MINUTES

Meeting for Worship with a Concern for Business

Colorado Springs Friends Meeting

Eighteenth Day of Third Month 2018

Present: Ellen Cooney (Clerk), Linda Seger, Molly Wingate, Phil Friesen, Peter LeVar, Ann Daugherty, Jeremy Nelson, Ann Martin, Sue Lauther, Carlton Gamer, Austin Hawk and Lisa Lister (Recording Clerk).

We began with silent worship and the reading of the following query:

Do you nurture your spiritual life with prayer and silent waiting and with regular study of devotional literature?

Approval of second month 2018 minutes

The minutes were approved with one correction: The State of the Meeting report is due to Yearly Meeting (not Colorado Regional) on May 1. Lisa will make this correction.

Note: The full text of committee minutes and approved policies are located in the Appendix following these minutes.

COMMITTEE REPORTS

Meeting House Committee

The committee asks for direction about whether an addition to the meeting house should be pursued, and suggests that an ad-hoc committee be established to think about this idea -- they will report to the Meeting House Committee. Molly and Linda are interested in joining this committee, along with Kelsey and a member or two from the Meeting House Committee.

The minutes were accepted.

Ministry and Oversight Committee

Soup and Sharing will be May 11 at Lisa and Phil's house. The worship sharing will center on the topic of racism, and discussion of the film "I am Not Your Negro." The film is available on several online streaming vendors, or you are invited to watch the film at the meeting house on April 25 at 6:00 p.m. (bring snacks).

The minutes were accepted.

Peace and Social Concerns

Austin reported on the potluck discussion of lobbying priorities for FCNL held at the beginning of the month. We had thirteen people present for the discussion, and it was considered fruitful and engaging . The following six priorities were approved:

  • Promote policies respecting the rights and dignity of refugees, immigrants, and migrants living and seeking to live in the US.

  • Advocate for universal health care.

  • Work to end gun violence through meaningful gun control legislation.

  • Pursue policies that protect the environment and public lands, especially from commercial exploitation.

  • Promote policies that reduce military spending, armed interventions, and nuclear proliferation.

  • Promote international collaboration on solving world over-population and sustainability problems, including women's education and reproductive freedom.

  • Additional comment: All of our concerns point to ending institutional racism, including ending the oppression of Native Americans.

The screening of "I Am Not Your Negro" at the meeting house on April 25 will be open to anyone interested. You are welcome to invite people who you think would be interested. Ellen will create an event on Facebook.

The minutes were accepted.

Finance Committee

Draft financial reports were reviewed. The financial reports are not yet fully complete, and Kelsey would welcome suggestions for making them optimal. We thank Kelsey for his work during the bookkeeper transition, which we know has been time consuming for him.

There were no minutes, but the reports as submitted were accepted.

OLD BUSINESS

First Day School/Safety for children in the Meeting -- Revised policy on child protection

The summary one-page overview of the Child Protection Policy was reviewed. The larger, detailed document is the official policy. The Clerk and the Religious Education Committee will administer this policy. Molly suggested several terminology changes (youth vs. children, removal of "assistant clerk"), which will be implemented. It is suggested that this policy be available widely. We also think we might need a file cabinet with a lock, or a safety deposit box to hold sensitive documents, such as background checks. This will be looked into.

The policy was approved. We thank Ellen for all her hard work on preparing this document.

Both the one-page summary and the full policy are located in the Appendix to these minutes.

Internet /telephone

The Meeting has been discussing whether we need Internet connectivity for several months. Some Friends favor it more than others. Because it is relatively expensive, we were not clear that the expense is justified at this point in time. For now, the main priority is getting a phone number for the Meeting, so that Molly can be relieved of this responsibility, which she has assumed for many years. Phil has done research on the cost of getting a cell phone through Consumer Cellular, which is inexpensive at $20 per month for unlimited minutes. We can add data in the future if needed, but want to keep it simple for now. The phone can be rotated among members, so that the responsibility for answering Meeting calls can be shared. The Internet access issue can be addressed in the future should Friends feel strongly that it is needed.

