To Meeting Representatives and Clerks of Monthly Meetings
Ministry and Oversight Committee renews its request, sent last March, for monthly meetings to further season the matter of FGC affiliation between now and June 30, 2019.
The purpose of this message now is to alert you to a new document, 2019 FGC Talking Points, containing information that may be useful to your monthly meeting as we continue to labor with the question of FGC affiliation. These talking points were shared with members and observers at the recent FGC Central Committee meeting, and are posted here with permission of FGC.
The email you received last March just after Representative Committee outlined the history of our deliberations on FGC affiliation and the process we hope to follow leading up to this year’s Annual Session. The content of that email is reproduced below, with the correction that we are asking Monthly Meeting Representatives to PYM, NOT Monthly Meeting Clerks, to respond to M&O Co-clerk Shan Cretin with a summary of reflections arising from the seasoning process by no later than July 5.
At Pacific Yearly Meeting Annual Session in 2018, Ministry and Oversight Committee (M&O) brought forward the question of Pacific Yearly Meeting’s affiliation with Friends General Conference. This question has been under discernment by the yearly meeting since 2014. The history of this process is posted at this link.
Many monthly meetings had seasoned this matter during 2018, but did so before having firm information on the costs of affiliation. At the 2018 Annual Session, some Friends asked for additional time for seasoning at the monthly meeting level with additional information on the costs to prepare for continued discernment at the 2019 Annual Session. Projections of the costs of affiliating with three representatives are now available here: Financial Implications of FGC Affiliation Revised 1 March 2019.
Extensive materials describing the programs and benefits of FGC affiliation were posted by M&O during the Spring of 2018 and before. These are available at these links:
- M&O Summary of Monthly_Meeting_Reflections_on_FGC_Affiliation (for Annual Session 2018, posted 7/4/18)
- Estimating FGC Affiliation Costs 13 July 2018 (posted 7/13/18)
- FGC Affiliation Consideration Updates (4/19/18, published after RepCom 2018)
- FGC Responses to Pacific YM Questions April 2018 (posted 4/19/18)
- Additional Information about FGC Affiliation and a Request for Monthly Meetings to Season (2/1/18, published just before RepCom 2018)
- PYM-FGC Affiliation Frequently Asked Questions (5/31/17)
- Benefits of Affiliation with Friends General Conference 2017 (document from FGC)
- Process and Procedures for a Yearly Meeting to Affiliate with FGC (doc from FGC)
- FGC programs June 2017 (document from FGC listing “what they are doing”)
- December 2017 issue of Vital Friends (sample FGC newsletter)
M&O is asking monthly meetings to season the matter of FGC affiliation between now and June 30, 2019.
We are not asking your monthly meeting to reach unity or make a recommendation as to whether or not to affiliate with FGC. We are asking monthly meetings 1) to encourage members to review the materials above (including projected costs and the FGC web pages); 2) to offer time in a meeting for business to season this question; and 3) to encourage those attending the 2019 Annual Session to be fully prepared for a deep and well-grounded discernment. The following queries may be helpful in this process:
- In what ways could Pacific Yearly Meeting and your monthly meeting gain by affiliating with FGC?
- Is the projected cost of affiliating with FGC worthwhile? If not, what costs would be acceptable?
- What additional information would be helpful to members of your meeting in considering the question of affiliation?
Monthly Meeting Representatives are asked to send a summary of the reflections arising from the seasoning process to M&O member Shan Cretin as soon as possible but no later than July 5, 2019. M&O will then have time to synthesize and share the reflections from monthly meetings and provide the most complete information available for our discernment at Annual Session.
If you have any questions, please contact M&O Co-clerk Shan Cretin: firstname.lastname@example.org
Shan Cretin and Jim Summers, Co-clerks, Ministry and Oversight Committee
PDF version of this letter: M&O_Letter_on_Seasoning_FGC_Affiliation_May_2019.