Southern Appalachian Yearly Meeting and Association

Yearly Meeting #36

Warren Wilson College, Swannanoa, North Carolina

June 8-11, 2006



June 8, 2006 – Fifth Day (Thursday)



36-1 Opening Prayer 

“Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain.” Psalm 127:1a



36-2 Greetings

The Clerk welcomed everyone to the 36th yearly meeting of SAYMA.



36-3 Introduction of Visitors

Liz Oppenheimer – representing FGC Traveling Ministries.  A letter of travel was read.

Anna Sandidge – new coordinator of Friends Peace Teams.

David Bucura – Coordinator of the African Great  Lakes Initiative of Friends Peace Teams, from Rwanda.

Tonda Rader – Earlham School of Religion.


Also introduced, assisting the front table Hannah MacDermott



36-4 Announcements

-Site Coordinator announcements were given by Steve Livingston.

-Reading Table.  This year, reports from Wider Quaker Organizations and SAYMA committees can be found on the reading table in the binders.

-Sign Up for Electronic Minutes.       

-Columbia Friends Meeting announced a project regarding Hiroshima and sending a $4.17 book to political leaders.

-On Friday evening, there will be a short movie on the Guatemalan scholarship program at 9:40pm in Jensen.



36-5  Agenda Review

            The Clerk explained the organization and priorities of the yearly meeting business agenda. This year, on the agenda, there are mainly infrastructure concerns.  There will be times for some representatives to report on their work as well.

The agenda was approved.



36-6  Calendar

Posted on wall (and in the April minutes)

            The April 14th, 2007 Representative Meeting will be in Nashville.

            The tentative date for the 2008 Yearly meeting is June 11-15th



36-7 Epistle Committee

            The clerk asked that two or three people volunteer as an epistle committee.  Penelope Wright (Nashville), Barbara Esther (Asheville), and Peter Buck (Asheville) volunteered.

Friends Approved.



36-8 Treasurer’s Report

            The treasurer, David Ciscel, distributed the report of the Yearly Meeting’s finances.  See Appendix B for the entire report.  The SAYMA 2006 budget is in good shape and currently is in surplus.  The treasurer attributed this to two factors: 1) Monthly meetings are paying on a quarterly basis, thus keeping SAYMA in funds all year long and  2) Several individual SAYMA Friends have contributed donations and several Meetings have contributed beyond their assessments.

            -Assessments of $60 per monthly meeting member will remain the same for 2007.

            -There was a correction: Chattanooga Friends Meeting has given $1900 in FY 2006.

            -The report from the finance committee will be on Friday.

            -Friends spoke about how the added contributions have given an amount of ease to the work of


            -The Treasurer also announced that the Assistant Treasurer position was open and

            requested that Friends so led talk to him during Yearly Meeting.

Friends accepted the report.

36-9 Nominating Committee

            Sharon Annis gave the report.  Friends were reminded, if there is an opening that calls to you or could be appropriate for a Friend that is not present, please speak to a member of the nominating committee: Errol Hess, Penelope Wright, Perry Treadwell, Jane Thistlethwaite, Sharon Annis.


(a)  Sharon Annis gave a proposed minute regarding Nominating Committee structure from 2005.  Friends gave several concerns regarding the selection of the Naming Committee – these included questioning the need for change from the past and asking for other avenues for members of the Naming Committee to come forth from the larger body of the yearly meeting. 


In the light of these concerns, the minute was edited and approved as follows:


The Nominating Committee of SAYMA shall be composed of a clerk plus a minimum of 3 additional members, who are active in the YM and who are from at least 3 different monthly meetings. These individuals would serve two year staggered terms.  Names for the nominating committee would be brought forward for approval during yearly meeting sessions by the Naming Committee or may be forwarded to the yearly meeting as appointees through discernment by their monthly meeting.


An intentional focus on involving Young Adult Friends in this work is important to the yearly meeting.  The nominating committee is encouraged to work with the other committees and officers of SAYMA to identify persons who have gifts in the various areas of service needed and who have indicated an interest.  The nominating committee is also to seek input from Monthly Meetings and Worship groups about individuals that are interested in extending their involvement in Wider Quaker Organizations including SAYMA.


The Naming Committee is composed of 3 individuals whose names are brought by the Clerk and up to 3 volunteers from the floor of Yearly Meeting, all to be approved by the Yearly Meeting.  Their task is to identify and bring forth names to serve on the Nominating Committee, and the name of an individual to serve as nominating committee clerk.  This committee would serve during the yearly meeting session.

Friends Approved this Minute.

(b)  LeeAnn Swarm, Bob McGahey and Larry Ingle were recommended to serve as the 2006 SAYMA Naming Committee. 

Friends Approved.



(c)  Sharon Annis presented a list of the current slate of nominees for SAYMA positions and openings.  Friends were encouraged to review the list.

