Friends General Conference

Together we nurture the spiritual vitality of Friends
- of the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends -

APPROVED Minutes of April 22, 2018 Meeting

Public ContentAnyone can view this post
Minutes Details: 

Philadelphia Quarterly Meeting

Meeting for Worship for Program and for Business

April 22, 2018

Held at Green Street Meeting, 45 W. School House Lane, Germantown


Minutes (Approved July 22, 2018)




Germantown MM


MM of Friends of Philadelphia (Arch St.)


Chestnut Hill MM


Central Philadelphia MM


West Philadelphia MM

None present

Frankford MM


Unity MM

None present

Green Street MM


Visitors and Others

PQM coordinator


Notes from the April Program, “Spiritual Deepening and Healing,” presented by Valerie Anderson and Tracey Smith, members of Green Street MM, follow the Minutes from Meeting for Business. (see Appendix E)


Minutes of Meeting for Worship with attention to Business


Friends opened the meeting with a period of worship in silence, followed by introductions of those at the clerks’ table and of those present in the body. JoAnn Seaver, clerk of Green Street MM, welcomed Friends of the Quarter to the meeting.


PQM-2018-04-01 The minutes of the January 28, 2018 Meeting for Business and Program were reviewed and approved without change.


PQM-2018-04-02 Nominating Process Report and Proposed Slate: The clerk described how the PQM representatives have been working to bring our nominating process back into order. Friends considered and approved the representatives’ recommendation to change our structure of governance to consist of a rising clerk, a presiding clerk, and a mentoring clerk, with terms overlapping by one year. Phil Anthony is serving as pro tem clerk of the nominating process.


Friends considered the proposed slate of officers, with the nominated Friends absenting themselves from the discussion. Friends approved the names of Anthony Stover as rising clerk in 2018-9, and as presiding clerk for 2019-20; of Hollister Knowlton as presiding clerk 2018-19; and of Andrew Anderson as Mentoring Clerk for 2018-19; Hoot Williams was approved as co-Treasurer, and Greg Barnes as co-recording clerk. The hope is to create a team of three or four recording clerks that can divide responsibilities for each year’s Quarterly sessions, perhaps along geographic lines.


PQM-2018-04-03 News of PQM Coordinator: Emmy Morse has served as PQM coordinator since November and has done much to help organize the coordinator’s files and procedures. However, due to increased graduate school pressures and other demands on her time, she has expressed the need to move on from the role. Lanza, one of the candidates for the position at the time Emmy was hired and an attender at Frankford MM, has agreed to serve as Emmy’s successor. Lanza and Emmy have been working together for a smooth transfer of duties. Friends are encouraged to be in communication with the coordinator ([email protected]), particularly with news to share in the Quarter’s newsletter, now monthly (with occasional intervening bulletins as news arises).


PQM-2018-04-04 Finances: The clerk reviewed PQM expenditures as of March 31, 2018, noting how much more accurate the accounting has become thanks to Nathalie Miller’s utilization of Quickbooks. She noted several significant increases in donations by individual monthly meetings. Also presented was the proposed budget for 2018-19, including donations for organizations under the care of the Quarter.


It was noted that costs such as food for PQM gatherings, which Hollister has covered out of pocket during her tenure, may be something that the PQM budget should be prepared to accommodate in future.


Friends approved the budget as proposed. (See Appendix A)


PQM-2018-04-05 Minutes of Concerns from Monthly Meetings


The clerk noted that, in recent months, the Quaker Life Council has approved and made available a process for carrying a minute of concern to the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting Community. (See Appendix B).  Those gathered considered two Minutes of Concern from monthly meetings.


(a)  CPMM Minute of Concern on Mass Incarceration: Dana Reinhold, clerk of CPMM, read aloud that meeting’s May 14, 2017 minute on mass incarceration, along with a list of concrete actions CPMM is asking other meetings in the Quarter to take (See Appendix C).


Various member meetings have taken the minute under consideration. The clerk asked that CPMM and Germantown, as member meetings of Philadelphians Organized to Witness, Empower, and Rebuild (POWER), share further information with Friends via the Quarter coordinators about POWER’s available educational sessions on the issue of cash bail and other possible actions.


