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January 2016 Letter to Friends

Letter to Friends

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

First Month 2016

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.

Quaker House Santa Fe Meeting, a preparative meeting under the care of SFMM, holds Meeting for Worship every Sunday morning at 10:30, 2098 Calle Ensenada, on the northwest corner of Siringo Road and Calle Ensenada.

Sunday, 1/3 12:30 Potluck @ Rise of Meeting @ Canyon Rd.

Sunday, 1/10 10:10 Chanting as Preparation for Worship @ Canyon Rd. Meetinghouse

Sunday, 1/17 12:50 Meeting for Business following the rise of Meeting for Worship and fellowship @ Canyon Rd.

Sunday, 1/24 10:10 Chanting as Preparation for Worship @ Canyon Rd. Meetinghouse

Sunday, 1/31  10:10  Meeting for Muffins

 

The Monthly Query for the 1st month, 2016

 

“How do we foster in our Meeting a loving, spirit-centered community in which each person is accepted and nurtured and strangers are welcome?”

Announcements

January 3 – Monthly Potluck occurs at the rise of the 11:00 meeting. Please bring a dish to share and stay for a potluck in the library.

January 3 – Peace & Social Concerns will meet immediately following the potluck on Canyon Road. Please consider joining this important committee.

January 6 - Ministry and Counsel Committee meets 1st Wednesday of the month at 6:00 pm at Quaker House, 2098 Calle Ensenada.  Anyone wanting to meet with M & C should contact Betsy Lombardi, 473-9110, betsyjbb@gmail.com, Clerk of M & C.

January 6 – People for Peace meets the 1st Wednesday of the month at 7:00pm. Meetings re held at the Commons Co-Housing, 2300 W. Alameda St. Questions to Linda Hibbs, 983-3906 or lhibbs@ cybermesa.com

January 10 – Chanting as preparation for worship.  Friends find many different ways to prepare for worship and to nourish spiritually. For some, singing and chanting are practices that invite Spirit. John and Guthrie welcome all to participate in chanting and singing on second and fourth Sundays, 10-11 AM, first-day school room, Canyon Road Meetinghouse.

January 17 - Meeting for Business will meet following the rise of the 11:00 meeting and fellowship.

January 24 – Chanting as preparation for worship.  Friends find many different ways to prepare for worship and to nourish spiritually. For some, singing and chanting are practices that invite Spirit. John and Guthrie welcome all to participate in chanting and singing on second and fourth Sundays, 10-11 AM, first-day school room, Canyon Road Meetinghouse.

January 31 – Meeting for Muffins – At the rise of the 9:00 meeting fellowship is offered to encourage 11:00 attenders to come early and share Muffins.

FRIENDS IN THE ARTS:  In the month of January, 2016, we remember Ford Robbins, a founding member of Friends in the Arts of Santa Fe Monthly Meeting which begins reviving itself with sponsoring short offerings from the creative world in our newsletter.  Those wishing to submit something may send their entries to
Caroline Rackley <designultd@newmexico.com>. 

IN MEMORY OF FORD ROBBINS:
....  the Pitcher needs a still cup  ........  Hafiz, Persia, 1300

Meeting for Business

December 20th 2015

Present: Katherine Youngmeister, Marguerite Kearns, Drew McGee, Peggy Giltrow, John Kretzmann, Pam Gilchrist, Ann Anthony, Betsy Lombardi, Frank Hirsch, Bob Gaines, Karli Wheeler, Janie Cravens, Roxanne Seagraves, Wyn Lewis, Sarah Hawthorne, James K. Hosely, Linda Hibbs, Elliot Skinner, Brooke Sutor

Meeting opened with worship at 12:55pm

II. Agenda Review:  There were no additions to the agenda

III. Review of November 15th, 2015 Minutes

Meeting approved the November Minutes without any corrections.

IV. Correspondence and Clerk’s Business

A.    Problem with accommodating people with disabilities –

A situation arose at meeting on December 6th in which a Friend in a wheelchair could not be accommodated in the worship room and had to sit in the entryway. Many Friends expressed concern about this after rise of meeting or by email.