            Friends approved that Kristi Estes, Clerk, Bob McGahey, clerk of Ministry and Nurture, Adrienne Labotka, co-clerk of SAYF Steering, and Steve Livingston, Site Coordinator, have one year extended to their terms.  Their terms will now end in 2007.  Penelope Wright’s  tenure of Worship Liaison was incorrectly written as ending in 2007.  It will end in 2006.

            Carol Ciscel was approved for a one-year tenure as the clerk of the YMPC.  Ceal Wutka has been approved for a two-year term as the Workshop coordinator.

            A recommendation for appointees to FGC’s Travelling Ministries Conference was referred back to the committee to bring forth a proposal for SAYMA participation in this conference before specific names were brought forth.

Friends Approved these recommendations.


(The complete listing of all positions of responsibility, including all those approved at this Yearly Meeting are included in Appendix G.)



36-10 Ministry and Nurture Committee Report

            The report was given by Bob McGahey and is attached in Appendix C.



36-11 Electronic Communications Committee Report

            The report was given by Bill Reynolds. (attached in Appendix C)

             There are currently three ECC subcommittees addressing different concerns:

1.       General concerns re: SAYMA and ECC.

2.       Website concerns. 

3.       Listserve Concerns.


There are three proposals being worked on.


The first was a “Proposed general statement about Electronic communications of the Southern Appalachian Yearly Meeting and Association.”  Feedback was given to the committee.  Concerned Friends were asked to communicate directly with the committee.


The second proposal was regarding website policies.  Friends were asked to review the proposal and bring concerns to the committee.  It will be brought back later in Yearly Meeting sessions.


The third proposal was regarding a proposal that there be three SAYMA listserves: Important SAYMA announcements, General Announcements, and Discussion.  The clerk noted that this proposal had been brought to three different representative meetings previous to Yearly Meeting and that these were guidelines, not necessarily rules.


A Friend encouraged us to remember that the work of Elders is to love us back into the light and nurture the many gifts of the meeting. [clerk’s note:  This was in reference to the possible use of “elders” to moniter the listserves]


There were no concerns given regarding the division of the listserves, but there were several concerns given regarding the guidelines and security of the discussion listserve and the financial cost of face to face meetings of Elders.


The division of the listserves was approved.  The committee was asked to consider the concerns that were raised.

36-13  Faith and Practice Revision Committee Report






June 9, 2006 – (Sixth Day) Friday



36-14 Opening Reading:  Minute on Non-Discrimination

Brevard Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends affirms our fundamental understanding that there is that of God within every person. Recognizing the power and presence of the Inner Light in all people, we welcome all individuals regardless of age, race, gender, sexual orientation, natural abilities, and/or national origin to join us in our collective search for equality, truth and justice.


In all aspects of life, it is our wish to recognize as fully as we can the Light within us all by keeping open to the many reflections of that Light. As Quakers, mindful of being effective witnesses for social justice, we commit ourselves to educating ourselves and others about any condition which leads society to be hostile to any group. We also commit ourselves to action to end ignorance about, prejudice toward, and discrimination against any people based on their age, race, gender, sexual orientation, natural abilities, and/or national origin both within the Religious Society of Friends and the society at large.

We believe that Friends’ testimony of equality requires a single standard of treatment for all human beings and that all people share in the Light. We affirm that we welcome to our Meeting all who share our search for Truth. We therefore extend our loving care, concern, and support to all individuals in our Meeting community.



36-15  Introductions

Galen Labotka – assisting the clerk’s table from W. Knoxville FM, acting clerk of Young Adult Friends, representative to the World Gathering of Young Friends in England in 2005.

Nancy Diaz – Pendle Hill representative with a traveling letter from Pendle Hill.



36-16 Announcements 

- Green Walkabout leaving from outside the Environmental Leadership Office in Sunderland.

- Reminder of Administrative Assistant Position opening.  Please see Sallie Prugh.

- Reminder of video showing about the Friends Scholarship program in Guatemala.

- Clean-up Volunteer needed for Chat & Chew on Saturday night.

- Reminder that Bookstore purchases are requested to be made before 1:30pm today.



36-17  Roll Call

            The following meetings were represented at the beginning of this session.  A complete list of attenders to SAYMA Yearly Meeting 2006 is in Appendix A.

            Aneewakee Creek Worship Group,  Atlanta Friends Meeting, Berea Friends Meeting, Birmingham Friends Meeting, Boone Friends Meeting, Brevard Friends Meeting, Canton Worship Group, Chattanooga Friends Meeting, Columbia Friends Meeting, Cookeville Preparative Meeting, Foxfire Friends Meeting, Gwinnette Preparative Meeting, Hunstville Area Friends Meeting, Memphis Friends Meeting, Nashville Friends Meeting, New Moon Worship Group, Royal Worship Group, Swannanoa Valley Friends Meeting, West Knoxville Friends Meeting.



