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Sarasota Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends

Volume II, Issue 5 BULLETIN April/May 2007


Query for Fourth Month: Unity Within Meeting

Are love and unity maintained among you?

Do you manifest a forgiving spirit and a care for the reputation of others?

When differences arise are endeavors made to settle them in a spirit of love?

Are you patient and considerate towards those whom you find it hard to like or understand?

Do you respect that of God in each one, though it may be expressed in unfamiliar ways or may be difficult to discern?

Greetings Friends,

March and April have seen a great deal of vibrance and light around Sarasota Monthly Meeting. The Quaker Market held on March 31 was a resounding success. The meetinghouse was filled with “recycled” items for sale, interesting speakers, tables from various groups and organizations, and a delicious home cooked lunch. I would like to thank everyone who participated or donated items for helping to make the Quaker Market such a success. I would also like to thank Sharon Fitzpatrick for her leadership in conceiving the idea of “growing” the Market from a flea market to what one Friend described as a “festival atmosphere.” Sharon also worked tirelessly to make her dream a reality along with the help of the many Friends who pitched in to make Quaker Market an event to remember.

A contingent of Friends from our meeting traveled to Leesburg, Florida for the 45th gathering of the yearly business meeting for Southeastern Yearly Meeting from April 4-8. A highlight of the weekend was Arthur Larrabee, noted Friend from Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, who gave a two part workshop on clerking and spoke about Quaker Leadership for the Walton Lecture on Saturday evening. The Larrabee workshop was very timely, as SEYM grappled with a complex and emotional issue which tested SEYM’s commitment to Quaker process. The question of whether or not to remain affiliated with Friends United Meeting (FUM) monopolized the SEYM gathering this year. While Friends were in unity that FUM’s discriminatory personnel policy is not in line with Quaker values, the Meeting was divided about what action to take. After much discernment extending into the late hours of Saturday night, a minute was approved that SEYM suspend its membership with FUM for two years during which time no financial contributions will be made and no representative will attend FUM general board meetings. If SEYM is unable to reach unity on this issue after this two-year period we will permanently drop our membership with FUM. This was a learning experience for all involved.
In the light,

Sarasota Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends

Meeting House: 3139 57th Street, Sarasota, Florida / Mail: PO Box 2292, Sarasota, FL 34230-2292



Rolf Hanson

April 22, 2007

Present: Carol Bechtel, Shannon Blount, Marie Condon, Bob Condon, Eric Connors, Don Cumming, Anne DeArment, Dan De Arment, Sharon Fitzpatrick, Lou Godio, Rolf Hanson, Marie Hausman, Dave Hilsheimer, Chuck Hollen, Ruth Ann Lamb, Nancyrose Logan, Ed Martin, Fern Mayo, Mimi McAdoo, Maxe Millery, Pat Murphy, David Rakyta, Freddie Windriver.

As requested by Presiding Clerk Rolf Hanson the Meeting settled into worship at 11:30 AM. After silence Recording Clerk Carol Bechtel read the query for the fourth month, on Mutual Care. Comments on outreach and reading the queries at Meeting for Worship followed. The possibility of an Outreach Committee was raised for the second time. A Trustee said that having an ad in the paper was being considered. The following matters were referred to Ministry& Worship Committee: whether and when to read the queries, need for greeters, and latecomers’ entrance into Meeting for Worship.

Carol read the numbered Minutes and other pertinent information from the March meeting.

On behalf of Trustees, Ed Martin requested that budget requests for FY2007-2008 be submitted to Eric Connors this week so that Trustees can look at the proposed budget at their meeting on May 6.

Eric Connors, Co-Treasurer, gave the Treasurer’s Report, which he had printed and handed out. He announced that the Meeting made $790 at Quaker Market. A donation was received from Charles Oldham in memory of Merrick Woodward. Eric will write a note of thanks on behalf of the Meeting.

