Highlights from the Fall Sessions Minutes
At NYYM’s 2020 Fall Sessions, the body of gathered Friends approved an operating budget for 2021 that includes $100,000 for the support of children, youth, and young adults. The minute below is the approval of that budget and gives a sense of some of the discernment that took place.
Nov. 8, 2020, minute 2020-11-17. There was further consideration of the proposed budget, with the three levels of funding that had been laid out in the presentation by the Co-clerk of Financial Services, Mary Williams, on Saturday morning. During the discussion, Mary clarified that the baseline budget included no funding for C/Y/YA [Children/Youth/Young Adults], the $50,000 increase above the baseline would be just a few thousand dollars more than the current year’s funding, and the $100,000 increase above the baseline would be an increase over the current year.
Friends listened with openness and shared with care their concerns and their hopes for the YM.
Friends spoke about:
- the importance of our work in support of young adult Friends and the ways that work overlaps with witness work, grounded connections, and building our yearly meeting
- the complications of funding that work, asking whether we have sufficient resources to sustain additional paid positions beyond a few years, to pay a living wage, or to provide employee benefits for part-time staff
- how difficult it has been to keep connected to families with children during Covid
- the need to clarify how the witness funding, especially the administrative costs of doing witness work, is shown in the budget and whether some of that funding should be reallocated
- how it has come to be that we support a few Quaker organizations directly but not others and whether those decisions should be revisited
- how work with young adults includes pastoral care that is very much needed
Some of the aspects of budgeting to cover new positions were considered, including:
- the possibility of a separate designated fund for C/Y/YA
- the possibility of an endowment for C/Y/YA and how the Development Committee can work on this possibility
- whether sufficient work can be done for C/Y/YA without additional paid staff/with volunteers only
- that there is integrity in saying “no” to some requests
- that some meetings may be willing/able to “get creative” about funding for these goals
- that we must hold ourselves accountable
- that threshing sessions will be held, starting very soon, to consider several questions about sources of funding, including how to use the income from the Lindley Murray funds and whether to draw down principal from the endowment, expecting to consider our legal and moral faithfulness to the directions and intentions of deceased Friends whose generosity funded the YM’s endowment.
Friends acknowledged that the proposed budget and the long-term commitment to C/Y/YA were dependent on Faith, and assured concerned Friends that funding this commitment would not detract from our other financial commitments and, in particular, would not require taking money away from our witness work. Indeed, many considered that the C/Y/YA work cannot be separated from witness work. Friends approved the budget as recommended by Financial Services Committee (that is, the $100,000 increase above the baseline budget) with the caution that much long-range planning needs to be done in parallel and begun right away.
NYYM’s Spring Sessions will be held online April 9-11, 2021.