Friends Meeting at Cambridge has had deficit operating budgets for the last several years. This was by design the last five years, as we conducted the Beneficial Cycle experiment to bring more vitality to the meeting. However, our financial reserves will not allow us to continue this practice much longer. As a result, we are in the midst of a process to discern our priorities for a financially sound future.
The Clerks Team appointed an Ad-hoc Committee to plan and organize a workshop on the Meeting’s finances and a set of discernment sessions to identify our priorities. A financial workshop was held on October 7, and the first two discernment sessions were held on October 28 and November 3. The Ad-hoc Committee reviewed the results of the two sessions and presented a report at the December Meeting for Business in Worship, identifying the next steps in the discernment process to be the following:
- Engage community in session to consider specific recommendations to Increase Revenue.
- Engage community in session to consider specific recommendations related to FMC Contributions to Other Agencies.
- Engage community in session to consider specific alternatives related to FMC Staffing.
- Fund Raising Committee engage community in session to consider specific recommendations on Increasing Individual Contributions.
- Trustees engage community in session to consider specific recommendations related to Facility Costs.
The Ad-hoc Committee has scheduled these sessions over five afternoons this Winter and Spring. We hope Friends will place them on their calendars and take part in this important process. The schedule (with the topics of the sessions subject to change as the process continues) is as follows:
- Sunday 24th February 1:15 – 3:15 Facility Costs and Increase Revenue I
- Sunday 24th March 1:15 – 3:15 Increase Revenue II
- Sunday 28th April 1:15 – 3:15 Increasing Individual Contributions
- Sunday 19th May 1:15 – 3:15 FMC Staffing I
- Sunday 2nd June 1:15 – 3:15 FMC Staffing II
Childcare will be provided at all sessions. Lunch will be provided at the Saturday session.