Dave Hilsheimer reported for the Meeting House Committee in the absence of Clerk Lesley Jacobs. Dave began by saying that he had been pressed into service as Co-Clerk. While the Meeting House Committee and the Peace and Social Concerns Committee have not had a joint meeting to discuss making space available to the Peace Education and Action Center, Dave and Sharon Fitzpatrick have had many conversations. Meeting House Committee fully endorses the use of the Meeting House by PEAC; however, the business arrangement raised considerations and options.

Minute 1:04:07: Sarasota Monthly Meeting endorses the extension of the mission of its Peace and Social Concerns committee by sharing space--in the form of once-per-week office space, storage space and space for intermittent special events--for one year to the Peace Education and Action Center, Inc. The Meeting requires that PEAC obtain its own insurance coverage, which should list the Meeting as “an additional insured,” and provide the Meeting with a “certificate of insurance.”

Other items from Meeting House Committee were news that three benches have been refinished, with one in the First Day School Room to go. The committee will also look into a plaque for the benches and a case for Quaker relics also received from Augusta.

The Ministry and Worship Committee report was given by Clerk Fern Mayo, who said the committee has decided to defer further adult religious education programs until the fall, and that the need for Inquirers’ sessions will be assessed in the fall. She said that a letter of request for membership had been received by Sharon Fitzpatrick and that a Clearness Committee was in the process of being formed.

There was no report from Peace and Social Concerns other than the decisions discussed about PEAC. A Friend’s request that the Meeting engage in outreach to the local Muslim community was referred, along with several suggestions from other Friends, to the committee. Since the matter has a relation to Ministry and Worship, Fern volunteered the help of her committee.

Minute 2:04:07: The Nominating Committee-formed new Pastoral Care Committee, consisting of Ruth Ann Lamb, Ed Martin, Mimi McAdoo, and Maxe Millery, was approved by the Meeting.

Discussion revealed that clarification of the mission of the Pastoral Care Committee is needed. Members of the new committee and Ministry and Worship will meet after potluck next week to accomplish this. In addition, it was raised that the mission and scope of all the committees are unclear. Pat Murphy, Clerk of Nominating, said he is working on a draft of a document that answers this need, which Nominating Committee will bring to the Meeting.

Pat also reported that David Rakyta was approved by Nominating as a member on Meeting House Committee and that Jim Weston has laid down his membership in that committee.

There were no other committee reports.

Old Business: Rolf Hanson gave a report from Southeastern Yearly Meeting, in which he described his and Ann Sundberg’s participation in an ad hoc committee attempting to make a recommendation to the plenary session on retaining membership in or disassociation from Friends United Meeting & the anguished statement that resulted. Rolf and other Friends who had attended the SEYM Gathering described as painful the process of arriving at a Minute in the plenary session. The minute states that SEYM will suspend membership in FUM, and payments thereto, for two years, therefore sending no representatives to Board Meetings. After two years if there is not unity within SEYM, the suspension will be made permanent. The money not spent is to be used for FUM-related concerns, and any individual or Meeting that wishes to continue dialogue with FUM is encouraged to do so.

New Business: A Statement on Gender Issues written by Maxe Millery was read by Pat Murphy. The concern was referred to Peace and Social Concerns, with Sharon stating that the committee would schedule a viewing of the video recommended in Maxe’s statement.

After silence, the Meeting closed at 1:20 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Carol Bechtel, Recording Clerk


EARTHCARE: Clerk: Fran Palmeri

Quaker Market and More

Thanks to brilliant innovative thinking by Sharon and everyone pitching in, the Market was a big success. There is always room for improvement, more innovations and changes.

How can we do better? How often should we have it? What would you like to see happen there (or not happen)?

Please email suggestions to Fran Palmeri at or write them down and give them to me at Meeting



The Nominating Committee recommended, pursuant to proposal by the Committee on Ministry and Worship, formation of a Pastoral Care Committee. Members who have agreed to serve on the new committee are:

Ruth Ann Lamb Ed Martin

Maxe Millery Mimi McAdoo

Mimi agreed to convene the new Committee's first meeting, at which a Clerk will be elected. Fern Mayo suggested that she arrange a meeting between the new committee's members and Ministry and Worship, to work out the concerns and objectives of the new committee.