36-18  Agenda Review

Addition Approved.



36-19  Nominating Committee

The clerk of the Nominating committee addressed these issues:


(a)  A clarification: the members on Ministry & Nurture are made up of representatives to be appointed from every monthly meeting.  Additionally, there are also three appointed positions on M&N to come from the general body.  These three positions are what have openings


(b)  There was clarification of  the role of the Ministry and Nurture liaison to the Yearly Meeting Planning Committee (YMPC). 



(c)    The Nominating Committee gave a proposal for a reconfigured position to be known as “Worship Coordinator” for the YMPC.  This person will coordinate worship sharing and all other worship opportunities.  Friends accepted this proposal.



(d) The 2006 FGC traveling ministries consultation is on how monthly meetings address emerging gifts of ministry throughout Friends’ lives and how they take responsibility for nurturing these gifts. The cost to SAYMA would be transportation only, with travel scholarships available.   The meeting approved sending two representatives with an encouragement that the delegates make a commitment to share the skills learned within SAYMA’s monthly meetings as they are able.  Nominations will carry with them the concern that the individuals nominated be chosen with consideration to that requested commitment.          



Peace and Social Concerns: Kay Smith (Birmingham –Dec 05-June 07),

                                            Jerry Litrovella (Chattanooga December 05-June 07)

SAYF Steering Committee:  Mark LaMay (West Knoxville - June 06-08),

                                          Laura Norlin (Atlanta – June 06-08)

Bookstore: Kay Smith (Birmingham 06-08), Missy Ivy (West Knoxville 06-08)

Gary Briggs: FLGBTQC representative (Asheville June 06-08)



36-20- Faith & Practice Revisions Committee

Refer to the proposals in Appendix C.  The following parts of the proposal were approved with these changes:


Page 2 of 8:  “Yearly Meeting Section” #1 and #2.  Friends Approved.

Page 3 of 8:  #2 Added “within SAYMA” to the end of the first sentence….”must establish an

                        association with an existing monthly meeting within SAYMA.

 #3 Last sentence -  omitted “new”, and replaced “even” with  “especially”….”M&N is also available to work with meetings and nearby worship groups especially where there are raw feelings….” Friends Approved.

Page 4-5 of 8:  Peace Testimony Section.

                    #5 Changed the first sentence, making 2 sentences.  “Friends aid victims of

                        violence, whether from war, crime, community, or family strife out of the belief

   that each person is uniquely valuable.  For the same reason, Friends also reach   

   out to the perpetrators of violence.”  Friends approved through paragraph 6.



36-21. Anna Sandidge – Friends Peace Teams Coordinator

            Anna spoke about the various programs of FPT through the African Great Lakes Initiative.  She talked about one of the projects, trauma healing through experiential community building programs bringing Hutu and Tutsi together.  FPT hopes to bring that work into Latin America and the United States. Representatives from Yearly Meetings to FPT serve on FPT’s decision making body, and Anna encouraged the Yearly Meeting body to talk to her and David Baccura about FPT’s work.

36-22. Tim Barner & Kathy Guthrie – Friends Committee on National Legislation

            The representatives spoke on how the representatives from our Yearly Meeting have served on the FCNL policy committee and development committee, and the gratitude FCNL has for SAYMA’s involvement.  They encouraged individuals and monthly meetings within the Yearly Meeting to build democracy through engagement in local lobbying and lobby trainings.  FCNL is able to send staff to a monthly meeting to do an initial lobby training if requested.  They also encouraged individuals to sign up on the website for weekly action items and to become Meeting contacts.  There will be an FCNL meeting tomorrow in the small conference room.  Current FCNL initiatives were explained and information provided for response.

36-23. Friends for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Concerns (FLGBTQC) Representative Report

            Gary Briggs, FLGBTQC rep, spoke regarding SAYMA’s work on FLGBTQC issues and Cookeville’s successful sponsorship of Peterson Toscano’s program: “Doing Time at the Homonomo Halfway House.”  FLGBTQC’s midwinter gathering will be just north of Greensboro, NC from February 16th-19th.  Max Carter will be the plenary speaker on the theme, “Many Voices, One Spirit.”  There will be one semi-programmed meeting for worship.  Gary spoke regarding the denial of use of land by FUM’s Quaker Lake retreat center.  In response, Piedmont Friends Fellowship’s retreat at Quaker Lake facilties in the spring was focused on discrimination; they invited FLGBTQC members to speak and be present. 


This report was accepted.  A complete report is in Attachment D.



36-24. Budget

            The Finance Committee made the 2007 budget available for reading before consideration tomorrow.  It is in Appendix B.