 

Katherine will constitute an Ad Hoc committee to consider what steps could be taken at this time to minimize the likelihood that such an event will occur again. The Ad Hoc group will be asked to participate fully in Meeting for Worship and other Meeting activities. People interested in serving on the Ad Hoc committee are asked to speak to or email Katherine.

 

The Clerk expressed that it was the Meeting that should carry this matter forward lovingly, not the Friend who is in need of greater accessibility. The discussion around this issue centered on the Meeting’s desire to care for Friends with accessibility needs as well as the needs of aging worshippers.  These mattes will be passed on to Ministry and Counsel.

 

Karli Wheeler volunteered to serve on the committee.

 

B.    The Ad Hoc Retreat Committee was not able to meet this month but plans to meet in January to consider ongoing spiritual sharing and book study groups, and another retreat. Wyn Lewis shared her experience at the Ben Lohman Quaker Center. She will explore these rich experiences with the committee and report back.

 

C.    Katherine read a letter from Strawberry Creek Monthly Meeting in Berkeley. The letter accompanied the Certificate of Transfer of Katherine’s membership to Santa Fe Monthly Meeting. This request for membership was referred to Ministry and Counsel.

V. Old Business

          A. Nomination to Nominating Committee – Meeting approved the nominations of Peggy Giltrow and Bob Gaines to the Nominating Committee with thanks!

VI. New Business

A.    First Month Query (Ministry and Counsel) Betsy Lombardi

 

“How do we foster in our Meeting a loving, spirit-centered community in which each person is accepted and nurtured and strangers are welcome?”

 

Meeting approved the query.

 

B.    Request to co-sponsor annual 2016 Witness for the People (Peace and Social Concerns) – Appendix A, Pam Gilchrist

This would be the third time the Meeting has co-sponsored. Meeting approved the co-sponsorship.

 

C.    Request to endorse Carbon Fee & Dividend (Peace and Social Concerns) – Appendix B, Pam Gilchrist

Friends expressed concerns over the Carbon Fee and Dividend proposal. The Clerk will post an article on the matter from the Santa Fe New Mexican in the breezeway. Another Friend recommended an article published in the Economist. He will share this article with the Meeting. This endorsement will season.

 

D.    Request to sign on to letter on prisons and solitary confinement (Peace and Social Concerns) – Appendix C, Pam Gilchrist

This letter calls on the legislature to adopt humane and affordable prison methods. Meeting approved the request.

VII. Reports

A.    Treasurer – Appendix D, Bob Gaines

Bob reported that donations for this fiscal year are at one quarter of the Meeting’s operating costs. Friends are encouraged to give if they feel moved to do so!

Janie Cravens stated again that she feels moved to work individually with meeting members attenders to encourage routinized giving. She continues to seek guidance on this matter. 

 

B.    Residents Committee – Appendix E, John Kretzmann

Friends thanked John and Karli for this report. The Meeting recognized Marty Carol with gratitude for her years of service as convener of the Residents Committee. Another Friend wondered if a replacement for Pamela, who cleaned the Meetinghouse for the last twelve years, has yet been found. Karli is currently in the process of conducting interviews. The Meeting will thank Pamela for her service with a month’s pay ($85) rounded to $100.

 

C.    Resident Friend – Appendix F, Karli Wheeler

A question arose about the status of the guest house, and whether it currently had or required a rental license. The guest house does not have a rental license, as it operates on donations. The question is a timely one, as the city is considering whether to tax unlicensed vacation rentals. Meeting thanked Karli for her report.

 

D.    Building Committee – Appendix G, David Giltrow

The Building Committee did not meet this month. David’s report was a review of the committee’s activities over the last year. Friends thanked David for his report.

 

E.    Planning Committee – Appendix H, John Kretzmann

A Friend expressed concern over the possibility of mortgaging the Meetinghouse. Another Friend wondered if the Planning Committee had a timeline for their activities. John placed the earliest estimate in the latter half of 2016. A Friend suggested money could be sought elsewhere in the community, as the new building will be a community asset. Meeting thanked John for his report.