We approved proceeding with getting a Meeting cell phone through Consumer Cellular. Phil will set up the account.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Pre-Meeting reminder: Please silence your cell phones. Ann D. will make small signs for both the front and back doors to remind people to silence their cell phones before joining Meeting for Worship.

Anyone who follows the Meeting's Facebook page can also post on that page. It gets a number of likes and views, so it is a good place to post events and information about Friends.

Ann D. reported on a meeting she attended on the homeless situation in Colorado Springs that included a variety of local organizations. There are many complicated issues. Please keep in mind that the Springs Rescue Mission now has a catering service. Supporting that service would be a way to support the homeless population.

Molly is the Feminine Hygiene supply liaison to the Springs Rescue Mission for the homeless. Please feel free to donate appropriate items and contact Molly for other ways to help.

With gratitude for our Friendly community,

Lisa Lister

Recording Clerk

APPENDIX

This appendix contains:

Meeting House Committee Minutes

Ministry & Oversight Committee Minutes

Peace and Social Concerns Meeting Minutes

Summary Child Protection Policy

Procedures for Child and Youth Abuse Prevention (Full document)


Meeting House Committee Minutes

March 12, 2018

Present: Ann Daugherty (clerk), Phil Friesen, Claire Sheridan and Lisa Lister (recorder).

Old Business

Status of drainage from basement to street

Ann D. has inquired with the Regional Building department, and is STILL waiting for a response.

Weather stripping windows

Phil is planning to weather-strip the bottom half of the windows, however his research indicates it may not be worth the trouble. We are also thinking it might be helpful to caulk the top half of the windows. The painter might be able to do this when he paints the trim.

Thermostat in meeting house

New simple instructions are now posted.

New Business

Do we want to proceed with thinking about an addition to the Meeting House?

As a committee, we are wondering if the Meeting should appoint a committee to think about the feasibility of raising money for an addition. As a Meeting, are we still interested in an addition (it has been some time since we talked about it)? Do we have the money? Can we raise the money and how? We ask the wider Meeting for guidance.

The committee should include members from the Meeting House Committee, the Finance Committee and anyone else with a strong interest.

Loose shingles

There are some loose exterior asbestos shingles on the bathroom extension which need to be re-secured.

Pending Business

Internet/phone service for the meeting house

This committee was tasked with getting estimates for how much Internet and/or phone service would cost each month. Estimates are still being gathered. Phil will call the Ooma people to explore about remote access voice over IP. If we can use Ooma, it will be much cheaper than going through Comcast for phone service.

Painting of meeting house trim:

John Mills (a small, independent painter), has accepted the exterior trim painting job for a sum of $1,850. He will begin work once the weather allows. This was approved at the December 2017 Meeting for Business. The trim color will remain light blue, but may vary slightly from the existing color.

Crawl space review/vapor barrier:

At our next committee meeting on April 10 at 1:30, we plan to pull out stuff located in the crawl space under the wooden trap door (in the kitchen area) and review what is there, and whether it should be retained. It is a donation from a deceased former member of the Meeting. We will also invite Kelsey to the meeting, so he and Phil can assess the crawlspace vapor barrier situation.

The side garden gate needs some minor repair:

Phil will fix it.

Watering Peace & Justice (tree) and other plantings:

During this very dry winter, we need to make sure our plantings are getting enough water. As long as it remains so dry, we plan to water twice a month.

Ongoing Reminders

  • After each First Day meeting, please remove all trash and garbage from the building to prevent unpleasant smells. Also please empty the coffee pot and grounds.

  • Thermostats in bathrooms: If the thermostat temperature is turned up, it needs to be returned to its 50 degree setting before locking the bathroom doors.

  • Friends, please do not donate items without checking first with the Meeting House Committee. Because our space is small and shared by all, some donations may cause discord.

  • The last person out of the building needs to double-check that all windows and doors are locked. Some doors have to be closed FIRMLY for the latches to catch.

The committee now meets at 1:30 p.m. on the second Monday of the month. We meet at the meeting house, and all are welcome.

