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May 2010 Newsletter

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

Fifth 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, 5/2   -   9:15 am Ministry and Oversight Committee; 12:30 p.m. Potluck
Sunday, 5/9   - 10:10 am Discussion in the Library
Sunday, 5/16 - 12.30 pm Meeting for Worship for Business
Sunday, 5/23
Sunday, 5/30 - 10:00 am Meeting for Muffins

The Monthly Query for the 5th month, 2010

“Do we trust sufficiently in the goodwill of our Meeting members and
attenders to make our needs and concerns known?”

Announcements


May – Garden Committee will work from 9:00 to 1:00 most Saturdays.  Please join Kathleen Burke, Alan Rogers, Jamie Gagan & Lorraine Graham in caring for and co-creating the Meeting's outdoor garden space. We work every (well most) Saturdays weather permitting.  All interested & all abilities welcome. Questions to Kathleen @ kathleenb39@gmail.com or 983 7241.

May 5 – People for Peace meets the 1st Wednesday of the month at 7 pm. Meetings are held at the Commons Co-Housing, 2300 W. Alameda St.  Questions to Linda Hibbs, 983-3906.

May 9 – Discussion in the Library @ 10:10 am to 10:50 am on The Friends Journal Article: "25 Years Of Quaker Universalism" (Aug. 2008) – Copies available by the Birdhouse in the Library.

May 9 – Presentation of the Friends Committee on National Legislation by Tim Barner at the Canyon Road Meetinghouse at 6:30 pm.  He will talk about priorities for this year's Washington agenda.

May 14 – 16 @ Southside Quaker Meeting:  EASTERN LIGHT - BUDDHIST AND QUAKER SPIRITUAL RETREAT:  Friday, May 14 6pm – 9 pm, Saturday, May 15 from 9am to 5pm and Sunday, May 16  from 1pm to 5pm.  Santa Fe Friends is sponsoring this workshop led by Steve Smith of the Claremont, California Meeting. Join us as we explore Quaker and Christian spirituality, freshly viewed through a Buddhist lens. We will give special attention to three themes: facing suffering, grounding our faith in our bodies, and awakening to Presence. Our weekend will include Quaker worship and Buddhist meditation, discussion, sharing in large and small groups, quiet time, and play. Especially for Friends with experience of Buddhist spiritual practice and/or a strong personal interest in Buddhism. For more information, please contact Irene Webb at webblit@gmail.com.

May 27 - Friends in the Arts meets on the 4th Thurs. of each month from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm at the Canyon Rd meetinghouse.  Creative people are invited.  Questions to Kathleen Burke, 983 7241

May 30 – Meeting for Muffins will convene at 10:00 am.  The 9:00 meeting will join folks from the 11:00 meeting to share muffins and fellowship.

Members are reminded to go to www.fcnl.org for current action information from the Friends Committee on National Legislation.  Nuclear Disarmament: U.S., Russia Agree to New START: The vision of a world free of nuclear weapons moved closer to reality with the news that the U.S. and Russia have agreed to a new Strategy Arms Reduction Treaty (START). This treaty, which replaces one that expired last year, will further reduce the number of nuclear weapons in both countries' arsenals. Ask your senators to support ratification of this treaty   (FCNL will help you write and send the letters at: http://capwiz.com/fconl/home/.

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!

Please send newsletter comments or suggestions to Marcy Pompei @ marcypompei@comcast.net>.

Santa Fe Monthly Meeting of Friends, Meeting for Worship for Business, 18th day, Fourth Month 2010
 
Present:  Pamela Geyer, David Giltrow, John Kretzmann, Philip Balcombe, Kathleen Burke,  Beverly Busching, Linda Hibbs,  Alan Rogers, Rebecca Henderson,  Peggy Giltrow,  Grey Cliburn, Bettina Raphael, Bob Gaines (Clerk), Marguerite Kearns (Recording Clerk),

The Meeting for Worship for Business started at 12:42 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 which was intended for Friends to consider: “As difficult problems arise, are we careful to meet them in a spirit of love and humility with minds receptive to creative solutions? Do we avoid pressure of time, neither unnecessarily prolonging nor unduly curtailing full discussions?” Page 120-121, Faith and Practice (IMYM, 2009).

(1.) Minutes: The minutes for the Third Month were approved by Friends.

(2.) Good Works: Friends accepted the Good Works report. See Appendix of these minutes.  The resident has a $50 petty cash fund for immediate requests for assistance.

