Clerk's Annual Report for 2012:
This year was an active and healthy period in the life of the Meeting. Membership held even at 149 as we mourned the deaths of two members and welcomed two new members. Meeting for Worship was well attended, with an average of 75-85 on most First Days, dropping to closer to 50 in the summer. Several First Days, over 100 gathered. Meeting for Worship was also held on fourth days, with small but regular attendance. Meetings were consistently spiritual, rich and nourishing.
Worship & Ministry Committee was active in caring for meeting for worship and offering a variety adult education opportunities to help Friends deepen their spiritual practices: 4 sessions on "The Essence of our Quaker Faith and Practice," 4 silent retreats, a "Course in Miracles," 4 sessions on meditation practices in different religions, and 3 sessions in which Friends shared their spiritual journeys.
First Day School remained active, though attendance varied widely from week to week. Many projects involved working with meeting committees, notably T&C. The high school class became smaller with three members (of whom we are very proud) away at Westtown.
Testimonies and Concerns Committee oversaw a wide variety of projects in which Meeting members are engaged, from weekly lunches to shut-ins to helping Bolivian Quakers. In addition, the Meeting again served as host location for the Talbot Interfaith Homeless Shelter for two weeks in the winter.
The Outreach Committee, having erected a new sign on Washington Street at the beginning of the year, turned their energies to a review of literature for visitors and newcomers. This resulted in fresh literature in a new, member-made literature rack in the lobby of the brick meeting house at the end of the year.
Overseers ably continued their function of pastoral care for the meeting and have begun to look at the question of how we care for senior members. Fiscal Year 2011-12 ended on June 30 with expenses exceeding income by nearly $4000. Because we like to keep a year's expenses in reserve, the shortfall is not a problem short-term, but could become so if this situation is repeated. Questions have been raised about our budgeting process, whether or not the income and expenses estimates are realistic.
Our new caretaker, member Clay Owens, moved into his newly-refurbished home early in 2012. Property and grounds remain in fine condition, thanks to committee work as well as the efforts of many members on special "clean-up" days and other occasions as needed. An Ad-Hoc Committee was appointed to review the condition and needs of the Common Room, now 30 years old. Their report recommending a number of changes, to be undertaken in 3 stages as resources permit, was approved at the November Meeting for Business. The process will be overseen within the regular committee structure of the meeting, with work to begin in 2013. We look forward to another vibrant year in 2013.
Candace Shattuck, Clerk