History of the process leading to the year of Jubilation, 2005:
Well before the 2005 Jubilation year, Twin Cities Friends Meeting sensed the need to dig deep and discern its direction. In December, 2003, the Nominating Committee raised the concern at the Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business (MWB) that it was often difficult to find Friends willing to serve on various committees. Out of this MWB was formed an ad hoc committee.
The following was minuted at the March, 2004 MWB:
Ad Hoc Committee for Nominating Concerns (Robin Fox)
An ad hoc committee was formed at the December MFB after hearing about the small size of Nominating Committee and the difficulties of recruiting Friends for committee work. This ad hoc committee met twice and presented a report (available at tcfm.org) suggesting a number of approaches to addressing related issues.
Discussion acknowledged the deep importance of the issues, the complexities in Meeting pertaining to them, and their relevance to long range planning. MFB agreed to convene one or more called Meetings on the issues raised. The clerk’s team will appoint a small committee representative of a number of groups within Meeting to help define the issue and shape the called Meetings.
This ad hoc committee consisted of Elizabeth Barnard, Nat Chase, Martha Hardy, Liz Oppenheimer, Jodi Sandfort (clerk), and Bob Schmitt. They first presented the following report for the MWB consent agenda in June, 2004:
Report from the Ad Hoc Committee on Nominating Concerns
Members: Elizabeth Barnard, Nat Chase, Martha Hardy, Liz Oppenheimer, Jodi Sandfort (clerk), Bob Schmidt.
In March, Meeting for Worship with attention to Business received a report from an Ad Hoc Committee formed to investigate the challenges confronting the community regarding committee service. At that meeting, it was decided that another committee should be formed through invitations by the Clerk – to reflect different subgroups within the community — to delve more deeply into this question. This new committee has met two times since being created and will meet again on June 12th.
As we have explored the nature of the nominations challenges, it seems clear that many large issues of community health could be potential causes of this problem. While the committee members are gathering information through informal conversations with Meeting members and attenders, we are sensing that this issue has significant implications for the whole community. It is becoming clear that a Called Meeting to address these issues would likely benefit us all. We currently are working to develop a format, structure, and date for the Called Meeting to allow for spirit-rich and wide participation in the gathering.
Submitted by Jodi Sandfort
A Called Meeting for Business with Attention to Nomination Concerns was held October 31, 2004. (Click here for newsletter including minutes from that meeting.)
The following is excerpted from the minutes of this meeting:
Following worship sharing, the ad hoc committee summarized its findings as follows:
- There is already a high level of engagement among members and attenders at TCFM. However, instead of celebration of the engagement that exists, we are made aware of the inadequacies.
- We need better processes/mechanisms in place to help people be aware of opportunities for service?
In light of these observations the ad hoc committee makes these suggestions:
Could we spend the year 2005 in reflection to answer these questions:
- What are the ministries of TCFM?
- What are the structures to support these ministries?
This year of discernment was initially named “Jubilee”. But in part because of the confusion of the use of this Biblical term, the name of the year of discernment was changed to “Jubilation”.