(3.) Treasurer’s Report: Friends accepted the Treasurer’s Report and approved adding $200 to the budget item for emergencies. See http://sf.imym.org/ for the full report. Treasurer Greg Cliburn noted that the treasurer’s report was more detailed than usual and that the bank balance reflected some money that the Meeting was holding temporarily for workshops under our care.  All bills received have been paid. Rental income for the guest apartment and use of the Meetinghouse is down, although bookings for upcoming months have increased. Scholarships for IMYM will allow about six people to attend. The Finance Committee is in the process of performing an audit, and a report will be made to business meeting next month. An emergency request for $187 exceeded the budgeted amount of $100, but the money was needed before the April business meeting. The clerk, M&O clerk, and the Finance Committee convener agreed to provide the $187 and ask the April business meeting for approval and an increase in the amount for emergencies.  M&O and the Finance Committee were asked to make recommendations for procedures to deal with future emergency requests.

(4.) Nominating Committee: Friends accepted the report of Nominating Committee. See Appendix to these minutes. Rebecca Henderson and Helen Corneli were given the first reading to fill two positions on Ministry & Oversight. Philip Balcombe will be Recorder starting in July.

(5.) Future Committee: Bettina Rafael reviewed the detailed report on the gift of land on Camino Lejo which was submitted but not discussed at the Third Month meeting for business. The report highlighted five options for use and a recommendation to transfer titles for Meeting property on Camino Lejo and Canyon Road to the Meeting Corporation. See Appendix of Meeting minutes for March.  A question about SFMM’s title to 630 Canyon Road was raised, and the clerk asked the Future Committee to address that matter in a future business meeting.  Friends agreed to transfer the title for the Camino Lejo land from the title-holding trustees to the Corporation of the Santa Fe Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends.

(6.) Ministry and Oversight: Friends questioned the appropriateness of the query proposed in the M&O report for the Fourth Month. After discussion, Friends agreed to use the first query on page 124 of Faith and Practice. Letters to establish conscientious objection should be sent to Ministry and Oversight, which will deliver them to the Archivist. Friends accepted the M&O report which will be amended. See the Appendix for the revised report.

(7.) Building Committee: Friends approved the Building Committee recommendations on upgrading heating and other improvements necessitating the expenditure of $4700. See Appendix for the Committee's report.

(8.) Regional Meeting: Rebecca Henderson reported on the NM Regional Meeting on April 17th in Santa Fe which highlighted the issue of Quaker service and the AFSC as presented by David Henkel. About ten years ago AFSC reevaluated its programs and organizational structure. Friends interested in a more detailed explanation should consult the AFSC web site.  Thirty people attended.

(9.) State of the Meeting Report: See entire report in the Appendix to these minutes.

(10.) Resident’s Report: Rental income for the guest apartment and use of the Meetinghouse is down, although bookings for upcoming months have increased.

(11.) Announcements:
 
Monday May 3 from 7-9pm at Temple Beth Shalom, social service providers, city officials, funders and members of many Santa Fe congregations will be meeting with Rabbi Ken Chasen, Senior Rabbi at Leo Baeck Temple in Los Angeles who will tell us about Imagine Los Angeles -- which has engaged 8,000 LA congregations in working on homelessness -- and help us to Imagine Santa Fe as a more responsive and helpful community for the homeless. For over a year the Temple Beth Shalom Social Justice Council has been working with concerned organizations and individuals in Santa Fe to develop a comprehensive approach to homelessness. For more information contact, Bob Gaines <gaines@comcast.net>.

May 14 to May 16, EASTERN LIGHT: Buddhist and Quaker Spirituality Retreat.  Santa Fe Friends is sponsoring this workshop led by Steve Smith of Claremont, CA Meeting. It will be held at south side Quaker House and registration is limited to 30. Contact Irene Webb at webblit@gmail.com for reservations.

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.

The Meeting for Worship for Business ended at  3:05 p.m. with silence.