We adjourned following silent worship.

Lisa Lister

Recording Clerk


Ministry and Oversight Committee Minutes

March 16, 2018

Today's meeting began with Spiritual Silence at 11:45 am at Carlton Gamer's home.

Present were Carlton Gamer and Ann Grant Martin, Clerk.

We reviewed the February minutes.

After a brief check-in we reviewed an abridged version of our Child Protection Policy that Ellen Cooney has created. It will be a shorter rendering of a longer and more detailed Child Protection Policy document. Members of M&O agreed that this document can be named a Policy rather than an Advice in order to avoid confusion with giving guidance. We see merit in having both a shorter document and a more comprehensive Child Protection Policy document

Regarding Worship Sharing:

We propose that our Meeting hold this year's Spring Soup and Sharing on Friday, May 11, 2018 at 6:00 pm. Lisa Lister and Phil Friesen's have graciously invited us to enjoy Soup and Sharing in their home. We feel that it will be beneficial to continue with the theme of Racism that our Peace and Social Concerns committee begun with their Worship Sharing gathering on November 18, 2017. We encourage Friends to watch the movie, "I'm Not Your Negro" prior to our Soup and Worship Sharing evening. A possible Worship Sharing query to consider is: "How Does Structural racism in our society relate to us as members of the Society of Friends?"

(This movie is available to Amazon Prime members)

Master filmmaker Raoul Peck envisions the book James Baldwin never finished, Remember This House. The result is a radical, up-to-the-minute examination of race in America, using Baldwin\'s original words and flood of rich archival material. I Am Not Your Negro is a journey into black history that connects the past of the Civil Rights movement to the present of #BlackLivesMatter. It is a film that questions black representation in Hollywood and beyond. And, ultimately, by confronting the deeper connections between the lives and assassination of Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr., Baldwin and Peck have produced a work that challenges the very definition of what America stands for.

We closed with Spiritual Silence.

Our next meeting will be Thursday, April 12, 2018 at 1:30 at Carlton Gamer's home.

In the Light of Peace,

Ann Grant Martin, Clerk


Minutes of the Peace & Social Concerns Committee Meeting

Feb. 28, 2018

Present: Claire Sheridan, Molly Wingate and Austin Hawk, clerk, recording clerk pro tempore. Ann Daugherty and John Robey were unable to attend.

FCNL Priorities:

On March 4th, 13 members gathered during potluck to take part in the nationwide discernment as to what issues Friends Committee on National Legislation should focus on for the 116th Congress (2019-2020). We were tasked to come up with as many as 7 priorities, each being limited to 20 words or less. Below is what the group came to consensus on. The priorities are in no particular order. FCNL is requesting that we send our response by April 13, 2018.

  • Promote policies respecting the rights and dignity of refugees, immigrants, and migrants living and seeking to live in the US.

  • Advocate for universal health care.

  • Work to end gun violence through meaningful gun control legislation.

  • Pursue policies that protect the environment and public lands, especially from commercial exploitation.

  • Promote policies that reduce military spending, armed interventions, and nuclear proliferation.

  • Promote international collaboration on solving world over-population and sustainability problems, including women's education and reproductive freedom.

Additional comment: All of our concerns point to ending institutional racism, including ending the oppression of Native Americans.

Movie Screening:

The Peace & Social Concerns committee would like to request to host a showing of the documentary, I Am Not Your Negro at the meetinghouse on Wednesday, April 25th in the early evening. The 93-minute documentary is entirely inspired by James Baldwin's unfinished manuscript written by Baldwin in the mid-1970s which recounts the lives of his close friends and civil rights leaders Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr., and Medgar Evers. One critic has written, "[it] offers an incendiary snapshot of James Baldwin's crucial observations on American race relations---and a sobering reminder of how far we've yet to go." We have access to the movie and could work toward getting access to a projector. We would potentially need access to Wi-Fi in the meetinghouse. We would like to extend the invitation to as many who are able to attend.

AFSC & FCNL

This weekend, March 17-20, is FCNL's Spring Lobby Weekend. During this event, hundreds of students, recent grads, and young adults meet in Washington, DC to learn how to be effective change makers. Their main focus this weekend is immigration.

