General Secretary Report on Staff Activity to Councils Mid-October through Mid-November 2017

General Secretary


 Business & Finances

  • Mapped out the December appeal
  • Reviewed and edited minutes from Annual Sessions and forwarded them for the next step on their
    journey.
  • Corresponded with Friends Fiduciary regarding administrative fees on funds for which they are both  the trustee and have the beneficial interest. Continued exploration of the impact of the admin fee on all other restricted funds with the Finance Committee.

Program

  • Continuing Sessions! Much of the staff work pause leading up to Continuing Sessions. This Fall Sessions was held at Arch Street and the logistics were the smoothest and most-well-supported by staff yet.
  • Faith & Racial Justice, A Public Forum with Chris Crass and Jude-Laure Denis co-sponsored by Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, American Friends Service Committee, POWER Northeast and Philly SURJ. This event is followed the next day by two more PYM-sponsored events: the East Coast Quaker Action Group hosting an organizing meeting and Chris Crass offering a workshop focused on organizing for racial justice.
  • Friends in Business was a significant success. There were so many people in attendance that the dinner had to be held in the East room rather than the Penn room.
  • Many PYM Friends of Color attended the FGC Retreat for Friends of Color for which PYM provided financial support and publicity.
  • Attended FGC’s Central Committee in Maryland. At FGC’s invitation, I served on a panel of clerks and GenSecs reflecting on the place of FGC in our yearly meetings. I spoke about the need for leadership in the directions our yearly and monthly meetings want to go and the need for Friends to be willing to follow. I shared three interconnected areas that I hear Friends refer to frequently and that FGC is poised for taking leadership on: anti-racism, religious education and outreach.
  • Gathered monthly meeting clerks together with a primary focus of facilitating their continuing the anti-racism work of Continuing Sessions.

Communications & Technology

  • Began the new practice of posting the monthly GenSec report in the public newsfeed.
  • Completed the text and layout for the next edition of Faith In Practice. It focuses primarily on the work and ministry of monthly meetings. It is our largest issue so far due to the fabulous amount of activity in our community.
  • Formatted and edited the General Secretary’s report on NCC delegation to Middle East for distribution in print format.
  • Arch Street Meeting House staff emails changed from being “@pym.org” to “@HistoricASMH.org” to more effectively brand the meeting house and the work of the Trust.

Staffing and Administration

  • Revised the first section of the Annual Review to focus more concretely on expectations of collaboration, taking initiative and strong communications rather than the previous focus on values within the Quaker community.
  • Completed job description draft for Director of Staffing and Inclusion. It has been reviewed by the Personnel Committee and has been sent for external review to a number of Friends who are experienced in the fields of human resources and anti-racism.
  • Completed final interviews for the Office Assistant position and offered the position to Aurora Denson who accepted. She’ll begin December 2.
  • Completed final interviews for Youth Engagement Coordinator and hired Melinda Wenner Bradley. She will begin December 4th part-time while she finishes up her work with New York Yearly Meeting (NYYM). Coordinated announcements with NYYM to ensure our staff and their staff knew in advance and that members of NYYM and PYM heard the news at the same time.
  • Completed job description for Associate Secretary for Advancement and Relationship and submitted it for posting.
  • Received the resignation of the Executive Assistant who is moving into a new professional field. Took beginning steps to cover the role for the interim as well as steps to post the position.
  • Made final decisions on health care benefits options. Began open enrollment for benefits.

Anti-Racism

  • Attended the online training with Amanda Kemp “How to have Difficult Conversations”
  • Consultation with Kathy Obear on antiracism and organizational development.
  • National Council of Churches approved moving forward with a “clarion call” to churches to end racism. I continued my active involvement with this work through attending multiple phone and live Steering Committee Meetings to drive the launch and ongoing work on this initiative

Visits and Meetings

  • FGC Central Committee of FGC, October 27-28
  • Worshiped at Green Street Meeting and attended Adult RE discussion, October 29
  • Worshiped at Radnor Meeting and spoke at forum afterward, November 5
  • Attended the governing board meeting and the annual conference of the National Council of Churches, November 7-10
  • Pension Board meeting
  • Arch Street Meeting House Preservation Trust donor event
  • Friends Fiduciary Corporation Finance Committee meeting
  • Friends Fiduciary Investment Committee meeting
  • Meeting with new FWCC Treasurer