June 10, 2006 – (Seventh Day) Saturday



36-25 Opening Reading

The day was Friday, and we were mindful that within a few hours we would be going in separate directions, never to be gathered under the same circumstances again.  As we met for worship that morning we were faced with the decision, whether or not to approve the epistle.  We had laboured for several hours the day before, and it looked as though preferences for wording and other concerns would make it impossible to approve the final draft.


However, something happened which transformed the feeling of our meeting… [A New England Friend] said something like, ‘ I know that the blood of Christ and the Atonement are very important issues for some Friends, and I don’t see anything in the epistle which addresses those convictions….’


In the discussion that followed, [an] evangelical Friend expressed his concern that the number of references to Christ might be difficult for Friends not used to Christ-language.  What had begun as an act of loving concern for other Friends transformed the meeting into a unified whole.  The discussion had changed from persons wanting to ensure that their concerns were heard to wanting to ensure that the concerns of others were heard and that their needs were met.  We had indeed experienced the transforming power of God’s love.”

                          - Paul Anderson, quoted in Quaker Faith and Practice:  the book of Christian Discipline of the Yearly

                                 Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in Britain, 1994, #2.92



36-26 Introductions

            Dick Houghten – Nashville Friends Meeting, assisting the Clerk’s table



36-27 Roll Call (for meetings not present at yesterday’s roll call)



36-28 Agenda Revisions

The following reports will be ommitted from the agenda, but are available in Appendix C:

·   The Logo Committee report and materials regarding access to logo will be brought to September Representative Meeting.

·   Web Design concern - Talk to Tim Lamm, the web manager if you feel led to redesign the SAYMA website

·   Ecological Concerns Network has a report at the Reading Table is looking for contact persons from each Meeting.

·   Peace and Social Concerns report is posted at the Reading Table.  They are working on concern around torture and invite Meetings to communicate with them regarding their concerns around a minute on torture.

The changes in the agenda were approved.



36-29 Announcements

-  Housekeeping, Keys, Name Tags.

-  RWSR: Who, What, Why, and Where?  Will meet on porch during lunch.

-  Friends Journal: the price of subscription is increasing.  They are also recommending their first anthology “Answering Terror: Responses to War and Peace after 911.”



36-30 Continuing Concerns

The clerk asked to enter into the record some of the larger concerns that were brought up yesterday – to be  recorded  but not addressed directly today:


·         We hear concerns that the dissemination of our work across a large geographical region is difficult. (consultations, conferences, centers, and WQO’s).

·         We hear concerns that there is an impression of one geographical area or meeting representing the Yearly Meeting to the exclusion of the others.

·         We hear concerns about how we select non-routine appointees.

·         We hear concerns about how we nurture each other amidst conflict.


We do not want to ignore these concerns, but we have other work to do today.  We ask as these concerns arise to hold them and to look for way to open.

Friends Approved this Minute



36-31 Personnel Report

            There is a personnel report at the Reading Table.  Mary Calhoun has resigned as of June 30th, and there is a need for a new person for the Administrative Assistant Position.  A search committee has been convened and will meet today at 4:00pm.  The search committee consists of Sharon Annis, Errol Hess, Sally Prugh, and Kristi Estes.  There is also a working group - if there is an interim period of Tim Lamm (website), Penelope Wright (emails), David Ciscel (finances), Errol Hess (Kitenet), and Sharon Annis (physical property).  The position is open to anyone within SAYMA.


The meeting minuted their appreciation for Mary Calhoun’s seven years of work as  SAYMA’s Administrative Assistant


            Friends gave their thanks for the numerous occasions that Mary took time to help them – with Southern Appalachian Friend, with the Internal Revenue Service, with Faith and Practice reports, and with clerking responsibilities.  Others thanked Mary for her work helping the listserve run smoothly, answering the phones at times different than her regularly scheduled hours, rescuing them from computer emergencies, and typing up reports for them. 

            Friends also spoke of how Mary had helped them learn important truths – about themselves and about the world around them.  One friend said that Mary helped her to learn that administrative details can be vitally connected to the life of the Spirit in the Yearly Meeting.  Another Friend noted, “Some people define their jobs in the narrowest possible sense and do as little as possible. Others define their jobs in the broadest possible sense, and Mary has done that.  Mary talked with me late into the night and helped me feel part of an organization that means a lot to me.” A Friend who saw herself as sharing many similar characteristics to Mary said that she appreciated the challenge they were both able to give each other in seeing how they both come across to other people – and of the gift of the knowledge of SAYMA’s history that Mary carries.  She said that her conversations with Mary were “most precious” to her. Another Friend said that Mary taught him about sharing gifts we didn’t know we had with people that didn’t know that they needed them. A former clerk who started her work at the same time as Mary started hers said, “We started together in our respective roles, and we labored together because we were each finding our way, and it is through our love for each other that we found our way and will continue.”

            A Friend also sang out her appreciation to Mary, “Tis a gift to be efficient, tis a gift to be on time, tis a gift to separate the members from attenders…. You are a gift to us and we will hold you always in the light.”

