Testimonies and Concerns 2019 Annual Report:
Testimonies and Concerns is responsible for assisting meeting members in focusing attention on a wide variety of issues that impact our work, as Quakers, in the world. Faith & Practice provides recommendations for a 'Witness in the World committee' that includes: a plan to carry out social service projects; a role to recommend particular actions to individuals and to the meeting itself, as corporate body; encouragement to work for social change through Quaker organizations; support for a member in seeking to bring a concern to the attention of monthly, quarterly or yearly meeting; contribution of services or financial support for individuals as "released friends"; to initiate consciousness raising and skill building activities that reflect our testimonies and help to create a culture of anti bias, peace and justice.
Members include: Cynthia Browne, Bob Day, Ryan Ewing, Stephanie French, Sandra Herbert, Connie Lewis, Beth Mufson, Bob Wack, Harvey Zendt and Paige Tilghman, serving as Clerk; with interest in the work of Cynthia Quast, supporting Marilla's Lunches, and Tom Corl, supporting the Detention Center Library. The committee meets at 8:45 in the Brick Meetinghouse on the 1st first day.
The T&C budget for FY 19 through to June 2019 was $1,200. Expenses included $364 to support Marilla's Lunches; $145 to support the work at the Detention Center Library; and $500 to the Multicultural Center for the Cultural Competency training program, held at THM, 2nd, 21st, offered to THM and the public. The FY 20 T&C Budget is $1,500 with $138 spent for Marilla's lunches, to date.
T&C recommends a list of contributions to THM of organizations that reflect work for Quaker concerns. 10 organizations were selected and presented to the 3rd month business meeting with approval and disbursement of $3,000. T&C is preparing a list of recommended contributions for 12th month business meeting. T&C monitors the John Schoffner Third Haven Scholarship International Education Fund, managed by Friends Fiduciary. The 3rd Quarter report indicates a Market Value for the fund at $18,202.90. The committee recommended 2 awards in 2019 of $300 each to the Bolivian Quaker Education Fund and the Los Patojos School in Guatemala and brought that request to 3rd month business meeting with approval.
Several T&C members have been active in the Immigration Task Force of which THM is a member. The Immigration Task Force discusses how to engage the community to support immigrants who live in our communities. T&C members were trained in "Immigration Detention: Becoming a Visitor Volunteer". This training facilitates the requirement for those visiting immigrants facing legal issues at detention centers. Several T&C members are committed to making the drive to the Snow Hill Detention Center to visit detainees and have volunteered as assigned pen pals to those in the detention center.
T&C provided input to the Friends Committee on National Legislation on their "World We Seek... Statement of Legislative Policy" and brought those recommendations to 4th month business meeting. The recommendations included a clear and concise policy statement of the four basic principles, and encouraged language that would describe Quaker action not as a justification for our beliefs but as an expression of our collective work. FCNL has issued their revised Statement fcnl.org .
T&C approached 5th month business meeting for approval of a Peace Pole, in keeping with the Peace Pole Project, a monument that displays the message "May Peace Prevail on Earth" in the language of the country in which is has been placed, and usually with 3 or more translations. Business meeting agreed to move ahead and asked T&C to work with Property & Grounds to have the Peace Pole ordered and paid T&C sent the order to the Maple City, MI manufactures. Shortly after receiving our order, the owner passed away. The money was refunded. T&C referred the matter to Property & Grounds who has identified a skilled wood worker at the CBMM who has crafted Peace Pole's and has agreed to craft a Peace Pole for THM. The committees will report back to business meeting, when the pole is complete, for instructions for installation. The peace pole fabrication and installation are in process.
Bob Ellis of the The Climate Project, a national organization, is available to visit us on February 20th for an interactive presentation. This might be an outreach activity. Eastern Shore Climate Adaptation Project might also participate.