EMEYF Communications Committee Meeting (CC)

Marielke’s House, Düsseldorf, Germany

5-6 June 2010


Present: Vivian Barty-Taylor, Joe Casey, Marielke Nieuwerth, Jonathan Riddell, Calum Shaw (Clerk), Leo Vincent.


Greetings: Mair Allen-William.


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CC10/01 Opening worship and welcome


We are happy to be together here in Düsseldorf for Communications Committee Meeting 2009. We thank Marielke, to who we are grateful for providing us with this warm and welcoming space. We look forward to a productive and spiritually enriching meeting.


CC10/02 Intro nominations


We welcome: Mair Allen-William as Charitable Committee treasurer and trustee; Leo Vincent, Kirstin Skarsholt and Edward Brett as Spring Gathering 2011 Planning Committee members; and, Jonny Poole as AM2010 recording clerk. We are grateful to Edward for confirming his service, for which he was nominated at AM2009, and to Mair, Leo, Kirstin and Jonny who took up their service following SG2010.


This weekend we are looking for Friends to take up the following roles:


Gatherings coordinator (CC2010 to CC 2013)

A 2nd EMEYF representative to QCEA (CC2010 to CC 2013)


In addition, we are mindful of two nominations that will be considered in full by Annual Meeting 2010:


Clerk (AM2010 to AM2013)

Elder (AM2010 to AM2013)


CC10/03 Annual Report


Joe, our secretary, gave CC an oral account of progress regarding the EMEYF annual report.


Joe informed CC that the Annual report has been sent out to the vast majority of Monthly and Yearly Meetings in the section (those who have their address published on the EMES website), with the exception of the UK and Ireland where hard copies were sent to both Yearly Meetings, Friends House in London, YFGM, the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust and to Woodbrooke. Following a suggestion from Joe, CC agreed that he should email an electronic version to Irish and British Meetings. We thank Joe for putting the 2009 Annual Report together and for his hard work mailing it to meetings throughout the section.


In addition, Joe reported that he has been collecting accounts of Friends’ experiences of recent gatherings that they have attended, with a view to potentially publishing them as an anthology.


CC 2010/04 Spring Gathering 2010


Friends that attended Spring Gathering 2010 spoke in glowing terms about their experiences of the event. Enriching, moving, challenging and incredibly interesting; the gathering was felt to be an enormous success. The complexity of the conflict in Northern Ireland was highlighted as were the challenges that remain. The work of Quakers based there was praised as was their strength and dedication. Friends felt fortunate to have received the speakers they did, who were honest and open in what they said.


CC was told how nice it was to be together with Friends during the gathering. The group enjoyed a great dynamic and bonded quickly. A real sense of community developed and complemented one of the conclusions to emerge from the gathering, which was that choosing to be and live as a community is a good way of dealing of conflict.


EMEYF wishes to express its gratitude to Irish Friends and to the Moyallon Centre for their hospitality and support.


CC 2010/05 Anthologies


CC considered the emerging practice of anthologies; the objective of anthologies; the form they should take and the practical considerations therein.


CC felt that an Anthology is a good way of sharing EMEYF activities and our member’s experiences with the section. CC saw the anthologies serving as a means for members of EMEYF to express themselves and their spiritual experiences: Anthologies can help us reach out to other Young Friends, hopefully inspiring them to participate further in the life of EMEYF. Anthologies were also considered to be a good, additional and more personal way for EMEYF and its members to speak with potential donors. Anthologies can serve to remind ourselves of the spirit of a gathering or event in years to come.


The decision to produce an anthology, its form and it content should be ad hoc and based on the desire of Friends to share their experiences. A digital format containing writings, drawings and photos has been used in the past but need not be a template for the future. Practical considerations of producing an anthology should be taken into account. Printing out and mailing anthologies is costly, timely and has an impact on the environment. The distribution of any anthologies should also take place in conjunction with fund raising efforts.


CC encourages Friends to be adventurous. The exploration of online multi-media collaboration in this context may be a possibility. The coordination of producing an anthology is the secretary’s task, in close collaboration with CC. Should it be necessary, a specific post may be created for this task in the future.


CC2010/06 EMEYF 2009 accounts


Jon, our treasurer, presented CC with the 2009 accounts. CC discussed the 2009 accounts; in particular outstanding contributions due and various expenditures. CC approved the 2009 accounts.


CC2010/07 EMEYF financial situation


Our treasurer informed us that EMES will not be renewing its grant and that our JRCT grant has expired. Their combined contributions represented 3000 euros each year and 50% of our average expenditure over the past three years. Jonathan urged us to be mindful of these facts and he added that if we do not address this issue we will have to cut back our main areas and activities. If we do not secure sources of funding, we would become financially non-viable within two years.


