If you would like a copy of our most recent newsletter, please contact Dianne Marshall at dmarshall(at)pacific.net. Thanks!
April, 2019 Reports:
- State of the Meeting Report
- Treasurer’s Report
- PYM Rep Com Report
- Woolman at Sierra Friends Center
- Harry Bailey Memorial Minute
Grass Valley Friends Meeting 2019 State of the Meeting Report
The state of our Meeting is pretty good. In some ways, our spiritual strengths and weaknesses are invisible and hard to assess because they exist in our hearts. But some strengths show in things like the quality of vocal ministry. There are long silences between speakers. Most seem not to have come having mentally prepared what they’re itching to say, and we are able to allow silence to prevail when that is what we ought to be attending to. People who come to Meeting weighed down in spirit feel free to voice their concerns, be listened to, and find others who will reach out. We often find ourselves thinking about something entirely unexpected that Meeting for Worship has led us to consider, whether or not there has been ministry, and those times are particularly rich.
Our spiritual strengths also showed in our retreat on the topic of meeting for worship and the programs of the Spiritual Life (Adult Ed) Committee. We care for those in physical and spiritual need. This includes people in meeting and the homeless in our community. We have prepared and served food at the homeless shelter for over thirteen years. We donate time, food, and money, and we serve extraordinarily tasty and nutritious food. We provide Clearness and Support Committees to nurture our members’ and attenders’ spiritual journeys. Every month we hold Meetings for Worship at the homes of elders who cannot get to the Meetinghouse. Our Meeting community, overall, is aging. Some in our Meeting faced significant health and other challenges and needed our support. We provided transportation, house cleaning, resource information, work days, financial assistance and committees of care—and holding in the Light. When we did this, the presence of the Spirit felt strong.
We are working on improving how we greet and welcome newcomers. They aren’t always familiar with much of what goes on before, during, and after Meeting for Worship. We need to orient them better to Meeting for Worship so they can participate right away. They also need opportunities to meet other people from our Meeting at social gatherings and to learn about Quakerism. Ministry and Oversight has begun to respond to these educational needs with the “Quaker Minute”—one-minute presentations about Quakerism held during announcements on topics like membership, clearness committees, and threshing sessions. Our remote location at Sierra Friends Center makes it difficult to find us and we have little to no presence on social media. But after years of inactivity, our Outreach Committee has begun to look for ways to make us (and Quakerism) more widely known in our community, such as listing our meeting in the local paper and better signage at our location.
We’ve lost over a third of our members in the past 14 years and we have too few people to do the work of all our committees. Some committees do not meet and others meet rarely, so some things don’t get done. To help with this situation, we are considering reducing the number of committees to three. We held a special Meeting for Parents this year and many of them participated. We have been aware that we should do more for these families and asked for their views. Unfortunately, we did not do much to respond to their concerns and suggestions. On the other hand, we do care deeply about keeping our Children’s Program going. Our only
paid staff is a teen we hired to help with this. Ministry and Oversight also helps staff the children’s program. Parents need respite and should also have a chance to attend worship, so we don’t ask them to work in the Children’s program. Every fifth Sunday we have Family Meetings for Worship that include storytelling and other children’s activities. Work days and potlucks have been valuable ways to encourage parents and children to feel part of Meeting—especially when a special invitation has been sent to them. Although there was a Spiritual Life (Adult Ed) session on how white people can become allies to people of color, as a Meeting we do not do much with regards to peace, social justice, and environmental stewardship. Our Peace and Social Justice Committee has not met for over a year. On the other hand, individuals from our Meeting actively work for peace, justice, and environmental stewardship.
