Southern Appalachian Yearly Meeting and Association

Representative Meeting #106 (Fall)

Columbia, South Carolina

Ninth Month, Sixth Day, 2003  -  10:00 am

min_()_.wpd

 

 

106 - 1    Opening

After a period of silence, Clerk Sharon Annis welcomed Friends to representative meeting and read the following excerpt from AConversations on the True harmony of Mankind and How It May Be Promoted@

-- John Woolman, 1772:

         

The Love of Christ, which preserves the faithful in purity of heart, puts men into a motion which works harmoniously and in which their example yields clear and safe instruction: thus our Redeemer said, AYe are the light of the world.@

         

This is the standard which God hath commanded to be lifted up to the people, and the possibility of this standard being now lifted up by us, standeth in that of a lowly watchful attention to the leadings of him who is the Light of Life; and if we go from this standard, we go into a wilderness of confusion.

    

106 - 2    Announcements

Sallie Prugh welcomed Friends on behalf of Columbia Friends Meeting, oriented us to the available facilities and thanked the many Columbia Friends who helped with hospitality.

    

Mary Calhoun, the SAYMA administrative assistant, announced that copies of the SAYMA Faith and Practice are available for sale.  She distributed a list of current SAYMA clerks.  She also passed around a flyer reminding monthly meetings that it is helpful if monthly meeting minutes and newsletters include the names of those who hold positions of responsibility in the meeting.

    

Tim Lamm announced that the SAYMA Faith and Practice will soon be available on the SAYMA web site.

    

106 - 3    Agenda

The clerk reviewed the proposed agenda.

    

106 - 4    Introductions

The clerk asked Friends present to introduce themselves.  A list of attenders is attached as Appendix A.

    

106 - 5    Transfer of Duties

Banking -- Mary Calhoun presented information required by our bank, Bank of America, to transfer duties to our new treasurer.  The bank requests that we approve a list of resolutions set out in the ACertified Copy of Unincorporated Association Resolutions -- Opening and Maintaining Deposit Accounts and Services@ (Appendix B) in addition to signing a signature card.  The proposal is that David Ciscel, our current treasurer, Sharon Annis, clerk, and Kendall Ivie, past treasurer, will be the three people who are authorized to sign checks for SAYMA. The Friends who will no longer be able to sign checks are Penelope Wright and Mary Calhoun.

Minute -- Friends approve the resolutions contained in the ACertified Copy of Unincorporated Association Resolutions - Opening and Maintaining Deposit Accounts and Services @ and authorize Recording Clerk Lee Ann Swarm to sign that document.  Friends also approve the change in those authorized to sign checks.

    

Sharon Annis also announced that anyone who has assumed a new responsibility and has not received information about their duties should contact her for assistance.  Information about the duties of monthly meeting representatives would be helpful for new representatives.  Sharon and Mary will distribute that information upon request. 


    

The Handbook Committee is working on a plan to distribute that information routinely.  They plan that the entire handbook will be available on the SAYMA website and individuals will have just a portion of the document.  This plan is based on the large size of the document and the fact that it will be frequently revised.

    

Those who have held positions within the yearly meeting are reminded to return requested information to Barbara Esther, clerk of the Handbook Committee, about the duties of their positions. Barbara=s new e-mail is: barbara.esther@bcsemail.org.

    

106 - 6    Treasurer

David Ciscel announced that the financial information is being transferred to him so he can now begin to receive checks and receipts. Please include your name with your receipts!  His address is 1950 Nelson, Memphis, TN 38104 and his e-mail is treasurer@sayma.org.  A review of last year=s budget and of this year=s budget to date will be presented at the December representative meeting.

    

106 - 7    Re-Opening

Following lunch and a period of worship, the clerk offered Friends the opportunity to take and read the minutes received from other yearly meetings.

    

Assistant Clerk Kristi Estes read excerpts from epistles received by the yearly meeting:

    

Baltimore Yearly Meeting:

         

Baltimore Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) gathered at James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Virginian, 29 Seventh Month to 3 Eighth month, 2003 for our 332nd Annual Sessions.  The weight of the world=s violence lay heavy upon our spirits as we were challenged by the theme, ACalled to be Peacemakers.@  During the Yearly Meeting retreat, Fran and Ed Norton guided Friends to reflect on the spiritual source of the peace testimony by posing the query, AWhat does it mean to >mind the light=?@  In small worship sharing groups, we spoke of remaining faithful to the Light when darkness seems to prevail within our Meetings or our world.....

