Interchange – Winter 2009

Transition is in the air for Frederick Monthly Meeting. The Clerk of Meeting, Treasurer, and Clerk of Ministry and Counsel will be changing in June. Meeting is already in transition with its Newsletter Editor, Webmaster and Recorder. With this comes an opportunity for people to find new ways to serve the Meeting. However, there is recognition that learning new roles and responsibilities may be challenging and not always comfortable. The hope is that this is ultimately healthy for Meeting growth.

Concern has been expressed about a lack of depth on some committees. Some report that at times it feels like there is more work than people to accomplish all that is needed. Challenged by the busyness of our Meeting there is a sense that there be focus on tending the structure and function with deepening spiritual and social connection and reflection. Meeting is committed to nurturing the growth of its young people and is appreciative of the ways that adults feel uplifted and gifted by the presence of the youth.

A group of members and attendees have embarked on the Spiritual Formation process. Some of those involved have reported a deepening connection with each other as they progress.

Nominating Committee has been supporting the growth of leadership within the Meeting by clarifying the roles and responsibilities of various committees and other functions of Meeting. A number of individuals have been encouraged to participate in a variety of Pendle Hill programs, including programs on Clerking, Recording Clerking, and Outreach.

The Peace and Social Concerns Committee is active and focused on a number of projects: first, efforts to mobilize support in the community for repeal of the Death Penalty in Maryland; and second, plans for contributing events to be included in the next “Season for Non-Violence,” a local interdenominational project of the Frederick community which involves a series of gatherings and presentations during the months of January-April to promote the work of Dr. Martin Luther King and Gandhi.

Ministry and Counsel Committee has just completed Final Gifts, its resource Guide for end of life planning. This will be placed on the website and hard copies will be made to have on hand. M&C is planning a workshop in which to help people interact with the resource guide to become more familiar with its contents. In addition, Ministry and Counsel Committee is currently sponsoring an education program for newcomers: “Quakerism, Experience It.” The first session began 1/11/09.

Property Committee struggles to have all of its members present at its meetings. Much of the committee work includes managing two residential apartments in the Meeting House as well as one office rental space for a mediation group. CALM, the mediation group that has been renting space in the Meeting House, will be moving out in June or July. First Day School does not need the space that will be vacated, so they are looking for a new tenant and would prefer someone related in some way to the Meeting or to Friends.

It has been suggested that the Ad hoc Committee on Prison Ministry needs to reorganize, and perhaps rename itself as it moves its focus to the Meeting’s process for supporting a released sex offender.

Program Committee supported the traditional seasonal events over the holiday season as well as collaborating with other committees presenting programs. Additionally the co-clerks of Program Committee headed up the planning for the BYM women’s retreat, “Let it Begin With Me: Stepping into Our Own Power.” In all, nine Frederick women attended the retreat and came home refreshed and inspired to see what they can do to empower their own lives and the life of the Meeting.

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