Rick Farmer, and Bob and Marie Condon are interested in learning whether there is interest within the Meeting for people to be in regular contact with our members in Congress. We will be working with FCNL, the Friends Committee on National Legislation, our Quaker lobbying group in Washington.

There are 2 ways to do this. Since the anthrax scare, all letters sent to Congress must go to Ohio to be tested, then sent back to Washington, a process that according to FCNL, can take up to 5 weeks. Therefore letters should be of a long range concern. E-mail and phone calls are now the acceptable form of communication for current legislation.

We propose that for folks who want to use e-mail we will have a monthly action for them to do, using e-mail to contact them.

For folks who wish to write a letter, we will have a prepared packet to distribute one a month. We estimate that each action will require a 20 -30 minute time commitment each month.

If this is something you are interested in, please contact one of us.

The Open Door Homeless Shelter has experienced tremendous growth for a variety of reasons. While not many of us can work there, one thing we can do is keep in mind that they always need socks--homeless people's feet take a lot of punishment! Used or new, as long as they are clean, they are welcome. I will be glad to deliver them, if people would like to bring them to Meeting.

Peace and Social Concerns Committee hosts an evening about Friends Peace Teams (FPT), with speakers Cece Yocum, Tampa Bay area's own international peacemaker, along with FPT volunteer coordinator, Val Liveoak from San Antonio, and Alba Luz Arrienta Cabrales, Presbyterian peacemaker from Bogota, Colombia. Join us on May 23rd at the Meetinghouse starting at 7pm.
Maxe Millery introduced the following statement at Meeting for Worship with a Concern for Business on 22 April, 2007. It was referred to the Peace & Social Concerns Committee for discussion and development of a project for assisting Friends to become more knowledgeable about this important issue.
Statement On Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual/Transgender Issues

By Maxe Millery

As expressed at the previous business meeting, I feel that the time is ripe for Friends at Sarasota Monthly Meeting to increase awareness and concern for Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual/Transgender issues.

I would like us to start having heart to heart conversations about the oppression and violence that the GLBT community still endures, and how we, as "seekers of Truth", might be called to witness. I view the FUM personnel policy as a wake-up call for the Religious Society of Friends. Did you know that 90 percent of 13 to 18-year-old GLBT students have been harassed or assaulted?

The path of silence in the face of abuse and injustice is a frightening choice for us. I strongly believe that Quakers are called to lead a peace movement to challenge heterosexual privilege.

Maybe a good place for us at SMM to start might be to make the time to view the educational video " On Growing up Gay " by Brian McNaught. It gives strong insight into the GLBT struggle.

Three-Month Quaker Calendar

June 2007

6/3/07 Trustees/Finance meet before Worship

Meeting for Worship 10:00 am

Adult Religious Education 11:30am

6/10/07 Meeting for Worship 10:00am

Committee Meetings 11:30am

6/17/07 Meeting for Worship 10:00am

Business Meeting immediately following

6/24/07 Meeting for Worship 10:00am

Potluck 11:30

Adult Religious Education

July 2007
7/1/07 Trustees/Finance meet before Worship

Meeting for Worship 10:00am

Adult Religious Education 11:30am
7/8/07 Meeting for Worship 10:00am

Committee Meetings 11:30am

7/15/07 Meeting for Worship 10:00am

Business Meeting immediately following

7/22/07 Meeting for Worship 10:00am

Potluck 11:30

Adult Religious Education
7/29/07 Meeting for Worship 10:00am
August 2007
8/5/07 Trustees/Finance meet before Worship

Meeting for Worship 10:00 am

Adult Religious Education 11:30am

8/12/07 Meeting for Worship 10:00am

Committee Meetings 11:30am

8/19/07 Meeting for Worship 10:00am

Business Meeting immediately following

8/26/07 Meeting for Worship 10:00am

Potluck 11:30

Adult Religious Education

Sarasota Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends

PO Box 2292

Sarasota FL 34230-2292


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