         

Our yearning to live in Athat Light and Power that takes away the occasion of all wars@ finds expression among us in how we treat one another and how we bring up our youth.  Peace and security come from a culture of community, compassion, love, and faith.  Reports from directors of our four camps echoed this theme.  In response to a fire circle  query, AWhat makes you happy?@ one young camper answered, AKnowing there=s a God to depend on.@  During these difficult times we take courage from the experience of our youth that Adoing hard things makes you feel really good about yourself.@  We endorsed Young Friends= decision to embark on an electronic exchange with youth in Northern Ireland; this project came about through the leading of a Young Adult Friend, Leslie Keffer-King.

    

...Our Junior Young Friends (JYFs) program sponsors four weekend conferences each year for our middle school age youth to address their feelings of isolation in their schools, especially around issues of war and peace.  Junior Young Friends, while participating in a peace vigil in Washington, D.C., were surprised to learn that seasoned police could be frightened by the presence of a large number of singing children.  We were told of the powerful worship sharing that happened right after the vigil.

    

...We experienced the power of laughter and play as all ages came together in worship to sing and dance the Hokey-Pokey with new words that expressed our Called to be Peacemakers theme:

         

You put the peacemakers in you take the warmongers out

You put the peacemakers in, and you march and sing and shout

You do the power shuffle, and you turn this world around

And that=s what it=s all about

(>The Power Shuffle= by Steve Schumaker, Ginny Frazier and Paulette Meier)


         

Our testimony of equality prompted the Working Group on Racism to conduct a Listening Project that probed views and attitudes within the Yearly Meeting on diversity among Friends.  This was an effort to understand our views as a preliminary step to becoming a more open, welcoming, and diverse community.  We also approved the request of the newly renamed ad hoc Committee on Gender and Sexual Diversity Concerns to extend its charge to include advocacy as well as education. We continue to labor in love with Friends United Meeting (FUM) regarding the impact of FUM=s policies and practices on gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered persons....

         

In the Carey Memorial Lecture, Paul Lacey, Professor emeritus of English at Earlham College, centered on the connection between making peace and telling truth.  Using Denise Levertov=s poem, AMaking Peace,@ as a springboard, he reminded us that Apeace is not something which is found but something which is made...@  Peace grows from truthfulness, as Awe find the right words for the right deeds and put them together in right order@ to Abind ourselves to pledges we can keep.@  In Levertov=s poem, Aa voice from the dark called out, AThe poets must give us imagination of peace...= APaul called on us as Friends to dedicate ourselves Anot to slogans but to tasks@ and to make Apeace pulse out into the world.@

    

Australia Yearly Meeting:  (See Appendix C)

    

106 - 8    Concern from Atlanta Monthly Meeting

Martha Tate, representative from Atlanta Monthly Meeting, brought the following minute in support of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting and Priscilla Adams who are being sued by the IRS for withholding of war taxes for consideration by the Yearly  Meeting:

    

AMay God=s loving spirit uphold you as you and Priscilla Adams continue faithful in your peace witness towards the United States government. We are especially mindful of Priscilla=s leading to withhold war taxes. And we are holding her and Philadelphia Yearly Meeting in the Light. Please let us know in what practical ways we may be of help to you all at this difficult and challenging time.@

    

Friends considered how to respond since only 10 monthly meetings and worship groups are represented at this representative meeting.

Minute -- Friends agreed to distribute this minute to monthly meetings, ask them to consider this minute and to give feedback to Sharon Annis before the December representative meeting.

    

106 - 9    Concern from Foxfire Friends Meeting

Mary Calhoun of Foxfire Friends Meeting presented a minute approved by that Meeting on May 4, 2003:

    

AStandards of Government@ Peace Minute

    

AIn the interest of avoiding future occasions for war, we call on Quaker groups to join in support of a search for a world consensus on minimum standards for governments.  Ultimately, appeals should be made to all people without regard to boundaries and to such governmental bodies as the United Nations.

