About 50 Friends attended Winter Interim Business Meeting held at the Orlando Meetinghouse on January 13th. Morning committee meetings were followed by a hearty lunch provided by Orlando Friends. In the afternoon plenary session, a number of agenda items were approved or laid over for further discernment.
We approved extending the Faith & Practice Committee sabbatical to YM 2019.
The Nominating Committee has critical positions to fill by Yearly Meeting, including YM Gathering Co-Clerk and YM Gathering Program Coordinator. They are also seeking Friends for the Youth Committee and the Peace & Social Concerns Committee. The Nominating Committee shared concerns about the FUM Observer’s role, which Kody Hersh had brought forward in his report, noting the difficulties in finding out when the FUM General Board meetings were scheduled and receiving communications from FUM. The EC/IBM Clerk, Phoebe Anderson, will talk to the FUM General Secretary to see how communications can be improved.
Worship & Ministry Committee Clerk, Clara Diaz, reported that the Michener Lecturer for 2019 will be Eden Grace, FUM Global Ministries Director and member of Beacon Hill Meeting in NEYM.
Friends spent some time clearing the way to approve two minutes that would enable the CAPP (Child Abuse Prevention Program) trainers to offer training to Monthly Meetings and Worship Groups.
The Peace and Social Concerns Committee is exploring ways to strengthen our SEYM corporate witness, including:
- Lobbying at the state level and direct action
- How do we keep track, prioritize, and respond to the myriad of issues?
- How do we connect with organizations who are already taking the lead on issues?
- How do we maintain our Quaker groundedness?
As a first step, they would like to visit with Meetings to explore these questions.
We approved donating $5,000 to Friends Peace Teams’ Peacebuilding en Las Americas (PLA) to address their critical need for funding to keep their Coordinator, who provides central support for PLA and the many volunteers who provide AVP and trauma healing in Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.
Field Secretary for Earthcare Beverly Ward reported on the wide range of activities she’s involved in. She participated in the Florida Council of Churches Indigenous Peoples Day, has been appointed an AFSC Corporation Board member, and has been working on a ‘Pocket Guide to Earthcare’ with and for the Youth, among other things. She mentioned that Sarasota Meeting has a process for addressing carbon footprints.
Several other reports were given; See the WIBM minutes >
Remixing the Quaker Tradition: Renewal in a Participatory Culture
Wess Daniels presented an energizing and thought-provoking Michener Lecture on Sunday, January 14th. About 70 Friends attended the lecture, following a luncheon provided by Orlando Friends. Wess called on Friends to bring about a Quaker renewal—to be faithful to the living faith of our past while adapting and reinterpreting our tradition to embody how Spirit is moving among us and the wider community, practicing love in the contexts we find ourselves in. Daniels offered an approach to renewal that would be about ‘Remixing’— discovering what is most authentic and alive both in our tradition and in our communities today, and combining these in new ways. He used examples from the Quaker world and from our current culture — such as the internet and hip-hop—to illustrate what a new, creative, decentralized, ‘Remix’ of Quakerism in a ‘participatory culture’ might look like. He also offered queries, ideas, and other tools for Friends to use.