CC2010/08 JRCT funding application


Our treasurer reported back to CC on progress made vis-à-vis our application to JRCT for funding. We will apply for funding in order to cover the costs of the secretary, spring gathering and annual meeting. CC will help the treasurer complete the application.


We are reminded that if we are unsuccessful in our application for JRCT funding, we will need to make immediate cuts to our expenditure. A response from JRCT is not expected until after AM2010. In the meantime, CC will search for other sources of funding. Should no additional sources of funding be found, AM2010 shall prepare EMEYF for a negative response from JRCT by earmarking areas and activities that would have to be cut, thereby ensuring EMEYF does not run into a deficit in 2011.


CC2010/09 Fund raising possibilities


CC considered the challenge presented by the need to raise funds. Several possibilities were shared during the meeting and individual Friends were tasked with following them up. All Friends tasked with pursuing these potential sources of funding enjoy the full support of CC.


Leo Vincent will explore the prospect of fund raising assistance from Friends House, London, for Spring Gathering 2011. The EMES Secretary has offered EMEYF help with contacting the sections Yearly Meetings regarding fund raising. Joe will follow up this offer. The possibility of funding for Young Friends under the age 35 for travelling in the ministry will be followed up by Jonathan, as will the possibility of funding from YFGM.


We are reminded of the importance of our local and monthly meetings regarding this issue and the support they could offer us in the future, be they in continental Europe or in Britain. CC also asks all members of EMEYF to look into fund raising possibilities outside the Quaker community in their home countries or countries of residence.


CC2010/10 30th anniversary


Aside from an opportunity to fundraise, the EMEYF 30th anniversary in 2014 is seen as a great opportunity to celebrate EMEYF and reconnect with former members. CC embraces the idea of reaching out to them to gather their stories and explore the possibility of organising a reunion that year, and will take this suggestion back to AM2010.


CC10/11 Secretary management & CC10/06 EMEYF QCEA Rep


PAs change regularly and can feel quite lost in their role as EMEYF Secretary. We would like to utilise our communication channels with QCEA more and have a closer positive connection through our EMEYF Secretary. We ask our current EMEYF Secretary to collatorate with our EMEYF Representatives to update the role descriptions for the QCEA Representatives and for the EMEYF Secretary. We also ask them to draft a contract for the service QCEA provides by way of an EMEYF Secretary. CC decided to appoint one of its members to function as line manager to support our Secretary in their work for EMEYF and ask our QCEA Representatives to stay in regular contact for pastoral support. We ask Jonathan Riddle to be our line manager for the remainder of this year.


CC10/12 Nominations


CC is pleased to appoint Leo Vincent as EMEYF’s 2nd representative to QCEA (CC2010 to CC2013).


CC is pleased to appoint Kristin Skarsholt as EMEYF Gatherings Coordinator (CC2010 to CC2013), confirmed her consent.


CC10/13 SG2011


SG2011 was discussed over the weekend and the challenges presented by the current planning process. CC wishes to express and reaffirm its full support to the Spring Gathering 2011 planning committee as it goes about its task.


Considering the current state of EMEYF funding and finances, it may prove difficult for us to provide our usual grants for next years Spring Gathering. CC is also concerned that the joint gathering, as currently proposed, may prove unattractive to young Friends due to its short length and high cost. Experience has taught us the value of spending more than three days together. CC is excited by the possibility of a mini QUNO Summer School, if funding permits, either preceding or following the joint gathering with EMES.


CC10/14 Environmentally sound travel allowance


Following an overdue payment to the Trees for Africa project (as per minute AM 07/14), the proposal was made for EMEYF to have maintain a separate fund to cover the additional cost, to encourage Young Friends to choose the most environmentally friendly travel option (even if this may be slightly more expensive). CC feel that we would like to hold on to the commitment made and ask Joe to make the overdue payment together with the payments for SG2010 and CC2010. Considering our current financial state, we shall need to revisit this topic at AM2010 as part of our budget review. We would like to continue to encourage our members to choose the most environmentally sound travel option possible.


CC10/15 EMEYF Home Stay


At AM2009, the idea arose to offer a platform to facilitate exchange about opportunities to stay with each other. Technically it seems possible to build something into our website. Vivian is happy to take the lead on the development of this concept so that a proposal can be presented at AM2010.


CC10/16 AOB


EMEYF’s raison d’etre: not just because of our current financial situation, but also because the upcoming 30th anniversary of EMEYF, we feel this is a good point in time to start examining our reason for being: what value EMEYF brings to us.

Our clerk already made a good start of this topic in his section 'What is EMEYF for?' in our Annual Report. Vivian has offered to take this discussion further among the members as preparation for this year's AM.


CC10/17 Date and venue for AM2010


We look forward to our next annual meeting for worship for business, which will be held in Bad Pyrmont, Germany on 12-14 November 2010 (confirmed)