    

"To open discussion, some issues to consider include:

1. Should there be term limits for leaders of government?

2. What concerns are there when a government aligns with one religion?

3. Should there be universal participation in world peace initiatives?

4. What are acceptable levels of citizen participation in government?

5. Should every government have separation of powers?

6. Other issues? (i.e., war declarations, military, crises in leadership, internal police powers, economic influences...)@

     Foxfire asks that the minute be considered by yearly meeting for possible approval.


Minute -- Friends agreed to distribute this minute to monthly meetings and ask them to consider this concept of minimum standards of government. A paragraph giving background to both of these monthly meeting minutes will be developed and distributed to monthly meetings with these minutes. (See Appendix D).

    

106 - 10  Announcement from Nashville Friends Meeting

Nashville Friends Meeting is happy to let SAYMA Friends know that we have made the move to our new location 530 26th Ave N, Nashville TN 37209, 615-329-2640, www.nashvillefriendsmeeting.org. Our new location is not far from where we used to be, but in a much more racially and economically diverse neighborhood. Even before officially moving in we have been included in an organizational meting for neighborhood renewal. Already we have heard of some exciting possibilities of outreach and participation in the area. At this very moment Friends are happily slapping paint on the walls so that the beautiful renewable wood floor can be installed, which will complete phase one and allow us to legally occupy the premises.

    

Thanks to the vision of a now departed Friend, we have had a building fund slowly growing over the years.  We rejoiced when we sold our old property for more than we purchased the new. But that cushion has been depleted and we find ourselves in need of more funding before we can move on to phase 2--completion of basement classrooms and disability access to our lower level. As a first measure we are seeking contributions or loans from Friends. We would love it if we didn=t have to seek a bank loan.

    

Upon completion of Phase 3--full kitchen and showers--we plan to have a thanksgiving celebration and will be inviting all SAYMA to participate. God willing, that will be before 2004.

    

106 - 11  Faith and Practice Revision Committee Report

Kristi Estes read the attached report (Appendix E) from the Faith and Practice Revision Committee.  Please note that monthly meetings are asked to consider the proposed changes and give written feedback before the December Representative Meeting or let the committee know that a monthly meeting has decided not to respond.  Kristi notes that feedback is actually needed before the next meeting scheduled for January.

Minute -- Friends accept the report and agree to take the recommendations regarding both the proposed name change and the draft rewritten section of Part II to our monthly meetings for consideration.

    

106 - 12  Oxford Monthly Meeting

In the absence of Ministry and Nurture, Sharon Annis asked what is planned to celebrate the formation of their meeting and acceptance into SAYMA.  A certificate of recognition is usually a part of this process.  Judy Guerry who is part of Ministry and Nurture will discuss it with the clerk of Ministry and Nurture.

    

106 - 13  Nominating Committee

Penelope Wright reported for the Nominating Committee that the ad hoc committee to examine SAYMA=s peace and social concerns committee also includes Rachel Bliss, Grayfred Gray, Deanna Nip, Joan Barnette and Sharon Annis.  (Steve Livingston, Anne Welsh and Dennis Gregg were previously named to this committee.)  Penelope nominated Jeremiah Gold-Hopton as SAYF co-clerk for a two-year term.

Minute -- Friends approve this nomination.

    

106 - 14  Young Quakes Conference

Penelope Wright announced that Friends General Conference is hosting a Young Quakes conference that will be held outside Nashville on October 10-13. Friends are asked to encourage high-school-aged Friends to attend.

    

106 - 15  SAYF Steering Committee

Kristi Estes read the attached  report. (Appendix F) Photos accompanying the report were passed around.

    

106 - 16  Report -- ad hoc committee to examine SAYMA=s Peace and Social Concerns Committee

Sharon Annis read the committee=s report. It is attached as Appendix G.


Minute -- Friends approved sending the recommendation for the work of this proposed committee to monthly meetings for consideration.  Friends also approve asking monthly meetings to consider three possible names for the committee: The SAYMA Peace and Social Concerns Committee, The Quaker Concerns Facilitating Committee and the Social Concerns Facilitating Committee and to decide which name most accurately reflects the purpose of this committee.