Respectfully submitted,
Marguerite Kearns

            *            *            *

APPENDIX TO THE MINUTES: Contents

(1.)  Good Works Report
(2.)  Treasurer’s Report
(3.)  Report from Nominating Committee
(4.)  Building Committee
(5.) State of the Meeting Report
(6.) M&O

(1.) Good Works Committee Report to Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business

We talked with our resident Kathleen Burke and were impressed with her care and sensitivity in handling requests for donations and favors. Kathleen has had a kitty of $50 of which $25 remains that she may dispense as seems appropriate to those in need. We support Kathleen in her efforts to do the very occasional favor for those she knows but underscored our concern for her safety. When an organization asks for support, Kathleen will refer their request to Good Works and if a request for a favor makes Kathleen uncomfortable, she will refer the request to Ministry & Oversight.

The Goods Works Committee will resume our efforts to champion the organizations we support by asking Members and Attenders active in these organization to speak about the good works of these organizations at Rise of Meeting during the announcements period. We will strive to time these presentations to showcase urgent need or recent participation in the organization and its works by our Attenders and Members.

The Good Works committee continues to visit the question of whether the we should be involved in crafting a service project for the Meeting. At this time, we will wait to hear of the discussion on this matter at the Regional meeting and season our potential recommendation. Some among us wish that the Peace and Social Concerns committee might be reconstituted to take on this work; but, none among us, are called to this task at this time.

Respectfully submitted by the Good Works Committee,

Wyn Lewis (Convener)
Rebecca Allahyari
Peggy Giltrow
Alan Rogers

(2.) Treasurer’s Report - See http://sf.imym.org/

3. Nominating Committee

Nominating Committee
Report to Business Meeting Fourth Month 2010

Nominating Committee presents two candidates for Ministry and Oversight for a first reading of Business Meeting approval:  Rebecca Henderson and Helen Corneli.  All other officers of the Meeting have agreed to continue their responsibilities.  Friends holding other positions such as Clerks of committees and representatives to IMYM also have agreed to continue, with the exception of the Recorder.  Philip Balcombe has agreed to assume that position (not needing two readings).  

Our committee will continue to call Friends to encourage their interest in serving the Meeting.  

We would like to note that we tried to find young adult Friends to fill positions, but for a variety of reasons, such as being away at school, they were not able to accept a responsibility at this time.  They did express interest in future involvement.  We encourage the Meeting to continue to invite younger Friends to share Meeting responsibilities.

Respectfully submitted,
Beverly Busching, Kathleen Burke, Jesse Bertron


4.  Building Committee report for meeting for business: 4th month, 18, 2010

The committee has been deliberating on improved heating equipment for the meetingroom, First Day schoolroom, guest apartment, and ramada. Parallel to this is making sure that gas lines and appliances are in good condition. Also, work has begun on the sagging wooden portal beam which should be completed by next meeting for business.

Meetingroom. We have decided to add two electric baseboard units in the meetingroom for use during meetings for worship while retaining the current gas space heater for use during the week. The latter will continue to be the main heating source except during meetings for worship or other times when more quiet heating is needed. Thus, because of inherent noise and concentrated heating concerns with the gas heater, it will be turned off before the 9 am meeting for worship and turned back on following the 11 am meeting for worship. The electric baseboard heaters will be located under the two window areas and turned on Saturday evenings during the heating season or early Sunday mornings, likely using a programmable thermostat. These baseboard units operate without fans and are expected to be quiet and provide sufficient heat in cooler areas of the meetingroom following the gas heater's shutdown. The test of this plan will come in the next heating season and we ask Friends' patience in advance as we try to get the correct settings for these several different heating units.

The baseboard units will require the addition of a 220 volt outlet with wiring routed over the main building's roof and down through the garage roof to a point near the front garage doors and next to the west meetingroom window. A small hole will be drilled into the meetingroom from the garage wall for the electric cable to enter and serve the baseboard heaters. Also at the point of entry,  220 volt weatherproof outlet will be installed on the garage wall in anticipation of future electric cars' need for battery recharging. This plan has been developed with an electrician who has supplied an estimate for the equipment and labor for various electrical projects.

A shutoff value for safety purposes will be installed on the gas pipe leading to the current gas space heater in the meetingroom. We have requested the heating specialist to install an external thermostat to that heater to make it more readily controlled. As a result of the specialist's inspection of the meetinghouse and ramada's overall gas safety issues, we conclude that we are basically absent from any gas safety issues once the above shutoff valve has been installed in the meetingroom.

First Day Schoolroom. The current wall-mounted gas heater in the First Day schoolroom is heating the room satisfactorily and dependably. However, it is some 30 years old. We intend to replace it with a similar unit.