 

F.    Peace and Social Concerns – Appendix J, Pam Gilchrist

Meeting thanked Pam for her report.

 

G.   Ministry and Counsel – Appendix K, Betsy Lombardi

A Friend wished to know if there had been formal outreach to James and Rebecca. Ministry and Counsel has been checking in with their family regularly. Meeting thanked Betsy for her report.

VIII. Announcements

A.    The next Meeting for Business will be on January 17th at 12:50 pm at 630 Canyon Road

Meeting closed with worship.

Prepared by:  Katherine Youngmeister, Marguerite Kearns & Drew McGee

 

Appendix

December 20th Meeting for Business

Appendix A – Witness to the People

Please see attached document.

Appendix B – Carbon Fee & Dividen

 I/We Endorse Carbon Fee & Dividend

The costs of climate change—including destabilized weather patterns, rising sea levels, extreme weather events, and other serious impacts— now pose a substantial threat to the health, prosperity and security of Americans. The costs are real, they are growing, and they are already burdening businesses, taxpayers, municipal budgets and families. Our economy, infrastructure, public safety and health are directly at risk.

Therefore, I/we urge Congress to support Carbon Fee & Dividend as a key element in reducing the risks of climate change. Carbon Fee & Dividend will significantly reduce carbon emissions, create jobs, grow the economy, save lives and protect households from higher energy prices.

Carbon Fee & Dividend will place a steadily increasing fee on fossil fuels at their source (the well, mine, or port of entry), beginning at $15 per ton of CO2 emitted, and increasing each year by $10. All revenues will be returned in equal shares to American households as a monthly dividend.

Additionally:

● A predictably increasing price on carbon will send a clear market signal that will unleash entrepreneurs and investors in a new clean-energy economy.

 

● With all of the revenue returned to households on an equal basis, two-thirds of households will break even or receive more in dividends than they would pay in higher living expenses.

● A border adjustment will discourage domestic businesses from relocating where they can emit more CO2 and encourage other nations to adopt an equivalent price on carbon.

 

YES! I/We Support Carbon Fee & Dividend

I am endorsing on behalf of an ☐Organization (business, congregation, etc) ☐Individual (elected official, community leader)

Endorser name ____________________________________________________________ __________ Date _____

As you wish it to appear. If individual, please include title.

Geographic scope ☐National ☐Multi-state ☐State ☐County/regional ☐City/local Congressional District(s) __________

Contact name ___________________________________________ Title ________________________________________

Address: _____________________________________________________________________________________________

City _________________________ State __________ ZIP _____________ Country _______________________________

Email ________________________________________ Phone _____________________ Twitter_____________________

Comments ___________________________________________________________________________________________

I agree I have permission to endorse and that the name of the endorser (without contact information) may be listed publicly.

endorse@citizensclimatelobby.org | www.citizensclimatelobby.org

 

Appendix C – Faith Leaders

Open Letter from New Mexico Faith Leadersto our State Legislators

(Date)

Remember those who are in prison, as though you were in prison with them;those who are mistreated

and suffering, as though you felt their pain inyour own body.  -- Hebrews 13. 3

“Lord, when was it that we saw you in prison and visited you?”  And the King willanswer them, “Truly

I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these…you did it to me.”  -- Matthew 25. 39-40

Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone . . .”  --Genesis 2. 18

As Faith Leaders from across New Mexico we urge our State Legislature to adopt humaneand cost-effective methods of prison management in our state. This must include a dramatic reduction in the use of solitary confinement in all New Mexico correction facilities including county jails and detention centers, and the elimination of the use of solitary confinement with juvenilesand the seriously mentally ill.

 

We believe that God created human beings with an inherent dignity to be respected at all times and in all places.  We believe that the image of God, the human worth of every person, is nurtured, fulfilled and held accountable only in relationship, in human community.  Therefore, we believe that prolonged isolation imposed on any person is inhumane, torturous, degrading to the human spirit, and contrary to the will of God.