    

106 - 17  Treasurer

David Ciscel, the SAYMA treasurer, proposed amending the earlier minute to replace Kendall Ivie with Assistant Clerk Kristi Estes as the third person authorized to sign check since Kristi is available today to sign the signature card and she also lives in Memphis.

Minute - Friends approve this change.

    

106 - 18  Junior Yearly Meeting Ad Hoc Committee

Ron McDonald presented  the following report:

    

There are a number of ways to see that JYM was a great success this year:

-- evaluations were very good

-- attendance was substantially up

-- volunteerism was equal or up

-- impressions of leaders were quite positive

-- many friendships were formed

-- the Catechesis method was warmly received

What should we do to build on this good foundation?

    

This committee will bring proposals for the next JYM to the December Representative Meeting. If Friends are aware of Friends who have the gifts for coordinating JYM, please bring these names to the attention of Clerk Sharon Annis.

    

106 - 19  Ecological Concerns Network

Susan Carlyle reported for the committee.  They met this morning and planned for activities at yearly meeting.  They plan to focus on the use of cloth napkins by giving each yearly meeting attender a cloth napkin to be handed out at registration.  They will also consider how to present the state of the meeting reports.  David Ciscel is planning an ecologically oriented workshop for yearly meeting.  They also plan to continue to present the Earth Charter to the yearly meeting.

    

106 - 20  Calendar

The 2003 December Representative Meeting will be held December 5 - 6 at Atlanta.  The April meeting will be held April 2 - 3, 2004, tentatively at Nashville.  The September Representative Meeting will be September 10 - 11, 2004,  in Berea.

    

106 - 21  Yearly Meeting Planning Committee

Tim Lamm presented the following report for the committee:

    

Yearly Meeting Planning Committee

Report to SAYMA Representative Meeting

September 6, 2003

    

Looking Back

    

Planning Yearly Meeting is an adaptive process.  The Planning Committee makes a few changes each year, then evaluates them to see what worked and what did not, using the evaluation forms attendees hand in and our own internal review.  This past year we made several changes in the schedule for Yearly Meeting:

-- Morning and evening worship for all.

-- Workshops Thursday afternoon; featured speaker Thursday night.


-- More hours for meeting for business.

-- Worship sharing after lunch (instead of after breakfast).

We believe these were mostly successful.  Next year we will reinforce the idea that Yearly Meeting starts at noon on Thursday.  There were some negative comments about having worship sharing after lunch, so we may go back to the previous time period for that.

    

Some other innovations were:

-- Centers for women and FGLBTQ concerns.

-- Registration in Gladfelter after the first afternoon.

-- A revised registration form.

-- Talent show organized by SAYF.

These changes also seemed to work well, except that several people commented the talent show was disorganized and many of the performances seemed unrehearsed.  The planning committee is considering alternatives to the talent show for next year.

    

           In the evaluations, the speaker Lloyd Lee Wilson got high marks.  There were many comments about inefficient handling of business and lack of proper preparation of business items.

    

Looking Ahead

    

The theme we have chosen for Yearly Meeting 2004 is AFeeding the Flames of Faith: Integrating Spirit and Action.@  This past year we examined the roots of our faith in Friends= traditions; next year we propose to look at how our faith integrates both active and contemplative sides---how our activism is based in our spiritual life and conversely how our spiritual life is influenced by our activism.  In keeping with the custom of having an outside speaker in alternate years, we plan to draw primarily on resources within SAYMA for the program.  We ask that all workshops relate in some way to the theme, and we invite suggestions for workshop leaders.

    

Finally, we hope to correct a couple of problems that were evident at the last gathering. We will pay more attention to accessibility in scheduling rooms (though not many meeting rooms at Warren Wilson are accessible). And we are pleased to say that Junior Yearly Meeting will have more space next year: the College is going to allow us to use the campus church building with its large fellowship hall and class rooms.

    

Submitted by

Tim Lamm, clerk

YM2004 Planning Committee

    

The wider Quaker organizations who will be featured at Yearly meeting this year will be the American Friends Service Committee national office, Right Sharing, and the Alternatives to Violence Project.

Minute - Friends approved the proposed theme.

