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Minutes and Agenda


Agenda for March 19, 2006

Agenda Item #1: To write a State of the Meeting report for Sue Scott / Presentation at Pacific Yearly Meeting.

Minutes for March 19, 2006

Many aspects of this question were discussed, but the ones which seemed to emerge most strongly during the course of the discussion were that the Las Vegas Worship Group's strongest and most productive focus during this last year has been in strengthening the collective spirit of the meeting amongst ourselves with a greater effort to demonstrate community and mutual compassion.

One Friend mentioned that approximately 60% of our worship group attended PYM last year, while another spoke with satisfaction that First Day School is a going venture and is regularly conducted.

One weighty Friend wished particularly to refer to the ongoing inspiration of Al Jones, our worship group's weightiest Friend, and to express the degree to which we value his wishes and example.

Minute: The letter to Sue and PYM will focus on the worship group's efforts to strengthen its inner sense of community and cohesion among all members and to follow the example of our weightiest Friend, Al Jones.

Agenda Item #2: Whether one should fix a definite end point to the Meeting for Worship.

This issue arose during the meeting and was not part of the official agenda, but one Friend was moved to speak about the issue, noting that the time for the end of meeting tends to vary. It was clear from this Friend's speaking that perhaps more structure would be desirable.

One friend dissented with the idea that there should be a definite end point to meeting, suggesting that worship is "spirit-led, not time-led," a sentiment with which another Friend concurred, mentioning that a flexible end time allows one to leave early (if there is an unavoidable obligation) without feeling inordinate guilt about doing so -- the flexibility allows for the feeling that one may stay or leave as need arises.

Resolution: There was not certain unity on this issue. The Friend who originally raised the issue did not speak again and the issue was touched on only briefly. Most Friends seemed to feel that flexibility in the ending time should remain, but the Clerk feels the original Friend should be re-consulted about her position on the issue.

Agenda Item #3: That the Las Vegas Worship Group should provide information about its existence to a wider variety of sources.

 

One Friend put it this way: that we are still in transition and still faced with a longstanding dilemma for our group: we'd like to get bigger, but if you get bigger, you lose the essential "coziness" of a smaller, less bureaucratized group. This Friend remarked that we haven't made contacts with other 'natural' affiliates such as Thomas Keating, the clergyman who advocates silent worship, adding, "We're off the radar."

In response to this idea, the suggestion that we place an ad in the phone book was brought up, but one Friend objected, saying, "Some come here for meditation in a communal setting...it's the building-within that we have here."

Minute: Ultimately, it was decided that avenues pursued by other nonprofit ventures such as being mentioned on the Review-Journal's website and informing the concièrges of the hotels of our existence be tried by the LVWG. One Friend agreed to have her phone number used as the phone contact for the group.

Agenda Item #4: That the LVWG raise more money to support its interests and activism efforts.

 

Concern about the Meeting's finances arose in the meeting and it was agreed that the Friend responsible for managing the accounts will provide information about the available money. Essentially, the feeling of the group was that all were willing to donate to the group, particularly if there were a suggested amount or if there were a cause for which we were specifically raising money. Since one Friend is participating in the AIDS walk, a goal of $100 was set by the meeting to put toward this cause. NOTE: Because the AIDS walk is the third First Day in April, Meeting for Business will take place on the following First Day (the 4th First Day).


Agenda for February 19, 2006

Agenda Item #1: To restore Quaker practice as part of the regular Meeting for Worship on the Occasion of Business.

Minutes for February 19, 2006

Intially, some Friends felt as if the agenda to a meeting tended to drive some others away; others preferred knowing the content of the Meeting for Business. One Friend suggested that members, by their presence or absence, have chosen to make their voices heard (or not). This concern led to a discussion about the growth of the meeting, for which it was felt that Quaker processes were absolutely vital.

Minute: Quaker processes are vital to the Las Vegas Worship Group. One needs processes to foster growth; as one grows, one needs the process.

Agenda Item #2: To include readings from Friends Bulletin or Quaker Faith and Practice Quaker practice as part of the regular Meeting for Worship.

Friends at first addressed the issue of time commitment, but all felt that something akin to this idea was a worthy one and one Friend expressed surprise that the practice had fallen into disuse after Al's clerkship ended. Some felt that readings prolonged the meeting and were concerned that not enough copies were available for everyone.

One Friend addressed the issue of Reno Meeting. Reno meeting takes the following approach:

  • They define a monthly theme according to a testimony (e.g., Simplicity)
  • They read a query or set of queries related to that theme.
  • If Friends are led to speak in reflection about this query, they may.

This Friend added that these queries are usually published in the Reno Friends' newsletter and suggested that, if we chose to do the same, we could put it in the monthly agenda or online.

Another Friend suggested that we have a reading or query ready for consideration on the next subsequent month (e.g., a query published in the agenda for February to be discussed in March).

This same Friend raised an issue reminiscent of George Fox's famous query, "...but what dost thou say?" by wondering whether we should have our own queries.

Resolution: There was agreement on many vital issues but no sense of the meeting was reached on how these ideas were to be incorporated into the worship group's routine or where the queries should come from. The issue was allowed to season.

Agenda Item #3: To address Sue Scott's request that the LVWG provide a "State of the Worship Group" letter to Southern California Quarterly Meeting by April 29.

 

One Friend provided useful background into the request and described how a threshing session/potluck had taken place and was a very rewarding experience to define the meeting's focus and progress.

Minute: A potluck dinner will be held at the Clerk's house at some point during the next few weeks and a State of the Worship Group report will be developed.