New England Yearly Meeting

A community of Quakers and Quaker meetings across New England.

FUM Financial Discernment Resources

[We have witnessed] both the enormous pain and the love in our community. We recognize that there is insufficient time at these sessions to do the deep work we need to do and not enough information about either the situations in our own meetings or the changes that have occurred in Friends United Meeting and amongst ourselves. Are we in that place of love and tenderness where we can hold ourselves spiritually accountable for another year as our meetings continue to wrestle with this issue? Ministry & Counsel has agreed to shepherd this process of information-sharing and discernment through the coming year, bringing a report back to Sessions in 2014. –excerpt of 2013 NEYM Minute on the continued discernment of finance to Friends United Meeting

Overview

Since 2009, in response to significant concerns around the personnel policy of Friends United Meeting (FUM), we as a Yearly Meeting have allowed monthly meetings to withhold the portion of their NEYM contribution that would be directed to FUM (see Minute 2009-54: Finance to Friends United Meeting).

During the 2013 Sessions, Friends again extended that financial arrangement another year. To facilitate discernment of whether to continue this process beyond the 2014 Sessions, Ministry & Counsel formed a working group to shepherd information sharing and discernment. The working group has chosen three areas on which to focus:

  1. sharing our stories

  2. holding listening sessions in each quarter

  3. compiling resources

Below are the resources we have gathered. We are sure to have missed items that some feel relevant. However, these resources do represent feelings across NEYM, with background information that we think adequately illustrates the issues. 

Background

New England Yearly Meeting is a founding member of Friends United Meeting, an association of more than 30 yearly meetings across the world.

In 1988 and 1991, the FUM General Board approved a personnel policy that affirms the civil rights and condemns violence on all people without regard to their sexual orientation but also requires those in staff positions at FUM to refrain from sexual relationships outside of monogamous heterosexual marriage. NEYM urged FUM to change this policy, asked our FUM board members to represent the concern, and promoted intervisitation around it. In 2009, after years of difficult discernment about withholding as a method of action, NEYM approved a mechanism often called "2009-54". Minute 2009-54 allows monthly meetings to opt to withhold the portion of their contribution to Yearly Meeting that NEYM would pass on to FUM. This policy was originally approved for one year, but has been renewed several times since. It will be considered again at Sessions 2014.

Resources

New England Yearly Meeting of Friends

901 Pleasant Street, Worcester, MA 01602

(508) 754-6760 - [email protected]