Clerk's Annual Report for 2013:
Meeting for worship was well attended in 2013, with an average of 75-85 on most First Days including children who go out for First Day School. In the late summer months, attendance drops to 50-60. On a few First Days, nearly100 Friends attended. Meeting for worship is also held on 4th with a small regular attendance (4-6, occasionally more). In 4th completed a census of attendance at the meeting for worship, for transmittal to Southern Quarterly Meeting and Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, showing corresponding attendance (72, 85, 75 and 59 on 4 consecutive First days). Meetings for worship were consistently spiritual, rich and nourishing, occasionally deeply gathered. The Third Haven meeting for worship is meaningful and vital. The Worship Ministry Committee cares for meeting for worship and discusses the meeting for worship and vocal ministry thoughtfully and tenderly at each monthly Worship and Ministry Committee meeting. The Committee provides greeters before meeting for worship, welcoming visitors and providing information. The Committee reads a Query each month on the First Day of meeting for business and reads the 4 Advices over the course of the year.
The Testimonies and Concerns Committee is very active locally, effectively articulating our Quaker testimonies and demonstrating witness in the wider community. The Committee engaged the Meeting community in wide variety of projects: local organizations working on peace and our other Quaker testimonies (including Neighborhood Service Center, Multicultural Resource Center and Agua Ayuda), assistance in the Talbot County Detention Center, assistance to local farm labor camps (Migrant Worker Ministry), host location and volunteer support for the Talbot Interfaith Homeless Shelter, local and regional advancement of the Alternatives to Violence Program (AVP), discussions of racism and incarceration, support for Bolivian Quakers and support other international humanitarian organizations. Many of these projects are of long duration at Third Haven.
About every 18 months the Meeting holds a carriage shed sale, this year on 10th proceeds of ~$4500, were shared through our faith community and its testimonies: $1000 to the Meeting scholarship fund, $1500 to Talbot Partnership, $1000 to Teen Court, $600 to a Bolivian Quaker scholarship fund and $400 to support for the Alternatives to Violence Program.
2013 was a year of growth and vitality in the life of Third Haven Friends Meeting. Membership totaled 153, with 2 new members. There were no deaths in the Meeting community in 2013. The Meeting cares for its young and old members with consideration and tenderness.
Overseers care for the wellbeing of members and attenders with pastoral care. Overseers examined how the Meeting cares for older members with a forum on the topic followed by a questionnaire. Overseers drafted a new Memorial Intentions form; its use will be reviewed with each member, and it will be available on the Meeting web site. A rewording of the responsibilities of membership at Third Haven Friends Meeting, designed to be more descriptive, was adopted as well.
The Meeting cares for its children very well. Most of our older First Day School children have left for college or boarding school. Older children have returned and stated their appreciation of the Meeting, and their feeling of attachment to and support from the Meeting. With aging and the departure of a large family, First Day School attendance declined. We welcomed 2 new families. At present an average of 5 children attend. Many weeks there are more adults present than children. The First Day School is well supported by the Committee and other adults. Sessions commence with moments of silence; then the children hold hands and greet one another. A leader poses a question and those present introduce themselves and answer the question if they wish. The group breaks into smaller groups according to age. The curriculum focused on our relationship to our natural world and our greater human family.
The Scholarship Committee provides modest financial assistance to our young members and attenders who are attending college and Friends secondary schools. For the 2013-14 school year, the Committee provided grants to 2 students attending a Friends secondary school and 9 undergraduate college students.
The Outreach Committee focuses on Third Haven visibility in the wider community, and on welcoming visitors and newcomers. The Committee rewrote and redesigned current information pieces, and produced 2 new pieces. "A Quick Tour of Third Haven's Buildings and Grounds" became popular visitors and tourists, leading to a reprint of 2500. The photos and text in "Your Guide to Quakers," for seekers and other visitors, briefly explains our silent meeting for worship and key beliefs. Feedback has been positive.
Communications and Business:
The Clerk of the Meeting and Recording Clerks serve the Meeting community very well. Meetings for business are conducted in the good order used among us, with all difficulties handled with tender care. The minutes are carefully recorded and kept in very good order.
The Communications Committee produces an excellent and informative newsletter, with fine photographs, and distributes it each month by email (also mailed to computer-free Friends). Communications provides weekly announcements, Meeting calendar updates and other information by email. Communications maintains and continually updates the very valuable and useful Third Haven Friends Meeting website.
The Meeting is in good financial condition. The fiscal year 2012-13 ended on 6th operating expenses of $55,131 and income of $61,600. The balance sheet showed current assets of $70,627 and current liabilities of only $267. The Meeting tries to keep one year's expenses in reserve. The Trustees of Third Haven Friends Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends is a separate entity with financial assets that are used to support specific Third Haven property and grounds projects. The maintenance and the character of the historic Third Haven buildings and grounds owe a great deal to the Property and Grounds Committee, and the stewardship and generosity of the Trustees.
Third Haven Friends is a vital and growing Friends community, nurturing and supporting young and old members and attenders, nourishing the corporate and individual Quaker Spiritual journey in the Meeting community.
Candace Shattuck, Clerk