Testimonies and Concerns 2021 Annual Report:
The following members attended to the business of Testimonies & Concerns in 2021: Beth Mufson, Bob Wack, Connie Lewis, Dona Sorce, Harvey Zendt, Mary Yancy, Sandra Herbert, Stephanie French, and Paige Tilghman, serving as Clerk; with Cynthia Quast, supporting Marilla's Lunches; Sarah Sayre supporting the TIS; and Tom Corl, supporting the Detention Center Library. The committee meets at 8:45 a.m. in the Common Room on the 1st first day.
T&C assists members in focusing attention on our work in the community and 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" Faith & Practice
Marilla's Lunches is no longer functioning as an activity under the care of the meeting and we thank Cynthia Quast for her dedication and time in managing the program through difficult times. The Detention Center Library has been reactivated with several members participating weekly. The Talbot Inter Faith Shelter has been represented by Sarah Sayre and has successfully managed volunteers from THFM to serve meals and be a presence. The TIS has successfully expanded to the house next door doubling its capacity to save the homeless in our community. The NSC thanked us for our food donations to the pantry. FCNL and Quaker Voice are represented by member interaction. T&C has been asked to partner with a volunteer group called Food Link to deliver food to shelters in our area.
T&C expenses for operations were minimal due to restricted activities for the first part of the year, impacted by COVID. $3,000 was allocated for recommendation for contributions from Meeting. T&C developed the Giving Guide in 2019 to recommend worthy organizations to receive contributions from Meeting and Members in keeping with our Monthly Queries. T&C recommended the total $3,000 be awarded to Historic Easton Inc and the Asbury United Methodist Church for renovations. Meeting approved this recommendation and identified additional funds to offer a total $5,000 for the project. The Shoffner Fund, under the care of T&C, is designated for monetary awards for International Education and has an approximate market value of $23,000. The Committee allocated $300 equally to: the Bolivian Quaker Education Fund, the Patamos School in Guatemala and an Agriculture Education project in Puerto Rico.
A highlight in 2021 was the dedication of the Peace Pole on June 20, in Memory of Ralph Young. The event was hosted by T&C but, it was a Meeting wide project that involved: sourcing a suitable pole; carved, by an expert carver with "May Peace Prevail on Earth" in 4 languages; engineered with a durable and serviceable fitting for installation; and installed in a common place; agreed to by all, with a lovely ceremony that represented community wide participation, to honor a man, 'who led by example' in his commitment to peace and equality. We were all grateful to have had a part in dedicating the THFM Peace Pole for the memory of Ralph Young.