Almost everything that gets done in a Friends Meeting is done by committees.
The smooth functioning of our Meeting requires many tasks that are not immediately apparent to a casual attender. These tasks are accomplished by dedicated volunteers who offer their time, talents, and energy to help maintain and support our community. With the exception of Ministry and Counsel, all members and attenders are welcome to serve on any committee. Committee service is a way of preserving our meeting as a source of support, guidance, discovery and nurturance for ourselves and others.
Archives collects, organizes, and files records that pertain to the Meeting’s history.
Facilities sees to the maintenance and occasional repair of our physical location. This includes opening and closing the meeting house, organizing cleaning crews, arranging for necessary repairs, and upgrading the facility as the need arises.
Faith and Community plans and organizes activities that promote religious development and spiritual growth and that foster the ties that bind us together as a community. These include such activities as Quaker Dialogue groups.
Hospitality ensures that refreshments are available after Meeting for Worship and sees to it that the supplies at the Meeting House (paper ware, coffee, etc.) are kept stocked.
Library The Meeting’s library, which includes written, video, and audio material, is a resource for all. Topics range from Quaker history, philosophy, and spirituality to related subjects such as non-violence, the environment, and peace issues. The Library Committee catalogues new acquisitions, identifies and purchases materials that should be added, and oversees lending procedures and collection order.
Ministry and Counsel has many of the functions that would fall to a minister or priest in most churches. Its “ministry” function includes receiving and attending to membership requests, responding to requests for clearness committees, care for members and attenders in illness or urgent crisis, general support of members and attenders, and the spiritual growth and well-being of the meeting. It also updates and maintains the “hold in the light” list of members and attenders in need of spiritual support. Additionally it is responsible for the oversight of meeting for worship, from announcements to the welcome to newcomers. It considers matters of general concern to the Meeting, brings action items and policy questions before Meeting for Business, appoints committees to study issues of concern to the Meeting, and schedules the regularly-occurring business of the Meeting. It also oversees the distribution of special funds to assist members and attenders.
The committee meets monthly for about two hours, and those who serve must be members of the Religious Society of Friends. Three-year terms are staggered so that two members rotate off and two new ones join the committee each year.
Nominating Committee is responsible for identifying members and attenders to fill positions of leadership and to serve on committees in the Meeting. The bulk of the committee’s work occurs in the early spring, so that a slate of candidates can be presented to Meeting for Business no later than May and new people can assume their positions at the beginning of June. If a position is vacated during the year, the Nominating Committee is responsible for finding someone who can fill it.
Orange County Friends Meeting annually follows the steps below to appoint officers and committee members:
Activation of the Naming Committee
The Naming Committee recruits members of the Nominating Committee
The members of the Naming Committee are the Clerk of Ministry and Counsel, Clerk of Religious Education, and Clerk of Peace and Social Concerns
This committee begins its work in August.
Its task is to recruit members and attenders of the meeting willing to serve on the Nominating Committee. One of these should be appointed as the Clerk of the Nominating Committee.
The Naming Committee should provide a list of names of prospective members and its clerk to the Business Meeting in September for final approval.
Constitution of the Nominating Committee
The Nominating Committee should have three members, with overlapping terms, each member serving three years, where normally one member leaves the committee each year, and one new member is appointed each year. So usually in any year the Naming Committee will only need to find one new member for the Nominating Committee.
More detailed instructions for the Nominating Committee can be found here.