    

106 - 22         Closing

Minute - Out of the silence of the closing worship, Friends expressed their appreciation for the bountiful hospitality we have received from Columbia Friends Meeting. The colorful Harmony School classroom and the warm, joyful welcomes gave us a solid basis for our deliberations.  Friends especially appreciated the ecological concerns demonstrated by the inspiring use of cloth napkins.  Thanks to Columbia Friends!

  

106 - 23         Approval of Minutes

Friends approved these minutes throughout the course of the representative meeting, subject to final editing by the clerk and recording clerk.

   

___________________________________             ______________________________________

Sharon Annis, Clerk                                       Lee Ann Swarm, Recording Clerk

(archive copy signed)                                                                 (archive copy signed)

 


Appendix A

Attenders

 

 

 

                                             Barbara Esther................. Asheville

                                               Ellen Johnson................. Athens

                                           Jonah McDonald................. Atlanta

                                                  Martha Tate................. Atlanta

                                                     Tim Lamm................. Berea

                                                   Beth Myers................. Berea

                                       Marmon Thompson................. Celo

                                                 Bill Reynolds................. Chattanooga

                                                   Gita Larson................. Columbia

                                                  Sallie Prugh................. Columbia

                                                     Alice Wald................. Columbia

                                                 Deanna Nipp................. Cookeville

                                                      Hazel Hall................. Cookeville

                                               Mary Calhoun................. Foxfire

                                                     Bob Keiter................. Foxfire

                                                  Judy Guerry................. Huntsville

                                                  David Ciscel................. Memphis

                                                    Kristi Estes................. Memphis

                                              Ron McDonald................. Memphis

                                           Penelope Wright................. Nashville

                                               Susan Carlyle................. Swannanoa Valley

                                                    Bob Welsh................. Swannanoa Valley

                                                Sharon Annis................. West Knoxville

                                            Barbara Conant................. West Knoxville

                                                      Missy Ivie................. West Knoxville

                                            Lee Ann Swarm................. West Knoxville


Appendix B

Bank Requirements and Documents

 

 

"Heads Up" re Bank Requirements

 

The paperwork accompanying the bank signature card has gotten more formal.  The usual required document is a "Certified Copy of Unincorporated Association Resolutions -- Opening and Maintaining Deposit Accounts and Services," which is a list of eight resolutions which the bank presumably expects will be adopted in Roberts-Rules-of-Order fashion.  In the past SAYMA has skated by on just a signature (but no meeting date) that "certified" that it had "adopted" these resolutions.  The new requirement is that we attach the pertinent portion of our minutes, to document that SAYMA approved the required resolutions.

 

The substance of the resolutions seems to be --

-- designating the bank by name

-- persons/titles authorized to sign checks and do any and all banking business

-- excusing the bank from responsibility for overdrafts, embezzlement, or misuse of facsimile

 signatures on the part of authorized signers

-- bank can rely on signature names certified to it by the person who signs the "Certified Copy of

 ...Resolutions...," and that signature names will be updated appropriately

-- actions of authorized signers are legitimate even before "Certified Copy of  ...Resolutions..."

gets to the bank

-- the "Secretary" is authorized to sign the "Certified Copy of  ...Resolutions..." and the "Certified

Copy..." conforms to our rules, bylaws, articles, charter....

-- plus two or three other customary banking procedures

 

I can't think of anything in our existing minutes that would document that SAYMA agreed in business session to the substance of such resolutions.

 

Submitted by

Mary Calhoun, Administrative Assistant

8-29-03         


Appendix B, continued

 

 

 

 

 

(bank document, hard copy only)


Appendix B, continued

 

 

 

 

 

(bank document, continued)


Appendix C

 

 

 

(Australia YM epistle -- hard copy only)


Appendix C, continued

 

 

 

 

(Australia YM epistle, continued)


Appendix C, continued

 

 

 

 

 

(Australia children's epistle, hard copy only)

 


Appendix D

Background to

Atlanta and Foxfire Friends Meetings'

 Minutes of Concern

 

 

Atlanta Friends Meeting -- Federal Lawsuit Against PYM in War Tax Case

[from the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting website]

       