Guest Apartment. Our plan is to replace the small gas space heater in the guest apartment with a wall-mounted electric heater with more a accessible thermostat. The new electric unit will require less space and avoid any possibility of natural gas sensitivity by guests staying in the apartment since that is the only gas appliance in current use.

Ramada. To make the ramada more comfortable, we intend to replace a portable electric heater in the ramada's bathroom with a wall-mounted permanent electric unit.

Other electric installations. Several miscellaneous electric-related installations are also expected over the next few months, including adding a ceiling fan for cooling purposes in the portal area (using a previously installed junction box) and installing "heat tape" with automatic control for the garage downspout to address icing problems with the rooftop snow runoff in the winter.

Electric utility bills. In the short run, these changes will increase the Meeting's electric utility bill in the approximately six month heating season. However, we expect that a future building committee will undertake planning and installation of solar electric panels on the meetinghouse roof. These panels will, over time, pay for their installation and the cost of operating the various planned electric heating appliance through a reverse running of the electric meter. Present thinking is that the cost of such panels will dip dramatically over the next several years. Also new panel designs with greater efficiency will allow us to make the installation invisible to people passing at street level so that historic design considerations will not be compromised.

For these projects, the building committee is requesting that the meeting for business approve the expenditure of $4,700 from the maintenance fund over the next several months.

         Respectfully submitted on behalf of the building committee,
David Giltrow, convener.

            *            *            *

(5.) State of the Meeting Report

A gathering of Friends during potluck after worship on April 4 agreed that the state of our Meeting is generally good, but that we do also have some concerns.

Reports from committee conveners indicate that we are doing a good job on the "housekeeping" aspects essential to sustaining the life of the Meeting.  For example, the Finance and Good Works Committees "were very pleased that the Meeting was willing to engage in thoughtful consideration of our responsibilities to the community we live in as well as to the needs of the Meeting.  In several special sessions and through email we actually talked about money, how to spend it and how to get it." 

The Building Committee reported that "At the end of 2008 we received a 55% interest in a 1.534 acre property through the generosity of one member with the intent of long term planning for a new meetinghouse (the remaining 45% interest will be deeded to the Meeting in 2014). We have also continued to self-fund the maintenance and improvements of our existing deeply historic property. Despite the economic climate, we have had donations which support both the Meeting's operations and also our contributions to Friends organizations and local 'good works.'"

Inspired in part by our resident Friend, members and attenders embarked on an ambitious renovation of the garden which is an integral part of our meetinghouse property.  Our resident Friend also reminded us that our guest apartment is a form of outreach and that the visitors staying in it express "gratitude for our maintaining this affordable, chemical-free accommodation." 

Other committees reported many positive developments in the past year, and the Nominating Committee reports that almost all who are asked to serve are agreeing to do so.

While we no longer have an active Peace and Social Concerns Committee, it is obvious from announcements after worship and on our Meeting's email announcements list that we are individually active in service to our broader community, especially in support of the winter homeless shelter, collecting winter clothing for distribution through the schools, immigrant advocacy, and efforts to promote peace.  It also seems we are doing an adequate job of responding to attenders and members with specific needs, but we recognize that we need to contact more regularly those absent from meeting for worship, who may also require care.

Our First Day School is thriving, and we are grateful to our retired teacher for her skillful guidance and for the increased participation by adults who are not parents.  We are pleased to have several new families with young children.  The FDS is using the FGC version of "Godly Play," and it has been well received.  FDS middle-school age children raised $500 for a Heifer International project through participation in a summer reading program and a lemonade stand.

We do not have a regular adult education program, but we have had a number of ad hoc programs in the past year, such as Quakerism 101, three spiritual formation groups, two discussions on marriage, women's retreats, and a series on white privilege.

Our Meeting has a 9 am and an 11 am worship.  Participants in the 9 am worship tend to prefer a silent meeting, and there typically has not been much contact between the two meetings.  Last fall, however, representatives from each meeting initiated a well-attended, monthly 10 am discussion of articles from Friends Journal, such as "Are We Christian?" and "Eldering."

There are four worship groups under our care.  Clearlight in Taos lost its regular meeting place when the Peace House closed, and they are now meeting in homes.  The three members who live in a Taos retirement facility which declared bankruptcy apparently have not been adversely affected, as was initially feared.  Los Alamos meets twice a month in homes, and they gained new attenders last year.  Our contact with Las Vegas has been spotty, but we understand that they are still meeting regularly.  South Santa Fe has regular events, including monthly Wednesday potlucks that are popular with some Canyon Road Friends.  Quaker House, the South Santa Fe meeting place, has been a good space for gatherings such as NM regional Meeting, an AFSC workshop, and study groups such as our Quaker 101.

