2020 IPMN Annual Meeting
November 13 -14
Our two-day meeting included:
Rev Munther Isaac, keynote speaker
Meet and Greet time
A Report from PCUSA Representatives in Palestine
Panel discussion with Palestinian voices
The Annual business meeting
Click here for Agenda
Click here for Opening Worship Bulletin
Reports For Our Meeting
1. Treasurer Report for the IPMN Annual Meeting
- IPMN remains in a healthy financial situation. We have a cash reserve of $20,000 which equals about 4 months of operating expenses.
- For many years we have had a $60,000 annual budget. We expected to get less than that in 2020 because of reduced pledges. However, we experienced greater than expected donations from people who had not pledged and ended the year with about $60,000 in income.
- Because of the severe impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on Palestinians in the West and Gaza the Steering Committee decided to scour our budget to free up money to give grants to Palestinian organizations. We reprogramed $15,000 of money that had been set aside for other activities and redirected it for grants and added to that the $15,000 of 2020 donations that were above expectations. We were therefore able to give $30,000 in grants. In addition, our 2020 budget included $20,000 to be set aside for new grants to be given in 2021.
- We spent about $6,000 on a mailing a packet to all 2020 GA commissioners and delegates which included an overview of IPMN and the 2020 overtures to end the siege of Gaza and affirm that the facts on the ground in the Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza meet the U.N. definition of apartheid. The packets included a copy of “Why Palestine Matters” and “Syria, the Burden of Memory and the Hope of the Gospel.”
- From previous years we have set aside $12,000 to assist people travelling to Palestine. That money continues to be in reserve so that we can support travel scholarships when travel resumes.
- We will plan for a $60,000 budget in 2021. If in-person travel begins again, then we will once again be doing much of our advocacy work in person and our 2021 budget might look much like our pre-Covid 2019 budget. If travel does not open up, we will reprogram money from budgeted activities into additional grants to support Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza.
2. Development Report
We are pleased to report that we exceeded our fundraising goal for our 2020 Campaign. We received a total of $60,862 -- $58,362 in gifts to the Campaign, and $2,500 in directed gifts to support the Hosanna Prize and specialty needs that arose during the year. These generous gifts made possible our work this year.
While we had anticipated an in-person General Assembly with its attendant costs; that, as you may know, became a virtual experience. Then COVID hit, and your Steering Committee immediately pivoted to use your contributions, that would have been used for GA and the very generous additional contributions we received, to provide grants to partners and other organizations in great need.
We cannot know what lies ahead given the current tumultuous political and economic situation in the United States and Israel/Palestine, but we do know that our work is even more necessary than ever. Please consider a pledge to the 2021 Campaign: Courage! for our times. Our 2021 pledge form is found here. You can make an online contribution or here is the address to mail a check.
3. Grants Report
IPMN Grants for 2020
As we entered 2020, this was to be the off year in our biennial grant process. Little did we know that COVID-19 would disrupt so many events and that we would all be spending months at home. More than that, we never imagined that things could get even worse in Palestine because of COVID.
As COVID began, the Steering Committee (SC) was asked for funds to support a number of projects on the ground in Palestine. The requests for funds continued AND many events began to be canceled. With the cancellation of the events, the SC realized that there were many expenditures in the 2020 budget that would not be used as intended. At that point, a decision was made to remove these expenditures from the budget and to put them towards projects in Palestine where the funds were much needed. The Grants Committee was then brought in to help move through this process. In addition, one of the grantees from the 2018-2019 process asked to return their grant as they knew it would be a long time before they could begin to plan a “go and see” trip to I/P; we were very open to this and have promised to be receptive to their next grant request for the same trip to I/P in the future. While we did not request new applications for these funds, we worked with some IPMN partners, former grantees and organizations suggested by SC members to make the grants.
The following grants were extended in 2020 for a total of $29,400:
- Beit Sahour youth program - $1,000
- American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) to support health kits in Gaza - $1,000
- Seminary student scholarships for travel to Palestine - $300
- American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem (AFEDJ) designated for the Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza - $5,000
- Middle East Alliance for Children (MECA) designated where needed most for aid to Palestinians - $5,000
- American Near East Refugee Aid (ANERA) designated where most needed for aid to Palestinians - $5,000
- Kairos Palestine to assist with a youth program expanding their current ability and helping to replace funds lost from other places - $4,250
- Wi’Am: The Palestinian Resolution Center to assist with a job creation program for unemployed breadwinners in light of the desperate situation for Palestinians - $4,250
- MECA - $1,000
- Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) towards helping Lebanon following the Beirut explosion - $1,000
- Grassroots Jerusalem - $1,000
During this summer of staying at home, I took the time to go through all of the grants that have been awarded by IPMN since the beginning in 2007. As you will recall, it was decided very early on in the ministry of IPMN to give one-third of all pledges to grants; this continues through this day. While the records for the early years are a little sketchy, I am very pleased to share our totals:
• 2007 – 2013 97,300
• 2013 – 2020 141,350
WOW! What a joy to share this good news with you.
We have made a difference in the lives of many people.
Thanks be to God!
Carol Hylkema, Chair
IPMN Grants Committee
P.S. Many thanks to a wonderful committee: Kyle Cristofalo, Katherine Cunningham, Sarah Humphrey, Marita Meyer and Susan Wilder. It is a joy to work with them.
4. Nominating Report
A nominating committee was formed this fall under the leadership of Sue Dravis to fill two one-year-long terms open on the Steering Committee. The following two people were asked to serve and they were elected by the membership.
The IPMN Nominating Committee nominated:
- Yasmina (Mina) Haddad is a long-time member of the Presbyterian Church (USA). Baptised and raised in the Presbytery of the Ohio Valley, Mina attends United Presbyterian Church in Bloomington, Indiana. After walking from Louisville to St. Louis with the Fossil Free PCUSA movement, Mina was a Presbyterian Peace Fellowship intern for the 223rd General Assembly (2018). As the granddaughter of a Palestinian refugee, Mina has always been passionate about centering the Palestinian people in the call for universal human rights. Currently, Mina is in graduate school at Vanderbilt University pursuing her Master's in International Education Policy and Management. When Mina is not in class, you can find her working for the Inter-agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE).
- Rev. Casey Aldridge (he/him/his) is a minister of Word and Sacrament in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and has served as the Stated Supply Pastor for Youth Ministry at Pennington Presbyterian Church in New Jersey since his graduation from Princeton Theological Seminary in May 2020. Before coming to New Jersey for seminary, Casey was a Levine Scholar at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, with majors in History and Religious Studies and minors in Political Science and Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights Studies. Casey became familiar with the work of the Israel/Palestine Mission Network through his participation in the 2018 Walk for a Fossil Free World, organized by Fossil Free PC(USA) as part of the campaign to divest the denomination from fossil fuel stocks. But Casey's interest in multifaith solidarity and justice issues in Palestine and Israel goes back further. In 2016, Casey traveled with Eyewitness Palestine (then Interfaith Peace-Builders) to learn about incarceration, detention, and political imprisonment in occupied Palestine, and he has written about, spoken about, and organized for a just peace ever since.
Nominations from the floor, via Zoom, were also accepted during the annual meeting.