36-32 Finance Committee Report 

            For the 2007 proposed budget there is a change in expected contributions from $500 to $3100   There is a COLA increase to SAYMA personnel.  There is a doubling of money for the Faith and Practice Committee due to increased copying expenses.  There is also an increase of funds to contributions to Wider Quaker Organizations.  There was an error in the printed fund allocations.  Quaker Earthcare Witness should be marked to be receiving $600.  Questions and concerns were addressed.  The final 2007 budget will be proposed at the September Representative meeting.  If there are any specific proposals, please get them to the Finance Committee before that meeting.

Friends approved this minute.



36-33 Electronic Communications Committee

The clerk read the charge of ECC formulated during the 109th Representative Meeting at Berea. 


(a) The first proposal brought forward was the general statement regarding our faith and practice as it relates to electronic communications.  It was edited and approved as follows:


            Our faith and practice as it relates to electronic communications, specifically website, listserve, and



            Historically, Friends have been “part of the world but not of it.”  Learning to incorporate new technology

            without losing our practice of Spiritual Discernment has been part of that history.


            Our experience leads us to affirm that electronic communications is not appropriate for discernment of         the Spirit and determining the “sense of the Meeting” in our Committee and Yearly Meeting work.  We            are also reminded that our Testimony of Equality calls us to insure we fully include all SAYMA Friends in        all Yearly Meeting communications by providing sufficient non-electronic communications as well to all     who, either by choice or by circumstances, do not involve themselves in or do not have access to    electronic communications.


            Electronic communications supports our work in many ways such as sharing information, ideas,      suggestions for agendas, for directions for actions, for researching and sharing background information        and data.  Use of electronic communication also supports our ecological concerns about paper            reduction.



(b) The second proposal relates to the SAYMA discussion listserve.  Friends were in unity regarding the “Guidelines for Content” section with the deletion of “sometimes” from the second to last sentence.  Friends noted that these guidelines could be appropriate for a Meeting for Worship with attention to business.  The guidelines follow:


This list is for the SAYMA community to discuss general issues of concern to Quakers. (For further information about Friends' concerns see This list is especially for those who like electronic back and forth discussion about views, opinions, etc. Please compose your postings to this list to reflect the fundamental Quaker value that "there is that of God in Everyone". When responding to another post, respond to that of God in the author or subject of that post. This means express your perspective sincerely without passing judgement on the other's motives, character, intelligence or integrity.  It is good to allow time to pass for seasoning your thoughts before posting a response.  Please also be moderate in your quantity of postings in order to avoid overwhelming subscribers.

Friends approved these guidelines.

The rest of the document regarding the SAYMA discussion listserve was sent back to committee with several concerns.  1) There was a concern regarding anonymous or alias postings,  2) There was a concern regarding the last sentence that addressed removing people from the list for repeatedly breaking the guidelines.  A Friend recommended that moderators approach difficulties using positive reinforcement first.  Another Friend asked that the document be specific regarding how the list moderators would be chosen.


The ECC will take these concerns into consideration.



36-34 Ministry and Nurture Committee

Friends General Conference’s Traveling Ministries Committee Consultation for Yearly Meetings.

-  At our April 2006 meeting, we discerned that we will send two Friends seasoned in our yearly meeting, one older and one younger, to represent SAYMA at this consultation in November 2006 in the Pittsburg area.

-  Necessary travel expenses will be available from the Spiritual Development Fund.

-  We will work with these Friends to gather the information to be taken on our behalf to the consultations (how are monthly meetings and the yearly meetings nurturing emerging ministries?).  Upon their return they will report back to us and we will discern with them how the gifts of the consultation can be shared among the monthly meetings of SAYMA.

-  The Friends we asked to serve in this capacity are Hannah MacDermott and Perry Treadwell.

Friends Accepted the Report



36-35 Faith and Practice Revisions Committee


References are to the proposals in Appendix C.

Page 5 of 8:  “Peace” Section, #7 was approved with changes in sentences 2 & 3: “Friends’ lives, ground in simplicity, equality, integrity, justice, and harmony, contribute to a healed world.  Friends as individuals and as a Society continue to struggle toward this goal.”   Friends Approved.



36-36 Wider Quaker Organizations


·       Quaker House, Fayetteville , North Carolina Chuck Fager


Quaker House works on three different areas 1) Counseling of GI’s and their families, and those who are considering joining the military,  2)  Coordinating peace rallies in Fayetteville,  3) Serving as a resource on peace issues, particularly to Friends and to others as way opens.  Chuck spoke of the expansion of the work of Quaker House and their rising budget.  He also spoke of his relationship to Tom Fox, Christian Peacemaker Team hostage in Iraq, and the loss of Tom’s life.  Chuck will soon be publishing a pamphlet of Tom’s writing.  He read a section of Tom’s writing from his weblog from a refugee camp. 