The U.S. Justice Department, Tax Division, filed a civil lawsuit against Philadelphia Yearly Meeting in July 2003. The suit seeks to enforce an Internal Revenue Service levy ordering PYM to garnish the wages of an employee who is a war tax resister. PYM has refused to honor the levy. PYM has a policy stating that conscientious objection to paying taxes for military purposes is an appropriate individual expression of the Friends Peace Testimony and that it would be wrong for PYM to act in a manner which results in the violation of an employee==s conscience in such a matter. The lawsuit seeks more than $40,000 from PYM, plus a 50 percent penalty.    As the court case proceeds, relevant documents will be posted here. (http://www.pym.org/interim‑meeting/irs‑tax‑suit/index.htm)

 

 

Foxfire Friends Meeting -- "Standards of Government" Minute Discussion

   

The "Standards of Government Peace Minute" was presented at the SAYMA Representative Meeting in Columbia, S.C., on September 6, 2003. Background regarding this minute was requested by that gathering. What follows is a response to that request.

   

Bob Keiter was the originator of the minute. Bob's understanding of the Quaker peace testimony centers on the concept of preventing the occasion for  war. He has personal reasons for not participating in public peace demonstrations, preferring instead to express his ideas regarding peace in written form. The impending war with Iraq was the prompting force for the minute at the time it was originally conceived.

   

Bob believes that the tendency for polarity of thought in politics and religion that is evident in today's world tends toward occasions for war. He sees the minute as an effort towards growth of understanding and consensus in the world community. He believes that Quakers need to be more pro-active and less reactive. He sees reactive expressions as often leading to polarity of thought, contrary to the concept of peace through understanding. 

   

In its original form, the minute reflected many of the views of its author.  Via Quaker process, its length was greatly reduced and its content simplified to emphasize queries. It is hoped that this might help generate world wide discussion of what government ought to be and by what minimum standards a government is to be judged.

   

Discussion of the minute included the need for exploration of what similar initiatives there may be. Discussion included speculation regarding the role of the United Nations, specifically what exists there and elsewhere in the way of institutes of study that would further the improvement of governmental function throughout the world. Could Quakers play a larger role in promoting such efforts?

   

Approved  9-7-03


Appendix E

 

Faith and Practice Revision Committee Report B Rep meeting 6th Day, 9th Month, 2003

Members: Larry Ingle, Missy Ivie, Steve Livingston, Kristi Estes, Nancy Beecher, Errol Hess, Penelope Wright--Recording Clerk, Geeta Jyothi McGahey--Clerk

 

The Faith and Practice Revision Committee has met once since the Yearly Meeting, on 1-2nd Day, Eighth Month 2003.  We are meeting three times a year, with a bedroll overnight at Crossville Meeting House to save gas and travel time.

 

In response to feedback at YM, we will continue a Reading List. We intend to primarily include Quaker authors or authors who write specifically about Quakers and Quakerism.  We also will revisit whether to remove the annotations under the topical sections and whether to have annotations only for a small list of core books.

 

Our proposed changes to the last five paragraphs of Part I and Part II are presented for Representatives to take to monthly meetings for discernment.  The most significant changes are:

1. The recommendation that we change our name to Southern Yearly Meeting to more clearly reflect our status and geographical boundaries

2. A complete rewrite of the Yearly Meeting section for clarity. 

These are not for discussion today, but at the MM level with written feedback by the 12th Month Representative Meeting. We will circulate the final recommendations incorporating input from the MMs.

 

The following are our additional plans for proceeding to assure that each meeting has had ample opportunity to respond:

-- Email contact w/each MM to announce the presence of the information on the web site.

-- In October reminders will be sent to the clerks and representatives of each meeting noting that                  the meeting may choose to not consider the changes, but we need to know their intentions.

-- Information can be found in the quarterly issues of SAF.

-- Acknowledgment of receipt of responses.

-- Review of responses at our First Month meeting with finalization of recommendations in time                      for April representative meeting.

-- Final recommendations will be sent to meetings in April.

-- Consideration at yearly meeting.

    

We will delay consideration of Part III, giving more opportunity for the ad hoc committee to draft text that describes rightly ordered process for worship group/monthly meeting relationships and the process for a monthly meeting becoming a member of SAYMA.  Other items on the agenda for 2004 are continued work on the Queries, the reading list and Part IV.  We are inviting ECN to submit three paragraphs to for a section in Testimonies on the Environment, including historical background for Quaker concern.

