Quaker Religious Education Collaborative (QREC)

Annual Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business

MINUTES

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 “Los Andes” 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)

Welcome

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).

Treasurer’s Report

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. 

2020 Budget

Liz Yeats, the Treasurer, worked through a preliminary budget with those present. 

Provisional QREC 2020 Budget

as of 9/23/2019

 

Income 

 

Grants

$29,550

Contributions

$2,920

Conference Fees and Scholarships

$7,000

Memberships

$3,000

Total Income

$42,470

Expenses

 

Conference lodging, meals, materials, childcare

$9,000

   Conference travel: Domestic and International

$8,000

Unstaffed YM Regional Conference

$6,600

International Stories of Faith

$400

Quaker activists in RE

$4,820

Youth Resources

$1,300

Quaker Meeting and Me

$8,000

QREC Videos

$2,050

Website maintenance and revision

$1,500

Translation

NA

Promotion and Outreach

$400

Administration

$400

Total Expenses

$42,470

 

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. 

Next Conference

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. 

Discussion:

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.   

Closing

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.

Respectfully submitted,

Sita Diehl

Secretary

An Introduction

The Quaker Religious Education Collaborative (QREC) is an international, cross-branch, grassroots network of Friends sharing a stewardship for lifelong Quaker faith formation through religious education. We formed in April 2014 and now serve more than 300 Friends in our network. We actively engage and support each other across languages and continents. We gather for regional and annual conferences and offer monthly Conversation Circles via an online conferencing platform. 

Steering Circle

We share leadership as part of our collaborative mission, making decisions using the Quaker ‘sense of the meeting’ process, sitting in expectant, worshipful waiting for the emergence of shared truth. Read more…

Working Circles

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Our work  takes place in ‘circles’ or small groups of Friends who labor on a common task, usually meeting by video conference due to the geographic diversity of the membership. Read more…

The Resource Library

Finders Guide, a sampling of the collection

The QREC Resource Library is a place to share lessons and other educational information in support of our work as Quaker religious educators. This library is a forum for curricula, articles, videos and other educational materials on Quaker themes. You will also find principles, policies and procedures to strengthen operation of your child, youth and adult religious education programs.

Children’s Education

Adult Education

Family

African Quaker Library

Youth Education

Small Meetings

Young Adult Friends

Biblioteca QREC

Events

Find renewal, companionship, and help for nitty gritty issues in Quaker religious education, all the while opening spaces for Spirit to work and listening together for God’s way forward.

QREC holds an annual conference and retreat. In addition we hold online Conversation Circles and post other religious education events as we learn about them.

Conversation Circles

Online conferences for Quaker religious educators to share about their work. Conversations are scheduled for two sessions per topic to encourage international participation.  Join the conversation…

Other Events

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Religious education events of interest to Quakers from all parts of the world. Please let us know about upcoming online or in-person events happening in your area. See the list of upcoming events…

Love at the Heart

Spiritual Practices

Discernment

Active Caring

Quaker Family Culture

Finding the Light

Faith at Home

Home is the heart of faith formation for all families. This is especially true for Friends. As an experiential religion, Quakerism is best learned through living in loving community. Indeed, the vast majority of faith formation for our young Friends happens at home in the busy swirl of daily life.

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Get Involved

QREC depends on all of us sharing our gifts and skills as religious educators. Here are some of the ways you can get involved…