Solitary confinement  typically involves locking an inmate alone in a cell for 22 hours or more per day under conditions of extreme social isolation and forced idleness, and deprivation of virtually all meaningful environmental stimulation including restrictions on property, severe limitations on visitations and a total ban on group activities. In such instances, prisoners are usually confined to cells no bigger than the size of an ordinary parking space.  Male and female detainees in “disciplinary segregation” range in age from juveniles to the elderly.

There is now broad consensus among mental health experts that deep psychological harm can result from solitary confinement. Numerous scientific clinical studies document the psychological and physiological suffering caused by such prolonged isolation: symptoms akin to delirium including hallucinations, perceptual distortions, heart palpitations, panic attacks, and suicidal ideation.

Research demonstrates that the clinical impacts of isolation can actually be similar to that of physical torture, and psychological effects caused by isolation may become irreversible especially among juveniles.  The severe pain and suffering caused by solitary confinement is clearly documented throughout history in literary, scientific, and legal sources.  

Solitary confinement also jeopardizes our public safety, and is extremely costly as well as fundamentally inhumane. The vast majority of those held in solitary confinement in New Mexico’s prisons and jails will eventually return to society, many with higher levels of aggression and mental instability as a result of being confined in extreme forms of isolation. Prisoners deprived of normal human contact for extended periods find it very difficult to reintegrate into society, resulting in higher recidivism rates.

In recent decades, corrections systems have increasingly relied on solitary confinement as a prison management tool. In New Mexico, this practice has been both over-used and misused, resulting in costly litigation that wastes taxpayer dollars. As just one example, in 2012, a jury awarded former prisoner Stephen Slevin $22 million after he was confined in a tiny padded cell in the Doña Ana County Detention Center for almost two years without a trial.  On appeal, Slevin accepted 15.5 million.

The other group that suffers from this practice is the prison staff who must interact daily with the inmates in this very de-humanizing atmosphere.  Doing so takes a huge psychological toll on staff, often resulting in their own declining mental health.

Solitary confinement is too often used as a first resort punishment for minor offenses and often imposed arbitrarily and repeatedly. For example, a January 2013 site visit at the Grants Women’s Correctional Facility by a team from the VERA Institute of Justice found that solitary confinement is more typically used for minor infractions, such as refusing directives or refusing to move, than for seriously injurious or life-threatening infractions, resulting in chronic overuse of segregation for women at the facility.

 

Wide spread use of solitary confinement in New Mexico has not resulted in a reduction of prison violence or inmate recidivism.   Prisoners released from disciplinary segregation units directly to their communities at the end of their prison sentence are more likely to recommit crimes.  The states of Colorado, Maine and Mississippi have enacted reforms that greatly reduced the use of solitary confinement in their prisons.    

Results have been positive for prison inmates, staff and the public.  Levels of hostility, anger and violence declined, safety increased, and public expenditures were reduced.   Maine Department of Corrections Commissioner, Joseph Ponte, explained: 

 

“Over time, the more data we’re pulling is showing that what we’re doing now [through greatly reducing the use of solitary confinement] is safer than what we were doing before.”

We call upon our elected leaders to reform the use of this damaging practice in our state. We acknowledge the efforts already taken by the Department of Corrections following the 2011 Memorial passed by our State Legislature that drew attention to the need for a comprehensive evaluation of the use and impact of solitary confinement within our corrections facilities and on our communities.

 We urge the State Legislature of New Mexico to continue efforts to implement systemic changes in all correction facilities in New Mexico that will result in a healthier and more humane atmosphere for prisoners and corrections staff, and protect our communities.

Please note: The congregations and/or organizations listed below are for identification purposes only.  These names represent the position of the individual clergy and religious leaders who have signed on.