Attendance at Meeting for Worship on the Occasion of Business ebbs and flows. Hoping that the more we are transparent about what we will talk about, the more people will be engaged, we just began posting the agenda in the Meetinghouse on the day of the Business Meeting, and posting a tentative agenda the week before. Hearing the responses to queries that are offered at the beginning of Business Meeting has been educational, and has made our Meetings less administrative and more worshipful. We’ve implemented ideas from a Clerking Workshop that have increased the spiritual quality and effectiveness of these Meetings. The decision to end Business Meeting at 2:00 has reduced the concern that it might go on forever. There is a spiritually rich period of singing and playing instruments for the hour before the 10:00 start of Meeting for Worship. It doesn’t matter if only a few people come; we are grateful to those who create this part of Meeting. After the music ends, participants often go directly into worship—starting worship before 10:00. This nurtures gathered meetings.
Overall, the Meeting is spiritually healthy. However, there are things that we want to do that we are not doing, things that are missing, and things we hope for.
Grass Valley Friends Meeting, Treasurer’s Report: 4-14-2019
fosten wilson gave the report.
summary = Ok to good
THANK YOU for your contributions. From January thru March we received $4,191 in contributions. About what we needed. We were able to pay most of our PYM dues in January. And the remaining balance is being paid this month, in April.
Tithe.ly — As discussed at the March Meeting for Business, we have signed up with an online donation processing service, Tithe.ly, that serves religious organizations. Finance Committee is testing this service. It allows donations to Grass Valley Friends Meeting from your bank account, credit or debit card, using a personal computer or smartphone. Regular automatic donations are an option. So far the tests have been successful. We are looking forward to asking Amy Cooke to install a donate button on our meeting website and helping those who wish to donate using the website or the smartphone app to set up an account. We hope this will facilitate more contributions.
The Fund Balances Report shows a “snapshot” of our bank account on 3-31-2019. It also shows the individual funds that made up that total. In the Restricted Funds, money has been repaid into the Sharing Fund. As usual, most activity in the last three months has been within line one, our General Fund For details of the General Fund, turn that page over for the General Fund – Actual vs Budget report.
Thru March we received $10,293 in contributions (see line 400 at top). And, we spent $8,101 (see Total Expense line near bottom). This means that we could pay our PYM Dues (see line 621). Misc. Unbudgeted Expense (line 609) has been active, with our contribution to Camp fire victims in November & the purchase of a rice cooker.
Now, I request that Meeting approve another unbudgeted expense. In February, we hosted the Inter-Faith Nevada County gathering at Sierra Friends Center. Twenty-four dollars was spent to provide snacks. I request a Minute of Approval of this spending.
Treasurer, Grass Valley Friends Meeting
|Committee||Nominee||Term or Last Year||Confirmed||Status|
|BUILDING & GROUNDS|
|Gordon Starr||1 Year||Yes|
|Reed Hamilton||1 year||Yes|
|Pat Phillips||1 year||Yes|
|Doug Hamm||1 year||Yes|
|Judy Hamilton||1 year||Yes|
|Beth Kemplin||1 year||Yes|
|Karen Olson||1 year||Yes|
|Kathy McCreary||1 year||Yes|
|Peggy Baldwin||1 year||Yes|
|Diane Marshall, librarian||Continuing||Yes|
|MINISTRY & OVERSIGHT|
|Gordon Starr||1 Year||Yes|
|Gordon Bishop||1 Year||Yes|
|Hilary Ellis-Lavigne||1 Year||Yes|
|Ted Smith||1 Year||Yes|
|Gordon Starr||1 year||Yes|
|Peggy Baldwin||1 Year||Yes|
|Sandy Kewman||1 Year||Yes|
|Don McCormick||1 Year||Yes|
|Amy Cooke||1 Year||yes|
|Karen Olson-Resource||1 Year||Yes|
|Judy Hamilton||1 Year||Yes|
|Sandy Kewman (sub)||1 year||Yes|
|Peace and Social Justice|
|Dean Olson||1 Year|
|Karen Olson||1 Year|
|Beth Kemplin||1 Year|
|Officers||Nominee||Term or Last Year||Confirmed|
|Clerk||Don and Anita McCormick||1 Year||Yes|
|Communications Co-ord.||Pat Phillips||1 Year||Yes|