·       Friends General Conference, Deborah Fisch


Deborah spoke of the current work of FGC, a service organization that SAYMA is affiliated with.  FGC’s work and services are open to any yearly meeting or monthly meeting that wishes to take advantage of them – regardless of affiliation.  She noted the work of SAYMA individuals in serving in many key FGC positions and thanked SAYMA for appointing representatives to committees that are mindful of the tasks to be performed.  She highlighted the work of the Religious Education Committee.  The Advancement and Outreach Committee is expanding their website services on  They hope to include different countries, several branches of Quakerism, and listings of individual isolated Friends who wish to start worship groups.


She spoke of the work of the Traveling Ministries Program and of the benefits of having a Traveling Friend in ministry and how visiting Friends may not carry answers but help create space so that answers can come forth out of the meeting.  Traveling Friends may be requested that have experience in specific areas as Meetings have needs.  She encouraged Meetings to inform Traveling Ministries of emerging gifts and ministers in their Meetings so that they could be supported in nurturing these individuals.


She also spoke of the work of the Ministry & Nurture and Youth Ministries Program Committees.  The Youth Ministries Program Committee is intergenerational and is doing work discerning how young adult friends can be connected to each other. She asked SAYMA to consider hosting young adult friends who have emerging gifts of ministry. 


She also reminded us that any book you want can be bought at QuakerBooks of FGC.



·       Friends World Committee on Consulation Report-  Rachel Weir


Rachel went with a traveling minute to the Annual Meeting of the Section of the Americas branch of the Friends World Committee for Consultation, in Guatemala, to serve as an interpreter.  She gave thanks to the Yearly Meeting for their support and sponsorship.  Hosted by Ambassador Friends Meeting in Guatemala (affiliated with FWCC), she spoke of the generosity of their hospitality.  She spoke of the different branches of Friends in Guatemala, including a visit to a Holiness Friends church.


Friends accepted these reports.




June 11, 2006 – First Day, Sunday


36-37 Opening Reading


“I recall a family weekend, when the children, about twenty-four of them, aged three and upwards, had their own sessions in parallel to the adults.  On the first evening, after the getting-to-know-you games, we sat down on the carpet to worship. We lit some candles on the hearth, turned off the lights, asked two children to be elders, and were still.  The meeting went on for over a quarter of an hour, and was deep.  Then the two elders shook hands, but the silence continued.  After another five minutes, I started a conversation, but no one responded to be cheerful comments.  I was the one who had lost touch.  When the children did speak, it was slowly, thoughtfully, with long spaces between.  This was when I realized that children do minister…  That meeting lasted until someone entered the room and interrupted us – about forty minutes.” 

Anne Hosking, quoted in Quaker Faith and Practice:  the book of Christian Discipline of the Yearly  Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in Britain, 1994, #2.76


36-38  Epistle of Southern Appalachian Young Friends

The SAYF epistle, in dramatic form, was acted out in front of the Yearly Meeting.  The script is attached as Appendix E.



36-39 Epistle of Young Adult Friends

The YAF epistle, also in dramatic form, was acted out in front of the Yearly Meeting.  The script is attached as Appendix E.



36-40 Introductions 

Elaine Ruscetta, Atlanta Friends Meeting, Representative to the World Gathering of Young Friends in England in 2005, assisted the clerk’s table.



36-41  Announcements

·       The Administrative Assistant position is open.  Please talk to Sally Prugh or email her as soon as possible.  Email her at SAYMA will be receiving resumes for that position until the middle of July.

·       Laura Norlin will be serving at FGC Gathering as a young friend’s counselor.

·        SAYMA is still looking for an assistant Treasurer for 2006 to become a fulltime Treasurer in 2007.


36-42 World Gathering Report

            Galen Labotka and Elaine Ruscetta were SAYMA Young Adult Friend’s representatives at the 2005 World Gathering of Young Friends.  Their report is attached as Appendix D.



36-43  Epistle of Junior Yearly Meeting

            Stephen and Heidemarie Huber-Feely, JYM Coordinators, spoke of how this has been a wonderful weekend in community building and how they were here to share the community we created this weekend with everyone here. They said that they tried to create a program that balanced structure and education with free play that would take into account everyone’s differences.  They spoke of the challenge it was to come in with an agenda and a program and then adapt to time structures and children’s very individual preferences while bringing everyone together in community. 

            The JYM brought in a handmade loom from forest branches, string, and brush.  The coordinators spoke of how this symbolized the weaving together of the community through the weekend.  They also spoke of how much they learned and how much they were able to see of nature and of God through the eyes of children – of being able to wake up and see through the children, the joy of being alive on this planet.

            The children each spoke from their experience of the weekend:

“I liked playing the intergenerational games, kick the can, and learning how to play ping-pong.”

