Reminder to Monthly Meetings –

-We need to fund our budgets

This letter from Western Quarter Clerk, Pam Leland, went to each Monthly Meeting’s Clerk & Treasurer as a part of PYM’s annual appeal packet.

December 31, 2014

Dear Friends,

Enclosed is the 2015 Annual Appeal for your Monthly Meeting’s covenant contribution to Philadelphia Yearly Meeting. We understand that each Meeting in the Quarter considers their budget at different times in the year, but we hope that you will be able to respond with clear intention to PYM’s request.

We would also like to remind you of a similar request made by the Quarter in September, when I wrote to each Monthly Meeting. That letter explained the recent growth and stability within the Quarter, and how encouraging this vitality required an increase in spending. While some of the expenses are not reoccurring, we are asking that Monthly Meetings increase their contributions to Western Quarter, as they are able. I have heard from some, but not all, of our Meetings.

Another consideration for Monthly Meetings at this time is the request that we reexamine our Unified Budgeting process, and discern our intention in proceeding with its implementation (or not).

According to part of a 2001 document, unified budgeting signifies that:

1.      Western Quarter now consolidates the two pathways by which we funded Yearly Meeting before 1995, replacing the old Quota and Annual Appeal modes of giving with a single, undifferentiated pledge or covenant.
2.      Contributions to Yearly Meeting and the Quarterly meeting are arrived at by an annual consultation of all monthly meeting treasurers called together by the Finance Committee of the Quarterly Meeting.   The object is to plan our giving as a family of monthly meetings where those who are financially stronger make up for those whose resources are more modest, or for those who do not choose to contribute.  This promotes mutual understanding, respect and solidarity within the Quarter.
3.      Our budgeting process is coordinated so that individual Friends can consider side by side, in one purview, the funding needs of their Monthly Meeting, Quarterly Meeting, and Yearly Meeting and contribute to them all by payments both to and through their monthly meeting.

Friends may be aware that in recent years, largely due to lack of full participation in Finance Committee meetings, we have not been able to fulfill this intended discernment process.

Our own financial needs as a Quarter along with PYM’s stated desire for more transparency with each Monthly Meeting, gives us cause to reexamine the process we currently use, assess its meaning for us today, and discern way forward as a Quarter.

Please be sure to join us at Kendal for Quarterly Meeting on January 17th, 2015. There will be opportunity to discuss these issues during our Business Meeting at 1 pm. There will also be the opportunity to speak with PYM’s new General Secretary, Christie Duncan-Tessmer, who will be joining us at lunch and Meeting for Business.

Pamela Leland

Clerk, Western Quarter

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