 

The Revised, reformatted Faith and Practice is reprinted for meetings= use.  The Faith and Practice with approved inclusions from the Revision committee is on the web.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Geeta Jyothi McGahey, clerk

Read by Kristi Estes

   


Appendix F

 

 

 

 

 

(SAYF Steering report, hard copy only)

 


Appendix G

 

Report of ad hoc Committee to Examine SAYMA Peace and Social Concerns Committee

 

At our 2003 SAYMA Gathering, Friends created an ad hoc committee to recommend whether our Yearly Meeting should reconstitute a Peace and Social Concerns Committee and if so, to examine and recommend changes to clarify the charge to the committee agreed upon at the previous year's Gathering. Friends agreed that the ad hoc committee would consist of Steve Livingston (convener), Anne Welsh, and Dennis Gregg.

 

The committee met at West Knoxville Meetinghouse on 8/16. The three committee members were present, along with Joan Barnett and Sharon Annis. We began at 10:15 a.m. with a few minutes of silent worship. Out of the silence, the convener restated the purpose of our meeting and invited us to speak as we were moved.

 

As our worship transformed into discussion it was clear that Friends agreed that the Yearly Meeting and its members would be well-served by a Peace and Social Concerns Committee. We saw a need to facilitate the process of bringing minutes of concern from the monthly meetings to the Yearly Meeting in an orderly fashion and to improve communications and interaction among the SAYMA members working on peace, justice, and environmental issues.

 

We reviewed the brief history of the committee as it had been formed by the 2002 Gathering and subsequently disintegrated. It was clear to us that some confusion had arisen from misinterpretation of the original charge, and that a reconsituted committee would be well-served by our clarifying the charge. We agreed that the charge should be concise but not confining, and that it was valuable to define not only what the committee should do, but what it should not do.

 

We recognized that the Yearly Meeting committee was probably not the best place for a Friend carrying strong concerns and led to activism, as its purpose was not to initiate but to facilitate the leadings of the Spirit to express peace and social concerns. We saw all of the functions of the committee as being closely connected to holding the work of such Friends in the Light. We felt that it was best not to be overly specific as to the work of the committee, that it was enough to simply describe its functions, leaving up to the committee itself to determine how best to carry these functions out.

 

We ended our meeting at 2:30 p.m. with a period of worship. Out of the worship, Friends expressed their gratitude for the guidance of the Spirit in bringing our work to a satisfactory and timely conclusion, and to one another for our individual offerings of recollection, understanding, articulation, and hospitality.

 

We offer the following minutes for approval of the Yearly Meeting:

 

1. We recognize that from time to time, the Spirit moves Friends and monthly meetings to articulate a concern that may rise to the level of action. We recommend that in order to serve the Yearly Meeting and its members, the Peace and Social Concerns Committee will:

 

2. nurture minutes of concern from monthly meetings, and facilitate their seasoning by the members of the Yearly Meeting;

 

3. assist in presentation of seasoned minutes to the Yearly Meeting;

 

4. foster communications and interaction among the monthly meetings in SAYMA about our concerns and actions;

 

5. operate as part of the whole by coordinating with other committees working within SAYMA; and,

 

6. report to Yearly Meeting and Representative Meeting.

 

7. The ad hoc Committee offers the following guidelines as to how the work of the committee may be better understood:

 

8. The Peace and Social Concerns Committee is not expected to generate minutes of concern.

 

9. The Committee may be called to present a minute once it has been seasoned, or it may be called to facilitate and support the presentation of a minute.

 

10. The Committee may help Friends discern or understand the importance or impact of a minute, or actions that may arise from the minute.

 

11. The Committee's work is based in holding in the Light the concerns and proposals that are brought to it.

 

12. The Committee facilitates the seasoning of a minute by providing the opportunity for all monthly meetings to examine proposals and concerns in the Light, and actively soliciting feedback from the monthly meetings.

 

13. The ad hoc Committee to examine the SAYMA Peace and Social Concerns Committee recommends that the Peace and Social Concerns Committee be reconstituted and that the ad hoc Committee be laid down.

 

 

Respectfully submitted by Steve Livingston for the

ad hoc Committee to Examine the SAYMA Peace and Social Concerns Committee