe, Clerk.

 

Meeting began with silent worship followed by a sharing of personal concerns and a discussion of care for individual lives and of the worship groups under our care. 9 o'clock Meeting recommunicated a concern about greens decorating the Meeting room. Bob will follow up with Margy Willen about that request.

 

The Query for 4th month will be: “How do we support and strengthen the Meeting community?”

 

For the rest of our term, whenever possible, Philip will break 11 o'clock Meeting on 2nd and 4th first days, Martha on 3rd and Michael on 1st first days. M&O laid down two clearness committees and discussed arrangements for two others. We tentatively rescheduled our long hoped for discussion of M&O's role for the fourth first day this month, in Los Alamos, pending approval of two new M&O members at business Meeting this month. Joan agreed to try and find hosts for a renewed effort to arrange Friendly 6's. Philip will draft a letter to individuals who were once junior members of our Meeting and may consider themselves members because of that. The letter will clarify that junior membership does not turn automatically into membership, but that our Meeting would welcome them as members and invites them to ask about arranging for membership. We discussed two resignations by members of our Meeting and agreed on follow up.

 

The meeting ended with a period of silent worship.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Philip Balcombe, Clerk of M&O.

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Update for Santa Fe Meeting from the Future Planning Committee on Ownership and Use of Land on Camino Lejo 3/19/10

 

History

At the end of December, 2008, the Meeting accepted the gift of approx. 1.534 acres of land on Camino Lejo where it joins Old Pecos Trail. The ownership of 55% of the property at that time was deeded to a Title-Holding Trust representing the Meeting and the designated Trustees were Bob Gaines, Marguerite Kearns and Jennifer Wellington White. The donor retained the other 45% ownership of the land until Jan. 2015 when the Meeting will become the full owner of the property.

 

Originally the land was given and accepted largely with the hope that it could eventually be the site of a new meetinghouse. However, just before the transfer occurred, it was learned that an original 1959 covenant on the Warranty Deed for the property stated that only a residence could be built on the land (along with other restrictions against selling to specific racial groups. This was counter to the previous understanding of the city zoning regulations, which allowed the land to be used for a church or for a residence without any need to seek special approval. According to the Meeting's lawyer, the covenant could only be enforced by the two adjoining neighbors. At this stage, under advisement of the lawyer, the Future Planning Comm. prepared an outline of the Meeting's basic concepts regarding eventually building a meetinghouse on the land and Bob Gaines called to discuss these with the two neighbors who live directly adjacent to the land. Although one neighbor was welcoming of the idea of the Meeting's proposed use of the property, the other neighbor was very adamant about traffic and noise and refused to consider the Meeting's proposal to build a meetinghouse. Since then this neighbor has remained unwilling even to discuss the issue with the donor of the land or the Meeting. Based on this new situation and the likelihood that we could not build on the land in the near future, the Meeting proceeded to amend legally the original Gift Agreement with the donor last September, 2009. The redrafted agreement removed most of the donor's previous restrictions on how the property was to be maintained and used and stated that the Meeting would be free to use the land, including selling it, as long as this use “improves the life and facilities of the Meeting and furthers its work in support of Quaker values and goals.” In consideration of the donor's concerns as someone living next to the property, a clause was added stating that if the meeting decides to sell the property after it becomes full owner, and if the donor or his heirs still own the adjoining property, then the “Meeting and the Trust will consult with the Donor or his heirs before selecting a buyer.”

 

Property Taxes

The Camino Lejo property was appraised at above $300,000 at the time of the gift. Its assessed value for property tax purposes is $182,040 and in 2009, the total taxes on the land were billed at $1768.34. Prior to receiving the gift, our lawyer apparently assumed that as a religious entity, the Meeting would not have to pay taxes on our portion of the property but might have to petition for an exemption from this tax. Both the Meeting and the donor were under this impression. Nevertheless, in the formal Gift Agreement, the donor agreed to pay any taxes that might accrue until the property was completely transferred to the Meeting in 2015. Through information from the County Assessor's office, the meeting has received a copy of regulations regarding exemptions for church property and has learned that “undeveloped” or vacant land is not exempt from property taxes. Accordingly, the 2009 taxes on the Meeting's portion of the land were about $972 and the donor has paid that along with the tax for his portion of the property. This means that while the donor will generously cover our tax burden through 2014, the Meeting will be responsible for annual property taxes of about $2000/year beginning in 2015.

 

Concern has been expressed about the possibility that the taxes might go up sharply due to a reassessment after the transfer of the land becomes permanent or as the title for the Camino Lejo land is reassigned to the Meeting's Corporation. We think this is not very likely since there was a reassessment of the taxes done in 2003 when the donor originally applied for the lot-split that subdivided the empty parcel of land from his lot with a home. Since then, the taxes have been going up about $60-$100 a year for the lot but, since the value of property has been declining over the past couple of years, it is unlikely that there will be another major jump in assessed value and therefore taxes.

 

So at this moment, the Meeting (through its Trustees) is the primary owner of the lot on Camino Lejo and will become full owner in 2015. It is the recommendation of the Future Planning Committee that legal title to all property, including the Camino Lejo land, be transferred from the Meeting's Title-holding Trustees to the Corporation of the Meeting due to liability issues and legal clarity.

 

Future Options: A “5-Year Plan”

At this time the Meeting has a number of options going forward. We are not incurring taxes until 2015, and we do not have full ownership until then.

 

1) We can look into what is the minimum amount of development on the land that qualifies for tax exemption.

 

2) We can wait and hope the objecting neighbor leaves or changes his mind about building a Meeting House on the site by 2015.

 

3) We can wait and consider selling the property in consultation with the donor at the time the meeting has full ownership in 2015. Selling or donating the land for another use such as open space or a park, may also run into the covenant limits on residential use only.

 

4) In the hope of invalidating the current covenant on the land, we can explore with the City Zoning Office to see if the covenant is valid since it is in conflict with the City ordinance and at the same time we can discuss the covenant with a Quaker member of both Albuquerque Meeting and the State Legislature who has been active in lifting similar covenants with racial restrictions from properties in Albuquerque.

 

5) We can hold the property beyond 2015 with the Meeting paying the property tax in order to give due consideration to these options at a future time.

 

Prepared by Martha Davis and Bettina Raphael with input from the Committee

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