Our next P&SC Committee Meeting will be March 28, 2018 at the Meeting House. The time will be 6:00 PM.

We adjourned following silent worship.

Austin Hawk

Recording Clerk pro tempore


Summary Child Protection Policy

Colorado Springs Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends

Approved: 3/18/2018

In an effort to protect children who attend our Meeting and our First Day School, the Colorado Springs Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends commits to the following policy:

  • Those who provide child care and/or lead First Day School will meet the following requirements

    • Have attended our Meeting for at least 6 months

    • Complete an interview with members of the Religious Education Committee

    • Undergo a background check and have references checked

  • In order to provide a safe environment to minimize risk for children, the Meeting commits to:

    • Have 2 adults present for First Day School, one of whom has completed the requirements under item 1.

    • Keep the door to the classroom unlocked and preferably replaced with a door that has a window.

    • Accompany children under age 8 to the bathroom.

    • Rely on parents to take primary responsibility in watching children when not in First Day School.

  • If a child discloses abuse to an adult in the Meeting, whether involving someone in the Meeting or others in their life, the adult will follow all procedures listed in the complete Child Protection Policy document to report the abuse to the appropriate authorities for further investigation.

  • The Meeting commits to reviewing this policy annually and reminding all in Meeting of our responsibilities for the children in our midst.

Detailed procedures for implementing this policy have also been approved by the Meeting and are integral to implementing this policy.


Procedures for Child and Youth Abuse Prevention

Colorado Springs Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
Approved: 3/18/2018

We have reviewed and approved the practices outlined in this document. By implementing these practices, our goal is to protect the children and youth of Colorado Springs Friends Monthly Meeting from incidents of misconduct or inappropriate behavior while also protecting our volunteers, employees and youth/children from false accusations.

This document is intended to be a working document and a reference for those working with children and youth and will be updated when necessary.

I. Definitions

For purposes of this document, the following definitions shall apply:

a. "Child," "children," "minors," and "youth" are defined as including anyone under the age of eighteen (18).

b. "Youth and child-care workers" or "workers" refers to all persons working with children and youth, paid and unpaid.

II. Teachers/Child Care Providers

All Child Care Provider will be screened. This screening includes a criminal background check, to be paid for by the Meeting.

a. Six-Month Rule for Volunteers

A person may be considered for any regular volunteer position involving contact with children and youth only after s/he has been involved with the Religious Society of Friends for a minimum of six (6) months. If the involvement with the Colorado Springs Friends Meeting has been less than 6 months, a recommendation will be requested from the applicant's prior meeting community.

b. Personal Interview

Every prospective youth or child care worker will have a personal interview and will be given a copy of this document. It shall be signed by the applicant, acknowledging its receipt and their understanding of the practices, and agreeing to the criminal background check. The interview for prospective volunteers will be with one or more members of the Religious Education Committee.

c. Reference Check

Before an applicant is permitted to work with youth and children, at least two of the applicant's references will be checked. If the applicant has worked with minors at another organization, the organization(s) should be included in the two references. The Meeting will keep the reference documentation on file.

d. Personal Information

All personal information gained during the screening process about any individual will be held in confidence by the Religious Education Committee and any other person involved in the decision-making process. Documents with personal information will be kept in a locked file.

e. Disqualifying Offense

What constitutes a disqualifying offense that will keep an individual from working with youth and children will be determined by the hiring committee on a case-by-case basis, in light of all the surrounding circumstances. The hiring committee will discuss with the applicant any negative decision.

III. Child Safety Measures

a. Staffing Goals

It is our goal that we will have at least two adults (at least 18 years old) in attendance when youth and children are being supervised during our programs and activities.

b. Classroom Door

Classroom doors will remain unlocked while there are persons inside the room. The Classroom door should remain open as possible, when noise from the classroom does not disturb meeting for worship.

c. Bathroom Use

Youth and children age eight and older may leave the classroom to use the bathroom on their own. Children under age 8 will be accompanied to the bathroom by one of the adult child care providers. Parents are encouraged to have their children use the bathroom before going to First Day School.

d. Parental Responsibility

Parents and guardians are responsible for their children during times when children are not in First Day School or checked into child care. Parents of children eight and under are asked not to leave children unattended in child care or First Day School classrooms at any time.

