July 6, 2009

Guidelines for Conduct in Friends' Committees

I adapted these guidelines to help a monthly meeting committee discuss and get clear about conduct during their meetings. They are based on the guidelines posted below, and continue to be a work in progress. See the previous post for background. ++++

Committee meetings are microcosms of the Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business, providing an opportunity for Friends to practice several of our testimonies as we carry out the practical work of maintaining our faith community. We seek to be Spirit-led in our work, with as much efficiency as possible, achieving a sense of what Friends call “right order,” and so ask that you use the following guidelines.

  1. When you are led to speak, ask the clerk to recognize you by raising your hand.
  2. To affirm something someone has said, simply nod or use the phrase, “This Friend speaks my mind.” Please don’t ask to be recognized so that you may express the same thought in other words.
  3. When you speak, keep your comments plain and to the point.
  4. We are seeking the sense of the group as a whole, using the processes developed by Friends, rather than lobbying for a personal viewpoint.
  5. When the recording clerk is developing a minute, sit in worship, and hold him/her in the Light. Please refrain from conversation with your neighbor.
  6. When a person speaks in the meeting, receive the words as you receive vocal ministry in Meeting for Worship – with an open heart and calm mind. If you have a strong reaction to something someone has said, sit with it until way is clear for you to speak with patience and compassion.
  7. Abide by the agreements that the group makes regarding decisions, actions, schedules, agendas, etc. If you feel something needs to be changed or varied, please bring it forward as a new agenda item.

1 comment:

Liz Opp said...

Hey there, Merry!

Looks like you did some serious thinking on the way back from Gathering, and now here you are. If you have questions about blogging, how to include links, how to increase readership, etc., let me know!

Also, more germane to this post: when I was clerking the worship group a few years ago, I shared a document I had created, about the "anatomy" of a committee report, which included things like context, history of the issue, any approved minutes related to the committee, actions taken and rationale, etc.

I hope you'll take a look at other blogs and offer your thoughts there, too: that's what keeps the "online conversation" fresh and interesting.

Liz Opp, The Good Raised Up