Philadelphia Yearly Meeting: 6.9 Interim Meeting Report
Tom Corl represented Third Haven Friends Meeting at the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting (PYM) Interim Meeting (IM), on 6th month 9th, at the 4th and Arch Street Meetinghouse in Philadelphia.
Most of the IM was devoted to the proposed PYM 2013 budget, for 7.1.13-6.30.13, and its consequences. The budget was presented in preliminary form at the 4th month and again at 5th IM, then reviewed again at 6th month IM. The budget development process has worked from more conservative assumptions about income over the next 3 years, in a 3-year budgeting process. The budget will be formally proposed and approved at the PYM Annual Sessions, 7.25-29 at the Arch Street Meetinghouse. The 1-page 1-year proposed 2013 budget and the 3-year 2013-15 budget are attached, along with a brief explanatory letter from Andrew Anderson, Clerk of the PYM Financial Stewardship Committee.
These budgets show the dramatic reductions made necessary by overoptimistic income projections and deficit spending, especially over the last 2-3 years:
The Financial Stewardship Committee, the PYM Treasurer Ron Ploeg, the General Secretary Arthur Larrabee, the PYM Clerk Thomas Swain, the Financial Oversight Working Group, and many other PYM committees and Friends have worked long and hard to develop this budget, settle accumulated deficits, dramatically reduce staff and related expense, and put PYM on a financially sustainable course for the years ahead. In this connection later in the IM, the Clerk read the Third Haven minute and letter with appreciation.
As staff is the largest expense, the proposed budget will retain a staff of 19 full time equivalents (FTEs) and eliminate 15 staff positions and people and reduce the time of 2 more, most all by 6.30.12 and completed by 12.31.12. At the beginning of the IM Arthurs Larrabee, acknowledged the very great difficulty in "getting smaller." He read the names of those forced to leave and honored their valuable contributions to PYM and its monthly meetings. A great deal of the IM was spent in acknowledging the difficulty and sadness in making these staff reductions, however necessary.
It is very important to understand that these staff reductions to not define what PYM will do, but rather what PYM will pay staff to support. PYM like Third Haven depends mostly on the voluntary, unpaid work of an enormous number of very talented and generous Friends.
Arthur Larrabee explained that with the staff reductions, PYM staff will not be assigned to specific committees, but committees can request staff for specific tasks. In this connection, PYM is developing an "Administrative Procedures Handbook for Committees and Working Groups." The Meeting Relations program, in which Arthur Larrabee himself came to visit Third Haven, will be laid down.
The PYM staff work will be organized around 5 threads:
- Worship and Ministry Committee
- Pastoral Care
- Peace and Concerns
- Religious Life for Young People
The full General Secretary's 6.9 report is in attached:
For additional information and documents on PYM IM, Friends can go to the PYM IM website at PYM.org/interim-meeting, where computer files are available by IM date.
Interim Meeting Representative
Third Haven Friends Meeting