IV. Safety Concerns

a. Overview

We recognize that safety concerns may arise that are not allegations of child abuse and which do not call for the response described before in Section III. As we try to maintain an environment that is safe for our children in every way, we hope that parents and others will feel comfortable raising these concerns. Any person (parent or guardian, employee, volunteer, child, or other person) with a concern regarding safety of a child or children in the Meeting is encouraged to take the concern to the Religious Education Committee or to the Clerk. The Committee and the Clerk shall treat these matters with discretion and confidentiality.

b. Oversight and Implementation

The Meeting will review these best practices and implementation on an annual basis; this shall be done by a group consisting of the Clerk or his/her designee, one member of REC and one member of Ministry and Oversight. The Religious Education Committee may develop procedures and forms consistent with these best practices.

c. Mandatory Reporting of Suspected Child Abuse or Neglect

State and national laws covering child abuse and neglect have become far more proactive in the protection and reporting of suspected abuse and neglect of children. It is important for all of us who are involved in the on-going care and education of children to be aware of the laws regarding mandatory reporting.

Colorado law (C.R.S. 19-3-304) identifies several professions as mandatory reporters of suspected child abuse and neglect. Two of these categories are public or private school officials or employees and members of the Clergy and leaders of religious communities. It is a class 3 misdemeanor in Colorado for a mandated reporter to fail to report suspected child abuse or neglect or knowingly make a false report and is punishable under law.

For purposes of these best practices, Colorado Springs Friends Meeting has identified the Clerk and all youth and child-care workers (both employees and volunteers) as mandatory reporters.

d. Training

All mandatory reporters shall successfully complete the online Mandated Reporter Training For Colorado Educators which can be found at https://www.coloradocwts.com/mandated-reporter-training [ ]{.underline} prior to providing youth and child-care services at the Colorado Springs Friends Meeting. A certificate of completion (issued at the end of the online training and successfully passing the quizzes) for each mandatory reporter shall be maintained by the convener for the Religious Education Committee.

V. Mandatory Reporting

a. Reporting

If a mandatory reporter has reasonable cause to know or suspect that a child/ youth has been subjected to abuse or neglect or observed the child being subjected to circumstances or conditions that would reasonably result in abuse or neglect, the mandatory reporter shall, immediately upon receiving such information, report or cause a report to be made of such fact (1) through the child abuse reporting hotline system. (Call 1-844-CO-4-Kids or 1-844-264-5437), or (2) to the Colorado Springs County Department of Human Services or (3) to the Colorado Springs Police Department.

b. Guidance and Support for Reporting Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect within the Colorado Springs Meeting of Friends

In addition to the mandatory reporting requirements, any First Day School teacher, child care provider, or member or attender at Colorado Springs Meeting of Friends who witnesses or suspects abuse and/or neglect of a child under the care and supervision of the Meeting should immediately inform the Clerk of Colorado Springs Meeting; in the event that the Clerk is not available, it shall be reported to the convener of Ministry and Oversight. It shall be the duty of the Clerk, along with the Meeting's Ministry and Oversight Committee, to offer guidance, support and council to everyone affected, and, if and when it is deemed appropriate, to the Meeting community.

The protection and well-being of the child or children involved is of paramount concern. In the event of such suspected abuse, the Colorado Springs Friend's Meeting will proceed with the greatest of care and discernment, providing confidentiality for all involved, to the extent possible.

