The next Seekers Group is scheduled to meet on Sept 12, 2016 at 7 PM in the Community House. All are welcome.
Hello Friends, Gretchen’s latest Property Coordinator’s report dated April 23, 2016 is available HERE.
Hello friends, please be advised that due to inclement weather, the Seekers Group scheduled for this evening (April 4) has been postponed.Please contact Gretchen if you have any questions.
Our next Seekers Group meeting will be on Monday, April 4, 2016 at 7pm in the Community House. I hope many of you can join us.
Also, there will be a special Seekers Group conversation on Sunday, April 10, 2016 from 11:30-1:30in the Community House on Worship in the Manner of Friends. We’ll share lunch (bring your own or something to share) and consider “What are all those people doing with their eyes shut?” We may have some other Friends from Westport Meeting who aren’t able to get to our evenings conversations join this one.
Meeting for worship takes patience and a real leap of faith – but for some of us it becomes as necessary as breathing. For others, especially newcomers, it is a mystery and challenge. Why do you come to worship? How does it feed you? How do you center? What do you do when your mind just won’t stop? Do you have physical sensations when you’ve been given a message to speak? How do you discern whether or not it’s a message for the entire group or just a new startling insight for you personally? Do you have a story about a transforming moment that has happened in Worship?
It is understandable why Friends have a really hard time putting all of this into words, but it is so helpful to share our wisdom and struggles. More than just a tutorial on the theology of Friends form of worship (though we can talk about that), the hope is that this will be an opportunity for sharing our wisdom and struggles while sitting in unprogrammed meetings.
For those who are interested, here are a few links to readings online that you might check out before this conversation (but there is no requirement to do so):
The Gathered Meeting by Thomas Kelly http://www.tractassociation.org/tracts/the-gathered-meeting/
Friends and Worship by Douglas Steere https://www.quakercloud.org/cloud/maury-river-friends-meeting/resources/friends-and-worship-douglas-steere
Silent Worship and Quaker Values: An Introduction by Marsha D. Holliday https://www.fgcquaker.org/resources/silent-worship-and-quaker-values
Draw Breath, a Poem by Geoffrey Weeden: http://www.quakerquaker.org/profiles/blogs/draw-breath-a-poem-by-geoffrey
Our next Seekers Group gathering is Monday evening, February 1, 2016 @ 7pm, in the Community House. We do not have a set topic, trusting we will find it as we settle in together. All are welcome to join us.
Our next Seekers Group conversation is on Monday, December 7, 2015 at 7pm in the Community House. Our topic is “Sharing our spiritual journeys with significant people in our lives.” Please bring your favorite story, querie, relevant struggle or wisdom – your own or that of someone else’s — to share with the group. I’ve looked far and wide for “just the right readings” and have decided that all of us are the wisdom that we need going into this gathering. I’m very much looking forward to our time together. Hope you can join us.
Property Coordinator & Book Fair Steering Committee Clerk Memo
On February 21, 2016, after Meeting for Worship there will be a gathering of interested Westport Monthly Meeting members and attenders to thresh out some Property Coordinator and Book Fair issues. The threshing Westport Monthly Meeting did around the sale of the Parsonage was transparent and thoughtful, and is the model being used for this discussion.
Issue #1: Book Fair Clerk. Greg Marsello, the Book Fair Steering Committee clerk, will be available to manage the 2016 and 2017 Book Fairs, but will not be available for the 2018 Book Fair as Greg and Melinda will be cruising in their sailboat. After the 2018 Book Fair, Greg may be available to work on the Book Fair but most likely will not be able to commit the time he has been committing to Book Fairs.
Presently Greg spends upwards to 250 hours a year on the Book Fair. He is supported by Gretchen Baker-Smith, as Property Coordinator and Children’s Book Fair Coordinator, at 75-125 hours a year; Ken Winland as book sorting, pricing, and boxing support at 50-100 hours a year; and Buddy Baker-Smith as Tag Sale coordinator at 50-100 hours a year. All Westport Monthly Meeting Committees support the Book Fair with specific tasks and duties.
By July 2016, Greg will document everything Book Fair. Starting in July 2016, Greg will need to begin training the person/people who will be coordinating the 2018 Book Fair, by working with him on the 2017 Book Fair. The new person/team would take over the Book Fair at the conclusion of the 2017 Book Fair.
Issue #2: Property Coordinator. Gretchen Baker-Smith, the Property Coordinator, in conjunction with the Westport Monthly Meeting Clerk and Property Committee, has been managing the tasks outlined in the Property Coordinator job description. Responsibilities range from supporting maintenance/building projects; Book Fair support; rental management; property maintenance such as snow removal, heat control; and much more.
With Gretchen living 20 minutes from Westport Monthly Meeting, it is challenging to be available as needed for contractors, heat issues, and shoveling, and other important Property Coordinator tasks. After August 2016, Gretchen will not be able to handle all Property Coordinator tasks and responsibilities, thus requiring Westport Monthly Meeting to find a new Property Coordinator or provide Gretchen support, thus reducing her need to travel to Westport Monthly Meeting each and every time the Property Coordinator is needed.
One discussion point that is most likely being addressed before February 21 is adding Internet access in the Community House so Gretchen can work while at the Community House and thermostats can be managed remotely. These two actions will help Gretchen with her present workload, but do not solve all the areas where Gretchen needs support.
The Threshing Meeting on February 21 will be the chance for all interested parties to discuss the two issues and actions that can be taken to ensure the Book Fair and the Property Coordinator tasks can continue to be accomplished with the most minimum stress on the Westport Monthly Meeting community.
Webmaster’s Note: This document was prepared by Greg Marsello at the request of Monthly Meeting for Business on 11.15.15.