Fall Interim Business Meeting Highlights
About 60 SEYM Friends travelled to Lake Worth to attend our Fall Interim Business Meeting (FIBM) on October 5th. Palm Beach Meeting provided warm and welcoming hospitality, which included a wonderful lunch on Saturday, and a potluck lunch Sunday for those who stayed over for Worship. The FIBM Minutes can be found on our website here: FIBM 2013 MINUTES
Here are a few highlights from our business meeting:
Our SEYM teens gave an inspiring report on their experience and success in taking the Fair Food Campaign to FGC, which culminated in 100 Quakers marching to a local Wendy's. Our teens are now being consulted by FGC, and other Yearly Meetings, about their experience in creating a vital Youth Program and Youth Witness. For this coming SEYM year, the teens plan to continue their work with the Fair Food Campaign, including another "total immersion" visit with the farmworkers in south Florida.
Susan Taylor gave a report on the trip she and Joel Cook undertook to visit a Worship Group and a Meeting in Boston. The Independent Worship Group of Greater Boston invited Susan to visit, as former SEYM Clerk, to share SEYM's spiritual journey through our process of discernment regarding our relationship with FUM. Her full report is included in the FIBM Minutes.
It was announced that the Michener Lecture will be held Jan. 19, 2014 at Orlando Meeting. The lecturer is Debra Fisch of FGC Travelling Ministries program. She plans to speak to the desire that Friends have to spiritually deepen their meeting and offer some possible ways to move to centering their meeting communities.
Our SEYM 2014 Gathering will be held April 16-20, 2014. Our theme is: Quakers in the 21st Century: How do we address our traditional testimonies in our modern, electronically driven world? J. Brent Bill, Coordinator of FGC's New Meetings Project, will lead the retreat and give the J. Barnard Walton Lecture.
SEYM will celebrate its 50th anniversary at our 2014 Yearly Meeting in Leesburg. We plan to have a group picture taken on Saturday at Yearly Meeting, a birthday party recalling the history of our Yearly Meeting and our Monthly Meetings. Meetings and Worship Groups are invited to help with the celebration by providing a brief history of their Meeting and a group picture.
An update was given on the progress of FGC's New Meetings Project. Interestingly, there are Friends in Carrabelle, Pensacola, St. Augustine, and the Villages, near Leesburg who are asking for support from FGC in starting a new worship group. FGC has begun to train mentoring teams to support approximately 21 active new meeting requests.
The Executive Committee heard from the new secretary of the need to redesign the SEYM primary web site (www.seym.org) and to have more user-friendly software than was previously used by our recently retired secretary. Friends stressed the need for state of the art security as well. EC approved the concept of getting a new website. An Ad Hoc Committee will be appointed and will report to the WIBM EC.
Cece Yocum gave us a first-hand account of working with FCNL in Washington DC to lobby against the U.S. starting a war with Syria. She writes:
While I was staying in DC in early September, I stopped by FCNL and was asked to do some lobbying about the strike against Syria. I ended up talking to staff for Rubio, Nelson, Levin, Boxer and even Elizabeth Warren and Tammy Baldwin. By accident I spoke to Senator Chambliss from Georgia in an elevator.
Cece emphasized the need to have FCNL contact persons in every Meeting so that Friends can gather a rapid response to Congress on quickly developing critical issues. We united on a minute asking all SEYM Meetings and Worship Groups to identify an FCNL contact for their group.
-Reported by Phoebe Andersen and Vicki Carlie