Friends approved that all Philadelphia Quarter member meetings be asked to come under the weight of the requests made in the CPMM minute. Friends also approved PQM’s endorsement of the minute and that it be forwarded to the Yearly Meeting as an invitation to engage in this reflection.


(b)  Germantown MM’s Peace and Concerns Committee Statement on the United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons: Tom Grabe of GMM read aloud the minute (see Appendix D). It was noted that one of the specific asks made -  that Friends join the April 29 Philadelphia Interfaith Walk for Peace and Reconciliation - is in a week’s time. The minute was approved for consideration and response by all of the Quarter’s member meetings and Friends endorsed the minute for forwarding to the Yearly Meeting.


In addition, the Quarter minuted its formal endorsement of the April 29, 2018 Interfaith Walk for Peace and Reconciliation.


(c)   The clerk asked Friends to consider minuting our support for Penny Colgan-Davis, who has stepped down as clerk of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting due to ill health. Friends expressed loving appreciation for Penny’s work as presiding clerk of Yearly Meeting up till now and shared our prayers as she and her family move forward to address her health concerns. The Quarter expresses love and concern for the leadership of the Yearly Meeting as they work to pull us together for Annual Sessions in July.


PQM-2018-04-06 State of the Meeting Reports: The clerk urged that each monthly meeting’s report be submitted as soon as possible, as she will need to compile the Quarter’s report based on them and submit all by May 31.


PQM-2018-04-07 Alternatives to Violence Program proposal to respond to a felt need for deeper and more tender dialogue in the Quarter community:


Laurent Hahn reported that he, Carolyn Singleton, and .O--all trained AVP (Alternatives to Violence Program) facilitators--have developed a proposal to respond to a concern expressed during the January Quarterly Meeting session about dialogue (or avoidance of same) around issues of race and class in our community. He observes an openness to change among Friends, along with a faith in the good within everyone. At the same time, there are many strong feelings present within and among us, including fear, that if left unaddressed are an obstacle to that change.


The team proposes a three and a half hour, “extended intro” training for Friends in the Quarter. Though a short training won’t result in our “graduating” from this issue nor in a “post-racial” Society of Friends, it can definitely equip us with tools for communicating with each other. The program will open with a short film and worship, followed by exercises and the introduction of relevant tools. The facilitators would be donating their time to the Quarter, though donations to Delaware Valley Council of AVP would be more than welcome.


The PQM Representatives will review the proposal and consider at their next meeting (probably May 29) whether to hold this training as a special, called meeting of the Quarter.


The clerk noted that she has also been in touch with Marille Thomas, co-clerk of the Undoing Racism Group (URG) to ask if they have tools they’d be willing to share with the Quarter in this process.




Dana Reinhold reported that on July 12, 2018, CPMM will be hosting a reading by poets of color as part of broader programming organized by Philadelphia’s Poet Laureate, Raquel Salas Rivera.


JoAnn Seaver shared information about a school supplies fundraiser currently being organized by Every Murder Is Real (EMIR), an organization under the care of Green Street MM, to assist young people who have lost family members to violence.


Friends closed the meeting with a brief period of worship in silence.


--submitted by Sara Palmer, recording clerk



Appendix A

Approved PQM 2018-19 Budget and Actuals through March 31, 2018


Uploaded with minutes


Appendix B

Quaker Life Council process for carrying a minute of concern to the PYM Community combined with Faith and Practice process on Monthly Meeting Minutes of Concern.


Uploaded with minutes


Appendix C.

CPMM Minute of Concern on Mass Incarceration:


Uploaded with minutes


Appendix D

Germantown MM’s Peace and Concerns Committee Statement on the United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons:


Uploaded with minutes


Appendix E. 

Notes from Program, “Spiritual Deepening and Healing,” presented by Valerie Anderson and Tracey Smith, members of Green Street Meeting


Tracey Smith led us in a universal greeting (photos and video available!) then introduced herself and her workshop co-leader Valerie Anderson, both of whom are “trauma informed.”


Spiritual healing

Tracey told us that there is an African term - Sanfofa - which means “go back and remember.”  We all have the ability and knowledge for healing but we have forgotten it.  So need to relearn.


