Quaker Religious Education Collaborative (QREC)
Annual Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business
August 11, 2019. 10:15 AM
Powell House, Old Chatham, New York
Presiding Clerk: Beth Collea, Dover MM, NEYM
Recording Clerk: Sita Diehl, Madison MM, NYM
Present: Joan Broadfield (Chester MM, PhYM), Peter Blood-Patterson (Mt. Toby MM, NEYM), Margaret Ray Bonsall (FM Cambridge, NEYM), Mike Clark (Old Chatham MM, NYYM), Anne Collins (Stillwater MM, SCYM), Chris DeRoller (Old Chatham MM, NYYM), Christel Jorgenson (FM Cambridge, NEYM), Emma Condori Mamani (Holiness Friends YM, Bolivia), Windy Cooler (BYM), Chris DeRoller (Old Chatham MM, NEYM), Margo Finn (Ann Arbor MM, LEYM), Jim Fussell (FM Washington, BYM), Karen Lissette Gonzalez (Friends Church El Salvador), Karen Gregorio (Amigos Santidad, Guatamala), Kody Hersh (Orlando MM, SEYM), Sarah Katreen Hoggatt (Sierra Cascades YM of Friends), Nadine Hoover (Buffalo MM, NYYM), Rebecca Leuchak (Providence MM, NEYM), Laura MacNorlin (Atlanta MM, SAYMA), Margaret MacCasland (Ithaca MM, NYYM), Judith Nandikove (Donholm MM, Nairobi YM), Esther Quispe Yujra (Santidad Amigos ‚ÄúLos Andes‚Äù Bolivia/La Paz YM), Ellie Rosenberg (Ithaca MM, NYYM), Dancan Sabwa (Kitale MM, North Kenya YM), Leann Williams (Friends in Common, SCYMF), Greg Woods (FM Cambridge, NEYM), Liz Yeats (Austin MM, SCYM)
Beth Collea, Presiding Clerk, welcomed the membership and invited Friends to wait in worship.
Gifts and Leadings Circle Report
Windy Cooler reported on nominations for three roles: Steering Circle Member, Secretary and Treasurer.
Minute: Kody Hersh, (Orlando MM, SEYM) was nominated to serve on the Steering Circle. Kody expressed a sense of clarity about taking up this work. Friends approved.
Minute: Sita Diehl (Madison, NYM) was nominated to serve as Secretary. Sita already serves on the Steering Circle and has been functioning in the role of secretary for some time. Friends approved.
Treasurer: Windy reported that Margo Lehman (BYM) is willing to review and arrange the books. She will create a bookkeeping system for the QREC Treasurer to use. The G&L Circle does have someone in mind who can work closely with Margo and Liz to learn and assume the work of the QREC Treasurer. When a nomination is clear, a Zoom meeting of the membership will be called to discern and approve the new Treasurer. If this plan does not work, the membership will be notified to discern next steps.
Minute: QREC expressed appreciation to Liz Yeats for her service as Treasurer over the years, and her willingness to continue during the transition to a new Treasurer. Friends accepted the minute with joy.
A Friend noted that the Steering Circle lacks diversity in terms of branches of Quakerism, race/ethnicity, gender and age. He asked the Gifts and Leadings Circle to seek Friends from other branches to fill upcoming positions.
Minute: QREC expressed appreciation for Friends who serve on the Gifts and Leadings Circle: Windy Cooler (BYM), Joan Broadfield (PhYM) and Chris Jorgenson (NEYM).
The Treasurer, Liz Yeats, reported that QREC has sufficient grant funds for projects, but the organization needs memberships, both individual and organizational, to fund general operations.
Projects move forward on the strength of five grants, which come with obligations for deliverables. We need help from the membership to deliver on grant commitments and maintain the functions of the organization.