|Directory Coordinator||Sandy Kewman||1 Year||Yes|
|Hospitality House||Beth Kemplin||1 year||Yes|
|Hospitality House||Sharon Davisson||1 year||Yes|
|Mail Clerk||Dean Olson||1 year||Yes|
|Newsletter Editor||Dianne Marshall||1 ye||Yes|
|Newsletter Distribution||1 year||Yes|
|Newsletter Reader||Karen Olson||1year||Yes|
|Placer Co. Worship Group||Stuart Smith||Yes|
|Recording Clerk||Amy Cooke||1 year||Yes|
|Website Maintenance||Amy Cooke||1 year||Yes|
|College Park Quarterly|
|FGC Liaison||Don Kewman||Yes|
|PYM Observer||Don McCormick||Yes|
|Quaker Center||Hillary Ellis-Lavigne||yes|
|Right Sharing of World Res.|
|Sierra Friends Center||Dean Olson||Yes|
|Interfaith Nevada County||Dianne Marshall||Yes|
GVFM Representative to Pacific Yearly Meeting Report to Business Meeting, 4th Month 2019
Submitted by Sandy Kewman
I attended the Representative Committee meeting March 1-2, 2019, at La Jolla Friends Meeting. RepCom, as it is known, is a Meeting for Worship on the occasion of business concerned with the year round work of PYM and preparation for Annual Session (the summer gathering).
Reports from 17 PYM committees and officerholders were presented and can be found in the RepCom 2019 Minutes on pacificyearlymeeting.org. Friends with interest in or concerns about what is happening in PYM are strongly encouraged to browse through the minutes.
Here are some items of particular note:
- Upcoming event: • Spring Youth Service-Learning Camp, April 15-19, 2019 at Quaker Oaks Farm, Visalia, with the Wukchumni Tribe.
- Annual Session 2019 will be Friday July 12 through Wednesday July 17 at Walker Creek Ranch, Petaluma. All are welcome. The theme is “Dwelling in Truth and Trusting Divine Spirit”
- Attendance fees for Annual Session are reduced 8% from last year.
- If you can’t come for the whole time you are encouraged to come for part of it (e.g. for the
- weekend). The keynote address will be Saturday and the Memorial will be Sunday afternoon. Both of these events will be worth your time and effort.
- Registration will open in May.
- Wanted: Children’s Program Teachers & Friendly Responsible Adult Presences (FRAPs), aka “Youth Workers” at Annual Session. In exchange for this service registration for Annual Session is provided. Contact me if interested.
- The Arrangements Committee is exploring alternate sites throughout California for holding PYM in 2020 and beyond.
- The search for a new PYM Youth Programs Coordinator (YPC) is ongoing. Alyssa Nelson is staying on in the position while the search is underway and to train the new person. As part of this process an overall review of the of the YPC Position was initiated. Meetings and individuals were asked to complete a survey questionnaire. The response rate for the survey was not high and they encourage further responses. Results of the evaluation will be reported at Annual Session. Results of the search for a new YPC might be reported at any time.
- Changes are being contemplated in how the Children’s Program at Annual Session is planned, organized and work compensated. An ad hoc committee to evaluate the Children’s Program Coordinator Position submitted a lengthy report at RepCom (see the minutes) with recommendations for further seasoning by monthly meetings (though a formal mechanism for sending feedback is not defined).
- Ministry and Oversight Committee has published information on the financial implications of PYM affiliating with Friends General Conference which is available on the pym website in a document called “Financial Implications for FGC Affiliation” under the M&O section of the Rep Com minutes.
- M&O and Finance Committees are exploring the “Pay as Led” approach for Annual Session registration in 2020. Stay tuned!
Woolman at Sierra Friends Center
Amy Cooke gave the report.
We are busy preparing for the Salmon Run and Community Festival next week, as well as getting ready to welcome the Sustainable Urban Design Academy from Castlemont High School in Oakland later in May. North Oakland Community Charter School will follow, and then we will have a glorious summer of camp – backpacking in the Sierra, playing games and swimming in Mel’s Pond on site, and meeting for worship in the dappled sun circle across the creek.
