Here is an opportunity for each of us to participate in some examination of restructuring questions currently being undertaken by the American Friends Service Committee. For our recent annual session, there was correspondence from AFSC's Board Clerk which arrived too late to be included in Advance Documents, nor did we receive a request for action or workshops from our appointees to the AFSC Corporation. However, I did print out the invitation from AFSC and placed it in the session notebooks. Unfortunately, the crowd of business on our final day did not permit my even calling it to Friends attention.
But it is not too late to participate, if you have an interest in the structure and governance of this important Quaker organization. I thank Carol Bartles, a newly-appointed rep to the AFSC Corporation, for bringing all this again to our attention. (She continues to use her good experience as a former member both of the Corporation and of the Board of AFSC.)
The AFSC has sustained many challenges while reducing size and budget by about 40%. An Ad Hoc Committee has been formed to see how best to engage yearly meeting members in a seasoning process about the roles of Corporation members. If you are a current or former member of the AFSC Corporation — or if you are interested in seeing Friends more fully participate in the AFSC and wish to be in this seasoning process — there is a conference call being scheduled soon for an evening, to last between 45 minutes to 1 hour and fifteen minutes.
I am including three documents which explain and prepare for this process.

Letter to Yearly Meetings
Charge to Working Group on the Corporation
Queries for Yearly Meeting consideration

Some of the concerns to be addressed are:

• What can be achieved at the Annual AFSC Corporation meetings?

• What is the role of Corporation members at times other than the Annual Meeting? How do we support and encourage this participation of Friends in this role?

• How might opportunities for involvement of Corporation members be developed at a more local level, such as service on regional committees?

• Are there different models or variations in what we do currently which might be more effective in more fully engaging Friends in two-way communication between Friends and the AFSC?

• What experiences and practices are there of organization or corporations similar to the AFSC, which might inform the process, and engagement of Corporation members?

I am grateful to see that the "AFSC/Friends Relations Committee" of their Board has launched this project, which will hopefully culminate in recommendations back to the Corporation for action in March of 2011. This is an opportunity for us in ILYM to continue our decades of relationship with AFSC and help build mutual communication and accountability.
If you can participate in the conference call, please contact Carol Bartles for the details. Carol can be reached by email at cabartles AT gmail DOT com if you want to participate in the discussions.

Thank you, David H. Finke, ILYM Clerk.