About

Mission Statement of the Intervisitation Program

In 6th month, 2013, the ad hoc Intervisitation Committee was laid down, and in its place an Intervisitation Working Group under the care of the Ministry and Pastoral Care Committee was created to integrate intervisitation into the routine practice of the Yearly Meeting.  A new mission statement is being developed.  The previous mission statement was:

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.

History

1828 Hicksite/Orthodox Separation in BYM Forbush, Bliss, “A History of Baltimore Yearly Meeting of Friends,” Sandy Spring, MD, 1972, p.66
 1964 Statement on the Spiritual Basis for Unity accepted by both Yearly Meetings. Click here for statement
 1967  The Yearly Meetings approved the proposed “Manual of Procedure” and an interim committee was asked to consider selection of staff and make arrangements for the transition. The Yearly Meetings then adjourned, prepared to meet as one body in 1968. “Men and women discovered over the years that in working together for the good of others and for the improvement of society, the religious faith that provided the motivating power for religious living could be expressed in various terms and in different vocabularies.” Forbush, “A History…,” p.155;
1988 Friends United Meeting (FUM) General Board (GB) approves a policy about hiring gays and lesbians for the Quaker Voluntary Service Process. 88-GB-52
 1991 88-GB-52 is extended to all staff.  Later, the policy is widely referred to as “the personnel policy.”
 2002 BYM clerk disinvited from serving as worship sharing leader at FUM triennial in Kenya purportedly because he was in an open relationship with another man. Y2002-30, 35, 43, 55
3/2004 Troubled by the personnel policy, one Monthly Meeting asks that its money not be forwarded to FUM; a second Monthly Meeting asks that no Meetings’ money be forwarded to FUM. I2004-2
 6/2004 Ministry and Pastoral Care proposes a seven step plan and Interim Meeting approves, including provisions regarding money and intervisitation. I2004-16
8/2004 In annual session, BYM approves maintaining full membership in FUM and convening an ad hoc intervisitation committee drawn from four committees.  Money question laid over to Interim Meeting. Y2004-28, Y2004-50, Y2004-57
10/2004 The FUM GB Executive Committee responded to BYM initatives by urging other FUM Yearly Meetings to accept BYM visits and reciprocate. I2004-30
10/2004 Interim Meeting approved membership of ad hoc Intervisitation Committee. I2004-35
 4/2005 Interim Meeting approves mission statement for ad hoc Intervisitation Committee.  First travel minute approved. I2005-3
 6/2005 For 2005 budget item for FUM, Interim Meeting approved making a $17,400 restricted contribution to FUM  to fund intervisitation with no administrative fees charged. Remaining 2004 funds were added to the amount.  FUM returned the check as 1) it did not allow an administrative fee, and 2) the travel and conference were not an approved FUM project. I2005-55
 8/2005 BYM approves 2006 budget for intervisitation of $7000, drawn from FUM line item. Y2005-20
10/2005 First visit made by group of 10 in response to invitation from Winston-Salem, NC Meeting.
 more to come!