VI. If A Youth or Child Discloses Abuse

If you're in a situation where a youth or child discloses abuse to you, there are a number of steps you can take. 

a. Listen carefully to the youth or child

Avoid expressing your own views on the matter. A reaction of shock or disbelief could cause the youth or child to 'shut down', retract or stop talking. You should not question the youth or child or press for details, and other adults should not question the youth or child. That should be saved for the forensic interview.

b. Let them know they've done the right thing

Reassurance can make a big impact to the youth or child who may have been keeping the abuse secret

c. Tell them it\'s not their fault

Abuse is never the youth or child's fault and they need to know this

d. Say you believe them

A youth or child could keep abuse secret in fear they won't be believed. They've told you because they want help and trust you'll be the person to believe them and help them. The reporter does not need to be sure that abuse occurred or get details to prove that abuse occurred. That is the job of professionals who can elicit that information in ways that would allow successful prosecution of the abuser, if abuse occurred.

e. Don't talk to the alleged abuser

Confronting the alleged abuser about what the youth or child has told you could make the situation a lot worse for the youth or child

f. Explain what you'll do next

If age appropriate, explain to the youth or child you'll need to report the abuse to someone who will be able to help

g. Don't delay reporting the abuse

The sooner the abuse is reported after the youth or child discloses the better. Report as soon as possible so details are fresh in your mind and action can be taken quickly.

h. Clerk's Responsibilities after Notification

  1. Ensure that the adult who witnessed the abuse or heard a disclosure of abuse from a youth or child has made a report to the appropriate authorities for further investigation.

  2. Contact those authorities to determine if or when it is appropriate to discuss the allegation with parents, the alleged abuser, and others in the Meeting.

  3. When authorities indicate that such communication is appropriate the Clerk shall:

  4. Notify the parent and/or guardian of the youth or child.

  5. Notify the Conveners of the Religious Education and Oversight and Membership Committees.

  6. Notify the worker/volunteer alleged to be the perpetrator and immediately place him or her on leave from working with children pending an investigation. During the investigation, an alleged perpetrator will not be permitted to participate in any Meeting activities involving youth and/or children.

  7. Notify the Meeting's insurance company, complete an accident report, and forward any documents related to the incident and/or allegations to the insurance company.

  8. Ensure that the name of the youth or child shall not be entered into the minutes of any meeting.

  9. Remind Friends of the potential harm to both youth/children and adults that can come from gossip or idle discussion.

  10. Keep all information confidential outside of those who need to know information in order to carry out these practices; the confidentiality requirement includes all this who become aware of the incident.

VII. Effective Date/Changes to Best Practice

The Clerk and the Committee on Religious Education shall be responsible for the enforcement and maintenance of these best practices. Any proposed changes to these best practices shall be proposed to the Meeting for Business for final approval. Keep all information confidential outside of those who need to know information in order to carry out these practices; the confidentiality requirement includes all this who become aware of the incident.

VIII. The Meeting's Responsibilities

No adult will question the youth or child or discuss the incident with the child on behalf of the Meeting, as this could influence the legal process. The adult should not question the youth or child or press for details, and other adults should not question the youth or child. That should be saved for the forensic interview.

The person reporting does not need to be sure that abuse occurred or get details to prove that abuse occurred. That is the job of professionals who can elicit that information in ways that would allow successful prosecution of the abuser, if abuse occurred.

IX. Effective Date/Changes to Best Practices

These best practices will become effective immediately after being approved.

The Clerk and the Committee on Religious Education shall be responsible for the enforcement and maintenance of these best practices. Any proposed changes to the protocol shall be proposed to the Meeting for Business for final approval.


Acknowledgment

These Best Practices have been designed to guide and assist you when
working with minors. The information establishes general best practices
and should not be construed in any way as a contract of employment or
continued employment. Colorado Springs Friends Meeting reserves the
right to make changes in the content or application of this program and
to implement those changes with or without notice.

The terms defined herein are defined for the purposes of the program and
do not suppose or establish a legal relationship. These terms are not
defined for the purposes of creating a legal relationship with the
Colorado Springs Friends Meeting or any related or associated entity and
instead are to be used with this document.

I have received a copy of the Colorado Springs Friends Meeting Child and
Youth Abuse Prevention Program. I understand it is my responsibility to
become familiar with and adhere to the information contained herein. I
understand that these practices are the property of the Colorado Springs
Friends Meeting.

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