Friends of Adin Ballou
Meeting October 5, 2003

Present were Nancy Haines, Jeanne Kinney, Marcia Matthews, Liane Speroni, Richard Drinon, Peter Reilly, Bill DiLuca, Peter Hughes and Lynn Hughes.

Treasurer's Report

The meeting was called to order and the treasurer, Bill DiLuca, gave his report. He advised the members that there was a balance in the account of $329.65, to which Lynn Hughes added $46.50 from sales of publications.

Incorporating as a Non-Profit

Peter Reilly updated the group on the requirements for incorporating as a non-profit. The fee to incorporate in Massachusetts is $35. A by-law committee needs to write up the articles, schedule an annual meeting, elect officers, and organize under Chapter 180. For a group to be a non-profit, it needs to prove that nothing inures to the benefit of an individual. For non-profit, tax-exempt status, the group needs to write up governing documents and file for recognition as an exempt organization. The fee to file Form 1023 with the IRS is $300. The tax-exempt status then becomes retroactive.

The Peace Lecture

Jeanne Kinney brought up the agenda item of communication. Regarding the subject of communication about the Peace Lecture, Liane Speroni suggested the group needs to define our mission. Some are drawn to political expressions, some to religion, but we need to be organized and communicate.

Bill DiLuca mentioned that the Mendon Unitarian Church had a list of criteria for their Adin Ballou lectureship.

Jeanne Kinney recalled that in April they had spoken about Jeremy Brecher. Liane added that the discussion had come up again in June. Since Jeremy Brecher was not able to come, Liane suggested the group invite Dr. Anita Danker. She could speak to the disintegration of the ideals of peace and fellowship in the 1913 Hopedale strike, and how to teach local history in a way that promotes multi-cultural education.

Lynn Hughes noted that in Hopedale, local history is divisive. She would be interested in a speaker who addressed that issue.

Jeanne asked, "Are we going to be an action group or a historical society?" Many local people have connections to the Draper factory. There might be hard feelings if the Drapers were portrayed as the villains.

Peter Hughes summed up, "The Peace Lecture underscores the fact that we need clarity about the mission statement."

Peter Hughes moved that we have an Adin Ballou Bicentennial Lecture, distinct from the Peace Lecture. It was voted that Jeanne will invite Elaine Malloy. Her topic could be the early Hopedale community, amusements, reminiscences, women in the early community, etc.

We discussed what we would like in a peace speaker.
Dick: Someone who can come to an issue from the foundation thoughts of Adin Ballou.
Nancy: Someone who can bring a message of peace.
Liane: Someone who makes us think and has appeal to people in this area.
Peter Reilly: Somebody might give a peace lecture without mentioning war. Focusing on internal transformation.
Peter Hughes: A lecture in the spirit of Adin Ballou and the Hopedale community. Peter Reilly gave as an example, Bo Lozoff of the Human Kindness Foundation.
Lynn: Something that expresses the values we celebrate. Stay away from something explicitly political.
Jeanne: Keep the focus on Adin Ballou and his teachings. They are nearly unknown in this country.

Peter Hughes moved that Liane should contact Dr. Danker and let her know that we are in the process of defining the Peace Lecture and will present her with more specific guidelines when they are formulated. The motion was carried.

Other Business

Jeanne Kinney praised Lynn Hughes's keynote speech at the Unitarian Universalist conference, [the annual meeting of the New Massachusetts Universalist Convention, held on October 4, 2003] about Adin Ballou in the 1830's and his book about Christian socialism and community life. Practical Christian Socialism has been recently re-published by Blackstone Editions under the title Practical Christianity.

The group voted to apply to the Hopedale Cultural Council for a grant for speakers. They also voted to keep a copy of each grant applied for with the secretary, and to send a thank you note to each organization that provides a grant.

Peter Hughes reiterated that we need to work on general criteria for the group, out of which the Peace Lecture criteria should emerge. Brief discussion of the draft mission statement written by Lynn Hughes for the masthead of the newsletter. The group voted to expand upon this by each writing our own version of a mission statement. We will exchange them by e-mail before the next meeting. Peter Hughes will coordinate the e-mail list so that we all use the same list.

The next meeting will be December 14 at 7 p.m. at the Unitarian Church in Hopedale.

Respectfully submitted,
Marcia Matthews