Faithfully,

Appendix E – Residence Committee, December 2015

 

The Residence Committee met with our Resident, Karli Wheeler, on December 13, 2015, for our every-six-month check-in, because it is six months now that Karli has been with us as our Resident.   Present were Marty Carroll, Marcy Pompei, John Kretzman, Ariel Harrison, and Karli Wheeler.  We had solicited comments, suggestions, and appreciations from meeting members in the weeks leading up to this meeting. 

We received no expressions of concern from anyone, and some nice feedback from a recent guest about the very clean and hospitable condition of the guest apartment and the sense of welcome he received in his communications with Karli.  Karli herself remarked about her pleasant and increasing connections with recent guests who have been, and continue to be, frequent visitors to the guest apartment.

Karli is managing well the balance between time spent on her Residency tasks, and the demands of her full-time job with the Santa Fe Public Schools.  She had no specific requests of our committee or of the meeting at this time, and feels a sense of satisfaction at being our Resident and at beginning to make deeper connections with our membership.  

We feel blessed to have her service in our meeting.

Respectfully submitted, Marty Carroll (outgoing convenor) and Marcy Pompei (incoming convenor),  on behalf of the Residence Committee.

 

Appendix G – Building Committee

Building Committee: Summary for Calendar Year 2015

12th Month 20, 2015

The committee has provided detailed reports to the meeting for business following committee meetings throughout the year.

 

January:      Guest apartment water heater switch found defective. It was decided to remove the switch so the heater would automatically come on as needed and its internal thermostat shut off when water reaches set temperature. Discussion was held on canale freeze-ups, leading to discussion of re-roofing and adding a skylight. Other discussions included security of paintings with gallery/museum hardware and encouraging resident to advertise availability of the guest apartment to members/attenders’ family, guests or themselves when the GA is not reserved.

Feb.-May:     Routine maintenance continued by resident and committee members without full committee meetings.

June:           Discussed removal of east wall buttress. A decision will be made in spring, 2016.

Discussed re-roofing issues.

Ramada “to do” list begun with changeover of residents in mind.

Discussion of security issues related to painting, furniture, other items.

Requests for hand grips and heater protection received from FDS parents.

July:             Inspection of ramada by committee with development of “to-do” list.

                    Further discussion of re-roofing specifications for bidding process.

Conventional fluorescent light fixtures in First Day schoolroom changed to energy saving and brighter LED fixtures.

August:        Ramada “to do” list discussed with contractor Ross Pope (used by Meeting since 1990 for various projects, starting with portale enclosure).

                    Re-roofing bid requests sent to three roofing contractors.

Discussion of changing ramada standard gas water heater to on-demand gas water heater, including enclosure and added venting.

September:  Re-roofing bids evaluated. McPartlon Roofing selected and contract signed. Skylight addition will be discussed later. Possible solar panel addition will require minor reinforcement of roof.

                    Gas heating appliances cleaned and pilot lights lit.

October:      Re-roofing of main building and garage completed with assistance from various members of the Quaker community and BC committee members.

Dust cleanup following re-roofing supplemented with professional service.

November:   Ross Pope completed majority of “to do” list items. Other items to be completed in warmer weather, including exterior window frame painting and further window revisions.

December:   Committee did not meet. January meeting will discuss continuing items, including security issues, skylight, and protection of an out-of-the-way Olive Rush fresco on west side.

 

Summary: We remind the community that the building committee was established in 1966 when the Meeting received the property by a bequest from Olive Rush. At that time, the building committee was organized to receive funds from the use of the building(s), principally rental of the ramada, guest apartment and main building. A separate clerk and recording secretary were established to ensure upkeep of the property using the rental incomes.

 

Note: The committee spent some $24,000 this year on the re-roofing and ramada updating. The money came from the Maintenance Fund which accumulates over the years. This stand-alone fund receives donations by users of the guest apartment and groups using the Meeting’s facilities, including a men’s AA group over the past 10-15 years. Contributions from members and attenders to the Meeting are placed in the General Fund which are used for routine costs—utilities, insurance, First Day school, contributions to Quaker organizations, and support for selected local groups (“good works”).

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