Minutes of Mount Toby’s Peace and Social Concerns Committee, July 21, 2014

Present: Andy G, Dan G, George M, Susan C, Roger C, Diane C

We began with a time of silence and a sharing of thoughts about the work of the committee, especially during the last year.

After our August meeting, Andy will be laying down membership in our committee because of his role as clerk of the meeting, though he hopes to attend as he is able.

We will meet in August, on the 18th, with two agenda items already framed: (1) the approval of the annual report of our committee, which is not yet written, and (2) plans for the 9/11 event.

After the July letter-writing, led by Diane, Roger discovered that letters to the President can no longer be faxed.  Individuals must fill in an online form to communicate with the President, so if letters to the President are intended we will need to create a handout telling people how to do it.  (Letters to the President can also be US-mailed, though this is a last resort, used with about 4 letters on July 14.)

Letter-writing in August may be on objections to the pipeline proposed to pass through Franklin County.  Diane will find out who would be the best recipient of letters, and she will organize the letter-writing on August 10.

Adele will have surgery on July 30 and we will hold her in the Light during that time.

Andy will contact (again) the Finance Committee regarding a fund or budget line allowing our FCNL representative to attend the annual meetings.

We would like to assist Beth in some of the tasks she has taken on, since she is constrained by health issues.  For example, she might prepare the FCNL message but one of us could make the announcement after meeting.  Susan will contact her about that.

Roger will work on transferring some of our P&SC library items into the meeting library.

 Beth who had offered to be on a committee planning the “Pat Hynes event” (Agent Orange and Peace Villages: A Look at Vietnam Today) urged that we get busy planning it.  The plan is for a 45 minute presentation by Pat, then 45 minutes for Q&A.  Susan put an article in the July/August newsletter with the date (September 11, 7pm) and a brief description.  A tonight’s meeting, we took on various responsibilities. (1) Roger will contact Pat Hynes to request a description of the event which can be used in the next newsletter, for which the submission date is August 20.  He will ask if she has a poster or poster template that we could use in publicity and on the door.  If not, Beth may be willing to make a poster using some of the information Pat provides.  (2) We will ask Beth to publicize the event with the Peace Pagoda people because we think she has a connection with them. (3) Roger will use Pat’s information to make notices for our door, the newsletter, our listserv, SAGE and other listservs, and newspapers. (4) Dan will take charge of the digital projection, using Frank Gatti’s projector we hope.  (5) Susan will reserve the Champney Room and the Fellowship Room for the event, which we expect will take place in the Champney Room. (6) George will make announcements after meeting on August 31 and September 7, inviting Friends to attend. (7) Andy will arrange seating in the Champney Room, with help from others attending.

Andy would like someone to work with him in writing a draft of the annual report, and Susan may be willing to help. Dan will be present at the September Meeting for Business to present it.  We will consider approval of the report in our August 18 meeting.

We want our Handbook entries to make clear that we can help draft-age men find counselors.

Investigation has revealed that we are at liberty to expand our area of concern, specifically to include environmental issues, without violating our role in the structure of the Meeting. We agree that environmental issues will be specifically a part of our concern in the future, as they have actually been in the past.  We will be careful to be compatible with the work of the Climate Witness Committee.  It was suggested that “Peace and Social Justice” might be a snappier and better name for our committee.

At our August 18 meeting we will pick a clerk for our committee, either for a two-year term, or if not, for the interim until our September 15 meeting.

The 11:40 Hour Committee has offered us several dates for our committee’s presentations.  We picked November 2 for the fall hour.  We need to request a spring date by November 30.  An initial suggestion for the topic was “gambling,” and discussion led to a wider topic including the moral basis of the economy, since the stock market is also a form of gambling.  Susan will return the form to the11:40 Hour Committee.

Roger will circulate the Nolumbeka Project flyer for the August 2 event, on the listserv.  Newell Pledger-Shinn recommends that we form a stronger relationship with the Project.  [Since our committee meeting, a request for cooperation from the Project has been found, which will be on our August agenda.]

Diane will look on the website for the minute about gambling/casinos and if found will circulate it to our committee.*

Gun control legislation is in resolution right now in the MA legislature, and it must be resolved by the end of the legislative session on July 31, so we may have very limited opportunity to influence it.

The meeting ended with a time of silence.


* In the Statements page of our website: http://mounttoby.quaker.org/statements/gambling.html
And: Meeting for Business, May 9 2010, minute 9b: “Dan Grubbs, member of P&SC, presents a letter (attached) expressing the meeting’s opposition to gambling. Friends approve the clerk sending the letter to the listed recipients.”  - However, the letter was not attached to the electronically stored minutes.  Presumably it is in the paper minutes archives in the library.