Fall Interim Business Meeting 2023 Highlights
About 40 Quakers, representing several of our SEYM Meetings and Worship Groups, gathered in person and online for our 2023 Fall Interim Business Meeting, held at the Sarasota meetinghouse on Saturday, October 14th. Sarasota Friends provided warm hospitality and a truly delicious breakfast and lunch. It was great to be back together, among Friends.
Here are some highlights from the business meeting:
The Nominating Committee reported that there are still some key positions that are unfilled; volunteers are needed. Contact Ed Lesnick, Nominating Clerk. firstname.lastname@example.org
A Committee of Care was appointed for Jacksonville Quaker Worship Group.
Treasurer Joel Cook (Treasure Coast) reported that there is a shortfall of funds, largely due to the expense involved in catching up on staff pay and cost of living increases, which were put off during the pandemic. The take-home message: “Send money!” In further discussion, concern was expressed for how we connect with Meetings and Worship Groups who we don’t see at events, and who don’t contribute to SEYM.
An ad hoc committee was formed to study and craft a proposal to hire a Youth and Young Adult Coordinator, the position vacated by Kody Hersh in 2022.
An ad hoc committee was named to craft a policy on responding to harassment and abuse.
Field Secretary for Earthcare Beverly Ward added some information to her report in the DIAs:
- She will be leading a Bystander Training workshop for Orlando Friends on November 5th at 11:45 am. The event will be hybrid; SEYM Friends are welcome to join online; see Orlando’s Quaker Notes for the Zoom link.
- QUNO is greatly concerned with the Israel-Palestine conflict. AFSC staff is on the ground in Israel/Palestine. See “5 things you need to know about what’s happening in Israel and Gaza.”
- There are 14 Direct Action centers in Florida. A major concern right now is housing.
Worship and Ministry reported that the 2024 Michener Lecture will be presented by Ann Jerome (Deland Worship Group), who is currently a Friend in Residence at Pendle Hill. They also reiterated their concerns for finding ways to grow and nurture our Meetings and Worship Groups.
Friends who attended the Peace and Social Concerns Saturday morning discussed promoting AVP, the importance of Get Out The Vote campaigns, and other issues.
The Ad Hoc Reproductive Rights Committee has been working with organizations such as Floridians Protecting Freedom to get abortion rights on the ballot, gathering signatures on petitions. (If you have not already, please print out, sign, and send in your petition.) Each meeting is encouraged to have a contact person to this committee; please contact Lynn Carol Henderson.
The Ad Hoc Retirement Community Committee was laid down; in its place, a new committee, the Quaker Call Committee, was formed to discern vision, leadings, and directions for SEYM.
Friends General Conference has asked SEYM to co-host the 2025 FGC Gathering, which will be virtual. Friends expressed various concerns, especially our shortage of volunteers who would be able to do this work. Two Friends came forward to serve on an FGC naming committee; discernment on whether we could be co-hosts was laid over for further discernment.
The theme for the 2024 SEYM Gathering will be The Friends We Are Becoming: embracing our longings and leadings. Our speaker will be Hilary Burgin of Quaker Voluntary Service.
The FIBM Minutes will be posted soon!
Support Our Work
Your gift funds SEYM programs, events, staff salaries, communications, and representative travel.
Tallahassee Friends Meeting approved a Statement on Conflict in Israel-Palestine, below, at their January 2024 meeting for business. In February, they approved taking out a quarter page ad with the statement in a good location in the Tallahassee Democrat.
About 100 people gathered in person and online for Winter Interim Business Meeting on Saturday, January 20th and the Michener Lecture on Sunday, January 21st. Orlando Friends, as they do every year, hosted these events, providing delicious breakfasts and lunches.