Report to Interim Meeting – 3/17/2012

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I.   Ad hoc committee status extension

The ad hoc Intervisitation Committee has been in existence for eight years. We have been in an intense discernment process for the last year, including two meetings for discernment that were announced to the Yearly Meeting community, held on October 1 at Adelphi and on November 19 at Sandy Spring. We appreciated the participation of Friends from other committees and those not previously involved in our committee work. From that process, we have come to some clarity.

  • We are clear our work is not done.
  • We feel called to share what we’ve done in response to requests from other YMs who are considering starting their own programs.
  • At current levels, our budget cannot be used to support outgoing visitors; we ask them to approach their local meetings and use their support committees to help raise funds.

A number of questions remain to be resolved, including:

  • Do we approach intervisitation more broadly?
  • To what extent do we sustain a focus on Friends United Meeting (FUM)?
  • Do we become a “program” of the Yearly Meeting?
  • Do we become a working group under a standing committee?
  • How do we sustain our core commitment to spiritual hospitality for incoming visitors given our current budget?

These are questions for the Yearly Meeting as a whole to resolve ultimately. The committee was initiated at our annual session to fulfill a leading that arose from our worship together. We invite your participation in our ongoing discernment.

Action Item: We are requesting a one year extension of our ad hoc status to continue discernment and exploration of these questions while continuing to live into our mission.

The Intervisitation Program of Baltimore Yearly Meeting (BYM) seeks to strengthen the Religious Society of Friends and nurture the beloved community of Friends, especially within Friends United Meeting (FUM). While BYM’s concern regarding an FUM personnel policy planted the seed, that concern is not the program’s focus. Rather, as we in BYM faced the pain we felt as a result of that policy, we awoke to the fragility, and in some cases brokenness, of the relationships among the yearly meetings and monthly meetings within FUM. Thus the goal of BYM’s Intervisitation Program is to encourage, prepare, and support Friends to travel among Yearly Meetings with the faith that we can listen deeply, strengthen our relationships, and build our faith community. Our program assumes that intervisitation will be in all directions and those interested will offer and receive hospitality.

II.  Call for Outgoing Visitors

It’s time once again to start planning for our visits to other Yearly Meetings. We invite all of you to consider if you are led to be part of this ministry of presence and enjoy the opportunity to get acquainted with the wider world of Quakers. We ask prospective visitors to ask their Meetings for a clearness committee to season their leading to participate and upon reaching clearness to get a travel minute from their Meetings. Our committee reviews the travel minutes and refers them to Interim Meeting for endorsement. So please allow time for that process. In addition, we ask all visitors to attend a training workshop (see below). For more on our program, including a schedule of Yearly Meetings to visit, is on our website at http://intervisitation.bym-rsf.net. You can direct your questions or let us know of your interest by email to bymintervisitation@gmail.com or by calling Jolee Robinson at (301) 588-1580.

Action Item: Endorsement of Travel Minute for Linda Coates

III. Intervisitation Workshop and Consultation

http://intervisitation.bym-rsf.net

A Ministry of Presence
Equipping Friends called to Visitation

When:    April 14, 2012      1:00 to 5:00 pm (12:30 light lunch; 5:00 dinner)

Who:      Visitors, Clearness/support committees, and other interested Friends

Where:   Sandy Spring Monthly Meeting, Sandy Spring, Maryland

Are you interested in traveling or hosting a visitor?  Are you supporting a Friend’s leading to visit among Friends?  Have you been a visitor or a host?

In this workshop you will: learn about the nuts and bolts of traveling and supporting a traveler; hear the experiences of seasoned travelers; connect this ministry with our Quaker faith and practice; and hear about challenges and new Light among Friends.

This workshop is part of an entire weekend workshop designed for Friends from other FUM Yearly Meetings. BYM Friends are welcome to participate in all or part of the entire program.

To Register: Send an e-mail to bymintervisitation@gmail.com
or call Joan Liversidge  at 240-678-3929

IV.  Financial Report

Budget for 2011                                                                    $9,200
Travelers to FUM                                                                        990
Food for Consultation                                                                   75
Visitors to BYM annual sessions                                             3,102
Total Expenditures from budgeted funds                         $4,167
Unused from budget                                                           $5,033

Estimated Donations-in-kind for Travelers in US*                 $1,742
Estimated Donations-in-kind for Travelers in Kenya*            $6,197
Estimated Total 2011 program costs*                              $12,106
Estimated Percent from budgeted funds*                             34%

Budget for 2012                                                                   $2,000
Budget request for 2013                                                     $4,000

*Unreimbursed travel expenses are donations-in-kind and represent program costs that do not come out of budgeted funds.  We are still collecting data on these.

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