A PDF of the Minutes of the Multicultural Audit Steering Committee (MASC)’s Retreat will be found by clicking the link: Sept 2018 MASC Retreat Minutes
The MASC sends Laura Pickering Ford, member of the MASC and Clerk of Harrisburg MM, a hearty round of applause for taking such wonderful minutes.
Minutes of the Multicultural Audit Steering Committee Retreat
Pendle Hill, Wallingford, PA
September 21 – 23, 2018
Attendees: Howard Van Breemen, Lauren Buckalew, Laura Pickering Ford, Johndi Harrell, Gabbreell James, Carter Nash, Jeff Rosenthal, Anthony Stover, tonya thames taylor (Clerk), Noah White, and Deb Will. Regrets, but shared comments related to RFP: Allan Austin, Matthew Bradley, and Wanda Wyffels; Regrets due to other previously scheduled obligations: Oscar Castro, Sandra Boone O’Scheyichbi Murphy and Arla Patch. Attended as Elders: Phil Anthony and Robert “Bob” Dockhorn.
Purpose – The Multicultural Audit Steering Committee gathered to accomplished the following: (a) nurture spiritual grounding by threshing and vetting the Request for Proposal (RFP), including the proposed inclusion of the suggestion of MASC’s Clerk that the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting (PhYM)’s affirmed at Annual Sessions held in July at the College of New Jersey; (b) strengthen fellowship and relationship among the MASC; (c) settle in rest and reflection after spiritual threshing of discussions generated around RFP; and (d) discuss possible marketing of RFP.
Overall desired outcome— Collectively produce an RFP that can be ready to post and disseminate by Continuing Sessions being held on November 3, 2018.
Friday, September 21, 2018—Watched and discussed the documentary “I am Not Your Negro” to better appreciate the implications of activism. Query: How do we bare witness? grounded our discussion and focus. Discussion centered in how the RFP articulates our current witnessing of the processes of Friends and attenders. After reading a few handouts from Rufus Jones’ Dynamic Faith, we collectively distinguished an organism v. an organization. Collectively, we agreed, with Jones, that we are organic and are living/breathings being not strictly an organization. We agreed to avoid, as much as possible, corporate language in our RFP. We hope to underscore that our desire is to strengthen relationships and love among us.
Saturday, Saturday 22, 2018—After having breakfast together, we begin with un-programmed worship. Afterwards, we concentrated on the following: (a) Mindfulness; (b) Open to revelation/turn to wonder; (c) Who sets a standard?; (d) Who are we?; (e) What are we going to do?; (f) How are we going to accomplish our goals?; and (g) Faith in Action – how do we articulate who we are?
Next, we reviewed of the Monthly Progress Report, August 2018 from the Friends General Conference (FGC) Institutional Assessment Working Group. MASC agreed to discuss further after the final report of FGC is distributed.
Next, we discussed the distribution of the surveys associated with such assessments, costs of mailings, and a demographic study. A guiding question was “How do we ensure the entire community is engaged?” Monthly Meeting Clerks and Quarterly Meeting Clerks are one place to start. Participating in this assessment is a witness to how we love one another. We discussed community engagement and attempted to answer the following questions: What is a multicultural audit? Why is it important? Why should we care?
We discussed and distinguished what is meant by a beloved community? Is it Elias Hicks’ lion and lamb forming community or Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King’s where you have love but expect conflict?
We discerned and discussion about the RFP and verbiage that needs to be changed. Is it inclusive or exclusive? Page 4 – what is the “right” place for the history on racism to come in? In the RFP or when the consultant meets with the PhYM body? After threshing, the current verbiage was agreed upon with one member of the team, disagreeing, but stood aside.
From there, we ate, at the Main House at Pendle Hill, collectively enjoying a good lunch.
Upon return from lunch and after silent worship, two friends gave impromptu presentations: (a) an example of Faith in Action and testimony and (b) Quaker X.
Next, we went to dinner and concluded the evening by watching Alice Walker’s “Taking the Arrow Out Your Heart,” at Stanford University. Walker discussed how, through truth, we can cultivate resilience by deliberately tending to wounds. Afterwards, a small group of us discussed Walker’s approached, talked, and shared perspectives of the retreat.
Sunday, September 23, 2018— The remainder of the attendees had breakfast together and worshipped at the Barn at Pendle Hill, concluding the retreat after that service.
Many thanks to our Clerk tonya for pulling this weekend together and for the spirit lead discussion and readings provided as well as thought-provoking documentaries.
Laura Pickering Ford, Harrisburg MM
Secretary for the MASC Retreat