A Friend suggested that project clerks list tasks with due dates and share them with the relevant working circle or the entire membership when appropriate and call for volunteers. The work of the project clerk then becomes monitoring progress and coordinating volunteers. This brings many hands to the work, with tasks that require a range of talents and time. The clerk organizes the body to do the work.
A Friend asked how many memberships we have, both individual and organizational. We will gather the information and report to the membership.
Conference: Friends asked the cost of the conferences. The Treasurer will include the cost in the completed financial report. As a general figure the conference costs $9,000 excluding travel.
A Friend noted that membership is important for general income, but the membership also demonstrates engagement in the work of QREC. All of us should ask our yearly meetings to join and contribute as led. Individually we should contribute and work as we feel led. Friends suggested that if each person present can make a commitment to contribute and/or recruit a total of $150 in memberships, the membership budget will be achieved.
A Promotion and Outreach circle was suggested to appeal for memberships and publicize the organization across the Society of Friends.
Minute: Friends accepted the Treasurer‚Äôs report with the provision that the Financial Report will be shared with the membership when completed.
Liz Yeats, the Treasurer, worked through a preliminary budget with those present.
Provisional QREC 2020 Budget
as of 9/23/2019
Conference Fees and Scholarships
Conference lodging, meals, materials, childcare
Conference travel: Domestic and International
Unstaffed YM Regional Conference
International Stories of Faith
Quaker activists in RE
Quaker Meeting and Me
Website maintenance and revision
Promotion and Outreach
Memberships: The Treasurer proposed a goal of $3,000 in individual and institutional memberships for 2020 based on income since 2018 and budgetary needs. Memberships represent non-project income that can cover operational and administrative expenses.
Minute: Friends approved $3,000 in memberships as a goal
To monitor progress toward this goal it was proposed that the Steering Circle circulate a quarterly membership report to current members that includes individual and institutional members. A Friend suggested that we ask our yearly meetings for scholarship funds to the QREC conference.
Minute: Friends approved the preliminary 2020 budget and accepted with the provision that it will be refined, balanced and included in the minutes that will be distributed to the membership. The Steering Circle will approve the final budget.
Beth Collea reported that the way has not yet opened for the place and date of the next conference. A contract was signed, but the facility went out of business last month, sending us back to the starting point.
The Steering Circle has been wondering whether it would be better hold the conference on an 18 month cycle, rather than an annual one, especially in Light of the Shoemaker project which calls for regional conferences for unstaffed yearly meetings in the US over the next three years. We also hope to host regional conferences in east Africa and Latin America.
The intent is to hold the next overall QREC conference in North Carolina. So far, we have hosted two conferences at Pendle Hill in Pennsylvania, two at Quaker Hill in Indiana and two at Powell House in New York. QREC tries to place conferences in different parts of the country to open the way for more local Friends to attend. If we were to switch to an 18 month cycle the next conference would be in the spring of 2021.
Friends noted that it is difficult to attend during the academic year because RE Friends, especially those who are younger, often have children in school or work in academia. The beginning and the end of the academic year are very busy.
Latin American Friends noted that it is easier to attend in March, August or September than other times. If this conference were held in July or June it would conflict with yearly meetings.
A Sierra Cascades Friend noted that Oregon has good conference sites.
Minute: The Steering Circle is discerning whether to have conferences every 18 months, alternating between spring and fall meetings, or to continue on an annual schedule. Either way, we intend to have a conference within the next 2 years. Friends discussed the merits of various times of the year. Members expressed appreciation that the Steering Circle has been faithful in their discernment for the location and time of the next conference. They received recommendations from the membership present and will circulate a survey for input from those not present. The SC will discern, decide and inform the membership of the date and place of the next conference. Friends approved.
The Presiding Clerk closed the meeting with a blessing written by Melinda Wenner Bradley which was used at the first QREC, East Africa conference in January 2019.
We see you.
We believe in you.
We bless you.
We send you forth.
Live your faith. Do you work.
The Meeting closed with moments of waiting worship.