“I liked playing ping- pong, too because I was the best in JYM.”

“The loom is made out of wood and string.”

“My name is Nicholas, and I liked playing kick the can and pool, but I wasn’t very good at pool, and I loved swimming.”

“I’m Taylor and I’m Angelina, and we liked making fairy houses outside.  We took sticks and leaves and made ink from squished mulberries and wrote on leaves and sticks and things and took acorn caps and made little seats out of them.”

“My name is Sam.”

“My name is Amber.”

“Mine is Alice.  Last night we were really bored and we went under a tree with permanent marker and wrote on sticks.  We’re giving them away as pet sticks. “

“I liked ping-pong even though I got beat in every game except one, and I liked swimming and playing intergenerational games.”

 “I liked Kick the Can.”



36-44 Agenda review

Proposals for the Faith and Practice revisions for Equality and Simplicity will stand as is and be revisited in the 2007 Yearly Meeting.  New sections will be sent out in the fall for monthly meeting’s consideration.



36-45 Thank you to Mary Calhoun

The minute from yesterday was approved.



36-46 Nominating Committee

36-47 Naming Committee

Lee Ann Swarm, of the Naming Committee,  recommended the following names for the Nominating Committee:

            Errol Hess (South Carolina), clerk of the Nominating Committee

            Sarah Rose (Royal Worship Group), Annie Black (Cookeville PM), Dennis Greg

            (Crossville MM), and Barbara Esther (Asheville MM)

Friends approved these nominations.


[Clerk’s note:  The name of Judy Guerry (Huntsville Area MM)was inadvertenly ommitted from the nominations report.  She will serve on the committee in the interim and her name will be brought before Representative Meeting in September]



36-48  Registrar’s report

            The clerk noted the thanks of the Meeting for the work of the registrar in holding everything together.



36-49 Site Selection

            No one is currently serving on the Site Selection Committee.  Berea College has opened up to Conferences; however, they do not book more than a year ahead of time.  Friends approved returning to Warren Wilson College for Yearly Meeting sessions June 11-15, 2008. 

            Ceal Wutka, Errol Hess, and a member of Berea Monthly Meeting will meet with Berea College and report their findings to fall Representative Meeting in 2006, and this issue will be considered.

36-50 Yearly Meeting Epistle

Southern Appalachian Yearly Meeting and Association

Epistle for the Thirty Sixth Annual Sessions

Eleventh Day, Sixth Month, 2006


Dear Friends Across the World,


We greet you in that which is eternal and send this epistle to tell you of how the Spirit fared with us during our annual sessions held at Warren Wilson College in Swannanoa, North Carolina.

Two hundred and fifty eight Friends of all ages gathered together to create a community exploring our theme; Testimonies from Creation: Savoring the S.P.I C.E. in all life. Among our numbers were sixteen Young Adult Friends, forty-five teens (Southern Appalachian Young Friends) and twenty-seven participants in Junior Yearly Meeting.

We were blessed with cool sunny days and a refreshing breeze which called us to be out in God’s world in a variety [of] activities. Heidimarie and Stephen Huber-Feely, our Junior Yearly Meeting coordinators invited all of us to savor creation on a nature walk. The children spent much of their time outside as they explored the connection between creation and Spirit. An intergenerational games workshop gave Friends of all ages an opportunity to delight in each other. In keeping with our testimony of equality it was loudly trumpeted that children of a wide age range excelled at kick-the-can.

SAYFers returned to a dorm closer to the heart of SAYMA’s activities and were happily seen consistently throughout our gathering. Their presence was appreciated at worship sharing and in workshops. They made up half of those of those present at the Friends for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Concern’s worship.

In turning to the conduct of our business we noted the resignation of our Administrative Assistant of the past seven years. Mary Calhoun’s patience, institutional memory and integrity in fulfilling that office brought forth our heartfelt and minuted appreciation. During our meetings for worship with attention to business we continued in our theme as we approved more revisions to Our Guide to Our Faith and Practice that addressed the testimonies of simplicity, peace and equality. We also considered the best use of electronic communication, through email, web sites and list serves. We find that we still labor to remain in a worshipful center during our business sessions.

Our workshops, evening panel and keynote address reminded us of our testimonies as we heard each of our SAYMA Friends relate their stories; showing us lives that testified to the Truth they found in the testimonies. These stories also told of the importance of truth, reconciliation and forgiveness in times of injustice or violence. As Anne Welsh spoke of seeking to be faithful to the part of her that God had touched, we were struck by the truth of the testimony of integrity. Continuing revelation of justice and equality was brought to life by David Ciscel’s story of his passage through civil rights sit-ins and women’s liberation confrontations, only to find that there was yet another group in need of justice. Through affirmation of and support of his gifts by his community, Daryl Bergquist was able to take risks in the wider world. Heidimarie Huber-Feeley surprised us with her understanding that simplicity is not deprivation, rather it is richness found in creation. We were blessed by his ministry as Hector Black told of his experience with peace in four aspects of his life. Peace became possible for him and his family through Love and seeing that of God in another’s eyes.