Tracey talked about diving deep and explained that she does it vibrationally.  She asked us whether our energy felt high or low when we stepped out the door this morning and noted that we and the earth have energy/vibration frequencies of our own.  Example, if you put hands over your ears and then hum, you feel vibrations.  We all want to spread our love and light vibrations.  Quakers talk about Light, but how does the light vibrate through us?  Tracey says this works in a number of ways:

  • A lot of the change we need to make begins in our minds.  We can retrain ourselves.  She demonstrated a TECHNIQUE - emotional freedom technique (EFT) or TAPPING.  Our body knows and remembers. (handout to be included in full version of write up) She led us in tapping out our fear.
  • We all have a tool we can use at any time - BREATHING.
  • Music is also a means of healing. She introduced the term, “Solfeggio” (sp?) or frequency.  there are 12 sacred tones.  When monks chant OHM, there is a particular tone and frequency they use that brings about healing for the planet and for themselves.   In the past, music was at one herz but currently frequency has been lowered to a level that is NOT healing.
  • Frequencies correspond with particular tones and notes and colors and those relate to the chakras in our bodies.  (you can go to YouTube to find these healing frequencies)
    • 432 is the frequency for Ohm
    • You can use them to help go to sleep...your body remembers and it can help it heal.


Tracey closed her portion and introduced Valerie.


Collective Healing

Valerie said, that we can work on our minds, but we also need to get the trauma out of our body...then asked us to sit with what she just said. 


Query:  What trauma is it that I need to heal from?   Answers included: “fear of nuclear war”, “divorce and the responsibility of raising my brother”, “the racism of walking into a starbucks”, “loneliness and isolation”.  


Valerie says that we carry these traumas in our bodies

Query: What is our self care practice? Need to look at ourselves emotionally, spiritually, and physically.   Exercise:  We found partners and shared our self practices.


There is individual trauma but also collective trauma. (neighborhood violence, genocide, society’s expectations of men and boys)

Query:  How to heal collectively?:  There is a word, UBUNTU, which translates “I am who I am because of who you all are”   Exercise: Valerie separated us into groups of 5 and asked us to come up with two lists.  One was what “I can do” the other is what “We can do, if we collaborate.”  Out of that came this:


I Can/We Can Collaborative Poem


I can have friends over for dinner.

We can break bread with collaborative partners.

I can invite.

We can welcome.

I can create art.

We can create art together.

I can be open.

We can listen and witness.

I can get plenty of sleep, walk, eat healthy, and sing.

We can march, dine healthy together, sing together.

I can read the Bhagavad Gita.

We can read peaceful words together.

I can stand up for racial equality so,

We can sit down and rest wherever we’d like.

I can walk.

I can cook.

I can be aware.

We can march, we can feed a community.

We can keep safe the children in our community.

I can “go there” and confront the depths of my soul.

We can create authentic community—a container for healing.

I can be kind.

We can be love.

I can pause to breathe.

We can simmer down to create space.

I can pray, sing.

We can meet for worship, pray together

I can walk.

I can honor my transformation and insights and courageous steps.

We can walk in EQAT marches and Black Lives Matter marches.

We can honor our transformation and insights and courageous steps.

I can walk, sing, eat well, be grateful.

We can march, sing, feast together, be grateful.

I can pray for others.

I can walk.

I can pay attention to where I am broken and so begin to heal.

We can pray for each other.

We can walk for peace.

We can pay attention to where others are broken and how they are healing or hope to heal.

I can sing.

We can sing together—lift our voices.

I can make concrete differences.

We can make change be a tangible reality.

I can share my dreams.

We can change the world.


She introduced the 4 “Cs” that are part of our healing

  1. Connection
  2. Collaboration/coalition - what are we doing locally with groups in our neighborhood
  3. Co-Creation - this is what we can do once we have collaborated
  4. Celebrate! - who we are individually, our diversity.  Example:  Asians and African Americans in Southwest Philadelphia are “breaking bread and breaking barriers”


Social justice and ART

Valerie worked in a school and wanted to get them involved in the Black Lives Matter Phila Children’s March, but the administration said no, it’s too political.    So Valerie worked with the kids within the school and asked them what they might protest said a “More playspaces no more cases”....Valerie encouraged them to make signs and they marched around the school property with them.….it was noticed by the principal and someone responded by donating the money for a space.


We closed with a request to repeat the Universal Greeting!