Testimonies and Concerns 2020 Annual Report:
Testimonies and Concerns Committee for 2020 was made up of the following members: Stephanie French, Sandra Herbert, Connie Lewis, Beth Mufson, Mary Yancy, Dona Sorce, Bob Wack, Harvey Zendt and Paige Tilghman, serving as Clerk; with interest in the work of: Cynthia Quast, supporting Marilla's Lunches; Sarah Sayre supporting the TIS; and Tom Corl, supporting the Detention Center Library. The committee meets from 8:30-9:30 a.m. on Zoom on the 1st First Day.
The committee assists members in focusing attention on our work in the community, as Quakers. Faith & Practice recommends: 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.
The T&C budget for operations was $1,500. $3,000 was set aside for Contributions. Expenses were minimal due to COVID and the lack of activities.
The work of the committee has been impacted by the isolation of the COVID Pandemic and on our day-to-day activism. We have all found it frustrating to be cutoff from our usual volunteer work and social outreach. T&C held several meetings to discuss our engagements in important issues and found ways to contribute back to our community and to Quaker organizations. The Giving Guide, first published in 2019, was updated and circulated again in 2020 and printed in the January 2021 Newsletter with suggestions for members to direct resources. T&C was briefed on the activities of Quaker Voice, a Baltimore Yearly Meeting initiative to address issues presented to Maryland General Assembly, most specifically environmental issues.
Many of us continued our individual efforts to work locally on social justice issues, income and racial inequities, homelessness, and nature sanctuaries. We provided a forum for our member, Ellen Silbergeld, to share the injustices for meat packing workers, made more difficult with COVID. T&C supported the efforts of Historic Easton Inc. and the Asbury United Methodist Church to rebuild their soup kitchen where our Marilla's Lunches program operates with other churches for community use. T&C recommended our annual $3,000 contribution for the meeting be awarded to this effort and additional funds were found to offer a total $5,000, The Committee also discussed the allocation of funds from our Shoffner Educational fund for international education outreach to the Bolivian Quaker Education Fund, the Patamos School in Guatemala and an Agriculture Education project in Puerto Rico. The funds will be allocated in 2021.