Although we feel that the overall health of the Meeting is generally good, we do have some concerns about the spiritual life and worship of the Meeting.  One participant in our reflection on the state of the Meeting who has been active with our spiritual formation groups said that the groups -- which were laid down last fall -- seem not to have had much effect on our worship.  She asked what makes our meetings for worship differ from a support group or a place to air political concerns: "There is rarely reference to God or the Divine in meeting."  Another longtime attender said "I looked to the elders to speak in meeting, but now the elders are gone," and spoken ministry is important because "it helps focus me."

Our meetings do tend to silence, sometimes with no vocal ministry.  Not surprisingly, in almost all of our discussions of vocal ministry, there are those who worry whether their message would rise to the level of a message for the meeting as a whole.  A few years ago we introduced an announcement about 10 or 15 minutes before the end of worship inviting "joys, sorrows, or concerns."  Some in our discussion felt that this has been successful in encouraging the timid or the uncertain.  Certainly it has been successful in helping many to speak of their or others' need to be held in the Light.

One person, however, suggested that the timing -- toward the end of worship -- may incline some to wait for the invitation and thereby lessen the opportunity for engagement with some messages.  Our Ministry and Oversight Committee will consider whether to move the announcement earlier in the worship, perhaps to just after the time when the children leave for FDS.  We are planning to focus on the spiritual life of the Meeting in a retreat next fall led by an experienced Friend provided through FGC.

One longtime member observed that we don't appear to have factions in our Meeting.  But we do have concerns about our ability to deal with some of the painful differences among individuals in the Meeting.  In particular we are still struggling with the consequences of our inability to respond in a timely and appropriate way to a complex and sensitive situation which has now alienated one member and upset others.

The experience has been painful for those concerned, and we are trying to learn from it.  We have taken some steps that may be helpful in the future, and we are committed to exploring ways to engage the whole Meeting in a healing process.

(6.) M&O 4th MONTH, 2010 REPORT TO BUSINESS MEETING (REVISED)

M&O met in the first day schoolroom on the first first day, fourth month, 2010, at 9.15 am.  Present were Alan Rogers, John Kretzmann, Joan Spencer, Bob Gaines, ex officio and Philip Balcombe, Clerk. We welcomed Alan and John to our committee and the M&O Meeting began with silent worship followed by a discussion of care for individual lives and of the worship groups under our care, which had given no report, except for 9 o'clock Meeting, which reported that they had nothing to report.

The Query for 5th month will be:

“Do we trust sufficiently in the goodwill of our Meeting members and attenders to make our needs and concerns known?”
 
Matters of Concern

Alan asked to lay down his clearness committee for membership.  He asked that our Meeting accept the transfer of his membership from El Paso Monthly Meeting.  He agreed to serve on the clearness committee for membership for Pete Gardiner.  In place of Alan's clearness committee for membership, the possibility of discussion of the meaning of membership in our Meeting was considered.

We agreed to an email follow up about meeting to discuss the purpose and role of M&O in our Meeting.  Philip read a draft a letter to individuals who were once junior members of our Meeting and may consider themselves members because of that.  The letter clarifies that junior membership does not transmute automatically into membership, but that our Meeting would welcome them as members and invites them to ask about arranging for membership.  Philip will find out from Beverly who we should send this letter to.  We discussed the status of two members who had submitted resignations of their membership in our Meeting.  We agreed that having a greeter at Meeting is worthwhile and to refer discussion as to the details (before, after? especially as a resource for visitors who may not be paid much attention otherwise) to business Meeting.

We agreed that Ministry & Oversight would be a good destination for letters of conscientious objection en route to a file kept by the Meeting archivist.  Philip agreed to write to the McCleods in response to their letter about their son.  At Bob's request we shared our thoughts about the State of our Meeting preparatory to the post potluck discussion to be held for all interested.  We agreed to consider further ways to encourage spoken ministry and to discuss again our sense of the place in Meeting of a period for Joys, Sorrows and Concerns.  We postponed discussion of absent members and of Friendly 6's until another day.  The meeting ended with a period of silent worship.

Respectfully submitted,
Philip Balcombe, Clerk of M&O.

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