As we labored through our agenda, we found that hurts between Friends, between meetings or in our larger community of Friends also need this same healing ministry, so that we can act from a place of Love and trust. We were reminded of the full nature of eldering that calls forth and nurtures gifts of Friends. We witnessed the Spirit flow through our clerk as with skill and tenderness she led us through a lengthy agenda. At the same time she named for us some longer term work that we will need to address regarding the care of and communication with each other across great distances. She lifted up for us an image that challenged each of us to relinquish our “own boats” so that we can go deeper into the Living Waters.

At the end of each business session we heard from our featured wider Quaker organizations. We were called out of our introspective work to attend to Quaker work in the wider world. Representatives from Friends Peace Teams, Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL), Friends for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Concerns (FLGBTQC), Quaker House, Friends General Conference (FGC) and Friends World Committee for Consultation (FWCC) ministered to us as they spoke from the heart about the work to which they have been called. Anna Sandidge inspired us with her experience with Africa Great Lakes Initiative’s reconciliation program for the Hutu and Tutsi survivors in Burundi. Tim Barner and Kathy Guthrie shared with us impending legislative actions with which FCNL has been working. They invited us to consider lobbying training which FCNL can provide upon request. SAYMA Friend, Gary Briggs shared his delight that FLGBTQC’s Mid-Winter Gathering in 2007 is to be held in North Carolina and their hope to include Friends from all Quaker branches. Chuck Fager chose to briefly speak of the work of Quaker House so that he could share with us a portion of Christian Peace Team Worker and Quaker Tom Fox’s blog entry written just prior to his kidnapping. Hearing of Tom’s quiet and faithful witness to the peace testimony touched us deeply. Despite his quiet mien, through his tragic death, Tom’s voice resounds in the world. Deborah Fisch shared with us the exciting news of the new program committee at FGC for youth ministries. We remember that three of our younger Friends were part of the discernment around establishing this committee. With joy we heard our Friend Rachel Weir tell of her experiences serving FWCC as a bi-lingual interpreter during the recent Section of the Americas meeting in Guatemala.

We were given an additional blessing by the presence of David Bucura of Rwanda. He currently serves as the National Coordinator of an Alternatives to Violence Project with genocide survivors and has served as General Secretary of Rwanda Yearly Meeting of Friends.

Remembering the truth Anna Sandidge found in her encounter with a war survivor, we affirm that the most fundamental gift we can give each other is to listen with tender hearts and to be present for one another; through this Love comes healing and unity.


God willing, we will come together again in worship and community in Sixth Month, 2007 at this place for our thirty seventh annual session.


Friends Approved this Epistle




36-51 Electronic Communication Committee Announcement


ECC will bring the Website Policies Proposal to the Fall Representative Meeting at Berea.  Since the proposal was handed out in business Thursday, we have made a couple of minor tweaks and added the following sentence under the “contents” list:

            “Groups within SAYMA that want to have a link or a presence on the website are encouraged to contact the web manager.”

            Everyone will have the opportunity to see the full proposal posted on our listserve and on our website soon.  Anyone who wants to give input are encouraged to contact the ECC Clerk or one of the members, or to speak with your Representative BEFORE the Fall the Rep. Meeting.



36-52 Thank You


Warren Wilson College: Friends spoke of how this campus is starting to feel like a home one weekend a year.  They gave thanks for all of their provisions and service. A friend said, “This time I really appreciated the sense of communion and immersion in the life of nature which is filled with Spirit.” The healthy, diverse, and locally grown food offerings were appreciated.  A friend spoke of Warren Wilson’s hospitality as being a spiritual hospitality marked with exquisite care and responsiveness to needs that arise.  A friend from Columbia spoke of the peace that is here, and gave a hope that as people come to this environment, the community will continue to grow.


Other thanks: Friends gave thanks for the safe and wonderful place for our children, for allowing a young adult friend to serve at the Clerk’s table, for the well-being and a continuation in the Beloved Community of those Friends who have completed terms of service, for the opportunity to reconnect and worship with Friends as a whole while connecting into deeper friendships and a greater love with the members of one’s own Meeting.  A Friend also spoke saying that she gave thanks for the contributions of each person here in developing the spiritual community she joyfully takes part in.


The Yearly Meeting Closed in worship





Appendices Attached

A:  Attenders List (not available electronically)

B:  Financial Reports

C:  Committee and Officer Reports

D:  Representative Reports

E:  Epistles

F:  State of the Meeting Reports

G:  Position of Responsibilities Roster







          Kristi Estes, Clerk                                                            Christina VanRegenmorter,Recording Clerk

          (archive copy signed)                                                                                                (archive copy signed)