The Jorgensen School for Nonviolence will launch in August with a nine-month online course focused on training 16-24 year olds in nonviolent direct action.
I also want to share a recent letter from an alumna:
Hi! My name is Sara De Roy and I’m a Spring 2016 Woolman Semester Alum. I have spent the past six weeks volunteering for Annunciation House, a nonprofit in El Paso, TX. Annunciation House is a 41 year old organization that has always been a home for those in poverty, often for recent migrants. In wake of the unprecedented droves of people migrating largely from Central America, Annunciation House has become an incredibly busy, high-powered hub. On a record day recently, we received 815 men, women, and children. Nearly all of our guests, as we refer to the migrant people who stay with us, have come to the United States seeking asylum under entirely lawful proceedings. ICE and Border Patrol are totally unequipped to handle the volume and variety of arrivals (often pregnant women, children, families) and so they are quickly released into our care. From there, we arrange for them to purchase tickets to stay with family in the states, where they will have further court hearings to determine the validity of their asylum cases.
Needless to say, we are incredibly strapped for all resources. We are seeking financial donations, volunteers, and material donations. Financial donations can be made online via Annunciationhouse.org or mailed to 815 Myrtle Ave El Paso, TX 79901. People interested in volunteering must be willing and able to commit to a minimum of two weeks here and can check the same website for more information. Our most needed material donations are new socks and underwear, for any age and gender, just not adult size large. Cereal, shelf stable milk, and travel-sized toiletries are also good. Material donations can be mailed to 1003 E San Antonio Ave El Paso, TX 79901.
I had hoped to do something like this since early high school, but my semester at Woolman only galvanized my desire. It is an honor and joy to be writing to you with this now.
Please do not hesitate to contact me via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or phone (360-820-9330) if you have any further questions or want recommendations on what to do in El Paso on your days off of volunteering!
Harry Bailey left this world at dawn on March 5th. He was at his home in Grass Valley, surrounded by his family. He was a few months short of his 99th birthday.
Harry was born in Berkeley, California to Faye and Vernon Kealoha Harris. During high school, Harry’s eyes were opened to social justice and peace issues by a radical young Methodist minister, George Burcham, initiating ideals that would be with him for life. Harry attended Sacramento Junior College and took every chemistry class that was offered. He went on to UC Berkeley and continued studying chemistry but found wider interests, including the Co-op Movement. It was at UCB that he met Lois Waddell. They married in 1942.
Harry was a concientious objector during World War Two. After the war Harry and Lois settled in Southern California to live in an intentional community with Quaker friends. There they raised their three children; Jeannie, Glenn, and Nancy and helped found the San Fernando Friends Meeting. When the children were young they spent two years in East Africa leading an American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) community development program. Harry served on the national board of the AFSC for many years.
Harry and Lois moved to Grass Valley in 1974, again forming a cooperative community, “Towhee” with other Quakers. Harry and Lois were involved in the Domestic Violence Coalition, offering a safe house for victims of domestic abuse for several years. They participated in the local alternative money system called the “G plan” and an early food buying co-op called the “Grub Club.” He was part of the group that founded the BriarPatch Co-op, where Harry volunteered weekly into his nineties. He was a staunch supporter of John Woolman School, serving on Building and Grounds Committee for many years. He and Lois were dedicated members of the Grass Valley Friends Meeting. Harry served on Buildings & Grounds, Peace & Social Justice, Ministry & Oversight, and Finance committees. He also hosted Friendly Eights, regularly served on Clearness Committees, and hosted the Friday morning meeting for worship at his home.
Harry was an avid bird watcher in later years. He remained actively engaged with life well into his mid-nineties. Harry is remembered for his beautiful smile, his enveloping and warm hugs, his passion for social justice, his deep concern about climate change, his big heart, and his dedication to cooperative and community values. He made a difference in this world. So many people have loved him and will miss him in this physical realm.
Harry was preceded in death by his beloved, Lois Waddell Bailey, and is survived by his children .
He contributed greatly to fellowship and the sense of community in Grass Valley Friends Meeting.